Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Side note: At Owen's soccer games this weekend, something HILARIOUS happened. Owen has been playing goalie A LOT. Mainly because there is no one else who is trained as a goalie and because he likes doing it. He's also really quite good at it, although if he grew a few inches it would really help. Sometimes he can't jump high enough to stop the ball from going over his head. Anyway, I was talking to a friend not really paying a lot of attention to the game. Shocking, eh? And all the sudden I heard a lot of chatter like "Is that your goalie?" "What is he doing?". I looked up as Owen (even though he was goalie) was dribbling down the field....and scored! It was SO FUNNY. After the game I asked him what he was doing and he said he blocked a shot on goal and then saw a hole on the field and just went for it. Crazy kid. They won 4-1 and Owen scored all four goals. (the one goal the other team scored was when Owen wasn't in goal).
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I've been Tagged for a fun new game by my friend Erica!
Here is what you do:
1. Open your pictures folder (or Picasa)
2. Go to the 4th folder
3. Open the folder and pick out the 4th picture
4. Once you find that picture, share the picture and what it means to you or what is going on in the picture.
I don't have many photos on my computer since I just got a new laptop. So, I followed the directions from my Flickr account. This was in my 4th folder, picture number 4.
This photo was taken at a bowling alley (duh!) in Colorado in April 2004. Owen was just shy of 3 1/2. I remember Eddie and I took Owen bowling and left Emmett w/ our dear friend, Andrea Holt. I remember that this was important to us because we felt like Owen wasn't getting enough alone "mom and dad" time. This makes me chuckle now....4 1/2 years later, because there is no such thing as "alone mom and dad time". We operate by "divide and conquer". We never have two parents w/ one child. Doesn't happen. And, even more importantly, I don't think the kids are suffering from it. So, there you have it.
Toni, Jessica, Amy D., Annie, Julie G., Pam, Jen D., Sheila, Robin, Amy M., Danielle, Amy C., Elizabeth....TAG, you're it!
Looks like our plans to go back to Eville for Thanskgiving might be foiled by Old Man Winter. And, since it's been a while since I've mentioned how much I HATE living in NY (particularly over the winter), I feel like now is a good time: I HATE LIVING IN NEW YORK (even though there are REALLY nice people here :)). Seriously, old man winter is going to drop mass quantities of snow on us starting tonight and lasting until Saturday afternoon. Not only here, because that would maybe be OK...but through Buffalo, Erie, and Cleveland (our exact route). Our plans were to leave Saturday after O's soccer games, but we might not get out until Sunday. Thankfully, I think Eddie has extra vacation days, so we can maybe stay until Sunday or Monday after Thanksgiving. If not, it will hardly be worth it. Of course, meteorologists get paid for "guessing" and are often wrong. I'm hoping this is one of those times. We'll be ready to leave Saturday...just in case. Notice in the pic above our stakes marking our driveway. For those of you not from NY, that's so our snow plow service can find the driveway to plow it. We pay 240.00 a year for our snowplow service. An absolute necessity here in NY.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I think spending Henry's first birthday at the pet store was a perfect idea. Henry LOVES animals and he had a blast checking out all the puppies and parakeets. We went to Petland in Cicero this AM for a Mommy N Me event, make your own beta fish. It was a super event. $7.50 for a beta fish, container, rocks, food, plant, and water cleaner. What a deal. In addition, they had donuts, coffee, juice, and bottled water to enjoy while we were there. And, they brought in some puppies for the kids to hold. Henry and Emmett had a blast. And, we now have a fish.
Henry woke up this AM w/ a new tooth. It's his seventh, bottom left. You can't see it in this pic....but it won't be long.
The Spindler clan come over this evening to have cake and ice cream w/ us, and I made white chicken chili for dinner. It was a super small first birthday party. But it was just right :).
