Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ten smile tuesday

it's smiling time. it was a long week with mike putting in long hours of overtime on a project...but we made the most of it and survived the week. i started this week by revising our daily "routine" a bit, and that seems to have helped with a bit of the chaos i was feeling last week. elizabeth LOVES having some "school" time, but in the first trimester ickiness (and kate simultaneously giving up her morning nap) that got pushed to the wayside....so i've started spending some one on one time with her right after kate goes down for her afternoon nap (before elizabeth has quiet time in her room...which is sometimes napping and other times just quietly resting...but definitely staying in her room!). she never ceases to amaze me with her budding "reading" skills...there are a good 20-30 words she can read on her own now, and she is quickly getting better at sounding out short words (she is also quite obsessed with "spelling" every sign we run across while doing errands...and trying to tell me what she thinks it says). as for her fine motor skills...he he, lets just say that for right now, verbal is this girlies forte. now kate on the other hand...she has the fine motor stuff down pat...and i am quite convinced that someday she is going to decide to consistently find her voice (i keep reminding myself that each child is different and this skill will eventually come!), and then we'll all have to watch out! i've also been working to help elizabeth find activities she can do by herself so that i can have more one on one time with kate during the morning, and honestly, i am just feeling much less frazzled and more into things these days. and that in and of itself is a smile after last week!

1. finding these fabulous noodleboro games on clearance at wal-mart. elizabeth loves them, and i do too! they seem to hold her interest much longer than some of the other game we had...perhaps because they are technically one step beyond her level, meaning it requires a bit more concentration! i picked up the "sharing" and "listening" versions...and i highly recommend them to anyone who can find them on clearance. (not sure if i would have paid the full $20+ price, but that might just be because i'm cheap like that!)

2. a budding helper around the house. elizabeth has always been slightly obsessed with "helping" me mop...but move over big sister, kate is ready for her turn. gotta love this!

3. listening from the other room as daddy helped elizabeth create patterns for the necklace elizabeth was making. i actually headed to wal-mart to find beads on sunday when i ran across those noodleboro games...and let me tell you, this is both elizabeth AND my new favorite activity. she could sit for hours concentrating on stringing beads...and that, my friends, means mommy has a bit of extra time for kate and keeping up with the house...AND, of course, i enjoy sitting down and stringing some beads myself!

4. finding some time to release my crafty-self. mike worked all day saturday, so during naptime i pulled out some fabric and my sewing machine and whipped up a few projects. it has been quite awhile since i've done any sewing, and oh what a fabulous break from the crazy week! incidentally, i am quite happy with my projects...which i will reveal eventually...just not yet! :)

5. this delicious new dessert favorite...i got the recipe from a gal in my MOPS group. she simply calls it "apple stuff"....chopped apples, cream cheese, cool whip, brown sugar, toffee bits, and butterscotch chips...YUM! :) i posted the recipe here.

6. discovering that costco had finally decided to carry kosher beef hotdogs again....our family loves a good hotdog on the grill (or in some mac-n-cheese) but are quite preferential to the taste of the kosher beef ones...so you can imagine our dismay when costco wasn't carrying them a month or so ago when we looked. i almost did a little dance in the aisle when we found the hebrew national display sunday. (seriously, friends, some weeks/days it really is the "little" things in life!)

7. bunny making! i found two "stuff your own bunny" kits on clearance after easter last year...so i picked them up and tucked them away in the closet. so when saturday morning was getting a bit crazed i was delighted to remember those kits. kate wasn't into much of the process (except loving her completed bunny), but elizabeth had a blast stuffing and dressing hers.

8. books on cd. again, this one particularly pertains to elizabeth....and my quest to find some activities she can do by herself...freeing me up for kate. way back when we picked up the original curious george story collection, and it included all of the stories on cd. just this past week i've discovered that elizabeth is able to listen and turn the pages all by herself...AND, even better, she will sit and listen to story after story after story...calmly, quietly, eagerly. yesterday she even begged me to let her skip lunch so she could keep listening! (click on the picture to see the amazon listing)
9. boppies aren't just for babies! i've been rearranging/organizing closets, and in the shuffle the two boppies ended up on the floor of kate's room. at bedtime the other night kate nestled herself into one and sat down, and this gave me an idea. i laid them both out, told the girls they were their new storytime/Bible time chairs, and voila! who knew that getting the girls to both sit so incredibly calmly was as easy as pulling the boppies out of storage!

10. having daddy home for dinner and the evening! after being out of town and then coming back to a crazy week of overtime, i was SO missing my hubby, and the girls, well, needless to say, they were missing their daddy. having him home ALL day sunday and then for dinner last night was such a blessing. if you are reading this husband, i can't wait to see you this evening either! :)

11. and finally...not something i ALWAYS smile about...but right now i am loving the patter of rain against the roof and windows. perhaps because it just seems appropriate for naptime (and hopefully will induce good sleep!) but also because it is the promise of green grass and spring flowers! bring on april...and may...and june...and july...and august...and our new baby! :) heading into week 18...and next tues. morning is our mid-way ultrasound!


Leslie said...

if ever there was a supermommy you are it Amanda.... :)

Lisa said...

Leslie - I couldn't agree more!!!

And 18 weeks already, gosh time flies.....

Amanda said...

ha...supermommmy who might need supernanny! but thanks girls! i just reveal in all the small victories each day...cause if i focused on the falling apart moments i would sink!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

That's so neat that Elizabeth is already reading WOW! I'm impressed! Noah loves sounding the letters out, but reading is very far off for us!
Lovely smiles, as usual Amanda

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

I saw those games at Walmart too and decided not to get them, they didn't look like that much fun. Too bad!

I'm glad things are running more smoothly for you and you are finding good ways to get some Kate time! Always a great thing!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

I love how you revel in the little things. You are right, that is what keeps us gong some days.
Loving the mental image of you doing a little dance in the middle of Costco... so great! :)

staciashaf said...

Oh Congrats! I didn't know you were pregnant! That's so exciting. I'd also love the recipe for "apple stuff" but the link didn't work. :)

Chelle said...

What a fun week, apart from missing hubs/daddy in your house...and I am floored by the ammount of stuff you accomplish in a week.
Annabelle is also loving books on tape right now. We have 4 1/2 hours of Beatrix Potter stories from the library right now and she is just soaking them up. But I am going to have to consider investing in George stories...I know she'd love them.
So so, excited for your midway appointment. Love to each of you sweet girlies!

Rebecca said...

enjoyed your smiles and pictures. such cute little "helpers" you have. so great you've found some craft time. great idea getting books on cd...i'm definitely going to keep that in mind. and yes, definitely helps to revel in the small victories to get through the day!
i have no idea why libbs had to take off all her clothes...but it sure was funny!

Shauna said...

I am new here! What a great blog :)