Thursday, February 28, 2013

School Changes - Working Mom Guilt

This year has been a struggle for me personally with J's school. 

Let me be clear...

I LOVE his school.  I LOVE how he has grown & developed both maturity & academically.

That said...

I have not been overwhelming thrilled with his teacher.  Jacob has grown and developed, which is what has kept Mr. M & I from voicing our unhappiness.  I've tried really hard to just keep following up with her in hopes of building a relationship that would open the lines of communication that I grew to expect during J's time with Young Scholars. 

This week we learned, she is resigning effective Friday.

A new teacher, a teacher J knows through before and after school care.  A teacher who knows how to help redirect Jacob when needed.  One who has 5 years prior teaching joining FRA.  One who is energetic and excited about being with these kiddos.

We are wishing Mrs. K well.  We will pray that she gets the support she needs that played such a huge part in her decision to leave mid-year.

And with a huge hug, lots of hope, and excitement - we welcome Mrs. M to J's classroom.  I'm excited to see what the remainder of the year will be.  :-)

This all said, this situation created the opportunity for me to learn what I didn't know.  To learn what I, as a working mom, have missed.  Miss Cheryl has been, to an extent, whispering in my ear.  But not having an education background, I have not fully understood.  My strength is math, analysis, trends.  Writing, reading, etc?  Yeah, not so much a strength.  I love to read.  I love to write, or I wouldn't have a blog.  But being good at it - not really.

Miss Cheryl has brought to my attention, how J, while being asked to learn how to spell words with ch, oo, ending in e, he was not been taught the basic rules.  The silence of the "e" creating the long "i" in *fine*. 

On my way into work today, I spoke with another mom.  There are only 10 kiddos in class.  I only know a few moms, as I do my drop off at 7 (okay 720) - school starts at 830.  Miss Cheryl generally does pick up at 3.  Daddy has met a few moms, but he is less likely to chat with them as he is to duck in grab J & run out the door.  :) 

And if I do pickup, it is 545'ish (closes at 6). 

It's my fault, by I have not cultivated the relationships to have the door opened and understand when there is a potential for issues in his class that I should otherwise know.

Today, I learned how that is impacting J.  I didn't know.  I didn't have those doors open.  But now they are.  My concerns I've been expressing to family that have been dismissed as my being an overbearing mom, were in fact valid.  AND other mom's have felt the same way.  Mom's who have had older children go through JK at FRA, who knew what to expect AND have realized - the expectations where NOT being met.  Granted, Mrs. K has had issues, and for that reason alone - I'm glad I did not add to it by complaining.  But I feel so much better knowing that my gut was right. 

As a working mom, it is so hard to balance motherhood, my job, childcare, marriage.  I have to delegate.  I have to rely on those who are assigned tasks to be following through at the level of excellence I would give to the tasks I have in front of me. 

I'm in by no means perfect.  And I ABSOLUTELY have my moments of Mommy Fail.  I'm human.  I understand. 

And that's why I have working mom guilt right now.  I know I failed my kiddo by not being on top of it earlier. 

That said... Stepping back.  Recognizing he is only in 4 year old preschool.  If I was going to need to learn this - now is the best time.  This was a growing moment for me.  He may not have learned those basics, but he is learning more new words every day.  He is getting so much closer to reading books with me, as opposed to me reading at him. 

From now on, I am going to make a bigger effort to interact with Mom's in his classes.  I'm going to make the time to know what I need to know.  I'm not going to just phone in the minimal requirements.  No one person (besides Mr. M) is as or more concerned about J's development than me. 

We are blessed in the support we have.  We are so blessed by Miss Cheryl's background giving us supplemental support to the wonderful basis of FRA.  We are blessed by family who gifts Jacob books, learning exercises and games.  He absorbs all of this. 

We are so blessed.  Mommy just needs to step up her balancing skills... This way we can better maximize our blessings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Probably should share these before the month is over...

Mr. M sent me the most beautiful, looks and smell, flowers this year.  He also included a box of chocolate that contributed 5lbs to my waist.  After engorging myself, I realized I was in severe hip pain again, and have quite radically moved back to avoiding sugar and flour based foods.  It's crazy, being on Metformin, I don't lose weight radically like I did before trying to conceive J, but my body just *feels* better.  I don't wake up in pain in my hips.  I don't want to cry in the middle of the night.

Good things when all you want to do is sleep, thanks to a head cold.

Back to the beautiful flowers.  They truly smelled spectacular.
And they held up for over 10 days. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trampolines are...

not just for summer...


not just for kids...



boatloads of fun...

