The Father’s Day Post

This is late but it’s not really my fault. This whole weekend was spent at games with us split between Tommy’s in Streamwood and Nico’s in West Aurora. Add in the girls and it was chaos supersized.

Some tidbits: Nico forgot his form for his tournament and then asked me half-way there if I had $30 because he had to give $30 to his coach. For the record, I RARELY have cash on me so it was a small miracle that I still had birthday money in my wallet.

Gia throwing a giant-sized fit so that I missed Nico’s game on Sunday.

Tommy finally being out of his slump and his team winning the tournament. (And me missing the whole thing because of Nico’s games and an uncooperative 3-year-old.)

I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off and forgot to call my brother-in-law, Santo for his birthday. Sorry, Bro.

We went to Gina and Deo’s for Father’s Day (after all the games) and it felt so nice to be with family. The kids swam, ate and played. We caught up I was reminded of how much I laugh with my family.

I am extremely lucky to have a lot of great men in my life: my grandpa, my dad, my husband and my brother-in-laws. We are a big, crazy family and it wouldn’t be the same without any of them.

I loved my Mother’s Day Post so I decided to have the kids write why Leo should be Father of the Year. Here is what they came up with:

Nico:

My dad should be Father of the Year because he’s a loving father. He helps me with sports. He’s very supportive. He works hard to make us happy. I love everything about my dad.

This child is the reason for the delay. He hurt his hand and couldn't write and he takes forever to do things like this. He said it but I wrote it.

This child is the reason for the delay. He hurt his hand and couldn’t write and he takes forever to do things like this. He said it but I wrote it.

 

Tommy:

My dad should win Dad of the Year award because he is caring, helpful, smart, funny and loving. That makes the perfect Dad and my dad has all of that. My dad coaches all the sports I do and I love him as a coach and a Dad. He couldn’t do anything better to get this award because in my heart he by far wins it. I love my dad with all my heart and I hope he feels the same about me!

Don't you love how he signed it "Tommy Gubenko" as if it was a formal letter?

Don’t you love how he signed it “Tommy Gubenko” as if it was a formal letter?

 

Isabella:

My Dad should be dad of the year because he is the best dad ever! He is always there for me when I need him! He is so funny. Like when he makes funny faces or dances. He works every week so we could pay for food and clothes and all the stuff we do. He works for us all to do all the activities we do and of course he works for other reasons too. He loves me so much and I love him so much too. I love when we spend time together, for example when we go to the movies (that happened once but it still was a lot of fun) and when we go for walks. My Dad is the Best dad ever. I would never ask for a better dad! I love him so so so much! My dad deffenitly deserves the dad of the year award!

Spelling is a little rough and I love that she mentioned that he takes her to the movies and then clarifies that it was only once. :)

Spelling is a little rough and I love that she mentioned that he takes her to the movies and then clarifies that it was only once. :)

 

Gia:

My daddy should be Father of the Year because:

he works,

he coaches,

he gives me kisses and hugs,

he goes for walks with me to get me ice cream,

he lays with me,

he loves me so much,

I love him so much because he plays with me, and

he always gives me lovin’s.

 

She had a lot of fun coming up with these and I didn't have to help her at all (except for the writing...she dictated and I wrote).

She had a lot of fun coming up with these and I didn’t have to help her at all (except for the writing…she dictated and I wrote).

 

So there you go. Right from the mouths of the Gubenko kids.

And Leo, if you are reading (and you will be because I am going to send this to you), you have far surpassed any expectation that I ever had of you being a dad. I know I give you a hard time for being a kid yourself but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nico has your sense of humor and confidence. Tommy has your personality and the desire to be the best he can be. They are on their way to becoming great men just like their dad! Love you and Happy Father’s Day (plus I got him a hoodie that says World Series of Poker that he said he loves)!

I love this picture because he was on his phone looking for the places I wanted to go.

I love this picture because he was on his phone looking for the places I wanted to go.

This week, it wasn’t me that Poured My Heart Out, it was my kids. Thanks, Shell!

 

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Recycled Post: ISAT Annoyances

In honor of ISATs next week and because I wrote this before I made the switch to WordPress, I am linking up with my friend, Adrienne at The Mommy Mess to recycle this post. I wish I could say my opinion changed but it has not. Even the conversation was the same.

I won’t go on and on about how much I absolutely hate ISATs because I could. I didn’t mind them for the first few years that I taught because I taught second grade and we didn’t do them. We had some standardized testing which I didn’t mind because it was nice to just write testing in my plan book and not have to plan anything. Other than that, I think the whole testing of an elementary kid is stupid (I know…very intellectual word to use). I had kids that were so bright and so smart and the minute you put that test in front of them, they froze. I had other kids who didn’t get it at all and just put anything. My favorite was when a child turned in his test, there was a nice pattern of colored dots that formed his initial (I swear that is a true story). He would have gotten a terrible score but how creative was that? This is my own opinion but one stanardized test is not going to show you the best of the kid taking it. The only kids that do well are kids that are trained well in taking them. I remember right before I left teaching, every institute day was tailored to the ISATs. There was no time for creative writing anymore. The writing had to be narrative, expository or persuasive. Nico had to write his speech for the CF event one year and he was stuck. I told him to just write from your heart and he said he couldn’t. He needed a topic sentence with three reasons for why he hated living with CF. I have news for the ISAT people…there are a lot more than three reasons for hating CF.

