Weekly Wrap Up: July 11, 2014

The last week we have finally gotten back into a routine form our travels to AR and TN. We got all the hard stuff (unloading, unpacking, laundry, etc) done the afternoon we got home and madly did it pay off! We had the rest of that week to menu plan, get groceries, pay bills, and just get things back in order. The last thing we want to do is find payday loans in Texas, United States. However, if we have too, we will.

The following week we started back on our learning time routine. We did a quick review and a lot of playing. We have spent all morning, every morning, outside playing in the back yard, playing in the pool, eating apples, and playing with the dog. It has been wonderful!

Here are a few snaps I managed to take during this week:

Lexie found a picture of blocks in the back of her Highlights magazine and she wanted to build what they were building. I helped her with a few pieces- but I was amazed at how well she would perceive what they had done. Some of these were HARD!:

building blocks {Quiet In The Chaos}

We have read more books this summer than I think we did while stuck inside last winter. Mister has really become obsessed with reading books, and of course Bug wants to (read or) be read to all the time.

reading together {Quiet In The Chaos}

 

My children *love* to be outside- we spend most of our time outside when the weather permits. Lexie had a great idea when she wanted to combine their love for books with the great outdoors!

reading in their

 

Our sweet Charlie girl:

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel {Quiet In The Chaos}

Charlie Our Springer Spaniel- 11 months old, July 2014

 

As you know, we *love* the free and fun curriculum from This Reading Mama (we use it with our AAR). Here, Lexie is working on her new sight word, “me.”

Sight Word

The week wouldn’t be complete without baking something yummy. We made (whole wheat, NO refined sugar) chocolate muffins. Lexie just had to lick the spoon. =)chocolate muffins {Quiet In The Chaos}

Last week was a lot of fun- during all this fun, we also started potty training Max. I do have some SUPER cute pictures of that, but they’re probably not appropriate for the blog. haha

Monday the painter comes to paint Lexie’s room; then the kids will start sharing a room! *so scary* Just praying they get used to each other and sleep through the night fine. Lexie wakes up needing to potty and sometimes with night terrors, so that could be a problem. After Mister’s room (aka the nursery) the nursery is painted, I can begin decorating, organizing, and playing in the nursery. YAY! Eight More weeks until baaaby!

 

Traveling: On the Road with Healthy Menu Options {and M&M link-up}

We just came back from a wonderful family road trip- the husband and I loaded up the 3 year old and 16 month old, and hit the road for the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

I’ve not ever been skiing, or to CO. My husband has been a few times. It was amazing, and did I mention beautiful? The mountains were breathtaking!

Rocky Mountains

We are so blessed to be able to travel for a little family vacation. And just because we are traveling doesn’t mean we go crazy with junk food. We try very hard to stick within a reasonable budget, and eat healthy snacks. {which exclude fast food!}

We see it as, the more money we save while on the road, the more we can enjoy spending on nice meals and fun for the kids, once we get where we’re going.

So what does our road trip food look like?

It looks like several pre made peanut butter sandwiches, 4-8 oranges, 3-4 apples, a container of clean grapes, a few bananas, and a bag of nuts or trail mix.

Then we pack a small cooler with Lexie’s rice milk and Mister’s coconut milk, along with lots of bottled water. In that cooler we usually add lunch meat, and anything else that needs to be kept cool or cold. The cooler goes in the very back of the van or suv with our luggage.

When we stop for gas we may grab a few snacks, like more nuts or pretzels.

This trip, we traveled for about 8 hours. Some people think we are crazy to travel for that long with two young children. Maybe we are! One of our friends said that we should fly instead and then get a quote from this relocation company. She said they would pick up our suv and take it to and from Colorado so that we could still drive it whilst we were away. This was tempting, but flying is more expensive and makes it harder to control what you are eating. And hey, the drive is part of the trip for us. We actually managed to rent a car seat for the kids, so that made things easier for us. We spent a lot of time in the car on this vacation so it was important that the kids were safe and comfortable whilst on the road.

At lunch time on our journey, we stopped at a park where I made us sandwiches with spinach, and we had salads with homemade dressing. The kids were able to run around and enjoy themselves, and then we were back on the road in less than an hour.

I also like to pack freezer food for meals once we get to our hotel. We stayed in a condo that had a small kitchen. I grabbed a bag of frozen mexican chicken soup, and some frozen sloppy joes. This way we can eat one or two nice meals out for dinner, and still have healthy, delicious meals in our condo a few nights to save on cash. We are a family that eats out maybe 3 times a month; we don’t really enjoy eating our every single meal while on vacation.

And that is it! It is so easy to pack a small cooler (you will be amazed what you can fit inside!) and a lunch bag with fruits and pre made sandwiches for easy, on the road meals.

Going on vacation doesn’t have to wreck havoc in your wallet, or your health!

Be encouraged, friends! What foods do you pack for road trips?

January 20th ~

Before Five in A Row: The Little Rabbit

You can find all the printables we used this week at Homeschool Creations.



