Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This kid is growing up!

I can't believe Cyler is 8!  He has grown so much....literally!   He gained 4 inches and 4 pounds in the past year!   WOO-HOO!!!!  That dance recital that I mentioned in the previous post is just around the corner and he is READY.  He has this routine down. I can't wait to see it! He keeps us pretty busy!    

We also discovered buddy ball!  Cyler has played soccer the past few years and it was getting really hard to keep up with the other kids.  He is small for his age.  So...we tried buddy ball!   He is great at it.  He hits the ball like a pro.  They just had the final game of the season and he got his trophy!

There have actually been a lot of "Firsts" going on around here!  He is riding his bike.  Well, learning to ride his bike!

He thought that was pretty awesome!  I have to agree that it was pretty cool.  We have gone many places and done many things.  I am hoping that we have a lot of fun this summer!  We are still planning on continuing the homeschooling through the summer.  We have a lot of flexibility and we find that he learns a little better when he is actually interested in what he is learning about.  Inserting a few pictures of our shenanigans below!  :)

Pool at my moms house!  He needs all that stuff to stay on top of the water.  lol.
Center of attention at buddy ball!

I made a birthday "pudding cake" for Cyler.  It was the first "cake" he was actually able to eat.  He didn't eat much of it but at least he tried it.

He got to be Goliath when we went to Holy Land!  He loved it there.  The artworks an sculptures are incredible!

Lastly, here is a picture of Cyler in his suit!  Sooo handsome...   :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Update 2016

     It has been a while and it has been crazy.  We started out the school year in the Polk Virtual and that was an epic fail.  The teacher had no clue about 1st graders and could not function/became frazzled with a full class of 7 students.  When I reached out to her she informed me that my son "couldn't" do anything and after a meeting with administrators it was decided that homeschool would be the best option for Cyler.

       It has been one of the best choices.  It has been in my heart to homeschool for a long time but I just didn't know that I could do it.  Well Cyler is doing great.  He is reading really well and is benefiting greatly from the flexibility of the schedule. He is learning so much more.  I am glad we made this choice.

      On another note, Cyler is getting ready for his first dance recital.   We weren't sure that he wanted to do it but he and the dance instructer are going to give it a try and we are going to be good supportive parents.  Though, I am eager to see if he spins off during the recital to perform his own interpretation of the dance.  This should be an interesting show.
        I cannot believe my kid os going ot be 8 years old in just a couple of months.  This has been one of the best years for personal growth for him.  He has made friends and is learning to handle himself in social situations.  His ABA therapy has helped him a lot with that.  All and all it was a great year.  


Monday, August 24, 2015

Cruising Along!

I can't believe that we are starting another school year!   Cyler did great in Kindergarten and we finished out the school year with a Disney Cruise.  What a way to kick start the summer!   We had an absolute blast and Cyler got to do something that he has hope to do for a really long time----sit on an island with a coconut drink!

      This is where he stayed
              on the island!

We participated in an organized gift exchange with fellow cruisers.  It is called a Fish Extender exchange!   Strange name but, if you are on a Disney Cruise you will see a fish next to each cabin.  The tail of the fish is used like a hook and that is where you hang what they call a Fish Extender.  Essentially an organizer with multiple pockets (one for each family member).  It was so much fun to return to our room each night to find cute little trinkets.  Cyler's favorite was the personalized hat.

Our cruise included a stop in Nassau!   So many people leave bad reviews about this place.  It isn't bad it's just different.  I would encourage anyone to go at least once.  Cyler had a blast playing music with the locals.  Wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

We had a whole day at sea.  We got to explore the ship and Cyler had a chance to meet the Captain.  Cyler was a little concerned that the Captain wasn't "driving the ship".  He was so cool and told Cyler that Captain Hook was taking care of it!

The Disney Cruise also has a Pirate Night deck party.  They shoot fireworks in the middle of the ocean and have a dance party on deck.  Many pirates can be seen on board.

The whole experience was fantastic!  We were sad it had to end.  We did make some new friends and tons of great memories!  This is Cyler and our assistant server!

Now that summer is over it is time to start a new school year.  Cyler is in the 1st grade.  We switched from the state version to the local version so that Cyler could have a teacher to meet with face to face. He actually did too well in kindergarten that they had him redo assessments on a web cam so that they could see him do the work. His ADD/ADHD/PDD and IQ from a mental health exam had them thinking he couldn't do it.  Well...he passed with flying colors! However, this wasn't fair to him.  He had worked so hard to complete his work!  Anyway, this new local online school will hopefully prevent that situation from happening again.  I am hoping they can see that he is capable of most anything and just sees the world and processes things a little different than some.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chunky Mac and Cheese!

Cyler will be 7 years old tomorrow and I can't believe how fast this year has flown by.  He started Kindergarten in Aug and is doing amazing.  He really doesn't like it and finds the busy work boring but he is still doing well.   We are doing an online program where the curriculum is already mapped out and provided.  It makes it easier.  All we have to do is log in and complete the work.

He is growing so fast and has a super appetite.  He is still mostly eating purees but now tolerates thicker and chunkier food textures.  Macaroni and cheese that is mashed is one of his favorites.  He used to eat this with no lumps.  Now, all I have to do is smash it with a fork a few times and he is good to go.  He still needs to work on proper chewing but he is definitely getting there. We are so proud.

He is still completely obsessed with car racing.  He still tells everyone that he went to Daytona 500 last year.  We have a local small speedway here and visit there when we can.  He LOVES it!   I go just to watch him!   The other night we went and he actually won the raffle they had and got to choose a basket.  He picked out a cool Easter basket.  It had cars and trucks of course!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trucking along.

