Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shouldn't Surprise Me

Oooookay, so much for my concerns over Ava's concentration and attention, at least for Candyland. Now, after just the first few (of unknown total number) times of playing, she has it mastered to the point she beats me. Although she doesn't yet comprehend landing on a card that sends you backwards is a bad thing.
Also, we worked on the letter L with all the leaves around now. She picked up a few and we painted one side to print on paper. They didn't want to cooperate though, so she painted the whole sheet(s).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Halloween reminiscing...

First one, a bit young for trick or treating, an outfit we already had.

Second year, little ladybug, rained that year.

Last year, cheerleader again, that's a scarecrow if you're wondering.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trekking Along The Preschool Path

First of all, it has finally cooled off here! Yaaay! I almost complained about it being too cold last night, but then stopped myself, and remembered how short-lived this coolness/cold always seems every year. That and I've been counting the days since late spring for this day. I really do love it, hubby especially does, and so does my hair (hates heat and humidity).

Moving on, on today's preschool home school agenda was learning to play another new board game, Candyland. I love using board games as learning tools. There are so many aspects to use: colors, counting, shapes, letters etc. depending on the game. We dove right into the candyland, but then had to backtrack a little and do a little basic practicing. She was having a little difficulty understanding we were following a path to win. She would try to move her man to any square of the color on the card. So I stopped and had her follow my finger as I said different colors I to move to. She seemed to do better. We'll work on it.
I think I'm going to cut back the computer games for a while. I think it is affecting her ability to concentrate and follow one thing at a time. On the computer (mostly nick jr. and noggin's sites), she can just skip to the next thing if she can't catch on or gets bored. I noticed with this board game (not all the ones she has), she didn't want to stay with her man and what was just ahead, but would even move to a square way back (right color, wrong direction). I don't know, could be her age too.

Aaaaanyway, another thing I thought of today to work on is lower case letters. She knows all the upper case, but has difficulty with most lower. I think I'm going to make some flash cards with the upper on one side and lower on the other. I also want to make some number flash cards. She can recognize 1 through 9, but double-digits are a challenge. Her favorite art thing is painting. We're working on coloring in lines, and scissors for that area too.

My challenge is keeping it all short and simple. That's for her attention span and my patience.:)

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Miracle To Report

The little 2 yr old girl, Natalie, I posted about before that was receiving treatment at St. Jude for a brain tumor has just been declared tumor-free! Apparently, the doctors there have been able to shrink it so much that it is not even visible, they're saying gone. I don't know any other details right now, but I think that's the most important one. God just completely turned upside down they're bleak prognosis.
Hopefully, now the family can plan on a brighter future with her (the dad could not bear to even think of it before). Praise be to God for this amazing miracle!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Now, Randomly Speaking (something I'm good at)

I have been tagged again by another friend Tiffany to do a quirky list of 7 random things about myself. I thought, at first, it was only kitchen items as Tiffany did hers on, but then I actually read the directions more closely. hello.

1. I met my husband through a blind date set up by my cousin (not with a cousin). She was later my matron of honor, mainly to thank her, but also we were close growing up.

2. Because breast feeding didn't work out (preemie-related problems played large part), I pumped all of Ava's milk for one whole year (2/21/05-3/9/06). I was determined that every bit of milk she had was breast milk, even if it meant pumping at several times every day and night. I even had an adapter to plug it into for when we were on long trips. I did actually miss it some afterwards, but not the monthly payment for the hospital pump (only way to go for full-time pumping).

3. In high school, I really wanted to do something in marketing one day (was even in DECA, a high school/college marketing club). I liked the creative aspect I could express myself in.

4. I have flown (in an airplane) only once. That was to Cancun, Mexico for our first anniversary. It was a great all-inclusive resort.

5. I'm a bit of a history buff. I love to research and find out interesting info on towns, its history, old houses and buildings, people etc..

6. I love artsy/craftsy stuff. I like to sometimes find projects and add my own touches. I did scrap booking for a while, but kept neglecting the books I'd start, so I do some digital scrap booking now.

