Monday, February 28, 2011

Read with caution. This blog might be contagious.

I was really going to try to NOT post about illness, since every post I've written for the past week has pertained to germ bugs, but I don't think I can avoid it.  Mainly because I bought one of these little friends tonight...

My review: meh.  Personally, I can do with or without draining snot via a teapot.  

And, if you're looking for a way to get a really worried look from your 2-year-old, totally pour water out your nose right in front of him.  He kept rubbing the hand I was bracing on the sink saying, It's okay, mommy.  You're okay.  I kept having to explain that, though gross and disgusting, it did not hurt.

Besides providing me with an awkward mental image that will continue to humble me for years to come (because can you really can't be vain while looking in a mirror at yourself while water pours out a nostril), it provided only temporary relief and a salty after taste.  I couldn't avoid swallowing a little bit while I was laughing at the whole situation.

Also, I felt a bit like a magician.  Watch me as I magically pour water out my nose.  Oooh!  Ahhhh!

I imagine that if my sisters had been present, I would have not been able to accomplish the Neti Pot because I would either drown myself or laugh until I peed my pants.  {Note to Chels and Aubs: Let's have a Neti Pot pouring party next time we're all in town together.  It might be as fun as watching me try out the Medela breast pump for the first time.  Except less awkward.}

Happy Monday, friends!

Update and Help for Carson and Anton.

Ok, I know I've been a total slacker, but here's my excuse... I typed a whole blog about 3 days ago, it was long... with an update, pictures, info on other EB kids- and when I went to publish it, the computer said error and it wasn't saved and I lost everything.  It was terrible.  I was ticked.  SO, I will try now to start over...

Tripp was on 2 oral antibiotics for about 14 days earlier in the month... and that was the best 14 days of my life, no question.  He played and played in his little comfort zone.  Just walking side to side like a little crab.  Snapping (putting his two fingers together and clicking with his tongue) and then bossing anyone who's in the room to snap, too.  Shaking his little booty, playing his drum, learning more sign language.  He was also eating more by mouth (pudding, soup, chocolate).  Well, about 3 days after he finished the antibiotics (happens EVERY time)... he started going back downhill.  Not wanting to sit up much, his mouth was hurting, and wanting us out of his face (well except to rock him). 

But when he was feeling good... it was so good.  And such therapy for me.  It seems like when he's feeling good, it makes all the other little things (that I shouldn't even worry about) seem like they don't matter.  Then when he feels bad again, it's like everything is magnified.  But I can't keep him on antibiotics all the time, because then when he really needs them, he will be resistant and they won't work.  But I have to say, even lately when he's been feeling yucky, he still tries to stand up and play like a little trooper.  His eyes are taking a toll on him, I think.  They are looking so much worse as far as the tissue growing over the eyeball.  I'm really not sure how much he can see.  You can definitely tell that each day gets a little worse.  He's reaching for things that aren't there, and bringing things really close to be able to see them.  And his depth-perception is off for sure.  But he sure finds a way to get the toy he wants and know what to do with it. 

This child has like a sixth sense for music and sound.  I guess either because he can't speak and all he can do is listen to us talk and sing and play music... or the fact that I forget that he's almost 2 years old and he's smarter than I think:)  But he can tap, clap, "snap," or bang his drum to any tune.  And it's always right on target.  Even if it's a song that i just started singing, he picks it right up.  And then to watch him how he "bosses" us to snap when any type of music is playing... makes me think maybe I have a little musician or band director on my hands... haha.  No but really, even if there's music playing or not, if he wants to "snap," eveyone in the room has to snap, too.  And he will turn and look at each person, hold his arm out, and "snap" until you start snapping.  And don't think that you can just stop unless he gives you permission!  He's a bossy one.  I don't know where he gets that from:)

So, while he was feeling good, I was a total slacker on pictures and video, too.  But in my defense, I just ENJOYED him.  Every single minute of him- without the camera stuck in his face!  Though I do wish now that I had taken more video in case I ever forget what I little cutie he was in those 2 weeks!  I took a few good pictures of his heart-stealing smile on one of those good days!! :)

He has been playing some... just not as much as he was.  I'm pretty sure he has a little cold.  There's been a lot of suctioning and he's had a runny nose.  So maybe he just has to get past this little cold and then we can go back to playing more:)  Thank you all for the prayers and support for my little man.

