The Gender Chromosome is stronger than the Extra 21st!

>> Sunday, June 29, 2008

On a board I belong to, some mothers were inquiring about a reading program online. Maren has recently begun to use Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways with great success for blending sounds and reading fluency. Initially, we used Hooked on Phonics, which Maren like a great deal, but finally bored of...Luckily, the Pathways series has picked up were HOP left off.

So, when this new program surfaced, I was afraid of overloading Maren and boring her with too much redundancy, but the reviews on Headsprout from the moms who use it in my group and on other sites online are awesome!

I sign up for the free trial. 2 minutes in Maren says "This is for boys." That thought hadn't occurred to me, but it is a space ship theme in the first lesson (I don't know about the rest). I tried to get her to perserve, and her response was "it's boring."

Oh well, so much for Down syndrome...the girl in Maren is far more powerful than any extra chromosome! Spaceships are for boys. so, Headsprout, if you ever do a pink and lavendar fairy, princess, or ballet theme, email me and we'll give it another shot :-). Until then, Little Miss Magic will have to stick with the other reading programs.


Who needs anything else?

>> Thursday, June 26, 2008


A general update on the Mills kidlets

>> Friday, June 20, 2008

An old student of mine dropped by today as I was busy working on an article that I need to get done. She looked at the pictures of my kids that I proudly display on the walls on my office. Then, she asked me about the kids and I took a much needed break to summarize life for her. Then, I realized, I need to summarize for myself I can watch their growth. So, my summary for your reading annoyance ;-).

Jonah is enjoying baseball camp and is growing into a delightful young man. He is still addicted to the Red Sox and will read any book about baseball set in his path. He has encyclopedic knowledge of baseball that amazed one of my uber-sport-fanatic master's student, Curt, and a doctoral student at our NCA Doc Honors Seminar had to email and tell me how much he loved chatting with Jonah about sports. He couldn't get over how serious Jonah is about his Fantasy Baseball team -- and yes, he's not quite 10 yet. So, ask me how Jonah is and I can answer easily: Don't ask me how, ask me WHAT and the answer is....Baseball! And, it's been a great back door to history studies, too. Just ask my Jonut about Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, or Ted Williams -- and wow, my introvert turns into a chatterbox.

Archie -- oh my Archie. My little Indiana Jones who professes to be a stunt man in training is still without a broken bone. How, I don't know! USA has been running the Indiana Jones movies and Archie is glued to the set. He made the most awesome costume from a barn jacket, his dad's suede hat from Canada, and a gameboy pouch. He recites a lot of the lines, and wants to go in search of treasure! Of course, I try to tell him that he is my awesome and super fun baby boy. Who, by the way, still loves being my baby. In fact, he still swears that if I tried to have another baby he'd cook it and eat it! Archie's identity is in being the family baby and we certainly don't want to find out if he'd follow through on his threat or not, so I think he will stay the Mills Baby forever.

And Maren, well, she's done with Vacation Bible School and busy playing with friends, taking swimming lessons, and playing with her new doggie, Cubby Bear (Archie's favorite team and Jon's favorite bar, LOL). She will probably go to dance camp, if we can find the time, and will be getting her palate expander as soon as her 6 year molars come in (and yes, the divine Miss M is 7). Actually, after her ortho appt. Maren has decided she wants to be a doctor so she can get all the latex gloves and cool mouth mirrors she can. Hey, her reasoning may be flawed, but this goal is certainly better than wanting to "drive the Barbie Car." Darn that Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Maren is in tutoring 3 days a week and we are watching her thrive using Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways. She really loves school and learning, much like her mother always has...hence the Ph.D. (my way of staying in school forever and ever!)

And, my furbabies...Tiki the gorgeous chow from Rio Chows who defies every single stereotype about chow chows. Like most well-bred and well-socialized chows, Tiki is a lover boy. He is gentle and sweet, low key, and very handsome. However, unlike breed standard, Tiki is not aloof and stand-offish. In fact, he loves playing in the backyard and can play a mean game of fetch and even performs tricks like rollover. So, we decided it was time for Tiki to get a best furfriend. After days of searching shelters and rescues, a mutt of unknown decent, "Baby Bear," caught my eye. Baby Bear had a great smile in his pic, and he was being held in a foster home, where he had been housebroken .... score! We went to meet him and he and Tiki hit it off, and Jonah fell in love.

Well, naming Baby Bear (approximately 9 months old already) was hard! Jonah wanted to call him Pesky (Fenway fans will get it!). Jon wanted Manny (as in Ramirez) or Papi (as in Big). Maren liked Baby Bear, and I thought Mango or Bongo would go well with Tiki to keep the Island theme going. Well, somehow, Wrigley made it into the mix and then Cubby, and soon it was clear -- a "baby bear" is a "cub" and that is how Baby Bear became Cubby Bear.

Okay, so too much information for a casual reader, but wow, it felt good to document it all. Catharsis and self-indulgence all rolled into one: blogging.


Can you tell who has T21 here?

>> Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wouldn't it be great if we could just see people's aura rather than their labels?


God's Big Backyard!

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

Last week was Vacation Bible School at Holy Spirit (Maren's home school). So, without reservation I signed her, and her brother Archie, up for the week. Jonah, who is 9, was way too cool for VBS this year. Baseball camp is more Jonah's speed :-).

To be honest, I dropped the kids off and didn't think much about anything since it is in a place we know well -- the kids' classrooms and lunch room. The first day, a teenager who attends Holy Spirit came up to me and told me how much fun she had with Maren. She joked "she sure loves the dance," and knowing Maren, I believed her and didn't push for details. Maren is generally happy to put on a show.

The next day, I hung back and watched as the day began with the dance for the week. Well -- as they were doing the appropriate moves, Maren nudged her friend and started smacking her rear, hip hop style. Of course, all of her friends cracked up and I gave her "the look" when her eyes hit mine. She gave me me the "Oh mom" look right back and straightened up. that what the teen was talking about? I was too embarrassed to ask. That's Maren, and luckily God's Big Backyard has some room for booty smackin' Maren style. And, had Archie not been in another classroom, I'm sure they would have broken out into a full MTV routine. Ahh, sometimes, sibling separation is good, at least for the parent!


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