Sunday, March 31, 2013

Our grand vacation day 3.... Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from sunny Texas!

how the littles spent most of their day

great grandma and her oldest great grandson

first time meeting great-grandma

first time meeting great-grandma.... her namesake

four loving generations

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our grand vacation day 2

new friends from Kansas

largest Bass Pro Shop in the world

Oklahoma welcomes us :)

OKC bombing memorial... so very powerful

Texas welcomes us too

Friday, March 29, 2013

Our grand vacation day 1

St Louis Zoo

outside the Gateway Arch

first time at the Mississippi River

9 years of waiting... finally meeting face to face

special excursion for a special dinner

Thursday, March 28, 2013

tonight... tonight... we leave TONIGHT

Tonight is going to be BUSY! We still haven't settled completely on a departure time but we are thinking about midnight. Totally is going to depend on when hubby can get to bed so he can catch a few hours before our grand vacation. Breathe.. I need to breathe! Everything that should be done is now done minus packing the car and that has to wait until its here in the driveway. Kids are packed, I am packed, hubby is mostly done.... Animals have a scheduled care giver for each day.... Everyone is over-excited and doesn't think that they will sleep until we return... Yep, its vacation time!

rub a dub dub... two kiddies in the tub
Since my enthusiasm has been rubbing off on the littles, I decided to try something extra special today to give them something tangible to be excited about.... homemade bath-time body paint!

First, let me say that the recipe that I tried wasn't that great. It needed a bit lot of tweaking. And it didn't seem to "stick" well at all. But... it did serve the purpose of entertaining the littles while I bathed them and got them ready for tonight. Best of all, Pork actually liked the scent of the body paint so he was more than willing to paint things with it. I may need to see about making our own finger paints here and scenting them with essential oils to see if that will help him to play and discover more.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

more "prep" work

Hubby and I have a long time disagreement going about PorkChop's beautiful locks. I love them. I love his long, soft, baby-ish hair. Where as all my other children (who had hair at this point) already had coarser, toddler hair, my Pork still retains his sweet baby locks. And they are beautiful! You can totally tell that he is a healthy child by looking at his sweet crown.

Hubby, on the other hand, hates that people comment that he is such a beautiful girl (amber necklace is probably more of the culprit but whatever). He adores his men to have shaved, clean cut looks. But after the disaster that was Pork's first hair cut (where they left him totally uneven), daddy hasn't said too much about the golden tresses.

Until now....
*sigh, sniff, tear*
Daddy laid down the law that great-grandma deserves to meet her great-grandson looking like a boy. He wanted him to look "cleaned-up" instead of with his wild Einstein bed-head look. If this was for my family, I would probably have fought it more but I DID get to leave PorkChop's hair longer for my sister's wedding (who then didn't bother with any family pics like she said she wanted). So I can (and did) concede for daddy to shorten Pork's mane before vacation.

I will not post an after pic right now because he looks so different. I actually did a double take a few times tonight while out to make sure that it was my little boy running just ahead of us. I know that I will grow used to the change and I know that everyone else will adore it (as texts are already coming through about how much better he looks). Its just, MY boy has beautiful hair. MY boy looks like a boy, no matter how long his hair is. This little boy must be his daddy's child because I am still looking high and low for MY little man.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I thought, for some odd reason, that we would actually have a spring this year. I have pictures from last year from this time frame of the kids already enjoying water activities (let's face it... last year, our last day of "winter" was in the 80s and the littles had a fine time playing in their kiddie pool). I am SO thankful that come Friday, we will be headed towards warmer weather and 10 days without winter coats and hats!

Hurry up, springtime!
Pre-vacation exhaustion took its turn today and hit Peanut. She just couldn't get moving this morning so a personal health day for her it was. Can't say that my hubby was too thrilled with that but I didn't want to get going, she didn't want to get moving and it was just one of those days where fighting with her and using more energy just wasn't an option.

Instead, I put her to work. She helped me clean the house from top to bottom, do a bit of laundry so that way I am not totally overwhelmed on Thursday and then helped me corral the littles outside with bubbles.

