Tuesday, July 24, 2018

First Half Summer Recap 2018

By this point every summer, I've often already written a blog post about how much transition we experienced moving from our routined school year into the unknown of the summer. As much as we all love summer in this house, it's often been difficult to get through the end of June as we have to get used to a "new" way of doing things again. I've often typically talked about Colin and his difficulties with a lack of a regular routine and how we have to make our way to a place that he is comfortable and happy before we can really start enjoying the summer. However, as I started thinking about our summer so far and where we are right now, I've realized that this summer has had one of the most seamless transitions in most of the years that I can remember. It has most certainly had its challenging moments but I have realized that we walked right from the end of school into many adventures and a day to day existence in which everyone is happy, enjoying themselves and comfortable with the way things are. As I have scrolled through many of my pictures through today, I know that we have been very lucky to have done the things we have as a family as well as with family and friends. I also have to say how proud we are of Colin because as he continues to grow and mature, we have seen so many wonderful changes that includes this summer and his resilience to change. We have seen how he's tackled many difficult challenges like fireworks, trying new foods, riding his bike, getting his teeth cleaned, etc. and although he isn't always happy with the outcome, is still pushing through to do the best he can do. Here are some of my favorites so far and I look forward to all that is still yet to come! 

Colin and Kailey's Dance Recital

Colin and Kailey's Dance Recital

1 of Many Beach Days

1 of Many Beach Days

So proud of this guy! 

Adventures to the bay

Playground Fun

Playground Fun

Fun Sibling Moments

Boardwalk Fun

Boardwalk Fun

Boardwalk Fun

We've Managed to Fix SOME Bedtime Routines (NOT all)

Surviving Days without Daddy Time

Surviving Days without Daddy Time with Adventures

Surviving Days without Daddy Time with Adventures (NC)

Surviving Days without Daddy Time with Adventures (NC)

Surviving a 9 Hour Trip Home from NC


Welcoming Daddy and Team NJ home from USA Games at the Airport


Kids are in Bed Fun

Beach Fun

Yay, Colin survived the fireworks! (A HUGE fear)

Cody being Cody

Enjoying some perfect 10 beach days

"Dancing in the Rain" 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The end of the 2017-2018 School Year

This week marked the end of the 2017-2018 school year and as I expected, it brought with it a lot of emotions for me. We are finishing up a truly phenomenal year and I am just so thankful for the truly amazing educators that all three of our kids were lucky to have worked with this year. It feels like just yesterday we were sending them all off with the hopes that they would have great years and they all exceeded our expectations. 



This was the BEST year we have had with Colin to date. Much like it is every time you go through something difficult in life, it is hard to imagine what it's like to be on the flipside. This year was the first year that there was not any litigation or difficult IEP meeting and for the most part, it was just a normal school year. In a meeting at the end of last school year, Colin's current general education teacher and I sat down to meet each other and talk about 2nd grade and she said to me "don't worry, I've got this" and she really did get it. She was the definition of inclusion in all of the ways she seamlessly made sure Colin was a part of all classroom activities and although we communicated throughout the school year when it was needed, it wasn't really needed a whole lot. Between Colin's general education teacher, special education teacher, and his paraprofessional (all women we are so incredibly grateful for), he made meaningful progress and was so incredibly happy. When I saw all 3 women on the last day of school, I couldn't help but cry with gratitude for all they did for Colin this year. 

First Day of School

Last Day of School

Last Day of School
Kailey had a great year as well. She really enjoyed her teacher and her class and made a lot of academic growth this year. She loves learning and took her homework very seriously this year (almost to a fault!). We watched her reading, and confidence in reading, take off as the year progressed as well as her writing. Although her spelling isn't always the best, she loves to write and we find her written notes all throughout the house. She is also very talented when it comes to drawing and particularly loves to draw unicorns and princesses. She is a far better artist then I can possibly manage! There are most times when she is the most doting, sweet, and loving sister but there are also times when her brothers pester her and she has little patience. We've been working really hard this year on the whining but I'm not sure that ever changes! Since this time last year, she has grown 3 1/4 inches and gained 8lbs (although I'm pretty sure the 8lbs must just be in her bones!). We were really proud of all that she was able to accomplish this year! 

1st Day of School

Last Day of School

Last Day of School
Cody made so many big changes this year although the growth happened very slowly. At the start of the year, the most difficult challenges we faced with him were the tantrums over every little thing. We have always felt that part of Cody's difficulties were due in part in trying to keep up with Colin and Kailey. While many times it seemed like he was older than his 3 years of age, he was only 3 and we were reminded of it in the ways he handled many things, especially when things didn't go the way he wanted or expected them to. We have felt that 3 has been VERY difficult, however, throughout this spring we have really started to see his maturity and ability to handle things far better when they don't go his way. The tantrums and lack of flexibility often come as a result of tiredness, lack of nap, or after a long weekend and/or busy few days in a row. He is otherwise, a very happy little boy who loves all things sports and Paw Patrol. After seeing all of the positive changes this spring, we can't wait to see what 4 will bring for him! 

1st Day of School

Last Day of School
The 2017-2018 really was a FANTASTIC school year and we are so very grateful to the wonderful educators all of our kids were blessed to be with this year!

1st Day of School

Last Day of School

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cody's End of Year Show

Last night was Cody's end of the year show that his daycare puts on every year. It is usually set to a theme and involves the oldest classes in the school. They spend many days practicing with the students to prepare for the night and always put on such a great night with all of the kids. We were SO PROUD of Cody for how great of a job that he did and once again were reminded of just how thankful we are to have found a place that cares for our kids the way they do. Last night was their 32nd time they put on an end of the year show! I was also reminded last night just how much Cody has grown and changed over the past school year. Ages 2-3 with him has been pretty challenging to say the least but we are very slowly seeing how much he is maturing and how much this added maturity is changing him into a different person. 


The show last night was an "I Love the 80s" theme with some of my favorite 80s songs. The kids came walking in and then started the show with the pledge, "Proud to be an American", "I Want Candy" and "Walking on Sunshine". We could tell right away how much Cody was into the show and his personality was shining through right from the beginning. I was honestly expecting more of a timid/shy Cody but he very pleasantly surprised me and he was so much fun to watch.





Cody's class then did their song to Flashdance "What a Feeling" and it was so much fun!




Cody also came out walking the sign to introduce one of the next classes that followed his group.


Finally, to end the night, each student in each class was announced and then they ended with "We are the World" which they exited the stage to. It really was a fun night and I greatly enjoyed watching Cody have his night to shine, especially since he is always attending everyone else's events. 







We were so proud of Cody and we celebrated him with ice cream!