So there's something that's been weighing so heavy on my heart lately.  And if I'm going to be honest, I really am not crazy about doing this kind of stuff on my blog... but I feel like it's important to ask you guys for a favor.  Not for me, but for 2 kids who are battling EB alone, without a family.  These two kids, Carson and Anton, have been on my mind a lot lately.  I try and imagine Tripp living this life alone- with no family and no one to give him that close, undivided attention that he gets here from us.  It literally makes me kind of sick to my stomach to think about Carson and Anton (and any other EB babies out there) living this horrible life of EB with no one to call family.  There is a family in CA, the Cannells, who have committed to Carson.  The only thing keeping Carson from being able to come to the states and be with his "new" family who wants to take care of him is "money."  They are about $20,000 short.  I know that seems like a lot, but I know that there are a lot of people who read this blog and who want to do something to help.  Well I'm asking you to help this family bring Carson home.  There are two sites available to donate for Carson.  I will list them below.  And Patrice has created a blogsite for little cutie Anton.  I think there is also a family who is thinking about taking Anton (if you haven't read his story, please visit his site below and do so... it's so heartbreaking).  And I believe the only thing stopping this family is also the financial issues.  So please... even if it's $5.00- help these little boys be united with a loving family who is willing to care for them and give them the love they need to survive this horrible disease.  I know it's hard for anyone who does not have to see this disease and what it does to these children on a daily basis... but for me- it breaks my heart knowing that they are sitting in a hospital bed or an orphanage- only with caretakers who come daily to take care of them, and then leave and go home to their own children and family.  These kids deserve a great home and so much love and I hate that money is the only thing holding them back.  So like I said, I don't like doing this, but if you can, please pitch in and help Carson and Anton.  Aren't they so cute??






Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tot School Shenanigans

More and more I am finding that Taitum is a social learner. All of my attempts of sitting and playing with her alone were rejected this week. On the other hand, every single time that I sat down to do something with Piper, she demanded to be a part of it! Since clueing into this, I've made a habit of having something ready to go for her, too. Usually its the things I had tried to do with her before but to no avail. In some ways, I'm disappointed by this. I really would like the opportunity to spend time with her alone. I also realize that I need to just appreciate the fact that she truly loves being a part of our school time. I know its really not a terrible thing that she prefers to spend her play time independantly. She's just drastically different from Piper who is more likely to want my attention constantly! I am thankful for how much these girls enjoy each other's company and am learning to take advantage of the times Taitum accepts my sole attention such as at bedtime storytime! In the end, that is just one of the many reasons I am choosing to homeschool - so I can tailor my children's education to the way that they learn best!

Enough rambling. Here is our week in Tot School:

Taitum sorted some blocks by color. We do a lot of this and its cute to watch how sometimes she stacks the blocks, other times lines them up - whatever suits her fancy that day!

Daddy helped her to participate during our milky rainbows experiment with Piper.

Taitum is obsessed with this activity - pushing pom poms through a hole cut in the lid of a yogurt container! So simple yet so fascinating!

She LOVED painting with vegetables! I think this had more to do with the mess factor than anything else!

Oh the joy!

She also enjoyed getting her hands dirty in the Goop we created, too!

Taitum is starting to get the hang of the Do-A-Dot markers and choosing to play with them anytime we have a free craft time!

This week's challenge? Well, look and see...

Something in her mouth constantly! She walks around like this! Her favorite is that cylinder block you see but she was quite content to have that plastic hamburger patty in her mouth quite often this week! I know she's teething and all but this is getting ridiculous!!

Taitum's successes of the week were 1) returning to her regular cheery ol' self and 2) appropriately responding to me when I ask her to come see me for some reason. We've really been working on obedience in this area since her usual response has been to run away or shake her head at me. It was so rewarding to see my consistency in correcting her when she didn't obey paying off! 

