Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sign For My Office

I asked Amy to write my name and create a sign for my office. One of my office locations (I have 2), does not have a name plate and I wanted a home grown, more artistic version.

Amy took nearly an hour to create this beautiful sign. It is clear that it was created with much love. And in turn, I love it and love that we are smiling. We are always happy! Awesome.

I will hang this sign with lots of pride!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keychain!

Amy saw that my keychain broke and that I needed a new one.

What did she do, my thoughtful little child? She made me one.

A lanyard with an extra loop so that it could be hooked onto my key ring. My little sweetie!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

First Report Card Day

Amy has been so excited about "report card day" and getting her first report card.

I have been anxious about it ... as I was when I was in school. Report cards should never be a surprise -- and neither should overall performance. I would not want to read or see anything in a report card that I hadn't already heard from Amy, a teacher or other school official.

I logged onto the online center for report cards earlier than the 3 PM call time. Amy is "developing" in most things - which is normal in the first marking period. Teachers have to show progress, right?

I loved the commentary - and not just because the teacher said nice things about her. Rather, that there are no surprises! So here goes on the commentary:

"Amy is a kind, friendly and happy girl who has made the transition to the Kindergarten curriculum and the routines and expectations of our classroom and school community. Amy enters the class each day with a smile and an eagerness to learn. She shares lively conversations with her peers and is a helper to me as well as those around her.

She loves to write in her journal and has a good phonemic awareness and understanding of correctly spelled words. At times Amy is unsure of herself and can become upset due to the uncertainty of the expectation.

I will continue to assist Amy in building her confidence this year to believe in herself, that there is nothing she can’t try, and I will be here to assist and reassure her as she learns to become a risk taker. She is off to a wonderful journey in kindergarten and life- long learning!"

@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Acting and Musical Theater


Success!

I finally found an acting / musical theater class for Amy's age group that a/ has a safety protocol when kids get hurt; b/ doesn't cost $80 a class; and c/ is held at a reasonable time.

It took me months and I dug really deep to find it (in Warren) and Amy went for the first time last night and LOVED it.

She went with a friend and the moms were able to watch the class on a monitor. It was exactly what I wanted for her - an opportunity to be silly, uninhibited and to let off some steam.

There were no serious monologues and there is no show at the end of the year -- all good things in my book. The kids get to act out their emotions. It was hard for them to act out "angry" because they were laughing so hard. They pretend to be animals. They get to shake out their energy. And they have to listen, work together and follow directions.

At the end of class, the teacher asked Amy if she wanted to come back next week and she said, "YES!!!" I am not sure who is more excited!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

No More!

Last night in the car on the way to Amy's new class (separate blog post on details), Amy debriefed me on her day. I gained lots of insights and I am definitefly getting better with the specific questions that I ask.

Here is how part of our conversation went:

Me: How was gym today?

Amy: Good.

Me: What did you do?

Amy: Same thing that I always do in gym?

Me: Sit on the bleachers and cry the whole time (teasing)?

Amy: (playful tone) Noooo! I don't cry at school anymore!

Me: So what did you do?

Amy: I did whatever Mrs. Z told me to!

The conversation proceeded but I will stop here. She had me at "I don't cry at school anymore." And she doesn't unless there is a really good reason - like getting hurt or someone being mean to her.

I never thought the crying would end. Champagne time!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall Follies!


This year, I made it official and decided on my favorite season. Fall.

Mostly because it seems to be Amy's favorite season. By the way, my favorite song is Imagine Dragon's "On Top of the World" because it is Amy's favorite song. Really, what both of these things are about is that I love Amy's reactions - the joy on her face, the laughing and playfulness.

On Saturday after dancing school, in downtown Basking Ridge, Amy and her friend O played for more than 30 minutes in a small patch of grass covered in big yellow leaves.

They made leaf bouquets. They ran around and crunched. They chased a dog and posed for pictures with him. They rolled around and pretended to be dogs and babies. They played tag. It was beautiful. I felt at peace.

