Monday, June 25, 2012

What a difference a little help makes

I love doing things with my kiddos. Whether it be some grand adventure or a little outing, I honestly do cherish the time that I get to spend with them. Which is funny since they all know exactly how to push my buttons and make me absolutely crazy. At which time, I have trouble remembering WHY I wanted to spend the time with them in the first place. But then there are times when everyone is helping out and lending a hand to each other without being forced and I can sit back (proverbially) and remember just WHY I do enjoy our moments together.

Today was one of those days. Since the weather was unseasonably cool (or maybe it just felt that way after the searing heat of late), we decided to head to the park to feed the ducks and geese. I was hoping to catch some glimpses of the babies but we waited far too long. Most of the soft, downy feathered little ducklings now look like adolescent ducks, complete with the gawkiness of human teens. Moreover, they were not too interested in eating our popcorn. We did manage to get a few stray "ducklings" to nibble, but we had far better results with the fish.

Punk and Peanut helped bring the tiny blue gills and sunfish closer to Sweet Pea so she could manage on her own. And Pork Chop just thought that that was hilarious, throwing all our food into the water. We even got to see a fairish number of good sized bass, which got everyone talking about going fishing before summer's end. Most likely, it won't happen until our camping trip in August but it still is something to look forward to.


We also made the best of our cooler weather by a surprise trip to the bowling alley. Even bigger surprise was that they had the training ramp open for use today! What a difference that small gadget made to Sweet Pea's game! Her first game, she bowled a 38 because she was tired from the park in the morning and a short nap in the afternoon. With the trainer though, she bowled a 93 and made her first two spares ever! I am definitely going to have to see about going during non-peak times more often this summer so she can really experience bowling in a whole new light.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

home to Richmond!!

We did it!! We did it!! We made a 52.22 mile bike ride a reality!! We completed the MOT trail today! Woohoo!! And I don't feel like I am going to totally die either! I feel like I could sing from the top of the roofs that we did it!!

Wow... today was amazing, exhilarating, phenomenal, magical, extraordinary!! Just a  few short months ago (like two months?) when we talked about trying the MOT, we talked about going halfway and turning around. After all, there was no way that we could complete a 50 mile round trip in a day. That's just too much. But now?! We did it! We did it!!


I am still in shock and might be for a very long time. I didn't realize how close we came to Richmond two weeks ago when we made it into Armada but wow... we almost completed the trail that day too. Only five miles from the finish line, we turned back the last time. Which was fine since that Sunday's ride was supposed to be a short one. Today, we planned out snacks, water, entertainment for Sweet Pea and Pork Chop, and completed the trail.


I almost want to stop and think "Now what?" but I know what is next. Our next big ride will be headed towards Lake St Clair in Harrison Township. That ride should be just over 40 for us but will send our long haul Sunday partners to their first 50 mile ride.


I have so many thoughts about today but I do need rest. I want to be able to walk tomorrow and enjoy my day, not have to spend it in bed nursing my old, tired muscles. lol

Saturday, June 23, 2012

first year COMPLETE!

I can't believe that Sweet Pea's first season of soccer is now behind us! I cannot believe that hubby's first time  coaching is now complete either. I cannot believe that my baby girl has her "very own trophy" that must be snuggled and cuddled and swaddled in a linus (and will be returned there after daddy glues it back together... poor thing). I am not even sure yet if there will be a "season two" for our budding little athlete. Right now, she is looking forward to playing baseball in the fall. No more summer sports lessons for her. Although, I am still seeing if there is going to be a preschool dance class held at the community center this summer. *whistles*


Sweet Pea definitely played her heart out today for the final game and was such a little card! I am so proud watching her... she doesn't take anything from anybody! Be it a teammate, a friend, an opponent or a stranger, if she feels that she is being wronged in some way, she stands up for herself. Now we just need to work on teaching her to stand up with words only....

In honor of Sweet Pea's final game, we took a special bike ride tonight down to a semi local park to allow her to play for a bit. We almost made it to said park last night on our daily ride but thought that it might be getting too late to allow play time and then to make it back to the house at a decent time. (And we were right... We still got back after 930!) Long bike rides are our favorite form of family time/exercise during the warmer months and getting to check out new parks/centers/trails/places makes it all the much better. Its funny... at the beginning of our bike rides, we were lucky to do 15miles. And after those, we were pretty much beat. But now? Peanut and Pickle made a 38 mile ride with us (our longest yet), we mapped out a just over 40 mile ride for the summer, are planning on a 50 mile ride tomorrow AND have now found our 15 mile rides to be nothing more than a walk in the park. That is, as long as hubby is pulling Sweet Pea and Pork Chop in the trailer. I can fully admit that my short 9 mile ride pulling them both felt like a few 100 miles of work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

dropped the ball on that one

It is definitely going to take me some getting used to our summer routine! Second time this week that things have been canceled or switched around but at least this time, its totally on me. Well, me and Pork Chop. He didn't sleep so well last night which meant that he was ready for a nap early today. I let him take a morning nap only to remember once he laid down that today was his special day at the library. Ooops. So yeah, no baby bear picnic for the little man. Hopefully, we can catch the second one in July. We still did end up at the library for a little while though. Its a great place to hang out during the summer year.


I am totally failing to see what the fascination with the train table is when there are about a million books in front of you but my kids all flock to it. So much so that I am seriously thinking about asking hubby to build a train table for the house. I saw the plans for one that doubles as a lego table... which would be pretty close to perfection in Sweet Pea's eyes.

We did manage to get everyone signed up for the summer reading program today. Punk and Peanut are both in the preteen group, meeting at the community center. Sweet Pea is now officially in the children's group! They have their summer reading sheets and know when and how many they need by each date to qualify for a "prize". Punk is reading through "The Lost Hero", Peanut is reading whatever book is closest to her hand when I tell her its time for silent reading and Sweet Pea is devouring her way through the Magic Tree House series.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

rub a dub dub

Four kids in a tub pool..... and how do you think that they got there?

They got there because its HOT today! And they all felt the need to cool down. And because its summer and summer means water fun. Sometimes, you have to just make due with what you have which is how I ended up with four kids in a pool meant for one small baby. Oh well, they look reasonably content with themselves so what does it matter?


Today, my little man turned 11 months old. I am not sure where the last year went but this is our last time celebrating a monthly milestone before the big ONE. Its so surreal to think that last year at this time, I was still pregnant waiting for him to arrive. Actually, around this time last summer I was painting the pond room still. Which still hasn't been finished. And probably never will be because Miss Sweet Pea has since morphed the idea into a dinosaur room and now is looking more towards an ocean theme. Its a good thing that she is so cute and that I love her so.

