Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Who runs this blog anyway??  It seems that I have passed the phase in my life that compelled me to blog.  Additionally, most of the blogs that I followed seem to have suffered the same fate.  I was hopeful that it was only me that it happened to.  However, when I come back here to check on people that I follow, it seems they are no longer updating their blogs either. When I see that, I wonder if people are thinking the same thing about my blog, for the handful of followers that I had.  Do they log on hoping to hear an update on Caitlyn...or me?

I want to say that I will be better about blogging and that I will go back to blogging faithfully on a daily/bi-daily basis.  But I can't make that promise.  But I want to come back to this.  I'm just not sure how?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


chancerainPartly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Highs in the mid to upper 90s. Peak afternoon heat index readings 104 to 109. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph in the afternoon.

This is the forecast for today according to Weather Underground. Naturally, cause I am intelligent, I figured I would pull the weeds in our new lawn early this morning to avoid the blazing heat. Didn't work. Cause it was already 109 out at 9:30 this morning when I went out there.

That being said, I still have to pull the weeds in the front. So if no one hears from me by tomorrow morning, please alert the authorities to come to my house for a "well-being check" as I am sure I will be dead on my lawn. But it is a nice lawn now!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Culprit

The reason I am not a good blogger anymore:
It is so much easier to just type out one or two sentences and let people know what's going on in your life. Easier than typing out a narrative. So to catch you up (all 4 of you that read this) I have compiled a random sampling of my facebook statuses since my last post. It pretty much sums up what has been going on in our lives.

June 20
10 years ago today, Matt and I were about to embark on a terrifying 106 day journey. We had no idea just how amazing that journey would be!

June 21
I have one very excited little girl reading a new book on her new Kindle.
I can't complain about all this rain...saves me from having to keep moving the sprinkler on the new sod!

June 22
A remake of Footloose??? Really!!!
Clean house. Full belly. Good Will Hunting on tv. Breeze coming through the windows. Me lounging on the couch. I love summer break.

June 24
Getting everything ready for the sleepover!!

June 25

June 26
12 years ago I married the greatest guy in the world. Happy anniversary Matt! I love you!

June 27
Caitlyn has her first black eye. That's what happens when you run through a sprinkler and hit your friends head with your face.

June 29
I hate you insomnia. That is all.
While packing for the lake, Caitlyn says:
"Sometimes I think we take moms for granted."
From the mouths of babes!!

June 30
Waupaca bound...

July 7
Making our way home from the lake. I have one worn out little girl on my hands. That's what happens when you swim from sun up till sun down I guess!

July 9
Getting my girl ready for her Girl Scout camping trip! I think I'm going to miss her more than she will miss me!

July 10
Driving my girl to camp :/

July 12
Having a "mole" (by the name of Michelle Tatela aka Nurse) has eased my separation anxiety tremendously!! I am the lucky mom getting updates on activities, photos, and even a video of my kid doing the Macarena periodically.

July 14
Oy Vey!!! I certainly have my work cut out for me here :/

July 15
Had a wonderful sleep last night. Now, work for the day and then....I get to see my girl!!!!!

July 19
It's DynaVox, not DynaBox. It's the little things that have a tendency to push me right over the edge!

July 20
It's gonna be a hot one today folks!!

July 24
Was going to cook dinner, then decided against it. Going to Chipotle instead.....mmmmmmmm

July 25
After watching the news this morning, it doesn't look like I'll be turning my AC off this week either :/

July 26
Listening to Cait talk to the dentist cracks me up!! The conversations she has when she doesn't know I'm listening LOL

No cavities for Caitlyn! Love hearing that from the dentist (mainly cause it just saves me money). Aaaaaand....she may not need braces afterall; maybe just a tray or a retainer. Will know for sure after the next visit in January!

July 27
Caitlyn just asked me if we could watch a Lifetime movie and take a nap in my bed. Man I love my kid!

