Saturday, February 26, 2011

4K/ Preschool Next Year!

Okay, I've written a ton of posts about this in absolute frustration, but never posted any, lol!  As I've said before, Venily misses the 4K cutoff by 1.5 months.  Cutoff is Sept 1st, she has an Oct 13th birthday.  She is currently in preschool and is the youngest in her class, but does exceptionally well and is more than ready to go to 4 year old kindergarten next year, but our district has a school board rule where they will not do an early assessment for 4 year old kindergarten- meaning, they won't let you go in early.  However, they WILL let you do an assessment and get into 5 year old kindergarten early if the child passes (which I absolutely plan on doing).

Wisconsin also has open enrollment, where you can go to any school (not just in your district) if they have room and you want to drive your child there yourself.  I found a school that's not too far away that will do an early assessment for her and let her in their 4K class.  HOWEVER... DPI says that in order for your child to go to 4K in another district your own district must offer 4K (it does) and your child must be eligible for that 4K program (she doesn't b/c they won't do an early assessment).  Sooooo.... I put in a call to DPI to plead my case.  She said that nope, she can't go to another 4K program if she can't go to the one in my district.  UNLESS.... Wheatland were to say it was okay (and she was highly doubtful that they would ever do this- I assume they'd have to pay for it).  

So, next step was to call Wheatland and ask if we could open enroll to another district since they won't let her into their program.  I made Jason call b/c he's great at that sort of thing and I get so emotional that I almost cry and forget half of what I want to say, lol.  He got a hold of the district superintendent who is fairly new and didn't have any idea about Wheatland's 4K policy.  He asked if we would consider her in the top 5% intelligent-wise for her age group (we definitely do) and asked a bunch more questions.  He was really interested in helping us out and called a whole separate board meeting to re-evaluate their rule just b/c of Venily, LOL!!!  We haven't heard back from him on how that went, but I am grateful to him for at least trying.  *fingers crossed*

SOOOOO.... here's our options for next year!

1.)  My absolute ideal situation would be that Venily gets into 4K at Wheatland.  It's an awesome program.  I love the school.  I know the teacher well and love her (I've subbed for her a bunch of times while pregnant with Venily)!  It's 5 days a week (half days) and is FREE and the bus would pick her up and drop her off at our house.  Awesome, awesome, awesome!!   I don't think it's going to happen, but at least I now have some hope! :)  Plus, I plan on sending her to Wheatland for Kindergarten- 8th grade as well and it would be nice for her to get used to the school that she's going to spending so much time in! (and in a perfect world, I'd get a teaching job there once Haven is in school as well!) :)

2.)  My 2nd ideal situation would be that Wheatland would allow us to open-enroll.  I don't know what their stance is on this, but I signed her up for the other district just in case since the paperwork was due last Friday.  I had to fill out tons and tons of forms and pay $20, but it will be worth it if the Wheatland thing doesn't work out.  All the people I have talked to from that school have been super nice.  It would also be 5 days a week and free, but we'd have to bring her to and from school (which will be extra hard since I have Allison getting on and off the bus at my house and it's a bit of a drive to get there).  She has a 4K screening scheduled at the end of March if this option all works out!

3.)  Lastly, I also filled out all the paperwork for Head Start.  This is also at Wheatland and the bus would also pick her up and drop her off at my house.  And it's also 5 days a week and I have the option of sending her half days or full days (I would definitely only send her half days!!!).  It is also free b/c we qualify financially.  Jason seems to think that this should be my 2nd choice, but I just have a lot of apprehension about sending her there.  It's a preschool program, but I just so wanted her to go to 4K since I absolutely plan on her going into 5K the following year.

4.)  A 2nd year at her current preschool was an idea we considered, but decided against!  Just sending her 2x a week puts a HUGE financial strain on us and I would want her to go more than twice a week to prepare her for kindergarten the following year.  I was really sad when I had to tell her teacher. :(

That's where we're at now!!  It drives me crazy not knowing!!  I don't do well with indecision and waiting for the pieces to all fall in place!  Another thing that fills me with anxiety is the kindergarten screening process... I really don't know what to expect!  If a guy does it, I know hand-down Venily will not say a single word. :(  And if it's a woman, she will probably be a bit shy at first, but I think she'll do fine (but can't be certain- it takes her a bit to warm up to some women too).