But about Pork Chop....

At 11 months, Pork Chop weighs 22lbs and is 30.5 inches long with a head circumference of 17.5 inches. He has six teeth, three across  the top and three across the bottom. They are not symmetrical but they do give him the cutest little grin! He can stand unassisted for short periods of time but ONLY if he thinks that you are still holding onto him. He doesn't really care to stand though because its stationary. This little boy LOVES to move. Standing is a waste of time, in his high opinion, because its not getting you anywhere. And anywhere happens to be where ever the food is. For a little boy that didn't want to eat solids for his first nine months, he is definitely making up for lost time now. If he is in the kitchen, he feels the need to be eating something. If you have some food, you better be prepared to share. If he thinks that there is food nearby, he will attempt to cage some. If something looks appetizing, food or not, he will eat it.

As for likes... he is discovering the joys of daddy more and more. Mama is still cool when he wants the boob or when he is tired or frustrated but daddy means play time. Daddy means someone that he can "work out" with (working out consists of trying to roll daddy's weights around the living room), someone who will let him get into a bit more than mama does, someone who almost always can be suckered into a snack of some kind. Not only that but daddy is the ultimate trailer pull-er and Pork Chop loves his evening bike rides.

I still cannot get him to sit still for reading time but he is starting to settle down at nap time when I am reading to Sweet Pea. So that's a start there. He loves his blocks, trains and balls and has one heck of a throwing arm already! I just wish that the projectiles were being launched at me a little less of the time. lol

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

pretty much sums it up

I am pretty positive that the older three were over a year before they discovered the joys of "digging for gold". I guess that everyone who has been telling me what a genius Pork Chop is wasn't kidding. Not that him picking his nose has anything to do with our fun today but the look on his face sure sums up how it went.


Sweet Pea missed preschool skate this morning in hopes that family skate would be a better summer activity for us. Um yeah... we will definitely NOT be doing this one again. For one thing, preschool skate costs me $5 a person (ok, so Sweet Pea is the only one young enough to attend but still...) . Family skate costs me $8 per person and Pork Chop is not allowed out on the floor. So right there, its a difference of $6 ($1 allows strollers on the rink) to $24! Yes, I am cheap and will stick with the $6.

Second, Sweet Pea was more than a little bit intimidated by the louder music, darkened rink and faster skaters. So basically, I paid $8 for her to ask to sit in the stroller and skip out on skating after the first half hour. And she didn't get a snack (that was a HUGE deal in her mind since preschool skaters get a snack of apple juice and cinnamon crackers).

Then... both Punk and Peanut complained that the $8 only covered skates. They would rather I spend $10 so they could fall on their behinds with blades instead. When I mentioned that they could use THEIR money to pay the difference and get the blades, you would have though that I had suggested slicing off their ears and using those. Not that it mattered because after the first half hour, Punk had fallen so many times that he was begging not to have to skate again this summer. Peanut, who also stumbled her fair share, got the hang of skating much quicker and decided that it was her favorite activity ever. *sigh*

I am going to see about Peanut skating with Sweet Pea at the preschool skate next week. Since its not crowded ever, I am hoping that they will allow her even if she is older. And to make up the "unfairness" to Punk, I am going to add another day of bowling to our week or try making it a point of hitting the driving range more than once a month for him. I know that he would appreciate that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kids Bowl Free

For parents of larger families, this is one of the best summer programs out there! I am very grateful that our local bowling alley participates in the Kids Bowl Free summer program. It means for the cost of shoes, my kids can bowl two free games each day this summer. Not that we go every day. I select one day a week as "bowling day" and that's our fun activity for that day. In the past, I have stuck to a schedule with our outings but I am not sure how to approach that this year. Summer reading club and preschool skate have set days but the rest of it can be pretty fluid depending on what we want to do. So I may leave it like that. 

This year was the first year that Sweet Pea has been old enough to bowl. I was envisioning hours of waiting for her bowl to slowly creep down the lane, nearly stopping in front of the pins or breaking through to knock one down at a time. I was a little wrong! Apparently, she inherited her daddy's bowling skills because she rocked the lanes today for her first time!


Yes, we use bumpers. But she didn't need the ramp and used their smallest ball, a 6lber. Not only that, but she didn't bowl granny style. Instead, she held the ball, charged to the foul line like a little line backer and THREW the ball down the alley! I was beyond impressed!

All three of the kids did an amazing job though! Punk broke 100 both games, which made his day. He is now declaring that his summer goal is to break each "record" from the week before. Which means that next week, he needs to beat 111. Peanut's final game was a 96 which upset her because it meant that she was just bare points from 100. I reminded her that there is always next time and that she might do better with a bit of practice under her belt. As for Sweet Pea.... both her games were in the 60s! Not too shabby at all for a 3 year old's first time!

Unfortunately, all this excitement is making me consider signing up myself and hubby for the Kids Bowl Free program so we will have another cheap option of entertainment this summer. For adults, its something like $25 to register up to five adults on a card to get two free games all summer. I am not sure how much a game is normally but it sounds like a winner to me. Now to see if I actually ever do it this summer. lol

Monday, June 18, 2012

and the thunder rolls

Some days, no matter what you have planned out, you have to just roll with the punches. Today was like that. Everything that we had "planned" got canceled or changed at the last minute. EVERYTHING!

About the only thing to go on as planned was our gardening time. I love that the older kids are home now more for the summer months so that they can help with our little plot. Not because I don't enjoy the work... I love the act of gardening. Pulling weeds, watering, nuturing our tiny seedlings into plants, harvesting, eating the rewards of our labor... I love all of it. But I want the kids to really learn and appreciate where their food comes from. I feel that its important for them to learn now how to make healthy eating choices/habits and of course, that begins with learning where their food comes from and how they get it.


While waiting on the monster monsoon (that never came, although it did sprinkle a bit and gave us a good auditory show), all of us took turns in our garden. Peanut's pumpkins are already flowering but I can't find any budding gourds yet. Punk's "withered" watermelon are also flowering! That was my biggest shock because the poor things have been through hell and back. Sweet Pea is over the moon excited to tend to her five little corn plants (that we didn't think were going to show), while Pork Chop is content to just pull weeds (and the occasional pumpkin and bean leaves) through the fence.


We haven't even begun to think in terms of harvests yet but I am finding more and more baby cucumbers starting to sprout. Right now, they look like cute little miniature pickles. And our blackberries are getting pretty close. Another few weeks and my little man will be treated to his first "harvest".

