Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Antonio next weekend

On Thursday I get to go on my yearly vacation away from being a wife and mother. I go meet up with my August Moms in different cities around the country. This one is the 10th annual one that we have had and I wouldn't miss it for most things...I can't say I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world, there are a few things I would miss it for.

Say in the future if one of my girls end up getting married on the August Mom reunion weekend I wouldn't be going. There are few other things that I would stay back for.

I am the type of mom who realizes that there are many things that Fly Guy can do with the girls and do them better then I can. I know the girls eat better when they are with him then when I am feeding them. *shrug* What can I say cooking is a chore for me, not passion. Fly Guy is their dad and a good one at that and so I don't think twice about leaving. Plus my parents live close enough for back up if he needs it.

People I talk to are surprised that Fly Guy is ok with me going away for the weekend. He goes away for fly fishing a few weekends a year, plus he goes away on business at least once a year. I figure I go away maybe twice a year for a weekend. Once with the August Moms and once with college friends. They don't question me being left with the girls, but they do when I leave they question it. Which is a bit double sided don't you think?

Well I am looking forward to being with my August Mom friends.....eating good food, talking into the night, wandering around a city without having to worry about kids getting into things or yelling "Mom!" and stuff like that. :-)

Swimming and History Girl

Yesurday History Girl got a chance to try out for a swim club. The coach really liked her. History Girl is going to try it for a week before I am willing to sign her up for it. Not only it is expencive, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

I have been swimming competively since I was a little younger then History Girl. My mother expected me to get myself to swim practice on my own. Which I did without a problem. My mother only made it to one of my swim meets and that was only because my Grandfather (her dad) wanted to see me swim, since he was a swimmer. My dad made it to the meets he could because he worked nights at the time. If you work for a morning paper then you work nights to get it ready in time.

Ever since I became a Mom I wanted a daughter who would be a swimmer. Even though I wanted that, I never said anything about it because I never wanted them to feel like they had to do it. I told them both they had to learn how to swim. A child of mine doesn't grow up on the coast without learning how to swim. If they didn't learn how to swim I wouldn't let them go on boats/ships/etc. So they learned how to swim.

So I am so excited about this. I hope she likes it, but I needto make sure that I stay the suppoter and not become her coach, because having swum competively off and on for 25+ years, I have coached many of my teammates. I shouldn't coach my own daughter because it would hurt our relationship.

We are already having one minor problem. The swim club has a parent/child meet. History Girl has already told me that if I swim agaist her and win, she will be upset. I reminded her that she won't always win there will always be someone better then she is. She said that she understands it just would hurt if I beat her. Well I am one of the top backstrokers in the state in my age group, so if we swim backstroke I will beat her and a good number of the younger kids in the club...I am not delusional...I know the senior swimmers would beat me to a pulp. :-) Maybe I will do an event that History Girl isn't doing and then have Fly Guy swim agaist History Girl. ;-)

What color crayon are you?

You Are a Red Crayon

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors.

You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself.

Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming.

Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships.

Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.

Grammer Test

Well with using all the little tricks I have come up with over the years and I lot of thinking it out, I got an A. Which I find it hard to believe, my grammar is bad. I was pulled out of English from the time I was 7 to when I was 12 to work on dealing with my LDs. My grammar is bad and I have to admit it was taking a foreign language helped me finally figure out English grammar.

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.

If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.

As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.

And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Which Sesame Street Personality are you

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

What Soda Are you?

You Are Diet Coke

You are energy in its purest form. No need to complicate things with sweetness.

And while people may hate your aftertaste, you are seen as a necessary evil.

