March 31, 2009
March 30, 2009
What would you do if your toddler came home and told you the other kids 'did not like the bow in her hair'?
What would you do if you were talking to your toddler about her day at school, and the friends she made, and she states that one of the girls (not the ones mentioned above) told her she did not like her, and your toddler could not tell you why?
My Little Brat started attending a new learning center 2 weeks ago....she has been attending a center near where we work since she was 8 months old...about 3 years total! She made a lot of great friends, male and female....dropping her off was always a treat....her friends would run up and give hugs, yelling "RANDI!"....all the kids seemed so accepting and caring and well supervised, although at times, chaotic....the teachers seemed to be in the middle of everything tho, and were pretty strict about complete acceptance of EVERYONE...there was one boy in particular that comes to mind that was not as well developed as his peers, and on the aggressive side, and the teachers did all they could to be sure he fit in with his peers...whether it was adjustments to his behavior, or to the other children's attitudes....
We made the decision to move her to a center closer to home with heavy hearts...we knew it was necessary though, because she needed to be at a center that could transport her to kindergarten....we were also hoping she would make friends with some of the same kids she would be going to school with....I toured the school and it really seemed top of the line....it was a new center, with a 'school' type approach to daycare...the kids all have home-rooms, and then travel to various classes throughout the day...they have an inside gym, an outside gym, and even a pool where they all get summer swim lessons! The only drawback, it seemed, was that we have to pack her lunch each day, and she has to wear a uniform shirt....both of which she is COMPLETELY ecstatic about! LOL
Day 1 concerned me though....When I went to drop her off, neither teacher in the room made any effort to introduce her to the other children...they were already broken off into their groups, playing, and none of them even acknowledged her....awkward! So, like any good parent wanting to ease their child's discomfort, I took the initiative to walk LB around and introduce her to the other children as the teachers talked btwn themselves....not a good start, but I tried to let it go....
A couple days later, I am tying a pink bow in Randi's hair for school....Normally, this is something she likes very much.....but now she was concerned....she confesses the other girls teased her about her bow....my heart breaks....in all her time at her old daycare, she NEVER told me about any teasing going on, and I certainly never witnessed any.....
A few days after that, I drop her off, and again, all the kids have broken off into play groups....there were 3 girls dancing to music, and Randi wanted to join in....as she approached the dance area 2 of the girls scowled at her and said "you can't dance with us!"....GASP! My heart sank to the bottom of the ocean! How COULD they??!!! So I glance over at the teacher (also the mother of one of the two girls), and she is oblivious.....so I encourage Randi to go ahead and dance "the dance floor is big enough for everyone"....but she was obviously unwelcome, and just sort of stood at the edge of the area wiggling her sad little booty.....it was heart wrenching....finally, the teacher looked over and saw Randi on the outskirts and told her to go dance with the other girls....I left at that point, as I couldn't bare to see any more rejection that day....
A few days after that I am talking to the LB about her friends at school, and asking her their names and what they like to play....she goes on to tell me all about ANOTHER girl that "doesn't like me", but can't tel me why?!?!?!
MY conclusion, based on what I have seen and heard to date, is that there must be very little supervision of the children at this learning center....in the last 3 years I witnessed many children corrected for bad attitudes or bad behavior, which created a warm an accepting environment for all the kids....the teachers were hands on and very interactive...I believe that is what this new center may be lacking....I have not witnessed, in the 2 weeks that I have been dropping her off and picking her up, any 'hands-on' interaction with the children....close supervision that would nip this bullying and bad attitudes in the bud....they are TOO YOUNG to be allowed to be so divisive.....
The center does have parent/teacher conferences coming up....I do intend on bringing up these concerns at that time....I am just wondering if anyone else has had similar issues??? I can understand that there is an adjustment time for everyone to make friends, but all this negativity? I don't see where that is acceptable at all....thoughts????
UPDATE: On good advice, I went ahead and spoke to the "Principal" of Randi's new school....I am happy to say she was very comforting, supportive, and stated that she would talk to the teachers TODAY!
March 27, 2009
March 22, 2009
March 21, 2009
Fire alarm just went off...my daughter is crying...husband is trying to fan it to make it stop....just knock it down already!
Doors open, ceiling fans on....I think we'll survive....
