Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make a House a Home

We moved into our house just over a year ago. We amalgamated 2 houses into 1. I unpacked all the necessary items before things got crazy. The rest got put into the crawl space to be dealt with at a later date. Art work was included in those things. I will say the majority of the stuff in the crawl space is not needed and I will just go through the boxes before giving away most of the stuff. There are a few things that are missed and loved. This will be my project in the next few weeks before I go back to work.

I've also been itching to get back into creating. I spent a few days last week cleaning up my craft room/studio. It's not where I want it to be, it won't be featured any time soon in Where Women Create or Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, but at least I have a space to create.
I made some quick home decor projects, I made these cute pictures of the kids for the walls. I had all the stuff on hand except for the ribbon. They are cheap to make but look super cute. The canvas I got at Dollarama 2 for $1.

This morning I took advantage of the fact that my dad was watching Muffin and Tutu and I played. I tried a new technique I read about and an idea I had. It started out as a picture from a magazine and I over painted it. I really like how it turned out.

The work in progress

The final product

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get A Grip

I went into the school and wasn't able to speak to the principal that day, I needed to come in the next day to speak to the principal and the special education teacher. While I was waiting to find that out I ran into Monkey's teacher; we talked about what I was purposing and she was in agreement and was going to start paperwork to get Monkey a Occupational Therapist (OT) from CCAC. This upsets me because at the parent teacher interview we were told that there was no issue with her grip, that she just needed more practice.

I went in the next day and spoke to the principal and special education teacher. They said that they understood that the teacher and I discuss this. We spoke about the Handwriting Without Tears program and they gave me a workbook to use with Monkey, they gave me special grips to use with her and told me I needed to use a multi-sensory approach with her. So I need to get her to work on the workbook, get her to make letters with bendaroos, with playdough, with popsicle sticks. I told them that from a podcast from the founder of the program that it should be done once a day for 15 minutes and twice a day during the summer. We also have to wait for the OT, the wait list is months long.

What gets me about all this is the school is suppose to be the experts on this and they missed this. Yes, I know that I have a role in this too; due to extreme circumstances I missed it too. But the teacher who tells me my daughter is having issues with her handwriting and "just needs more practice", missed the fact that her grip is all wrong. She told me it was fine. It's not fine. Since we've been working on it at home, her grip is all wrong. I have to teach her how to hold the pencil again, I also have to re-teach her how to hold her hand. She holds her hand over the paper like people who are lefthanded, the hand is over what she's writing not under. We have a lot of work to do.

I feel bad that we all missed this and instead of helping her before ad habits were formed we now have to break her bad habits and start all over again. How could it get missed by so many of us?

The good news is that what we've been doing has had some effect. On her math test last week the teacher acknowledge an improvement in Monkey's writing. Still a long way to go but we're slowly getting there.

Also so that the same thing doesn't happen with Muffin I'm starting to work with her when I work with Monkey. When she feels like "doing homework" I let her try. I'm not a stickler at this point but I figure a head start can't hurt.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Serious Cuteness

Just wanted to share some serious cuteness of my little Tutu.

Tutu sporting his newest teeth.

Some cute shots of him

And look who's standing

I am so blessed to have this little miracle in my life. He has competed my family and brought bounds of joy and love to it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Handwriting Causing Tears

Above you see the frustrated attempt of this year's Valentine's Day cards. Making the cards was enjoyable as it always is but the addressing part lead to the frustration. It seems like the last few weeks has brought this issue to light, Monkey has issues with her writing. She avoids it whenever she can, the little Smarty Pants told me she didn't need to write out all the names to address her cards, she could just cut out and paste all the names on the list. While I applaud her resourcefulness, it just highlights the issue she is having.

A few weeks ago at the parent teacher interview we were told that Monkey needs to practice her writing because it's poor. She's an A/B student except for reading and writing. The teacher told us that we need to practice more with her because her writing is becoming an issue. She told us that her grip was OK she just needs more practice.

The next day I was watching her write, guess what? Her grip isn't OK. And as I watched her write I remembered what her SK teacher at her old school told us just before we moved, that she had some fine motor issues and needed some help to work on that. Like I said that was just before we moved, so we moved 2 houses 2 days after Christmas, then I was put on bed rest with Tutu, then my MIL got sick and I was taking care of her. That comment got lost amidst all the other obligations and duties, but it came to the forefront as I watched her write.

I felt like I failed my child, this is a feeling I've had alot the last 2 years, so what to do about it? I asked the teacher during the interview about a triangular pencil to help with her grip, we have yet to see or hear about it. I've been searching for information on how to help her but I know she requires some extra help.

