When Lily first kissed me.... I squealed.
When Lily first walked.... I squealed.
When Lily first spoke.... I squealed.
When Lily first did the robot.... I squealed....again!
But when Lily first swung her hula hoop..... I squealed :-) and grabbed my camera.
I took a few pictures.
Recorded a couple of minutes of her. She was so proud of herself for this accomplishment. She practiced all day then finally after about 8 hours (on and off) she finally got it and I was the first to witness it. I love it!
But I love more is how she holds her chest with one hand and then raises the other into the air. It's so adorable. And I'm done squealing...for now :-)
As a kid I HATED science. I hated science projects, chemistry, labs, etc. If it smelled like anything close to science I was out of there.Then I grew up and realized how AWESOME science really is. Thanks Bill Nye!
Anyways with holidays over and my birthday behind me I've been able to get back into the groove of homeschooling Lily and Ducati. And for today we had a blast outside coloring snow.
I seen this fun project floating around Pinterest but I wanted to add alittle more education to it. And since this lesson was for a 3 and 4 year old they gave it 2 thumbs up.
To get their little minds working I had 3 bottles, some food coloring, and hot water. Pretty easy to assemble. Hot water into bottle, Add food coloring. Mix and have fun. But I wanted our girls to learn about primary colors and how they can make secondary colors.
So each girl made their own bottle of snow paint with the color combo they wanted. Lily loved that she found a way to make lavender (<--- she learned this word from a Fancy Nancy book)
Ducati made a "poopy diaper" color which lead to Lily making a poopy diaper pile on our driveway. Hey, at least they're learning about colors.
After Hailey was done with her homework she wanted to join in on this science project. :-)
Everyone had so much fun outside learning about colors that I'm going to have to search around to find another snow lesson before everything melts.
Mom note: I absolutely love it when I can see with my own eyes my kids minds growing with knowledge that I was able to give them. Absolutely amazing feeling :-)
While we were getting ready for church I walked by to get to our bedroom and stopped in my tracks when seen this. It's such a tender moment that I couldn't pass up capturing it. This lead to me reflecting for a moment. Hey....I couldn't help it. :)
When I first met Mike he was a full on Thug who was entering the Air Force who's first language as Ebonics :-) But beneath that thick skinned surface I seen the most softest and kindest teddy bear ever. So there's no doubt why I fell for him so quickly♥
And to see him brushing Hailey's hair made my heart halfway melt. He's still that soft teddy bear even after 5 years together. I love it and I love him. :-)
I was telling Mike that I don't feel older this birthday but I feel wiser. He smiled which lead me to laugh. :-) Perhaps not super wise but more grateful this year.
Mason and Hailey didn't have school today so I had planned to go out with them. Somewhere super awesome to have a super awesome good time. But after a weekend of home projects and my new sleep schedule I was so exhausted to do anything.
Mike was nervous this year since he didn't purchase me 1 gift for me to open on my birthday. I reassured him that I didn't want anything. Just the week before he gave me the OK to splurge and buy some things that I've been wanting for a while. A cell phone, curtains, new dishes, the girls their bunk beds, etc. So my heart was content :-)
But he did do something very sweet for me. When I woke up I found 29 notes all around our house expressing to me how amazing I am. This for sure was a nice way to wake up. :-)
This year I was just so happy to have spent my birthday with my family. We had a great evening together. We had a family movie night, enjoyed some gluten free pizza, bowls of popcorn, and a yummy cake-alternative. (I've been trying to cut back on sugar so I made a chocolate dipped fruit platter instead. Mike put a candle on it so I can make my birthday wish)
But what more could I really ask for. I feel very blessed for the people in my life. The experiences I've lived. The knowledge I've gained over the years. I'm just one lucky gal. I'm very happy to see what this year has in store for me.
Maybe more chocolate dipped fruit....YUMMO! haha :-)
It's been happening off and on for months now and for the most part it was a once and a while thing. And while at her well-child check up her doctor told me that kids her age sometimes start to stutter so to not to worry about. I guess it's pretty common for kids from the ages of 2-5 years old. But just because it's common doesn't mean I should just sit back and wait it out. Plus I'm the type of parent that wants to educate myself on matters like this so I can help my child. And this is definitely a matter I'm foreign too. None of our other 3 kids had stutters so this really lead me to learning about it.