My baby boy turns one today. SO hard to believe. It's gone so fast (and I'm not going to lie....some days that's a good thing :)). We have a super busy, fun day planned for today. Although, now that I'm really thinking about it, it may not be an ideal day for Henry because he's going to be dragged all over and miss his nap. We're going to a mommy n me event today to a pet store to build a beta fish (for only $7.50) and that will be the start of our first pet. But, we're leaving for E'ville for a week on Saturday and unless I find a fish babysitter, he's going to be belly up by the time we get home. Anyway, then we're going to take Emmett to school, go get Henry's cupcakes, get an oil change, pick Emmett up from school, go for haircuts, get Owen off the bus. Dinner and cake and bed. Shoo~! That should do it!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My good friend (and neighbor) Sheila has been watching my boys for 3 hours before Eddie gets home when I go to work. She snapped this photo of Henry one afternoon last week when she was feeding him dinner. Needless to say, she had to put him in the bath after his pasta dinner. :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
Amy took Henry's one year photos and they are, of course, absolutely beautiful. I'm going to upload some here, but it may take me a bit so keep checking back.
If you want to see them all, go to her blog at the side...life w/ my boys...then go to her blog list and click on the photography by Amy site and client proofs.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Owen celebrated his 8th birthday on Tuesday at the Sports Center. It was a fabulous day for him and us. Owen had plans to re-enact a big soccer game w/ his two fave soccer teams: Manchester United and Chelsea. And, I ended up finding these soccer jerseys (shown in the photos) for $3.74 a piece on clearance at Target. They were awesome. Red for Manchester and blue for Chelsea. I wasn't planning on buying party favors or team jerseys, because we had 25 kids there but when I came across these shirts for such a good price, I couldn't resist. And, it really made the soccer game SO much fun. Eddie coached Manchester United and one of Owen's fave soccer coaches, Coach Freddie, coached Chelsea. His cake is actually a cupcake cake. It was awesome. The soccer balls on top are candles. Owen had an absolute blast and because it was Veteran's Day and the center had nothing else scheduled for the fields, we got to stay past our allotted 2 hours to keep playing. It was Owen's absolute fave day: good friends, good soccer, good food.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Owen's 8th birthday was this past Thursday. I think he had a really wonderful day. I made his fave breakfast for him (pumpkin pancakes and apple cider syrup), and then he had school. Emmett, Henry, and I brought popsicles and ice cream sandwiches to his class and Eddie met him for lunch in the Van Buren Cafeteria. After school, a good friend (Amy Davis) babysat Henry so we (and good friends the Spindlers and Pompos) could go see High School Musical 3. It was absolutely fabulous. I asked Owen after the show if it made him miss being on stage. And, he said, "oh, yes...it really does." Then, dinner at the mall and home for presents and cake. His birthday party at the soccer center is tomorrow. I gotta admit, I'm having a bit of trouble trying to get the words, "8 years old" to roll off my tongue. It seems SO OLD.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
This photo was taken yesterday. It was Owen's last day of being 7. I'm having a HARD time thinking about the number 8. As he has reminded me, over and over and over, in 10 years he will be voting FOR REAL! I'm having a rough week, too, w/ lots of big decisions to make. As many of you know, I have been searching everyone's brains for different thoughts and opinions. I tend to be one of those people who like to listen to many different points of view before making a decision (remember my baby name poll?). Anyway, I'm going to share the story and if you have a thought....I'd LOVE to hear it. I went to Owen's parent teacher conference last week. I knew that he was doing well in school and I was prepared to talk to the teacher about his complaints of being bored. We seem to be having this conversation w/ every teacher he gets. I had told his teacher my concerns a few weeks ago and so he was prepared. What I wasn't completely prepared for was the different solution options he gave me. Let me start from the beginning: Owen is somewhat bizarre (as many of you know). He LOVES workbooks (and has been doing them religiously since he was three). He LOVES to talk and is WAY more comfortable w/ adults and older children then his peers. He doesn't have ANY super great friends (he invited NO ONE from his class to his birthday party), but his teacher called him a "floater" - meaning he floats around the room playing w/ everyone. More importantly, he doesn't CARE! I can put him in any situation, any class, and he could not know a single person in the room and it doesn't bother him. He's mega confident in his own skin and loves to perform and be the center of attention (remember him as Tiny Tim?). And, he's a RULE FOLLOWER. He can not fathom why anyone would not listen to the "rules". He has lists for everything and has a notebook filled w/ different lists (remember the hurricane one?) . His new list is a graph of all the different boy/girl names he can think of and how many start w/ each letter. I remember him doing a "how many people speak different languages" graph last year. He's a master litigator and argues EVERYTHING w/ me. Unfortunately, he often has good points and I have to listen to his reasoning. And, he tends to have OCD tendencies. His obsession w/ soccer started 2 years ago w/ no signs of fading. He would choose learning or workbooks over playing (unless it was soccer). He's an old soul.
