Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 2000's

Has it really been a decade since everyone was freaked out about all the computers crashing when the clock struck midnight and 1999 ended?

It doesn't seem possible, and yet . . . has it only been 10 years?

I don't have time for a long, sentimental post (aren't you glad?), so here, in bullet points, are some of my highlights of the last 10 years:

  • 10 years ago I'd either just started, or was getting ready to start a "new" job, leaving auditing behind and changing to a non-travel job that revolved around budgets and internal reporting.
  • We sold our townhouse and moved farther from work into a more family-friendly house.
  • We started our family
  • When I was 20 weeks pregnant we discovered that we were adding, not 1, but TWO babies to our family (grandparents were excited, I was SCARED . . . LOL)
  • Two perfect baby girls joined our family
  • I quit my "real job" to become a full-time Mommy (best career move EVAR!!!)
  • was started & I was asked to be a moderator, good
  • Rodney changed jobs, shortening his commute but lengthening his work-hours
  • I started LaRee's Candles (which I'd still like to re-open, maybe someday . . . )
  • I became active in the DC-area babywearing group, what a great resource for new moms to be able to get hands-on help figuring out the sometimes confusing, mostly online, world of baby carriers!
  • We survived the first 2 years with twins, and all the logistical challenges those first 2 years entailed . . .
  • I started running natural/family product co-ops to provide better prices for me and others. Lots of work, but a great way to get great products on a budget!
  • Rodney changed jobs again.
  • We moved to PA (smaller house, MUCH bigger yard, close to Rodney's work, farther from family . . . trade-offs, but overall a good move for us)
  • Added Little Bit to our family.
  • 3 trips to Disney World, Sea World, etc
  • Countless trips to Sesame Place
  • Motorhome trip to National Park sites with Mama & Papa
  • Several (4 or 5?) trips to Indiana to visit the great-grandparents
  • Camping (in the motorhome) on Asseteague Island (really need to do this again!)
  • Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown . . .
  • We've averaged a new zoo every year . . . 6 zoos that I remember, the big girls are 6 years old
  • COSI science museum
  • Our diet has more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, made from scatch items . . . 10 years ago I'd never heard of raw milk.
I'm sure I'm forgetting millions of other "memorable" moments (oh yeah, I started this blog!) but that's at least some highlights from the last 10 years. God is good!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Food Reaction

Not a very interesting entry, but I want to make sure I have this documented since I'm bad at remembering things.

Monday evening Little Bit had a very runny poopy diaper, and was acting like she didn't feel good, more cuddly, fell asleep on my lap after she'd had a good afternoon nap . . . woke up and promptly threw up all over herself & me. Thankfully Daddy was home to help me get cleaned up enough to go up and get in the shower with Little Bit. Once we were both clean again, she nursed to sleep, slept awhile, and was acting better when she woke up, so I set her down to play. She did her normal "busy stuff", crawling around picking things up, examining them, moving on to other things, it's SO cute, she's very busy . . . after a little while she came back over to me & stood up on my leg like she normally does if she wants to nurse. But before I could pick her up, she threw up all over my leg. Cleaned up again. This time as I was cleaning her up, I noticed she had some hives on her stomach. She nursed/slept again, woke up, threw up again . . . now the hives pretty much covered her from the middle of her abdomen to her knees. She nursed back to sleep & nursed/slept the rest of the night (we put towels under her in case she threw up again, but she didn't. She slept "normally" and when she woke up in the morning the hives were gone.

No fever. So all things considered, I'm pretty sure it was a reaction to something she ate. My best guess is the tomatoes that were in the guacamole. She's had avocado several times and it's generally not an allergy risk. Tomatoes aren't common as a true allergen but, like citrus fruits, the acidity can cause a reaction in babies/young toddlers.

So, that was our excitement for the week. She has been acting perfectly fine ever since. I did get some children's benadryl to have on hand in case we have another incident, had it when the big girls started solids and never used it, finally threw it out when we moved (when they were 5!). Didn't think to get more when we started Little Bit on solids, so of course, we needed it . . . now that I have it, I'm hopeful that "Murphy's law" will kick in and we'll never need it again LOL.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

I'll post pictures if/when I get them from my dad &/or SIL our camera memory was full & I couldn't find the cord to download the pictures this morning, so other than a couple last night, we didn't get any (bad parents), but anyway . . .

