August 2014

This summer flew by! Grandmom came the second to last week of summer vacation. After that there was no putting it off…I had to plan for school. Last year I was really excited about starting school, but this year I really really wasn’t. I think the biggest problem for me was trepidation about teaching Jack. He’s such a big unknown because of DS, but another large part is that because he went to public school last year I really don’t know what all he actually knows. I wanted to plan our days like 15 minutes of math, then a play break for him, then 15 minutes of writing…I had such great plans. I knew, however, that we probably wouldn’t be able to stick to any schedule I made before actually seeing where he was. Not to mention the fact that Tj’s schedule constantly changes, and even when it doesn’t change it’s rarely the same from day to day. I knew I needed to play Jack by ear.

Max was pretty easy. I sat down last Monday and counted all the days of math, history and science we had. It seems like Saxon always has 140 lessons, so that’s how many days of school we have. Max has 5 days of math each week and 4 days of science. Since we’re going through 2 history books this year he also has 3 days of history. Oh, and he’s starting out doing 2 math lessons a day. We’ll see how long it takes us until he reaches the point where he’s being challenged in math. Tj also got me an Abeka English book which we’ll start Monday. I’m somewhat intimidated by the sheer volume of their year of work, but I just need to sit down and cut some of it out. I still haven’t done a spelling lesson with him since he’s such a great speller. And I’m not sure how much of the literature we’ll do since he’s such a voracious reader.

So we started school Monday, but since we leave at 8:30 for swim lessons and don’t come back till lunch we’ve skipped a few subjects. Max did math at the pool while Jack was swimming, and Jack did some math, writing and geography there.

This week went extremely well, but teaching Jack really is going to be a chore. He’s 7, but has an extremely short attention span. I’m hoping to increase it as the year goes on. I just about lost my mind today trying to get him to start drawing his letters on a point I put down for him. Just like in every other area it’s hard to discern when he’s being hard-headed and when he just honestly has no idea what I’m talking about.

I’m definitely glad he’s home with Max and me. I know we’ll have some fun times this year.

Max went to church camp for the first time this year. I was a little worried after the problems we had with his behavior at WOP WOP the last two years. He was worried about passing the swim test. In the end he passed, but he just dog-paddled across the pool and back. When we told his swim teacher this week she was not impressed! :-)

When Ron got off the bus he said that Max could share his bunk bed any time! Max had the top and Ron had the bottom, and apparently Max got into bed each night and passed out. No moving/snoring/getting up during the night. Max complained to us that they kept them up late and made them wake up early. I said he probably didn’t go right to bed (I remember my camp days…staying up as late as possible to talk and talk and talk). He said he did. I said I was gonna ask Ron about it and then Ron confirmed it! Made me laugh.

Ron also said that Max was a really smart kid. That he’d bought several things at the camp store and then went around to other people telling them they didn’t have to walk all the way to the store, they could buy stuff from him (that he’d marked up a bit!) This really cracked me up. Then we got the story from Max. Backstory: JP texted Tj the day before they came home and said we needed to have $3 of Max’s money ready when we picked him up to pay for Ben’s slinky, he would tell us the story later. Uh oh. The day of he told Tj not to ask about it, it was taken care of. When we asked Max about reselling the items he told us that he thought Ben didn’t want his slinky anymore…it was stuck in the railing. So he pulled it all out of shape. Come to find out Ben did want it, so Max had to buy him another one. Max did so, but was surprised to find out that he’d bought the wrong size. Then he didn’t have enough money to buy Ben another one, so he sold some of the stuff he’d bought for himself and then had enough money to buy Ben his. Heh.

I think he came home with all of his stuff except the disposable camera we bought him. I’m sad that’s what he lost, but it’s not a big deal. We did get to see some photos of him on FB during the camp.

But the most exciting story of camp: someone forgot to pack their kid underwear for the trip!!!! It was me!!! What a goober! In my defense I was signing us up for HSLDA so I could ask them some very important questions about homeschooling my special needs child, so I would just read a line of the list the camp sent us and tell Max what to go get. They didn’t have underwear listed! Since I was so distracted during the packing time I considered using my own packing list to double-check, but then I just re-read the camp’s list and I had everything on it in M’s bag. How could we need more than that? Heather told me they also didn’t have pj’s on the list. :-) The way I found out about all this was that I had just awakened from a nap with Jack at home when Max finished his swim test at camp, and JP told him to get clean clothes on. JP immediately texted Tj and me to ask about clean underwear. My face went immediately red cause I knew there were no underwear in his bag. TJ assured JP that I would have packed him some, and then I had to confess that I had not. Fortunately we know practically all the counsellors who went, so they went to the store and bought M some undies. What a trip. I called my mom to laugh at myself and she reminded me that the year before when she was a counsellor at their church’s camp she’d forgotten to pack herself extra underwear!!! I guess I’m not the only dopey one in my family.

We had our first week of school this week, here are a few of the happenings:

Our swim teacher had a lot of trouble getting her pool liner redone, so she had to cancel our lessons early in the summer. We ended up having them this week. I was amazed at how exhausted we all were! She gave us 1 1/4 hour lessons 4 days instead of 5 1-hour days. The last two days Jack just quit his lesson half-way in! I think he was wiped out!

