What we’ve been up to

Life has definitely whizzed by. And a lot has gone on.

Party Time

Today we are getting back in to the routine of school. Tomorrow we are going to a Valentine’s/ 100 Days of School Party with our homeschool group. We are all excited about it.

Yesterday we made valentines:

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I gave Peanut full creative license on hers. She decided to add her own artistic touches with glitter glue and ball point pen.

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Bubba and I worked together on his. He loved the stickers.

Today, we counted out 100 goldfish and 100 chocolate chips for the group trail mix, and 100 crayons for show and tell. Peanut was shocked that we had 100 crayons, and was amazed at how small of a pile it really was.

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This afternoon we will be making cupcakes and cookies to bring to the party. (I’ll post pictures when they’re done!)

Random Projects

I have been working hard the past week crocheting a blanket for a friend who is about to have a baby.  It took me four attempts to get the width right, and I feel like it’s still shrinking. It could be the yarn I chose, but I think it’s the variation in my tension with each row. I should be done by now!

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Bubba thinks it’s his blanket, even though I told him it was for his friend’s new baby sister. He keeps taking it and wrapping it around himself, which pulls out some stitches. Ah, but he’s so cute putting the blanket over his little toes.

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I am so excited, however, that my dining room has FINALLY gotten the second (and last) coat, and I can hang my pictures back on my walls! I am so relieved that it’s done, and I can check that off my list!

Holding my breath… (A potty training post)

I am holding my breath tonight that my little guy will be holding it all in.

This morning he woke up dry. I almost fainted when I realized it. I was thrilled. I tested something today. I made sure there was just a sheet and blanket on his bed at nap, and kept him in underwear. And he was tired. He slept from 1:30-4:15, and…

guess.

HE WOKE UP DRY!!!

 

Plus, no accidents today. At. All.

 

Mama’s doing the happy dance. I’m really hoping and praying he wakes up dry tomorrow (he is in a diaper though).

 

Anyway, that’s just the good parts of potty training. I’ll spare you the messy bad parts. 

Basketball, Bible Study and Boys’ Underwear

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Saturday was Peanut’s first basketball game of the season. She has gotten really good at making baskets. She was “so super excited” to play her game.

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She’s been working on her dribbling, and trying to be able to dribble without looking at the ball. She’s improving, too.

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The game showed a lot of areas where we need to work on. Like, explaining to her *how* a game actually works. Tonight’s practice was promising, though. And she was playing defense amazingly in the scrimmage. She also was paying attention as to when to switch to offense. So this Saturday’s game should be fun.

My Tuesday Morning Bible study has been really convicting. When Jeff and I came together to decide that closing my child care would be the best decision for our family, I was very encouraged that: A) we made a decision together as a unified husband and wife; and B) Jeff would be encouraged that I could actually give him the space he needed to lead our family in the financial realm of life.

This was a HUGE step for me to take because I like to be in control. Of our money, of planning, setting goals, of everything. And God has been teaching me that HE is ultimately in control, and I NEED TO LET HIM DO HIS JOB.

I realized, by studying pride and humility, that I was trying to take back control of our life, and searching for ways I can work in some child care clients to make some extra money. Which is basically telling God, “You’re in control. I know that you’ll work things out. In the meantime, I’ll try to fix this on my own. I don’t trust you 100%”

I am a work in progress, you know.

On a lighter note, I loaded up on these today. Guess why.

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Bubba is doing amazingly well, and much better than I expected. Is it wrong of me to have low expectations for a 27 month old boy in terms of potty training? I only began this endeavor because he kept coming up to me and saying, “Mama! I pooped! Change me!” I figured I’ll give it a day or two, and if it fails miserably (which it still could) then we won’t speak of it again, and try another time.

He had zero accidents today. Until I left him in the care of his Daddy while taking Peanut to B-Ball practice, during which he peed in his underwear two times. And I got an exasperated phone call asking me where all the underwear was. Which is why you see the above. I stopped at Family Dollar and picked up a couple extra sets and some pull-ups for the church nursery on my way home tonight.

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(excuse the poor image, my phone was the closest thing I could grab at this moment)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Preschool??

 

ImageYou know, I’ve been driving myself crazy the past few weeks with what to do with my 2 year old and homeschool. I mean, he’s going to be three this calendar year, and he has to start school right? Right?

I can’t *not* put him in some kind of formal education. You know?! Everyone’s kids are doing preschool- it’s the social norm. I even sent Peanut to the Private School down the street for prek at 3 and 4 years of age. And if he’s not in a preschool, then I sure and heck better be teaching him something, right? I mean, I better get cracking on those lesson plans and curricula for his every waking hour. When I taught Child Care, I paid big bucks for a curriculum because that’s what all the parents wanted their kids to be exposed to. So, I have to find something to fill his little mind with all the information that he should be learning right now!

