07-29-2014

Dear Sydney | The End of First Grade

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Dear Sydney,

This year was tough. But you overcame some incredibly obstacles. Sometimes I feel that your biggest obstacle is having me as a mother. I tend to push you too hard at times, over schedule and under prepare. That was very much the case with this school year. Add into that being tired, unmotivated and then ending the school year with being exhausted because of pregnancy.

But you overcame them all. You are such an incredible person, and as always I am humbled that Heavenly Father sent you to me. You are the sweetest girl I know, and you are so smart! You are flexible, and you put up with me. Usually with a smile on your face. I spend hours planning and working on your curriculum, and you make it totally worth every second.

At the beginning of this school year you tested at a 4th grade reading level. For being six and only reading for the past year and a half it just blew me away, as you always do! By the end you tested at a 6th grade level. I enjoy watching you devour books. Especially books that I enjoyed when I was younger. This year you read so many Magic Tree House books there’s no way for me to count them. You ended the year by starting The Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician’s Nephew. You learned about space, and loved hearing about planets. You took the debate about Pluto being a planet seriously, and still sided with your mama. Hearing you spout off addition and subtraction facts brings a smile to my face, you do it faster than Daddy! We did something different this year for history, and you made the transition well. Just recently we watched The Prince of Egypt and I was thrilled to hear that you still remember about the two kingdoms of Egypt. You were brave and tried a bunch of new foods this year from China, Japan, South Korea and India.

You never cease to amaze me, darling girl. You are so brave! This year you lost your first two teeth, but you did so in an unconventional way. Both teeth needed to be pulled because your permanent teeth popped through but didn’t make the baby teeth wiggly. The second tooth the dentist removed, which included getting laughing gas, which you did all by yourself! I think I was more nervous than you were.

I love and adore you, my Sydney Capri, and I look forward to next year with you. Second grade, are you ready?!

Love, Mama

Dear Sydney, Kindergarten Edition

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07-17-2014

Happy 7th Birthday, Sydney!

My sweet girl turned 7 today! How in the world did that happen?

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At her 7-year-old check up Dr. E asked the exact same question. We’ve been blessed with a truly amazing pedatrician who bends over backwards to make sure my kids are healthy, and she humored me during my paranoid-first-time-really-young-mama phase. She’s such a blessing to our family and I am glad we’ve gotten to work with her for the last seven years.

Anyway, enough with the ode to Dr. E (who totally deserves and ode.)

I started to make videos of my kiddos for each yearly birthday when Zachary turned one. It was easy to backtrack and make a few videos for Audrey but I hadn’t done many for Sydney. She requested some of her younger years. I didn’t get them all done but I hope you enjoy the ones I did complete! The fun thing about her being older is she picked the songs.

Sydney’s First Year:

Sydney As a One Year Old!

And now for some “Sydney As a 6 Year Old” Moments! <3

-Sydney lost TWO teeth as a six-year-old. Unfortunately both had to be pulled because her permenant tooth popped through, but her baby teeth were still firmly in place.

-Favorite TV shows include My Little Pony, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Pokemon. Don’t ask.

-She is an incredible reader! She finished 1st grade with a 6th grade reading level. She blows me away!

-Last July, when she had just turned 6, she got to travel with Audrey and her Grandma and Papa Sherman to Utah for a week. We missed her like crazy but she had a blast! This was the longest we’ve ever been away from her.

-When Audrey refused to get out of the car Sydney told her, “Audrey, just don’t. If you stay in the car you’ll burn up and die.”

-After we studied China we ordered Chinese take out (’cause it’s really authentic that way!) Sydney asked, “How do we get Chinese food? Does someone go get it for use from China?”

-Jordan: Are you having fun playing with the heater?
Sydney: Are you speaking Spanish?

-Whenever you write “Syd” on something she goes over with her own pen and adds, “NEY.” Apparently she wants to be called Sydney.

-Jupiter is her favorite planet. She also agrees that Pluto IS a planet.

-When Aunt Roo came to visit with her fiance we went over to my in-laws house and the whole house was quiet, Sydney wandered upstairs to see what was going on. She came down a few minutes later to report, “Aunt Roo is taking  a bath, and everyone is helping her.” Now, my in-laws have played some pretty weird made up family games, but this would have to be the WEIRDEST thing I’ve ever heard of. Turns out that Aunt Roo was having her hair dyed, but sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Everyone was watching her ;)

-She LOVED the song Hey, Jude. It was replaced a few months later with What Does the Fox Say. Clearly we are failing as parents.

Happy Birthday to the sweet girl who made me a mama. I love you, Sydney Capri! <3

Sydney

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06-22-2014

Happy 4th Birthday, Audrey!

