Tot Time {sorting by color} December 2014

The month of December we were going to take a short break from learning time, however- both kids are still begging to do it each day!  So I decided to use this month as a trial for including Max in our structured learning time.  Up to this point he has just been too destructive and too much of a distraction for Lexie.

Tot Time {sorting by color- Quiet In The Chaos}

Two Year Old Development

However, about 10-12 days ago, Max woke up a different child!  (Mister is 27 months old) He is suddenly (a bit more) obedient, more independent, talking in complete sentences, eating so neatly, dressing himself, and his melt downs have become non-existent. (YAY!)  During the time that Lexie is working on her school work, Max has been coloring, identifying letters, and sorting by color (his favorite) with us at the counter.  He loves being included, and this fits well with our ultimate goal of everyone learning together.

This is my FAVORITE stage!  He has started showing interest in a bit more structured learning (Lexie always showed interest so we have done it since she was tiny).  Of course everything is through play and we/they play all day because that is the most important way for them to learn.

One thing I will mention is that, as much as I wanted to, I have tried not to push him to do learning time with us; he just wasn’t ready.  And although it was hard for a few months during his really terrible two’s, OMG he has come out of that developmental leap ready to participate a bit!

Between Mister participating in learning time, and Ila stretching her wake time and feeding schedule, we have an ever evolving daily routine.  So for a quick run down, our new routine looks something like this:

  • 7am- daddy gets them up, eat breakfast, while mommy feeds Ila
  • 7:55/8am – Ila goes down for nap, mommy cleans kitchen from breakfast, does a few chores, everyone ready for the day, kids outside if weather permits
  • 8:45am- Sonlight readings for the day, Bible verse of the week, and discussion of any books we read.  Sometimes we watch a video about what we have read (for instance this week we watched a few youtube videos on octopi, coral reefs, and sunken ships on the ipad.  this is a treat, not a regular thing)
  • 9:30/9:45- learning time- this includes Lexie’s All About reading, practicing sight word ring, shapes ring, HWOT work, any copy work, and math practice.  We don’t do all these things every day.  Some days we just doodle, color, and talk!
  • 10:30- Max and Lexie to independent play/mommy feeds Ila
  • 11:30- Ila down, big two eat lunch, outside if weather permits
  • 12:15 Max down for nap
  • 12:30 Lexie down for nap
  • 1:30/2 Ila up to eat
  • 2:30/3pm Ila down for nap
  • 3:00-3:300 L and M up from nap, outside again if weather permits, if not we play and read
  • somewhere in here I prep dinner if I haven’t already
  • 4:30/5- Ila up and eats
  • 5:30/6- eat dinner; Ila back down for last nap of day (we are working on stretching to a 4 hour schedule, when we get there she will drop this nap and do a bit earlier bedtime.  Until then she usually needs to be held during this cat nap.  We don’t have the swing up or I would use it instead)
  • 6:40- L and M to bed
  • 7pm- Ila’s last feeding of the day, in bed by 7:40

And that is it for now.  Hopefully in the next 4-6 weeks Ila will have her 3.5hr feedings stretched to every 4 hours.  AAAAAH the 4 hour feeding schedule- YAY.  That is when things really get easier.  But for now, this is working out well for everyone.  I have a little bit of time right now while all the kids are down for nap that I can rest, blog, or sew.  =)

But, back to learning time- sometimes after we do our Sonlight readings for the day, we just sit at the table and talk while we all doodle and color.  During this time Lexie spells words, practices writing and drawing, Max identifies letters, shapes, and numbers that I write on his paper.  We also count, Max may go get a puzzle to work on, etc.  So we are learning but it is much less formal and just as important as the formal stuff we do.  This is a precious time, and I am so fired up about teaching them!

I am so excited about this time together!  It is so much fun watching Max grow and develop from a baby into a big boy toddler; and Lexie is just becoming a sweet, precious little lady, while Ila is becoming more alert every day.  We have so much fun.

