Saturday, March 30, 2013

Recent Longwood Trip

My Mom visited us 2 weeks ago and we took a trip to Longwood Gardens with her.  It was a chilly day so we spent most of it inside instead of going to the Tree Houses or outdoor gardens.  Celia did ask to go outside but after she exited the Children's indoor garden more wet then her baby sister, that was a 100% no.

Audrey loves this part, the water jumps to each hole and she loves
to try and catch them!

I have no idea, she is just hamming it up I suppose.  Look how tall she looks!  

Everytime, she has to get in this thing.  I am afraid that at some point
she may get stuck.
 Pictures with Mom Mom.  I have no idea what was going
on above Audrey, looks interesting though

Friday, March 22, 2013


The bottom is how I feel this week and maybe how Audrey has felt.  Audrey has had a cold for 2 weeks.  This past Saturday she also got the stomach bug.  We did not get any sleep Saturday night and of course she was not at all happy!  It was pathetic, she was so thirsty during the process and would beg me for water but I could not give her a whole lot, otherwise it had very bad adverse side effects!!!  By 4 am things were looking up but she was not feeling great the next day.  Now all week she has been Ms. Crankypants.  Audrey has had an awesome few months but my Mom has not been able to see it.  She is visiting right now and really does not believe me that Audrey has improved.  
One of the main issues is that the stomach bug seems to have made her reflux worse and she is in pain.  I thought that maybe she was outgrowing her reflux.  She has an appointment on 4/1 and I was debating on asking the GI doctor if we could trial her without it for awhile.  Well now I am 100% certain that she can not go off of it.  In fact this week it really seems as if the medicine is doing nothing. She has been thirsty frequently, especially at night and I think she is trying to stop the burning.  I am bummed, I do not like the fact that she has been on medicine most of her life but the alternative is of course not great.  
That said, she is driving us all crazy with her moods.  Thank goodness she is cute. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Audrey at the sink, Wacky Wednesday, and No Clue

I have always loved pictures of Audrey at the sink.  She has loved being at our powder room sink from the time she was a few months old.  She is now into doing a lot "myself".  I found out that at school she actually wipes her herself, yikes, not ready for that one!!!  Age 3 is when I start that.

The attachment on the faucet is an aqueduct.  My Mom got us 2 from Zulilly.  I think she paid the price on Amazon for two.  I love those GAP pants so much.  Celia wore them and I was afraid Audrey would not be able to wear them.  They are huge on him, she really should not wear them but I was afraid that she might be too big for them next season so I got them out for the last few weeks of cold weather.

I have no clue on earth why Celia was making the face in the first picture.  I do not even know if she knew I took her picture at first.  I think it was over something I said and I chose to ignore it because things were peaceful at the time and I was not going to rock the boat.  Do you love how she is dressed?  It was Wacky Wednesday 2 weeks ago at her school.  Her hair did not look wacky, it looked gorgeous.  In any case, that Monday I told her about Wacky Wednesday and she had a fit.  She was absolutely not dressing wacky, etc.  So she went to school on Tuesday, her teacher mentioned it once, and she agreed.  Striped leggings, polka dot skirt, and flowered top, plus 2 different socks- she looked great.  Actually for some reason, the outfit almost worked.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

consignment shopping

This is boring, but I like saving money, especially on kids clothes.

So it is spring consigning season. At my favorite sale this year I got a few things, primarily for Celia. Some of my favorites were brand new shoes for the Fall for Audrey for $2, a cute old navy dress for Audrey for $2.50 and 2 gymboree capris for Celia for $1 each. I also scored a shirt for myself in the teen section for 50 cents. Here are some pictures of the items. I also got some books, a puzzle, and and 2 games, all for $25 including the clothes. With what we have, I just need some swim items and we are set. Oh and if any Grandma or Mom mom would like to supply a summer pj set for Celia that would be ok. There are still sales going on so I may pick up a few toys or games.

