Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some fun Preschool Activities we will be doing with letters :)

Activity 1:
I got this from and edited it with dots.  Enjoy! Copy the copy picture and paste into word.  Drag it to the size that you would like it to be.  Print.  Glue to poster board and use a hole punch on the holes.  Give your child a piece of yarn and let them practice lacing.  You can clip or tie the yarn on a clothes pin so that they don't lose one of the ends :)

Activity Two:
  Read The Little Red House   (click title for story)
                           Then use the pieces to paint in apple colors.  See Picture Below
Check back later for more fun to come? Bored now with your kiddos? Make Goop!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I LOVE to do for FUN :)

Dryer balls

Hooded Towel

 Memory Board

Princess Tutu Basket

Tutu gift basket

Bow Board With Bows

Bow Board

Diaper Cake

Diaper Cake


I have also been making pacifier clips and hooded towels.  Pictures to come soon :)  I love having a girl and being able to do all of this in my 'spare' time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I think it's somehow instinctual for her!

Beautiful Mountains! :)

For the past week, my child has been obsessed with mountains and Dollywood.  I think it must be instinctual for her to love the mountain atmosphere.  Did I persuade her somehow when I was pregnant that the mountains were the best?

Or maybe it's this nice lovely fall weather we're having here.  I have to say this.  I DISLIKE HURRICANE SEASON! The rain, the mosquitoes, the following the path to make sure we don't have to evacuate, I just don't like it and apparently she doesn't either.  She woke up, looked out the window, and said, "Mommy, it's raining again.  I want Dollywood today!" I said, "Me too pumpkin, but it's too far away!" Raileigh says, "My Papa will take me!" and that's been her answer for getting there for the past week.  Dear Dad, please send a plane ticket and Dollywood tickets for Raileigh.  She needs out of the mosquitoes and rain! Love, Jamie

If only it were that easy right? But what's not to miss about the mountain in the fall?  The leaves changing color, the crisp mountain air, the wind blowing your hair, the cold mountain water, white water rafting, apple picking, pumpkin farms, hot spring jacuzzis! I could go on for days! What's not to love?

Fun rides!
Going on a bear hunt!

What's not to love?
And then it dawned on me while I'm writing this, where the connection is coming from.  After we came off the train ride at Dollywood, it started to rain! We ate lunch and then rode rides and had a fun filled day because the rain stopped.  I wish a train ride would make the sun come out.  We need sunshine! And I wish Dollywood were much closer, I'd take her back today! :) Family filled fun times are the best! Living life through her eyes is PRICELESS!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom :)

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mom today! She's the perfect role model on what a Mom should be! I love you, Mom!

I had the child from Cheese, Peas, and Chocolate Pudding!

