Thursday, May 31, 2012

Children Update

Decided I needed to make this a separate post.

Ugh I love my kids so much. I say ugh because even the thought of trying to express how awesome they are overwhelms me.

His last week of preschool is next week! WAHHOOOOOO. Although his teacher has said things that have bugged me, I really do like the school. I'm sad that Audrey won't be able to have the same experience there (maybe I'll put her in it too, I have a couple years to decide). I'm just SO sick of wasting half of my Tuesday and Thursday driving him there, staying at my parents for a couple hours, then picking him up. It's all the way in Draper. The reason he goes there is because my MIL really wanted to pay for his first year of preschool. Her parents did that for her. So she was recommended this school, we checked it out and were really impressed with their teaching style and philosophy so we agreed. When we signed him up Cindy was living in SLC for the summer and would drive him. Then in October she moved. So I was stuck being the one to drive him. I didn't really realize we were going to live so far away the whole time. So it's just been a huge pain in the butt!

On Tuesday I went and volunteered at his school. By volunteer it basically just means, I go and follow Nate around and have him show me what he does. I help with the other kids a little bit as well, but mostly just stay with Nate. His teacher said that in the past couple weeks the progress he made seemed to decline. He just doesn't keep his attention and had been going to time out again. So I decided to volunteer so that she didn't think I was ignoring her. She's not lying. He's not a very good listener and he has a mind of his own. The thing that bugs me about the whole thing is that she acts like he's broken and needs to be fixed. She says "you should maybe get him checked out"...well, I have. It's like she forgets that. I did it solely so I could have written proof that there is nothing wrong with him. She even said "I've just been doing this for 11 years..." She never comes out and says "I think he has ADD" or anything like that. She just implies it. I know that he's my first kid, I do notice that he's different, but I really don't think he has ADD. I know it is over diagnosed, that true ADD is less common than people think. Both my dad AND Phil had teachers say things about them. My mom read a note from a teacher yesterday to me and it said "you need to start paying attention to things that matter" because he was fascinated by birds and would look out the window at them. Phil's teacher told him he was a "pokey little puppy". Both of them now are very intelligent. I'm not scared by the fact that Nate doesn't act like the other kids. He doesn't fit into the mold. Great. No person that made a difference in this world fit into a mold. I'm not saying Nate is going to be extraordinary...I just don't want to force him to be ordinary. So I just kind of smile and nod at his teacher and take in what she's saying so I can form a defense in the future. It all just makes me feel that much stronger that Nate would excel in a home school environment and be crushed in public school. At least for the first few years while his brain is still sensitive to words people saying impacting his whole life. The thing is that I am around him all the time and know how to talk to him to get the results I need. A teacher can't take as much time to do that.

On another note, I've been enjoying him so much lately. The words that come out of his mouth are so entertaining! He makes me laugh every day. I don't get frustrated with him as often anymore. It's so nice to have an older child that understands things and can reason with me. I love it!

She is at the funnest age ever. I enjoy this age with her more than with Nate because I can laugh at her tantrums instead of get stressed over them. She's a very typical 19 month old. She wants to do things on her own, but can't do it all. She throws tantrums very easily. But they're really funny now because she originally would throw herself back on the floor, but she hit her head so many times doing so that now she lays down slowly. HAHA! It's hilarious! How can I pay attention to the fact that she's crying when her tantrums are so funny? The most challenging thing about this age is that she can't understand. If I say "let's go bye bye" and then walk into my room to grab my keys or something, she freaks out. I can't just say "I'm grabbing my keys" and have her understand. I also can't leave without a big cry fest. This part is way more challenging than with Nate. As long as I said bye to him and he understood, he would be fine. I get way more tempted to sneak out without her noticing than I ever did with Nate. I can't do that though because I don't want her to lose trust for me, but sometimes it happens. Not usually if it's going to be a long time though.

She's vocalizing a lot more now. Every day it gets better and better, but 75% of the noises coming out of her face I don't understand. But I'm slowly learning that a lot of the sounds are actually words not just babble. For example, I realized that she was saying "what's that" which sounds more like "tsat" And she keeps bringing me this magna doodle because she wants me to draw things for her (just like Nate was. That's why I know how to draw Gabba characters is because he used to make me do it all the time). She gives it to me and says "woowa" I realized today that she's trying to say "Foofa". Then I drew Plex and she said something that sounded like "robot". The other day she pointed at the couch and said "couch" and had she not been pointing at it, I would have thought it was another weird Audrey babble. She has a language of her own. It's really hard to explain. She's also very expressive. She likes to dance and does this incredibly cute thing where she puts her hands on her hips and rocks back and forth. I can't wait to put her in dance! She also gives really good hugs and kisses. I make her hug me every time she wants "boop" so I get lots of hugs every day. I'd rather not breast feed her at all anymore. I'm hoping by working in the center instead of at home that she'll get used to not having it. She doesn't really need it to fall asleep since Phil seems to have success putting her to bed every night so that gives me hope!

