Sunday, July 29, 2012

Still alive...promise!

We are on the way home from a week at the beach with my family. Last night the kids wore Olympic t's from Aunt Mis. AG was so excited about watching it and when my uncle tried to switch it to the Braves he about lost it. :) You know he's really in to it if he doesn't want to watch the Braves. Ha.

Here's a few pictures from my phone and once I regroup my blogging will get back to a more normal schedule.Promise! Happy Saturday.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Random updates on life...

Here's a random update on life:
~Last Monday, I took AG to visit his preschool. In a few weeks I'm not going to know what to do with myself when he's in school 5 days a week. I think we are going to sign Avi-Kate up for her first Kindermusik class while AG is in school. That'll be something fun to do with her one on one. This winter she'll be 18 months old and I plan to put her in a 'gymnastics' aka tumbling class. She has turned in to quite the monkey and has ridiculous balance on objects for being 13 months old. I think the plan is for AG to do Kindermusik at preschool and then do soccer this fall for the first time.
~AG is fully potty trained! As in, I haven't bought pull-ups since May. He's had one accident at night so far. I haven't wanted to post this due to jinx-ing it but it seems to be permanent now. HOORAY! I'm quite proud. He also outgrew all of his undies and enjoyed shopping for new ones a few weeks ago. I had to buy them from the actual boys section and not the infant/toddler section. That was really weird! First time for everything, right?
~Avi-Kate is walking full time now! She decided last Monday to start walking every where. Before that she was walking when she wanted but it was just a few steps here/there. And never on command. She's getting really good at it and is able to walk from the kitchen to the den without stopping. (Quite an impressive feat since our kitchen is incredibly long!) HOORAY for Avi-Kate!
~I pre-registered the other day for the kids to meet Santa at Phipps again. Crazy to be thinking about the holidays but they'll be here before we know it.

~I'm working on getting things organized for the school year and set up the way I want them so that when AG starts school in a few weeks we can really establish a new routine. I'm getting a bunch of homekeeping stuff together (post on that coming, soon! I'm documenting with pictures as I go.) and organizing some random stuff. I've also been purging stuff to donate.
~The ottoman arrived for the den the other day via UPS and the sofa should be here soon. I'm excited to see it in the den...I really need to figure out the fabric to put on the chair so I can get that recovered soon.
~I'm looking forward to putting out fall decorations, candles, etc. in a few short weeks. I've a got few projects pinned on Pinterest that I wanted to get ready for the of which I started last year and never finished due to having an infant  and two year old at the time. It's a little easier to do things now and once AG is in school I can craft during Avi-Kate's nap time. At least I'm hoping to do that once a week...ask me if that's realistic in a few weeks. :)

Andy and I
~Both registered for our first half marathon in January. We are renting Disney Vacation Club points for the first time and staying at Saratoga Springs. Which we are excited about trying that out. It'll be a super short trip because it falls right before the start of tax season.
~I'm also registered to run the Princess Half in February at Disney with my sister, Caroline, and my sister-in-law, Caroline. :) Along with several of my Berry Education friends...Evan, Jenn, Jessi, and Amanda. Should be a really fun weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. I currently have a room reserved at Port Orleans Riverside for Caroline, Caroline, and myself with the running discount. I went ahead and snagged it. I may change it if the Annual Pass discount for February is cheaper but we won't know that for a few more months. We'll see.
~Andy also got a road bike last week and is looking forward to biking on his days off from running.

College Family
~They are slowly trickling back in to Rome. In the next few weeks several more will return with the remainder here by the end of August. Classes resume that last Monday of August this year. We are ready to have them back and in the house. Summers are quiet with them gone. Although, we are enjoying having the ones that are Romans for the summer over. Last Tuesday night several of the girls came over for a porch night after the kids were in bed. Andy was out of town and it was wonderful to catch up with them.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday. I'm off to be productive...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plantin' for Piper Jean...

For those that have read my blog for a long time you know that I've posted about The Needham Crew and Piper's battle with leukemia. Three years ago, I randomly stumbled upon this blog and the sweet family that was in the midst of a raging storm. Their whole lives had been flipped upside down because their new daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia. I instantly felt connected to them...not that I can even begin to understand what it is like to have a child with childhood cancer but my family is no stranger to the same disease Piper had. When I was in 6th grade my 3 year old cousin was diagnosed with the same type of leukemia. He also completed his treatment at the same hospital as Piper at Scottish Rite. The Needhams live about 45 minutes from where I grew up and in the same college town that my sister went to school at and we hold football season tickets. So, I felt a connection and began to follow along. Daily for the last three years I have thought about and prayed for them. And I have been reminded daily to keep the big picture the big picture. I have gained a heart of gratitude and appreciation for being able to experience the simple things in life daily with my kids because not everyone can. My heart still aches for them and for all that they have experienced but I'm grateful that despite things we can't fathom or understand that God is still sovereign. He's still in control and he has Piper safe in his arms. 

