Thursday, July 31, 2014

 *Possible Trigger Warning*
Not that the warning is only a possibility; it's a reality. I'm just not sure if what I'm going to write on this post will be an emotional trigger or not, but I want to have the warning at the beginning of every post in this series anyway. Because I am assuming that just about every person who reads my blog is a parent or wants to be a parent some day and I'm going to be mentioning things that will hurt an empathetic parent's heart. If hearing about child abuse is an emotional trigger for you, you've been warned. I've read things with trigger warnings and sometimes I've stayed away and been grateful for the warning. These sad posts are not going to take over my blog. They're just something I need to get out, written down and thrown out into the universe so that I can get some distance from them. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Search for Friends: Part 2

In May I wrote about the trouble we've been having in trying to find friends for the boys. Some things have worked out, some have not. Early Bird and Builder Boy spent every morning for a week at our church's Vacation Bible School. Early Bird came out of it with another friend; Builder Boy didn't. I asked Builder Boy about it, and he said that the other boys (there were so many kids that they were divided by grade and gender) were "stinking and annoying."  I asked him what he meant about that, and he did not like that they were "pushing and kicking and cutting [in line]" while he was the only one following the rules. On one hand I was proud of him for being discerning, and not following the crowd in bad behavior. On the other hand I was sad for my isolated son in whom I saw so much of my own, lonely childhood self.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Skirts

It's time for another Seasonal Skirts Hop post! And, yes, I really do wear ankle length skirts for most of the summer. They're airy and plenty cool, and at that length I don't have to worry about wind blowing it up, or bending over, or being active with the kids or anything. I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, and I burn horribly in the sun, so air conditioning is my friend. Yes, once in a while there is.....sweat. (Keepin' it real, internet!) That's when I like to stand over a floor vent to cool and dry off. And, since my skirt is so long, there's no need to worry about a Marlyn Moment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Architecture School: Day 5

Demonstrating Columns and Beam
I do intend on getting more than just one day of Architecture school done a week. But since it's summer, we're being flexible for play dates and other activities.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post at Red, White, & Grew

Pamela Price over at Red, White, and Grew graciously hosted a guest blog that I submitted to her a while back. (Here's the link.)

It has been more than a month since I wrote that, and I'm doing better with the anger about the misdiagnosis. Lately though, I've been feeling a lot of hurt. Back when the hurts occurred, I think I internalized them and tried to ignore them. Now I'm facing them and the feelings they create, trying to put words to my pain so I can get past the hurt.

I've been talking with a small group of people who have had a similar experience to mine. It really helped to realize that I wasn't alone in this; it happens a lot. I hope that sharing my story will help others, as I have been helped by the sharing of others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaching a Kid the How's and Why's of Hammering a Nail

(I really, really hope I'm doing this right. If you're an expert, and I'm not explaining this right, please comment so I'm not giving out the wrong information!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Architecture School: Day 3 & 4

We did do another day of Architecture School last week, but we also had errands and a doctor's appointment, so it was shorter than usual. We did more today out of the book, but didn't work on the art project, so I'm combining them into one post.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting: Part 2

Yup, that's me.
After writing and posting my contribution to the Parenting the Gifted Blog Hop I realized that I was not yet finished with my subject. Since the theme of this month's GHF Blog Hop is also Gifted Parenting, I thought I would finish the post. (Part 1 is here.) As commenter Dusty pointed out, the things I wrote about are not exclusive to gifted kids; nor is learning from your childhood. Rather, it is the intensity of emotion and potential damage things can inflict that are a greater concern for gifted kids.

I only recently learned about gifted overexcitabilities. I first read about them here and more at SENG here. I was looking for information for my children, and found myself learning about myself as well, It was one of the missing pieces that once in place with my PTSD realization helped free me from a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 2. (More about that on another blog post coming soon.) I think I'm going to need to write a Part 3 for this series, because I keep thinking of more and more things. But for now I'm going to talk about just three: Fairness, Communication, and Protection.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"This isn't my first child."

I've found myself saying that a lot lately. Mostly when I use my mouth to clean a dropped binkie, rather than rushing to sterilize it with boiling water. Or, when I'm letting Lady Bug chew on something that, while unusual, is perfectly safe, but is making other people look at me, scandalized. Or when she's scooted more than five feet away from me in church, and I continue to talk to a friend, instead of rushing to get her.

The other day, I had Lady Bug in my lap (10 months old) not holding on to her, just letting her sit, balanced. Another mother came over and sat next to me and commented on how "relaxed" I was, and wasn't I worried she would fall off? Not really; I can feel the shift in weight and balance before it happens and grab her before she falls all the way. Plus, we were on grass, so if she did fall, it would be a soft gravity lesson.

I wasn't like this with my first baby. With him, I tried so hard never to make any mistakes. I followed all the advice, and was excruciatingly careful. I put him in a crib right from the beginning, to spare him the "trauma" of having to transition to it later. I kept to the food introduction ages right on target; no exceptions. I made sure I won every tantrum that I (mistakenly, I know now), saw as a power struggle. I left the house during the "cry it out" training (with my husband in charge) so I couldn't hear it. I was determined he was going to be raised the "right" way. By the book.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How Did We Do?

So, our main schooling part of the year is over, and we're on to our lighter summer program. This was The Plan set up at the beginning of the "school year."  And here's what really happened.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lady Bug is Eleven Months Old!

