Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Random ramblings

I've been thinking a lot. Which could be dangerous, LOL.

The Chef and I are working on making an setting a budget for the New Year. We're in the process of reading and learning Dave Ramsey's method. We know quite a few people that have had success with that. And we're to the point where we should be getting rid of most of our debt in the next few months, so we figured it would be a good time to start.

In looking at and crunching the numbers the looming question has been if I should go back to work full time. I haven't technically been full time since Chunk was born, even though for almost a year I was working 2 part time jobs.

So we plate with and crunched the numbers. If I go back full time, right now, the 2 biggest goobers would have to go to before school care 3 days a week, and after school care once a week. Plus Cute Boy would need daycare in the mornings 3 days a week (he's in afternoon kindergarten) and after school one day a week...and Chunk would be full time in daycare. We priced it out using our options of in school before and after school for the big boys and our sitter and our daycare, and no matter how we crunch it, I'll need a very very well paying full time job.

If I stay home, it saves us the money for child care. Yes, Chunk goes 3 days a week to daycare, but he LOVES it there and he's doing great. Plus it allows me to be able to go into school and help a lot which the Goobers love. (And for the most part works out to be when the baby is at daycare!). I actually like being home (surprisingly!) and like that we have family dinners 4x a week, and that even the other 3 nights the boys and I have time together (chef works until 8pm 3 nights a week)

When we worked out the numbers, no matter what way we did it, for the most part we just get by. If I'm working, most of that money goes to childcare.

So where does that leave me? I'm going to invest more time in developing my Thirty One business. I love the company and the products, and they spoil their consultants! And it allows me to make my own schedule. I'm also doing some part time stuff behind the scenes at the repair shop. Which is good because I love the shop, and miss it sometimes!

And the upside to all of this, which I realized today as I sit here with a Chunk who didn't go to daycare because he pulled an all nighter last night? I get to be here for my kids. I loved working full time, but for me, at this point right now, even though they drive me insane, I'm right where I want to be.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The sleep battle...

I dread bedtime in our house.  Sleep has always been a rough spot in our house.  Spawn has never been a great sleeper; Sweet Nut is a great sleeper if people leave him alone and let him fall asleep; and Cute Boy and Chunk take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to go to sleep.  Throw the 3 goobers all sharing a room into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster.

One of the things Spawn's doctors were looking at trying to figure out why his asthma medicine wasn't helping much was how he slept.  How long it took him to fall asleep and how many times he woke up at night.  Thankfully with the removal of his adenoid we got the night wakings down to almost none.  But there was still the hours long battle to actually fall asleep.

I'm not a great sleeper either, so that might be part of it.  I have battles with insomnia and a few years back I was told about using relaxation and meditation to go to sleep.  Using you tube videos, I found what ones worked best and most nights that's how I'll fall asleep-headphones in my ears and the iPhone or iPod next to me.

I thought about it back when I started using them for myself to let the kids use them, but don't know why I never did.

Then someone brought up the idea to me the other day.  I looked for videos that were geared more towards kids and found some that I thought were worth giving a shot.

We tried them tonight and, seriously, Spawn was almost asleep at the end of the first one.  All 3 big boys were out by the end of the second one and it was only 9:20.  Unheard of in my house, in 9.5 years that all the boys, and most importantly, Spawn were sleeping that early.

We've tried the early bedtimes, split bedtimes etc.  Nothing worked.  So I'm hoping that we've finally found what works.  Spawn tends to instigate and wake up the other 2 if he "feels lonely".

The first video we used was this one:

It's a Progressive Muscle Relaxation for kids.  I love this type of relaxation and use it often...when I'm tired, when I'm stressed...whenever I need a few minutes to myself.  The best part about this one is once you have an idea of how it works you can do it anytime, anywhere.  Basically what it does is have you works groups of muscles, tightening them and then relaxing them multiple times, which strangely enough really relaxes them.  Most of the ones I've used start with the hands or feet and work their way around the body.  This particular one is geared specifically for kids and starts with the hands.  It has them pretend to squeeze the juice out of lemons.  Then it works the face by having them scrunch their nose and foreheads to make a fly go away.  Clench the jaw by pretending they are biting on a jawbreaker.  Pull their neck into their shoulders pretending they are turtles pulling their heads into their shells.  Pretend they are lazy cats stretching in the sun etc.  It's an almost 14 minute video, and by then end of this one, the boys were still awake, but you could tell they were calmed down.  They took a bathroom break and when Spawn climbed back into bed he has some very heavy eyelids.

