Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Little Pony Sandwich Bag Art

These were popular. Calista requested that I make a couple for her to take on outings as well. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

1st Day of School: Sandwich Bag Art

Chloe just left for her first day of full day school. I needed to think of some way to keep her lunches simple, yet fun and creative. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Year

Dear Cruz,

Today you’re 1! I can’t believe how fast this year has passed. You’re the sweetest, most lovable boy. I can’t believe you’re officially a toddler.

You still aren’t walking, but you pull yourself up on everything. You love to get into anything and everything; you’re very curious.

We started giving you whole milk last week, but we’re now giving you whole milk and soy milk. The whole milk was too much for your young tummy to handle. You still have both trouble digesting and an overall lack of interest in eating. Mealtime can be troublesome, but hopefully this will pass. 

On the 10th, we had a birthday party for you at the park on our street. You slept through about half of the party, but I think you enjoyed your nap and seeing our friends. Your party had a construction theme, and the weather was perfect, minus a few intense gusts of wind.

I never had a preference for the sex of you or your sisters. That being said, when I found out you were a boy I had trouble envisioning what that looked like in my world. Now that you’re here, I could not imagine my world without you in it. You bring joy to everyone you meet, and you’re the perfect addition to our family. The upcoming year will be filled with adventures. We’re taking a road trip to Oregon this summer, and in October we’re leaving for our new home in Kentucky. During our free time, we’re going to try to have as much fun in the Southwest as possible. I know you won’t remember your time in Arizona, but I think you’ll enjoy the photos of our adventures when you’re older. I love you, my darling son. 

Love Always, Mommy 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Poetic Childhood

I read an article by Maria Minksker on poetry, and I thought her main points were worth sharing on the blog. I bought Chloe most of Shel Silverstein’s library during her early toddler years, but this was a great reminder for me to push poetry. It’s both fun and educational.

Four reasons to read poetry to your children:

It rhymes (mostly)
Rhyming language can help struggling kids read more smoothly. Rhymes also show kids that words are made up of syllables, which helps them recognize the same sound in different words. Plus, it can improve spelling- it’s not so far from “cat” to “mat”, once you have “at”.

It develops vocabulary
Poetry incorporates words kids don’t usually encounter, yet the form’s short, approachable nature makes it easier for them to figure out the meaning from the surrounding context. This can prepare them for tackling longer texts later on.

It introduces literary concepts
Even silly nursery rhymes use alliteration, metaphors, and similes. Encountering concepts like these can help kids develop their language knowledge and become better writers.

It’s easy and fun to memorize
Memorization helps kids internalize patterns of sophisticated language. When they recite, they learn how to enunciate as well as to pronounce unfamiliar words, leading not only to more flexibility with reading but better communication overall.

I plan on adding “His Shoes Were Far Too Tight” and “A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility” to our library list.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ding-Dong! The Helmet is Gone

The last 4+ months have been quite the ride for us as a family. At Cruz’s four month well child appointment, Cruz was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly. Looking back at old photos of Cruz, it’s clear that if Cruz had been seen by a proper pediatrician this would have been diagnosed at his two month appointment or earlier. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s hard to see the incompetence in a medical provider from the beginning. It’s even more challenging when you live in a small town with very few options for medical care. Since he wasn’t able to be seen by a physical therapist from the start of life, he developed a very severe case of torticollis which most likely brought on his moderate case of plagiocephaly. At six months Cruz was fitted for a helmet to work on his plagiocephaly. Since his case was not severe, we were told the process should take between two to four months with some children being done as quickly as one month. We all felt confident that this was the right decision for Cruz, but we were overwhelmed as this was something we never encountered with the girls.

The last 4+ months have been hard. The stares were hard. The comments and questions were hard. Hygiene was hard. At home physical therapy was hard. Trying to keep Cruz from becoming overheated was hard. Turning down play dates, because of constant medical appointments and the heat, was hard. Getting Cruz comfortable enough to get quality sleep was hard. It was hard.

This morning Cruz’s head was measured, and he was released from having to wear his orthopedic helmet. This helmet has been a part of him, 23 hours a day each and every day, for nearly half of his life. I’m filled with joy that I can now nuzzle my baby boy and feel his soft fluffy hair rather than a rough and heavy helmet. I can kiss his forehead immediately when he’s sad, rather than making a few attempts to get his skin rather than the helmet. He can swing at the park without fear of heat related problems. He can be the active baby he wants to be without the additional strain on his already weak neck. He can charge up to his sisters without angering them with scratches or bumps. I can hold him close without fearing I’ll be smacked by his helmet and given a swollen lip.

Today I have a happy heart. I can’t wait to see this little guy take on his world, prosthetic-free.
Heading out

Happy to be heading home, helmet-free

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eleven Months

Dear Cruz,

Today you’re eleven months old! I can’t believe you’ll soon be a toddler; you’ll always be my baby boy though.

You now have six teeth (four on top and two on the bottom); there are more coming through as well. You’ve started to show more of an interest in food as well. You try to take food from everyone, but you’re still not exactly sure what to do with it. You’re enjoying your mashed fruits and veggies though.

You haven’t added any new words to your vocabulary, but you still love to babble. You also like books, which will help you with your language development.

You love cars and trucks, especially your Tonka truck; you even give your vehicles kisses. You also love to get into all of your sisters’ things. They’re good at sharing on most days. Today  Calista gave you a spanking for crashing her tea party. Chloe has a much easier time being a mother figure for you, but she has her rough moments too. You’re going to grow up to be a very tough and patient man.

Lately I’ve started to wonder if you’re part vampire. You bite anything and everything. I know it is part of your teething process, but I’m also desperate for it to pass. Ouch.

You're all boy. You pull yourself up, climb, and knock things over without any fear of hurting yourself. I also feel you’re very close to walking on your own.

Usually you enjoy napping against my chest when we go to the park, but the other day you were ready to play, so I put you in a swing for the first time. You thought it was amazing. I look forward to the removal of your helmet, so we can spend more time outside. You always have a nice time outside, but we have to be careful so you don’t become overheated. We were hoping your helmet would be off at this point (we were told two to four months, and we’ve officially passed the four month mark), but we’re trying to stay positive. The frustrations and inconvenience will be worth it in the end.

I’ve started planning your first birthday party, and it’s been very fun for me. That being said, it’s hard for me to believe how fast you’ve grown. You’re such a handsome boy and have the sweetest temperament.

I love you more and more each day.

Love Always,