Friday, August 24, 2018

First Day of 2nd Grade

First of all....if you haven't noticed, I haven't had the time to blog much lately. How is it possible that we are more busy with kids in school than we were when we had toddler quads? Lol! But the truth is that I'm still very much on social media, sharing ridiculous stories about my kids, and micro-blogging the quadruplet life. haha! You just have to know where to look to find our crazy stories in real time!

Pop over to Instagram, and follow our page ABeautifulRuckus! I drop the occasional giveaway over there too. 

Our Instastories are always entertaining, and you can click on some of the photos in our main feed for some quad stories as well. In fact, I recommend starting with this one about the boys asking about "cutting the fur on their legs" that I posted on Sunday! lol! 

I'll still certainly be around over here as well, but for all of the fun, in-the-moment stuff, Instagram is the place to be!

With that being said....on to today's post!

The first day of 2nd grade arrived last week, and I'm going to be the parent who admits that it came none too soon for our family. I knew we were about due when the week before school I heard:

*stomp, stomp, stomp. door SLAM*
"I need my SPACE!!!!"

yelled by one of my lovely little hooligans. She had experienced quite enough summer, and the kids close proximity to each other was starting to wear on all of them (and me. Who am I kidding? lol!)

I love my munchkins, but this family thrives on routine and stability! So back to school we gratefully go!

I have such high hopes for Caleb in 2nd grade! Usually our fall semesteris a bit rough with getting our little guy with autism acclimated to a new routine. This year he has a new main room teacher, a new resource (special needs) teacher, and a new resource para. It's a lot of new for a kiddo who needs plenty of notice for changes and as much familiarity as possible.

But as of the writing of this post, we are a full week (plus 2 days!) into the new school year, and I haven't been called one time about him. I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch, but I feel like this year is going to be easier on all of us as he moves through 2nd grade. Both of his teachers and his para seem to be very nice and understanding. I was especially delighted to find out that his resource teacher has a master's degree in special education with an emphasis in autism (if I'm remembering correctly). We are so very grateful for every teacher, the school administration, and the school staff who all individually look out for our Caleb. Even the school custodian has taken a special liking to Caleb and allows him to help with a few things here and there if Caleb needs a movement break.

Every special needs mom who reads this will know in her heart what I'm talking about when I say that it absolutely fills me up when people are kind, understanding, and make space for Caleb to be himself while still pushing him to meet his highest potential.

Last year was a bit of a doozy with Abby. Do you know how some people have that "fight or flight" thing when their anxiety kicks up? Well, Abby has high anxiety....and she definitely prefers the flight thing. There were a couple of times last year at school when she got spooked and ran without thinking. School staff caught her exiting the front door of the building twice. I asked her where she was planning on going once she made it out, and she had no idea. She just knew she needed to run.

As her Mom, I was like...!!!!

Our school was so great though. The school staff developed a route for her if she needed to run so that she would run to one particular teacher in a safe room. They also let the school staff nearest the front doors know when she was nervous so that they could keep an eye out for her. We were also able to get a 504 plan in place for her with her 1st grade teacher's help. All of that to say, we really felt like the school was all about getting Abby back into a place where she could successfully make it through the day...inside the building.

Why mention all of that? Because her 1st grade teacher was moved to 2nd grade this year. She requested that Abby be assigned to her 2nd grade classroom so that she could have a great year with as low anxiety as possible. I loooove her teacher. Truly the sweetest lady. And due to her foresight and willingness to take Abby (and Elijah) on again, Abby has had the smoothest start to school ever. No anxiety. None. She feels completely safe and secure knowing she is going back to the same classroom and the same teacher each day, just as she did for 1st grade. We are so grateful!

Elijah and Abby are paired together in a classroom for a third year in a row (because four different classrooms is too many!). We always ask to have these two paired together because they both have personalities that don't necessarily try to control another sibling. They are our more laid back kids which lends itself well to them maintaining their independence even while being in the same room.

Elijah also has the same teacher as he did in first grade, and we feel like we owe her a subscription to a monthly bottle of wine club. haha! Elijah is such a smart little dude, but he talks and moves non-stop. Non-stop. So many questions. So many soliloquies. So many words. All.the.time. His teacher was brilliant last year, and finally gave him a notebook to write all of this thoughts and questions in during the day, and then she would check it before dismissal to see what all he needed to say to her. Like I said, this teacher is amazing! And I definitely see that notebook coming back for a second year.

Elijah's two greatest passions right now are anything related to science and books by Roald Dahl. He absolutely loves school and can't wait to go back every day.

Ellie is paired up with Caleb again this year. Why those two together? Because they both like to be in charge and control the we know that they won't be able to control each other. Yep, that's our logic. And so far, it's working!

Ellie is a little social butterfly, but is already dealing with some mean friends at school this year. We are repeatedly reminding her that kindness is always the right choice, she doesn't have to put up with a mean friend, and that we become who we hang out with. It's hard for us not to be able to control the friend situation since we aren't there with her, but hopefully some of our advice on making good friend choices will settle into her head. She is such a kind, sweet girl, but unfortunately, I can tell that there will probably be a few hard knocks coming her way this year in the friend department. We are praying that she latches on to kind friends who will encourage and include her.

Ellie and Caleb's teacher seems to be really good, and has already been very responsive to emails that I've sent. Honestly, if there is one thing that our school does's hire really outstanding educators.

Every year is an adventure with these four! Two years ago, we moved to a new school district to try to get our kids into a better education setting. God has really blessed our family by getting us into a good spot where we have teachers, school administration, and school staff who all love our family and want to see our kids successful. We are hopeful that this year bring much growth for all 4 of them.

Want to see the kids' back to school photos through the years? I couldn't believe how much they've changed when I was clicking through previous back to school posts!

First Day of 1st Grade

First Day of Kindergarten
First Day of Preschool (2015)
First Day of Preschool (2014)
First Day of Preschool (2013)


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