Thursday, February 28, 2013

Its my birthday and I will cry if I want to

Yes, it IS my birthday but NO, I don't want to cry. Porker obviously does though and with good reason. Poor little man popped a fever out of no where tonight after dinner. By his old schedule, I am guessing that we are about a month early for this. But looking back, he had one at the tail end of December that broke in January (about four days of fever), one at the beginning of this month (about four weeks after the last) and now here we go again (about four weeks again). Not the way that I had planned to spend my birthday/weekend but what can you do?

Mama concurs
How else did I not plan to spend my birthday? Well, out in the slushy mess that we call a winter wonderland would have been one hint. But SweetPea wanted to make a snowman family and I wanted both the littles to see the fun of snow forts. Neither happened. Our weather has turned our snow into slush which didn't make anything "build" well. All it did was soak through all our snow gear and cause PorkChop to howl unless he was in the swing... Which made SweetPea howl. Howling kids makes way for barking dogs which means WAY too much noise for the mama. So inside we went after only about an hour of fresh air.

I couldn't get our PS3 to work so my idea of movie time didn't make it either (the littles had been playing with some cardboard boxes that we were going to use as "cars" for a drive-in style movie) so I let SweetPea take her pick of OnDemand shows (Too Cute, anyone?).

Even tonight conspired against me. I LOVE watching Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights. Its my one true "me" break where I can sit back, relax and thoroughly lose myself in characters that I have been living vicariously through for the past nine years. Yeah... it's on break until mid-March. Which means that I am going to end up missing a show on vacation and will have to try to play catch up to watch it when we get back.

Not everything went badly though... Hubby DID manage to get off work about an hour early so he made my birthday dinner (orange chicken stir fry). I got some girl scout cookies and even treated myself to some samoas (normally, I will not buy them because I will eat the entire box in one sitting... by myself... without pause). And this coming weekend, hubby has promised to make my choice of birthday cakes since I am not a fan of store bought ones. Now that's love... Mr Crocker in the kitchen learning how to make a carrot cake from scratch.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

snow storm?

Well, I think that that might have been one of the most anti-climatic snow storms that I have ever witnessed. Yes, we got snow. No, I don't know how much. I think that we had about four inches on the drive this morning but I wouldn't hold myself to those numbers. It was hard to even measure since the snow was so wet and heavy. Beautiful packing snow but not so much fun to shovel.

This was our first good "snow" though this year. You know the kind (if you are from the area)... perfect for snowballs, great for shaping your forts or snowmen, a real pain to shovel or move... The perfect kind of snow if you have little  ones that cannot wait to do some "real" winter fun.
Frosty the snowman
Our poor Frosty didn't fare as well as SweetPea hoped though. First, we lacked coal or even little rocks for Frosty's eyes. I tried to tell her that we could make snow eyes but she remained pretty upset that our snowman wouldn't be able to see. We did have a carrot for his nose but PorkChop was pretty intent that that was for his eating pleasure. I finally broke it in half and made sure that each deserving "person" could get some but PorkChop then just happily ran off with both pieces. We also couldn't get our gate to unstick from the ground enough to get Frosty some stick limbs. Our poor, sad little snowman. Thankfully, SweetPea shared her favorite hat so he at least had some style.

I promised her that we could try again tomorrow when all the kids got home from school to see if we could make a new snowman in the backyard. So I guess that I have birthday plans now... more snow fun. Yay! For someone who hates winter, I sure have seemed to have spent my fair amount of time playing in the cold and snow this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ready or not, here it comes

I am so done with winter. Here we sit, under yet another "storm warning" with the threat of 6-12 inches of wet, heavy snow. Of course, right now, the cold front that should have hit us is still hanging out somewhere else so we are just getting a heavy, wet, wintry mix. I think that its a sign that I am burned out that I am not hoping and praying for a snow day tomorrow. Mainly because I know that I need to stick to my new routines to get them to stick and having a day to sleep in already is going to ruin that. Lame.

Not that it matters much... The littles and I enjoyed another easy paced, relaxed day. I am not sure that I want to start thinking ahead to lesson plans and schedules already for next week but I know that I need to. Its too easy to fall into this "do nothing constructive" mode that I am in right now. I know that its just this time of year... I always slow down in the winter months and always have severe motivational issues. I miss the sun, I miss the warmth, I miss the soft breezes.... But then again, at the same time, while I am physically more active during the spring and summer months, I want to spend more time outside. Which makes getting SweetPea's attention for lessons that much harder.

She is so close to igniting that spark, that drive in her again, that I feel awful that I am slacking right now. But I also know that she is newly four. Taking a break and putting less emphasis on lessons and more on learning is not a bad thing. 

I know that I keep running over and over the same subject matter but its what's closest to my heart right now.  Constantly on my mind, constantly weighing on my thoughts... I know that I can do this, I know that I shouldn't let my confidence be shaken. It will return and things will get better. I have faith in that. Now I just need to convince my stubborn side to get with the program.

Monday, February 25, 2013

it sneaks up on you sometimes

Ever have those weeks when Monday just kind of sneaks up on you? Yeah, that was me today. Thankfully, our return to lessons had a sense of humor to get me going....

pretty much says it all
I was not ready to begin again today. Our one week off just seemed to go by way too fast. And it doesn't help that our next "break" will be for our family vacation in five weeks. Five weeks... it seems so long but I know that it will pass by quickly once I give in and jump back on the routine wagon.

I made it a point today to get back on the exercising train. Waking up 30 minutes early so I can do my own self-wrote routine was a hard thing this morning after having ten days of no set time to be out of bed. But at the same time, it was surprising easily to convince myself that I WANT to do this. Maybe I am ready. Maybe I need this "me" time more than I thought. Or maybe it was easy because today was day one and everything is always easier when you don't know what to expect.

I did decide that this week would be a light homeschooling week though. I am not ready to plunge back into a real week yet. I think that SweetPea needs to be eased back into it, especially since she seemed to be sad today without all her siblings around to play with during the day. And PorkChop definitely was more than willing to spend more time cuddling than normal.

So no new lessons this week, new routines to be set, and a more laid back attitude. Not a bad way to start a Monday... not a bad way at all.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yay!! Finally!

Oh wow! I think that this is the longest that I have gone without a knitting project since I learned how back in August of 2010. Which might not seem like much to the general public but to me, someone who is constantly doing "something", its a good size break.

