Friday, October 13, 2017

The first few weeks

Lucie is just under a month old, so in the hopes of completing this post, I'll aim for brevity.

Background: She's my fourth Cesarean delivery, and I had forgotten how debilitating the reviver process is. Just yesterday, nearly four weeks post partum, I was able to bend down. I'm grateful for all the mundane, again, that's for certain! Two weeks ago it took me more than 30 minutes to walk from the toilet to the shower, and that was finally accomplished with help.  Needless to say, I've not been 100% myself these weeks, but I'm slowly easing back into a routine. That said, yes, the kids' schedules are a mess, as is the house, and life lol, but I'm alive and everyday is a new chance to make it better.

Product recommendation: I'm absolutely mindless while on drugs at the hospital, and depending on my stress levels, even at home for a bit, so I need apps to help take the guess work out of certain activities while I adapt to new norms after each child. If you're looking for an app to keep track of feedings, etc, I found baby manager ( to be fantastic. One of my favorite features is that I could share it with my mother who helps me with my kids. In this way, we can update, say, medications, and not stress about who gave what at what time because it's already there. My primary use, though, was while in the hospital to help track nursings and diapers. After that, I don't use it so much, but until I'm in the habit and confident, is priceless. That said, I use the free version, still, and I have no other affiliation with the company.

I'm back, again, and this time with Four kids!

My life is far from perfect, so because I've struggled with imposter's syndrome for so many years, I've kept from updating this blog. I'm back, again, clearly. And in the time that's passed, our family's been blessed by two more children. Mikey is two years old now, and Lucie is 4 weeks old. Joey and Kaelie are 8 and 6, respectively.  My family feels complete, now, so I want to be sure to chronicle my journey. Though difficult for me to embrace, I believe that in sharing my missteps, even, I can do good, so here I am, trying again :) Thanks for following along.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Forward Progress, Drip by (Oil) Drip (Pan)

WooHoo.  We picked up our oil drip pans from wally world (walmart) today.  We also picked up some circular and rectangular baking sheets from the dollar store.  The goal was to use it for piano lessons, but with so many ideas at (thanks Tonya for sharing!), who knows what we can do.  I'm sure there will be future posts with pics of them in use.  For now, this post is all I can muster.

Also, I ordered dry erase rolls to put on the walls and on the oil drip pan.  I'm really hoping it turns out like I envision (or better!).  Here's a link to that:  Who knows if it works by the time you read this, but hopefully you get the idea.  Just type "dry erase roll" into amazon or google.  Yes, I hope to update once that actually comes in.  Oddly enough, I am pretty excited by this, especially since it means that I can finally turn one of our walls into a massive, colorful, constantly-changing learning center. Yay!

As for our progress today, the best that I could do was add a bit to our routine guide, and complete the morning activities, plus jam the music lessons in after we returned from an indoor playgroup and errands (drip pans and baking sheets).

I've set a goal for the next thirty days to really focus on reading, math, and music.  That's not to say that motor skills, memory building activities, geography, art, history, etc, are going by the wayside.  It just means that I'm feeling guilty about the time I've taken from my kids to return to school, and that I'm hoping to focus on my kids a bit more now (hopefully not to the detriment of my classes!).   Wish me luck.  :-)

PS - I'll post an update of our schedule some other time when it's a bit more finalized.  I got no sleep last night and need to go to bed NOW.

Day's Progress - Great; Plus K Turns 21 mo!

Super exhausted ... if I go to sleep now, I'll have just under two hrs before the kids wake me, but it was such a good day that I wanted to post something - anything - to remember (and try to keep the momentum going).

Music: Here's the update to our SM Progress Post:, which includes links to pics and a vid.

Everything Else - Here's a general outline I put together.  I didn't get to review it in the whole day, but after the kids fell asleep, I was able to make some minor adjustments.

DailyMorningsGratitude (prayer) & Greetings (hugs, kisses, love)

MusicSM Credit: Note Alphabet Chant
     - Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do; Do Ti La Sol Fa Mi Re Do     - Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do Re; Re Do Ti La Sol Fa Mi Re     - Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do Re Mi; Mi Re Do Ti La Sol Fa Mi     - Fa Sol La Ti Do Re Mi Fa; Fa Mi Re Do Ti La Sol Fa     - Sol La Ti Do Re Mi Fa Sol; Sol Fa Mi Re Do Ti La Sol     - La Ti Do Re Mi Fa Sol La; La Sol Fa Mi Re Do Ti La     - Ti Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti; Ti La Sol Fa Mi Re Do TiLearn Solfege Song:
SM Credit: Note Alphabet Game (5-10 min); Make as many notes as possible
SM Credit: Fruit Line Game (1 - 3 minutes); Improved Note Scores w/in Same Time Pd
SM Credit: Hanon Exercises
5 Songs Memorized in Solfege w/Magnets
     - Hot Cross Buns
     - Ode to Joy
     - Twinkle, Twinkle
     - Itsy, Bitsy Spider
     - Row, Row, Row Your Boat
SM Credit: Nursery Prime Songs - Level 2; R; L; P (Goal: 5 min, then 4, then 3; add two hands after mistakes are less than timing)
MathAddition/Subtraction 0 to 10, then doubles to 20
Skip counting forward and backwards 1 to 12
Mathematicus Fantastikos
Building & Problem Solving Times
ReadingPhonics Fluency & Confidence
Mommy reads through abridged classics & biographies (Current: Peter Pan; Potentials:; Completed: Oliver Twist)
WritingTyping Fluency & 26 letters, 10 numbers, etc
Spelling List (start with Dolch site words?)
GeographyIdentify all 50 states, 50 capitols, major cities, and UN recognized nations and countries
HistoryListen to one CD of SOTW each week (averages to 5 to 10 minutes/day)
ScienceSimple Science & Biology CDs, plus experiments
Chemistry: Work on periodic table song (make cards to place on empty table), use flash cards
Physics: Continue building and explaining key concepts (friction, motion, etc)
Astronomy: Use telescope during Spring & Fall, practice seeing constellations
Anatomy: Learn bones, muscles, parts, and systems of the body
Biology: Setup fish tank and watch eggs hatch; learn about lifecycle of plant, frog, chick, and human; plant things in see-through planter
ASLDaily Signing Usage - Signing Time, Learn to Play Signed Songs, Deaf Storytime Videos
FrenchConversations at least twice each week
Play videos at least twice each week
Watch one french movie each week, or at least equal time in french videos
JapaneseFind Japanese playgroup; play Japanese videos once/week
SwimmingMust go at least once each week, preferably twice!!!!!!
BikePractice Daily for a few minutes (Kaelie)
GymnasticsGo once/week for lessons, practice at home

