Sunday, December 14, 2014

Homeschool

Homeschool.  What do you think of when you hear that word?  Is it a positive or negative thought?  Maybe extremely conservative and/or socially awkward children?  Eh, I never really thought about it much. Until I had kids of my own.  

I suppose it was only normal that I was headed in this direction after doing tot-school with Tanner.  I thought it was because I wanted to teach him his basics and incorporate play, you know, to prepare for school.  That morphed into thinking it was ridiculous to pay for preschool when I can teach him everything he needs to know. (And yes, I can STILL socialize my kid and not have to send him to a "structured" class setting).

And then I started researching.  Oh researching.  I feel like I've spent a quarter of the past 4 years doing that.  Along with trying to get a child to sleep and stay asleep, playing, and nursing...

I had gathered plenty of information to sway me more towards homeschooling my kids.  I'll save my reasonings for myself, because there are so many, and this post would be ridiculously long.   Until we visited our close friends I was probably around 80% sure I was homeschooling.  (Preschool was a definite 100%).  My friend's mom (a 30+ year experienced public school teacher and administrator) pretty much said "Do not send your kids to public school", in the nicest way possible, of course.  She completely validated every single thought I had and then some.  Every fear I had she just squashed it! I left our friend's house that day feeling like God was trying to send me a message.  For the few days before I was still trying to sort the pros and cons in my mind and feeling overwhelmed.  It was an incredible feeling!

For some reason I was worried about how Nick would think about it.  But he shares every thought I have on the topic, as well.  He knows the public school education is not the same as it was when we were in school.  And he knows how much potential our kids have to becoming something great.  We don't want them to lose that spark and the capability of becoming a leader.  My biggest fear was that I would fail my children as their teacher.  But a friend of mine said it perfectly-we believe public school will fail our children. So we will be a homeschooling family!  (I do want to add that learning the location we will be moving to next was a big player in this decision, as well. So in the future, if we were to move to a location with an amazing school system we may change our minds.)

Homeschooling has come a long way since the 80s and 90s.  More and more people are doing it because of personal beliefs and the government's Common Core curriculum. (Once again I am being fairly vague on this as to not "offend" anyone).  There are huge communities of homeschool families.  They have their own extracurricular activities, field trips, and even prom! I'm not saying we will homeschool all through high school, just that there are a lot of options out there.  

My next post will be on my plans for preschool.  We are starting a curriculum plan the first week of January.  I plan to document everything here (to have for memories and to reference back when Wesley is ready to start).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maybe next year.

Today is the 3rd Squadron Holiday party (out of 3) that we've missed. I feel bad even thinking about being sad and feeling like we are missing out. I'm thankful for the reason I have to stay home. But I do feel sad. I miss a lot of squadron functions. 

Tanner is old enough now that I could potentially get a baby sitter for him. But there is absolutely no way it would work with Wesley. He is very high needs. He does not sleep well, and he still nurses a ton. He does not have very long stretches of time where he is happy. And he is difficult to lay down to sleep. 

There is no real point to this post other than to whine, I guess. Although I know this time in my life is so short in the grand scheme of things. Before we know it the boys will not be dependent on us at all. And I will long for these days again. Like right now...it's 1:10am. Haven't slept yet. And nursing the baby for the third time so far tonight. Thank you, Lord, for creating the coffee bean. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tanner's 3rd Birthday Photo Dump

Tanner's birthday isn't until December 8th, but with so many squadron parties and Christmas activities on base that weekend we decided to have his party on November 30th.  After going through a bunch of different party themes on Pinterest with Tanner sitting in my lap, we picked a car theme.  It was so much fun!  Here is what I've been so busy with the past few weeks!





Tanner has talked about birthday hats for months.  I knew that was one thing we HAD to have for him!


Pin the wheel on the truck (It was supposed to be a car but my drawing didn't turn out right.  So I improvised and made it a truck).

We had a "color the wooden car" station.  And then they got to race their cars on the track.


 He had fun, and that's all I could ever hope for his birthday party! I was so worried his friends wouldn't be able to come because it was the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, and two of his best friends have recently moved away. :( But it turned out great! I'm so thankful for everyone who came, and for Nick! He helped so much, even though he had so much to do with his schoolwork. 


He didn't want to blow out his candles.  He knew once he did they would be gone. So his friends did it for him.

And then he realized he wanted to do it after all.  So I relit them.

