Sunday, June 6, 2010

the child is learning

*note-I can't get the font to fix itself, where the second half of the post isn't in caps, it's really weird. I swear I'm not "yelling" though*

Occasionally I get a little freaking out by Molly and what she's doing. Lately she is just taking off and I can visibly see her making connections and growing and it's crazy. She started sounding out words sometime in November, so 7 months ago. She is now reading on a first grade level and beyond. Tonight she read the first two verses of "My Shadow," a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. She needed help on just a few words and I think if it had been earlier in the day she would've needed help with even less than she did, she always has more trouble when she's tired, but she wanted to read so we went with it.

This is what she read:

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all. 

The words in bold are the ones she needed help with. I'm just astounded that she figured out "proper children" all by herself. My child is three...three. She'll be four in a little over a week, but still, it's crazy. 
The Singapore kindergarten math book we have we can go through ten pages at a time because it's all really easy for her. We're still going through it though, because I think laying the ground work and practicing basics is important. To work on her level we've been doing basic addition and subtraction with objects, like beads. We've been doing problems like 17-9=... She counts out 17 beads and then takes 9 away so she can see how many are left. We've also been working on memorizing addition facts since that is an important skill. She's got all the zeros, 1+0, 2+0... and she's just about got the ones. Seems very simple, but still, are kids her age supposed to be able to do that? It leaves me a little baffled. 
What do I do with her? I mean I know, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, following her lead and giving her what she asks for, but is that enough? I feel confused.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

another useful website

Just came across this website while looking for stuff for Molly to do on the Wii. We use the Wii for everything. We can use the internet to watch videos and play online games as a family and of course we love Netflix for Wii.

Anyway I found this website and it has fun activities for different grade levels in different academic areas.

This one is for kindergarten math, but you can see of to the left links for all the different grade levels.

Ooh, here is another one, just for math, neat!

That's my PSA for the day :-P

Sunday, May 30, 2010

photo dump :-)

Just posting pics from the last few weeks, you'll notice lots of water pics because it has been HOT and we've played in the water quite a bit.

Oklahoma skies, those storms actually never got to us.

Getting her new kite going with Daddy.

Playing in her Elmo sprinkler in the back. I also got my garden watered, bonus!

Playing with Elmo in the front, she was yelling at Elmo for something, who knows. Her belly is really poking out there, lol.

Found a moth.

At the sprayground tonight. I love those places!

She makes friends so fast. They are usually older than her, like this girl who was probably 6-ish.

...yes, you did see three different swimsuits, and she has two more. The other two are bikinis which I've never gotten before, but she still looks really cute in them and I know I won't enjoying seeing her in a bikini for her entire life, lol.

Monday, May 24, 2010

growing up

Yesterday I almost cried at church.

It was senior Sunday for the graduating seniors. We've only been going to this church for about seven months, and obviously we haven't been hanging out with the high school kids so I had absolutely no idea who any of the kids were. All the same when they started going through the slide show pictures of the kids growing up I got all teary eyed.

That is so out of character for me, I'm not a terribly emotional person and I rarely cry, but all of a sudden I had a flash of 14 years from now when it will be Molly's turn and it made me so sad. It will be her pictures flashing through, and what she is like now will just be a memory. She'll be all grown up.

Since she was born, I have been unable to imagine what she'll be like at any age beyond where she is right now. When she was a newborn I couldn't begin to picture a mobile toddler walking around and destroying my house. Of course she became that sweet, destructive toddler and I couldn't picture a big girl who dresses up as a princess everyday and talks my ear off about the most random things. Now she is that girl and I have no idea what the future holds. I have no clue what she'll be like, even a year from now. I mean, at this age I can imagine she'll look pretty much the same, and have the same personality and her development is so much slower now that I think she'll be pretty similar to now, but who knows.

I definitely can't picture an 8 or 9 year old and to picture a teenager just baffles me, my brain can't compute it. I'm surely not the only parent to be this way.

It's almost her birthday and she'll be 4 years old...I'll be the mother of a 4 year old. That's something else I can hardly wrap my brain around. When did this happen? Are you sure I'm not still just a kid myself? I mean sure, I've done lots of grown up things; get married, buy a house, get a bachelor's and a master's degree, but inside I still feel like the same person I always have, not like I've crossed over this imaginary road into adulthood. It's not like I would change anything though, I'm very happy with my life, I'm just blow away that this is where I am.

Pretty soon I'll post a picture montage of Molly over the last 4 years, and it will probably make me cry to make, but I can't wait to do it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A handy resource

This is a website with thousands of books listed by reading level. I think it's usefulness is two fold.