Your best soda match: 7 Up

Stay away from: Coke

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Red Sox and being green

Well I bet the people who follow baseball would expect me to write about how the Red Sox has won its first division title in 12 years. Yeah yeah...that is great, but it isn't what I am going to write about.
It turns out a couple of my favorite things are converging. :-) Fenway Park is going green. They are making the grand old stadium environmentally friendly. I think I am more excited about this then the division title. They are planning on collecting empty water and soda bottles in the 5th inning. They are changing to a more efficient lighting and expanding their recycling program. My favorite is that are going to offer more locally grown, organic produce in the concession stands.
They are making these changes over the next 5 years in order for it to be all done by 2012 and Fenway Park's 100th birthday.
So the Red Sox might be Division Champions, but they are also doing the right thing. Which to me is always the more important thing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Swimming and being social

Swimming started up for me on Monday so I am back to waking up at 5am. Yes it is early, but I need to remember that swim practice is the one sure way to snap me out a a long running depression. Not only it is because of the hard work...more work then if I was swimming a lone, but it is time with my friends.
Fly Guy for the longest time thought I never spent time with my friends and then he realized that he was looking for me to have the same pattern he has. He gets home from work comes home hangs out with me and helps get the girls to bed and then he goes out to hang out with his friends. It took him awhile to realize, but pattern is to wake up at 5am and get up go to the pool hang out with my friends pre and post workout. We talk about swimming, family, friends, work, school, etc. I have put in a workout and I have been social for the day even before Fly Guy wakes up. So once he realized that he no longer asks me why I don't go out with my friends. He realizes I hang out with my friends three times a week between 5:15am and 7am so I am good. ;-)
I saw this quote in a competitive swimming supply catalog and I had to cut it out because it is really true:
"Try explaining it to a non-swimming and you'd think it was rocket science. They ask you, "How is swimming a team sport? You're out there by yourself, it's all about individuals." But invite them to a practice, if they're willing to get up that early and they;'' see true teamwork. Friends pushing each other. Every practice, every lap, every race. Everything you do, you do it together, as a team. You pace each other. You race each other. It's personal."
I get goosebumps when I read that, because it is so true for me. Swimming helps me on so many different levels that it is hard to explain. Yes there is the obvious..the exercise, but there is the emotional well being part and the social part and it is all something that a non-swimmer doesn't get and I need to remember when I feel myself sliding in to a longer stretch of depression then I feel I can handle.

Red Sox

Well ever since I started my thing of listening to songs related to the Red Sox they started winning again. They did lose on Sunday, but I had stressful stuff going on at my house that day so I didn't listen to any music that day.
Yesterday I had "Who Killed Tangerine" by Tears for Fears going through my head. (It is a song from the Fever Pitch soundtrack...Fever Pitch is a great Red Sox movie and it doesn't hurt that it has Drew Barrymore who I could watch forever.) Any how the part that was going through my head was " And when you think it's all over It's not over, it's not over" and I thought it was going through my head because swim practice has started up again and that describes swim practice pretty think it is all over, but nope it isn't the coach has thought up something new to do....well it turns out that it had nothing to do with the swim practice, all to do with the Red Sox and Yankees. When I went to bed I wrote the Yankees off as having won the game. A-Rod got a grand slam they were beating Tampa Bay 5 to 0. Tamp Bay is last place so of course with a grand slam and all that the Yankees will with against Tampa I went to bed. Well "And when you think it's all over It's not over, it's not over." Imagine my surprise when I woke up and found out the Yankees lost by one run.
Also when I went to bed Red Sox were winning, but it was close, and they brought up Gagne. Well in Maine we call him GAG-nee, because he tends to give up a lot of walks and hits and stuff so when he comes in at the end of the game Red Sox might not win. So I figured well it looks like the Red Sox might have lost this because of Gagne....well once again "And when you think it's all over It's not over, it's not over."
So that is why I had this song virus. Because I need to remember that things aren't over until it is over. ;-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Berth Day

Well the Red Sox have earned a playoff berth. I was worried there for a bit. Of course being a typical Red Sox fan things I do in my daily life effect how well the Red Sox play. :-) Since Friday I have listened to songs that are related to the Red Sox in some way and then they turned around. ;-) Of course they only started having problems because my dad left his lucky hat at our house the last time he visited. ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What kind of chocolate are you?

