Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fun in the country

Josh, Molly and I spent the weekend at my grandmother's attending a family reunion and enjoying some fun in the Florida panhandle. We attended the Chipley Watermelon Festival parade Saturday morning, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed after realizing that people would throw candy and beads at them. Here's Molly after a successful candy collection on the street. Please notice her watermelon-appropriate outfit.

We also took the kids to Holmes Creek, a favorite swimming hole of the locals, who were out in force. Josh was desperate to swing off the tree rope, but he was so excited that he let go every time before he got out over the water.

The water in Holmes Creek is icy cold, and Josh's zero percent body fat made it a short swim for him. Molly lasted much longer and was really mad when we left.

We ended the day at my grandmother's farm with a water balloon fight, watermelon eating and a farm bath, which involved putting the kids out on the carport and spraying them down with the water hose.
Josh and I made the looooong drive home today, and we stopped off in Atlanta to visit Woodward Academy, my old boarding school, which I amazingly located after almost 20 years. It was fun to show him my old school, which looks better than ever. We even had a conversation about learning, which went like this (this is after he had asked me to name every school I had attended and every teacher I had):

Josh: Mommy, what did you learn about in school?
Me: I learned about writing and books.
Josh: I learned about life cycles.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

"She's going to be a dancer"

I thought it would be a good idea to take the kids to the beach this evening to take some nice pictures of them. As usual, my plan (complete with bribes of fresh-baked brownies) was foiled with bad attitudes, crazy antics and repeated requests to go to the bathroom. One passerby made the comment in the title of this post when he walked by and saw this. We laughed pretty hard. We're saving this best version of this shot, which includes full underwear exposure, for her wedding.

Here are some of the other good and not so good beach shots from today.

Dolphins and tie dye

Late yesterday afternoon we took everyone on a one-hour boat ride where the captain "guaranteed" a dolphin sighting. I'm sure he was relieved when a dolphin family made many appearances around our boat near the end of the ride.

Josh had been eyeing a tie-dye T-shirt he had seen in an ad for a local restaurant, and we had the good fortune to find the same restaurant hosting a T-shirt tie-dying stand at the marina (what are the odds?). He chose the "bulls-eye" design, which he has been unfortunately referring to as "bulls-it" and his "bulls-it T-shirt."

The colors on the T-shirt have to set until tonight, so I'll post pictures of the finished product soon.


It rained all morning, so we took the kids to an art class at a local museum. They learned about Henri Matisse and then recreated one of his collages. Everything went fine, other than Josh deciding it was a contest to see who could make the best picture and then telling the 2-year-old sitting next to us that her picture wasn't very good. The clearly upset mother, who had done most of her daughter's picture herself, sternly said back, "YES IT IS." Yikes. We tried to apologize, to no avail.

The kids had a great time and were very proud of their Matisse-esque creations.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More at the beach

We got out on the beach early today, and Molly was still not happy to be there. In fact, she said she wanted to go back to the house and watch Wall-E! We were having none of that, so we stayed out until she started having fun.

The water was still iffy for her, but she really enjoyed playing in the sand.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ready for the beach

We all finally made it to Hilton Head last night after making our way through lots of traffic on various interstates. We took a short trip out to the beach today, where Molly insisted on wearing her gold-esque "neckalace." We were too lazy to take the camera, but I'll post more pictures in the upcoming days.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beach prep

We're leaving for a week at the beach tomorrow, but Josh couldn't wait to play in the water. He had fun with the sprinkler today, but Molly has developed a sudden aversion to water and wanted nothing to do with it. In what may be a related issue, she also had an aversion to her bathing suit because it wasn't pink with flowers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The End of Kindergarten, Part I

Josh wanted to give his teachers flowers today as a last-day-of-school gift, so he picked out these lovely, unnaturally bright daisies. He was very excited about today being the last day of school, although I haven't figured out how to deal with his excitement about being a first grader, which he's not going to be.

We've decided to hold off on breaking the news about Kindergarten Part II to him until we're a little farther into the summer. His teacher and several others at school are lobbying with me to keep him with the same teacher next year, so hopefully he will be glad to take on the roll of "special helper" or something else we come up with to explain why he's going back to kindergarten.

My mom and Molly attended Josh's end of the year party yesterday. I had emergency wisdom tooth removal surgery an hour before the party started, so I have little recollection of the day. Here are some of Mom's pictures.

Josh has become increasingly sensitive to noise, so he wears these headphones at school when it gets too loud. Apparently some of the other kindergartners believe he's listening to secret music (according to what I've heard in the neighborhood!). Here he's excitedly watching a video montage of pictures from the year.

Loading up for the backpack relay.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Best News

I just returned from Josh's end-of-the-year IEP meeting (individualized education plan), which involved two therapists and three teachers who work with him at school. We meet biannually to discuss Josh's progress and draw up agreements on how many services Josh will receive from the school system because he is classified as "disabled."

My single goal this year was to get Josh into a regular classroom fulltime. This year he has been pulled out of his classroom for two hours every morning to work one-on-one with resource teachers.

Today, all five teachers said they couldn't believe how much Josh has progressed in the last few weeks. They pulled out examples of his writing and drawing that are unbelievably better than what he was doing at the beginning of the year. And best of all, they all recommended that next year he receive minimal services, which means he will be a normal student.

Josh will be repeating kindergarten, even though he is academically ready to move on in most areas. We felt like this would put him with kids his age (he's 5 1/2 and there are 7 year olds in his class now) and give him a chance to develop socially because he won't have to focus on academics.

Finally, all the therapy, chiropractic visits, restricted diet, vitamins and everything else we spend so much time and money on is paying off. I just wanted Josh to be mainstreamed at school without having to put him on medication. I can't believe it has actually happened.

As for Josh's improved writing skills, here's a sign he posted on my office door today. He still needs some work in the brotherly love department.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The fruits of unemployment

This is not the greatest picture, but here is the product of Chris' five weeks of unemployment. We bought the cedar from a company in Maine last year to build raised beds, and this year they finally were finished thanks to Chris having some time off and our friend Jordan providing some manpower and motivation.

We've planted herbs and a few vegetables, and the kids love going out in the evenings to water everything. Here's Molly watering the tomatoes. I do plan to buy the kids watering cans at some point!