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's day

What a day! I really wanted to go all out for hubby today since its his special day and his first with our little Pork Chop. But I knew that things weren't going to go as planned when Pork Chop suddenly spiked a fever of 103 last night out of the blue. Something ended up making me give hubby the cards/pictures that the littles drew him last night and I am glad that I did. Because I never would have thought about them first thing in the morning.

My plan was to let hubby sleep in and then serve him breakfast in bed. Instead, I got a restless night with Pork Chop, followed by an early morning wake up when I couldn't deal with my little furnace kicking any longer. Good thing too because when I peeked at the baby, his entire body looked like it was glowing. I took his temperature and freaked (first time I have ever been truly scared by a fever). It was 105.3 in the ear! I woke hubby who remained calm and got a mix of tylenol and motrin into him. Within an hour, he was back to 103 and continued to fall until it hit 101. That was definitely more to my liking and because of hubby's ability to remain calm, we avoided the ER again.


I wasn't sure about following any of our original plans until I knew how the baby was going to fare so we let him catch a nap in daddy's arms while we waited. And waited. And waited some more. But the fever seemed to remain steady at 101 so we ended up doing our normal weekend errands.


While out, I managed to sneak the ingredients for a Snickers cake into the cart. If I couldn't do everything that I wanted for hubby, at least I could do that. And I did it well! The cake was phenomenal!! Not the best gift to someone trying to lose weight and get into better shape but its not every day that you get to celebrate the greatest daddy in the world.


We even managed to get in one of our bike rides. It was just around the creek but with the temps in the high 80s and the humidity a killer, it felt like MUCH further than the 17 miles that it really was. Word of advice from me, don't attempt hills in the humidity. They become worse! And words of wisdom from hubby, don't attempt a strenous ride after eating Snickers cake.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

feeling HOT, HOT, HOT

Today was murder on those poor little ones! With temps soaring to close to 90 by 10am, Sweet Pea just wasn't feeling the desire to play soccer this morning. Instead, she kept asking for water breaks, for snack breaks, and asking us how much longer until she can play baseball. (We told her that she was going to play baseball in the fall when the weather cooled down... I am not sure if she just wasn't into playing soccer today, anymore or if she just wanted the weather to be a bit more kid-friendly).

It was also the last game where all Sweet Pea's siblings were there to watch her. We didn't think that Punk and Peanut were going to be there so originally, we thought that she was never going to have a full crew. But with their dad deciding not to get them until tonight (or tomorrow), everyone got to watch Sweet Pea sweat.


She didn't do too badly either, all things considered. She played her little heart out during warm up and then wilted. But she did perk up a bit with the promise of a brownie if she scored a goal (which she didn't.... but she still got her treat).

Its hard for me to believe that we only have one more week of soccer left. Punk's season finished in May and now Sweet Pea's will finish in June. Then we are sports free for the summer! It will be nice not to have the rush of making games but at the same time, I am already looking forward to juggling Punk and Sweet Pea's sports schedules for the fall.


Friday, June 15, 2012

first day of summer... mud baths

Woohoo! First day of summer vacation, here we came! And much to the chagrin of Punk and Peanut, it will be another two days of early mornings before they can "sleep in" and enjoy their summer break. Oh well, sometimes, you just need to roll with the punches. And the "punches" around here this weekend is a play date with friends, Sweet Pea's soccer game and our Sunday morning "up and at 'em" biking routine. 

But for today... we ended up turning a fun in the sun/picnic style play date into a no holds barred mud bath play date. And it ROCKED! So many parents nowadays seem to have serious issues with good clean fun. My kids are not being raised to be "indoor" children and so I  see my fair share of dirty faces, muddy hands and feet, scraped knees and elbows, and the like. Its so refreshing when you make friends with someone during your pregnancy (in the colder months) and then find out that they too prefer the outdoor life.


We started off with the kiddie pool filled for the bigger kids (Sweet Pea, A, E and N) and then the water table filled for the littles (Pork Chop and D). But Peanut wanted to play too and thought that it would be more fun to set up the sprinkler, which A and E seemed to enjoy. N and Sweet Pea stuck more to the sand box until they realized that their beloved rocks and sand were getting "hot" and could benefit from a cooling drink from the hose. At this point, all heck pretty much broke loose.


They started a mud pit near the side of the house but it quickly moved to the other side where there was more room. Soon, the pool water was muddy and so was the water table. Pork Chop and D abandoned their play to hide in the shade while the older ones (including Peanut) had a grand time rolling, splashing, stomping, building and bathing in the muddy track.


Five kids that normally let you know when they have missed a snack, let alone a meal, all played happily right through both. It wasn't until I checked the time that I discovered that it was nearing Pork Chop's nap time which meant that we were an hour late for lunch. Whoops! With a muddy yard, it quickly became time to bathe everyone (but Peanut) in the laundry tub, assembly line fashion, sit them at the kitchen table (amid squeals of protest about leaving their beloved wet dirt) and then home for some and naps for others.


All in all, I think that today was a total hit for kicking off  the beginning of summer break 2012!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

School's out for summer....

Anyone else now singing along with Alice Cooper in their head? I know that I can't be the only person who has an ever-going song list playing in my head, usually brought on by chance moments of recollection. Every year, when the last bell rings, this song runs through my head... and has since I was in school. I don't think that its going to change any time soon either. Even when I was homeschooling the Punk and Peanut, I still got that giddy sense of freedom every year when school ended for the summer break.

As of 1204pm (or thereabouts), our summer officially begun! Punk was a bit disappointed at first since the old principal at his school had made the final day of sixth grade optional (since graduation occurs the day before) but the new principal told them that it was mandatory to go. Poor Punk had spent over half the year dreaming of getting out one day early but in the end, I am pretty sure that he enjoyed getting to see his classmates one last time, getting to see his teacher again, getting to properly say goodbye to the elementary... and getting all geared up to start the junior high with his friends in the fall.

Peanut came out and admitted that she cried yet again this year. She didn't want to leave her fourth grade teacher anymore than she wanted to leave her second or third. She didn't want to say goodbye to her classmates or to think about having to start all over again next year with a new class, a new teacher, a new grade, a new set of standards. But hearing about our plans for the summer definitely helped change all that.


The kids are thrilled to be enrolled in a summer bowling program, a summer skating program and are pretty happy with the summer library club (Punk is thrilled to be going back to the preteen party where as Peanut is insisting that she is never growing up and will remain in the children's program this year... despite the fact that she is now enrolled in the preteen party as well).


We are busy making plans for fishing at the pond, long bike rides to different trails, visits to the nature center and heron breeding grounds. We are looking forward to trips to the beach, the splash pad, and miniature golfing. We are going to try to make sure to spend some time on the driving range again this summer and hitting parks whenever the weather keeps the buggy critters at bay.