We had a great week this week!  We really rowed The Little Rabbit for two weeks, like we did the other books we have done.  We really enjoy taking our time.  =)  The great thing is, this is all for fun for us at this age, so there is NO need to hurry.

Lexie really enjoyed doing our activities for The Little Rabbit; later in the week when I told her it was time for activities, her table in the living room suddenly looked like this:

That’s how much she enjoys it!  At the beginning of the week, we began with the tracing sheets.

tracing the word “rabbit”

(I showed her how to trace on the first one, then she did the rest)

so serious!

 We do the tracing sheets for fine motor practice.  At 2.5 years old, I don’t expect anything we are doing to be perfect.  But I do expect her to try, and always do her best.  Here is my favorite activity we do with each book:


Beginning letter sounds.  She got the ALL this time.  I was really impressed; I said I don’t expect the things we are doing to be perfect or correct … but that’s kinda not true.  I do expect the things she has already mastered to be done correctly, or close to it since I know she can.  We all have moments we forget things, or confuse things.  (especially me!)  Anyhow, she got all the beginning letter sounds correctly on the capital sheet, and on the lower case I think she confused the letters b and d.  I have a picture, but I can’t find it anywhere… I may have lost it when I moved it from the phone to the computer.

 This is the matching game… the printables come with several different pictures from the book, some have the name under them, some do not.  They have different activities to go along with each set.  We don’t always use the sheets for their main purpose, simply because she may not be ready for that skill.  But we do use them, even if it is just for identifying the letter, etc.

Add caption

 This was a sorting sheet.  I cut the squares, she glued them in place, either under “flowers” or “animals.”  We talked about each one along the way, and where/if they were in the story.



 This activity was labeling the parts of a turtle.  So, I was really proud of this- I had cut each part out, and laid them out neatly.  Then I touched each one and read aloud what it said.  SO like, I would say “head” and point to the word head.  Then, we looked at the turtle and I asked her what part of the body I was pointing to.  She replied with the correct answer… but then I asked which label we needed and SHE ALWAYS CHOSE THE CORRECT ONE! And after she picked it up, she would say, “/h/ /h/ This one says “head!”  Shut. up.  I was so proud of her.  Some she remembered from me pointing to them, but she identified the ones she didn’t remember by sounding out the first letter and matching it to the body part with the same beginning letter sound.


We also practiced cutting this week.  She got scissors in her spring basket, so we decided to put them to some (more) use.  While getting my B.S.E in early childhood education, we were taught you always put the pencil, crayon, scissors, etc in front of the center of the child’s body.  This way they can grab the object with the hand they prefer to use, versus you putting it in their right or left hand, when that may not be the one they are naturally inclined to use.  Lexie is still on showing a hand dominance.  Looking at the pages above, you may think she is obviously right handed.  But often times she uses her left hand for things, and gets a much better result than when she uses her right.  The pictures below are from her cutting paper using her left hand.  When she used her right, she couldn’t quite get the feel of opening and closing the scissors, and her cuts were short and choppy.  When she used her left, this was the result:


I tried to get a picture of her mouth (but couldn’t)  When she opened the scissors, she opened her mouth as wide as she could, too.  Very cute.

Usually by 2 or 3 children start showing signs of hand dominance.  I am still unsure which Lexie will use.  When handing her a crayon or scissors, I always put them either on the table in front of her, or hand them to her at the center of her body.  Sometimes I even have her put her hands by her side, then take the object from me, to see which she will use.  Sometimes she uses her right, sometimes her left… and sometimes she will grab something with her right, but then move it to her left.  So we will see.  Handedness is an important part of formal writing, which isn’t a stage we are remotely close to. But before a child can be expected to write correctly, or neatly (which is required in kindergarten in public school), they need to have established consistent handedness.  We have quite sometime before she has to be ready for all that.

The book itself was a wonderful little book about a girl who gets a pet rabbit.  She names her buttercup.  Buttercup has seven baby bunnies (which are oh. so. cute) and the little girl names them after the days of the week.  Lexie and I thought this was very creative- we love the days of the week and months of the year!  What’s different about the book, is it’s all done in real photographs instead of hand or computer illustration.  For a little over $2 brand new on Amazon, it is a good addition to your library, we definitely recommend it!

Beans, Beans

With Spring in the air, Lexie has bee learning all about plants and how they grow.  So, we decided to plant some beans!  I wanted her to see how the beans change from a seed to a plant, but didn’t really want to do the baggie thing.  SO I did a little googling, and I  I found this great idea over at The Imagination Tree.  (People like to make fun of my glass jar obsession …)  But she used a glass jar and cotton balls to grow beans!  Genius!  The best part is, it is easy, not messy, and Lexie could do it all on her own.


So I grabbed one of my many jars a jar, and gave her the cotton balls.




She put them in the jar..

Then she added the beans to the side of the jar, so we could see them.  
Next we watered the beans.  And this is what we have a few weeks later!