Ah, the rapture of bubbles. Liquid soap in a bottle that can keep preschoolers and toddlers occupied by the minute. It helps them to keep warm when dealing with our finicky spring weather, helps them to keep active on days when mama would prefer to stay indoors bundled in a pile of blankets, and is great for amusing the neighbors.

I am making sure to pack a few things of these magical gems in our vacation rest stop party buckets. If they can bring this much amusement to our front yard, hopefully they will bring some calm to rest stops as well.

Monday, March 25, 2013

this is what happens....

when you party too hard.....

The last week of wedding prep, followed by the wedding, followed by celebrating Easter really has taken a toll on us all here. I decided to not do our lessons this week to give the littles and myself a chance to decompress before vacation. I really thought that we could use some downtime instead of micro-managing all our "spare" time.

This morning, the littles and I did spend some time making a cute Easter craft for our schooling space. I would love to share a picture of them but SweetPea wrote her name on her page and I can't figure out how to blur that part out. I will say that they made little chicks with handprint wings, holding personally decorated little Easter eggs. So cute!

We also spent some time this morning finger painting. Even PorkChop joined in which is saying much! I think that my sweet boy is getting over his dirty hands phobia just a little bit. I think that once the weather warms up and we can paint outside that that will help.  SweetPea always enjoyed getting to put on her paint shirt and play around with colors in the yard. Hoping that my small man will learn to appreciate it too.

Boxes are a HUGE part of our life right now with things arriving via the mail for our upcoming trip. Both the littles (and some of the bigs) have taken to decorating, playing in or with, all the larger boxes. SweetPea swore up and down that she didn't need a nap today and that if I let her play quietly in her room, she would be a good girl. Didn't take too long though for her to just curl up in the box and drift to dreamland.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Easter?

With all of us still exhausted from yesterday's events and all of us excited about what the end of the week holds for us, I can't say that most of us were too thrilled about celebrating Easter this year. It definitely wasn't the same with Punk and Peanut refusing to be here with us and it didn't feel like a holiday without a family dinner. But I also didn't want SweetPea remembering Easter as something thrown together in a hotel room, especially since she feels the spirit of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy so deeply in her little heart.

Happy Easter ( a wee bit early lol)
I can say though that we made sure to deliver. SweetPea asked for one thing and one thing only... an Ember Flicker Flame Lalaloopsy. We searched high and low and could only find the miniature one... which was not what she wanted. So, with two of us spending an afternoon making phone calls, we managed to track down the elusive ginger that she wanted and scored for her. And since we are such awesome parents, we made sure to pick up two other miniatures too that we don't see  ever.... Holly Sleigh Bells and Snowy Fairest. So I can attest to the fact that we had a THRILLED little girl come her Easter morning when she saw her big Loopsy and all four of her new small ones.

PorkChop, with his affinity for trains, trucks, cars and helicopters, picked his own Easter surprise out too... a Batman helicopter. Batman is the only cartoon character that I have seen him gravitate too, which surprises me since he has never "seen" Batman. I am thinking that the family genes are just strong in this one and that we managed to pass our obsession down to him.

Even though Peanut and Punk were a no show this morning, the Easter Bunny didn't leave out the older children. They are/were pleasantly surprised with a set of two dvd players for the car for our upcoming vacation along with a new assortment of  movies, cards, and carry-along games.

Its hard to believe that in one week, we will BE in Texas. That we will have already done three other states. That we will be into our first full week of road tripping. All that really tells me though is that I need to get my behind in gear and get packing/organizing for this trip.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Robyn and Matt's wedding day

flower girl and the ring bearer... awww

baby sister and her fiance!

the happy couple with my blessed nephew

sums up SweetPea's feelings about sharing the spotlight

never got a pic of all my kiddos together that day *sigh*

absolutely melt my heart

my sister and my new brother-in-law

the beautiful bride and her maid of honor

the starving crew lol

my mom and the most handsome nephew ever

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Cops! Trucks! Go!"

Our sweet PorkChop is definitely a man of few words. Its insane to me to have a child that is this big and not a talker. I understand that a major part of his speech delay, in my opinion, is from his tongue and lip ties that we need to get revised  but its still odd. I am used to my children being very verbally advanced. If it wasn't for the fact that I know that Pork can hear and, more importantly, can listen, I would be very worried.

