Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday--First Days of School

Stephen's first day of math and first day of reading.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's bad news when waffles can take you down a notch

Last weekend, I made soup. Not just any soup. I took some to my neighbor and she called to tell me it was the best soup she ever had. And y'all, it was good. So good that I kept burning my tongue because I couldn't wait till it cooled off. So good that the baby even ate 3 bowls (veggies and all). I was feeling pretty good about my culinary creation. I didn't even use a recipe. I was thinking to myself, "Hey, I'm gettin' pretty good at this cooking thing. It's about time!"

And then.

I made waffles. Correction: I attempted to make waffles. What I really made was this:

Perhaps I should have given you some warning in case you are eating or getting ready to eat. Just the picture could induce loss of appetite. It was gross. It didn't even taste good. And I won't go into why it turned out that way. Let's just say it was, um, human error. What you see there, wouldn't even come off the waffle iron. It had to soak for 2 days and even then I had to use a fork to scrape it all out. Bummer.

So I'm not so impressed with myself anymore. I got too cocky I guess. I'm back to making fun of my cooking and everyone else is back to not eating it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Haircuts and birthday cake

Here are a few pics from Marc-Adam's birthday (we're having a big "dual" party for him and Z this weekend):

He had his very first haircut. I was waiting till his first birthday because I knew it would make him look much more like a little boy and less like "my baby". So I was finally ready by his birthday.



Later that evening, my parents and my in-laws came to have a little celebration. And there was cake:

Friday, October 26, 2007


My Dear Sweet Marc-Adam,

Today my dear, at precisely 5:57pm, you will be one year old. And what a year it has been! It's all been a bit of blur for me. I've heard it said that the third baby grows up the fastest. That's not something I truly understood until I blinked and am now celebrating your first year. I feel like I'm trying to catch the memories of your first year before they're gone.

Before you were born, I always felt like something was missing. Your brothers are wonderful and I love them just as much as I love you (but of course, I love all of you differently), but I felt like a there was still a little part of my heart that was empty. A part that your brothers or even your Daddy couldn't fill. And then when I found out that you were growing inside me, I missed you. I had never even met you, at that point I didn't even know your name and I missed you.

And then you were born. And I found out that that little empty spot in my heart was Marc-Adam shaped.

You've completed this life that your Daddy and I have built, even if only for a while. And I love watching the little person you are becoming. Watching your personality grow and develop. You're boisterous. You don't miss a beat with those rowdy brothers of yours. You love getting right in the middle of the action and sometimes it seems you have no fear. I have no worries of you 'holding your own' when you get a little bigger and those inevitable brotherly fights happen. And as is normal with the "baby" of the family, you love being the center of attention. And you love having a captive audience. You have no shame in clapping for yourself when you know you've done something great and even at your young age, the pride is written all over your face.

You are so loving. You've learned to give kisses. Those drooly, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses that I will treasure for as long as I live. I love it when you get a little sleepy and you find a shoulder (usually mine or your Papa's) to snuggle into and you go right to sleep. No fighting it, no protesting. Within minutes, you're sound asleep making those precious little snorty noises you make when you're sleeping really well.

You're not talking quite yet. Every once in a great while I can get a mama or dada out of you, but deep down I know those words have no meaning to you. But I'm not worried about it. Brother Stephen didn't talk until he was almost 18 months and, well, now he's your hero. You're signing pretty well, and that helps keep most of the frustration (yours AND mine) away for now. Sometimes, though, you have to yell at me just to get my attention long enough so that you can sign at me. And for that I'm a little sorry. Your brothers are just so distracting sometimes.

And speaking of's amazing to watch you watch Stephen and Zachary. It's in your want to be a big boy so badly. To run and jump and chase. You try and your brothers usually include you. They love you so much. They're always so sweet with you. You usually can't get a good meal without one of them trying to cover you with kisses or play with your "cute little toesies", as Stephen calls them. Stephen calls you "Cutie Pie" or "Sweety Cheeks" and the best we can get out of Brother Z is "Mart-Admom". But one day they'll get it right. I can't wait to hear what you call them.

