Sunday, November 20, 2011

A belly shot and an update on the Kindergartner

Wow, I can tell I was under the weather for the first trimester — I have no pictures documenting this pregnancy other than ultrasounds and this one taken a few days ago at 17 1/2 weeks.

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The bad news is that at least half of my belly is part of the 20 pounds I've gained already. On the bright side, when people see the fat and ask if I'm pregnant, I can say yes! I just leave out the part where the baby only makes up about 7 ounces of that twenty pounds.

The good news is eating is finally an enjoyable thing again. Food still tastes different, but that doesn't keep me from testing all of the good things I haven't been able to appreciate for so long. I don't really care how much it's affecting my weight. Not now, anyway. I'll tackle that beast after the baby is born. Oh, and the other good news is that I'm starting to feel those gentle bonks and sweeping motions of the baby moving. There's definitely someone in there!

Since I feel better I'm trying to transition into a more active lifestyle. Gone are the days of spending most of my time sprawled out on the couch. I still have to take an hour or two of down time every day, but it's getting better. We even got around to putting in our little experimental winter garden.

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They did the hard work; I just mixed in the new soil and put the ground cover and stuck the plants in.

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(Keep in mind that we really have no idea what we're doing; we just put some seeds in the ground to see if they would survive.) It took about 2.5 seconds for the slugs to devour the squash plants. Lesson #1 learned.

In other news, my children have made great progress over the course of the first two months of school.

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We had parent teacher conferences this last week. I admit, I was pretty dang anxious about meeting with my Kindergartner's teacher. I couldn't help but re-play some of the negative things she said to me over the course of the first few weeks of school.

"Our class is so large, I can't slow down just to wait for him to catch up. I'm worried that he's going to get left behind."

"I don't think ANY child who isn't already 5 should be in Kindergarten."

"It will be detrimental for him the rest of his school career to be younger than his peers."

"He keeps coming up to me when he has a problem!"

"He's going to need help at home. And I am worried that you won't be able to help him, since you have a younger child to take care of." (?!?)

As you can imagine, I was worried not only about what she might say — but also about what I might say in return. (She wants to question my ability to help him at home, because I have a younger child? Really?? Geez, the way I look at it, my student to teacher ratio is WAY better than her class!) I was very grateful that we had family around to watch the children so I could bring my spouse along to help me refrain from saying something I would regret. Plus, his teacher, for some reason, has never said anything negative to my husband about our son. I guess she saves it all for me. I was hoping his presence might help keep her at bay.

It was a very awkward meeting. I was surprised, however, that she had nothing negative to say. In fact, it turns out that my little guy is right where he's supposed to be for his grade level — or better. And he interacts well with the other children.

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He only received one "needs improvement" mark, for handwriting. But his teacher prefaced it with her amazement at how far he's come, how quickly he's catching up, and stating that she's not worried about him meeting the standard by the end of the year.

My Kindergartner really has come such a long way during the last year. He has worked so hard on his fine motor skills and his speech problems.

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After having his language deemed "normal' by the speech pathologist at the school, and now this trimester's positive report card, my load of worry has lifted. I, personally, felt like my son was ready for Kindergarten. Not everyone did, however, and it was hard to listen to my gut when his teacher was telling me so loudly (before she even knew him or his capabilities) to hold him back a year. I wanted his teacher to get to the point where she, too, felt okay about him being in her class. I think she is finally coming around. (And for the record, I ended up having to do very little from home; all I did was sit next to him and encourage him while he did his homework, and let him develop those fine motor skills at a pace he was comfortable with. Luckily, it's a pace his teacher is comfortable with, too!!) Hopefully the days of her calling me up to tell me all the reasons why he shouldn't be in her class are over. Hopefully she's happy to have him there instead of trying to push him out.

My daughter's conference was last week as well. She deserves some recognition for her hard work, too. "I never, ever give outstanding marks in the first trimester," her teacher said. "But look at this. Your daughter is just... perfect!"

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Maybe perfect is a bit much — she certainly has her moments of non-perfectness — but she is a sweet, awesome seven year old that adores everything to do with school. In fact, she loves it so much, she asks to help her little brother do his homework in the evenings. I tell her that his assignment for the night is to practice drawing people. She collects a stack of computer paper and pencils and they draw silly people and robots at his desk until I break up the fun and send them to bed. Her brother responds so well to having his older sister help him; he sees it as play time. It's beneficial for both of them.

Thinking about it, she has had way more to do with his fine motor skill development than I have! Thanks, kiddo!
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