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Dingo Bells, Dingo Bells, Dingo all the Way!!!! - Page 5

post #81 of 213

So, my browser crapped out twice, mid-post. Third time is a charm, right? Off to the test this morning.

 

I had let some crap sneak into my food choices the past week or so, and it occurred to me yesterday that (I know, duh) that probably had to do with the lameness I'm feeling. So I cleaned it up, walked to the special grocery where I get jerky and the good coconut milk, and made the most decadent burgers on portobello mushroom "buns." Kids got real buns, suckers. :wink

 

I got out late for my 5 miles so it was a walk, not a run. Humidity and air quality are an issue once the sun is up and the cars are all out zooming, so it was a wheezy walk, but still very nice. I tried our gym room after--walked up the 7 flights instead of the lift--but it was a million degrees, there was a dude there, and no free weights. I will try again earlier in a morning and use the weight machine when it's cooler or no one is there and I can block open the door. Tonight, park yoga.

 

I blew up yesterday over the usual long-simmering stuff (mostly housekeeping but it's about the underlying issues that lead to housekeeping problems). I reminded them of the differences between rights and privileges, the role that responsibilities play in earning privileges, and what I expect. I set a timer. I will set that timer every day, and they will spend 15 minutes cleaning their rooms, their bathroom, and straightening behind themselves in the house. It worked great. Of course, dh is out of the country. Everything works great without interference.

 

Anyway. Once I am done with today, I have a couple admin things to do, and then just to wait for spring to roll around. And write my brains out in the meantime. And fight for the time and space to write.

post #82 of 213
Sparkle, I think you win for fitness goal- a monthly or biweekly massage might be the wisest goal I can think of.

Jo, I hope the housework habit is sustained, and the food habits, too.

Plady, hooray for the bag for home practice smile.gif

real, congrats on the editing work.

Today we had an all day faculty curriculum planning meeting with our affiliate for the new job. It was good to connect with other instructors, despite one awkward moment with the instructor I'm co-teaching with next semester when she introduced herself (we've met a few times before, when I taught in the LPN program) thinking I was new faculty at the affiliate. My jacket was covering most of my name tag, so I had to explain who I was (we've exchanged a couple emails last week). Awkward...
post #83 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

Everything works great without interference.
So very true!

Mel38--preschool has a huge impact on kids from disadvantaged household, but not so much for middle-class kids, largely because the preschool experience can hep make up the difference, so to speak. Kids in disadvantaged households are less likely to have books available, to go to the library, to be read to as frequently, they tend not to be exposed to as many words, have fewer experiences like going to the zoo, etc. A quality preschool program also has lifelong effects for those populations: they're less likely to be in prison, more likely to have a job, more likely to make more money than others from the neighborhood, etc. Planet Money's done some nice podcasts about it here
and here. But yeah, it's also true that there's a huge pressure in K-12 and higher ed for more "rigor," which amounts to pushing students harder and harder, even in regular preschool and definitely once they get to kindergarten, and ignoring developmental stages. I'm not sure what it will accomplish in the end.

sparkle--cool video! Sorry to hear your household has that bug too. A bunch of R's classmates were sick with it this week too.

MelW--yuck, though I've had that experience myself. And might have it again, since my paper was accepted for a spring conference at the university where I'm an affiliate and yet teaching no classes. The paper has a brilliant title. Hopefully it will live up to its title and they'll see what they're missing and give me a couple of classes again....

Plady--hope you enjoy Frozen when it comes out on video.

RR: finally, 4 to report.
post #84 of 213
Oops--double post!
post #85 of 213
Yes, real. And when rigor = volume, I feel like creativity, critical analysis and synthesis are sent to pasture. I've been controlling volume for my kids in their online programs because too often it feels like cramming.

Speaking of (not) cramming, as predicted, I smoked the verbal and did mortifyingly average on the quant. Essays TBA, of course. I am not thrilled to know that my lack of confidence in math is borne out by my scores, but really glad to have maintained the ability to ace the verbal into my 40s. Shwew. Also, only 2 schools asked for the scores in the first place. Tired eyes, but happy to have this morning behind me.