Right now, you LOVE crayons. You love getting the big box of crayons right in front of you so you can "dig in". You dump them all over the floor, pick them up, chew on them, put them back in the box and then dump them on the floor again. And now that we have the nice, new floors, you like to color on them. Even when Mommy puts that silly paper in front of you, you just shove it aside to color on the great expanse of floor. The same goes for the dry-erase markers. You'd rather color all over your own face (or mine) than color on the white board. Although, you do like coloring on the white board. You've found that the best place to color is right over someone else's masterpiece.

You are persistent. You just don't give up and I can't wait to see what that does for you when you get a little older. You don't let anything get in your way and when you want something, you don't give up without a fight. Right now, and probably for a few more years, you're driving your mama crazy with that, but I have a feeling that quality is going to take you places.

I love your smile, my boy. You have a crooked little smile. Just like your Daddy's. You're the only boy to have picked up that trait from him. And, oh, how it makes my heart smile. As of right now, you have 7 teeth. 4 on top, 3 on the bottom, which makes your smile even more "uneven". You've completely changed how I feel about symmetry. :)

I can't wait to see where your second year will take us, honey. I can't wait to hear your first words, to see you running through the backyard with your brothers, to watch you see things for the first time. Christmas is coming up and you were just a wee little baby last year. I look forward to your reactions to everything this year.

So as your first year comes to an end, I want you to know that your Daddy and I love you more than you will ever be able to comprehend....until of course, you have a child of your own snuggle into your neck and drift off to sleep.

To many more years, my love,
Your mama

Monday, October 22, 2007

Maybe I'm not smart enough to homeschool...

I was browsing through a homeschool classifieds website just a bit ago and found an ad for Bob Books. We have two sets already that Stephen has been learning to read with. I got them at a garage sale a couple months ago. They've been working really well for us and for the most part, he likes them. So I thought I'd inquire about the ad to see if they were still available and which titles were in the set. The publishers have changed the way the sets are leveled and I always get confused (but that's fairly easy to do). Ours are leveled Set A and Set 2, I think. After I sent the e-mail to find out more, I went to the Bob Book website to find out which books are in what sets. And now I feel really bad. One of the sets we have is the very first set. I knew that. But the other "Set 2" is actually the FOURTH set of books--compound words. There are a full 24 books between the last set he read and the one he's reading now! Considering that, he's actually doing a fantastic job, but I feel like I've made him start reading these harder books without giving him a better foundation for reading. I thought these books seemed to be quite a bit more difficult, but I thought since he was doing okay with them that maybe that's how the Bob Books worked.

I feel really bad. Next thing you know, I'll be asking him to do trigonometry next week after he learns to add.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

His first steps....

....and I didn't even get to see. :(

Marc-Adam took his first steps today. While I was at church.

He stayed with my parents this morning while I went to church. I got a voicemail in between the service and Sunday School from my mom saying he took 3 steps to his Papa. It's bittersweet. I was excited because I knew it was coming very very soon, but I was also totally bummed because I spend most of his waking moments caring for him and playing with him and helping him grow. Then I leave for an hour and he gets up and runs around the room.

Ok, not really. But that's what it looked like in my head until I could get back to see him.

