Thursday, February 12, 2015

They picked me!

I have been selected by the preschool curriculum company, Mother Goose Time, to use their curriculum with the girls here at home and blog about it.  I am pretty excited, I have been intrigued by their products for a few months now but I'm a wimp when it comes to shelling out cash for things I've only read about and don't know anyone personally who uses it.  Now I get to try it and share our experiences.

I've decided to set up a separate blog where I can share the learning activities we do at home (Mother Goose Time and others) so if you're interested, head on over to Teaching My Littles (in a bit, not now...I've just started setting it up...give me a little while...I'll let you know. :)


Friday, January 30, 2015

Can it be? Another post?

Yay!  Both girls are napping AT THE SAME TIME! They have been kind of hit and miss lately but every afternoon this week, I have had two solid hours to myself to catch up on things.  Mostly I have been catching up on two years of scrapbooking for our family in general, each of the girls, my nephew and other family members.  I am getting caught up every day and it feels great.

So, my little Miss M is quite the precocious child.  She has known all of her letters (upper and lower case) plus their sounds for some months now.  She also rote counts to 10 with no problem and is getting better and better at counting to 20.  She counts up to 5 objects with consistent one-to-one correspondence, knows all her colors and basic shapes.  In fact, at a recent trip to a restaurant, she starting making her straw into triangles and rectangles.  Basically, she's a genius and I'm freaking out since she is only just barely two years old and I feel tremendous responsibility in regards to her education.

As a result of how quickly she picks them up with incidental teaching and our own experiences in the public system as "gifted" students, Jeremiah and I are extremely serious about homeschooling, where I will be able to tailor curriculum to the girls needs, interests and levels more easily than a single teacher with 30 students can.  I have been doing a lot of reading lately and think I have found the combination of philosophies that works for our family (theoretically for now), classical with a touch of unit study and Charlotte Mason/literature based study.  I have signed up for conferences, subscribed to blogs, newsletter and email lists, joined local homeschool support groups and generally done all I can think to do at this time.  My sister-in-law is going to start homeschooling her children this fall and I think we are going to start a little blog to help share our finds with each other and anyone else who might be interested.

Currently I'm trying to figure out if I start more formally teaching her now or if I continue with the teaching in the moment that we have been doing so far.  I go back and forth almost hourly.  I am looking into putting together a little joy school/neighborhood preschool with a few other moms in the area, even if it's just to work on social skills and give the girls kids to play with on a smaller and more personal scale than the library or children's museum (especially since so many babies around us are coming down with RSV, it makes me want to hole up in the house until spring).

If anyone still sees this poor, neglected blog and has any advice/experience they'd be willing to impart, that would be so helpful!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What? An update?

Wow, I can't believe it's been two+ years since my last post.  Motherhood definitely cuts into things you used to do but I love every minute of it.  In fact, I loved it so much we've had two babies in two years!  We are so grateful for our miracle babies, one an IVF miracle and the other a very unexpected (given all we had to do to get her older sister) surprise nine months later.  M was born at the beginning of December 2012 and her sister C was born 18 months and one day later.  I love them both to distraction.

I have not been as crafty as I once was, simply due to time constraints (and a toddler who likes to be a part of everything and a baby who doesn't go to bed until way too late to start a project) but I've been doing a little sewing, including a foray into repurposing my clothes into kid clothes. It actually worked fairly well, thank to fabulous online tutorials.

My arthritis retreated again during my second pregnancy (after a really nasty flare up a few months after the first) so I've enjoyed a respite that allowed me to crochet several afghans (including the white one in the photos with C), a hobby I've always enjoyed but haven't been able to pursue much.

This year I hope to delve deeper into photography again, I've missed using my big camera but with all the gear that comes with kids, camera phones are just so much more convenient.  I did manage to do a little shoot today with each girl, one for M's second birthday portraits and the other for C's blessing portraits (both completed more than a month after the actual events but hey, it's better than never).

Jeremiah and I are finding the transition to parenthood means a lot less time together (duh) but are trying to find moments to spend with each other.  I am also slowly (very slowly) warming to the idea getting babysitters on a regular basis so we can go on dates.

