Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Jensen!

Happy #4! Wow, what a year you have had. You've grown so much...definitely not a baby anymore and not even really a toddler, but a full-fledged kid. And one with a king-sized personality to boot. You definitely rule the roost around here and don't take any guff from anyone. Being around Jackson and Jordan, you've really learned to stand up for yourself and the things you want. Your pre-school teachers always say to me, "We know who runs your house." I'm not saying that's necessarily a good thing, but it's just the way it is.
You're in pre-K 3 and attend school three days per week. Most days you love it but for some reason you really detest "circle time." All I can get out of you is that it's "boring." This may be something you've picked up from Jackson but whatever the reason, you don't like it. Other than that minor detail, you like school and have fun when you're there. You are still a girly-girl prefering to wear dresses or skirts rather than pants. You love "nake-up" as you call it and are always in there when I'm putting mine on. It finally got to the point that I bought you a few of your own make-up items and some brushes so that you can have your own and use them at the same time I'm putting my make-up on. You always ask for nail polish and I even took you to the nail salon once with me for a mani/pedi! You love to play dress up and do "hair styles." You love your babies, Barbies, and stuffed animals. And I love watching you play with all these things.
You've recently started playing on the "compuga." I think you finally got tired of watching from the sidelines while Jordan and Jackson were doing things on the computer. Your favorite websites to visit are and I've really got to investigate some more educational sites for you to go to.

You've been through so much upheaval over the past year and a half but hopefully not a lot of it will become part of your permanent memory. Daddy and I have really tried to make life as normal for you as possible after our fire and I pray that we have done an okay job of it. Our house is getting closer to being completed and us being able to move back in. I hope when I'm writing this letter to you next year that you are happily ensconced in your own room filled with things you love.

I love you, Jensen Marie.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The rest of the week...

was mostly taken up with Jackson's boy scout Pinewood Derby (his car is the red one). This was his first year doing this and boy did he learn a hard lesson. He and Jim worked on the car for about two weeks doing research, buying supplies, etc. The car turned out great. Jackson, of course, was convinced that his car would win. This boy is lacking nothing in the self-confidence department. Well, as you can probably guess, his car failed to cross the finish jumped the track for some reason. Jackson ended up placing last in his absolutely crushing blow to him. He declared that he was done with cub scouts; that it just wasn't any fun whatsoever. At the end of the night the track was still set up and the boys that were still hanging around got to race their cars again. And, guess what? Jackson's car won every time! Go figure. The evening was saved and he is already looking forward to next year's car.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Legal yucky stuff and crazy weather

This past week was filled with all kinds of things that weren't particularly pleasant. On Monday we had the re-scheduled conference call with the arbitrator in our case against our contractor. Basically the arbitrator was just setting the schedule of how things would go. The date for our hearing is April 24th! I'm learning one thing about the legal moves at a snail's pace. It was also Martin Luther King day so no school...double whammy. To kill some time I took the kids to Mudpie to use the gift certificates Heather gave them for Christmas. I also started a cute project but didn't get it finished. I'll post pics of all projects once we have them back.

The weather this week was forcasted to be pretty nasty. The words "ice storm" and "winter storm warning" were heard over and over again on the news. I haven't heard those words in the entire 6 years we've lived here. Monday night I watched the news to see if school would be closed (even though the weather wasn't really doing anything but being cold). Lo and behold I see our school district name scroll across the bottom of the screen saying that school would be closed Tuesday AND Wednesday. WEDNESDAY??? What? It's Monday night and the weather's not even doing anything yet. At the very end of the newscast, the reporter came on and said that our district WAS having school after all and that a mistake had been made. "Whew!" was all I could say.

I woke up Tuesday morning to an e-mail from our school secretary explaining that someone sent a fake notice to the news stations making it look like it had come from the district public information office that school would be closed. Not a nice prank but kind of funny and pretty inventive.

I was glad there was school b/c we had a meeting with our attorney scheduled for Tuesday to prepare for our deposition in our Ford case that was scheduled for Wednesday. The preparation went okay but I did have to look at all the photos from the fire. I hadn't looked at those in a long time.

Wednesday a.m. we woke to more cold weather and rain. The kids were anxiously watching the news to see if our district would be closed. Thankfully, we dodged another bullet and our district remained open but most of the ones around us closed including Houston ISD. The temps in our area hovered around 33 - 34. Just one more degree lower and who knows...

