Friday, September 23, 2011

If I Could Turn Back Time...

This past week dealt a lot with life in the past. Bella had her first field trip last Thursday and I came along as a chaperone. Her class and the other upper elementary classes went to a park in Lillydale that is known for having many fossils to find. I had never been there and I had a somewhat warped view of what it would be like. I pictured a park (grassy field maybe) with a section of rocks along the shores of a river where kids would sort through and find fossils. Reality was a bit more challanging. It was basically a huge park where you HIKED to find fossils. There were lots of hills including one so steep that kids had to dig their feet in to prevent sliding down, while they reached down and searched in the sand like rock for fossils. I will say there were a ton of fossils for kids to find. Mostly ancient coral and some plant stems.

It was fun spending time getting to see the dynamics of Bella's new class. She is still getting used to the new class, the new teacher and making new friends. She does know a few of the classmates from last year. Still, there is always an adjustment both for Bella and the class to understand how Bella is different with only attending half day and also having cochlear implants. I don't have many worries. Bella thrives on being social.

Adjustment at homeschool to the new year might be more of an issue. This summer we did work on some things, but Bella fought me a lot, saying, "It's summer vacation, Mom." Still I did get some math and reading in. She promised she would stop fighting me when Fall came and we returned to the regular schedule. I had my doubts. Now I am seeing those doubts were justified. Bella at age 9 1/2 is starting to exhibit some pre-teen behaviors of rebellion. No longer does she listen to what I want and comply without question. She is constantly negotiating and challenging me, especially on things she doesn't like to do. So Math has become a daily battle. She is well aware that math is hard for her and takes much more concentration and focus that she is willing to give. I have tried all avenues to get her back on track: yelling, pleading, bribing, and reasoning. I bought a book that talked about how somethings are hard, but if you keep pushing through it gets easier and you feel like you really achieved something by sticking with it. Bottom line message, "You can't give up even when things are hard." I had wondered if she had heard me, until yesterday. Things have become so hard with Bella and school, that I have seriously contemplated putting her in another setting. A traditional school with special ed support or all day at her current school with a special curriculumn. Bella said she wants to keep things like they are now. I told her I'm not sure we can do that because I don't want to fight her every day to do her work. And how does she respond? "Mom, just because things get hard, you can't just quit." So Rowe Academy continues, for now...

Last weekend, I really needed a fun day. Due to all the battles with Bella, in addition to various other incidents with the other kids, I needed a break! So Erick and I headed off to the Renaissance Festival, all by ourselves with some tickets I had won. When we told Becca we were going alone, she said it was only for families and "young people". I explained we had gone before she was born and she said, "Yeah, when you were young." Below are the pictures of some fun things we saw at the Renaissance Festival when we were acting "young".

And to top off the week, Bella has a new look. She had about 5 inches of hair cut off. Too many struggles  with tangles. Swimming has really done a number on her hair. Her hair texture is course and spongelike so it absorbs everything! We tried every expensive swimming shampoo and conditioner out there, including other shampoos for clarifying and yet there were still massive amounts of tangles. I had to fight every day to keep her hair from forming dreads underneath in the back. Was Bella excited? No, not really. But now after about 5 days, she is really happy with her new hair and says she may keep it short.

Having had a lot of focus on the past, I am ready to face the future...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Because I'm Awesome

Woke up this morning to find this wonderful, inspiring piece posted on a friend's Facebook wall. It is from a wonderful blog called Pigtail Pals. Here is the piece entitled Feeling Awesome:

There was a time when you were five years old,
and you woke up full of awesome.
You knew you were awesome.
You loved yourself.
You thought you were beautiful,
even with missing teeth and messy hair and mismatched socks inside your grubby sneakers.
You loved your body, and the things it could do.
You thought you were strong.
You knew you were smart.
Do you still have it?
The awesome.
Did someone take it from you?
Did you let them?
Did you hand it over, because someone told you weren’t beautiful enough, thin enough, smart enough, good enough?
Why the hell would you listen to them?
Did you consider they might be full of shit?
Wouldn’t that be nuts, to tell my little girl below that in another five or ten years she might hate herself because she doesn’t look like a starving and Photoshopped fashion model?
Or even more bizarre, that she should be sexy over smart, beautiful over bold?
Are you freaking kidding me?
Look at her. She is full of awesome.
You were, once. Maybe you still are. Maybe you are in the process of getting it back.
All I know is that if you aren’t waking up feeling like this about yourself, you are really missing out.

How inspiring is that? I really think in day to day parenting life, it is so easy to get caught up in the things that drive you crazy about your kids. Rushing from activity to activity, I feel more like a cattle driver than a Mom. Today I will make sure that I am helping my kids to feel AWESOME.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Way We Were...

Is there any better way to appreciate the present, than to reflect on the past? Personally, I don't think so. I guess the kids have been feeling sentimental too as they have been digging into the big abyss of pictures in boxes on my closet floor. Sad that is where they have to go to find the old pictures. Either that or they can pop in a CD in the computer and scroll. Scrapbooking is just not my thing. I have tried, it's just not something I enjoy. I'd rather clean my house than scrapbook and for those of you who know me well, that is a very sad statement...

Here's some of the pictures of the past we have been reviewing.

The past has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Perhaps it is due to my newest obsession, "Mad Men".  I am so happy the series is on Netflix now. I love looking at how people lived in the 60's. The creators of the series are so clever to always put in things in episodes that they know will make people of today say, "Can you believe they did that"? Whether it is children playing in plastic bags and the parents getting mad that they put the dry cleaning on the floor (instead of potential asphyxiation), or having a picnic in a park and cleaning up by folding up the blanket and leaving all the trash on the grass, most episodes leave a feeling at disbelief in how attitudes have changed in the past 40 years.

School starts again Tuesday for Becca and Bella. Harry's school is under construction so he gets an extra 4 days off. Looking at all of the old pictures really puts it in perspective about how fast things change. It seems like just yesterday I was putting Becca on the bus for kindergarten. Now ten years later, she is getting her permit and heading off to be a sophomore at high-school. Yesterday, I was cleaning out Harry's closet and I found all of Harry's old football jerseys. Seems like just yesterday he was in 3rd grade, learning the rules of the game. Now, he is a 5 year veteran, headed into 7th grade with a much deeper voice. And Bella. Oh the baby of the family...Do they really ever grow up? I have long joked that we won't be celebrating any more birthdays for her since I can't handle her being older than nine. And yet, it's not really my choice, is it? Life goes on and changes whether we want it to or not. Regardless of my desires to keep Bella eternally a child, she is entering 4th grade and developing a pre teen attitude. Great... two teens and a preteen, I can hardly wait.

Hey 2011-2012 school year, ready or not, here we come!