Jamie is 2!!

Jamie is 2!!

I can’t believe that my first-born is now 2 years old. The last two years have been a whirlwind. Jamie has just grown up so fast. It’s hard to believe that the chubby cheeked munchkin that came out of me so dramatically is now a thin, funny, smart little chatty person.

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Jamie has changed so much since her last birthday. It really is incredible the amount of growth that happens from 1 years old to 2. In the last year, Jamie has become a big sister, she has also transitioned out of her high chair and her crib. She got her first hair cut and she has even peed on the potty! Her speech is also so much clearer. Jamie cracks us up so much.

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Jamie’s most recent comments:

“Oh, dear!” (Randomly while playing)

“I do it my myself!” (When she climbed up and sat on the end table in the living room)

“Of, course!” (When daddy asked for a goldfish cracker)

“Autin awake!” (When Austin starts crying- also she doesn’t say the “s” in Austin.)

“Big HUG! Big KISS!” (Before bedtime)

“Mama, I miss you!” (When I come in from work)

Jamie is a HUGE book lover. She loves reading so much that we leave her at nap time and bed time with books. She’ll read in bed until she falls asleep. She has even memorized most of her books. It almost makes you think she’s reading the book because she is dead on with the pages, but at this stage I know it is just from memory. She calls her Berenstein Bear books, “Mama Bear Book.” (There may or may not be a Leap Frog Tag Junior in her very near future)

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Jamie also loves singing! She sings “Twinkle, twinkle,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes,” “I Love you,” “Pat-a-cake,” “I’m a little teapot.” In fact, she gave us a whole show the other night that my mom got on tape. I’ll have to snag that and post up on here some day! She is currently working on her “ABC’ song.

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Jamie can count objects to ten, she knows some of her letters by sight. She knows her colors very well, although she sometimes confuses red with pink and blue with green. She also can name pretty much every animal (including a snow leopard!) She is currently working on her shapes.

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For Jamie’s birthday, she got a BIG GIRL room! I was so excited and sad at the same time, but to see her face when she saw her new Tinkerbell bed, was incredible, so you couldn’t help but feel happy that she is big enough to sleep in her bed. She loves the bed, and we’ve had no transition problems (knock on wood). She got her new room on Sunday. We made sure to put a Tinkerbell tent with a back pillow for her to use as a reading corner. She LOVES it!

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I don’t know what else to say except that it has been an amazing journey with Jamie. As you all know, we fought hard (and paid lot’s of money) to get Jamie into this world. She is undoubtedly a shiny, sparkly, loving little girl that dazzles us every day. She made us parents and she truly makes me a better person everyday.

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Jamie has a few words for you on turning 2.

Austin is 5 months old!!

Austin is 5 months old!!

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I can’t believe my little baby is 5 months old already (as of this past Friday!). Well, I guess he’s not so little as he’s already creeping into the 12 month clothing and wearing size 4 diapers.

Austin is such a sweety pie and a grouch potato all rolled into one scrumptious chubby cheeked baby. He is generally a very smiley and happy baby. Until night time…then the personality changes and he’s not so happy anymore.

Sleep is still a work in progress. He did inherit Jamie’s crib finally (explanation in another post). It’s helping a little. We’ve also found another homeopathic option for his teething. That’s also helping just a little, but still not quite the sleeper I was hoping for at this point. Ah, well…he’s happy (mostly) and very healthy and we love him very much.

Austin still doesn’t have any teeth! I wish they would cut through already. I think it would solve some of our sleep issues! They must be coming soon, though. He’s quite the little slobber monster!

This past month we introduced cereal, bananas, and apples into his diet. We started with the rice…he doesn’t care for that much. But he loves the bananas and apples and now oatmeal, too! He’s getting better at swallowing most of his food, now, and dare I say he may even enjoy it?

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Austin’s favorite things are his chew ring, his Elmo book, his crazy loopy ring thing, and his snuggie’s! Sometimes Austin fights sleep, but if you give him the soft snuggie he totally calms down and sometimes even falls asleep with it.

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Austin also loves his big sister! She makes him laugh all the time. One of my favorite things about Austin is his contagious laughter. Plus, it’s very easy to make him laugh, too! We all have fun doing that around here, as you can tell by the video I posted the other day.

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Austin loves playing in Jamie’s toys, too!

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Austin can now rollover completely. In fact, he started to do that about two days after he turned 4 months old. He is also pretty much sitting up on his own, although he is reminiscent of a weeble wobble.

We are just so in love with our baby boy, words cannot express it. He rounds out our family perfectly. In fact the only problem now is that Austin is a little torn about what team he’s rooting for.

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I wasn’t going to say anything, but I think it’s pretty obvious that he looks best in blue. Wouldn’t you agree?

The honest truth

The honest truth

I had meant to get back into Mama Kat’s writing prompts for Thursday this week, but something happened that kind of jostled me. I am not one to talk about politics/controversial topics on here because in general I tend to avoid confrontation. Also, my job is the kind that sort of prevents me from having that “conflict of interest” with being too outspoken about certain things. However I am so upset about something that happened this week, I’m going to bring it up (as best as I can due to confidentiality) because I think this is an important issue in our society that I just can’t continue to be quiet about.

On Wednesday, I had to call our Child Abuse Hotline. It is always devastating when you realize that you need to do this, but I am a mandatory reporter, I took an oath to keep my students safe, and I felt it was the right thing to do. All I can say, is that there was a situation that happened at school that occurred in front of many witnesses. I was not a witness, but the student is in my class. This student was extremely upset and after further conversation I was able to determine that this student is being maltreated in many ways that can only be described as horrific. Especially, for those of us that have never been treated in such a manner by any person, let alone a parent.