I should note that I actually made around $100 consigning some of our things!!! I am a huge fan right now of store clearances.  I have scored 97 cent long sleeve basic tees for Celia at Old Navy, some were $1.50 but sometimes you have to spend a little extra!!  After Christmas I took advantage of some sales at Gymboree and got some items for her that I absolutely loved but normally would not have bought due to the price.  They have awesome clearances, so does The Children's place.  Last year I was shocked at the price of leggings for Celia, $8 to $10 a pop for something that she often wears out midway through the season (have to say that Celia does tend to be rough on clothes) so I was able to get some on clearance for $2.  The funny thing about sales is that you start to get used to paying very low prices and you pick up an outfit that might be $4 and you question if it is worth it.  I passed up a very adorable new with tags Gymboree outfit for Celia because it was $4 and as I was driving home, I thought, have I gone nuts!!!  But realistically she did not need it.  The Fall sale for this church consignment sale is much bigger but I often find that I seem to sell more at the Spring sale because their is less inventory. I had a 1/2 of the amount that I sold in the Fall yet I only made about $25 less.  

I honestly can not imagine paying a non-sale price for kids clothes.  They discount them so much, it is crazy!!  At Target right now most of the size 5T and under jeans are $1.50 to $3.  They have great clearances too.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things I Love: Literacy

I have to start this out by saying that I in no way get any thing from talking about products we love.  No one has ever, ever approached me with talking about their products or offered to give me money, etc.  It would be nice, but has never happened.  I just thought that if any one was contemplating certain products that I would share.  Of course my blog following is very, very low (ok with that) so it may not make a difference but I suppose if I am using this as a scrapbook for the girls it may be nice for them to one day look back and remember some of our favorite things.


We love the Starfall apps and now with the Rover app on the iPad we can have full access to the starfall website.  Audrey is now into Starfall and I love that instead of going onto the PBS kids app to veg on cartoon clips she is playing some of the games and hopefully learning some of the letter sounds. We also have the early reader books.  They are not the cheapest but I purchased them in the hope that they would interest Celia more in reading.  They are actually too easy now for her to read but Audrey loves them.  I think it is neat that they can read them online and then read them in the paper version!

Tumble Books
We go on this free through our library, so check out your own library to see if they have that option.  The girls can listen and look at books read to them.  Many of the books we have or have borrowed from the library and I really love reading the real version and then the digital version.  Some of the books have comprehension questions to go with them.   Audrey is not as into this program but Celia loves it.  A nice alternative to tv.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
I read about this book after I left my full time job as an Autistic Support Teacher.  Our program dropped Project Read and started with an SRA direct instruction reading program.  Honestly I did not love the program for my classroom, it involved a great deal of choral responses and some atypical reading program elements.  I had been using Project Read materials with Celia for a bit and was not overly impressed with the program, I have never been a huge fan of the program (it is highly effective though for many kids and teachers).  So when I did some research online, this book kept coming up.  I checked it out from the library and after 2 weeks I was completely sold.  We have 2 lessons left and Celia is reading at a high first grade reading level, possibly second grade.  The lessons were spelled out and scripted, no questions of how to use it.  I think it would be great for struggling readers as well as for homeschooling.  I could imagine that if your child needs extra review that you would have to supplement but Celia did not.  After you finish the book there is a very long list of trade books you can use and the vocabulary words to teach first.  It also has some suggestions for further advancement.  The price is good and Amazon offers it used.

Kumon books
I like Kumon books, but my biggest complaint is that they are on the pricey side for a work book.  We have the linked reading book for Celia and we use it a few times a month when she is interested, sometimes more.  I love the activities though and the color pictures.  The workbooks are high quality, thick pages and colors.  The activities are great for early readers.  They offer a variety of different books.  We also have a numbers book with dot to dots that Celia does enjoy.  We also have the lets sticker and paste book and the beginning cutting book for Audrey.  Audrey and I really enjoy the cutting book.  With spring open scissors (the dollar store has them!) she is able to cut fairly well.  We enjoy the sticker and paste book but I took a break from it because she wanted to work through it quite quickly and I want it to last.  The products are great, just wish they were cheaper!

