Monday, March 30, 2009

We've Got A Pajama Day, Folks.

I'll just put it this way: It's past noon, we are all still in pj's. The kids had dry Fruity Pebbles for breakfast and I had two cups of Marshmallow Lovers Hot Chocolate (I love the crunchy mallows.). At some point I will reheat leftovers for lunch. The tv has been on all day, and there is a spot on our floor that is sticky and I've walked over it six times and still haven't wiped it up.

Like I said, it's a pajama day. Lov. Ing. It.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fetus Friday!

I'm back, baby! And actually updating you on my little Fetus ("Are you in there little fetus? In nine months will you come greet us? I will buy you some adidas!"). Here's the stats, yo.

Week: 22 (only EIGHTEEN weeks left!!)

Weight Gain: SEVEN pounds total! I know!! I'm getting the ball rolling here, folks. I think the The Baby is going through some crazy growth spurt of late because I've been STARVING all the time and eating like you wouldn't believe. In fact, I am currently eating a piece of cheesecake for breakfast. Good times.

Aches & Pains: The nausea is gone!! I haven't had to take any medicine at all this week, for which I am eternally grateful. My back is still a little achy, but I'm just getting to that stage so it's pretty expected. All in all, I'm feeling pretty good and I'm in a good stretch of pregnancy.

Cravings: Sweet Mother, the cravings. The last week the cravings have hit at 9:30pm - 10:00pm and they've hit bad. In just this week, one night I ran to Kroger and bought brownie mix, one night I made brownie mix, one night Dave got me a milkshake, and last night I ran out to Super Target and bought a slice of chocolate cake and the slice of cheesecake I'm currently eating. It's a miracle I haven't exploded from sheer volume.

Totally Cool Developments: We have a name, folks! After long talks and many thoughts, we've decided that we are firm on this name (as firm as we ever are) and that we are cool with telling people. Sooo....without further ado Baby Girls name is:

Allison Margaret

Isn't that just adorable? Margaret is my Mammaw's name, and Dave
came up with Allison. We'll probably call her Alli, but most likely we'll be calling her Alli-gator or simply "The Gator" which is what we're calling her now. We're pretty pleased to have a line up of The Tot, Bubba, and The Gator. I know that I call our son Little David on here, but we never actually call him that in real life. He's always referred to as Bubba, and in fact, there are some kids at our church who don't even know his real name. Speaking of which, I think that's what I'm going to start calling him on here. He would never turn his head if I called him Little David to his face, and frankly, Bubba is cuter :) But enough about my previous fetus - back to The Gator. Which brings me to this - it's time for.....


BELLY SHOT:
Here's The Gator in all her glory. She's sitting low, low, low and a little to the right. She's kicking like a little thumping rabbit, and while Dave has felt/seen her once, so far she seems to be copying her older sister and going completely still whenever anyone looks/feels my stomach.


So, there you have it everyone! An update on The Unsinkable and her Gator Baby. I hope you all have a great day!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's a good day today, reader friends. Here's why:

1. I got tons of great advice from you all regarding my exceptionally messy Tot. Dave and I have put together some of our favorites that we plan on using when we switch the kids rooms. In about two weeks, we'll be setting up the crib (!!) in Tot's room and turning the playroom back into Little David's room. Both rooms will be getting a thorough decluttering and cleaning and part of that will be taking stock of all the toys and setting them into usable buckets and bins and putting them in a rotation. I've already got something like that going on right now, but half of my problem is that we keep coloring stuff and papers in the playroom and paper is where she really makes her mess. So, the solution to that is a small kitchen island with cabinets that will fit right into this small space in our kitchen. The cabinets will be LOCKED, so so locked, and that is where we'll keep all the paper, pencils, crayons, markers and schoolbooks and supplies. I hate that I have to supervise even her coloring, but my word, kid has left me with no choice. I'm thinking that the new room arrangements and the lack of a space that is meant to be destroyed will help. Plus, she is totally geeked about sharing a room with The Baby and has promised up and down and sideways to keep her room clean. We'll be trying to make that as easy for her as possible. Wow, that was a long paragraph. And I use the word paragraph loosely.

2. I am thankful for the hot tea that I'm drinking. Since Dave got his kidney stones (or "potty rocks" as Tot calls them), he's been trying to cut back on the caffeine. So, he heats up a pot of water in the coffee maker and then uses it to make one cup of french press coffee as opposed to the 10 cups he used to drink. This enables me to use the rest of the water to make a nice cup of herbal tea for the morning. My cuppa choice lately has been Tension Tamer from Celestial Seasonings. Shocker.

3. I am thankful that it's raining and has been the last day or so. It has cooled things off nicely and made everything a lovely green, and even though I love the sunny weather and hot temps, a cool rainy spring always reminds me of Indiana. Even though I really don't care for early spring there (so cloudy and cold and muddy), I love late spring/early summer. It gets warmer and all the thunderstorms roll in and all I can think of is sitting on my grandparents back porch and hearing the storm roll around and seeing the deep, dark green of the grass and giant trees surrounding their home. You can hear the birds still singing and the rain through the leaves. Perfection. So of course, when Texas tried to mimic it, I'm always appreciative.

