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!

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Last year for the spring musical production, my high school put on Shrek the Musical and we brought the kids to watch. Colin became so enamored with the show that very shortly after, we had the soundtrack from when it was on Broadway and he was requesting to sing and dance to the songs every day. In addition, we found the Broadway show on Netflix (we now actually own it, just in case it ever goes off!) and he has since received the lyrics book as well. We thought his obsession would eventually die off, and although he did take a slight break from it when the new Beauty and the Beast movie came out, his love of it has never truly gone away. Months ago, my sister in law shared with me an email in which the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown advertised their spring production was going to be Shrek the Musical. I was so excited that I checked regularly for the posting of the tickets and finally got them more recently. We didn't tell them until we got there and Colin was SO excited! 

Before the show started, we let Colin and Kailey take a peek down under the stage where the orchestra was going to be playing and we had to remind Colin several times that although he could recite the whole show, he was going to have to sing to himself. We even reminded him that he was going to have to stay in his seat and wouldn't be able to stand up to dance because he would be blocking people behind him. 

Leading up to the start of the show, Colin read the production book at least twice so that he could learn the names of the actors that were playing the parts of his favorite characters. At one point he even got up and hugged Chris and me to thank us for getting him tickets to the show. 

It was so much fun to watch him watch the show. He had so much fun and I think his favorite part was "Freak Flag" because the full ensemble is on the stage at that point. What I love the most about this show is the underlying message; acceptance, inclusion, tolerance and being happy with who you are! 

Dancing in the aisle at the end to "I'm a believer!"

We had SO MUCH fun!