Wednesday, April 27, 2011
So I went to tour the private Montessori elementary school today that I talked about in another post. And man...I kinda fell in love. What a fabulous school, and what a fabulous environment for my child to learn. But as much as this seems like it should be a slam dunk, it just...isn't.
The biggest hurdle, by FAR, is the finances. I knew this school was a private school and their tuition rates are listed on their website, so it isn't a shock. But coming home and actually crunching those numbers? Ouch. It boils down to the fact that it will cost a little over twice as much as I am paying right now for my son's school. That hurts. A lot. It hurts so much that it just really might not be possible. And that makes me want to cry right now. I need to have a serious talk with The Ex this weekend and see if we can make this happen. And for the record, she was there for the tour this morning, loves the school as much as I do, and wants to do everything possible to make it happen. But even with all that, it just might not be enough; dollars and sense wise.
The other things that I am thinking about really don't even compare to the price problem. I have some preconceived notions of schooling based on my upbringing, and a family rich in public school teachers. It seems odd for me to not ever get a "report card." It seems strange that my son would never have a real "test." And yet if I step outside my box: how liberating! An education based on actual learning as opposed to where one falls on their "testing" schedules. (I need to talk about this more later...)
The only other small "concern" is the transition from elementary to junior high. Leaving a Montessori elementary and transitioning into a "standard" junior high might be pretty tough. And we all know junior high is a tough time for kids anyway. It would be my hope that there is plenty of preparation for the child prior to that actually happening, and lots of parental interaction to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Not to mention that I think, no matter where you are, no matter what type of schooling you have gone through, the transition from elementary school to junior high is tough either way. So the question becomes, if I am concerned about the "transition," then is the answer to force that transition NOW? At age 5? As opposed to 5 or 6 years from now? I personally don't think so...
There are so many things that I think are great about this philosophy of education and I wish I had an hour to compose a fabulous post on all of them, but alas I have a client to get to. But I wanted to put a quick post up for those following to say that I loved, loved, loved the school. Loved it. But now comes the tough decisions. Can I really make this work? Is this the best decision for my son? That part isn't quite as clear yet.
If anyone has had experience with Montessori elementary schooling and/or the transition to junior high after, please either comment here or send me an email. I would love to get your input. And hopefully I will get more time to put together a more cohesive post on this later...
Friday, April 22, 2011
Here is her "loot" for the evening...
She loved all of her gifts, but two of them have been the obvious faves. For those of you who have a birthday gift to plan for the future, this is a GREAT gift for around a 2 year old. She LOVES this. Has played with it for hours since opening it...
And this is the other favorite. This is the one that I ordered online and then realized that the store was right around the corner from my house...either way, I'm glad I got it because she loves it. And again, for those wondering, I found these by searching for "waffle blocks."
And of course, there were cupcakes...chocolate ones at that!
I'd say overall she gives her birthday a big thumbs up. Incidentally, she seems to think that since her birthday, everyday there should be presents wrapped up and waiting for her when she gets home from school in the evening. And she is quite bummed when she finds that not to be the case...
And not to be left out...and just because I find him so incredibly adorable...here is The Boy's spring picture from his school...
Happy Friday everyone!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
My baby is two. Today. This time two years ago…
I had been on bed rest since 27 weeks (SUCKED!), I had been in and out of the hospital trying to keep my baby girl cooking for as long as possible (we made it to almost 38 weeks). I had had countless NST’s, serious contractions, and was generally miserable making it up to this day two years ago. And then, finally, I checked into the hospital for a scheduled c-section. For the first time in several months, everything went smoothly and she entered the world and MY world has not been the same since. I said the day she was born that she completed our family. And she did. I honestly cannot imagine life without her.
And now today? There is no part “baby” anymore. She wants to dress herself…climb in and out of her car seat herself…she would probably like to make her own dinner if I would let her. And the way that she speaks still continues to amaze me on a daily basis. There is nothing she can’t say and there is also never a time when she isn’t saying anything at all. According to my mother, this is the universe giving me the ultimate payback. Apparently as a kid, I never shut up. My daughter is the same way. If she doesn’t have anything particularly interesting to say, she sings. If that doesn’t work she will just start saying her ABC’s, or counting…but if she is awake, at all times she is speaking. Even when she is “sitting quietly” reading books, she is narrating what she thinks the story is saying, for instance, every time she turns the page she says, “…and the NEXT morning…” Classic.
Some of her favorite things right now: Foods? Any and all fruit. Smart dogs. Salmon (I know, right?). Cheese and crackers. “Popcorn” (Pirates Booty). Dry cereal. Chicken breasts (but not “nuggets,” neither of my kids like those; not sure why…) But fortunately she is still at the stage where she will try literally anything and 90% of the time she eats only what we are eating for dinner. She is a GREAT eater. I thank my lucky stars for that every day. She still LOVES her milk. She drinks a full 8 ounce cup of milk twice a day. Once in the morning right after she gets up (while watching TV in my bed), and once after she wakes up from her nap. She drinks them quickly and then moves on. My family laughs at how fast she can take down an 8 ounce glass of milk. She still sleeps with her beloved "Kitty" (her lovey blanket) and her Binky. Binky stays in the bed, and just recently she hasn't been using it that much so I think it might be on the way out...