4. I am thankful for going to church last night at our home church. Although Dave and I have been loving our break, and really enjoying the Saturday night service at his parents church, we miss our church and our friends a lot. So we went there last night for Wednesday service and we are so glad we did. It was great to see everyone and we got to hear a pretty cool presentation on the Passover by Jews for Jesus. Since I have maybe one Jewish friend, and that is really more of an acquaintance than a real friendship, I enjoyed learning things I have never been exposed to.

5. I am thankful that I am gaining weight and that The Baby is thumping and bumping around like a champ. There will be a Fetus Friday tomorrow, I promise!

6. I am thankful that Dave has been home all week. It stinks that he had The Stones, and that we couldn't go to Arkansas with him this week and therefore make it to Missouri to visit my grandparents, but it has been so wonderful having him home all day every day and to get so much time together. We got to go on another real day this past Saturday (I have the best in-laws) and we've gotten to watch tv together on a weeknight!! Craziness. The kids have been soaking up their Daddy time and every meal we eat, they fight over who gets to sit by him and then they pull their chairs up as close as humanly possible to his chair and eat their meals all up in his business and then hug all over him and slime him with their grimey hands and face. Awesome. The traveling has been getting better, and his schedule has been getting lighter, but nothing is as nice as having him home. It's always better when we're together.

7. I am thankful for Sprouts. For those of you that don't live in one of four states where this store is located, think of Trader Joe's but a little less cool. And for those of you who don't live near a Trader Joe's (like me :( ), think of the BEST GROCERY STORE EVER and then double it. Sprouts is a farmers market that sells health food, vitamins, etc. And if anyone in your family has allergies, then they have stuff for that - aisles of gluten free things, soy free, peanut free, whatever-else-you-can't-have-free. But the big deal is it's grocery store. The have the best. produce. ever. And the best meats. And the best bulk foods. I have never been to a store that has better produce with better prices. Sprouts always has cheaper produce than Kroger and has better sales on better meats than Kroger does, too. It's so good, that I drive 20 minutes to get to their store even though I have 6 grocery stores and a small farmers market within 5 miles of my home. Just yesterday I bought Kiwi's for .10 a piece, oranges for .25 a piece, Strawberries for 1.50 a box, Chicken breasts (the most GIANT never frozen beautiful cuts ever) for 1.99 a pound, and I had to stay away from all the other veggies because I had some at home that I needed to use but I wanted to buy bell pepper for .49 a piece and apples for .77 a pound. Sigh. It makes cooking fresher and healthier a lot easier and cheaper. It is a love based on giving and receiving as well as having and sharing. Sorry. Random Friends quote.

8. And I am most thankful today for my Gramps because today is his 75th birthday! We had hoped to be up there for the celebration, but had to stay here. I hope you have a great birthday, Gramps! Love you!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Help Wanted.

Okay, the whole updating of the Fetus is just going to have to wait because my elder daughter is driving me out of my mind. Out. Of. My. Mind.

You know how everyone talks about boys and their manic energy and how they just make messes and tear things up to see what they are made of and how it's just "boys being boys" and so on? Well, I've got that in my Tot and I'm exhausted. I'm tired of walking into the playroom (which was reasonably clean that morning) and seeing the dress up box turned on it's side, contents asunder, every toy available to grab on the floor, brand new unidentifiable stains all over the carpet, pencil marks on the walls, drawers to the dresser broken, every piece of paper torn to shreds. It's exhausting. And it all takes place in total silence and so fast you can't even imagine.

Please, mother's of boys or mothers of girls who are just as mindlessly and unmaliciously destructive as mine, please tell me how to get this under control.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just Wanted To Share

I was reading on another blog, and found this post and I just really wanted to share it with you all because WOO NANNY She's talking to ME. Anyways, I'll post Fetus Monday this afternoon, but for the morning time, here's a small kick in the pants courtesy of Laura from 10 Million Miles. ~UK

What is Self-Entitlement and How Do I Get Rid of It?

Self-entitlement: The attitude that lurks just under my skin, ready to emerge whenever I’ve worked my rear-end off and think I deserve some sort of a pay-back. (Also, when I imagine that people are deliberately disregarding my time or work.) (Also, when I self-righteously call myself a “servant”, but expect to be treated like a “queen”. I once heard a pastor say, “If you want to be the servant of all, expect to be treated like it.” Who wants that?!)

Its appearance: I’ve noticed ugly self-entitlement in my own life when I demand a “break” from the children, a mind-reading husband or a clean house (“I just cleaned this entry-way! Who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”).

Its symptoms: So, what begins as an ugly thought, becomes a silent-though-deadly sigh, which becomes a snippy comment (“I said, who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”), which becomes resentful behavior (shoving shoes into the closet), which becomes a sulky, mean, and demanding me.

Its friends: I find that when I am indulging self-entitlement, I’m simultaneously indulging discontentment, resentment, pride, selfishness, and independence. ‘Must be what Paul was talking about when he wrote, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

Its food: Somehow, self-entitlement seems to gobble away the lovely things in life like relational peace, service, contentment, and joy.