1) You can test your child's reading level by looking at the list and choosing a book about where you think your child is, or a little below, or a little above and basically "test" to see where they are.

2) If you already know their reading level you can choose books that you know they can comfortably read with the right amount of challenge, but not so much it's frustrating for them.

Here is the website:

The lists aren't exhaustive by any means, the books listed are those that are easily found at any public library, so not every book is listed.

Molly and I read

and she did really well. She surprised me with how many words I didn't think she'd know that she figured out. Of course she didn't know every word in the book, and some were too long for her, but she can read the great majority of the book independently, which really shocked me. Because I was surprised and curious I checked to see if it was listed on the website. It was, and it was listed as a 2.0 level book, meaning right at the beginning of second grade (halfway through second grade would be a 2.5 etc).

I don't take that to mean she's reading at a second grade level, because like I said, she could read it mostly independently, but still tripped here and there. But, it did solidify my thought that she is on a first grade-ish level, which was my ballpark guess before.

On a completely different note, she's been eating a ton for the last several days and I think she's going to have another growth spurt. I'm thinking by the time her 4 year well child check up rolls around she's going to be around 42.5" tall, which is still at the 90th percentile. She's going to be taller than me by the time she's like 10, awesome.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I think I need a vacation from my child.

I love her dearly, but lately I really don't like her very much. She has become quite disrespectful and disobedient in the last couple of weeks. And lets not talk about the bad attitude and defiance, oh my gosh!

I don't think in my parenting journey thus far I've ever felt so bewildered. At least once a day I look at her and think to myself "who is this kid??" Like I said before, I'm sure there is some cognitive growth going on, and that's playing a part, but dang, I don't have any idea what to do with her.

Talking to her is like talking to a brick wall, a wall that can talk back and be rude. I feel like I can scarcely take her out of the house. I mean, I'm no pushover of a disciplinarian, I'm pretty strict, so she's not meeting my standards at all, but I don't think I ask for too much (I could be wrong).

I expect her to be able to be still and quiet for a short amount of time, 2 or 3 minutes. She can't seem to function unless she's twirling around in circles or messing with something around here, or crawling on the floor all the while, chattering or singing at the top of her lungs, or making weird noises. Generally making me crazy.

I thought by age 4 I could let her walk around a store with me, but apparently not. She's walking away, going to do exactly what SHE wants to do with no regard for the fact that I asked her to stay beside me and keep her hands to herself. She'll pick up whatever she sees, and ends up messing things up half the time. It's like when she was 18 months old and I could let her walk because she'd bolt, except now she has the cognitive ability to understand and obey and she actively chooses not to.

She also used to have manners, but those seem to have been completely forgotten, even though we expect them to be used at least as much as we did before. She's taken to making one word demands, and yelling the one word. If I'm in the kitchen fixing a meal she comes in and looks at me and shouts "CRACKERS!" while pointing to the crackers. Umm, excuse me? Every time I ask her "Does it ever work when you ask with no manners, do you ever get what you want??" She says "no." Okay then. Then I tell her to ask using kind words and manners. She does and if appropriate at the time, she gets what she asked for.

It's exhausting and infuriating to constantly be defied. She tries to negotiate everything, but sorry, sometimes the answer is just NO, and I don't want you to try and talk me into it, whatever it is. Today she turned on the water works every time I told her no. That is completely out of character, she's never been a tantrum-ing kind of kid.

I think it's even more difficult because she is so freaking smart, and speaks so well. It's hard to remember she's only 3 and thus thinks like a 3 year old, even though she talks like a child much older. Emotionally she's only 3, but I feel like she should do so much, I expect a lot of her. I think I need to take a parenting class, "parenting the gifted child" or something like that. Does anything like that exist?

I probably do expect too much from her, but that doesn't change the fact that she has been ridiculous lately. I have an admittedly low tolerance for her attitude, and that's my issue, but even still, I don't know how to deal with her. I feel like I'm constantly griping at her and punishing her, and we have very little fun together anymore. We do use some positive reinforcement, but I wish we didn't need to have a "system" in place just to get her to behave.

Okay, today's vent is over. Holy crap.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Long time, no blog

I haven't blogged with much substance recently for a few reasons.

1. Molly has been a bit trying lately, behavior wise, and we haven't done much in the way of Molly school for that reason. Not academically anyway. We've spent most of our time for the last week or two trying to get her to behave like a polite young lady rather than an angsty teen in a three year old's body.

