Monday, November 17, 2014

Reese Starts Preschool!

So that title? Can it be real? Is Reesey really old enough to start preschool??? Sadly, yes. Yes she is. She will be THREE in two days!! Yikes! I feel as time has literally sped past me. I don't even know where the last three years have gone.

I think I have posted before about her speech problems. In a nutshell, last year I self referred to the Arizona Early Intervention Program. She qualified and has been receiving in-home speech services since October 2013. This program services children from birth to 3. Once a kiddo turns 2 1/2 they start the process of exiting them and finding a new program for them to join. We are lucky enough to live in a district that is fully inclusive. That means that we believe that all children should be in a general education classroom as much as possible, their least restrictive environment. So in our schools you will see kiddos with Down's, autism, Cerebral Palsy, etc in a regular classroom with 'regular' kids. We are also lucky to have a preschool where children with special needs can attend and receive additional services with peer models. A speech impairment falls under the category of special needs so kids with a speech only diagnosis can qualify to attend this preschool and get speech therapy from a speech pathologist.

We started the transition process in August and last month, Reese was evaluated through VIP (Vail Inclusive Preschool). a few weeks ago we found out that Reese scored in the normal range in the language and expressive assessments and 78 on her articulation assessment. Children need at 77.5 or lower in any of the 3 areas to qualify for speech services. In case you are not good at math, Reese scored just a mere half a point to be considered in the 'normal' range for her articulation. The preschool team 'discussed' Reese and came to the decision to qualify her anyway because when speaking in conversation she is difficult to understand and many times they had to look towards me to get a translation. Brian says her qualification was a perk of me being a kindergarten teacher in the district. Whatever. I'm good with it.

I was really torn on whether I wanted her to go to VIP or come to the preschool at my school. I really liked the idea of her being on campus with Jaxon and me, and seeing her throughout the day. But, our preschool is not structured and knowing Reese, she needs structure. Going to VIP means that she has to ride the bus and that makes me a little nervous. So it was nice to have someone else make the decision for me. She is beyond excited about her school and about riding the 'kool bus' as she calls it. Thank goodness she is an independent little girl!

Today was the big day! today was the day she went to school by herself. She was totally ready and really excited! I took the day off to spend the morning with her and get her pumped up, that's code for remind her endlessly about how to behave at school. I think I'm more nervous about that than anything else! Poor Reese has a bad rep.

As I began to get ready, she had to take a bath in my bathtub and demanded I blow dry her hair. And who am I to say no to a little primping?

Primping didn't stop at hair drying, it had to be taken to nail polishing. She is my daughter! 

"I am a Preschooler!"

She wants to be a 'fighter fighter' when she grows up

AT this point she just wanted to get going! 
Brian met us at the school and she could not have been happier!

Walking in like a big girl. Sniff Sniff

Here's her classroom! 

Putting her things away in her very own cubby.
Is this really happening??

Putting her name tag on the attendance poster. 

With her first teacher, Ms. Ashely
At this point Brian had to literally drag me away. I just wanted to stay, hang out, watch her have her first day of school.Brian is all rational and didn't think it was the right thing to do. She didn't even think twice when we left. She was happy to play and explore her new school. 

When I picked her up she was so happy! The first thing she said was, "I painted you a piture!"

 Jaxon was pretty excited to pick her up too. He even gave her a big hug when she came out of her classroom.

A day at school is very exhausting though. she fell asleep mid-drink about a mile into our drive home. 

Tomorrow will be the first day she rides the bus! Eeeek! She cannot wait for that! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let's Dance!

My girl-mom dreams have come true! The day I have been waiting for since the ultrasound showed girl bits came this summer!! Reese started ballet!! OH. MY. GOODNESS. My heart was swelling with happiness. Weeks before the class began I ordered her a new leotard, convertible tights (a hole at the bottom of the foot so that tights become footless tights), teeny tiny ballet shoes and tap shoes. EEEEEE!!! 
The class is a ballet, tap & tumbling class. They do each for about 20 minutes and it is the cutest thing EVER! Her favorite of course is tap, because why wouldn't it be? You get to stomp around and make noise! 
As expected, Reesey's attention span is like a gnat's, but hey she's not even three! There is A LOT of redirection by Miss Mary and a lot of "Reese, you should be over here." But, she loves Miss Mary, she loves going to ballet, she loves wearing her ballet clothes and she loves dancing. 