*sigh* And since he's the baby, it's sad to see him grow up so fast. He'll be a year old on Friday. Can't someone just slow this down a tad?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blah blah blah

I've finally ordered all our curriculum that we need right now! I got the Math U See books in a few weeks ago and was waiting on a few more bucks to be able to order the blocks that we need. Thanks to Sweet Hubby's company messing up his paycheck, they decided to compensate him by paying for the hours he actually worked. He worked nearly 30 hours in overtime, too, so we got a little unexpected bonus. So I ordered the blocks and this morning I won an auction for Stephen's reading curriculum which is different from the one I originally wanted to get, but it's much more affordable and I think he'll like it just as well (honestly, he won't know the difference because I never showed him the other one). I'd also like to use KONOS, but we can't afford that right now, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks putting together my own simple unit studies. Zachary and Marc-Adam's birthday party is coming up in a few weeks, though, and I'm going to be busy getting ready for that. And then of course comes the holidays, so I'm trying to decide when I really want to start "for real". He's so excited and I hate to keep putting him off and I wonder how busy we'll really be during the holidays. I might just try to make it through the birthday party and then start. Our first couple of units could be Thanksgiving and Christmas, I guess. Maybe that would help him understand better what we're celebrating. But now I'm rambling...

The past few days, Stephen's really been struggling with his reading. He comes to a word he should know or one that should be really easy to sound out and for some reason he just shuts down. I encourage him, but I refuse to give him the answer when I know he can get it on his own. Then I start to get impatient (which I know is the kiss of death when it comes to his reading) and he starts crying and it takes 20 minutes to read a word like "gill" or "set". I don't know why he's started it, but it was getting a little discouraging because he's done so well up to this point and I really don't want him to start dreading our reading time together. And there are times when he starts to sound a word out, but for some reason he just can't put all the sounds together. But yesterday, I found something that seems to help both problems and he thinks it's just the greatest thing ever.

I'm finding he leans toward being an auditory learner so when he can hear the sounds put together it clicks for him. Yesterday he was having the hardest time with the word "still" (which on any other day wouldn't have given him much difficulty). He kept sounding it right saying 'st' and 'ill' but he just couldn't put the two sounds together in his head. So I did a little cheer and I said kinda loud, "I say 'ST' and you say 'ILL! ST!" and he yelled "ILL!" We did that twice, he jumped up and yelled "STILL!!" This morning we did that again with the words he stumbled on and it worked within 2 times of us doing that and he got the word every time! What's more is that he LOVES doing it. And I don't feel like I'm giving him the answer because he breaks the word down in to two sounds and he tells me what sound he wants me to say and what sound he'll say. I nearly cried this morning when he was sounding out hard words this morning and reading them after we did that little cheer. I'm just so stinkin' proud of him!

Oh and one more thing about Stephen...I need some ideas and/or opinions...I'm working really hard on trying to get him to hold a pencil correctly. I've never held one correctly so I'm not sure how to help him. I tell him to hold it in a way that's comfortable for him, but it looks totally wrong. And when I place his fingers where they "should" be, it looks totally uncomfortable (because of the way he holds his hand and he's so stiff). Anyway, is this important? Is it something I should keep working on until he gets it right, or is it something that will eventually click so I should just let him hold it whatever way he wants to? Any thoughts/tips/tricks??

Moving on to other Sweet Boy fun, I've been meaning to post some pics of the kids because I haven't in a while, but I kept forgetting to upload the pictures from my camera. NowI finally did. So here are some tacky, white-trash pictures:

And a sweet picture that I think I'm going to use for their birthday invitation:

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oh. My. Word.

Just.....oh my.,2933,303058,00.html

Is anyone else terrified that things are going in this direction?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Food, food, wonderful food!

Katiebug tagged me for a fun food meme. And I haven't done a meme in a while...not because I haven't been tagged, but I just haven't gotten around to them.

1. How do you like your eggs? Runny. Cooked just a second longer than it takes for the salmonella die. Not a fan of fried and I'll eat a hard boiled egg once in a while.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? With vanilla cream and a little sugar

3. Favorite breakfast food: eggs and cinammon rolls...maybe bacon if someone else cooks it. I can't be trusted to cook bacon.

