Friday, December 19, 2014

Teaching Home Repairs

One of the greatest life lessons I learned from both my parents growing up was the art of home repairs. I believe there was only one time in my childhood that I can remember there ever being a repair man in our home. It wasn't just my Dad who did the home repairs but my Mom did many of them too. They both use to tell us, "If you can take it apart you can certainly put it back together!" I have never been afraid of home repairs or installing ceiling fans to dimmer switches in my home. I admit I do have a mechanical mind and am able to put most anything together. I taught my older children these important life lessons as well, and also taught them the art of persistence. While sometimes we begin a home repair and possibly do not quite understand the task at hand, if we are slow and steady most can be figured out. Like my parents though I do know my limits and there are certain situations I will not dig into.

Right after Thanksgiving while getting ready to bake a pizza, my over element broke in several pieces. Amazing huh! My husband's first response was to call a repair man, which would have set us back $100.00. I refused to pay that much for something I knew I could do myself. It took me a bit to find the replacement part, you know now days I think finding the parts are harder then fixing the problem itself.

It finally arrived after paying 22.00, and my work began. Selena was at my side asking her 100 questions all the way. Questions like, "How do you know how to use a screw gun?" Once the element was out Selena wasn't sure of the oven door open where she could see the wires in the back of the stove, but quickly jumped in to help me finish the job. Watching ever so carefully as I attached the new element to the wires and then screwed it back into the stove.

Selena gets plenty of experience watching different repairs around the place, from the plumbers fixing broken pipes to our simple fence repair. I guess in her mind though she just never really thought of her Mama starting and completing a task on her own. Though really knowing that my husband is not mechanically inclined makes me more inclined to do it by myself.

I want Selena to know she doesn't have to depend upon repair men for ever single thing, nor does everything have to be as disposable as some think. As she grows I want her to learn how to diagnose a problem, find the parts, and my goodness now days with YouTube, you can find many easy repair videos to walk you through the job at hand. I want her to feel that sense of pride in knowing that she is capable of at least doing the simple things.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Balancing Between Gifted and Being A Girl

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One of the questions that Selena herself posed to me a few months ago, “Why am I  not normal? I just want to be like all the other girls!” Of course as a Mama my heart sank. I had to ask myself many questions, am I pushing to hard, am I trying to make her giftedness define her, or is this a normal part of growing up?

After this question we started changing things up a lot! First of all though I wanted to boost her self confidence and self esteem that being gifted in no way made her “Not Normal.” We started with the simple facts, that not everyone knows the same things, and how we can learn from each other, it is OK to share our knowledge and talents with others. Selena began slowly to share the things she knows so much about and those she shared with really learned a lot but thankfully made no negative remarks about her knowledge base. This has been a hard area for Selena, since many times when she has bounced off with something she knows so much about people gave her strange looks, or gasped and even made huge issues out of her reading ability. You and I know they didn’t mean anything by their reaction, they truly are taken that a young girl can know so much, but Selena is an over thinker so she reads a lot into our reactions or the things we say.

We then had to move from there to re-look at our home. Did we provide enough for her to be a little girl? Were we pushing too much on the gifted side and forgetting that basically yes, she is a little girl. I concluded that she has plenty of opportunities to be a little girl, dress in fancy dress up clothes, get into my make-up and does in deed have way too many dolls, doll houses and girly toys. Introduce her best friend! The more time she has spent with J, the more the just being a girl has come out.

Many time we worry that the only children our gifted child will relate to is another gifted child or one with the same interests, when in fact sometimes they truly need to explore the imaginary side of things with a friend who will except them for who they are, quirks and all, but keep them balanced as the child they are too. These relationships are often hard to find, so I say keep trying.

Since we have started to listen to Selena, and explore with her all her uniqueness along with her weaknesses, we are seeing her begin to grow and mature into who she is. She is growing in her confidence of what she knows, and the knowledge base she has, but also is comfortable just being a little girl. After all remember even gifted children truly are little girls and boys.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday

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It is hard to believe that you are now 8 years old. You have done so much growing this past year. It is unreal as to how fast you are changing before our eyes. You have gone from that little girl so unsure of herself and full of anxieties to a young lady with confidence and loving life.

You have a best friend who has taught you so much about friendship, and given you so much more confidence. I have to admit that when you were born I always dreamed of the time you, your best friend and I would go shopping, to the park, out to lunch, and many more things. We are doing these things now.

You have your favorites, and not so favorites, but you challenge yourself through your least favorites, and vocalize very appropriate when it is just too much. You are opening up again and showing others just how gifted you are, and teaching everyone something they know nothing about. Your manners are so great, and you use them very appropriate.

I am so proud of my 8 year old! You are blossoming into a very intelligent, compassionate and sweet young lady. Never lose your sense of imagination, it will take you far!

Love Mama!

A few pictures of your birthday celebration:

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lot's of Learning

We have continued to answer all the questions that keep stacking up daily from the numerous questions Selena asks. It is amazing how many questions she can ask in one day. How is a guitar made? Yes, we did a unit study on how a guitar is made which Selena found very interesting, but also brought about more questions. One fact she learned was that they only use 400 to 500 year old trees, so of course Selena wanted to know how to tell how old a tree is.

That led us to a study of counting rings on a tree. Selena learned not only can one find out how old a tree is by counting rings but also the history of the tree, including what the weather pattern was during the tree's growth. She will probably never see a stump or piece of wood the same way ever again.