**One more thing I want to add- I never thought Max’s terrible two’s would end.  It was truly hard, stressful, and I was learning to breathe my way through the day.  But IT DOES END.  And on the other side there is a happy, independent, clumsy, and sweet phase- that’s where we are.  Lexie never had terrible two’s (or at least they weren’t very hard if she did) so it was all new to me.  If you’re a new mama in the throws of tantrums and all that is the two’s, just continue to be consistent and steadfast because it does end; and when it does, all the time, effort, and discipline you have put in during the hard time pays off!

And it is so much fun!  So let the tot-time blog posts begin.

Baby Summary Weeks 8-9

I know, I’ve been slacking. I am running behind on Max’s updates.  Things have been very … crazy around here.  But crazy good!

For the last week, Mister has been waking at 4:00am in the morning!  Sometimes as early as 3:30am!  I knew this was a possibility, that he would go from sleeping so well, to waking early.  I also read that sometimes before babies start sleeping through to wake up time, they may teeter-totter going from 3:00am, to 4:30am, back to 3:00am, etc.  That’s exactly what Mister did for the last week.  Then suddenly, at 10 weeks old he slept through to 6:00am!  Woo Hoo!  
Now, the last two days he woke at about 4:00am or so, fussed for a minute, then went back to sleep before I even got to his room.  I think this also has to do with us starting some CIO. At first I let him cry during the day for anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how he was crying.  And so far, things are going really well; he is only waking for about 3-6 minutes now, fussing and falling back asleep.  It’s amazing!  I’m not doing hard-core CIO; I didn’t do it until 8 months with Lexie, but i didn’t really have to until then.  With Max I need him going to sleep on his own sooner than she did, so that’s why I am trying it earlier.

Anyway, for his weeks 8-9 everything was pretty much the same as before.  Week 9 he started eating more at each feeding.  He will nurse and now takes about 4-5oz after nursing… So he is a hungry little Mister!  His schedule is the same, based on a 3 hour routine…  He is talking a LOT, super snuggly, laughs at mommy, daddy, and Lexie all the time.  He is staying awake for a little longer now.  His wake time is about an hour to an hour 20 minutes, depending on what we did during wake time.  If he was super stimulated (ehum, by Big Sister) then he may go down earlier.  His wake time includes: diaper change, eating, burping, playing, talking, diaper change, and swaddling/wind down for nap.  That’s a lot to fit into an hour and 20 minutes, so there isn’t much “playing” quite yet.  I am anxious for the day he is awake longer, but I know it will come.  I’m just ready for him to get to interact with all of us more.  =)

I’m making Mister’s summary shorter this time, because Sissy has MUCH bigger news going on these days than Bubby does!

playing with Mister

Love Bug is back in school, two days a week.  We were getting read to put her in gymnastics when JTom remembered that we put aside a rather large chunk of his paycheck at the beginning of the year for mother’s day out.  Our plan was to have her home w me after I stopped cleaning houses, which was at 7 months pregnant, until max came.  After Max came we would do mother’s day out one-two days a week for Lexie’s sake and mine.  Well …. we FORGOT!  So, to use up the rest of the money (because it’s a cafeteria plan we will lose it if we dont use it) she is going 2xs a week through january.  Then she will drop to once a week.  However, we are still doing gymnastics- and she LOVES it!  We went last Friday to try it out.  She was already a beginner tumbler, she’s had so much practice in her crib and all … so she fit right in!


Speaking of cribs … we are in a big girl bed now!  Scary I know- but so far so good.  She loves it, the transition was an easy one.  She is still in her sleep sack, not sure when we will discontinue it, but she can’t get out and roam as long as she wears it.  =)  Plus, she loves her “night night gown” … i think she feels secure in it.



A few weeks ago Payne came to visit us, and then the next weekend Granny and Mia came to visit.

Payne and Max

Just a singin’

curls

gymnastics

wasn’t so sure about the foam pit

Life is Good!