Now, there are words that he says on a daily basis that everyone can understand.... "Boob" means that he wants to eat. "Cock" means that someone had better put his socks on his feet RIGHT NOW. "Boots" are any non-sock item that belongs on the foot... this is not reserved just for boots, but for shoes (which he can say that too), slippers, sandals, dress-up shoes, etc. He says "mama" and "daddy" (dah-dee), "hi", "guh-bye" and "hey". He has been known to pop off with "Shut up", "Stop it" and my favorite "Love you" (luv uyou).

But his most recent words are "cop" and "truck". "Cop" is not a police officer... a cop is a helicopter, plane, or jet. Sometimes, its also a hot air balloon. "Truck" is any vehicle on the street, but most often, "truck" is reserved for the garbage truck and the mail truck.

My littlest man will now happily spend minutes gazing at his books to find those elusive vehicles that he desires above all else. Not only will he "read" his books but gaming magazines, yearbooks, ads, the newspaper, etc. He is not picky how he finds his trucks and cops as long as he can find them.

Its so neat getting to watch this part of his personality develop. Before now, he has been my imitator.... copying whatever I do with his own babies. Suddenly, he is gaining interests beyond those that we introduce to him. Many times over the course of the day, I just sit back and watch those little wheels in his brain just spin as he puzzles out the bigger world around him.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

baby, you never looked so good

I think that I had this kind of break down last year too but I will say it again... I am in complete and utter shock that my BABY is actually going to turn another year older. In three short months, I am not going to have a "baby" anymore. I am going to have a terrible two. Not that I can picture my sweet blonde boy ever being "terrible".... but he will be two before I know it. I can try to hang on to the baby days as hard as I want but they are slipping through my fingers, just like his beautiful golden locks do every morning while he is nursing. 

turning 20 (months) never looked so good

Today was a big day for my girls as well. My sister and her friend came over to give them both "make-overs" before the rehearsal dinner. I wish that I had thought to take a before picture instead of just an after one because they both looked so grown once their hair was done and their dresses were on.

rehearsal dinner beauties
Its hard for me to believe just how quickly time can pass. I never think that its going by fast until I see pictures like this. Peanut is anything but a little girl anymore... She is growing up to become such a beautiful young lady. And SweetPea isn't a toddler anymore. All the round is gone from her face and you can see that she is a little girl. No more baby girls with rolls of fat and sweet curls. No more baby girls with chubby hands and fingers pulling my hair. No more wobbly baby girl feet, clad in tiny slippers. Instead, I have a preteen daughter and a preschool daughter before me.

Time is passing by for us all. In two days, my sister will be married to her best friend. In two days, my nephew will have an official "dad" in his life again... Not that M has ever been anything but since he came into their lives. But it will be official. SweetPea is so excited to have Uncle M REALLY become Uncle M. Pork will never know any different. And hopefully, it will mean some baby cousins soon to cure my baby fever.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

how to prepare your children for major events

Since March is National Reading Month and since my children have been blessed enough to have been born into a house of readers, I decided that they needed to prepare for our upcoming events with, yes, more reading materials.

I was really getting worried that SweetPea's flower girl book wasn't going to arrive in time but thankfully, it showed up on our doorstep this morning at precisely the perfect time for me to not throw all the toys in the house away. Reading is an awesome relaxation/reset button for us. Kind of like a mental yoga. It not only forces us to sit still and listen to each other when we are all ready to snap but it gives us something to focus on and learn from other than just our own problems.
preparedness reading
I will say though, there needs to be a better young children's selection of historical books out there. I picked one called Susanna of the Alamo to teach SweetPea about what she would be seeing on vacation. The book said that it could target grades kinder through fifth so I figured why not? Holy bananas, that book was long, ponderous, without enough pictures and with too many "words" for a kinder/preschooler. But it did the job well enough... SweetPea walked away with a small understanding of what the Alamo was and what happened there.

