Thursday, December 30, 2010

Meet Bailey

 Our sweet baby girl joined our family Dec. 17th, at 8:21 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz, and was 20 inches long. Making her my shortest baby, and 2nd heaviest. She has been such a pleasant and welcomed addition! I really worried about Autumn and Weston and how they would transition with a new little one, but they have adjusted well and it's been smoother than I anticipated. Weston just loves Bailey and wants to hold and kiss her all the time and is very concerned when she cries, saying over and over again, "Bailey sad, Bailey sad." Autumn is always quick to offer a blanket, hat, or pacifier even when it's not needed. Her motherly instincts have really started to show and she is going to be a great big sister. Here are a couple of pictures, she is already 2 weeks old- and these are from the first few days. We love her so much and can't believe we now have 3 kids (in such a short amount of time), and can't imagine it any other way. :) More pics to come later.

Friday, December 10, 2010

We're Transitioning

Weston to a "big boy bed" that is. The road was rough when we transitioned Autumn to her twin bed, and she still has rough patches where almost every night for a week she makes her way into our room several times a night and has to be walked back to her bed. But we have had Weston napping and sleeping at night in his twin bed for a week now, and it's been smooth sailing (knock on wood).
We knew that with Westons soft, sweet, sensitive nature he might have had a harder time transitioning from the crib to a bed after the baby came, than before. We worried he would feel like everything was changing, or that he was being "put out" of his crib because of the baby. So we took the crib out of his room, and we excitedly tell him all the time about how he is a "big boy" in a "big boy bed." For not being 2 years old yet, he has done fantastic!
The only time he gets out of his bed is when I lay him down for his nap (and even then it hasn't been everyday). But I figure, it's brighter in his room during the day than at night, so he can see everything and get out, but I have never had to put him back in bed more than twice, and then he stays put until he wakes up. But evenings are blissful, we close the door and don't see or hear a peep from him till morning. It still cracks me up every morning when he walks in our room and says, "Hi dad." He just seems so grown up, to see him walk in and out of his room and get in and out of his bed. We are so proud of him, and grateful we made the move when we did. It's one less thing to worry about when this baby comes. Now we just need new bedding for it, it was just an extra bed we had in his room for the last 6 months, so the bedding isn't what I would like. Also- you notice the sippy cup he has craddled in 2 of the pics, those are days I don't pay attention well enough and his cup was already in his room when I layed him down. It cracks me up when I check on him, to make sure he is asleep in his bed, and his cup is mysteriously with him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Terrible Two's

Weston has hit the "terrible two's" and it couldn't have come at a better time (said in the most sarcastic way possible). I am 9 months pregnant, only have 3 weeks left and my son decides now he wants to be grumpy and say no to everything. He definitely has a mind of his own, but I was usually able to pursuade him another way when he wasn't happy before, but now its turned into he wants what he wants and he isn't happy unless he gets his way (or forgets what he was upset about) and he pesters his sister like crazy. I don't remember this stage with Autumn, which may be because Weston was a newborn and I was preoccupied or maybe just that she has always been on the more difficult end of the spectrum it was nothing new when the 2's hit. While Weston is still happy, funny, and easy going it has become very clear that there are more fits being thrown and more attention being demanded. I guess it could be related to the fact that a baby is coming and he is more sensitive to the situation than I realized.

He has become increasingly close to Drew, so much so that when I get him out of bed in the morning, or after his naps he cries and whines on the floor for dad for a good 1/2 hour to an hour. He has never shown a preference before, but when Drew had 5 days off the week of Thanksgiving and he took Weston where ever he went (and got him out of bed in the mornings and after naps) I guess that's all it took. The boy just wants his dad, especially after sleeping. I just sit near him and watch him throw his fit, hoping he will realize that crying and acting like that won't make his dad appear while he is at work and that it really doesn't do any good. But it is exhausting! Especially for me- I am ready for him to get over his issues- and be my sweet happy loving boy ALL the time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something's Been On My Mind

It's nothing serious. It's actually quite comical. Drew and I watched the Mark Twain Award be presented to Tina Fey on Sunday night. It was really really funny to watch. If you're a fan of 30 Rock, Mean Girls, or SNL you would've loved it, all the presenters who praised and mocked Tina were great. It was basically an hour of nonstop chuckles and smiles. But for me, one part really stood out. I didn't know Tina took such an active role in writing on SNL- and one of my all time favorite "commercials" from SNL was shown on the award show- to remind people how clever she was- they showed clips of her first improve work in a small place in NY, clips from Mean Girls, loads of clips from SNL, and some from 30 Rock truely displaying her talent.

