Sunday, June 26, 2016

A meet in the heat

Yesterday was battle of the ages in Pleasant Hill.  It was a hundred degrees but we got a babysitter to watch Kira, Blake, and Parker at home.  So I sat in the shade and talked with my friends.  Scott wanted this silly cap which claimed to have decreased resistance, and when I told him no, he had a meltdown.  I thought I explained it well, that it would not appreciably increase his speed, but no.  So I got it for him so he could "feel" faster.  Well, he didn't eat adequately, and even though he ran a best time in his 50 fly, he was in a sour mood the rest of the day because he didn't finish first.  


Tyler, on the other hand, was in good spirits for the whole day.  He was adequately stimulated with the ipad and swam well, all things considered, especially the fact that he barely practices.


Kira had made some jello this morning and wanted to get her picture taken with it.  Scott was still in a sour mood but he's in better spirits now.  


Today in church we talked about facebook, and the guy giving the lesson said, "I don't get it.  I mean, it takes so much time to do that, I think, 'How can those people even get anything else accomplished?'"  Someone in the back said, "Make sure to like their posts, then."  And he goes, "Yeah, is it that they need validation?  I'm here getting a dress, I just got a latte, I mean, right?  Who cares?"  I thought the whole thing was pretty humorous and I agree that people waste way too much time.  You might think to yourself that it's a bit hypocritical that I post my thoughts on this blog, which is a form of social media, but I do this just for the McMillan family history.  Okay, that's all.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 School Year

Scott finished 4th grade which is CRAZY to me.  I can't believe I have a 5th grader.  It seems like he just started kindergarten and in 1 more year he is in middle school.  It really goes faster each year. He had a great 4th grade year.  He had a teacher, Mrs. Sutherland, who he LOVED!  He would randonly tell me how nice she was.  She said it was an amazing class. He is confident in who he is, his likes and dislikes which is nice to see.  In the fall he did swimming and and running club which was fun. We didn't make it to swim that much, but he enjoyed it when he was there.  He did a gate class after school which he didn't like.  We decided not to enroll him in a 4th/5th grade district class next year that would have been at a different school.  Catering to academic needs would be nice, however, not worth it to be at a school across town, without his friends for just 5th grade.  It is nice that he is at the age that he can weigh pros and cons and help decide what is best.  He loves to be a leader, is very responsible and chooses to do what is right most of the time.  He also can be rather impatient, especially at home or when he feels his way is better.  He enjoyed being in student council and taking pictures.  It was fun for him.  I am proud of him that he tried out.  He also tried out for the school play (which is about as low key as you can get) and got a solo for that.  Everything he does it because he wants to do it.  He did Odyssey of the Mind which was alright.  I realized he likes to do outdoor/athletic stuff after school, not academic.  He made it through and it was good for him to learn not to be bossy and work in groups better.  Don't think we will do it again next year.  He is so smart, athletic, kind, a hard worker and disciplined.  He has a good group of friends.  It is the first year that he would just hang out with a larger group.  Before he needed his one best friend and this year he would mingle with a bunch of kids.  He had a crush this year and we told him he only has 6 more years to date....he was excited when he found out his crush liked him.  Of course they don't talk to each other.  5th grade crushes.  The things I remember.  We are so proud of the young man he is becoming and know 5th grade will be a great year.  I know next year is going to be a great year.

Tyler finished 3rd grade with Mrs. Wheeler.  She has been such a loving, great teacher for him this year and last.  He really liked school and had a great year.  Anything extra after school for Tyler this year was like pulling teeth.  Whether it was practicing the piano, reading or playing baseball.  He really doesn't have a love for anything.  He is a really talented pianist but fights, screams and gets angry to play.  He continues to be a quiet, sweet boy at school and is somewhat of a pain at home.  Better than he used to be but he has a hard time doing this that make his siblings happy.  He likes to do things that make them angry.  Little things like not moving over on a couch when one wants to sit down.  He loved baseball last year and this year had a coach that was great but a lot stricter so didn't love it.  He also didn't like being in the heat. When I asked him if he was going to play next year, he said it was just too hot outside.  I don't know how he feels.  I imagine at the end of the school day his little body is spent and we get the worn out, exhausted Tyler.  I have learned to allow him to listen to his body.  If he wants to just relax and hang out that might just be what is best for him.  On the other hand, I want him to foster his talents and think things like practicing the piano aren't too much to ask.  Still trying to figure him out and find something he enjoys.  He is a great friend and liked by everyone at school.  He really is a sweet kid at school and can be a sweet kid at home when he wants to be.