The more fitting book was definitely her Pinkalicious flower girl story. I think that we might have found another series to start looking into for her. I loved reading that one to her and Pork and they both giggled and pointed at the pictures, making it a GOOD story.

I also managed to sneak away some books for vacation today. Two new Lalaloopsy stories and two stories for Pork (Caps for Sale and Corduroy). I cannot wait to snuggle up in a hotel room with them and unwind from our vacation with some good reads.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

cold weather boredom buster

Ok, now, seriously.... the ground hog didn't see his shadow so we should be warming up any time now... right? My poor two littles are beginning to go a bit crazy from our wacky weather and being cooped up indoors after a few beautiful days out. Thankfully, with our vacation looming just ahead in the distance, I see plenty of time for perfect weather and outdoor fun. Too bad that they have almost zero concept of time.

serious business
To pass the time today, I threw out a bunch of ideas. Painting was struck down (Pork still isn't a fan of finger paints and I cannot find our paintbrushes anywhere).... Baking was a no go (SweetPea said that she is sick of always being in the kitchen).... Reading was done and then forgotten about as the books became make-shift frisbees.... So as a last resort, I grabbed a container of the play dough that I made before SweetPea's birthday and asked if this was a good idea.

And the clouds parted and the angels sang!

Ok, so maybe that only happened in my head. But it did work to keep them both occupied long enough for me to clean up the terrible mess that they had been making all morning long with everything that they shouldn't have been touching.

I was really shocked to see that my homemade dough had actually withstood the test of time and was still just as soft, just as pliable and just as sweet-smelling as when I made it. And best of all, it definitely was still as charming to the littles.

Today, SweetPea worked on making dragons (huge obsession around here lately) and Pork just made little balls with lots of growling noises and a few grunts thrown in for good measure. We had elaborate stories about the dragons and snakes and eggs and babies and nests.... We had some good hard punches to the balls and squeals when they would flatten down to thin pancake shape. We talked about caring for babies (baby dragons need their mamas, don't you know) and we talked about how certain little boys needed to learn how to treat babies softly.

just another manic Monday

And the countdown is on.... My sister gets married this Saturday. Which means that she has need of the small female children quite a bit this week. For Peanut, that doesn't mean much. She will still go to school as planned, but she will have to rush through her homework and chores to attend wedding preparations. For SweetPea, it means a week off of lessons since I feel that she has enough "excitement" to deal with right now.

morning routine fun
A break from lessons doesn't mean a break from learning. In our home, learning happens all the time. Our morning routine is to bring out all her prized "Loopsies" and spend a good half hour making up stories for them. They are not always long, drawn out plays. Sometimes, they are just minor skits, a mere bump in the road. Other mornings though, the loopsies band together to save the world from dinosaurs. They travel to the moon and discover space aliens. They get married, have babies, live their own lives.

Really listening to SweetPea play, she reveals so much about what is going on  inside her little head. Right now, its been mostly wedding planning. This loopsie wants to marry Ace Fender Bender but she can't because this one loves him too. Which is normally met with much grumpiness over her NEEDING more male loopsies. Which are hard to come by in miniature form. Even though Pork plays right along with SweetPea, its not every day that he allows his Little People to be brought in as substitute mates. But it definitely is cute watching Batman and the Joker pair off with their own loopsie friends.

I am going to miss hearing her sweet chatter when real world crushes take the place of pretend doll ones. But I am also confident that she will be ok. Because watching her play, I can see that she has a good heart, doesn't want to see anyone hurt, and understands that sometimes, you have to lose what you love temporarily... because it will always come back to you in the end.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Paddy's day!

Happy St Patrick's day! May the luck of the Irish bless you and yours. I love today. I love any holiday, really, that centers around time with the family and good food. And today, we had plenty of both.

the shirt says it all
It makes me laugh to look back at pictures from last St Patrick's day and see my two littlest ones running around outside, barefoot, eating popsicles. Today, if you went outside barefoot you would probably turn into a popsicle. My sister is convinced that our weather is going to turn beautiful by this Saturday so fingers crossed. I am not putting much faith in our fickle friend, Mother Nature, this year. She seems to be having a grand time playing jokes on us.