That's all for this week!  For more ideas to do with your tot, click on the button below!

Tot School

Another one bites the dust.

Well, it just wouldn't be a complete weekend unless someone else came down with the flu bug.



And it is twelve kinds of no fun

But, on the upside, Becks is feeling better.  And him and B are going to the grocery store for me.  Which should be really interesting.  As long as B comes home with a decongestant for me, I don't really care if he grabs milk, bread, or anything else for that matter.  Well, I guess do.  Since there is nothing to eat here for the boys. 

Also, I cannot taste anything.  Besides the faintest taste of Diet Coke.  At least I have that little bit of happy.  Because my head basically feels bloated.  More specifically my face. It's like someone blew up a balloon inside my nose.  Is that gross?  Sorry.  But it's bad.

And, for the record, this is our second straight weekend spent pent up in the house nursing each other back to health.  So. Over. It.  If I have to lay on this couch watching one more Jersey Shore rerun I'm going to die.  I can only take so much Jersey slang.  I'm going to start referring to everyone as little meatballs here soon.  Anyway...

Hope y'all are well!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Solace of Sisterhood

As if the flu wasn't fun enough.

This morning, on Day 8 of a fever, we called the doctor and they told us to come in again.

As always, I expected to hear He's doing fine.  Just let it run its course and keep pumpin' him full of motrin and tylenol!  Then, as always they'd send us on our way.

But, no.  My sweet precious has pneumonia :(

His little lungs are a little rumbly.  Boo.

Don't be alarmed.  His spirits are good, and he's walking around right now with a plastic hanger wedged around his waist somehow.  His "basketball uniform," he explained. 

The doctor said to bring him back on Monday if he still has a fever.  And that scares me.  So, let's all pray that Zithromax zaps the bugs for good. 

Happy Satruday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Little Of This And A Little Of That!

This week we continued learning about the letter 'V' and vegetables, tried some new activities and began to explore our 5 senses! Talk about busy! Not that I'm complaining! Its so nice to have the girls back to their normal selves! 

A while ago, I heard from a friend about how she did letter hunts with her kids. I've been meaning to try it out and finally got around to it this week! I hid cards with the letter 'V' on them all around the livingroom one morning. When Piper got up she enjoyed the challenge of  finding them all!

Piper is becoming very adept at putting together puzzles. I pulled out this floor puzzle the other day to give her something to do while I was cleaning. I didn't really think she'd be able to do it all on her own but the next thing I knew it was completed! I kept throwing puzzles at her and she kept putting them together! I think we just might have to move on to the ones with smaller pieces! 

I grabbed this Thinking Skills workbook at Walmart one day while I was shopping. It was in a sale bin and I thought there might be some good activities in there for her. I wasn't sure how keen she would be about sitting down and doing work like this but I thought if anything I could always put it away until she was a bit older. Upon returning home, she immediately eyed it in my bag and was asking to do it right away! Since then I've been doing several pages a day with her because she asks to do it! I think she enjoys the challenge the activities present (what doesn't belong, what comes next, etc.).

She sorted her vegetable cards according to color.

After reading Little Pea, Piper counted using frozen peas as markers and number printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Her favorite part? Getting to eat them at the end! She also LOVED the book! Its about a little pea who's parents serve him candy for supper. Little pea does not like candy but he has to eat 4 more bites if he wants dessert. He struggles through it and is rewarded with his favorite dessert: spinach! Piper thought this was hilarious and has continued to talk about it all week!

I already told you about our block garden! It was the highlight of our day! Daddy later played this with her but added a fun element to it - she'd go to her room while Matt added something to her garden - one time a really tall weed, another time a bear eating the veggies and then bugs all over the garden! Upon returning she would have to deal with the problem in her garden! Isn't Daddy so creative?!

So remember the vegetable pictures Piper colored last week? Well, this week she cut them out....
(I just love that very serious look of concentration!)

And together we created this little mobile! So hideous, yet so adorable! :)
(I found the printable and the idea here.)

