Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Camp Out!

Sawyer got to experience his first overnight camping trip last weekend for Memorial Day.
We met the Johnson's at Nemo Landing at Pomme de Terre where they camp every year with their family and some family friends. They have it down to a science with a cool little set up and awesome camp fire meals. It was Megan's birthday weekend too, so we celebrating that as well. We borrowed our friend Nick's pop-up camper because sleeping in a tent at 8 months pregnant didn't sound too enjoyable. Sawyer loved the pop-up! We luckily had great weather Friday and Saturday but it stormed Saturday night into Sunday morning. That didn't stop Sawyer from having a blast though. Him and Elliot had a hay day in the rain, splashing in puddles and playing in the water table. This trip was also the first time he experiences s'mores, a new favorite.  He was so pooped he fell asleep Saturday night at 7:30 PM and slept until the morning and when we got back he took a 4-hour nap! He is already asking when we get to go camping again!

 See all our pictures here:

Let's Go!

Our home for the weekend
Loves his lantern he got from his godparents Megan & Tim
story time camping-style
morning wagon ride with Elliot
Dominoes with the ladies

First tine making s'mores with daddy 

boat ride
going for a walk
playing on the playground with Auntie Trina

prepping for Fry Night
Guys frying up dinner
lots of kiddos!

Happy Birthday Megan!!!
Card Against Humanity fun!
Here comes the rain
Birthday Girl sandwich!
Puddle jumping
Elliot loves it too!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekend in Pictures: Mother's Day

I had another wonderful Mother's Day thanks to my fabulous boys and family. Saturday was the Victim Center Mother Daughter brunch I help organize as a Board Member. My mother, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and John's Aunt and cousin all attended. We had a wonderful time and it was great to have them there supporting me and the Victim Center.

After the brunch, John's family came to our house for a BBQ to celebrate Mother's Day and Derrick's birthday.

Sunday my boys surprised me with a hand-painted card and new Toms. We enjoyed our usual tradition of breakfast at Gailey's and then played at the park. That night we celebrated with a BBQ at my parent's house.

Grandma snuggles are the best

Happy Birthday Derrick!
Uncle Rob & Cousin Kaiden
Kisses for the birthday boy

Grandpa tickles!
Cheese with Aunt Cindy
All the boys with their mommas
Sawyer snuggling with his baby brother
Baseball fun at the park
Look at that form!
Sawyer made Grandma cookies

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Mommy Boast Post with an attempt to not brag

I am going to try my best not to be "that mom" and be too boastful, but as a parent sometimes you just have to go out and brag on your kid. I honestly hate doing that because it makes me uncomfortable but I just can't help it this time. John and I have been very close-lipped about Sawyer's talents because it just sounds like bragging..."My kid is the best", "he does everything perfect," blah, blah. But I am learning that while our son may be advanced, it isn't as amazing as one might think. We have actually had to adjust our parenting skills and seek expert help to just make sure he is challenged in order to funnel his energy appropriately.

With that being said, I type this blog for two reason:
1. to hopefully provide tips to help other parents who have a gifted child and help them adjust and fit in.
2. to, well honestly, brag on our little guy about his recent accomplishment

I will start with the education portion of my blog 
Sawyer has always been advanced verbally, communicating, and talking at a very early age. We thought this was so amazing but quickly started to realized those terrible two's and three's that parents talk about came much sooner for him due to his ability to understand and negotiate. His school also was having issues with him acting out unexpectedly in strange ways (throwing food or toys, running off, etc.). We met to discuss ideas and started working with his teachers to figure out a solution. We also worked closely with his Parents as Teachers rep for more suggestions. 

What really helped us understand was when his school brought in an Inclusion Specialist from United 4 Children. She monitored him over a few weeks and developed an Action Plan. It discussed his strengths, concerns, and made suggestions on strategies for the classroom and home. She noticed like most boys, Sawyer sometimes uses physical means to get his needs met. While he is very verbal, he needs guidance to respond with words rather than what comes naturally.  He also tests boundaries and craves them, but is also in need of control of his surroundings. She noticed he has frequent power struggles. She was so helpful and called and discussed every area of the action plan and what she saw.

John and I have been incorporating her suggestions at home and have seen an improvement. She recommended using misbehavior as an opportunity to teach alternatives and more effective ways of responding and remain unemotional when dealing with a power struggle.  She said we should give two positive choices for Sawyer to choose from within the limits that we need and if he does not choose, we should have a backup plan (such as telling him we will choose for him etc.)  Redirect behaviors rather than punish and give Sawyer the appropriate words to say when dealing with conflicts.

This to me really hit home:
Challenging behaviors serve a purpose for the child. It is important that we realize that it is not personal though at times it may feel personal! Our job is to state the behavior without emotion and then help them take steps to rectify it. Once the incident is done it is important to move forward, not bringing it back up again. 
Bringing it back up only reaffirms the belief that…
1.  The behavior was not forgiven
2.  That the behavior has power  

She sent some very helpful videos I wanted to share in case another parent is encountering any of these problems at home.

The CALM Technique & Child Brain Development

Trauma, Brain, and Relationship: Helping Child Heal

Ted Talk: Settle Down, Pay Attention, Say Thank You:

And the second part of my blog is my boast post
Because of Sawyer’s need for new challenges, his school contacted me last week about moving him to preschool early. Normally they move them in the fall around the age of 4 so they are ready to move to PreK the fall before they start kindergarten. Sawyer is now just 3 years 3 months. Of course, we were 100% on board because we knew this would give him an opportunity to flourish. Sawyer was probably the most excited and as soon as they told him, he talked about it every day, sharing with everyone he saw.  The Preschool class made him an adorable book to prepare him for his first day, he read it all weekend (had it memorized after the first night). They also made him a welcome sign on their door. On the way to school today, he couldn’t stop talking about it and I could hear him in the backseat, “I start preschool today”, “I am getting so big”, “Daddy is going to pick me up and I am going to tell him all about my day in the preschool room”. I wanted to cry it was so cute.

Today was his first day and his teacher planned to allow for a couple hours in the preschool room and then send him back to his 2s room to transition him but ended up keeping him all day because he loved it so much. Miss Lindsey called me at the end of the day and said there was no way she was going to make him do the original transition plan because he told her, "I am not going back into the 2s room tomorrow." Because he did so well, we decided he is officially moved over. She said he was on "green" all day (based on their stoplight system of behavior) and was very well behaved.

I am so excited for him in this new classroom, and I can’t believe he is getting so big. Not only will this give him opportunity to grow but is a great way to transition him before his little brother arrives this summer. 

Here are some of the adorable pictures from his first day. Thanks to his teachers Lindsey and Rachel for sending me updates and pictures to commemorate!

Reading the book from his new classmates
As he says, "My favorite page"
The cute banner they made him
Outside time
Sweet friends making him feel at home

Enjoying lunch
Art projects
You can't tell he loves it, right? 

Sent him home with a little story about his day