Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Day in this Momma's life

I belong to a wonderful online group and we decided to do "A Day in the Life Of" Posts so we could get to know each other a little better. I am way behind on mine, however I get to blame the move because my camera was MIA for a little while. This post may be a little picture heavy and a little Lilly heavy as well but the group I belong to is geared toward my newest baby so that's why. Now mind you, just like your child seems to be feeling fine once you get them in to the dr, my usually hectic chaotic crazy life went really smooth today :)

We started our day at 0830. Lilly, Zoey and I all sleep together so I get to wake up to two of the most beautiful faces in the world.

Straight to the kitchen for some breakfast. Zoey had a granola bar, Becky had oatmeal, I had a granola bar and Lilly had eggs. Connor gets up early so he had already ate and did his morning chores and hygiene and was already in playing on the xbox.

Everyone is up except for Maria so I head up to wake her up and she is NOT feeling it but this mean momma triumphs.

Now it's 9:15 and everyone has 15 minutes to finish their hygiene, breakfast and free time before school starts. I helped Zoey get dressed, checked up on facebook and my message boards and played with Lilly for a few.

9:30 time to start school. Of course now everyone needs a drink or has to pee because apparently the 15 minute heads up wasn't enough :)

Whew we made it and only 15 minutes behind schedule(that is really good for us) We started our day with spelling. This week the kids all have the same spelling/vocabulary words, because I felt we needed to review some common homophones. We work on a worksheet together and Zoey does a cpl pages from her pre-k workbook. She is only 3 so we do not do any formal learning with her. However, sometimes she wants to do "school" too so I bought a pre-k book at Wal-Mart that we work on. I am in the room pretty much the whole time as the kids are doing school so we have to be creative to keep Zoey happy. Aside from the workbook she also does tot trays, reads, builds with Lincoln Logs, watches TV or just plays. The tot trays are something that I happened upon and fell in love with. Zoey loves them too.

1/2 hour of spelling/vocabulary/handwriting done and now on to math. Maria is working in the LifePac curriculum this year and really likes it. Connor and Becky have workbooks that were given to me by a local public school. We work on math for a hour. Becky and Connor are a little distracted today so I know a break is going to be needed soon. They did math for 1 hour then language for 45 minutes. Connor and Becky both use Time4Learning for the language program. Online learning is great for Connor and Becky benefits from it with her language only.

1200 Connor and Becky are done with math and language and alternate taking Zoey outside for 15min so she can swing and play. They needed the fresh air as well. After taking her out they had free time. Connor watched some TV and played video games and Becky made binoculars out of toilet paper rolls for herself and Zoey. Maria joined Becky and Zoey when she finished her language.

Lilly fell asleep about 1115 after nursing. I have a rocking chair in the class room so she can sleep on my lap, which is where she ALWAYS naps....until today. I needed to put her down for a minute around 12, so I laid her on the living room floor fully expecting her to wake but she didn't. She actually stayed asleep. This is a FIRST. She slept there for almost a hour. I took the little bit of free time to help with binoculars, watch Zoey swing, make a quick post to facebook about my incredibly sleeping baby and make lunch.

Of course as soon as lunch is ready Lilly wakes up...Great timing. We have peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, chips and a piece of cherry chip cake. Lilly gets a jelly sandwich and some vanilla yogurt and a tiny bit of cake with no icing.

After lunch the kids have about 15 minutes before we need to get back to school work. They play, listen to music, etc.

1:30 time for social studies/science. Right now we alternate social studies and science(I think we will keep it this way). Connor has his Time4Learning for both subjects. Becky has LifePac for science and a McGraw/Hill text book for social studies.

The kids were working pretty independently on their school and Lilly was cooperating so I took that time to do my chores real quick. I had to clean the kitchen, unload and load the dishwasher, pull meat out for dinner, clean the dining room, my bathroom, the living room and the school room(it gets pretty messy between Zoey and Lilly).

Surprisingly we are done at 2:30. This is a rarity as we usually are not done till 330/400. I was very happy with this and so were the kids. They did their own thing and Lilly and I played on the floor and practiced walking. I tried to get Zoey to take a nap because she was a self proclaimed grouch today. Lilly nursed and went back to sleep on my lap for a hour and a half. Since everything was done...I let her sleep. I played on the computer, made some phone calls, watched some tv with Zoey while Lilly slept.

5:00 rolls around and it's time to start dinner but my friend Lorren has now got me wanting Subway and my sister says she has coupons for it sooooooooooooo.....Subway it is :) I get Lilly and Zoey dressed(Zoey for the 3rd time) and wake up Jerry. Maria and I take the little ones to pick up dinner. We always eat dinner together whether it be at the dining room table or the coffee table it is together.

After dinner, Jerry goes to Redbox to get the movie Thor for the family to watch. Zoey was asleep(way too late in the night but she needed it) but Lilly was in a playful mood so I wasn't able to watch the movie.

I made smoothies for snack about 830...yummmmmy. Lilly liked them too. A little too much, I had to hide it from her.

930- time to lay out Jerry's work clothes and pack his lunch. Yes I do these things, not because I have to but because I like doing them. Then I try to get a half our in on the treadmill but Lilly isn't cooperating so I only get 15 minutes in.

1000- Connor and Becky both go to bed(Becky is a half hour late)

1045- Maria watches the baby so I can take a quick shower then I take Lilly and Zoey to bed. Lilly goes to sleep quick however it is now 1215am and Zoey is still awake laying next to me watching The Goodnight Show on Sprout. I knew that late nap was going to bite me in the butt.