But with only about five weeks until our family vacation, I needed to stop dragging my feet and get started. I already knew which pattern that I wanted to follow for PorkChop, so I got the yarn ordered and fell right into it.
Qing Long, take one
I love learning new techniques but to be thrown into learning two for one project (and right at the beginning), its a bit stressful. Ok, its a LOT stressful. And made me consider scrapping this piece to try another. But thankfully, I kept trudging ahead and now, I can say that after about fifteen attempts, I did figure out the cast on and got it tight enough to not look "frumpy" a few rows down. As for magic looping, I don't think that I will ever be a fan. Its nice to say that I did it and that I can do it if I have to but I think that I prefer my dpns.

I am really hoping to be done with this by next Sunday. One week.... Why do I set these kinds of deadlines for myself? Because I like the torture? Maybe. But I want to give myself ample time to work on SweetPea's sweater too. Not that she "needs" one, whereas PorkChop does, but I want to feel accomplished.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Me? At the mall?

Ok, let me start by saying that I am NOT a girlie girl. I am not a mall rat, I do not enjoy shopping, trying on clothes is torture for me. But my SweetPea loves all that stuff and more. She loves wearing dresses, having her hair done, getting her nails painted. She thrives on the chaos and crowds of mall life and while she doesn't "get" shopping yet, she cannot pass by Claire's at the mall, beelines for shoe stores, and begs "Oooh... try this on mama! This be beautiful on you!"

But today... I wanted to make my family happy, especially with all the wedding drama going on right now. So I agreed to a mall shopping trip. I figured that it couldn't be all bad, a day out with both my sisters, my mom and SweetPea and PorkChop. And other than crabby kids at the end, it WAS a pretty good day.
big shoes to fill
Hubby sent me out with money for the express reason of buying something for myself. Trouble is, I am not a clothes shopper (even though I do need new clothes), I hate shoes (even though, I do need a pair for the wedding) and I refuse to use a purse (but at least I am considering a knapsack/wallet for our vacation). So I ended up treating everyone else. I bought SweetPea and PorkChop new shoes, something that they both needed. And ended up with name brands for less than $25 for both pairs. I treated SweetPea to her idea of heaven on earth, a small mall food court shop called Mac and Cheez. Thankfully, they had dairy free wraps so Porker and I didn't have to wait in another line. And I spent way too much money buying them some clothes for our upcoming trip.

So yeah, I didn't follow the "rules" but I made myself happy, nevertheless. And I made my mom and sisters happy by breaking out of my comfort zone and spending time with them. Now, unfortunately, they are talking about us doing this again next month. *sigh* Am I really ready to hit the mall again so soon? I need to be, if for nothing more than to have some family time.

Friday, February 22, 2013

the perks of being a homeschooler

I hear all the time from others how they could never homeschool. How they don't have the patience, how they need the break, how they are not "smart" enough, "educated" enough, to homeschool. How their children won't listen to them, how its too much of a hassle. Sometimes, just the plain truth... how they don't want to. For us, it works at times and at others, it hasn't. It worked well when Peanut and Punk were little.... up until Punk decided that he wanted to mainstream school (something that we always said that we would listen to our children on, as we do on most everything else). Around that time, I realized that I was in over my head with Peanut (mainly because I never learned how to properly deal with her and her issues). Right now, with SweetPea and PorkChop, homeschooling is what works.

But why? Why does it work? Do I ever feel harried? Do we ever have bad days? How do I deal with them?
manual labor
Homeschooling works right now because its all that they know. When the time comes for us to review our options, we will, once again, take their wants and desires into consideration. I would love to continue homeschooling throughout high school but I also want them to take charge of their own education. If I include them, they will want it. They will work for it. It won't be something that they "have" to do, it will be a choice that they made.

I oftentimes have to remind myself NOT to add stress to all of us worrying about what I think that she should know versus what she does know. Its hard learning to trust yourself as a parent. Its just as difficult learning how to trust yourself as an active "teacher" in your child's life. Every success is one to be applauded but when a temporary failure arises, its hard to let it roll off your back. I have had to remind myself, sometimes daily, that it truly doesn't matter if she doesn't remember/recognize every letter/sound/number that we have worked on. She just turned four. There is time. One day, I know that I will look back and wonder why I was so hard on the both of us. I taught Peanut and Punk to read.... I can teach SweetPea and PorkChop. 

On bad days, days when everyone seems to be moody and mouthy, when the littles just want to fight and bicker, when it seems like just "one more thing" is going to be the fatal blow, its time for some manual labor. Today? That was shoveling snow. Other times, its a game of dusting the living room, a dance party in kitchen, racing the ride-on toys down the hallway... something physical to replace all that negative mental energy.

And thankfully, since helping around the house is something else that they just "know", its not a punishment or viewed as a chore. Its something positive... they are HELPING. They are rewarding themselves and us with a change in the flow of energy. Just recently, SweetPea asked if she could have a chore since she felt that she was the only "big kid" in the house without one. Instead of complaining and viewing it as a negative, doing a chore and helping mom and dad is something reserved for those that are special enough to be chosen.

Someday, all this might change. SweetPea may decide to enter school. Our lifestyle could change and she may have to enter. We might have another baby and I might need the break from being the center of her world. Learning challenges could crop up that necessitate schooling for one. I am not going to live in the future of the maybes and what ifs. I am going to enjoy the perks of being a homeschooler now and live each and every minute with my children.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

my little buddy is 19 months!

Looking at that sweet little face, I am still in shock that its been 19 months since he dropped into our lives. Literally. But while the saying goes that a problem has been "dropped into your lap", when you fall into your parent's hands, it can never be a bad thing.

Doing a quick measure today, PorkChop is now 26.5lbs and almost 34inches tall. I forgot to check his head circumference but I am sure that its still small.  What can I say... I seem to give birth to babies with little heads but huge personalities.
19 months old!
PorkChop is my little monkey. He is constantly climbing and revels in jumping off of the furniture and into someone's arms. He doesn't climb down stairs, but prefers to launch himself off of them. He never walks if he can run and never runs if he can soar. Boobing has taken a huge downward turn lately and I am honestly not sure if its because he is done but not ready to quit or if its because its getting harder for  him to latch (potential lip and tongue tie that we really need to find a pediatric dentist to look at). He's a man of few words but he LOVES singing and will happily serenade us all day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

playing the waiting game

I wanted to keep chronicling how our midwinter break was going but I think that this took precedence today. Although, I am sure that there isn't going to be any shocking revelations or any big answers that will help us to understand what is going on better, I need to take a few moments to focus on today and what I learned.

another for the vaults
1. Its pretty difficult to get a full night's sleep when you know that your baby is undergoing testing in the morning. Its even harder when your baby keeps waking every hour on the hour to boob. And its difficult NOT turning off the alarm clock at 645 when you know that you need to get that one last feeding in before the three hour cut off time. 

