Monday, August 31, 2009

A New Smile

That night, Mark and I replaced the note with three gold Sacagawea dollar coins along with some "fairy" glitter. When Morgan made this discovery in the morning she was very relieved that the Tooth Fairy expected her note. With deep reverence, she gently scooped up the "fairy" glitter and placed it in a ziplock bag for safe keeping.

Whenever I get a glimpse of her new smile, I can't help but think she looks like a little boxer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Lost Tooth (Literally)

It should be a peaceful Saturday morning but instead I hear a door open and the pitter-patter of little feet coming down the hall. With one eye open I see that my clock reads 5:58. Saturday at 5:58 is way too early for any sort of movement but it's clear Morgan doesn't feel the same way. She comes bounding into my room full of excitement.

Mommy! Mommy! Look!

The sun is barely across the horizon so I can hardly make out the small white treasure she holds in her hand.

It came out! It came out!

Trying to find a balance between enthusiasm and hope that more sleep can come I tell her how great that is, but it's really, really early and she should really try and go back to sleep. She has a million questions about the Tooth Fairy including whether or not she can still visit this morning since the sun isn't all the way out yet. I tell her to go back into her room and try and sleep more. She skips down the hall.

Mark is now awake and he takes over. The two of them go downstairs to do some art projects. She is still clutching her precious pearl in her hand. They get absorbed in what they are doing and only later realize that the tooth is no longer with them. We look all over for it, but it can't be found. It either went in the air vent under the table or got thrown away during clean up time. Morgan's only concern is whether the Tooth Fairy will still come.

We write a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining the situation, apologizing to the fairy and wishing her luck on finding the missing tooth. Morgan signs it and puts it under her pillow for the night.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wiggle Room

I was helping Morgan finish up brushing her teeth last night, when I noticed that her bottom tooth looked like it was getting crooked. I put my finger on it and without any effort the tooth bent into a 90 degree angle. Since I'm not good at all with blood, guts or weird looking teeth I almost passed out. I was thinking "oh my gosh, she broke her teeth" and "oh no, we need to go to the dentist stat!" After the initial shock of the whole thing, my brain processed what was going on. My little girl was losing her first tooth. And quickly. We haven't noticed a wobbly tooth and now suddenly here it is just barely hanging on. We asked her if she noticed anything. She said at lunch today it felt funny and she was afraid that she was getting a cavity. While I was still trying to calm my stomach, she was jumping up and down excitedly announcing that she has a "lost tooth". The rest of the night she would ask us every couple of minutes if it was still there. She was very concerned about losing it on the ground.

First I had to deal with going to kindergarten and now this. I really didn't expect this to happen this soon. I should have. Most of her friends have already lost a tooth. I don't know how much more growing up stuff I can take in a short time!

Oh and does anyone know what the going rate is on the Tooth Fairy these days? I'm guessing it isn't the quarter we got as kids.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


On Fridays, Morgan brings home her homework folder and notebook. They are to turn the folder and notebook back in the following Friday. I've never seen someone so excited to do their homework. All during the camping trip she practiced her homework (we didn't want to bring the orginal notebook with us in case it got ruined outside). Yesterday, she filled out her notebook. Here was their assignment:

1. Write the letters of your child' s name on a separate piece ofpaper. Cut apart the letters and have your child glue their name backtogether in their homework notebook.

2. Have your child practice writing their name in their notebook 5 times.

3. Have your child draw 5 groups of 3 (three butterflies, three flowers, three cars, etc) in their homework notebook, and then practice writing the number three under each group.

4. Read a book to your child and have your child draw a picture of their favorite part in their homework notebook.

In addition to the homework sent out on Friday, students are expected to read 10 minutes daily with a experienced reader.

I can only hope she continues to love homework and the novelty of it does not wear out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

This weekend we went camping at Rocky Mountain National Park with two other families. Like usual, our campsite had several visitors.

On Saturday we hiked up to Alberta Falls with Tim, April, Keaghan, Aspen, Kaitlynn, and Gavin. Joann and Eddie didn't have the baby carrier for Logan, so they did their own thing.

