But I deserved it…Tj gave me the week before off! I left Saturday after Max’s Upward basketball game (this is his first sport ever, what a hoot!) at 9:45am. I drove to visit Laura/Joe/Luke/George. I stayed Sat/Sun night and left Monday around 10am for Mom’s. Mom/Jo worked all week so I did my own thing: shopped for red shoes, took Momee out for crawfish etouffee, caught up on some blog reading, etc. Friday at noon Mom/Jo/I left for Covington where Mom had us a suite booked. I left for home Sunday at 10am. All in all a wonderful getaway! I keep saying the whole time I only fed/bathed/dressed/wiped one person…me!!!

Last week was an adjustment week, as every week is after a vacation. It wasn’t quite as bad since I was the only one on vacation…the boys’ lives didn’t change too much. But Tuesday after J’s therapy I took J to the dr’s because his toenail got infected just before I left for vacation and wasn’t a whole lot better. Also Tj was diagnosed with strep about 5 days after he finished antibiotics for strep. That’s happened all 3 years we’ve lived here! I think they need to give him stronger or longer doses. Also our 20-year-old dryer up and died this week.

Another thing that happened was I really started panicking about 1st grade. I started out with a really big school-load for kindergarten and really toned it down as we went along. My plans were: Hippy (HIPPY is a 30 week school readiness-parent involvement program for parents of three, four and some five year-old children. Most programs operate concurrently with the school year and are staffed by a professional coordinator and well-trained homebased educators.), Weaver (from Aunt Wendy, it’s a whole curriculum), Hooked on Phonics (which I got at a garage sale), homeschool co-op and hopefully Spanish. We started off ok, but we didn’t have a lot of free time, and I found that I was cutting out a lot of the fun stuff which didn’t seem fun/fair/right. Our week was pretty tight. Monday we had co-op from 8:45-12:30, Tue/Thur we had J’s therapy from 8:30-10:45, Wed we had my Bible study from 9-11:30 and then we went to McDonald’s for lunch until 2pm or until J was ready to go to bed and then we had Awana at night, so Friday was our only stay-at-home/dr’s appt day. Homeschool never started until after lunch, and almost always after I’d had an hour or hour-and-a-half nap. Then we had to rush to get it finished before Tj came home from work. There was no time for Max to play with his friends or the wii.

Over time we got it down to reading (Hooked on Phonics), writing (whatever homemade pages I typed up), and math (whatever I could find) with some HIPPY thrown in there. Lately I’ve been getting better about pushing M’s responsibilities onto him. We just stared telling him if he does his chores and marks them off w/o us mentioning them to him he gets a dime every day. If he does them all week we’ll give him a dollar. Today was the first day he got a dime. He doesn’t have that many chores to do, but I can’t think of any to add. His chore chart says dress, medicine, make bed, clean living room toys, clean off table (all three meals), vacuum (dustbuster in kitchen after one meal), schoolwork. He does have to help me unload the dishes whenever I ask…but that’s not usually a designated time. I’m thinking about making him fold/put up his own clothes. He does know how to sort the clothes…maybe I should make him do that and I’ll do the wash. I’ve bought him his own feather duster and he dusts the house with me…although we’ve only done that 3 times I really want to make it a weekly thing. I’m really starting to crack down on him leaving clothes on the floor and just not paying attention to what I say therefore not completing a job. I think I need to require more of him.

Speaking of requiring more…Jack is really coming along! I’m so excited at all he’s doing now. He’s 3 months short of his 4th birthday. He consistently says his numbers (1-9) correctly. He can point them out on his puzzle when you ask, and he can point and say the correct name when you point to one. He knows some of his alphabet, he always gets H right :-) He sings the alphabet song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes, and Jesus Loves Me. He’s very hard to understand, but I know the speech will come. He knows his shapes really well (square, circle, triangle, star, oval) and he does ok on colors. He’s really moving forward.

Well, that’s a pretty big post for now, guess that’s a good summary.

And I had such great things to say, too!

Two weeks ago on Monday we went to our first day of Homeschool Co-op (it was their 2nd day, we missed the first). I was pretty hesitant to put Max in the Co-op because there’s only one option for Kindergartners, and from what I read about it I could teach it. Why am I going to spend money (ok, it’s only $48 for the entire school year, but still) and give up one of my precious mornings when I could teach him at home? And while he’s there I have to volunteer somewhere at the Co-op. But I decided to give it a try. So we show up the first day and I go to drop Jack off and the nursery’s not there yet (of course…it’s all volunteers). We all three go to G-lab for the opening. It’s harried and hectic, we don’t have nametags, nobody knows what’s going on, blah blah blah. We finally all get settled and then I go to the director to see where I’ll be volunteering. One of her teachers had an emergency and wasn’t there, the Spanish teacher. I wondered if I should tell her I speak Spanish…then all of a sudden she looked right at me and in a joking voice asked me if I spoke Spanish! So guess who taught the beginner’s Spanish class that day!

