Tag Archives: SPD

School Days, School Days…


Just two more days til school starts for three of my four little loves!  I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with myself on Monday afternoon when I drop Booga off for preschool and Scooter goes down for a nap…It will be a whole new world for me!  I haven’t had just one since Scooter was born, and I haven’t had just one who was napping since, well, I can’t even remember.  I think I had one month of that before Booga was born…

So we’ve been working a lot the past couple of weeks on getting reorganized for school.  Last year was not exactly successful, with Squirt spending most evenings in tears over homework and stressed from the crazy days at school, and Boyo was just bored.  As of a week ago, none of my children wanted to go to school at all, and it was hard to know they were all upset about going to school.  Thankfully, Meet the Teacher days were great for all three.  Squirt has a Mr. Teacher for the first time, and he already got her out of her shell and happy in the ten minutes we spent in his room, so I am very encouraged about fourth grade.  Boyo has a new teacher to the school; she’s young, happy, and plays the guitar and ukelele!  He’s very excited about that!  And Booga got to spend some time exploring all the toys at preschool, so right now he’s ready to go back, and thrilled that he got to pick out his own crayons, glue sticks, and pencils just like the big kids.  Keeping our fingers crossed that these attitudes last at least for a few weeks! 🙂

Around the house, we’ve been working on organization.  First, we cleaned up a special spot in each kid’s room for the next days’ clothes.  I hope to get them in the habit of setting clothes out every night, we’ll see how that goes.  This is especially helpful with Squirt and Booga, since what I would pick does not always fit with how they are feeling.  I’ve given up trying to figure out why a shirt is perfect one day, but the seams are too scratchy tomorrow!

Then, we cleaned up the desks.  We have two small desks in the dining room that needed a good clean-up job, but hopefully they are now ready with everything the kids might need to get their homework done after school.  Squirt’s desk is as empty as possible, with some fidgets nearby just in case.  I’m working on making her a lap pet, which I hope will help with sitting down for homework.  I’ve also considered giving her my exercise ball instead of a chair, but I’m not sure she could keep her balance on it…

Last, we worked on school lunches.  We printed up the hot lunch menu, and each kid highlighted their choices; one lunch per week.   This goes on the fridge, right next to our dinner menu calendar.  Then we printed a list of what needs to go in their lunchboxes each day; 1 protein, 1 fruit/vegetable, 1 snack, and 1 drink.  I made a list with some examples and taped it to the inside of the pantry door.  You should be able to get a copy here; Filling my Lunch Box

This way they are responsible for their own lunches at night, and the most I should have to do is make a sandwich if that is their choice.  I will say that I still sneak in surprises from time to time, and I always add napkins so I can write them messages.  But I’ve found that if they pack it, they eat it.  If I pack it, it tends to come home with more food left than eaten.  Very important for Squirt, since she doesn’t really feel like eating at lunch time, and if she loses weight, the doctor makes us change medications again!

Then I cleared out a shelf in the pantry.  I had this shelf last year, but it got a little overrun by the end and over the summer I lost it completely.  So I reorganized and put in my 2 bins; one for snacks, which is filled with individual bags of chips, cookies, brownies, or other treats.  The other is for fruit cups, applesauce, apples, real fruit snacks, etc.  Sometimes I buy bigger of these and portion them and put them in the fridge, but at the beginning of the year I can get the pre-portioned stuff at such good prices, that I just buy them.  I also have a plastic container in the fridge that I fill with cheese sticks, boiled eggs, carrot bags, cucumber slices, or whatever else is designated for lunches.

So that is what’s happening at our house this week.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to keep up with all this great organization, and continue it through the whole school year, but for now, I feel ready to go.


Lessons from Fireworks


This week was the Fourth of July.  It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything, and I’ve been feeling quite guilty about that, but I had tons of excuses.  School ended, and we needed to readjust to 4 children in the house all day every day.  And by that I mean when they are not playing baseball, softball, taekwondo, or going to horseback riding lessons or soccer camp or two rounds of therapy.  Throw in several runs to the doctor because Scooter (whose new name should just be Trouble, or maybe Monkey) has decided his little body doesn’t like milk or anything milk related, or soy, or something else that we just haven’t figured out yet.  Oh, and Mondays the kids all stay home with Dad while I work for 5 hours…seems like a perfect solution, and yet, it really adds to the craziness of our weeks.  Needless to say our summer so far has been more running than relaxing.

