Things Are About to Get Crazier…

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Hi guys! I’ve missed y’all! Been thinkin’ about ya. Really I have.

I’ve come up with so many posts in my head, but, alas, this mom’s life has been a little busy. Usually by the end of the days, I’m falling asleep on the couch snuggled up to my wonderful husband by 8:45pm. No joke. I’ll be honest, it does take a little longer if I’m not warm and cozy with Hubby. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I remember thinking back in July that my days would be filled with only cleaning house, laundry, and meal prep. Ha. Hahaha That’s kind of funny now. While I am sitting still at the moment,before I jump up to head to the carpool line, most days lately I don’t make it back home after dropping my babies off at school. We all get home together around 4pm….just in time for homework and dinner. But hey, it’s the life of a mom.

And I love it.

I love it so much, in fact, that Hubby and I decided we would love for it to be a little crazier. And, most thankfully, that was also in the good Lord’s plan….because we are expecting baby #3 in May!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t tell you how happy we are. Probably more so after losing a baby earlier this year. (I mentioned this in my anniversary post at the end of June/beginning of July.)

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So given that I am growing a little person, that may also explain why I’m ready to conk out before 9pm most nights.

Can you believe that Christmas is next week?!?!! Yeah, me neither. And what’s crazier still is that I haven’t done any holiday baking!! (Why aren’t there more hours in the day?? I could really use a couple more…and probably a couple more arms. Ya know what, a whole other me would be even more helpful…) But I am helping another mom put together a fun ornament-making activity for Freckles’s class. We are doing the activity tomorrow and I’ve spent the week getting my stuff together…along with trying to finish up my Christmas shopping.

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So what am I contributing to this activity? Oooh, I’m so glad you asked! Because I’m really excited about it! For my part, I’m having the kiddos make puzzle-piece ornaments! I think it’s going to be so cute.DSC01567

I picked up some 48-piece puzzles from the dollar store, spray paint and ribbon from Wal-Mart, and from AC Moore I picked up a few bottles of fast-grab craft glue, glitter, pom-poms, googly eyes, sequins…yea…I may have gotten a touch carried away but I was really getting into it! I also grabbed some large giftboxes from Wal-Mart to spray the pieces in. (Gotta give credit where it’s due: Spraying the pieces inside some sort of box was my wonderful husband’s idea, to protect them from wind and such.)

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Nate’s brilliant idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

I started spraying them last night….because I didn’t get home until after picking the girls up from school.ย And this morning and early afternoon I’ve given them their ::hopefully:: last coats of paint….because I’m running out of time for anymore coats plus dry time.ย 

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Alright, dinner is done and both of my girlies are in bed. And thanks to this awesome pain in my lower back, I’ve been told to rest until bed. So I get to finish my post. ๐Ÿ˜€ {Right after I wrote this I got hit with a major dizzy spell followed by a wave of nausea…I went to bed after that.}

Once the pieces were dry, I did a test run of the 3 ornaments I wanted to do with the kids. I think they turned out alright. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thankfully, today went well with the class of third graders. The other mom did yarn ball ornaments with the kids and those were super cute! (I wish I had gotten a picture of the ones she brought to show the kids…only because the ones the kids did were…creative. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) We had some quiet setting up (the kids weren’t in the classroom) and then ::whoosh:: in flew the kids and it was a whirlwind until they left to get their lunches. Then we both took our first breath since we started. ๐Ÿ™‚ The kids seemed to really enjoy the ornament crafts and they had a lot of fun with them.

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ย ย ย ย ย ย Success! ๐Ÿ™‚

We survived the Frozen party! All good things, all good things. ;)

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*Whew* I made it through the weekend.
And now I’m sitting here with both of my girls home with me. They are tracked out for the next three weeks!! So excited!! There is so much we want to do while they are home, but today we relax. The kids are catching up on some Disney channel while playing with Ladybug’s new gifts and I’m enjoying some snuggles and just having my girls home. ๐Ÿ™‚

But let’s back up and talk about the big ‘Frozen’ party that happened this weekend. (Quick side note: This was the first-ever birthday party, with kids, in my own house. This will probably be the last. haha)

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The basement ready to be decorated.

As you know, I spent last week getting our large basement room ready for the party. I had also been hunting through three local Party Cities for any ‘Frozen’ decor I could get my hands on. ย Stop #3 was the goldmine…and also the furthest drive. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Everything I had planned on putting up…

I may have a gone a little overboard and now have to return a few things…but better to have too much rather than not enough. Continue reading

It was supposed to take forever

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I never thought I was cut out for this “mom” thing. I honestly never thought I would choose to be home full-time with kids. I really just never thought I would be good at it or enjoy it.

