Wednesday, January 9, 2013

level L {love}

I could hear the beaming in Henry's voice all the way from the front seat, even though Wyatt was screaming about not finding his leftover snack in his backpack... "Guess what, Mom?" Henry pushed through the noise with his own excitement, "Mrs. Berger tested me again today and I went from a level E to a level L!"

What (I believe) it all means is that Henry went from reading at a first grade level to reading at a second grade/third grade level.  It's common for children in Chinese Immersion to be behind in English reading, but Henry was farther behind than the average third grade student, and this is the first school year that we know that Henry has dyslexia (and dysgraphia).

The teacher emailed me telling me that she just kept on handing him book and after book, each book moving up a level, and each time at her asking, Henry would answer that "yes, this was too easy for him now."

The dinner conversation circled around Henry's accomplishments and at one point, my husband said "You worked so hard, you both did, you and Mom did... good job!"

I'm stuck on that sentence because it wasn't me, it was all Henry. 

So full of hard-work and determination and this sense of wanting to make everyone around him happy.

You make me so, so happy and proud.

Monday, January 7, 2013

three many

Edy thinks that any number more than one is three.  It could be seven of something, it could be two, it doesn't really matter to her, the total sum of whatever it may be, in her mind, is 'three'.

So today, her arms loaded down with babies and blankies, transferring them from the downstairs playroom to the upstairs (which is essentially a playroom, though it on occasion acts like a living room, she said something quietly to herself as she worked her way up each step...

"Ahh, I have three many".

I might have missed it if I wasn't walking behind her, but I was hoping to catch anything that might have fallen from her armload of lovies.

I stopped mid step to think about what she was saying, instead of the 'too many' she commonly hears coming from me, she changed that to 'three many'.

I like the way she thinks, too many just isn't sufficient enough some days.

(Insert me writing something about making this blog something different than it's been.  I'm just hoping to take 30 minutes to remember, and write, something about life.  That's always been my objective, I'm just headed more so in that direction.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


November 1st.  It's usually sitting somewhere in the back of my head that day.  A lingering thought, maybe mentioned in passing or maybe not whispered at all.  November 1st, the day that I started running a child care, more importantly to me, the day that I started staying home with my son.

How did I celebrate this passing, 8 years later?  By not remembering it all. 

It happened and I didn't notice; I just kept plugging away, scrubbing the dried ketchup off the table and sweeping up the graham cracker dust.  I only remembered it a week later when I was sticking a sticker on the 'real' calendar after one of Wyatt's gymnastic classes.

It's been eight years.

At finally remembering this date, as always, I start to get bored and daydreamy, thinking about just how 'green the grass on the other side' might be.

And there's a point when I told myself that I would go back to work, 'Probably when Edy starts preschool' I declared looking at her in the infant carrier.  It seemed like that would be forever, that somehow I would have my 'fill' of her by then.

Then I was invited to an open house, for preschool, for the one that I would need to sign Edy up for in the next few months... if I were to continue to stay home.

The clash of 'I'm bored with my life' and the self-declaration of preschool being the end has pounded at my heart.

Followed by so, so many questions,..

ones that I'm not sure I'm ready to find answer to.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I made a new play list for my shuffle the night before the race: Dr. Dog, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver and the Dixie Chics.  Obviously, Dixie Chics sticks out like a sore thumb, but even if I embarrassed to admit it, sometimes they are exactly what I need.

I shoved my ear buds into my ears and covered them back up with my stocking cap.  It was cold.  I don't like to run in the cold, or the dark, or the rain... but I don't think I was thinking about what the weather would be like when I signed up for this half-marathon in August.  I just knew then that I wanted to race again, and I knew that I wanted to run it in under 2 hours.

I stopped complaining to myself after about a mile in, it was after all, a pretty day; it wasn't raining, it was sunny, it was just too damn cold, but after a mile, I started to warm up and I started to think more about things other than if my toes were going to fall off.

That's when the Dixie Chics' song Godspeed started playing through my head.  My heart squeezed a little tighter, as I moved one foot in front of the other, remembering how I use to sing that song in my car.  I sang it to Henry, still in my belly, as I drove home from work, all the time.

I thought about how much love was in that song, from a mom to her son.

I thought about how much I say 'running is for me', and it is, but there is this little part of me that does it for my kids too.  To set an example; to be brave and strong, and to be fast and self assured.

And I thought about what my husband said to me the night before the race as we talked in bed.  I told him that 'the kids didn't need to be at the race... that they don't care, that they don't know the difference.'  And he looked at me and said that 'someday it will matter to them, and I want them to see what you are doing.  I especially want Edy to see what a woman can do.'

