Archive for November, 2013

The Guppy

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Rose clutching the gold coin

Rose clutching the gold coin after swim class

The girls have been taking swimming lessons, including Rose who is with me in a Mommy and Me class. She graduated from Baby Swim 1 to Baby Swim 2 in about a month and a half, and just last week she graduated to a Guppy. I am very excited about this advancement because it means I no longer have to get in the water with her. I love swimming, but Mommy and Me is not about me swimming, its about her swimming. I just get to stand there and help her. Which I don’t mind, but I get cold and soggy without the benefits of actually swimming.

I was thrilled when the instructor gave her the coveted gold coin that means she has moved up. She can trade the gold coin for a prize and an achievement ribbon.

So this week we get to start Guppy level and see whether she continues to improve or if she freaks out that mom is not in the water. If she regresses due to me not being with her, I’ll have to go back in for a while until she becomes more comfortable with the instructor.

At this point she is able to swim underwater by kicking her legs for about 3-5 feet at a time. Sound pretty Guppy-esque to me!

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Swimming sure does work up an appetite!!

 UPDATE: It did not go well.

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Violet Turns Five!

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20131122_182229Violet turned five this past week. She had been counting down the days all week long and for months she has been looking forward to being old enough to join Little Flowers.

To me, her being actually five is a little weird because I feel like she has already been five for the past year and should be turning six. She has always been advanced for her age (walking at 10 months, talking in full sentences by 1 and a half, etc.) and at times I have had to remind myself that she was still only four.

She woke up the morning of her birthday and said, “Mom! Tonight I am going to turn 5!” I explained that she was already five. “Now? In the morning?” she asked. It was really cute, it turned out that she thought that she would turn 5 when she blew out her candles that evening. The whole day she was mystified by exactly what mechanism she had actually turned five, and she kept asking me questions about it. She wanted to know at what point in the night she had turned five.

I took her and the girls to the mall, and I let her shop for herself at Claire’s Boutique. She picked out a plush diary with a lock and pen, and two sets of clip-on earrings, which she bought with money from her piggy bank.

That evening we went out to dinner and then came home for cake, presents and a really gross and brightly colored cotton candy ice cream she had picked out. Boooo, Thrifty’s, booooo.

We got Violet a spirograph thinking that she is so artistic she would love it. It’s just like the one I had when I was a kid, but she wasn’t too interested in it and I think she is maybe still a little too young for it since it requires particularly fine motor skills. Ivy loves it though, ha!

Ivy got her a stamp set, which she was absolutely overjoyed about. I accidentally stopped recording, but her reaction was priceless, so I am bummed I missed it. Still, I got this photo.  You would have thought it was a million bucks. Win!

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“Ivy, how did you know I wanted this??? Wow!!!”

So Baby Numero Dos is now five years old. Where does the time go???

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Oohing and ahhhing over the stamp set

 

Observation Week at Nevada Ballet Academy

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20131119_161432This week I got to sit in Ivy’s ballet class at the Nevada Ballet Academy. Usually parents aren’t allowed into the classes because they want the students to focus and not be distracted. Phillip took Violet and Rose to the library adjacent so I could watch in peace, knowing that the other two may not make quiet observation possible.

Phillip usually takes Ivy to ballet one afternoon each week, drops her off and then takes the 2 little ones to the library where as fortune would have it, there is a craft activity during Ivy’s class. That means I get to have 3 hours to myself every week, which needless to say is WONDERFUL!!! During that free time I may run errands or get a haircut or just go shopping for something I might need. Or… nap! These days, napping is my much-needed fave.

So this week, I skipped the me-time and sat in on her class. And yet again, I am grateful to Phillip for how giving and supportive he is. He makes the long trek across town during rush hour with all 3 girls so Ivy can dance in the best ballet classes in town and so I can have a break. Then, when the time comes for him to have the opportunity to see what Ivy is accomplishing,  he makes it possible for me to watch in peace while he takes the other 2 chickadees to the library…instead of sitting in on the class himself. Which I know he would love. This is one of the many reasons why I thank God every day for Phillip.

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So it was wonderful seeing Ivy’s progress in ballet, and I am pleased to see the teacher emphasizing technique while keeping it fun and interesting for the girls. I took lots of video and condensed it into a shorter video of highlights.

Apparently ballet has its hazards, though. At one point a girl kicked ivy in the face accidentally. Not too hard though, fortunately. You’ll see what I mean in the video! Ivy told me later she was embarrassed but was trying to keep a happy face. I thought she kept her poise remarkably well. Maybe she was embarrassed because her stupid mom was giggling uncontrollably about it.

Look at the extension on that leg! This was moments after getting kicked in the face.

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Ballerina poise.

It’s probably just mommy pride speaking here, but I really think that for a 6 year old she does very well and is one of the better girls in the class. You can judge for yourself.. Here is a little compilation I made.

 

 

It’s a Boy!!!

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We went for our anatomy ultrasound this past Thursday, to make sure everything was looking alright with baby #4. I ended up getting sent to a high risk pregnancy place because of my “advanced maternal age”, aka over 35. I am the ripe old age of 37 so that means… I am not sure what, but apparently something really scary, based on all the rigamarole.

They wanted me to consult a genetic “counselor”, I presume to discuss the risks of the baby having a birth defect. I tried to decline it over the phone but it was “standard office procedure” so I couldn’t decline til I was sitting in front of the counselor. Which I did, and she was very kind and understanding.

Maybe I am extra skeptical about assessing those risks because 1) it doesn’t matter what is “wrong” with my baby, I am still not going to abort said child because they are less than perfect, and 2) Ivy was supposedly going to be born with Down’s Syndrome, and she wasn’t. So clearly these tests don’t mean much anyway. I feel awful for the moms  who choose to abort a “defective” child and then it turns out that when the baby is aborted they are discovered to be absolutely perfect in every way. And I feel even worse for the babies who were not loved enough for who they are to be allowed to live. Sad all around.