American Girl Books
Celia and I have really enjoyed reading the American Girl books.  We get them from the library and she can sit through an entire book, as well as read parts of them.  I enjoy the stories too!  I love the history part at the end.  Sometimes the history part is too advanced for Celia, but she enjoys looking at the pictures.  I have a bit of a hard time explaining things like segregation, etc but for the most part she understands the stories.

Pete the Cat
I love the Pete the Cat books for my students and for Audrey.  I love to use them for teaching colors and for learning about transitions.  I have this book along with Pete the Cat Rocking in My School shoes.  I should get more of these books.  I use them every week with my preschoolers and they ask for the stories frequently!

The library!!  That is one of my favorite resources available and I think that many people forget about it.  I actually do not ask for books for the girls frequently because I know we have this resource.  We are even able to borrow the tag reader and the books from the library.  I use it frequently and if my local library does not have the book I want, I can typically order it and then just pick it up at the front desk in a few days.  They also offer many free digital books I can download to the iPad.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Kindergarten for Celia has stressed me out for likely 3 years.   When Celia was born I thought that by the time she was ready for Kindergarten that our school district would offer full day kindergarten.  Then the economy took a nose dive and I suspected that would not be the case.  I was right and there is only a full day option for those students who are at risk or struggling.  My 5 year old who is currently reading beyond the 1st grade level and who has a great understanding of number concepts would likely not qualify.  I could send her to the 2 1/2 hour district day and send her to 1 of the 3 daycare options out there, 2 of which I have heard are awful, 1 is genuine babysitting.  Lovely.  Oh but there is the Y program that when you talk to parents about they all start with "well it was not really good but it was the only option" or as I love of one parent "I cringed every time I went to pick her up".  No!!!  I will not do that, even for 2 days a week.  There is a new program in our home elementary school but it is a lottery system and I could not just send her the days I needed and it is not cheap.

In the fall I learned about the possibility of tuition assistance to our local Friends school.  I love the Friends schools.  So I submitted an application, we took a tour, and Celia went for an admission interview.  They loved her and she was accepted but of course that did not matter until they told us if we could get financial support.  We are not poor but we can not afford the full tuition.  I love that school, Celia loved that school.  It is the warm fuzzy feeling classroom atmosphere that could establish a love of reading, writing, and math for my sometimes academically disinterested 5 year old.  One of the top reasons I would love her to attend the school is that one of the priorities is social skills.  They do not refer to it as social skills but it is the Quaker philosophy of everyone getting along and settling disputes peacefully.  I love that.  So last week we learned that we have been awarded the right tuition and Celia will be attending Friends next year.

I am excited that she is going to a great school next year but for the past month when I did not think that the money would come through I was thinking about having her home 1/2 days and it excited me.  That said, Celia has been ahead academically for so long because she is older.  We have supplemented at home but it is time to see what happens if she is pushed.  I am glad that she will be in a setting in setting in which they will build on what she knows.

Of course I do have a new scenario that I am nervous about, I will have Audrey home with me 3 days a week!!  Mommy preschool I guess will happen!  This is not unique to me though as next year Audrey will be about the same age as Celia was when I took my year maternity leave.  This time though I will be with a 2 to 3 year old and not only be sleeping for 20 min. a time!!!  I have said it many times in the past and I will say it again.  Many Moms look at their little ones and think "Oh, I wish she was not growing up so fast".  In my case, at least when I look at my oldest, I do not want to slow or speed up time.  Every year Celia gets more fantastic so I really look forward to what the future holds.  Now for Audrey....  Well yes at age 1 I totally wanted that fast foward button!!  But we are in a good place at the moment with Miss. Audrey right now and we are enjoying it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Valentines Day

Um, yes it is almost St. Patty's day but I thought I would share our Valentines day.  We give the girls little things.  Celia received a box of hot cocoa because she likes it as a treat.  Audrey got an elmo cup that I shamefully bought in front of her and then put it in her Valentines Bag as a "surprise".  Pete bought both girls a heart with m&ms and small Valentines monkeys.  We are stingy with the candy at our house, they only get 2 or 3 at m &ms at a time, and sometimes just 1.    Pete is not shy with sweets so he has totally impressed me throughout the years as sometimes being more picky then I am about how many treats the kids eat and making sure that they are eating healthy.