Yoga tonight, and tomorrow I'll get out again.

MelW, I'm sure she was embarrassed. Oops.

sparkle, you do win. I have been "talking" (in my head) about scheduling a massage since we got back here, and just have not done it. Dh did some serious work on my back and shoulders before he left. You guys would love to watch the proceedings; it is ridiculous, with a lot of laughter and even tears. But I am finally getting past some of the tight clicking in one shoulder. I'll probably have it all under control again in time to return to the US for summer.
post #86 of 213

Hi mamas.

 

Congrats, Jo, on smoking the verbal. Who doubted anyway?! You rock. And the quant...well, whatever. :2whistle

 

Mel, hate those awkward moments. I find those kind of situations, where someone embarrasses him/herself to the point you want to crawl under the table/hide excrutiating (sp?). I actually had an experience like that the weekend we went away. My friends whose son became bar mitzvah happen to be friends with a very famous Jewish religious author (who has appeared on Oprah and had his own tv show for a while). He has a rather...ah...forthright...way of speaking and can also be somewhat less than tactful. At the huge dinner we went to for all the out of town guests, everyone stood up to give Zev (the bar mitzvah boy) a quick blessing and say how they know the family, etc. This man went on joking about the town in England my friend is from (she met her husband, who's American, when they were both at Oxford)....but it became really offensive, and her parents were there (and still live in the town). Ugh. Everyone just wanted to disappear.

 

Sparkle, I'm all for massages!

 

School: well, ds' initial eval reports came back. The meeting is today. High risk for ADHD on the exec functioning assessment, and distracted/disruptive behavior (esp. in Judaics...the rebbe/teacher is just not able to adapt or deal with this). Next step, I guess, a full neuropsych workup including IQ etc. I feel overwhelmed, and irrationally like I somehow caused all this through poor parenting (which is the impression I also get from the school). At this point 75% sure we'll be switching him to public, if only to preserve what positive connection he has to Jewish studies because now he is so negative about it (exactly the opposite of what I am trying to achieve by keeping him in yeshiva). :( Worried about other things in public -- larger classes, inflexibility in teachers, emphasis on standardized testing, the inevitable issues that arise when your child can't participate in various things for religious reasons, etc...I don't know. I just don't know. I spent most of yesterday afternoon crying. 

 

RR: Been an active week so far. Swam 1300 yards on Monday when the kids were at the Youth Fitness Gym in the JCC. I got released early yesterday from work for snow, but my kids didn't, so I came home and went for a run in the snow and took some time to meander off into a wooded trail for a few minutes to try and find my center. (Worked but only while I was out). Swam this morning...1000 yards. I finally taught myself today to breathe to the left -- since I was a teenager on swim team I have swum (?) freestyle with breathing every 4th stroke to the right. I realized this is a liability, I should be able to do both, so I practiced every 2 strokes alternating sides today and somehow managed not to drown.

post #87 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
School: well, ds' initial eval reports came back. The meeting is today. High risk for ADHD on the exec functioning assessment, and distracted/disruptive behavior (esp. in Judaics...the rebbe/teacher is just not able to adapt or deal with this). Next step, I guess, a full neuropsych workup including IQ etc. I feel overwhelmed, and irrationally like I somehow caused all this through poor parenting (which is the impression I also get from the school). At this point 75% sure we'll be switching him to public, if only to preserve what positive connection he has to Jewish studies because now he is so negative about it (exactly the opposite of what I am trying to achieve by keeping him in yeshiva). :( Worried about other things in public -- larger classes, inflexibility in teachers, emphasis on standardized testing, the inevitable issues that arise when your child can't participate in various things for religious reasons, etc...I don't know. I just don't know. I spent most of yesterday afternoon crying. 
 