The great big bean didn’t do anything for a week, then one morning it had started growing!
It is going at a slower pace than the other.

This one is really taking off, and is probably ready to be planted.  I am not sure why it took them 2 weeks to grow this much?  They are in an east facing window, so maybe that is why?
Lexie loves telling everyone about her beans, and checking on them every day.  She does so good not to touch them, but likes to pick up the jar and stare.  =)  This was a very fun project for her, and for me!
Hopefully this week/end we are going to get our herb seeds planted!  

Our first Before Five in a Row Activities

A few weeks ago we began our fun journey with Before Five in a Row.  The first story we did was, “Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?”  We bought it from Amazon; you can get it here.

Jesse Bear’s bathtub and rubber ducky counting game

I found a ton of printables online for many of the books.  I really like Homeschool Creations.  She has a TON of great resources on her sites.  Some of the activities are too old for Lexie, like writing her name, or retelling the story.  But what I did was asked her how to spell her name, and I wrote it for her.  Then she could trace it if she wanted to.  I also had her retell the story, and wrote it down for her…  She liked all the activities, and every day wanted to know what we were doing next!  She doesn’t like to draw pictures, I’m not sure why?  She likes to color, but she rarely will just “draw pictures” of things.  I know she has the imagination to do it, she doesn’t want to.  So I don’t push it.  But what she LOVES to do, is just color/scribble on a piece of paper, make marks, etc. then tell me “look, i made a ‘blank.'”  Usually it is the letter V, O, I, L, or a number like 7.  And she is right, whatever it is looks exactly like what she drew.   Maybe a love for drawing will come later.

Lexie now knows all her letter sounds.  She still confuses G with J, U and Y … and that’s about it.  She likes to walk around while playing and say a letter, then the sound and a bunch of words she knows that have that beginning letter sound.  So her conversation (with herself) may sound like this, “B is for /b/, /b/, Bubby. or ball.  Or bounce.  Or banana.  Or bean.”  And she will do that with lots of letters.  She is definitely going to be my early reader, but I really don’t want her to start too early.  Research has shown that early readers don’t progress any faster than a later or “on time” reader.  So really, good readers all end up on the same level by the age of 8 or 9.  Whether she reads at 4, or 6 doesn’t matter to me, as long as she gets a good, solid foundation she will progress at whatever rate she is developmentally ready for.

Here are some of the activities we rowed for our Jesse Bear week.

This was beginning sounds, and the first sheet we did.  Notice how BIG and uncontrolled her circles are on this page, compared to the next page.  I gave her “shirt” since it is actually a blend sound /sh/ and chair, since it is also a blend.  Towards the end she just wanted to circle all the letters.  haha

She was to circle the ending sound.  I said the word and the sound like “bear. /r/ /r//”  Then she circle what sound she heard at the end.  I gave her “rose” because the E is silent


We really enjoyed our first BFIAR book and activities.  She LOVES doing them, and I have to distract her when I run out of planned activities for the day, because she just wants to keep doing them.  =)  She has such a love for learning, and has no idea we are doing “pre-preschool.”  I wish I had taken more pictures, and this week I will!  We are actually spending more like two weeks on each book, because some days we don’t get to the activities.  Some weeks we only do 3-4 days a week, and I don’t like to jump from book to book each week, especially if she is really enjoying it.  She likes to read books until she has them memorized, so we take our time with each one.  Next we are doing “The Little Bunny.”




Max Baby Summary: 29/30 weeks

Wow, I know. I’m behind… Max is now 7 months old/31 weeks. This is the update for his last (month) week, which was 30weeks old/the week he turned 7 months.

We have two teeth! The first one was his bottom center right, and it came in about a week ago. 3 days later the left tooth came through. The left one seems to really be bothering him today; he’s been pulling on his ears and chewing his fingers … but of course he hurts himself now when he chews them because there are teeth in there! Haha! It won’t be long before we will have to make a dentist appointment for him; he’s growing up so fast. I want to make sure that for his first dentist visit, we go somewhere who offer Children’s Dentistry as at least that way they know how to properly treat young children so that they are used to going to the dentist and not scared, (like I am). My friend takes her children to this Dentist in Sarasota, which is where they live, and they are supposed to be very good in treating children. So, I think I may look for a dentist local to us that offers a similar service so that his first visit is a good one.

He is sitting up all the time by himself (that actually started about a month ago). He is much more balanced. I noticed when Lexie was his age, in the middle of April she was pulling up on things and turning herself around while sitting. I’m wondering if it is harder for him because we have carpet now? Lexie had hardwood floors to spin on. If Max were sitting on hardwood floors, then everytime he leans over or reaches for something he would realize, ‘Hey, I can move!” haha I may get the foam ABC mat out that Lexie used and put it down instead of the quilt they play on.. But I’m not sure how well it will work on carpet.