Kira finished Kindergarten.  It was a great year for her.  We love Mrs. Folgelstrom.  When my dad died, she started gymnastics which was the first activity we did that was just for her.  Before that, with my mom and dad's illness, it was just too much to add to the plate.  She loves it and it is fun to see her work hard and enjoy.  She is a really hard worker.  Whether it be coloring, running or listening, she wants to do her best.  She went through a weird stage that she was afraid of men.  Legitimate fear of men.  Men substitutes were the worst.  Men helpers at church or the gym.  No, No, No!  Once she got over that, I went to work and she was afraid to be away from me.  She didn't want to go to gymnastics (even with Danny).  Just wanted mom, which is understandable.  That is a big adjustment.  So we have been patient and after about 6 weeks she has been doing better.  Well, then we started swimming with her and she just wants me to coach her.  I know consistency will help her, but there comes a point, that I just want her to stop being so emotional and fearful or needy.  But I patiently wait and help through each stage and eventually she gets over it.  Sometimes I think if I used tough love, she would just get over it quickly, but we patiently deal with all her emotional needs.  Thank goodness I only have 1 girl...it is touch stuff!  She is a great friend and very well liked at school.  She loves a boy in her class named Peter who is the sweetest, funniest, nicest boy.  He has 3 brothers so they make a good pair.  She enjoys everything about school (except male subs).  Her favorite day was when her dad got to come in and help with learning tubs.  Danny took the 1 morning off to sub in her class which was such a great thing!  So lucky!

Blake did joy school this year with Zack, Liam, Bosom, Charlotte and Rissa.  I enjoy teaching joy school.  It is a lot of fun for me and he really liked it when his friends came and played.  It is amazing how easy things are after doing them for 8 years.  I remember my first year of teaching and I would prep and plan the night before and now I usually am able to throw it together that day.  It is fun, we play games, learn and do a fun craft.  The kids were all very sweet.  Such different personalities.  Blake loves being with friends.  Next year we are going to do 2x a week.  I always debate doing preschool with my kids and then I just can't let go of them.  We have them at home for such a short period of time, that I just don't want to give them up.  Sometimes I LOVE the idea of homeschooling or even doing it for a year so we can be more adventurous, travel around the country and learn through experiences, not just being stuck at home or in a classroom.  Right now with little kids that isn't going to be the reality, but someday maybe we will just go.  Probably by then, Scott will be in Calculus and I couldn't teach him.  One of my bucket list items.  Blake loves to please.  Is so proud of himself when he accomplishes something.  He is my most serious child and always has a serious, concerned look on his face.  This year he has also been really angry.  I think it all started when the baby was born and then when my dad died.  We called him the hulk for a while but he is getting better.

Onto 5th, 4th and 1st grade next year.  I am so proud of the year my kids had, the friend that they are the growth that took place.  Feel so lucky to be at such a great school with great teachers and families.  Bonus that we can ride bikes and run as a family.  So excited for summer!  It will go too fast, but we will enjoy quality time with the family of not having to be at school at 8am.  I might have to leave for swim at 6am, but at least my kids can sleep in.




Friday, June 3, 2016

Capitol, kittens, and sports

The field trip to the capitol was enjoyable.  Scott liked talking with me about cars, finances, and his friends.  He was pretty happy to have gotten this beanie because then some of his friends also got them.


Vietnam war memorial

Garden of world peace

My favorite room was the senate room.





The kittens have been enjoyable.


Even when it's a hundred degrees outside, the kids still like jumping on the tramp.  They have taught themselves how to do backflips.