Even in snow.
While the puppy, who will be 13 this year, runs around barking at the air. 
Oh... And they create awesome nap times...

Soaking in these stolen moments of snuggles & sleep that will tragically end entirely too soon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A birthday boy's party...

Since J got over being sick, he has counted down the days until his party yesterday.  We chose to do a family only party this year, and while it put more on us personally - it was so much nicer. 

We slowed down.
Except for J, who could not wait until everyone arrived.  He even put Monkey on guard duty to let him know when people arrived.

After spending 5 minutes (at 9AM, arrival time was 1PM), and deciding it was boring...

We enjoyed family.

We enjoyed laughter.

All goals for this year.

J picked steak with corn on the cob.  Mommy added roasted asparagus and butternut squash to round out the meal. 

After the meal we did cake, then presents.  J was so delighted with him gifts, even the *oh clothes*.  :)

Jacob was beyond delighted with his Power Ranger cake.  It did not disappoint! 

And mommy was delighted that she has yet to fail in herself, and enjoyed a Coconut Cream cheese Bar (Ideal & Maltitol sweeteners with coconut flour - gluten and sugar free - totally low carb).  J is starting to understand that sugar makes mommy not feel so hot, so he's asking questions to understand what he's eating.  It hasn't made that big of impact on how he eats yet, but I'm starting to see changes being made.  Starting to watch him consider the nutrition in what he eats.  Small bites here and there.  I honestly think it will only improve as he grows.  He's already starting to expand his horizons, so I'm confident this will expand as well.

Anyway - back to the cake...
HE LOVED IT!!!  You can see his excitement about getting to dig in at this point.  :)
Jacob was generously blessed by his Aunts, Uncle & Grandparents.  I'm very much excited to dig into one of the books J was given.  I love our snuggle reading time, and I love how this time is fostering his love for reading.  He was excited to get these books for his birthday.
Aunt Joan snapped (at the end of the party) a family picture for us.  I was so drained, between getting the food on the table and fighting this head cold - I dreaded this picture, but seeing it - I'm happy we took it.  We need to take more family photos.  Most pictures are just of J or of one of us with J.  Rarely do we have the opportunity to do pictures as our family of 3.  And this one even caught the annoyed (and generally camera opposed) puppy to complete our family.

This was one tired little boy last night.  Unfortunately, this equaled a time-out before bed, but with an early bed time, he was asleep by 6:30!!!  He woke with smiles to greet the sunshine this morning.  Back to school for him, so what better way to start?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Little Man Gifts for Grandparents

This year for Christmas, we decided to have J do keepsakes for his grandparents.  I was so excited about this idea.  I enlisted the help of Pinterest and our wonderful Miss Cheryl helped as well.

For my parents, we did picture mugs from Shutterfly.  I was able to take pictures over the past almost 5 years, and put together to compilations that were meant for each one, yet totally individualized. 

They LOVED them.  I'm excited to see them when they come home this summer.

For my in-laws, however, we went more in line with their interests.  My MIL is a HUGE baker - all from scratch. 

This was the end result & I could not have been happier. 
Nor could my in-laws.  My MIL truly loved this cookie / dessert plate. 
Thanks again to Miss Cheryl for her artistic writing around the sides of the plate.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


With J turning 5 this year, I wanted to start a fun tradition I've seen on other blogs.  I think this is such a great idea, especially since this might actually be something J will come back & enjoy reading in his teen years. 
How old will you be turning?

How excited are you?
1 trillion excited

How did you celebrate your birthday?
got birthday cake, but I couldn't eat it until after dinner, because I was sick.  I was puking sick.

Have you received any presents yet? What?
Yes.  Swordfishzord, Beetlezord, and tigerzord. 
Are you excited about these things?
Yes - I love being Jaden and getting the bad guys

Have you enjoyed your birthday so far?

Do you like being our only child?

What don’t you like about it?

That's there is lots of rules everydaySweetie, you will learn - there will always be lots of rules... It's life.

What do you like about it?

that I have a family & that there is No Rules Friday'sI love that giving you a little of my diet pop Friday mornings as a reward for learning your spelling words and having 4 other great mornings before school = highlight list for you... Since in reality, no other rules are bent or adjusted on No Rules Friday's

What Nicknames do we call you?

J, J bird, Monkey & Skunky Monkey, Stinky & Stinkypants

Which is your favorite?


What’s your favorite season?



Cause then we get to play with helicopters, and it takes a long time for flowers to grow

What’s your favorite thing about school?
My teacher is very nice

What’s your favorite fruit to eat?

