September 23, 2012

We Found Fresh Air

Who would think we went to the Seattle side of the mountains to find "nice" weather .... I called Dan during lunch on Thursday, almost in tears ... because I needed OUT!  The fires are still burning through out North Central Washington. Two weeks ago today the smoke started .... It sucks the energy out of us, makes Caden cough like crazy, gives us headaches, sore throats etc! 

It's so bad that when we arrived at my parents Friday night (after a four hour drive) we still smelled of smoke. Friday was a normal day - work & school - no picnics outside, just routine stuff.  My Dad smelled the smoke as soon as we walked in their house. Sucks!

It was nice to get fresh air ... and for Caden to play outside. He had been stuck inside for 13 days. That's a lot for him!

We are back home to reality.  The air is still in the "hazardous" range for the 11th day in a row :o( I "stole" this picture below from Facebook ....  the ten day forecast still shows 0% chance of rain in our forecast.
Time to gear up for another week.  I'll go put on my big girl panties and suck it up .... its tough!

September 18, 2012

Untitled!

As I pondered a title for this post I thought of: Cabin Fever. Misery. Disgusting. Sad. Need Fresh Air. ... the list goes on. The reality is there was nothing nice I could think of ... and if I can't say anything nice I might as well say nothing at all (isn't that how that saying goes?)

A week ago Saturday we enjoyed a gorgeous day!  Caden and I went to the farmers market, ran errands, played outside, etc ... 
That evening as Caden was getting ready for bed an unexpected Thunder & Lightening Storm rolled in.  Huge raindrops. Huge Thunder & Huge Lightening (you could hear the lightening sizzle). We watched as the lightening touched down on the hills in front of our house.
Sunday morning Caden woke up at 6:30 ... I took a peek out front and didn't see any smoke ... I looked out again at 7:30 and saw the beginnings of this:
We watched as the day went on ....
 .. and went on ...
and by Sunday night we had this :o(
Several homes were evacuated and several fires are still burning through out North Central Washington.  Thankfully no homes have been lost. Our Lungs however, another story! Our air quality has been rated "hazardous" for seven plus days.
10 days later the fires are still burning .... and I'm having a hard time finding a positive in all of this ... I just keep telling myself, it could be worse!
Caden stayed home from school yesterday. ALL of this smoke is playing havoc with his asthma :o(
Our gorgeous skies (left pic taken a couple of weeks ago) are now tainted with this awful smoke.
Pictures don't even do it justice!  The smell is awful!  Each day I come home my clothes smell like I've sat around a campfire all day. There is ash in the air, on our cars, etc. It hurts to take a deep breath.
We live in a valley ... and until a major weather system comes in (which isn't forecasted soon) with rain to cool the fires and wind to clear the valley ~ I fear we are stuck with this smoke :o(

I will never take blue skies, fresh air and sunshine for granted again!

.... along with all the negativity of the fire. Caden hasn't been loving Kindergarten!  Last week was his first full week (5 days).  He had several mornings/evenings of tears over various issues including:
All we do is work, work, work. I want you to take me to school, not Dad.  My legs hurt walking to lunch and recess (it is quite the distance). I don't like being at the back of the line.  I don't like being left alone. I don't understand why you cant work at my school instead of your school (thought that was a smart one).  The last day of Kindergarten is tomorrow. I already learned the letter zero, why do I have to learn it again.

I get the anxiety's ... it's different. Preschool he had one teacher, three para's and 10 kids. Now he has one teacher and 22 kids.

His teacher and I have been emailing each other almost daily.  She is awesome!

Between the Fire and Caden's Kindergarten anxiety's I was really needing a ray of sunshine!

Today on the way home from daycare/school. Caden said, "Mom, know what? Sister Bear is right Kindergarten is fun". (this is in reference to the Bernstein Bears book we've been reading).

HOORAY! Just the ray of sunshine I needed!  Let's hope his thought process continues :o)

Next I just need some wind & rain! Hello? Mother Nature? Are you there?!

September 6, 2012

KINDERGARTEN

It's Official! We have a KINDERGARTNER!
I may have shot these first three pictures over the weekend. Knowing I was taking a gamble for smiling pictures today :o)
I have been nothing but impressed with the Staff at Caden's Elementary. They have worked with us on developing a 504 (plan for accommodations) that would "help" Caden but not "do it for" Caden.  They have allowed me to "educate" them and also allowed me to send a letter home to Every Single Household with a Kindergartner (80+ families) at his elementary. This letter introduces Caden, educates why he is "small" and has answers to help the parents when/if their kiddo comes home and says "there's a baby in our class".  and Caden's Kinder teacher spent a few minutes at the staff meeting yesterday educating the entire staff about Caden. Hello Awesomeness!

With that said ... This superstar teacher (of 24 Kindergartners in one class **headache**) deserves a million bucks - I decided a "first week survival" kit was appropriate.  Including: coffee, a coffee gift card, tide stain stick, chocolate, gum, mints, Advil, water and lotion.
Caden went to bed willingly at a reasonable hour last night (this will be the key to maintaining a happy kindergartner!).
I was able to take the first hour off of work (thank you co-workers!) this morning to take Caden to his first day.  He and Daddy scored home made pancakes ... watched a little cartoons ... and Mommy packed the lunch(es).
Caden was excited to head out the door this morning ... I didn't talk about the day he had ahead of him too much, in fear he would start building up anxiety (he does that easily).
He is so over me and the camera .... very non compliant this morning ... and I wasn't gonna tick him off. We were 8 minutes early.  As we waited he started to get anxious and more clingy, especially as more kids arrived.  The teacher opened the gate ... said, "Good Morning Boys n Girls - Can you tell your parents goodbye and then lets go inside".  Caden continued to cling until the teacher caught his eye, said, "Good Morning Caden" then he flashed her his cheesy smile and he headed in to class -
I picked Caden up from our new child care after work (I have found an awesome setup, since I only need an hour of care after school) - he was giggly, smiley, and playing with the girls.  Our sitter said he talked the whole way home.

He had a good day! He didn't give me alot of details ... He did say they learned rules and walked around. He said, "kids were looking at me" and I said, "did you say hi to them?"  Then we rolled into our funny little song I've made about saying "hi" and telling people, "your bones grow slow" if they ask why he is small.

When we got home he had a little first day of Kindergarten present waiting for him ...
 We played a bit, ate dinner, got ready for bed, read a few stories and tomorrow begins round two ... only 173 school days until summer vacation - but I'm not counting :o) ... well maybe not?!

 ... and check this out. Back to the million dollar teacher who has 24 Five Year Old kids in her class ... she called tonight to fill me in on Caden's first day!  She said Caden did Well! She read the "I'm Just Small That's All" book to the class today and explained to the kiddo's why Caden is small. She had a couple concerns/questions that we discussed ~ but overall he had a good day!