4. Peanut butter - smooth or crunchy? Smooth and preferably "honey roasted" as well

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Vinegarette or honey mustard (but only honey mustard if there are red onions in the salad)

6. Coke or Pepsi? Yech, neither. Barq's Root Beer, please.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? cheerios. That's all I ever eat if I'm eating by myself.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? beef and onions

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Tacos. Or maybe some fancy chicken dish.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Nothing really comes to mind right now.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Once my ex-boyfriend's family ate bratwurst and made me clean out the pan that it had marinated in with beer and onions. I don't eat bratwurst, but whenever I see one or hear the name, my stomach turns just a little.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? Eating at Schlotzky's reminds me of my best friend.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? Oh, seafood. Yuck, yuck, yuck. And I threaten Sweet Hubby that I'm eating alone at a different table if he orders it when we eat out.

12. What was your favorite food as a child? Hmmm....I don't know. I remember making hot ham and cheese sandwiches every day after school and thinking I was in heaven when I sat down in my bean bag chair to watch "Tailspin" to eat it.

13. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? I used to loathe lasagna (something about the cheese), but now once in a while I crave a good homemade lasagna.

14. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? I can't think of anything.....

15. Favorite fruit and vegetable: I'm a meat and potatoes kinda girl, but I'm getting better about eating my 5 to 9. Bananas or cantaloupe would be my favorite fruit and these days I make sweet potatoes at least once a week because I'm beginning to like them so much.

16. Favorite junk food: milkshakes? oreo milkshakes to be exact.

17. Favorite between meal snack: This probably sounds a little weird, but it's something I started eating when I was pregnant with Z and I was diabetic: string cheese and graham crackers.

18. Do you have any weird food habits? I think everyone in my family could give you a list of my weird habits. I don't eat the ends of french fries. And I don't like crunchy/crispy fries. Or crunchy/crispy bacon. Come to think of it, I like most of my food a little undercooked.

19. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? LOL. I'm the last person that needs to be on a diet...hmmmm.....water, salads, grilled chicken.

20 . You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? guacamole, warm brownies, any kind of breakfast baked good....not all together, of course.

21. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? I don't like spicy or Indian or Thai.

22. Can I get you a drink? Strawberry margarita sounds great!

23. Red or White Wine? No thanks.

24. Favorite dessert? Anything sticky and chocolatey. I'm gonna stick with Katie on this one.

25. The perfect nightcap? These days it's fudge marshmallow cookies and a glass of milk.

I hate consider yourself tagged if you liked this meme and haven't done it yet.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update on Z's foot

The good news is that Zachary's foot isn't broken. We took him into to the doctor yesterday and had some x-rays done. The pediatrician wanted us to get him into the orthopedist today if he still wasn't walking on it, but I couldn't get an appt until Monday. He will walk on it now, though, but only if it's tightly and thickly wrapped in an ace bandage. He wails that it hurts when I take the bandage off. So he still can't walk on just a bare foot and even when it's wrapped he limps and even crawls a bunch of the time still.

And the "drama king" is coming out even more than ever. This morning while I was wrapping his foot and encouraging him to try to stand and maybe walk, through tears and a pouty lip, he said, "I'll never walk agaaaaain!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I rank right up there

Stephen: I love you so much, Mom.

Me: I love you, sweetie.

Stephen: I love you more than bugs.

Me: Um,, too....?

On a not-so-lighter note, Zachary slipped this evening and hurt his foot. He now refuses to walk or even put weight on it. There's no sign of swelling, bruising or redness. I can't tell if he's just milking it and being dramatic (Zachary?! NO!) or if this is for real. I guess we'll see how he feels in the morning. I told him that if he can walk on it in the morning that we'll go to the park. If not, we'll have to go to the doctor.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good news!