What’s your favorite vegetable?
Corn on the Cob

What’s your favorite food?
Panda - Orange Chicken, Chow Mein, and a cookie

We’ve taken a lot of vacations – what ones did we take this year?
Marco Island - by plane in May
Lake Geneva - by car for Uncle Jon's wedding
Marco Island - by car at Thanksgiving
(you made it 19 hours straight thru driving - we were so proud!!)Key Lime Cove - by car with Daddy

What’s your favorite vacation ever?
Paradise Island, or maybe Key Lime Cove - they both had great water slides.  Key Lime had these really big ones that I got to go on, but I couldn't in the Bahamas, I was too little.

Plus, daddy gave me lots of treats at Key Lime Cove

What’s your favorite state?

cause I get to see my grandma & grandpa M there.  And I get sleepovers, but you need to sleep there with me

Have you been there?

Yes.  Going again tomorrow for 1 sleepover

What do you love most about your Mommy? Daddy?

Mommy - very kind. 
Daddy - kind

What’s your favorite color?
Navy Blue - like the Bears

Final question. What do you want to be when you get older?
A guy who works at my dad's work...

WAIT - I want to be him.

Okay, Mommy had to ask one additional question... If you had the day off from school, and could do anything you wanted - who would you want to spend the time with...   Mommy, Daddy, Grandma M, Grandma P, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins...

Daddy - he let's me have lots of treats.

Yes, yes kiddo - he does... love you!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Current Measurements

A bonus, the only bonus, to your getting the virus of death for your birthday...

Mommy got exact measurements for where you are at on your 5th birthday.

BMI Calculator for Child and Teen

Information Entered

Age: 5 years 0 months

Sex: Boy

Birth Date: February 09, 2008

Height: 3 feet 9 inch(es)  (aka 45 inches)

Date of Measurement: February 12, 2013

Weight: 47–1/2 pounds


Based on the height and weight entered, the BMI is 16.5 , placing the BMI-for-age at the 79th percentile for boys aged 5 years 0 months. This child has a healthy weight.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back to the land of the living...

I still need to get back here & post what I want to start as a traditional list of questions each year - measuring how you change & grow in interests each year...

But due to the virus from the deepest darkest hole of the Earth, today is your first full day back at school since Friday. 

So that will have to be tomorrow's project...

In the meantime... Happy Valentine's Day!  You & Daddy are my favorite Valentine's!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Today you are 5...

Hmmmm... Where do I start?

As we say hello to a whole new year of learning and excitement, I want to reflect on where we are at today.

Clothes - Mostly size 6's.  A few size 5 jeans, but for the most part you are in 6's.  Shoes are a size 12. 

Nicknames - you have shown you are very particular on being called Jacob.  Family can still call you J, but no one else may partake.  Monkey is still my primary nickname for you, but sometimes I also call you Bud.  Daddy generally sticks with J, Monkey, or Stinky.

Yes, you take serious offense to Stinky.  You take it so seriously, that I've shared the secret of my Grandpa Barger, who used to always claim he "stunk pretty".  It took a couple of minutes for you to wrap your mind about stinking pretty, but now that you have it - you just throw it back in Daddy's face if he calls you stinky.

School/Spelling - You are a Junior Kindergartner this year.  Your report card was full of +, S+ and S's with nothing less than an S.  Along with a note about what a pleasure you are to have in class.  You have shocked us all with your ability to learn spelling words so quickly, and in general retaining the knowledge you've learned.  You are quickly becoming a little reader.  We are so proud of you.  Math skills are progressing and you are shocking me with what you do daily.  You easily count to 100, and have entertained me on the way to school doing it several times now.

That said, learning is on your terms for the most part.  You have truly come into your own with wanting to be independent.  Recently, Mommy had to have a refresher course with Mrs. Bach about making sure she is giving you enough choices that you don't feel like I'm controlling your whole life.

We've made a good routine of your telling me about your day after school during dinner.  Most nights I'm home for dinner, but I do miss our dinners when I'm working late during close.

Structure - We are still loving Love & Logic.  You really do well when executed properly.  We still have moments of bad choices, but you prefer to be a good boy with such a big heart.

Ring Bearer - you were in not one, but two weddings this year.  First Miss Kristie & Joe's wedding, then Uncle Jon's and Aunt Kim's wedding.  You loved being a part of both events.  You did a great job in both.

