Friday, January 30, 2009

You've Got Mail



We spent the better part of Friday afternoon making "play mail" for Zachary who requested and received a "mailman dress up costume" and mailbox for Christmas. We made postcards and wrote letters and designed our own postage. There are even a few Netflix envelopes in there. It was a completely spontaneous project and really a lot of fun. If you can't make it out the letters read things like...

Dear Micah, Welcome to our family.
Love, Zachary.

To Papa:

Thank you for making me tea. Do you eat crackers at night?
Love, Nick

That Nicholas, he thinks we have all kinds of fun and great food after he's been put to bed.

Abandoned House in the Big Woods


The abandoned house in our woods is becoming legend. It reminds me of the formerly much talked about vine. The house is a popular destination on Sunday afternoons. The boys go with their father with thermoses of hot chocolate and homemade trail mix. They bring home newspaper bits from its broken windows, bits of milkglass and hardware, and pieces of things they take apart searching for clues into the past. This house looms large in their imaginations and their explanations of its history and former occupants are as wild and overgrown as the house's landscape. Finally, they brought me pictures.
Here it is: The Abandoned House.

Twerp

Instructions: Write a word using the special sound tw as in twins.

Me: Jacob, what is this answer?

Jacob: You know, twas the night before Christmas...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Small Successes

Check out Faith and Family Live! where women from all over the blogosphere share their small successes of the week in an effort to encourage themselves and each other. Here are mine...

1. I've put a new face on our homeschooling by adding drilling that's fun! Besides the dry erase math competitions we've begun, I've started phonics and spelling competitions as well. We've added interest with a new money jar manipulative, I ordered some of these science readers for Alex, Weekly Readers for Simeon (these are so great!), and grammar drill work for use with a newly laminated prepositions crib sheet. Also, I just ordered this book which isn't drilling at all, but looks like plain ol' fun and we've been making an entry a day in these journals. Alex, especially, has kept me entertained with his journal entries.

2. I didn't eat that third piece of chocolate that called to me from the pantry today. Two is enough. Why do I so often think chocolate will satisfy my every desire and solve my every problem? Oh yea, because it often does. Still, two pieces is enough.

3. I wrote a blog post with links! Not just a picture, not just a sentence, but an actual post that actually participates in a linky love bloggy thing and it wasn't all about Micah! It's not the post I've been wanting to write (which IS all about Micah), but I'll get to that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Try to be Clear

I've had a few math tests laminated to turn them into dry erase sheets for math drills. The boys like to compete to see who can finish first, who can get the most right. It's been a great help to our everyday math work.

"Can you laminate anything?" one child asked, turning the sheet over and scheming about how this new tool might prove useful to him.

"No," I said, "only paper things."

"Wow," he replied, "You can laminate origami!"

Monday, January 26, 2009

When Micah Started Crying on Alex's Lap

Simeon: Don't take it personally, Alex. It's just that, to Micah, Mama smells like cheeseburgers and you smell like rusty nails.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Me and My New Beau

We're inseparable.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Horizons

My Zachary is quite the reader. It's rather amazing, actually, how much he's managed to learn just by listening in on lessons intended for his older brothers. His older brothers, I should mention, were not as easy to teach. We certainly put our time in drilling phonics before Simeon took off on his own and the other boys, as might be expected, are still drilling and drilling. That's why I find Zachary's natural decoding skills so remarkable and also why I thought he could choose more difficult material when he asked to read to me yesterday from a kindergarten reader.

Sure, though, I told him. Use the easy reader. Why not? I make a point of not pushing him partly because I wouldn't want him to loose his love of learning and partly because I feel the imaginary play of a four year old is more important for his overall development than schoolwork. But then he started reading...

"A Note to Teachers and Parents," he began. "The Hor-i-zons Readers are to be used as a com-pan-ion to the Hor-i-zons Student Work-books... It is im-port-ant to ask quest-ions both before and after the story...Most kinder-garten students should not be ex-pec-ted to read these stories in-de-pend-ently."

I was already laughing to myself when I realized what he wanted to read to me from the Horizons reader "Ann's Cat," but that last line really got me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Welcome Back!

To the Blogosphere to my dear friend, Kristen.

And Now a Few Words

I've had a few posts brewing but can't seem to pull them together. Between endless illness and the night nursing schedule, I find myself really dragging these days. I was wondering why I found everything so frustrating yesterday when I realized that all I probably needed was a good nap. I took it and was all the better for it.

I'm still tired, but I think we are getting over our various ailments. I hesitate to declare victory, though, because every time I have, I've had to eat my words within hours. Micah has managed well without suction treatment all week and yesterday he weighed in at 10 pounds 11 ounces! He's becoming a real butterball and we just love his multiple chins, dimpled knuckles, and the rolls around his thighs. He's also smiling real smiles for us now. At that first little grin of his, when our eyes met and he gave me that first knowing smile, he paid me back for morning sickness and lack of breath, for rib kicking, labor pains, and every sleepless night. I love those smiles.

I'm reading Gary Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" as I can. I mean I read the words at night thinking it will help me unwind, but the next day I can't remember a thing I read. Maybe when I get more sleep I'll have something to say about this book?

Did you watch LOST? We did and here are a few thoughts...

1. When a new character is introduced on LOST as though he has been there all along, expect disaster. Hello annoying "Neal" your presence tells me something is about to happen. Oh, hello flaming arrows from mysterious shooters killing off Neal and other extras.

