Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Saturday 7: Someecards Edition

Proof that there's a someecard for everything. (I was in a very strange mood when I wrote this entry . . .)

1. My blog has reached 50,000 page views! I should do a giveaway or something. I'll give away more wit and wisdom. How do you like that? ;-)

2. We had some success with vegetables this week! I roasted carrot "fries" for Lena. (Just carrots cut in slices and tossed in olive oil.) She loves them! Unfortunately, I made the fries too thin and she had a very near-choking incident. She finally puked up a huge piece after gagging on it for a scarily long time. So now I cut them into tiny pieces for her to pick up with her fingers. But she's been eating them all week. Woohoo!

And I've gotten back on board with sneaking veggies into Lucy's meals. I put a whole baby food container of carrot/apple in our waffles on Monday. And a container of squash in her macaroni. She was none the wiser and gobbled them down!

3. I made a new recipe this week: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan. It was delicious, but I used sliced mozarella (instead of shredded) and it totally congealed after being in the crock pot for hours. Should you attempt the same, beware of congealing.

4. I went to a bridal shower for my dearly beloved cousin Rachael today. She's marrying a man named Terver. I couldn't pass up that v in his name. I had to make this:
I made that up by myself. Didn't even steal it from Pinterest. Aren't you impressed?!

5. On the way home from the shower, I stopped at the gas station with the girls. As we were leaving Lucy asked, "Mommy, when you grow up are you going to go to work?" I said, "No. My work is taking care of you and Lena." She groaned "Ohhhh," in disappointment. So I said, "Maybe when you and Lena go to school I'll go to work." To which she replied, "Maybe after school we can go to day care so we can play on the playground!" Haha. There's a day care center across the street from the gas station. Lucy always asks to go to that playground and I always tell her that's just for the day care kids whose moms and dads go to work. Hahaha.

6.  I've recently decided to stop being self-conscious about my flabby belly. Do any of my friends or family love me less because I have a spare tire? No. Do I care if strangers think I'm pregnant? A little. Do I care enough to give up donuts and Dr Pepper? No. It is what it is. I had a baby 8 months ago. She and her sister ruined my body. They were worth it. If things go as planned, I will not get pregnant again for 2+ years. So spread the word. Sadie is not pregnant. She just loves sugar.


7. Considering how long it took me to write this post, I have to end with this:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lena: 8 Months


Lena Lou is 8 months old today. I feel like she's grown so much and developed so much personality in the past month!

Routine
Still very similar to last month. She wakes up right around 7. Takes a morning nap and afternoon nap. The evening nap has become hit or miss. If she doesn't take one, I struggle to keep her awake 'til 7:00. If she does get that evening nap, she usually goes to bed a little later.

Eating
We haven't made much progress with solid food. Actually, she's already becoming picky. I've made the mistake of giving her bread, which has become her new favorite food. She wants nothing to do with fruits or vegetables. I've given her slices of pear and apple this month straight from my dad's trees. She sucks on them for a little while, then throws the slice on the floor. And she's totally over eating food in the mesh feeder. That goes straight on the floor as well. I tried avocado slices again recently. Not a fan. I bought some sweet potatoes and carrots this week. I'm going to try roasting them for her. We'll see!

She loves puffs, but I think they really make her constipated. So I've been trying to avoid giving her too many. And she had apple juice for the first time this week.

Sleep
Nothing has changed on the sleep front, except that she's been going to bed much easier. It used to be a long process of rocking, singing, laying her down, listening to her scream until I couldn't take it, then rocking and singing some more. Haha. We've finally gotten into a good rhythm. I rock her and sing 4 songs, then lay her down awake. She has 2 loveys - one on each side of her head - that she grabs onto, and she usually goes right to sleep. Still waking up every 3 hours throughout the night though! Lucy was sleeping through the night by this age. Sigh.

Milestones and Personality
She started scooching last Tuesday and has gotten pretty adept at it since then! She can get onto her belly from a sitting position. So when I sit her down by her toys, then go sit on the couch, she flings herself onto her belly and scooches to me crying until I pick her up. Haha. 

She pulls up on her little toy bin all the time. But she has horrible balance and just ends up toppling over.

She still adores walking. She shrieks happily anytime someone holds her hands and lets her walk around. She would do that allll day if I would let her.

