I am not into the holidays at work this year. It is odd, coming into the classroom during the holidays is not as great as I thought. We have play practice and chorus practice, special holiday shows, special holiday craft events, etc. I have no idea at this point what our normal schedule is going to look like, not to mention some other stressers going on. Actually I still live by my Dad's philosophy of "nothing in education is an emergency". Truely it is not. This week should fly by fast with Dress rehearsal Tuesday, my own Polar Express fun day on Wednesday for the class, and then our show on Thursday. Then I have a nice vacation with my two girls the following week but sadly Mom Mom is going home. She has been such an amazing help over the past month and we will all miss her. Celia and I talked about it on the car ride one day and she was very sad. I am not looking forward to Audrey going to daycare. I love our daycare and I know she will be in good hands but it can not compare to the attention my Mom has been giving her. According to my Mom though, she really enjoys her classroom. So I think she will have fun and then she is all mine in June. Celia too, but Celia would rather be at school, so that is a different story!!
Last weekend Celia helped me make my main holiday treat this year. I decided that instead of the various sweets I was going to make that I would go with something simple, so I made a hot cocoa mix. It is likely the only chocolate treat that I do eat/drink on occassion. I am not a chocolate fan, I gag on dark chocolate. So we filled over a dozen mason jars and I put the labels on. I still have to make my infamous cheerios mix. I struggled with whether to make it this year because Audrey can not have cheerios. But I decided I would give it a try and make sure that everything is wiped down and the floor is inspected for stray cheerios.
On Friday Celia has school and I do plan on sending her. I plan on spending some quality time with just Audrey and I then tackling some house cleaning and maybe some cooking so I will not have to stress over it during the break. At this point my Mom is saying two things, well she is laughing at the fact that I think I can get things done with Audrey and she is also saying "well I cleaned for you". Yes she did, a lot, but the bedrooms upstairs need some TLC. Audrey may spend some time in my Ergo or Moby wrap so I can get some things done! Or I may just decide to scrap everything and play, play, play!! I am excited that this year we have found a children's church service that starts at 4:30. Every year we spend Christmas eve dinner with our neighbors/good friends and we are always very late getting there as our church service does not start until 6 pm. This year we should be at their house by 6 pm! We get to go with my friend and Celia's little friends too. Of course Celia is irritated because she found out that some of her friends go to our church and she will not be there. She will get over it. But really, 6 pm for a children's service is wonky. Kids eat at 6 pm, little ones need to be in bed at a decent hour. Just my opinion!
My Mom and I took the girls to Longwood Gardens last Monday evening for a members only night. Their Christmas display is amazing. Celia was very good despite being tired and a bit hungry, but towards the end she started whining more and more. We came to one tree and she wanted me to take her picture. She backed up to the tree and did not take notice of the small fencing around it and backwards she went, right into the dirt.
My Mom and I lost it. Celia was not happy that we laughed at her expense. I did snap the picture and Celia demanded that I erased it. I promptly did not erase it! It is dark but you can see her in the dirt.
Celia is old enough this Christmas to understand the giving part of Christmas a little bit. It is very important for my girls to value giving more then getting. I am not sure if I will win that battle until they are past the teenage years, but I will try. Last weekend I took Celia to 5 Below to use some of her piggy bank money to buy some gifts to put in the Salvation Army stocking her school gave us. I do this every year but I have never included her. To my surprise she was not interested in buying things for herself and she was very into buying something for that special girl. What was funny was that the 4 year old, I am number one philosophy, came through in another way.
"Mommy, do you think that when she opens her gifts she will say Celia is just the greatest?"
"Mommy, do you think that she will want to meet me to say thank you?"
I am not sure how I answered those questions but I figure that we will take baby steps
On a more pressing topic. Pete's Grandmother needs some prayers. She is in the hosptal and having a very hard time. So if you are inclined to prayers, please say a prayer for her and for Pete's parents as they are certainly going through this with her.
Updating my blog since going back to work is hard. I am not going to write very much about work, for a few reasons. I am a teacher and honestly there have been some issues with other teachers blogging or going onto facebook about their jobs. I am an Autistic Support teacher, my students have behavioral issues, that is why they are in my classroom. So my job as a teacher is a bit more complicated then the norm. I can not say that I am happy to be back to work, I wish I had made another decision. That said, I also can not say that I am unhappy being back in the classroom. I do enjoy working with my students and interacting with adults. The time away from my little girls is hard on me and I think that I do not want to make working full time permanent.
