Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to life

Well, school has started again.

Here's a quick update.

Callie - (thank goodness I have one kid like this) is in heaven. She loves school, loves her friends and just had a great time at her first French birthday party. Her language skills are flourishing and she is now starting to help me out - and correct André on his accent!

Griffin - is supposed to go to school all day starting now (why? we're not sure - he's certainly not propre!) Well, Monday he went to school very happily - it really helps that Julia is there - he loves having a good friend and didn't cry at all, in fact, he had to be reminded to kiss me goodbye. Unfortunately, he pooped in his pants and when I picked him up, the only comment the teacher gave me, was "It's horrible, no?" Well, yeah, if you boil my wonderful little boy down to only bodily functions! He was great all during vacation but has been having a hard time since we've been back - he messed his pants about 6 times today - urgh!

Zander - seems to be in, yet another, sticky spot. He absolutely loved vacation and was none too happy to see it come to an end. He was not looking foward to going back to school and seems to be having more social problems. Lately he just avoids playing with anyone at the playground because he has so many problems communicating and relating in a good way. I think he is just avoiding it - but that makes him lonely. It is strange because he seems happy on the way to school, and when I pick him up from school and his teacher says he is doing well but, at home, he is just a mess. He is very cranky and is even just plain mean at times, especially to his siblings. I am worried about him. I think he just needs to learn French - here we are at the magic 4 month point - isn't all this language stuff just going to start pouring out of his mouth any day now?? In the rare moments he is not being punished or is sulking, I've been trying to spend more time with him, play with him and talk to him about what is going on, he is just not interested in anything we used to like to do together (art, sewing, crafts, legos etc....) and gets very easily frustrated. He told me earlier he is just bored. Bored with everything and everyone. He just doesn't want to do anything anymore. Poor guy. On some level I can relate - it is just hard to go on, day after day, and not be fully understood. After a while, you just want to give up....

André - has his work company meeting this week - and is looking foward to his presentation -which is going to include building with legos - painting and whisper down the lane - wish I could be at this conference! He really enjoys his new job, his team and his work. He is pretty integrated now and is starting to introduce and incorporate some of his ideas. He is currently at the company dinner which is being held at the local Casino - will he gamble?

One of the things we all enjoy around here are stories. We go to the biblliobus (sort of like a library book mobile) every week and read in French and English every night. We also love making up our own stories. We had a lovely lunch the other day together - each kid told me an original story and then they illustrated it after lunch before heading back to school - gotta love the 2 hour lunch break - here they are below:

Zander's story....

I imagine that I got MILLIONS and MILLIONS of marbles and I melted them all together to make one giant marble - it is like - as big as our apartment Then I took an axe and cut it and made it into my own house - inside the marble.
Then someone pushed a button and all the doors and windows close and I get a seatbelt on me - and then the marble starts to roll - it rolls faster and faster - faster than we can walk or go on a train - I am going upside down and right side up over and over again. To stop there is an emergency door on the roof and when you jump out of your seatbelt on to the door you can push a button and put out metal posts from the door that will stop it.

He also told another story (not illustrated) It turns out he spends his time alone on the playground making up stories. I remember how, in 6th grade when I was a total social outcast, I used to read books on the playground to make it seem like it didn't bother me that no one wanted to play with me.

Zander's 2nd story....
I am sitting at the playground writing m's (in cursive) over and over again - I make so many I fill up all my paper and so I start writing them in the air - then I realize I can climb up onto them, into the sky. I draw a car made of m's in the sky and get in, then I make lots of little m's very fast and the car starts to drive mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm faster and faster and faster....

Do you notice a theme of lonliness and escape running through his tales???

Next, Callie told her story....

One day, when I was a bit older, like 6 or 7, old enough to go for a walk alone, I went for a walk. After a while I got tired and sat on a bench to read a book.
Suddenly the bench started wiggling and it started to walk! When it got over to the curb, it flew up into the air with the birds. I said, "I'm gonna get out of here!" and jumped off - and it turned out I could FLY! I flew up to CareBear Land - I visited with Rainbow Bear and even made Grumpy Bear a bit happy.

Meanwhile, Mom got worried and she comes looking for me - she ends up resting on the same bench and it flies her up to the sky and we find each other. We take the bench back home and live happily ever after.

And, now, Griffin..... (yes I drew the stick figure of Griffin - but he did the rest of the art)

One day I was walkin'

and I jumped up into the clouds and up there there were flowers. They were green, purple and yellow, and one pink, a new one. There were no mean flowers. It was a raincloud and there was a storm in the rain - there was a person walking and they put their hood up and it was a grown up.

There was a rope I was holding onto and then the cloud cracked in half and I used the rope to fix it up - I picked some flowers and then I jumped down from the clouds.

I gave purple flowers to Mama and I gave green flowers to Callie. It made them happy.

Then the green flowers turned into a rock, and the purple flowers turned into the sky and they were beautiful.

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