Friday, October 30, 2009

Food allergies and Halloween Candy

There's nothing like a BIG bowl of Halloween candy that will remind a "food allergY" Momma the dangers these next couple of days with the candy flowing and the kids all mixed together. I was reminded this week that I would need to be on guard at our own Fall Festival as the candy was being mixed together and deposited in the pumpkin buckets.

I am soo thankful that my kids' allergies, as sensitive to touch as they are, would probably not be affected by all the candies being together!! But that we would have to be watching everything that is attempted to be put into their mouths!! Very emotionally draining on parents!!

But my kids are also getting older enough to take a little bit of precaution and responisbility. The last time we had company over Christopher asked someone who was going to cut up his food, "Does your knife have eggs or cheese on it?" Yay!! A good question and one that shows that he's aware of his allergies!

So as we head over to church for the Fall Festival, while I HOPE my kids are excited, I also want them to be reviewing our simple food guidelines:

1. Don't eat anything unless you ask Mommy or Daddy!!!!
2. If you think you touched something that has milk, eggs or peanuts in it, go wash your hands... with SOAP.
3. Ask for candy that you recognize OR get a toy when you get a choice.
4. If someone offers you something, ask if it has milk, eggs or peanuts. Then ask Mommy or Daddy if you can have it.
5. Don't pick up any trash on the floor. Tell MOmmy and Daddy... if Anna even touches peanuts or milk products she'll immmediately break out.

When we get home we usually sort through their candy and remove anything that they can't have.... we like doing that because when they return to their bags/buckets everything is safe. I like doing that because then I KNOW everything is SAFE!

A friend asked me the other day how I trained my kids what foods are safe and not safe. And how to teach them that they CAN NOT have certain foods... even if they see others eating them or really, really want them.

The safe and not safe are just foods that my kids are used to eating or remember me telling them that they could have it or try it! Kids have amazing memories!!!

As far as training them, if I had to take a candy away from them I usually explain that it will make them sick or itchy. Both Anna and Christopher remember a time of having a reaction to something, feeling itchy on their face or soreness in their throat (yes, has happened ONCE) and Mommy/Daddy making them drink Benadryl!! Maybe they saw the uncertainity in us.... anyway, they usually will not fuss and hand it over.

Lydia might still fuss if it's something she really wants to try. But she is also starting to understand that we are trying to protect her. And I'm learning that a little compassion goes a long way.

I usually try to be a little understanding and sensitive to them. It's tough being a kid that can't have just ANY 'ole piece of candy from the bowl! And I usually try to have a different option/treat for them, either with me, finding something in their bucket for them or promised to them when they get home!!

Off to get my ballerina, Army Man and little girl (LOL... Lydia has thus far refused to get dress up) ready for our Fall Festival:) Maybe I can get a picture and share it soon:) We'll see what the kids let me do:)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Self-Dressing

I love that my kids dress themselves:) ANd most times I let them wear what every they pick for the day (or the moment)! Sometimes I have to "help" them if we're going out or to church:) But usually they do it and it's fun to see what they choose:)

When Grammie and Pey were visiting on Monday, Christopher greeted him in this outfit!!! Oh my!!

He loves the hand-me-down camo pants:) But we're having a hard time finding shirts that really "match"....

Oh, and you have to notice the bright green crocs that pulls the whole outfit together:)

Every morning, she gets up and hangs out for about 5 minutes and then she gets totally dressed by herself.... she's the only child or adult in our house not in PJs for breakfast!!

Lydia came out of her room with her shirt like this, this morning!! I told her that her shirt was funny. She smiled back and said that she really liked the shirt and she had "picked it" to wear today:)

But like most of Lydia's initial morning clothing choices, the shirt didn't make it through her bowl of oatmeal:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WW: Our Coolest Pumpkin Pic... and how we got there:)

The Process

On Saturday evening, we got started!!! In previous years Brian and I did the bulk of the work cleaning out the pumpkin(s), but I was sooo impressed with how much Anna and Christopher wanted to do!!! They took turns scraping and scooping out the gooky stuff:) And Lydia is not pictured because she wanted nothing to with the gooo.... LOL!!!