On the hike, I was up ahead with the five kids. A lady asked me if the kids were all mine and when I said no she went "Whew!" That's good". I almost wanted to say: No, I meant these aren't all mine because it doesn't include the three more back at the campgrounds. People!

We made it to the top and kids spent lots of time exploring and climbing all over the rocks.

Afterwards, we hung out at the campsite.

What do you get when you put Joann in the camper with six kids? A crazy tumbling mess!

The next day we hiked around Bear Lake with Joann, Eddie and Logan. We took the time to dip our toes in the water.

And Morgan discovered that pushing a real baby around in a stroller was harder then pushing around a doll.

Morgan got her first Junior Ranger badge on this trip. She had a great time filling out the questions, animal facts and scavenger hunt items in her activity booklet. She also got another stamp in our National Park Passport book for a new total of three. Not bad for getting the book in July.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Princess and the Pea

There once was a little princess who's skin was so sensitive, that she could feel a pea under 100 mattresses. With in seconds of putting on her royal robes, this little princess could also feel a shirt sleeve, the end of her shorts, a front button on her pants, a decorative button on a shirt, and a swim suit strap. These items would cause such distress to her delicate skin that she would writhe on the floor in severe agony, screaming uncontrollable at the top of her lungs.

And the king and the queen could only shake their heads in worry and dismay wondering how, besides letting the little princess roam around the kingdom naked, they could fix this terrible affliction.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Report

Mark brought Morgan into school on Monday (we have been rotating schedules so that both of us can enjoy the different aspects of pick up and drop off). According to him Morgan had her shoes and backpack on 10 minutes before it was time to leave. She was very anxious and wanted to get to school on time. As they were walking, she saw the bus and wanted to hurry and get there before the bus did.

Outside line up went smoothly for Mark and Morgan, but did not go well for others. There were four or five kids crying and clinging - four or five that were not clinging on the first day. So those of you starting school, be warned: the kids might do great on the first day, but after the first weekend they hit a restart button.

I picked Morgan up after school and unfortunetely Mr. Mouse is still there. At least he was going something productive. He was sitting outside with a large group of kids reading a story to them. He did not say boo to me when I got Morgan.

Morgan's made a new friend. She's an 8th grader! At least we think she's an 8th grader. Morgan said that she's 15 years old. Morgan calls her Sissy. Morgan's also informed us she would now like a little sister but that's a whole other story. Anyways, Sissy plays with Morgan during the After Care program. She pushes her on the swings. She seems like a very nice young lady. Hmmm... maybe a future babysitter?

Today in school they had a tornado drill. Morgan was in the music room when this happened. She had to grab a book, put it over her head and get down on the floor. Again, she found this fun. That girl has a weird sense of fun.

Her highlight for the day: playing with Sissy and listening to the music instructor teach the class her name by singing it. Her lowlight for the day: losing her bracelet. After some questioning, we discovered that she didn't actually lose the bracelet but Ms D took it away because she was playing with it and it's safely located in her cubbie.

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Highlights Per Morgan

Despite all the drama with the After Care, Morgan's school ROCKS! She is adjusting well and is enjoying all the new things it has to offer. Here are some of the highlights according to Morgan:

1) Three recesses (with After Care she gets a third one)
2) Eating lunch in the cafeteria. The Kindergarten class eats first with the cafeteria all to themselves. Since they are slow to eat (still on toddler time), the lunch monitors prod them along by telling them the 1st graders are going to sit on them if they don't finish up. Morgan thinks this is hysterical.
3) Gym class. Morgan loved going to a special room where she got to hop forward on one foot and back on another.
4) Computer class. They played a game where a letter comes on the screen. They have to push that letter on the keyboard and it turns into a picture that starts with that letter. Pretty simple, but something that Morgan thinks is cool to do in a classroom.
5) Reading and Art. They read the Kissing Hand and then made a kissing hand art project. Morgan came home and made four more.
6) The school nurse. The classroom was brought to the nurse's office for a tour. Morgan thought it was the neatest thing that there was a real nurse right at the school.
7) Raising your hand until your called on. Now most kids might find this as a negative but Morgan liked the fact that you had to sit quietly, raise your hand, and get called on before you could talk. You would think that she did this in her Pre-K class, but apparently not to this extreme.
8) Walking to and from school. She's already asking if she walk by herself. I thought I had a few years before she started asking this!