Its fault: It turns out that, even if I did work my rear-end off, picking up those shoes is yet another practical way that I can serve the shoe-owner who - let it be known - did not intentionally leave his shoes there just to make me mad, or to disrespect my hard work. Rather - now that I think about it - he worked just as hard as (harder than?) I did and happened to leave his shoes on the mat on one (very) ill-timed occasion. And chances are, he didn’t have time to put them in the closet because he was rushing to relieve me of a whining child, a load of laundry, or a burning pot of beans, which made our house spell like cigarette smoke for days.

Its freedom: The way I see it, I am entitled to 2 stunning rights:

To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength
To love my neighbor as myself. (Of course, these basically open a glorious storeroom of rights to me: the rights to serve others, love others, and to enjoy peace, kindness, and gladness to my heart’s content.)

Beyond that, though, I’ve got no self-entitlements. None.

I am not entitled to sulk, complain, demand, destroy, or resent. If my husband needs to work an extra hour on Tuesday night, or leave his shoes in the doorway; if my child needs me to leave a friend’s house early because she is strung-out from that 10 a.m. cupcake, or if she needs me to use that precious nap-time to plan healthier snacks for the week, bring it on. Let the thanksgiving commence! Let this woman say, “Praise the Lord! He has entitled me to love!”

It’s fought with: Philipians 2:3, James 3: 16, Romans 12: 1 - 2, Philipians 4: 4 - 9, Galations 5: 22 - 23

(Don’t worry! The author of this text took plenty of feminist-theory classes in college and has read piles of books about a woman’s rights, privileges, and expectations. She concludes that the feminist mentality doesn’t hold a candle to the glories of living a feminine life of Christian service and sacrifice that glorifies God!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Items Of Note

1. Dave woke up this morning at 2:30am with.....kidney stones. Thankfully, we have the world's most awesome family and Laura Beth came over at 4am to stay with the kids while I took him to the ER and then when she needed to go to work at church, Dave's parents came over and watched them until we got back home around 8:30am. They even fed my kids and did my dishes. I know! Dave is good and doped up and has passed one stone and is feeling much better, just really tired.

2. While Dave and I accidentally both fell asleep this afternoon, Tot ate a carton of strawberries, a stick of butter, and a quarter cup of baking powder. Guys, she is FOUR YEARS OLD. Shouldn't this be stopping soon? I'll tell you what, it better stop or she had better start pooping bread or pies or something constructive.

3. Little David has started to say "Actually". I'll say "Bubba, do you want to go potty?" and he says, "Ashually Mommy, No Tanks."

4. I am nesting. I mean, nesting. In the past few days I've mopped all of our floors, deep cleaned each bathroom, vacuumed every day (sometimes twice), organized cabinets, cleaned up our back porch, almost completed all of our laundry, and made the final decisions regarding paint/decorating for what will soon be two kids rooms. I'm a little bit of a pregnant beast.


I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with a Fetus Monday post - until then - wish us luck on Kidney Stone Number Two!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's been a good week here at the Unsinkable's. We've lazed along, doing a little work here, doing a little resting there, and really enjoying the gorgeous weather. I mean, really, is there anything better than having your windows open 24 hours a day and letting the breeze blow in? Nope, there just isn't. And so, in that spirit, these are the things I'm thankful for this week:

1. Dave coming home tonight!! As always, Thursdays are the day Dave gets back from AR and it's pretty much the best day of the week. The kids and I pick up around the house and try to have something special for him like a picture or a dessert we all made. Also, It looks like his travel schedule is going to be slowing down for the time being, and I am quite pleased. That is certainly something I'm thankful for!

2. The library. I know that is kind of a random thing to be thankful for, but man we get our tax dollars out of that place. We get at least four movies a week, a few cd's, dozens of books and we get to use them all for free. The kids love going - it's one of their favorite places. We get there and I let them pick out their books and then sit in the kids section and read in the little "reading cottage" or do some puzzles. Then we go to the kids movie section and they get to pick out one movie a piece (sometimes two if I'm feeling fabulous). And finally, after they've been saturated with new things to read, I take them to the adult section, sit them in chairs, and let then read their new books while I do some quick browsing. Perfection.

3. Java Chip Frappachinos & Allowances. Each week Dave and I both get allowances. It may sound silly, but I absolutely love it. Having this money set aside has completely tamed our budget because we know that each week we have a little bit of money that is for our own personal use, for whatever we want, no questions asked and no guilt if it's something silly. So, in turn, we are very diligent with the rest of our money (which, hopefully, I'll be able to post a pretty fantastic update about our Dave Ramsey progress in the next two months or so) and have been able to be much better about sticking to our budget. Anyways, what I'm really thankful for this week is my allowance and that it has allowed me to cater to the baby's whims of having three Java Chip Frappachinos a week. Yes, a week. I'm a little addicted and I love it. LOVE it. Nom nom nom.