Amy's nose was red. Her legs were cold. Her jacket unzipped. She has a wonderful time. No need for iPads, technology or television, the other mom and I observed. All they needed was some pretty leaves, a patch of grass and some energy.

Love.

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Poetic


OMG! My child is a poet.

She created this beautiful heart with this beautiful sentence that she came up with on her own. Amy drew the picture of our family - it is very clear who is who! And look at that handwriting - for a lefty!

I love you, Mom because you love us back.

Love!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)  

Happy Halloween to the Soldiers!

Teaching Amy kindness and giving are fundamental principles for me.

She is spoiled. She is entitled. She gets more attention than the average child. Teaching her to give back and build her own esteem doing so is something that we spend a lot of time doing.

The neighbor of one of my friends was arranging a candy shipment to soldiers in the Middle East. Her father was on his third deployment and said that the soldiers love receiving candy-filled packages.

The morning after Halloween, Amy filled two large ziploc bags with candy (she filled them herself). She also drew two cards and put them in the bags. I also created a card for each bag to explain that they were filled with love by a five year old.

Amy has not stopped talking about it! She felt so good doing it and giving something sweet for the people who protect us.

It doesn't take much to build the thinking ... keeping it up is the challenging part and continuing to find (and create) kid-friendly volunteerism. Ideas always welcome!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Good Reports


Last week, I dropped Amy off at "before care" at school and one of the second grade teachers stopped me at the door.

Her: I just want to tell you how perfect your child is. Amy is so kind.

Me: Awww. That makes me feel good. What does she do?

Her: She is helpful. She cleans up. She draws all of the teachers and kids pictures. She is the first to give a sad child a hug. She has nice manners.

Me: That's wonderful to hear.

Her: I may just take her home with me.

Me: On her bad days, I might consider that!

Her: Laugh. She is a really nice girl. The other teachers and I talk about her all the time - and how she is going to do something big in life. Something really special. Like run a non-profit. She is just so unique.

Me: Thank you.

Apparently, Amy draws all of the teachers pictures. Her favorite teacher, the reading specialist, Mrs. M was given a hand drawn catalog of Halloween costumes for her to select from. The other teachers get portraits of themselves under rainbows or next to trees or flowers.

Amy gives the other kids hugs, and helps them - especially the shy ones, the ones that get hurt or those that do not speak English clearly. Always helpful.

My kind little kid. It makes me feel good!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

No Mean Voices!


I am always proud of Amy - and especially proud when she expresses how she is feeling in a thoughtful and mature way.

She did that the other night at bed time. We have "Girl Talk" which is whispering her secrets, thoughts and reflections from her day in bad before sleep time.

Amy: Mommy, I don't like it when you use your mean voice.

Me: My mean voice? What is that?

Amy: When you get angry with me, you put on a mean voice. I don't like it.

Me: When you do not listen, I use a firm voice to get your attention and let you know that I am serious.

Amy: I don't like it.

Me: Thank you for telling me that. Do you have an idea of what I can do different? I am open to a new idea.

Amy: Use your regular nice voice and tell me that you are serious.

Me: Okay, I will try that. Thank you for making the suggestion.

So ... fast forward. I now use my "regular nice voice" to get Amy's attention when she is not listening (aka, running in to the street, jumping into the driver's seat of the car, or just generally testing her boundaries). And one of my warnings is, "Amy, this is your last warning ... before I use my mean voice."

It seems to work!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Guitar-Playing Pumpkin

Amy is really into her art work - whether it is coloring, painting or drawing. She draws pictures for all of the teachers are before care and after care. She colors beautifully and her writing is improving dramatically!

This morning, Amy picked up the etch-a-sketch and drew a pumpkin playing a guitar. This was drawn without looking at a pumpkin or looking at a guitar! Pretty impressive, I would say!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)