Tomorrow I will do it all over again but probably not as lucky on the staying on schedule thing.We also study art and music but not today and we will be starting Latin soon, just waiting till we have a better handle on our routine.
I'm sure to most this is a pretty boring day but I wouldn't change it for the world. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with my kids(not a luxury many can afford now) and I feel even more blessed to be able to homeschool them. I don't feel it is for everyone but I am grateful for the choice.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Our school room

So, we got all moved in to our new house. We've been here almost 2 months now and I am still in the honeymoon phase. I love this house and know that it is the house meant for us. There are so many things I love about it but tonight I'll just share my FAVORITE room with you. I was happy to have an extra room that we could store our school stuff in, and at first that is how I pictured it, just a room to store stuff in and maybe a computer or tv for the kiddos. As things started going in to the room it became my favorite room and I could sit in there and just design it in my head. I had no problem doing our school work at the kitchen table or in the living room on the couch but that was before I had the room to have a designated space for school. I really believe we all will be comfortable doing our school work in there. I decided to share some pictures with you, especially for those curious homeschoolers that love to see other people's school spaces. There are a few things I still want to add. Some bright colored valances will be nice. I would love to find some bean bags for the kids to sit and read on and a bright colored clock but here is what we have so far.....

The brown shelf has all our leisure reading books, the colored tubs on the bottom have paperback books, chapter books and scholastic books. The blue tubs on top are workbooks and the white basket is full of readers. The shelves up top are filled with textbooks, curriculum, art supplies, basic school supplies, and past years binders. The two posters on the wall on the right are Dr Suess numbers and alphabet. Drawers on the right house craft supplies, legos, and lincoln logs.

 This is the chalkboard we made. We bought a piece of birch plywood ($8), a can on tintable chalkboard paint ($8). We put 2 coats of paint on, hung it on the wall and then just put a bulletin border on it. You can use chalkboard paint directly on the wall, but this wall is paneling and I didn't want the lines. Oh, and I still have 3/4 of a can of chalkboard paint left :)
This is the computer end of the classroom. It isn't quite done yet. I want to hang the sombrero by the maps and put the Japanese dolls(the ones on window) on a shelf as well as add all the other items that Jerry has collected in his travels.

 I love these. I found them at Wal-Mart today while grocery shopping. They were on clearance for $4 for the set. They are dry erase circles that stick to the wall but can be removed and re-applied. I gave each school age child one for their daily schedule.
Okay last picture. This is our table that we found at a garage sale for $15. I have to give Jerry credit for this one since he is the one that said we should get it for this room. I love it and it fits perfectly in there. It's a great size so that we can work together but not be right on each other either. My white board is essential to me. The posters on the wall are times tables and addition facts. The lower ones on the right are shapes and colors.

Well, that is our school room. We are very proud of it and very grateful to have a special space just for school. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Be careful what you wish for

It had been one of those days and it wasn't even half over. I had house to clean, kids fighting, and 2 little ones wanting my attention. I needed to go to the store but the baby was actually asleep on my oldest daughter, so after some thought I decided to sneak out with just the 3yr old. The baby always goes with me because she is a momma's girl and cries for everyone else. I knew I just needed a cpl things so I did it, I left.
On my way to the grocery store  I was reflecting on my typical busy hectic morning(I don't encourage reflecting while driving). I caught myself day dreaming(again not recommended while driving) about what things would be like in a couple years. You know, how easy life would be when Maria could drive to the store to get milk and Zoey and Lilly would be old enough to entertain themselves. Lilly would no longer be nursing so she wouldn't need me 24/7. Connor and Becky would be old enough to be lost in their own worlds instead of fighting over whose turn it is to pull who on the wood floors sock footed. When homeschooling would be easier because the younger ones would be sitting and doing work as well and someone else could make lunch so I could continue with another child, etc. etc etc..
Then I heard a little voice that snapped me back to reality,
Zoey~ "mom, I see you"
Me~ "I see you too"
Zoey~ "You're my best friend mom"
Me~ "swallow, deep breath..."you're my best friend too Zoe, I love you"

Why on earth would I want even one day to pass faster than it has to? Sure Maria could drive to the store for me, but then she will also want to drive other places and be even closer to being out in the real world. She'll be an official teenager this year and that's growing up too fast already. I should be grateful that Connor and Becky are even talking to each other, soon enough will come the day when they are more wrapped up in their friends to play with each other. Lilly is my last baby, the long nights and tied down days won't last  long. She's almost 8 months and is already learning that there is a world outside of me, even though she's not quite ready to explore it, she soon will be. I will have to bribe her to come snuggle and as for nursing, the time will come when she no longer physically "needs" me. And then...then there is Zoey I look at this amazing beautiful little girl and think, why, why would I ever want to rush time....I'm still her best friend.
Don't get me wrong, there will still be days that  I daydream, but I'm sure one of my amazing children will snap me back to reality(hopefully before I wreck my car).
So take a deep breath mommas, our jobs are hard but one day we will miss the hectic crazy days.
Now I'm off to make my best friend mad because she is STILL awake and dancing on the bed :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Online vs. IRL