Time is flying by.  I can't believe my kiddo is 6 years old.  Here is his 6 year picture.  Still quite a ham!

We had a great summer and enjoyed all of the time together.  Dad lost his job at the beginning of summer and fortunately picked up a new one.  This new one didn't start until August, so we were able to spend extra time together.  I continued working through out but I am blessed with an extremely flexible schedule.

We went to see Winter the dolphin in Clearwater with Mom-Mom and Grammy.  It was super hot but worth it.  Cyler was super excited that he was able to see a real super-star.  He had never seen the movie before so we purchased it while we were there.  

We traveled a couple hours up north and visited a retirement home for horses.  They take old horses and let them live their final years with dignity.  Visitors are only allowed 1 day per week and for only a limited number of hours.  There is no riding but there is a lot of feeding.  Admission is 2 carrots per person and the horses LOVE carrots.  It was a great experience for Cyler.  He was able to see how all of their personalities were different. Some of them we trained to be performers and still liked to put on a show.  

Of course summer would not be complete without a couple of trips to Old Town and a visit from uncle Jordan.  
Riding Go Karts with Dad.  1st TIME!!!

 Getting stuck between this two was actually a choice.  He loves his Jordan and his Jayme!
 Grammy time...

Summer was over in the blink of an eye.  It was a lot of fun while it lasted. Everything got crazy all at once. Cyler has started school and is doing very well.  It takes about 4-5 hours a day but we are able to take breaks when needed so that he can dance around and get his wiggles out.  I am so glad we chose to learn at home.  He takes school very seriously.

We are so proud of him.  He is also playing soccer. We did get clearance from his cardiologist.  Cyler had to do a holter monitor because he was showing a different kind of heart beat. He generally has PVC's and a slower heart rate than most.  This time he was showing beats coming from other places within his heart.  The monitor showed that his junction would kick out a beat if he heart rate dropped to low...which is what it is supposed to do.  Sooo...he got the all clear!   His first game was today and he did wonderful. The Coach said Cyler is a natural due to the fact that he was able to easily switch his kicking foot.

Dad even got talked into being a coach since they are short a couple.  Cyler has also joined the 4H club.  He is a clover bud.  Most of the kids are older than him but he seems to do ok.  I like that they are planning some community projects and at the end he will do a public speaking presentation.  I am sure he will do fine.  This kid can TALK.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Growing and Eating!

At the last appointment with Cyler's GI doc he was prescribed a medication that is supposed to make him hungry and in turn get him to "chew" his food.  I told the GI doc that Cyler eats all day long and that he doesn't have a problem with being hungry.  His reply--"try it and you will see".   I truly could not wrap my head around how an appetite stimulant would suppress the sensory reasons Cyler doesn't tolerate textured foods but we would try most anything.

Well it has been a couple of weeks and while he doesn't chew chunky food, he is trying new foods.  He has eaten mashed potatoes from KFC with only a little gravy (used to be more gravy than potato), Jello through a net, pudding with graham cracker dust, mashed (not pureed) avocado, and eating his foods without me adding cream to make them soupy. This may not seem like much to most, but really it is HUGE!!!  He doesn't even put up a fight and there is hardly any panic or gagging.  I think the GI doc is onto something.  

You would think with all this big boy stuff going on that he would be getting ready for school, right?   No such luck!  We were getting ready to sign up with Calvert and all of a sudden our county isn't participating anymore.  We were told we could still enroll--at the cost of 1500 for the year.  UGH!  So we called the county and set up a meeting Cyler's zoned school.  We went.  We saw.  We LEFT!   We were actually considering enrolling him but were discouraged by the guidance counselor.  She felt they wouldn't be able to meet his needs.  

So.....we were back to square one.  We ended up enrolling him in connections academy.  It is free and he can do it at home.  It is in line with the public school curriculum and considered "public school at home".  The good thing is that he can participate in the extra curricular activities so that he is "socialized".  I hate that phrase but I do understand the importance of being around other children.   Soccer, here we come!   (and of course dance class)  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kindergarten here we COME!!

Cyler will be six years old next month.   This is the age where you "MUST" enroll your child in school or submit an intent to home school here in FL.  We knew we didn't want Cyler in public school here in FL so we decided to pursue homeschooling.  And we decided to wait until he was six to start "formal" education because we simply wanted him to be a little kid a while longer.  We haven't slacked...we just haven't PUSHED.   

He learns everyday and he is quite smart. We hear all the time how smart other parents children are. We are told how they can tie their shoes, count to 1000, and write entire essays by the time they are in Kindergarten. That is wonderful!  Cyler can't tie his shoes yet and can only write his name, but that is ok.  He puts on his canvas slip-ons and goes about his day. Every day is an adventure for him.  He creates, imagines, explores, and understands his environment.  He has a thought process that is deeper and more complicated than many adults I have met.   You can't get my with a "because I said so" with him.  He must understand every detail of something before he is satisfied.  

We have been trying to find the right curriculum for him for 2 years now.  We wanted something above and beyond what he would learn in public school beyond the "common core".  A curriculum that well rounded, secular, and strong.  We researched many and really liked Calvert.  However, it was way to expensive.  We have tried to piece it together but we aren't confident that it would be good enough.  The public school was of course trying to get us to sign up with their k12.   If we signed up for that they would still get the tax money for Cyler being enrolled and we would have to do all the work with THEIR curriculum.   UGH!

However, just found out by searching (no one wanted to tell us) that the public school system will pay for Cyler to use Calvert at home as long as we follow their calendar year, etc.  Basically, the school district will still get the tax money because they can claim that he is enrolled in school but we get the Calvert curriculum for FREE!   For us this is a BIG WIN!   It's about the quality of the education.