Monday, October 22, 2012

Zoo Day

We took the day off school on Friday and went to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.  I love this zoo, even though we've only been there once before.  It's got lots of animals and is small enough for little legs to not get too warn out, plus it's FREE!  You just can't beat that when you have four little ones!
My friend also has four kids and homeschools, so they went with us.  Here's a picture of all of them as we got off the carousel.  I splurged on this - $1 a person.  What a bargain!
Luke LOVED it!  He picked out the "gullilla" to ride on and refused to let me lay a hand on him to steady him.  He's 100% independant now.  I asked him once if he needs me at all anymore and he said "I need you for to kiss."  (not a typo, that's what he said.)

It was semi-cold and rainy, but guess what?  The kids didn't care one bit. 
I love it when they show me how little those things matter.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Totally Random Update

Just a brain dump today:

1.  Love, love, LOVE that I befriended the librarian.  Not only is she super funny, she recommends the BEST books!  I am friends with her on Goodreads and FB now, so she can let me know the minute something new comes out that I have to snatch up immediately before others get wind of it.  (Such as "Gone, Girl" which I've been waiting for to come in FOREVER!!!  People, PLEASE!  If I, the mother of 4 with two jobs, can finish book in 2 days and get it right back into circulation, YOU. CAN. TOO!!!) ***I will do a post soon with the most recent books I've read and loved.

2.  All 3 of my older boys are LOVING their schooling.  Virtual school is absolutely wonderful and I'm soooo glad it's an option for us.  Owen and Sammy are thriving and actually starting to take responsibility for their own learning.  Self-motivation = MAJOR WIN!!!  And William is absolutely LOVING preschool.  He prides himself on being the best-behaved kid in the class and his teachers adore him. 

3.  Double cortisone shot to my foot today.  The pain comes and goes and now (hours after the shots) the pain is gone and I just feel like my foot weighs 80 lbs.  Hopefully it will loosen up by tomorrow.  The dr told me some people live with these neuromas forever and just come in every few months for the shots to keep the pain at bay.  Lovely.

4.  I'm trying to chip away at redecorating in the quickest, easiest and CHEAPEST way possible.  Painting the foyer, hallway and small bathroom are first up on my list.  Then maybe new curtains and covering my beloved red bench, which is COMPLETELY wrecked now thanks to our kitten.  I did hang a printable I found on Pinterest today.  It's got me so inspired!

5.  Two weddings signed so far for 2013, with two more "in the hopper."  And I still have two more to work before the end of 2012.  So it's still busy, even as we get into the off season.

6.  I am considering, despite my rigorous reading schedule, to get into this new show "Nashville."  This fall, I have only started watching "Survivor" and "Revenge," my two favorites from last year.  I am somewhat keeping up with "Revolution" but it's not a big deal to me if I miss it.  Oh, and I do also love the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders show on CMT, but that's a short season so it won't be on much longer AND it's forever in reruns if I miss an episode. 

Overall, life is good.  The boys are at such amazing ages right now and I'm frantically trying to record everything cute/sweet that they do.  The other day Luke told me "Your kisses make me happy."  Likewise, Luke.  Likewise.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


My boys have always taken naps - always.  I have people say to me, "You're soooo lucky your kids nap.  Mine haven't napped since he/she was X months/years old."  Really?  Am I "lucky" my kids nap?  Or have I actively promoted naps so that they actually ENJOY them? 
I'll be the first to admit that getting Owen to nap - and in his own crib - was challenging.  But we had NO CLUE what we were doing with him.  They give classes in diapering and changing a baby, but where's the class in getting a baby to sleep without rocking him?  I didn't get that mastered until he was close to a year old and I already knew Sammy was on the way.  I DEFINITELY needed to get my act together!
So with Sammy, we had him on a schedule from the time he was just a few weeks old.  This was not a regimented schedule, but we had a general idea of when he needed to nap during the day and he was very secure in knowing what to do. We'd put him in the crib, pull the shades and he was out.
Napping babies in a crib (cage) is one thing, though.  Getting them to nap in a bed without getting up is what I think a lot of parents struggle with, which is why you hear of people who don't even nap their two year olds.  I can't IMAGINE not giving a toddler a nap - please note that I said "giving" a nap, not "making" him take a nap.  It's just not a forced thing in my house.  My kids know that and they actually LOVE laying down each day after lunch.
I have each of the little ones select a book of their choice and meet me in my bed.  We throw a blanket over us and I cuddle in the middle.  This is where we do most of our reading and how I taught William to read so early.  We spend a good 1/2 hour reading and then we nap together - yes, TOGETHER!  I give myself permission to sleep with them in the middle of every day, even though of course I have a million other things I could be doing.  I deserve a nap, too, and I take it.  Sometimes it's 10 minutes, sometimes it's an hour.  But I need it as much as they do, and it makes me a better mom to them for the remainder of the day.
So to those people who say their kid won't nap, I ask them if they've ever tried laying down with them.  Instead of making it a part of the day that the child feels isolated and abandoned alone in their room, make it a wonderful quiet time to cuddle with and talk to your child.  And if you get a little rest, too, well that's just a bonus.  I have always enjoyed my naps with the boys and will be VERY sad when they come to an end.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm on Pinterest Crack

Is everyone out there on Pinterest now?  I try not to get too caught up in it, but it's difficult.  I am especially exasperated by all the perfect, organized homes out there - how on earth do these women do it?  I don't think they REALLY have kids, or at least not kids who make messes, refuse to clean up, fight, spill food/drink, pee their beds, etc. 

I know that I had a VERY different expectation of what staying at home would be like.  I would sit at my desk all day, dreaming of menu planning, clipping coupons, organizing every last inch of every closet.  Yeah, RIGHT!  It's a struggle to keep up with the gobs and gobs of laundry and TRY to make a meal that doesn't make the kids GAG!  (The spaghetti tonight went over pretty well, which was surprising.)

But one thing I am LOVING about Pinterest is all the wonderful gift ideas for Christmas.  Money is tight these days (probably for everyone) and homemade gifts are the way to go for us.  I'm not going to go into details because my family, who may be the recipients of these gifts,might be reading but I'm getting excited to get going on them.  Sure, it's going to be challenging to find the time to make them, but that's part of the gift - my time, which everyone knows is so very limited. 

I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that summer's over and Christmas is just a couple of months ago.  Where has 2012 gone???