Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day, New Beginnings

As of today our family started a new adventure.  An adventure that I am cautious, emotional, worried and excited about.  We are homeschoolers (for this year).  My decision to homeschool for pre school this year stemmed from various branches.  We absolutely loved our previous preschool, but with two enrolled, our bank account did not.  We could afford it, but it left very little wiggle room in the budget for fun family activities (aka Disney would have been a no go).  I found another Christian pre school that was a lot more inexpensive, but the hours were shorter, and the more I thought about it, I realized that a lot of stress would be added to me as a mom trying to cram everything I needed to get done into those short hours.  I went back and forth and back and forth, trying to figure out what to do.  I stayed up many nights worried I would make the wrong decision.  Yes, I know it is JUST pre school, but it was an experience my children were used to, and I wanted to guarantee I made the right decision.  So as of right now, I am homeschooling.  We shall see if this lasts the entire school year, only a few months, or if I am calling up the local pre school come Friday and enrolling them.  I am taking it day by day, feeding off of my kids emotions, and seeing if it will work for our family.

One of my main concerns when deciding to homeschool this year was keeping Caleb on track educationally.  Technically he could be in Kindergarten this year, and his pre school last year prepared him for that  educationally.  It is my main goal to make sure he keeps up with what he already knows, learns some new concepts, and has fun while doing so.  I found a wonderful curriculum through www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com.  It is the perfect mix of K4 and Preschool learning.  Today was day one, and there are a few things I need to tweak with my presentation of the lessons, but her plans are solid.

My original plan was to do school 3 mornings a week, and knock them out before lunch time (preferably during Paxton's morning nap).  We implemented that plan today, but I feel that the straight 1 1/2 hours of learning was a little much for them.  I broke up the day with stories, crafts, stretches, and some hands on activities, but the kids seemed to burn out fast.  I am now thinking it might be easier to do our lessons all throughout the day on the 3 days of school.  Maybe like this....

calendar/calendar notebooks
Bible Verse review
Outside play
lessons
lunch
nap time
remaining lessons

I think I will try one week of all morning school, and one week of it being broken up, and will decide from there what worked best. 

Caleb today seemed disinterested, and kind of upset.  I am watching that closely, and if it becomes more of the norm I will put him back in preschool asap.  Kinlee, was Kinlee and did not seem to care either way.

Socially the kids are having play dates, interacting in the church/gym nursery, going to the library, and Caleb is playing soccer. 

So, that's where we are as of tonight, after our first day of "house school".  I am still processing the day, and trying to make the right decisions for the kids. We shall see where this adventure leads....










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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mckinlee 3 1/2 Years

My sweet, wild, free spirited, beautiful girl,

You are 3 1/2 years old now.  That number does not seem real to me.  I still think of you as no older than two.  Partly due to the fact that you are smaller than most two year olds.  However, you inform me daily that "I'm not little, I big".  Big you are sweet girl.  You have a huge personality for such a tiny person, and it keeps me laughing, second guessing, and causes me to throw up my hands daily.  You are a fighter, an entertainer, a leader, a boss, a loving child, and you are absolutely hilarious! I never know what you are going to say next, and I love that about you.  I know that you will always hold your own throughout life.  If you have an opinion we will hear about it.  You will listen to our instructions, but you have to find a way to do it "your way".  You wear my out, but equally make my heart smile.  I am so excited about the relationship I have with you.  I love love love having a girl, and I look forward to growing that mother daughter relationship more and more as you grow older.  Right now you love to have your nails painted with me, you love to go to yard sales, you love to drink smoothies together, and you love to come in my bathroom and get ready with me.  You are all about wearing lip stick and perfume. 

Right now you love to sing and dance all the time.  You have gotten really good at riding your bike.  You ride it up and down the hills like a champ.  You love to make up stories, and play mom and dad.  You have such a beautiful maternal instinct.  You are always bouncing around, and will not sit still for long at all.  You love drinky yogurts, melon (oatmeal), and muffins for "dinner" (breakfast).  You love to come into my rooms in the morning, and request that I turn the "egg show" on my phone for you to watch.  You protest going to sleep like crazy, and will ask for a million kisses and hugs, and will kick your blankets off and request that I cover you back up. You never stop talking, and when I am reading a book you ask no less than 10 questions per page while I am reading the words.  You love your brothers, and are a daddy's girl.  You love and talk about all your grandparents/aunts and uncles all the time.  You love to swim, and play outside, and Don't Break the Ice, and "The cherry game" (Hi Ho Cheerio) are your favorite board games.  You pull all your toys out at one time when you play, and then swear you don't know how to clean them up.  You are obsessed with books, and when you wake up in the morning you have no less than ten books laying on your bed.  You are very girly, and you love gymnastics and dancing/cheering.  You request "cheerleader" hair daily. 

Funny Kinleeisms
  • "Mommy, I'm over this. You have to stop drinking coke it's bad for you.  We are not going to do this no more".
  • "Mommy look at all these sales! I die!! Well, I don't really die, but I die!"
  • "Look at my face, I'm happy"


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Paxton 6 Months

Paxton, you are now 6 months old.  1/2 a year has come and gone in the blink of an eye.  You are still the sweetest, most calm tempered baby, and you bring so much joy to our family.  Your siblings are crazy about you, and you are also crazy about them.  I pray daily that God will bless your all's relationships with each other throughout life.  I pray that you always turn to each other in times of need, laugh with each other, rejoice and celebrate life with one another, love deeply, and always put each other first.  I pray that I as a mother can help mold such relationships between you three, and any future sibling that may enter our family.  I love you so much sweet Pac Man, and I am so blessed that you are mine. 