The only thing I can do is wait and see!!

17 months old!

Each month I have a mini-breakdown that she is growing up too fast.  Can she really be 1 1/2 years old next month?!  It just doesn't seem possible... :(
I don't have a ton of updates since her 16.5m updates, I'll have a bigger update next month for the big 18m.  Just some random funny stories from my little Haven...

Haven woke up in the morning, crawled into bed with us and the first thing she said was "Mommy.... make popcorn?"  lol!  It has been weeks since we've had popcorn, so the only thing I can think is that maybe she had a dream about it! :)

A few days ago I was holding her and she said "Down please.... for my birthday?"  Venily says the "for my birthday?" line all the time when she wants something b/c she got it from iCarly!  It was soooo funny to hear Haven say it though! :)

She's picked up a ton more new songs!  I love listening to her sing- she is just the cutest thing in the world!

She will identify the following shapes correctly almost every time: heart, star, crescent moon, triangle.  And most of the time circle. :)  Her favorite magnidoodle game is make Mommy draw shapes while she tells me what they are!  Over and over and over and over, lol!

I don't know why... but Haven LOVES laying on floors and rolling around, lol!  She does it everywhere... in the gym, at storytime, at home, doesn't matter where she is! :)

And here are some more videos:

Singing ABC's while watching a movie.  She was so cute laying there singing them over and over again that I just had to take a video.  Of course, as soon as I take out my camera she starts being goofy!

More counting too!  She counts all day long as well!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baseball Camp!!!

Venily had her first fantasy baseball camp today!!!  We were so nervous since soccer was a disaster, but she kept insisting that she wanted to go!  And she did AMAZING!!!!!  Sure she was a little shy here and there if there was a guy trying to help her with something, but she loved all the women (and a majority of the "teachers" were women) and participated in all of the activities!!!!!  I was so close to crying the whole time!  I AM SOOOO PROUD OF HER!!!!!  She was definitely one of the youngest there too since it was for 3-6 year olds and it seemed most of the kids were 5.  She was also only 1 of 2 girls in her group, but did amazing!!!  She got to practice throwing, catching, batting, and running bases!  And she even spoke when asked questions like "What is your name?  What is your favorite color? etc.!  :)  I am so happy for her!!!!  She says she loves baseball and can't wait to go back next week!  ♥

Catching the ball

Having so much fun!
Throwing... (p.s. she got it in the right hole almost every time even when she tried throwing with her left hand, lol)
Defense stance
More throwing
Haven being a goof and laying and rolling on the floor, haha!

Running the bases!

Here she is batting and running the bases! :) So proud of her!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My poor little baby!!

Haven had a low grade fever this morning and a super runny nose the last 2 days.  She was also stumbling all around this morning and falling over (which I had thought I remembered was a sign of an ear infection).  When she woke up from her nap she was happy, but when she was sitting on my lap she made a face like something hurt her and said "ear hurt".  Soooo..... needless to say, I told Jason to take her to the walk-in since I had to stay home to get Allison off the bus.  And, sure enough, double ear infection!! :(  

I looked back through my online posts and this is the FOURTH time she's had an ear infection!  One when she was 4 months old, a double ear infection at 5 months old, a double ear infection at 13 months old, and now another double ear infection at 16 months old! :(

The Happiest Toddller on the Block!

I FINALLY finished reading it and can honestly say that it's changed my entire perspective on disciplining and relating to my children!  I started using some of the techniques with Venily and have seen a DRAMATIC improvement over the last week and a half!  Highly recommended!  And I was worried that Jason would be resistant to some of the techniques b/c I knew he would never actually read it, but without even saying anything he is following my lead really well and he can see what a huge difference it has made!!!

Venily was at the point where I will admit, I often did not even want to be around her anymore and she was driving me CRAZY and now she is a completely different child!!!!!  It's unreal!  If I ever have another baby, I will definitely be reading The Happiest Baby on the Block because the toddler edition is so incredible!  There are some things that just don't appeal to me like the extreme of the "Toddler-ese" that he uses, but I have been able to adapt it to better fit our family.  The "time-ins", "FFR", and overall insight into a toddler's brain along with the importance of letting a toddler feel in control and how to validate her feelings and basically all the "how to avoid a tantrum" stuff has been a complete lifesaver!  They've literally worked like magic!