Some of the other questions that we have been exploring which has been added to our list of things to learn, is why does the moon seem larger then it really is? One day coming home from town the moon was faintly seen in the sky it looked huge, as Selena put it, "The moon looks like it is going to crash into the Earth!" Later upon observation the moon looked it's normal size, so we were off to explore this Moon illusion, or Optical illusion.

One evening Selena insisted on knowing why men have more hair then women as she tugged and pulled the hair on Papa's arm. We are not quite finished looking into this but will report what we discover.

We are also looking into how animals survive the extreme cold weather, Selena has already explored and discovered how thicker the horses coats are getting. Along with this she is discovering how much less hair we are shedding during bath or shower time, so we are going to track this through the winter and again through the spring and summer.



Of course Selena is having her usual fun of decorating, and redecorating the Christmas tree again this year.
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Halloween

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We knew the year would come that Selena would want to try Trick or Treating. We haven’t in the past for several reasons, but I am not going to go into our reasons. I will say that I know in the years past she wouldn’t have handled Trick or Treating with her anxieties. This year as she insisted on a costume, I took her out and she chose this cute Ladybug costume.

We decided to take her to Chuck E’s Octoberfest. It was a lot of fun, and each child who came in the door in costume received 50 free tickets. We arrived at a time before all the crowds, and Selena had a blast. There were two girls there, that just took to Selena as she took to them, so the 3 of them had so much fun playing games and hanging out together.

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Our Chuck E Cheese is in our nearest Mall, so after we finished up eating and playing there we went Trick or Treating through the Mall. We were very proud as to how well Selena handled the crowd of children, using her manners, and having so much fun. In the past I know she would not have done so well keeping her composure, and would have been in flight mode looking for anyplace to escape. We made it around the entire Mall, and had one happy but tired little girl.

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Just look at all the loot she came home with. We have no regrets in waiting to experience Halloween. We know by doing so it truly ended up being a stress free, fun event for her. I can’t impress enough when you are dealing with a child who is twice exceptional, or deals with anxieties wait for some things until they are ready, it truly makes the event much more pleasant for everyone.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We had a little girl who pulled quite the attitude about Thanksgiving this year, an attitude I did not like. I really did not feel like cooking a huge Turkey dinner and had suggested that we go out to eat. She was very insistent that her Thanksgiving was going to be the worse Thanksgiving ever. I decided it was time that she got a huge lesson in what the true meaning of Thanksgiving. We threw together a quick unit study of the first Thanksgiving, and it wasn’t long before Selena realized that the holiday should not be named Thanksgiving, but Giving Thanks. We postponed going out to dinner and I purchased a cheap turkey roast as Selena described it chopped turkey. I really wanted her to see what Thanksgiving is like for those less fortunate then her. I had planned on making ornaments for the tree that would be, “I am Thankful for….” and began the day out with Selena decorating the Christmas tree.

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At dinner with every bite of food, Selena kept telling us everything she was Thankful for, the list continued to grow. We did the same thing, circling the table everyone taking a turn. Through out the entire meal we realized just how much we truly had to be Thankful for. I decided to dump the ornaments and after dinner allowed Selena to make her yearly ornament. This craft came from GreenKidsCrafts one subscription I have no regrets over signing up for. It has brought crafts back into our home.

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With a small teak wood snowflake, Selena painted it the way she wanted to. Then after she painted I put glue over the wet paint and she sprinkled colored rice on it.

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After it dried we picked out a picture to cut out and placed it in the little frame, then hung it on the tree.

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On Friday we took Selena and her best friend out for dinner. We had a nice dinner at one of the local Casino Buffets.

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Come back and read all about some of the other fun things we have been learning and Selena’s very first time of Trick or Treating on Halloween.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Catching Up

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When I went on my blog break it was when our youngest grandson was hospitalized with Infant Botulism. He is home now and doing great, while he still has the feeding tube, he is recovering and making improvements quickly. We got to FaceTime with the family on Thanksgiving, and it was so nice to see how good he is looking. We are hopeful he will be able to get rid of the feeding tube, as he is eating more and depending less upon the tube.

Let me share a bit about this with you, I know I had never heard of an infant getting botulism before this. There is a form called infant botulism, that unlike what we think of botulism from canned vegetables. This form of botulism actually comes from the dust in the air. Babies breath in the botulism spores from dust, mainly in dry areas, and the spores either pass through the body, or they lay in the intestines where with no oxygen they begin to grow.

On October 30th my son called me and said that Jaxon didn’t seem like himself, was whimpering, and not really eating. At first he wondered if it was from teething, after I asked the numerous questions of teething symptoms I concluded this was not teething but a viral or something that needed the attention of his pediatrician. On the 31st they took him into see the pediatrician, who really could not figure out what was wrong and sent them home. As the day progressed Jaxon got worse, by the time they took him to the hospital he was paralyzed from the waste down, and could not cry or hardly smile. The specialists said it could be infant botulism or a neuromuscular disorder. After numerous tests we still did not have many answers, but the hospital had ordered the BigKid antidote for botulism, and was giving him meds to stimulate the muscles while we waited for a specialist to arrive to finish the testing. Right after the testing he stopped breathing, pretty scary! After the BigKid antidote was given he started improving within hours.

I do however, want to share some pictures before all this happened, I was so proud of my son and how much effort he put into his son over Halloween.

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His stroller!

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Jaxon sure proved that he is one Ninja, through all that he has been through!

Stay posted, as I have so much to catch you up on with what we have been doing in our home during this time! Halloween, Girl’s Night, and Thanksgiving!

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