When I had Freckles, I thought the 5 years leading up to her going off to kindergarten would last forever. What in the world was I supposed to do all that time? I mean, geez, I’d never have any time to myself. Those years were going to take forEVER!

Or so I thought.

I was 2 1/2 years in of doing this mom thing, and we decided to add another baby to the family. Hey, I was enjoying this. And time to myself? Didn’t really cross my mind. And if it did, I had some awesome family ready to hang out with my girls. But I was loving my job and never looked back. After all, this is going to last forever…right?

See, I thought I’d be happy when kindergarten rolled around. I’d get my freedom back! Thinking back on it now, it’s astonishing that I ever felt that way.

You know how part of the miracle of having children is that women don’t remember exactly how painful giving birth is? (We forget and think, “hey it wasn’t so bad, I want to do it again”. Then we do it again and remember it all and wonder what in the world we were thinking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I believe that there is another part of the miracle – one that occurs after the first day of kindergarten happens…

Looking back, I don’t remember how torn up I was about Freckles starting school. It probably helped that Ladybug was home with me and I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her. I do remember being sad and shedding some tears, but I don’t remember being ready to fall apart or feeling a heavy sadness in my heart. I do recall thinking that “this was the beginning of the end”. But at that point, Ladybug was still home and a whole year off from preschool. Surely having her home with me was going to last forever.

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I seem to have blinked a touch too long because Tuesday was Ladybug’s first day of kindergarten. Wait, what? That’s it? It’s over? But…but…but it was supposed to take forever. They were going to be home all day everyday forever before they were going to be off to school.

Wasn’t it going to take forever? Wasn’t Abby always going to be in her car seat behind me in the car? I never envisioned a time when I would come home and not need to open the door to let a little person out. She was always going to be there waiting for me to open the door, undo her bottom buckle (because she can undo the top buckle on her own) and hold out my hand to hold her little hand as she climbed out of the van.

Wasn’t she always going to be with me as I headed out of carpool line in the morning? With her sweet little voice already asking for hot chocolate when we got home? Or asking to go to the store because she had stuff to buy?

Having both girls off at school all day 5 days a week was something I rarely thought about. It just seemed like an abstract idea. But, alas, here we are. Two kids in elementary school. How did time go by that fast?

Hubby and I dropped Freckles off at her door and walked Ladybug to her class. Then we headed back down the hall, out the front doors and began the lonely wall back to the car. Without either of our children. I was holding on pretty good until one of the teachers we passed by (who was Freckles’ assistant teacher in 1st grade told me “good luuuuuck” as we passed by. I began to say ‘thank you’ and my voice cracked. The dam had been broken. Luckily I had my trusty sunglasses to keep the tear-filled eyes hidden….though I’m pretty sure the furrowed brow and quivering bottom lip gave me away. But I held on tight to Hubby as we continued walking away from the school that held both of my precious babies.

In the safety of the van, and then the house, I didn’t hold back. There was a heavy sadness within me and all I could do was cry. I was sure Ladybug, like Freckles, was going to be fine. I’d left her for two years at preschool and she was always fine; she always did well. But it wasn’t for her I was crying. Something beautiful had just ended. There wouldn’t be anymore snuggle-filled days with my little buddy. I’m not going to be able to go to the Farmer’s Market with her and pick out fresh fruits and veggies then to get some ice cream. Instead, I’ll have all day to clean the house and keep with laundry and prep a lot of freezer meals. Given what I’m trading in for a clean house…a clean house just doesn’t seem all that important anymore. I thought the messiness and being behind on laundry and always having someone underfoot would last forever. It was supposed to take forever to get to this day.

I know, we will have track-outs and vacations and weekends, but it just won’t ever be the same. We will make the most of this new era of our lives, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the next 10 to 13 years aren’t going to take forever either. In fact, I’d wager they are going to fly right on by.

It really felt like it was supposed to take forever.

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DSC08794 Waiting in carpool at the end of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Homeschool — To Do It or Not To Do It…That is the question

Well last week I kept Ladybug company on the couch. This Monday morning brought a little fever. But this time it’s Freckles who is down for the count. Not sure what is going on yet, so far it seems like just a cold: sniffly nose, sore throat, sneezing, fever and occasional cough. Hopefully she’ll be better to go to school tomorrow, with the school year winding down I hate for her to be out sick.ย 

But this gives me a chance to talk about something I’ve had on my mind off and on over the last year. Homeschool. To do it? Or not to do it?ย 

I’ve gone back and forth so many times I’ve lost count. What if I pull my kids out of public school and I fail them and they fall behind and can’t get into college? Which curriculum and books do we use? There is an overwhelming amount of tools and resources. How do we afford it? Can we afford it?