4. This is going to get repetitive, but have I mentioned how much I love the weather right now? I realize that I've yammered on about it for the last umpteenth posts, but seriously this weather is fantastic. After this winter and being sick all day and stuck inside, I started to get the crazy itch to get outside and in nature as much as humanly possible. For now, that means being in our backyard and watching Tot dig up RollyPollys (can anyone tell me a better way to spell that?) and grubs and seeing Little David charge around under the trees holding sticks and playing pirates. I have many more plans for getting outside of our yard that include picnics at some local parks and hopefully getting out to some great state parks nearby. I'd love to go camping, but I'm not sure how The Belly would do sleeping on the ground. The urge to commune with nature is pretty stout, though, so we'll see who wins.

5. Okay, I'm going to have to end this early because my son WILL NOT leave me alone. I mean, good grief. I only need two hands to type and he's laying on my arm and leaning over my lap and he's inching his way literally on to the laptop. This wouldn't be a big deal, I'm always up for a good snuggle, but we've been snuggling for the last TWO hours and I'm am ready to have my arms free. Laws. Anyways, I will end up this thankful post being thankful for a snuggle bunny little son who loves his mommy and always wants to be close and will be praying that this stage doesn't end anytime soon. He'll be a burly teenager soon enough and I'll soak this up for now :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tot Speak

Tot walks in with a piece of paper that has her name on it. She has spelled it "Taylore".

T: Look, Mommy, I wrote my name!

UK: Good job, Tot! Why did you put an "e" on the end?

T: Oh, Mom. It's a silent E.


***


Monday, March 16, 2009

Sleep Schedule

So, Dave and I noticed the other day that our sleeping positions had changed. We are usually snuggle sleepers (the usual spooning (we take turns being the Big Spoon) lasting the entire night), but as of late we've moved to being "Hug and Roll" sleepers (Hug it out, then roll to your separate sides). What had changed? Are we just not as close as we used to be? But the more we thought about it, we realized that our sleeping positions really reflected a curious patten. It goes as follows:


Snuggle Sleep.

Unsinkable Gets Pregnant.

Unsinkable Belly starts pushing out, making Snuggle Sleep unpractical, Hug and Roll Sleep ensues.

Co-Sleeping with New Nursing Baby = Forced Snuggle Sleep.

Baby moves into own bed, Hug and Roll Sleep from sheer joy of having the space to do so.

Start missing Snuggle Sleep.

Snuggle Sleep.

Unsinkable Gets Pregnant.


Repeat.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fetus Friday

I know! I skipped another week - totally my bad. I'm still not doing a belly shot today, though, because I'm snuggled up in fleece pants and a fleece shirt (it got a wee bit cold here this week) and it doesn't look like I have a belly at all, only a lot of fleece. Anyways - here's the stats, yo!

Week: TWENTY! Halfway through, baby!

Weight Gain: Two pounds, I'm pretty sure. At my appointment on Tuesday, I still hadn't gained anything, but I've eaten pretty solidly the rest of this week and my scale has shown a stead two pound increase. It's about dang time. As much as I relish the thought of fitting into my clothes soon after having this little nugget, I would also like to know that I'm currently giving her enough to eat. My stomach is getting rather sizable, though, so I probably shouldn't worry.

Aches & Pains: The nausea is even better than it was last week - I've only had to take my medicine once this week and I think I'm almost finished with it. It's funny how last week I wasn't really feeling pregnant at all, and this week I TOTALLY am. We keep a baby gate in front of the kid's room and usually I just keep it up and step over it. Well, this week I noticed that when I step over the gate I knee myself in the stomach - totally awkward. And then I noticed that I can't really lay on my back anymore, the weight of the baby really cuts off my air and I start feeling all weird and I definitely can't lay on my stomach anymore (which stinks cause I'm a tummy sleeper) so I'm kindof doing this prop the belly on Dave's back and make the best of it thing. It's working though, so I'm not complaining.

Cravings: Definitely still Mexican food. Oh those enchiladas, I do love them. Also fruit. I've been digging on peaches and plums and grapefruits. The plus side is that I've been getting more nutritious food lately, and that is a definite change of pace from the weeks where all I could stomach was Ramen noodles and sprite. I'm still not feeling my Diet Dr. Pepper, which is a travesty in and of itself, and I'm really not wanting a lot of sweet foods. Having said that, though, I did make Dave go out on an ice cream run last night at 9:30. And it was delicious.

Totally Cool Developments: Nothing really big has happened this week, certainly not like finding out that it's a girl baby I'm baking. She's been thumping and bumping a lot, and Dave and I even got to see my stomach move once when she kicked. That really is the best part, when you are just sitting around feeling someone else dance in your belly. And when Dave gets to see it, it really starts making it all feel real, like it's not just a muscle spasm, it's a real live baby in there getting ready to come out and party. Speaking of making it all feel real - DUDE - I'm half way through! The midwife told me on Tuesday that I could start filling out my hospital paperwork anytime now and send it in. Goo! That makes this all seem so fast. I'm trying to soak it all in because this may be our last one (Dave says it really is our last and I say that maybe we'll tack another one on to keep this one company and he says to quit sneaking babies by him :) ).