 

Sorry that things are feeling overwhelming. But no, nono02.gif not poor parenting. If the school is putting that impression out there, just ... no.

 

That does sound like a big change. How does your DS feel about it, have you been discussing it with him at all?

 

Oh, and by the way, congratulations on becoming a bi-lateral breather :D

post #88 of 213

Jo: :twothumbs on the test. Now it is done. And pretty much the only thing I can see you using math for is computing students' grades. But you're talking low residency anyhow....

 

Nic: I'm sorry to hear you are stressed out. A dx does not make for a bad parent. Finding a workaround (what you're doing) is a good parent. You're trying to figure out how to make it all work. It'll be stressful and suck at times, but you'll get past it.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
 At this point 75% sure we'll be switching him to public, if only to preserve what positive connection he has to Jewish studies because now he is so negative about it (exactly the opposite of what I am trying to achieve by keeping him in yeshiva). :( Worried about other things in public -- larger classes, inflexibility in teachers, emphasis on standardized testing, the inevitable issues that arise when your child can't participate in various things for religious reasons, etc...I don't know. I just don't know. I spent most of yesterday afternoon crying. 

 

Can I pry a bit?  I'm hoping you can enlighten me and I'm not trying to ask to be rude. I grew up Catholic, essentially converted to Lutheran and now mostly am nonpracticing anything. So ignore if you don't want to talk about it.  But what does this entail:   "your child can't participate in various things for religious reasons"      ? I'm hopeful that you tell me something that I can be aware of in the spirit of "inclusive excellence"  when planning stuff at school and at work. 

 

And also:  I think it all depends in public school on what you've got.  My own experiences with my kids:  big classes (yuck), some emphasis on testing (but it isn't the whole deal) and amazing flexibility in most teachers.  Really it might be because we're not at the school that the uber wealthy put their kids in (either open enrollment or because they live in the district), but my kids have overall had a really good experience thus far. If I were doing it all over, I might have enrolled my kids in the Catholic school. Maybe. It would have been perfect (I guess minus religious education) for my youngest. But my husband is very anti-catholic education (go figure, he grew up in a very Catholic area of the Cleveland suburbs, as a Lutheran).

 

No exercise, save for getting the roof rake out.


(Lots of snow + underinsulated attic = melting snow. Melting snow runs down the roof and pools in the gutters. eventually the ice chunk backs up and becomes what we call and ice dam)


And we have the icicles forming now. So I spent about 10 minutes this morning working with the roof rake -- it's on a looooong pole. So I stood on my back deck, and worked overhead on the second story.  We haven't used it in 7 years, since we moved to the 2 story house.

 

Now I could complain about the cold. But I don't want to complain too much. Suffice to say I'm irritated:  the washer fluid in the car is frozen, the ice melter on the sidewalk won't work. It's too cold to ski. And I could go on.   Here's hoping that it is significantly warmer tomorrow. Today's high is not predicted to get above 0F.  Thank goodness my children went to school.  They'll have inside recess, but it would have been a serious mess if they stayed home for cold.  Although I did drop off a few extra mittens at school with the office staff, asking them to send them home on children who came with no mittens. :cold

post #89 of 213
kerc - thatks for those visuals! Your weather sounds totally miserable. Tonight we're going down to 1*, but that's nothing compared to what you've got!

Nic - I'm sorry to hear about your school difficulties with DS. I hope the additional testing can shed some more light on the issue. And a bigs thumbs down to his current school for pplacing the blame on the parents greensad.gif.

jooj - congrats on the test being done and I wouldn't worry too much about the quantititative score. We all knew you'd rock the verbal thumb.gif!

sparkle - the 9-10 agegroup is tough in swimming too. It's tough when they're up against so much good competition.

real - I totally agree with your assessment of preschool, particularly for low income children. As I've seen far too many times in the library, there are many children who come to kindergarten with minimal exposure to books, stories, or even themes that are not related to TV/movies.

