Monday, August 31, 2015

August Reads

I challenged myself to crochet more this month (nearly every day) and finish 1 really big crochet project, so I didn't read as much as usual. That's usually how it is with my free time. I have to choose between reading and crocheting and my mountain of crochet projects usually win, especially now that we're in the home slide to Christmas. So hard. Lets jump right in.

The Reptile Room (Lemony Snicket)- A mama and Ollie read. We loved the first one so much that we went right into the 2nd, which was just as full of unfortunate events as it's predecessor and just as witty and interesting and fast paced. We're definitely going to keep with this series. It has been a great read for his age and it still keeps me interested and enjoying myself.

Homecoming (Cynthia Voigt)- This is a book I read as a kid and always looked back on fondly as something I really loved and got into. It didn't disappoint now, over a decade later. I really enjoy the Tillerman family. This book will definitely give you the feels. It made my heart break a little.

Son (Lois Lowry)- The last book in The Giver Chronicles, this was probably my favorite. I liked that it was told from several perspectives over different periods of time. It was a beautiful ending to a series of books that I really deeply enjoyed. I look forward to sharing these with my kids one day, and isn't that the sign of a great book?

I am Legend (Richard Matheson)- Now this shit... I guess because of the movie from a few years ago I was expecting a whole different animal. What you get is not at all what the movie is, by the way. Actually, I think it's a lot better. This was actually a book husband picked out from the library but I finished Son and had nothing to read so I grabbed this off the table and speed read it. I didn't realize it was a collection of stories, for one. There is the I am Legend story and then a multitude of other creepy tales. It was really interesting. I definitely liked it. I'm eagerly waiting on husband to finish so we can discuss.

That wraps it up for August. I'm excited for September reads. I've ordered some stuff I really want from the library, including my very FIRST audio books. I went with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to pop my audio cherry because I have heard nothing but amazing things about them. I'm looking forward to some fall reading under a warm blanket with some hot tea.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

What My Kids Have Been Reading

I have two kids. A nearly 8 year old little stud muffin and a 4 year old sass monster. I'm over the moon that they are avid book lovers. Over the moon, I tell ya. Thankfully we have access to several libraries. Children's books are hella expensive. With the help of libraries and cheap 2nd hand book stores, my kids are kept very happy and well read. Here's what we're up to lately.

Ollie (7 years old, reading independently but also enjoying his mama and me reading time every night)-

We picked up The Bad Beginning not long ago and Oliver loved it. Because of that we borrowed the 2nd book of A Series Of Unfortunate Events, The Reptile Room, and read that really quickly. Also a success! Fast paced and funny and witty. It keeps him entertained. We'll definitely keep going with the series.

Admittedly, I really wanted to read this one so we picked it up at 2nd and Charles for around a dollar and I waited all Summer for the kiddo to be into the idea of reading it. Finally we are into it now. Oliver really seems to love it so it was a good choice. *pats self on back* He laughs in all the right places so I know he's actually paying attention. It's one of my favorite book choices so far this year.

He's showing serious interest in the Magic Treehouse series for really the first time ever. I feel like this is something he can definitely read on his own now so I am going to stock up on these.

Alice-Mae (4 years old, super into reading on laps and snuggled under covers, thinks she can read on her own already)-

Olivia has been a favorite for a while. My little miss can't get enough of Olivia and I don't blame her. It's fun, captivating, funny and there are so many of them now so you have lots of options. We've been borrowing them all from the library. Her own copy of Olivia was loved so hard and read so many times that it fell apart.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon has to be her favorite book of the moment. She has read it every day for weeks and has had it memorized since the very first time we read it.

I'm so glad I found this book and so glad we bought it for the kids last year and I'm so glad there are more Penguin books to love and enjoy.  They are the cutest. We read them often and they are so sweet.

This is a recent library find and another obsession of Miss Mae's. We read it at least once a day. It's a funny little story and anything with stinky something in it is sure to be a kid pleaser.

That's just a little sampling of what we've been reading lately. Do your kids have any favorites? What are some chapter books that your young reader is into?