Then we moved onto this one:

This guy is a hypnotherapist, and this is a guided sleep relaxation video.  Guided relaxations are just that.  Where the person basically takes you to a place, in this case to the castle because the kids are princes or princesses.  The beginning they have their eyes open and watch, and they loved seeing this little guy from a video game.  After a few minutes he has them close their eyes to begin the journey.  This video, unlike the previous has no direction to open their eyes at the end, because hopefully, as a sleep video, they are asleep by the end of it.  This is just over 8 minutes and by the end of this, Sweet Nut was snoring, Spawn was out like a light and Cute Boy had just fallen asleep.

This was only our first night of using these with the kids and I have to say, I'm happy with the results.  I'm looking through other sleep relaxation videos to change up and see what ones work best.  For me, longer ones work and I can't use the same one over and over because I start 'reading' the script in my head.  I tend to stick with certain types or certain voices though once I find one that works.

Oh, and you might wonder how we did this.  I just brought my iPhone into their room, turned off anything that made noise (fan included) and had them lay on their backs in their beds.  The first video talks about them sitting in a chair (it's made to use in school) but they had no problems following along laying down.

Hopefully, I'll be able to update in a few days that we've had continued success and I'll post other videos that work for us as we find them.  It's easy to find though, just do searches on you tube.

I'll have another blog post geared towards adults with some videos soon!

Sweet Dreams!

Changing things up...

So while I was leaning before towards a homeschooling blog, obviously plans have changed.

I've decided to head in a more general mom blog direction with special areas for ADHD (and what works with our kids) and Class Moms (because there are great ideas everywhere, but not many places where you can get all the stuff in one spot.)  I may eventually branch these off into their own blogs, but for now, everything will be here.

We still do some Tot School with Chunk, so those posts will be sprinkled throughout, and who knows, maybe one day we will be official homeschoolers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Updates on the goings on here...'s been awhile.  And you know how it can be here...totally insane.

Anyways, update on us.  Spawn had his adenoid taken out just under 2 months ago.  He's doing better, no more snoring, no more night wakings, so we're hopeful that we get a good report when we head back to the immunologist.  Chunk has done better since we changed his meds, but we still have some random fevers and he's had a rattle in his chest that we need to follow up on.

School wise, ugh.  The Ex completely flipped a week before school started and refused to help or support Spawn and homeschooling.  Spawn and I talked it over and we decided to head back to school, for now.  We were able to meet his teacher the day before school started and had some time to chat, and she seems to be a great fit for him so far.  He still wants to homeschool and mentions it every once in awhile, but is doing ok.

Sweet Nut LOVES his teacher.  It's the first time he's had a man teacher, and so far he's doing great.  He somehow convinced me to become class mom, so you'll be seeing more from me with things I'm doing.  I'm also one of 4 class moms for Spawn's class.  Oh boy.

Cute Boy LOVES kindergarten.  He has the same teacher the older boys had for K and he's doing ok!  We need to work on letters but nothing to worry about yet she said.

Chunk also started school!  He took Cute Boy's spots at daycare 3 days a week, and while he's not so sure he wants to be dropped off, he loves it there.

Chunk had been staying up to 12ish each night, and I have no idea why.  It's killing my sleep though, I had problems with insomnia before, now it's just like really?  Sucks,

Anyways, there's the quick update.  More to come later.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012-2013 Curriculum Choices

So, it's that time of year.  The time of year where Spawn is super excited to start homeschooling and I'm ready to run to the hills screaming in fear.

Well, maybe not.  Although, the thought has crossed my mind.

I'm having those thoughts that apparently every home school mom has at some point.  You know the ones.  I can't do this.  I must be crazy.  

Terrified.  At least I have a month left.

So since I'm working on the paperwork that my district needs, I figured I might as well lay it all out here, right?

So here's the plan for this year. 

Spawn is 9.5 years old and going into 4th grade but is working at a 3rd grade math and reading level, per our elementary school.

Math: Saxon Intermediate 3  

We started with this not long after he got out of school, very laid back about it.  We're a few lessons in and it seems that it works for him.  He's understanding concepts better now and he enjoys it, for the most part.