Granny and Max

Mia, Max, and Lexie

Granny and Lexie cooking “greens”

Bed head

Lookin like her Mama

Counting her “monies”

New clothes from Granny

Such a precious girl



Cute Little Ball of Crazy

We have reached the 15 month mark.  Lexie is into EVERYTHING.  Running, not walking.  Begging … not easily distracted from her obsessions with things she can’t have or do.  Is this the terrible twos?  Are they worse than this? Because today I toted her out of Belk under my arm while she kicked, screamed, and threw her head back…


I am NOT that mom.  I am a disciplined mom who does not let her child act like a crazy person (because I can  really control how my 15 month old acts.. haha.)  We had only been out for about an hour, and this after her 2 hour 15 minute nap this afternoon…  Craziness.  After a month of tantrum free it looks like we are all up in the middle of some tantrum territory.  Again, I blame this on the two teeth she has coming in on the right side of her mouth.  Poor baby.  But she has still been a holy terror some days.  I may be exaggerating a bit; she is truly the sweetest baby ever.  Within minutes of having a moment, she is snuggling and kissing me, being all sorry about it…  =/ I’m a sucker, I just don’t tell her that!

I keep saying “THIS WEEK” I am reading those 5 toddler behavior books I bought on half.com.  But this week, I really am.  I plan on writing about what  I read to (hopefully) help out other mamas on a tight budget and schedule.  

Speaking of a schedule, I am starting our new schedule tomorrow.  I haven’t made it yet- *gasp* what has happened to me?  I am not in anyway a procrastinator- the last month and a half has flown by so quickly, I can’t seem to keep up!  Tonight I am making out our new daily routine; it will mostly be the same from wake up to independent time, but will include specific time for singing/reading, outside time, and crafting.  How will I fit all of this into our day .. I really don’t know yet.  But honestly she is so young, the singing/reading will be short, the crafting pretty short, and the outside time the longest. I realize I am only worried about it all fitting because I have strayed from my weekly cleaning schedule, which means I am trying to do too much at one time with no real order, and it is wearing on us both (meaning Lexie and I).  *sigh-the holidays*

So, here is to a new week, more discipline (on my part) and a happier toddler!
~Meg


Running update, pictures, and videos

Sadly I did not meet my goal of 72 minutes on the 10K course.  It was closer to 77 minutes.  =/
And while that isn’t as terrible as the first time I ran the race 2 years ago, it is not nearly as good as I’d hoped.  But, I can say it was a terrible run.  We went to eat after church and I did not realize it was 12:30 when we left- I had to run at 1:30!  So I had an immensely full stomach, I was sore from the run Thursday (or maybe Tuesday’s mountain run?) and I was dehydrated …  so overall I was not prepared for the run Sunday afternoon. I also experienced theses stupid side-stitches in the first 2.5 miles.  I don’t know what’s going on there, but for the last 2 weeks in the first half of my run, the cramps are so bad they takes my breath away.  And what sucks, is if it weren’t for the cramps, I’d have no problem running!  The cramps are caused by not exhailing enough of the CO2 out, so you’re supposed to breathe into the cramp and exhale as much out as you can.  And I do that.  Or I try to do it, and yet the cramps are so terrible.  But after I get over the first incline on the mountain and get to go down hill for a few minutes, they usually go away and stay gone until the end.  I wish I could just avoid them all together, since I have the hardest time in the beginning anyways.

I do think this year I will warm up before the race, just a jog around the parking lot or something, so my muscles aren’t dying that first mile; the first mile is always the worst.  After that my body feels pretty good and I can keep going okay.  I am hoping that since I had a hard time and walked a TON on the practice run Sunday, that on my real run I can shave off a few minutes, maybe even 4 minutes.  We will see…

So there is that update.  On to what you really want to see and read about ….
———-

Yes. Yes.  This is a video of Lou.  It was a video of Lou, but it says it is too long.  So, there is no video today.  Sorry.  =(  I know, she’s cute.  And luckily, about two days after her daddy was home from his trip, the tantrum stopped and she became my sweet girl again!  YAY  


Let’s see … updates on Lexie.  Oh yes!  She ate her first grilled cheese sandwich today.  Of course she loved it!  Which surprised me a bit, since she doesn’t like maccaroni and cheese?  But anyhow, she liked it. She also said “Thank you” without me saying it first!  AND, she drank out of a straw (finally!).  So, when we went to Walmart, I got her a sippie cup w a straw to drink her milk from-she loves it!  Now we need more, because only one will not get us through the day.  Oh, and she pointed in her book and said “frog,” and when I asked what a bird says, she said “tweet tweet!”  haha  So dang cute.

