Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

They are so cute! 

I was telling myself all day, I'm going to miss this.  
Three little princess  

When Alice saw Nate in his Caption America get-up

At school it was crazy hair/duck tape day 

She really liked her cupcakes.  Another super sweat friend in her class had matching hair.
They were both excited to match. 

Makenna didn't have kindergarten today but we couldn't resist. 

 Guess how loved making things out of tape?  Yep, our craft girl. 

The little girls and I went to Claire's special ed class today for their class party.  It is the first opportunity I have had to linger in there with the kids.  They were all very nice and excited to meet Claire's sister and have "new friends." 

It was so nice to have the opportunity to meet the kids in Claire's special ed class, put faces with names.  We see her 2nd grade class every day but the kids in special ed are in and out.  

We also got to go to big recess with Claire today.  I stood back a bit from where Claire was to watch her.  She was totally fine the whole time, yay! 

It was fun to see all our neighbor kids at recess.  They kept coming to hug us, ask me to watch a trick and introduce us to their friends.  My heart is full.  The kids totally noticed that Claire was not a recess with them before and now is.  Individually at lease four of them came up to me and said they were excited they get to play with Claire now, so sweet.

Being there today was also a good conformation that this was the right battle to fight.  Just over the fence, across the courtyard was Claire's special ed class, all 4 of them "playing."  They have a sand box, picnic table with benches and one toddler size slide climbing toy.  All of the kids were just sitting at the table with their para for most of the time, not running around, not playing.  Claire swinging, sliding, running, laughed... with her classmates the entire time. 

Arn't these veggie skeletons the cutest?  The kids made them.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crazy Eyes And A Joker Smile

I'm making a bunch of cakes this week.  This afternoon I was working on a princess cake with 7 Disney princess miniatures dancing around the outside.  (The girls are pretty bummed they are going to the party with the large mouth bass cake I'm also making.)  Claire, Makenna and Alice all wanted  a piece of the princess action.  The temptation to play with the little princesses was too great.  Sense these do not belong to us I made a rule that they had to stay at the bar by where I was working to play with them.  Claire was not fond of this rule.  At one point she threw herself to the floor humphing that she could not walk away with the figurines.  When I told her no, just where she would have stuck her tung out in frustration she gave me crazy eyes and a scary joker smile instead.  I had to stop myself from laughing as I realized that they have been coaching her on this at school.  Her teachers and classmates are telling her "smile please" when she sticks out her tung.  Just like she was plotting to kill batman Claire did the joker smile for Nate at the dinner table tonight, LOL, Nice work Claire!

And some cellphone pics of family date night. 

She can't let a hug go by with out jumping in. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Grumpy Pumpkin

Claire loves movies like a squirrel loves their nuts, a pumpkin needs its vine.  It's not a healthy obsession.  Claire also loves dogs, the bigger the better.  So Beethoven hits a sweet spot in her heart only topped by Disney princesses and Mary Poppins.  This morning she was watching a new Beethoven that also had something to do with pirates.  Unfortunately it was time for school before the end of Pirate Beethoven.  Now if you have ever pulled a child with Down Syndrome away from their favorite thing you will understand it's not pretty.  She was not going down without a fight.  Oh Claire, it was rough all the way to the door of her classroom.  Everything I said was meet with a smart remark. 

Me "Claire, please get into the van."
Claire "It's a car"
Me "Claire, please buckle up" 
Claire sticks her tung out at me... 

I wish I had the magic solution for transitioning a child with Down Syndrome, braking them out of their  funk.  (If anyone reads that blog feel free to pass it on to me.)  One thing I have learned is you just can't out grump Claire.  This girl is going down with the ship.  If I come to grumpy Claire with my own attitude she will get so much worse.  She feeds off my frustration like poring water on a grease fire.  Keeping my cool, easier said then done.  When she is being a pill part of me wants to go down with the ship too, gosh darn it, if you get to be mad I get to be mad.  I have an actual reason to be frustrated, you have to come eat crackers or whatever.  Then I remind myself who the grown up is, forgive myself and move on.  If it appears I'm not phased that my child (or children) is having a temper tantrum I'm just overcompensating.  

Claire decided to go with a "Mary Poppins" pumpkin this year.

Alice "pirate eye patch pumpkin." "He is sad because he wasn't wearing his helmet on his bike and hit his head."

Makenna drew out a designed for her own pumpkin this year, pretty impressive.  It was her first year wielding a blade-ish tool, fun and frightening.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Big Recess Day Two

The girls wondered off and when I checked on them they had busted out the pipe cleaners. Makenna was decorating Alice and Claire turned Olive into a reindeer.  I love this dog!  She just sat their for 20 minuets.

Disclaimer, I promise not to give daily updates about recess unless it's ground braking but just one more.

No teacher feedback after school today but I had good chats with both teachers this morning about yesterday.  However, I did get an update from Makenna, Claire's kindergarten aged sister.  According to Makenna today "Claire did great the whole recess. I watched her and played with her the whole time.  No teachers told her she was bad." Okay, thank you Makenna.  She is so perceptive.  I never talked directly to her about Claire going to big recess.  Just standing next to me while I talk with the teachers she picks up on so much.  She totally understands that Claire is on trial and she wants to help her "be good." 

Which brings me to the double standard.  What other kid out there is being scrutinized to see if they are good enough for recess with their classmates?  Answer, none of them.  Students in special education sometimes can be held to an even higher standard.  They are under a microscope.  I'm sure another student stuck out their tung, touched another person, stepped onto the play field while a soccer game was currently in progress (gasp)... but unless someone tattled the aid probably missed it with so many kids on the field.  If a special ed student does those things shame, shame I know your name, off to the saluted playground with no equipment for you babe.  I'm so glad they are working with her, this is just one of those things about special ed that gets me. 

Also, how cool is Makenna?!  What a great big, little sister.