/ end sarcasm here

Sheesh. I can’t believe I almost got sucked in to believing this again. Don’t worry, I’ll probably get sucked in to the “my kid can recite the alphabet forwards and backwards and multiply through 10 before his third birthday” comparison again in Bubba’s toddlerhood.

But for right now, this moment, I’m going to enjoy his toddlerhood. I’m going to crack up whenever he asks me if his ramen noodle is “the biggest I’ve ever SEEN??” (just imagine a grover-like voice and wide eyes as he holds a noodle above his head) and I’m going to tell him he drew a wonderful boat on my gas and electric bill. I’m going to let him cut his coloring pages with scissors, and run around the house like a madman, almost crashing his dump truck into the kitchen cabinets. 

We are going to read stories, and sing songs, and play with puzzles. (By the way- my kid can put together a 24 piece puzzle faster than any other two year old I know!) We are going to play ball, and build blocks and pretend to blast off to outer space. I’m going to let him “help” with cleaning the bathroom, and he’s going to stick that darn stepstool on my foot AGAIN while I’m cooking because he needs “to see what mama’s doing”. 

And just to satisfy that secret guilt and the wanna-be teacher inside of me, I found http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com for a free toddler curriculum that I’m going to be selectively picking and choosing from. Mainly just the Bible Curriculum. Because I need a reminder sometimes that he’s not too young to learn about what really matters.

And he’s going to watch Sissy do school every day most days. And one day, when he’s ready, he’s going to want to do it, too. 

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Sleepless Nights

My heart gets slightly less melt-y when I hear the pitter patter of my little guy’s feet through the house at night any more. Especially when it’s too-dark-to-roll-over-and-check-my-phone o’clock.

Somebody has been getting in my bed while I’m dead to the world and I wake up to constant kicks, squirms, wiggles, and once he even sat up and laid across my entire body.

I think he was in my bed three different times last night. I seriously lost track, and it kind of muddled up with my dreams, but I do remember putting him back in his bed once last night. And I remember telling him to go back to bed at least once, too. Maybe twice.

This has been going on for days, and I can’t get a full night’s sleep anymore. Oh the joys of motherhood. We’re going to have to have a talk about what’s MINE. Like my bed.

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This is what I woke up to this morning.

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Notice the pantry contents in the dump truck? And he admitted there was chocolate in his mouth.

I am going to sit on the couch, sip my lemon tea with honey, and watch some cartoons with the kids. There’s a craft project floating around in my head, we’ll see if I can get to it today.

Sick Day

Ugh.

There is a bug in our house, and I have caught the brunt of it. My head aches, my chest feels full, my sinuses are loaded with pressure, and right now I feel like I’m on a commercial, talking to a smiling pharmacist in their white lab coat and fake smile. You know which commercial I’m talking about, right? The one where they point us viewers to aisle five.

Except I don’t like to take medicine. I can’t wrap my mind around taking a pill to stop a symptom my body obviously needed to create. I don’t know why I think my body wants every sinus in my head to be filled with mucus that’s just stuck there not moving, but I do. It goes along with the thinking that medicating a fever is a no-no. Or maybe it goes way, way past that thinking.

I did take that Emergen-C stuff that tastes like chalky, fizzy, raspberry chalk-water. A few times in the past few days. And I got worse.

But, I will count my blessings. Jeff came home today and told me that he was sick with a stomach bug. All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not puking. And I will only baby him if he stays home from work. (Which he said he won’t do.)

During this sick day, I didn’t get any chores done. But the sheets I ordered for my bed came from Amazon today (yay for two sets of sheets now!), so I managed to throw those in the washer.

I took the kids to the library for Preschool Story Time. It was a nice 1/2 hour where I didn’t have to think about anything.

Peanut just took a math test, copy work, and Bible Devotion, so it really didn’t take any effort from me.

Bubba played with the Fisher Price Farmhouse I dug out of the closet the other day (I still think it’s hilarious that he tells me it’s our new toy. It’s older than he is.) and he played with that most of the day. I put my bucket of animals with it. So there were lions and sharks and cows and elephants and snakes in the farm. We did, however, have a very educational discussion about what animals belong on the farm.

Lunch was macaroni with shredded cheese. When Jeff got home, we watched The Lorax, and then we fed the kids leftover pizza and put them to bed.

I really wish I didn’t feel so crummy. I missed a really great Bible Study with the girls from church tonight. We are studying Lies Women Believe, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Perhaps I will feel refreshed and renewed tomorrow and I can get my chores done, buy AAA batteries, do some cooking, and finish up Peanut’s school week with time to spare.

Little Blessings

I was blessed today by a fellow mother taking Peanut to a homeschool gathering for me, to allow me to give Bubba his normal nap routine. I packed her lunch, and off she went to a beach party in our church’s gym.