Favorite TV show is easily Cat in the Hat. No question. She likes others, but this one is her fave. And just recently she has decided that she LOVES the movie Toy Story 3. She thinks ALL movies should be Toy Story 3. She also thinks she should be able to watch it multiple times a day (I don't let her—it’s a weekend only kind of thing). Here she is surrounded by her Toy Story toys while watching the movie...
In terms of favorite toys…pretty much whatever her brother is playing with. That, and only that, is what she wants. And she takes whatever he is playing with from him and then runs away laughing hysterically. He doesn’t find it quite as funny. Other faves this past year have been puzzles, her stroller, her babies, her stacking blocks and (I hesitate to admit this…) her iPod touch. She calls it her “game,” and she totally knows how to use it, navigate through it and all of her “apps,” and of course, put on Toy Story 3. But perhaps the one thing she goes to more than anything are her books. She LOVES to read. She will take it any way she can get it. If you let her sit on your lap and read to her? Perfect. If not, she will happily go and get her books, stack about 5 in front of her, and cop a squat and just sit there and read to herself. She adores books. She pretty much has to have one with her whenever we leave the house.
She has had 3 haircuts, and normally wears her hair in a little top pony tail with the back hanging free. I have kept the length at her shoulders because it is easy to manage and because, at that length, the curls come out. And I love me some of her curls. I still couldn’t tell you what color her eyes are. I guess you would have to categorize them as “hazel.” Sometimes they look gray, sometimes they look green or blue, and sometimes they have a brownish tint. They are darker, but they change so much that I honestly have no clue. As of today she wears a size 2T in tops, a size 18-24 months in pants (she will most likely be a shorty like her Mommy), and a size 6 shoe. Speaking of clothes, she loves to get dressed up and will ask almost everyday if it is a day to “wear party shoes.” That always equals a good day. I have no idea how much she weighs and how tall she is (I will update once I take her to her 2 year well-baby appt on the 5th of May), but I think she recently went through a growth spurt because she just seems to BIG all of a sudden. Here she is on a walk this past weekend...doesn't she just look HUGE all of a sudden? No? It's just me? Well...I think she has gotten HUGE. :)
In terms of personality, she is…well…SO different from her brother. She is sweet and funny and happy. She is confident and tough and fearless. She is loud and vocal and bossy and…oh dear lord the tantrums… When life is going her way, she is the cutest and most precious thing you have ever come across in your entire life. When things aren’t going her way? Well…let’s just say that I sometimes dream of a boarding school far, far away… I think the teenage years are going to SUCK. But right now? A few minutes of ugliness and then she is back to all smiles. But most of all she makes me laugh. Every single day she makes me laugh. And she is SO loving. She loves to give hugs and kisses. In fact every single morning, the first thing she does (while her diaper is being changed) is yell to her brother, “Brother! Come say hi to me! Brother, come say good morning to me!” (Did I mention bossy?) She won’t leave him, or me for that matter, at daycare without at least one hug and kiss. Most the time it takes two or three before we get out the door. She will spontaneously come up to you during the day and say, “gimme a hug,” and grab onto you. She is very affectionate. And as referenced above, she never, ever calls her brother by his name. He is brother and only brother. She knows his name, in fact one of her favorite games right now is to say our names. "Brother name is…" "Mommy name is…" "Gigi name is…" (this is one of her favorites because she knows that Gigi’s name is also her middle name so that always gets a laugh). She can say her entire name perfectly. She can count to 20. She knows all her letters and numbers. She is smart as a whip. Kills me.
I could go on and on, but then I would spend all day long writing this entry and I need to go spend some time squeezing her and saying, “I can’t believe you are two…” all day long.
My dear Peanut: I love you more than words can ever express. When you were really little I used to say you were my ray of sunshine. You are my sunshine. You make my world happy. Your brother and I are so happy to have you as our family. Happy Birthday sweet girl. I love you.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Right around the time that I was buying whatever random ones I found (not the ones above, I just used that as a reference), I remembered that for The Boy's birthday someone had given me a $15 gift card to a learning store. So I went to my purse, grabbed the card and looked up their website. It took a bit of searching, but I found the ones I was looking for. They were like $10 more than the previous website I was going to buy them from, but then I had the gift card, and I convinced myself that they came in a nicer storage bin. So I went through the online checkout to buy them and realized that shipping was like $9.95 or something crazy and now the price was $5 MORE to buy from that particular place, even with the gift card. Damnit. But by now I have been working on these ridiculous blocks for over a half an hour and I have better things to do, so I click "buy." And I am over it. They arrived today. They are fabulous and lovely.
So tonight I am heading over to a friends house for dinner (look at me!! Leaving the house!!!), and I am about 5 minutes away from my house sitting at a red light. I glance over to the right, and literally 20 feet away from my car was the store that I just bought her waffle blocks from. Only I bought them ONLINE. And paid $9.95 shipping. When the store itself is literally 5 minutes away from my house. What an asshole.
I thought about the fact that it must be local when she gave me the gift certificate, but I knew I hadn't seen it around my part of town (or at least where I drive), so I figured it was a "local" business but probably at least 20 minutes away from where I live. And I'm lazy.
But not that lazy. I can't believe the freaking store is 5 minutes from my house. I am going to go there tomorrow and see if I can find The Girl another birthday gift. What an asshole.