Also, we figured out how we're going to house this brood, and we'll probably set up the crib in the next few weeks - EEK. That will mean that there will be an actual baby bed in my house, for an actual baby. It seems weird even thinking of having a crib up, but we're going to put the two girls in one room and we're wanting Tot to have some time to adjust to sharing a room with a baby. There will be lots of talking about NOT EVER PICKING UP THE BABY ALONE. Even if it's the middle of the night and she's crying. It was this thought that kept up from keeping Tot and Little David in one room and getting them bunk beds - can you not just picture Tot climbing up to the top bunk carrying the little baby like she was a blanket? Shudder.

Anyways, thems the facts. We're doing pretty good around here and plugging along nicely. Next week I'll post another belly shot and maybe, maybe, even tell you what we're going to name this thing. If you're good :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home Schooling Update: What Am I Doing Again??

It's been quite awhile since I talked about how school was going with the Tot. A large portion of that is because the major sickness that I've had with The Baby has sidelined much of our formal schooling. We're still doing what I would assume most parents do - little lessons here and there, lots of out loud reading, singing songs about letters and numbers, etc., and Tot seems to be doing just fine. Recently, I've been feeling much better, so formal schooling has picked back up again and like always, Tot just rolls with the punches.

As far as our schedule goes, since she's really just in preschool, I take it pretty easy and loose. We have some workbooks that we do when Little David is napping, but other then that I try and notice when she seems interested in something and then I take it and run with it. We do a lot of spontaneous learning and when she starts to get bored, we stop. No reason to push, it's not like we're studying for the ACT's here.

What We're Doing:

Reviewing letter sounds
Building sight word vocabulary
Counting to 30 (We're pretty touch and go in the twenties)
Writing letters (mostly focusing on lower case)
Writing numbers
Copywork (writing basic words, mostly her sight words, and other small sentences)
Drawing/Coloring things she sees outside
Out loud reading
LOTS of time outside playing and observing nature

What Tot Loves:

Drawing/Coloring - We have this notebook that is Tot's "Art Book". She draws something on each page and doesn't tear it out, so we've got a solid book of all her drawings. She draws ALL THE TIME. She takes the book outside with her and colors pictures of our backyard and of plants and things. And during her rest time, much of it is spent coloring pictures around the playroom. We have quite a few family portraits, some of which include The Baby and a freakishly huge stomached Unsinkable. Nice.

Out loud reading - She went from barely being able to sit still for three minutes at the beginning of the school year, to happily sitting for over 30 minutes listening to whatever books I'll read. It's really nice to be able to sit on the couch with the kids and just read, read, read. And it's definitely made trips to the library more fun.

Writing Letters - Tot loves to write on all her papers and has started to copy all the words she sees around the house. It freaks Dave and I out sometimes because we won't see where she copied it down from and for a second we think she's some kind of genius speller. Then we see a sign or something and realize where it came from.

What Tot Doesn't Love So Much:

Math. She hates to practice counting and really isn't a fan of copying her numbers. She's pretty good at it, but tells me it's "Borin' " and will all of a sudden get really tired and tell me that she's simply too exhausted to write numbers. So we do a little of it here and there to keep her practicing, but I don't push it too hard. She does, however, LOVE her addition/subtraction CD and can say most of her " +1"'s correctly and loves to try to teach Little David to count. So I try to sneak the math in whenever I can :).

Future Plans:

Kindergarten.

Yes, this year The Tot will start Kindergarten.

Frankly, the thought of teaching her to read is a little overwhelming to me, especially with a new baby in tow, and I've spent the last month thinking and praying and talking with Dave over whether or not I wanted to keep this whole homeschooling thing going or just ship her off to a teacher with a real specialty for doing it, and whether it was still God's plan to keep her at home or if she would do better in a "real" school.

We eventually decided that we really do want to homeschool, and all the reasons that we decided to start are still true. Tot is still a better learner at home, I still don't care for the public school system (even though Texas has a great one with lots of fantastic teachers), and I still think that I can teach my child better that someone who doesn't know her. Where else will she get one on one attention and where else can I play up her interests while teaching her to stick to the things she doesn't like? I'm especially grateful that Dave is 100% agreed and that it was him who pushed me along when I was ready to give up. I'm very blessed to have a husband that wants this, not just because I think it's a good idea, but because he's thought about it long and hard and thinks it's best for our children. Not everyone has that kind of support. And God most certainly answered our prayers, because we are filled with a certainty that this is the path we should be going on. I'm going to take it year by year for now, although Dave would be pleased as punch if we did this through graduation :)

So, with that in mind, I've been spending every spare moment researching curriculum for Tot's kindergarten year and deciding what I feel is most important for her to learn and what would provide the best experience for her. We've decided not to use the Sonlight curriculum we used last year, even though we did like it. Tot loved the reading, but hated reading only parts of stories each day - drove her nuts, and me as well. We may go back to it in later years, because it truly is a well rounded program, but for now we're looking for something else.