At 6 Months:

Eating:  You are nursing 6-7 times a day, and eating baby food 2 times a day.  You are killing the baby food. I am making your food, and I swear you are blowing through it so fast.  Right now the only foods you seem to really dislike are peas and bananas.  I can pretty much get you to eat anything if I mix it with unsweetened applesauce though. 

Size: You go for your well check next week, so I do not know your exact size.  I am guessing you are around 16 lbs, but I could be off.  You are wearing 3-9 month clothing, and a size 2 diaper.

Sleeping:  Still sleeping great.  You have a consistent morning nap around 9:30/10 each morning and you nap for about 1 1/2 hours.  You also go down for an afternoon nap around 1.  Some evenings you will take a third nap, and some evenings you will not.  You go to bed at 8 and wake around 6:00/6:30 to nurse.

Exciting New Things:
  • You roll everywhere now. 
  • You can go from sitting to laying on your stomach.
  • You act like you really want to crawl, but thankfully you have not figured out how to move forward (I want you to stay little a little longer)
  • You have said "ga ga"
  • You make a vibrating "ehh ahh ehh ahh" sound, and lock eyes with me when you are ready to eat.
  • You also make a vibrating "ehh ehh ehh ehh" sound when you are tired
  • You love your exersaucer. and all toys now.
  • You love to eat your feet.
  • You sleep with your "snugs" and cuddle it beside your face.
  • You laugh pretty deep now.
  • You are sitting up in your baby tub now.
  • You constantly grab onto my chin and pull the skin when you are nursing.  It is as if you want tot make sure I will not move away from you.
  • Whenever you are done nursing you will pull off, look up at me and smile so big.
  • Everything goes into your mouth
  • Your fussy time of day is between 5:30-7.
  • Your hair has really started turning blonde, and is curlier than ever.
You are perfect!!












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Friday, August 8, 2014

Kings Island


On Caleb's actual birthday Nick and I took him on a special date day to Kings Island.  We had the BEST day.  We had lunch at Chipotle before we entered the park, and enjoyed sitting outside on the patio talking to Caleb.  He told us he loved those tacos so much that he could eat them for like forever.  We agreed. 

We started the day at the water park.  Caleb went down all the kid slides a million times, as Nick and I sat there and reminisced about how big he was getting.  We then headed to the larger slides, and he LOVED them.  The lines were for the most part short, and we had a great time.  We then changed and rode the train over to the amusement park side.  Caleb loved the train, he just didn't want to take a picture.

Our first ride was the Beastie (aka Caleb's first big roller coaster).  We rode this three times in a row before moving onto other rides.  We let him ride and ride until he started to get tired.  We decided to head and get some dinner/cool down.  While we were eating and watching a performance the performers started singing Happy Birthday to a little girl.  Caleb totally thought they were singing to him, and he kept asking "how did they know it was my birthday".  Soo sweet.  Dinner perked him up so we headed out for some more rides.




We started with the pirate ship, and he HATED it.  He was crying and screaming, and Nick and I kept trying to console him. He didn't like how he raised up out of his seat.  Once we were off of that we headed up into the tower to look at Kings Island.  Caleb loved looking around, but again he didn't want to take a picture.

We then headed back to planet Snoopy, and let him ride everything he wanted. He probably rode the bumper cars 8 times. He would get off, and run right back to the line to ride again.  The haunted house was his favorite, and we actually rode if about 8 times right before closing.  He loved shooting the ghosts, and getting a higher score than us.

We finished the night with a


 
 
cinnamon roll and fireworks.  As we were walking to the car this happened within 3 minutes.....



I think that was a sign of a successful birthday. 
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Last Day as a Four Year Old

Caleb had a great last day as a four year old.  He awoke to birthday breakfast and gifts one day early.  I decked out the kitchen in Power Rangers d├ęcor, and balloons were all over the floor. He loved that, but he really loved his new air hockey table that was set up and ready to play.  (I scored the table at a yard sale for 1.00!!!!). 



We had pancakes in the shape of #5 for breakfast, and opened his other gifts.  He got some new school shoes, pj's, and an alarm clock (which thrilled him).  We played with his toys, and then headed to church.

After church we headed to Paw and Meemaw's for birthday dinner.  Caleb requested pizza for dinner, and MeeMaw made a great Power Ranger cake that had a checkerboard pattern of red and blue inside.  All the aunts and uncles were there to celebrate, and Caleb had a fun day swimming and playing outside.  He got to open some more presents, and he was thrilled with his new Power Ranger toys.




When we arrived home, he was so excited that it was his last night as a 4 year old.  We got him bathed, and ready for bed, and I saw in his room and talked to him about how fast he was growing up.  I told him that I sure was happy I was his mommy.  He looked at me and said, "I'm glad that God chose you to be my mommy!"....and then I cried, and said goodnight to my four year old boy for the last time. 






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