We are also planning backyard camp outs, s'more sessions, and eating straight from our garden.


Our summer is booking up fast with friends and family and fun. And I cannot wait to share that with them!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"I Hope You Had the Time of Your Life"

I think that this song will forever bring tears to my eyes. I know, its silly and sappy but I will forever think of that song as the one playing when my first man graduated from elementary into the realm of junior high school.


Words fall short to me right now. I can't seem to find what I want to put down. I am so proud that I am literally spilling over. Punk made it! He completed sixth grade! Not that I had any doubts... he is a smart guy even if he chooses not to apply himself in school. He is just not an intellect. But he has an amazing joie de vive and is always trying to make others happy. Sometimes by being the clown, other times by being the sole person to defend another. This year, he has struggled with learning how to stand up on his own two feet but I know that by allowing him to stumble, I am also teaching him that I will be there when he falls, how to take risks without going blindly into a situation and hopefully, that even when you fall short of your own goals, that that doesn't make you less of a person but teaches you how to persevere. 

Elementary school is now behind him. Junior high looms scary in the future but only because its an unknown. Lockers and combinations, different teachers with different ways of doing the same thing, new students and friends and more opportunities than elementary provided... that's what awaits him in the fall. For now, its a summer free from school books, teacher's demands and "the daily grind". Its two and a half months of freedom, of maturing, of learning responsibility and proving yourself trustworthy.

I think that Punk is ready for this new challenge and I am excited for him.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

standing on ceremony

Wow! I really wonder where this school year has gone. Some days, the time just drags by and it seems like I am never going to catch a break. Other days, like today, I wonder where an entire year has gone.

Peanut had her fourth grade award ceremony today. It was supposed to be about two hours long but of course, in normal school fashion, it ran over. A little over wouldn't have been a bad thing but it ran over long enough that the poor fourths didn't get a lunch hour today! Partly because the cafeteria was being used to package up the food that the school collected for Kids Against Hunger and partly because the ceremony was really that long!


This year, they had each student video taped with a short message about what their favorite fourth grade memory was. Of course, Peanut picked their field trip to Lake St Clair and getting to see baby owls. I am not surprised that of all the things from this year, that seeing baby birds was the highlight. I was a little shocked though to hear that my non-writer daughter took the time to write an essay on being positive. She didn't place but it did earn her an Optimism award. Hopefully, that will help her realize that hard work DOES pay off, even if its not something "fun".

Sweet Pea was very impressed with hearing her sister's name called. Pork Chop just wanted to chat with everyone standing near us. I think that we made Peanut feel special today by going, even if she wasn't receiving any "major" awards. My hope is that just by attending and showing our support, that she will want to reach higher again next year.

Monday, June 11, 2012

change of plans

Today would best be summed up as "change of plans" day. Almost everything that I set out to accomplish today was changed. I went from being a very busy person to a very "how did I end up with so much time on my hands" mama in seemingly a blink of an eye.

Some things did go as planned though. I did get the house cleaned early. I did get some laundry done. I did get the garden watered... but then the skies decided that it wanted to sprinkle/light rain. So I guess that I could have skipped the gardening and just have let Mother Nature take care of things for me.


Of course, since it started raining, I didn't want to walk the mile to and from the school to attend Punk's sixth grade picnic or Peanut's end of the year party (yep... Mom of the Year award right here!) indoors, so instead, I let Sweet Pea run around and practice her soccer kicks in the rain. She loved it! Even Pork Chop had a blast playing in his swing, standing in the grass and jabbering at my berry bush and looking up at the sky trying to figure out who left the shower running.

In the afternoon, I was supposed to watch a friend's son so I made sure that naps were handled quickly. But then, change of plans again, and they never showed. So I have two hours to myself to sit and twiddle my thumbs because, of course, I forgot to grab my kindle for reading and couldn't leave Pork Chop unattended on the bed.

By this time, I realized that I had forgotten to get dinner in the crock pot in the morning. Change of plans! I improvised and made a very yummy southwestern chicken salad instead. We even managed to get in a bike ride tonight, albeit a short one.

Hopefully, the rest of the week will go MUCH smoother than today did... or that I will least have a bit more warning before plans change.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Introducing....

to our home and family......

the very first "responsibility" of Miss Sweet Pea....

Her (and Pork Chop's) very own....

brand new....

pets......

S'more (aka "Spore") and Max!


Now everyone say it together... Awwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sweet Pea has  wanted a pet of her own for a bit. It switches from day to day if she wants fish, birds... a shark.... but we finally settled on these two little men. Mainly because 1. I made the comment a few months back that when Sweet Pea gets old enough, it might not be a bad idea to have her show rabbits for 4-H and 2. because hubby could get these little guys for free.


So they arrived at our home, they conquered our hearts, they have held us in rapt attention (including Pickle who thinks that "rabbits are boring").... They are filling our entry way with pine/cedar shavings, timothy grass, and little balls that look suspiciously like raisins but are no where near close. They are scaring the dogs (especially Max who likes to thump his back leg against the bottom of the cage to create a sound quite similar to a gun shot), spilling their pellets, begging for more and more and more lettuce and definitely finding their own way into our hearts.


Eventually, we are pretty positive that these will be "free range bunnies" meaning that they will have run of the living room, dining room and entry way. But not until we can trust the dogs and bunnies to co-exist peacefully (and not until they are neutered because I do not relish little bunnies marking their territory!). They will not, nor will become, a food source for us. Instead, they will remain treasured pets.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

GOAL!

Today was a big day for us. For one, Sweet Pea had her first ever set of sports pictures done. First, but I am assuming not last. Second, it was the first time that we had ever paid for pouty, temper-tantrumy pictures of our little drama queen. Sweet Pea normally LOVES the camera but apparently, she only really likes it if its a female behind the camera. Not males. Live and learn, I guess. Team shot should be just as interesting to see since one of her teammates ran away and hid all together, one refused to leave his mom's arms and then my beautiful scowling daughter right in the center. *sigh* Poor hubby also gets a special "thank you for coaching" picture included of him and a seemingly grouchy Sweet Pea. Thankfully, we know the truth.

And the truth is that she REALLY loves her soccer! She is flourishing being on a team with *ahem* mainly a bunch of little boys. She loves that her daddy is one of her coaches. She loves that she got to pick the team name "Raptors".... and she loves the most that she will be leaving soccer in the fall for baseball. A girl of many interests is our Sweet Pea.

Today was game 2 (of 4) and for the second game in a row... Sweet Pea made a goal! Last game, she had one assist and one goal (done during a break though lol) but today's game, she broke away from the pack to make this score:


So very proud of her!