But one clip had me laughing so hard I could barely contain myself, and I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. I have seen this one a dozen times, and yet I still find it hysterical. Sun. night we went to bed quoting the commercial and last night Drew said a few lines which got me giggling again. Hope you enjoy!
*My sister posted this on her blog forever ago as well. And sorry for the ad before the parody actually begins.*

If you want to watch any clips from the show Sun. night you can go HERE.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A renewed faith...

In couponing. All because of a friends blog post. Check out her post HERE (seriously- you'll be shocked). I saw what she does and thought, look what I miss out on. She gets 3 papers w/coupon inserts and I only get when I start getting 3 I can have savings like hers!

I have totally slacked in couponing over the last 9 months, I still do it, but more when it's convenient than for the rush or excitement of how much I have saved. I am not one to run to the store first thing Wed. morning when the sales start to make sure I score the free stuff (usually toothpaste and toothbrushes are the first to go), but going late on a Tues. night- I assumed I would have fair luck because they'd be restocking shelves for the new weeks promotions starting in the morning, but as I walked through the store I found myself scratching item after item off my list. Apparently I didn't go late enough (they were restocking stuff on every aisle it seemed, except the ones I really wanted) and I will just try to be back on my game, so I don't have to wait till the last day when they are out of a lot of sale items. 

So here's what I got:

I spent $2.90 and saved $70.10. I made a total rookie error and could've spent less and saved way more, but live & learn and I was already dealing with what seemed like a bajillion coupons so I let something simple slip. No big deal, a jar of mayo will run you $3, and I got 2 of them and a ton of other stuff for that price.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Halloween 2010

Halloween was by far the funnest this year. In the 4 1/2 years we've been married we really slacked on Halloween, just doing the church's Trunk or Treat, or when my parents lived here we would go to their house and pass out candy. With our kids getting older it really has become more fun, it's not about us anymore- it's all for them.

It started with the Thurs. before Halloween Autumns preschool had "Character Day" which she wouldn't let me take any pictures of her, she really wanted to dress up as a princess, but I had my heart set on her being a butterfly. So she wasn't thrilled that day, but on Sat. when we went to our church's Trunk or Treat she was all for it and loved it. I think it's because once she got to school on Thurs. she noticed her BFF was also a butterfly and so then it was fun.

Weston was a Dr. We inherited these toddler scrubs back when we first had Autumn and I have just held on to them. Luckily they fit Weston and worked perfect!

 He wasn't in the best mood before we went Trunk or Treating, but once we were there and people were giving him tons of candy he was as happy as can be.
 Autumn was a butterfly this night too...
 These are the only 2 pictures I took at the Trunk or Treat. Drew sat at the car and passed out candy while I took the kids around. So I didn't have an extra hand. It was an awesome turn out. We hit probably 8 cars and then passed our car and Weston was completely content with the loot he had and sat with Drew in the car and indulged in his goodness. Autumn and I continued around the parking lot until we hit every car and saw just about everyone. 
 Then on Sun, Halloween Day, I had to dress my kids in festive attire. Autumn had a orange and white dress and all I did was add a thick black ribbon to it and tada! Festive!! Westons shirt is orange and green plaid, but the orange is very very subtle. People kept complimenting our family on dressing festive (I also wore a black shirt with an orange cardigan) and I was surprised more people didn't think to. :)  
 That night we set everything up for potential Trick or Treaters. This is my adorable candy bowl. I bought it last year after Thanksgiving when fall decor everywhere was really cheap. I was so happy to be able to use him! We had pencils, bubbles, smarties, and gum. Plus a few pixie sticks (from the trunk or treat that I picked out of the kids kids don't need straight sugar.) 
 Autumn got dressed up again, and waited for the trick or treaters.
 We haven't done a pumpkin since Drew and I's first Halloween together, it went bad so quick we have forgone doing one every year since then. So I moved my halloween jars to the window by the door to let people know we were celebrating and passing out candy. Yep, that's Autumn trying to blow them out.
 The trick or treaters sure were in short supply this year. I think with it being on a Sun. people weren't sure about going out. But we had fun with the few we had. Autumn insisted she pass out the candy, and it was adorable, she would grab handfuls and put the candy into their bags/buckets. It was fun getting her involved. 
 Once the trick or treaters had basically stopped coming by I sat down with the kids and read It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. 
 Which then had to be followed by watching the movie.
 Autumn and Weston love the Great Pumpkin movie. They dance with Snoopy, and imitate him when he is pretending to be the WW1 Flying Ace- the Red Baron.
We had a lot of fun. It'll be interesting next year with 3 kids! If you know me, my real favorite day is the day after Halloween. I went to Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS snatching up clearanced Halloween stuff.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumns "Report Card"

This may be boring to most of you, but today I got Autumns IEP, which is an Individualized Education Program. It's basically the students goals and performance objectives that were set at the beginning of the school year, and as the year progresses we get their progress report. It's very detailed, no check pluses or A, B grading system. It's a very thought out, percentage based evaluation. I don't always have time (nor does the teacher) to stop and discuss how Autumn's doing in specifics unless it's a parent teacher conference, and in our last one we discussed Autumns speech delay not the other areas they were working on her with too.