The cats are fine, they feel a little displaced and I'm a little/lot less amused by some of their antics (such as dropping dead things where the girls play) but they are and will always be a part of the family.  The girls love them but they don't know that yet, they just hear gleeful screaming and see running feet or grabbing hands and head for the hills (or under our bed, to be precise).

And that's it for the update.  We will see if this is something I continue or if it'll be another two years (but not two more kiddos, please, mommy needs a break and a chance to get her body back).


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quick Recap

I am really starting to slow down now that I am in that final month.  Pretty much everything hurts and all I want to do is sleep but we did manage to do a few things the last half of October.  No crafting at the moment (although I do want to make new Christmas stockings) but some fun activities.  Here's a quick run down.

1.  Jeremiah participated in our neighborhood's second annual Quidditch match and seemed to have a really good time.  I love our neighborhood!

2.  I had my second and third baby showers:  the second one was thrown by my good friend Jocelyn for all my neighborhood friends and the third was done by Jeremiah's cousins Natalie and Geneva for family here in Utah.  They were both wonderful and this little girl is now well-stocked with adorable outfits.

3.  We went on a baby moon to Cedar City so we could attend our first (and probably last for a good long while) Shakespeare Festival.  We stayed at the lovely Iron Gate Inn, checked out the Frontier State Park, saw Hamlet (very well done) and drove through Cedar Breaks National Monument.  It was a really fun two days.

4.  We spent two Monday evenings in a prenatal class; a lot of it was a review of things I've been reading for the last 8 months but it was really good for Jeremiah.

5.  Started a home improvement project (enlarging our hall closet into a walk-in/understairs storage area so we can clear space in our bedroom closets for people stuff) that is taking a little/lot longer than expected but will be really nice when completed (hopefully at the end of the week...).

I will try to post pictures later, for some reason Blogspot is not recognizing the current photo library and I can't access them.

All we have left to do is wait for Little Miss to decide to make an appearance.  I'm kind of hoping that happens in 2-3 weeks but if she decides to take her time, I suppose I'll survive.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Back Again

Dobby thought he found a cozy little spot for himself but
unfortunately I had to make him leave so he wouldn't
get in the habit of jumping in with her.
Wow, I dropped the ball, didn't I?  Things got pretty busy and I got pretty tired there for a while.  Here's a quick update:

1.  I went home to Washington for a week in September to visit my family and have my first baby shower.  It was great to see everyone and I had a wonderful shower.  Unfortunately I came down with a cold my second day there that didn't go away until I'd been back in Utah for a week.  Being sick while pregnant is not much fun.  At least I was still able to enjoy the warm weather and playing with my oh-so-cute nephew, Phoenix.
The super yummy cake from my shower.  It was white
with lemon filling.

My grandmother crocheted a doll theater troupe.

2.  I hit my third trimester in early September and my energy boost from the second went away pretty quickly.  When I got home from Washington I was pretty drained from being sick and being pregnant so I didn't do a whole lot for the rest of the month.

3.  At the end of September, my friend Jocelyn took some maternity shots for me.  They turned out really well, in my opinion.

This photo mimics a similar pose we
did during our engagement photo session.
4.  I've had a little more energy this month and have managed to do some baking, work on photobooks and get back into Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  I love being in this group (mostly older ladies) and look forward to being able to take my daughter with me soon.

5.  As far as working on the nursery is concerned, that had slowed down considerably in September, mostly since there wasn't a lot left to do and I was procrastinating what there was.  I received a lot of cute outfits and blankets for my shower, which I have washed and organized into her closet and dresser.  I also made some art in Photoshop, printed it and framed it (along with re-matting and framing a painting my grandmother commissioned for me when I was 1).

6.  On Tuesday we went on our traditional pumpkin picking adventure half a mile from our house.  Jeremiah trooped around the fields and presented pumpkins for my approval.  We found three nicely shaped ones and decided against carving them so they'll last the whole month.  They look great sitting on the front porch.

This pumpkin is to represent the baby.
My belly is bigger. :)  Don't mind my
face, I've been in a no make up mood
for a while.
7.  Today I finally finished the last bit of decorating and got the fabric hoops up over her crib!!  I still want to add her first initial to the middle hoop and I'm going to put sticky tack on the back of all of them to give them a little more permanence but for all intents and purposes, the nursery is done!

