Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kindergarten - Nailed it!

Last week marked Jeremy's last day of kindergarten!  He successfully completed his first year of school at Farragut Primary and little man simply "cannot hide his dolphin pride!"  He got all 'meets expectations' on his report card (apparently reading at a high school level does not equate to an 'exceeds expectations' in reading - whatever), and has officially been moved up to first grade!

Jeremy had a lot of fun this year, and while I am still a bit upset that I cannot afford Catholic school for him, I am happy he adjusted so well and was so happy at FPS.

Some of his accomplishments:

  • First kid in the class to join the "shoe tying club"
  • Only kid in class to join the accelerated reader program
  • Conquered his anxiety issues in regards to discipline/listening in class
  • Amazing turnaround in discipline issues after the disastrous November
  • Made lots of new friends and new best friend, Dylan (and about 20 different girlfriends, ahem)
  • Learned some fun new potty words and sounds :)
  • Learned to tell time (mostly); count money (mostly); add and subtract up to 20; count by 2s, 5s, and 10s; learned basic grammar (ie subject, verb, punctuation); improved handwriting dramatically; and managed to not regress in his reading despite still being massively ahead 
Some pictures to track the year:
First/Last days of school

Halloween class party

Halloween class party

Binder full of notes of Jeremy's lack of listening skills during the month of November
Class Christmas party

Class Valentine's Day Party
Valentine's Day fun

End of Year party

potato sack race

egg on a spoon race

One of my favorite things this year is that the kids were encouraged to bring items from home to share with the class and in the last few weeks of school, Jeremy brought his new favorite book Stink and Shark Sleepover (I HIGHLY recommend the Stink series to anyone with boys who like to read) and his teacher allowed him to read a chapter each day to the class.  They apparently loved it and would crowd around Jeremy as he read out loud to his classmates each day.  What?  My kid is amazing.

Overall, it was a great year and Jeremy had a blast in kindergarten.  He is beyond excited about first grade, but he has already told me that "Robert's older brother, he's in 3rd grade, said that 1st grade is hard and if you are bad they will bust you all the way back to kindergarten with the babies."  Oh, kids, gotta love them!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pee Wee Baseball

Jeremy is wrapping up his 3rd season of baseball right now.  He has played with the same coach (our friend Ben) and most of the same boys for all three years, which is very fun.  This year, the kids follow most real baseball rules.  3 strikes you're out, 3 outs ends the inning.  Personally, I love the induction of any and all rules.  They still let everyone play in the field, so that means every gets to bat since they are all technically in the lineup.  There are winners and losers, and team standings.  Every game has the same pitcher and catcher for every single team in the league - Mr. Vance and his son (? or just some young dude who hangs out with Mr. Vance?). Either way, they are WONDERFUL with the kids.  Mr. Vance apologizes when he strikes them out.  It is kind of adorable.

Most of  the kids on the team have really increased their skill set.  We have some pretty amazing athletes.  Jeremy is not really one of those amazing athletes, but he has a lot of fun, is learning a lot about teamwork, and is a very positive and encouraging  teammate.  We are still working on his skills, but athletic ability is just not a natural gift for him.  He seems ok with it, though, and has a blast.

Here are some pics from practices and games so far.  One of the moms, Donna, is an amazing photographer.  You should be able to very easily tell which pics she took and which came from my free (2 generations old) iPhone.  :)

Practices still seems to mostly be about playing with dirt and leaves and staring at boats on the river for Mr. Jeremy.  I spend most of my time chasing or holding Violet so she stays off the field.  She really wants to play.

Games keep his attention much better, and I love that we now get the really nice field at the Lakeshore Complex.  Jeremy is still the only high sock wearer on his team, which boggles me.  Brian and I try our best to watch the games, but mostly we are trying to keep Violet from jumping off the bleachers.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day - Dollywood Style!

Just the other day I was writing on a friend's blog that I have lived in Knoxville for 15 years and never been to Dollywood...

Mother's Day was great this year!  I feel like I usually get a relaxing day with breakfast in bed and an automatic exemption from dealing with smelly poops.  But this year - I got to bask in all the fun parts of being a mom.

The kids woke me up with yellow roses, a homemade book by Jeremy (hilarious!) and an Easter basket full of fun movies and a cute card.  Love those kids.

Then, we quickly got ready for our main Mother's Day adventure - Dollywood!  Our friends Teddi and Jared got us free passes for the day, so it was perfect.  Five kids, lots of sunscreen, a ton of rides, and shockingly NO tantrums later, we had an absolutely wonderful day!  I really could not have asked for a better experience to one day look back on and say "hey, being a mom is FUN!"

So, Dollywood.  It is super fun!  Who knew?  Jeremy and Violet both had a blast and I must reiterate that we did not have one single tantrum.  Have I ever typed or uttered such a wonderful sentence before?!

Jeremy rode a billion rides, including some real big-kid rollercoasters.  He loved the water rides the best, obviously.  I was very proud of him for being so brave on some of the more scary rides.  He was actually a bit under the weather this weekend, so his attitude and energy were so impressive.

This was Jeremy's favorite ride.  Look closely and you can see poor Brian soaking wet with the boys.  We all went the first time, and he volunteered to take them on the successive trips.  Good daddy.

REAL roller coaster!

Violet was a little princess in her kiddie rides.  She would stick her nose up in the air, smile her little closed-mouth smirk, and wave at the crowd.  I overheard other parents saying, "Oh here comes the little beauty queen again."  So weird.

NOT amused by the water that completely drenched her on our very first ride in the park.  But, she was very positive about it.

Waving to her subjects.

Had to bribe Jeremy to ride the kiddie ride.  Notice Cinderella buckled in next to Vi.

Vi and Zoey have finally formed a friendship based on peek-a-boo.

Jeremy cracks me up.  Vi was terrified and would not let go of my neck.  You can see I am losing oxygen.

Teddi and her family are so wonderful to put up with our family insanity!  We love them.
All 5 kids, plus Teddi's arm, plus Cinderella (natch).

What?  How cute is that?  

Pooped at the end of a looong day!

Happy Mother's Day!