7. I prefer old movies and tv shows to new ones. Some favorite movies: You Can't Take It With You, The Shop Around The Corner, Little Women (30's version), The Thin Man, etc.. Some tv: Andy Griffith, Ozzie and Harriet, Dick Van Dyke, etc.. Now it's like they're from a whole different world, not just time.

I was tagged, therefore, I tag:

I'll have to decide on that later. I've taken too long just to do the list right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Try to control your laughter...
Over this past weekend we celebrated Ava's official potty training achievement. We didn't do anything big, but I did make the cake I bribed promised her once she was doing it all in the potty and without me begging each time. It did not, however, turn out anything like I was planning. I ended up having to do the frog and kandoo a totally different way, which is why he looks like he had botox injections around the mouth and eyes. Then the piping I did around the whole thing did not work out because the tips for the squeeze tube icing kept popping off (that's also the reason for the terrible "ava" and "it").

But, Ava, of course, did not care and loved it anyway. She had to have candles on it, 5 to be exact, for some reason. We let her put it on her table and poke around on it all she wanted. I also got her a few balloons, which is one of her most favorite things.

Yes, she had just woke up as she looks. I finished the cake while she was napping.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Honestly Speaking

My friend Jill has tagged me for a list to confess four things that may be difficult to admit in my life right now. Actually that was several days ago, so maybe I should add my procrastination to the list. Being that I am pretty critical of myself most of the time, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some. The hard part will be narrowing it down to any number.

1. So I'll just start with me specifically. There are days I feel I am not doing enough to be a godly wife and mother, ok there's a lot of those days. One thing I sometimes feel guilty about even though I know it's one of the best things I can do for Ava, is not working outside the home. This is mostly because of the financial aspect. I just remind myself that just because we don't have every little luxury there is, that no amount of extra money would make up for the things I would miss with Ava. Another thing that would actually create more guilt if I did work elsewhere is my feeling unable to keep everything spotless and organized all the time. I sometimes feel I am constantly straightening with no results to show. Also, would be my inability to plan meals, homemade of course, for at least a week. It just never works out when I try. This is mainly due to my husband's deciding he wants something totally different from my plan mid-week on. Who, by the way, reminds me regularly how grateful he is for all I do and of course, how much he loves me no matter what.

2. Then there's Ava. I am usually quite critical of my parenting skills. I guess this stems from being a first-time parent of only the one child. Am I doing all I can to raise her to be the selfless child of God I hope she'll be? Am I doing what I should for home school preschool? Do I let her eat too much of the wrong things? Does she get enough exercise? Am I choosing the right ways to discipline? These questions could and will go on til she's 18 I'm sure. But then when she's living her own life somewhere I'll be going back over them wondering if I'm the cause when something goes wrong. At that point I hope to be able to just hand it over to God and pray for the best.

3. I'm getting frustrated with myself on my weight. I don't have the will power I had several years ago when I lost so much so quickly. Granted, I don't have the same reason I did then. I should be able to do it for myself and my family now. Exercising, when I do, is not enough now. I just don't want to ever let myself get up to where I was before. I never got to my ultimate goal weight, but now it seems soooo far away. After Ava, I had just 10 lbs left (to the weight just before pregnant) for the longest time, now I know that has actually increased. I want to set a good example for Ava early, by staying active and eating right.

4. I know I don't make enough time for God in my daily schedule. Which I feel especially guilty of since I'm at home so much. I am working on this. I have been trying to get up before Ava at least by an hour to read the bible and talk with Him. I know that the above things along with others I could continue to list could be more easily dealt with by doing so more regularly. I know he doesn't want me piling these insecurities on myself, but rather bring them to lay before Him to guide me through. Instead of telling Him how I don't know if I'm doing this or that right or complaining about things I can't do anything about at all, I should remember the verse "Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10 and know He's there to take it all.

The Rest Of It

For all those I left in suspense with the picture of my finished project yesterday (ok, mainly Tiffany hahaha). This is the rest of the costume they call poodle cutie.