So while many of you may not be interested, I have loads of family not living near me who are always asking about Autumn and how school is going. I also have a few speech pathologist friends who were very informative about these programs when I was debating on getting Autumn they may also be curious about her progress. (Just a side note- Target Level of Mastery- that's where Autumn needs to be before they consider the goal achieved and then can set a new goal for her to reach. Current Level of Mastery- where she is now compared to where they want her to be by Aug. 2011.) I wanted to do this for my records too:

Goal: By Aug. 2011 Autumn will be expressively identifying 5 colors and 5 shapes
Target Level of Mastery: 90%
Current Level of Mastery: 55%
Teacher Comments: At this time, Autumn is able to receptively identify colors and shapes, but struggles w/expressively identifying them. She is able to identify 5 colors, but 2 shapes.
My comments: I know she knows rectangle, square, and triangle- she points them out all the time, and she says them, so for the teacher to say she struggles to express them is interesting, and that she only knows 2. But I am shocked she knows colors, because I always ask her what color something is and she can't ever tell me the right color, but maybe if I say, "where's the blue one," she will be able to identify it for me.
Goal: By Aug. 2011 Autumn will follow directions that require one step, two steps, and a series of unrelated sequences of action.
Target Level of Mastery: 80%
Current Level of Mastery: 25%
Teacher Comments: At this time, Autumn is able to follow directions that require one step. Autumn has a tendency to become very distracted. Directions need to be short and to the point. She is working on following more complicated directions.
My Comments: This makes me laugh. It is totally Autumn. She only hears one thing and either she can't process the rest of what you're saying or she just zones you out. We communicate the exact same with our (almost) 2 year old as we do with her. Which isn't an insult to her, she just needs things more simply explained if we want her to do something. One of Weston's strengths is his vocabulary and his ability to communicate, which isn't Autumns strong suit, but she has the upper hand on coordination...poor Weston trips just walking around. It's amazing how different their strong suits are.
Goal: By August 2011, Autumn will ask and answer a variety of questions about stories told or read aloud.
Target Level of Mastery: 80%
Current Level of Mastery: 0%
Teachers Comments: Autumn does not yet ask and answer questions related to text. Autumn displays significally delayed language skills. She will be tested for speech and language services in order to determine if she qualifies for services in order to help her better express her ideas.
My Comments: She was evaluated today for speech therapy, the teacher told me "unofficially" that she qualifies. While I understand a lot of what Autumn says I can see why others don't. This girl talks non-stop though, and she does ask questions, like "What?", "What are you doing Mom?" But yes, those are generic everyday questions she probably hears all the time. When it comes to asking questions about something specific- she doesn't do that, or when I read her a book and I ask her a question about it she doesn't respond. So while she hasn't made any progress with this goal, luckily now she gets Speech Therapy and has until Aug. to complete the goal.
Goal: Buy Aug. 2011 Autumn will count up to number 20.
Target Level of Mastery: 80%
Current Level of Mastery: 70%
Teacher Comments: At this time, Autumn is able to count up to number 14.
My comments: This is something I have been working on her with. She can count up to 20, but I think they don't count it when 16 and 17 sound just like 15, so basically she says, "13, 14, 15, 15, 15, 18, 19, 20." She thinks she is saying 16 and 17 because the pattern picks right up where it should with 18, so we are still working on it. This is an easy one to do, and she doesn't even realize when we practice counting we are doing school work. Plus she is only 10% away from completing this goal. :)
Goal: By Aug. 2011, Autumn will ask to use the restroom w/out reminding or prompting.
Target Level of Mastery: 90%
Current Level of Mastery: 30%
Teachers Comments: Autumn often remembers to use the restroom w/out reminding, but at times she becomes busy and forgets. If her teachers notice that she has not gone during class time they will remind her.
My Comments: I am so proud of Autumn and her "potty going" skills. This girl potty trained like a champ back in July. Since being potty trained (which took 2 days) she has never had an accident. We can travel 3 hours to Drews parents and she will hold it the whole way, or if we run 2 hours worth of errands she never says anything about going potty, but when we're at home she is going to the bathroom all the time. So I consider it a good thing, that while she is "busy and forgets" she doesn't have an accident. She just holds it until she makes the time to go. I realize many other kids who get busy and forget and would just relieve themselves in the middle of what ever their doing, but Autumn's never come home from school in a change of clothes, and I have never had the "joy"  (yet) of being embarrassed by my child having a potty accident when out in public. But yes, if she has to go, I would like her to go. I know holding it isn't good for you. Luckily we are at home most of the time and when we're home she is always going to the bathroom w/out me ever needing to say anything to her about it.
Goal: By Aug. 2011 Autumn will cover her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Target Level of Mastery: 85%
Current Level of Mastery: 25%
Teachers Comments: Autumn must still be reminded to cover her hands when she is coughing or sneezing. After she coughs and sneezes she is reminded of what to do she will cover her face in order to show she understands. She is given a model in which to do so.
My Thoughts: Kids are kids, I am glad they are teaching her manners because this is something we practice at home too, but she is a kid. I am glad she shows appropriate gestures after someone shows her what she should be doing after coughing and/or sneezing.