By the end of the day, Morgan is exhausted and has been having huge meltdowns. So is Klayton. It's all par for the course of adjusting to this new, busy schedule and controlling her body/trying to behave so well during the day. By the morning, she up and at them - excited to do it all again.

Mamma Bear is Roaring

A week has gone by and Morgan is still loving her school. The drama has also subsided....

Aug 12th (the first day) 3:00 pm.
I get a call from Mark telling me to have a (insert explicit here) word with the guy who runs the After School program when I pick Morgan up. He just received a phone call from the Principal's office wondering when we were going to pick Morgan up (school's been out for a half hour now). She's sitting in the office since nobody came to get her. Mark explains that she was supposed to go to the After School program. Apparently, she was left behind.

3:15 pm
I leave work and head out to find said guy and have a chat with him. I ask Mickey (as in Mouse) what happened this afternoon. He has no idea what I'm talking about. Now, if a child is brought late to you, wouldn't you:

A. know about it
B. do everything in your power to find out what happened because you know some irate mother is about to come barrelling through your door?

He apparently did nothing. When I explained that my daughter was left behind and asked how that could happen, he rolled his eyes, gave a big sigh and said that he did everything he was supposed to do and it must be the teacher's fault. No apologizes, no promises to find out what happened, no guarantees that this wouldn't happen again. He even went so far as to say very rudely that my child wasn't the ONLY one this happened to today. Umm.... is that supposed to make me feel better? Because all it does is show you do not have your act together.

I asked him to explain to me how, we sign up with THEM for After Care, THEY have the list of kids so how is it the teachers get this list (since, according to him, it's Ms. D fault)? He had no clue.

After lots of eye rolling and heavy sighing from him, I came to the conclusion I was getting no where with him, so I told him I would talk to Ms. D and walked away. His response? To shout down the hall at me: Hey I'm not done talking to you! Oh yes we are Mr. Mouse.

I entered Ms. D's room and first asked how Morgan did. I got a great report back. Morgan was one of the children she used as an example of how to behave, as in look how nicely Morgan's sitting. Can you try and sit like that too? Ms. D didn't see any of the wonderful, gee I'm so proud behavior Morgan exhibited during the assessment. Whew!

Then I asked her what happened this afternoon. She immediately knew what I was talking about and apologized profusely. It was an honest mistake. Some miscommunication. She told me it's been resolved and she would make sure it would never happen again. When I filled out a form stating how Morgan would be getting home from school, I wrote in Walk. She took that to mean that Morgan would be walking right after school - not going to the After Care. I should have wrote in the After Care.

I go to pick Morgan up. Mr. Mouse does not talk to me or look at me. Instead a very polite and young man from the program approaches me on his own and asks if I'm alright. I tell him no, but I know what I'm going to do. He apologizes for what my daughter went through and assures me that he will personally be responsible for making sure she is picked up this week. Nice that a 20-something regular staff member is more professional then a 40-something director.

I can understand an honest mistake. What I can't forgive is Mr. Mouse's rude, indifferent behavior and his complete lack of ownership for what happened. I am now on a mission.

Aug 13th 9:00 am.
I call Mr. Mouse's district manager. (This is the second time I have spoken to her. We had a minor incident during enrollment.) I explain what happened and she is appalled. She has a child that entered Kindergarten last year and she states that she would be livid if this happened to her kid. She promises me that the program has higher standards then this. There is check and balances that are supposed to happen (both the teacher and the director should have attendance lists and compare them to each other). She is in shock over how I was treated. I tell her about the nice young man. He has been with her for three years. Mr. Mouse is a new hire. She says that it sounds like she hired the wrong person. I agree. She tells me that she will pay Mr. Mouse a visit.

Aug 13th 10:00 am.
I call the Principal to inform her that I filed a formal complaint against Mr. Mouse with his district manager. I just wanted her to be aware of what was going on. She was appreciative that I was keeping her in the loop.

Aug 14th 4:00 pm.
Mark goes to pick Morgan up from After Care. Mr. Mouse is not there. Previously, there wasn't a formal check out process - another issue I reported to the district manager. This time, Mark is stopped at the doors and asked to sign Morgan out. We have progress!