In fact, it was the "secret surprise" coming tonight that I think fueled her game today. What surprise is that? I will be sure to share tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2012

a bit of a hiatus

Wow, its definitely been longer than I had thought. After dealing with some major depression in February, followed by a family vacation that spanned the end of March to almost the middle of April, soccer season for Punk, many issues with Peanut, just plain chasing Sweet Pea and Pork Chop, I didn't realize that it had been so long since I made it a point of sitting down and doing for me.

So now that summer vacation will be starting in a week, I guess its as good as a time as any to get back into the swing of things. Of giving myself a small bit of time to, once again, collect and organize my thoughts.


Eventually, I am sure that I will go back and try to fill in some of the blanks. I would love to be able to share bits and pieces from our amazing family vacation, little things about the school year and soccer season, Pork Chop's amazing first year (which isn't over yet!). But for now, I think that I need to just take one step at a time and focus on the here and now instead of what happened in the past few months.


So the here and now....


Punk graduates sixth grade on Wednesday. Here, since elementary school goes until 6th, they host a graduation for the students. Its a huge deal for them and one that I know that he has been looking forward to all school year. His soccer team ended up in second place for both the fall and spring seasons. Punk took band and finished his year as a drummer... and promptly decided that he is not really cut out for band. lol So he will NOT be taking an instrument next year at the junior high.


Peanut has started therapy for a whole host of reasons. Maybe I will get into more detail about that another day. Right now, I don't have the energy. And its still too raw. She is getting ready to finish her fourth grade year and we are seriously considering home schooling again in the very near future with her. Her psychiatrist recommends it in conjunction with her regular schooling but if the school refuses to accomodate her needs, then back home she will go.


Sweet Pea is now in soccer with daddy as her coach. She is also my busiest child.... involved in skating on Wednesdays, soccer on Saturdays and library days in between. Summer is going to have her worn out adding in bowling too. I was going to continue working with her all summer on her lessons but we are both burnt out right now. I think that a few months of more practical "hands on" lessons would be the best for us.


Pork Chop... my sweet little baby... is now crawling (like a bear cub), standing unassisted (when he thinks that mama is still holding him lol), attempting steps when he feels brave and climbing on everything that stands still. My little non-eater has now decided that everything is fair game and I sometimes get ragged from constantly feeding him. He has five/six teeth (number 6 cannot quite decide if it wants to be here or not), jabbers up a storm, and is still my little cuddle buddy.


Hubby and I are making great strides in trying to become a healthier family. In addition to our garden that we are working on, we are planning better meals, exercising more as a family (biking has become a passion) and trying to BE more than just SAY more. Tonight actually is the first night all week that we haven't rode. And that was because I was a little apprehensive about taking everyone out by myself while hubby worked late.


As for me.... I am still me. Still knitting, still reading, still taking  pictures. Maybe I will be able to say more about "me" soon but right now, as you can tell, I just fall to the bottom of the list.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

getting there slowly

I made myself a deal. I WILL finish this sweater in February. In fact, I WILL finish this sweater this week. No more excuses. No more wishing that I could be working on something else. It is past time to buckle down and get going.

So I stayed up way later than I should have last night and finished the hood.

Overall, I am still proud of it. The mistakes that I made are glaringly obvious to me but not to anyone else in the house. The one mistake that I think is the most noticeable, SweetPea adores so its staying.

Of course, now SweetPea wants this to be a dress instead of a sweater. Um yeah, not going to happen, baby girl. But the flow on this is gorgeous and it twirls. When she spins, it flares out beautifully and does put me in mind of a dress. Once I finish the sleeves, it will be ready for the task of picking out buttons. I originally wanted to order some fancy buttons for this but now, I am thinking that plain and simple buttons might be the best. If it was a plainer sweater, cutesy buttons would be the obvious choice. But the cable work on this makes me think that the buttons would just get "lost" in the rest of it.

The decision will ultimately be up to SweetPea. And I am a bit excited to see what she comes up with this time.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

and it begins....

I cannot believe how spaced out I have been this week. Its been a terrible week and I have been trying my hardest to ignore it. But my feelings have been hurt time and time again and blogging, picture taking and even knitting has just taken a back burner. I haven't wanted to read and have actually been putting off starting my classic for the month because I have been so miserable.

But that wasn't the point of this. Its more just an excuse on why I am so late in telling PorkChop's thrilling news. Our little gummy bear.....

cut his first tooth on Thursday! Its just barely peeking through his gums and number two is RIGHT there but the gum keeps swelling and pushing that little second tooth back down. My poor PorkChop has been a bit miserable as a result and I can't blame him. His little gum keeps getting blood blisters and has bled a few times. Him and mama have shed many tears together over this.

I cannot believe that my little six month old boy is losing his gummy smile. My last baby is proving that he will not be remaining a little baby much longer.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Look who's moving

My mom had three children with three totally different styles of "getting around" as infants. I crawled for one day, got rug burn, so I got up and walked the next day at nine months. My younger sister was a crawler. She loved the speed and ease of crawling and didn't feel the pressure of getting up and walking. My youngest sister was a butt scooter. She didn't want to crawl, didn't want to walk, just scooched around on her behind.

All of the older kids were crawlers. For varying lengths and starting at differing ages but all were crawlers.

Right now......

PorkChop is a butt scooter.

Its pretty cute watching him push his little hands down on the floor between his legs and scooch around to get into things that I don't really want him eating. Its even funnier watching him get excited and flap around like a baby bird, slowly going forward. But backward is definitely faster. And he has learned to turn himself around backwards to go forward.

Will he ever crawl? I am not sure. He was my earliest to inch worm around on his tummy but he gave it up the earliest too. He has never used rolling as a means of transportation, preferring to use the "pick me up, mama" method.

So for now, I just delight in having a little floor cleaner. Might just need to start adding some feathers to his britches. If PorkChop is going to be sweeping the floor with his rear, he might as well do a good job of it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

C/3 week 1

This week (and next) we will be working on the letter C and the number 3. I don't like the chosen nursery rhyme for this week, since its actually a tongue twister ("How much wood can a wood chuck chuck") so instead, I taught SweetPea "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary". We are also working on the song "C is for Cookie" and "Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar". The cookie jar game has become an instant favorite! We usually spend a good fifteen minutes a day figuring out who stole the cookie... before breakfast, during lunch, after snack, when we should be brushing teeth.....

For our baking, we made cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookies. Our craft turned into Valentine themed decorating (made a letter C out of foam and conversation hearts). Other than that, we did our normal work pages... cutting, pasting, sequencing, matching, coloring. All the things that SweetPea really looks forward to doing each morning. Our calendar time isn't going so well. She just cannot grasp that we are not in January anymore. But she does know that her birthday was this week and that her birthday is in February so I guess that its a good start.

