Monday, February 25, 2019

Anastasia's Birthday, Snow Day and IEP Meetings

It's that wonderful time of year where I have 2 kids the same age for 3 weeks. Everyone assumes they're twins anyways,  I just roll with it during this period. I've grown to love these 3 weeks because it shows all the progress Rowan's made in the last year and all the potential growth Anastasia can achieve. I've also learned that newly (insert age) is such a huge difference compared to nearly done with (insert same age). 
The Littles have developed a haterade of amateur singing. Sure, they sometimes listen to the radio or Pandora. However, if anyone tries to sing along you'll hear "NO!! No singing!!" being shouted by one or both of them. We tried to do a practice run of "Happy Birthday" but it ended when they got upset by the singing. I was pretty sure we were just going to skip the candles and go straight for the cake. As soon as Char started lighting candles they allowed us to finish the song.
Rowan promptly blew out Anastasia's candles, we relit them so she could make a wish. He then looked rather dejected when Anastasia received the first slice of cake. He kept looking at her plate, down to his empty plate, back to her cake filled plate. He didn't scream or otherwise show his disappointment, which is awesome! 
Then we opened presents. Anastasia got a purple and pink butterfly backpack (she started pre-school this week), some clothes, and a pink superhero cape. Since Anastasia and Rowan are so close in age I got him a picture encyclopedia book about vehicles, planes, and trains. 
Heidi Anne and Rowan had a snow day about 3 weeks ago. This was Heidi Anne's first snow day from any school, ever. It snowed about .5 inches but schools were closed since there are so few snowplows for a very large city.
Rowan has begun to hide under my blanket whenever he's scared or there are loud noises. 
So I bought out their last Christmas gift that was unopened. A pop-up tent. They both go in there just to hang out or Rowan hides in there when he's frightened.   

I have had 3 IEP meetings in the space of 5 days. I wouldn't advise anyone to do that, 1 alone is stressful enough. I was able to get 2 drafts ahead of the meetings that way I could preview the accommodations and recommendations for each child and make any of my own suggestions to help the meetings go more smoothly. 
I am loving this school district! I actually felt respected, heard, and part of the team. The school district pushed to give all 3 kids far more services than we were able to receive in Utah. 4 days per week of preschool (versus 2 days a week in Utah). More time for speech therapy, even Occupational and Physical Therapy are part of the Littles' IEP.   
Here's Char squeezing in family time while studying for another exam. We don't see much of him as of late since he's in grad school and working full time. So he gets lots of cuddles whenever we get to see him. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Heidi Anne's FIRST Blog Post

This will be Heidi Anne's very first blog post by herself. Heidi wants to be more involved in the blog. It's about her field trip to Olympia, the capital of Washington. She even took her own pictures on her new (cheap) digital camera for this post! 

Hi everyone this is my first Blog post. Today I am going to talk about my field trip to Washington State Capitol. It was 2 hours there and 2 hours back.         
The fifth grade was doing a skit about a case that happened in the state capitol. I was the judge in the skit. 
                       My teacher took the photo 

We took a tour around the state capitol. Here's is a photo of the chandelier.
We saw where the laws are built and passed.
There was also an awesome fountain.
I also sat by my by my friend Emma. She is so nice.
That is my field trip to Washington state capitol. Bye!!   

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Pacific Northwest Bucket List

I have a friend that really LIVES where she lives. What I mean is, she finds things to do with her family that typically only the locals know about. I don't know how long we're going to be here but I want to have adventures that will make lasting memories with my kids. If you see anything I should add, let me know! 

1. Ester Shore Park Farmer's Market (March - October)
2. Visit Fort Vancouver
3. Stroll on the Waterfront Trail on a Warm Day
4. Ridgefield National Bird Refuge During Bird Migrations 
5. Water Resources Education Center for a class
6. Go Salmon & Trout Fishing 
7. Moulton Falls Regional Park
8. Swim at Vancouver Lake Park
9. Go to the Beach!! 
10. Pomeroy Living History Farm
11. Portland Children's Museum
12. Portland Rose and Tea Garden
13. Take the Train to Seattle
14. Go to Seattle
15. Visit Mt. St. Helens Park
16. Go to Mt. Hood
17. Ride the Mt. Hood Train 
18. Pearson's Air Museum
19. Indoor Parks 
20. Bamboo Sushi - Portland

Friday, February 1, 2019

Measles, Flying Ostrich, Lots of Pics

We haven't really been doing much lately. It's mostly due to the stupid measles outbreak in the area. Currently, there are over 40 confirmed cases and over a dozen suspected. Here's what we've been up to while homebound. 
 Yesterday was the first time Anastasia went out in public since this measles crap started, which around the 9th of January. I couldn't find her records and didn't think she had received at least 2 doses. I received the records today and she is current! We went to the park to celebrate our freedom (and the warm, sunny day). 
Anastasia adores Rowan and has reached a stage where she takes his explanations of the world as gospel truth. For example, they were watching the little birds peck at some seeds when a big black bird appeared. Rowan shouted "Look Anastasia! An ostrich!" They watch in awe of this big bird, which promptly flew away. Rowan adds, "Ohh Anastasia! That a flying ostrich!" (She now calls all black birds flying ostrich).  

While most of the country was buried knee deep in the snow or in a polar vortex, it was (mostly) nice weather out here. It was so pleasant that the kiddos and I walked to the little neighborhood park to play. I don't know quite how long we were there. The only reason we left was due to a sudden deluge that caught us all unaware. I'm still learning that we're not in a desert anymore, therefore, I need to bring an umbrella every time I head outdoors. 
I've made a discovery, we're the odd ducks at the local park, however, there are a lot of people at the big community parks. Apparently, there is a difference between neighborhood parks and community ones. I hope to visit all the big parks at least once while we're here. I've even made a bucket list for the area. I don't know why but I was not this adventurous back in Utah. 
Rowan is currently in preschool 2 days a week. Hopefully, that will change after his IEP meeting in about 10 days. His favorite part of the day is when the bus comes to our door to pick him up. We just wait on the porch and as soon as he hears the rumble of the engine he is up and running to his spot on the sidewalk.  
Heidi has developed a love of birds. She feeds them nearly every morning with Rowan in tow. They sprinkle birdseed (with some acorns for Chubsters the squirrel), around the back fence and porch. Then they come inside, sit on the floor and watch the birds flock to feast. I think I'll get them some binoculars if they keep this up.