It actually went very well. There were 16 6-8 year olds. Most of them took turns, I didn’t feel flustered. I didn’t speak as much Spanish as I wanted to, but all in all it was a success.

Well, Max is putting his blue blanket on my head and calling me Mary, guess I’d better go.

Sometime right around starting homeschool Tj sat Max down and told him how to pronounce several words. For the most part Max has a good vocabulary, but he has held on to three words in baby-speak.

open-eel is how he’s said oatmeal for forever

brepris was breakfast

old McDonald’s was just McDonald’s

They’re all cute, but we figured if he went to public school he’d begin to notice/change his pronunciation. Our firstborn is growing up!

I’ve been putting off blogging so long…there’s no telling how much my Jack has changed since the last time I wrote. Tj’s been on a 6-month deployment and returned, we’ve been to Disney World and Pensacola and back…a lot has happened. I’m hoping that with us starting homeschool, such a big endeavor, I’ll get back to blogging regularly. We’ll see.

Around the time Tj came back Jack’s speech took off. He really started repeating a lot of what we say. I made a list of all the words he says now and here it is:

up (sounds like ‘bup’ with his hands like six-guns pointing up…soooo cute!)
Max (he stopped saying Max right around the time Tj left, then about a month before he came back he started saying ‘Ax’, and now it’s changed to ‘Bax’)
toy (oy)
tree (teee)
light (liiiii)
bottle (bobble)
arm (mam)
feet (never foot which trips me up a bit)
chair (nuuu)
clean up (nuu uuuu)
boy (oy)
outside (gee-daw…don’t ask me, I have no idea how he gets one from the other)
daddy (said very slowly as two distinct syllables)

He recognizes but doesn’t really say his nose, mouth and eyes. He can whistle. I visited Mom just before Tj came home and she told me he was doing that. It’s an actual whistle, but he doesn’t quite have the hang of it…he can’t always do it on command.

When he turned 3 he stopped having therapy under the Early Intervention Program and now is under the Dept of Education. Their guidelines say there must be a psychologist on staff for him to receive Developmental Therapy. Since there’s not a psychologist at Allied as of his birthday he’s only been receiving Speech, PT and OT. He just started going to the local public school from 8:30am till 10:45 for all four therapies, and boy is he whipped when we get home, poor kid. I’ve had to think more about what I feed him to make sure we don’t have any arguments…I have to give him finger foods since he’s so tired out.

Another change is two weeks ago Tj said that poor baby should be in a real bed. He’s been in a pack-n-play almost the whole time we’ve been in this house…(those are much easier to clean out when he explodes from his diaper which he used to do often) although the mattress in this pack-n-play is 3″ of foam. So we put the little toddler bed we got from Crystal in the guest room and put up the fence around it. Unlike Max I know if Jack spent any time in that room by himself he’d tear up everything within reach. He’s been doing pretty good in that bed, although he loves to bang that fence against the wall! The other morning when he didn’t feel well and slept later I saw that he was asleep on the floor. Last night around midnight I checked on him before going to bed and he was on the floor so I put him in his bed. This morning at 3am Max wet the bed and woke me up so I checked on Jack again…again on the floor! So much for getting that boy a real mattress!

Well, I’ve got to go get on homeschool. Hopefully I’ll keep up with the updates. We’ll see.

Well, we had our first day of homeschool! And it was a success. Of course the curriculum I’m using calls for Max to get a present from his dad today so that’s always good.

It only took us an hour which is very little, and Max is definitely beyond what I taught him today…part of me thinks I should change what I’m doing, and the other part says if I’m going to be adding in Hippy and Hooked on Phonics, with a possible Spanish addition to come later then using this isn’t a problem. I guess we’ll see as we go along.

The way I planned the day we’d take Jack to therapy (usually starts at 8:30 but today and Thursday it’ll be 8:15), get groceries with Max, pick Jack up at 10:45, unload groceries, do a little school while Jack rests and has a snack, Jack to bed while Max and I school, Max plays the Wii. Of course I was forgetting that an hour to unload groceries and do some schoolwork is completely unreasonable…especially if I haven’t completed all prep work the night before. And then the hot tub guy called and came by around noon…

So what actually happened is that we got home about 11:10, unloaded groceries while Jack had a snack, I fixed their lunch and they ate while I talked to the hot tub guy, put Jack to bed and then I ate my lunch while Max played (not the Wii). I got ready for school while he cleaned up the living room and we started school at 1:30pm. I ended going up to Jack’s room 3 or 4 times during school…but all in all it was a great first day.