See Christian and Lola's ISR video!

Friday, May 31, 2013

No preschool graduation ceremony? Excuse me while I whine about it.

It's been a whole week that Christian has been out of school.

It's been a whole week since he GRADUATED preschool.

I am emphasizing the word GRADUATED because I've been seeing and hearing about all these cute little cap and gown ceremonies happening all over the place for little girls and boys - special needs and non special needs. All different states and cities, too. 

At first I was slightly annoyed because Christian's preschool didn't really acknowledge any kind of graduation or promotion to kindergarten. At least nothing that I knew of.

[I know. Big deal, right?]

But after realizing a lot of those preschool kids won't be returning to that school, Christian included, and after seeing all kinds of acknowledgement of the importance of a graduating from preschool, ESPECIALLY from a special needs preschool class, I was a little more than slightly annoyed.

Is this going to make or break Christian? No.

Is this really going to ruin our lives? No.

It just sucks! 

I wish there had been a graduation! Because those kids, MY KID, deserves a graduation!

Okay, yes, I have a thing for celebration. And I'm not blaming anyone or discounting his entire preschool experience. Not at all. 

I'm just being a whiny mom. And I'm not that mad. I'm mad in the Man, that sucks! fashion, rather than the Someone needs to pay! fashion.

But this is the thing. He was there for two years. TWO YEARS. His very first two years of school ever! And he won't be going back to that school again. He's going to a new school. I know a lot of parents are thinking, "What's the big deal? They'll have other, more important graduations." How many graduations will Christian have? And what will they look like? I don't know. But I felt like preschool deserved one. That's all.

My mom said, "Oh, well. He'll get a kindergarten graduation." 

Probably. But it's not the same.

Reminder: I'm just whining. No offense to anyone, his teacher, the principal, or whoever made the decision not to commemorate the milestone of preschool graduation.

I'm not dwelling. Just living vicariously through other Momma friends of mine whose children had miniature preschool graduations. 

We're all proud of you, Christian! And for your next opportunity to graduate from something, I'm going to make a big, stinkin' deal out of it!

[End whining.]

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last Day of Preschool

It's the eve of Christian's last day of preschool and I'm baking.

It's for the teachers and the aids. I have no idea what's an appropriate gift for someone who's cared and nurtured your child for almost two years now. So she gets cookies? It's all I got. And it's not just the teacher, Christian had a team of equally important people who had faith and belief in him every day. People who loved on him, talked to him, cared about him, and got excited for him when he did something new.

So everyone is getting sweets with some kind of chocolatey influence. Because that's what I do for people I appreciate. I bake. And just like the very first IEP meeting where I baked for everyone and it didn't quite come out right, it's happening again. Eh, full circle, right?

We went to the zoo on Saturday for end of the year preschool fun. Some of Christian's classmates were there and so was his teacher and an aid of his. Some of the kids came over to say hello and then they were off to feed the giraffe and to see the elephants. I wasn't sure if everyone was sticking together but it was hot and a little chaotic with all the little bodies so we went on our way to see what we wanted to see. And when I say "we" I mean Lola.

It was pretty representative of this point of transition for Christian. We've been in this safe, little bubble - his preschool class. Where everyone loves him. But outside of the class, those kids want to run and play. And Christian can't exactly do that on his own. So we make our own way.

That's no different than the safe bubble of our home and our family. It's business as usual here but as soon as we step outside we're reminded that things are different. And we'll need to make our own way.

But it has been a beautiful two years of preschool. We started out thinking Christian wouldn't be able to handle typical kids yelling and bouncing all over him. But now he loves it. He really loves being around other kids. No big deal if they're banging toys around or yelling hello in his face. He is totally down with it.

I think Christian is more okay with bursting out of the bubble than we are. And who says he can't run and play?

Monday, May 13, 2013

They Made Me Momma.

It's Mother's Day!

I became a mother almost fifteen years ago. I can't even believe I will have a fifteen year old.