Can you see that kid? The one from Cheese, Peas, and Chocolate Pudding by Betty Van Witsen! He's crawling on the floor, he accidentally eats a bite of hamburger, oh it's so YUMMY good, so he now eats Cheese, Peas, Chocolate Pudding, and Hamburger.  That kid is my diva and here's my cheese, peas, and chocolate pudding experience. 
Raileigh was born to two wonderful parents (haha) who love to eat and try new foods.  Raileigh was also born with two food strikes against her: REFLUX (I'm now in the corner quivering) and two heart murmurs (VSD and PDA).  So Raileigh has too much acid in her stomach to even feel hungry enough to eat and the fact that she has a heart defect makes her not want to eat.  So if there's one thing I can tell you is this: You can't force a baby or toddler to eat.  It...just...won't...HAPPEN! We learned this about our precious princess when she was fifty hours old. We were those parents who sat coaching our child to eat for the first year of her life because let's face it, if she doesn't get a little in her tummy, the acid became silent and then she'd start choking on it.  If you ever saw us coaching her to eat, you probably praised God you didn't have to barter with your child!
She was never hungry.  Give her breast milk, she didn't want it.  Give her Alimentum aka the GOLD formula, she didn't want it.  She'd eat, she'd barf.  We'd measure how much went in verses how much came back.  We were those parents.  I assure you an oz. of liquid looks like A LOT! Rice cereal: she hated with a passion.  Vegetables, she liked at first then refused.  Fruit, she hated at first then LOVED.  From two months until six months, she lived on Alimentum then from six months to a year she lived on Alimentum and pureed fruit. If you think I'm a horrible mother because I gave my child formula, I'll tell you that you're just as horrible for wanting me to give her something  breastmilk that she pewked up more than formula and put more strain on her hole in her heart! Did I want to breastfeed? Yes! Could I? No! I had to pump, put it in a bottle, feed her every hour, hold her up for forty five minutes and repeat.  I fed her once an hour twenty four times a day to make sure she was gaining weight.  And I tell you what, giving her alimentum was the best thing I ever did.  It allowed her to keep it down with the proper dose of prevacid.  It allowed her to gain weight and grow to meet her milestones.   And to all the Moms who formula fed their babies and had people throw it in their  face, I will promise you one thing! YOUR CHILD WILL BE JUST AS SMART AS THE OTHERS AS LONG AS YOU GIVE YOUR CHILD THE TOOLS FOR LEARNING AND SUCCESS! In my book of pet peeves, there is number 14: people who tell you your child will be dumb and not successful because you gave them formula and then they turn on the TV to let the TV raise their child while they share a Coke with their child! Do you hear the sirens going off?? Annoying, I tell you.
Now back to my story! When Raileigh was old enough to eat a cracker/cheese puff (gasp, i know horrid isn't it), we gave it to her.  She's definitely my mini me.  I used to drive my Mom crazy because all I would eat is cheese puffs.  Pay back sucks! :) So we learned that Raileigh eats this: Cheese, Peas, chocolate pudding, chocolate, crackers, other pudding, chips, cheese puffs, bananas, strawberries, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, eggs, peanut butter, french fries, HOMEmade tortillas (her favorite from the restaurant Pinto Bean), ice cream (can't be whole milk as she only drinks soy milk, but she can have reduced fat...), goldfish, grilled cheese, cookies, vanilla wafers...Get the picture?
We tried the approach, she will eat when she's hungry.  No she will not eat anything other than those foods when she's hungry and you will pay for it at night because she's hungry and it's bedtime.  Call me sucker! I might even pucker up like a sucker fish! That's okay, I'm no mother dearest, I don't demand she eat the food or she eat it every meal until it's gone.  I wasn't raised like that and through my own experience, I have learned that she will eat the vegetables/fruits/proteins etc. when she is ready.  It's more important that she get calories and enough fat per day to help her heart hole close.  We offer her meats and vegetables, and we move on.  We don't harp on her not wanting the food.  We want her to eat healthy amounts and thrive.  We don't want that child who was labeled failure to thrive which I might add is NOT her label anymore.  I made sure she would be able to stick her tongue out at Dr. Dingdong and say ha, you were incorrect!
What made me think of this story to write is today's lunch adventure.  And I'm that provider that offers choices to the kids, I don't make them eat what they don't want to because I don't want the stress of it.  If they eat it fine, if not okay. WIth that being said, I don't have Doritos and M&Ms for lunch, it's healthy choices that I know the children will like.
Moving right along.  So today at lunch, Raileigh is eating her famous grilled cheese, banana, pudding, while the other kids are eating, chicken, pudding, carrots, and bananas which is what they wanted.  I offered the kids ranch to go with their carrots and Raileigh says, "Mommy, I want ranch and carrot!" YAH! So I give it to her.  She holds it in her hand and says, "Lucas, carrot is yummy.  Laila carrot is good! MMM! Hunter eat your carrot, it is so tastey! while eats her grilled cheese, still holding the carrot in her hand.  Mommy, I like carrot.  It GOOD!" So all through lunch, she's eating and repeating to the kids how fantastic this carrot is.  And then the MOMENT, we've all been waiting for comes.  I'm watching from the corner of my eye.  The other kids, are brushing teeth, washing hands, nothing different than any other day, she's my slow one and will finish eating last, she redips it in ranch, she takes a bite, it rolls from her tongue, she tucks it under her leg.  She SHOUTS: 'MOMMY IT'S GOOD, I LOVE THOSE YUMMY CARROTS!'  I didn't react any other way, than saying ME TOO RAILEIGH! I love ranch and carrots.  She didn't have her hamburger moment today and it's okay.  She will one day. I'm just proud that at 25 months, she will taste something new (on her own time) and she will finally crawl in your lap to see what you're eating.It's okay to us that she's that kid who wants a spoonful of peanut butter to lick while playing.  It's who she is.
We have had other people try to give her foods she doesn't want because they 'bet' they can get her to eat it.  Guess what? They couldn't! If they could or you could, I'd love it! But I'm okay with her waiting for her hamburger moment. I'm okay with raising the beautiful girl who likes her Cheese, Peas, And chocolate pudding.  Every day the same ol' thing...cheese, peas, and chocolate pudding.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I love...

