01-25-2017

When Boredom Hits…

So…it’s been a while since my last post. Quincey is now 8 months (tomorrow), Sydney turned 9, and Ruby turns 2 next week.

I love my blog and I really need to get better at updating this! Eeesh.

Well, here’s the update on our homeschooling situation.

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I’ve posted before about when homeschooling becomes hard and how it’s best to just power through the times when you have zero motivation.

But what about when that time stretches for a lot longer than a few weeks?

We’ve used Sonlight/Book Shark since our first year of elementary school with Sydney (2012), and we’ve used The Well Trained Mind’s programs for history, writing, and grammar since the first grade with Sydney (2013.)

But this year, in the 4th grade? Sydney and I were BURNT OUT and BORED.

It was bad, guys. Really bad. We ended up so far behind and just hating it, we’d get ready to do Writing with Ease and she didn’t want to do, and what’s worse? I didn’t want to teach it!

And it wasn’t like she hated writing, she is currently in the process of writing her own book, she’s always making  up stories and wanting to write them down.

We just didn’t want to do the curriculum work.

So what do you do then? Do you suck it up and push through?

In our case, NO. I found a new curriculum. What’s better is that they offered a free download for it!

Enter The Good and the Beautiful curriculum.

Sydney and I are both really enjoying it!

I like that I’m not reading the exact same instructions every single day. I like that in the 4th grade she’s mostly responsible for doing her own work, but that there are times we can do it together.

I like that it incorporates art history into it.

I’m pretty much in love!

We also had to do some major changes with our science and our history curriculum, because it just wasn’t happening.

And school not happening? Not really an option!

04-14-2016

Ten Favorites on Thursday | Mama Must Haves

I LOVE lists! Not that I’m great at sticking to them, but I do love to make lists.

So here’s your top 10 lists of mama must haves after a baby is born. Now, I’m talking like RIGHT after the baby is born, within the first two weeks. Most of these will not get a long in-depth explanation because I think we can all use our imaginations and figure out how awesome they are.

1. Motherlove Sitz Bath Spray

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This spray is awesome for all the owies post birth. I usually make sure to have a bottle in my purse in case we aren’t at home and I don’t have my peri bottle.

2.Tucks Witch Hazel Pads

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Much better than toilet paper.

3. Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter

Nipple Butter

Just guess. 😉

4. Cramp Bark

Cramp Bark

Having had 4 babies I now know that after pains are a real thing, and they are extremely painful. I’m not huge on pain medication, I think it’s important to feel pain it keeps you from doing too much too soon while you’re healing. I also don’t like taking pain medication when I feel pretty good, but have a couple of minutes of pain every few hours. So cramp bark tinctures are awesome. Make sure you buy some orange juice to chase it down with, it’s nasty tasting!

5. Bamboobies Nursing Pads

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They are heart shaped. What could be better? Also, I prefer reuseable, because I like to be a hermit the first few weeks after baby is born.

6. Nursing tanks

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Takes away the hassle of figuring out a nursing bra and a shirt.

7. Bathrobe

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For when people visit.

8. A good TV show to binge watch

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Netflix is my best friend. Sydney and I binge watched Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars during our middle of the night feedings. Audrey and I watched Grey’s Anatomy. Zachary and I were enjoying Bones. Ruby and I really into Gossip Girl. I just found out that Roseann is on Netflix, so Quincy and I will be enjoying that.

9. Belly Bandit

Belly Bandit

Definitely helped any separation of my abdominal muscles post Ruby. I’ll be using one again after Quincy.

10. Motherlove Thrush Relief

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I seem to have a problem with yeast, despite never personally having any problems. But my babies get it and we exchange it back and forth. It’s fun. Motherlove Thrush works GREAT. It also doesn’t dry you out.

01-22-2016

Five Favorites on Friday | Newborn Baby

So I’ve made it my personal goal to write more on my blog. Not just the monthly updates about Ruby but really work towards making this blog our family’s history.