Speaking of which, a kindergartener story. On Monday, I was helping a little boy find a book. He didn't want ANYTHING I suggested, so I asked what he likes to play at home (looking for an idea there). His response - "Grand Theft Auto" and "Call of Duty"! Really? He ended up with a Clifford book shrug.gif.
post #90 of 213

Kerc, mainly the exclusion would revolve around food (has to be kosher which sometimes presents an obstacle at school parties, events, etc.), events on Saturdays (birthday parties, etc.), and 'holidays' we don't really do (Halloween, Valentine's Day). Also it means having kind of in-depth discussions with parents whose homes he wants to go to for playdates regarding food, etc. and also certain kinds of media I don't really allow (shows, violent video games, etc.) which other people tend to think is fine. 

 

:o

post #91 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
 

Kerc, mainly the exclusion would revolve around food (has to be kosher which sometimes presents an obstacle at school parties, events, etc.), events on Saturdays (birthday parties, etc.), and 'holidays' we don't really do (Halloween, Valentine's Day). Also it means having kind of in-depth discussions with parents whose homes he wants to go to for play dates regarding food, etc. and also certain kinds of media I don't really allow (shows, violent video games, etc.) which other people tend to think is fine. 


FWIW:  It isn't unique to religion. We have a friend who has a kid with celiac. Mom provides a box of "treats"  and whenever there's something that goes on at school involving treats the teacher can toss one to Alex. No sweat. Minnesota is lovely in that everything that's served at school has to be baked in a professional bakery. So there's no homemade cupcakes, etc.  Anyhow, my own kid is very good friends with Alex and has just become aware that he can't share food. Mostly (here anyhow) kids move on and it isn't all about treats. Halloween, Valentines, etc. I don't have experience with how to deal with, other than there are kids who participate at school and not at home and also there's a kid in dd2's class who gets picked up on days they do class parties.

 

Re media:  I don't really watch shows, video games, etc. My kids don't play those things with their friends when they go over (as far as I know).  They clearly know what our expectations are and as far as I know, its no big deal. But then again, my kids have really fun friends. We lay out expectations and when other kids ask about something like a sleepover, I'll call the mom and ask about movies, etc.  My dd2 is still too little to sleep over though.

 

Thanks for sharing. 

post #92 of 213

I'm sorry if what I posted was offensive or parochial. I am really sorry.

post #93 of 213
nic~I didn't see anything remotely offensive or parochial. You have legitimate concerns as far as public school goes. I can definitely see the parties being a problem, because for as much as they claim to make them non-religious at our public school, inevitably the fall "harvest" party does in fact become a halloween party and the winter "holiday" party ends up being 90% (at least) about Christmas. hug.gif

I am over the cold here, too. Although it has warmed up a little bit, at least. Yesterday I was almost warm walking to pick DS up from the bus stop. We went to the Zoo Lights last night and it was in the 30's at the time and actually felt relatively warm. This morning was frigid again, though, and my track workout was quite quite cold.gif. real~the parade was pretty sparse. We normally get down there around 6 to grab a bite to eat and then are out on the parade route by 6:45 to get our spot. We got down there at 7:45 and still snagged a front row spot. No fighting with people to keep them from crowding us out this year, either. orngtongue.gif

I think I'm finally getting sick. I can't believe it took me this long. Especially since DS has brought home a cold at least twice so far this year and C was fighting one off for pretty much the entire last month of his ironman training. You would think that marathon training would have done it to me, but apparently, my body needed time to recover before letting the germs take over. rolleyes.gif Not too bad so far, mostly just some sinus drainage, but I just have a bad feeling about it...and I have so much to do that I really don't have time for it. I work the next two nights, we have the holiday party for the tri club on Friday night, a cookie exchange party on Saturday, gifts to buy, cleaning and laundry to do, need to start packing for our trip back to Ohio. Still need to take DS to see Santa and get our Christmas card picture taken and cards put together and printed and mailed out. Sigh. Too much to do, not enough time to do it in.