I love this blog! I love that I can write down whatever I want and it doesn't matter one way or another.  You can read it or not, but at least I'm back to doing one thing I love a.ka. sharing my opinion! I love that I can write whatever/whenever and it doesn't matter!

I love kindergarten kids.  I love the desire to learn.  I love teaching reading/writing.  I love the making connections.  I even loved the first day screamers/criers and parents that sealed their kisses with a stamp so the kids would have a great first day! What I didn't realize after my first day teaching kindergarten is that this would be me someday! If you told me, on my first day as a kindergarten teacher that I would stay home one day with my children, I may have decked you.  I never saw myself as a stay at home Mom.  Teaching fourth grade (oh by the way, those kids are graduating this school year.  When did I get old? ), Four years in kindergarten, remarrying a man who I can honestly say is my best friend, teaching third grade, and getting pregnant is when it hit me that this is what I wanted to do.

I didn't want to send my kid to an unsafe daycare.  I didn't want someone else to raise my child while I raised others. I wanted to be selfish.  I wanted to see the first steps, hear the first words, get all the smiles, hugs, cries. I wanted to be selfish.  What I LOVED even more is that my husband was okay with that.  He was okay with me taking a $42,000 pay cut to stay a home. Remind him of this now and he may make me get three jobs! He was okay with not getting the extras in life to be able to come home and hold me accountable for Raileigh.  I mean let's face it, if he has one problem with the way she's being raised, he can talk to me about it all night.

What I love even more than teaching fourth grade/first/kindergarten/third/etc., is teaching my child. I love watching the world evolve right before her eyes. I love hearing her language develop and her big girl talk.  I love her potty 'learning' and I love her tantrums. I love all of it because it is who she is.  Some people have a misconception about stay at home Moms.  I'm not Peggy Bundy. I don't sit on a couch all day and eat bon bons.  I could go off on a tangent about this because I assure you I had it made teaching with a uninterrupted lunch and a planning period.  There are days that I want to run to work and then I hear a giggle and it reminds me how special being a Mommy is.  I got to capture that giggle in my head and cherish it in my heart.  There are days I wish Patrick could stay home just to witness it.  I can only hope that I capture enough pictures to show him how awesome she is. Yes Mom and Dad, you love me because you sent me to Clemson to acquire a degree in Early Childhood Education so I could become a Stay at Home Mom.  I promise it will not be forever :)

And then when Raileigh was one, I decided she needed someone to play with/to learn with/to grow with and that's when I decided to open a preschool in my home.   Last year, I had another one year old and a four year old.  It was the most amazing experience to watch these kids learn to talk/read/write and socialize.  I was very blessed that two teachers wanting me to capture their child's learning and share it with them through pictures and activities.  This year I have a two year old full time and a two and four year old part time.  I now pick up a five year old (who was four last year) from school once a week.  I love my job! I love measuring success in how many times I cleaned up poop and pee. I love watching these kids read/write/communicate and learn.  I LOVE the giggles and the "i love you's" to me and to each other.  I love the fact that they treat each other with respect one minute and scream mine the next.  I love watching these minis develop their personalities.  I'ts amazing! I love watching two and four year olds read and if you tell me they can't I'm going to prove you wrong!