For my newest sewing projects I am making her a bib, and sleep sacks.  I still need to get her a new sleep sack w a zipper, but I found a tutorial to make them from men’s shirts!  So, like I used one of my brother’s dress shirts, cut out the sleep sack shape and sewed it together- tada!  Instant sleep sack.  Only problem is it’s not quite big enough for her now .. it would probably have fit about 3-4 months ago.  So I am going to save it for the next baby.  And I’m not sure that JTom has any bigger shirts that are old/worn enough for me to cut up into a sleep sack.  We gave most of them away when we cleaned out the house for Lexie’s arrival, and then again when we were going to move …

Oh, that reminds me.  We aren’t moving!  YAY- I mean, one day, yes we will build on our lot.  Or at least a lot.  But right now, we are staying put.  And this makes me happy, because I LOVE our location, our home, and our yard.  I mean, it is an older home and we do have a lot of work to put into it, but I am looking forward to it.  JTom has already put new shelves in my pantry- WOO HOO (I will post pics later)- and the fireplace is ready for its first fire.

Oh yea … the fireplace.  Well, that is another story.  It’s old (duh) and needed some fixin’.  It needed a new chimney cap on the roof, and it just so happens that our chimney, of course, is an odd shape.  So you can’t find a chimney cap for it just anywhere … for a decent price.  So JTom rigged one.  We hope it doesn’t blow off during a storm.  =)  Then, we needed glass doors to A) keep it warm in the house when the fire goes out, and B) protect babies from fires.  So, those are ordered and on their way.  We also had to get a rack for the wood inside the fireplace.  Whew- yes, it all added up to a whopping $500+ dollars (thank you cleaning business) and I just really, really hope it pays for itself in utilities over the next five years .. because it was my bright idea.  

And since it was my bright idea, I get to man the fire.  FYI: I know nothing about building and keeping fires burning in chimneys.  I still need fireplace tools, like that poker thing and a shovel, I guess?  And we need a big bucket to keep the wood in, I suppose.  I know they have those at TJ, my favorite store of all time.  Guess those will top our Christmas list.  I’m not sure what else you need for a fireplace, but any tips or ideas are welcome.  I really know nothing about fires in chimneys.  I know lots about bonfires.  =)  Fuel, matches, and pallets … pick up trucks and beer.  Wala, you’re done!  But I don’t think chimneys work like that …

After our doors get here and this project is complete, I will start saving for the bigger project.  That would be the kitchen wall.  We are taking out the wall between the kitchen and living room/dining area.  I cannot wait!  The biggest part about that is we will have to redo all of the kitchen walls when we open that section up.  This wouldn’t be a problem except there is old wall paper that’s been painted over.  Actually, I think it’s just been primed over; I don’t think the problem will be taking the paper off … I believe the problem will lie in taking the sheet rock off with the paper.  =/  And if that happens, we will either texture the walls, or just put up new sheet rock.  We will see.

The good thing about redoing the walls is that I can finally make the kitchen OURS.  It’s the only room in the house that has never been touched.  After we complete the walls, I will start saving for the floors, we desperately need new floors in there and the entry way.  But I am thinking there is original hardwoods under the linoleum, and I would LOVE to refinish them, even if they don’t match the rest of the house perfectly; I think it would be neat and add character.  =)  I don’t want to redo the counters- I mean, I do … but I don’t want granite.  I clean granite in houses and condos every week.  The glare and speckles drive. me. nuts.  I have a hard time seeing with glares anyway because I have a stigmatism in both eyes … and I know that seems silly, but when you can’t see to clean your own counters, it will drive you bat shit crazy.  So not granite for this girl.  EVER.  But I wouldn’t mind eventually having some new counter tops.  But I really don’t mind the blue too much, even if it is dated.

