September 2, 2011

Hamhock has only 17 kids in his second grade class so far.  I suspect that some more kids will be offered a spot, because I am sure there are kids on the wait-list, and the class size is approved to 23.  But for now, 17.  (Nice!)

But here’s one of the best parts for him. . . there are three African American boys in his class!!!!!!!!  Weeeeeeeeee!!!!!  And, at least a half dozen Hispanic kids too!!!!  I’m so excited to have kids with beautiful shades of skin color in his class.  So excited!  (Yes, we *are* the ones who chose to live in Sandy, UT, where it’s pretty white-bread mayonnaisey, pretty much everywhere you go.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I just yearn for a little more color in my life).

Anywhoo. . .I stopped by the other day to take Hamhock to a doctor’s appointment, so I got to peek in and watch his class do their yoga exercises before lunch.  He and a new school buddy were partners. . .doing a rock and lizard.  They were laughing and following the teacher and learning and having a great time.  True to Hamhock form, when we were leaving, his buddy and another kid came up to give him a hug goodbye (can I just express how much I love kids before they get all pre-teen/teenager/angsty?).  Hamhock has always had a big personality, and when he’s in a situation to feel comfortable in expressing himself, other kids gravitate towards that big personality.

Then I peeked in on Superboy as his class was getting ready for lunch and he saw me and immediately gave me a big hug hello (can I just express how much I love kids before they get all pre-teen/teenager/annoyed?)!  His shoes needed tying (no, he doesn’t know how himself, yet) and he showed me the discipline chart.  He already had one warning by 11 am.  My little manchild who got my chatty-cathy genes for being too social in class when the teacher’s talking. . .poor kid (but also good, right?).

So. . . my completely neurotypical, fairly easy-going child has already been warned several times for behavior in the first week of school.  My child diagnosed with autism hasn’t had one problem at all!  In fact, when another kid pushed him at gym this week, instead of pushing back, he immediately just told the teacher.  That’s it.  Told the teacher and didn’t act out. 

Another thing about Superboy. . .this is the first time he’s been in school for seven hours straight!  Preschool and Kindergarten were 2 1/2 hours.  He and his bff have been so funny when they come home afterschool. . . so much pent-up boy energy, so that they start playing, giggling, and eating like they’ve been in a work camp for a week.  It’s pretty cute, ’cause boys are just darn cute.

Oh, and yet another thing about Superboy. . .he was upset that we weren’t going to play at McDonald’s after school on Wednesday this week, so he decided to throw down a big tantrum. He was crying and screaming and I told him to calm down in his room.

A few minutes later, after he calmed down, he came out and said: “Mom! I learned at school how to calm down! Watch!”. He proceeded to show me several different yoga poses and told me how he learned all about calming down with yoga at school.



Whew!  First day of school!  Finally. . .the summer fighting and endless exhausting activities and lack of structure is DONE!  Now it’s momma’s time to shine and have some quiet time to myself!  Wooooeeeeee!   (Dancing a little jig of joy!)

Both boys started at a brand-new public charter school:  Alianza Academy.   There is only one class of each grade, and the first and second graders are in their own section of the building.  The Executive Director and Principal are both former Waterford teachers and administrators, and the Alianza curriculum incorporates self-directed computer programs for each student (hybrid learning).  The school currently offers through eighth grade, so we don’t have to worry about regular Middle/Junior High School for my two little budding nerds.  Yay!  They will probably have the option to stay with Alianza through High School, or we can see whether they want to choose a different High School once we get to ninth grade.

Whew.  Here’s to hoping for a great year!

Both boys did awesome last year at East Sandy Elementary.  Superboy had a blast in Kindergarten with his bestie BFF, and made a bunch of new friends as well.  Hamhock made several friends last year, and *loved* his first grade teacher.  He made incredible progress in reading, spelling & math!

The only bump in the road we had was during the last three months of school with a friend in his class.  This friend’s OCD just kinda happened to clash with Isaac’s ASD.  They started out as friends, but on a play-date here at our house (where Hamhock has a *really* hard time sharing toys/personal space/video games, etc) Hamhock got mad and punched him in the face.  I was right there, had Hamhock apologize and take a time out, and tried as best I could to smooth things over.  (The punch wasn’t strong – more like a close-fist slap, so his buddy just got a red mark with no bruising.  But still, it was scary & hurt, of course.  Hurmpf).