This student was very reluctant to tell me details. Child protective services has been to this house in the past, and the children there were severely punished for this. You can imagine that I was only receiving bits and pieces of information.

Let me back track by saying that I am technically an employee of our Department of Children and Families here in Florida. They don’t pay me, the county does. However, in order to get my students certified to teach preschool, I am trained by DCF and given materials by DCF to do this. I am in direct contact with them regularly. I just taught the Child Abuse and Neglect module 1 month ago to my students. 1 month ago….One thing that DCF reiterates to us to repeat over and over and over again is that as a teacher/mandatory reporter you are not to over question and investigate the suspected abuse. Your job is only to call and report and allow for the CPS investigators to do their job and determine whether abuse is happening or not.

So back to my story, I called the hotline and I was told:

“Since you don’t see any marks on the child and nothing happened but a threat in this particular situation, we may not be able to investigate. Let me check with my supervisor.”

WHAT?!

This student was threatened with physical (we’re not talking a spanking here, either) punishment. This student was afraid to go home. This student’s parent has followed through with physical threats in the past.

The rep came back on the line and says to me, “Unfortunately we cannot investigate. A threat isn’t reason enough to come out to their home. Also, you didn’t give me enough information on the other children’s names, or what kind of physical harm/injuries they have sustained in the past.”

ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

First of all, since when does visible injury constitute as the criteria for abuse? Last I checked there are children who are severely sexually abused, emotionally neglected or verbally abused who have no physical evidence of it. What does this have to do with anything?

Secondly, why am I supposed to be the one gathering the specific information in this situation? I am not the investigator!

Third, DCF has been to this home before. Check your records people. Obviously, something is going on here!

I was so upset and to top it off, when an officer was questioning the student to determine whether they should send them home or not, he tells me later, “Well, the student admitted to me that usually they are only treated like that when they do something bad. As punishment.”

HELLO?! Am in the twilight zone? This crazy parent’s definition of bad/punishment is ABUSE. Especially, when you consider that often a BAT has been involved!!

At this point I am fuming.

What the Hell is wrong with our society that:

1) People feel they can treat children this way

2) No one takes responsibility for it

3) The people who are supposed to help keep these children safe (i.e. teachers) are often up against the wall with no resources or people to help them do this.

This society is built on the premise that children are meant to play and learn. The state of Florida itself has in its statutes that it is our duty to “protect children and provide them with their basic needs and an education.”

Well, they surely don’t make this easy for us as a state/community now do they?

I can’t help but think that this is all about money, or the lack thereof. Not enough money to investigate all the problems, so we’re going to only check on the ones we think are “for real.” In the meantime, we are creating a society of monsters and criminals. Because, when you are maltreated as a child, then you are thrown into a society where no one gives a shit about you and no one wants to help you, how are you supposed to trust ANYONE? It’s like a community of stray cats who run away and flinch if you get too close and then attack when they feel threatened.

This is so disgusting to me. Don’t even get me started on what’s going on with teachers/ government community workers. The very people who are there and meant to take care of our children and educate them are also maltreated by our state. Let’s pay teacher’s, fireman, police officers, child protective services and social workers next to nothing, take away their retirement and then hope that we grow our children to be respectable members of our community after they’ve seen how the world treats those who try and do good.

Great job, Florida! Why don’t you give yourselves a pat on the back for creating a society of people who lack empathy and may very well go to crime to get what they need. I have a feeling this is why we’re always in the newspapers for crazy shit. We made it this way.

 

 

 

Heartstrings

Heartstrings

That whole “pulling at the heartstrings” saying is kind of corny to me, but now that I have kids, I get it. Remember when I was pregnant and all whiny about how scared I was that Jamie was going to have attention taken away from her when the new baby came?

Well, clearly I was being stupid because Jamie is really the best big sister, and Austin just adores her. Jamie loves holding Austin, feeding him, and checking to see if he “poopied.” But, best of all she loves to make him laugh. It is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen (in my opinion). Although, I am biased OBVIOUSLY!

Well, why don’t you see for yourself….

The class menagerie

The class menagerie

Well, I’ve just about completed our class pet center…

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We’ve got the gerbil, named “Cupcake.” (Because she’s sweet, of course!)

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There’s “Houdini,” the great escaping Beta fish. Apparently, he left the pet store without getting paid for! I noticed about 3 days later when I submitted receipts to the bookkeeper for reimbursement…

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There are also the sea monkeys and aquasaurs that are too tiny to photograph with this here iPhone. We also have some tadpoles still waiting to be mailed (waiting for optimal weather conditions).

I think that’s enough animals, don’t you?? Add about 150 kids and it is most definitely a zoo in my classroom!

Have I told you lately…

Have I told you lately…

…that I have this obsession with finding pickled flavored powder for popcorn?

Yah. I want pickle tasting popcorn.

I think this is because I saw an episode where Tori Spelling had gotten some of this. But, ever since, I am obsessed with finding it. Here’s the glitch- I’ve been too lazy to look it up online. I know. LAZY.

Every time I go to Publix, I look for the damn pickle seasoning. Only, it’s not there. Because Publix doesn’t sell this, and they haven’t for the last year and a half. Yet, it doesn’t stop me from wandering aimlessly into the popcorn section to look for this.

You will be happy to know that tonight I finally got off (or actually, I’m on it) my lazy arse and bought me some pickle powder.

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“Aricious!”

I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to help my diet.

Oh, well! I’ll let you know how it tastes once it gets here!

You’re welcome.

Also, what else do you think I can put this majical pickle powder on?