rr~Track this morning...we ran in the park instead of at the track since the track is still snow-covered. It ended up being quarter-mile repeats, more or less, with planking and lunges and other fun stuff thrown in for good measure.
post #94 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
 

I'm sorry if what I posted was offensive or parochial. I am really sorry.


oh gosh. no. I was trying to point out you aren't alone. Public school, non religious families experience (and get through) lots and lots of these same issues. I'm sorry if I offended you by how I posted.

post #95 of 213
Thread Starter 
Nic - I agree with Kerc; not offensive at all, and there is a lot of that watchfulness by many parents at public school for all kinds of reasons, to the extent that our school (albeit charter) does not allow celebration of Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc. redface.gif It's kinda extreme, but I get it. So sorry about the overwhelm and sadness due to this challenge. It is a process, for better and worse. You dont have to figure it all out this week, or this month! These pop-up adds sure dont help irked.gif
post #96 of 213

Kerc, I wasn't offended. I was sad that maybe I inadvertently caused aggravation. I am having a very, very fragile emotional day.

 

The meeting was more or less exactly what I expected. High correlation results on testing (ANSWER, BRIEF, BASC-2, Conners-3, Vanderbilt) for ADHD Combined and possible ODD (which I doubt, as I think those issues are sensory at heart, which was not tested). Functional Behavior results were an observation of disruptive, ill-adaptive, sometimes disrespectful, attention-seeking behavior mostly in the Judaics portion of the day (which is more rote, group-response lessons and less self-directed or structured work). :( The OT and IQ/academic screenings haven't come back yet but he's "very, very bright." So obviously I have to follow up with a real expert (what kind of doctor?) for an ADHD screen and someone who can tease out all these combined issues (is giftedness and ill-adaption to a boring class environment exacerbating underlying ADHD? Sensory issues? Is the ADHD driving everything else? It makes me go :dizzy). 

 

Plus the emphasis on "classroom modifications" which are essentially "how do we get him to sit down, sit still, shut up, and do what he's told?" make me gloomy.gif and banghead.gif.

 

So, feeling quite defeated at the moment, and knowing I have to pull on the big girl mama-goes-to-war armor and get started. The question is, what next?!

post #97 of 213

Nic - :Hug I'm sorry about all this mama.

 

Jo - Congrats on your tests!  

 

Kerc - :cold I'm all for below freezing weather but yikes.  That was super cool of you to send in extra mittens.

 

Gaye - Feel better soon! 

 

MelW - Well, at least the awkward came from her end of the conversation!  :p 

 

JayGee - Kindergartners today I tell you....

 

Ack!  My cat won't stop walking across my keyboard to stick her pantsless butt in my face!  :irked

 

RR; None today.  Missed a few hours of sleep last night due to an overactive brain.  But at least I had an hour or so of nothing pressing today.

post #98 of 213

Plady, all cats should wear pants in the house. I have been saying this for 20 years. :p

 

Nic, kerc's point is a good one; I would say, in many districts, things are improving. At the same time, having been that mom, I know that it's such an insidious thing that a lot of people don't see the way Christian holidays pervade even curricular work, even in public schools. I got to be that mom, reminding every teacher, no meat--not just no pork, but no meat. We don't do Christmas trees, so the ornament project? The Santa face with cottonballs? The holiday concert (they've added Kwanzaa and Chanukkah...). And since music class is devoted for more than a month to prepping for the concert, my kids would sit it out and do something else. In the principal's office. Our holidays aren't national ones, so we have to take days off school to celebrate. And we're loose, so we only deal in this with Christmas and Easter, not the other holidays that seem to serve as the cultural structure for the curricular calendar.

 

It can be frustrating. Depending on who the other classroom parents are, it can be a barrier, too. I got lucky and ds had a schoolfriend whose mom is a wonderful lady, and dd had one Jewish classmate. It helps to have more than one oddball.

