Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What A Difference

My sister was kind enough to take some pictures at Georgia's birthday party.  When she sent them to me she used Shutterfly which showed her old pictures saved to their site, one came up from Georgia's 2nd birthday party.  It's shocking really, the difference, the round steroid face, the feeding tube, brown hair but still those same sparkly eyes and sweet smile.  What a haul, I'm so incredibly grateful to be here, now with a healthy seven year old!

Party Time

Georgia was not short on celebrating her birthday this year.  She was up at 6am to start with a little family party and presents.  Brian was building Legos before 7am and Georgia was thrilled with her new American Girl doll, Julie.

The day continued with her friends party at Java & Clay, our local pottery painting spot.  Eleven little girls (and Leo) have never been so quiet while they meticulously worked on painting their pottery.  We had snack, cake and presents before the afternoon was done.

When evening rolled around we had our third celebration back at our house complete with an aunt, uncles, cousins and grandparents.  We had pizza, an ice cream sundae bar and more presents!

You deserve to be celebrated Georgia, you are amazing!

She's Seven

Last week Georgia obliged my wish to take her picture so I could capture this sweet girl who is turning seven.
Georgia, you are growing up so fast and you continue to amaze me.  You are smart and kind, independent and thoughtful.  You have very strong social skills and love math and science.  We couldn't be more proud of who you are.  Happy 7th birthday my girl, you are unstoppable.


Happy Halloween

It was a wet and soggy night but this little astronaut and little cowgirl had a great time!  Our neighborhood was full of trick-or-treaters and much to my surprise houses handing out full size candy bars, the kids had a blast!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

First Grade Conference

First grade has been... well, an adjustment.  Georgia is a rule follower, she likes to do her best, always, and in first grade that has meant working hard.
Even I have been surprised and how much less play time and more structured learning time there is.  Those spelling tests that she was looking forward to have now become something we have to do.
Georgia is doing well in school, her biggest complaint, there isn't enough time to play.
In mid October I had my first conference with Georgia's teacher.  I went in feeling confident that she is doing well and achieving as she should be.
Her teacher started off by saying that Georgia is kind, helpful, respectful, friendly.. she went on to say that she has beautiful handwriting and likes writing.  She is also doing really well grasping math concepts (aka decoding story problems).  Then she said, Georgia takes her time on her work, more time than most of the other students.
This is when panic set in, flashing back to last year when her doctors wanted to test her for "chemo brain".  They explained that sometimes the effects of chemo can create a situation where kids need just 5-10 more minutes to complete the same tasks as their peers.  It was decided after her clinic appointment that the test wasn't necessary but now sitting in her first grade conference I wondered if maybe there was cause for concern.
I don't know Georgia's teacher very well, and the only thing she knows of her health history is what I wrote on the three lines that were given on the, 'What else should I know about your child section' at the beginning of the year.
I tried to take a deep breath, knowing I had to ask her if she thought Georgia was struggling.. I tried to ask and all that came out was me fumbling over my words as tears streamed down my face.  Her teacher was very kind, got me a box of Kleenex and listened to my concern.  She said she would certainly watch for things but she did not have any concerns.  She smiled and said, Georgia is just very meticulous in her work.
I'm so proud of Georgia, who she is both in and out of school.  She's just where she should be and that feels pretty miraculous.
I walked out of the school trying to hide my red eyes and regain my composure.  Once I was outside I looked up, and saw the most beautiful rainbow.  My eyes welled up again, it felt like a sign, reassuring me that it's all going to be okay.

Pumpkin Time

We lucked out and were able to make it to a pumpkin patch on one of the few dry days in October.  We had fun and of course found our perfect pumpkins!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Curious By Nature

Today, Leo started a new preschool.  We tried our local Co-Op last year and it didn't go over so well. What I've learned about Leo is that he likes to know the plan and he likes to stick to the plan.. he also likes consistency.  That combined with a, sometimes mom is in the classroom, sometimes not was less than ideal.

Over the course of last year I asked around about and visited several preschools, one seemed to just feel right.  The school we chose is called Curious By Nature.  They have a great philosophy and program and spend an hour outside each day!  As well as an indoor classroom, they have an outdoor one complete with a "mud kitchen" trees to climb, walking adventures and more.  I think Leo is going to have a blast!

I started telling him about the school, we went to the open house where he played and had a popsicle.. what's not to love?  This weekend I told him about how his first day would go, he plugged his ears and closed his eyes.  All day yesterday he was telling me, I don't want to go to school then he told me he was scared.  I told him we chose this school because it's a safe place with kind and caring people and I added, I bet you're not the only one who is feeling scared before their first day of preschool.

By last night he wanted to pick out his outfit for the next day, just like Georgia does.  We packed his backpack and had a bedtime chat about how great school would be.  In the morning, he got out of bed and came downstairs on his own (a first) and seemed ready to take on the day.  He was happy and willingly got in the car to go to school.

We got there, used the bathroom, washed his hands and hung up his coat, then walked over to his teacher.  I knelt down to say goodbye and his tears had already started.  Poor Leo was clinging to me saying he didn't want me to go and that he didn't want to stay at school.  As I'd arranged with his teacher, she took him, held him and they read a book together until he calmed down.

Walking out, I teared up, I knew Leo would be just fine but I knew he was scared, no one likes that feeling.

Brian and I stayed in the car and tried to get a glimpse of his classroom without being seen.  Finally, we saw him walking around the classroom, no tears.

Three hours later I picked him up, I walked into the classroom where he was all smiles, he told me he had fun!  His teacher said he did great and calmed down quickly.

I am confident that Leo will like his school and have a lot of fun there.  I'm reminded that time is moving quickly and before I know it he'll be off on the bus with Georgia.  Leo has become my little sidekick, he loves to run errands, help in the kitchen, he'll even clean toilets, as long as we're together.  He is me, I still hold the record for crying the longest at the preschool I attended, my teacher and a dear friend of my moms reminded me of that today.

Lalalalala... I can't hear you!

 Little love, trying to be so brave.

After school success, he did it!