It's so nice to read articles like this one. It's really uplifting on days where the doubt that I can't possibly begin to homeschool my kids starts to creep in. And I love that more and more research is being done on homeschooling AND that the results are great (and surprising skeptics!). That particular article helps squash my fear that I'm not smart enough to help my kids succeed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A handy little piece of information

Kelli had posted the other day about how to cut back on using plastic grocery bags and start doing something a little more eco-friendly. Well, I found out today that Wal*mart recycles their plastic bags. Apparently there's a big green recycle bin next to the main doors and you can bring in your used plastic bags, and they'll recycle them! I guess you could do the same thing if you are recycling already, but I think it's awesome that Wal*Mart is doing something, too. It's still not as good as using reusable bags, I guess, because they're still using up the petroleum to make them, but it's not as bad as throwing them in a landfill where they'll sit forever and ever amen. My source told me, however, that you can only take in Wal*mart bags. Not sure about seems to me that a plastic bag is a plastic bag.

So there you go. Something to do to help you make a small difference before you buy your reusable grocery bags.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

There's really no good title for something this random

*sigh* I just can't keep up anymore! I haven't been blogging much because I've been trying very very hard to get my house in order. And it just ain't hap'nin. I really don't feel like I have much to blog about, though. So here are a few random thoughts.

We're home now for good. And Sweet Hubby has worked 40 hours in the last three days. I'm kind of seeing what it would have been like if I had stayed home during those six weeks he was gone. His boss told him to reassure me that after this week, it won't be like that anymore. I'm having a hard time believing that with Christmas right around the corner.

Marc-Adam is obsessed with the toilet. I'm just sayin' because I had to stop blogging for a minute to go fish him out of the toilet. I have to be very careful these days to keep the lid down or keep the door closed. I have to stay on top of the kids all day to make sure they put the lid down or close the door. He's also obsessed with the sound of the flush. If I put the lid down, he just goes over to the side to flush it. Over and over again. I'll admit...the toilets are not the cleanest thing in my house. And it just grosses me out to find him elbow deep in potty water.

And speaking of not being clean, I'm desperate to find some kind of cleaning/household routine to help me stay on top of this mess that we've mortgaged. I've tried FlyLady and the routines at Menus4Moms. Honestly, I find FlyLady a little too sugary and "in your face" with all her "purple puddles" and "Finally loving yourself" and testimonials and baby steps. It's just too much. I just want someone to lay out a decent cleaning routine for me because obviously I'm completely incapable of doing it myself. And I need more hand-holding right now than I get from M4M. So as it stands right now, I'm just trying to make sure we don't lose the kids in the laundry or break our legs tripping over the toys.

I bought our math curriculum. I got it off eBay, but ended up spending about what I spent for it brand new. Duh. I just got too wrapped up in the excitement, I guess. Oh well. But at least we'll have it and I just need to get the manipulatives now.

We've hit the Accountable Kids wall. I heard Stephen saying under his breath the other day, "I wish we didn't have to have those silly tickets...". LOL! But at least the tickets are the bad guys, not me. He hasn't figured out saving tickets, yet. He spends them on a TV show as soon as they hit his hot little hand. And then by the end of the day, he's mad because he doesn't get to watch one of his favorite shows. He's actually still excited about getting his chores done, I think he's just resentful that he has to have a ticket to enjoy the TV. And Zachary just does whatever Stephen does.

Most of you that read this know by now that Zachary does not have Celiac Disease. He doesn't even carry the gene. However, he is strongly predisposed to gluten sensitivity, but the tests showed that he doesn't seem to have any signs of it right now. So we've been enjoying real bread and meals out. But this also means we're back at square one with his eczema. He's still having flare ups. I've taken to wrapping one of his ankles/knees every night (I alternate) over a combination of Aveeno and Aquaphor. That's helped a lot as far as the thick, scaly skin, but the next day, the leg that I didn't wrap is all dry and flaky again (I'm planning on buying another wrap to be able to wrap both legs every night). And he's compulsive about getting the dry skin off and does it in his almost-3-year-old scratching until he's bloody. I can't seem to get his fingernails short enough.

Very soon, I'll be posting some new pictures of the boys. They're very cute. Slightly tacky, but cute nonetheless.