After doing some research I've learned that the most common factors to childhood stuttering are family history ( like if we stuttered she'd pick up on it), some physically going on with her brain ( which isn't the case since she's had her check up last month) or psychological. <--- which fits the bill perfectly.
Paraphrasing: If a child lives a fast paces lifestyle with parents that have high exceptions this can cause perfectism in a child. So with a fear of saying a word wrong can lead to stuttering. Or parents being so busy they the child has to hurry and rush out their words before the parents go one to the next thing.
Sad reality check for Mike and I. We're guilty of this.
Some things we can do to help with Ducati's stuttering:
-give direct eye contact every single time she talks to us
- slow down our lives EXTREMELY
-read more and less TV (which we already do this)
- don't tell her, "Slow down your words" ," Think about what you're saying before you say it", etc. Because honestly she's already thought about what she wants to say but just can't get it out
- be patient when she speaks
-don't correct her
So to help accommodate this new lifestyle I've been waking up at 2am everyday. Early- I know. But it gives me those 3-4 hours to do my grocery shopping (gotta love those 24 hours stores), clean up our house, fold laundry, finish off any projects, etc before she wakes up. And for the past week it's been really helpful.
Mike and I can tell what sort of day Ducati is having based on her speech. Most days she's completely fine. She might stutter once or twice. But on Friday, which is my usual busy day, she couldn't get 2 words out without stuttering. I know it's my fault. I pushed the envelope too much. Between car pool, dropping off Mason and Hailey at their grandma's, going to 2 stores, and
missing her nap she was a talking mess.
I know living in this small bubble can be difficult and at times frustrating. But if it helps Ducati then we'll find a way to make it comfortable.
Lily and Ducati are 2 sweet little girls. But WHOA! Watch out if one of them gets the other angry. They will throw down like the big dogs. So I've been trying to find ways to remind them to be kind to one another. Lecturing, talking, time outs all haven't gotten to the root of this so the thought came to me to make them this photo. I found the cutest and most tend photo I had and ordered one of those engineer prints from Staples. Took a board from Mike's wood stash and mod podge it on. When the girls seen the photo they instantly started copying the cuddle from the photo. Success- it worked! It's been hanging in their room for about a week now and it's seriously cut down on their fighting. Don't get me wrong this is by no means a miracle cure for sibling fighting. But for our family this small project has really helped them remember to be kind to one another.
Last week while I was out and about I seen a sign by SubZero that they were going to be on Shark Tank. So I was intrigued mostly since I had no idea what SubZero was. So when I tuned in to the show after about 5 minutes no sharks wanted in so they left empty handed. :-(
BUT I doubt they really left empty handed. This ice cream place had been popping ever since that show.
So for FHE we went to SubZero.
Not sure what it is then here's a quick run down. You pick your size of ice cream, the base ( milk, almond milk, soy milk, custard, etc), the flavor ( about 50 different kinds), and a topping ( about 20 different kinds) and the little gals mix it then freeze it.
With liquid nitrogen! So AWESOME!!!! Our kids loved it! They kept sticking fingers under the glass to feel the nitrogen. It's so neat to watch. It's like a mini science experiment. :-)
So from beginning to end it took about 30 seconds for each person to get their custom made ice cream. I was so impressed with this place. They made our gluten free first with all new supplies to ensure no cross contamination. Plus I've never been to a place where I could get an almond milk, agave, and fresh berries. Yummy!
And yes- it's kid approved! Our kids loved that they could add marshmallows, gummi bears, bubble gum...whatever to their ice cream. This place made our favorite family list. Here's the link so you can check them out Subzero.
At 6am I got the call that school was canceled due to the snow storm. So that means,
Our kids were loving it! Snowballs fights, snow angels, sledding down the hill from where Mike and I shoveled out his car, and a few face plants to top it off. "Best snow day ever", say Hailey. I agree :-)
This week's Family Home Evening it was Lily's turn for the lesson/activity. She's been really excited these past few days.
Here's why- (alittle background info)
The day after Christmas all our decorations came down. Everything was boxed up, packed neatly away, and put back into the garage. I love an uncluttered home. However this started me on a HUGE house binge. I've pretty much gone through each room and gutted it. I mean deep cleaned each room. I had each person go through all their belongings and helped guided them to those hard departure decisions. However after 2 full garage bags and 4 boxes of donation items things are starting to look like a real home again.
