Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Anniversary and a Little Us Time

Randy and I hit another noteworthy anniversary this year (the big 15).   Before we had kids, Randy and I used to take an anniversary trip every year.  We went to some pretty cool places: Hawaii, Vancouver, Calgary, Tahiti.  Since then we have only been able to take short trips (like to the Woodlands or San Marcos), usually involving family.  This June I decided that I really wanted to try to take a trip, a real trip this year.  So I have had in the back of my mind that we were going to do something this year.  Scheduling in September (our real anniversary) got bad so I purposefully carved out a weekend in October.  We couldn't decide where to go.  (We are notiriously bad about making decisions.) So I made the executive decision and we went west.  To good 'ole California.  Specifically Carmel.  We made it a long weekend, and I made plans for all the kids, left all the instructions and we took off.  It was the first time I really felt nervous leaving the kids.  I almost couldn't do it!  After all my plotting and planning, I almost couldn't go.  It's weird, and I can't explain it, but I had that little butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling the whole flight to California.  It's probably good that the flight was so long or I might have gone back to check on them!
Carmel was the perfect place for us to go.  So relaxed and slow paced.  Just what we needed.  Some good ocean air and long walks on the beach.  I took a little work with me and I decided not to do too much of it so I could get more rest.  I actually took a nap a couple of days and even went to bed early.  We stayed at a beautful Bed and Breakfast and drove around through the valleys and along the coast.  We truly enjoyed the sights and sounds of the beach.  I mean, who wouldn't want to live along this road?

How crazy is this house with the curvy roof?  It was like a storybook cottage.

Complete with a crooked chimney, and aptly named "Pinch Me".

We drove through Pebble Beach and saw some amazing homes.  Even one available for purchase for the first time in 50 years.  Only 22 million!

Outside our Bed and Breakfast.  We actually got 2 pictures of the both of us this trip!

I am so glad we were able to go.  It took a lot of work, but it was worth it.  I am not sure we'll be able to go every year, but some mommy and daddy time makes for better mommies and daddies.  I was also glad to be home and hug my children.  And the screams of happiness when we opened the door melted my heart.  Absense does make the heart grow fonder!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Justin Lost Another Tooth

Justin lost his second tooth this week and I finally got around to making his tooth pillow.  Travis' pillow is a pirate and I asked Justin what he wanted and he said a pirate like Travis' but then I realized what it should be.  Justin's all-time love is Larry Boy.  So I searched the web and came up blank.  Can you believe no one else has made a Larry Boy tooth pillow and posted it for my benefit?  It's okay, I accepted the challenge and made my own pattern.  I was pretty impressed with my pirate but this is really cool!  Justin was so psyched when he saw it.  He did his little, "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" dance and a few fist pumps.   It was one of those times parents live for, when they do something so right.  I used a combination of sewing and gluing and it worked!  If you don't know what the real Larry Boy looks like, here's a picture.  Justin wants the tooth fairy to come every night and he is a little disappointed when there's nothing in the pocket on the back.  He doesn't really want to lose another tooth quite yet because this one hurt a little more than the first one.  I love that he says "fairy" so well.  Fs have been the focus in speech therapy lately.  How timely!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Who's Feeding Who?

Justin wanted to feed Alaina breakfast.  He did a great job!

Then Alaina fed Justin some cheerios.  What a team!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Justin's Homeschool

Justin started kindergarten this year.  That's kind of difficult to say.  I have been very content only homeschooling Travis, but it was time to add Justin to the mix.  I have enjoyed our routine and now it has to change a little.  In reality, I have been teaching Justin too, with all the therapy "homework" we do, but this is the first time I really get to decide what to teach him.  We are working through the same curriculum I did with Travis, Little Hands to Heaven from Heart of Dakota, but with Travis I used it for preschool.   Justin has been working on upper case letters in OT, and now we are working on lower case and that's part of the thrust of this curriculum so we are using it, plus his other OT things and a little more Bible that includes memory verses. 
I have to say, it's working surprisingly well!  Despite the thought and planning that goes into school I am still surprised when things work out.  Justin mostly loves school, and he doesn't like it when he is having a tough day in general and he doesn't like anything.  (And that usually coincides with a day he is overtired because he took his CPAP mask off and he didn't get good sleep.  Go figure.)  He is amazing me with the way he is remembering his memory verses.  He has a verse for every letter of the alphabet and we are up to "F" which is John 3:16.  It's a long verse and he is getting it.  Plus he remembers all the one we have learned up to now.  I tried to use this book with Travis and he did not like it, but it's Justin's favorite after the Bible story.  The part I struggle to get him to do is his therapy work: matching upper/lower case letters, cutting with scissors, writing his letters, new sentence patterns for speech, prepositions, standing on one foot.  I even make it a game, like "Simon says stand on one foot" but Justin knows all my tricks already.  I need some new ones!
Justin does like art and he is very patient to complete his work.  I was very impressed with his rainbow.  And truly his writing is improving, if I catch him at a good time of day.  That's what's difficult: going back and trying again when he doesn't cooperate the first time.  Justin can be a very good wet noodle when he wants to be!
Travis is great with him too.  They sometimes do art projects together: Travis does Justin's and vice versa.  Travis wants to give Justin all the answers so I can't wait for Alaina to do this and Justin to give her all the answers!  Justin is already a little mother to Alaina.  That's what I treasure about this experience.  Watching them interact and work together is awesome.  Doing puzzles and solving problems together.  That's the way learning should be.  Travis is enjoying hearing the rhymes that coordinate with the letters each week and he sings them along with me.  Alaina dances!  And Justin is getting the letter sounds down and I have high hopes of him reading one day soon.  I think I will cry when he reads his first complete sentence.  One of the rewards I will cherish most!