Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Season!

Birthday Season in our house is in full swing.  Poor Charlie, he is our outlier birthday.  Hopefully the next kid (or two) will have a birthday close to his so he doesn't feel left out.  Of course he may like having his birthday far from everyone else as he won't have to share a party with anyone.

Today is my birthday.  Everyone has that age where they just feel is OLD.  25 has always been that age for me, so I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that today I'm a quarter of a century old.  Yesterday Chris took me to Best Buy to buy my birthday gift.  A brand new laptop! And it's a very nice laptop too!  Its a gaming laptop even though I'm not a gamer - so it will be able to handle everything I need it too, which is mostly web browsing, and homeschooling.  It has a built in webcam which will be really nice when Chris is deployed.  On Saturday Chris is taking me to the movies and out for lunch and dinner.

Tomorrow Charlie turns 3 months old! I can't believe it's already been 3 months.  He is such a happy baby - as long as he's being held or played with.  It's made homeschooling hard, but I figure we won't need to go super hard until school would normally start anyway so I'm trying not to stress about it too much.

On Saturday David is turning 2!  It seems so crazy to me that it's only been 2 years since he was born.  He is such a character it seems like so much longer.  His bandage from surgery just fell off today, leaving about a 1.5 inch scar.  His favorite thing to do is walk around acting like a little monster.  Even at his worse he is absolutely adorable, and I have a feeling he'll be quite the comedian in years to come.

On Sunday Anastasia turns 4!  She alternates between being a little mommy who is an absolute joy and helper to being Miss Diva who thinks she can do as she pleases without repercussions.  One day she'll switch the laundry without even being asked, just does it because it needs to be done.  The other day it will take 12 hours to get her to clean her playroom clean and when punished we are met with, "but mommy, it's me... Anastasia!" as if that means she can't get in trouble. Which if anyone has any ideas on how to get a child to clean let me know! I've tried everything!

At the end of August Anthony is turning 6.  I've been a mother for nearly 6 years.  It's been a wonderful, crazy. stressful, loving, difficult 6 years.  Anthony is a third of his way through the years he'll spend with Chris and me.  He's turned to be an intellectually brilliant child but emotionally he can be very trying.  He has a new best friend, his stuffed white and blue dog named Bugsy.  We hear of Bugsy's amazing adventures and talents daily.  Bugsy can fly, has armor, is 28 years old, speaks like a human and eats like a human, doesn't like the dark, and has an invisible penis on his head that is so big he can reach the potty by sitting on the sink.  It's quite adorable and sometimes a little eyebrow raising.

A week after Anthony's birthday, exactly, is Chris's 27th birthday. We are so old!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Over a month out

It's been over a month since my surgery, and I never thought I'd still be so far behind in recovery.  I can just about straighten all of my fingers, but can still not make a fist.  My arm is still swollen, and my knuckles are still bruised.  There is still a good bit of pain in my hand and wrist area too.  Typing is still painful so I keep it to a minimum.  I'm not looking forward to having my other wrist done.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Davids surgery

Today David had his hernia surgery.  It's the first time any of my children have ever had to have surgery.  We dropped the older two off at our friends house, and arrived at Childrens Hospital around 10.  I love Childrens, their set up is amazingly kid AND parent friendly.  We changed David into his hospital gown and then we went to the playroom they have set up for the kids.

He played happily for a while but then Charlie needed to nurse so we went back to the hospital room and the various doctors and nurses came in to speak with us.  Around 11:15 they gave David some Tylenol and Versed (an anti-anxiety medication).  He started acting super goofy, and the nurse brought him some toys to play with as we couldn't leave the room at that point.  Around noon they took him down for the surgery and Chris, Charlie, and myself went to the Cafeteria to get some lunch.  It was so weird just being the three of us.  I forget how easy it is with just one, or even two kids.  We ate lunch quickly because he said that the surgery wouldn't take long.  Around 12:45 the surgeon came to speak with us.  He told us that they didn't need to pull David's testicles down as they dropped as soon as they put him under, so he only had the one incision.  Surgery went great!  About 30 minutes later they wheeled David back to us.  A nurse was carrying him and cuddling with him.  She said he woke up crying but as their is one nurse assigned to each child during recovery she was able to cuddle him and he calmed down.  She handed him to me and I rocked him back to sleep.
I had to hand him to Chris after about 20 minutes because Charlie needed to eat again.  He cried for me which broke my heart but Chris got him back to sleep after a few minutes.  A half hour later we woke him up to get him to drink.  He loved his Apple Juice! We don't drink juice so he's never really had it, so it was a big treat to him.  They gave him a teddy bear to take home too, which we've named "Beast" as his other lovey is a "Baby Belle" doll.  He's been sleeping all evening, waking up and crying for me every once in a while.  As soon as I cuddle him he goes back to sleep.  The cuddling is nice. I don't get much cuddle time with him since Charlie is always needing to be held or fed.  The doctor says he should be up and running around by tomorrow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lapbooks, mini offices, and work boxes.

I recently discovered, on my homeschooling boards, the awesomeness of Lapbooks, mini offices, and work boxes.  I've been hard at work, or as hard at work as someone can with one arm, revamping our homeschooling setup to include these.  I have a huge stack of lapbooks and file folder games I'm planning to make once I have more lamination sheets, but already we've begun using quite a bit of them in our schooling.  The kids really seem to love it.

These are the workboxes.  Each subject of the day has a folder that corresponds.  Once the child has completed folder 1 they take the velcro one off the folder and adhere it to the front of their box.  It keeps them on task as well as myself, and it makes it more fun for them. The kids REALLY love this system.

Mini Offices are facts-at-a-glance reminders.  I made mine a little more interactive. (sorry the pictures are blurry, they were taken with my cell phone)

Anthony's mini-office
He has a cheat sheet for currency that includes the President, the amount its worth, and the image of it's front and back. He also has a US Map, a cheat cheat of the Continents and Oceans, a number chart, the numbers in Spanish, Gallon/pints/ect conversion, the seasonal order, the States Capitols and their Abbreviations, and an envelope to store his spelling words.
On this side he has the months of the year, the days of the week, punctuation rules, the sign language alphabet, how to write  book report (each part is velcroed so he can un-velcro when he completes it), The 5 "w"s, his colors in Spanish, the roman numerals, and his word wall words are in the envelope.

Anastasia's is very similar.

Hers has the right and left, alphabet sign language, number charts, the seasons, shapes, the ABC Blends, roman numerals.

On the other side it has her numbers which has a velcro piece with corresponding dots. 
It also has a color chart with more colored velcro pieces as well as a color sheet cheat.  It has the coins with their amount and the coins velcro one in the right spot. It has a cheat sheet for "family words".
It also has a money cheat chart, the days of the week and months of the year, and another number chart that shows place holders.

As far as lapbooks, we have a few going but I'm not going to take that many pictures.  Anthony is reading Stuart Little so he has that lap book right now.

Each chapter has a corresponding book.

And Anastasia is doing each letter of the alphabet.

And then, just because, Charlie after eating.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Snack bowls

I'm so tired of earing the constant whine, "I'm hungry, can I have a snack?" 20 times a day.  So this is my solution, snack bowls!

Each bowl is labeled with a child's name. Each contains healthy snacks, enough for a two week period.  The kids have free access to them, however once the snacks are gone they will get no more until payday.  This way they will learn to "budget" themselves and I no longer hear that particular whine!