Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Sigh of Relief and a Surprise To Go With It!

SOL - that does not stand for something nice in my book. It's an abbreviation for a rather crude term. Here in Virginia is stands for something else entirely! It's their Standards Of Learning - their state test. For those of you used to Texas -it's the TAKS. I really wish that there was not so much emphasis placed on this test. As a teacher, I hate it. I don't see how one test can be created to measure the learning of every child. Honestly, the idea is absurd. Nevertheless, children have to take it and trickling down from the very top is the pressure to pass. Again, as a teacher, I am very mindful of what the results mean to the school system.

Brooklyn and Caleb took the SOL test in late May. Brooklyn felt very confident. She did well on all the exercises and practice tests. She was worried about social studies since Virginia history would be on the test and they studied that in fourth grade, when she was not here. The teacher worked hard to review with her and Brooklyn did her part by reading and studying. It must have sunk in. She was one point away from Pass/Advance on that part. She did pass/advance on math, reading and writing and made pass/proficient on science. That is a lot of testing for a kid and I am so proud of her! She worked very hard on her studies this year and did it, pretty much, independent of me. She did her homework with no prompting and only asked for help in studying for her tests.

Caleb was not so sure. He wasn't so worried either. He was not doing well on any of the practices or exercises. He told us that he didn't read everything on the test because it was just too much. I was worried. I was worried because without practicing for the test, giving it his best, he would not build the stamina he would need for the real one. He had to take four tests in third grade: Math, reading, science, history/social science. That seems like too many tests for someone in third grade. I encouraged Caleb to read everything. Bobby and I reminded him to take all the time he needed. Not only did Caleb pass every test but he made pass/advance on his history/social science! I think he is pretty proud of himself. He grinned and looked down and said, "I told you it was easy."

Way to go kids - good job!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Build-A-Bear Giveaway! I want one!

Dillon's first birthday is still a few months away but I'm already thinking of what to get for him. I was reading my friend Stacy's blog (she always has the best giveaway stuff) and she offered a fun solution! She is offering a $25 gift card to the Build-A-Bear workshop. This is what I want to get Dillon because he's my little frog.

What would you use your $25 for if you win? Check out the giveaway here!

Another thing you don't miss until it's gone

Sleep. I'm not getting any. It is affecting my thought process at this point. I have a hard time putting words together to form a sentence and I lose my train of thought in the middle of talking. My vision is getting blurry by noon and I'm grumpy. Part of this loss, or lack, is my fault. I do not go to bed at a decent hour. My excuse is that my night doesn't begin until Dillon is in bed. I don't want to immediately go to bed myself. I want to do things that I don't get to do all day because I'm chasing two little boys. Not only that, I want to spend time with my husband. For instance, last night we sat and watched a movie until 11pm. It is so nice to sit down with Bobby at the end of a long day and hang out with some popcorn and cokes. So, I will admit that part of the problem is me.

The other side of this sleep depravity is Dillon. When Ayden was a baby I would read or listen to other's complaints about their babies not sleeping well with a sympathetic ear. However, my days of a poorly sleeping baby were over. My worst sleeper was then eight years old, and bed time was no longer an issue. As I heard their stories of babies a year old waking up in the middle of the night, I was reminded how grateful I was for a little boy who liked to get 12-13 hours of sleep and took wonderful, consistent, long naps. Not only is he a great sleeper but he loves his bed and goes down happily and never tries (knock on wood) to get out of his bed. Then Dillon came. Dillon is an easier baby in most ways, no doubt. I will talk more about how he is doing in a couple of days since he'll be officially 8 months tomorrow. BUT... it's a big but, the kid does not sleep well. He'll nap. Usually for two hours. Sometimes not so much. Lately though, he will not sleep through the night. For example: he went to bed at 8pm, woke up scared at 10pm. He didn't need a bottle, he just needed comfort. Then he woke up at 3am. He insisted on a bottle. Then he woke up at 7:30am. He wasn't always this way. He was sleeping from 9-6:30, which was totally doable. I don't know what happened to change this. Is it because he's teething? or because he's still in our room? Or could it be a growth spurt and he's just super hungry? I have no idea. I do know this, I need to go to bed earlier because this is killing me over here!

Any suggestions from all the baby experts out there?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Little Time for Mom

For my birthday, Bobby bought me a gift certificate to a spa/salon for a hair cut and pedicure. That was in May. I finally decided to make all the necessary arrangements to redeem it today! My friend watched the boys for a bit until Bobby could pick them up and another friend came with me to get her nails done while I had my manicure. It was wonderful. I was not feeling good this morning and almost canceled. I am so glad I didn't! Sitting in the massage chair and soaking my feet, then getting all that long, dead hair chopped off made me feel better than laying around on the couch would have! After I splurged a bit and went to Chipotle for lunch with my friend. It was so nice to get out and about sans kids. Now I have bright, pink toe nails and a new hair cut! Bobby loved the hair and took some photos when I got home. Here are my two favorite ones:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Houston Vacation

Don't let the title fool you, I'm not going to Houston any time soon. I wish. My dad and Sheryl bought the three oldest kids tickets to Houston for a visit. They were so excited it was all they talked about for a month leading up to the trip. Funny, those weeks dragged by so slowly but as soon as school was out, the day for their departure was here before we knew it! I really wanted to take the camera to the airport with us but I completely forgot. Getting them to Baltimore went off without a hitch, really. We couldn't have asked for a better day and traffic was not even a problem. We got to the airport with time to spare, but not too much, and sat back and watched planes take off. The boys were so cute. Caleb and Seth pulled their bags behind them all over and sat by the large windows in the terminal. They hovered there in deep conversation. I wonder what they talk about. Brooklyn sat by me and jabbered about seeing all her friends and her plans with everyone. Ayden was so good and stuck close to Caleb and Seth watching planes and trucks. Brooklyn and I told Ayden that sissy was going to go bye bye on one of those planes. He looked at us with a pout and said, "No, it's my turn." Poor guy. They arrived in Houston twenty minutes early and my dad and Sheryl were there to pick them up. Aunt Holly came to visit that night and they've been super busy ever since. They even went to San Antonio for their cousin, Connor's birthday. Thanks for those pictures Wendi! I have some pictures that have been sent or that I snagged off my sister's blog. It looks like they're having a lot of fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No, No, No, No!

It just can't be.


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