Dave and I decided that we want to focus on Reading/Phonics, Math, Science, and Bible. We'll still do other things, but those are going to be what we focus on this year. I've found a fantastic Science curriculum that we'll be using regardless of what else we pick, and I think Tot will LOVE it. I know Science isn't really pushed much in Kindergarten, but Tot loves it so much that it seems silly to not taken advantage of that and let her learn as much as she wants. Once I finalize my choices I'll probably post again with links to them and such, for those that are interested, but for now it's really helped me to get all of this out. Sometimes, all the thoughts I'm thinking about school get all jumbled and it's nice to try to explain it to others so I can then understand it better myself.



Anyways, so there is the Great Homeschool Update. We're doing good, Tot's doing good, and we're still pugging along as usual. Stay tuned for an extensive curriculum update whenever I make my final choices. Which could be months from now because there is just so much awesome out there :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sigh.















It's just such a lovely day today.


The weather is simply screaming "SPRING!" from every corner and it makes my heart so happy I could just burst. It's in the low 70's this morning, overcast, and a little damp. It's supposed to rain this week and you can see it in the clouds. The Bradford Pears are all blooming and changing from flowers to leaves and the rest of the trees are slowly letting their buds unfurl.

Every creature that can make noise is doing it. I wake up in the middle of the night to hear owls hooting, crickets chirping, and birds cooing lowly. The wind blows through the trees and it's like my own personal symphony singing me back to sleep. And the music never stops. From the time I open my eyes, until the time I go to sleep, if I listen for even a moment I can hear it all. It's the most perfect background sound.

The coming of Spring seems to have had a calming effect on all of my family. The kids are a little less restless because they have spent hours and hours outside everyday exploring all the new growth, digging for dinosaur bones, climbing trees, and peeing in the grass (they are my kids, after all). Dave is happier on the days that he's home because he gets fresh air and nature and a break from the inside of an office building. We spend more time as a family and less time cooped up watching TV. I am calmer because apparently there is something about the fresh air that my body just craves and it's like a miracle drug when I get it. The windows are always, always open. We are outside as much as possible, and when I look around at my backyard I am so very thankful for it. It's so very peaceful and calming, regardless of how many neighbors we have. There is room for the kids to run, shade for Dave and I to sit under, and large, mature trees for the birds to nest in and the squirrels to play on. There are butterflies, ants, caterpillars, and an occasional field mouse that completes our little haven. When I feel my blood pressure rise for whatever reason, all I have to do is walk outside and I immediately feel better.

Now I can see the thunderstorms blowing in and I know that we'll have a few days of Spring showers and cold breezes. But when it's over Texas will be beautiful. The grass will be greener, there will be more leaves then there were even a week before, the Bluebonnets will be out, and the flowers will be everywhere.

There is nothing prettier than Spring in Texas.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am actually quite thankful this morning, even though I was a grumpy pants yesterday morning. I woke up with a happy heart, a good attitude, and some snuggly kids. Sooooo...today I am thankful -

1. That when Little David woke up at 6am, I followed my first reaction and climbed into his twin bed with him, snuggled him up and fell asleep. In turn, he AND Tot AND myself slept until 7:45 - which was awesome. I got good snuggles, I got to see Tot wake up (which is hilarious - she opens her eyes and says "I think I've had enough rest now."), and I didn't wake up feeling jipped out of sleep.

2. For the best night time weather. Don't you just love it when it's warm/cool enough to keep all the windows open overnight so that the breeze is blowing all night long, you can hear the nightbirds and the crickets (and apparently the occasional owl), and you can sleep in just a tshirt and not thirty layers of thermals and socks? I think my mattress pad warmer got a little sad last night because I turned it on to warm up the sheets and then promptly turned it off. It was just too nice for artificial heat. It was so nice that every time I woke up last night to go to the bathroom (which was legion) I smiled because it was perfect.

3. For the best day time weather. I know I say it a lot - but I LOVE TEXAS. This weather we are having is so perfectly wonderful that it makes my heart happy. It's sunny, it's warm, it's breezy ("I'm Breezy!"), and I can look out my back windows and see my Bradford Pear blooming, my other trees budding, and my grass getting greener. I do love spring. Pretty soon there will be bluebonnets and I won't be able to shut down my raptures at all and you'll just have to stop listening.

4. My kids new pajamas. The consignment sale was a little low on pj's this year, but hoo nanny did I get some cute ones. I may come back and post a picture later, but for now I'll just describe. Tot got some babyGap pjs that have a tshirt with a hula girl on them and the bottoms look like striped boxer briefs with that little elastic band on top. Hilarious and totally cute. Little David's pj's are basic short sleeve shirt/ long, non-elastic banded pants - but someone mistakenly put the 5T pj's in the 4T section, so they are loose on him and totally adorable. They have turtles all over the pants and the shirt says "Built For Speed". I don't know what it is, but something about new pajamas just makes me get all snuggly with them.

5. That Dave gets home tonight!!!! We've missed him a lot this week and I'm ready for some face time with my pal. We do really good about calling a lot, texting a ton, and emailing, but nothing beats face to face chatting.