It IS a good thing though when you can't fall back asleep because of worry and you find out that when you "thought" you had reset the alarm clock, you didn't manage to turn it back on.

2. Giving yourself an hour to get four kids ready for a hospital trip is not feasible. Two hours would be better... or four. But not an hour. It will occur to three of the four that they are STARVING that morning when any other, you have to hog tie them down to get them to eat breakfast after waking.

3. Ultrasounds should be done in imaging. Unless you have an infant or a toddler... then they are done in another whole separate wing of the hospital. One you can access quickly by going outside in below freezing temps or you can access by a 20 minute trip through multiple floors/wings of the hospital. The choice is yours.

4. A little guy who has had a few hospital visits WILL remember the white  anklet/bracelet... and will try his hardest to remove said offending item at every chance. Complete with sad faces when it doesn't magically come off. Said little guy will also exhibit signs of PTSD when confronted with a bed with a white sheet on it. Sad faces, wailing, tears and contortionism also will not help.

5. Mama will not get to see a single image from the ultrasound because of number 4.

6. Once you are done, the little man will not want to boob because he is worked up about the testing. He will then become tyrannical because you are not boobing him and he is starving. He will then bite said boob for being in his face while he is obviously upset. While trying to comfort him, he may bite shoulder too because he really wants the boob.

7. Treating kids to pizza when you haven't eaten all morning and cannot have dairy is not a good thing.... because it means that mama will break down, have a piece and then deal with a crabby toddler for the rest of the day as a result.

Good news is that radiology should have their report done by tomorrow and will be sending their findings to Porker's doc. I am not sure when we will hear the results but I am praying for a phone call before the weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

midwinter break day 2

Today's theme seemed to be video games and how best can we use them as weapons. Even the baby of the group was fiercely possessive of "his" DS and really let you know when the game was not going according to plan! Of course, SweetPea was just as angelic when we switched our my white DS for one of the broken blue ones (broken because the touch screen is kind of shoddy on when it will play.... a feature that PorkChop needed to be able to use to color). And don't let Punk and Peanut fool you... they could get just as rowdy when one of their Pokemon, Digi-mon, or whatever they had killed the other. Because, you know, the object of a fight is NOT to kill the other player but just to fight indefinitely, never going anywhere, never making any headway, just battling. Kind of like how today was here.....

mini gamers
Thankfully, our little video game wars took a break for dance class. Blessed peace and quiet until PorkChop decided that he didn't want to be AT the dance studio tonight, he wanted to be IN the dance class. And leading a tot-sized rebellion with the other toddler there, they made their way into the classroom time and time again. Again though, it wasn't all bad.... SweetPea did listen to her teacher this week (four and a week old means that you have better listening ears than four years old), although she did miss out on her favorite part of class, Freeze Dance, because she kicked her own ankle and made it too tender to stand on (could have also been the fall off the kitchen step this morning while playing dragons).

Tonight though is going to a rough one and I know it. PorkChop has his ultrasound appointment in the morning which means that my little Gremlin cannot have anything to eat after 7am. How I am going to get my little boob monster to realize that he cannot have his morning boob/snuggle session with his sissy and I, I am not sure. My plan for now is to keep him up way past his bedtime in hopes that he will sleep in tomorrow (and might even continue to sleep on the hour drive to the hospital). My alarm is also set for 645 (blah!) so I can give him a quick suck suck before the cut off time. With luck, we can do this with minimal tears.... And I think that Porker will be ok too.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Midwinter break day 1

All this week, the older four kiddos have a break from school. Pretty lucky since I remember midwinter break being a four day weekend. But nope, my spoiled pack  has a full week off from school. Which is nice for them and nicer for me because it means that I get to sleep in, not feel rushed, can enjoy their company..... Break up fights all day, cater to their whims, basically live in the kitchen/laundry room..... Ok, so its not that bad but its definitely not all roses either.

Best way to keep the four that are here this week from totally dismantling the house (or each other) has been to keep them busy and occupied. Which is a much harder task than it would seem but when the ages range from almost 13 years to 18 months, finding things to do together without fights becomes a little challenging.
loopsy world... formerly known as my kitchen
Thankfully, the littlest two resumed their normal morning routine of playing with the Loopsies at the kitchen table while I cleaned house. SweetPea wasted no time introducing her four new minis to the rest of the village. And PorkChop dove right in too, claiming his two or three (sometimes four) favorites to play with himself. The older two headed off with video games in hand and pretty much kept to themselves until they knew that it was time for a feeding. Then I would see their bright and shining faces right along with the littles.

For the afternoon, we decided to have a movie day while the littles took turns napping on the couch. First up, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while PorkChop slept in my arms. Second, Perks of Being a Wallflower while SweetPea napped next to me. Peanut didn't make it through either movie 100% (which wasn't a great shock since I don't tend to medicate her when she is on a break from school) but Punk sat and enjoyed our afternoon together.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SweetPea's fourth birthday extravaganza

Woohoo! Not only did we do this, but SweetPea's party went off almost without a hitch! And the small, very minor things that DID go wrong, I know they didn't matter a bit in the grand scheme of things. SweetPea had a blast, she got to see her best friends, everyone showered her with attention and best of all, there were Loopsies galore. What more could a girl ask for for her fourth birthday?

I honestly was scared that this wasn't going to pull together numerous times this morning. It got so bad that a half hour before the party was scheduled to start, I was tempted to call the entire thing off. That's how stressed I made myself for nothing. Well, it didn't seem like it was for nothing when I was living in the moment but looking back, I should have realized that our missing perfect wrapping paper, our uncooperative kiddos, no one knowing the party time (and me being very late with replies) and a nonna who couldn't make it because she was unpacking all don't mean much. What was important to SweetPea is that her best friends did come, that she had Loopsy decorations all over the house, that there were balloons, and that her and PorkChop could walk by and steal as many chocolate button suckers as they wanted.
Loopsy world a success!
 I did underestimate just how capable fours are of entertaining themselves. They only colored on the sheets that I printed out for maybe five minutes. PorkChop lasted the longest at ten. They never even touched the cute frames that I bought to decorate with them. As for the scavenger hunt... yeah, that didn't happen either. Instead, the girls drug out the dinosaurs, PorkChop's super heroes, and the balloons and made their own party in the living room.

