Parent-Teacher Conference

We had our first one for #1 Son last night.

I would be lying if I hadn’t been approaching it with at least a modicum of trepidation.

But honestly? It was amazing.

They have kept such good notes on his progress, both educationally and behaviourally.

He is improving. Slowly, gradually, but it’s visible and it’s there.

Perhaps the most important takeaway?

HE CAN READ!!!!

 

Honestly? I didn’t think he could. I knew he knew his letters, but stringing them into words (at least at home) is something he apparently couldn’t do. I now know it’s wouldn’t.

Busted kiddo 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

He is getting a lot of 1:1 support with the paras during centres, and when that happens he does well. But at the moment he doesn’t have one of his own and he’s one in a class of twenty. So they are trying, gradually, to scale back and seeing what he can cope with.

Basically it’s data gathering to bolster their bid for extra support for him. That will either start or happen next Tuesday at the Special Education meeting.

I am behind them 100% and fully intend to say so. Apparently having parental agreement and support really helps.

I would walk through fire to get him the help he needs, so let’s hope that the relevant professionals are on the sensible side and that I don’t have to go full on mama bear rage mode on them.

Or worse. Be British at them 😂🤣

His teacher also said that cognitively he is exactly where he needs to be. That he’s smart and funny. That he’s kind hearted. He’s also a perfectionist and sensitive.

She’s a true angel she really is.

Pre Thanksgiving

These are children who have spent seven hours in the car travelling from Massachusetts to Connecticut – a journey which ought to have taken 3.5 at most.

We have learned a valuable lesson about travelling on Thanksgiving Eve – don’t do it!!!!

We are staying with family in a beautiful attached guest apartment and I’m really looking forward to our first ever Thanksgiving.

TT is settled in her travel cot and sleeping and it’s only an hour and a half past her bedtime.

The hus-creature is now bringing #1 Son across to settle him down too.

I’ll stay with them til he’s settled too then socialise some. I’m not a total hermit 🤣😂

Completing the Turkey Trot

Well #1 Son did complete his Fun Run 🏅

It didn’t quite go according to plan however…

First was the change in venue from outside at Melrose Common to inside in the school using the All Purpose Hall.

Which meant that there was some confusion over whether we could actually cheer him on. However we were let in (very reluctantly by the stalwart Office Manager).

They then split the Kindergarten classes into two groups, and he was running in the second so we had to wrangle a very grumpy TT for 40 min rather than 20.

But the run started and started well.

Then #1 son tripped over one of the cones. And I could see the meltdown coming. So. I pulled up my big girl pants,

AND I RAN WITH HIM

I grabbed his hand and did several circuits while cheering him on.

I am unfit. I was wearing my galaxy leggings.

And this t-shirt:

But we did it. And he was so pleased. Both that we were there, and that I ran with him.

He hasn’t quite grasped that it was a Fun Run and keeps asking if he won gold, but for everyone that sponsored him yes he ran it thank you.

He raised $170 before the run. And the school have met their target

And not only will there be a Popsicle Party for all students, the top performing class per grade get an individual reward.

Stay tuned to hear if his have won.

Quiet Toddlers

Are suspicious evil toddlers.

An hour or so ago TT wandered through saying “wet mommy wet”

Her sleeves were a bit damp, and given she has the occasional (disgusting) habit of dipping toys in the toilet if we do not keep the lid down I just grumbled, wiped her down and didn’t investigate.

Only to be greeted with roaring from the hus-creature fifteen or so minutes ago.

As the little sod had upended my (one litre) thermos that I use for overnight water drinking all over the bed.

It had soaked through:

  • The duvet
  • The mattress protector
  • Straight through the whole bloody mattress.

So my mother in law (god bless her) is currently lying on our bed, reading a book, and blow drying the flipped over and rotated mattress in an attempt to dry it enough to allow us to sleep.

We had only flipped it two days ago. And it is still new. Goddamn.

Pyjama Party

It was noisy and crowded but I think the kidlets had fun

We met the School mascot, Willy the Winthrop Wildcat:

He was attempting to be mascot-y but a number of the older children were pulling his tail and attempting to knock his head off

😡😡😡😡

TT was by turns enthralled and enchanted:

She kept sidling up close to him, laughing uproariously and declaring “cat” but was sadly too shy to give him a cuddle, which quite frankly I think he would have appreciated too.

She did keep wandering out to the front where he had been sitting to try and find him though after the stories.

He and the Principal read all the children a bedtime story. It was very sweet. And he (the principal) is a man who clearly loves his job. I truly think he is awesome.

All in all it was a nice way to spend a little time.

We are also now the proud owners of a sofa bed!!!

We do not talk about the hassle it took to install it oh no.

We do not speak of

  • The rain.
  • The hoisting it over the (second level) balcony one way and it not going over.
  • The re-lowering to the ground.
  • The re-positioning and re-hoisting.
  • The having to take not one but two doors out of the frames. Yes they were put back!
  • The holding of the breath whilst it was manhandled through the kitchen and subsequent archway.

But it is safely installed.

Trying to keep TT out of the way of the workmen was… fun. I mean the cat was easy, we just shut the door to the walk-in when she darted in there to get away from said strange workmen. Who were very perplexed at both my effusive gratitude and my insistence on offering tea/coffee.

I am British – when men are undertaking work for me, particularly hard, strenuous or complex work, I must offer hot beverages. It is a cultural thing. My mammy trained me well.

But the toddler? Oh no. She had to flirt, and hand them shoes and be interested in wide open door frames 🙄🙄🙄

All members of the Shields’ clan approve.

