Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day Care/School Update

I am so glad we made the switch to Daniel's new school. I can't even begin to tell you the good changes we've seen in just over 2 weeks.

Daniel has not had a single potty accident at the new school, compared to about 1 a day and even going as far as peeing on his own cot the last 3 weeks at his other school.

Our happy little man in the evenings has now returned. He's talkative again, and so, so sweet and so much fun! Not that he wasn't any of those things before, but all those things were really starting to fade the last few weeks at the other school, but who can blame him.

He's started learning his letters and last night he told me all about the letter "C" and what sounds it makes. For some reason Daniel has really been fighting learning letters with me, but apparently the new school is making them stick!!

This morning he told me needed to take a toy to school for "Show and Tell". He was proud of the train he chose and I was thrilled he felt confident enough to be a part of "Show and Tell". He hadn't mentioned wanting to do this before and I didn't push it.

All in all I think he's really learning and the best part - he's not being bitten, pushed, hit or told nasty things!!

In other news, Daniel is still in swim lessons (I'll post a final review on those after this week) but I have to say that he's doing great and I think we have a future swim champion on the horizon. :)

We celebrated Daniel's birthday yesterday with cupcakes at his school and a small cake just for the three of us after dinner last night. We're having a family BBQ this weekend to celebrate a little bigger and will post some pictures of it after the fact.

It's hard to belive Daniel is 4. But I gotta tell you - I'm loving this age already!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

1st Day of Swim Lessons

Today Daniel had his first swim lesson. His class had 4 budding olympic swimmers of which Daniel was the youngest by 2 years! At first he was so excited about being in the pool that he had a hard time listening but he got the gist finally and today they learned about kicking properly and blowing bubbles.

Of course, my cutie surprised the instructor when he was the only one to dunk himself right under and blow bubbles. He was by far the cutest kid there, if I say so myself!!

P.S. I'll update on his day school soon!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blog Address Update (Rob & Dede) & Call for Updates

Many of you who followed my blog from the beginning also followed Rob & Dede's journey to sweet Liam around the same time. They've changed their blog address and I wanted to get it out there, because I almost missed the switch, but I'm glad I didn't! It's so much fun to watch all our Russian born children grow.

You can re-subscribe to their blog here, plus see a couple of photos of their cutie!! In case you missed it, the post about the change in their subscription is here.

At the same time, if anyone has any changes to their blog address, doesn't want their blog listed on my sidebar anymore, or DOES want their blog listed on my sidebar - leave me a comment or drop me an email - it's been awhile since I've updated it and it's probably out of date - so that includes any lurkers out there - let me know who you are and your blog so I can follow yours too. I love, love, love to read everyone's journey and leave comments too because well, frankly, comments are the best!! (and it's doesn't have to just be Russian adoptions!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Daycare - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A lot of you know that of late, I was suffering from the "daycare woes". In reality it was Daniel who was the one I believe was really going to suffer if I didn't change his situation. I thought I would share a little more in depth about what was going on and what lead to our decision to change his daycare situation.

First off the facility where Daniel was located is super nice. There are two buildings, one of which houses a great big "Jumpy House" as Daniel calls it. In the winter and on bad weather days when the kids can't play on the playground, they would bundle up and go to the jumpy house. His room was nice and they also did a lot of extra activities like going on field trips, having a bike day, a sprinkler day, lots of parties and the like. The best part is that they provided breakfast, lunch and two snacks a day. For Daniel this was terrific because he is not really a morning person (it takes him a while to wake up) so he was never ready for breakfast first thing, but by the time he got to school they were just sitting down to eat.

You may remember that back in October I had to have Daniel removed from his current classroom because of one particular little boy continually biting Daniel.

Things went very well until a few months later. Guess who got moved back into Daniel's room? The one and only biter - although he no longer bit. However I was noticing some new behaviors in Daniel. He was becoming quite mouthy, sticking his face in ours when we would say no, saying no back to us and the like. I realize some of this is normal behavior, but really if you know Daniel he's very laid back, very well adjusted and very, very good. (We're really lucky!)