No, you didn't miss last month's. Circumstances happened, and the pictures didn't. I put off these because Lady Bug fell on her nose and scraped it up and I wanted it to heal before taking the pictures. Plus, I'm in complete denial about the fact that we are less than one month away from her first birthday. WHERE did this year go?!

Lady Bug has grown a ridiculous amount, it seems. I look at her, and I just don't see a baby anymore. In the past six weeks she's gone from receiving a therapy assessment referral because she wasn't doing any pre-crawling actions whatsoever to crawling about and pulling herself up on stuff. And by stuff I mean mostly me.

Her eyes are no longer just gray but have a greenish brown ring around the center. So I'm going to stop predicting what color they're going to be. Her hair definitely has a reddish tinge and is getting a tiny bit of curl, though much less than her brothers had at this age.

Her eating is doing very well, and she can feed herself baby snacks and end up with more in her mouth than her lap. Her favorite food always seems to be what everyone else is eating, even if she's got the same stuff or better. Oh, and she's cut through a third tooth! It's on the top, and to the side.

We've had a follow up hearing appointment (follow up recommended because she was born early,) and there was an inconsistent result. There may be a problem with the hearing in her right ear. So, if you're inclined to pray, we would appreciate it. She is meeting milestones in her own time, and I have no other concerns.

Lady Bug now waves a different way too wave "hi," and she also greatly enjoys nodding "yes." She jabbers away sometimes, says "da-da" (but not when you ask her to,) and "ma-ma" a few times.

The nine month sleeper doesn't fit comfortably anymore. I'm dressing her in 12 month clothes and even 18 month clothes when the laundry is low and she's messed through several outfits.

Her favorite toys right now are anything that makes a noise when she shakes it. I find it cute that she shakes both hands at the same time, so she waves and shakes a rattle at the same time.

Her hair is getting longer, and she has two cowlicks up front. I enjoy putting bows in her hair. I hope she gets the curls her brothers had.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

So. I try to be honest on here. Honest about my short comings, my failures, my mistakes. By doing so maybe you can avoid some of my same mistakes, or learn something about the process. I'm not perfect; and I don't want to ever come across like I have it all together to such an unattainable level of perfection.

With that in mind, do you remember that gardening project I started? I was going to teach my kids about companion planting. Even though I have a black thumb. Remember that pretty little patch of dirt? Well, this is what it looks like now:

Yup. Pretty sure those are thistles, which is NOT what I planted. What happened, you ask? Well, first I noticed my seeds kept appearing out on the top of the soil. A few weeks of replanting and I finally realized a cat (or several) were pawing away at my dirt patch and bringing up the seeds. I purchased several items to help me solve this problem, but never put them out. Then we went on a big car trip, and then I had a month of depression and dealing with PTSD reactions, and.....yeah....

Now we've been given the information that we're going to have to move. Maybe; sometime this year; probably. We're getting a lot of mixed information. So do I weed and re-plant, in the hopes that something can still be accomplished before we have to move....IF we do end up having to move? I am undecided. But next year (eternal optimism!) I'm planting in giant pots or something. Yes, even corn, beans, and pumpkins.
Architecture School is on hold until Early Bird recovers from a fever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Supplementing FLL1, Lessons 91-100

A continuation of how we're adding to First Language Lessons Level 1 to make it more kinetic learner friendly. (Click here for my posts on previous lessons.)

Right before we started this last section of FLL1 we happened to read the book Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This is an excellent book. On the surface, it gives kids a better understanding of the expression behind various punctuation marks. On a deeper level it addresses trying to fit in when you're clearly different and embracing your inner awesome. Having read this book the boys had an easier time understanding and applying the four different types of sentences. I highly recommend it. We found it at our public library, but I intend to purchase it.

(Lesson 92) Definition of a sentence. Hand gestures are a mixture of actual signs and our own gestures.

A sentence is a group of words      (with "w" hands, tap together near your chest, then make a circle or group with them, tapping your "w" hands together in front of you.)

that expresses      (open hands palm up touching your torso, then pushed out away from yourself)

a complete thought.      (tap temple with one finger.)

Builder Boy and Early Bird loved practicing the different types of sentences and played the wonderful new game "Command" daily for over a week. I let them jump up and down or wiggle or dance when they were exclaiming (just like the exclamation mark in the book) and we tilted our heads when questioning. Even though it only took two weeks to get through the last part of the book, the four types of sentences, thanks to the book and the movements, are well cemented in their memory.

And.....we're finished! We started, almost two years ago. If you don't have a horrible pregnancy, and aren't complete slackers, it should not take you this long. Unless you want it to, which is totally fine.  It goes by level, not grade. We enjoyed it, my kids learned a lot, and they don't hate grammar. That's a curricula win if ever there was one! I thought about starting FLL2 this summer, but since we're doing Architecture School, I've decided we'll wait until fall. I have an idea for when we reach adjectives and adverbs, so I will probably continue supplementing FLL2 with more kinetic activities.  I hope this has/will be a help to the parents out there who really like First Language Lessons but need a little extra for their kids who learn a little differently than just what the book has. ___________________________________________________________
The lessons and the definition we got from FLL1. The original link is an affiliate link for buying it straight from the author, the picture is a link to the Amazon listing. Thank you for supporting our homeschool and my curricula habit by clicking on affiliate links.
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