She showed me that she knows which "birthday cake" is hers on the calendar and which one is mine. And she can pick out which holiday is Valentine's day and which is President's day. I think that next month we will start working on the days of the week a bit more. Even though we do go over them each day, I think that I will come up with a way to play a game with the names of the days to make them more "familiar".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

girls have Cooties

I asked my family to please bring either books or games for SweetPea's birthday. My nephew G did as was asked and brought Cooties for her. Perfect game since it doesn't require any reading, it really fun and teaches math skills.... SweetPea's current passion!

Just like with CandyLand, SweetPea has turned into the Cooties champ! Out of the seven or eight games that we have played since her birthday, I don't think that she has lost any! Either she is really lucky or she is a really good cheater. And yes, I am aware that she HAS learned how to cheat! She has figured out how to pick up the die on the number that she needs, shakes her hand and then places the die on the table. Of course, this is followed by a celebratory dance because she got the number that she needed. Bad as it sounds, it is really cute.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's day

Happy Valentine's day! I am not one to get too emotionally invested in overly commercialized holidays but how can you not want to spoil your loved ones on a day set aside for showing your love? Yes, I am a sucker for Valentine's day and Sweetest Day both. Enough so that I went out last night after spending since Sunday night in the hospital with PorkChop to get each of the kiddos a small box of candy, hubby some dark chocolate (and he bought himself a new PS3 since his bit the dust while I was away) and PorkChop.... well, he got some boob and a "get out of the hospital" free card.

Probably not our best idea but we went to Peanut's class Valentine party. I took the littles to Punk's Halloween party so she wanted to lay claim to Valentine's day. So I spent the morning hours making cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookies with SweetPea (partly for the parties and partly because we are working on the letter C this week), sewing a festive holiday shirt for SweetPea as well, and preparing hubby's favorite dinner for tonight (French onion soup in bread bowls). Somehow, even with all the set-backs, we made it to the school in time for the party.

It was pretty cute. They had a photo guessing game (you had to guess who was who from their baby pictures), a create a lovebug station, Valentine inspired bingo, a bean bag toss and a make your own goodie plate station. SweetPea remembered two of the girls from Peanut's birthday party and went and spent the entire party sitting in the one girl's lap. Since I didn't want to expose PorkChop to anything, he spent the party in the pack while the boys and girls took turns peeking in on him.

We even made a special stop in Punk's classroom to say hi. Oh my goodness... the sixth graders were wilder than the fourth! It made me really glad that I didn't end up volunteering in his classroom!

I even did something for myself today. Since Fairytale Frocks and Lollipops was running a sale, I bought two patterns that I have been dreaming of since I first saw them.... Studio Tantrum's Hermosa wave shirt and Redondo flounce skirt. I cannot wait to get them and get started on some frilly things for SweetPea and Peanut.

Monday, February 13, 2012

a first for us

Yesterday began what was one of the most scariest times in my life. PorkChop hadn't been feeling well for a few days but I just assumed that it was teething. His fever was high but he was still acting pretty normal, a bit more clingy but his normal happy and content self. During SweetPea's party though, he decided to stop eating. All together. I would offer the breast and he would just rear his body backwards and howl, huge tears running down his cheeks. By early afternoon, he wasn't wetting any diapers. We decided about 8pm to take him into the after hours clinic at the hospital before it closed.

When we got there, it had been at least 7 hrs without a wet diaper and even longer since he had eaten. He still wasn't interested in food and his eerie crying fits were getting closer and closer together. Thanks to some motrin, his fever was at bay at least.

PorkChop was seen at 830pm and because of his age and the history of illnesses in the family (SweetPea had an ear infection, Punk had both ears infected, Peanut was starting to complain of the same), it was decided to admit him through the ER for some IV fluids.

We were told at first that it would be a few hours and then he could leave. But with the length of his fever, his refusal to eat and his lethargy, they decided that it would be better to admit him overnight to the pediatrics ward.

Hubby took the older kids home, including my poor birthday girl who didn't understand one bit why mama and her baby were staying behind. I kept trying to offer the breast and my poor little man just kept refusing and looking at me with such sadness that I wanted to break down and cry. I didn't though. I was too afraid that if I started, I wouldn't stop.

Instead, I held PorkChop through six attempts to get a blood draw, through two more attempts to get the IV started, through a catheter to check for urinary trouble and an RSV swab.

I didn't sleep a wink that night having PorkChop not in the bed next to me for the first time since his birth. And the poor little man was so exhausted from the lack of fluids and the testing that he slept for four straight hours for the first time ever not snuggled up in my arms. Three bags of fluid later though and that ended. Once the IV fluids began kicking in, PorkChop started to become more like his normal self. He perked up, slowly ate from the breast and began wetting again.

Results came back that his body was fighting something but they never could pin point exactly what. Best guess was that it was some kind of viral infection based on my description of his slapped looking cheeks most of last week.

It never would have occurred to me before that such a mild appearing "cold" could be so concerning so quickly. None of my children had ever been hospitalized overnight before even though we had made other ER trips for various illnesses. Just the mental image that I carry of my PorkChop screaming (from hunger they guessed... ) but unwilling to eat, wanting to snuggle and just sleep, to being hooked to an IV is something that I will not soon forget.

I will take more time to snuggle him, to love on him, to have a bit more patience. We were lucky that nothing was seriously wrong. But what if it had? What would I have done without my baby?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy third birthday SweetPea

Wow... where has the last three years gone? Gone in the blink of an eye.... the baby girl that daddy caught in our home has now surpassed being a baby girl and a toddler girl and has entered the realm of being a preschooler. If I can find her birth story, I will share it. Sadly, the last place where I know that it was posted was taken from me and I am not sure how to go about locating it.

We celebrated SweetPea's big number three with a dinosaur themed party. We had three little girls over, besides all the siblings and most of the immediate family. I made a dinosaur cake complete with a volcano, blew up more balloons that needed and even created an excavation site in the kitchen using sand and a bunch of "treasures".

The little girls had a blast flinging sand all over the place while uncovering small tokens and dinosaurs. Even the little girl in attendance who didn't care for dinosaurs squealed with delight every time she unearthed a new one from the sand. We played a game similar to "pin the tail on the donkey" only it was more "pin the skull to the brachiosaur skeleton".