You are Milk Chocolate
A total dreamer, you spend most of your time with your head in the clouds.
You often think of the future, and you are always working toward your ideal life.
Also nostalgic, you rarely forget a meaningful moment... even those from long ago

I love chocolate of all kinds though dark chocolate is my favorite and has been since I was about 10 years old, so I am a little disappointed I didn't get to be dark chocolate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Sorry I haven't posted for awhile, but I have been busy and have been fighting of a bit of depression.
History Girl has settled into the Middle School without a problem. She has made new friends and she is loving taking French and she is doing her homework without me being on top of her about it all of the time. I am very proud of how well she has bounced back from her awful year last year. What upsets me is that her teacher from last year will take the credit for History Girl stretching herself this year, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If History Girl didn't have Fly Guy and myself backing her up and helping her when she needed it her teacher from last year would have driven History Girl into the ground without a second thought.
History Girl has joined the drama club and she want to be a part of the girls only book club and she is planning on joining the swim team. So she is really stretching her wings.
Horse Girl has had a cold for the last few days, but even with the cold she has been working so hard and has impressed her teacher with her work ethic already. I was pleased with her teacher when I first met her at the beginning of the month, but the more I interact with Horse Girl's teacher the more I am amazed with her. Teaching is her second career, she has her masters degree in city planning and she is two courses shy of her masters in education. What has impressed me more then anything else, is that she has been teaching them how to do quiet reading. She first had them start with only reading 3 minutes the first day and they talked about what worked and what didn't. They are now up to reading 20minutes quietly. She is also teaching them how to work independently. She will have them work in small groups later, but she thinks it is pointless for them to work in groups if they don't know how to work independently. She is working closely with Horse Girl's special ed teachers and actually having them guide her to make sure she give Horse Girl enough challenge without frustrating her which is a hard balance to find sometimes.
The other thing that is interesting about this teacher is that she was born in the United States, but as a child she moved to Argentina and didn't speak Spanish and she was dropped into a school not knowing how to communicate with the teachers and her peers. She ended up living 12 years in Argentina and learned to speak Spanish fluently. Now she has English as a second language students in her classroom and she can completely relate to what they are going through. She uses her Spanish to talk to the Spanish speaking parents and so those parents are getting more information about what is going on in the classroom then they have gotten in the past which is nice. She is developing an new curriculum because in second grade at Horse Girl's school they study the neighborhood and how cities are laid out and stuff like that. With her city planning background she is creating a new way to teach that segment.
Oh it is becoming more clear that second opinion we got on Horse Girl and ADHD was correct. Now that she is able to read and write more, she has no attention problem and only a very little bit of fidgeting problems. Her teacher said that Horse Girl was one of the few kids she knows listens to her all the time and gets the directions the first time. There have been times that she has been made an example of because she listened and got to work without any more prompting. The teacher even used to word attentive to describe Horse Girl. So this all makes me glad that it is more clear that it isn't ADHD...with it being up in the air before and me feeling in my gut it wasn't ADHD and the first person saying it was and the second person saying she didn't think it was, but she would have us wait and see how Horse Girl was doing when she was 10 because then the dyslexia should be under control and not a factor in figuring it out if Horse Girl had ADHD.
I was reading this article. A couple paragraphs really stood out to me.

"If you're born with a brain that harbors dyslexia, I would say, "Lucky you!" You have untestable and immeasurable potential. You're a surprise package; no one knows what you can do, including you. But I can tell you from years of experience that you can do special things. You have many talents that can't be taught, and a brain that eludes the predictive powers of our wisest sayers of sooth.

But I would also say, "Watch out!" You need a guide, one who has been down these trails and can show you how to get through the desert and over the mountains. You need someone who will never let you give up, someone who can make you know that there's more to you than you can show or tell right now."

These paragraphs are what I would love to be able to say to Horse Girl and maybe someday I will. I am proud to be able to be her guide. I know more about what she is going through then most teachers. Even her teachers know this because it is not often that they get a parent who has the same LD as the child and the parent was diagnosed and treated for the LD since she was 6 years old. It has really given them some insight that they didn't have before.

Well it is getting late for me and I should try to get a better sleep schedule if I want to keep this depression at bay. So that was my overly long update on what is going on.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Open Houses

For the first time ever I didn't have to split my time at a school open house between two classrooms and I will never have to do it again. From here on out Horse Girl and History Girl will always be in different schools.