I don't know if Mr. Mouse is gone for good or what. I guess we will find out tonight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And So it Begins

Morgan woke up very excited for her first day of Kindergarten.

She wanted to ride her bike to school so off she went with her skirt billowing behind her.

She parked her bike in the rack area. As she pulled up a group of older girls saw her and commented about how cute she was and that they loved her skirt. Morgan strutted by proud.

When we got there, Klayton exclaimed with excitment: There she is! Morgan you made it! She ran to him in line, cutting in front of other kids. At first I thought about telling her to go to the back of the line. But then there were Morgan, Klayton and Roan huddled in a circle with their arms around each other whispering important secrets. And I figured at this point, it wouldn't matter if she cut in line. She could learn this rule later.

When the bell rang, there were no tears, no clinging, or whining. The teacher brought the kids inside. Like a row of baby ducks they followed. With one last turn she gave an energetic wave, a huge smile on her face. And then she crossed through the doors.
And so her future begins.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today was Morgan's last day at her current school. I've never been a huge fan of this place but choices in the area are limited so she's been there for three years. Three years is a long time when you've only been on this planet for five.

While I'm excited that she is moving on, it is bittersweet. There are several teachers that have been an important part of her life: attending her birthday parties even when she's no longer in their class, being an integrated part of our family and knowing what is going on in our personal lives, and sharing stories about the last reality show or concert coming to town. And then there are the parents, a close group of us that have always attending special events together. One special Mom whose child has the same temperament as Morgan, who has been a person to commensurate with, a shoulder to lean on, helping me get through the hard times and celebrating the good times. We have the best intentions to stay in touch, to get the girls together occasionally. But life gets crazy and I know it's harder to keep those intentions when you are no longer running in the same circles.

I am discovering that this change not only affects Morgan, but also myself in ways I would not have imagined. I knew sending her on the path of independence would be hard. I am prepared for the tears of that first day. I just didn't know I would have tears for the last day and the things left behind.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Wow! That sums up my last week. Wow!

Morgan starts Kindergarten on August 12th so we have been busy getting ready and running around.

Tuesday night was her orientation. It went very well. She clung to my arm when we first entered the room but after being greeted by her new teacher and looking around some, she started to relax. Her teacher, Ms D, seems really nice. She's what you think of when you picture a stereotypical Kindergarten teacher: young (this is her third year teaching), petite, pretty, and really sweet. Morgan warmed up even more when she saw Roan from her current school. She will have a total of two kids from her current school in class with her.

We had to drop off her school supplies at orientation. All of the kids share supplies so they were placed into one big pile. She was fine with this except for her pencils. She wanted to bring home her special pencils (she had cat and dog ones) and bring back plain pencils to share. So she placed all her items expect the pencils into the community pile.

The room is wonderful. It's such a difference from the mediocre place she attends now. I really don't understand why people would pay more to send their kids to the corporately run place instead of here. The room is colorful, well organized, clean and up-to-date. Miss D. has the coolest reading area with comfortable cushions and books organized by Fairy Tales, Dr. Seuss, Animals, Space, you name it. Being an avid reader, Morgan was very impressed.

After orientation I was wishing that I could go back to Kindergarten. She is going to have such a good time while learning so much. Morgan was excited, even stating that she wanted to start tomorrow and not wait until next week.

The future looked bright. Little did I know a HUGE storm cloud was lurking on the horizon.

Thursday was assessment day. I didn't want Morgan to be scared or overwhelmed so I simply told her she was going to meet with Ms. D and Ms. D was going to talk to her and ask her some questions to help her figure out how she can better teach Morgan.

We pull into the parking lot and the drama begins. Morgan drops to the ground and starts howling that she must be carried. I explain that she must walk into the school. The howls increase. Mark stays behind while I go in to let them know we are going to be late. I wait at the front door for Mark and Morgan. And wait. And wait. She finally comes in, walking on her own accord. We get to the classroom and she has a death grip on my arm. She buried her head into the small of my back and refuses to look or speak to Ms. D. I try to get her off me, to at least get her head up. I'm maneuvering around the room and she's throwing herself on me like I'm the last life-raft on the Titanic. I sit in a seat and she throws herself over my lap, head hanging down and proceeds to wrap her arms around the legs of the chair. She is unmovable.

