Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Decision Making as a Parent

I have gotten pretty good at living in the moment. At the very least, I've gotten better at pulling myself back from the future and realizing I need to "be here now". Of course I'm not perfect, but I'm very aware.

I can't help but freak out a little when it comes to making decisions about AJ's future. Being the parents, it's up to Jason and I to research things and make our decision based on what we learn in hopes that it will be the best thing for AJ.

Kindergarten is freaking me out. I have been thinking about if for over a year and trying to determine the best thing for AJ. I thought I had it figured out, but then found out my plan was probably not the best one.

Jason and I decided last year that we would get AJ in the lottery for Academy Charter School. We really like the school, the dean, the teachers, the curriculum, the small class sizes and I like the fact that kids wear uniforms. This school would take him all the way up to 8th grade. We did a tour and the kids look so happy, the staff is so friendly and helpful. We got him on the list of the lottery and lucky enough, he got in! This school only has one full day kindergarten and also an AM and PM class. I had really hoped to get him into full day, but he only got half. The second half of the day he would go to his current school, Castle Academy.

I had it all worked out and he'd go to ACS for the morning and Castle after lunch. And then, this weekend I was at an Easter party and talked to some of AJ's current teachers and the kindergarten teacher at Castle. I asked them if AJ would essentially get a full day of Kindergarten at two schools. ALL of them answered with a resounding "NO!". They told me that the half day program at any school is tough because there is so much information crammed into it. And then he would come to Castle and essentially do some arts and crafts and have a ton of play time. Plus they didn't have a PM teacher at Castle yet and had no idea who it could be. AND that person didn't need to be certified?!I was not at all happy to hear this, but I really appreciated the honesty.

Sarah, the only full day Kindergarten teacher at Castle Academy had a really good idea. She suggested putting AJ in Castle for the AM kindergarten class. She said he will likely be in her class (she is the certified teacher in the real, full day class but if they only have a few half day kids, they get incorporated in) but he would only go until lunch time. She said that she crams most of the reading and writing into the mornings because she finds that's when her kids are most ready to learn. Then, she recommended having him go to ACS for the PM kindergarten class. This way he really will get almost a whole day of learning, rather than tons of play time. I feel good about this.. I think?

Some might ask, why not just change schools all together? And I considered it, but I really like ACS. And if I change him to another school, like his feeder public school, he will be off the list for ACS for 1st grade. He'll also be in a class with 28 kids versus 22 kids.

I just hope I'm making the right decision. Jason thinks I'm stressing too much about this and it'll all work out. I'm sure it will all work out. I just want to give AJ every opportunity to learn and succeed.

Oh, and lastly- he is still on the list for full day in ACS if it opens up. If it does, we're jumping all over that! Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Very Happy Easter 2013

What an unexpected and truly awesome weekend we had! It all started Thursday night when we had a play date with one of AJ's best buddies, Kelan. His mom picked up Kelan and AJ from school and I met them at Kelan house for a play date. We had pizza and the kids played while Kelans mom and I "helped the Easter Bunny" prepare for Easter. We haven't ever had a play date together, but have talked about it for months. I was so glad to get to know Juliana and her husband Jan more and the boys had a blast, of course. While we were there, I told Juliana that AJ told me how sad he was a few days before because he hadn't seen the Easter Bunny. How would the bunny know that AJ wanted a Batmobile! (apparently Easter is now Christmas?) So we talked and the only day it would work to see the Easter Bunny was the next day, Friday. Once again, Juliana was kind enough to get AJ from school and brought both boys to the mall and I met them there. They saw the bunny (but were more excited by the pet store and Disney store). After an hour or so, we all had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Juliana and I had good conversation and wine. The boys colored, ate and play iPhone. We were all happy!

AJ and the Easter Bunny

Kelan and AJ
 On Saturday, Juliana (who is well known for throwing amazing parties!) had this REALLY fun Easter party. She had a great egg hunt and then the kids (all 20 of them) played for hours and had a blast. Each child was sent home with a monogrammed bucket FULL of candy and toys. It was a hit! I had a great time talking with other moms about Kindergarten and such.. Boy how my life has changed! hahah
Pre Party Fun!

AJ, Tyson and Madelyn

All the kids listening to instructions for the egg hunt

My love...

These two are SO cute now.. But they will be trouble later.. Trust me!

That night we went back to Jason's for another little neighborhood BBQ. But before everyone got there we did some egg dying. Super fun! (and low stress and low clean up) Doesn't matter than out of 18 eggs we only ended up with 11 to hide right? :)
Good Easter Morning Ya'll!

Look what he found!
After AJ found all the eggs the Easter Bunny hid for him, we played a game of hide and seek. We took turns hiding and finding the eggs. When it was his turn to hide them, this is what happened. I couldn't help but totally crack up!
 After our Easter morning, we got washed up, and AJ and I went to church. After, Jason picked us up and we headed to this awesome park called Elk Ridge Park in Castle Pines. It was amazing! OH and the ENTIRE weekend it was beautiful, and warm and I even got a little sunburn. SWEET!

On Saturday night, I got a text from a good friend Lisa asking what we were doing for Easter. We didn't have plans. She asked if Jason, AJ and I wanted to join them for dinner. John, her husband was celebrating his 40th birthday AND cooking this amazing feast. We couldn't pass it up! Lisa and I often have "wine play dates" where the kids play and we eat pizza and have a glass of wine. Her husband travels A LOT and so she's home most evenings. John and Jason have met, but really don't know each other. Anyway, we went and had a blast! The kids play so well together and the guys had a great time getting to know each other. It seemed so easy and so comfortable. Plus, the food was out of control good. (Who knew AJ liked pickled beets?!) SUCH a wonderful time!

These two are also double trouble!
Right about now, John is saying "get your hands off my daughter!"

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!!