Hello blog world.
     Like many others, I belong to several online message boards/forums. I also enjoy the world of online computer games and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You hear a lot of people talk negatively about people being on their computers and not interacting with people IRL (in real life) enough. I do have to say that we are raising a generation dependent on technology(that's a whole other topic) but is there really anything wrong with having cyber friends? Are they "real" friends even though they aren't IRL? Why can't they be considered IRL, they are real people. It kind of reminds me of pen pals, just a faster delivery process :)
     I'll be the first to admit, I am a bad friend. With 5 children, everyday chores, homeschooling, and time with the hubby there leaves little time to hang with friends. I'm also a very introverted person, always have been. I've had my share of close friends but I was happiest with just a cpl good friends. I enjoy being at home, I enjoy spending time with my kids and my husband and well...the need to go out and socialize just isn't there for me. For someone like me, cyber friends are great. I can get on and "talk" when I have time or I can just get on and "lurk" to see what everyone is up to. I don't have to make excuses for not wanting to go shopping or out for coffee. I don't have to sit on the phone and try to listen while kids are yelling and playing in the background, heck I don't even have to worry about doing my hair or make up or what I am wearing.
     I could make up a whole different life online if I wanted, but what's funny is I find it so easy and comfortable to be completely honest online. It kind of feels like a safety net, I'm not worried about being the weird outsider or not having the most stylish clothes, etc. They are in cyber world, they can't see me(unless I want them to) and if I say something stupid it will get lost in the posts quickly or I can delete it.
     Yet, I still hear myself saying "someone on my message board" when I am discussing an online conversation with someone IRL. I really want to say "My friend said...." or "My friend went through that too". Why is it so taboo to admit you have REAL friends in your REAL life that you met online and have never met in person?
     I guess I just want to say that, especially in one online group, I have met some REAL friends. I know that I can go to these ladies and talk about anything and wow, we definitely have. I know that I can go and vent, share my frustrations, share my joys, talk about adult things, mom things, and well just talk about life......REAL LIFE.
     You ladies know who you are, and I just want to say Thank you. Thanks for being such good friends. Sometimes life gets busy, especially with new babies and you can kind of feel lost in the transition. You feel left out of certain groups, no longer want to be part of others and you can end up feeling pretty alone. But just know that it's okay to call your online friends, REAL friends and that we are there for each other.

Coming soon: We are about to start our new school year. We are all moved in to our new house and I have my favorite room done, our school room. Pictures to come soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm a horrible horrible blogger

I apologize. I had every intention of blogging daily for a year. That was the challenge to myself. I guess I didn't take in to consideration the fact that I have 5 children, 1 being an infant and that I am in the middle of packing my house up.
Anyway, please forgive me. I will still blog when I have a few moments to myself. New goal: at least once a week :)

Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to pop in and say Happy Mother's Day to all of you mommies out there. Have a wonderful day. Enjoy some good quality time with your kids because with out them we would have no need for a mother's day. It's supposed to be beautiful here tomorrow so I'm hoping to get outdoors with my little ones.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tuesday's Blessings..a cpl days late

With not feeling well and all the other things that have kept me busy I forgot to do my Tuesday's blessings.  I guess I am a work in progress because I really wanted to make sure I did that no matter what. So here it is even if it is a cpl days late.

~ I am thankful for my husband. He works so hard to provide for us even though their are many days he would much rather be home with us.
~ I am thankful for missing my husband EVERY night when he's at work because it means we have an amazing kind of love, one where we miss each other even after 18yrs of being together.
~ I am even thankful for the hard times in those 18yrs because it has given us a much greater appreciation for REAL love

~ I am thankful for my family, even when they drive me crazy or I drive them crazy. Family is so special and I think some times we take it for granted. To any of my family that actually read this thing...I love you and I really am grateful for you
~ I am thankful for online friends. I am not a good friend, honestly, I'm not. I am a good listener and will usually help you see the positive in things but I just don't have time for a lot of real life friends. I know that probably sounds sad but it's the truth. I don't like to talk on the phone, I really do have a 1000 things to do and on the weekends, I really do want to spend time with my kids and husband. Thanks to message boards/forums and facebook I am able to have friends again. They don't require a lot of my time. I am able to offer a shoulder, a laugh, a smile, or be a sounding board all without having to interrupt the day too much. I know I know it really doesn't sound good but those that are like me will understand.
~ I am thankful for a computer and the Internet, with out it all of this home loan paper work stuff could have taken FOREVER
~ I am thankful for the TV because it is giving me the time to write tonight. Yes it is 11:17pm and my 2yr old is up and watching tv...and naked to boot. Refer to earlier post titled "So not better than you" and you will understand
~ I am thankful for McDonalds, is that sad? I didn't realize how grateful I was for that until this week when they closed the one closest to me down for re-model. Oh well, guess the kids will get real food for 6-8 weeks. Then again, Taco Bell is still open :)

Here's the big one for the week, no debates please......
~ I am thankful, truly thankful, to be an American. That's right, you heard me. There is bad and there is good. There are those that will find bad in EVERYTHING and those that will find the good. However, I have to say the "bad" we have is still a lot better than a lot of people's good. So yes I am thankful.

Good night all. I will try and make up for earlier this week by writing this weekend.

Join me....comment below on what you are thankful for? You are welcome to leave a link to your blog as well especially if you want to join with me and do a weekly "Thankful" post.

Thanks for being patient

I am feeling better now and I've almost got the house back together. I think tonight I will just recap the last few days.
Saturday was our UFC night. We like to buy the UFC on demand fight and have the family over for good food, good company and a good fight. Yeah, I know, UFC? I find it pretty interesting though.