Think I have an ear infection :/

July 30
I love that Caitlyn still asks me to read to her before she goes to bed. Tonight's book of choice was 'Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late' by Mo Willems.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Decade

Lots of things can happen in a decade. Car models change, economics change, presidents change, technology changes. More importantly, people age. Case in point, I am now the mother of a 10 year old. Double digits!!

Each year, Caitlyn's birthday manages to bring on a slew of emotions. Granted, those emotions have changed with each passing year. For example, the night before her first birthday I wrote her a letter. And cried the entire time that I was writing it. I mourned the pregnancy that I was robbed of, the birth plan I had begun to create never came to fruition, and relived the entire horrific experience of those hours leading up to her birth. A few years later, I was angry before her birthday. Angry that she was unable to hear a familiar voice upon being born, that she had to deal with more medical procedures in 3 1/2 months than most people deal with in a lifetime, that she had to work harder to meet milestones later than other kids her age. Shortly after that, the approach of her birthdays brought many questions from her. Wanting to know all about the day she was born and what it was like to be pregnant with her and what the weather was like the day we brought her home from the hospital.

Even though each birthday had many negative emotions tied to it, each birthday brought me immense joy in the fact that she was even HERE at all. And despite the anger, frustration, and sadness, I am more thrilled with each passing year that she is MINE and I get to be the first voice she hears when she wakes up in the morning because she didn't hear it on the day she was born.

But this year is different. Yes, there are still emotions. Yes, there is still the tradition of me reading through some of her old birthday posts here on the blog (Caitlyn's Birth Story, I Will Never Forget). Yes, there is still the tradition of me looking at the clock each hour and thinking about exactly what was happening to me at that given moment the night before she was born. But the difference is, I don't have the frustration or anger or sadness anymore. Instead, I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to spend the last 10 years, a decade, with this amazing child! That some greater force has allowed me to watch this little girl grow from a small helpless baby to an independent child. That I was the person chosen to witness her firsts in most things, hear her laugh everyday, ease her fears, and love her more than anyone else on the planet!! While it still bothers me that I don't have many memories of the day she was born, I have replaced that void with 10 years of incredible memories. Memories that without that fateful day, I wouldn't otherwise have. And there is nothing that can compare to that.

Happy 10th Birthday Caitlyn (aka Mojo). I love you bigger than the sky!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Blogger

I won't even try to catch up. Why bother? It would take me days to do it, then I would promise to blog more and in 4 months, I would just be playing catch up again. So I'm not even going to pretend.

We have a new blogger in the household....Caitlyn has decided that she wants to blog. I don't even know where she heard about it, but she is psyched! So we set her up with an account yesterday and are in the process of making it pretty. Now that she will be blogging, I guess I can't really say anything bad about her anymore =P

I'm excited about her blogging though. It will be interesting to watch how her posts change over time, much like all of ours have over the past years. The irony of her newest endeavor is that just 2 short years ago, she preached to me how much she HATED writing. And every time she had a writing assignment for school, it usually ended up with tears (I won't say which one of us was shedding those tears). And I try convincing her that because she loved to read so much, that she would naturally become a very good writer. Caitlyn, being Caitlyn, insisted that I was incorrect. Oh how I would love to look at her and give her the infamous "I told you so," but I will refrain...just this once though.

So a big welcome to the world of Blogging Caitlyn! Hopefully you will be more diligent about it than your mother has been!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Standardized Testing

Last year, in third grade, Caitlyn took the first of many standardized tests in her academic career. She took the ISATs. To say that she was nervous about them is an understatement. The teachers really impressed upon the students how important these tests were. They also "mentioned" that any child who did not meet the standards on the test could be held back, to repeat third grade, as it is a "benchmark" year. I insisted that Caitlyn was ready and that she would do just fine on said test. However, she was still pretty nervous.

The tests are taken in the spring, and the results are sent home until the fall of the following school year. Which is now. We received Caitlyn's test scores yesterday.