Oh and so far #1 Son has raised $100 for his Turkey Trot next week.

Thank you!!!! Donations are both gratefully acknowledged and would still be gratefully received.

4 months in

Well. I (we) have now been living in the USA for a third of a year 🙀

Have I learned anything?

Nothing earth shattering. People are people everywhere. Some suck. Others do not. I still struggle making friends but maybe that’s just how it is.

I’ve invited H up to ours for a coffee on Friday as we will (hopefully) have a sofa arrive tomorrow so I will have somewhere for her to sit comfortably while we natter. And she really seems nice, so perhaps I can manage that? She seemed really happy to accept and has been so friendly.

———-

I’ve drawn a line under the possibility of friendship from the knitting class. I’m looking on it as purely educational with a hint of social, and that’s okay. I’ve done it before.

As the weather is changing and getting colder, I’m going to stick it out until the sock(s) are finished then explore other options towards the spring. I’ve got a (probably irrational) fear of being stuck in an unfamiliar town in the snow with no way to get home.

————

I wrote the above before going to my group tonight. I actually had fun. I am officially still confused as to what the hell is going on though.

It was the start of a new 10-week session tonight and there were a lot of people. Including one lady who hadn’t been there in a while due to being hit by a car. She was bubbly and fun and, when she realised I am British, basically grabbed on to me and asked me to talk to her all night.

I didn’t, but people chuckled and found it charming. I am not trying to work it out anymore.

I got a lift home with the lovely G (the lady who gave me her cell number) and she asked if, when I have my hysterectomy, if I want company for an hour or two for knitting and a cuppa she would be happy to.

She had the op at 31 and for the same reasons, so she “gets” it.

Surely you don’t make that sort of offer if you don’t like the person right? Perhaps I have made a friend?

Oh, and I’ve worked out how to share the Fun Run link:

Turkey Trot weblink: Here

Sponsored Turkey Trot

Ok I’ve been a bad school parent.

I kind of ignored a Fun Run slip that came home because, let’s face it, I don’t actually know anyone here.

Or at least no one I feel I can hit up for money.

But on November 22nd #1 Son will be doing a sponsored run (and will be running anyway) so he really ought to be able to hand in some pennies.

I had planned to pop a link in here to his page, but apparently it’s email only.

So, if anyone wants to donate and knows me well enough to either have me on Facebook or have my email address, send me a message and I’ll email you the link.

Any donations gratefully received.

This is the email you’d get:

Yes we will sponsor him too.

Look at that face 💕💕💕

Gastronomy is not this

Pumpkin. Pie. Soda.

😮😐😶😦🤔

Pumpkin Pie, as a flavour, is BIG here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin SPICE – but this? This is a travesty and an abomination to my palate.

Even the hus-creature could not finish it, and he relishes the weird when it comes to comestibles.

Pumpkin pie soda will not be existing in this house again.

Apologies to my American friends, but no, this I do not get.

So proud

So, the book fair has been and gone.

#1 Son came home with an impressive haul:

And pleasingly, he did not forget Happy. Happy is even still (mostly) white.

Tuesday is Art day and so he has returned from school today a fetching shade of blue. Maybe he was channeling his inner Smurf?

But more importantly for me, is the other thing he came home sporting:

Super Star

That’s right, TWO REACH STARS!!!!

In one day!!!!!

Honestly I could just burst with pride.

Unfortunately I don’t know exactly what he earned them for, as there was no journal sheet in his bag, and he is not the best at remembering anything but that doesn’t matter.

And not to be outdone, TT insisted on photobombing:

Of Book Fairs and Class Rewards

So tomorrow is the school Book Fair for #1 Son.

As far as I can tell we give him money ($20) and he and his classmates toddle off to somewhere presumably in the school building I can’t imagine they let them out and spend the money on books. Apparently for every dollar spent some additional funds go somewhere that allow the school to purchase additional books for the school library. Which in my opinion is actually pretty epic. Kids don’t seem to enjoy reading quite so much as well I did when I was little but perhaps I am an anomaly.

What me? Odd? Never!!

In addition #1 Son’s kindergarten class have won a class reward which involves wearing their pyjamas to school tomorrow. I was a tad sceptical until I received an email from his class teacher confirming it. It is also apparently National American teddy bear day or some such fiddle-faddle so he can also take in a soft toy of some description for the day. He has chosen Happy.

Who is a plushie snowman gifted to him by my cousin Jenny just before our big trip.

He’s been pretty much inseparable from that snowman since we got on the plane. And he has been named Happy because apparently that “is how he made him feel”.

Nenny you rocked that!

I’m not crying you’re crying.

He also has a “bedtime stories and hot cocoa” evening on Thursday this week from 17:30-19:00 and pjs are the requirement then too so both kiddies will look insanely cute.

On the TT front, she has discovered the joys of the phrase “no, not yet <thing which I want her to do>”

This is me:

She did also spontaneously count from 1-5 tonight and jumped for joy after (I may have been making a huge fuss 🤣)

I’ve also gotten her to accept Moana (which is “BURD” because of that damn crazy chicken)

In addition she will now occasionally allow one of the Ice Age franchise.

Which is saving my sanity a bit.

As for me, I’m not in the best place mentally today. I’ve attacked my fingers and my scalp a bit. I don’t consciously do it, but it’s not a great stress reaction.

Thinking of going to the doctor after the holiday and seeing if anti-anxiety medication might help. Should probably track my blood pressure a bit first.

I did some knitting though so yay. Need to finish my non sock project.