Before her constipation problems started, jumping in the Jumparoo made her poop almost every time without fail! Haha. I renamed it the pooparoo.

She's started to spit out her binky when she knows I'm going to feed her. It usually pops out as soon as I sit down in the rocker. :-)

She loves the bath. She actually gets really mad when I take her out.

She hates getting dressed or having her diaper changed. And she is not a fan of having her nose wiped.

Lucy and Lola always elicit smiles and shrieks of joy. But Mama is still her favorite. I started getting called out of church this month because she doesn't last the whole service in the nursery. She sure makes me feel loved! The feeling is mutual. ;-)





Sunday, September 22, 2013

The "Saturday" 7

1. A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article for my friend Bethany about her Art Prize piece. She got it published through Life News and it popped up on their facebook feed this week! So exciting! 

2. Lena took off crawling this week. I took her to Bible Study with me on Tuesday night. We met at my friend Missy's house and Lena was obsessed with her dog. She inched forward for the first time to get her hands on that dog! Haha. (So different than Lucy, who is terrified of dogs!) She's become quite a pro since then. She just army crawls, but I've seen her up on her hands and knees a lot. She'll have that figured out in no time.

3. Justin and I took the girls down to Art Prize on Friday. We looked like a couple tourists with our 2 strollers, consulting our map frequently. I feel like we were there for hours, and walked miles but didn't actually see that much! 

Of course we started by checking out Bethany's piece:
It was so cool to finally see it in person! The big picture is a lenticular, so as you walk past it, it changes. Depending on the angle, you either see Beka pregnant or holding her newborn. And Lena and I are in a few of the small pictures on the border. Way to go, Bethany!

Here were a few of my other favorites from the small sliver of art we saw:
I'm usually not a big fan of quilts, but this is carved out of wood! It looked so much like fabric!! [Porcelain Vine]
This one made me hungry. [November 1st]


Some people get all the talent! [Dancing with Mother Nature]


4. It was interesting to see the differences between my girls emerge once again while we were downtown. Anytime we were outside, Lucy had her hands clapped over her ears. She hates loud noises - especially vehicles. Lena, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of all the sights and sounds. She was taking it all in. Fingers crossed that only one of our kids has inherited my anxiety!

5. I got another stinkin' clogged milk duct this weekend. I've been getting them so often lately. What is the problem?! Is there anything I can do to avoid them??

6. I started thinking about Christmas this week. I made a list of ideas for Lucy. I might start buying a few things now so I don't have such a big credit card bill in January! Oh, and someone will be getting some version of this for Christmas . . .
Hahaha. My fave. (Etsy)
7. While we were at Art Prize, I noticed everyone taking pictures with their iPhones. Am I seriously the only one who doesn't have a smart phone? I lugged my actual camera around with me all day. I don't have instagram. I could hashtag #nofilter on every one of the pictures I post to facebook. How can everyone in the world afford a smart phone? I'm seriously befuddled by this.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 3: The Fall and Letter x

This week's lesson really daunted me. Teaching the gravity and importance of sin is a big deal. It was also my first real chance to include the story of redemption. Honestly, I don't think Lucy grasped much of it, but hopefully the seeds are being planted.

Week 3: The Fall (Genesis 3)
Letter: x
Verse: "Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory." (Romans 3:23, NIRV)

On Monday we read the story of the fall in her children's Bible. Then we built a blanket fort (finally crossing the last thing off our summer bucket list!), and pretended we were Adam and Eve hiding from God. We talked about how you can never hide from God and He always sees us.

On Tuesday we attempted to make this x-ray craft.
Photo credit
Lucy went crazy with the glue and white crayons and never actually glued any q-tips to the paper. I thought about incorporating sin into the x-ray by telling her that even if we hide sin in our heart, God can see it - just like an x-ray can see the bones hidden in our body. But I decided that would be way too confusing 
for her. 

On Thursday, we discussed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. My dad happens to have an orchard growing in the backyard:

While the girls were napping, I went outside and taped an x on one of the trees toward the middle. When the girls woke up, we went outside and I told Lucy to find the tree with the x.
We had a discussion about how God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree. But they did anyway. And when you do something God says not to do that's called sin. (We quoted our verse again here.) 