This past Saturday Piper would have been three and Sus posted that she planned to plant flowers for Piper because she loved everything about gardens. She said that if anyone else felt like joining her to send her some pictures. Well, I recently had purchased a crop of sunny rudbeckia that needed to be planted and as soon as I read the post I knew we'd plant them for Piper. Here are some pictures I took along the way. I've since put out a layer of fresh pinestraw around them to finish them off.  I probably should snap a picture of it and post it. Anyways, I put them right off the driveway next to the back of the house. Every single time we walk outside we'll see them since we enter/exit our house from the backdoor. 

Sus--I know we've never met and yet, I feel like we would get along so well. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm sure that it is not an easy thing to do. Know that you are all thought about and prayed for daily, still. And know that Piper is not forgotten. These sweet, sunny flowers will serve as a constant reminder of her every year. Let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Much love,

Wordless Wednesday...The makings of a girly girl...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mommy Gut... a mom you have instincts when it comes to your kids and you are very attuned to their needs. Two years ago this month AG started having these random vomiting episodes. For three weeks it was on and off before we were told it must be a parasite. He was given a high powered anti-fungal and we went about our business. Months passed and he was fine. Then in May of last year he had another attack with two episodes within a couple days of each other. I was a week and a half away from delivering Avi-Kate. Again, we treated it like it was a parasite and he went back on the anti-fungal. Late that summer we had a third attack and that led us back to the GI doctor in Atlanta. At that point AG was diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) and he began taking nightly meds to help control his attacks. This spring we saw the GI doctor and while there I asked if we needed to be concerned about Avi-Kate having CVS. He said that sometimes you have siblings have it and other times not. We'll just have to wait and see.

Well, in my mommy gut I think Avi-Kate has CVS or the precursor to it. She's had three vomiting episodes since last Friday. Every single one of them parallels AG and when he had his 3 week attack. Every single thing about it is identical...I'll spare you the details. Just trust me. :) At the end of the month I'll take her to ATL to see Dr. Saripkin and we'll see what he thinks/pick his brain about this whole ordeal. Today I called the pediatrician and they gave me a prescription for nausea...identical to AG's just in a smaller dose. So, we'll see.

In the midst of all of this AG left a crayon in the dryer and we now have purple crayon on lots of things. Lovely. Did I mention that this happened one of the days when I needed to wash/clean throw-up bedding?! Needless to say this week has not gone the way I planned it, at all. BUT that's ok. At the end of the day and when looking at the bigger picture I'm grateful for what we have. I'm grateful that despite vomiting issues our kids are healthy and thriving. I'm grateful that God isn't done with me and that he's still teaching me big and small lessons daily. My hope and prayer is that she'll stop throwing up between now and the visit with the doctor. And if not, that's ok too. We've become quite the experts at managing vomiting episodes.

I'm off to relax and do some Disney work on this rainy night. (Hallelujah! We needed a good rainy night after all these triple digit temps.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tot School...Homemade Math Manipulatives.

Being a teacher in my former life means that my wheels are constantly turning on a day to day basis when it comes to learning at home with our kids. Most children couldn't live with out apple juice or milk not so for AG. If he was stranded on an island and could have an endless supply of something it would be Simply Orange Orange Juice. And yes, he's very brand loyal and refuses to drink anything but Simply Orange. Anyways, months ago I began to wonder if there was something I could make with all the lids we recycle. They are the perfect size to pick up with small hands and so I began to stock pile lids. A few weeks back I decided to make my first project...a set of numbers 1-10. So, I found a set of numbers online that I liked and printed them off. Then I used my 2in circle punch from Creative Memories to cut them all out and I attached them with a nice coat of rubber cement. Pretty easy if you ask me. Here's what they look like:
Now I have enough tops to make more numbers and a set of ABCs...I just haven't had the time to finish them. The possibilities are endless with this concept. In addition to saving OJ tops I have been saving baby food pouch tops. For whatever reason my kids hit 9/10 months and refuse to be spoon fed. This time around we've been able to buy Avi-Kate baby food in pouches to use in addition to the table food that she eats. (At 9 months AG was completely on table food!) Well, these tops are great and I've just been stashing them away. This past week we pulled them out along with the OJ tops for the first time and AG was beside himself with excitement. Here's what we did:
First, he organized the OJ lids in numerical order.
 Then, he wanted to sort all the tops in to piles by color...I said go for it. :)
 Sweet boy hard at work.
 Once he had everything sorted the way he wanted it he began to count out the tops to correspond with each OJ lid.
 To take it one step further I pulled out a set of Mickey Number Flashcards from the fabulous $1 section at Target. He then matched the cards to each lid. 

 Excited that he did it all by himself. 