My special treat today was that I got to make Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for us. Mmmm!! Hubby had never heard of them before and got quite a kick out of the cashier knowing exactly what I was planning by what we bought. The littles enjoyed licking the spoons/beaters (bad mama, I know but eh, they are only little once) but didn't enjoy the finished products at all. Hubby, on the other hand, was thrilled to see enough for him to take some to work tomorrow.

Special treat for the adults tonight was our yearly corned beef and cabbage dinner. Heaven! Simply heaven! I keep telling myself every year that I will make this dish more often and it seems that every year, we only have it a few times. I would say that I am going to add it to our monthly rotation but I know that it won't happen and I will just end up disappointed in myself.But if it tastes this good once a year, I will gladly uphold that tradition.

Special treat for the littles today... hubby bought a small remote controlled helicopter to play with them. I know of one very small boy who is in complete heaven right now! Our little man of so few words spent the entire evening crawling onto the counters, pointing and screaming "cop!" until his daddy would fly it around the room. The look of excitement on Pork's face was enough to make every jolt, every sting, every hair tug from that copter totally worth it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

a happy birthday and a happy day

Last year, we arrived at little C's first birthday decked out in our shorts and summer skirts. This year, we arrived bundled in winter coats, complete with hats and gloves and heavy socks. Nothing like our wonderfully unpredictable weather! But I can hope that that means that PorkChop's birthday will be a bit cooler this year.

I really had an awesome time getting to help Pork's little buddy celebrate the big TWO! This was my littles first time being exposed to hockey and other than a little high sticking, I think that they really enjoyed it. Of course, my mini musician decided that a party isn't a party without some tunes so him and birthday boy spent a good deal of time working together to get the radio working properly.
double trouble
After the party, we decided to take the kids out to the big mall for a bit of vacation shopping. And, of course, SweetPea talked us into dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. This was Pork's first time and the first time that SweetPea really remembered. Both littles were totally taken with all the fish around and were beyond thrilled to be seated next to an aquarium. PorkChop wasn't thrilled with the thunderstorms at first and it took him a few tries before he was truly calm about it. But at least it was a good practice run before our "big special surprise" for the littles on vacation.

Friday, March 15, 2013

a week in review... Letter O

Wow... This week started awesome, hit a super low point and is coming back around now that I have decided that a break is needed in this house. I feel like it lifted a weight off my shoulders. I think that I am going to take a week off, not three like I was thinking yesterday. One week off, then a light, easy review week so we can have our 100 day party on the last day before our big family vacation. I can't think of a better way of ending this session... with a huge party for the both of us.

O is for Octopus

Or should I say the THREE of us? PorkChop has decided that lesson time can be fun. I already knew that he enjoyed cooking but I guess that I overlooked the fact that he can do more than I give him credit for. So from now on, I think that I will make sure that he can participate more. Not just with our sensory boxes but with our art and cooking too. And reading time, of course. I need to get some more Pork friendly books in this house.

Look who is starting to join in more!
 This week, we worked on the letter O. We talked about octopuses, owls and otters. We tried different kinds of oranges, deciding that little mandarins were good and blood oranges are too scary to eat. We snacked on cheerios (hey, they ARE little O's after all) and practiced writing "circle Os" everywhere. The littles helped me make some delicious orange cupcakes with a buttercream frosting that tasted just like vanilla ice cream. I think that this might have been one of my most favorite tasting weeks.

mmmm... orange creamsicle cupcakes
 In math this week, we have been working on addition. Everything in me screams that learning subtraction first would have been easier but everything that I looked into said to start with adding. SweetPea surprised me and seemed to catch on pretty quickly to the basics. Sure, at this point, its more just counting the pictures than really "adding" but she gets the concept. And I need to focus on that more... that she understands the concept behind what she is learning more than trying to get her to be perfect in a week at a skill that might be over her head.

taking a break from the table
 Together, we learned "Little Boy Blue" this week. I wish that I had thought to add a fun song in, but I think that I approached this week with a negative attitude and let it shadow my whole way of thinking. I didn't do as many fun things as I could have and I regret it now. I didn't even set aside a special activity, even though I really wanted to work on making jewelry out of Fruit Loops or Cheerios or something. I will store the idea away for the next time we run through the alphabet. I will DO the idea. I will learn from my mistakes as well as I want my children to learn and grow.