Sunday morning I caught some bug and it knocked me pretty much on my butt. Jerry was going to record a few songs (singing is his favorite hobby), so the baby and I stayed in bed pretty much all day.

Every day since then has been BUSY! We are in the process of buying our first house. While Jerry was in the Marine Corps we never really had a desire to own since base housing was a convenient option. We are now ready to venture in to this wonderful world of house ownership. Let me be honest with you....we are scared poopless. I am amazed at all the paper work, I don't think my printer has ever worked so hard. I know it will be so worth it in the end though. The house we are looking at is ideal for our family. It's a BIG 2 story house with 5 bedrooms and a den (school room). I love the idea of having a school room. I mean, I know we won't actually do school in there as we are "get comfy on the couch" kind of people but it will be nice to have a room this year for the hodge podge of books/ things I have acquired and intend to acquire.

The dining area is huge and would be ideal for our family gatherings, remember I have 7 sisters and 6 of us are married and have children, so our gatherings are very big. Sooo, keep us in your thoughts and hopefully I will have some good news to share about that soon.

I'm also spending a lot of time researching curriculum. I need to find something new for the kiddos next year and I'm kind of stuck. All the information out there can be overwhelming but I am glad I can find out as much information as I can. I know I will find the right one for each kid...right?

Okay, I've rambled enough. I apologize, I just have no inspiration to write tonight. So instead of just babbling, I'm going to call it a night.

I'll be back tomorrow, refreshed and ready.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Can I call in sick?

I'm sorry to say I am sick. I obviously cannot call in sick from being a mom but I am going to call in sick from being a blogger. If feeling well I'll be back tonight if not I will see you all tomorrow.

Good news though, being sick has seemed to cure my insomnia at least temporarily.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's, Just a Little Something

Whew...the weekend is finally here. I am ready for it. Today's "little something" is a story I read a while back that left a true impression on my heart. I am not sure who wrote it or where it came from but please know that I am not taking credit for it. If anyone knows who I can credit for this, please let me know.

A Boy and the Nails
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father was very concerned for his son’s future and thought hard about how he could explain to his son why relationships are so important and controlling his temper is a key factor in this.

After much thought his father gave him a bag full of nails and told him, “Every time you lose your temper, hammer a nail into the back of the fence.” His son did not understand but knew that his father was wise so he agreed.

On the first day that the boy received his bag of nails he ended up driving about 37 nails into the fence. Each day he learned little by little to control his temper. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.

He was very proud of himself and went to share his good news with his father. His Father was very proud of him and offered a challenge to his son. “Why don’t you pull out a nail everyday that you are able to hold your temper?”

As there were many nails in the fence it took the boy sometime to finally remove the nails from the fence. But eventually that joyous day arrived. He was so pleased with himself and he wanted to share this with his father.

His father was so proud of his son, but he wanted him to understand that holding his temper was more than just being able to add or remove nails from a fence. He took his son’s hand and showed him all the holes that were left from the nails. “As you see my son, this fence will never be the same, the fence is scarred with holes from your temper. Think of these holes as the words you have spoken in anger, the wounds you have left in people’s lives. Words really are like weapons they leave a wound, that does not heal easily. Son, your family and friends will make you smile and encourage you to succeed, they will lend an ear, share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us. Always remember the fence before you speak words of anger.”

Let's Play Ball

Today was Connor's first baseball practice of the year. He was so excited.  He loves ball. It is such a great outlet for him. He's pretty good too. He still has a lot to learn but he has the basic skills down. This year is his first year in the minors (ages 9/10) so he gets to try new things like sliding, stealing bases and pitching. I've never been a baseball fan but it sure is different when it's your child playing. It's funny how "in to" the game you get when it's your child out there running the bases or throwing a ball in field.
Connor and Daddy after last year's season

I was reading an article on about the benefits of children playing sports. These are the benefits it lists,
  • physical exercise
  • social skills
  • self-esteem
  • handling disappointment
  • empathy
  • reaching goals
  • discovery of skills
I have to say that Connor has benefited in all these ways.
He loves video games like most kids his age but he'd choose getting sweaty running bases over any video game.
He enjoys meeting new people and can make friends with anyone pretty fast (pretty impressive for an "un-socialized" homeschool).
Self-esteem is a big one. Every kid needs to feel good about themselves and when they find something they are good at it does make them feel good. I love when he comes home filled with pride that he played hard and did his best, especially when his effort pays off.
Handling disappointment, this is a big one as well. I think we all are guilty of allowing our kids to win at Chutes and Ladders or running a little slower in a race, etc. The problem with that is some times we forget to teach our children how to lose. Losing, especially in sports, is a part of life. We are not always going to be the best at everything and it is very important for a child to learn that it is okay to lose and it is okay to not always be the best. I try to remind my children that we all have our own strengths and we all have our own weaknesses.
The meaning of empathy: the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings . I have seen this a lot in sports. My son's first year of playing baseball he played against a team of all disabled children. I watched as the kids patiently waited for a blind child to hit the ball off a tee and when he hit it they cheered for him just as if he was on their team. Another time a child on my son's team was hit in the eye with a fly ball, knocking him to the ground. The children on both teams cheered and were amazed when he got up and continued to play even as his eye was swelling shut. The children didn't feel sorry for these children, they didn't pity them, they put themselves in their shoes and felt how proud they were.
Children definitely are able to set goals while playing sports and when they reach that goal the results are noticeable. They can physically see that they hit the ball harder, threw further, fielded more balls, etc. Reaching goals also helps in the self-esteem area and empathy area as well.  Who doesn't feel better when they reach a goal?
Finally we come to the discovery of skills.Sports or not, it is important for children to try new things. They will never know if they have a skill in something if they are never able to attempt it.