He is babbling a LOT! Lexie taught him to say “dadadadadada” a few weeks ago. I’ve been working with him to say “dada” when JTom comes home or is holding him. Two days ago, the boy looked at his daddy and said, “dada,” then when JTom didn’t say anything back Max said, “dada,” until his daddy replied. Then he just beamed! JTom was very proud. =) So we are pretty well convinced he knows JTom is DaDa. He has a few other babble sounds he makes and is so proud of himself. Max is also signing for milk. He signs it when he is waiting for me to make his bottle, when I sign it to him, while he is drinking his bottle… so next we are going to do “more” and “please.”

He is wearing 12 month clothes (he has a few 9mo that he can wear). About 5 days ago, he woke up and had a head full of hair?! Prior to that he had a “mohawk.” Then 2 days ago he woke up with lighter hair! It’s crazy how babies literally change over night! His eyes … well I am going to let you decide from the pictures. I really don’t know. The centers look light green, but overall they’re just really blue.

Max’s 6 month dr apt went well. He started a new medicine, I think it is prilosec for babies. They compound it at the pharmacy. The taste is terrible so he has a hard time swallowing it (even with added flavoring) but it has helped tremendously! He went from barely eating and taking bottles to eating a LOT more! I think he has gained 5 lbs in the last 3 weeks. haha He has been eating peas, green beans, carrots, apples, apples w blueberries, and avacado with no problems. Bananas constipated him for a day or so, so he hasn’t had them anymore. But there have been no problems with anything else as far as reflux goes! What a blessing and answered prayer.

His sleep has finally gotten a little better for naps, and here is what his routine looks like:
6:45/7:15 wake
7:00/7:15 up, medicine, eat
7:45 independent play in pack n play
8:00/8:15 go downstairs to do calendar and activities with Lexie
8:50 wind down for nap
8:55-9 asleep (usually a 1hr10min-1.5hr nap)
10:15-10:45 wake up
11:00/11:15 eat, play
12:30-1:00 down for nap; we do 12:30 if he was SUPER tired from a short first nap, but 1:00 if not
2:00-3:00 wake up; time depends on what time he went down for second nap. (Usually a 1hr10min-1.5hr nap)
3:00 eat, play
sometimes he takes a cat nap (he is in the process of dropping this nap)
Ideally, his dinner is 6:00, bedtime is 7pm
On days he doesn’t get good sleep (usually if naps are interrupted it’s with a poopy diaper, or we go to the library for story time…) then we do bedtime an hour early, so asleep at 6pm. That helps his catch up on sleep, and keeps him from getting in an over tired cycle which can take weeks for a small child to get out of.

Lexie is doing great. She still enjoys gymnastics, and has all her “imaginary” friends. We read Goldilocks and the Three Bears, along with Billy Goats Gruff and the Three Little Pigs recently … now everything is a “daddy fill in the blank” “mommy fill in the blank,” or a “baby/Lexie fill in the blank.” Obviously this goes according to size of said object. =)

reading

She started letting me wash her hair in the kitchen sink, so hair washing and bath time are no longer a fight. She was doing great, and then about 4(?) or so weeks ago, it became an absolute screaming, tearful battle to get her in the tub so I could wash her hair. She doesn’t like teh water to get in her ears or eyes. Of course we did EVERYTHING to prevent this, but when
she is screaming and moving around, it becomes impossible to keep the water only on her hair …. After I convinced her the kitchen sink would be fun, and that my Memaw washed my hair in the kitchen sink, she was okay with it. =)

Two weekends ago, Spring hit Nebraska. Although this coming week is supposed to be stormy and cold, the last two weeks have been warm and sunny. We don’t do the Easter Bunny, so Lexie got a spring basket with some new learning toys and a few necessities. We gave her a Thomas the Engine (electric) toothbrush, some new PJs, new dry erase markers for her dry erase board, a pair of fiskar kid’s scissors, and some accessories for her light table. (The light table is a whole other post! Look for it later this week or next!)

She also got her first real kite! In Nebraska it is very windy, and out where we live used to be cornfields, so there are no big trees around the house, they are all a street over at the park and school. So it’s the perfect place to fly a kite. She had so much fun!



In many of the pictures I am posting, the grass was just barely turning green, now it is all green and trees have started budding and blooming(?). Our garden season is off from the south by about a month, so we don’t need to get anything in the ground for a few more weeks, at the latest May 1st.

JTom has been traveling some with work. He went to Milan, Italy last week. He brought back three bottles of Italian wine and some parmesean cheese. I still haven’t tasted the Italian wine, but I am sure it will be great. The cheese … well it’s good! =) In Italy they put (very expensive) balsamic vinegar on a little piece (like a cube) or parmesean cheese and eat it. So when we went to Grand Island last weekend we got some of the good, “gourmet” (though no expensive…) balsamic vinegar and tried it on the cheese. YUM! New favorite snack, for sure.
He brought back some “monies from Italy” for Lexie and she was beyond pleased. haha I got a beautiful rosary, and the wine.