It was quiet in our house this afternoon. Just Bubba and me after lunch. And we spent about 20 minutes playing blocks and building “blast offs” (rocket ships). Our “hats” kept blowing away, and he had to keep chasing them. I loved just sitting down on the floor with him, watching his imagination soar, and testing it, to see how much more he would pretend.

Then we quietly read some books together which isn’t normally just him and myself, and I put him to bed. It was so peaceful, and I loved the opportunity to focus solely on him.

Tonight, Peanut is at basketball practice, and I am home with Bubba again- my hip has been hurting badly today, and I cannot sit on those folding chairs.

And I am loving the one-on-one time with my precious little boy. 

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He is growing up so fast, right before my eyes. He amazes me every second I spend with him. I feel like I need to slow down and savor every moment of his toddlerhood, because he is quickly becoming a sweet young boy. I wish there was a pause button, a rewind button, a playback button. I will satisfy myself with pictures, and precious memories, treasuring them in my heart like only a mother can.

Tell me, how do you stop, and take time to revel in your childrens’ childhoods? 

The Process in Childhood Activities

I had grand last minute plans for this afternoon. Peanut went with her dad for some “snow-caching” (her term for geocaching with snow on the ground), and it was just me and Bubba. After their spur of the moment departure, I quickly decided I was going to make up for the guilt I had been feeling for not putting my two year old through a more substantial “early learning regime”. Peanut had a much more structured toddlerhood.

While I was doing in-home child care, I either ordered a toddler curriculum, or wrote one for the small group I had. I haven’t done any of that with my little guy. My child care enrollment slowly dwindled down after he became a toddler, and I didn’t seek to add to the attendance. My desire to do group activities was also dwindling. I was thinking about this the past couple days, and I felt as though Bubba was missing out on more targeted learning activities.

Our together time today started when I broke out my playdough bucket, and found that there was maybe half an ounce of usable playdough left! I gave him what I had, then got out what I thought was my playdough recipe and started making more.

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After I mixed all the ingredients together, I realized this was my aunt’s Salt Dough recipe that is baked so it can harden. Oops! I changed our plans again. I finished making the salt dough an I decided I was going to incorporate some learning into this two year old’s time!

I sat down with him and began making letters for him, placing them on a cookie sheet. He wasn’t too happy with me. Before things got out of hand, I broke out my Christmas cutters, and started having him make shapes. We got two shapes on the cookie sheet, and those went into the oven before I realized that he didn’t want to bake them at all. How boring!

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It was at this moment that I realized what I had been doing wrong. I was trying so hard to give him a lesson to learn, a project to complete, and a tangible outcome. I had to remind myself that HE IS TWO YEARS OLD. The poor child does not care about the outcome. He doesn’t look at something and see a project to complete.

HE WILL LEARN THROUGH THE PROCESS.

I look back on that hour we spent at the dining table, and AFTER I learned my lesson, I can see so many lessons that Bubba learned.

Instead of making shapes to bake, I rolled the rest of the dough out for him to do with what he pleased. As he was picking out shapes, he started telling me the story of how we made cookies for Santa. He remembered this wonderful time with family and fun!

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I cut out a circle with him, and he said it looked like a snowman. So we built a snowman. And talked about all the pieces to a snowman. I added eyes and a mouth, and he suggested a nose. I added arms and a hat and he said it looked like the snowman from the book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. He said it needed “the boy” from the book. Yay for literacy! I love incorporating books into activities, and he did it for me!

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I stepped in to the kitchen for a minute, and when I came back, Bubba had tried to pick up the snowman. He had pinched some of the dough and deformed the shape. He started whining, “Fix it Mommy! I can’t do it! Fix it!” I gave him a gentle nudge to fix it himself, and he replied back with, “I can’t! I’m just a boy! I’m just a Bubba! I can’t do it.” Eventually, he did whatever it was he was trying to do. (Sometimes I just have no idea.) He is working on understanding what he is capable of, and trying new things. 

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He tried to make a turtle with the playdough mold, and the sticky dough didn’t work. When he got upset about it, I asked him if he could make one himself. He wouldn’t, and I made a ball and called it “my” turtle. I pinched out a little piece and called that its head. I added two little nubs and called that its legs. I tried very hard to keep the shape as vague as possible, to see if he would accept it as a turtle, and he did. He made food for the turtle and added a longer tail for it. He was broadening his creativity, and stretching his imagination.

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It was only an hour, and I had planned on a nice, structured lesson for my son. It was in that hour that I was reminded of the most important lesson when it comes to teaching our young ones. It is the process of learning that teaches the most. I found, also, that once my perspective changed in this respect, my patience for him grew. Clean up time went much more smoothly. Not because he didn’t whine and refuse (he did), but because I was reminded that clean up time is PART of the process. And my response was much more calm.

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