Darn camera focused on the wrong subject! This would have been a GREAT picture! hehe

A happy boy!
And it's always a dangerous thing when a toddler (ahhh!) preschooler disappears.  Especially in a rented facility.  Luckily he was just helping us clean up...



Happy almost birthday big guy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preparing for a new adventure!

I seem to have fallen behind again.  But really?  It's not really something new.  But to be fair, the past few weeks have been jammed packed with, well, everything. 

Halloween snuck up on me real quick.  I planned on making the boy's costumes and when I realized Halloween was in 1 week I panicked! I originally planned on making them Charlie Brown and Snoopy, but that idea fell apart rather quickly.  Tanner wasn't interested in learning who Charlie Brown was.  And Snoopy only has one spot (on his back) and knowing Wesley was riding in the stroller he would just look like a white dog.  So I just made him a white dog with black spots. I asked Tanner what he wanted to be.  He said, "maybe a monster! Or a dragon! No! A SPIDER!" So after a trip to Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx, I got started on their costumes.  




What else has been happening? Tanner has been playing soccer.  I've been planning his third (WHAT?!) birthday party. Researching and planning Tanner's homeschool preschool (we will begin in January).  Wesley turned 9 months old. I've lost 20 pounds! Nick got his name on his jet. And possibly the most exciting news...

...we got our next assignment!

Nick received his list of possible planes and locations about a month ago.  We rack and stacked them, ranking them 1-26.  And HOT DOG (too much Mickey Mouse?)! We got our FIRST choice!  We are so incredibly excited!  

Ever since April of 2009 when Nick got his pilot slot we've been daydreaming about what plane he would be flying and where we would be living.  In 2011, when Tanner was born and Nick was in pilot training, we decided staying here and having Nick become an instructor pilot was the best for our family.  Thankfully we got our first choice then, as well.  And now that this assignment is almost over, our next adventure is going to begin. We still have several months, but we can start planning and imagining.  

I don't feel comfortable flat out saying where we are going or what Nick will be flying (yet), but we will be near some family.  AND THE OCEAN! Hallelujah, no more land locked state! We are so blessed.  And oh so thankful!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Today

Today was a hard day. 

It started out dark and early around 5:45 with Wesley waking up. Followed by a mouse running across the living room. A MOUSE! Ugh. 

Thankfully Nick was home to help get it out of the house (hopefully).  Nick was also around to help take the boys to the clinic for Wesley's 9 month check up. A few things:

1) Wesley hates being poked/prodded. Especially naked in a cold doctor's office. 

2) Three times now I've had an annoyingly bad experience with the airman who does the growth stats. 

3) Waiting for 45+ minutes in a cold room  for the (new) pediatrician (that I don't really care for) while Wesley screams as loud as he can, just barely keeping himself from vomiting sucks. Heck of a run-on sentence, huh?

Also, Wesley refused his morning nap and only slept barely a hour in the afternoon. He was so tired and grumpy today. Which reminds me...having an extremely temperamental, high needs baby is hard. Especially if that baby hates being cuddled or calmed. 

I sure hope teething is to blame. I'm tired. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weightloss and Running

A little back story/info: I was about 15-20 pounds overweight when I got pregnant with Tanner (a lot of that is boob weight, though-ha!). I gained 60ish pounds with Tanner's pregnancy, and was only able to lose 40 postpartum.  I breastfed, dieted, and exercised and I could not get past that plateau.  I could binge on food during the Holidays, and I wouldn't gain weight either.  It was incredibly annoying.

I got pregnant with Wesley at that same weight.  I only gained 20 pounds with that pregnancy and lost it all immediately 2 months postpartum.  I was right back at that number that I was stuck at for 2 years.  

When Wesley was 2 weeks old he started showing signs of colic (something I don't wish on anyone).  Around a month old I started giving him probiotic drops.  That seemed to help for the most part.  But it didn't get rid of the colic completely.  

Around 4 months old I cut out dairy because of Wesley's colic symptoms mixed with his green, mucousy, blood tinged poop.  3 weeks later I noticed a big difference in the colic, and his poop.  (He is still a very temperamental baby and has his angry moments, but his overall mood is better)

I noticed a difference in Wesley, and in myself as well!  I never realized how much dairy I ate until I couldn't have it anymore.  Not just milk, cheese, chocolate.  But whey and casein, too.  It was very hard at first, but after being dairy free for 4 months it's become normal. 