Turkey season in Nebraska has opened, so JTom may be hunting Saturday. He joined a hunting lease here, that covers hunting land all over Nebraska, and in other states as well. I told him if he brings home meat so I don’t have to buy nasty store meat, it will be worth it. He said “it’s called hunting, not killing. I can’t promise I will bring anything home.” So, we will see if we end up w a turkey in the freezer. =)

We have started planning our garden. We know we are going to get in tomatoes and maybe a few other things. We have to get the fence done soon, hopefully in the next few weeks. All of the pictures below are from March, so they are actually a few weeks old, or older. You will notice Max’s hair isn’t very thick. Look at his hair and fat rolls in the next posts with pictures! It’s crazy how quickly they change.

reading to Bubby

Mister Bear playing in the bath

reading her Bible to Max

I love to be upside down

new outfit

playing outside in the dirt

Happy Bear

Angel Baby

just minding my own business…..
Until now ….

picnic outside

happy bear

Mister outside in the exersaucer

Hi Mama- look at me!


The Lincoln Children’s Museum

A few weekends ago, (March 9th, to be exact) JTom had a great idea to spend a family day together in Lincoln.  We didn’t tell her where we were going, I just told her we had a surprise for after we ran some errands.  She loved the children’s museum in Hot Springs so much, we knew she would love this one, too.  We went to Sam’s, the hardware store, and then to the Children’s Museum.  After that we had pizza, at Lexie’s request, and then came home for naps.  The Lincoln Children’s Museum was great- packed with kids on a Saturday morning of course, but Lexie did good after the initial shock wore off.  She loved the water and especially enjoyed doing everything with her daddy.  She is a Mama’s girl when Daddy isn’t around (and sometimes when he is..) but she is her daddy’s baby through and through.  


Can you guess what her favorite part was?  You can guess either: playing in the water, driving the big truck, making a sandwich, or watching everyone else (I will tell you now, this last one was not her favorite thing … but it was a close second!)  I will label her favorite activity under the picture…


playing at the big water fountain

making water go through pipes and funnels
working with daddy

Her favorite part- driving the BIG truck!

they’re in there

flying an airplane

loved the keyboard

driving in space

He gets daddy of the year- not only can he style hair, pick our clothes, and  install water softeners and filtration systems ….. he can face paint!
milk, pizza, and colors- the best life ever!

nap time after her big day
It was a great family outing day!  One of our family goals for the year was to spend more days together doing little things away from the house, and camping more.  Hopefully we will have some great camping adventures this spring and summer!

28 weeks old (6.5 months)/ First update since February

Well, it’s been a while huh? So … we have moved!  We successfully moved our children, the animals, and our belongings a month ago.  Whew, it was a little crazy, but we did it!

Sweet little mister


First I will do a quick update on Max and Lexie, then an update on everything else.  Max has outgrown most of his 6 month clothes and is sitting for long stretches of time now.  He still likes his feet, and loves his Lexie.  We have been signing for “milk” for a month or two now, and he has started to do it back while eating or waiting for me to finish making a bottle.  I am not sure if he has put the meaning of it to the actual result, but he signs back at me.  So he is either good at imitating and will get the meaning soon, or he already gets it.  He has been less than a good sleeper since we moved.  
For the first 3-4 weeks his room was too bright while we waited on blinds to arrive.  He was also getting used to his new surroundings, which I think was very distracting for him.  He has started having good naps about every other 
day.  I’ve noticed when I get him up he smells SO BADLY of acid, and his sheets have been stained, so I do believe we are dealing with reflux again.  This could be due to many things: A)not taking his medicine.  We were doing probiotics and no dairy which were both helping.  But at this age reflux tends to flare back up, and teething can make it worse. B) his baby food could be contaminated with dairy.  Did you know food companies are not required to put ingredients on their products if it is cross contaminated, and not an actual ingredient?  So it is possible his baby foods are coming in contact w milk.  Also, I don’t have the carton to his oatmeal, but it’s possible it contains whey.  We are going to the grocery store today so I am going to double check.  We go to the dr tomorrow afternoon.  

As for Lexie, since we cut back on milk, yogurt, etc. her eczema doesn’t seem to flare as much on her face.  I  just want to know for sure that Max has a dairy allergy, and what is causing Lexie’s eczema.  I had some of his Prevacid left over so we started it again… with our new insurance we have to pay for all of it, and here it will cost us …. wait for it ….. $224.31.  for a 31 day supply.  When the insurance lady told me this I cried all morning.  How is it possible these medicine companies can sell pain meds for $10-$15 a bottle (which many people turn around and sell on the street for $5+ a pill) and my son’s medicine, which he needs in order to EAT costs more than a car note?  I don’t understand how this is possible?!  And they don’t make a generic for the SoluTabs he has been prescribed.  So at the dr tomorrow we will be asking what else we can do, if the dr. feels it is the reflux flaring up again.

snuggly girl after bath

So, because of the possible reflux flare up, the move, teething, etc. Max has just not been taking good naps. On good days he will take 1.5hr naps.  On bad days, he sleeps for 20-40 minutes at a time.  It’s exhausting for everyone, because it effects everyone.  But like I said, about every other day is a good day for him.  Then we try to replicate it the next, and it’s awful.  I really have no idea what is going on.  Hopefully it will smooth out in the next few weeks.