2. Hurley is too cute. He's such a big, little boy. I loved the scene where he escapes from the mental institution, has his face plastered all over the news with reports that he has killed people, shows up at home with a comatose Sayid over his back and tells his mother the most OUTLANDISH explanation which also happens to be the truth and she belives him! "I don't understand you," she says, "but I believe you." A mother knows.

3. Ben, with those monotone lines, bug eyes, and thin lips of his really creeps me out. Run, Hurley, run!

4. Why is it that I don't mind the thought of everyone going back to that wretched island, even the characters I like, but not Desmond? That guy has served his time. Well, if he does have to go back, I hope this time it isn't without Penny.

5. "When are we?" This seems to be the theme of the new season. Time travel and skipping through it like a broken record. It's going to be a tough season to follow and figure, I'm predicting. Just thinking about it might make your nose bleed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LOST

We're going back because...

Tis better to have loved LOST
Than never to have loved LOST at all.
(or something like that)
--Alfred Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Snowing!

Snow! Snow! Snow! It's snowing! It's a real blizzard! and as Nicholas says looking out my bedroom window...

"It is snowing in your yard, even on the grill, even on the grass, even on the picnic table, even in the woods, even on the trees, even on the branches of the trees."

It's been snowing all morning and hasn't let up. The kids had snow and maple syrup with breakfast and now they're playing outside. I'm planning the baking and getting hot chocolate ready. We hope to have a winter's worth of fun in this one day because we know it isn't going last.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is That a New Baby You're Wearing?

Several people have asked about our sling. It's a Hotsling and there are many patterns to choose from. I like the simple design, minimal fabric, and lack of buckles or ties. It is also quite comfortable. The sizing chart worked well for us to find our right size and now I'm happily hands free and Micah is happily where he wants to be. It's a win-win situation.

Friend and reader, Rachel, passes along this great link to a baby wearing site, TheBabyWearer.com.

So I Don't Forget

Zachary: I'm thinking of something that makes me happy.

Me: Oh, what's that?

Zachary: That even grown ups are children of God.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The New Sling


Works For Us!

Thank you, everyone, who emailed me with kind thoughts, prayers and even suggestions to help little Micah get better. He still needs "deep suction" treatment periodically, but we've been lucky to find a pediatrician who is willing to do this in her office. Be careful, moms with new little ones, to protect your baby from RSV. What looks like just a cold in older children is the cause of great anxiety with these little, little ones.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Spoke Too Soon

Well, turns out this "flu" was actually more than one thing. While many of us were sick with one or both, Micah has RSV. We spent Monday night in the hospital monitoring him, giving him breathing treatments and clearing his sinuses. We came home Tuesday and had a pretty good night last night. The pediatrician says his lungs sound good today and he seems to be doing very well. We're pleased and think he's probably past the worst of it, but there is always the chance of secondary infections so, while relieved, we remain cautious. We're doing our best to get well again here, and get back into a regular routine. Until then, posting may be lighter than usual. Stay healthy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On the Mend

We're starting to feel better here. My energy returned today and I put it to work cleaning house. It is amazing how quickly the house falls apart when mom gets ill. Micah did catch this bug, but a very mild version thanks to my antibodies. Isn't nursing great?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sick

We're sick...sick...sick here. Despite a flu shot I received while in the hospital, I have caught a very bad flu. We all have, except for the baby. I'm calling the pediatrician today to see if there is anything I can do to protect him or anything I should watch for if he does get it. I hope all of you are well. If you are and can spare a prayer for our speedy recovery and the baby's health it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

BrotherHood



Boys of the same stripe.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Prayers Please

..for Gretchen and family over at Lifenut. Little Archie, born yesterday, is in NICU.

A Few of My Favorite Things

My new favorite breakfast:

3/4 cup low fat, low sugar organic vanilla yogurt sprinkled with
2 Tbs. (small handful) whole almonds
1 Tbs whole flax seed and
2 Tbs maple syrup

This convenient, quick fix contains 375 calories, 12 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of fat, 2% DV Vitamin A, almost 50% DV for calcium, and 10% DV for iron. The protein, fat and fiber keep hunger away and my blood sugar stable throughout the morning. The fat is mostly heart healthy monounsaturated fat from the almonds and brain healthy Omega 3s from the flax. Convenient, nutritionaly dense, and I might add delicious. With the vitamin A and calcium, this is a great start to a nursing mother's day. Read more about nursing nutrition here.

Another of my favorite things these days is this handy little gadget. When the steamer on my cappucino maker broke, it broke my heart. I love cappucino and my body loves that I tend to use little, if any, sweetener in my coffee when I have frothed milk. I considered buying a new cappucino maker, but bought the Aerolatte for much less instead. This thing really works and it is much easier to use and clean than my old steamer. Now I can make cappucino again or hot chocolate or just top regular coffee with oodles of hot frothed milk whenever I please. Oh, life is good.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Playing Favorites

Me: (Cooing over Micah) That was a good burp..it was..that was a good burp.

Resident Sarcastic Adult Male: Mama never says that to any of the other boys in this house.

While I was Out...


...printing birth announcements, my husband took the boys and the camera on a woodland adventure. These pictures are the result. Nicholas (above) looking rabid.


Zachary looking like an Ewok.


Alex looking thoughtful and poetic.


And hey, when I bought that camping lantern for Alex for Christmas...well, I never meant for anyone to use it as a camping lantern. I imagined Alex reading books by its light in his bedroom under his covers or something nice like that. How dare they stay out in the woods after dark? Well, they are all home safe now.
Sigh...sometimes I can be such a girl.