I also have lost weight!  I think I lost a couple pounds PAST my plateau mark from just cutting dairy!  I started couch to 5k in July and I've lost even more weight.  18 pounds.  It's still so shocking.  I was stuck for so long.  My first goal was to get back to the weight I was when I got pregnant with Tanner.  I have 5 pounds to go.  And then my next goal will be to lose 15 more pounds.  I will reevaluate then, whether or not to lose 5 more.

I've always wanted to be a runner.  So many people talk about how they love to run, how it's a stress reliever, and so on.  Every time I tried to start running I hated it.  Absolutely loathed it.  I couldn't understand why anyone wanted to do that for fun.  But back in July I just had this feeling.  A feeling like I might actually be able to complete couch to 5k.  

I finished the first week and felt great.  Finished the second week, and still felt great.  Each week that passed, I was feeling awesome and proud of myself for sticking with it.  I was so excited (and nervous) to run my first stretch of 2 miles.  I had only done that 2 times in my life (once in high school and once in college).  I did it.  Over and over!  And I've run 3 miles straight!  My last run was a spur of the moment thing with Nick and the boys in the stroller, and I HAD FUN!  What has happened?  I don't know but I love it!

I'm in my 4th month of running, It's not really something new anymore.  It's habit now.  And I'm so happy! 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wesley!

Hmm.  Where to start?  I've got a lot to talk about!  Tanner update, Wesley update, weight loss journey, new assignment, homeschool preschool...

I think I will start with Wesley, since he's the one changing so much, and I'm not documenting it.  

I last posted these pictures.  It was April, and Wesley was just 2 months old.



He's so itty bitty there! It's crazy to see!  He's changed quite a bit since then. See?







This last picture is blurry because he just wont stay still anymore.  It's become tremendously more difficult to take pictures!



A lot has happened since I last updated about this sweet, often grumpy, never naps, squish.

April-
*Rolled from his back to his belly (4.29.14)
*He started laughing. (4.30.14)



May- 
*He slept through the night for the first time (this does not happen often).  (5.14.14)
*It took him just one night to break the swaddle.  I literally took him out of it and that was it. (5.28.14)

June-
*Rolled over from back to belly. (6.17.14)

July-
*Sat unassisted. (7.12.14)
*First food (Apple, carrot) BLW method (7.28.14)
*Said Dada (7.31.14)

August-
*First plane ride (To NC) (8.16.14)
*First time swinging (8.23.14)




September-
*Gave first kisses (to me!) (9.4.14.)
*Said Mama (9.8.14)
*First sickness (a cold) (9.13.14)
*Tooth #1, bottom front left (9.29.14)

Poor sick baby
October-
*Figured out the sippy cup (10.11.14)
*Went from all fours to sitting (10.12.14)

There are three major things about this boy. 1) He has a sensitivity to milk protein, so I've cut all dairy from my diet.  Hidden dairy, too (whey, casein). It's been fabulous for losing weight! I'm hoping he will grow out of it by the time he's a year old.  A lot of his colic was caused by dairy.  It all make sense now.  I stopped eating dairy when he turned 4 months old.  I never realized how much I ate.  But it's worth it, and the weight loss has been pretty nice.

2) He hates sleep.  Really.  The boy will not nap.  He will usually sleep about an hour a day on average.  He pretty much refuses to take a morning nap.  He will sleep maybe one time during the week, if I'm lucky.  And his afternoon nap can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.  It's so different coming from Tanner who would sleep about 4 hours during the day, and still sleeps 2-3 hours a day.  He will usually sleep pretty well during the night, probably from being exhausted.  (and PLEASE don't tell me that it's better to have a baby who sleeps at night and not during the day, than one who sleeps during the day and not at night.  That's not true when you have a toddler who needs some one on one time and can't have it because the baby is screaming all day long.)

I'll spare you the hundreds of pictures I have of him nap striking.  I have a ton.  What a grumpy determined little guy!

3) He is completely, 100% the polar opposite of his brother.  Well, except for nursing.  They both were/are boob obsessed.  Everything from sleep, shape, coloring, temperament, food preferences...and the list goes on and on. Heck, even their pregnancy's were different. (I predicted it, too!)


He very much loves his food! He will eat almost everything.

He has two moods.  Super happy and smiley.  And angry baby.  But boy is he sweet when he wants to be!