Summary: Tomorrow I'll try to post another update, hopefully with progress!  Wish me luck (low to no sleep days aren't very productive, typically :-/).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tickling the (Not Real) Ivories Again

We're back at it - yay!  Here's the progress report I just posted:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Schedule Review, Goals, & Update

I can't believe it, but a year has truly passed since I wrote our first schedule here: Reluctantly, I can't say that much has changed. For those who aren't aware, last May (2012) I made the decision to pursue my PhD. I really want to contribute in a major way towards the educational makeover of our country (and the world, really), but I feel strongly that my message will be more powerful if I can get letters behind my name. Unfortunately, although I'm grateful for my twenties, they went by in the blink of an eye, and without so much as a college credit successfully completed. So, long story short, I started from scratch. Fortunately, if all goes well, by this May 2013 I will have my associate's degree, and hopefully two years later (ideally less!), I will finally have completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology. If all goes really well, I'll also have my degree in Elementary Education and certified to teach with endorsements for both elementary and ESL. Hopefully, it won't stop there, though. Before Kaelie's ten, I'd like to have my PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Developmental Psychology (focuses on pregnancy through adolescence), as well as in Gifted Education - or at the very least a Masters. So, wish me luck.

It's exciting to set these goals for myself, but in truth, the most difficult aspect has been making this decision while my children are at their 'prime' for learning. Clearly, I have been on a bit of hiatus for the past ten months or so, but with some luck, I'll be able to get into a nice routine now. Part of returning to school has meant that we have been in between homes for almost a year now, but it seems like we are getting a feel for it now. On that note, in brief, we'll review the goals for the kids for this year.

Joey is 3 (42 months). He has been potty trained since once, reading whole words since one, and counting past twenty since one, as well as speaking multiple languages. Now he also rides a two wheeler and reads phonetically, counts forwards and backwards from 0 to 100, and knows some basic math facts (addition & skip counting by 5, 9, 2, etc). He had learned to swim and was picking up piano, but both were cut off last year just as he was getting it. Without repetition ... well, you use it or lose it. The brain is a beautifully efficient machine, especially at this age. It's part of our biological "Survival of the fittest, baby!". Ah well. Added to our daily routine, we've now started geography, history, and anatomy. By this time next year, I'd like to see him familiar with the geography of all the countries, confident with all of his basic math operations (addition, subtraction , multiplication, division), swimming, playing basic piano pieces & reading notes fairly fluently, as well as continue with gymnastics. Since our fluctuating location, we've had to drop karate, Japanese, art, soccer, and everything else. Gymnastics has been our sole survivor, and barely at that. Also, I desperately need to organize a playgroup for him, since he really has had minimal consistent interaction with children his age. His best friend is seven, but I fear that soon his friend may be outgrowing Joey. Until then, though, I will continue to help foster the friendship; Joey really loves his buddy.

Kaelie is 1 (21 months). Thankfully, she is finally potty trained, it seems, although (not her fault), she took longer to get there. I believe that it was because of the constant talking she heard between her brother and me while she was in the belly and during her first year, but for the first year of her life, she was amazingly more advanced. It truly has been astonishing to see how my (sigh) lack of consistent play learning with her (as Joey received) has made so much difference. To her credit, I must say, that she is amazingly quick, considering the littel she has received over the last ten months. I hope that I can offer her more and more as time progresses, despite my own personal educational endeavors. As for my goals for her this year: I'd like to see her reading phonetically by this time next year, as well as confident with the basic math operations, the countries on the map and the states of our country, plus swimming, and music, of course. If she can master a bike, all the better. She also takes gymnastics, and I'd like to see that remain a constant as well. I forgot to mention, but if she shows interest, as Joey did, writing could also be added to the list.

To make all this possible, I will attempt to post progress summaries here, as often as possible. The categories will be simply listed, as follows, since time and energy are so limited for me. Wish us luck! I can't wait to finally have our centers up and running so that the burden is placed so heavily solely on parents! Ah well, until then ;)

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Categories

Something like that. Off to bed. Much to do tomorrow!