His buddy was obsessed about it at school and was also very understandably scared of Hamhock.  Hamhock wanted to be his friend and play and joke with him at school again, but his buddy was not interested.  That makes Hamhock obsessed about *why* his buddy isn’t interested and makes him act out even more.  Finally, Hamhock, in trying to get some kind of reaction from him during recess while playing tag, “tagged” his buddy a little too hard on the face, which left a bruise under his eye.

Of course I didn’t hear anything about it from Hamhock, so his teacher told me what happened the next day.  By that time the other mom got the principal involved, which totally freaked me out!!  The principal was really great, though, by having both boys come to his office to talk it out and agree to not play with each other for a while.  I touched base with the mom to smooth things over as well.

Unfortunately, Isaac with his ASD, and this other boy with his OCD, had no clue how to ignore each other.  The only problem during the school day was at lunchtime and lunch recess, when there is no structure or organized activity, which is just the hardest for Hamhock to figure out what to do and how to act.  So I decided to pull him out just for lunch and lunch recess for the remainder of the year.

It worked great!  By pulling him out of that time period during his school day, it helped him “reset” his obsession with the other boy and totally chill out to find other friends.  He finished the rest of the year with no problems at all, and I got some cute pictures of the last day of school.  I also had him take a hip-hop class with another good buddy, which helped a ton.

Hamhock with buddies on the last day of first grade 2010-2011:








Eric and his best buddy on the last day of Kindergarten 2010-2011:

It’s the anxiety, baby

September 14, 2010

Mark’s brother got married the Thursday before school started.  Totally fun, family-oriented, spiritual, fabulous day.  But the next day I woke up with the reminder that school starts that coming Monday, and all my fears and worries hit me like a Mack truck.

It’s fun living with anxiety.  Really.  Fun not to be able to focus or think or relax or enjoy.

My body breaks out in this lovely rash, too.  Nice.

So. . . .anyway. . .Hamhock met his new first grade teacher and he wore his new Mario t-shirt to the first day and it all seems good.  He greeted me with a big smile every day for the first week:  “Mom, I didn’t get into trouble today!”  So sweet, and so heartbreaking.  He gets it – gets the rules are there, there is a way to behave, a way to act, and he’s trying as hard as he can to follow it all.

I’m very proud of him.

Here’s Superboy, a week later, going to Kindergarten for the first time.  He’s super excited and super easy-going.  It makes my brain a little crazy when I seriously don’t worry about him at all.  I know he’ll be just fine.  I know he’ll make friends, follow the rules, enjoy school, learn what he needs to.  It’s very strange.

It’s about cool?

June 29, 2010

Hamhock likes to wear a beanie.  It started sometime this past winter. He would most often wear it to bed, or put it on first thing on in the morning.  It looks really cute, I have to admit.

But I just thought it was a sensory thing. . .like, he likes the feeling of the fabric on his hair, or the weight of the beanie on his head, or the enclosed feeling the hat gives while shaping his cute little face.

Not so, my friends, not so.

One day he forgot it while we were getting ready to pull out of the garage.  He asked me to run back in the house to get it.  When I returned and gave it to him to put on, he asks me to pull down the passenger side mirror so he can look to make sure “it looks cool.”

WHAT?!?!?!  My six-year old son, diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2, is wearing his beanie because “it looks cool?!?!?!”

Wow.  I honestly had no idea.

Why are we Moms always the last to figure these things out?  I’m sure it’s because we brought these precious babes into the world (in my case with the help of Hamhock’s beautiful birthmother) and we just want to hold onto those precious innocent moments.

Well, innocent moment #2 gone.  My kid likes to look cool.

(I think innocent moment #1 was kissing a girl in Kindergarten!)

Here’s a pic when he was probably about three, being silly with this same beanie (it’s actually Foo’s).

I love you, too.

June 28, 2010

My boys are best friends one moment, bitter enemies the next. (Needless to say, it’s exhausting.)

Last night as I was putting them to bed, Hamhock called out from his bed to Superboy tucked into his bed in the next room:  “I love you!”

Superboy returned back:  “I hate you!”

Then Superboy got up and stood in Hamhock’s doorway with a silly grin on his face.  When Hamhock started laughing, Superboy started laughing hysterically.  Then he said:  “Just kidding!  I love you too.”

Har.  My boys.

I’m a kisser, too

April 24, 2010

I love kissing my boys on the cheeks.  Ever since they were little newborn babes, I just can’t get enough of kissing their sweet, soft, round little cheeks!  They are now 6 1/2 and 4 1/2 and I still kiss them on the cheeks . . . maybe up to a dozen times a day.