I am very happy with it!  I need to get out my wide angle
and take a photo of the whole room next.
I am 32 weeks (as of yesterday) and most definitely feeling pregnant.  She is developing perfectly and likes to kick and stretch my belly throughout the day but mostly at night.  I have started bi-weekly doctors visits, which is crazy to me.  We start our prenatal class in a week and a half.  I have her bag packed and ready to go and most of mine is done as well.  We're reaching the home stretch!

My cats are too cute.  Dobby snuggled up so close to Simba
that Simba had to drape his leg around Dobby's back.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Almost through the second trimester

I am 26 weeks along today, I can't believe how quickly this is going.  I can feel Little Miss kicking away a lot of the time, especially at night when I am trying to sleep. :)  She'll get bunched up on one side and I can feel the shape of her head or bum (actually not sure which is which...) and that's probably the weirdest/coolest thing, actually feeling this little body we've managed to create (with a lot of help from the wonderful people at Utah Fertility in Pleasant Grove).

I am getting really excited to meet her but I'm glad we still have about three months.  I am a member of a birth forum for December 2012 babies and several of the mothers have given birth already due to complications and their babies are fighting for their lives in the NICU (some haven't made it, which breaks my heart).  It makes me super grateful for the easy pregnancy I've had (hope I didn't just jinx myself).  She has done perfectly well the entire time and except for one very minor episode of spotting early on, we haven't had to be worried about anything.  Not that we didn't worry, we just didn't really have a reason to worry.  I think it comes with being first time parents so we don't really know what's "normal", compounded with our fertility struggles and two losses.  We're getting better about that...

I continue to find things to make for her (I've made three of those little pillowcase dresses in a variety of forms and I'm working on altering a onesie into a dress) and I'm really happy with how the nursery is shaping up.  I really wanted it to be an attractive space and it's actually looking the way I imagined it would (this does not happen to me very often).  On Monday, for our Family Home Evening activity, we hung paper lantern/balls in one corner to give a little more dimension/interest to that part of the room.  I instructed, Jeremiah hung.  It worked out quite well. :)  I got them at JoAnn's with my 40% off coupon which made them about $10.  They are a Martha Stewart party product, six to a box in three colors and two sizes.  I was thrilled that the colors were a great match for the corals and pinks in the room.  We used clear 3M hooks on the ceiling and white ribbon that my Cub Scout master hubby tied into taut lines so I can adjust the height if necessary. I'm happy with, if I could just get those darned curtains done.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Owl Taggie

I was on Pinterest a few days ago and saw this adorable little owl taggie blanket from Etsy.  I thought to myself, "I can make something like that!"  So I did.  Mine isn't quite as cute and next time I'll probably find a tutorial on making a taggie blanket rather than trying to wing it (my ribbon ears fell off and I put the wings on the wrong side) but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Here's what I did:

Cut two body pieces 12x16, one from flannel and one from minky
Cut two semi circles from the minky (7 1/2" down the long edge)
Various lengths of matching ribbon
Two circles of felt for eyes, 1 triangle of felt for beak.

I sewed the ribbons to the my front piece so they pointed inward (that way they'd pop out when I flipped the blanket later).  I should have sewn them all right up to the edges but I didn't and that caused issues.  I had a couple at the each corner for ears and feet and three down each side.  I should have done the side pieces after the wings.

For the wings I took one semi circle (more like an oval, really) and folded it in half, right sides together then sewed around the edge, leaving a hole to turn right side out.  I decided to add a little stuffing to the wings for some extra dimension/texture but I think I may have overdone it a bit.  I sandwiched the wings between the front and back pieces of fabric, with the rounded edges toward the middle and pinned.

I pinned the front and back pieces (right sides together) all the way around and sewed them together, leaving the necessary hole for turning.  I turned it and stitched up the hole.

I appliqued the felt face pieces on (helps kind of "quilt" the two pieces so they don't shift so much) and added the cute flower button eyes.  Voila!

On a non-sewing but related topic, I am 25 weeks today.  In just over three months or roundabouts, we will be welcoming our sweet little girl who likes to kick me while I sit at the sewing machine...or when I'm on the couch with a book...or laying in bed trying to sleep.  I can't wait to meet her!