Only inviting two girls her age (and one about six months older than Porker for him to play with) really worked out well too! The three girls had enough company so that everyone played together well but had enough room to do their own thing too. B really enjoyed the animals and had a blast getting to play with the puppies and the bunnies. A was more into doing puzzles and dressing up. C enjoyed her time playing with the "Kindle Fire" (what SweetPea calls her Vtech tablet). SweetPea had a grand time dancing and singing and flitting from one thing to another. Typical girl.

happy birthday SweetPea!

Our buffet style lunch worked well too since the girls (and all our other guests) could come and help themselves as they pleased. No one felt pressured to eat at a certain time and yet, by the end of the party, everything but the cake and the chocolate suckers were gone! Which means that everyone basically ignored the goodies and ate from the fruit and veggie platters and from the cracker/meat/cheese trays.

Miss SweetPea was blessed with Loopsies galore! So many in fact that her four miniature Loopsies are remaining in their packaging for the night because she is preoccupied with the one bigger and two medium sized ones that she received. I am going to be shocked if they don't all end up in bed with her tonight.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

breathe in...... breathe out

SweetPea's birthday party is tomorrow so WHY did I feel that it was a good idea to wait until the last minute to get everything done?! I absolutely hate trying out a new recipe when I need it, much preferring to give a test run a week or two in advance so I can play around with things. But nope... instead, I waited until tonight to test/make/bake her birthday cake. First time making a homemade white cake, first time trying the polka dot method, first time going off a not so highly regarded recipe by trying all the alternative methods at once... This should be fun.

polka dots in the baking making
Not only that but I just finished her dress for tomorrow. Not the costume outfit that I wanted but a pretty cute heartsy black and pink dress. I didn't have time to do the pettiskirt for under it but thankfully, it doesn't look like its a necessity. I did manage to try it on Princess Crabby and it looks long enough (yay for alterations!) and the split covers what it should even without the petti.

I still haven't wrapped gifts, decorated, cleaned, anything. And the party is in just a few hours. Hours that I do need to find time to sleep during.... unless she wants ME to be Queen Crabby tomorrow.

I know that this party will go off without a hitch. I know that I can manage to get everything done in time. I know that, looking back, she won't even remember the stress that went into mama being sick at the beginning of the month and having to push everything else back so I could get better. She won't remember anything but the fun that she had, the balloons that she popped, and the cake that she will eat. And I am happy for that. Because right now, I am freaking out!

Friday, February 15, 2013

a week in review... Valentine's

I think that this has been the most dis-jointed week that I have ever done! We ended up schooling on Monday, taking Tuesday off for SweetPea's birthday, schooling Wednesday, taking Thursday off for Valentine's day and then schooling today. But at least we had a good time this week with all our projects. Didn't accomplish much in the way of progress with letters or numbers but we did use the skills that we have worked on already. Makes it a winner in my book.

On Monday, we made Valentine cards for daddy. I let the kiddos finger paint with their feet to create hearts that we wrote our message around. Daddy was so surprised when he came home to see his newly dried cards from the littles. I think that he was quite touched. And the biggest shock of all... PorkChop, who vehemently refuses to touch finger paints for more than ten seconds, had no trouble having the paint smeared on his sweet piggies. In fact, that part was down right hilarious.
I love you "toe" much Valentines
 We did work on learning to match our upper case letters with lower case ones this week. I really wish that I could find more themes like this because it was not only a great exercise but SweetPea loved it! Even better, since I could laminate them, I have them put up for next year! Bonus!! Eventually, I am sure that PorkChop will get some use out of them too.

heart upper/lower case matching
Since SweetPea is a puzzle-holic, I made sure to print and laminate two different Valentine themed puzzles for her. Sure, four piece puzzles are not a challenge when you have been doing 100 piece by yourself for about two months but they were a nice surprise. And well worth it too to see PorkChop trying to line up the pieces as well. Its amazing to see what all he is learning already just by being involved with us around the family table every morning.

puzzle time
 I think that the biggest thrill of the week was our very own Valentine scavenger hunt! Both littles thoroughly enjoyed running through the house with their "list" and bringing all their "finds" to the table. SweetPea even got creative and took different interpretations of some of the pictures. Way to go, little girl, thinking outside that box!

scavenger hunt fun
 For math this week, we worked on candy graphing. A little disappointing when your favorite color doesn't come out as the winner.... and a bit frustrating when your little brother is stealing/eating your homework but a fun game all the same. And the best part, when its a learning game like this, they really don't realize the skills that they are working on... They just believe that its all fun.

Sweetheart graphing
 Since this was a laid back week, I managed to throw some science into our mix. We worked on a "five senses" worksheet with our Sweethearts. Did you know that Sweethearts make noise? I really thought that she would select "no" but after shaking the bowl next to my ear, she assured me that what I was hearing was the candy rocking and rolling in there. Yeah, she had me there. We also learned that SweetHearts taste like ashes and smell like skunk. While PorkChop might be a fan of the chalky candy hearts, SweetPea takes after mama and thinks that they belong in the box!