So naturally, I’m writing a post about five of my favorite new baby things. Because what goes on in my life more than babies? This also will serve as a remember in case I forget what my favorite things are. Mama brain is a REAL thing!

So here’s a list of FIVE of my favorite things for new babies! This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own and I bought all these products myself.

  1. Lil Joey Cloth Diapers

These diapers are my favorites for itty bitty newborns. My babies have all been 7lbs and we cloth diapered Zachary and Ruby from the start. For both of them the first diaper on the bum was a Lil Joey. They fit great, we didn’t have any problems with leaks, and I love their snap down for the umbilical stump. My husband is really awesome and changes the diapers for the first two weeks, these also get the hubby’s thumbs up for ease. I bought a new diaper just for baby Quincy, and guess what? It’s nautical! (Which is truly why I bought it.)

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2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm

Yeah, try saying that 3 times fast! I absolutely love Earth Mama Angel Baby products, and their bottom balm is no exception. When my newborns are first born we try to keep their bum moist so that the horrible meconium poop doesn’t stick to them. It makes diaper changes much easier! I also use this product on older babies when they get diaper rashes and it works great.

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3. A carrier

I’ve tried a few different carriers over the years. The first one I tried was a Baby Bjorn but it definitely was not meant for someone of my height and it was horribly uncomfortable. I’ve also tried a Moby which I liked for around the house but all the tying was not fun while trying to make sure my 4 year old and 2 year old didn’t escape 😉

Which led me to the Ergo, I’m a big fan! And last year for my birthday Jordan told me to get another carrier for the house, while I love the Ergo it’s not great for sitting. Ruby always wanted to be close to me and I needed something I could sit in while teaching homeschool lessons. Enter Baby Hawk! It’s a soft structured carrier like my Ergo, but it ties like the Moby, which makes it so, so, so awesome and very comfortable. Ruby spent a lot of time in it while I’d made dinner or teach lessons.

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4. CJ’s Spritz

Okay, so maybe it’s time to admit that I’m really picky. Or I have a weird thing with scents. I really don’t like unscented wipes. They just…don’t smell clean. But a lot of the smells of scented wipes give me a headache and give my babies a rash. With Audrey we had to use cloth wipes because whatever is in mainstream wipes would make her rash worse. So I’d use water and just a little bit of CJ’s Spritz in a squirt bottle to clean her up. We do the same thing now, except that we just squirt our wipes. This makes the wipe a little wetter, which is useful, and it makes it smell so good! CJ’s has so many yummy scents, my favorites being Sweet Orange and My Pixie Pie.

spritz_so__75319.1431382948.500.7505. WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

I saved my favorite for last. Because without these I don’t know what I’d do! I’ve breast fed the last 3 babies with ranging success (2 weeks-10 months. It’s a range!) But around day 3 I need something to help them sleep that isn’t my boob. These pacifiers are the BEST. I swaddle up my baby and pop the pacifier in their mouth after they’ve fallen asleep and I’ve unlatched them. The little stuffed animal makes it so easy to find in the dark, and it also holds just enough weight that if they stop sucking it will hold it in place for them. They come with a Soothie pacifier attached, but I’m now seeing that you can buy one that you can attach to any pacifier. I think Quincy might need one 😉

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And here’s my Ruby modeling how we swaddle and pacifier the baby. With Audrey snuggling her, because that’s a big part of being the baby! Lots of snuggles.

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Next week I’ll share my favorite products FOR MAMA.

06-29-2015

5 Months Old! | Ruby Lyndis

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This sweet babe is 5 months old, can you believe it?!

She weighs 13lbs 6oz, but she is SO chunky! I didn’t know it was possible to have wrist and ankle rolls! I’m so in love with it.

She is super smiley and gives great smiles to everyone who talks to her.

She is now rolling over like a champ!

Still eating 6oz bottles.

Sleeps through the night.

She pinches and pulls hair.

But she also gives slobbery kisses, so we go with it.

She LOVES to stand up, any time we put her in a sitting position she is trying to stand.

She loves to kick her legs and bathtime has now become a shower for mama as well.