Anyway, as a parent, I hate ISAT week. Everyone is so tense. The kids (or at least mine) are nervous that they won’t do well. Nico is afraid of what they mean for his classes next year or in high school. Isabella is a nervous wreck that she won’t finish the “extended response” and I don’t even know what to say to ease her nerves other than, “Just do your best” to which she replies, “Moooommm, you don’t get it!” She is right. I don’t and I don’t care. I don’t care how they do on them because if they don’t do that great and it places them in a lower class with less homework and less frustration, then GREAT! Will this mean they won’t get into Harvard? Probably. Was there a chance in Hell that they were going to Harvard before they took the ISATs? Nope! So we are good.

I don’t appreciate the note that comes home the Friday before they start either. “Please make sure your child gets a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast.” Oooh…so there goes the all night party and Snickers for breakfast that we usually do on Sunday nights. I resent that just because of ISATs, they want to tell us to make sure of that. Someone tell me why pretzels are a healthy snack normally but during ISAT week, they are not? Good thing I had grapes in the house, huh? I also really resent having to cancel Nico’s orthodontist appointment. He was supposed to get his braces on and getting an appointment there is like trying to get into the White House but God forbid you take your kid out of school during ISATs! So now he is getting half on next week and the other half after Spring Break. I feel bad for him and really don’t get why the freaking orthodontist can’t just put them all on in one sitting like all the other orthos in the area (but that is for another post)? If you ask me, what is going to serve him better in life? Straight teeth or his ISAT score. I think straight teeth.

I want to care and think I should because I am an educator and was a good student but I just don’t think they accurately show who a student is and what they are capable of.

This was written when Nico was in seventh grade and the twins were in third. Nico continues to do well in school but horrible on tests where a lot is riding on them…classic test anxiety. Tommy and Belle still panic and worry the night before these and I still hate them. So, it is a perfect recycled post since not much has changed.

What about you? How do you feel about stadardized tests? How do your kids do? Are they laid back about them or do they panic like mine?

Linking to: www.themommymess.com

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ISAT Annoyances

I won’t go on and on about how much I absolutely hate ISATs because I could. I didn’t mind them for the first few years that I taught because I taught second grade and we didn’t do them. We had some standardized testing which I didn’t mind because it was nice to just write testing in my plan book and not have to plan anything. Other than that, I think the whole testing of an elementary kid is stupid (I know…very intellectual word to use). I had kids that were so bright and so smart and the minute you put that test in front of them, they froze. I had other kids who didn’t get it at all and just put anything. My favorite was when a child turned in his test, there was a nice pattern of colored dots that formed his initial. He would have gotten a terrible score but how creative was that? This is my own opinion but one stanardized test is not going to show you the best of the kid taking it. The only kids that do well are kids that are trained well in taking them. I remember right before I left teaching, every institute day was tailored to the ISATs. There was no time for creative writing anymore. The writing had to be narrative, expository or persuasive. Nico had to write his speech for the CF event one year and he was stuck. I told him to just write from your heart and he said he couldn’t. He needed a topic sentence with three reasons for why he hated living with CF. I have news for the ISAT people…there are a lot more than three reasons for hating CF.

Anyway, as a parent, I hate ISAT week. Everyone is so tense. The kids (or at least mine) are nervous that they won’t do well. Nico is afraid of what they mean for his classes next year or in high school. Isabella is a nervous wreck that she won’t finish the “extended response” and I don’t even know what to say to ease her nerves other than, “Just do your best” to which she replies, “Moooommm, you don’t get it!” She is right. I don’t and I don’t care. I don’t care how they do on them because if they don’t do that great and it places them in a lower class with less homework and less frustration, then GREAT! Will this mean they won’t get into Harvard? Probably. Was there a chance in Hell that they were going to Harvard before they took the ISATs? Nope! So we are good.

I don’t appreciate the note that comes home the Friday before they start either. “Please make sure your child gets a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast.” Oooh…so there goes the all night party and Snickers for breakfast that we usually do on Sunday nights. I resent that just because of ISATs, they want to tell us to make sure of that. Someone tell me why pretzels are a healthy snack normally but during ISAT week, they are not? Good thing I had grapes in the house, huh? I also really resent having to cancel Nico’s orthodontist appointment. He was supposed to get his braces on and getting an appointment there is like trying to get into the White House but God forbid you take your kid out of school during ISATs! So now he is getting half on next week and the other half after Spring Break. I feel bad for him and really don’t get why the freaking orthodontist can’t just put them all on in one sitting like all the other orthos in the area (but that is for another post)? If you ask me, what is going to serve him better in life? Straight teeth or his ISAT score. I think straight teeth.

I want to care and think I should because I am an educator and was a good student but I just don’t think they accurately show who a student is and what they are capable of.

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