We can tell she's having some mental, emotional growth lately, but it's whacking out the way she acts, both good and bad. The things she's saying, the faces she's making and the voices she's using are making it apparent that her mind is growing and expanding. More than once a day she says or does something that makes me go "huh, who ARE you?" She's not saying anything profound or anything, it's just...I don't know, I can't describe it. It's likes she's turning into a big kid, rather than being a little kid. Weird.

Hopefully when this mental leap is over, we can get back to business.

It's funny, when they are babies, the mental and physical leaps are much more observable and measurable. Anymore they are more subtle and harder to define.

2. I've been on a TV kick. We got our Netflix for Wii CD (DVD, I dunno) and I've been watching Bones, starting at the beginning of the series. I'm almost done with season one. I've also been on a Survivor kick and I've been watching past seasons on youtube. I watched all of season 2, in the Australian Outback, and about half of season 4, in the Marquesas. I stopped half way b/c Boston Rob was gone, and I knew who won. Then I decided to watch a more recent season that we didn't see after Cor's parents moved. So now I'm about started the third episode of Season 18 in Tocantins.

This is what I do. I get on kicks where I am obsessively interested in something for a while, and then as quick as it started, it's over.

I'm really thinking I might want to go on Survivor. That is if I can lose like 80 lbs...that might be a losing battle. I don't know that I would be able to make it very long in the mental game, with all of the people lying and turning on one another, but if I could get in shape I think I could deal with the food and crappy living conditions.

Anyway, that is neither here nor there, HAHA.

We've been watching Sid the Science Kid on DVD from the Library. Molly has learned a lot. Particularly about "reversible change" like ice turning to water turning to ice, turning to get the picture. She also learned about decay and decomposition from the episode titled "Mushy Banana." I like shows that are both entertaining AND educational and she LOVES this show.

3. I've gotten a job as a speech pathologist...weird. I mean, yeah, I've got a master's degree and that's kind of what I was SUPPOSED to do, but up until this point I've been playing it by ear. I've just been "going with the Godly flow" (name that movie!) and been saying that if I'm meant to work then a great job needs to fall in my lap, because I'm not going out looking. If it falls in my lap and works out then that's where I'm meant to be.

So far that looks like what is happening. My good friend from grad school, Brandi is long time friends with another girl who is an SLP, Megan. I've met Megan a few times when Brandi has had get togethers. She started her own private practice and she contracts with the Mustang public schools. They (her and her husband) just started the practice and he is a psychologist. So they are kind of doing a one stop shop kind of deal. They eventually want to get a PT and an OT and then they would have all of the major therapy areas covered.

I will be the first therapist working with them. This summer I'm going to work just a little in their clinic, seeing just a handful of clients, basically just getting back in practice since I haven't done therapy in over a year. Then at the end of the summer I'm going to contract through her in a public school somewhere.

This is how contracting works. The school districts have job fairs during spring and summer to fill all of their open spots for all positions, including speech paths. All of those people they hire work directly for the district, and they have very few part time positions, if any. Working for the districts, speech paths make little more than teachers, considering we have a master's and most teachers have a bachelors, this is crappy.

Megan will go to the district in late July and will work out a contract position for me (and herself). We will work for ourselves, er, well, I'll work for her technically. They pay us considerably more because they have to have enough speech paths. I'll be working three days a week, about 20-24 hours, and I'll make over 3/4 of what Cor makes working full time. It's a nice setup.

I don't plan on ever working full time, I think three days is my max. I want to have enough time to spend considerable time at home with Molly.

Me working seriously messes up her school plans for this fall though. She's already enrolled in a public school for afternoon pre-k five days a week, but if I'm working three full days a week that's not going to work. I can't imagine any day care is going to both take her to school and pick her up, especially only three days a week. Most daycares like full time kids.

So now we are thinking we are going to send her back to King's Gate for pre-k where she's been this year. They also do afternoon pre-k five days a week, but they do before and after school care as well. I feel okay about that because it's very small and we know the staff already. She will be comfortable there because it's familiar. I think it'll take a few weeks for her to be used to being out of the house so much, but it will be okay...I hope.

The plan is for me to do this while Molly is in pre-k and kindergarten and then by the time she is done with that I will have my CCC (certificate of clinical competency, I will have that after I complete the equivalent of a residency) and I can hopefully homeschool her and work from home seeing a few clients and make enough money to help us keep in whatever place we are by then.

We really need to move into a bigger place...with a garage *sigh* We can make it and eventually be there on just Cor's income, but it will take much longer and be much more difficult so I'm glad to be able to help out.

Okay that was my rambling for the night, yikes.