On Wednesday we had our first Open House at the middle school History Girl is attending. We spent 10 minutes in each classroom met all her teachers 6 of them in total. The French teacher seems like she will be fun, which is surprising to me since both French teachers I had I didn't get a long with. One I made angry because when I was taking French and Russian the same year even though I had been taking French for three years and it was my first year taking Russian, I just grasped Russian better so there were many times I didn't know the answer in French, but did in Russian or I would answer "I don't know." in Russian. This all made my French teacher angry since he told my parents that I shouldn't take Russian because I didn't do well at French. Well it turns out I just didn't like French and didn't like the teachers I had for it. So I have always had a negative view of French teachers so I was surprised when I liked History Girl's French teacher. Also History Girl's Band instructor is very excited about having History Girl in Band not only because she plays French Horn, but because she went to band camp this Summer. The Band instructor said she lets the kids who play French Horn more leeway because of how rare they are. Well History Girl is every excited about middle school and wants it to be Tuesday since that is the first day of school.

On Thursday we had the Open House at the elementary school for Horse Girl. Horse Girl is going to be in 2nd grade this year. They hired a new 2nd grade teacher because they like to keep the classes small and Horse Girl's grade is large compared to the other grades so the school keeps hiring a new teacher when her grade goes forward in order to keep the classes small....then when the year is over the teacher is moved somewhere else in the district. So we have never met this teacher before. She is very friendly. What impressed me so much is that she checked the files of all her students and then talked to the speech therapists and resource room teachers to find out what she could do to make the year go well for the students with IEPs. I am so pleased and impressed that she did for me what I am used to having to go up to a teacher to tell them Horse Girl has an IEP and we will be having a PET meeting before October to bring the teacher up to speed. She did this all herself. You should hear Horse Girl's speech therapist talk about Horse Girl's is like the teacher walks on water because she has done this one little thing. Hey I totally agree with her with makes our lives easier and makes us feel that she does really care about Horse Girl and the other kids with Learning Differences.

Horse Girl talked to her new teacher for awhile. Talked to her about the reading she has done over the Summer. Horse Girl has read at least 15 mins a day and worked on workbooks and listened to Harry Potter books on her iPod. Horse Girl told her teacher all about that and the fact that she had taken part in a Horse Show this Summer and won two ribbons.

Then we went up to visit Horse Girl's speech therapist and her reading tutor. It makes sense that she would want to spend more time visiting them then any other teachers because she spends more time with them then any other teacher. Horse Girl helped her Speech Therapist set up decorations in the speech room. Her Speech Therapist was so pleased to hear that Horse Girl didn't regress at all over the Summer when it comes to her speech. The Speech Therapist was also noting that Horse Girl is putting together long sentences when she is speaking and when she is doing that she is having word recall issues. She has always had word recall issues, but now with the really long sentences with the complicated concepts she is trying to express the word recall issues are more noticeable. The Speech Therapist plans to work on this more this coming year. Both the Speech Therapist and the Reading Tutor were impressed that Horse Girl could now match up the letters with the sounds they make. Which was something she had a lot of problems with last year. I think she was able to do it now with no problem because of all the workbook work she did over the Summer.

Just so you know I don't make Horse Girl do all this work. I do make her read at least 15 mins a day and I make sure she takes part in the Extended Year Services the school offers for her in the Sumer. Everything else is work she makes herself do because she wants to and she wants to get better with her studies. I am a big believer of her having a Summer like a regular kid, which she does then on her own she adds stuff to it that helps her. Her work ethic is just amazing and I believe she will go far because of it.

So it looks like Horse Girl will be starting this year better then we had hoped for.

Horse Girl has been on the waiting list for the Scottish Rite Learning Center for 18 months and she finally made it to the top of the list. So this year on Mondays and Wesnesdays after school she will be getting extra tutoring to help deal with her learning differences. Scottish Rite Learning Center is one of the best places to get help for Dyslexia and they are always doing the cutting edge tutoring for the kids. I feel so glad that Horse Girl is taking part in this tutoring. I am looking forward to see how this year goes for her.