Reading:  Read Alouds/Reading for comprehension.  No real curriculum for this, going for fluency and learning techniques so he remembers what he reads.  We have a recommended reading list for 3-5th grade from the state, so we'll be working on books on that list.  

Spelling:  A Reason For Spelling C

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting C or D

Grammar:  Easy Grammar

History/Geography:  Story of the World Vol. 1.  He wants to learn about the ancients and the founding fathers, so I'm not sure how that's going to work.  He's a bit over ambitious. :D

Science:  Still undecided.  Most likely Apologia.

Health:  Horizons 4th Grade Health Program

Art:  He's signed up for a 11 week program through a homeschooling group we are in, and then after that we will be using HomeArtStudio

Music:  He learned the recorder last year in school, so I think this year we'll be taking it to the piano.  We'll also study some composers and pieces that they have written.  We're going to rotate music and art throughout the year.

Physical Ed:  Our home school group has gym/park days, so we'll be making it to as many of them as we can, and he wants to sign up for flag football at the rec center.

I've also borrowed the idea of a calendar notebook.  He wants a morning meeting time with the calendar and all, so we're doing it big kid style.  It's got the usual date, weather, days in school, etc, but we also have journal prompts and a number of the day sheet.  Once I have it all set up, I'll post pictures and links.

I think that's everything.  Until we start using it all and change it up :D

Linking up to the Not Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Friday, July 27, 2012

Going cra-a-a-zy!

We haven't disappeared, I promise!

We're just been keeping busy...keeping goobers occupied...and doctor appointments.

I have a blog post to do, but haven't gotten around to it...hopefully this weekend if I can find some time between the carnival being down the street from our house and getting ready for my trip to Atlanta to meet up with some friends and go to my first Thirty One National Conference.

Oh, and I'm in full swing getting things ready for September.

Yep.  Cra-a-a-azy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Moments to Remember

After a late night of fireworks and fun this is what I woke up to in my bed.  Chunk has been sleeping with us since he's been sick and Cute Boy apparently climbed into bed sometime after Chef left for work.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fourth of July Fun

Tot School
*Chunk is 13 months old*

So this week, we celebrated America's birthday.  I surprised the boys that morning with some homemade playdough (our first batch!)
A hit with Cute Boy!

Chunk wasn't so sure

But of course we had to taste test it.


Even Spawn had to get in on the fun.

Mixing colors.

Smushing some blue and red together to see what they make!


This kept Cute Boy occupied for a long time.  Spawn played for about 15 minutes and Chunk for about 2.  He wasn't thrilled with it at all.

Overall, it was a hit with the fivester.  Chunk played a bit but really wasn't thrilled with it.  Or the taste of it :D

Chunk had more fun dumping things out of kitchen cabinets.
Just the right size for a baby hideout.  I did have to relocate some things, but I keep a few things in there still. He's in the pull it all out and then put it back stage, so things like the colanders, sauce pans and lids and frying pan keep him occupied in more ways than one.
Cute Boy tossed some of his cereal on Chunk's tray.  He earned Fruity Pebbles as a reward (yes, he chose cereal over a toy) and Chunk was working really hard on picking them up.  Not that he gets it often, but he gave his pincher grip a good workout.

And that paintbrush spent many a day in his hand.  He likes the noise it makes when he crawls.

Not thrilled that Mommy made him get dressed so she could get a picture.

Then we headed outside to play!

Cute Boy and J from the other apartment with their sparklers.  Such a fun surprise from MaMa and Pa.  They dropped them off right as we were eating dinner, so Cute Boy ate FAST so he could go out and do them.


I had walked outside to put away Chunk's push car and watched Nature's Fireworks.  It was so awesome.  No thunder, but an amazing lightning storm in the clouds.  Even Cute Boy who hates storms came out to watch.  This picture really doesn't do it justice.

Happier with this 4th of July Shirt.  Waiting for the fireworks to begin on TV


Him Too.

We're in the middle of a big construction project at work so the boys steal my phone as soon as I come home to scour for new pictures.  This one is a favorite.

Then we got to go to a birthday party this weekend for Chunk's best buddy.  It was a blast between the pool, pony rides, bounce house and quad rides (Spawn's FAVORITE)

Coyboy Cute Boy

Chunk even went!

Ride em cowboy!