Then I showed Lucy the bucket of dirt I had sitting next to the tree. We got a book from the library last week called The Trouble With Germs. It talks about how germs are too tiny to see, but when they get on you the only way to get them off is with soap and water. In the book, the kids dip their hands in dirt, try to brush them off, and realize the only way to get rid of the dirt is with soap and water. I reminded Lucy about that book, then told her that sin is kind of like germs. We can't always see it, but once we sin, we're stuck with being dirty. I had Lucy dip her hands in the dirt. This was her reaction:
She didn't like it. Haha.
This was as dirty as she would get her hands:

Finally, I told her there was only one way to get the sin off of us. We went back inside to find this:

As Lucy washed the dirt off her hands, I told her that Jesus can wash the sin off our hearts. Then we sang her favorite song, "Oh happy day, happy day! You washed my sin away!"

Today we continued working on the letter x by having a treasure hunt. I wrote a bunch of clues on index cards. 
On the top corner I wrote where I was going to put each clue. (Not where the clue led, but where the current clue was found. Get it? Haha.)

Justin took Lucy outside so I could hide the clues. Then she came back in and I gave her the first clue. She loved running around finding all the clues. 
I wrote "x" on all the envelopes with the clues in them to reinforce "x marks the spot."
Finally, she found the treasure!

Dollar store goodies!
On the back of each clue, I wrote one or two words from our verse. I numbered them so Lucy could help me put them in order, then we taped them to a big piece of paper.


Neon doesn't photograph very easily. Haha.
Lucy loved doing the treasure hunt and cried for about an hour after we were done because she wanted to do another one! 

Up next: Noah's Ark and the letter Y. I foresee a lot of yaks . . .

Monday, September 16, 2013

x is for xylophone

When Lucy was a baby, she threw a book at my [open] laptop and dislodged the letter x. So every time I type the letter x, I have to copy and paste it from a word document saved on my computer. Haha. Just a fun fact for this week's letter! 

I was very un-original and just used an idea from notimeforflashcards.com.  Lucy loved all the gluing, and I thought it turned out pretty cute!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. I've been noticing lately that Lena is a homebody. We babysat at Niki's a couple times this week. Lena was restless, whiny, and wouldn't sleep the whole time we were there. But as soon as we got home, she sat on the floor happily playing with her toys. She's done that multiple times lately.

2. We had crazy weather this week. On Tuesday it was 94 degrees. And this morning we're under a frost and freeze advisory!

3. Maybe the weather contributed to the sickness that has taken over this house. Justin's been fighting some kind of congestion/sore throat thing for a while that I had thought was just allergies. But Monday morning, Lena and Lucy both woke up snotty, coughing messes. As usual it has seemed to hit Lena the hardest. She is so congested she can hardly breathe. I hate that I can't give her any kind of medicine to help clear her out. I've been using the nasal aspirator like crazy. She actually kind of likes it. Haha. She smiles every time I use it. I think she likes the noise it makes.

4. Justin got baptized on Sunday. He grew up in the Christian Reformed church, so he was baptized as a baby, but he never took Profession of Faith. And in our church, you have to be baptized as an adult in order to become a member. We do a picnic/baptism at the lake every fall. (I was baptized there 9 years ago.) It was a beautiful day and the lake was still pretty warm. I'm proud of him for taking that step of faith. It's not easy getting up in front of everyone to give your testimony! (Side note: Justin was the last of 25 people to get baptized, and Lucy kept asking me, "When is Daddy going to get dipped?" Haha.)

5. I made a really good pinterest meal this week.
Picture Credit
It's called Spicy Sausage Pasta. I intended to make it with mild sausage because I'm not a huge spice fan. But I was in a hurry when I was shopping, so I just grabbed the first one I saw, which happened to be the "Hot n' Spicy" version. Yikes! It was spicy! But my parents and Justin all loved it, even if we all went through about a box of kleenex thanks to the sinus-clearing power of the spice!

6. On Thursday, I threw my hair up into a bun while doing laundry and it actually looked really cute, so I left it like that. I slept with it up in the bun because I hate having my hair down while I sleep. And when I woke up on Friday, it still looked cute, so I put a headband on and wore it like that the rest of the day. It's actually still in the same bun. I'm obviously quite the fashionista. And I really should probably take a shower at some point . . .