We had a good Christmas this year. Christmas Eve I wasn't feeling good, so didn't get the cleaning and cooking prep work done that I'd planned, but Daddy helped the girls finish making the woven foam placemats they wanted to make, and we took cookies to the neighbors, though only 2 of the 5 were home, so we'll have to deliver the rest after Christmas. The big girls are old enough to have figured out patterns/traditions and so they were telling our neighbor, Judy, that they "always get Christmas pajamas on Christmas eve" so I had to mess with them abit, and told them "I didn't buy any Christmas pajamas this year" the girls weren't sure whether to believe me or not LOL. But when we got home and they got their Christmas eve presents, they were VERY excited to find that instead of pajamas from Mommy & Daddy they'd gotten Christmas NIGHTGOWNS from Mama & Papa. My mom made nightgowns for all 3 girls, SOO cute!!! And the big girls were very excited, I'm not a fan of chemical-treated polyester, so they've never had nightgowns, just the snug-fitting cotton pajamas that don't have to be treated with the flame retardant stuff. As has been her custom, A2 wore hers all day Christmas LOL. She tried to convince me that she should wear it to church Sabbath too, but mean Mommy vetoed that idea LOL.

Their other Christmas Eve presents were a Christmas veggie tale video (that we haven't had time to watch yet, should be a good CALM thing to do on the rainy Sabbath afternoon we're predicted to have this weekend) and the book The Three Gifts of Christmas we read the book, and then we did the Christmas Eve reading from the Advent Bible Study we've been doing. The big girls decided to explain each of the candles to Daddy and generally "teach" Daddy what they've been learning, it took a LONG time, but was great to hear what they had learned/remembered from it all, a very nice way to spend the evening. Before bed we quickly made our monkey bread so it could raise overnight and be ready for breakfast.

Christmas was chaotic as usual. Little Bit napped through the first part of the chaos, which was probably just as well. The big girls actually got tired of presents and wanted to sing Christmas carols, but couldn't get people to participate very well, so that didn't work as well as it could have (if I'd known ahead of time I could have had some Christmas music they could have used, but all my Christmas cds were out in the car, and I was busy with Little Bit and trying to keep trash picked up enough that she didn't eat anything she shouldn't LOL). We opened presents, have a huge meal (mostly brought by everyone else, I even flaked on the casserole I'd planned to make & just pulled a Vegetable lasagna out of the freezer instead), and that pretty much took all day.

Little Bit couldn't have cared less about unwrapping HER presents, but kept trying to get into everything else, silly kid. Once they were unwrapped she liked some of her new toys though.

The big girls got lots of books, some games, art supplies (even GLITTER, which is very exciting because Mommy's not a big fan of glitter, thanks Uncle Dan LOL), some Littlest Pet Shop stuff, and I'm sure things I'm forgetting.

This evening, we tried out one of their new games. It's a cooperative game, all about herbal remedies. One thing I wish is that it told HOW to use the herbs, even if it was just a separate booklet, would be great, I told the girls we'll play it during Little Bit's naps sometimes and look up on the computer how to use some of the remedies so we can learn that too, but still a great way to learn what some common medicinal herbs look like & what they are used for. And the girls seemed to enjoy the game.

Now we need to get back to "normal life" LOL.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This Week

We've had a quieter week this week. I was sick on Monday and the girls have had colds to varying extents all week, so we're taking it easy and staying close to home for the most part.

I had bookclub on Tuesday night, so Daddy took A1 & A2 to Chuck E Cheese, apparently they had a good time & won lots of tickets with which they purchased "cheap plastic junk" and candy LOL.

We're continuing to enjoy our Advent Bible Study, the girls enjoy getting to mark their Bibles.

We also started a lapbook on anger. We're alternating it with other "fun" crafts during Little Bit's naps, so haven't gotten very far, but the girls, especially A2 are WANTING to learn more about what the Bible says about anger and how to control it, so I'm happy to let it move at their pace :o)

We thought we were going to be able to go with Daddy to Pittsburgh this weekend, so in preparation for that, during craft time, we made travel tic-tac-toe sets, then a change in Daddy's schedule made it not work for us to go along, which is probably just as well, A1 wouldn't have felt up to the trip today anyway, not sure about Little Bit either, she's happy for the most part, but congested, and has periods of fussiness, I assume because she can't breath well. Anyway, the girls had fun making the tic-tac-toe sets and now we have them for when we DO get to travel with Daddy.

Since we weren't going to be able to go with Daddy, I told the girls we could stay for potluck dinner after church, and the girls helped Daddy make brownies yesterday afternoon to take to potluck (along w/ a raw veggie platter, I figured if I was going to take 3 kids to potluck on my own, I better take things that didn't require any prepwork once we got there LOL. I got my Christmas present early this year, a Kitchenaid Mixer, that I ordered from amazon a couple weeks ago. It got here a week or more ago, but we hadn't found time to use it with all the sickness and such, so, dh volunteered to make the brownies so he could try the mixer LOL. Unfortunately, A1 was feeling worse this morning, and stayed home sleeping most of the day. Daddy took A2 to Sabbath School, but then had to bring her home so he could leave for Pittsburgh without us. A2 was soo disappointed to miss potluck. Even the "consolation" of getting more brownies this way didn't really cheer her up, poor thing. We've spent a lazy afternoon watching Bible videos and such. A1 seems to be feeling a little better, she complained of being hungry, and ate some cream of wheat and "ants on a log" and sat up to do a word search and such for awhile.