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Preschooling At Home

I have a feisty, happy, amazing 4 year old little miss. Unfortunately I live in a tiny small town that has 0 preschools within a 30 minute drive and we only have 1 car. That includes 0 Montessori programs in the public primary schools. There are about 5 churches within a few blocks of our house and NO PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS. I would looooove to send Al off to a preschool a few hours a day. I think the socializing before starting the big kid school next year would be great for her. But since I don't have a lot of options, we make do by having our own little preschool sesh in our home Monday-Friday. To expand further on how nerdy my children are (I love it!), my plan was to do Monday-Thursday but my daughter literally begged me, like actually begged, to do it on Friday too. So we do. Because who can say no to a kid that wants to learn? Not me.

This will probably be a series of posts because education and such is something I'm really into. This first post I just wanted to introduce a little of how we roll and really push hard my belief that teaching in your home doesn't have to be expensive, require a lot of tools, take a ton of time or make you pull your hair out. It doesn't need to be fancy.

For example- We are working hard at letter and number recognition. One of our favorite activities is just me writing out letters/numbers on a piece of paper and she takes letter/number stickers and identifies what it is and finds it on the paper. Easy peasy. And cheap! The cost of a piece of paper and a 1 dollar pack of stickers I got at Wal-Mart.

Another cheap activity we do is sorting something into the right order. We are learning to put 0-10 in order right now and it's so easy to just cut out some squares of paper, slap on a number and have her glue them into the right order. It's not fancy or pretty but it works.

We do invest in some helpful tools. Like our big preschool book. If you have a kid that loves worksheets, which mine does SO MUCH, then I really recommend them. So much bang for the buck! We paid around 12 dollars and we've been using it so much. Worth it. There are so many different activities. Sorting, counting, letter recognition, writing practice, shapes, patterns, mazes, connect the dots, color by number. Etc.

There are also a million printables that you could get offline. Pinterest is a great place to look for free activities. Printing things off, finding fun projects, etc. Use the internet for free resources and ideas!

And of course, your local library offers endless educational fun. Free books!

We also use ABC Mouse and I love it. Alice also loves it. It's only like 9 bucks a month and it's totally worth that, in my opinion. We usually do an hour or so of 'the Mickey mouse game' (as Al calls it, for whatever reason, chick has never even seen a Mickey mouse show) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Gives me a little break but keeps her rolling.

It's not a ball buster to preschool at home. It's really not! It can be so easy and it can be enjoyable. I'll be back to talk more about some things we enjoy and some things that work for us and our plans for the future. Cheers.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Some Weekend Happenings

Monday rolls around again. I'm having a quiet morning now that my boys have gone off to school/work and my girl is still snoozing away. We enjoyed our weekend. We hardly ever get weekends with no plans or weekends where we stay close to home both days, so this was a nice, relaxing one.

Mostly we decided to chill in our house. Eat lots of food (husband grilled both nights and it was amaaaazing), do some cleaning, watch some Star Trek, read. Saturday husband surprised us all with a visit to a lovely little place I didn't even know existed near us! A pretty pond with a nearly 1 mile walking trail around and the best part- swans! Swans everywhere!

There were a lot of other water fowl. Several types of geese and ducks, that pretty heron right there (that speared a fish in the eye as we were watching...) and there were so many turtles. All kinds. The turtles seemed to know that humans = food and they would swim right up to you and wait. We didn't feed them though because we aren't buttheads. Feeding the animals is what leads to them being aggressive, people.

The butterfly garden was probably my favorite. It's was lovely. I also got cute pics of the littlest lady and myself as beautiful butterflies. She was SO EXCITED to be a butterfly.

It was a gorgeous place. I know it will become a family favorite. They even had a little restaurant in there with ice cream! And a super cool playground for the kids complete with an old retired fire truck to play on. Two thumbs up.

Missing the weekend now. Wishing Mondays were a little easier. Maybe like a half Monday. Ease you into the work/school week. A girl can dream...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge the Last

Our last summer reading check in! The summer has gone by much too fast.

As always we are swimming through a sea of library books over here. Now that Ollie is in school again he and I are reading less each day (sad face) but Miss Mae and I are reading even more, which has been nice! She has always been book obsessed, even when she was a sweet 2 year old and she would pick up my books and pretend to read. And now as a 4 year old in her dress up outfits with a nest of books always in her bed.

Our last check in looks like this-

 A book recently published- 

 I don't know a kid that doesn't get a fit of the giggles from reading these underpants books. Dinosaurs Love Underpants and Aliens Love Underpants are also big favorites of ours. 