6. For the book "Little Women". I just started re-reading this last night for the first time in years and I truly forgot how much I love that book. There is just something about the simplicity and the absolutely rock solid values that the parents teach the girls that I just love. I definitely see advantages to reading it when you are a "Little Woman" and when you are an adult. I am seeing it now much more through a parent's eye and thinking of all the things that I want to start doing with my children that they did. It's nice to read a book where the values are good and the actual story is good - a lot of Christian books are great values and junk writing. But Louisa May Alcott is a beast.

7. For the websites Home Sanctuary and Heart of the Matter Online, the first of which is helping me to get my home the way I want it and my attitude in a good place, and the second of which is helping me get our home school organized better (which I'll be posting about later) and giving me lots of advice and tips.

8. That Dave is willing to talk about educational philosophies with me over the phone after a long, long day at work when I know he would rather be sitting in front of the TV nursing a bottle of Nyquil (he's been sick) and watching Wreckreation Nation. I've been doing a lot of thinking about how we want to school Tot (and the others) and Dave not only let me spill all of my ramblings on to him, but offered well though out ideas and opinions and plans to me as well. It's so wonderful being married to him.

9. That I bought Strawberry Nutrigrain bars at SuperTarget yesterday and so this morning I didn't have to "fix" breakfast. The kids love those things and would happily eat nothing else all day long.

10. That Last Night Unsinkable cleaned the house and did the dishes so that Today's Unsinkable woke up to a clean house and no piles of junk waiting to be tended. I'm planning on doing the laundry today so that Tomorrow's Unsinkable will think that I am a complete Rock Star and Tomorrow's Dave will be completely blindsided. Laundry is not my strong point.


I hope you all have a pretty fantastic day and tell me what you're thankful for, too!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Cure

I've decided that the cure for almost every ill is a warm, sunny day and some chocolate chip cookie dough.

I had a rough evening yesterday that consisted of a much needed trip to see my Mom (three hours away) thwarted by my truck breaking down on the way there. Dave and I have a Dodge 1500 Quad Cab that we love and that has served us very well the past few years - it's thick, it's hearty (just like A-1 sauce) and it's roomy. Dave likes to drive it because it's way manly (and shiny black) and I like to drive it because it's nice to be surrounded by steel whilst pregnant and to know that I could take on most other cars in a wreck. The truck has given us almost no problems and we are grateful for that after a line of cars that gave us almost continual problems. In fact, we mentioned to each other just last week how we hadn't had to work on our cars in, like, forever - even though our other car is a 98 Toyota Rav-4 that looks like a tin roller skate (but is shiny blue and I heart it) and the Dodge was getting on up there in years (not too many, but still aging).

And we totally jinxed it.

Last night while I was on the road to see my Mom, the Dodge made sounds I've never heard it make before, and while Dave assures me that it was just rattling from being overheated, it made me super sad. We're hoping that it's a quick ( and please, Lord, cheap) fix because there were no giant obvious problems (like a blown head gasket) and that the Black Beast can get back on the road. Thankfully, Dave's (fabulous) parents were able to come and get the kids and I, and help the tow truck get our truck to their house so that the guys could see what to do with it (I have very handy men in my family).

But, despite my good fortune, I tanked. I was crazy bummed that I didn't get to go see my Mom because I needed a Mom Hug, the kids missed her and Tim pretty bad and cried when we couldn't go, and I know she and Tim wanted to see the kids (and me, too :) ) and we haven't seen them in what feels like months and did I mention that I needed a Mom Hug? Mom hugs are the best. So I was bummed. And of course, Dave was out of town so I used that excuse to put on a pretty large pity party for being lonely and carless (well, not carless, I am getting to borrow my mother in law's rockin' convertible mustang while they work on my truck - which come to think of it, is pretty stellar and I should have quit my whining much sooner because that car can drive). The kids didn't get to sleep after our adventure until 10PM and I, of course, had my pity party until midnight assuming they would sleep in. Right. 6:00 AM sharp they awoke with rings on their fingers and bells on their toes demanding some toons and some snacks and I decided that the time was right to get that pity party started again.

Woe is Kristen.

So, I moped around the morning because our house was cold, I was feeling sick, I hadn't eaten in 14 hours because nothing sounded good or at least not vomit-inducing, the kids were overtired and whiny, and my car was broke and I missed my Mom and I missed my husband and wah wah wah.

Woe is Kristen.

But then - the sun peeked out. And a warm breeze blew through the whole house, and since the kids were napping I could actually hear the breeze. I threw open the windows and it was like all of the big, fat negativity ran outside and all of the glorious possibilities ran in my home.

Well, maybe nothing quite so dramatic as that, but I certainly couldn't smell toddler toots anymore or old dishrags and that was a definite improvement on my mood. So, I puttered around and made some chocolate chip cookie dough while praying to God to forgive my craptastic and totally baseless attitude of the morning and late evening and MAN if I don't feel better now.

I've got sunshine going, 70 degree weather outside with low 80's promised the rest of the week, a neighbor mowing their lawn (one of my FAVORITE sounds and smells ever) and a belly full of cookie dough. I'm even going to bake some of these and give the kids warm cookies and milk for snack time today - for which they will think I am the Rock Star of all Moms.