And while we are on the subject of Reese, one day after ballet, I decided to take her to the nail salon to have her nails polished. Girl mom dream come true number 2! 
She was such an angel and soo proud of her nails! She even sat still for the tech to paint a flower on her thumb. 
The only bump in the road was when Reese decided half way through the first coat that she wanted a different color. The tech was so kind and allowed her to go form fushia to baby pink. I mean, not many people say no to Reese. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Let Summer Begin!

Summer started in early May in the Pearson house.  Brian heated the pool and we all spent an afternoon swimming.  

Like all proper girls, Reese had to put on a little makeup before heading out. 

With a makeup and goggles in place Reese was ready! 

Jaxon had to try out his new snorkel and mask by jumping in. He quickly learned that a snorkel does not work well underwater. 

Never one to be left behind. Reese had to have her turn jumping in. Yes, she's naked. This is how she prefers to swim. The bathing suit did not last long. "I no want to get it wet." Hmmm. Well, isn't that the point of a bathing suit? But you try to reason with Reese, it is just not possible. 

If jumping in wasn't enough, she had to slide head first into the pool. The girl is fearless!

Happy Summer everyone! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation!

Jaxon finished his first year in elementary school with a bang! 
Hard to believe that my tiny baby is done with kindergarten. 
I am always nervous about kinder graduation, but I was a tad bit more nervous about this graduation. Not only was I teacher, but I was also Mom. My biggest concern was that I would be able to enjoy graduation as a mom instead of as a teacher. 

Thankfully Jaxon's teacher made an adjustment and had Jaxon's class stand next to my class on stage. This allowed me to watch Jaxon as I kept an eye on my class.  I appreciated this more than she knew! 

On our way to our big day!
Such a handsome boy

Before graduation.
Love his red converse!

Everyone arrives to the school quite a bit earlier than kids are supposed to be in the classrooms. This means playing on the risers and running around before show time. 

Playing on the risers before it was time to gather in classrooms.

Filing onto the stage

Me trying to be teacher and mom
I was most nervous about Reese actually. I knew that she would not want to sit with Brian and my mom the entire time. I had visions of doing my speech with her on my hip trying to take the microphone away from me.
I was not too far off. She wanted NOTHING to do with Brian. All she wanted was to get on stage to sing with Bubba.

Jaxon wasn't exactly THE MOST animated performer.

I really wasn't surprised when I saw Jaxon acting like he was 'too cool for school'. He is always so concerned about what people think of him that he isn't able to let loose and have fun like the other kids. Kind of drives me crazy, I'm not going to lie. 
Giving my short & sweet speech.
Trying not to cry.
I did pretty well I think!

She tried to sweet talk Ami into letting her on the stage. 

The Tooty Ta. A Cottonwood Kindergarten tradition!

Jaxon almost ready to receive his 'diploma'

Here he comes! 

Shaking Mrs. Malm's hand. 

Hanging on to Reese while Mrs. Malm passed out her diplomas.

He was so done with pictures! 

Jaxon with his very very best friend, Joshua. Do not call him his BFF! 

Jax with his long time friends, Jake & Hunter

His 'diploma'.
The real one was in his Kindergarten Memory Book

Jaxon & Kaitlyn.

Jaxon & Mrs. Malm

With Chase

And part of the great kinder team!
Maggie, me, Chris, Ami & Jackie.
There were MANY more missing that made this a successful year! 
I am super bummed that I did not get a family picture. Brian left almost immediately after the presentation of the diplomas because Reese was being a pill.  Little did we know that she had an ear infection. Poor thing was miserable and we had no idea until two days later.

So that's it. Jaxon's kindergarten graduation. A day I had been looking forward to and dreading for a long time. He's off to first grade and as ready as he'll ever be!