I think I'm going to read it again in 3 months just to refresh my memory!  (or sooner if we have any more troubles) :)  There are some things that I think would be really great ideas like the "Magic Breathing" and "Fairy Tale" lessons that I'd like to do, but I don't want to focus on too many things at once.  I need to get some of the other things down really well first and then maybe we'll add in some more in 3 months or so! :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!

And Venily had her first Valentine's Day at preschool yesterday!!  She was so excited to make all of her cards and bring them to school for her friends!  It's hitting me hard lately how much she is growing up.  And it didn't help at all that I just gave away a bunch of baby stuff to a woman a few days ago!  :(  The day before Valentine's day marked the 4 year mark when I found out I was pregnant with Venily! My pregnancy test was an "early Valentine's day" present from Jason, lol!

Venily and I made pink cupcakes with pink frosting for Valentine's day!  I LOVE my girls!!!!  ♥
And I got Venily a sucker in the shape of the "I love you" sign and she's been doing it for the past 2 days, lol.  Haven, of course, got a peace sign! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

She can sing the whole alphabet now!!!!

Sooooo proud of her!! ♥

The best I was able to get on video is of her singing A-V and then she coughs up a piece of popcorn and thinks it's a ladybug and gets all distracted, lol!  (Well, a few weeks ago when I was sick and laying in bed and Jason came to check in on me we heard Venily yell "Haven just ate a ladybug", so it's not like it hasn't happened before, lol).  Venily started singing the whole alphabet at 20 months!  Gosh, I thought Venily was early at everything and Haven has consistently done everything even faster... but her big sister does make a really great teacher! :)

And here are 2 videos where you can hear her counting to 10 and saying 13 and 14.  I really wish I had a video editing program but you get the idea, lol! :)  She's been counting to 10 for me all day today!  ♥

Thursday, February 10, 2011

16.5 months update!

I guess I really haven't done away with the 1/2 month updates, lol!  Haven is always learning so many new things, that it's hard to wait the full month!

She continues to expand on her vocabulary by leaps and bounds!  I estimate that she is at well over 1,000 words now!  She will repeat anything and everything and can retain the meaning of words after only hearing them once!  She also can memorize songs like crazy!  I have no idea how both my girls got such great memories, especially if you know Jason, haha!   She can sing all of "Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" by herself now and most of "Twinkle, Twinkle".  Most of the time something will just trigger the memory of the song for her (like saying the word "star") and then she'll just start singing the whole song without me ever having known that she knew all the words, lol!

This isn't a good one of how she sings her ABC's, but I love that she says "Yeah, baby!" at the end, lol!  :) 

Her huge vocabulary is also getting Venily into more trouble!  Haven now comes up and tells on her all the time.  She'll come up to me all serious and say "EE.. big mess!" and I'll be like "Venily made a big mess?" (nods head yes) "where?" and she'll say "bedroom... c'mon!" and pull my hand all the way to the bedroom!  She's also told on her for banging her head and all the time for taking her toys, haha!  Venily can't get away with anything any more! :)

She counts to 10 now all the time!  And when I say "11, 12" she'll say "13, 14"!! :) 

She has also become really focused lately on correctly adding the plural "s" to the ends of words that need them.  She is so serious about it that it's actually funny.  If I accidentally say something without the "s" and there is more than one, sometimes she will correct me and say "cupSSS", "ballSSS", etc. She is so funny!

She has a new favorite shape!  The other day she brought up a tiny little foam piece that is shaped like a moon and told me "crescent moon!  crescent moon!"... Venily must have taught her that, lol!  Now every time she sees a crescent moon she freaks out saying "crescent moon" and she wants me to draw crescent moons for her on the Magnadoodle all the time, lol!  She is so funny with the things that really fascinate her, haha!  And I had no idea how many "crescent moons" she could find around our house!  She even insisted on bringing one to bed with her the other night!