My sweet little Audrey Thyme turned 4 today!

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I absolutely cannot believe that it’s been 1461 days since that sweet baby came into our lives. It seems like she’s been part of our family forever, babies are awesome like that.

Every year this child turns another year Jordan and I give ourselves a pat on the back. Whew, we’ve kept her alive another year! This use to be a joke we made with Sydney. But with Audrey it really is an accomplishment! She doesn’t make it easy, at all.

Compared to age 2, however, 3 was a pretty good year for Audrey! Worst thing that happened was her tonsils were removed in September.

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She’s been talking about her birthday since January, it’s been a LONG 6 months for her. I’ve been chuckling during these last 6 months because her impatience almost perfectly matches mine when I was waiting for her to arrive! Because she had been waiting for SO long, and she had to watch all of her Joy School friends have their birthdays first we decided to celebrate a week early, so her party was June 14th.

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In case you don’t know who she’s dressed up as, we had a Sofia the First party! Audrey seriously looks just like Sofia, in my opinion. We had two parties on the same day, a friend party and a family party. Yet again, the amazing Chelsee stepped up and helped me with the cake and cupcakes!

PicMonkey Collage

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She got a tricylce for her birthday, one that is small enough to fit her and she can easily peddle all by herself! This is a huge thing for my small girl :)

web4Parties were a success, and she had so much fun! We are so grateful for all the family and friends who came and celebrated with our girl, showering her in so much love!

And now, for my favorite part! Audrey stories/quotes from the last year:

-”There’s a hot dog in this stick!” (talking about a corndog)

-”I put my eye on you!” (instead of “I’ve got my eye on you!” something she heard often!)

-”You driving MY crazy!” (instead of “you’re driving me crazy!” also something she heard often!)

-”Don’t say stupid! It’s actually rude!” this one she would shout across the room. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

-We watched someone skydive on TV and I asked Audrey if she wanted to do that when she grew up. Her resonance was, “No, I falled out of a window, dat hurts. These people are crazy!”

-She would request the “light colored” bowl/plate/cup. And would throw a fit if hers was dark.

-We met a friend at the airport who was returning home from a 2 year mission in Chile. His name is Peter, when he left Audrey was only 18 months so she didn’t remember him. Right before we left to go meet him she told me, “I’m so excited I finally get to meet Peter Pan!” I corrected her and said no, it’s not Peter Pan, it’s just a friend named Peter. She replied, “Mama, you said he was FLYING in!”

-”I can’t wait any longer!!!!”

-”I SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO hungry!”
How hungry are you?
SO!

-She is ALWAYS singing!

-After Grandpa Sherman’s funeral there was a luncheon and Audrey had a cookie that Zachary wanted. She held it above his head so he couldn’t get it. He grabbed her shirt, pulled her down and stole the cookie. A few minutes later she went to take his cookie and he put it above his head. He’s 3″ shorter than she is, but she didn’t try to get the cookie, she sobbed and threw herself down saying that she wanted a cookie.

-She got her finger caught on the bow on her leotard in dance class. Teacher Annie offered to cut  it off. Audrey though Annie was talking about her finger. She came screaming, crying and running as fast as those little legs could carry her from the dance room.

-”Mama, is Cotton Babies far away? Far away like Utah? Utah is VERY far away!”

-She overuses the words “always” and “never.”

-When she turned 3 she decided that she would never wear jeans again. So she wore a lot of leggings. 10 months later Jordan made her wear jeans while she went bike riding. She cried and said, “I ALWAYS wear jeans! I NEVER get to wear leggings!”

-Audrey: Pretend I’m Sleeping Beauty and I’m asleep ’cause I touched the spindle. I need a kiss!
Sydney I’m not kissing you!Audrey: Then I’ll DIE!!!!

-Audrey was putting powdered sugar on her plate, but had no pancake. Grandma Sherman told her she needed to eat a pancake with it. Audrey’s answer: “Why?”

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So here’s  to 4, my beautiful ball of energy! Let’s make it awesome!

(Let’s have a goal this year of no ER trips, no surgeries, and no ear infections!)

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06-08-2014

Dance Recital

Yesterday was the girls’ dance recital, both girls took Ballet/Tap this year. They did awesome!

Audrey Sydney

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06-03-2014

Joy School Graduate

This year I did a co-op preschool with some friends from church called Joy School. It was a cute little preschool and Audrey adored it!

Except for the waking up and being somewhere by 9 am, she wasn’t overly happy about that. And lets be honest, neither was her mama! ;)

But it was a good experience and she loved it, so it was totally work dragging her butt out of bed.

They sang a lot of songs as part of Joy School and I think it really helped encourage Audrey’s love of music and singing. She’s always singing! I loved hearing the songs she came home singing. I think she’s one of the few three-year-olds who can spell American thanks to a song called I Love America, haha!

