Time for an update, a few things have happened that I wanted to share.
Its been a very long time since I last blogged, I still get the urge to blog on a regular basis, but even though my girlfriend would disagree, I spend far less time on my computer than I did 'pre-girlfriend' :-)
Oh and if you don't speak Spanish (which I don't) and don't want to translate it yourself, the title of this blog according to the Google Translator is "An interview with the crazy ass white boy, Jason Bishop"
I think its safe to say that I don't really blog anymore at this point. Im going to try to keep it alive here and there just like this, but I feel that 'blogging' denotes that I am doing this on a regular basis in some way, which I am clearly not.
There is really a lot to say since my last real blog, which I don't even know anything about, Im not going to go and check. I hope I can remember it all.
Im going to start out with my son Tristan:
Tristan turned 7 in March of this year, he is getting quite tall and currently sporting a short Mohawk that he likes us to spike with my hair creme stuff. Tristan has just completed the first grade, he was actually sad to have school end recently because he said "I love to learn." I proceeded to comfort him by telling him that he can continue learning by picking out interesting books at the library.
Tristan did very well all throughout his first grade year. He remained at the top of his class in reading and has only gotten more and more excited about reading and math. Recently, over the past year or so, he has started to develop a sense of humor, similar in some ways to my own (big surprise). When he says something funny with his new found humor, it really takes us all by surprise because its all in how he says it.
This won't be as funny out of context, but here is a very good example that had me cracking up. Tristan and I were talking and I was about to go outside, I reached out for the door knob and Tristan said very sharply and seriously, "don't touch that", he interrupted out conversation to say this and I took it very seriously, and when I looked down and then up at him in confusion the look he gave me made me realize he was playing tricks. I cracked up big time and he was pretty proud of himself. There have now been many more moments like that.
Ok, I was just going to use the one example above, but I thought of another good one. My girlfriend Samantha sometimes drops the kids off at school in the morning for me, and when she does she says to the boys "don't be kissing any girls today" and they do their little embarrassed dance and then head into school. Well, one day Samantha was tired and forgot to say this, she was a little distracted. As Tristan got out of the car he turned to her and said "don't be kissing any boys today."
So thats whats been going on with Tristan, now to Jadon:
Jadon is over 8 1/2 years old now and enjoying every minute of it. Both Jadon and Tristan did great in school (though Jadon does still have many problems paying attention to his teachers) and I am proud of both of them. I just deleted most of this paragraph because Im not quite sure how to say this. School is coming really easily to Tristan, he got consistent high marks all year long in everything. Jadon, on the other hand, has not. Jadon has truly struggled with reading over the last two years.
During Jadon's first grade year, I realized we weren't reading enough at home and changed the time we read so that we would read right away when we all got home at 5:15pm. This vastly improved how consistently we were reading and it became much more regular. This helped Jadon a little bit, but between 1st and 2nd Grade his reading level took a huge drop, he didn't read very much over that summer and when he came back he was barely reading at a Kindergarten Level.
At some point Jadon and Tristan and I made a deal that when they got their reading to a certain level, and had completed the 1st Grade and then proceeded to pass a test of my own devising that they would earn a Nintendo DSi for themselves. This helped motivate Jadon early in the year and he always kept it in mind. But what motivated him the most was when he actually started making real progress with his reading. He started getting so excited because he could see and feel that he was doing better and better each and every week. Every time I met with his teacher she always had great news about how much he was improving.
I am happy to announce that at the end of the school year, Jadon was reading at or above the target reading level. He earned his DS a couple of months ago, I didn't make the final test too difficult, more a display of progress than anything. I picked 30 pages of a chapter book and I had him re-read and study those pages and ask me any questions he had about how to pronounce words properly. I then had him read those pages to me out loud and then answer a few very simple questions about the story and characters.
Jadon's journey feels inspiring to me because in many ways, once it got started it was self driven. He got so excited about his own progress that there was no stopping him. His report card shows it, low marks in many things at the beginning of the year and average to high marks at the end.
Jadon's teeth are very crooked, just like his Mom's teeth and several people in her family. Based on the dentist's recommendation, we decided to see an Orthodontist about getting them repaired. About a year ago Jadon had his two lower canines extracted early (the baby versions) to make room for his new adult teeth. His teeth are crooked because they are all in there tight together and there isn't any space, so when his new adult ones come in they have been coming in behind or in the front of his baby teeth. So they are removing his Canines that don't normally fall out until around 10-12 years old to make space. His new adult teeth are naturally moving into place.
Jadon just had his two upper Canines removed this last week. Took three people to hold him down, including myself, while the doctor put the shots in his mouth to numb him. I just about broke out into tears with the way he was screaming and crying in there. Its scary and I don't think his mother could have even been in the same building, let alone the same room.
Normally we have an Orthodontist appointment every 6 months, but he wanted to see us sooner this time, in about 3 months Jadon is going to get evaluated for Braces, they will just be on his 8 adult teeth and it will help to continue correcting their angles.
One last piece of news about Jadon, and this will lead directly into my news about their summer. Nicole has agreed to let me adopt Jadon!
I've reported on improvements in my friendship with Nicole at times, but I would say in the last 6 or 7 months things have really evened out and we could honestly say we are friends again. She came up to visit and got to meet my girlfriend and they both really seemed to get along and like each other. Nicole even tells me to say hi to Samantha when I speak to her on the phone. Im glad they like each other, it makes things so much easier :-).
In addition to this, Nicole and her boyfriend are breaking up. Its not my story to tell so I won't get into it, but I mention it because it does impact my life and the boys lives. Because of the breakup, Nicole also has to find a new place to live. With all the turmoil in her life right now and not having a good secure place to bring the boys down to, she has made a very difficult decision and decided they should stay with me for the summer and she will come up for a whole week sometime to spend with the boys.
I agreed to this and part of me is really excited. But there is this strange new part of me that I wanted to talk about. I hate the summers in many ways, I miss the boys a lot during the summer time. But as much as I hate to say it, it has gotten easier and easier like people said it would. As much as I miss them, part of me looks forward to the time alone. I was looking forward to having a summer with just Samantha and I, but I am super excited the boys get to stay and they will be here for my 30th birthday!
I think that is all the news about my boys for now. Its weird having to think back and remember all of this stuff, it was nicer when I blogged as it happened :-P
Samantha and I are doing well, great actually. We have some problems here and there like everyone but we are developing the tools to properly deal with these issues. I won't talk about our problems here except to mention, it turns out Im kind of a prude and she is.. well, the opposite of that.
Samantha just got a job at SEL where I have been working for more than three years. And we live together now :-) We went through a rough spot several months ago, but I felt that through our communication we were able to start addressing those issues and our relationship got back on track and now we live together. Its fun to say, why don't you say it with me :-P
We passed the year mark for my Grandma's death in May. Its been a rough year without her, and it was nice to get back together with family and remember her together. I miss my grandma and I know she would love Samantha.
Work has been going ok, Im not the biggest fan of our current supervisor though and that is causing me to stir the pot a bit, but I assure you, its for the best. :-)
School is going kind of slow at the moment, with all the stress from earlier in the year Im taking the summer off, and then getting back into it in the fall with an Accounting class.
And last I want to say Congratulations to my friend Sarah. She just got engaged to her boyfriend. I don't know if she reads my blog anymore, but I hope she knows that I am happy for her. Our friendship had its ups and downs, usually an Up immediately followed by a down actually, she had a major impact on my life and I will always remember her support during my divorce and custody battle. A year ago our lives went in separate but not unexpected directions. I miss my friend Sarah.
Thanks for reading my blog everyone