Next up: Painting with vegetables! I had carrots, broccoli and onions on hand so thats what we used! The broccoli made a really cool print! ...The onion was a tad too stinky! Hehehe!

The paintings prettied up my kitchen, too!

My battery died before I got to take a picture of Piper doing this file folder game but it is worth sharing! Its a vegetable pattern match from Homeschool Share. Not only did it relate to this week's theme but I thought it would be helpful for Piper. She has struggled with catching on to the idea of patterns so I thought that this would be helpful in that she is copying the pattern to her left. Hopefully, this will reinforce the idea!

As we continue through our schedule of books from Sonlight, we have begun reading about the 5 senses in the Usborne Flip Flap Body Book. I thought it would be fun to start exploring the senses and so have planned a few things for each. We'll continue with this next week but this week we did sight and touch.

For sight, we did an experiment where you watch the effect of putting a Q-tip dipped in dish soap into milk with drops of food coloring in it. The milk repels the dish soap and the dye is pushed all around the plate! Its very fun to watch these milky rainbows! I found this idea at where there are a multitude of ideas for sensory activities! 

I had planned on playing a game of 'I Spy' with Piper, too, but then I came across this fun idea at Counting Coconuts - 'I Spy' bottles! I filled it with some of the dyed alphabet pasta from our alphabet box and added some small toys and trinkets to it! Piper had a wonderful time trying to find everything that was hidden in there!

Finally, for the sense of touch we made some Goop! A simple mixture of 1 part water to 3 parts cornstarch and you have lots of messy fun! This stuff seriously mesmerizes ME too though! One second its a solid mass in your hand, the next second its melting between your fingers! So cool! And as messy as it was, the clean up was a cinch!

Are you tired out yet?! I know I am! But what a great week! Now its time to cozy up and watch the snowstorm happening outside my window! Have a great weekend!

I'm linking up to the following:

Best toys for toddlers

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boo on the flu.

Becks is still one sick puppy. 

But, thankfully, for the hour or so that his meds perk him up, he's a very pleasant - albeit pitiful - nasally little pumpkin. 

He looked at me as we were watching American Idol together a little bit ago (he loves it just as much as I) and said, lovingly, Mommy, you're pretty

And I just about melted into a big ol' pile of sappity sapparoo.  Then, he went on to comment that one of the contestants had fancy hair, and I debated his sense of style, but decided that his previous compliment still stood. 

For some reason, this pic helps me envision what he's going to look like in about 15 years.  Stay away, ladies!

So, when he's not cuddling or coughing, he's still amusing me with his pumpkinish presence.  And, eating green popsicles, of course.  The dinner choice of all those battling flu bugs.

And now y'all understand the green mouth in the previous pics ;)

Our Block Garden!

Because we have been doing a vegetable theme we have also been talking about where vegetables come from - gardens! So as part of our imaginative play the other day, we made a block garden!

Here is our block garden all set up! Piper was very proud of it!

The colored blocks were the weeds that we had to pull out!

We talked about what the plants need to grow - sunlight, good soil and water. I asked Piper to find something that we could water the vegetable plants with. She grabbed one of my post it notes and began hydrating our little garden!

Next, we harvested the vegetables.

We cut them up and threw them in a pot so we could make vegetable soup! (Our Melissa and Doug Cutting Food worked perfectly for this!)

We took our pot full of cut up veggies to Piper's kitchen and put them on the stove. Piper is warning me that the pot is hot and that is why she is using a potholder to pick up the lid!

Pipe set the table for us and served the soup. Before sitting down she also popped a cake in the oven so it would be ready in time for dessert! What a great little hostess!

Before we ate she thanked God for our food. :)

Then we gobbled up her delicious creation! Mmmm! Nothing like fresh from the garden vegetable soup!

Taitum buzzed around through the entire process, helping out where she could. She was especially fond of the water bottle and making sure we all had enough water to drink!

I always have to push myself to initiate imaginary play with the kids but once we get into it, I have so much fun! It's especially rewarding when you let them take the lead and watch where they take the idea you've presented! Often they come up with far cooler things than you could even think of!

So get imaginative with your kids! You just might find it to be the best part of your day!