If I've failed Monkey then so has the school system. How can one school identify a problem and the next school not even recognize it. The worst part is that Monkey is starting to bring home D's on her assignments, not because she doesn't know her stuff but because the teacher can't read her writing. The first half of the year the teacher gave her more leeway in regards to that but not anymore. How does the teacher not feel that there is a more serious issue then just needing practice if the assignments are sent home with comments like:" good ideas Monkey, but I can't read your writing", " excellent story but your writing needs improvement", etc. That is so frustrating to me.

I feel helpless to help her since we do practice with her (or try to) but this is causing her such anxiety. She has develop nervous habits of chewing her hair, her sleeves or the neck of her shirts. The more anxious she is the more she does this, it then because a vicious circle because she gets anxious about writing and starts to chew, comments are made for her to stop and that makes her more anxious. Anything to do with writing causes big fights in our house. We've tried those copy and trace books with the dry erase markers, we have those magna doodle type books, we have workbooks, we even got her a Tangled Diary to help get her excited to write. None of that works for her. I feel like we need to escalate this.

Today I have to pick up Monkey early from school since I need to take her to the allergist to get her re-tested for her peanut allergy. Since I'm picking her up early I'm going to talk to the principal at the school about what we can do to help her. I'm going to address my concerns with the fact that this school didn't pick up on her issues and what school board resources can be used to help her. To get Monkey working with a occupational therapist to resolve her grip issues. I'm also looking into the program called Handwriting without Tears. I will see if the school has access to that since right now it's sold out at Chapters.

I will do what it takes to get her back on track, this is affecting her on so many levels. I may have been a bad mom by missing this but now I will fix this. We will start doing crafts again, things like playing with playdough, beading and knitting to improve her fine motor skills. I just hope it will be enough, it's already affecting her school life.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A not so productive week

This last week has not gone according to plan at all. First Tutu got the stomach flu, followed by myself. Rock wasn't feeling well either so I didn't have much time to create, nor had the motivation. I did work on a quick upcycling project.
I cut out circles from an old t-shirt and hand sewed them to an old t-shirt of mine. I'm not sure if I'm 100% satisfied with it but it looks OK. I was going to take a picture of it to share but unfortunately I got it dirty before I could. I think after a washing it will look better because the edges will curl.
I also started working on a decoration project for Tutu's combination 1st Birthday/Baptism in 1 1/2 months. I started crocheting circles in white and light blue to be strung up as reusable decorations. Hopefully next week I will have more to post.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Juggling Life

You hear alot of talk about balancing in motherhood, how to balance family, work, me time. To me it's all about juggling, balance to me implies you are trying to make things equal but everything isn't equal. With juggling you keep the most important balls up in the air, priorities change, you go with the flow knowing which balls to focus on. Some days you may only have 3 balls in the air, some days 6 but it's always changing. Don't stress about everything being equal, just focus on what's important now. And if you drop the balls, you can always pick them back up and try again.

Friday, February 4, 2011

In a Funk

The last few days have been a bit rough on me. It seems like I've lost my creative mojo. I want to create, I try to create but the outcome isn't what I wanted, what I envisioned. I've been feeling very blah, I'm in a funk I can't seem to shake. I know I need to give myself time to grieve, time to get back to normal but I'm not use to that. I'm use to being on the go all the time, always having a project and here I am not wanting to do anything.
I had a good chat with a friend, who let me cry, affirmed that I am a good person and am silly for thinking some of things I'm thinking of. I learnt that sometimes it's OK not to feel OK with yourself.
I'm also going to try and create something everyday. It doesn't have to be great, it doesn't have to be useful or pretty but just get something done. I've gone through a lot the last 2 years, lots of change, lots of loss. It's going to take time to get over that. I need to learn to be gentle with myself. Give myself the same love and opportunities I give others, lower my standards. We associate February with love, this February I'm going to learn to love myself again.

On a side note this morning Tutu woke me up with sloppy, slobbery baby kisses and there is nothing better then that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dress up day

On Sunday the kids found the dress up costumes and we had a zoo of animals around the house. The lion and the Tigger were chasing the penguin. The simple joys of children enjoying their imagination to play. (Please excuse the mess in the background but Sunday was my lazy day, after a week of prepping for the party I wasn't lifting a finger on Sunday just enjoying the time with my family).

I've also started a new project. I'm taking this skirt and upcycling it. I'm making it smaller and shorter. If I have enough material I will try and add a bustle to it. I don't have much time to work on it as Tutu is teething and wanting mommy most of the time so I don't know when it will be finished.