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School's Out for Summer... (Almost all the way)

Monday, May 30, 2011
Summer is here!

Memorial Day has come and gone... the 80+ degree weather is out and it is hopefully here to stay.

My skin is burned from spending time outside. The pool has been visited. The baby pool has been set up. The marshmallows have been roasted on the fire pit. Summer. Is. Here. Thank you very much. :)

And, Jake's favorite part?

School's Out For Summer. :)

As I mentioned last week, it has been a bit hectic. Jake's last day of school was last week. Bailey still has a few days to go.

Jake is celebrating that his babysitter starts tomorrow. He was ready for her to start last week, even asking if he could just miss his last day of school and have Morgan start early. :) He wasn't too disappointed, since he knew that she'd be coming tomorrow. And, since Bailey will still be in school, I'm quite certain that he is thrilled to have her all to himself.

With school out for Jake and school nearly out for Bailey, there have been lots of end of the year discussions... parties, programs, and evaluations... plenty of focus on growth and development and reaching milestones. And, while I've felt rushed through it all because of our hectic schedules, I am happy to stop and review what a special time of the year it has been. The kids are growing up, so much, maybe too much, and simply are making me one proud mommy. Of course, I don't want anyone to think I'm bragging or going overboard, but I am proud of my kids. That doesn't mean I think they are perfect. As a matter of fact, their personalities could definitely use some tweaking from time to time. :) Especially my little rotten boy... 

A few weeks ago, Jake's school had an arts program, where the preschool was singing alongside the rest of the elementary school. It was part of their Kindergarten graduation. Jake was not pleased that we were going. In all seriousness, he was pissed that we were going. He started out just saying that he wasn't happy about it. Then, he proceeded to tell me that singing was stupid. Followed by singing and school is stupid. Then, that we are all stupid and that he hates me for making him go. Yes, we are a bit dramatic these days... and angry, too. As my sweet Bailey tried to convince Jake that it would be fun and that he'd be happy he went, she added, "I even got dressed up to go watch you, Jake." His response was, "You look ugly." What do you do with a kid like this? I don't know... I just forced him to go and told Bailey to ignore him. As we arrived at the school, my child went from being the most angry, evil, little rat to the sweet little angel that batted his eyes at his teachers and hugged them sweetly. While I was very relieved that he didn't show his true colors for the entire school, I could strangle him for being so sweet. He makes us look like liars when we tell them what a horrible mood he is in. He did wonderfully at his program, singing most of the words and doing almost all of the hand motions... dramatically. It was so cute... and he looked absolutely adorable. I was so happy I made him go... even if he hated me for it (temporarily, of course). 

At least his teacher seems to understand exactly how he is... we had parent teacher conferences at his school a few days after the school program. Jake's conference had me a little more worried, because he doesn't enjoy school and I can tell that, while he has made big strides from where he was this time last year, he is still behind. Let me preface that by saying that he's behind where Bailey was at this age... and he's slightly behind some of his friends that are just a few months older than him... and his speech still isn't crystal clear to strangers. Now... that's my way of saying that we do realize that we might compare him unfairly. :) However, I was so pleased with the discussion I had with his teacher. She laughed about the tests that they did on him (basic counting, letter recognition, etc.). She knows how Jake is. Sometimes, he just refuses to cooperate. He doesn't want to count. He doesn't want to tell you the letter. He'll make one mark on a page and say that he's completely colored the picture. The test totally reflected that in some areas. For instance, in October of last year, he counted to 23 for the test before he stopped. Last month, he counted to 8 and said he didn't know the rest. Obviously, he can count. He actually gets to about 30 before he starts missing numbers. He recognized four letters last month. Yet, when he and I were going through the alphabet last week, he got to the Q before he stopped. You see the trend here. Anyway, it was nice to talk to his teacher to see that she recognized a lot of the things that we see Jake struggling with and ignoring the things that will eventually come together for him. She made me feel so much better about not pressuring him to know everything before Kindergarten. :) She even saw the whole confidence issue that we worry about. She brought it up instead of me... and, while I wish that problem wasn't in existence, it was good to hear that I'm not just making excuses for Jake. He does have a little bit of confidence issues and I'm not making it up in my head to cover up that he's just ornery or lazy. :) We also talked a lot about bullying. She knew that I was concerned about him getting picked on and she said she has noticed it happening some. Of course, she told me about the time that Jake defended himself and hit his friend back. And, of course, I told her that I had encouraged him to defend himself. It was a great relief when she said that she was happy to see Jake stand up and that she had to put him in timeout for hitting, but she had not given him any lectures or anything like that. So... it was great. Jake is growing... and he's starting to understand how things work. It's good and bad, but mostly good. :)

When I told Jake last week that school was over for the summer... the only thing he wanted to know is if he ever had to go back. When I told him that we'd return in August, he argued with me that he never had to go back. I argued back for a few minutes, but he thinks he won that battle. I am dreading August already. :) This kid is the most stubborn child I've ever met. I dread seeing the freaking out that he's going to do when he realizes that summer doesn't last forever. 

Bailey, on the other hand, had her graduation last week and was all geared up for it. She, unlike her brother, was so excited to be a part of such a special program. She sang loudly and clearly. She smiled and waved. She walked proudly across the stage to get her "diploma," as she graduated from the largest Kindergarten class in Fayette County (impressive, huh?!). Probably the cutest thing about the program was a video that the school put together. There was a portion of interviews where the students were asked questions about their teachers or what their favorite part of school was. Bailey's interview questions were, "What do you think of Mrs. O?" and "What was your favorite thing about Kindergarten?" Her responses? "I love Mrs. O because she is going to have a baby," and, "lunch." :) Bailey loved the whole program. She loves school and usually wakes up happy to go. She spent her time hugging her teacher, taking photos with her friends, and celebrating that she still had some more time with them. I don't think there were ever two children with more different personalities in the world. I would never complain about that though... God knows that I could not handle two Baileys or two Jakes. :) 

Bailey's parent teacher conference happened the week before Jake's (and I, in my near Alzheimer's state, almost forgot about it). I ran in 5 minutes late, which is probably not that uncommon these days. Thank God that Bailey's teacher and I are buddies, so she just laughed about my wonderful running shorts, t-shirt and makeup-less face. :) Bailey is a rock star. She is on a 2nd grade level in reading. She's more than doubled her reading level (I would share numbers and ratings and all, but I'm sure I'd screw it all up). Suffice it to say that her teacher was extremely complimentary and said that Bailey is well above the average. She shouldn't have any trouble advancing next year... and could possibly be considered for the accelerated class. I'm being a little bit modest about it (she feels certain that Bailey will have a spot in the accelerated class), mainly because we don't want to make a big deal about her getting into any advanced classes... we're proud of her progress regardless and want to just make sure that she is growing on time. :) Of course, we were really excited to hear that she is applying herself in school. We see how much she's grown in just one short year, but we always worry that she is so busy socially that she might not apply herself 100% at school. If anything negative was said about Bailey, it was about her handwriting... it is atrocious. :) We're working on it. She also talks quite a bit. Not surprised about that at all... :)

She has four days to go and, until today, wasn't all that thrilled. She was excited at the thought of being at home, but also really worried that she'd miss her friends. Well, today, we spent some time at the pool. You can imagine her excitement when she realized that many of her friends will also be spending a lot of time at the pool this summer... and it is apparently 100 times more fun to swim with friends. She is on the countdown for sure. :)

And, while I would love to say that I'm completely caught up on blogging now, that only gets me a portion of the way there. There's so much more that I'd like to post... but it will come shortly. Not today.