 

All that said, you can do it. You start by informing the teacher at the beginning of the year, and a few weeks before holidays come around (yours or theirs), you revisit. Notes help; teachers are busy, as you know, but they mostly do read. Also, by communicating, you might quickly find out who else in grade level is like you. (Ask the school. We were one of 2 Muslim families in the student body, the others were Levantine and more about assimilating, so my "battles" were new.) You always congratulate people on their holiday before reminding them it's not yours. You offer to bring in a treat and do a special presentation for important holy days in your calendar. You're nice, and you're firm about Easter bunny and basket projects.

 

If the school can offer the right environment (looking at charters?), and ds gets whatever interventions he needs right now, then it is worth it. The first year involves a lot of dread if you don't really love advocating, but soon it's no big deal.

 

Another question I had regarding a dx for ds (I think you would want a psych?): you are celiac. I know you're swimming upstream in terms of family diet, but what if ds did a monthlong experiment where he eats just the same thing Mom does? :innocent Or you approach it like a project with him, give him the constraints (couched carefully in the language he responds best to), and ask him to help you make it happen?

 

Just thoughts. Best with salt. Possibly also tequila and lime, but I wouldn't know.

 

Yoga was wonderful. About 10 minutes into every yoga class I do, I ask myself why I don't do it more. So I am signed up for Saturday night on the beach.

 

Also, I heard back from one of my letter-writers with feedback on the story I sent in with my app, and that made me feel good, like maybe I should work more on it and submit somewhere.

 

Heading out for 6 or so miles after I have my coffee.

post #99 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

But my husband is very anti-catholic education (go figure, he grew up in a very Catholic area of the Cleveland suburbs, as a Lutheran).
Probably because he was Lutheran. wink1.gif Also, the Catholic school kids were snobs. In high school, we laughed about this because we were 99% sure our public high school was kicking their behinds when it came to ACT and SAT scores. The Catholic high school wouldn't release their average scores and ours were, of course, public knowledge. The only explanation was that theirs were lower. Ha! to all those parents shelling out thousands to send their kids to a school that got worse results, simply so they could say they were at a private school.

Loved the diagrams of ice dams. Speaking of which--one formed on Clear Creek in Golden and then broke loose and there were flood warnings last night. The river rose 3 feet in 15 minutes, so they were evacuating a few low-lying areas in the canyon. The water's been high since it flooded in September, and the cold snap exacerbated existing conditions.

1jooj--yay for rocking the verbal!

Nic--fwiw, it sounds like there are no easy answers and anything will be a trade-off. That sounds horrible, but maybe it also makes it easier, yk? Maybe at School X, you have to worry about the food and activities, but he's better accommodated and appropriately challenged, whereas at School Y, they're not appreciating him for who he is even if you don't have to worry about religion, and at School Z, yet another set of factors might come into play. Some of the cultural stuff might really depend on the school. We had been having a Fall party rather than a Halloween party, though that changed this year because someone really, really, really likes Halloween and made it a crusade (or so I suspect). She's very involved. This annoys me a great deal and we had at least one family keep their child home, iirc. R's class had been really good about keeping the party fall-themed with no Halloween stuff, but I know some other parents would just break out the Halloween stuff regardless. Our Winter party should be winter-themed (we do Christmas but we don't do Santa and I get more sick of the Santa hype with each passing year) and I just posted the sign-up sheet for GF, DF treats and "normal" ones, with a request that people label if it's GF, DF or not. (Our teacher is GF, and I want everyone to be able to enjoy the treats.) I think my ability to put the dietary requests in writing is why I like controlling the sign-up list. :P Then again, I find working with the other parents at school about a billion times easier than dealing with my in-laws and the "we do not eat milk products" issue. It's all context, isn't it? I really hope you can find a situation that's the best of all possible worlds.

tjsmama--feel better! There's a ton of stuff going around, thanks to the stupid cold weather. I'm so. over. it.
post #100 of 213
another double post. sigh.
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