Anyway that's all for now! :D More pictures when I get a phone again!

Life without an iPhone....and roommate reunion

Sucks. Haha! Seriously, when did I get so addicted to technology? It's ridiculous! I went 18 years without a cell phone (if you think that's a lot considering that now kids are getting cell phones at ridiculously young ages, Phil's even worse. He went 22 years!). There are 3 main reasons it sucks: 1-I don't have a camera at the click of a button wherever I am, 2-I can't VTO for work wherever I am (it means voluntary time off. If they offer the slots, you enter them and it's first come first serve so they're only open for literally seconds at a time...sounds like it's hard, but they send an email and then you know to go try and they keep opening them periodically) 3-No calling or texting. Except on Phil's phone. I hate texting on his stupid phone!

Life moves on though. I'll survive until I can get my next iPhone. *sigh*

This past weekend I had our annual roommate reunion at my house. My bestfriend Cynda came up and stayed the weekend with me and everyone else ended up just coming to dinner on Saturday night. It was originally planned to be a whole weekend event, but different crazy circumstances for everyone led to the one night. In the future we'll probably just plan a day/evening thing instead of a whole weekend, but anyway it was fun! We had some awesome conversations. Every year someone has been pregnant so it's always fun to have that pregnancy conversation haha! Answering questions, sharing stories. If you're a mom you know how obsessed with your birth story you are so you understand why it's such a fun topic to talk about! Plus birth is like my thing. haha! It's funny because I realize the first year we did the reunion three of us were pregnant. We all have kids within 3 months of each other. Audrey's the oldest of the bunch. And although this is probably not that significant, each year one of us has been pregnant with a girl due in October...haha! Just found out today that Shayla is having a girl! I think one person that reads this blog will even know who she is, but still it's exciting! Also, Jamie and her husband have started to adoption process, so once that gets going I'm going to promote them like CA-RAZY! :D They'll be freaking amazing parents.

I love that all of the roommates from college are still friends. It's amazing how the friendships you create in a situation like living together in college can bond you for life. Like me and Heather :D. We're probably the closest of all the roommates I had in college because we moved down together. Not to mention she lives in the same valley. Proximity helps. haha! And she's awesome and drama free. That also helps.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What a weekend!

Granny flew back home to Canyafornia today. She flew in Friday night and stayed a few days with us. We had a very full weekend. It was nice! It's going to take a few days to recover from it. Mainly because it's so hot in my house that I feel exhausted all the time. I worked SO hard to get the stupid swamp cooler working. I feel like to explain it all would be a blog post in itself. Just one thing after the other. I'll try to do it in one paragraph: 

I call around, found the cheapest heating/AC place to start up the cooler (neither of us knew ANYTHING about them). He comes, acts like all these things are missing, makes it sound unusual so I think it's broken. I call my home warranty company. They send out this large/gross man (sorry, but it's true) who says nothing is wrong with it. I hear nothing for a week. Called the company that came out and they said that what needed to be fixed was maintenance related so they couldn't touch it until the maintenance had been done. They quoted me such an insanely high amount for everything. $30 per pad that needed to be replaced (there's 4 of them), $90 for the water line, and another $100 something for them to start it up and do regular maintenance. I was like "screw it I'm doing it myself!" I looked up a few youtube videos and I was ready. The pads were $3 dollars each, the water line was maybe about $15 for all the parts, and I replaced a part that holds the fan belt for $8. So yeah. They're totally ripping people off. Anyway long story short, I ran into so many obstacles. The waterline leaked on the roof because the previous owners put the wrong hardware on it, the fan belt kept coming off (that's why I replaced the part), we got it up and running and woke up the next day to a flooded laundry room because the previous owners left a hose on a few winters ago and ice got in just inside our house and burst the pipe so all night it had been leaking through the wall just inside the house (luckily we figured it out and it all dried up so no mold!), then we had to buy a more pipe for the water line so we could run it down the front of the house until we can get a plumber to fix the pipe. Finally everything was working exactly how it should be. Woke up that morning to the fan not blowing. HOLY CRAP! Went up on the roof and the belt wouldn't turn. So now that the maintenance is done on it they can't tell me it's working!!!! I just have to say though, the days that it was working, I absolutely LOVE it! Mostly because it is so nostalgic! I grew up with one and the feeling I get every time I walk past it makes me so happy! It's more energy efficient too and our house plan is ideal for one. So I really have no complaints that we have a swamp cooler. I just want it to work. 