Lexie loves her new gymnastics.  It is much different than the gym we went to in AR.  Her tot class is in the evenings, and there is a lot happening in the gym at that time.  It is really overwhelming for her, and it takes her about 10 minutes to become cooperative and pay attention to what we are doing.  She has always been this way; at MDO she stood back and watched the other kids until she was comfortable a few weeks into it. The same went for playing at the Y while I worked out.  And also at our play dates.  Now instead of quietly standing back and watching, she just wants to go do something else, and won’t pay attention.  I think this just comes along with her age, and being overwhelmed.  After a few weeks I think she will be more comfortable.  She has learned a lot of new, more advanced things, and has also shown the teacher a lot of things she could already do.

She LOVES her new house- her favorite room is the basement.  I have set up a little area down there for us to play and learn.  It is also plenty big for us to “practice” her gymnastics in the mornings when we can’t go outside.  =)  Gotta get some of the wiggles out.  She is obsessed with Thomas and Friends (although she has’t watched TV since our first week here-more on that in a minute), and to definitely not help out with that situation, a train runs through the corn field on the other side of the house.  They all have names from Thomas-Gordon, Charlie, Rose, Emily, etc.  All names are the same as her imaginary friends that showed up after Christmas… and are still around.  Nap times are now spent talking to them, instead of not napping.  But I’ve convinced her to tell them she needs to sleep, so they need to sleep.  She tells them no talking, but that lasts all of 15-20 minutes.  (hey- I think that’s pretty good for a two year old!)

We have been doing a lot of fun activities; it is a lot easier now that I have a place to keep all our materials and things.  I am going to do several separate posts on those.

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks around the house:

helping daddy
telling daddy how to do it … no doubt.

good morning!

reading Thomas with Daddy
oh garsh!

sharing her Baby lamb with Mister, and asking for a kiss on the hand

just playing and watching Sissy Lexie

I can sit up really well now!

bath time

Lexie reading to Max (and she got all the words right!)

Scarlet’s new normal- she can see in the back sliding glass door and windows.  She and Lexie talk to each other.

Going for a walk

I know- so dang sweet!

 

This is how they clear the roads out here-they push the snow into our backyard!  Lexie liked it though

“Oh- Im going to show daddy I wear his hat!”

Max vs Lilly- the stare down

Before the BIG cut 
This is hair after- it now sits right at her shoulders when wet


Good times!

22 weeks old … I think

Im in bed writing this post, and i usually have my planner to help me with what week i am on.  I do not, however, have my planner.  Oh- it is a very fun planner, it is an Erin Condren life planner, and i LOVE it.  My only complaint is there aren’t enough lined pages for writing notes and thoughts .. but they sell a separate notebook for that, of course!  Anyway.  This is not a post about my planner.  The point of me mentioning it, was to say the weeks are running together on me!

Max is in the middle of his 22nd week of life; this weekend is going to be SO busy, so I am writing this one early.  He is rolling over like crazy; especially when he is trying to go to sleep.  He is a side sleeper.  So he rolls onto his side and sucks his thumb.  Its oh. My. Gah. So cute!  Bt, he also flips over to his belly.  And while playing and alert, he can easily flip back over to his back.  B when he is tired and trying to go to sleep, he gets angry and does a lot of yelling… So i have to go roll him back over.  It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.

He is nursing better, thankfully.  He is taking his bottles well, but after about 5oz he is ready for his oatmeal.  The boy is devouring oatmeal!  I use a measuring spoon to measure out the oatmeal, then eye ball the formula to mix it with.  He usually ends up eating 4-6 tablespoons, sometimes more, 3xs a day.  That usually means i end up mixing the rest of his 8oz bottle into the oatmeal.  So he is taking a full 8-9oz per feeding.  I am still doing the probiotics twice a day and not doing any solids besides the oatmeal.  Since we are moving and all, I think I will wait until after the move to add in real foods.  It will just be easier with the traveling and everything to only have t have oatmeal, formula, and my pump in case he doesn’t nurse well.