So those are some of the benefits of sports, but what if your child doesn't enjoy sports? Do you force him/her to play? Do you make them keep trying different sports until they find the one they like? Do you figure that sooner or later they will enjoy it?
I'm no psychologist but my opinion is a big fat NO. Once again everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. You might have been an excellent ball player (baseball, soccer, football, etc) but it doesn't mean your child is, or that your child even has any desire in playing. Forcing them to do so will just result in them probably resenting you and all the above benefits would be outweighed by the detriments it would cause.

Are you one of "those" parents? You know what I'm talking about. The one who is practically climbing the fence yelling at your child for not hitting hard enough or not running fast enough? The one the pulls them aside and is obviously saying something to shame them bad enough that they look around to make sure no one is looking at them? Your defense being that if you aren't tough enough on them they will never make it to the big leagues. Do you understand that you are in most cases building a hate of the game in your child and a resentment of you? The game is not fun for them, it is just a place where they can never do good enough in your eyes. It's a place of humiliation, a place of shame. I just don't understand why/how a parent can break their child down like that.

Am I saying you should praise your child for sitting in the outfield playing in the dirt? No, you should encourage your child to at least try if they really want to play. However when they do try, whether the outcome is good or bad, you should praise your child. I promise it has never hurt a child to tell them "Good try", "You'll get em next time", "You're getting faster every time", etc.

Don't get me wrong, it's not just parents like this. I have seen many coaches that take the fun of any sport away. They yell at and put down the child for not being good enough. I've even seen a coach get mad throw his glove down, cursing, and throwing an outright tantrum. Seriously, is a kid's baseball game that serious? I'll say now that if my child is ever on a team with a coach like that, he would be pulled off quickly. Is that teaching my child to quit? I don't think so, but it is teaching my child that he/she deserves respect and should never allow ANY ONE to make them feel like anything less than they are.

I'll get off my soap box now and enjoy the season with my son. Those of you going in to baseball season as well, Have fun, and tell your kids that this momma says Good job and go get 'em.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Desperately seeking sleep...

Okay all, I am not posting some long winded blog tonight. Lilly has her 4mo appt. in the morning which means I have to get up early. I have been battling a serious case of insomnia for well over a month now and I am determined to get some sleep tonight. I figure the best way to do that would be to get OFF the computer, shut the tv off and just go to bed, so that's what I am going to try.
Good night cyber world.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sshhh...dare I say it's quiet's really quiet here. I can't believe I just said that, now the noise fairies will probably curse me with screaming kids, barking dogs, thunder and car alarms. Funny, seriously I just heard thunder...I knew I shouldn't have said it :) Whew it's been one of those days. I truly feel blessed for each and every one of my children but I tell ya, some days....well that's it, just some days.
Lilly is teething. Poor baby's gums hurt so bad. She doesn't cry and scream but she has taken to making this weird noise. I can't quite explain it, it's just a constant whining growling kinda noise. She buries her face in to me and makes the noise till she falls asleep. I think she just wants me to know she is in pain and I am getting the message LOUD and clear. My shirt and hers are constantly soaked with the never ending slobber coming from her mouth and obviously putting her down makes the pain a zillion times worse.
Zoey, well Zoey is 2, what more can I say? She doesn't quite grasp the concept of being quiet so the baby can sleep. She does try, but quickly forgets, as in a second later she's singing and yelling at the dog for eating her candy. house is noise. Now don't get me wrong I think I really do love the noise. I grew up with 7 sisters so I'm used to the noise. I love watching my kids act silly and sing off key. There are some days though, that the noise just kinda gets to you. You know the days when you actually take a deep breath and there is the sound of the tv, grass cutting outside, cars driving by, computer keys being tapped, a baby babbling, a toddler playing, a 7yr old singing her heart out, a 9 yr old bored (so of course I must be told that numerous times) and a 12 yr old......nope, she's the quiet one. Those days you think your ears just may be bleeding. Yeah, it's been one of those days.
So, now here I sit at 1:00am and the house is quiet. Seriously the only noise I hear is the ice maker and the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard. I know I should go to bed but sometimes you just want to enjoy the quiet for a little while even if it means sacrificing your own precious sleep.
I'm curious as to where others find their quiet time. I just can't seem to find it till it's past the time I should be sleeping. This is my time, my time to re-energize, my time to just breathe.
I am really bad about taking me time even when it's given to me. My dear husband will take all the kids to the store, etc and I get so excited. Woohoo quiet time for momma, but guess what, I'm lost. I'm lost when it's too quiet. Deep down past my bleeding ear drums and my pounding head is this unfathomable love of the noise. I guess the noise tells me my kids are alive and healthy. The noise tells me they are creative and opinionated (that's a nice way to put it, right?). The noise means family to me. I grew up with it, I live with it now and I dread the day that I will wish for the noise again.
Goodnight all. I'm off to cuddle in bed with my 2 youngest...who by the way snore LOUDLY, and I will enjoy every second.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blessings...sometimes in disguise

I am taking part in a challenge to count my blessings. So, every Tuesday through May I will post about my blessings. It may be 10 things or it could be 100. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes they are in disguise. Feel free to join me.