Ok sorry for that little rant. Back to the weekend. 

Saturday-we went to Virg's Diner for breakfast. They were short a cook and apparently the waiter was helping in the kitchen and waiting tables. At the time I was really pissed because the kids were so restless, but looking back, I feel so bad for the guy. Then after that we took the kids to the bounce house. I don't know what else to call it. It's a big warehouse with inflated bounce houses inside. We had a chart for him and every day he'd go without peeing his pants we'd give him a sticker. He finally earned enough that we got to take him there. It was SO MUCH FUN! Audrey liked it too, but not as much as Nate. He was running around, climbing, jumping, sliding. His face was so red and hot! haha! I LOVE doing things like that as a parent! Getting to see the joy in your kid's face is the best gift! 
Later that day we went to Lowe's and bought a lawn mower (finally) and some swings, wood, and solid color stain to fix up the swing set. I'm not quite done yet so I will post pictures soon. But Phil and I made them a ladder so they could get up (the swing set was here when we moved in, but it was old and not taken care of. The wood isn't in super good shape, it has a slide, and didn't have swings). The kids were SO excited when they saw the ladder! They ran for it. Audrey was especially excited because the only way she could get up before was by climbing up the slide! I painted most of it too, but I still have a little more to do. 
Phil also mowed the weeds/lawn. Our backyard is in pretty bad shape. We'll probably just dig it all up and re-sod it next year. 

Sunday-we went swimming. I know it was Sunday, but Granny was in town so you can make exceptions (well, I do I guess). She brought some life jackets she found at a thrift store and they were perfect for Nate! He was able to swim around without anyone's help. He kept going down the slide. It was SO cute! A couple times he got flipped around and the life guards whistled at him lol! But we told him to hold his arms out like an airplane and that seemed to work. Again, it was one of those things that brought so much joy to his face. :D Audrey was a pretty big fan of swimming, but not an enthusiast. We're definitely going to take them again! So much fun!!! Man I love having an almost 4 year old! He's such a freaking joy to my life! 
Later that evening we drove around trying to find the best spot to view the eclipse. And we followed the clouds. Trying to get away from them...we drove the wrong way. So we were bummed haha! But we still did get to see it a little. :D

It's nice to get out and do things together as a family like that. We don't always get the chance to do so. But I think we're going to make time for it as much as possible :D 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I just wanted to update on how my organizing spree is going. Organizing your house is one of those things that makes you so happy and you want to tell the whole world, but you realize that no one really cares about it. So you write a blog post about it instead haha! I'm happy to report that my garage is finally cleaned out! There are a few boxes to go through still, but we can park the car in there now and that was what my goal was. Our garage got filled with boxes because we signed on the house on October 28th. Then we immediately started painting and getting it ready. The carpet was laid on November 1st, but we wanted to be out of our storage unit by the end of the month so on the 31st we moved everything from the storage unit to the garage. Then as we moved, in order to make it much easier on people that were helping us we just had them move the boxes into the garage. Then we'd take them out and organize them in the house. Well, of course all of the important stuff got organized first...then I broke my hand. UGH! So I got behind on everything. So I was too afraid to unpack the boxes from the garage until the house was organized because I did NOT want to bring more crap into the house to add to the mess. 

The best part about organizing is the stuff you find! Like my good camera!!!! And my hair straightener. I was pretty excited about those two things! So I have been trying to take some good pics of the kids. Yesterday while Nate was at school, I took some pictures of Audrey at my parent's house. She is so gorgeous. I know she's mine, but I still think she's incredibly beautiful haha! 

This one was taken at home after we picked Nate up

 These two ^v were taken the night before. 

I just have to say what a sweet heart Audrey is. She is so lovey and has the cutest personality ever. Nate's personality is very "I'm gonna go do my own thing" and his own thing is usually destroying something. But Audrey is very "I'm gonna stay here and hang out with you because you are my favorite person on this planet" at least that's how she makes me feel. Obviously I love my kids the same amount. Audrey and I just have a special bond. Every time I nurse her I make her give me a hug and sometimes she throws a kiss in there for no reason. It's so sweet! She really has been such a joy. I know there's going to come a day when she's the brat and Nate's the sweetheart, but for now I'm just enjoying her unconditional love. It's an amazing feeling! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dear Anonymous: The Internet Bully

The famous anonymous. Visiting blogs since the day they began. They never have anything nice to say. Fortunately, my blog is usually only visited by friends and family only so I've recently only had one encounter with said Anonymous. But isn't anonymity an interesting concept? A psychological phenomenon. Has anyone heard of post secret? It was originally an art project where people make post cards of their deepest darkest secrets. It's on ongoing project that you can still send post cards to. But there was a few months where they had an iphone app, but they had to cancel the app and remove it from everyone's phones because they couldn't get it under control. When people knew they were completely anonymous there was a lot of bullying and judging of other people's secrets. There were people that posted pornographic pictures. It got a little crazy. At first the app was intriguing and thoughtful. It quickly got too crazy and I had deleted the app because it was too out of control. There was nothing the moderators could do to make it stop and regulate it. 

