Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shedding a few tears for 4th grade

If someone had told me at the beginning of this year that I would be sad when Fourth grade was over for my daughter, I would have laughed out loud at them. At the beginning of the year her homework was taking on average 2 hours a night. Add to that trumpet practice, and dance class, and she didn't have much free time. I wasn't to sure about her teacher at the beginning of the year either. I really wasn't, mainly because she was coming from a teacher that was so laid back  and fun that I wasn't sure what the contrast would be like for my daughter.

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have been worried about her. I would have been excited for her. Her teacher has helped her immensely to prepare for her middle school and high school and well I would have to say her life years. She has worked really hard with her to make her writing fill out more. At the beginning of the year it was hard to get her to write more than was absolutely necessary. Looking at her writing work from later in the year, it is evident how much work was put in by her teacher to teach her the writing skills she would need going forward. I've written already about the Rev War program. It has  taught her a multitude of things beginning with, be proud of where this country came from. It has taught her that soldiers then and now sacrifice their lives for a cause that at times may be hard to understand. It has given an already confident child the swagger she needs to be willing to try new things, and to go for what she wants. She is a little more quiet now(not that I am saying that is a good thing) but she is quiet in an important way. It's more a quiet because she is listening to what is going on in her head and heart. She thinks more about things, and wants to be saturated in knowledge. 4th grade has instilled a work ethic in her to get the job done. Not to put it off until the last minute, but to do an assignment when it's assigned, even if the due date is 4 weeks down the road.  It has ingrained in her the things I have tried to teach her such as finding the answers to questions and not to stop learning about something just because the unit, class, movie, etc. is all over.

Going in to her 4th grade awards assembly, I am feeling a sense of nostalgia. She seems much older these last few months. Quieter, more reflective, and she is beginning to lose that child like look. There is a sense of something lost for me today, and I know that feeling won't last. The conversations we can have now are fabulous, and there are things we can do together now that we couldn't do last year. I am looking forward to watching her grow over the summer and go back to school a confident, strong girl with ideas and joy and possibilities. But for today, maybe even just for these few quiet minutes before a 4 year old bounds down the stairs, a few tears are falling.

This is a video I made for the teachers that taught the Rev War program

Rev War Montage
I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revolutionary War fun and being intuitive!!

I am reading a book right now called Intuitive Healing. I'm not sure you can understand how freeing it is to feel like I can eat what I want and not think about the stuff in it. Instead I eat and constantly check to see if I am satisfied. When I am, I stop. I realize there will be more food if I need it, I won't starve, we aren't poor, there is food available. Even if I do eat a lot, like dinner tonight, I don't feel guilty, I don't feel like a total failure and I don't have to start planning how I can make up for it tomorrow. I feel lighter emotionally already!!

I am ridiculously proud of my daughters. I always am! However I am a major bragger right nwo and I can't help it. My 9 year old is in a program at her school that they can join in 4th grade. It's part of a living history program about the Revolutionary war. They spend 2 days a week after school from 3-5pm learning everythign there is to know about being a rev war soldier. It's incredible. Their teachers put in an immense amount of time and energy into this. The kids are required to complete their homework and behave well. They are not allowed to lose more than 25 merits throughout the year and towards the end it gets even harder. Once they enlist, if they miss a homework assignment, they lose  a merit. It is a demanding program, requiring discipline. My daughter is doing that on top of dance and trumpet and homework and has done an incredible job. She was chosen as Quartermaster, was chosen as a Corporal for their trip to Fort Stanwix and is the highest rank currently in the 4th grade(along with some others) she is a Sergeant Major. I could go on and on and on. But I thought I would share some pictures and the Youtube link to the program, so you can get an idea of what it's all about!!! You'll be jealous you didn't get to do it. I know I am.

Oh did I mention they learn to play fife and march in a parade? Did I mention they won Best in Show at the parade??? DID I MENTION!!!! They are going to be encamping at Newtown battlefield for a real life as a soldier night! They will march to camp, put up tents, collect firewood, do fatigue duties, patrol, and all that!! They will cook their own food! They will get up in the middle of the night for patrolling the camp! The next day they will do a reenactment of the battle of Newtown. CAN YOU TELL I'M WICKED PROUD and maybe  a LITTLE EXCITED about this program!?!?!?? DID I MENTION that the 4th grade teachers and the Teacher Assistant lead the program??????

Check out more here on the Youtube page for it. It's a great way to get kids really excited about history!

3rd NY

Also check out their performance in the Colonial days parade here!!
Colonial days Performance
Judges stand performance

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another big step or 2

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to lose weight. I feel guilty if I mess up, I feel guilty if I don't feel guilty for eating to much. I feel guilty if I am "good" for a whole week and get no results in return. I begin to think my body isn't responding, or that I've messed my body up so bad it is doomed. I get sick of policing myself, and pork down a bunch of food. I then of course feel guilty. I've decided today, I will no longer diet. I'm done. I'm sick, tired, and angry. It gets to a point that when you sit down to a meal, if you have the following questions in your head "How many points is this in Weight Watchers?" followed immediately by "Well, on Sparkpeople you go by calories and this is X amount of those so should I use that instead?" followed by "But what about the fat?" and on and on, that you realize, diets don't work. I lost 20 pounds last year on Weight Watchers. It works. Until you get sick of the counting and obsessing and you gain it all back. I'm done. My body is 40 pounds overweight. I am 170 and it's to much weight on my frame. HOWEVER, I have discovered dieting isn't the answer.

I first read about Mindful Eating in Oprah's Thought for Today email I get daily. That was about a year and a half ago. It mentioned an author by the name of Geneen Roth and her book, Women Food and God.
Geneen Roth

I wanted the book immediately but I don't like to buy books new so I forgot about it. A couple of months ago I found the book at my local Salvation Army for 99 cents. I bought it and...for lack of a better word...devoured it. I thought it sounded fabulous but then fear and confusion kicked in. could I lose weight without dieting? What if I tried mindful eating and gained weight instead? GAH. So I ignored it and have bounced back and forth between counting calories on Sparkpeople, to using the new WW points plus program. I was not successful. Especially after my first week on WW when I was spot on with points and lost nothing(typically that first week people lose like 4 pounds. Whatever.

Today I was stumbling around the internet and I saw an article by a Mindful Eating Dr. that had been on Oprah and Dr. Oz. that led me to reading more and more and finding a fabulous blog by a woman named Michelle May MD. Her blog is called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. It's amazing There are articles about things like the 7 things you should never say to your children (in regards to food) and I'm telling you right now, it hit home. I am going to be diligent and mindful about the way I speak about my body around my children. I'm going to stop punishing myself for "misbehaving". I am going to stick with this mindful eating stuff, because I truly believe this is it. This makes sense.

In my wandering I also came across a website called Adios, Barbie. It's a site about body image. Check it out. I think I am beginning finally to fleshing out my true path, and to me that is a huge relief. I hope anyone who reads this gets some insight and perhaps a breath of fresh air. I know I have found those things today.
Love Kira