She gets super giggly, especially when it comes to her brother.

She found her feet!

She will still take a pacifier, but sometimes she prefers her thumb.

She wears size 3-6 and 6 month clothes.

No interest in food yet.

Her favorite toy is a stuffed giraffe that Jordan named “Gentleman Giraffe.” She thinks he’s pretty awesome.

She won’t fall asleep on her own, and will fuss like crazy until you turn her on her side, then she snuggles in and puts her face in the crook of my elbow and falls asleep.

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01-02-2015

2015 Goals

On New Year’s Eve we were challenged to make TWELVE goals for the year 2015 and which month we’d like to accomplish them by.

Some of my goals I do not have a set month, because for some of them it’s not practical. But here are a FEW of my goals, some of them I want to keep private. :)

In January I would like to finish Audrey and Ruby’s quilts. I started a baby blanket for Ruby that I need to finish and a twin sized quilt for Audrey that also needs to be completed. I want to finish both by the end of January.

In February I want to have a baby girl named Ruby! Sorry to all those who are hoping she will beat Zachary’s record, we are hoping our January due date baby will come in February and NOT March 😉

In June I plan on graduating with my Associates in Arts from Portland Community College!

In August I’d like to start my Bachelor’s Degree at Washington State University.

By November I want us moved into our house that we are currently saving to buy.

In December I am hoping that I’ll have made enough money selling Jamberry Nail Wraps to pay for a trip to Disney Land for our family.

Other goals I have for 2015 include the cliche be more patient, organized and loving when it comes to my children and homeschooling.

Regarding this blog I want to be better at posting, my goal is 4 posts per month. One on homeschooling, one monthly wrap up (I’m working on December’s!), and two misc ones about whatever pops into my head 😉

12-26-2014

Christmas 2014

This Christmas was beyond amazing!

For the first time since 2012 all three of my sisters-in-law were able to be in Washington for Christmas! And they brought their husbands (and my adorable first nephew!!)

We also had the privileged of Angelica visiting for the entire month December. In 2006 my in-laws hosted a foreign exchange student from Colombia it’s a rare treat when we get to see her again (the last time was also in 2012 when she visited for my sister-in-law’s wedding) so we had a blast seeing her again as well.

What an awesome Christmas miracle!

The kids enjoyed playing with their aunts and uncles. Audrey has a very large crush on Baby Eli (that’s his name, it’s not just Eli, Audrey says so.) She always wanted to hold him and help feed him. Melts my heart to see her so excited about babies. She loves him so much that when asked where her dream vacation would be she replied, “Utah, so I can be with Baby Eli!” <3

We went caroling, baked yummy treats, had craft day, and played a ton of games!

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The kids were beyond spoiled this year and received many fun toys, books and cute clothes.

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Zachary:

06-05-2013

Looking on the Bright Side

My husband is just about to finish his bachelor’s degree in accounting, but doesn’t have enough credits to sit for the CPA exam, the cost of those extra credits is about as much as tuition at BYU, so he applied. He surpassed all the qualifications that they asked for, and even surpassed the admitted applicant GPA and GMAT scores. We were extremely confident that we would be packing our house up at the end of May and be moving to Utah by the end of July. But then, we found out he wasn’t accepted. We wouldn’t be moving after all. Neither of us were terribly excited about moving, we both love the Northwest, but it was still hard not feel disappointed. And a little offended 😉

So for the last few weeks we’ve been saying, “Well, on the bright side…” and I thought I’d share our list with you. It’s kind of fun to make a list talking about the blessings that come from a disappointment.

