Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Preschool at Home

So we are contemplating homeschooling the boys. We haven't made any final decisions, except that we are going to do preschool at home. I have been having fun with it, and it is so rewarding to watch the boys learn and enjoy our "preschool" time. Sometimes we just call it our "activity" time.

I have found a lot of printable activities and ideas that I like at the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. (All of the activities my kids are doing below are from that site.)

And recently I have found some nice printables at this site.

Olivia usually hangs out on a blanket or bouncy chair next to us, or we do preschool while she's asleep.

The main activities we do are:

Do-a-Dot markers (use markers to stamp a letter/number shape or to find a specific letter on a worksheet)
Magnets (Make shapes, count numbers)
Some freehand writing (They can write A, M, H, T and O... and probably others, on demand)
Cutting shapes/designs/freestyle with scissors
ABC's and 123's (They know their ABC letters and sounds, and can count to 20. We are working on having them identify the number 1-20..which is why all the activities below are number oriented.)

We usually do their preschool activities on the days we stay home and don't go anywhere. I really love having something ready for them to work on, since I was running out of activities for us to do together. With the added bonus that they are learning fine motor schools and letter/numbers/shapes,etc.

We also try to go to story time at the library at least once a week, (Love story time!) and check out books for us to read throughout the week. Our other favorite (educational) destinations are the zoo and the museum. We have a season pass to the children's museum, and we are going to see their new Curious George exhibit later this week!

Olivia Turns 3 Months

Well she turned 3 months about 6 weeks ago, but I am catching up on my blog posts!

The biggest thing we did in her third month was take her to Las Vegas. Yep, parents of the year.... :)

Alan has gone to the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention for the past 3 years, so Olivia and I joined him for the weekend. Olivia was such a good travel buddy! We took my mom too, for babysitting while we went to a few shows and restaurants. My mom, Olivia and I traveled by ourselves on the way there, since Alan went early.

Olivia's first plane ride. She did awesome! We cloth diapered her the entire time, and just changed her diaper right there in the chair. There really was no place to change her in the airplane lavatory.

My mom and Olivia

In the beach pool at our hotel.

Did I mention the boys were not invited?
They stayed home with Alan's parents :)
At my favorite buffet ever.

Gordon Ramsey's BurGR.

 Brotherly love:
Adam hugging his baby sister
...And going in for a forehead lick (yuck). Sometimes they have too much love!

They always want to be touching her.

Mom & daughter
 And a few my 3 month "photo shoot" of Olivia:

She has continued to be a very laid back baby. 

We have been battling some baby acne with her, but I finally realized she was spitting up after I laid her down to sleep, and getting some spit up on her cheek. After I started staying up and changing the blanket under her about 5-10 minutes after she fell asleep (it always had spit up), the rash started to clear up (finally!) I was going through about 5 or 6 blankets a night. She is a very "spitty" girl! 

She only wakes up 1-2 times a night, and hardly cries except when she's tired or hungry. Her brothers absolutely adore her! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

Yesterday, the kids and I went to a pumpkin patch. It was an unplanned trip (so I unfortunately didn't have a camera.)
The same Pumpkin Patch last year.
I let the boys pick out two pumpkins each, and they played in the hay and roamed through the pumpkins. They didn't want to leave, so I told them, "When we get home, we can make a pumpkin pie for Daddy!"
They were ecstatic! But, whoops.... this Mommy has never made a pumpkin pie before. All it took was a quick Google search though, and we were good to go (hopefully :P)

Adam: "Let's hatch the pumpkin!"
Me: "What do you think is inside a pumpkin??"
Adam (without hesitation,) "A bird!!"

They helped me make the entire pie from scratch. And we roasted the seeds and ate those. It was a fun activity.

Alan actually didn't get home until the boys were in bed that night. But, I was in their room when they heard Alan come in. They sat up in bed, so I said, "Do you want me to have Daddy come in and hug you?" Adam said, "No, made pumpkin pie for Daddy!" Meaning, we had to give it to him RIGHT then. So we did :) And it got good reviews from Daddy. ;)

We only got a picture after eating the pie for a couple of days:

Matthew in blue, Adam in orange, last week
 And here are a few misc pictures taken today:
Olivia, almost 4 months
Matthew using Olivia as a pillow.
"I'm 'sleeping' on Olivia, because... I love her."
<3 td="">

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Huge Decision

So, my last day of work as an RN in the NICU was two days ago. One day a week may not seem like much, but every time I was going to work I was feeling like I was abandoning my children. Olivia wasn't liking the bottle. And anytime I told the boys I was going to work the next day, Adam (without fail) would say (in the sweetest imaginable voice), "No, Mommy, stay with me." !!! :(

That broke my little Mommy heart, and Alan has always said I didn't have to work, even before we had kids. But I wanted to work. After we got pregnant I thought I would work two days a week, but decided on once a week after we found out it was twins. Then I ended up being canceled a lot when the boys were babies, and only working 1-2 days a month, which was doable (but still hard.. pumping enough milk for twins.) They developed close bonds with their grandparents who watched them, and it was a much needed break for me. As they got older I found I really didn't need that break anymore, even though I still enjoyed my job. I was enjoying being a Mom more since I didn't have two colicky babies anymore. Even on the hard days, I really felt like I was where I needed to be.

I struggled with what to do while I was on maternity leave with Olivia. I made up my mind, then changed it, so many times!! The problem was I loved my job, I loved the little NICU babies, I loved my coworkers and I liked the money.  But I felt like I had abandoned by three little ones, and I was starting to have an empty feeling when I went to work. Like I wasn't where I belonged.

So I have decided to take some time off to focus on my three kids, my husband and our home. Honestly I am slightly terrified that now that I'm not also working outside the house, that I have to be the best mom and wife EVER. But I really shouldn't put that on myself. It is actually impossible to get everything done I really want to do during the day. That is okay. I really want to focus on spending good, quality time with my kids. (While keeping the house reasonably clean, everyone fed healthy meals and getting fun outings in several times a week :P)

I feel that I can go always go back in the future, if that's what we decide is best for the family. But for now, (even though I will miss my coworkers and the babies) I am so glad I don't have to leave my kiddos for 12 hour shifts anymore!!

Last day of work for a while.