Starting today:

1. I am thankful for Lilly waking me at 4:00am just to play. Her smile is infectious even at 4am and I enjoy our own quiet time
2. I am thankful for teething. Lilly may be clingy and grouchy but I am thankful that teething is the worst of our problems.
3. I am thankful for Zoey's voice no matter how loud it is or how many questions she asks. She has a voice and  is eager to learn about this world.
4. I am thankful for the rain, yes it has rained every day, but it has also stopped every day and a rainbow appears just as God promised.
5. I am thankful for my husband, whom I love dearly. He works so hard to provide for our family. He's an amazing father and a great husband.
6. I am thankful....SO thankful for the right to homeschool my children.
7. I am thankful for my sisters. They are my best friends and life is never boring with them.
8. I am thankful for my home even if we are outgrowing it
9. I am thankful for my family's health
10. I am THANKFUL for Cherry Pepsi, that's right, I said it. With this wonderful bout of insomnia I've been having, Cherry Pepsi has been my closest friend

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cloth diapering is for grandma's and hippies....right?

    It's funny how not only people but things are stereotyped. We've all done it, some more than others, but we've all done it. We've all been guilty of saying "those people" sometime in our life. I remember actually being dead set against cloth diapering with my other kids. I rarely heard of it but when I did, I thought to myself why would anyone do that. Why would you want to wash diapers? Aren't your babies always wet just having a piece of cloth on them? Aren't they big and bulky? What about diaper rash, having that wet fabric against their skin can't be good can it?............................Fast forward to my 5th child. It all started when I was pregnant with my 5th child. I was a member of an expecting mom's message board and several of the women were talking about cloth diapering. I was amazed at how many people were talking about this. I really don't remember how many women it was but even if it was 2 that was amazing to me. What kind of board was I a member of ...these are crazy women. I thought these are all 60yr old women or I missed the notice of "tree huggers" only. I had to go see what all this hoopla was about. So of course I went to google. I expected to find plain white cloth squares and safety pins and maybe some rubber pants. Boy, was I WRONG. I could not believe all the possibilities out there. I was Clueless. I quickly fell in love with the look of the cute fluffy diapers but that didn't answer the question about how they worked. I was tired and pregnant and gave up the research pretty quickly. I bought my Huggies and waited for the baby. Lilly was born on Dec. 30, came home in her sposies and wore them for about 2, 2.5 months.
I started looking in to the pretty fluffy diapers again and what I learned amazed me. I really would save money, there were all different prices and styles. They absorbed and absorbed well. They contained breastfeeding blow outs and people talked about how rashes were less due to no chemicals against the baby's skin. What was I going to do with all this information?
   I bought one. I bought a Bum Genius 3.0 AIO with pocket because it was on sale. This would be a nice trial. The brand was talked about a lot and once was on sale. I got the diaper just a few days later and loved it. I hurried and prepped it and put it on my little Lilly. It was cute, it fit her good, now will it work? I'm ashamed to say I left her in that diaper for 5 hours (please do not call child services on me), I just wanted to test the diaper. Five hours later and the diaper was full but Lilly's skin was DRY, not only was it dry but she didn't have little gel things all over her. I washed and dried this diaper 2x a day so I could use it until I got more. $10.00 spent and I was hooked. I found several websites that I loved. I will post links to those sites at then end. I'm sure the owner of these websites won't mind me sending you there way but if anyone does just let me know and I'll remove the link. I'm now up to...I think 11 diapers, which is still less than I would like to have. I will get there, slowly but surely. I  have 2 custom made diapers, a pretty pink one with skulls on it and a World of Warcraft one...yes you read that right. I bought it more for my husband but I thought it was super cute. I've bought Kawaii, bumpkins, Zany Zebra, Sunbaby, Grovia, Econobum and several others. I have yet to find one I didn't like. I lean toward my pocket diapers the most but love the Econobum at night.
   That brings me to the next part of diapers....the inserts. There are different types there as well. Microfiber, microfleece, flannel, cotton, hemp, bamboo, and I'm sure others I haven't found yet. I haven't tried the bamboo yet but that's the next I plan to try. I love the absorbency of the microfiber and I love the trimness of the hemp. I don't like that microfiber can't go against the baby's skin and I don't like how long hemp takes to dry, but I wouldn't give up either product. You can also use prefolds but I just haven't figured them out yet so right now I use those to change the baby on :)
   Are they hard to wash? I've never had a problem with it. Since I don't have many I usually wash every night. I use the dryer to dry most of the time right now, but when the weather is nice and I'm not waiting on diapers I like to line dry them. Speaking of line drying, the sun is AMAZING. If one of the diapers or inserts stain you just set it in the sun and it is gone, literally, I mean gone. The sun bleaches it. I have found this really amusing and actually like when the inserts don't come all the way clean. I will find everyone in the house and show them the before and after. Hmmmmmm maybe I can make a science experiment out of this, Could I make the kids do laundry for science?????
   So there you have it, cloth diapers aren't for grandma's and they aren't for "hippies" either. You have a whole range of styles from prefolds and safety pins to the gDiapers that have flushable inserts.
You've heard the old saying "Don't knock it till you try it" well some times it just doesn't hurt to try. You may like it and if you don't you can always sell it. Yes, that's right people even buy used diapers...a lot of people including me.!/pages/Daring-DiapersDiapers-for-the-Alternative-Baby-by-DeShanna/103691009665967?sk=wall

This is Lilly in her World of Warcraft diaper with her daddy :)
bought from

curriculum time again

Our official home school schedule tends to follow along with the public school schedule in our town give or take a cpl weeks. We of course still learn all summer long, even when the kids aren't aware of it. Our first partial year of homeschooling we did workbooks and online printables, the second year we did workbooks, text books and online printables and games, and this year we did an online program called Time4Learning. We enjoyed T4L but Maria (our oldest) and I believe she did better when we worked in actual books. Connor was indifferent in most areas but his math seemed to slightly lower (usually his strong subject). Becky did amazing with T4L. It is an awesome program and it worked really well with her. She is up for switching back to books regardless, she just loves to learn.