OK...back to the story. His teacher told me that at the beginning of the year his reading was at a 30. 2nd graders are expected to be at a 28 by the end of the year, so he's way ahead there. And reading is his WORST subject. He's really a math and science kid. And, I know there are MANY very bright kids in elementary school, but the problem is he is DEMANDING MORE! He is major irritated when kids in his class are off task and he finishes all of his assignments really early, so then he goes to the computer to do work or he walks around helping other students. He rarely brings home homework. And, he's bothered. He wants to be learning more. He complains.
Solutions as posed by Owen's teacher: skipping a grade, homeschooling, private school, or nothing.
This is Eddie and my big debate right now.
Skipping a grade. His teacher thought this was a possibility and Owen would do fine (keep in mind that the cut off is December 1 here, so technically he could be in third grade, anyway. Although, he would then start college at 17, be a college senior at 16, etc.). The problem w/ this per the teacher is that the third grade class is WILD. And, Owen would be SUPER bothered by their inability to focus.
Homeschooling. OK...I have some homeschooling friends that read this. Thoughts? My initial thought is NO WAY. I don't think I can do this. I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be any good at it.
Private School. There is a private school in Syracuse (MPH) that my dear neighbor has been telling me Owen belonged at since kindergarten. We are going to an open house there on Sunday. It sounds like a great fit for him. Small class sizes (1:7). Spanish or French instruction starting in K (he LOVES the idea of learning Spanish!) And, because you have to test into the school, all the kids are bright and focused. They only accept a small amount each year and there's a huge criteria to get in: testing, dramatic art experience (which he has), has to play an instrument (he's been playing piano for 2 years), recommendations from current principle and teacher. I think we're going to check it out...he may not even get in. This sounds like the best fit, but OMG!!! MONEY! We're talking 14,000 a year! No joke! They offer financial aid packages, but seriously, how much financial aid would they have to give me to make it affordable???
Do nothing. I think his teacher is doing a good job w/ him now. He had him do a research project to the class (the only one in his class to do so), and he's pulling him out to do multiplication and extra reading. He's also sending him to the library if extra time permits to work on research projects w/ the librarian. And, he's going to be doing a power point presentation to the class soon. He has also assured me that there is a third grade teacher (for next year) that will push him hard and he will make sure he's in her class. Problem? His teacher is not tenured and he is out of the class ALL THE TIME! I mean 1-2 times per week at meetings, etc. Which means LOTS of subs and lots of doing NOTHING!
Oh, what to do, what to do. I'm trying to keep in perspective. Like maybe this isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it. But, I want to make the right decision for my child. I'm afraid that this huge desire to learn will diminish if I don't feed it. But, I also don't want the other kiddos to lose opportunities because all of our money is going to one AND I don't want to go into debt.
HELP! Do you have any suggestions? I'm taking any or all comments, ideas.......I know many of you have education backgrounds or your own personal experiences to share. Anything that might help me make a decision would be appreciated.
Final note: I've also been told that kids typically don't start to demand more until 6th gradeish...so if he's already bored and begging to learn more I really need to do something!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Emmett took off on his two wheeler for the first time yesterday! It was a piece of cake for him, which makes me feel a little bad because he probably could have been riding all summer if we had gotten the bike out earlier. But, he lives on his scooter so we didn't even try. Anyway, one push by Eddie and he was gone. And, he immediately was stopping and starting again, and rounding corners all without falling. It may have been the "lucky bike". (Thanks, Hourihans!). Go, Emmett!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This is my motley crew on Halloween. Emmett was pouting, because he was super grouchy...who knows about what? And, he ended up going home early w/ Eddie and Henry and passing out candy. Then, he recharged and went back out w/ Owen and I later in the evening. Henry was hilarious. He held out his candy basket as if saying, "I don't really know what you are putting in here, but my brothers are REALLY excited about it so throw some in for me too, please." And, no I didn't give him any chocolate yet, but he did have a handful of suckers. Til next year....