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05-20-2014

2nd Grade Read Alouds

In the previous two years we’ve just bought Sonlight’s read aloud kits. And I loved them, but I wanted a little more choice. So I poured over SO many lists for 2nd grade readers for Sydney for this upcoming school year. I now present to you what I decided upon for 2nd Grade. A few months ago I started labeling all the spines of my books so I could easily identify them. I bought Sonlight’s stickers but I have my own method for which grade they correspond to.

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Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Little House in the Big Woods by Lauren Ingalls Wilder
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Stuart Little by E.B. White
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Mary Poppins by Dr. P.L. Travers
The School Story by Andrew Clements
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
Jumanji by Chris Val Allsburg

*These are my Amazon affiliate links. Any purchases will help bless our home school for next year, and is greatly appreciated :)

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05-11-2014

That Spells Audrey!

Audrey went to a birthday party and was given a goody bag with her name on it. Later that same day she asked what the tag said. Jordan asked her what letters were on the tag.

“A-U-D-R-E-Y. Hey! That how you spell Audrey! That spells Audrey!!”

She was so excited that she recognized her name but that smile got even bigger when her Daddy told her, “You read your name!” She can’t wait to start reading!

(She has since hidden the precious Audrey bag, so I didn’t get a picture of it. But you’ll have to make due with the picture of Audrey writing her name by herself.)

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05-03-2014

Home Art Studio {Review}

Back in 2011 when Jordan and I decided that we would be homeschooling our children we talked about the things that mattered most to us. One of those things was that our children would be able to take art classes in some form.

I’ll admit, I’m not that great at coming up with art projects, in fact I pretty much stink at it!

Several weeks of scouring Pinterest boards and search Google later and I came across the perfect curriculum for our family. It’s called Home Art Studio.

We’ve used it for Kindergarten and 1st grade (and we plan on using it for 2nd as well.) The projects are so much fun, easy and don’t take a lot of time, nor do they make a huge mess! I love that it’s in DVD format. I have a binder that I created with all the projects and their instructions so I can make sure I had everything ready before we pop in the DVD and listen to Lindsey Volin give us the instructions. The art materials that we bought for Kindergarten are also used during 1st grade and from the looks of it also in 2nd grade as well. You have plenty of left overs. I might need to restock paper soon.

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Alright, great, now you have 20 art projects at the end of every school year. What do you do with them now?!

Yeah, this was another concern we had. 3 kids, 20 art projects yearly, times 6 years (minimum) of art. Um, I totally don’t have a place to store 360 art projects! I ran into this problem when we looked at the giant amount of art projects with Sydney’s preschool curriculum. With preschool I scanned in all the art pages and put them into a 12×12 photobook. We did the same basic idea with the Kindergarten art projects, except that most of them wouldn’t fit on my scanner. Originally I planned to take all the art projects down to Kinkos and have them make a scaled down copy of the art project so that it was able to be scanned into my computer and then put on the computer and uploaded to Shutterfly for a photobook. Then I realized I own a very nice DSLR camera and so I took a picture of all of her art projects, this worked great! And it’s much quicker than scanning all the art projects! For 1st grade I made all of her art projects 8x10s to start with, so we might just go back to scanning, but we will see. Taking a picture was an awesome fix for those 3D art projects that were made!

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04-12-2014

Zachary Turns 2!

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It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they grow up! Even Sydney kept saying, “I believe our Zachy baby is TWO. Who said he could grow up?” What I want to know is who let HER grow up?

My sweet boy is 24 pounds (no longer failure to thrive!) and 34 inches tall! He’s taller than both his sisters were at the same age (only 1 inch taller than Sydney but 3 inches taller than Audrey.)

Some highlights over the past year:

-When he doesn’t like something he says, “Ow! Ow! Ow!”

-He loves to play with balls! He usually has about 2 tennis balls and several rubber balls in his arms. He loves to throw them.

-Over the last year he learned to sign “more,” “please,” “thank you,” “milk,” and “help me.” He pretty much only uses “help me” and “please.”

-If he can’t find me he runs around yelling, “Mama? Mama!”

-This was the year he became obsessed with his blanket.

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-He will try to sit in your lap, even if you aren’t sitting down and there is no lap. It’s awkwardly funny.

-One day he was wearing footy pjs and he insisted that Daddy put his Batman shirt over the pjs.

-At every meal he always says “Ooooo!” when the food is presented. Even if it’s just cereal.

-We were at JoAnn Fabrics and he sighed and said, “Daddy.” I replied, “Daddy?” and he goes, “Yeah, I like Daddy!”