See? All it took was some sunshine and some cookie dough. A simple fix, but sometimes when you are wallowing in your own crappy mood and self indulgence, all it takes is a few things to go right and you feel like you can get back up and keep on trucking.

Or Mustang-ing as I am currently doing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I Struck Viciously.

Oh yes - the sale was a raging success. Let me tell you some of my best deals:

1 Purple Brand New Bumbo Seat: $10

1 Barely Used Boppy Pillow with 2 Covers (Pink Deluxe & Cotton Flower Polka Dots): $6

1 Plastic Grocery Shopping Cart w/ Food (for the kids): $4

Bag of Baby Pacifiers: $1

5 Dr. Brown's Bottles (4oz and 8oz) with Bottle Brush: $3 (I know!)

Add to all that a few more toys, some more baby stuff (socks, onesies, swaddlers, etc), clothes for Tot (5 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of jeans/pants, 4 nice church dresses, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs Pj's, 5 Shirts/tank tops, and a couple of cute matching legging/shirt outfits), and a handful of things for Little David (shirts, swim trunks, and underwear) and I got all of that for under $150.00.

I know!! The clothes I got for Tot most of them are almost brand new (some still have tags) and all of them are name brand clothes (my favorite being two pairs of Gap jeans that I refuse to pay full price for but are the best jeans I've ever found for kids) and are crazy cute. Seriously, this will be the best Tot has been dressed in a while - LOL. And she won't need any more clothes at all for the rest of the summer and most of the fall, and won't need jeans until next year. Most of this should even last us through next summer unless she has another freaky growth spurt. I tried to buy larger things in the size she wears so she can use them for while. Little David has so many hand-me-downs that he barely needed anything. In fact, right now his clothes take up 3/4 of his and Tot's closet. So, he only got a few things. This fall I'll probably need to get him more, though.

I plan to go back on Saturday (when I'm volunteering there) for the 1/2 price sale and pick up more clothes for Baby Girl. There are always tons of baby clothes left and it seems silly to pay full price for something that she's going to puke, poop, and pee on consistently. I'm really excited to load up on cute, cheap, baby clothes - I forgot how much fun it is to shop for babies :)



But all of this is nothing compared to the sweet deals my friend Cheryl got - she got to go earlier and found a changing table for FIVE BUCKS. I know! It pays to go early, especially for the big stuff.


So, there are my great deals. I am stoked to have all of the kids clothes shopping done for awhile and to not have to worry about them growing out of anything for awhile. And to be almost done shopping for the baby as well - that's nice. Now I just need some diapers and stuff like that and we'll be set - and 4 1/2 months before she's due!

Well played, Unsinkable. Well played :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday, Monday

I am up to my elbows in To Do Lists today. Nothing too pressing, just good enjoyable things.

I've been cleaning like a madwoman most of the day (can anyone say "Second Trimester Energy Burst" and "Nesting"??) getting to both the inside and outside of our windows, but to the ceiling fans as well. I'm about halfway done with the house, and I'll pick up tomorrow where I'm leaving off today. We don't have a huge house, but I do get tired a little faster now and I'm really wanting this house super clean. The things that haven't bothered me for months (cluttered closets, stacked piles) are now driving me nuts and I'm ready to tackle them all - one by one.

For dinner tonight, Dave is going to be one happy man when he realizes that I'm making this for him. I'm trying out a new recipe from this website that he loves. He doesn't normally care about blogs or photographs or fancy food, but once I showed him The Pioneer Woman, he was there. He was all "Dude you can make that anytime." and "Honey, can we try one of these recipes once a week? I'd love to cook them, too." I know! He's kindof like a dream guy. The drool worthy pictures and really simple, tasty, and hearty recipes won him over and he was ready to get in the kitchen and make anything she suggested. Since the kitchen and I haven't exactly been besties lately, I figured I'd show Dave how much I love him and make him a Pioneer Woman recipe. I'll let you know how it goes :)

After dinner, though, is when my day REALLY begins. Why? Because its the Just Between Friends Consignment Sale!!! All Baby/Kids/Maternity things, CRAZY low prices, great quality (not garage sale stuff) = geeky deal-seeking Unsinkable. One year I got 30 pairs of socks for Little David for, like, $3.00 or something. And they were all name brand and in fantastic condition. This year, Little David doesn't need much at all, but Tot has grown a freakish amount and needs almost everything. And the new Baby needs some things as well, like a Bumbo (that I never got around to getting for the other kids), a new boppy pillow (because the other two I used are pretty gross now), and some clothes and such. It's become a game for me to see how much I can get for the least amount of money, and to see how much I can save by shopping at this twice a year sale instead of off and on retail shopping whenever the need arises. It's an exercise in planning, but I'm up to the task. I'll let you know how I do tomorrow!

And then lastly, tomorrow I get to briefly see a friend of mine who's flying in to see family and is going to stop by our house for a couple hours on the way to the airport. I'm super stoked to see her and I'm really excited to catch up :)


Anyways, that's my day. Just a good day all around with lots of stuff to keep me busy. Just the right kind of day.