But part of the things that got gutted were the kids toys. Especially Lily and Ducati's things. With birthdays and Christmas back to back they had 3 huge Rubbermaid totes filled with toys. So they had to make some hard choices on what to keep and what to donate. But I'm proud of them for being able to make those hard choices. I think it was because of the added motivation I gave them. Mike and I only wanted toys that helped create creativity. Items that helped develop their little minds instead of making it into mush. And in exchange I told them I'd buy them some more "Super Awesome Smart Toys". They loved this idea. :-)
So while at the D.I. one day the girls and I found these awesome kid instruments. Flute, harmonica, drum, recorder, trumpet, and tambourine. My girls were so happy which in turn made me happy.
After teaching Lily about the instruments and their classifications (woodwinds, brass, etc.....Hey, she asked it was time for some band practice)
Now back to Lily's FHE
She planned to put on a performance tonight for everyone. She wanted everyone to play an instrument while she sang a few primary songs. So during the week she went to each person and show them how to play the instrument, which buttons to push, how to make the sound she wanted, and the look at her for the stop/go sign.
Conductor and Performer all rolled up into one. :-)
So for FHE she passed out the instruments to everyone and we made our first debut performance as....
She had us start out with "I am a child of God."
Then we merged into, "Book of Mormon Stories"
And finished with an original song from Lily about loving Jesus and cats. It was a sweet,fun, and LOUD family activity. I'm glad she shared her talent of music with us. It was very entertaining to watch Lily soaking in all our applause.
On New Years Eve I was talking to Mike about the parable of the 3 trees.
(Each tree wanted to be something great for themselves. But God had a different plan for them. For example one wanted to be a treasure box that held gold and gems. However it became a feeding box in a stable. Which later it held the greatest treasure of all. Jesus Christ. )
So I was talking with Mike that my resolutions did happen just not the way I originally planned.
My first one was to read 48 books this year. I didn't read 48 new books. But I did read about 30 new books for both me and to my kids. And as a family we've 9 books in the Book of Mormon. So I've met my goal just in a better way.
My 2nd goal was to have $1,000 in savings. However this year I have been able to save our family over a $1,000 just not in the way I planned. With Mike's job changes his wage has significantly gone down since the beginning of the year. But with the help from Heavenly Father I've been successful with my couponing and freebies that I've been able to keep our family afloat for about $1,000 less than last year. So I've met my goal just in a better way.
And my last goal was to stick to my calendar. I had this system of kids dates, Mike and I date nights, temple dates, visiting teaching dates, etc. Which didn't happen at all to my plan. The calendar ended up being just that....a calendar. I still write everything down in it like doc appts, visiting teaching appointments, etc. But I've learned to be led by the spirit and not by my calendar. Mike and I don't have as much time as we use to so now minutes together count as a date. :-)
(You'd believe it if you seen us on Sunday at church. When Hailey and Lily go to Primary and Mason takes Cati to nursery Mike and I just sit in the chapel for a few more minutes so we can hold hands. Then he walks me to class and those few minutes are cherished more now than they use to be. )
Back to my calendar I've been able to do alot of what's on there as well as more. So I've met my goal just in a better way.
So this year Mike and I aren't making any new resolutions. We're just going to focus on all the things we've been doing last year so we can master them by the end of this year.
But I am excited to see what this year holds for us. I'm excited about the plans we've made. The goals we've been working on. The new memories that we'll be making. And just like the 3 trees it can be even better than I planned.
One of Hailey's gift from Mike and I was a Date Box. We've noticed that she needs more 1-on-1 time with us. Not sure why we're guessing it's due to her being the middle child. ? So to fill that need we made this gift. That red box in the back is filled with dates with either dad or mom.
So it goes something like....
Dates with Dad Dates with Mom
*go on nature hike * go shopping for new outfit
*movie night * do a craft together
*go to breakfast * shop and cook a recipe of your choice
*wood working project * dinner at a resturant
*your choice * your choice
..... and many more
So tonight we sat down and picked out which month,day, and date she wanted. She has her own calendar that she'll keep in her room so she can countdown to her next date night each month.
But she also jumped on the fact that Mike was home for another day so she scheduled her first date with Mike to go on a nature hike with him. I know....a winter hike. (freezing) It's fine though. They enjoyed themselves. He took her up a trail we went to during the summer (here) and sat on the bench and chatted for alittle bit. Despite the 1-2 feet of snow she came back glowing knowing she got some 1-on-1 time with Mike.
So we hope these guaranteed dates along with her weekly time on her day will help her cup runneth over.