He is in 6 month clothes and pajamas, and can wear some 6-9 footies, they’re just a little big in the feet.  But it wont be long and they will fit perfectly.  We are still signing, I am doing “milk” and “more,” while he eats.  He watches me, like “Hrm, what is it that she’s doing?” but hasn’t started signing back at me yet.  He likes to squeal!  It sounds like he is gasping for breath, you know what I mean?  But he is squealing- it’s cute.  He is obsessed with his feet (what a difference a week makes!) and reaches for his toys, or anything that is in front of him.  I have started sitting him up more, and he can balance for a second before he topples over.  =)

Lexie is so much fun, we have started building forts!  She loves it,  haha.  We went to Mid America Science Museum Sunday, and it was wonderful!  We have never been because before now she was really too young to enjoy it.  But thanks to super bowl, we were the only souls in the whole place.  Seriously, she got to run around and do anything and everything she wanted.  It was us and a lady building with blocks.  And the guy who took my $10.  Lexie is under 3, so she was free.  Who knew a $10 outing would be so fun?!  I promised we would go back next week after Jtom leaves.  I have some videos i will upload here soon.

Tuesday we went to the library.  I have packed up *most* of her books, so we have started borrowing them.  Her new favorite book is the “Three Billy Goats Gruff”. She retells it by saying, “the billy goat broke the troooole!”  That’s the only thing she cares about.  I didn’t realize how scary/weird those classical stories are… But they are important for her to read.  She is down to one day a week of school, so now we can do something fun on that day we don’t do school anymore.  Really, I’m relieved she isn’t going to school two days a week.  A break is nice, but now that Max is older and can travel more easily for outings, i feel like our time can be better spent together, learning and experiencing things together.  Although i did a lot of chores while she was at school 2 days a week, the other three days during the week were mostly spent at home, because otherwise were were out of the house 3-5 days out of the week!  That’s a lot of running and going with two young children.  It’s just too much for us.  So now that she’s down to one day, we can use a second day for our outing(s), and spend the other days playing and learning at home.  Its less chaotic and less pressure.

My woven wrap came in!  WE LOVE IT!  It is a beautiful bright turquoise.  I only know hwo to do one carry, but I will learn some others soon.  I have sold some of my girly cloth diapers, and have my ring sling listed to sell.  I am saving money for this wrap:


Isn’t it beautiful?!  It is a super strong wrap, the length I want is $135, so I have a way to go to save!  But I am getting there.  I have tried to find one used, but they’re hard to find because people love them so much.  So I may end up having to pay full price.  The mama owned business I want to get it from offers a 5% discount coupon, so that would help some.  Anyway, wraps are super fun. There is a whole lingo (sorta like cloth diapering, and sleep training) for wearing babies, especially in wraps.  You have to “break in” your wrap.  The Colimacon et Cie that i bought is pretty soft out of the package and doesn’t require as much breaking in.  But the Storch I want is one that needs a lot of work.  It’s suggested that you sleep on/with it, use it for picnics, forts, braid it (which is basically making a chain knot like you would in crochet), let the kids play on it, wash it, etc. to get it broken in good.  I want the longer length in this one so I can do more carries with it, plus I like having a longer tail on mine.  The turquoise one I have is an average size length at 4.6 meters, but I think I would be more comfy with the longer length, especially until I lose some more of the baby weight (which is slowly coming off, but at least it is coming off!)  I got a few pics of Max and me in the wrap outside the other day; after I get them uploaded to the computer I will get them on the blog.

Anyway, so that’s what we have been up to. Something sweet, the other day we were reading our devotional.  That day it was about angels, and how God sends them to watch over us and take care of us.  Lexie said, “Like Da does!”  (She calls JTom Daddy, dada, and Da, a lot).  I said, “Yes!  Just like Daddy does.”  Oh, priceless.  Today, JTom got home and Lexie was down for nap… not napping.  When it was time to get her up, he went in and she was so excited she stuttered.  She couldn’t get anything out!  It was so cute.  When he got her changed into her “walking panties” (those are her regular panties, instead of her “night night” panties which are her lupus , and got her milk she said, “mama!  I am so excited, Daddy is HERE!”  haha  After that we showed daddy all her new tricks- she can wink!  We also do this thing where I lay on the floor on my back, and put my hands by my head.  She stands in my hands and I lift her up.  It is what we used to do in cheerleading to prepare for single basing stunts.  Anyway, she loves it, so that was new.  We also do a new trick where i lay down and put my feet on her chest, then lift her in the air, and she is on my feet … if that makes sense?  I will get JTom to do some pictures this weekend.  Anyway, we had to show him that, and the library books … and the fort.  Then I ran to TJ Max to get boxes and they played outside, feeding the chickens and stuff.

About the move
We have the movers lined up for Monday, February 18th.  They will come and do some of the packing I am not doing, like the kitchen, breakables, pictures, mirrors, electronics, etc.  Tuesday the semi truck will come and load up, and leave!  The kids and I are going to drive to Memphis, see family in a quick 36 hours, and then my mom is traveling with us to Nebraska.  Once there, our things will hopefully have arrived by then, and we can get settled in.  Mom can help w the kids, and the decorating, etc.  Although we have all this “planned” it is strictly contingent on the closing of the house.  I am signing papers in AR and supposed to be over-nighting them back to whomever I’m told to… There are still a few things not complete, like something the appraiser is supposed to have turned in.  If everything gets done and here are no glitches, we close next Friday. 7 days and a handful of hours from right this moment.  And I am terrified.  Not really.  I am actually pretty calm about it, for me.  I’m just concerned about something not going right and the closing being moved … which means we live separate for 2+more weeks.  =/  The other option is to move into the basement JTom is a guest in.  And if closing doesn’t go well, then that may be just what we do!  Just pray for us that things go smoothly, and happen like they should.