I LOVED that they had a similiar goal: Clean out the pumpkin! But much different methods:) Chris just sticking his hand down inside and Anna holding it tight and angled with her legs:)

On Monday Grammie and Pey got to visit for part of the day. I had in mind Grammie helping us carve out our pumpkin... well Grammie jumped one the job and I relaxed a bit... staying close to keep kids in line when needed:)

They decided to go with a "fishbowl" idea.... and they got to carving:)
Anna was soo pleased with the pumpkin. I know she liked working with Grammie on it, too!! In fact she told Grammie, "I'm soo glad you came and helped us with the pumpkin... we couldn't have done it without you!" Touches a Grammie's heart:)

We wanted to see what it would look like lit up. So we went into the hall and made it into our darkroom and lit the candle. That's how we got the cool picture of Chris with the pumpkin!

The girls wanted their own opportunity to have a pumpkin picture,too:) So here is the final finished product (Grammie added some bubbles)!!

You can see More Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Heart faces - Halloween Dress-up

This obviously won't be the award winning pic from I Heart Faces during Dress-up Week this week....

But in my heart, it will always been one of the most memorable Halloween pictures as a mom! Anna at 17 months "trick or treating" in a local town dressed as a girafee... Her 1st Halloween!!

We followed Anna up and down the street with the camera AND video camera in hand... LOL!!! I'm sure when people looked at us with all our cameras and our Totally Adorable Baby toddling down the sidewalk, they smiled...

...maybe because we were two very silly parents trying to capture and enjoy every moment with our little one.

...maybe because we looked ridiculous with all our cameras, they thought we were pretendung to be pavarazzi!!

... or maybe because MOmma was HUGE pregnant with little CHristoper and waddling herself:) LOL

... or maybe it WAS because we had the cutest giraffe on the block:) She was sooo adorable:)

Stuck in a Pottyseat

This is real life at my house.... My boy is always finding something new to keep us entertained!! Really goes with the boy post from the other day!

When I found him this morning, I grabbed the camera:)
(If you can't handle a little boy's fuss then you shouldn't watch. No children were injured in the making.... although he did get himself in this pickle!)

Think we should submit it to America's Funniest Videos? LOL

Constant Cravings

Well I think I am almost past my nausea stage... I"m still feeling a little sick after eating which is a little different than before. But that means I have been much more opinionated about what I eat...LOL!! I'm not sure if I am actually craving foods or just have a "good excuse" to eat what sounds good to me:)

Brian and I had a funny conversation the other day. I asked him what we could have for a supper that I was fixing for some company. He mentioned one of his favorite dishes, which surprisingly I had all the ingredients to make:)

Anyway, I immediately answered that I didn't think our group would like it or that it wouldn't go with the other items on the menu!! He smirked at me and I asked about his response.

He responded with a question, "Do you like Carribean Chicken and Sausage?" "No," I replied, "it sounds too spicy right now." LOL... he then gladly made his point that I didn't consider his choice of food because it didn't sound good to me. And that I assumed that others wouldn't like it since, it wasn't appealing to me!! LOL

I hadn't even made the connection!!! LOL... and no we haven't had his dish yet... although all the ingredients are in the frig/freezer waiting:)

So what have I been craving?
  • Sandwiches (Subway!!!) that HAVE to have cheese and pickles... meat is optional:)
  • Doughnuts
  • Ice Cream - especially the Mint Chocolate Chip in the Freezer
  • Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • Salad
  • Potatos/French fries

Yes, only healthy things.... LOL!! Glad it's my responsibility to feed my family, so I get to make balanced meals at least twice daily:) I do eat balanced meals, although if I was feeding only myself right now... it wouldn't be pretty... yummy, but not healthy!