The Bright Side of NOT Moving to Utah
1. We love the rain!!! It doesn’t rain enough for us in Utah.
2. We aren’t currently packing up our house.
3. Burgerville. Ah, true love.
4. We don’t have to leave our family that is here.
5. We don’t have to leave our ward family either.
6. I don’t have to find a new Pediatrician, no one could be better than Dr. Ebbing
7. I don’t have to find a new pediatric dentist. I love my kid’s dental office!!! I wish I could go there.
8. I don’t have to see the look on the used car salesman’s face when we say we want to trade Jordan’s car in. I can delay that for a little while longer 😉
9. I don’t have to drive home at Christmas time.
10. We don’t have to leave Riverside Preforming Arts. We love teacher Annie!
11. After 20+ years living in Washington I was finally learning how to get places. I didn’t want to have to start all over.
12. I get to use Columbia Virtual Academy to help with homeschool’ing Sydney, which will save me money on curriculum I was already planing on using.
13. We get to delay moving from the house we brought Audrey home to, the house Zachary was literally born in.
14. There are several babies that will be born late this summer/early fall that I’m looking forward to meeting!!!
15. One of those babies is baby Brenden!! I can’t wait to meet him!
16. Baby Brenden’s mama gets to continue to do my hair, along with everyone else’s hair.
17. I might finally have Heathyr put pink in my hair 😀 Maybe…
18. I get to continue to have weekly visits with my grandparents.
19. We have a Cotton Babies!! I believe the next one is in Missouri.
20. My husband has the summer off, instead of taking that class.
21. Since Jordan has that class off we aren’t paying out of pocket for it.
22. I don’t have to learn to drive in the snow. I can continue being a shut in when it snows 😉
23. I also don’t have to drive over 60 mph. Utah has crazy scary speed limits (according to me…)
24. The purging of the house can cease for a little while longer.
25. We won’t be taking out loans for school.
26. Tia can continue making my kid’s birthday cakes.
27. Lauren can continue to photograph my children/family
28. Red Robin dates with Kim. Those would have been harder living in Utah
29. I have a friend who just found out she’s pregnant. Now I won’t have to buy a plane ticket to be here in time for the birth 😀
31. I don’t have to worry about us living off of student loans and our tax return throughout the year. Sigh of relief.

01-09-2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler [Day 2]

I said yesterday that there would be chaos, remember?

UGH! <- That is how I would talk about this day.

7:30 AM – My alarm goes off and I turn it off. But I’m not getting up yet. The house is quiet and I am not ready to get out of my warm bed.

8:30 AM – Audrey crawls into my bed, hit’s me in the face and tells me she’s hungry. Time to start the day! While I make the kids breakfast I realize that I forgot to run the dishwasher the night before. No breakfast is eaten by the mama. No scriptures are read.

I run upstairs so I can at least get dressed before Zachary wakes up. I get as far as putting on jeans, but before I can put on a t-shirt Sydney tells me that Audrey spilled her cereal. So I run back downstairs, I’m wearing nice jeans so we can ignore the pj shirt, right? I clean the mess, and then hear Zachary wake up. So back up the stairs I go to get him up and changed and fed.

9:30 AM – I attempt to get the girls to clean their room. That’s not working much for me.

10:00 AM – I attempt to take Zachary’s 9 month pictures. This is also not working. Zachary just wants to stand up, and it’s too cloudy. Boo.

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10:45 AM – Zachary’s gotten grump, and so has Audrey. I put them both down for a nap and Sydney and I go downstairs to work on school.

Remember how I said on a good day school lasts 1 hour?

Today is not a good day.

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All About Spelling went fine. And then I told her we were going to do our thank you cards. They are SO cute! I wish I would have taken a picture of them before I mailed them. While Audrey was avoiding her nap I had her putting stickers on the envelopes.

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We struggled through our study on the New Testament, Sydney not remembering what happen. She wasn’t remembering her science lesson. She quickly read through her reading lesson, which caused her to guess on most of the words, and get them wrong. She was not happy when I made her re-read them.

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Writing was done sloppy and half done. I had to erase most of it and ask her to do it again. This ended with tears and her asking what she did wrong. I had to remind myself to keep calm and to make lots of comments about what she DID do right. I’m not sure it helped, she was pretty upset over having to redo words.

The one bright moment was us reading Dolphin Adventure together, she loves that book.

We were still sitting at the table when Jordan got home from work. He quickly ate and left for school. I reminded him he needed to be home by 6, because I am currently the Cub Scout Den Leader, and I was hoping to not take all three kids with me.