So here are some Valentines pictures.  Keep in mind that it was the morning, hair was not done, etc.

Celia's Valentines to her Classmates.  She helped to make everyone of them.

 Audrey's Valentine's.  She watched me make them.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I don't get it

So for the most part, both girls get a long fairly well.  Audrey is getting better with keeping her hands to herself and for the most part is actually getting to be an easier child.  But sometimes we have scenes like this.

Okay so Audrey is wearing Celia's boots and her sweatshirt jacket and is carrying her doll blanket.  There is no objection to this, she is fine with her sister borrowing these items.  What is the argument over???  Ice packs.  Yep, they are arguing over who gets to carry around which ice pack.  This is not a one time argument either.  I have stopped intervening in it and they do eventually work it out but I still am puzzled as to the appeal of an ice pack.  They do not even argue over our elmo or piggy boo boo ice packs, nope it is the boring old ice packs we put in coolers.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shaving Cream

Celia is certainly more like me in the area of sensory processing.  Audrey is like Pete.  They both do not like to get their hands sticky or messy or feel slippery, slimy textures.  Pete likes to be clean at all times, I suppose not something that is horrible.  I am okay with slippery, slimy textures.  As an adult the appeal of putting my hands in messy materials has decreased a bit primarily by the fact that I now have to be the only one to clean the mess up.  Celia, well, Celia is all about it.  I started doing more activities with sensory items to desensitize Audrey, it has not proved to be terribly successful but Celia has been in heaven.  Our newest find- shaving cream from the dollar store.  I was very excited because the minute Audrey saw the foamy white stuff on a tray she really wanted to play with it.  So I set her up with a tray, she stuck her hand in it and I guess she thought it would just fall off.  It did not and I watched her face get furious.  "Off Mommy, get it off Mommy, I don't like it".  So I let her play in the sink and rinse it off.

Celia on the other hand would have been ecstatic if I had filled a tub with shaving cream and let her roll in it.  A few times she has been upset over little things and she will ask me "Can I please play with the shaving cream, that will make me feel better".  By play, it is not just her hands.  She strips down to her undies and requires a shower afterward.  Hey, whatever works.  After a few minutes of it, whatever has been bothering her seems to disappear.

Do you notice the little bit of shaving cream on her hand and the look of concern?  Oh and notice her haircut.  This was the day they got their hair cut and Audrey looked so cute.  Since then, the hair just has not come together like that.  She has such fine hair that is prone to knots.  Audrey will let me brush her hair though and get those knots out, even if they are tough!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


So almost 2 weeks ago I started feeling like I was getting a cold and that Tuesday evening I had a lot of sinus pressure. By Thursday I was not feeling amazing and by Thursday evening I was shaking and had a 104 temp. Pete was convinced I had the flu, I did not think it made sense. When you have the flu it does not arrive a few days after your symptoms start. So I dragged myself to the doctor and she diagnosed me with a very severe sinus infection secondary to whatever virus/cold I picked up. I went back home and stayed there until Monday. I ventured out of my room a little bit on Sunday but Pete became too nervous that I was spreading germs everywhere that he felt better if I hung out in our bedroom. Funny, I thought that a few days of relaxing and watching tv would have felt better. I had a few things against me though, I felt awful, I could not sleep, and there is nothing on tv. Audrey got the cold part of what I had. Sunday she woke up with her barky cough (not rare for Audrey, thought to be due to her reflux) and Monday had a really runny nose. Tuesday she ran a temp and by Wed the fever was gone, by Thursday she was well on her way to kicking the cold. Pete did a great job with the girls, though there were some rocky spots as Celia tested his limits a bit. Audrey was great for Pete but now is attached to me at all times. So both Audrey and I are getting over this thing. The antibiotic has ruined my appetite and so I will be glad to be done with it, I think on Tuesday. I did miss the girls while I was tucked away in misery.
I have no idea why the tongue, she just stuck it out.