Although eating those foods sound like a delicious meal anytime!! LOL I'll have exhibit some self-control and eat healthy (even when it doesn't sound soo appealing). Curbing those daily constant cravings... saving them for those "special days" when I will really enjoy them:)

What were your crazy cravings?? Pregnant or not....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Finally in a Booster!!

We've been pretty fortunate that everytime a kid outgrows their car seat there is another kiddie who needs the seat:) We've noticed that Lydia's carseat was getting a little small for her and that she was now big enough for a Highback Booster.... just in time because Anna height and weight totally qualiied her to be in a regular booster:)

Anna has been sooo excited about moving up into a regular booster... like she sees her friends riding in:) Our state's requirement is that kids 8 yrs old or less than 80 pounds have to be in a carseat/booster....

At first the law seems ridiculous because Brian remembers as a kids traveling hours in the car to see grandparents standing behind his dad's shoulder:) But I'm thankful that these requirements will keep my little ones in their seats longer and hopefully a little more safe in the car!

This week Brian found a DEAL on a booster. We wanted to get a "pretty" one since Anna will be in it until she's 8 and then probably pass it to Lydia. All the cute ones I saw started at $34... for a booster!! Anyway, I sent him into Target and said get it if you can get it under $30... poor thing... LOL!!

Just moments later he came out with an adorable Graco booster under his arm.... I braced myself when I asked him how much.... $20!! It was the last one... super price and great timing:)

And Anna loves it:) At the next stop she begged us to open up the box and let her use it:) So we did:)

Buggy then asked to sit in Anna's pink highback booster... so we let her. She looks soo small in it, but she fits the requirements:)

She fussed on the way home and I thought it was because of the new seat....

Nope, she was just trying to get settled in her new seat:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Little "grown" Man

Maybe it's the anticipation of a new baby being in the house in the spring....

Or the "new" fallish, grownie clothes that Christopher had passed down to him by a "cousin" last week because his other pants were too SHORT...

Or the new haircut that Daddy gave him this week...

But Christopher is looking sooo GROWN to us lately. Grandma and Grandaddy also noticed it when they were visiting last week!!

Sure, he's still a little booger sometimes:) LOL... he definitely keeps me on my toes during the day. The girls will bicker with each other (and Chris) but I have to keep tabs on Chris because he is just dangerous.... to himself and others:)

Just today I ran into the room when I heard a CRASH... and there is one of our large speakers on the floor. Chris looks up at me and says, "Opps... I didn't mean to make it fall over. I just wanted to jump from it." Of course... he's a boy... he likes challenges, but the speaker in the living room?

He's definitely in a fun stage!! He loves to explore and learn new things!! And he can be very focused when he is interested in something! I have loved to explore dinosaur books and resources with him this last month... in fact tonight he said that he wanted to be a "dinosaur man" AKA paleontologist:) Dirt, outside, possibility of finding dinosaur bones... yep sounds like a perfect career fit for him right now!!

Of course with every great stage comes challenges!!! With his "exploratory" nature he tends to wander off in search of the next adventure to learn more or to find a better place to dig a hole:) He also wants to make everything a "game" so sometimes simple tasks take forever!! He also loves to make his sisters laugh (and squeal at him) ... just for kicks!

He is also continuing to pull back from his Mommy... he knows he is a boy and that he wants be like his Daddy. He wants to be strong, use tools, eat more (LOL) and to spend time with his Daddy:)

It's both great and "sad" to see my Little Man growing up right before my eyes!! He's definitely teaching me how to be a Mommy to "boys" ... LOL!!I get to learn how to be patient AND give him time and space to explore, climb and dig:)

I want to throw this into this "discussion".... I have been rereading Bringing Up Boys by Dr Dobson. While Dobson really gets deep into cultural issues that he believes are affecting American boys and how they are being raised and taught, I have enjoyed the more practical chapters of mothers/fathers roles and teaching boys:) I've been thankful for this "window" to help me understand my Little Man more!

**We've had a blast outside the last few days... especially Chris, who stopped long enough to let me snapped some of my new favorite pictures of him!!