o is for owl
Because of our week together, I am not going to overplay St Patrick's day. I ordered each little a book and SweetPea's didn't arrive today as planned. They were temporary out of stock so hers will be here on Tuesday. I think that its a sign to give the kiddos a break and not to take all the "fun" out of a holiday just being a day to spend time together with our family. No green milk that will turn our poo funny colors, no crafts that I will feel the need to micro-manage. We will read our story on who St Patrick was, we will wear our green and we will make our traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Maybe we will make a special treat or maybe we will just buy something for dessert. Either way, we are officially on break!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

this is my life

Some days, we are go, go, go. Other days, we enjoy a break of snuggling and cuddling together. But there are some days when we just have to do what we have to do. Things that we want to do, things that we don't. We have to tend to the needs of ourselves and others. Balance. Its something that I think that our house could use more of.

my life
Today was one of those days when I felt like I was pulled in way too many different directions all at one time. I have been stressed, I have been feeling low, I have been snappy at the littles, and unhappy with myself. I haven't been doing things because I *want* to do them but going through the motions because I *have to*. Or at least, I feel that I have to.

I think that after this week, SweetPea and I will be taking a break from lessons. They are turning into a battleground between her and I and I don't like that. I think that we are both getting burnt out and really need a chance to reconnect with each other before going forward. I really wanted to push forward next week and do "just one more letter" before vacation but honestly? She's four. Taking three weeks off in the middle of our time together isn't going to damage her in the least. Maybe it will give us both a boost out of this black pit of lethargy that we are sitting in together.

Speaking of breaks, I better enjoy them while I have the chance. Starting after vacation, Punk will be back in soccer two days a week. Him and Pickle both will have track meets once a week and practice three to four other days. SweetPea will still have her weekly dance class but we will be getting ready to add in picture days and recital talk. Not to mention that she wants to take soccer again this summer, which starts in June. Now I just need to find something for Peanut to do other than mope around the house because we will be focusing so much on the other kids.

I know that it doesn't seem like being on the go with sports so much will be a balance but for me, it will force me to re-prioritize about what's really important. And who knows? Maybe I will find some peace in getting back to being an active family instead of a lazy one.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

its all about the choices

Sometimes, its a good thing that we meal plan a week in advance. I have everything at my finger tips for mealtimes, I know what to expect out of which kid on each night, and I don't have to scramble last minute to come up with something for dinner. Some nights though, like when your son comes home from school and announces that he has an extra credit assignment due tomorrow where he has to plan out a meal, prepare it, photograph that he has the correct portions and that he ate it, all while you have dinner slowly cooking in the crock pot, its not such a good thing.

healthy choices
But we made due tonight. Sure, I prepared the main part of the meal. And yes, we didn't include the rice or pasta that his teacher would have liked to have seen on his plate. But he prepared the vegetable (in this case, roasted carrot sticks, tossed with virgin olive oil, sea salt and a bit of chili pepper), and I made sure that his sandwich contained the right portions of meat, bread, and dairy (cuban pork sandwiches, a family favorite).

After dinner, I helped him print the pictures that he needed while Punk filled out his "healthy dinner" sheet. I think that he purposely waited until the last minute to do this project since he knows that I would have made him prepare the entire meal.

But I did get my revenge... Instead of him being drove the half mile to his school for a track informational meeting, hubby and I told him to huff it. Figure that if he wants to run for his school, he can run TO his school.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

my first sew-a-long!

I have never joined a sew-a-long before... No clue why, just never was interested before. I have done knitting ones though and loved the support and getting to see how everyone changed the pattern with their own style. But when I saw that there would be a sew-a-long for a dress pattern that I had been drooling over, I knew that I had to join. And so I did.....

first sew-a-long!
Irene's Peek-a-Boo Ruffle dress.... I knew that I needed to make SweetPea an Easter dress because I couldn't find anything that I liked in the stores. And I knew that it had to be a bit "funky" yet "girlish" because, well, that's my SweetPea. And since she will be meeting her great-grandmother (the one that she is named for) on Easter, I wanted her to look special. So I knew that I needed a special looking dress.