Lil S blowing out his candle with Mommy.  Thanks for inviting us to your awesome party!

Chuk also went into the pool for the first time.  I didn't get any pictures, because well, I was in the pool with him and my assistant photographer Spawn was exploring with goggles.  He did take that awesome pic of Cute Boy though.  Anyways, back to Chunk, he was unsure at first, but ended up loving it. 

Yelling at me for disturbing his book "reading"

I went up to my mom's last week to pick up a box of clothes that my dad was giving the Chef and my mom had pulled out the box of stuff she kept at the house when Spawn and Sweet Nut were little.  So we have a whole bunch of "new" books for Cute Boy and Chunk.  They were going through the box this afternoon and were having a blast.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time to explore!

Tot School

We decided to play and make a mess today.  Chunk had a blast exploring different textures.  We started out with just some cheerios on his tray...then I added a spoonful of butterscotch pudding.  Yum.

He figured out very quickly how much fun it is to smear it all over the high chair tray.  Then we added in some ice pop pieces to the mix.

I was surprised because usually he doesn't like things that are really cold in his mouth, but he sucked on hat ice pop for a few minutes!

In other Chunk news, he's officially in a big boy seat.
He's the only one of the goobers to make it past a year 8 months in an infant seat.  Spawn and Sweet Nut both outgrew them by weight by 6 months, and Cute Boy was about 8 months when he outgrew his.  Chunk made it to 13 months and 2 days!  The only reason we switched was because we couldn't loosen or tighten the seat belt anymore.  He was at the limit.  He still has a while to go to his the weight limit (he was 28 pounds at his 1 year check up, and 25 pounds at the immunologist last week).  To say we are happy with the seat is an understatement!  The seat he had was the Graco Snugride 35.  It's a little sad, I'm slightly attached to the seat, but happy with what we got.  We bought the Graco MyRide 65.  I've been eyeing it for awhile, and I was actually trying to hold out for the Graco Size4Me to hit stores, but I didn't want to wait longer with not being able to adjust his harness.  And we got lucky-our Target has all the MyRide65s on clearance (so I know the new seats are coming...darn) So we got a deal on it.  It was a pretty easy install, or as easy as an install can be in the Beast.  We did it in the Target parking lot and he had no problems getting into it.  The one thing I don't like, and might end up still getting the Size4Me is that I'm going to have to uninstall it to rethread the harness when he gets bigger.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

First week of Summer Vacay!

Chunk has had a rough week.  This was Monday night when he still was fighting his fever.  I sat him down to fix the big boys dinner and he fell asleep in his chair.

Poor sleepy boy.

Then he perked up a bit on Tuesday and we were able to hit the movies to see Madagascar 3.
First movie trip!
(I promise Chef isn't sleeping, he's not fond of pictures.)
And these two were thrilled with being surprised with a movie theater trip.

And here's a happy Chunk.  If we could get rid of this nasty cough, we'd be golden!
He learned how to "drop" things and get them picked up for attention.  Fun times.

I promise, Spawn didn't miss out on all the fun.  He was up at his dad's when we hit the movie theater, but him and Chef have a movie date for the new spiderman movie that's coming out.  And we have him this coming week.  Plus, my boy-who-hated-school is begging to start homeschooling, so Monday after Chunk's doctor appointment, we're starting with some readin', 'ritin and 'rithmatic.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Still not to sure...

what's going on with Chunk.

We met with the pediatric allergist/immunologist today.  He's not totally sure that chunk's issues are environmental.  He did tell us to go ahead with the plan to get rid of the carpeting left in the house and the mold test.  He said there is a definite wheeze there, but that there's also a lot of upper respiratory noise.

The plan is to switch up his meds.  He'll be on Flovent and Singulair instead of Pulmicort.  He's also doing another round of antibiotics and prednisone.  The hope is that by switching meds we see a change in his breathing and that the antibiotics and prednisone clear up what's causing it.  He thinks that there's some bug causing him to get sick and that last time he was on the antibiotics it didn't get it all.

So, no real answers yet.  Hoping to see some change this weekend.  We go back Monday for a recheck.