If you think this is bad, you should see what a mess I can make of a pot of boiling water....I am hopeless!
March 20, 2009
Not much has really changed about me since those days....my hair is still a stylists worst nightmare...my fashion sense is still dictated by my work environment....and I still eat with my mouth wide open...
Our high school FFA program was very active...thanks to our super motivated and dedicated ag teachers, we were educated on all things aggie, and were also afforded the opportunity to participate in a lot of really great leadership conferences and activities (did I mention most of those activities were excused absences from school? That's right! Just one of the many perks to FFA membership!)...
I actually gleamed a lot of great experiences as a result of being involved in FFA....and look at me now! All earthy and organic and (as a good friend describes it) "Little House on the Prairie'ing" it up! I guess I am living that dream that FFA promoted to us back in the day....a life promoting the awareness of the land, livestock, and natural resources around us...well, as much as a person can be in a teaming metropolis, working 40-50 hrs a week for 'the man', and holding down a home business....we do have a tractor and lots of cool implements...we do contribute more manure for our land and our community than anyone within a stones throw.....we do bale the hay off our land for local cattlemen...and we DID get our garden started! We are even getting set up for chickens! Come on now, that has to count for something....I am not even a chicken-lover....they are MEAN....and pecky, and stuff....but I want those 'farm fresh' eggs in my fridge....and my mom says she'll keep them in line....she'll have to, I am incapable of interacting with them....the last experience I had with chickens was way back in the day....I was playing hide and seek and opted for the chicken coop as my hideout....did you know chickens get fleas? Well, neither did I....and I think ours must have been bordering on infestation...within minutes those little boogers were crawling all over my skin, in my hair, and up my nose! By the time I realized what was happening, my skin was burning like the dickens! And those chickens....clucking at me, mocking me, blocking the nearest exit! It was horrible! I busted out of that chicken coop like a man on fire and ran straight to the house....I jumped into the bath-tub...complete with ice cold water (no time to wait for it to heat up!), and attempted to drown away the prickly bites of a million angry fleas....it takes quite a bit longer than you would expect...turns out, those fleas had gills...I swear it!....and to this day, chickens make my skin crawl....and fleas....
Anyways, we are trying to do our part...
March 13, 2009
PS. Monday is the Little Brats first day at her new daycare.....I feel a blog post about that coming on! hehe....stay tuned!
March 12, 2009
A few random things I love about my brother...
- He's a lover, not a hater.
- He appreciates the simple things in life.
- He is musically gifted and can pick up just about any instrument and play it better in a day than most could in a month!
- He's an awesome Uncle to my Little Brat.
Travis is a pretty special guy....sending him good vibes all the way in California on his Birthday!
Leah, JR & the Little Brat
March 09, 2009
Seriously though, look at the detail here....the girl in gray riding western was my best friend Lindy riding her fancy little chestnut named Tiny (Tiny Little Pistol)...look at those adorable little ribbons!
A view from the opposite side of a horse being walked down the breezeway...
I love this side....it's a girl trying to get her horse clipped, or cleaned up, or something that it is not really all that enthusiastic about! LOL...again with those adorable little ribbons!
It seems this last side is incomplete...she must have ran out of time and shipped off all the complete sets to family and friends....I do remember there were quite a few! So do you see my dilemma here? I am never going to get this good...I am crafty deficient...I am thankful to have a mother that doesn't mind sharing her talent though!
These watches are made of safety pins and beads....she can make them in any color combination and in any pattern! Unlike my prized bookends above, they are FOR SALE! And like my prized bookends above, you will cherish yours for a very long time!!! Here's a watch in luscious lime!
March 08, 2009
Lordsy Mercy, just look at that beautiful black soil! You'd have to pay a pretty penny for dirt that purty in town....thank you sheepies! We are going to grow lots of fabulous stuff in that there dirt....We are planning on planting corn, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, watermelon, pumpkins and blackberries just to name a few of the yummies on our list!
So round and round I went until the top layer was sufficiently broken up...
And finally called it quits once we had an area about 100ft x 80ft dug up....We may need to expand a little yet, as corn can take up a lot of space, but we're done for this round...we've made our mark and shown that hill we mean business! Next, we'll follow up with a disk and turning that soil over until it's ready to plant....