7. I saved the best for last. Big announcement! Lena and I are making our modeling debut this week . . . at Artprize! My amazing friend Bethany is doing an Artprize exhibit called IMAGE, celebrating the sanctity of life. It's a series of before and after photos of mothers when they're pregnant, and then again with their babies shortly after birth. Here's mine:


You can see more of her piece here. And you can see it in person starting on Wednesday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 2: Adam Names the Animals; God Makes Eve

We had a busy week and weren't home very much, so we did a small lesson based on Genesis 2.

On Thursday, we read Genesis 2 in Lucy's children's Bible and discussed how Adam named all the animals. I lined up all Lucy's animals . . .


Then I gave her a stack of "Hello My Name Is . . ." stickers and told her to name her animals.
She actually wrote real letters on most of them. So cute.

Then, she wanted to make name tags for Lena and me. I wrote out Lena's name for her to copy, but she did "Mom" all on her own. I was amazed at how well she did!
She also copied Dora's name off a book. 
Then today we talked about how Adam was lonely and couldn't find a friend among all the animals, so God made him a helper named Eve. I had a hard time thinking of a way to represent Eve's creation, so we raided Grandma's cookie cutter stash and made man and woman cookies. :-)

I realize it kind of looks like Adam has a child bride. We had to work with what we had. Haha.
Baking in style.
She couldn't believe I let her sprinkle flour on the counter! She ended up covered in it!
Finished product! 
My faves. I baked them holding hands. Hehe. (Her head fell off while I was frosting, but that's inconsequential . . .)





Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. Every labor day Justin's extended family spends the weekend camping. I've made it very clear that I do not enjoy camping. I identify strongly with this:

And this:
And this:

Get the point? Lol. Anyway, we usually go up for one day to hang out with everyone. We went up after church on Sunday for the big family meal. I ate half my plate of food with Lena sitting in the stroller next to me before she started to freak out. I just could not console her. I finally decided she was just hot and tired, so we went and sat in the car with the AC on until she fell asleep. She slept for 20 minutes, but woke up happier, so we went down to the lake for a while. She and Lucy both loved it. 

It wasn't long before Lena started to melt down again, though. Apparently she inherited my distaste for camping. Haha. I wanted to leave with her, but Justin and Lucy wanted to stay, and we only drove one car. So I ended up leaving them there to spend the night! I was really nervous for Lucy, but she did great! She loved sleeping in the tent with Daddy. :-)

2. We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday on Monday. My siblings and I worked together to come up with 60 things we love about him. It wasn't hard. I actually had to cut a few out! We're so blessed to have him. And I'm so happy my girls are getting to know him so well.

3. I tried a new recipe for our Labor Day/Dad's birthday celebration. It's something Justin's grandma makes that I'm obsessed with. She brought it to the campground and I'm pretty sure I ate half the pan myself. I found the recipe on Pinterest, but tweaked it a little to make it more like Grandma's. :-)
Photo credit
• 1 c. sugar 
• 1 c. corn syrup
• 1 c. creamy peanut butter
• 1 t. vanilla
• 5 c. Cheerios
(I added M&Ms and peanuts as well.)
In a large sauce pan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Bring to boil over medium heat.
Allow mixture to boil for one minute and remove from heat. (I wasn't paying attention and let it boil too long. Word to the wise: your finished treats will be so hard you may crack your teeth . . . or your jaw . . .if you boil it too long.)
Add peanut butter and vanilla to mixture and mix until smooth.
Add Cheerios (and M&Ms and peanuts) and mix until all coated. 
Drop mixture by spoonful onto waxed paper and allow to cool. (I just spread the whole batch in a jelly-roll pan like Justin's grandma does. :-) )

4. Lena pulled herself to standing for the first time this week. I was laying on my side next to where she was sitting on the floor. She twisted, put her hands on my hip, got onto her knees, then up to her feet. She walked her little feet until she was standing right next to me. So crazy! I couldn't believe it! She's done it a bunch of times since then. The problem is, she has very little balance, so if I'm not there holding her up, she tips over.

5. Guess what I got again this week? I'll give you a hint. It's an infection . . . You guessed it! Pink eye! Argh!!!! Maybe I'm misdiagnosing myself, but I don't know what else it would be. For a couple days my right contact bothers me and I feel like my vision is cloudy. Then I'll wake up with a bloodshot eye. Then it starts to sting and feel sticky. And eventually it starts to ooze. I use a cocktail of prescription eyedrops and breastmilk for a few days, my eye clears up, and I feel better. Only for it to return 2 weeks later! I should probably go to the doctor, but I really hate shelling out the $45 copay!