A Disney book-

This is a book we got for Christmas and we read it all the time. It frequently comes with us on car trips so that Alice has something to look at. It's full of cute, short Disney stories that she loves and that big brother can read out loud to her.

 Child's choice-

This week's favorite book is The Mixed Up Chameleon. Alice had this memorized after the first time reading it and every single time we read, this book has to be included. Surprisingly we had never read it before even though Eric Carle is a favorite around here. I really enjoy this one too. It's fun and interactive for her but also easy and not boring for me. Winner.

That's it for the summer reading challenge! I'm sad it's over. It was fun times!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Living with Infertilty- An Update

I know there probably isn't anyone out there reading this and that's okay. It's more so that I have something to look back on one day and remember how it was.

I'll be into the 60's of my cycle this week. I'm cycle day fifty something now. Sixty will fall on Friday or Saturday. No period, no signs of a period. I had said back when we found out that our first round of Clomid didn't work that I'd call at 60 days and ask for Provera to get it started. Coming up on that date now, I am dreading it and hating having to call and hating that my body won't just act normally. Even if it didn't ovulate, I'd love for my uterus to at least shed itself at the proper time.

I'm feeling let down by my doctor. She isn't giving me a lot of info. I don't feel informed. I'm worried all the time and not sure what is going on or what the next steps are.

I'm dreading the start of another cycle. The timed sex, the temping, the hoping, the waiting, the medication now upped 50mg more, not knowing how it will affect me.

I am tired. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of trying to put on a positive, happy face and pretend that everything is fine and I'm okay. I'm tired of feeling like if I am sad or negative or admit that I don't have much hope left then I am lame and people are judging me for not being a bright ball of sunshine.

I want a future plan. Something long term. But that's not possible right now.

We are thinking about the future. How long will we continue to do this? Right now, I think setting a year long mark is good. This time next year if I'm not pregnant, that's it for me. I might not go back onto birth control but I can't keep actively trying forever. I say a year because I feel like we need to use the resources we have while we can, but part of me (most of me) wants to stop sooner and try to find some peace of mind. I know my husband supports it. We'll see how it goes. After this cycle of 100mg of Clomid, I don't know if there is another step if it doesn't make me ovulate. The next step might just be quitting.

If we had a big enough house I would easily abandon this notion of pregnancy and these medications and I'd start the foster adoption process. But we have to wait until we are in a better town with a bigger place.

Some days it's hard to get up and face it again. The past 30+ days since we found out I didn't ovulate with the first round of Clomid have been kind of nice. It was hard at first because I was mourning that hope we lost but then it turned into almost a vacation from trying to conceive. We know nothing is happening in there so there's no pressure. I'll really miss that feeling of everything being okay for a while. At the same time, I feel like we have to try while Clomid is being offered.

Just jumbled thoughts of an infertile today. I'll probably be started on Provera by this weekend, unless my doctor has a concern about it, and that means I'll start Clomid in about 2 weeks. Trying to get out my negativity in a healthy way so that we can maybe be positive and excited.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hunka Burning Love

My mama's birthday is coming up in a week and that lady deserved a little something to make her smile. She has always been Elvis obsessed so what better way to say happy birthday than with her own Kind of Rock n' Roll?

I made him up as I went, taking some inspiration from a few sources. I wanted him to be a little peg doll type thing without limbs. He obviously had to have the white suit and cape and some awesome sparkles and that big beautiful bouffant and a crooked grin. I think he came out cute!

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2nd Grade

We sent our favorite guy to his first day of 2nd grade today.

Don't ask me how this happened. I swear I just brought him home from the hospital yesterday and then I blinked and he's half way through Elementary school.

We took our traditional first day of school pics. He even asked for one with his sister. And mommy and daddy got in on it too, even though mommy wasn't dressed yet.

Alice Mae was excited for her 'first day' too. She'll be staying home with me and doing preschool at home but we bought her a special back pack and some school supplies to make her excited for it.

Ollie had his hair cut on Saturday and asked for a short cut that he could style. My baby faced, floppy haired boy is gone and replaced with this heart breaker! I can't believe he's nearly 8 and I can't believe I sent him off to 2nd grade today. He's so handsome and smart and sweet and kind and wonderful and I know he'll have a great year. I love him so.

This time next year we'll be sending our boy AND our girl off to their first day of school. How does the time fly. The days are long but the years are short.

Cheers to a great school year!