Again, I was thankful that school was on so we wouldn't have to re-schedule our deposition. I really wanted to get that overwith. With that said, though, it was definitely one of the worst things I've ever had to do. I spent a grueling and emotional 5 hours being grilled by two different attorneys with only a 30 minute break for lunch. Then Jim spent another 3 hours being grilled himself by the same two guys. During a bathroom break I called one of my girlfriends to make sure she could pick Jensen up from school. She could tell I was emotional and had been crying so she gave me a pep talk I really needed. She said "Don't take any shit! They burned your house down!" I did much better after that. These are some of the photos I had too look at during the day. It really reminded me what the true cause of all this is. The first photo is my un-recognizable white 2002 Ford Expedition. The next photos are the remnants of
my house. The last photo is my house today. It's not done, but there is hope. I'll update the rest of the week later.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Conference

Over the course of the past week, I got to speak to the counselor on the phone. She made me feel really comfortable about the whole thing and told me not to worry too much. She reminded me of a couple of truths about Jackson...he's the middle child, he's a boy, he has to follow in Jordan's footsteps at school, our family has been through a lot. All of this is true and eased my mind somewhat.

We set up a conference with Jackson's teacher for Friday afternoon. The counselor sat in on it too. I feel really comfortable that Jackson's teacher knows him pretty well and is trying a variety of strategies with him to get the best out of him. Our school has sort of an alternative style in a lot of respects compared to other schools in our is known as the "hippie" school. Some of the things they try in the classrooms crack me up. One of them is they have a cassette player with headphones that they rotate to different kids in the class. Most of the time the earphones are silent, but every once in a while a voice comes on that says "keep working." How weird is that? Apparently, they think it works. The other day, though, a kid yelled out "I am!" to the voice in his head. Hmmmm.

The long and short of it is, that Jackson does everything at a very fast pace. He doesn't sit still for very long, and he always needs to be doing something with his hands. The teacher suggested getting him one of those stress balls to bring to class to hold onto. She said he never sits down at his desk, his chair is always pushed under and he does his work standing up. We asked about ADD and neither the counselor nor his teacher think we need to test him for that but they are going to do a test where they evaluate how long he can stay on task. Not sure what that entails but I guess we'll find out.

What I really wanted was to go into the meeting and someone tell me "go home and do this, this, and this and everything will be okay." Of course, they didn't say that so I'm still left scratching my head a little. But at least I know there are caring people at school who are trying to help him succeed. That's really all I want.

On another I got tickets for 4 of my girlfriends and their daughters to go see the Cheetah Girls and Hannah Montana when they come to Houston in March. The tickets went on sale this morning and I was so nervous because they're about the hottest tickets in town right now. This will be Jordan's first concert and she's so excited!

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's been over a week now and I feel like I really should blog but I just don't know what about. There's so much and so little all at the same time.

I've been writing a Christmas Review post for about a week now but still don't have it done.

Plus, I never really said Happy New Year. So, you know....happy new year.

Today the thing that most consumed me was my cards came home last Friday and he got 2 Cs. We kind of knew this was coming from his progress report and he new what was coming if he actually got a computer and no video games until the next report card...9 long weeks.

Since Friday it's been a little tense around our place and it got a little out of control on the way to school this morning. Jackson and I got into a heated argument about him taking responsibility for himself, his happiness, his actions and his belongings (yeah, I know he's only 7 but still...). Some harsh words were said including "you're the worst mom ever" and "I hate you." And according to Jackson, I told him he was the "worst child ever." I don't remember saying such a thing, but I'm not going to totally deny it since I has pretty mad and Jackson is adamant about me saying it.

I dropped the kids off at school, told Jackson I loved him anyway even if I was mad at him, and I wished him a good day. I went about my day feeling guilty and like I was actually the "worst mom ever." When I picked the kids up from school a mere 7 hours later Jackson promptly tells me that he went to see the counselor. "Mrs. Mayfield?" I asked. "Why?" "Because of the fight we had in the car this morning," he said. What!!? He's in second grade and he went to see the counselor?? Now the whole school knows I'm the worst mom ever.

This afternoon we did manage to make up and we'll see how the rest of the week goes. I'm definitely making an appointment to see the counselor myself. We really need some advice on what to do about this boy and his total dislike of school. If anyone out there has some advice for me, please share. I don't want to be the "worst mom ever" forever.