Speaking of things that fascinate her, like Venily, she too LOVES dinosaurs!!  She can say the names of several different dinosaurs and knows that (on Dinosaur train) Buddy is a T-Rex and Shiny, Tiny, and Don and pteranodons! :)  She is also obsessed with "rocket ships"!  Thanks Little Einsteins, lol!  Is it weird that both of my little girls love rockets and trains and dinosaurs?! :)

The other day she also brought me the bedding of a pretend dog's bed which kind of looks like a pillow in the shape of an oval and told me it was a "pillow pet"! :)  Her ability to understand things and make connections with other things astounds me! ♥

Also, one of her newest favorite animals now are "Spider monkeys" and she loves to talk about them!

Venily also taught her say "Cheeseburger!" instead of "cheese!" when looking at a camera!  Then Mommy taught her to say "veggie cheeseburger" haha!

Instead of saying "Poop!" after she poops or when she sees a poopy diaper, she now sometimes says "P-U, stinky poop pants!" LOL!!!

Oh, and despite the fact that we have gotten a TON of snow, Haven still does not like the snow or cold!!  Which is fine by me, because I don't like it much either!  We can't wait until it all melts and we can play outside again!!!

Her darn incisor teeth are still giving her trouble and none have cut through yet!  I can always tell when she is in pain b/c every little thing makes her cry when normally she hardly ever cries!!  She also gets more clingy whenever she is teething! :(

Though she can usually turn the whining on and off whenever she wants!

The girls were momentarily Packers fans for the Superbowl (the only day that it's acceptable, lol)!  Jason is a Packers fan so the girls got all Packers'd up for him! :)

She absolutely loves to pretend to have things pee and poop in the potty!  So goofy!

She is starting to pick up more and more Spanish words as well!  Thanks to Dora and Diego, lol!  I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and 2 semesters in college so I always thought it would be cool to teach some to my girls!  Haven says "bobos, monkeys!" and "abre, open" all the time and can repeat Spanish words really well so I think I'm going to start giving her a little more Spanish vocab to learn.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Newest Sayings!

"Shake your booty"

"Yeah, baby!" (learned from her sister, lol)

(video coming soon)

"But I was JUST trying to be helpful" (said so cutely you almost believe it, lol!)


And here are some more videos of the girls!!

Venily talking to Santa, haha! 3 years old

Haven reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear (she is doing a lot better at calling animals by their names rather than their sounds, but still needs to be reminded sometimes!) Haven-16m

 Singing "Rudolph" over a month AFTER Christmas, lol, it's still one of her favorite songs! Haven-16m

Two of her favorite things, lol! I'd like to think she's going to be a dinosaur veterinarian when she gets older! :) Haven-16m

She is always pretending to hurt herself so I have to kiss it, lol! Haven-16m

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Review!

The first month of the year is over!  Checking over my resolutions and adding some more!

***For my reading 100 books this year resolution, I am at the following:
January- 11 books read as of last night (pretty good since I need 8 1/3 read each month to meet my goal!)

So far, so good! :)  I finished the one series I thought was only okay and was glad I did, the later books were much better!  I am still waiting impatiently on the next book in the series I LOVE, though I already have the next 2 after that waiting for me! :)  Next up I'm reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block (I've started it before, but am going to start it over and finish it this time).  I've also put several more books on hold and I'm going to start another series too! :)

I'm also adding 2 more resolutions to my list!!!
1.)  I will work out for at least 30 minutes 2x a week (starting off small here, lol, and hoping to increase it)!  I will probably just do a video or 2 on my Exercise OnDemand station.  I would like to get into really good shape before spring and, luckily for me, it usually doesn't take too much work on my part!
2.)  I WILL donate blood this year.  Hopefully I can do this in February.  I have never donated blood before and really want to!

And some Randomness:
* Haven threw her sandwich off the side of her high chair after lunch because I was busy doing something else and she wanted to be done.  I told her "No throwing your food on the floor, Haven, that's naughty!  What do you say to Mommy?"  and she says with a smile "You're welcome!".   I definitely laughed, which was not a good lesson for her, but I couldn't help it, LOL!

* Jason was measuring something in our bathroom while Venily was brushing her teeth and she says "Daddy, what are you inchering?"  Get it?  Inch instead of measure b/c he was measuring in inches, lol! :)