We are really working on numbers 1-10 at the moment and will move on to 11-20 soon. AG's 'lessons' are based on whatever he is interested in at the moment and we try and do something together when Avi-Kate naps. Some days we do 'school' and other days we don't I am merely using it as a way to introduce concepts so that when he starts school this fall he has something to jump off of. It's very low key and a great way for us to do something one on one. Have you made any homemade manipulatives?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Daybook: July 2

It has been forever since I did one of these. I use to try to do one weekly because it's a nice snapshot of where we are in our lives at that exact moment. My last daybook entry was in January?! You can take a sneak peek at our lives from the beginning of the year here. I really can't believe that we are on to the second half of the really is flying by. Anyways, on to the daybook we go. :)

Outside my window: Whew! Hallelujah and saints be praised it is overcast this morning. And we got a little bit of rain last night. This past weekend set all kinds of records due to the extreme triple digit weather. Every time I went outside I felt like I should have backup singers on my shoulders singing, "Heat Wave". Anyways, it's blissfully overcast outside in the backyard. I'm praying we get some more rain this week to help bring the temps down. Andy and I haven't run in a week due to the extreme temps because it's so dangerous. Not going to lie I'm really glad that we are NOT running the Peachtree on Wednesday.

I'm thinking: About all the stuff we have going on this month and how quickly it is going to fly by. I'm working around the house this month trying to get us ready for the school year to help us ease in to that transition. Today we are going to go pick up some project supplies while we run errands. (More on that this week...) And speaking of school AG starts in one month. He goes next week for a visit to check out his room and start getting adjusted. I'm grateful we get to do several visits before the first day to help him aclimate.  

I'm wondering: 

I'm praying: For the Hornsbys. This is a big week for our dear friends as they finish packing up their lives in Rome and move to Macon. I'm so excited for them to start this new chapter in their lives because they have worked so hard to get to this point. Yet, selfishly I'm not ready for them to go. We love living life with them on a daily/weekly basis and that will change with the move. But this is a good thing and I'm grateful for all the ways God has gone before them and laid out the details. They won't be too far away either...the house they are moving in to just happens to be three doors down from Andy's sister, Caroline, and her family. We'll be able to spend time with both families when we visit Macon. 

I'm thankful: For Andy and all the ways he works so hard to provide. 

I'm hearing: Dora in the background...the kids are happily watching an episode of Dora so I can crank out this post uninterrupted. 

From the Kitchen: I haven't done a ton in the last few weeks just to all the coming and going. I did make a huge batch of chicken tortilla soup last week and stocked that in the freezer. We were able to eat two meals off of it plus I put three meals in the freezer. I also roasted off tomatoes, garlic, and onions last week and then used my food processor to chop it all up. I use it as a base for marinara and meat sauce. I put three helpings of that in the freezer as well. I have plenty of onions left so I may pick up some more tomatoes to do a second batch. I'm looking forward to cooler weather and all the yummy food comes with the changing of the seasons. 

I'm reading: Nothing at the moment. I realized this morning that I never borrowed anything for June on my Kindle for free...and now we are on to July. I love that with Amazon Prime you can borrow a book a month for free. I have a few books that I have stayed away from reading this last month because I wanted to read them when we go to the beach at the end of the month. I am reading lots of blogs in the evening working on various I guess that is better than nothing, right?

One of my favorite things: Watching Avi-Kate and AG's relationship develop. They crack us up daily. And they are really starting to enjoy each other. It's really sweet to see. Makes my heart happy.

I'm creating: Several things around the house for the school year. I'm hoping that we can do some projects around the house on Wednesday since Andy will be home. I have a fun picture project planned that I need to get done before the students return in August.  

Around the house: Not much going on besides me working on odd projects/getting things organized for the school year. Next month the sofa should arrive and we'll do a bunch of projects around the den. 

A few plans for the week: Errands today, work around the house on Tuesday and dinner with the Hornsbys, 4th of July fun...not sure, yet, what all we are going to do, and then helping the Hornsbys move this weekend. 

A picture that I'm sharing:
Glad Avi got to come home for a visit two weekends ago. This picture makes me chuckle. 

In other news: I have several Disney updates that I need to post along with a list of other things that I didn't get to last week due to chaos and not feeling good. Hopefully, I'll get to crank out some of these things this week. Here's hoping. :) Off to clean the kitchen and take the kids to run errands. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

We're ready...

...for the Olym-phics! (Cue the music.) Yes, AG and Avi-Kate are ready for London. Every night this last week we've watched swimming, track and field, and gymnastics. AG likes to pull out his medals and run around cheering. Avi-Kate likes to swipe a medal from AG's stash and parade around as well.

Needless to say we are really looking forward to watching the Olympics at the end of the month. AG gets really in to whatever sporting event we watch and we have no doubt that the Olympics or Olym-phics, if you are AG, will be highly entertaining to watch with AG. Anthems, flags, medal ceremonies, and tons of sports...he'll be in heaven. Actually, Andy is talking about using some scrap wood to build him a little podium to use for medal ceremonies. I think AG would flip if he did because he loves to recreate experiences. For example any time he plays baseball he has to make it like Turner Field complete with a Coke bottle, CFA Cow, and a tomahawk. So, we'll see if Andy gets around to building it either way we can't wait for the end of the month!