Monday, March 24, 2008

videoThis video is really for Elaine, our "advocate" for Spencer. She is going to use it to help evaluate me as a tutor, and to see Spencer's progress. I kept locking up my email trying to send it that way, so I figured the easiest would be to post it here! Of course, if you are desperate for amusement, please feel free to view it.

Spencer and I try to work about 20 min everyday using Orton-Gillingham methods to help his "decoding" skills, and this is the portion of the lesson where we try to practice reading fluency. He is preparing to do a "read aloud" in school to his class, and wanted to show Aunt Elaine how well he is doing. I am so proud of how hard he is willing to work before (and sometimes after) school to improve. He has made HUGE progress this year and is really getting starting to taste the fruits of his labors. It has been fantastic to see.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The case for a flat panel TV

Jared has business meetings downtown all week and will be staying in a hotel. They were trying to think of "team building" games they could play when they took breaks, so Jared suggests bringing our Ninetendo Wii for everyone. (I will refrain from my usual comments regarding this) So this morning, he unhooked the wii and packed it, assuring Ethan that after he got out of the shower he would hook up our old nintendo for him to play. Unfortunately, Ethan didn't want to wait that long, and attempted to turn around our rather large TV, and hook it up himself.

Yup. You know what happened. Who knew a pregnant woman could hoof it up stairs so fast?

Anyhoo, after a rush trip to the Dr. and an x-ray, there were no broken bones, just a nicely bruised arm that will likely be sore for a couple of days. It could have been much worse.

I just thought it was funny that Jared thinks he has finally found the perfect justification for buying a flat panel TV. *sigh* I think in a couple days he might realize the flaw in his argument. Or at least in his timing. Then again, I am sure any other husband gets his logic perfectly.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Raising Responsible Boys (?)

So this past Sunday we had some people over from the ward for dinner. He works in Human Resources for a company, and was telling us how the latest trend is for an applicant's PARENT to accompany a child INTO an interview. He was saying how when he "declines" a parent's request to be in the room during the interview (with an adult, college graduate 'child') he has had complaints that other companies allow it, and why wouldn't they? In some cases, the parent and grown child, have LEFT, without an interview. If that's not bad enough, usually the customary, follow up phone call from a potential canidate is made BY THE PARENT to see the status of the application!

I thereby made further resolutions to NOT tether myself to my children. Of course, being a fairly lazy parent as it is, and given the sheer volume of children we have, I think my risk is perhaps less than may exist in other personalities. Nonetheless, I feel a need to publicly deepen my resolve to avoid behaviors that may contribute to this. I confess I do still have a very difficult time not "rescuing" Jack or Spence with the forgotten french horn or lunch money, but I am getting a little better. Of course, being called the meanest mom on the planet is not easy. However, I am taking a few 'baby steps' to at least ease my conscience on some fronts.

So, my success of the week is, after being wearied of it being MY fault they are late for school, I GAVE Jack and Spencer my alarm clock. (No, not Ethan, but my actual clock clock) I showed them how to set it, how to turn it on, and off. I told them they were old enough to get themselves up for school, and it would be THEIR responsibility. I went to bed Sunday night wondering how long I should let them sleep, whether to wake them up in time for the bus, etc. wondering if my idea was frustration or inspiration. Well, by golly, Monday morning, I awoke to the sound of Spencer (already dressed) getting out a bowl for cereal, all by himself. When I walked down the hall I met Jack (already dressed) coming out of the bathroom!!!! It has now been 3 blissful mornings of them taking care of themselves! I have an entire 15-20 minutes more time saved not trying to drag them out of bed, and on some days, even make breakfast! WAHOOOO!!!

Other baby steps have been teaching them (the boys) how to tell the hairstylist how to cut their hair (what size clipper, round or square neck, sideburns or no) You should see the stylists face when they ask me, and I tell them to ask the boys. In fact, today when I took Olivia for her haircut she told me she wanted a #2. I assured her, she did not.

Additionally, they can order for themselves in a restaurant, and RSVP themsevles to birthday parties.

Of course, I would rather have a root canal than try to get them to clean something without me bursting a blood vessel. I still cannot get the concept across that it takes the same amount of time to throw clothing in a laundry basket, as it does on the floor. Star charts, etc. are not my thing. Then again, neither is cleaning.

I'm not sure they'll ever actually be neat or organized. I don't know if they'll ever stop chewing with their mouth open, or understand the concept of a napkin. But, at least they will not be afraid to speak up and look the waiter in the eye when ordering.

Any further ideas at teaching responsibility that do not involve buying a dog are gladly welcome.

Extraordinarily specific and thoroughly tested comments only please.

P. S. I'll shoot myself if I hear "they just have to be trained" one more time. (Napkin example: case in point)