Pumpkin Patch and Farm Field Trip

Yesterday we visited a local pumpkin patch/farm with the homeschooling group!! I thought it would be a laid back... here are some animals, here are the pumpkins, let the kids run around....NO WAY :) They immediately divided our group and started pumping information into the kids (and adults...LOL)! There weren't a lot of extra activities (playgrounds, etc) but the kids had plenty of fun and did learn a lot:)

Our group went on the hayride through the pasture first....

After the hayride we went with another guide that explained some of the other animals that they have on the farms as well as the most common agricultural products grown our area... very informative, especially to kids that don't live in rural, farming areas. My kids liked seeing the crops close up:)

They even got to pull apart a soybean pod to find the actual bean:) Fun for my soymilk drinkers:)

The kids had a lesson with the farmer about what she grows, how things grow and fun farming situations... like deer eating her pumpkins,etc! The kids were very attentive and I thought it was soo cute when I turned to look at Brian and Chris and Chris' hand was raised to ask a question:)

My kids took forever to pick "their" pumpkins. Brian said that Chris went for the biggest ugliest. But Lydia looked each over... at one time she got up from the "school kids' pumpkins" and went over to the $10 ones!! LOL

We had a fun trip and was glad Daddy was able to come with us:)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A 2 yr old, a camera and some semi-willing subjects

Yes, Lydia has been armed with the camera again....

I have luckily escaped thus far:)

You can see More Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reading the Bible Alone

This morning during some "down time" during school... Anna pulls out her little New Testament NIV Bible. At the moment it was fine but we were about to start working on her reading text.... so I was afraid that having her Bible out would be a distraction.... but I let her look through it while I gathered the remaining supplies.

All of a sudden I hear my little girl reading a passage from Matthew 25.... yes, out of her Bible. Sure she stumbled over a few words... but she was READING from a BIBLE!!!!

I'm not sure why I was soo surprised. She reads books that we get from the library (or the words she can) and she'll read the papers that she gets in SS class and her AWANA book.

But the Bible just seems like a harder read.... I guess it's not! She was soo excited that she asked if she could read her Bible duirng her reading time.... LOL.. of course I answered "YES!!"

Reading is such a fundamental skill in life for soo many reasons!!! But one of the greatest reasons is to be able to learn about God and the life of Christ by oneself! What a wonderful skill to already be doing and like doing at 5 yrs old!!

Brian and I were talking last night about how hard it was to begin to teach Anna how to read... oh, it was a struggle... balancing her age, obedience, not pushing too hard or getting frustrated with her... and there were many times when we both had to face the fact that we had BAD attitudes.....

So to see her enjoy reading and then to hear her reading her Bible is a sweet blessing indeed... I think she said she might even read to me this afternoon... I can't wait!!

Hanging Out at the Mall

While we had company we ventured out to meet up with Scott and Bea... can you believe they have already been married 1 year??? Here are some memories:)
Happy belated Anniversary Scott and Bea!!!

The kids LOVE their uncle and aunt and really enjoyed the visit.

Anna really took to Aunt Bea quickly, even going "shopping" for jeans with her. Poor Bea was stuck in the changing room with an armload of jeans and a very opinionated 5 yr old...LOL

Here is Chris..... the one providing the entertainment... as usual!! He later told us that he spent his time at the mall reading books at Barnes & Noble with Uncle Scott!!

Grandma in all her glory:) Snuggling (even in public) with her grandbaby!!! And poor little Lydi-Bug was complaining about a hurting tooth (I think those 2 yr molars are finally poking through) and so she slept through supper and didn't eat until she could get some oatmeal at home:)

Believe it or not but that trip was our only adventure with Brian's parents visiting. On Friday we were hit with a cold and didn't feel like doing a thing... Brian rested and I did what I could. Grandma and Grandaddy kept the kids busy or did the kids keep Grandma and Grandaddy busy... LOL

We all had a great time with Grandma and Grandaddy and hated to see them go so quickly!! And we hope that they stay well... with three kids with the sniffles and two adults sick, it will be a miracle for them to not have some cold symptoms.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Full House

We have a Full House this weekend!!! We have had Grandma and Grandaddy with us since Wednesday night!! It's soo nice to have them visit!!