This afternoon A2 was bored with just watching tv. But fussy, congested baby & still not feeling real good A1, and REALLY cold outside didn't leave us alot of options. I had a brainstorm & pulled out a tub of pattern blocks. I got the pattern blocks way back when we decided to homeschool, and did some simple patterns with them at that point, but then they got set aside and we haven't used them in forever. She had alot of fun with them! We have a smaller magnetic set as well, so I think I'm going to go through the pattern books/sheets that we have and determine which of the patterns will work w/ the small, magnetic set, and then we'll take those along on trips.

And that's where things are at here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homeschooling in December

We're mixing things up abit this month on the school-front. I gave the girls the option of taking a break from Polished Cornerstones and doing Christmas-themed Bible studies instead, and they opted for Christmas-themed. So we are using an Advent Family Bible Study that I had in my files. The girls are enjoying marking the verses in their Bibles and learning more about the prophesies and such surrounding Jesus' birth.

We've also decided to take a few weeks off from Prairie Primer and concentrate on reading Christmas stories together instead.

We're also putting a "Christmas" slant to our nature time. So far all we've done is gone on a nature walk around the property where we live (Thursday morning was absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather for it, unseasonably warm and sunny) and collected a variety of evergreen branches and other things to decorate our Advent candles. I think as we move into a new week we'll study evergreen trees and if time allows, other typical "Christmas" plants and such.

We're continuing to use Little Bit's morning naptime for crafts and such, and the girls have already made bead napkin rings that we can use for Christmas dinner, as well as wrapping up some odds and ends of crafts we'd started earlier.

Our Christmas decorating is rather non-traditional with the pink & purple trees (did I mention those yet? That's what happens when A1 and Daddy go Christmas tree shopping, sigh . . . ) but we put one in each of the front living room windows and the girls went through the ornaments and chose select ones and they don't look TOO horrible, and having them up in the window sills puts them out of Little Bit's reach.

As we go into this next week we'll also start getting ready for our first trip with Daddy for his job. It'll be a quick trip, but will give us a chance to try out taking our "school on the road". Since we've already been using spiral notebooks for copywork, etc, I think we'll consolidate each girl's spiral notebooks into a 3-ring binder, along with a "pencil case" that fits into the binder and will hold, not only pencils, but scissors, tape, glue, etc for any crafts we want to do while we're gone. They also already have travel lap desks that have markers, colored pencils, and a white board w/ dry erase markers, so those will go with us as well. So that should complete the girls' "travel school" kits, that we can grab and go as needed. Each trip will mean I'll need to plan ahead & print off, photocopy whatever we'll need for those days, but not having to pull the girls' stuff together will make things much easier, and teach them responsibility at the same time.

Thanksgiving and such . . .

These last couple weeks have been way too busy for my liking. What WAS I thinking having a December wedding 12 years ago? Maybe I need to talk to dh about changing our anniversary to July LOL. Anyway . . . first we'll talk about Thanksgiving . . .

We had a relaxed Thanksgiving at my parents' house. Lots of yummy food (we celebrated Dad's birthday (belated) while we were there too, with his (and my) favorite meal, a German/Russian dish my Great Grandmother used to make, called Cheese Dumplings), the girls did lots of bike riding on my parents' relatively flat slab and driveway (our driveway & the private road we live on is so steep that it's hard for them to do any biking here) A1 has been hesitant about riding her bike down the slight hills on my grandparents' driveway in the past, but she got over it this trip and had great fun riding back and forth between my parents' house and my grandparents'.

The big girls had been planning for a month or more a "Thanksgiving Party" during our craft time they had made placemats for everyone, baskets to hold the napkins and salt shakers, and had also made pilgrim bonnets and Indian head-dresses. They put on a "play", planned games, and gave a "speech" after dinner. Grandpa got quite a kick out of A1's phonetic spelling on the program she handed out, but it was pretty good for doing it all on her own, if you ask me. If I can figure out where her "speech" ended up, I'll post it here, it's quite cute, if I do say so myself.

When we'd been there a couple weeks earlier, Mom had taught A2 to sew buttons on, and gave her a small scrap of fabric to make a "quilt" for her doll, Sarah. A2 sewed several buttons on the fabric in an "M" pattern (not sure why) and then hand-stitched ribbon around the outside. It turned out pretty cute, and she was very proud of her handiwork.

The girls and I also visited some friends from when we lived in MD. The big girls had great fun playing with their friends while I got to visit with Laura and meet new baby Kristofer.