-He calls cell phones “hello.” He will find my phone and say, “Here-ya-go! Mama’s hello.” Or he’ll say, “Me hello daddy!” I haven’t bothered to correct him yet. It’s adorable.

-He LOVES the song “Let it Go” and he asks for it every time he plays with Mama’s hello.

For his birthday party we celebrated with family and had a Cars themed birthday party!  He is such a funny little guy! He woke up that morning and told Daddy that he had “pee” so when I asked if he wanted a new diaper he said, “No it’s mine!” Possessive much?

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After having been through a few Sherman family parties this kid knew exactly what to do! He instantly leaned forward and tried to blow out the candle I had to keep my hand there while everyone sang to keep him from blowing out the candles prematurely. As soon as he had them out he picked up the lighter and said, “more!” So we lit them again and let him blow them out one more time.

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Zachary and his amazing presents! <3

Happy birthday to my amazing little man, I love you more than words can say and I’m so grateful that I get to be your mama!

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03-24-2014

Ear Infections, Bye!

If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know that my poor Audrey Thyme has had a really rough go with ear infections in her life. And if you don’t already know here’s the story:

By the time she was a year old she had had 8 ear infections.

The 6th ear infection didn’t respond to amoxicillin.

The 7th ear infection also didn’t respond to amoxicillin. It also didn’t respond to omnicef. So 3 weeks after we initially discovered the ear infection her poor ear drums were close to bursting. I held my 10-month-old baby down once a day for 3 days while she was given penicillin shots. Which, by the way are NOTHING like a vaccine. I cried. She cried. The poor nurse had to comfort us both. And then I had to wait for an hour to make sure she didn’t have a bad reaction. At this time we were told we needed to go see ENT.

The ENT told us to wait until she was 12 months, and the summer came. Hopefully that would make it better.

On July 3rd, 2011 I woke up to my husband panicking. Audrey kept throwing up, she had a temperature of 103 that wasn’t going down, and she had diarrhea. My baby who rarely cried was screaming her head off. Immediately I rushed her off to the emergency room and was told that my poor girl had ANOTHER ear infection, and that this time it had caused her to become severely dehydrated. I can’t even remember the name of the antibiotic they had to use that time, but the ER doctor told us that in all his years of practicing medicine he had never prescribed it to a 1 year old for an ear infection, and it would be best if she never had to have that strong of antibiotics EVER again. We called the ENT the next morning, and her tube surgery was scheduled for July 15th, 2011.

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After her tube surgery life was pretty uneventful, until November 2012 when she woke up on Thanksgiving with yucky goopey eyes. The next day I took her in, assuming she had an eye infection. Turns out her tubes had come out (which we knew they would soon) and she had an ear infection that had drained into her eyes. It was time for another tube surgery, which happened when she was 2.5 years old on December 11th, 2012.

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Only about 6 months went by before she had another ear infection. But both tubes were firmly in place?! We were at a loss until our pediatrician told us that her tonsils were unusually giant for someone who doesn’t have a current cold. And so, when she was a few months past being 3 years old, her tonsils and her adenoids were removed on September 11th, 2013. This was the hardest surgery of all. The recovery period was awful. My child who can out-eat teenage boys refused to eat and then would cry because she was hungry.

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And then, guess what, less than two months later she had ANOTHER ear infection! Her tube fell out. She woke up with the goopey eyes again. When the doctor told me what was going on I had a new emotion about this whole process. ANGER. My child had had THREE surgeries in 2 years! She had two sets of tubes, no adenoids and no tonsils! What gives?! I had spent the last 6 months fixing her gut problems with probiotics and lots of yogurt. She was FINALLY pooping like a normal person for the first time since she was 3 months old!  And now they wanted me to throw it all away and give her more antibiotics? My 3 year old had a tolerance to two different antibiotics. AND from all the scar tissue of 2 ear surgeries plus all the ear infections she had a borderline hearing loss.So yeah, I was pretty stinking angry. And I wasn’t going the antibiotic route again, at least not yet.

I called up some friends who had been through similar experiences and they all said the same thing, chiropractics and essential oils.

And so, my long winded posts leads us here. I took Audrey in every other day to see a chiropractor, we put Garlic oil in her ears, and rubbed basil, OnGuard (thieves), oregano and melaleuca (tea tree oil) around her ears multiple times a day. She smelled a bit like a spice drawer for a while ;)  We were told that it would take about a week for it to work, and at the end of the week I took her back to her pediatrician to see what she said. She said Audrey’s ear infection was cleared! A few months later the second tube fell out and we repeated the same process, and since we knew what to look for we were able to stop it before it got bad at all! Her eyes watered like crazy (which is how they start) but never made it to the goopey stage.

Day 38

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