I am going to be so sad when that day comes that they pull away and need the space to figure out how to become men; that day when getting kisses from your mom is not only uncool, but developmentally not helpful in the journey towards male independence.

Superboy returns my kisses on a regular basis, and I love it.  Hamhock only occasionally.

Last night I caught Hamhock giving Superboy a good-night kiss on his foreheard.  Hee!  So very sweet.  We have a “slumber party” every Friday night, where we cuddle up in Mommy & Daddy’s bed to read stories, talk, and say prayers to go to bed.  After they fall asleep we move them to their bunk beds (where they get mad every Saturday morning that we didn’t let them sleep all night long in our bed  – um, no thank you!  We like our bed to remain urine-free from our occasional bed-wetters).

Superboy had already fallen asleep, and I happened to catch Hamhock leaning over, giving him a kiss on the forehead and tenderly rubbing his hair out of the way.

This, from the older brother who torments, teases, and uses Superboy as a punching bag on a regular basis!


January 26, 2010

Hamhock kissed his first girl today.  Gulp.

She’s a tomboy in his Kindy class; really sweet, nice, funny cute girl.  We had her over for a playdate & they went out scooter-ing.  I was watching from the yard, and he dropped his scooter and ran over to her with a big bear hug, and then planted one right on her lips!  Oh. My. Gosh.

When they came back I tried to explain to Hamhock that you can’t kiss girls unless they say “yes” *after* you ask them.  Yeah. . .we’ll see how that goes.

On another note, Superboy had his very first cavity (first for either kid) and it was a bit of a struggle in the chair, but he powered through it and got to get two prizes afterwards.  He chose a glittery, shiny, jeweled ring.  Yes.

And he wore it all day proudly on his finger.

Yep, my boys.


January 16, 2010

Last year in preschool Hamhock would say girls were icky, although he loved to chase them around squealing at high-pitched decibels at recess.

This year in Kindergarten, Hamhock has made friends with two girls in his class, Ahnika and Mackenzie.  Although, I have to say, they are definitely more tomboyish than cute and princessy.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but hey, he’s my kid, you know!)

So. . .we had a playdate with his friend Ahnika at our house!  It was so cute.  She marches right in and asks Hamhock to see his room (usually boys just start playing and they want to see his toys, not his room).  Very very cute.

The other day we were picking up Foo’s drycleaning when Hamhock pipes up from the back seat:  “That girl is pretty!”  “Which one?” I asked.  “The one with the long hair and glasses.”  Oh. My. Gosh!  So very cute.

Superboy, on the other hand, has always been in touch with his feminine side.  He’s very comfortable playing with and talking about girls.  He’s going to marry a hundred super hero girls when he’s a man, he says.

Buddy the Elf

December 22, 2009

After getting our Christmas tree, we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with the boys for the first time and they loved it!  It whet my appetite to watch Elf with Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf again. . .

Hamhock has a buddy too. . . the fourth grade class comes down once a week or so to do various activities with the Kindergartners.  One day while dropping off Hamhock in the morning, I watch him run over to a big kid and drape his arms around his waist.  So cute!  I went over to see what was going on. Hamhock just stared at him with adoring eyes.  He told me this is his buddy, also named Isaac.  He is a really nice boy and was very patient with Hamhock holding on to him in the school yard.

Here are a few things Hamchock answered during their “get to know you” Buddy activity one day:

1.  My favorite color is red
2.  I love to eat donuts & hamburgers.
3.  My favorite tv show is Wolverine, Hulk & Ironman.
4.  If I could be a make-believe character, I would be Hulk.
5.  My favorite thing about school is drawing.
6.  I love to play video games.
7.  If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to Candyland (hee!).

Moms who let their kids. . .

September 16, 2009

. . .watch CN and Nick will appreciate this one:

I’ve allowed my kids to enjoy spending their credits on Fruit by the Foot treats on the way to and from school. Here was this morning’s conversation:

Hamhock: “I replace your cough by Fruit by the Foot.”
Superboy: *coughs* “So you did.”
Hamhock & Superboy: *laughing*


This morning as we approached the Kindergarten playground I hear lots of squealing. Apparently, it is ‘boys act like monsters while chasing the girls around the playground’ day. Human nature is so fun to watch in action. The boys have these silly smiles and goofy tongue-protruding faces, while the girls are running from them with their little-girl-high-pitched-screams and huge smiling faces.

I’m just so happy that Hamhock joins right on in.