Then I reflect on Freckles’ third year at school. I have concerns that she may fall behind later because this year was a little shaky in the math area. By the end of 2nd grade they are supposed to begin learning multiplication tables. But they have spent the entire year learning 10 different ways to add and subtract. And now my child struggles with simple addition. She had everything down fine before the start of the year, but after they learn one method, they are forced to re-learn addition using a different method, whether or not it makes sense to them. It’s no wonder she’s gotten confused. Adding is as simple as first add the ones column, then the tens. Now you have to break it down, re-group it, add the different parts together, then add it all back together.ย 

Anyway, I also think about how much better Freckles could understand things if she went out and saw and touched- which is an opportunity homeschooling offers. And I would be able to slow down in areas Freckles needed it, and move aheadย in other areas where she excels. And one of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I could spend more time with my kids.ย 

Then I wonder, am I even qualified to do this? But as their mom, I teach them how to walk, to eat, to talk, and give them the basis for learning when they get to school. Why is when they turn 5 I’m no longer qualified to teach them? I have their best interests at heart and would stop at nothing to help them excel.ย 

Ladybug is not yet 5, but she’s been writing for at least a year now…maybe a year and a half…I’m really not sure. She started with learning her letters, followed by learning to spell and write her name. Now she writes ‘I love you Mommy’ and ‘[Ladybug] loves Mommy’ and so many other words. And she is learning to spell new words everyday. (One day when I picked Ladybug up from preschool, they had artwork hanging in the hall. Ladybug had written ‘[Ladybug] Frozen’ on her paper. ๐Ÿ™‚ And after that, her favorite thing to write on her papers was ‘From [Ladybug] To Alex’, her uncle.) Ladybug has even begun solving simple addition problems while we are in the car. So if, before the age of 5, I’m able to help Ladybug learn to spell and begin reading/recognizing words and help her learn simple adding and subtracting, why couldn’t I homeschool my kids?ย 

Then of course, it’s back to: Oh my goodness, can I do this? What if I fail? What if I fail my kids?ย 

Then back to: Well, homeschooled children do better than their public school counterparts. And colleges like those who have been homeschooled because they are more focused and driven.ย 

I’ve also worried about the legal side of things since North Carolina does require testing.ย 

And now that we have more space, it seems a little more feasible.ย 

So for now, Freckles is finishing up 2nd grade, and Ladybug is about to start Kindergarten.

Has anyone else been conflicted like this? What did you do? I’d really love to hear about it!

Let’s Get Out! — 14 Super Fun Camp Activities

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My craft box for the trip.

Hi Everyone! I had started to write a post in my little notebook on Tuesday while in the carpool line and then kept going while I was making pancakes. I had every intention of writing up a post on the computer after the kiddos went to bed. But what started out with me trying to make a point about one thing turned into me talking about something else all together. Then it hit me that I have a camping trip coming up and I am totally not ready! So then I had the brilliant idea of writing about what I plan on getting together for camping! Now I have everything written down in one place while getting stuff together for pictures! Genius! haha (I really do talk to myself like this. And my kids think I’m totally nuts. They really can only blame themselves on that one though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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My dad has started taking the girls and I camping with him in the last couple years. Growing up, I never went camping. My dad would talk about how he had gone as a kid and how awesome it was, but we never could quite swing a trip into the great outdoors. Fast forward a few years and my dad has remarried and has started camping with his new wife and her kids; I think my sister made a trip or two with them also. Let’s fast forward up to 2012 on Memorial Day weekend. Pops (that’s what I call my dad in my head, out loud it’s always Daddy) is back to bachelorhood and my sister is roughing it in college. This season is it. It happened! It’s been decided that it’s high time for me to go camping! Never having been, I was a little nervous about camping with two little kids, but Freckles (who was working on the home stretch of Kindergarten) and Ladybug (who was about to turn the big 0-3 at the end of June) were pretty excited. The weekend went well, despite waking up in pee one morning (it happened that we were right smack dab in the middle of potty training that weekend, how ’bout that?), and we’ve since been making a couple trips every season. Sometimes Hubby comes along, but most of the time not…the great outdoors isn’t all that great to him. ๐Ÿ™‚ And sometimes my Sister comes along, but sometimes not being that she is a super busy college kid and works with high school kids a lot.

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