March 07, 2009
Lordsy Mercy, this weather is certainly something for the record books! 10 inches of snow to tank tops in a weeks time! Amazing!
Of course weekend+great weather=lots of outside time for the family! JR and I went down to the barn early to start chores...Oldest Brat headed down shortly after to get her horse ready for their riding lesson....As JR and I took a seat at the arena to watch her riding lesson, we see this dynamic duo headed down the hill....
This Little Brat just adores her big brother...and what an outstanding big brother he is! You may have taken notice of her choice in attire this day....she gets to dress herself every weekend....it's empowering for her, and always entertaining for us! This is the new and improved farm formal wear from Disney....it's called "Princess of Westwood"....LB just loves the freedom of the fit....and of course the PINK....I mean, this is the same LB that named her puppy "Pinki"....it just suits her ;)
Anyways, this punky pair decides they are going to start their day with a few laps around the arena...so they are off to the races!
Running around an arena? Fun? Absolutely! Just looks at those smug mugs!
LB was feeling especially froggy today though....I don't blame her, the super great weather had everyone feeling good! So, she took a couple more laps on her own....Oh no! Looky there! That's what happens when your big brother isn't there to hold you up...OOPS!
After their warm-up, it was off to football camp for this sporty team...you see, this Princess isn't all fluff and puff...her favorite teams are the Packers and Dolphins and she'll take football over basketball any day! Much to the despair of her big sister....LOL
So, after a few catches with her face, she finally gets her fingers on the ball! You can just see the determination in her little face...and maybe a little bit of fear too...that ball is pretty hard...and her face? Not so much!
Suffice it to say the "Prince of Westwood" is a pretty special guy...not just to us, but especially so to this little Princess...I think she's one lucky punk to have such a fine big brother...
March 03, 2009
My brother Travis left Virginia today....he is headed back home to California for a while...we are sure going to miss having him around here...he has been helping out a lot around the farm, hanging with the family, and meeting lots of new friends....the Little Brat is especially sad though....they've been jamming together for a couple months on the harmonica he gave her and the guitar he tuned up for her....I guess Gma Kathy is going to have to pick up the slack! Lord knows mommy is musically challenged, even to a toddlers standards!
March 02, 2009
Here's a view from the inside of the barn...you can see how the snow blew in sideways into the breezeway thru the tiny crack in the doors....Gma Kathy and Boomer have the right idea....let the young buck handle the heavy duty this morning! Thanks Trav!
Seems like the horses are the wise ones...staying inside and out of the snowy misery! Clementine doesn't have a lick of snow on her! She's a smart girl...the rest got to stay in today too....Pony Snow Day!
Stay warm out there! "Pretty" pics to follow this evening!
Leah and my super great, all weather, get 'er done barn staff (Gma Kathy & Travis)
All that said, after I cleared the snow from the Durango, Randi and I hit the road to school/work. After all, I learned to drive in this kind of weather...I got my license in the winter in Northern California (Modoc County)....even the school buses drove in blizzards!
I have learned that to successfully navigate the cold and icy roads, you really have to commit to the following:
- ALWAYS USE 4x4...if you don't have 4x4 (or at the very least front wheel drive), STAY OFF THE ROADS! You are a danger to yourself and those around you! Navigating the most subtle of inclines, declines, or turns can put you in a world of trouble without the extra traction.
- SLOW DOWN...the normal speed limits do not apply! I cruised at a comfortable 35-40mph this morning all the way into work without a single issue....except of course the stress of the 2 or 3 speed mongers that just had to whip past everyone at dangerously close proximity and speeds.
- INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWING DISTANCE...in wet and slick conditions, you need more distance to stop...even if you are able to stop on a dime some of the time, plan for the worst...the one time you think you are fine, is when you'll lose traction and get yourself and possibly those around you in a jam...you cannot predict when the driver in front of you will brake unexpectedly..increase your following distance so you don't have to guess!
- WHEN IN DOUBT.....STAY OFF THE ROAD!
That's all I have to say about that....I think the snow scared off the majority of the drivers this morning....there were vehicles out there, but not a single accident between home and work...just a single stalled truck on the highway....
Stay safe out there!
March 01, 2009
Here is my graduation from Pensacola, after which I (and Dena) would be permanently stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
I wish our troops the safest wind-down possible to the war in Iraq and a speedy trip home to their friends and families!