Anyway, once I was able to decline the counseling, we all went into the ultrasound room. The tech asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby and we were like, “Is the Pope Catholic??”  So the tech got right to work measuring limbs and blood flow and heart chambers. All in good working order, it appears, thank God. Not always a given, especially since we had problems in the first trimester that made us think this baby may not make it all the way through.

So our big surprise was that barely 30 seconds into the scan she casually, says, “It’s a boy.”

SAY WHAAAAAAAAT????????????

Just like that. BAM. It’s a boy.

I started laughing. I don’t know what was so funny, but I was just so delighted and amazed. We really thought it would be a girl, and we were quite happy with that too. But this was really beyond fantastic. I also may have had a couple of tears oozing out of my eyes from the sheer emotion of the moment.

Phillip was quite stunned as well and I think he is still trying to process the whole thing.

Ivy and Violet were not at all thrilled. Actually, Ivy was the one who really wasn’t happy but Violet takes her cue from Ivy. This was their reaction to the fact they are going to have a little brother.

This picture is SO going in the baby's photo album!

This picture is SO going in the baby’s photo album!

Phillip and I thought it was pretty hilarious. Ivy did not. She was angry that we’d caught a photo of her acting like that. But really, it was soooo funny to see them huddling together, hugging and comforting each other at this tragic news.

It turns out that she was jealous because she thought Phillip was going to want to spend all his time with the boy since HE’S a boy, and the baby is a boy, so Ivy would be odd man out. Since Phillip worked from home the first 2 years of Ivy’s life, they have a strong bond, and I think its safe to say that Phillip is Ivy’s favorite person.

The good news is that we have since talked her down from the ledge, and she understands that yes things will change, but that’s because there will be a new baby in the house. That would be true even if it were a girl, and the fact that its a boy doesn’t mean that her relationship with her dad will be any less important.

Violet, as I said, takes her cue from Ivy. After the initial shock she got over it pretty quick. It took Ivy until the evening to come around. Finally, she said, “I’m going to be a really good big sister, I’ll keep that little boy in line, because boys are trouble.” Ha!

Anyway, I am still sort of processing everything and looking forward to loading up with cute little “chap” clothes and accessories.

I can’t wait to see what he looks like at to meet him!

Maybe he’ll look like this?

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Mish Mash and Hodge Podge

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Since I have been truly awful and keeping up with the family updates, you are going to get a mixture of topics in this post. I’ll try to keep each subject brief(ish) to avoid having it be too long!

First things first – Violet lost her second tooth. Yes, I missed posting about her first ever lost tooth about a month ago. Bad mommy. This tooth was so loose she asked Phillip to “just pull it out, I don’t care if it hurts, I can handle it”. That is the difference between her and Ivy. She was so excited about the tooth fairy gift that last night she tried to pull out another loose tooth by herself using her index finger and thumb with a paper towel for traction. Her screech of pain was at first alarming, but then when we realized what she was trying to do we had to stifle the laughs!

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Let us not forget that Rose turned 2 years old on October 27th! Here she is getting ready to blow out candles. We had a low key celebration at home with Nothing Bundt Cake, Thrifty’s ice cream, and presents. We got her a Maisy plush doll and some Maisy books, which she has been way into lately. Well, that and ballet and dress up. She reminds us so much of Ivy at this age!

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Lately, Rose talks in long streams of consciousness although no one can understand what she is saying when she does that. When she sticks to a couple of words, we can understand just about everything, but the animated conversations are totally beyond our comprehension. The only thing that we understand it is that it is flippin’ adorable!

Halloween came and went, and it was a typical Halloween with the Trick or Treating, and typically they got scared. Halloween just doesn’t seem to be what it used to be when I was a kids. I don’t remember gory stuff or people jumping out and scaring us little kids the way they do now. We are thinking of skipping the tradition next year and just going with friends up to Red Rock and do a candy scavenger hunt there, roast marshmallows and hot dogs and call it a day!

This year the girls went as Wendy, Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. The only costume I had to make was Violet’s and I was pleased that it turned out so well considering I started really late and had only a couple days to make it.

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I can fly!!

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On All Souls Day we went to the Dia de los Muertos festival at the Springs Preserve. The altars weren’t good as last year and Rose was being a crazy toddler and cried most of the time so it was a little bit of a bust. Ivy and Violet liked it though because they got to do crafts. Its all about the crafts with these girls!

Paper calavera mask craft

Paper calavera mask craft

Tissue paper flower craft!

Tissue paper flower craft!

In other random news, we ordered some caterpillars online and watched them become Painted Lady butterflies, which was a lot of fun. Here they are releasing the butterflies.

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Violet has been taking violin lessons and Ivy is taking piano lessons. Here are Violet and Rose, where Rose is using the 1/16th size violin we bought that ended up being too tiny to use. Its not, however, too tiny to look adorable with Rose pretending to play it!

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And lastly, here is a little bit of scariness for your day. Phillip printed this out to review it. This is a sample page from the Common Core curriculum. Look at what the last 3 exercises are actually saying. Wow, what a message! Yet another reason why I am glad I have the personal freedom to homeschool.

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I just had to share it because the transparency of the agenda was so shocking to me. Seems like a joke or a fraudulently concocted exercise, but we actually looked this up ourselves, and it is frighteningly real.

Well, that is all for now! Cross your fingers and hope I post a little more frequently! There is lots going on in our lives, which makes me want to post more often but which also prevents me from posting more often. But I’ll try!