I loved watching the three bigger girls all hold hands and run around in a circle screaming something that might have been "Ring Around the Rosie". Peanut had fun joining in on most of the activities in the name of "helping out" while Punk and Pickle spent more time with cousin G.... who proved that he really is the best big cousin in the world by joining in the games with SweetPea. Poor little PorkChop was still feeling crummy and just wanted to lay in mama's arms and whimper all day. We did get him to play with the girls a bit but only because his favorite girlie toddled over to him and proceeded to grin at him.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

let the celebration begin

Wow! I don't think that I could have (or really should have) tried to pack any more into today. Between birthday preparations, sewing that needed to get done, cleaning and baking, today has been insane! And its far from over yet. I would love nothing more to curl up with my feverish little man and catch some sleep myself but I just don't see it happening.

The big celebration today was taking SweetPea and Peanut to Build a Bear for SweetPea's birthday. It was both the girls first time going and I think that they had a good time. Peanut picked out a fennel fox and SweetPea picked out a purple (of course) bear. The place was crazy busy being a weekend, being a crummy day to be outside and being that the mall was hosting a robotics competition. Oy! But we still made decent time, only spending about 90 minutes there which included building our new friends and allowing SweetPea to dress hers. Peanut already is talking about going back for her birthday and I would love to take PorkChop for his.

At home, I completed SweetPea's birthday skirt and shirt, got the ribbon sewed onto her birthday sweater, added buttons to her army outfit and baked two cakes. Yes, for her birthday cake I needed two separate cakes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

don't think that its going to happen

Being gone for a week was good for my soul, good for my peace of mind... really bad for my goals.

Yes, this was supposed to be given to SweetPea on her birthday.... which is Sunday. I haven't finished the length requirements that she wants yet, haven't done the pockets, hood, or even the sleeves. Taking six days off of knitting/sewing has really put me behind. It was worth it, don't get me wrong. I am just feeling the pinch now that we are that much closer to SweetPea's big day.

I did manage to get most of her birthday skirt done today. And PorkChop's shirt and longies are complete. I am not sure that I am going to be able to get SweetPea's chef's outfit done but I can always give that to her for Easter. Or just because. I like the idea of just because more.

I still need to figure out how to make a dinosaur cake too. I have some ideas which is much better than I was just a few days ago but it would mean getting creative and not doing "exactly" what SweetPea wanted. It should be ok though.... I just need to remember that she is only turning three and that a cake is more important than a specific cake.

I hope.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

welcome home?

Wow, as if I wasn't behind enough, let's just shove more in my path, shall we?

SweetPea's third birthday and party are Sunday and really, this road trip, while a very welcome break from our norm, couldn't have come at a worse time. I have so much to prepare for and no time to actually do it. Add in that we had stowaways on our return trip and my limited time just became more limited.

We ended up making an emergency trip to the doctor's today for SweetPea. She has been feverish since Wednesday night but today, she was complaining of pain in her belly button region bad enough that she was in tears. This the same child that doesn't cry for anything (pain related). After listening to her sob unrelentlessly for an hour, we made the decision that a trip to the doctor might be in order. Turns out that she has an inner ear infection and major constipation. Wow, who would have guessed that from the child that pooped every day while we were gone?

Poor Porkchop has been feverish too and his little cheeks are really starting to tell the tale. My baby looks like someone slapped him across the face and he is miserably warm. I am guessing that its just viral though from his face so I am waiting it out.

Then Peanut and Punk had school conferences today. Whew... yeah, let's cram a bit more in there. Punk is actually doing better this marking so far than last. His teacher would like to see him use his voice a bit more in the classroom (I wonder if she would like to take him after school hours a bit since she thinks that he is quiet!!) and a bit more organized but other than that, he is doing well. Peanut, on the other hand... her conference didn't go badly. We signed her up for math tutoring since she is still just not getting it. I understand that math will never be a "favorite" subject for her but her aptitude scores and what she does in class are vastly different. So we know that she CAN do it, its just a matter of doing it now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

our Chicago road trip

My goal was to blog every day for a year but with being out in the windy city for five days without internet access (ok, so I HAD access but chose not to use it because I wanted to focus on my family time instead), I figured that breaks from the net could include breaks from the blog. Maybe I will eventually go back and fill in with pictures from those missing days but for now, I am just going to sum everything up in one post.




Friday, we (everyone but Pickle who went to his mom's) took off about noon for what we thought was a weekend road trip to a southern suburb of Chicago. We made pretty good time and actually got to our destination with enough time for the kiddos to check out the hotel's pool. Some place where we spent the majority of our hotel time.

Saturday, we got to have dinner with friends of mine that I hadn't seen in 7 years! I got to finally meet her daughter whose baby shower I attended back in 2004.

Sunday was just a lazy day of relaxing. We were going to sight see but hubby got back to the hotel too late so we decided to put it off until Monday when we were scheduled to leave.

Monday, hubby got told to expect to be there "just one more day".

Tuesday, hubby got asked to stay again "just one more day". Instead, we both decided that the kids had missed enough school for this round so we headed home. We made a stop at the Willis Tower and had an amazing afternoon 1353ft up in the Chicago skyline. Made it back home about 1030pm.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

a peek of a shadow?

Happy Groundhog's Day! And in true form... Phil said that we will have six more weeks of winter! Woo! How does he do it?! I mean, its absolutely amazing that a groundhog can read a calendar enough to know that in just six more weeks, spring will be here. Then again with our weather this year, I am not going to complain about more winter. As long as our winter weather continues the way that it has so far.

And speaking of amazing.... Can you believe how big PorkChop is getting?! I was totally shocked this morning watching the way that he is grabbing the blocks, really using his hands and starting to use his fingers to pick them up instead of just pushing them around and hoping that they go where he wants them to. Yet again, just another sign that he won't remain my "baby" forever.

Another milestone is awaiting PorkChop tomorrow.... our family will be going on a road trip to the Windy City with hubby. He has to work nights from Friday to Sunday, so since it will mean just two days off of school for the bigs, we will be going with him. I am looking forward to it... Four days of swimming and relaxing and sleeping in.... Ok, who am I kidding?! But it will be a nice break from our normal every day routine. And a good chance to see just how well PorkChop does during long car rides.

Because of the road trip, I am calling today our last day of tot school for the week. I am the mama and the teacher so I get to make the rules. Hopefully, we will be able to come back from our break feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

here we go again

A new month is now upon us and with that, a new sweater challenge for me to do! Up this month, a "gold" Lavanda sweater for SweetPea. When I first envisioned this sweater, I just knew that I was going to go with some custom made dinosaur buttons to match SweetPea's birthday theme/outfit. Instead, now that I have tickled the yarn a bit, I am thinking of something sunnier, something brighter.... Not flowery or "girlie" but something more sun-inspired. I find myself singing "You Are My Sunshine" whenever I pick up the needles. And its kind of fitting since this sweater DOES remind me of a warm, sunny day.