Thankfully, JTom’s uncle is just 40 minutes away and he is going to take the chicks for us.  I am so sad, and I mean SO SAD, to let them go.  They’re so rotten, and so sweet.  And I have enjoyed eggs every single day since JTom has been gone; with the longer days they are back to laying an egg a piece per day!  Maybe that’s why I am losing weight, I eat eggs and whole wheat toast for breakfast and dinner.  =)

Here are some videos. I figured out how to upload them from my phone to youtube, so hopefully I will be loading a lot more on here in the future.

I don’t remember if i posted this one or not?  It is from August (notice her tan!), she was not yet 2, identifying all her ABCs.  She now knows the sounds of some of the letters.  We play phonemic awareness games during the day; for instance I will ask her what words start with the /m/ sound- like Max.  And she will name a bunch of words that start with m.  She also does it on her own, randomly.  I might say, “let’s do a flip!” and out of no where she will say, “flip is like four or friday!”  Using that as a teachable moment, we will talk about the letter f and the sound it makes.  We have fun =)



Identifying and placing some of the States on her map puzzle



These are all from the museum Sunday:






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This is probably my favorite.  It was so warm the other day, and she wanted to water the flowers.  So… that is what she did!










21 Week Baby Summary

Max is 22 weeks tomorrow, and 5 months old!  Wow, how the last 2 months have flown by!  The first 3 …. well, those seemed to drag on forever, and that’s probably because he didn’t feel good.  But now, they are going by so quickly.

Developmentally, during his 21st week of life, Max started really grabbing and reaching for things.  If a toy was on the blanket next to him, he rolled to his side, and reached for it.  It was pretty cool the first time he did that.  =)  He can sit well in the corner of the chair, but isn’t really anywhere near ready to sit on his own.  

Something I notice with #2, is they don’t get to do as much as early as #1 did.  Well, for mine anyway.  I think this is because I still have to be careful where I put Max, can’t leave him etc., with Lexie able to reach!  She will try to lay him down so she can lay with him, roll him over, sit him up.  She knows not to, but being the 2 year old she is, she thinks he “needs to, Mama!”  haha  Where with Lexie I propped her in the chair a lot more, and gave her all my undivided attention during play time, I can’t do that with Max.  He has to share with Bug.

He is rolling over consistently now, from his back to his belly.  Mister is a side sleeper!  When he falls asleep, it is often on his side.  Oh the joys of having a video baby monitor  =)

I think I mentioned last time, Mister’s reflux has seemed to flare up.  The dr. said although the dairy allergy aggravates it, babies with reflux will have flair ups between 4-6 months old, it just happens.  She suggested medicine, which our insurance doesn’t cover and is …. $132 a month!  Not happening.  So, I got to thinking and remembered I had some powdered probiotics (this brand) left over from Lexie having thrush.  I started googling and read that many parents have calmed reflux flare ups with probiotics.  We tried it, and it is working!  Yay!  $17 (I think they were) vs $132, I’ll take that any day!  

Because of the reflux flare ups, I have taken him back to only formula mixed in oatmeal, no more solid foods; he was’t tolerating them well.  Everything came back up.  He is eating the oatmeal/formula mix like crazy, and that’s good enough for me, for now.  =)

JTom came home last weekend, and everyone was so happy to see him.  Lexie was excited, of course, and Mister laughed and talked to him a lot.  Max definitely knew Jtom!  I think we were both a little nervous he wouldn’t after 2 weeks.  But, he did.  The first thing Lexie did when she saw her daddy was show him her fingernails.  Which was, strange.  haha  Then she hugged him and asked him to play.

We are anxiously awaiting the move; I have started packing.  Warning to all grandparents: NO more stuffed animals or dolls.  EVER!  For either child.  I do not care how cute they are, how fluffy they are, or how much they look like our own animals.  No more!  Please … =)  I have thrown out I don’t know how many stuffed animals that Lexie doesn’t play with.  Oh, and no more battery operated toys, unless they are the trains that go to her Thomas set.  Those are okay.  Books, age appropriate puzzles, art stuff, educational toys, that stuff is fine.  Just no more stuffed fuzzy things, please.  =)  

Anyhow … oh!  Good news!  We found a chicken!  We thought the dog killed and drug off the missing chicken, but it turns out she was at the neighbor’s house … so Lexie and I went down yesterday afternoon and got her.  The only problem we had was Lexie eating the banana we were going to use as bait… But we got the chick.  She is happy, being back with her buddies again.  

That’s it for now.  I will try to keep updating through the move, but it may be hard for a while.

Meg






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