But here it is...the first picture of me as a Momma, circa 1998.

Isaac Gabriel initiated me into motherhood. He is my first and I didn't realize he was only just the beginning of what would prepare me for later. I was driven because of him. He was such a chill kid. He wasn't the kid that gets into everything, screams in the store, throws tantrums. He was always laid back and down for anything. He was the easiest little boy. I would pay for that later with Lola.

 photo SANY0475.jpg

Christian Andres was 9 pounds at 39 weeks. When this picture was taken I didn't like it. I thought I looked fat and I had no makeup on. Christian was probably only a few days old here. But now? That's one of my favorite pictures. Big boobs, double chin, no makeup. But it's just me and just him. I love it.

Christian has shown me what it is to love a child so much it literally hurts. He has been my greatest teacher showing me a side of motherhood I was blind to before him.

And then there's "little" Lola. "Little" Lola Magdalene has a giant personality. She is crazy, loud sunlight. She brought joy to us when we needed it most. And I don't have a single picture of me holding her in her first days. Chalk it up to me not having a smart phone at the time so I couldn't take a hundred mommy-baby selfies added with having a toddler with severe special needs and a teenager. 

Anywho, remember me mentioning Gabe being so easy and relaxed? Lola makes up for all that. She is constant energy, exploration, loud noises, and she's so cute I can't even stand it most days.

These descriptions are merely snippets of all they really are. But they made me. They're the best thing I've ever done and the best thing I will ever do.


Crossposting from Momma Candy.

Monday, May 6, 2013

ISR - It's that time again.

I just finished up Lola's registration for her ISR refreshers.

So, naturally, it's that time of year where I must express how important ISR is for children.

If you'd like to hear the whole story and what brought us to ISR, why Lola does ISR, and why I'm so passionate about it, watch the video above. If you feel compelled to donate to the ISR scholarship fund, please do so. You will save lives.

It's getting warmer, which brings the potential for playing in the water and pool time. I could go on about what an amazing program ISR is and how it has saved lives and will save lives. I could tell you that ISR is NOT simply a swimming lesson. It's a SELF RESCUE program, teaching children to save themselves if they fall in any body of water be it a pool, a pond, or a fountain.

I could brag on Lola learning to float at the age of six months old, screaming almost all the way because she's a screamer. I could also tell you that it really didn't bother me because a screaming child isn't a drowning child because drowning is silent.

I could go on. But instead I'm going to tell you about a three year old little girl that died yesterday. She drowned at a family get together.

This particular story, being one of the first drownings of the season, punched me in the stomach a little harder than most. I think maybe because I was watching it on our local news and I just gave a story to that very channel featuring the story. Additionally, this network runs an entire series every summer about water safety.

But then I remembered that many people, maybe even hundreds see our story or stories on the news and don't really think about it after the fact because it could never happen to them or their child. Because they watch their child. It's okay. That's what I thought, too.

This thing about "spreading the word" makes us feel better but I'm not sure it can really connect unless you accept that human error is a real thing that nobody of which nobody is immune.

The news story that accompanied the piece about the drowning death interviewed another woman who spoke about her child almost drowning (thankfully, the child turned out to be okay) and it happening surrounded by adults at the pool. Her child simply slipped under the water. Silently. The news story finished up suggesting that sometimes too many adults around the pool gives a false sense of security because everyone thinks everyone else is watching the children.

So therein lies the mission I'm on to spread the word about ISR. There is human error in this world, people. It's with me, it's with you, it's with us all. Despite knowing about barriers, despite knowing CPR, all it takes is a minute. Maybe the same minute you reply to a facebook status or read this blog post.

Consider giving your child the skill of saving themselves no matter what happens. Barriers can fail - children are crafty and can get over and under barriers - adults supervision can lapse, floating devices can deflate.

I'm not saying all of the above mentioned methods of water safety aren't important. Please, don't misunderstand me.

I'm just saying consider giving your child the skill to save themselves no matter what.

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