Thursday, August 19, 2010

First day of Kindergarten

Euper Lane Elementary School

In his new classroom

The egg chair (don't know what else to call it)

Waiting in the hallway for the bell to ring

Micah's first day of Kindergarten was mostly a success. His teacher (who has been teaching for 34 years!) told me he had a "pretty good" day. She said he only got upset twice and both times it was due to noise. When they went down to the cafeteria for breakfast, she said it was VERY noisy and seemed overwhelming to him and he wasn't interested in eating. The other time he got upset was because of another boy in his class who was crying. We had this issue before at Kids First and the student was moved to another class. Unfortunately, that probably won't happen this time. Although at some point he will need to adjust to noise, even if it really bothers him. An occuptional therapist took him for a walk when he got really upset in the classroom. The teacher also told me that at one point she told him he could go to the sensory area and sit in the chair that looks like an egg. She said he went over and got in it and pulled the cover down. I think we all need a chair like that!
I actually did not get emotional; I think last week was harder to see him leave Kids First. I got a little sad later when I saw the kids lined up who are in the mainstream Kindergarten classes and all the parents standing by watching them. It was just one of those moments that I have sometimes when I wish things were "normal." I also get a little anxious when Micah starts a new school, just thinking of all the expectations and all the things he can't do yet. Then I have to remind myself that at each school, (Marindale in CA, Cook preschool special ed. here in Ft. Smith, and then Kids First) he has shown improvement and progress. So, it's a new day and we are thankful for a good school for him. We are also thankful that for a brand new school, new classmates, and new adults to get used to Micah had a great day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last day at Kids First

Miriam & Lisa

He got to roller skate for the first time and loved it!

Last Friday was Micah's last day at Kids First. Yes, he did "graduate" in June, but a lot of the kids go through the summer after they graduate. It was kind of sad to me that his time there is over. I remember when we first found out about Kids First, went through all the paperwork and waiting for the Tefra medicaid to be approved which took about 4 months. It was a hard waiting time, because Gabriel was a newborn and Micah had a really hard time with him being around. We got through it though and were thrilled when he started at Kids First in January of 2009. Now he starts Kindergarten on Thursday!
It's hard to articulate what a blessing that place has been for him. Miriam and Lisa have been the ones who worked with him the longest. The staff there is incredible and so many people cared for Micah. I'll try to think of most of the things they did where Micah was concerned. They taught him lots of things, sat with him when he didn't want to sit, brought him back to circle time when he got up and walked away, sat beside him at meal time so he would stay in his chair and eat, sat beside him during nap time when he was too wired to go to sleep, changed many diapers, tolerated him knocking over shelves and throwing toys and then redirected him, walked with him around the building or took him to the therapy room to bounce on a big exercise ball when he was too upset to stay in the classroom, worked with him when he didn't want to cooperate (therapists), checked his temperature and looked in his ears numerous times (nurses), endured endless flushing of the toilet and other water play, celebrated his little bits of progress, enjoyed his happy moments and smiling face, and most of all, they loved him.
I was doing okay when I went to pick him up until we were about to walk down the hallway and three or four of the staff were crying because he was leaving. I suppose it's a good thing to know your child will be missed and is loved that much.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seattle part two/Gabriel's birthday

Our 2 year old boy!

Wayne is blowing a party favor at Micah

This is what happens when you leave the cake unattended; culprit-Micah
This was after the party (obviously my pictures are out of sync)

Friends from San Francisco

Windus fam minus Peter (he's taking the photo), Cindy, Esther and kids

I decided to make two posts since I had so many pictures and I wanted to separate Gabriel's birthday from the other one.
We got to see some friends from San Francisco who now live in Seattle. Well, one of the friends there with her kids (Esther) still lives in San Fran, and Cindy now lives in Vancouver, BC. They happened to be there while we were there so it was a triple bonus: The Windus family, Esther, Emily, & Jake and Cindy! It was such a blessing to see them!
Gabriel turned 2 on June 29th! Wow. Two years have gone by fast. He is getting to be such a big boy and tall (shocker, I know). He's three feet tall now, taller than most his age; I think he's in the 95th percentile. He's talking so much, saying new words all the time and starting to put two and three word phrases together. He knows his name and has started saying it. He LOVES cars, especially hot wheels and really is fascinated with anything that moves. He loves puzzles, looking at books, and he loves animals. He is very much into the toddler temper tantrums, but we won't focus on that right now. He really is a sweet little boy who loves to give hugs, which he calls "hud." We love our sweet boy!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Seattle trip

Mt. Rainier

Paula speaking at graduation

Pike Place (Micah was walking with Janel)

Outside Pike Place Market

loved the balloons

loved opening and closing this door

Farmer's Market (well it's over to the left out of the picture)

The Locks

Alki beach

We had a great time in Seattle when we went at the end of June. We left Tulsa at 6:30 am; three flights and 12 hours later we arrived in Seattle. I think Wayne and I decided we won't fly anywhere with the boys again for another five years! They actually traveled really well, the waiting in airports was the hardest.
We stayed with Wayne's parents in a condo on Alki Beach which is in West Seattle. It was a beautiful area and we loved being a block from the beach! Of course, the water was too cold to get in, but the boys had a great time playing in the sand and Micah loved the waves coming in.
Paula graduated from Mars Hill Graduate School on Saturday. It was a great ceremony and she gave a beautiful speech. She was selected by her class to be one of three students to speak. We are so proud of her!
After graduation Paula and her roommates hosted a party at their house. That's where the balloons came from that Micah is playing with. Sunday we went to a great Farmer's market and then went to the Locks afterwards.
Monday we went to Mt. Rainier which was absolutely amazing. Monday evening we celebrated Gabriel's birthday which was actually Tuesday, but Janel was leaving that day so we wanted to celebrate early. Tuesday, we went downtown to Pike Place Market and walked around and had some delicious clam chowder! Wednesday we had to leave...too bad. We had a great time and I did not want to come back so soon! We were really enjoying the cooler temperatures and the time with family.