The only challenge has been the wet, rainy and cold weather!!! And with the changes in the weather comes runny noses, sore throats and sleepiness!! Just glad we have had a good visit even though most of it has been spent inside!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1st Trimester: Challenges and Pudge

I've shared just a bit about what feeling pregnant has been the last few weeks (the lack of energy) .... to be completely honest I really didn't want share more because I don't want to come across as complaining. I am SOOO overwhelmingly thankful for this pregnancy that the minor inconveniences are sweet reminders that Baby is growing inside of me!

And to be even more honest my family has been "suffering" more than I have...LOL!! I have had a nauseous feeling from week 6 until last week (week 10). I'm not quite sure how to explain it except that I have had a similar feeling a few years ago when the kids had a stomach virus and were getting sick all over the place..... I just had this sick, sinking feeling in my stomach KNOWING that I was next!!!!!

I have that "I know I am next" feeling all day and night whether I eat or not.... the only thing that makes it go away has been sleep:) But I did notice that a small cup of generic Sprite before each meal helped a little.... funny because we NEVER have soda in the house!

My family "suffered" because when you don't feel like eating, you don't do much cooking.... so we've had a lot of chicken nuggets, church leftovers, sandwiches and breakfast for dinner. I always tried to get something on the table and a fruit/veggie!!

Last week I did notice that more types of food started to sound and smell appealing. (I think it all started with my chocolate-topped, cremed-filled Krispie Kremes that my sweet hubby picked up or me!!) And this week I have enjoyed the meals at church and even doing some cooking myself.... although when I do sit to eat my meal, I have to breathe deep, take a sip of soda, let it settle and then enjoy.

Another change has been the "pudge".... baby is about where my hands are, the rest of my tummy is from my organs moving up and pudge... LOL!

I feel like I'm starting to look pregnant, but I'm not really:) It's just one of those pregnant mom milestones... I'm just pudgy around the middle:)

Although, I have pulled out the maternity jeans/pants, because most of mine are no longer comfortable.... why fight it??? LOL

I have enjoyed a website I found that has baby's development week-by-week:) This week talks about pregnancy discomforts, but also that Baby is going through a growth period.... maybe that's why I'm starting to feel hungry again:)

I have one more week of being in my 1st Trimester!! I'm in awe how quickly these first weeks have gone! And I got to hear Baby's heartbeat again this week and I'm soo thankful for everything:)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WW - Poke in the Eye

I have enjoyed having pictures of Lydia holding Hannah Grace each time we see them:) It's amazing how quickly Hannah Grace is growing up:) And Lydia just adores her:)
Although we started to hear Lydia tell stories about Hannah poking her...

Then we caught it... the POKE!

And there's the AFTER!!

I am still in shock that this little sweet angel would ever poke MY baby in the eye:) NO way!! LOL

Here is my sister getting Hannah Grace to giggle... she loves attention from everyone... but especially from her Momma:)

You can see More Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Day with Grammie

We finally got to go to see my family last weekend... we had been tryignt o get up there for 3 weeks now. Unfortunately their schedule was busy (and we never did get to see my dad), but we got some time in the afternoon with Grammie!!! So this is a glimpse of what hanging out with Grammie looks like:

Plane Watching...

Tee-pee living...

And polar swimming.... (Anna jumped underwater and Christopher playing on the stairs... are his lips BLUE?)

Yes, it is early October and my kids were in the swimming pool. They tried to convince we to "try" it... ummm... no:)

There are PLENTY of adventures with Grammie around.. I've got such a great mom, who also makes a fabulous Grammie! Of course, I think she's finally found a group of people who like the same kind of adventures she likes:)

We also saw Hannah Grace:) We have some fun, silly pics of her... probably tommorrow:)