So now comes the fun of researching all new curriculum. I don't really want to go with a boxed set because I like to have flexibility when it comes to determining what is the right level for each subject/child. I am not particular when it comes to a christian or secular program. My two older children do not have a real love for reading. They of course will do it, but a curriculum based on literature wouldn't be beneficial to their desire to learn. They both are very hands on learners. My youngest schooler can pretty much learn in any environment.
Maria will be in 7th grade this year and I would like to do some art program with her as this is her passion, maybe even a photo editing program. Connor will start 4th grade and his strength is math and would like to do something with music. Becky will start 2nd grade, however she works higher than her grade level in everything except math. Electives for Becky are still undecided as she wants to do EVERYTHING :). I think a foreign language is what we are discussing at the moment.

I would love to hear some reviews of your favorite curriculum, suggestions for us or things we should probably steer clear of. Remember I have 5 kiddos at home and I do not have a lot of time for lesson planning,etc., so a program that includes that or helps with that would be great. Feel free to share links with me as well.

Some programs I have looked at are Alpha Omega's Lifepac, Saxon math, and Sonlight. I would love to hear reviews on these and any others you love or loathe.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Just wanted to pop in and say Happy Easter to you all. May we all remember what this joyous holiday is about.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just 1 minute of your time mommy

How easy it is for little ones to smile. My 2 year old comes in today after drawing 3 or 4 lines on a piece of paper and tells her dad and I that she made us a picture. We asked her what it was and with a huge smile, filled with pride, she says it's a swing and a slide.. We tell her thank you and that her picture is beautiful and again she lights up. Later she comes in with a pot lid on her head dancing and singing "ming, ming, ming" and then daddy and I have to take a turn as well. Again, the huge smile crosses her face and she squeals with laughter. Mind you, at this time I was cleaning our bedroom and daddy had a sleeping baby on him. Normally I would have hurried her out of the room so that she didn't wake the baby or interrupt my cleaning, but I'm glad I didn't. Those two 1 minute "interruptions" made her day as well as mine.  Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make them smile? All day long we have things to do and we rush them, shush them, and shoo them away. Do we forget how much they look up to us? How they want so badly to have us acknowledge their artwork(yes even the drawings on the wall), their tower of blocks, their dolls all ready for a tea they want so badly for us to just take the time to acknowledge THEM. Life gets so busy for us adults. I personally have a baby to care for, laundry to do, a house to clean, meals to make, schoolwork for the kids, bills to pay, errands to run, etc. Some days there aren't enough hours in the day to get those things done let alone time for me or fun time with the kiddos. But, how much time do we spend on the computer throughout the day, how much watching tv, doing a hobby, _______, etc. you can fill in the blanks here? Our kids would love hours a day of our time but sometimes that just isn't realistic. What is realistic is just 1 minute. One minute of your time when they want to show you something, 1 minute to just love on them, 1 minute to read a book (okay maybe more than 1 minute but you get the gist). This isn't asking too much of us, it's our children just asking us to be their parents.  Am I saying that we shouldn't spend time on the computer or watch tv or do anything for ourselves? No, that's not what I am saying at all. We all need time to ourselves as well, but to put a smile on the face of your child is def. worth 1 minute here and there. You might find that singing with a pot lid on your head is kinda fun or that drawing scribbles on a piece of paper and making up what it is as you go along is a nice release. I promise the dishes will still be there, the power bill can wait a minute, facebook won't delete all the statuses you miss, your voicemail will pick up and the texts will be there waiting. And your child will be ecstatic. that you gave them that minute. Let's remember that our children are learning from us. We are readying them for the world, do we want to teach them that their happiness isn't important. It is up to us as parents to build them up, to teach them that they are important and worthy of some one's time. We are responsible for building their self worth, there will be enough in life that will it tear it down so we need to give them a nice solid foundation.
That's all for now folks...I have some children to play with :)

Just a lil something

So my goal was to blog everyday for a year but I didn't take into acct the fact that my husband has only  2 nights a week off (3 this week due to Easter), so on those days I will post atleast "a lil something". A quote that touched me, a poem, something I heard etc.

I seen this the other day on Facebook and it really made an impression on me so now I will share it with you.

Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that they are exactly the person they are supposed to be. And that, if you're lucky, they just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be." ~The Water Giver

Good night all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

adventures in couponing and other ramblings

Okay, so by now everyone has heard of the show Extreme Couponing. I have watched it a cpl times but honestly it reminds me of the show hoarders. I mean I give props to those that donate to food shelters, etc but some of these people seem to have some serious issues. I was cutting my coupons for my grocery shop tomorrow and was proud of the stack I had accumulated, but in no way felt like I was being "over the top" I mean I did print 3 coupons for  1.50 off a container of  lysol wipes but I use lysol wipes and getting them for .39 is an amazing deal. Notice I am getting 3 not 300. Don't get me wrong I am not saying all these people are wrong, it just seems weird to me. Things do have expiration dates, like medicine, food and soda, even makeup. What happens when they expire, do they just throw them out? What about the cost of printing coupons and how, just how do they get all those newspaper inserts? I don't know,  maybe I'm subconsciously jealous but it just seems weird to me. Awesome to those that do donate. Please let me add that I am not trying to insult just speaking my opinion and lack of understanding.

