Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ice cream and school

Yesterday we took advantage of Ben & Jerry's "free ice cream cone day" promotion and took the boys for ice cream after school. They had no idea where we were going so it was a complete surprise, and they loved it (of course). We picked their flavors after they told us what kind of ice cream they wanted. Dima wanted chocolate ice cream so I ordered him Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Zhenya wanted banana ice cream (huh? since when?) so Mark ordered him Chunky Monkey. Both the boys liked their flavors and that was the fastest I've ever seen Dima eat ice cream. He's usually our slow "sweets" eater.

We're still working on the flights back to Ukraine. I think we've got flights booked on Lufthansa through Golden Rule travel, but I don't have a confirmation on that yet. The flights we booked will have one extra stop but they'll work and they don't have any crazy layovers (several of the flights we were looking at had over 20-hour layovers in various airports, and all of those were on the flights back).

Laundry is caught up and I think we're all back to a normal sleep schedule. The boys have had a couple of really good days at school which has really surprised Mark and I. After a week and a half off (in another country) and jet lag, we figured we'd be in for some behavior issues. It's been a pleasant surprise to have them readjusting to school and a normal schedule so quickly. I can only hope it will continue while Mark and I are gone. ;)

In other news, we're a little unsure what to do with Dima for next year. He's quite capable of doing the kindergarten and (next year) first grade level work, but he's figured out that if he begs for help people at school will help him so he's not doing the work on his own. I finally laid it on the line last night and told him that if he could not do the work on his own that he would not be going to first grade next year. From his perspective, you are always moved up into the next level class (same as in the orphanage) so I don't think it had occurred to him that there was a possiblity he wouldn't be going to first grade. He's excited to go into first grade, so I'm hoping this will help motivate him to change his behavior and do the work. He's only got a month left of school so I'm hoping we can see some improvement in this area before summer. AND...he starts speech therapy tomorrow!! WOOHOO!!


cara said...

Hello-I've been following your blog since the trip for the boys. Congratulations of the girls! We have adopted three boys from Odessa 5,11,& 15 and are thinking about a girl from Reece's rainbow-Annie-one of the "others". I thought I would post my opinion about the little guy in Kindergarten-I taught school for five years, my advice if your are even considering keeping him in Kind. for a second year DO IT! It can only help him, my sister didn't hold her kind back and now she is considering doing it at first grade which is much more tramatic. Congratulations again! Cara

Tami said... cream. What a treat! I love Ben & Jerrys! :)
So glad Golden Rule was able to help you out. We used them for our second trip to get Maddie and they did an awesome job helping us find flights that were reasonably priced.
We'll keep the boys in our prayers as you go back to get the girls. It will be interesting to see how they respond.
So glad to hear about speech therapy starting tomorrow! You're going to see a big improvement, I guarantee it. I would encourage you though to take a video of him speaking now...maybe saying his alphabet or a nursery rhyme...and then do it again in six months to a year. We did that with Maddie and it was AMAZING the difference. It made me realize that all the extra effort in making sure she got the services she needed were paying off BIG time. ;)

Diana said...

As for school, it isn't just Dima that needs to get with the program. It's the school, too. My little DS comes home EVERY DAY proudly showing off work that has very obviously been done by an adult. In his case, he's doing what he knows works, which is manipulating the adults to insure his needs are met and that he doesn't get hurt again. It urks me to no end that despite many requests not to help him with his work, the school people STILL KEEP DOING IT for him. I've told them sevral times that I'd rather my son come home with stuff glued to his head and cut in tiny pieces in all the wrong places than a perfectly cute and neatly done project. They refuse to get that by "helping" him, they aren't allowing his motor or cognative skills to develop and he's actually falling further and further behind in some areas. It's very maddening.

I'm willing to bet the farm I don't have that the reason your DS is playing the same game as mine is because he CAN. Until the school people quit rescuing him, lose the "oh, poor little orphan" mentality, stop "helping" him, and insist that he does the work on his own, he has absolutely zero motivation to do so.

As you can tell, I've had my share of uphill battles with the schools. Ugh! Good luck with that one...times 4 for you, now! :-)

Courtney said...

Cara, part of the issue is that Dima will be 7 in June, and that he CAN do the work but is choosing not to. I'm hoping the threat of not going to 1st grade is enough to get him moving. ;)

Diana, we've had some major breakthroughs with his teacher this year in regards to getting him to do his own work. It helps that we're at a small private school, I think.

Kim said...

Hey Courtney,
Congrats on the soon-to-be new additions to the fam! When they get here and get settled, you will have to bring everyone out to Hazelwood, or meet us out for lunch some time! I can't wait to meet them, they are adorable.
I have to stop reading your blog though, if you keep talking about pizza and ice cream! Just reading your blog is going to cause me to gain 10 pounds!

schoolmother said...

Wow, I'm impressed with you getting back to a normal sleep schedule. I hope everything works out with your son and his schoolwork.