I had three patterns all picked and fussed over them all, taking them apart, fussing over this detail or that... but then this one caught my eye and I knew that this one had to be the one.

The sew-a-long runs all next week. I think that it ends next Sunday? I am not sure yet if I want to share progress pictures or not. Maybe I will, maybe not. All I will say is that bright colors, tons of ruffles and a twirly skirt is going to make this dress a huge hit!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

new beginnings

Today might have been a near perfect day. We had planned to stay home, do nothing, watch a movie and just relax. Instead, we heard that the weather was going to be beautiful and we just knew that we couldn't spend the day sitting inside, letting the mild temperatures go to waste. During breakfast, we threw the windows open, cooked and ate breakfast as a family, and planned our day.

What did we plan? Our first bike ride of the year! We LOVE biking and love trying out all our local trails (and are thinking about getting a rack so we can try out further our trails). Today, we did a short five mile ride but it felt wonderful getting out again. Hubby realized that its a bit harder pulling the littles this year than it was last and we are now talking about getting a second trailer so I can pull one of them behind me.
perfect memories
After biking, I convinced hubby to take the littles to the park. Anyone who knows my hubby knows that he is not a big fan of the park. So its not an every day thing that he comes along with us. But today, he did join us and he had as much fun as they did.

My little (to me) 19 month old son climbed to the top of the play structure ON HIS OWN! More than seven feet in the air and not a drop of fear on his face. Where SweetPea at this age loved swinging, Porker loves the slide! The higher the slide, the faster that he could swoop down, the better. SweetPea is still more cautious on the slides, preferring to slow herself down, where my little Porker flew off the slide more times than I could count (sometimes, even the correct way).

I am so longing for our weather to remain the way that it was today. Warm and mild during the bike ride, getting a bit nippy at the park but still decent. I feel myself waking up inside with each warmer day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

a week in review.... letter N

Wow! I cannot believe that we are now officially over half way through our alphabet! And best of all, she is retaining it now! When she was newly three and we tried this, we didn't make it this far. I think that we made it to about G before SweetPea lost all interest in not only learning her letters but on learning anything "school" related at all. And now, this year, we are just about two weeks away from her big 100 day celebration!

practicing numbers

For math this week, we worked on practicing numbers in a more practical setting. She made a March calendar, writing in all the numbers. We also worked on classification... reading clues (by me) and filling in the answers (by her). I am getting VERY giddy watching her know how to write more and more letters from memory. It makes me feel good that I CAN teach her and that she CAN learn from home.

N is for numbers

In fact, we had fun learning that N is for "numbers".... and "notes". Which meant lots of singing, lots of counting, lots of playing Mother May I. Which was a more than a bit difficult when Porker wanted to play by just jumping around the room, which would lead to SweetPea joining in. But at least she would tell me how long she could "hop" (Mama! I can hop for four mim-its! Want to see?)

noodle sensory fun

I couldn't come up with many good "n" foods which is totally not like me. But we did have fun (Porker, more than SweetPea) with our noodle sensory box. And SweetPea helped me make spaghetti noodles for dinner. I also learned that while she loves helping me to bake, she is not too fond of helping me cook. At least not right now. For snacks this week, we dined on different kinds of nuts. PorkChop has become the king of the peanut! SweetPea has shown that she prefers pistachios. Nobody wanted to share my almonds with me, but that's ok... more for me!

learning about classification

We ended up not getting much outdoor time in either. Our weather has just been cold, rainy, windy or finicky. I am hoping that that changes soon. We really thrive on our outdoor days and look forward to our morning routine of riding bikes/walking up and down the street. 

n is for notes

Thankfully, Friday our weather was beautiful and we made it to the local library to enjoy reading month. SweetPea worked on the computers for a while while PorkChop played with the trains and the puzzles. They both entertained the idea of hitting the library more often, which I would love! I miss our library days, our park days, going bowling and skating.... I am ready for our summer routine!

March reading fun 
We only have two more weeks before our big break. And I am ready!