On to better things.

My 7 yr old has a strong desire to save the earth. Now I must shamefully admit that my husband nor I are very green., so this was quite a surprise for us. I kind of put her off for a little while telling her we help by conserving power and water when honestly it was just to save on our power bill. I got to thinking that if she has such a passion for this then I am a pretty crappy mom to not encourage it. Today we cleaned the recycling bin out (had been collecting sticks and other yard waste) and started recycling. Thank goodness our community recycling program is easy and no sorting is required. I told her even though I started cloth diapering for the financial savings and the lack of chemicals that it too was helping the earth. I showed her the video on the gDiapers website and that made her happy. I am going to make a point to buy more earth friendly products when I shop. What are some other ways you are going green? Maybe you know of a nice school project we can do on Saving the Earth. I think I will do some googling tomorrow being as Earth Day is Friday and fine some fun things I can do with her. This is not her only passion. She also loves to sing, dance, write songs, draw and she LOVES to learn. She has such a desire to learn about everything. She came to me on Saturday and wanted to learn to write cursive, at first I was hesitant but thought....why not. She has practiced every day since. I know she is only 7, but I pray that she keeps this desire to learn and this passion for the things she loves forever.

Well...that's it for tonight folks. It's near 3:00am here and I have an early morning. More rambling soon to come. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

so not better than you

I just recently participated in two forum posts titled "So Not Better than You". The idea was to turn the "mommy wars" inside out. Laying it all on the table. How are you so not better than other moms? Do you let your laundry wait, dinner dishes sit, are your kids in front of the tv while you are on the computer? I found it funny though how one person's perspective of bad=another's perspective of good. Such as one person would say "I'm so not better than you because I let my child sleep in my bed and tend to their every cry" and another post would say "I'm so not better than you because I make my child sleep in his/her own bed and may cry for 5 minutes". Why is it that we have such different perspectives on good/bad parenting. If your child is happy/healthy and thriving isn't that what should matter? The "mommy wars" have been around forever and I don't see them going away anytime soon. Why do we have such a desire to be the "perfect" mom in everyone else's eyes when the only person we should be trying to be the "perfect" mom for is our own child? I'll admit I've compared before. I see other kids doing something that my child can't/doesn't do and I wonder why. I try and remember that adults are different, we all have our own individual strengths and weaknesses and so will children.
So every once in awhile a "I'm so not better than you" post can open your eyes. It's 12:00am here, my almost 4 month old is sleeping on me while I type, my 2yr old is on the couch naked (she hates clothes) watching Caillou, my 7 and 9 yr old are in bed but probably not asleep and my 12 yr old is on the other computer playing World of Warcraft (yep that's right we play video games...I'll hold for the gasping), the dinner dishes are half done, there are toys and the 2yr olds clothes on the floor and I'm pretty sure I have a load of clothes still in the washer. But guess what.... ITS OKAY. The kids don't have to get up early so they will get enough sleep, the mess will wait another day, my daughter's nakedness is only at home and even though she makes me freeze she is happy. They are all happy, they are all healthy, they are all loved unconditionally so I have no problem saying, I am SOOO not better than you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

new to the cloth diaper world

Sooo....L is my fifth child. I have never even thought to cloth diaper. I thought that was for the old I also thought it was kinda gross and couldn't understand how the baby wouldn't get diaper rash worse. For some reason I decided to try it with this baby and I LOVE it. It's been so nice not have blow outs (you all know what I mean) and well cloth diapers are SUPER cute.
I've tried a number of different kinds and have found my favorite to be pocket diapers. No real favorite brand yet but I def. like the pockets.
So if anyone out there has favorites that I just have to try, let me know. I have my basic stash and I have promised hubby I will only buy 1 diaper a payday now :) but you know if there is one I just "have" to try then I just may have to arrange that.

where did the time go

Okay so I was going to start this blogging thing and then...well...I guess life just got in the way. Since my first entry I have had another child, L, who is almost 4months old.
This year we decided to try something new and do an online program as our core curriculum. It's called Time4Learning. I have really liked it, especially with the new baby as my free time is pretty much gone. This program keeps records for me so that is great. The kids like it as well. However my oldest wants to go back to books/workbooks next year. I think the idea of writing things down as she goes helps her learn.
I am struggling with teaching my oldest HOW to study. She tries copying pages word for word as her notes. Right now I have stopped her SS and science while we focus on learning note taking and study skills.
I recently watch the documentary Waiting for Superman and it was a nice refresher of why I homeschool. Some days it is really hard and somedays I'm a little jealous of others who have quiet in their house during the day and time to clean, etc. so a reminder of WHY we chose to homeschool helps. It's also really nice when you get to see how well your children are learning. I love when out of no where they start talking about something they have learned months ago.
The weather is getting nice here so I thank God for laptops. We can go outside and do our school work in the sunshine as well as outdoor activities.
Okay, so this time I am determined. I have decided to make it a self challenge that I will blog daily. Let's see how it goes. I'll get a nice start tonight as I have a few things to blog about :)

Oh and if you have any suggestions or tips for me on this blogging thing, feel free to help me out :)