My Buddy - We have enjoyed so many road trips this past year.  Mini-weekend trips to Michigan for Lake time.  The big trip was 19 hours to Marco Island.  You were AWESOME!  We may have had a meltdown on the way there, but coming home - you were AWESOME.  Grandpa & I were so shocked as we made the trip in one shot - driving thru the night.

Favorite Toy - From your birthday thru Halloween, you were a Spiderman boy.  The only problem is you don't really enjoy the show, and the more you learned, the less you really enjoyed of it.  Then around Christmas you met Power Rangers.  Ohmyword.  You LOVE them.  They are like mini transformers, what you thought you wanted Christmas, but as it turns out - are not ready for yet.  Power Ranger's though - they get the bad guys & they do it with cool fighting moves.  They protect the innocent.  You LOVE them.  And I love listening to you... You would practice all day, if I could let, doing your Super Samurai moves.  If I had to pick one toy - I'd say your Megazord is your all time favorite toy at this moment in time.

Books - We started chapter books this year.  First you read Black Beauty, then we started the Stink & Judy Moody series.  Reading with you at night is the best part of my day.  Your laughter is contagious. We have the best time exaggerating the silly parts to make them even funnier.  You have enjoyed participating in FRA's book read-a-thon's and fundraisers.  We have to work better at getting people to support you.

Sleeping - since I commented you had moved to our bed over year 3, I should mention - you've gone back to your own room in year 4.  In fact, you have started surprising us with sleeping through the night even some nights.  Most of the time you join us by 2AM.

Sports - you are still my athletic boy.  You ran a half marathon this year as part of a FRA fundraiser.  T-ball we did with Schererville's city league.  You prefered to chase the butterflies.  Soccer thru the Y though was an awesome experience, as is the basketball.  You have surprised me this year with what you retained in form and focus for basketball - year over year.  We shall see how you do in Soccer this year, as we elected to try that over tball for summer 2013.

And last but certainly not least... Mommy got bit on the butt for rejoicing in how healthy you've been.

Your singing chorus for your birthday is officially - "All I want for my birthday is a puke bucket, a puke bucket, a puke bucket.  All I want for my birthday is my tummy not hate me...  And then I could blow out my candles."   

I love you so much little man.  And Daddy & I are so looking forward to your 5th year... Hugs & Kisses.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Eve

Your last day as a 4-year-old.  And you have not let me call you 5 yet.

Although, you did dig waking up to "Happy Birthday Eve" song I improvised on to get your wonderful & delightful smile to great me before we really started our day.

Your treat for school in celebration of your birthday was "Frosted Bagels" again.  Great American Bagel loves you as much as I do.  My co-workers, much like your classmates, thoroughly enjoyed sharing in your birthday celebration.
You are my snow loving February baby.  You love celebrating birthdays so much, that you are almost as excited about the party on Sunday as you are about celebrating your own on Saturday with Mommy & Daddy.  We are saving your family party for the end of the month.  Until then, we get to just keep celebrating your birthday over & over again.

As you sleep your sweet dreams, I pray you know how much you are loved.  And how totally thankful I am that you are here.  You are our miracle baby.  You were the answer to so many of my prayers. 

Happy Birthday baby boy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Letter

I received homework for Jacob... The best homework I've ever done...

Copying here for safe keeping... Version sent to J is hand printed.

Dearest Jacob –

To my wonderful and sweet and delightful little man. You light up my world with your yearning to learn. You have amazed Daddy and me this year with how easily you adapted to full day school. How happy you are when we work on your words or other homework assignment. Even when you are frustrated or just over it, you humor us with doing it again. Thank you for that!!!

I love to listen to you laugh. Sharing your belly jiggling giggles over Stink and his latest adventure is simply the best part of my day. I delight in your creativity. When you morph yourself into a Power Ranger, I’m amazed at how naturally you fill the leadership role of your team. You are always off to conquer evil. Or to find something about a situation that makes you giggle, and all around you, laugh uncontrollably.

I love your energy. Whether you are playing sports, or doing cartwheels or handstands or practicing your Super Samurai moves or simply wanting to take a turn on the elliptical, you go full speed. Your enthusiasm encourages me to be better.

I cannot thank you enough for the pleasure of being your Mommy. I love you all the world and back again Monkey!!


I cannot believe he will be 5 on Saturday... How readily I recall this day 5 years ago.  Instead of spending it working, I was spending it worrying.  Completing my last biophysical profile.  Worrying I would never make to the day I would have homework to complete.  Waiting so impatiently for Saturday, February 9th to get here... At 39w 0d, my OB had agreed we could deliver c-section removing me from bedrest that started a week before Christmas.