Sweetheart five senses
I had planned on doing some special baking this week with the littles... making sugar cookies for all five of the kids to decorate... but it just didn't happen. Instead, SweetPea did help me bake her birthday cupcakes. She learned how to pour chocolate to make suckers. And she got to make frosting almost totally on her own. So our week might not have gone as I planned or hoped for, but we definitely had a great time celebrating!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's day

Valentine's day is finally here! I am SO surprised that I actually managed to wait until the big day to bring out the valentine goodies. I really thought thatI would cave long before now. I guess that it helped that Peanut didn't pick out her gift until last night... or that Punk and Pickle have decided that they are "too old" for shows of affection. I think that I am going to pick them up each a hat for our vacation in six weeks. They can't really be offended by a hat, now can they?

my Valentines with their valentines

I wish that I could say that today was all love and good cheer around here but it definitely seemed not to be the case. SweetPea has had a serious case of the "drama queen fours" and if life isn't totally about her, its melt down city. Hubby and I took her and PorkChop to the mall today as a treat. Neither of us are fans of the mall and avoid it most of the year. But they do have a play area that both the littles adore so we sucked it up for them. Didn't work so well when SweetPea very obviously needed to use the bathroom, refused to go and then refused to leave the mall all together. Poor hubby had to carry a screaming, kicking, nose dripping snot preschooler throughout the entire mall to get back to our exit. And she didn't stop there. She howled the whole way home, a good 20 minutes in her room AFTER we made it here and then started again when she woke from her nap. Thankfully, being told that it was time to start getting ready for her "big date" helped even out her mood.

ready for the daddy/daughter dance
Tonight was SweetPea's second time attending the daddy/daughter dance at our local country club. Her first time, she was just one day shy of turning one. Now here she is... two days past four and looking so grown up. Hubby said that she took off and made him dance the entire night. Even while eating her dinner, she was dancing around in her seat, just itching to go hit the floor. And in true SweetPea fashion, she ended up making a friend while there. Hubby said that he enjoyed himself too. Me? I am looking forward to next year when its my turn to attend the annual mother/son dance with PorkChop.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lalaloopsy world

I hate finding myself staring at the calendar, knowing full well the amount of work that I need to get done by a certain time frame and becoming paralyzed that I didn't start sooner. Or in this case, that I got so sick that I lost almost a week of prepping. So here we go, SweetPea's party is Sunday and I am not ready. Not even a little bit. Even changing some of my wants for her, I am not sure that I can pull this off. It just seems that I have so much to do and so little time to get it done.

birthday party preparedness.... take 1
SweetPea chose a Lalaloopsy theme for her birthday this year. I am not big on "character" parties because it makes me feel roped into the gimmicks that come along with each theme. But she did her other great love last year (dinosaurs) and since we are seriously considering doing a Super Hero theme in July for PorkChop (who is mildly obsessed with Batman), I couldn't tell her no. But I did put a limit on the amount of "copyright character" we will have.

Instead, I found molds to make button suckers and little button candies to decorate her cake. I found a recipe for a white cake with polka dots on the inside... perfectly cute for a fun, whimsical theme. Then I started getting crafty with the idea of making hair bows for the goody bags. SweetPea LOVES her hair bows so this was met with great approval. I lucked out and found some Lalaloopsy ribbon in three prints so I bought some up and started creating three different style bows. I had planned on making SweetPea and PorkChop Lalaloopsy themed outfits like I did last year with the dinosaurs but getting sick put that idea off. Instead, I have a beautiful dress almost completed for her in bright pink, white and black. Totally sassy print but very girly. Perfect for my little SweetPea.

For games, I printed off a ton of coloring sheets featuring the dolls. I am also hunting around for buttons and ribbon to make picture frames with the girls. I figure that I can always run off doctored photos of the girls with the Lalaloopsy dolls... or just buy a poster board and create my own Lalaloopsy backdrop. Either way would work. I am also working on creating a fun little scavenger hunt featuring crafty items.

Menu wise.... I think that we are going to go with fun little finger foods. Since the Loopsies seem to be based around sweets, I am thinking fruit kabobs, a veggie platter with a "sweet" based dip and maybe some lemonade?

Writing it all out, it looks like I am so organized but in actuality, I need to find the time to get everything done. I know that I work well when under a deadline but waiting until the last minute is not a good thing for my blood pressure.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy birthday SweetPea!

I can still remember the first song that hubby and I heard four years ago today. As he was holding his baby girl in his arms, the song "You're Gonna Miss This" came on and hubby just melted. It was a pretty emotional day... We didn't know what we were having until Miss SweetPea popped out and hubby announced to me and the midwives "No penis!" Yes, the first words that hubby ever said to our beautiful little girl was an announcement that she was missing a fundamental part of her anatomy that daddy was sure that she would be born with. Which might make it sound that hubby wanted a boy, but nothing could be further from the truth... He just never thought that he would have a biological daughter.

the big FOUR
SweetPea was my first home birth. If she had been my first birth, she might have been my only home birth. But only because after birthing two babies very easily, SweetPea decided that she wanted to be sunny side up. That she wanted to have her cord wrapped around her neck. That she wanted to get stuck and not be born. She was my stubborn little girl then and she is still very headstrong today. Headstrong, independent, full of sass... I wouldn't trade her for all the world!

Its amazing to think that in four short years, my "little" 8lb 8oz 21.5 in baby girl has turned into such a big girl. Lighting up the room with her smile and her tall tales.... surprising people with her elephantine memory... entertaining everyone that she meets with her dancing and singing.

I feel so honored to be her mother. To be the one that gets to see all those firsts and gets to celebrate each new accomplishment with her. I am so blessed to have such a healthy, bright little girl who fills my heart with such joy. I have said each year since 2009 that she is the best Valentine's day gift that I could have ever received... and she still is.

sharing treats with her dance class
Even though today is her birthday, tonight at dance she asked to pass out cupcakes to all her friends. She wanted to share with everyone her special day. And it didn't just stop at dance.... SweetPea thought of everyone on her birthday and how she wanted to share with them. Share her homemade chocolate suckers, share her birthday cake/cupcakes, share her new Dream Light.... Everything was about making sure that no one felt left out today.

Its moments like this that make me realize that I am doing a good job raising her. There might be trying times and there definitely are days that are not fun. But then there are times like now when my heart swells with such pride over the caring, thoughtful, considerate child that I am preparing to one day, set forth into the world.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I love you "toe" much

Awww! Its Valentine week! Not that I get "into" the whole commercialism holiday manufactured by Hallmark but I do LOVE getting into the spirit of showing my family how much I love them. And since I decided that this week's homeschooling theme would revolve around pink and hearts and love, what better thing to do than spend the day making homemade Valentine's for daddy?

This little piggy wanted to say "I love you"
I might not be able to convince PorkChop that finger paint on his hands is ok, but apparently, finger paints on the piggies is very much ok with him. He sat and giggled and played with the paint and had a wonderful time creating his first Valentine card for his daddy. SweetPea thought that it was pretty fun too, getting to dip her tootsies in pink paint and then creating a heart for her daddy. She even caught onto the pun, which really surprised me! She didn't find it very humorous but she caught it without being told.