We really didn't connect the behavior with daycare, until I was able to watch the one little boy yank another child out of a chair by the back of his shirt...and guess what? I was the only one to see it. Things happen right? Well about a month ago, we walk in and Daniel runs over to said little boy and he spits right in Daniel's face...and guess what? I was the only one to see it. A few days later he grabs Daniel when we walk in and puts him in a kiddie headlock. This time the teacher saw it but simply told the other little boy to keep his hands to himself.

Fast forward to the last three weeks. One of Daniel's little friends that he talks about all the time starts running up to us every day saying "I don't like you Daniel" or "I'm not your friend" as soon as we walk in the door. I even went as far one day to lean down and say (in a very nice, quiet voice) "That's not very nice, We shouldn't say things like that." To which he responds, "I don't like you Daniel" even louder. Then I noticed he was running off and playing with said other little boy.

Two weeks ago Daniel came home from school saying that the two little boys are mean to him and that one hit him in the head. The next day Daniel tells me sand was "shoved" into his mouth. Before you panic (because I sure did) it was not "shoved" into his mouth, however, it was thrown into his face. And yes - I did confirm with the teacher that it wasn't made up as Daniel had even described the blue bucket the sand was in.

Fast forward to last Thursday. I pick Daniel up and he's a grumpy bear. As in mean face, mean attitude and wild as can be. So not my normal "I missed you Mama" son. We get to the car and he just starts to bawl and then buck his car seat. I couldn't get him to bend at the waist. How does someone so little do that?!?! I gave up trying to fight, pulled him out of the car and just held him. Finally I set him down and asked him if he could tell me what's wrong.

His response "Boy #1 hit my head into the wall, and Boy #2 hit me in the face".

I was LIVID.

I immediately marched right back in. No one knew anything of what happened (of course) and they tried to remind me that it was Daniel who was grumpy that day.

I was even more livid at that point, went out front and told the supervisor it was us or the other little boy who was the initial cause of everything (aka the biter).

Then I slept on it.

I decided they could keep the biter and we were leaving. What good was it getting rid of the child if they weren't going watch the kids anyway?

As if that wasn't enough, he called his school the "mean school" on the way there the last day and the his room the "bad classroom".

I called the director, who didn't sound at all surprised by the goings on (which is a red flag for me) and asked for immediate release. She granted it. Even if she hadn't, she knew we were gone.

Daniel is now enrolled at a great Christian daycare and school. He could actually continue there once he starts Kindergarten through 8th grade if we so decide. His class will be a preschool based class and he will immediately begin learning the alphabet and have specialized reading circles. The teachers are actual teachers and the classes are skill driven. They do worksheets everyday and they appear much more organized!

The children are seated a lot so we may have to adjust our evening schedule to include more active activities vs. playing games at the table or building legos etc. We may add an evening walk into our routine to get rid of any excess energy before bedtime.

I also have to start packing his meals and snacks and try to get breakfast into him before we leave in the mornings. The latter I am mostly worried about since Daniel sometimes doesn't wake up until a few minutes before we have to leave. I think I'm going to start making lots more noise in the mornings!

He seems excited about the change. He has one great friend already there and I know she won't be beating up my son anytime soon!!! He was so happy when I told him we were all done with his school and he could go to another school.

In the end I wish I would have had the guts to switch him back in October but I truly felt like the director was working with us and that Daniel was doing well. It's so hard to determine when it's better to let some things go provided there are changes in place to improve things and when it's okay to say forget it and move on and then have to worry about the adjustment your child will have to go through if you make the change.

At this point I'm not worried about the adjustment since I think Daniel will adjust well without all the meaness he was receiving by those two little boys. I do hope the director thinks long and hard about why she allows the one child to stay and hurt other children. I believe the second child would be much better off without the first child's bad influence.

Maybe she'll figure that out...but in the meantime, I know I'm doing the right thing and I can't wait to update you all with Daniel's progress!!