Now, finally, the sports are finished (except riding), Squirt has gone to camp for 5 whole days (yikes!), Boyo is enjoying a playdate, and the littles and I are enjoying a little calm time, so I decided I needed to get a post up.

On Wednesday, the Fourth of July, we had a planned a fun, family, regular-old Independence Day celebration.  We were going to go to a parade in the morning, drive to Michigan around lunch, stop along the lake with a picnic, and enjoy the fireworks with cousins in the evening.  Except it didn’t go exactly as planned.  Actually, it went nothing like we’d planned.  To start with, the heat index in the morning was hovering close to 110°.  WAY to hot to take 3 asthmatic children and 1 baby to a parade.  So we stayed home, cleaned, did some yard work, and packed up Squirt for camp.  Well, the yard work took awhile, so we didn’t actually leave home in time to picnic.  As a matter of fact, we didn’t get to Michigan before dinner, either.  Instead, we drove 3 hours with a puking puppy to get there just in time for fireworks…and then the real fun began.

See, fireworks, and SPD are NOT a great combination.  I *know* this.  Every year I *feel* this.  And every year I swear we will do something different next time.  But the memories I have of going to a big community picnic, enjoying the games, watching the parachuters drop, listening the band play the great marches and American music, and watching the fireworks as a family get me every year.  I so want them to enjoy it like I did…

So this year, we gave Booga a choice.  Grandma was staying home, and he chose (wisely!) to stay with her and watch them on tv.  That was ok, but he got sad and lonely for Mommy, and that was a first, so it made me sad, too.  Squirt really wanted to go, Boyo was excited, and it was the first year Scooter would actually see them, and I really wanted to be there to see his face.  So the rest of us set off for the fireworks.  Cue the lines of traffic that made it seem like the car wouldn’t even make it down the road, the crowd of people sitting close, laughing and talking loudly, the dark coming quickly, and the hustle to sit and watch the show.  The first firework went off and my 9-year old daughter screeched, ducked for cover, and cowered behind her father.  Her brilliant aunt (I know better, I really do, but Aunt Sue to the rescue!!) offered her ear muffs, which she put on quickly, but continued to cower until she was forced to move over, where she promptly buried her head in Daddy’s lap and stayed that way until she fell asleep.

Boyo, to be fair, fully enjoyed the whole show (which was pretty long), but he would have liked to have his own ear muffs.  I’m online looking as I type. ☺  Scooter was ok for the first couple fireworks, then started to cry.  I took him a little away, got under a tree, and held his ears.  This seemed to do the trick, because he was perfectly happy to watch, point, and occasionally look up to say “oooooh!”  But while standing under the tree, I saw myself in those fireworks.  We have been so busy this summer that it is half over and I’m wondering when it started.  There is so much pressure building up, just to get lit, fly up and explode, and it’s over.  We are exploding here.  That’s not to say we’re not enjoying it, just like the fireworks are beautiful for a moment, but it’s gone so quickly, and we are having our quick bits of fun, but there is just so much running around, lighting fires, starting more and more, and then what?

A friend of mine has called this summer with her children The Summer of Yes.  Whatever they want to do, no matter how crazy or silly, they are going to do together.  They’ve been having all sorts of fun and I almost decided to do the same thing, but I’ve decided that next year we are going to have the Summer of No.  No, we aren’t going to be in 4 sports at the same time.  No, we are not going to schedule so much in so little time.  No, we are not going to stretch ourselves so thin that we don’t remember how to have fun.  No, we don’t have to go to parades and fireworks.  Just no.  And maybe instead, we’ll find a beautiful sunset…the kind that lasts for hours, and can’t be recreated by men with explosives.  The kind that we’ll remember forever.