Actually, before we do the floors, I will probably tackle the cabinets.  I’m going to start small in my bathroom so if I mess up it’s not a huge deal.  but I want to paint them an antique white and then distress them.  I have been looking up how to do it, but I’m really confused.  It’s one of those things I need to see someone else do in front of me step by step before I can do it myself.  But I think that would TOTALLY change our kitchen and make our house the chic little cottage I am going for …  bit by bit I will get there.

And this brings me to the other topic, last one i promise. BABIES.  Some of you know we were going to start trying for a new baby in September and… we’re going to wait.  =)  Not what you were hoping to read (family), I know.  But since we aren’t moving any time soon, we want to get the house remodeled/updated a bit more before we have a new baby.  We can work during those 9 months, but I don’t want all that pressure and then have a house that isn’t complete.  Plus, if we get it done now, when we decide to move, it’s DONE and we don’t have to deal with it ANY MORE!  So … that’s that.  A month worth of updates in 6 paragraphs or so.

Now, here’s your favorite part: a few pics of the baby from this week.  Some are pretty hilarious.

yes, that’s her leg. She finally passed out for her morning nap.

sweet girly face

those curls …

“duck”

  

“hi!”

silly face

pretty face- I promise I did not do this to her hair.

“help, please, mama”

playing with her farm

Oooh, happy days!

Graduation Party

The party was a HUGE hit.  J.Tom did a wonderful job putting everything together and making it a special day for us.  The only complaint is really the BBQ we got from Sams-TERRIBLE!  The brisket was really good, but the BBQ was not.  I feel really bad for the people that ate the bbq..  ick!  Mama’s beans and pasta salad were good and of course the cookiecake from Sams was delectable.  =)

Lexie officially has 2 new teeth; through all the ear pulling, crying, fussiness, not eat/nursing well, diaper rashes, and drooling came the top two middle teeth!  She has such a terrible time teething and these last 2 were the worst so far.  We still have so many to go, but I sure hope we get more then a few weeks break this time.

Mrs. Susie brought the walker from her house for Lexie to play with outside during the party-SHE LOVES IT!  She goes backwards, forwards, side ways, EVERYways!  haha  We are keeping it for a while.  We are probably going to play with it outside this afternoon, it is so nice out there!

I’m stuck!  (she does this a lot)










Look who’s got me!




She knows patty cake now-when I sing it she starts to clap and bounce.  She said MAMA this morning, but only repeated it, didn’t say it on her own…  but at least she is saying it now.  We are working through some “mini fits”-AKA baby tantrums.  Meal time is really a challenge which is strange, because Lexie LOVES to eat.  But lately she is refusing food; sometimes it is all food, sometimes it is just the homemade foods I do, sometimes it is just green stuff… you just never know.  But I am HOPING and praying this is either A) teething or B) a phase or possibly both.  But I’m not sure and it is so frustrating and worrying not knowing what it is! 


I did not know I could be this happy-it is amazing, really.  It is exhausting, yet so rewarding.  I love being a stay at home wife and mom.  I fix J.Tom’s lunch each day, which usually looks something like this:
It’s not really as much as it first appears to be; sandwich, veggies with dip, oranges, and some laughing cow cheese.  Yum Yum!

I have a schedule of things to do and what needs to be done.  Each day I do a different chore, and then once a week I deep clean.  It is all about time management.  If you manage your time SOME days you have time to play online, blog, or just rest.  I am usually up and about though.  

Did I mention the car wash took off my car panel?  Yes, that is right-your $40,000 vehicles are put together using… wait for it… DOUBLE SIDED STICKY TAPE!  So, I have to go this week and get that put back on.  We also have to run errands to return a few things and get my necklace chain fixed, I feel naky without it.  Anyways, that is what we’ve been up to around here  =)

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