School took 3 hours today. And after school was over Audrey woke up late from her nap and was so grumpy, as she missed lunch. Sandwiches were made. Girls were fighting over goldfish. Zachary hates his bouncer, and he let me know it. And I tried to make sure my lesson for Cub Scouts was fully prepared.

At 5 I realized I should start making dinner, so I quickly put together taco salad. I ate quickly. Re-fried beans are awful and are not a substitute for chilli. I wish I had realized this before putting the left overs away and mixing it all together. But I was eating quickly, and didn’t realize at the time. I told to kids to keep eating while I watched out the window for Jordan. He showed up at 5:59, I told him to leave the engine running, and was grateful that scouts is so close to my house.

Reading back over it, it doesn’t seem as hectic as it was. But trust me it was! :)

I think having the day scheduled works much better for us. 😉

07-28-2012

Sydney’s Fifth Birthday Parties

My kids have the best daddy ever. He always takes their birthdays off. We started the day with yummy breakfast, and Sydney was so sweet and let her sister help her open her present.

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It was a My Little Pony shirt, you’re shocked, aren’t you?

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Sydney and I went to the mall and bought Jordan a pony shirt as well. When we got into the store I told the man what I was looking for, and he took me over to them and tried to convince me to buy the one that said Bronies. Nope. I said I’d take the Pinkie Pie one and Sydney tells me, “Um, Mama? It’s Fluttershy!” (And she said it in her “duh” voice.) The salesman looked over at the shirt and goes, “Whoa! It is, Fluttershy!”

Yup, outsmarted by a five-year-old.

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Tia made the cake, of course, Rainbow Dash. We had a big bash on her birthday with friends.

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Yup, even I joined the Pony shirts. Zachary luckily escaped it 😉

A week later we had the family birthday party. Jordan’s sisters were all home by then, so they were able to go her party. There was lots of excitement on both sides :)

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Do you see a theme going with her presents?

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And they bought Jordan a pony belt. I don’t think he was excited at all. Do you?

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Despite all the My Little Ponies, Sydney received her favorite gift from her Grandma Sherman. PINK ear plugs. No joke, the kid wanted ear plugs, pink ones. Her grandma wears them to help her sleep, and Sydney requested some for her birthday. When she opened it she literally said, “It’s what I needed!” It’s been pretty funny to watch her with these ear plugs.

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Great-Grandma and Grandpa Smith got her her favorite My Little Pony, Princess Celestia. She LOVES this ones!!

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Yes, she did receive a few non-pony related gifts. This wonderful IKEA smock, which will be used during school when we do art projects. And her Aunt Roo bought her some really cool pink hair extensions.

Happy birthday, Sydney! (And Jordan!)

03-31-2012

March Madness

Here are the pictures from this month, and a little bit about our month of March.
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Audrey was laying off the couch and leaning onto the coffee table while playing with Jordan’s keyboard and mouse. She kept me very entertained that day!!Which is good, because a few days later, she did NOT entertain me. That particular morning started with her telling me, “Mama’s wa-wa, all gone!” and then she THREW my glass on the floor. Shattering it. I cleaned it up. And then she pulled on the table cloth, and poured Sydney’s cereal all over the place. So I cleaned that mess up. And then I spilled an entire Jamba Juice all over my car without getting to drink any of it. There were tears. I didn’t even have anything to clean it up with, and had to wait until an hour later when dance class was over. Seriously. Ew. It was nap time.

And now on to happier things!

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I apologize for the icky tummy picture, but Audrey insisted on playing doctor and apparently my belly cannot be under my shirt if she wants to listen to it’s heartbeat.

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Sydney also joined in on this fun, but was okay with my shirt being down. And she had her Care Bear in her shirt, she loves to pretend she’s having a baby.

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Audrey is obsessed with the harmonica. She thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.

And lastly, Audrey makes a mess eating tomato soup, Jordan joked that she looked like a vampire, who had just killed somebody. It was adorable, because she’s a 21 month old 😉

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