The internet makes it so easy to become anonymous. No other time in human history has being anonymous been so accessible. It has made bullying an even bigger problem in the world. I'm not even talking about public school bullies to make a point about why I want to home school. There are no consequences to being an internet bully. You just give your two cents and hope it hurts the person you are sending the message to. It's really sad that people do that to each other. Bullies are victims themselves. They have been abused either emotionally or physically at some point in their lives. No normal sane person feels the need to pick on others. 

My mom is the one that inspired me to write this post. She is one of the sweetest people I know. She doesn't have a facebook or blog because "she doesn't want to get in trouble" haha! So she sent me a message this morning via my dad's facebook. It said "Hey anonymous, AKA Cyber Bully, Usually those who feel the need to pick on others are missing something in their own life. I hope you didn't learn to bully from the public school system. Please get a hobby and don't mess with my kid! Carma Morgan" It's so sweet of her to feel the need to stick up for me. Especially on such a controversial topic as home school. She is so amazing the way she supports me on everything I choose to do. Just like when I had a home birth. But I think the whole anonymous thing bugged her more than it bugged me. I just feel bad for the person. Only a broken person bullies others. I am confident enough with my research and choices to know that someone's uneducated opinion doesn't matter. 

So let's just do ourselves a favor. Let's start pretending that Anonymous is this person!

18 months

Well, Audrey has been 18 months for over a week now and I have yet to post about it. I've been putting it off because I need to weigh and measure her, but my scale needs new batteries. I'm going to post anyway, but don't let me forget to measure her!! Last Sunday at church they talked about the importance of journal keeping which made me feel even more compelled to write about it. I love being able to look through my blog and see what Nate was doing at Audrey's age. Thank goodness for blogs, or who knows if I would have written as much as I have!

This is what Audrey is up to at 18 months:

Physical: She LOOOOVES to dance. I notice her trying to follow around with the Dancey Dances on YGG. Today, it was so funny I was doing the dishes and I hear her grunting and I peak into the living room and she was trying to jump like they were doing on the show. She is starting to try to do bigger things like walk down the stairs instead of slide. It usually turns to a slide anyway. She can play on the playground alone more now. She is much more careful than Nate was. She is not quite as daring and active. Which I'm happy about :D.

Language: She only says a handful of words. I talked to my speech therapist neighbor who told me to at least get her to make the first sound in a word instead of grunting. So I've started doing that for the past few days and have seen her try to talk a little more which makes me happy. She is going to be evaluated by a speech therapist this month. I know it's still a little early, but it's never really too early to start. She signs a lot of words. Probably more than she talks. She just has a hard time forming the words so she doesn't try. Like if I try to get her to say "car" she just looks at me, but if I say "say c c c" she'll do it. A lot of her words are just the first syllable. Like for shoe she says "shhh". But I'll take it. I'm glad I taught her some signs or else I wouldn't be communicating with her at all. Just through grunts.

Interests: She is absolutely in LOVE with Yo Gabba Gabba. It is the only thing she will watch or wants to watch. If anything else is on she gets mad and gives me the remote. And if I ask her what show she wants she shakes no and says "mm mm" until I say YGG then she goes "Bahhh!" and shakes her head yes. Haha! She loves to play outside in our yard. She tries to ride the bike, it's so cute! She loves food. Her favorite thing is to dip food into sauce and lick the sauce off. Doesn't matter what it is, or how spicy. I'm enjoying her while she's not picky! Nate got over that and will only eat certain things. She loves babies and dolls. I did not teach this to her at all. Nor did I encourage her to play with dolls. She chose that herself :D. I don't like to make my kids feel like they need to be a certain way based on their gender. So I *try* not to push gender roles (of course there's so much that is subconscious). Anyway she also still loves her binky and breastfeeding.

Personality: She has such a big personality. She's so funny! She'll say no when we ask her if she loves mommy or something and then laugh because she knows we'll say "hey!". She is very determined. If she wants something she'll find a way to get it. She has a really funny fake laugh that she'll whip out every once in a while. She gives really good hugs and kisses. Last night we talked to Gramps on face time and she was so excited. She kept wanting to look at the screen and say hi to him. And lastly, she's a really big mama's girl and loves her brother so much!