Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kid Updates

I haven't posted as much about the kids lately.  I think we're all just kind of powering through winter and our temporary living situation right now.  Things are going okay and we all continue to be grateful to my parents for having us live with them but there are times when we all miss having our house.  Although I know once we move into the new house, we're all going to really miss each other.  It's been an experience that I'm very glad to have had.  I feel like I've reconnected with my parents and just gotten to experience life with an extended family.  It's been nice in a lot of ways and I certainly will miss a lot of the day to day aspects of living with my parents.  Can't say that I'd recommend it to everyone, but in our family this was a good solution for many reasons.

Anywho.....the kids.

Caroline - She's probably the kid that's having the hardest time right now.  I know she misses having her own space the most which I absolutely understand.  Her siblings are a bit boisterous and don't seem to understand the notion of privacy so Caroline has to put up with their antics pretty much all the time.  In addition to missing her alone time, she's also feeling quite pressured in school right now.  Although based on what I'm hearing from her teacher it is all self-imposed.  The annual Maryland School Assessment (MSA) will be given in March and the countdown is on for preparation.  It tests proficiency in math and reading starting in the third grade and Caroline is feeling very stressed out and anxious about it.  She's been having trouble on the writing BCRs (brief constructed response) and it's been noticeably shaking her confidence.  This is the child who reads voraciously and writes stories and books constantly so you can imagine that this was not something I was prepared to see.  However, after talking to her teacher, it seems the entire class is having issues with it and that the teacher is not concerned - they will get it, they just need to keep practicing.  However, in talking to her teacher, I found out that the class took a math benchmark test in class last week which was basically a pre-MSA test and Caroline is the only student in the class to have scored 100% and scored 3 (out of 3) on the BCRs!!  Clearly, math is NOT the issue.  Whew.

I told the teacher that Caroline would be happy to hear that she did so well and I hoped it would help her confidence because that is what I feel like these writing BCRs have had on her.  She's been complaining a lot lately about being tired but my mom really got her to talk about it and realized that what she's feeling isn't fatigue, but rather being overwhelmed.  Caroline told her, "I just have so much to learn!"  Uh, yeah.  Caroline even told me last week that she thought that by not doing well on the MSAs that she would fail the 3rd grade.  Sigh. (The test has nothing to do with passing to the next grade.)  Clearly, there is a lot of test anxiety bubbling up among the students though because our old neighbor's son told his mom the same thing.  I asked the teacher in my email to her this morning that perhaps the class needs to talk about how they are all feeling. They are the highest achieving 3rd grade class and several of the kids are PACE/GT so I know there's a lot of competition as a result.

Bryce - He's doing just fine - indoor soccer season is in full swing which I'm happy for.  He needs a way to expend some energy in these cold, dreary winter months.  He continues to not always be so nice to his little sister but to be as sweet as can be to me and my mom when he wants hugs and cuddles.  My mom loves all his hugs and constant reminders of how much he loves you but was curious why he needs so much reassurance himself and he basically told her it was because of Piper.  He sees her as getting all the attention which really makes me laugh because if you saw Piper and Bryce together it would be a complete toss up as to who gets more attention.  They are both attention mongers.  (No wonder Caroline gets the short end of the stick sometimes.)  I think the thing that's been hardest on Bryce living at my mom's is missing his friend, Joey.  We still see them but not as often or easily.  You can't just run down the street for a few minutes like you can when you're neighbors.

Piper - She's doing fine - she wasn't feeling very good over the weekend.  She complained of a headache and body aches on Saturday morning but she didn't have a fever so I still sent her to spend the night with my IL's that night.  Of course, just as Jason and I were finishing up our dinner (and on the way to the movies) we got a call from my MIL that Piper had spiked a fever.  Thankfully, my MIL wasn't too worried and gave her some ibuprofen which brought it down all night (and we got to see our movie - thank you, Sandy!).  She woke up without a fever on Sunday morning but started getting warm again around breakfast.  We kept her medicated and she woke up without a fever on Monday and has been mostly fine since.  I was afraid it was the flu but thankfully just some virus.  She's since gotten a stuffy nose (as has Bryce and I can feel a cold coming on myself) but nothing we can't handle.

She has a field trip to a pizza place this week for school to see how they make pizza and then next week her class is going to Disney on Ice but since they don't provide transportation and I don't want my MIL to have to drive downtown, Jason and I decided to take all three kids later that weekend.  Piper is very excited!  We're waiting on resuming gymnastics or another activity until after we move and get settled.

Jay and I are in the beginning phases of figuring out what we're going to do with the kids this coming summer.  With the changes in our family and Sandy starting to watch the twins, we need to figure some things out.  And as the kids get older, I worry about them being entertained too so that's something to consider.  Summer time is when I wish I was home at least part-time.  I know I'll really wish I was home this coming summer with being in the new house.  But, we'll figure it out, we always do.

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