Audrey has given my Mom a rough time this past week. We think she caught my cold and unfortunately on the first day she was left with my Mom I forgot about her reflux meds. That did not create a happy baby! Audrey is communicating very well now, but it is not with words. She is pointing and saying "Ah ah ah", it is annoying. Yes, I said it, it is very annoying. She hands me the boppy when she wants to nurse and yesterday she tried to hand my Mom the boppy! When someone leaves she waves bye bye and goes to get her own coat and shoes, very cute. Hopefully Audrey will give my Mom an easier time next week!
Celia has enjoyed her first full week of school. On Monday when I picked her up we talked about the next day and she said, "Wait, you mean I am going tomorrow?" I actually thought for a split second that she was upset and was going to say that she missed me and wanted to be home with me. So then I checked my ego as she says "That is so cool, I love school so much, I am so glad I get to go there all day instead of with you". Thanks sweety, love you too. Picking her up this week has been interesting. One day I was yelled at because I picked her up in Splash room. The next day she threw a fit because I would not buy her the same book her friend received at the school's book fair. It was a $20 radio playing barbie book, no way. On Friday, she was actually okay, even when we did go to the book fair and I purchased a book for her classroom and not for her!
I have been surprised that getting out of the house in the morning has been fairly easy. Now when I throw in making sure Audrey has breakfast before we leave, that might be complicated. She may have to eat breakfast at school, which I do not want. But we will see. Celia typically gets up so freaking early that getting out of the house on time seems to be the least of our worries. I am not happy with making lunches again. I detest that. Ugh, I do not know why, but making lunches just kills me. In January I will have 3 to make, ugh. Luckily I could start making mine ahead and just leaving them at work. Our classroom has a full size fridge, go figure.
I can not believe that my baby is one! We had her party on Thanksgiving day, since everyone was together. I really did not make a big deal about it. We had cake, a banner, and presents. She received a busy box from us, and she still needs to open a pull toy/ ring sort dinosaur, and some clothes. Mom Mom gave her clothes and a new baby doll with accessories. Grandma and Grandpa gave her a Leapfrog my first radio and her Aunt Susie, Uncle Jon, and Cousin gave her a collection of zoo animal and farm animal puzzles.
We went to the doctor yesterday and overall she is doing well. The doctor is not concerned about her speech and expects that she will have a big jump in expressive language in the next few months. But really, it is receptive language that is the key. She follows everything and points to a ton. She has even started bringing me the boppy to indicate that she wants to nurse! We have an allergist appointment at 18 months that I have to make to see if she is still allergic to oats, until then absolutely no oat products. So far it has not been a big deal. We also have to make a GI appointment for 3 months from now if she still shows reflux symptoms. The doctor does not think they will do anything different but reflux past age one is not as typical.
She is walking full time now and rarely crawls. She has also mastered walking with shoes on! But she still dislikes socks! She loves to climb and has recently taken an interest in climbing inside of things. Audrey loves to eat, she really, really loves to eat!! Her favorite foods include peas, kix, dehydrated fruit, applesauce, bread, cheese, bananas, apple chicken sausage, yogurt, and calzones. She also loves Trader Joe's multigrain mix and quinoa. It was interesting to see her eat her birthday cake as she was not super into it! She took one or two bites and then was done and refused a taste the next day! She still chokes when she drinks but that is slowly getting better. Amazingly she chokes less from an open cup. She is very silly and loves to laugh with her sister. Audrey loves to be spun around or swung. She also loves playing with her baby dolls and our phone, the play phones will not do.
She is wearing 6 to 9 months clothes and some 9 to 12 month clothes. She fits perfectly in Old Navy 6 to 12 month clothes right now, okay so some of their pants are a tad long, but overall they fit very well. She weighed in at a little over 18 lbs and around 29 inches. She is hanging in with only 2 teeth right now.
Audrey is walking full time now, she never really crawls. I thought I would share a short clip. She is picking up speed at times. She needs to learn/accept walking with shoes. That is our main issue right now!
So my turtle was not upset about the costume in this picture. Guess what ticked her off?? A clue, they are the things in her hand.
Crying in the above picture because I put socks on her feet. I am a horrible mother.
Her ballerina costume, from the dress up bin and baby legs as leg warmers, patin leathers on her toes (hand me downs with tags on from Janie and Jack!!)
where we did not get Celia's pumpkin, pick your own pumpkins were slim picking this year!
