We have had a crazy few weeks. I took a trip to Vegas without my boys for about 4 days. It was a great trip but I didn't rest enough. The room had a horrible bed and Christie and I were placed next to a family with screaming kids. It was quite ironic and very comical. Even though I was sleep deprived I had a great time drinking, eating, sitting by the pool, gambling and I even got some dancing in. However, next year I plan to make my long weekend trip all about resting and pampering myself.
When I got back I was in full throttle with my kids. Coolidge graduated from Preschool. It is amazing that a whole year has gone by. I think that once they are in school the year actually goes by even faster. He is very happy to end the year. He is looking forward to some summer activities. He liked school a lot in the beginning but I think half way through the novelty wore off and he said it was boring. I also went to the orientation of his next school and got a chance to find out what they will be doing next year at Central Park East I. It will be a long day for him but I think he will adjust. I was such a proud mama seeing my little Coolidge wearing a cap and singing a song at his graduation. He is so grown up. He wouldn't give me any eye contact because each time he saw me smiling all he wanted to do was laugh. So, he just avoided me all together. Not many kids get to graduate in a famous cathedral like St. John the divine. It was so beautiful to sit in the pews with stained glass windows, watching my 5 year old sing.
After all this school process I am happy that it is over. We applied to private schools. Which we had to have him tested. Then we decided to enter the lottery through our district which if you wanted to get him in Gifted and Talented then you need to have him tested again. The idea of testing a 5 year old just makes me laugh. He had no idea he was being tested. He was told he would do some activities and answer some questions. I taught him how to sit and listen to the question and then fill in the dot to the answer. We got the results about a month ago and he scored 99%. I was told that is the best you can do. I was amazed he did that well but not shocked because he concentrates well and is good at problem solving. When I realized he scored so high I felt I should try and get him into Anderson. Anderson is a gifted and Talented school. It was not a school that I loved but it is a great school. I don't love it because I am not a big fan of gifted and talented and feel that all is does is separate kids that are excelling at the same rate from those who are below their level and struggling to catch up. I don't for a minute think that because my son scored 99%, he is smarter than the other kids in his class who scored lower. I think Coolidge probably had a good day that day. Anderson gives there kids homework 4 days out of the week which consists of at least 15 minutes to 20 a day. I know my son and 15 minutes would be more like 30 and it would be like pulling teeth. He doesn't really care to go to school and homework is going to be a huge chore. I am a firm believer that kids don't need homework until the 3rd grade and after school should concentrate on playing. We just received the news that he didn't get a place at Anderson and part of me is glad. It is a beautiful school full of very involved parents, which makes it quite desirable. The whole process has been very grueling but quite educational. The good news is that I don't have to go through it again with Brody. When it comes time for middle school I will be pretty prepared.
We just celebrated Coolidge and Brody's birthday. Cool turned 5 and Bro Bro turned 2. We had a party in Central Park over on the great hill. It is one of Coolidge's favorite places to hang. Coolidge had a blast but Brody had the birthday blues. When planning the event I didn't take into consideration that it might be too much for a 2 year old. We had a great group of friends come and celebrate with us and even though I was sweating profusely during the whole thing it was all worth it in the end.
I recently about a few months ago started a chore chart for Coolidge where he does about 6 different tasks and earns a dollar every week. I started the chores because I was tired of him asking to get something every time we would walk into a store. I thought if he earned his own money then he could spend it whenever he wanted something. I have to say I am amazed what he has learned from the whole process and thought I would love to share it on my blog. The first time Coolidge earned 8 dollars we went to target and he brought his wallet with him. He picked out a toy that cost exactly 8 dollars and when we got to the check out and he realized he would have to spend all his money and began to get very sad. Because he had a target gift card for $10 he didn't have to spend his money this time. However, he didn't forget what that felt like. The second time we went to target it took him forever to find something under $9 that he wanted. when he finally picked something, he struggled with the idea that he would have to use all his money. I finally compromised with him and told him I would pay for half. He likes the idea of having money in his wallet. When we left and went to a restaurant to eat, Coolidge opened his toy and within 5 minutes it broke. He was devastated and said to me that he was so upset because he spent his money on it. I was surprised that he put that together and how much he is learning. He knows what he has to do to make this money and he also knows if he doesn't do all his chores he loses money. One week Coolidge threw many tantrums about cleaning up so I gave him marks on his chart every time and at the end of the week he lost .25cents. It wasn't a huge impact until the end of the week when I only gave him 3 quarters instead of a dollar. He was devastated and to this day it doesn't take much to get him to do his chores. One day he decided he was going to make some money for Brody to have in his wallet. With his crayons he drew the 8 separate dollar bills and then cut them all out for Brody. He told me now Brody has some money to spend. I explained to him that Brody can't really spend that money because it is pretend. He got very upset and said he didn't understand because he made the money for him. I realized that I had told him that daddy has to make money in order for us to spend it. He is very literal and I had to laugh. I explained that the government makes the money and we have to earn it by going to work and doing a job just like his chores. I still can't believe how a simple chore chart to get him to stop pestering me has taught him many lessons.
Brody is growing up faster than I would like. He is already trying to ride Coolidge's scooter. He loves to break dance and will bust a move whenever music is on. He showed all his moves in the store from a hip hop frog. He got his first goose egg on his forehead because he is such a daredevil who dives off the couch. He is talking more and more and tries to tell you a whole sentence but only one word is recognizable. He is already walking to the park pushing his mini stroller and wants no help when crossing the street. He is very stubborn just like his mom.
I am sad to say that my friend John Bishop is not out of the woods yet. Thank you all so much for your prayers and please, please continue to pray for him. He has made improvements but still needs your support.