Before I go on to say how she did on them, let me state for the record that I am not a big fan of these tests. They just don't give an accurate impression of who the child is as a whole, in my lay person's opinion. That's not to say that I don't think they are valid. I think they give a vague snapshot of how a child is performing at that very point in time, however, I don't feel that they give a good impression of what a child is truly capable of. I also think that many parents are mislead when it comes to reading the results of these tests. If a child scores extremely well in reading, let's say they score at the 8th grade level of reading, that does not mean that the child could succeed in an eighth grade classroom. It simply means that they are able to read and understand material (to an extent) that an eighth grade student who is performing at the lowest acceptable level of eighth grade could also read and understand.

Additionally, while I don't believe in using the test scores as a true indication of a student, I know as a parent it is the first thing I look at when exploring different schools and their level of success, so to speak. For example, prior to moving in to our current house, one of the first things I did was look at the school's ISAT scores in comparison to those at neighboring schools. So while I can profess to not "believe" in them, I also fall victim to thinking they are a good measure of a schools success as a whole. So, yes, I am a bit of a hypocrite. (It makes it okay because I can recognize that, right???)

When I looked at Caitlyn's results, I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least! Not that I didn't know my child was intelligent, I did know that (personally, I think she is borderline genius =P). But I was actually surprised at how well she did perform in some areas. For example, I have always thought that Caitlyn struggled in writing. And I say struggled for lack of a better word. Caitlyn has always disliked writing and the writing process. She is always looking to write the minimum amount necessary, to the point of asking me "How many paragraphs/sentences do I need to write to get an A?" Yet, she scored quite well on that portion of the test.

Without further ado, or ramblings, here are her scores:

National Comparisons:
Reading: 97th percentile
Math: 79th percentile
No surprise there. The kid loves to read, is a reading machine, and is not the biggest fan of math. However, in both of these areas, she has "exceeds standards."

The most amazing thing about the reading score is not the percentile that she fell into. The report also lists the number of items as well as the number correct. There were 50 items on the test, Caitlyn answered 46 correct.

Extended Response for Reading (students had to read a passage and write a response to a prompt.)
She scored a 3 out of a possible 4 on this section.
Again, surprising me with the writing ability here.

Overall Writing Score: 28
Focus: 6/6
Support/Elaboration: 5/6
Organization: 5/6
Conventions: 2/3
Integration: 5/6

I am so unbelievable proud of the scores that she got on these! I think what makes it so amazing is the fact that we were told that she would more than likely have some sort of disability for so long. Not that I fault the doctors for that, cause I don't. They were doing their job and giving me information based on the research. But every time this kid does something amazing like this, I am left in awe of her abilities and her strength. Never in a million years would I have thought that she would be as smart as she is. Granted, she really enjoys school and it seems to come very natural to her. Nonetheless, it is still beyond anything that I could have imagined she would have been capable of given her dangerous start in life.

We celebrated in true Walsh form by going out to dinner. Where you might ask? Pizza Hut of course. Where else would we go? There is no food on the planet more beloved to Caitlyn than Pizza Hut.

And not only is my girl brilliant, she is also pretty stinking cute too :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Silly Girl

Caitlyn has finished her first week of school and she is really enjoying 4th grade and says that her teacher is really nice. Her favorite part of her classroom....the reading area in the back of the room. Not surprising at all when it comes to my kid. She said she loves to sit on the comfy pillows back there and just read.

One night at dinner last week, I was asking her about the kids that she sits by. The desks are arranged in groups of 4, and each group has 2 boys and 2 girls (in most circumstances). Two of the kids that sit in her group are polish speaking students. And they are quite fluent in the language as it is what is primarily spoken at home. One of the girls is a good friend of Caitlyn's. When I asked her how things were going in her group, this was her response:

"Well, sometimes A and J start talking in polish and me and M can't understand them. For all we know, they could be talking smack about us all day long."

Nice. I am sure the 2 kids are most certainly not "talking smack" about her. And furthermore, where in the hell did she learn this phrase????