Tyler's baseball season has been on and off.  His coach is great and the team has improved a lot but Tyler lacks the confidence he had last year.  When he's at bat, it's as though he wants to just swing the bat to get his at-bat time over with.  Last year he could hit anything and he had this look on his face of sheer determination.  Now it's kind of a blank expression.  His team is in the playoffs though and just beat the #1 seeded team, so that's cool.


I was supposed to be home from work at 4:15 on Wednesday but I knew I wasn't gonna make it because of my cases.  I texted the babysitter to ask her to pick up Tyler from his swim party.  At 4:46 I called the babysitter, who apparently hadn't gotten my text.  She picked up Tyler from his swim party and took the kids to the game, at which point I showed up 16 minutes late with his bat bag, a chair, a sun shade, and some water.  The coach made a comment about Tyler's performance, or lack thereof, and I took offense to it.  I thought, Does he think we're the family that doesn't have it together?  You know, always late, or someone else taking Tyler to practice, or not being able to practice with Tyler because of the demands of the other kids.  I don't know, but it upset me.  I thought about things I could say to make him see that I'm doing my best but decided against it.  For all I know, the coach has to juggle several jobs and has all kinds of personal hardships but still makes it to practices and games on time.  So I didn't say anything.

I told Heidi about it and she said, "Well, we don't have it together."  Meaning Daddy doesn't have it together.  I was hurt.  Oh well.  I'm doing my best.  Okay, time to cut my hair and get breakfast going.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Random photos

 Kira at her showcase.  She was scared to go to practice once Heidi went back to work.  Now she goes in with no tears and that's nice.


Scott likes holding the kitty.  He asks me each night, "Can you put the kitten down once I've fallen asleep?"


Mister's doing pretty good.


Crazy hair day at school.

Scott takes a lot of pride in his hair.

Here is what Mister does when he's unsupervised.  I had had a long day at work and was burned out, so I just sat down on the couch.  I heard the cereal dump out but I thought it was someone else pouring themselves a bowl.  Uh, no.


Blake wanted to photobomb Parker but I took his own.  He likes doing mohawks.

This is an old picture but there aren't many of me with the kids, so this is cool.


Kira brought Clifford to gymnastics.


Blake is into having his picture taken.  Here he is, falling off the rings at Krey.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

St Patty's Day

We went on a last minute leprechaun hunt for St Patty's day with some friends.  It was a gorgeous day and the kids found some great candy that the sneaky leprechaun left behind at Round Valley. They loved playing in the river (even though it was running a little faster than ideal with all the little babies we had with us).  When we were there, 2 other friends randomly found us and a frog which was a fun surprise. The boys loved playing with him. We spent most of our time at the river and having a picnic. It was a lot of fun! 



Exploratorium

The stars aligned and the kids had off on free day at the Exploratorium for Pi Day.  We headed out there last minute, got to the City in less than an hour and had a fun day!  We brought along 2 friends which was fun for Scott.  It was a gorgeous day in San Francisco and we had a great time with no major meltdowns.  The Exploratorium is such a cool museum.  They have so many hands on projects. Next time we will head to the other side of the museum which we didn't even get to this time.






Smith Family Farm

Kira has a field trip to the Smith Family Farm a week ago that Danny was planning on going to but it got cancelled at the last minute, so I got to go this week!  It was so much fun for me to spend the morning with her.  The kids get to go on a tractor ride, feed the chickens, learn about pests and helpers, help plant a garden, have a ho down and pet the animals.  It was nice to have some special time with her.  I am so proud of her. She has matured so much.  She has gone in and out of moments that she didn't like male subs, subs or just leaving me when I went back to work but we have worked through them.  She is always so eager to learn and loves to learn which is such a great quality. She is in most of the pics with Peter (her proclaimed best friend in Kindergarten)...She just adores him.  He has 3 brothers and Kira just thinks he is the most fun, sweetest, kindest boy.  Kira has made some good friends in her class and had a GREAT kindergarten year.  She had a great time digging for worms and singing on your tractor ride.   The best part of her day was having quality time just with mom.