Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dima's Bridges

Dima and I got to meet his new Bridges teacher and classmates today and things couldn't have gone better if we'd orchestrated every minute. The Bridges class is in the school he attended during kindergarten last year and as I checked in at the office he noticed the fish tank in the lobby. After asking permission from me to go check out the fish his teacher's aide from last year came through and he was happily chatting with her and I reminded him that in his back pack he had his 6 year old birthday gift from her - a hand-made tissue holder with his name on one side and the name of the school on the other she seemed flattered that he still had it and remembered her thoughtfulness. I thought it was significant to bring something from last year a connector for him and so the kids who have been there since the beginning of the year wouldn't have to thing of him as the newbie.

Dima was met and escorted to the classroom by a student from this year's class and as we walked and the aide talked to me we ran into Dima's kindergarten teacher. She's a vivacious person and I'm glad he had a chance to see more than one familiar face. The office staff seemed to know him too but it makes me wonder exactly what they remember....

Anyway - we got to the real deal in the room he was taking everything in - the teacher was engaging but firm and commanded their respect and attention. After their "indoor recess" the younger kids (Dima being one of them) still had freedom to go get books while those more advanced in math worked on a lesson. The teacher had some one-on-one time to look over a map of China with Dima he stuck with him nicely.

Since they were discussing Chinese New Year they got to make-- and decorate!! a dragon -- those of you that know Dima can imagine how this interested him - he's leaning toward art and artistic things - well, once they pulled out feathers and big sequins to decorate the dragon he was in heaven. The have a reward system of "chips" aka: bingo markers that they earn based on good behavior such as "showing you're ready to learn" by putting knees under the desk and hands folded on top. Today Dima got seven chips and then got to cash them in for popcorn!!

So..so far his impression of his new experience is: caring and familiar people as well as a place he's at home in, decorating with glitter and sequins, earning money and best of all popcorn. I'm hoping that I can help out in the class as much as my free- time allows.

When I told him last night that I was taking him out half way through today's school day he was crying and saying he'll miss Mrs. Chambers but today as we left he asked if he can come back tomorrow and seemed truly upset that he can't. After so much searching for help with the answers for him I hope we've got it. Today I sent a heartfelt thank you Mr. N. and his aides and the student that met us, I'm sooooooooo relieved that this seems to be a good fit for Dima.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our friend Lara

This is about our friend Lara Hummel from our dance group this is the message we sent out to the group last night after we heard from her husband Bill:

Just got a call from Bill and he wanted me to pass on some news/an update to everyone. It seems that Lara had some sort of accident last Friday while in Bryce, VA at their vacation home. As she can not recall what happened we are not sure if she fell or what but she ended up outside in the snow and was found by a neighbor after maybe 30 to 60 minutes. Baby Leah was ok inside the house.
The result of this accident led to a broken back and some massive injuries to her feet. After successful surgery to fuse her back she is resting at the Hospital in Charlottesville Va. Just today Bill said that Lara has regained feeling in her fingers and toes. While Bill said that this is great news she faces a long, long road ahead of physical therapy to walk again. Lara's profession is in Physical Therapy, it is very likely she is well aware of what lies ahead. At this point Bill has indicated that she is in a significant amount of pain and is somewhat down. I guess that is to be expected. For the time being Bill will be out of touch as he is caring for Leah and Lara and has moved in with Tim.
(Tim’s another dance group friend guy who lives in Charlottesville.)

I’m still wrapping my mind around this but it definitely puts things in perspective and makes you realize that things can change in a moment. Very sobering to think that she was so active and peppy and will now be confined to a wheel chair and re-learning to walk. Please keep her in your prayers.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Conversation with a five year old

Josh - I can't wait to go to Tinker Bell's castle -

Me- Well, Tinker Bell doesn't HAVE a castle if you want to go to a castle you have to pick between Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty's castles.

J - How soon can we go?

M- We'll probably go in two years. That'll be in 2011. We can go on the monorail like at Dutch Wonderland.

---there's a can of worms I shouldn't have opened up--- Now he's constantly asking if it's 2011 yet -The other morning the first thing he said when he got up was is today the day to go to Disney World?? Plus he's going around telling people that we're going "in eleven" and they think he means soon.

J- Woo Hoo!! Woo Hoo!! Woo Hoo!! Yeah!! That'll be great!!! I'm going to ride the monorail with Tinker Bell and have breakfast with Cinderella. Do they have a train? Does Cinderella ride the train?

M- No she lives in the castle so she doesn't have to ride the train she's already there.

J- Tinker Bell will ride the train with me. She'll sit right next to me and we'll ride it together.
How soon is 2011?

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's 8:07.......it's 8:08

I put a watch on Josh this morning since he's been concerned lately with when things will happen. So now he has to run around telling Dima and me when the minute changes - "Dima it's almost time for the bus!!" ...just got an 8:13 update... let's see how long this lasts. As a New Year thing for myself and in hopes that he might calm down from the sounds and maybe try the motions I've tried to do a half hour of yoga in the mornings while Josh is still here - he's still been wound up - I don't know why! He did try to bend and breathe but usually he gets bored and stops to do something else. The funny thing about it is that the other day he was trying to remember the name of what it was and he came up with bonjo so now he calls yoga bonjo...... *8:19 gotta get out for the bus!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the end of Christmas season

An ice storm was predicted for yesterday into today and while the stuff didn't pan out like the weather guys said it would - shoulda known when at noon the snow/ ice/ freezing rain hadn't started as they said it would. After Dima got on his bus yesterday morning in preparation for the weather event I decided to take down our #48 car balloon with Santa and elves so as I undid the stakes that hold it in place I told him I was putting it away so he wouldn't be surprised or disappointed that it's suddenly gone - I've learned the hard way tat he's one you have to prepare for changes or it could get ugly. So before I put the balloon away he said good bye to the elves and kissed them goodbye. Last evening Dima and Papa undid the Christmas tree and the stuff is coming down around the house so that's it til next year and Josh is already asking how soon will Santa come again.

Before Christmas Josh was wound up and I attributed it to just the excitement in the air from the building excitement of the holidays but he's continued to get crazy at times and I'm hoping once we settle back into our routine that he's going to bring it down a bit. The bad thing about him getting "luku" and impulsive is that then Dima gets that was too and even though Josh can eventually regulate himself and bring the energy level down it's much harder for Dima to do the same and it sets him up for trouble cause he starts doing stuff he knows will have consequences. I hate sending him off to school like that since I know his energy level only goes up once he's there. He literally pranced to the bus yesterday morning then came home with out his homework and told me that there was a sub in class which is never a good thing for his excitement / anxiety.

the guy from TV

The kids and I were looking over Kids Discovery magazine yesterday and while we didn't read every word they were taking in all the pictures when Josh goes" Hey! there's the guy from TV" It was Barak Obama. I guess he's paying more attention to the stuff he sees that I realized.