Monday Jack and I napped. Tuesday Jack and I went grocery shopping. He told me once that he needed to go potty and I asked him to wait, as I often do when we’re out. He needs to learn to hold it on some occasions. A while later he hadn’t said anything more about going, and I saw our neighbor (Mr. Ony), who was telling me about his dog getting hit by a car. Halfway through his story I heard the sound of water dripping…and yep, Jack peed Wal-Mart’s floor! I was so embarrassed! I really think that ‘accident’ had more to do with him being so tired from swimming, especially since he hadn’t said anything more about having to go. I was tempted to go home and put him to bed (Tj had gotten home by this time) and come back and do my shopping, but I really hated to have to do that. As I walked out to the car I realized that his shoes would be full of pee, and I couldn’t have him go through WM like that. Fortunately I’d forgotten to drop off the Goodwill donation I had, so we had a pair of shoes he still fit in! I wiped him down and we went back for a quick trip and then home. I made everyone take naps the next two days.

The first day of swim lessons I was talking to Rhonda and looked over and Jack was holding a wasp! It’s a miracle he didn’t get stung! I told him to let it go and she got a shoe and killed it. He has no idea that there are bugs that hurt you.

Sometime this week he was eating his bread with ‘flair’ and got crumbs in his eye.

Last week he started showering in our shower! What a big boy. I’m surprised at how much faster it is. I got a pair of slippers Jo gave us and have them next to mine for him to use. Sweet. One of the first times he was admiring himself in the full-length mirror afterward. He had his hands on his hips and he jumped and gave a half-spin, laughing all the while. What a funny kid!

I’ve been getting better about having Jack put up the utensils when the dishwasher is done. He wants to be such a helper. Yesterday I caught him blowing in all the straws before he put them up. Last week he finished eating and put his fork back in the drawer. He is so helpful!

A week ago we had this exchange:
Jack randomly said: boys and girls
I said: who’s a boy?
I said: Daddy is a …
He said: Bum!
I said: Daddy is a …
I said: Daddy is a …
That one made me laugh, he was asleep!

I cut Max a mowhawk last Saturday. Later he said ‘What if I’m walking down our street and Austin passes me and says ‘Hey, you look like my friend, Max.’ and then ‘My friend Max wears those same clothes.’ and then I’d say ‘You know why I look like him?’ ‘No.’ ‘Because I am Max!’

He just told me, “If I could use the Jedi mind trick I’d be having a lot of fun right now!” When I asked him what he’d be doing he said playing the Wii, eating pretzels and saying a lot of cuss words!

On another note: last week Aidan knocked on our door and asked for a little bit of gas. I gave him our little gas can and he said that will have to do. I said you could say thank you, all you wanted was a little bit. He said I know, this probably will be ok. We had one more exchange like this before I gave up. I later gave Max a lecture on how to say thank you every time someone gives you something…especially if it’s exactly what you asked for!

We had a great time while Grandmom was here. Tj’s mom is sweet, and we get along really well. But that doesn’t mean I don’t find some of what she says/does amusing/annoying. She is so opinionated (like I’m not?). You can’t tell her anything. I remembered the first morning she woke up here that I’d forgotten to remind her there’s a sound machine in that room she can use to buffer the boys’ noise (the guest room is right next to their room, and Jack wakes up early). She immediately told me it wouldn’t do any good because their door squeaks when it opens. I guess she knows without even trying that the squeak is louder than the noise machine.

I was cutting up a head of lettuce and she said she can’t eat bag lettuce…it tastes like paper.

We were talking about reading and she says she can only read on her lunch hour, at night her mind won’t settle enough for her to read.

She’s ‘allergic’ to the bread we ate (the same bread we ate the last time she was here).

She said every time she put good milk in the freezer it came out spoiled. I said that had never happened to us. Of course that day the milk was spoiled. Figures.

We’ve talked before about a positive attitude but she’s convinced that she can’t think anything good about herself.

None of these are big things, they just make me chuckle throughout her time here.

This was the longest she’s stayed. The boys and I picked her up Friday while Tj was working, and she left the following Saturday before lunch. I’d only planned two outings while she was here, but she didn’t want to go bowling so we didn’t. It’s hard to know what she wants to do, she doesn’t really say. I worry about her knees/legs hurting her if we’re out too long, and she won’t always tell me until it’s too late. We mostly stayed home and read or watched TV, and I think that’s a great way to vacation. :-) We did go to the zoo Tuesday when Tj was off of work…that was a fun time. I wouldn’t mind if she came for longer next time.

She had Tj had their birthday; she got Tj a Belgian waffle maker and we got her an essential oil diffuser. I hope she likes it. I kinda want one but can’t justify it for the cost. She said she wanted a chocolate cake with walnuts in the batter, and chocolate frosting. That’s part of why we get along so well. Also, she was reading a magazine earlier in the week and saw a cherry cheesecake and said how much she likes it…so we got the ingredients and made that, too. What a wonderful woman. :-) I gained 3 lbs while she was here, and am still eating whatever I want. School starts Monday so I’ll go back to ‘regular’ eating then.

One night while she was here the ISS went over; we got Max out of bed to watch it with us.

This was the first time we really restricted Max’s use of her electronics while she was here. She won’t ever tell him no.

Well, this is an abrupt ending, but I’ve got to go.

Jack is so ornery. He’s been in underwear for two weeks, and he definitely knows the difference, but every time I ask him if his underwear are dry he says ‘Dry pull-up’.

That kid!