I also made SweetPea VERY happy today by perfecting a recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting for her birthday cupcakes. Oh my goodness... her birthday is TOMORROW!! I think that I am going to just not think about it and instead, focus on Valentine's day instead. Maybe then it won't hit me that my baby girl is four until closer to my birthday.... or Easter... or maybe Memorial Day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

down town Ice Festival

There are a few things that our local down town historic area does that I try never to miss. One of those is their arts and craft show in July, another is their antique car show in August. Then, of course, is the U Ice Festival in February. Nothing screams "Come on out and enjoy the day" more than blisteringly cold temperatures, mountains of snow and slush and howling winds. But its not something that I care to pass up. And this year, PorkChop was finally old enough (and it wasn't quite cold enough to miss) to go!

Because we did wait until our "nice day" this weekend, we ended up coming at the end of the festival weekend. Which meant that some of the sculptures had already been destroyed by bratty, bored "away from the city" kids, the games were already all taken down/broke (since the games are made of ice, like everything else) and it meant that we didn't get to see any sculpting being done. But it also meant that it was less crowded, that it was easier to find a place to sit to watch the magician and that waiting for a cup of hot chocolate took decidedly less time than normal.
Porker looks like Lightning McQueen! lol
This year's theme was "Wonderful World of Disney". We got to see Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, tons of Mickeys and Minnies, a few Donalds, a Goofy.... There was Bambi, Rapunzel and Jasmine.... A giant grasshopper and some beautiful beta inspired fish. Hubby geeked himself out and was super excited to see Darth Vader and the millenium falcon (and R2D2). I was impressed to see the castle done up and even managed to convince SweetPea to pose in front of it for me.

SweetPea had fun watching the mentalist perform (and daddy was nice enough to volunteer to help him). PorkChop enjoyed the time indoors with his chocolate chip cookie and sips of sissy's hot cocoa. We convinced SweetPea to take part in the frozen fish toss but failed to explain to her that fish can be sharp. We have now got to listen to her all day tell EVERYONE that we come across about how the fish grew teeth in its spine and bit her (sometimes, I think that its only my child that can cut herself on a frozen fish). I was a little disappointed that neither of my littles wanted to go on a carriage ride so I will just save doing that for another time.

All in all, I am so thankful that we had the chance to attend this year. Last year, the temperature was just way too cold to bundle up a tiny PorkChop and I really missed the opportunity. This year, thanks to a toddler and a mild winter day, I got to be a happy camper.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

a week in review.... M

I really didn't think that this week was going to happen. Being sick for the majority of the week, I just didn't have the stamina to plan out an awesome week like I normally would. But knowing that I plan on having a "break" week next week so we can focus on Valentine's day and knowing that the week after that would be our mid-winter break (since the bigs are off school that week), I knew that I needed to plow ahead this time. Which meant a week filled with tears and frustration... and even some on SweetPea's part too. But we made it. And I don't think that either of us are too scarred because of it.

M is for mountain
 This week, we focused on the letter M. Our crafts were making mountains and a mouse. I wanted to do a monkey hand print set so we could do a felt board version of "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Trees" but I will have to save that for another time. I just didn't have the energy to fight with PorkChop to get his two prints done and SweetPea was, honestly, happy to be cutting our workload short.... even if it meant less craft time.

learning measurements
 For math this week, we worked on measurements. Not just measuring how many inches items were, but working on conceptual measurements like narrow vs wide.... heavier vs lighter.... tall vs short. I am pleasantly surprised to see SweetPea really take off with these. I know that numbers are not her favorite thing and I am sure that I am partly to blame for that. So to see her enjoying a math week was a nice change.

making Mounds
 The letter M is a fun letter to create yummy food around. On Sunday, we made chocolate cupcakes with homemade marshmallow frosting. On Tuesday, we made Mound truffles... to which SweetPea decided that she is beyond done liking coconut. On Friday, we made muffins... to which she replied that she is done eating those as well. *sigh* At least she still likes cake.

marshmallow sensory
 Our sensory pans this week were marshmallow filled... Which meant that PorkChop ate more than his fair share of his work. SweetPea wasn't too enthused with this one either but I am guessing that that was my illness rubbing off on her. Everything that she normally loved doing, this past week, she just totally dragged her feet. I am thinking that when we do the letter N that I will change her sensory pan up a bit. Maybe make it more themed instead of just practice on filling and dumping and piling.

all about the M
 Our nursery rhyme this week was "Do you know the muffin man?' I thought that it was beyond adorable that SweetPea tells you that the muffin man lives on "Journey" Lane. We had fun taking turns being the muffin man and sharing our baked goods with everyone. It turned out to be a great blessing that snow day was also our nursery rhyme day because it meant more people to share our wares with.
Who says homeschooling has to take place at home?

I wanted to do a movie day with Madagascar but the ps3 and I are still at odds. Instead, I made tents in the living room and we camped out and watched some cartoons together. Wasn't quite the same effect as my vision of playing movie theatre, complete with popcorn and water bottles, cardboard box cars and a dimmed room, but it was still fun. Every once in a while, getting to veg out as part of your lessons is a good thing.

m is for mouse

Friday, February 8, 2013

I interrupt our normally scheduled post to bring you

A snow day! ha ha ha ha!!!!!

There is nothing better than getting a text message at 5am telling you to go back to bed because school has been canceled! I was really starting to wonder when I went to bed last night because even though our local news was stating that we had a 50% chance of no school today, the snow that was supposed to have begun around rush hour still hadn't started. It must have been a little late blooming but that's ok, it did its job. About 6-7 inches of the soft white stuff fell in our area which was enough to cancel classes for the day. Happy Friday to me!

bewildered lol
Not so happy Friday was then dealing with five kidlets that wanted to do nothing but fight and argue. Pickle was bored and restless because school had been canceled leaving him with "nothing to do". Punk picked up on Pickle's mood since that's what little brothers do and proceeded to mope around the house as well. Peanut and SweetPea, being the only sisters here, decided that their time was best spent picking fights with each other. And poor little PorkChop, determined not to be outdone by anyone, took to throwing things at his siblings in a vain attempt to claim the title of biggest pain.