I am proud of the progress she has made and can't wait to see her next "report card" and see what she has continued to improve upon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MAC Farm

I love Autumn's preschool, it has been such a big blessing for us (and her!) Last week was her schools Fall Break and it was REALLY hard on her. She asked to go to school everyday and I had to find creative ways to keep her busy and happy. 

Yesterday her preschool took their first field trip of the year. It was so nice to see all the preschool students who attend this particular school. There were 4 classes all together, since there are 2 preschool teachers and they each have an a.m. class and a p.m. class. (Autumn's in a p.m. class, she goes from 12:15-2:45 three days a week.)

It wasn't until we got to the farm that I realized I didn't have my camera with me, and used my cell phone. So excuse the quality but I wanted to get pictures of Autumns first field trip with her class. I took Weston and my nephew with me and we had a great time. This isn't a traditional "farm". It's the Maricopa Agriculture Center. So it was all agriculture w/no animals. The kids were a little confused but the people who worked at this facility made it fun for the kids and really interesting. The unit that the kids had been discussing in school was on farms, so it was all related to what they have been learning about in class.

They first had us gather outside where the directors of the farm explained what we'd be doing while we were there, and explained that these bales the kids were sitting on were the farms furniture and how to treat their "furniture".
 They split us up into 3 groups, and Autumns class/group first went to an area where they learned about plants, how they grow, and what's all entailed in caring for crops. The kids each got to make their own "garden", which went back to the school and will be in their classroom until the seeds sprout and then the kids get to bring them home. They first had them put the soil in, then about 20 seeds, more soil, and then they watered their "garden" and set them near a window for sunlight.
 The second class they went to this director talked to the kids about fruits and vegetables, and incorporating them into our meals. She really made the healthy food fun for kids. At the end she offered a "healthy snack" which was a Ritz cracker w/cream cheese and broccoli on top, and it was interesting to see which kids tried it, loved it, and which wouldn't even touch it because of the green on top. Autumn loved it.
 After the second class the kids got to go eat lunch. It was fun packing a lunch, but once I was there I realized I am a total amature at packing lunches and forgot a very basic item- napkins. I had 3 kids to feed and made sure I had enough food for them, but didn't think about the clean up afterwards.
 Autumn ate really well, no surprise there.
 Weston really loved sitting out with the big kids and feeling like apart of the class.
 The kids had a sandwich, strawberries and grapes, yogurt, fruit snacks, and a Capri Sun. A treat for each of them, especially eating picnic style! This is a picture of most of our group, minus the tables that were behind me.  
After lunch they got to play, and this was probably one of the favorite areas. All 3 kids got a turn playing on a tractor.
 The kids got to pump water, old school style. These were surprisingly easy for little hands to use and get to work. 
 This was a bigger water pump, with a huge trough, which mostly the boys were interested in. Weston loved splashing in the water as it came out the pump while his cousin did all the work.
 After lunch and playtime our group went and watched a movie (and ate popcorn) about tractors and farming. For it not being animated I was impressed how well all the kids sat and watched it, even the 2 littlest kids there:

The final class the kids got to make bracelets. There were 7 different colored beads, each representing something about plants and gardening.
 Autumn showing hers off, I only remember most of the the things the colors represented. White- the seed, Blue- air, Green- the growing plant, Red- love for the crops, Yellow- sunshine, Brown- the soil -and your guess is as good as mine for the clear. 
 The final activity of the day was taking a tractor ride on a tour of the farm. The kids saw all kinds of machines, crops, tire piles, and everything an agricultural farm would have. This is most of our group:
 My nephew really enjoyed it. Farms are great for both boys and girls, but the 2 boys w/me seemed to really get into it, especially when men were out driving the tractors.
Weston really enjoyed himself too. I didn't get any pics of Autumn, she was sitting with one of her teachers, so that I could keep a better eye on these 2.
 The other class on their tractor ride.
 A few of the things we saw:
I didn't take any pictures of the cotton field, the corn field, the grass fields, with Weston on my lap and my nephew next to me who kept grabbing the guy next to him for support I didn't get to take as many pics as I would've liked. My hands were busy. But I am really glad I went, and that I took the boys with me. I debated about not going for a long time, but decided we would go- and all 3 kids, and myself, really had a good time.