Can you believe this bag is only half full in this picture!!! These were seconds (50% off then), they lasted awhile and were fine. I am not sure why they were seconds but they were awesome for eating, applesauce, and pie!!
Doesn't it look like she is flying out of the carseat? She probably was trying to. I thought Celia was a climber, Audrey wins the award. She is constantly trying to sit on the edge of anything and stand up on anything. The other day she pushed a little child's chair up to our kitchen table and was going to climb on top of the table. Goodness Gracious!!
Should I be disturbed that Celia is treating a pumpkin like a baby? Seriously she has kept it in her room on a pillow on her dresser for over a week. If we had not set limitations she would have slept with it. She actually had it go potty on the infamous pink potty. I could not carve it, I am sorry her not it, she painted her.
Update! The washing machine is fixed! The installers took the shipping bar out prior to putting it in the house. They are not supposed to do that. So the tub slid to one side and was caught. The GE guy fixed it, it took 1 min. I now really like the machine! It cleans fast and it seems to do a good job. Of course it did not get all of the gunk out of Celia's white shirt that had been sitting in our laundry basket since Friday. I think that she sometimes uses her shirts as plates...
2 months ago our washing machine stopped spinning, rendering it basically useless. I found myself hand washing my cloth diapers that day as I was in the middle of a wash. It took us 3 or 4 days to get someone to take a look at it. We have a home warranty so it was not that expensive to have someone look at it at least. The repairman determined it was the motor and unfortunately it would take 7 to 10 days to get it. 10 days later, many trips back and forth to our amazing neighbor's house to do laundry, our new motor arrived. A few days later I noticed leaking under our utility sink. I blamed it on Pete as he had just cleaned out his fishing cooler in the sink and admitted that he spilled a lot of water. I cleaned up and then later in the day the water returned. So not the sink, it was leaking from the washing machine. So... Another phone call to the warranty company, another service call. The tub was cracked, apparently the new motor was too powerful.
Okay.... So now we move on to getting a new washer, completely covered by the warranty company. The model they offered me was a top loader but very energy efficient and even took HE detergent. I looked at the reviews and the fact that it takes more time to actually wash clothes in these type of machines and was not impressed. Having to spend more time with wash was not appealing. So I found a washing machine that seemed to have good reviews, did not take the extra wash time and had a second rinse feature which is awesome for cloth diapers. The problem, because my warranty company viewed it is a downgrade ( technically it was not as the one they offered was most certainly a more energy efficient model then we had) I had to sign a special letter. So frustrated at this situation, I found a solution to having to find a way to fax or scan the emailed letter back. I took a picture of the signed letter, loaded it to a word document, and sent it off. No problem. The washing machine was ordered and delivered this past Monday.
The washing machine looked fine but unfortunately the outlet we needed to use, the one that was working an hour prior to the installation was no longer working. So we used an extension cord and plugged it in somewhere else. It appeared to work fine. 5 minutes after the installers left I started with my mountain of laundry, only to find that the machine went bananas every time it spun. I looked at the features and laughed at all of the "machine is whisper quiet during this mode". Finally I decided this was not normal and called GE. I was told that the only reason for this would be if the machine was not leveled or if the shipping bar was kept on. So more waiting for a repairman to come and deal with it. By the way GE was not willing to send anyone to look at it, they finally got rid of me by giving me a number to call. It was the home depot... I had to call my warranty company who told me it was the same service company we had been dealing with who installed the machine. So they sent them back, no charge of course, but another day waiting for repairmen between 1 and 5 who always came after 5. That repairman determined that it was not a leveling issue, it was missing bolts that hold the tub in place. We were told not to use it. So I called GE again on Thursday and was told that they could not send anyone out until Monday and that if it was not covered by warranty then there would be a service fee. What?? I sort of lost it at that point. Our warranty company did tell me that they will deal with it if that is the case.
So tomorrow for the umpteenth time I am stuck waiting for a repairman between 1 and 5. It is Halloween and I really do not want to wait past 5! If the guy does not have the bolts with him then he is likely going to see me throw a mini tantrum because I am done having laundry piled all over and waiting for repairmen.
It pains me to know that Audrey is 11 months, 4 weeks from now I will be leaving her during the day. It is only for 6 months and of course it is not like I will be going to Siberia and not seeing her for literally 6 months, I will see her! But still... she is my baby, my last baby. Of course the funny thing is that Audrey will actually get more attention then she has now for the first month. She will have one on one attention from Mom Mom! Right now she sort of takes second to big sister who is a bit more demanding.