So what's a mom to do? Bundle everyone up and tell them its time for some manual labor. Driveway and sidewalk needed to be shoveled, a path needed to be made to the garbage/recycling bins, our outdoor kitties needed to have fresh food and a supply of water, along with a makeshift shelter to keep them dry. Pickle took to the sidewalks, while I started to tackle the drive. PorkChop grabbed a rake and happily moved snow back onto the driveway while SweetPea used a broom to knock even more snow back onto the drive. Peanut was nice enough to grab a sand bucket and proceeded to make snow castles right in my path and was even nice enough to cry heartily when I knocked them down. Punk just stood around looking appropriately broody with his hands in his pockets, announcing every few minutes that it was cold outside.

But at least we all got out of the house and into the fresh air. Everyone was constructive enough to stop bickering for almost an hour. And we managed to get most of the drive done before hubby made it home from out of state. I would say that Mission "Keep Mom Sane" was a success!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Today has definitely been one of those "FINALLY!!!" days. I finally went to the doctor. I finally am going to get better. After much running around, I am finally getting my antibiotics. After days of fighting, the kids are FINALLY doing something together without biting each other's heads off. Hubby is finally seeing an end in sight of working out of state. This week is finally almost over. 

Can someone be "too happy" about it finally being Thursday night? Not even too happy about Friday, but just too happy about it being a few hours from Friday? Yeah, I am celebrating early, baby!
mad Lalaloopsy coloring craze
The doctor's appointment today was short and sweet. He didn't even run any tests... just looked in my ears and throat and put me on a z-pak. I am not one to take antibiotics for anything but this time, this time I will admit defeat. And I will begin looking for a probiotic that I can take too. So answers on what caused this razor-filled throat of mine other than it should be gone in five days. Five more days.... ugh! Finally being over... yay!

Getting the prescription filled was another matter. Seems like the doctor's office just couldn't quite figure out how to send the script to the right pharmacy. Either that or someone really didn't want me to feel any relief. Then our lovely insurance company AND the doctor's office couldn't get my birthday correct. Thankfully, my hubby is awesome and knows my special day better than his own.  Which all just means that a script that should have taken 30 minutes to fill ended up taking an entire day. What a waste.

Good news, I am finally on the pills and hoping to have some relief soon. A little bummed that Peanut got relief almost immediately when she was on the z-pak but I am feeling nothing yet. Ok, so my fever IS finally gone and appears to be staying gone but I still cannot swallow anything. At this point, if I even dream about food, I am liable to start crying. I miss food, I really do. More so than anyone would have ever imagined.

And its because of that (being worn out all week, not being able to eat, feeling like poo) that I am PRAYING for a snow day tomorrow. We are supposed to get some major storm (well, clipped by one) and I could really use a day off. A day with the whole family nearby... a day without alarm clocks and schedules... a day to rest and enjoy. Ack... who am I kidding... I just want to sleep in before all the fighting starts.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

getting old now

Ugh!! I have been such a slug all day today. Yet another day, yet another fever (from me again), yet another day of not being able to eat.... This is maddening! Thankfully, I do have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I am hoping to be on the mend. This has officially lasted now longer than SweetPea's or Porker's fever/illness and its beginning to take its toll on everyone in this house.

poster child for sick mamas everywhere
The mom NEVER gets sick.  Its against some written code of rules somewhere. Dads can come down with "man colds", the littles (or bigs) can all become bedridden with mysterious colds. But the mom of the house is not allowed to get sick. Ever. And I can see why... but am too achy and yucky to do anything about it.

The dishes are piling up... My kidlets had pizza for the second night in a row for dinner. No one is helping Peanut study for her spelling test. PorkChop has taken up residence inside a box with his "soft" and just sits there looking dejected. SweetPea has decided that she can be "the mom" of the house by running her mouth and then squealing like a stuck pig whenever someone doesn't jump to her commands. Punk and Pickle disappear for long periods of time, forsaking their chores and their own cleanliness. While I just lay on the couch and try to stay awake long enough to make sure that the house isn't going to burn down to the ground while hubby is at work.

This bites!

Which is why I am taking one for the team and seeing a doctor tomorrow. I don't care what they decide to do to me, it has to be better than this. Because I am miserable and I just don't have time for it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

my turn!!! my turn!!

Ugh!!! Why did I think that I could avoid the stupid illness that has been making the rounds here? Today is day 2 of me running a fever. Yep, me. Hubby has been awesome, taking over for me around the house, working major hours split between here and the road but I want to be able to do things for myself again. Mainly eat... I miss eating.... *sigh* Too bad my throat hurts too much to do much of that. In two days, I have had a bowl of cereal, three bread sticks with marinara sauce and um... yeah, that's it.

Since I haven't felt up to doing much, I have been sleeping and reading. And reading and sleeping. Allowing the kids WAY too much time on the television, not keeping the house up to par and taking more Motrin than I care to admit.

the view from here
But I have got to read.... I finished "Into the Wilderness" and started reading "American Legends: Sitting Bull". While I am waiting none so patiently for the newest tale of Jamie and Claire (Outlander), I am trying to keep my nose in the American wilderness. So far, American Legends is amazing. Its a  historical piece in the sense that its a shortened version of Sitting Bull's life but I wish that it was more. Not sure what I want more of but I want more.

Since SweetPea's fever lasted for two days, I am hoping that tomorrow, I will be better. I am tired of not being me. Especially since it means short blogging since the screen is making my head ache so much worse.

Monday, February 4, 2013

language of love

I got the best idea off of pinterest for Valentine's day this year. to give each child a heart a day with different reasons why I love them. Why they are special to me. An outstanding quality in them. Something that they can look forward to each day. At least, that was the plan...

Punk hated it. He got embarrassed by this heart on day 1 and ripped it down. Threw it away. And even though it was just a silly paper heart, it really hurt my feelings because it was a message from the heart. So him and Pickle will have to wait until Valentine's day to get anymore messages.... and then it will just be the standard one to go to the kitchen table to get their Valentine from me.

14 reasons why I love you
But the girls are loving their little messages. SweetPea wants me to read the new one, followed by all the older ones every morning. Peanut was so excited to receive her first message that she made me some Valentines too so I wouldn't be "left out". Porker, being all boy, has taken after his brothers and rips all his down.... but he tries to eat them when he has them in his little hand.

