Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ella video

My next couple of posts will be about Ella's 18 months that she spent at Spokane Guild's School and Neuromuscular Center. It is such an amazing place and they did wonderful things for my baby girl. (As most of you know I am incredibly lucky to be working there now!!) Anyhow, I guess I'll start at the end just because I am really anxious to share this video of Ella at her last "circle time" in school.

It is really incredible that she is actually participating in the songs. For several months she was "too cool" in her own mind to do these songs and when told to do the motions she would say "nooooooo."

Well here she is, and the cutie next to her is her beau Riley!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1st day of school

It's probably a good thing that I am such a slacker and didn't post these on Tuesday or yesterday....I would have said a lot of ugly things along with it!

Anyhow, Tuesday was the first day of school here in Spokane Valley. Hunter, my big 5 year old guy, started Kindergarten!! I can NOT believe it, how is it that I can have a Kindergartner????? I did not think that I would be SOOOO emotional when I dropped Hunter off at school. At the age of 3 Hunter atteneded public preschool (available for all kids in Texas) for a half day, 5 days a week and this past school year he atteneded a fabulous Montessori School 3 full days a week. He is SO smart and SOOOO social so I had/have no doubts that he is completly ready for 5 full days of Kindergarten, so I wasn't worried about him (I had met his teacher who is very sweet, young and hip, and seems like she will be a lot of fun, a perfect match for Hunter.) But, for whatever reason, standing on the playground watching him line up with his class I started SOBBING, seriously boo-hooing. It was pitiful, luckily I was wearing my sunglasses and standing far enough away from Hunter that he didn't notice so he wouldn't be totally embarrassed by his crazy mother!! Anyhow, he had a great day just like I knew he would!!!! Here is the handsome guy.

checking it all out

Walking into the school
Boo hoo hoo hoo

My little Ella on the other hand, you know my little 33 inch tall spitfire, I was not so sure was ready for this school thing. (Ok, really I knew that she would be fine and think it was fun, but I knew that I am not ready for this for her.) Ella is in an ECAP (I don't know what it stands for, but it's like HeadStart) class with 17 other children, only one other that I know of with special needs. She is half the size of the other children, the youngest (she made the b-day cutoff by one day) and of course essentially non-verbal. We met Ella's teacher at the open house last week, I was SO NOT impressed. The teacher bent down, said hi to Ella and then walked out of the classroom to greet some people she knew in the hallway, it was pretty crazy there but she did not attempt at all to talk with me any further. Doesn't she know that Ella's mother is neurotic and scared to death of leaving my baby with people I don't know for 2 1/2 hours a day, and also that I have very HIGH expectations of what goes on with my baby. Hmph!! Anyhow, 1st day of school we show up, the teacher has NO SMILES for any of the kids (really when you work with 3 to 5 years olds isn't it a requirement that you like kids???) no "it'll be okay mom," for me (Hunter's teacher was assuring all of the parents, and she was having a crazy morning too) no "is she potty trained? Did you bring diapers? No nothing except go hang up your backpack and stand in line to wash your hands for breakfast. Um, yeah pretty sure Ella needed to be shown what to do no worries I did it, although I definetly think I was getting stink eye for being in there. Then Ella goes to wash her hands and even while standing on the stool still can not reach the water, this is not looking good to me. The room starts filling up rather quickly so I back out and plan to watch from the door, suddenly the door closes and there is a curtain over the window in the door. AAAAAHHHHH!! Of course I started crying and had to leave the building. When I pick her up the kids are being shoved out the door with their backpacks on, I asked the aide "how did she do?" her response "she's so cute!!" Really???? Great. That's just why I want her to go to school, so she can be cute. So we get in the van and I say "Ella what did you do at school today?" she says "cool" which is her way of saying school. Great, I have NO IDEA what my baby did for 2 1/2 hours.

Yesterday I worked and so Chris took Ella to school and picked her up. He said that he was not impressed and that her teacher seemed like a b***h to him, which for him to notice anything really says something. So last night I was going through my options in my head. I could yank her out of school and keep her at home, BUT Ella does so well learning from other kids and really needs the social aspect of school plus I LOVE my job (you know, I work at a school for kids 0-3 and I like to smile at them because I like them, ha ha) and just take Ella into the school for her therapies. I could try her in the Montessori Preschool that Hunter went to last year, but I'm not so sure that she is old enough for that yet, they demand a bit more from the kids and it is very individual driven which I'm sure they would help her but then there is the cost of that (we already pay for Hunter to attend full-day Kindergarten because he needs it : ) plus I would still have to take her to the public school for her therapies. I could always ask to change teachers, which is still a huge possibility. Anyhow I had a pretty restless night because all this was swimming through my head. (Which by the way, I failed to mention that I decided to wean myself off of my anti-depressant, long-story, but this was obviously NOT a good time, too much change going on so I now cry at the drop of a hat!!) So this morning I take Ella into school, preparing for battle or at least to schedule a meeting with the teacher, and much to my surprise the teacher smiled at Ella. I know, maybe not important to most but is to me!! She told Ella, "go hang up your backpack and then go in to wash your hands so you can eat." So, Ella heads over to her little locker by herself (knows which one is hers, they have a pic of her above it) of course I have to help her hang her bag up cause she can't reach that high and then she heads right for the other room to wash her hands. The aide has to pick her up to reach the water and the teacher says to me "we ordered a stool with another step so she can reach." Ok great. So she does notice my kid, this is a step in the right direciton. Then when I pick her up the special ed teacher in charge of Ella's case says "I've never met a 3 year old so ready for school. Good job getting her ready," and tells me that Ella already knows the routine and does what the other kids are doing. So, I definetly feel a ton better today. Still not overly enthused but better. Whew. Here are the pics of Ella....
Ella is in love with her backpack. She calls it "blehbleh." It is SO cute, I'll have to record her saying it!!
Here she is walking into school. Yes, I know her backpack is as big as her.
They are required to bring "full size" backpacks.
"Hurry up mom!!!"
Here she is in front of her little locker
And here she is waiting for no doubt her favorite part of school, breakfast!
Stay tuned for posts about Ella's last day at the Guild School (along with some REALLY cute video) and a ton of pics from our trip to Georgia!!!