In anycase, I do not know how big she is. I know that she eats like she is training for the food olympics but yet she still seems to stay short and narrow! She is sleeping okay at night, well, okay, great for what she put me through for so many months. She gets up around 5 am to nurse and then wakes up for the day between 6 and 6:30. Lately she is having some teething/reflux issues and we are having some wake up times during the night but I have only had to go in once. She is wearing size 6 to 9 month clothes, 9 to 12 month pants are super long on her. Today I needed to change her shirt after one of her champion eating sessions and I grabbed a 3 to 6 month Carters onesie and go figure, it still fits.
She loves baby dolls and she will hug and pat her babies. I pulled out Celia's infamous pink potty that she trained in so that Audrey could get used to it. I let her play with it using the dolly. She had a great time, baby sat in it, then Audrey sat in it, then baby, then it went on Audrey's head... In anycase, fun times. The baby has also been in a little high chair and driven around in the stroller. She is a proud Mommy. Of course the babies are really Celia's pink baby and blue baby, but she is sharing. She is also very, very proud of her walking accomplishment. She gets this big grin on her face, raises her arms high in the air and walks. I am trying to push the arms down as really walking with your arms up high puts a person a bit off balance.
Audrey's speech is still hit or miss. She babbles frequently one day and then I do not hear a peep for a few days. She is signing though, so at least she is communicating. It will all come in time and if not then of course there are people to help her! She is very curious though and investigates everything, so maybe she is just taking it all in.
I have not wanted to blog in awhile because honestly this past week or almost two has been awful for me. I have been trying to make the decision to return to work or stay home. It took me a lot of very sleepless nights, a lot of picking at my food, and a lot of conversations with anyone that would listen to come up with the decision to return to work until June and then revisit the decision. It is not the perfect solution. I would love to stay home but at the same time I do like my job. I am a special education teacher and unfortunately leaving my job means that I will likely have to go back to school in order to teach again. I do not have both elementary and special education certifications and most school districts are requiring special education teachers to have both. I am grandfathered in and the state has no issues with my certification it is really confusion by districts according to the pennsylvania department of ed. But when someone tells me, oh you can always go back to teaching if you resign. Well.... hmm... perhaps, but maybe not! I thought about the fact that maybe it was ok. Maybe I will never teach again. But then I know that even if I stay home eventually I want to go back to work and the truth is, I can not imagine doing anything else. Financially we are just on the edge, so really it will help us not dip into savings.
I was almost manic over the past two weeks, excited about the prospect of just staying home and taking care of my girls. But then something just didn't sit right with that idea either. I looked into part time options and they really were not panning out. That is something that I need to look in over the course of a few months, not over a few weeks. There are possibilities and believe me, I am going to explore them! But at the same point, I might just decide that I will go back to teaching for 6 months and then just be a Mom without any outside worries for another year. I realize that I am going to miss out on Audrey's daily milestones, that hits me in the heart. She will never be a baby again and I am going to miss a good chunk of it. But someone told me that I am going to be here Mom forever and 6 months of it is simply that. She also said that it is not quantity, it is quality time. That hit me. The truth is that lately I feel like I need something different. I am not sure if that something is teaching, goodness this could be the wrong decision! I am not perfect, I make the wrong choices. But my plan is that I will go to work and when I am home, I am home. If I have to let exercise go to spend time with my girls during these next 6 months, then big huge gulp, I will! I am going to try to take minimal work home with me, maybe limiting it to one time during the week and then just on the weekend. It will be a learning process.
My Mom, my amazing Mom, is going to watch Audrey through the end of December and then Audrey will start at Celia's daycare in January. I am fine with December, Mom Mom will spoil her and she will get all the care she needs. In January she goes into the big girl classroom, with 3 other little buddies. In the past week though Audrey has been playing more with me. She is interacted with me and her sister and taking turns. She wants to play now and that makes me feel a bit better. She is showing me that really she needs some play mates soon and so perhaps being in that situation when she is 13 months will be good for her. Oh and she is finally babbling!! I have been worried about her speech because for the most part Audrey has made little sounds, she is very quiet. But all of a sudden we are getting a ton of babbling. Oh and she is signing more, very hit or miss but today she signed help and then hit her chin. I have been trying to teach her help, Mommy. I think the hitting her chin was her approximation of Mommy!!