Mark and I are mortified and at a lost on how to handle this. It's the teachers turf so we don't want to step on her toes, yet we don't want to be the parents that don't try to control their kids. What do you do?

I tell her I'm going to the bathroom, hoping she will behave better if I'm out of the room. I come back and she has now glued herself to Mark and his chair. After 15-20 minutes of coaxing, Ms. D gets Morgan to agree to see the playground with us. All three of us go outside and Morgan is finally making contacting with the teacher.

Unfortunately, the girl we bring back inside is now the complete polar opposite of the one who went out. She takes hyper to a whole new level, running around the room, tagging the teacher, dumping things on the floor. I have NEVER seen her behavior this extreme before. Ms. D finally gets her to sit in a chair and asks her to count some Lego for her. Morgan does it in baby talk, she randomly calls out number and then she throws the Lego at the teacher. OMG! At this point I'm thinking the teacher is going to recommend we wait a year. Who is this animal we decided to try and pass as a child?

Ms. D sticks to it though and proceeds to ask Morgan to get a pencil and write her name. Morgan grabs a crayon instead and starts laughing hysterically. This is not going well and I want to crawl into a hole. Finally, Morgan does what she is told. Then Ms. D asks her if she can write anything else. Morgan writes Moo. Ms. D asks her if she can tell her what she wrote. Morgan replies by furiously shaking her head, whipping her hair back and forth across her face. Then Ms. D asks her what else she can write. Morgan writes mom, dad, and cat. Things are going better. She's settling down and concentrating. Then she write dog, only she writes dgo. Ms. D asks her if that's dog. Morgan takes a look at it, flips the pencil over, erases the g and the o and writed the correct order. She's become her normal self again.

The next assessment is her letter. Ms. D gives her a sheet with random letters on it and asks Morgan to tell her each one. Morgan's focused and she's answering with her normal voice. The first set of letters where all upper case letter, she then has her tell her the lower case letters. Morgan catchs this and makes a comment. Whew, she's proving that she does indeed understand things.

The final assessment was repeating back 12 sentence that Ms. D reads out loud. By now she was completely calm and focused. So we got there. It just wasn't pretty.

When we got home we had a LONG talk about her behavior and how it wasn't acceptable. She seemed to understand, but I'm still scared to death about Wednesday. I hope we both survive.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This and That

I've lost my camera. I've needed a new one for a while, so it's not too bad that I lost it. I had pictures of this weekend on it so that part isn't so good. Maybe it will show up somewhere or maybe it's off with the cell phone I lost in the house three years ago.

This weekend was super busy. Fun. But busy. On Friday we took Morgan to Elich Gardens Amusement Park. We got a free ticket through the Library's Summer Reading Program as well as a coupon for $15 off each person. We still paid $40 for the three of us to get in, $10 for parking, $40 for lunch and $10 for a snack. Not quite a deal. I really don't know how people can afford to go here, plus the park is not that big, there isn't much shade and the lines can get long. There weren't too many rides we could all ride together. We spent most of the time in the kiddie section. The weather was cold and cloudy so we didn't do the water park but we did ride the Rapid. Morgan looked terrified the whole time. Her eyes were as big as saucers. She claimed she liked it, but I'm not so sure.

Unless she gets another free ticket as a reward for the reading program, I don't think we will be returning here anytime soon. I would much rather do Water World.

Saturday we meet the Moores at the Great Plains Park so the kids could have some fun at the Splash Park.

Sunday we took our neighbor Madison to the zoo with us. It was our first trip taking another child someone without the parents and it was a success. These are the pictures I lost. It amuses me how one can have a family pass to the zoo, but can still manage to spend so much money there. We rode the train, the carousel, had a snack and feed the birds - all which are an extra cost. I think the girls looked at the animals for 1/4 the time we were there. The girls got along great until the very end and that was our fault. It was hot and they were tired, but they still wanted to see the giraffe on the other end of the zoo. We should have told them no. By the time we got there, they were fighting - both walking with their arms crossed and crying. We saw the giraffes for a few seconds and then high tailed it out of there. By the time we got back to car, they were getting along again.