6. Lucy and I started our new "preschool" curriculum this week. I'm just kind of making it up as I go along, but the idea is to work our way through the big stories of the Bible, focusing on the attributes of God and the story of redemption. We'll also be doing a bunch of random Pinterest learning activities too. This week, we worked on creation. I wrote a big long post about it here. (Although it's not complete. We haven't done today or tomorrow's lesson yet.) We're also going to attempt to learn a new verse each week. Lucy amazed me by how quickly she learned this week's.
video

7. Despite my mothering prowess as evidenced by point 6 (haha, I jest - I'm not really that conceited), I had a really bad mom day on Friday. Actually, I have a bad mom day most Fridays. By the end of the week I am out of ideas, out of energy, and out of patience. Justin has Fridays off and I just wanted him to entertain the girls so I can be alone! Seriously. I am the worst. Then I read this article (titled, "When You Don't Like Your Kids") by one of my favorite bloggers. I love the idea of praying over Lucy when I get frustrated with her. I pray for myself all the time, "Lord give me patience. Help me to be loving. Give me grace to show your grace!" That article was a good reminder to pray for her in those moments as well. And it was a good reminder that I'm not alone in getting annoyed and irritable and it doesn't mean I love my precious girls any less!!


Week One: Creation

This was our first week of my attempt at homeschooling Lucy. We're not doing anything rigid or serious. I just want to incorporate a little "school" into our day to prepare her for kindergarten (which she won't be attending for 2 years - overachiever, much?). Really, it's just an excuse to add more routine to our day. I love routine.

We're still not done with our quest through the alphabet, so I incorporated letter W into our first week. It took a little creativity. Haha. 

Anyway, here's what week one looked like.

Week One: Creation (Genesis 1)
Verse: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
God is: Creative! 

This lesson was easy because I had something specific to focus on every day. I don't think we'll always do a craft every day, but we did for the 7 days of creation. My inspiration came from here, but I re-worked a lot of them. Every day, we sat down with the Bible, read about what God created, then did the craft to re-iterate it. And we went over the verse every day.

Day One - God created light and dark
I printed off the numeral one and had Lucy paint the top half yellow (light) and the bottom half black (dark). Pretty creative, eh? We had a light and dark snack of chocolate chips and marshmallows. :-)


Day Two - God created the sky
Lucy painted the number 2 light blue, then glued cotton ball clouds on. We attempted to fly a kite (up in the sky!), but it wasn't quite windy enough, and Lucy fell on the driveway, scraping her knees and putting a swift end to kite-flying.

Day Three - God created the sea, land, and plants
Lucy painted the top half of the number 3 blue and the bottom half green/brown. I pulled out the scrapbooking stickers and found some waves for the water and some watermelon and leaves to represent vegetation.

Day Four - God created the sun, moon, and stars
We got out the trusty paints again, this time to cover the number 4 in black. While we waited for it to dry, we pasted yellow tissue paper to a circle for the sun and glittered a cut-out of the moon. Then she stuck star stickers all over the number 4. Let me just declare here that I am not a fan of glitter. We did it outside, but I still feel like it's everywhere!

Day Five - God created the birds and fish
Lucy painted the number 5 light blue on top and dark blue on bottom to represent the sky and sea. We made this bird out of shapes. (I cut them out, she glued them on with my direction. She refused to color the bird.) Then we glued on goldfish. Bet you can't guess what we had for a snack this day!

Day Six - God created animals and man
We incorporated the letter W again by making a walrus. (Modeled from this one.) Then I let Lucy look through my stickers and pick out the animals she wanted. (Apparently she thought God made sunglasses on day 6 as well?) Then we made a construction paper face to represent man.
Day Seven - God rested
To represent resting, we gave number seven some (admittedly creepy) eyes.

Then we glued them shut to show that he was sleeping, and covered him with a blanket.


Every day after we finished our craft, we taped it here:

Here's Lucy modeling her hard work:

I also happened to come across this book at the library. It was perfect! 

Week one was a success! Lucy loved having a project to do every day. I loved watching her learn and soaking up God's word. She learned the verse so quickly, I was shocked!

No guarantees about how faithful or creative I'll be in the weeks to come, but I'm excited to try! :-)
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