I know that I raved about the sweater that I did in January, but I really think that this one might even surpass it. I love the purples of SweetPea's birthday sweater but to me, the purples look older. This color is just so.... so..... fun. Its bright and warm and sunny and just makes me smile to look at it. Not to mention that the yarn is so soft and squishy.

I decided to challenge myself a bit and add some afterthought pockets to this one. I have done a hood before, so that's not new. The amount of cable work is a bit of a challenge (or at least, more than I have ever done in a single project before) but its the pockets that I am most looking forward to trying. Wish me luck! I do not want to mess this one up!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

goodbye January

And this is the mitten for you. Snow in the morning......

And 55 and sunny by the afternoon with (yellow) grassy yards to play in.

This has been the wildest winter that I can remember. The temps for the most part have remained really mild and we haven't had any real snow to speak of. Either we are going to get off lucky this year or its all waiting until we try to take a family vacation and we will get pounded. Please do not let that be the case!! We missed vacationing last year because of PorkChop's pregnancy and hubby's work schedule and I really do not want to miss it again this year. Not that I should complain. We will officially be taking a road trip because of hubby's work at the end of the week. Four days away from the every day hustle and bustle should be a good recharge for me. Now to see if PorkChop agrees since this will be his first big car trip, his first hotel stay and his first night not in his own bed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

under the sea and on the wing

Why do I dislike Mondays so much? With how I am, I really should welcome the beginning of our routine going back to normal but for some reason, I have such a hard time getting there. Even when things go super smoothly, I just feel....blah about Mondays.

Not that today went badly. It didn't. SweetPea rocked her lessons, PorkChop has been a dream baby again, still waiting on Pickle's report card and waiting to discuss Peanut and Punk's and getting ready for our first road trip of the year this weekend. So while I should be really thankful, I am just blah.

Our new recipe of the week was bread bowls with cheese and broccoli soup. I cannot wait to have dairy again. Its really hard sometimes to cook meals for the family that I know that I would enjoy if I could only eat them. And yet, I know that I can't because of PorkChop's stomach. I know that its going to come down to testing him for allergies eventually if it doesn't stop. Right now, he is still refusing any solid foods but will gladly eat paper.... which makes him vomit each and every time. He has sucked on a strawberry a time or two and that has always ended with a bright red angry rash around his mouth. We are finding that our weekend fires are having an adverse reaction as well. His eyes get very goopy, he coughs a lot and sounds wheezy. Couple that with his dairy reaction and I know that he is suffering from allergies. Doesn't surprise me since none of my children (or myself, I am finding out) can tolerate dairy but his reaction is rivaling Peanut's.

I figure that I can probably wait until he is closer to age one before asking for testing, maybe longer if I am diligent on keeping track of foods/stimuli and reactions.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

she has her mother's fashion sense

I love two year olds. I love how they talk, how they act, how they think. I love how their personality becomes more clear as they become more independent. I love how they express themselves and yes, I even love the "terrible twos" for what they are. But most of all, I love the emergence of their "self".

This picture is totally SweetPea. She does things in her own way, in her own style. You cannot tell her that she is not right because she just doesn't believe that. She has her own way of forging a new path, usually the path of the most resistance to what we as adults want.

She is funny and fun, smart and sassy, a child after my own heart. She loves wearing shoes but hates putting shoes on when she should be wearing them. She would spend hours playing dress-up but hates getting dressed. Mealtimes? Forget it! Lately, food has become a major battle because she only wants "nola bars" or cereal or fruit. But if you offer one of those things without her asking, then they immediately go onto the forbidden list.

SweetPea loves all her siblings but I would have to say that PorkChop has the biggest place in her heart. Sometimes, I think that she honestly forgets that he is not HER baby. Most times, I know that she believes me incapable of hearing his cries. She is his second mother and heaven help the person that upsets HER man cub.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

making time for baking

While this sweet little face napped this morning (yes, I am seriously in love with the little dimples on PorkChop's hands and try to capture those every chance I get since I was noticing the other day that I cannot remember when SweetPea lost hers but that she definitely has "preschool" hands now vs sweet baby fingers or chubby toddler hands), I cruised around gathering our recipes/menu for this coming week.

For our new meal, I decided to try making bread bowls. Not only do I know that hubby enjoys them but they would fit in nicely with our tot school "B" theme. I am going to make them with a cheddar and broccoli soup since I think that that might be the best choice for our newly picky SweetPea.

I also found a recipe for homemade Samoas! If you do not know what those are, they are a girl scout cookie made with caramel, coconut and chocolate! And they are fantastic! So I added those to our shopping list and SweetPea and I tried making them tonight.

Wow! Can I say that not only did our house smell delicious while they were cooking but everyone here LOVED them! Thank you pinterest for having this recipe where I could pin it. Pickle didn't praise them much (because, let's face it, 14yr old boys do NOT sing praises to cookies) but he did ask if he could have a second bar. Hubby told me not to plan on any being left for Peanut and Punk tomorrow when they get home, so I know that he enjoyed them as well.

I am going to have to add these to our "C" themed week when we get there. Just because its a good excuse to make them again so soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday school updates

Ahh... Friday! Finally! Not that it really IS a Friday for us since hubby has been working seven days a week but it means that (children willing), I can sleep in for the next two days. Which is really more of a pipe dream when you have a small toddler and an infant but eh... sometimes, I need to dream the American dream of getting to sleep in on the weekend.


This week, SweetPea and I worked on the letter B. We changed our "The _ says _" song to reflect our new letter, we have been working on learning "Rub a Dub Dub" and "I'm Scooping up my Baby Bumble Bee". Of course, we haven't stopped singing "Apples and Bananas" or "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and I don't think that we will be any time soon. SweetPea seems to learn best through song and repetition and can sing those little tunes much quicker than she can identify her letters and numbers. I am really not sure if its the age or her personality but for two, I will run with it.

This week, we played with feathers (and made a bird out of the letter B), baked "brownies" (which we used picture directions so SweetPea "read" them to me... and later recited them to a very impressed daddy) and my sister took SweetPea to the movies. She was supposed to see Beauty and the Beast to stick with our B theme but SweetPea BEGGED for Chipmunks when she got there. Not sure how to fit that in with our theme but she had fun.

We have been continuing our study on the calendar and the weather, starting to work more and more on "Today is.... Yesterday was... Tomorrow will be...". I am not sure that its really sticking yet but I have heard her use those words more and more during her play.

Next week, since we will still be working on B (and reviewing A), I am planning on another baking day, a scavenger hunt through the house for her letters and maybe a teddy "bear" picnic.