It seems to be helping attitudes around here though. Hearing what I love about the girls has meant less fighting on their parts, more thoughtfulness in their actions.... And while they are not angels by any means, it has been much more peaceful here. I am starting to think that even though Punk and Peanut got bored with it the last time, that I need to start the mama/child journals again.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Super Bowl Sunday

I have never been a big football fan. Being from the Mitten State, its not like we have anything awe-inspiring in the way of pigskin. As a result, I am not a Super Bowl watcher. I don't even care about the new commercials. I can come up with about 50 more things off the top of my head that I would rather be doing. But hubby asks to watch two games all year.... the Super Bowl and the UofM/OSU game. And I don't think that that's too much to ask. So Super Bowl Sunday was observed here.

our future Olympian swimmer
And while the lights went out in Georgia, the littles got their bath time in. I was a little worried about actually doing our Sunday night bath routine since SweetPea was still running a fever, but its PorkChop's favorite time (other than boobing... I think that that one ranks high on is hit list as well). And why not? It was a good way to pass the 40 minutes while we waited for the game to come back on.

Besides, after helping me "bake" chocolate marshmallow cupcakes this morning, having grilled chicken ka-bobs for dinner, getting overly excited about the Big Game and all the "normal" Sunday things, those two littles NEEDED their bath time. They needed it to get clean, to unwind, and to get some fun play in.

Usually though, to bathe Porker means that you are really bathing the entire bathroom. But hubby invented an awesome game to keep him occupied.... dumping cups of water on his head. Now, most babies (and all our other kids) hate having water on their face. PorkChop though, he LOVES it. And best yet, it saves the rest of our bathroom!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

another one bites the dust

I have no idea what is going on around here. This morning was wonderful. SweetPea and PorkChop woke in good moods, we enjoyed our tandem nursing morning together snuggled in the blankets. I cleaned the rabbits' area this morning while the littles played Lalaloopsy together at the kitchen table. Breakfast was eaten by most (ok, so SweetPea DID pick at her meal but that is not uncommon) and then it was back to playing while I finished cleaning the kitchen and living area. SweetPea asked for some cartoons so I let her watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (her new love) while Porker and I had a rousing game of dinosaurs at the zoo.

Then it started.... I made SweetPea turn off the television because, in my opinion, it had ran enough. She threw a temper tantrum and then flopped down on the couch, telling me that no one loves her. And promptly fell asleep like that. PorkChop curled up in my lap and did the same. Since he was still recuperating from his long week, I wasn't worried about him. And since SweetPea had just had a pretty epic fit, I wasn't worried about her either.

They both woke after an hour, refreshed and ready for some lunch. SweetPea was agreeable to eating (she is always much better at lunch than at breakfast) and I promised her after my shower, I would make her grilled cheese. In the fifteen minutes it took me to shower, we went from happy Pea to this.....
another one down for the count
104.7 when there was no sign of a fever before. Poor girl ended up sleeping on and off all afternoon in my bed where she could snuggle down without fear of Porker pulling her hair. One dose of Motrin brought the fever right down to a more acceptable range of 101 where it stayed all day until the next dose was approaching. No symptoms of anything, just a nasty high fever. And this one was high for her. Where PorkChop has now hit in the 105's for the last three fevers, SweetPea normally stays around 102, maybe 103 (like when her eye area became infected twice from mosquito bites). She slept until she felt rested though and then was content to tear around the house as if everything was fine.

So now we wait. If she is not better by Monday, into the doc's she will go. If she is back to her normal spunky self, we will just chalk it up as one of those things. She says that nothing hurts, just that she is tired. And I couldn't agree more...  I am pretty tired of these dang fevers too!

Friday, February 1, 2013

a week in review... letter L

This has definitely been one of those trying weeks where I am really glad that we homeschool the littles. Not that they themselves were trying but trying to keep everything together under pressure hasn't been the easiest. Thankfully, this was one of those weeks where SweetPea just excelled in everything that we did. I am not sure if she just picked up on how much I needed an "easy" week or if we just fell into that rare, perfect rhythm again but it was a very blessed thing.

Because of our rather busy week, there were a few things that I didn't get to do that I wanted to. We didn't get time to make Mary's Little Lamb or to do a caterpillar finger paint (on a leaf, of course). But we did get to bake and I really thought that that wasn't going to happen. So I will just save those projects for another day and instead, smile at everything that her and I accomplished together.

For the letter L, we talked about things that we love. Like mama, and her Homie, best friend A, riding her bike, playing outside, cuddling with her daddy, wanting to marry Pickle, eating grilled cheese.... and we made sure to make a good portion of those things happen this week.
L is for Love
 I learned this week that while SweetPea professes to have a love of lemon, she really doesn't like the flavor. We made homemade lemonade cupcakes on Sunday and while she claimed to like the cake, she said the frosting wasn't her favorite. Unfortunately, lemon sugar cookies weren't a hit either and neither was the lemon pepper chicken that she helped me prepare for dinner. I wanted to try my hand at some coconut lime cookies but with Porker and his fever, it just didn't happen this time.

mmmm..... lemon cookies
 Instead, SweetPea got to snack on some lollipops so she could do her second art project of the week. Lollis are definitely high on her approval list so this was a fair trade off. In return, PorkChop and I got to eat all the lemon cookies that our stomachs could handle.

l is for lollipops

 For math this week, SweetPea and I worked on patterns (review) and measuring (new skill). I was SO very impressed when SweetPea could correctly identify the number 4 without help on Wednesday night. That was a first! She always stumbles on the 4 but not this time. We were so excited that we leaped for joy! She also began identifying F and H without fail. We now just need to strengthen her skills on I and J (she confuses I and Y, both being in her name and forgets J's name but knows the sound). Its those little break-throughs on tough days that really put a smile in your heart.

math isn't so bad when you can measure
 For sensory play this week, we actually had two things that they could choose from.... I made some scented play-dough on Sunday for the both of them, thinking it would keep PorkChop quiet during lessons. Little did I know that a fever would do that or that it would take him all week to warm up to the idea of the scented dough that he could mold. We also had a "bean box" filled with lima beans. SweetPea enjoyed filling and dumping for about ten minutes and then scurried back to the dough. PorkChop, on the other hand, spent a good deal of Friday dumping beans everywhere and then using the broom to sweep them back into another pile.

sensory box.... lima beans
Our nursery rhyme for the week was Mary Had a Little Lamb. I had a really cute craft all picked out (making a lamb from cotton balls) but it never happened. I think that I am going to save that one for March now so we can do "In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb". I wouldn't say that this was one of the better  rhymes that SweetPea has learned since, to be frank, she confuses parts of this one with Mary, Mary Quite Contrary. But its still one that now that she is more familiar with it, I can see us singing it a bit more often.