I got to witness this  yesterday:
He's two! :)

She's two! :)
He's four! :)
She's two! :)
I love teaching these kids to learn to love and I love learning along the way! I love life and it's all about what you make of it! Not everyday is a rose petal, but let's face it, the grass is only greener on the other side  

because the septic tank overflowed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Joy is...

Joy is: 
 jumping in the rain in a hula hoop at a princess birthday party with your new friends.

Joy is...
a first lick of a lollipop!
Joy is...

buckets and water on a hot summer day getting soaked and not one adult telling you not to get dirty!

This folks is a little about the joy that life should bring you!

My Mom Made It Look So Easy!

Just a friendly reminder before reading. I don't edit.  You must read all typos and grammar mistakes.  I'm a Mommy, not an author of a book :)

Looking back and  now chasing a very active 25 month old, I realize how easy my Mom made being a Mommy look.  I never remember her looking tired.  She never told me that she didn't want to read to me.  She never told me I couldn't help her cook and splash eggs and flours all over the kitchen.  She never looked sick.  I never heard her complain.
I babysat a lot.  I've been a Nanny.  I've worked in daycare.  I graduated from Clemson with a degree in Early Childhood education.
Words can't describe how happy Patrick and I were when we found out we were pregnant with our little peanut.  How Happy she makes us everyday of her life even when she's throwing a major tantrum.  I wasn't nervous at all.  I loved being pregnant and folks let's face it, I had morning sickness for six months.  But there's absolutely nothing better than a baby kick or hiccup.  It's a miracle.  I remember the first time Patrick felt Raileigh kick.  I remember putting ice on my belly so my Daddy could feel her move.  AMAZING!  I remember the ultrasounds, how tired you could feel, and I always felt like if I could model myself after my Mom, I'd be amazing.
I was scheduled to have Raileigh via c-section on July 17th, my beautiful niece's birthday also one day after my birthday.  I was wheeled into the room, while Patrick stood outside, complete panic on his face because they wouldn't let him be with me to have my spinal.  At 12:26, I had Raileigh Brooke, a beautiful girl with an APGAR of 9.  That's the moment, I knew something was wrong.  Her reflexes were good.  Her pediatrician said she was wonderful.  Day two, the night nurse kept running in every thirty minutes, doing vitals and watching her respiratory.
I knew something was wrong, but she just smiled, told me that her respiratory was up and she'd be back.  The next day another nurse said to pack our bags to get ready, a doctor would be there to discharge us.  That was at 10:00 in the morning.  At 5:00 that night, my heart ached, as my gut feeling was right.  Raileigh had a heart murmur.  I can't explain to you the emotions that I felt.  I can't explain to you how much I wanted that button to push to make it all go away.  A whirlwind trip in the NICU with an amazing neo doctor and we left the hospital seven days later with a diagnosis: VSD/PDA heart murmor, GERD, right toricollis, jaundice, delayed gastric emptying and appointments with three doctors to follow Raileigh and two clinics for supervision.  I was a Mommy on a mission.  My daughter was perfect and I was going to show the world just like my Mom did that my daughter could meet milestones and that she would conquer her goals!
My Mom flew in three weeks after Raileigh was born and I went back into the hospital, not fun, but was blessed that it happened at a time where my Mom could take care of her with my Aunt there by her side helping!
Raileigh pewked at minimal 30 times a day.  I do not wish Reflux on anyone.  The doctor changed her formula to the more calorie supplemented with breastmilk because she went from 6.7 to 4.9 with breastmilk.  In doing this, it curdled  in her stomach after my Mom fed her and was holding her up and she barfed what looked like oatmeal.  My made made it look to easy as she flipped her over and got it out of her mouth onto the towel (which we had plenty because she couldn't keep anything in her tummy).  Mom then called me into the room to look at it and to call the pediatrician.  I wanted to shout fix her Mommy to the top of my lungs.  I had to become the adult, the Mommy, and take charge.  I did and after finding a gastro and the right pediatrician for her, Raileigh's reflux is now controlled.  But I must mention something here for first time Mommies and Daddies:
Here is what they don't remember to tell you:
1.  Breastfeeding does not feel natural and when you have to pump to send it to the NICU you feel like you belong on a dairy farm right beside the cow.  (There's a funny story about this, but I shall share it in another blog).
2.  HORMONES are horrible.  You will feel like killing your spouse one minute and thinking he is king the next.  Men back away, far away, and tell your wife you will take the baby so she can sleep.  I promise you, the hormones will go back to normal.   Beware.  I think mine were not completely back to normal for six months, Patrick still says I have my moments, haha!
3.  You are exhausted.  You haven't slept for months and now you are responsible 24 hours a day for this little miracle. When I babysat babies overnight, I could go home and nap later.  What they don't tell reflux Mommies that have to feed their babies every hour is how to survive on zero sleep.  The angelcare sleep monitor can rescue you.  I promise you! The sleep will come or you will just adjust to none! :)
4.  Cloth diapers are not gross now.  Get a diaper sprayer and be on your way to saving money.  I wish I would have listened early on because I could have saved about 1800 bucks!
This list could go on and on.
Mom you made it look so easy! I think when you retire, you should move in! Being a Mommy is the most amazing thing I've ever done.  Having her say I love you Mommy or jumping in puddles in the rain giggling is awesome, but I must admit there are days where I am so tired, that I wonder how my Mom did it.  She always had a house full of us with friends and cousins and I never saw her look tired/exhausted/sick.  She's my hero.  I can only pray that the eye cream and lotion and coffee will keep me going so I can allow Raileigh to see the world as my Mom allowed me to see it.  She's my hero!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Everyone loves freebies!

