Sunday, 20 September 2015

A hard week

Man has this last week been hard.  Please don't judge me for what I am about to write.

Isaac has changed schools this week.  Last Friday there were incidents at school.  He refused to stay in his class, was aggressive towards his teachers and scared the other students.  We have had these kids of issues in the past, but it would appear everything came to a head.  Monday I was called in for a meeting, in which he was asked to leave.  They just do not have the facilities and resources to deal with these kind of behaviors.

Monday was an awful day.  I don't want to go into my thoughts and feelings too much.  I may cry.  Tuesday was better.  Obviously Isaac was off school.  I made arrangements to go and look at our zoned elementary school that afternoon (zones are like catchment areas.  They have to take you).  Paul met us both at the school, and we had a look around.  We were impressed.  Very impressed.  We thanked the vice principal and headed on our way.  I had arranged to look at another Christian private school on Wednesday morning, on the advise of Isaac's occupational therapist.  After talking with some friends and neighbors, we cancelled this viewing.

By Wednesday lunchtime we had decided that Isaac should start at the local elementary school.  On the advice of Isaac's old school, I had arranged for him to see the doctor on Thursday morning.  We decided that Isaac should start his new school straight after this.  Having him home for 2 days was hard.  I had work I wanted him to do, but by Wednesday morning he was point blank refusing.

I took him to the doctors on Thursday morning, and had a good old chat with her.  She has referred him to a developmental psychologist, mainly as a 'just in case' we have more issues in school, we can be seen to be doing something about it.  The appointments can take a while to come through also.... After the appointment, I took him to school.  I had a few forms to fill in.  Isaac actually waited ok while I did this.  Then the principal came and met us, and walked him down to his new classroom.  He has one of the teachers we met on the tour, Mrs W.  Let's just say she is VERY firm, and quite strict.  Even I was a little scared of her.  This could be just what he needs......

I picked him up in car pool that afternoon.  Luckily his school finishes 30 minutes before Oliver's, so there is no worry about getting to him on time.  Mrs W said he had a rough afternoon.  He didn't want to read in the morning, so she let him get away with it.  In the afternoon he didn't want to join circle time, so he took his shoe off and threw it at her (remember when you were in primary school, and there was always this one kid who didn't want to do what the teacher told them? I have that kid.....).  The principal came down and spoke with him, and he joined circle time.  He said he didn't like school.  His teacher was mean.  I told him tough, he needed to do as he was told, and that was his school from now on.

I was worried about Friday.  I am thankful that Oliver is car pool patrol.  This means we can leave the house at 7.15, drop Oliver 7.30-7.40, and still get Isaac to school before 8 when the tardy bell rings.  It will be tight, but it is do able.  I thought Isaac was going to kick off about going to school.  But he was excited! They are supposed to have library on Friday, he was buying lunch for the first time, and they have ice cream after lunch too! I had also told him I would time him how long it took to get from the car to his building.  He went in absolutely fine!  I was so relieved.

Friday afternoon Seb and I went to collect him. We were a couple of minutes after school finished, but we're still just outside school in the car line.  We got to him about 2.40.  He was happy gettin in, and the principal ran over to tell us he had a much better day, and she had even high fived him in the hall way for his good behavior.  The new school inplements a behavior chart based on traffic light colors.  Isaac was on green!  He was so proud of himself.  I was also very proud of him.  I hope he remembers that good feeling, and doesn't get yellow, red or purple colors (purple is the very worst...., for the other colors they have to spend part of their recess walking the fence as punishment).  I was even prouder when he told me that they hadn't gone to the library, and I hadn't given him enough for his lunch and ice cream.  This means he managed his emotions over things beyond his control. A couple of months ago, Isaac would have melted down over this......

Isaac is now in a clas of 19, instead of 15.  The new school is huge, particularly for a 6 year old.  I am anxious for him.  If his behavior continues to be good we will have no issue.  If not, well, they have better facilities to deal with it.  Oliver will stay in the old school.  I am a little miffed about how the old school handled it, but there is not a lot I can do about it now.  I have certainly learnt a lot about private schools this week.  

There could not have been a worse week for this to happen.....

Monday, 14 September 2015

BoJangles Southern 500 at Darlington

Labor Day weekend we headed to Darlington, South Carolina for the NASCAR race.  This is the only race of the top tier to take place in South Carolina.  The track has 2 nicknames, 'The Lady in Black', and 'Too tough to tame'.  This was the first time in 12 years that the race had been held on Labor Day weekend.  In celebration, the organizers decided to go with a throw back scheme. 

This is an evening race, with the green flag being waved at 7.20.  We got there about 4, after battling the traffic, and trying to park as near as we could.  We did our own mini version of tailgating....

....Then headed down to the track.  It was only about a 15 minute walk, and we passed loads of R.V parking.

It wasn't super busy yet, but there were still plenty of crowds.  It was also pretty warm, but cloudy, which helped bring the temperature down.  

We headed into the pre race area.  Outside NASCAR tracks before races are loads of displays and chances for them to take your money  to purchase items and get involved.  I found one of the cars of my favorite driver i was supporting that night, the 22 of Joey Logano

The car above is his Sprint Cup car, and the one below in the Xfinity Series car.  This car is not always driven by Logano.

I love looking round the pre race area, you never know what you will see.  Not his occasion we were fortunate enough to get our photo taken with Ryan Blaney, an Xfinity series driver.

The kids love seeing all the different cars and NASCAR specialties in this area.

We headed in to the raceway itself to get our seats.  We certainly did well with them.  The people sitting around us were very pleasant, and there was a lovely atmosphere as we warmed up for the pre race ceremonies.  The majority of the cars were running throw back schemes, they looked awesome! 

Before each race, the drivers are introduced, and do a lap of the track in the back of a truck.  We then have an invocation, the national anthem, normally some planes, and some one of significance says 'Drivers Start your engines'

After this, the drivers roll out of pit lane, passing their pit crews.

They do a couple of laps behind the safety car, before that rolls on to pit road, they wave the green flag and the racing begins.

As I said, pretty good seats.  This is an awesome track.  Its a medium sized track, which is known for being quite hill-billy.  We didn't really see much of that.  There were quite a few cautions though, which really delayed the race.

Under caution, drivers typically make a pit stop, depending on their requirements and pit strategy.  The record at Darlington was 17 cautions.  This was broken that night.

We only had to step out once, because of the cautions, the intensity wasn't quite there.  

Our kids did so well.  But by 10pm, Sebastian was asleep on me, and Isaac was looking like he wanted to sleep too.  Oliver would have made it the whole race.  We decided to call it a night.  There was still over 150 laps to go, but these boys needed their beds.  We headed back to the car, and listened to the race on the way home.  Because we left early, we did manage to miss the traffic.  Still didn't get home till nearly 1.30am.....

Carl Edwards won the race, coming from 2 laps down to beat Brad Keselowski.