That's what I was thinking about at mile 11, with just a little over 2 miles left and 20 minutes left in making it under 2 hours.  I knew I had it if it continued to go as is; my thought was 'I got this'. 

I thought about Edy being proud of me... someday.  Maybe not today, maybe not even in the near future, but just that 'someday' had me moving forward.

I crossed the line at 1:57:33

I'm not the faster person out there, I'm not the fastest woman out there; but I did exactly what I had set out to do. 

Someday, that's exactly what I'll tell Edy:

'Set out to do something and do your hardest to do it... that you are lucky to be a woman... to make your someday, one day.'

And to quit complaining about it being too damn cold, we live in Minnesota, it's a given.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I really DO smile, most days

Apparently, I don't smile enough, hence this...
But, it's a pretty awesome opportunity for your child to express their creativity through designing their own t-shirt of 'what makes them smile'.  Kids in grades 1-5 will have an opportunity to win $1000 for their school, win a gift card worth $500 for themself and everyone in their school will be handed a shirt with their winning design on it.  Better yet, there's not just one winner, but five, one from each grade!
Here's a finalist design from last year from Courtney B. of Cottage Grove, MN

So yes, local people can win and you bet Henry will be designing his own t-shirt... can you imagine what $1000 would do for his school, or yours?  You can start your own design here.  Henry will be working on his design tomorrow.  
In fact, we will all be at the Mall of America P.S. from AĆ©ropostale store tomorrow, October 25th from 4-6pm!  There will be activity buckets, a place for the kids to hang out and work on their designs and there may be the random handing out of $50 gift cards to a few moms!  You can also use an exclusive 20% off code: PSMOMSMN online or in the stores from 10/25 until 11/11.
Go on now, have your kids show @psfromaero what makes them smile.
I will be compensated with a gift card for this post and attending the event tomorrow, but heck, you might be too... if you show up, and you know, showing up tomorrow would make *me* smile!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a picture's worth what again?

People ask me all the time 'how's Wyatt doing in school?'.  He's in Chinese immersion, like Henry, and perhaps people are thinking they better check on him since we are forcing him to learn Chinese (and plan on him saving us come their world domination) or maybe they're just curious since he's in Kindergarten, I don't know...

Wyatt jumped off the bus last week with a book in hand.  They make these little paper books, stapled together, pretty much weekly.  The books are pretty stinkin' cute and it's over-the-top-adorable when he reads it to me in Chinese.  And no, I don't speak Chinese.  Which is almost always the second question people ask me after wondering 'how Wyatt is doing'.

But Wyatt's picture book for this week was pretty easy to figure out.  One page says something like 'this is me and I'm xx years old'. 

(Worth noting is exactly how much detail he put into drawing himself and then notice the ones to follow.  Also worth noting is the freakish amount of candles on his cake, it's because he comes from a family who puts candles on anything.  I once even put candle on a hot dog, a birthday dog... so, yes, the poor boy is confused.)

Wyatt's 'this is me'
Next, 'this is my dad'
'This is my brother'

'My little sister'

and then there's me...

He told me that he meant to draw a smiley face, but he got confused and didn't have time to do it over... blah, blah, blah.
Anyone else not buying that?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The folders are just sitting there right now, on top of the printer, each one appropriately labeled, stashed with coordinating print-outs and resources, just waiting for me to do something about them...

It's like knowing what I already knew.  Can't I just go on with the status quo?  Does this confirmation make me feel any better?


It's feels like a mountain dotted with barricades and fences.  Where instead of a sword, I'm handed these three damn purple folders and told to go off... 'fight a good fight'.

But I don't want to fight.  I'm not sure I have enough courage, or energy, or even fight in me to do everything that he needs.

And as horrible as it might sound, I do wish there was just some magic pill that he could take that would make it all go away.

I tell people on the phone that 'it's fine, he's only 8, there is so much that can be done to help him.'

We went into his third grade classroom telling his teachers that this is a 'building year'.  Where we don't have all the answers yet, all the pieces to the puzzle, but we are getting there, and that's the most important thing... that we are heading in the 'right' direction,


I want to make it easy, saying that sounds stupid though, who doesn't want 'an easy life'.  But as a mom, you know what I'm saying, that you would do anything in your power to make you child's life less... punctuated.

For me, it's the part about 'that reading will be hard for him, that spelling may be an overwhelming task, that he may never really enjoy reading, that these are things that will always be harder for him' that makes me want to throw up.

It's just more labels to throw into my f'ing labeled folders.


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