Win a Leslie's boutique's Diaper bag set and Rockin Green detergent by going to this blogspot! Go here!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who Is Yours Truly?

Just a little FYI: I don't proofread these so if you're here for grammar, there is a nice x button in the top right hand corner of your screen, that will save you the annoyance! Just read between the lines, I don't have time to edit these posts, I spend that time being a Mommy!
I am me! I'm a Carolina girl born to two amazing parents, one amazing sister, and an amazing brother.  I have amazing nieces, nephews, and in laws.  I love my family and if you mess with them, I may haunt you :)
I'm a transplant in South Texas where we have four season: hot, hotter, hot as Hades, and Christmas.  I'm a teacher by heart and I'm a Stay at Home Mom who runs a very simple preschool in my home.  I love my job, but I must admit there are days where I feel like my little ones will tie me up, pee all over, and SHOUT super children to the top of their lungs while they pull all the toilet paper off the roll and flush me and my head down the toilet.  Aren't you jealous? Nevermind, I know you are because  99 percent of the time, it's all giggles, learning, and random hugs and kisses.
My husband is my rock unless he's sick and then I want to ship him home to his Mom's house.  He works hard to support our family and is very supportive of  me. 
I have one amazing, opinionated, mini me who is two and she's fabulous.  Her name is Raileigh and it's amazing to see the world through her eyes.  She's a CHD warrior (VSD and PDA) <congenital heart defects> and she has horrid acid reflux.  She's takes gymnastics and she's an amazing boss :)
I secretly want Angelina Jolie's money so that I can rescue all the babies from Reece's Rainbow.  I'd love to own an orphanage.  I'd love to take all the kids without a Mommy and Daddy and give them the life they deserve!
In my ideal world, I own a dress up boutique, where I sell tutus, bows, cowboy hats, birthday cards, etc where kids can dress up and have their picture taken.  I love taking pictures and I will drive you crazy constantly having my flash in your face.
I'm also very opinionated so many sentiments from yours truly can be found here.  ENJOY!