So I do feel super guilty about leaving Audrey and the week I go back I am going to miss her so much. I have not mentioned Celia. Yes, I will miss Celia but leaving Celia at school is familiar and she loves it there. She does not want me to go back to school but when I mention that she will get to nap at school again she gets super excited. I have enjoyed my year with Celia but honestly she thrives on the structure of school. She has also been very trying lately and some days, ugh, some days I just think it would be okay to spend the three or four quality hours with her vs the quantity. Sorry Celia, I love you to bits but when you chew me out because I would not wait for you in the hallway for the 20 minutes it took you to get dressed while holding Audrey and a laundry basket, it sort of rubs me the wrong way.... Again, love you to bits, but I am looking for the "4 is my favorite age" stage that everyone talks about.
My baby girl turned four a month ago and we had her party on September 10th. We just had family and our neighbors that are as close to family over for the party. Next year I think I may skip the party and try for a special event of some sort, taking her to an amusement park or something of that nature. I am not sure, Celia may have her own preference at that age!!
For her actual birthday, Labor day, we went to my friend's house for a picnic with her family. She was so incredibly sweet and put candles in the angel food cake for Celia to blow out. Celia thought it was fantastic. Pete and I thought it was great that minutes after we drove out of her driveway, both girls were asleep. Ok, until we got home and Celia was not happy to be woken up!!
I made a birthday banner for her birthday, hopefully one that will be used again and again for a bit.
I made the cake this year again, it was flowers, a girly cake.
Celia enjoyed the party and all of her gifts. She received everything she wanted. Mommy and Daddy got her a scooter as her main gift this year. Mom Mom gave her Blue Berry Muffin, a nail polish kit, and some clothes. Grandma and Grandpa, Paw Paw, her Great Granny, and her Aunt Susie gave her a lot of goodies. She has Repunzel, Ariel, bride ariel and prince eric, and a pretty dress. She also has a sticker book, Mercy Watson books and I really forget now!! Honestly she made out very well this year! She also has a talking piggy bank, a build a bear, a bracelet, and new kitties for her dollhouse. Our neighbors went way overboard for her, and I mean way over board!! My Celia needs to know she is very loved! Oh and if you want to see what my sister gave her, go to the My Red Truck blog. She also received a cute new monogrammed lunch box from my sister and her cousins.
Audrey is 10 months, sob, less then 2 months as a stay at home Mom with my two girls. Ugh... In anycase, this month has shown as that Audrey is a bit of a trouble maker. She gets into a lot, more so then Celia ever did. She gets this little grin on her face before she touches something that she really should not touch. A few times she has started laughing prior to snatching the tv remote off of the coffee table. She really likes to test the boundaries when Pete watches her, he has learned that it does not always work to multitask. Twice now I have caught her playing in the toilet, fun times!!
She really wants to walk and I think if she realized that while standing up she could just take a few steps, then we would be in trouble. She can stand on her own for a bit and she can walk while holding my one hand most of the time. Celia did that for awhile though prior to walking so I am thinking that she will walk right around the time that Celia did. Audrey is slowly sleeping better. Lately she has bypassed her normal wake up at 2:30 for 4 or 4:30, this week I am going to insist upon the 4:30 time and then push her the following week to 5 am. Once she reaches 5 am, I am okay with that. I will have to get up around that time anyhow for work so i might as well get used to it!!
She is wearing primarily 6 to 9 month clothes, but can still fit into some of her 3 to 6 month clothes. I can even put some 6 to 12 month clothes on her. Pants are still big in 6 to 9 month sizes, especially if they are carters 9 month pants (really the same as 6 to 9 months). I have to keep pulling them up during the day, even with her cloth diaper butt.
Audrey loves to eat and she is able to sign more and eat and a few times I think she has tried to approximate the sign for peas, her current favorite food. She recently tried my homemade calzones and really loved them too. The sign for more lately seems to just mean "I want that" because last week she was in the hallway upstairs and signed more to me. I asked her if she was hungry and she looked at me and signed more, then crawled into the bathroom and stood by the tub and signed more and then looked at it. She wanted to take a tubby, she loves her tubby. She loves to cuddle too, she can give you the biggest hugs.
Look close because our biggest surprise this month was a shiney new tooth!!
As I said, she gets into trouble a lot. She loves to make messes!!!