And in Spawn news, we've made the decision to go forward with taking his adenoids out.  He responded well to the antibiotics, so they think that there was a long sinus infection causing some of his troubles, but he's still having issues sleeping and still has a small annoying cough and stuffy nose.  He feels that since he's responded well to treatment so far that this is one of the last puzzle pieces in figuring out what's going on.  He even told Spawn that he feels that after surgery he might be able to wean off all his meds and be med free this time next year!  I like that he really includes Spawn in all of our discussions and makes sure that he understand every thing we've done or are planning on doing.  Spawn did admit that he's nervous about having surgery, but he's excited at the prospect of not needed to be on an inhaler and nasal spray all the time.  His surgery is scheduled for Aug 7.

So I've been a downer the last few posts...but Spawn wants to start some stuff school wise, so we'll be jumping into a light schedule this coming week.  He's so excited!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking for answers...

Chunk is sick.  Again.

Over 2 weeks ago he came down with a nasty cold.  Fever, coughing, wheezing, the whole 9 yards.  Today we went back in for a recheck.  Last Wednesday he sounded so much better.  Then Saturday night he started back coughing- and ended up throwing up a few times.  This has happened a few times since then.  Get to the dr's today and he listens to his chest and isn't happy with what he hears.

We have to keep up the albuterol and pulmicort and get into the allergist for allergy testing.  If I can't get in within the next week I'm to go back to the regular dr for more prednisone.

We were also told to get rid of the carpets in the house and to do a mold test.  There's something that's making him sick and we need to find out what.

Luckily we didn't have much carpet left in the house.  Just the stairs and living room.  The Chef spent the afternoon ripping the carpet off the stairs and removing all the nails and nail strips.  He's going to paint them and we'll get something non slip to put on them for the goobers safety.  Tomorrow we'll check and see what's under the living room carpet.  So far since we moved in and ripped out carpet we've had decent wood floor underneath that just needed to be repainted.  So we're hoping to find the same thing in the living room.

Pink eye is still going through the house too.  The Chef is getting over it, I have it and Chunk had a gunky eye after his nap.

We also head back to the allergist with Spawn on Friday to see what course they will take next.  I think he's done better since his heavy duty round of antibiotics, but I'm interested to see what he says. There was talk of taking his adenoids out this summer, so I'm sure we'll talk about that as well.  I'm hoping they can just squeeze Chunk in at the same time, but we'll see.

No fun.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The heat is on....

It's the first heat wave of the summer here in NY.  And it's H.O.T.

To top it off, Chunk got a cold that *almost* developed into pneumonia.  It was a rough weekend/beginning of the week...fevers of 101-103, lots of nebulizer treatments, antibiotics and our usual prednisone battle.  The boy can not STAND prednisone.  He won't just spit it out, he gags himself on it and makes himself sick. The last few times we went the shot route as opposed to battling him, but this time, we decided to try it.  I think we're going to stick with the shot.  Anyways, the worry was because his O2 sats were low...between 83-85.  But he's better.  Thank goodness.  I'm sleeping again instead of being up all night with a cranky baby.  And when Momma is happy, everyone is happy.

Thankfully Chunk started feeling better just as the tempratures started to climb so we pulled out his new water table the other night for him to play with.  We had no idea it was going to be such a hit with the big Goobers too!

This is the water table we's pretty neat.  We also added in some of the water toys that Chunk got for his birthday from his buddy.
B. Fish & Splish Bath Boat.Opens in a new window
I'm not sure where it was bought from, but I found one here.  We keep the big boat in the bath tub, but let them take the other pieces to the water table.  The neat thing about the boat is that all the little pieces fit inside.  You lift off the top and store away!

The other hit from his birthday was this.

We still have the ball pit section and the tunnel, but the tent section got ripped at his party.  Not Happy.

He's happy though with the parts he has left...especially since he can throw the balls out and then yell when he runs out to have someone to toss them back in for him.

Sweet Nut turned 7 too this month.  And his "bestest" present by far was this
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack (XBOX 360).Opens in a new window
And Cute Boy-who helped us pick out presents also chose this and this for him.
Nintendo DS Skylanders Zip Case (Nintendo DS).Opens in a new windowSkylanders Character Pack - Eruptor.Opens in a new window

I'm excited, because, well, it is a neat game.  But mostly, because I can do this with Cute Boy...and Sweet Nut too!  

I'm all for things they they DON'T think are educational, but really are.  And I love that when they are playing it together, the game kind of MAKES them work together.  The goobers are very competitive and they are slowly getting that teamwork can be fun too.