Which, btw, I found online for less than half the price of other sites, so I had to jump on it. And because it didn't come with the shoes, I decided to find a way to make them since she'd probably never wear them again ( Mine are a bit different. But I got to looking at a picture of the real thing and decided they needed to be more authentic (in my usual obsessive way I do most projects).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Look what I finally finished (never mind the dirty carpet)! They are for Ava's halloween costume.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Birthday Shmirthday

(uhm, that's gonna need a few more candles)

My birthday was yesterday, and my age is already catching up to me because I forgot to post like I planned last night. The day came and went just as I wanted, quietly with my little family. No big party, just dinner out at a new place since I don't really have a favorite down here. We actually went all the way to the big town of Cleveland (MS that is), to The Pickled Okra. We had heard it was good, and were expecting a small country place. What we didn't know was it had bar and grill tacked on to the end of the name, but that's ok, so is a lot of other places like Chili's. Being smaller, the bar was much more of a focal point, so it felt weird having Ava there, but they did have a children's menu. It did create the downside of not much of a non-smoking area. But those things were easily forgiven once we got our food. Just about everything was great.

To keep this from turning into one big restaurant review, I'll just give highlights. The appetizers were very good (I always have to try the spinach/artichoke dip everywhere and Kevin had to have fried mushrooms which I don't like anywhere). My shrimp and crawfish pasta pascagoula was really good (actually better than I thought it was going to be, as I'm not a huge crawfish fan, but like it if it's not too strong). But then I try to get something new to me at a new, to me. Kevin liked the majority of his seafood platter. Ava seemed to like her chicken and fries (no big shock). We all shared the vanilla bean cheesecake for dessert, as I did not have much room left for more than a few bites. No, I did not mention it was my birthday, I never do at restaurants. Aside from trying to keep Ava off the small stage in front of the big expensive large screen t.v.'s (it seems she had an appetite for performing more than food), she was actually pretty well-behaved despite us giving into her rare plea for coke. It helped also that she slept part of the 45 minutes it took to get there. Which, by the way, I'm not sure if I'd make that trip again specifically for this place, but if passing through or near it I would certainly go there again.

Now, as far as my saying turning 31 was going to be harder than 30, it's, of course, not that bad. I just think it's a little surreal now that I am not just 30, but officially "in my 30's". I know, that sounds crazy, but I just can't help but think of when I used to think over 30 was so older, and so far away. But, I wouldn't want to go back to the age when I thought that by any means. No, everything God has placed in my path over the years, good and not-so-good, has been a blessing. So, I look forward to the years left He grants me, and see each one as becoming wiser and closer to Him (as in knowing, not as much seeing ;) ).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Almost "Frog Cake" Time!

Well, folks, I think Ava has finally just about graduated potty training. She has number one mastered, has for several weeks, but number two every time just hasn't been as easy. But, for the past week, it has all been in the potty! (I'm knocking on wood as I type.) She has been pretty excited each time, so I'm hoping she'll keep it up. She loves to show us the lovely shapes each time, and of course, we get excited and cheer for her too. Actually, she just had me go in there, and she showed "fellow" too (her pocket-size imaginary friend).

So, now she has been reminding me of the promise I made to make her a cake with the Pampers Kandoo frog saying Ava Kandoo it!, but I told her we'd give it just a little longer to be sure. I told her early on I would make it once she was completely going on her own and doing both one and two (peepee and poopy to her, but I hate to keep writing that) in the potty only. I'm going to give it till next week, then we'll have a little party for her. I'll post a picture of the cake if it turns out decent. Maybe I won't get into copyright trouble.

She has taken a little longer than most kids, considering she's over three, but like I said before, we had a lot going on during the first time we tried. Then again, kids can be ahead of others in one area more than other areas. I know she's still progressing just fine, if not ahead, in most other things. As in the home preschool we've been working on.

To update that, we've been doing some workbooks (one is for 4-6 that she's doing pretty well in). We also do a numbers/letters board game, and some art. She loves reading so far, and likes to try to tell the story by the pictures and what she remembers it saying. I decided to forgo the kits out there for now, and just do a few activities that I know she'll like each day. Trying to keep it simple as her attention span is about the same as her peers. We'll save the more scheduled kits for kindergarten. I just hope I make it that far.:)