Fall Favorites

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Let’s try this again!

Bringing you some of my current fall favorites today! Just a few things that help distract me from the seemingly never ending third trimester. It’s like Peter and James know I’m getting bigger and slower. They find the tiniest spaces and corners to hide in because they know I can’t fit! I’m like living in maternity leggings and I don’t even care. Don’t even care. I also eat everything. Like everything. Last night I sat down with a tub of Cool Whip and a spoon. Anywhooo. Way to get sidetracked! Ok, fall, favorites, here we go!

1) Flannel Scarves

SONY DSC

Soooo far, I’ve only been able to wear my scarves in the morning, evening, and in well air conditioned rooms, because you know…Arizona. But seriously so comfy and cozy. I found an oversized scarf at target and an infinity scarf on Etsy that are my current favorites. You can find them here and here.

2) Pumpkin Bread

SONY DSC

When I was growing up I always knew we were getting into cooler temps when my mom started making her pumpkin bread. Now, I get to pass the tradition on to my little family! Peter and James love it. Also, Andrew isn’t much of a “sweets” person but even he gets excited when I make a fresh batch.

3) Fall Lipstick

SONY DSC

Still enjoying my classic reds but I am also super in love with Maybeline’s new matte lip colors. Right now I’m loving Daringly Nude and Touch of Spice.

4) Scrapbooks/Art Journals

SONY DSC

Trying to get back into scrapbooking/art journaling these days. You know, keep those creative juices flowing and what not (laughed at myself as I typed that) Found this set of stamps in the dollar section at Target next to all the glitter pumpkins and Frozen coloring books. Having way too much fun with them. Won’t be long before my to-do list is stamped out. Just kidding that would take years.

5) Fake LeavesSONY DSC

I realize that this last one is kinda pathetic but again…Arizona, whatareyougoingtodo? Peter and I used some to make a leaf collage and I have project I’m working on that needs a lot of pretty (fake and super plastic) leaves. Exciting stuff.

What are some of your favorite things for fall? Pretty sure I’m missing some Anthropologie candles. And with that, I’m going go eat all the candy and leave none for anyone else ok bye!!!!!

Back In Business!

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_1

Hello!! It feels so good to be back! All the quirks and whatnot have been worked out (thanks to Dinosaur Stew) and some pretty awesome layout changes were made as well. I am loving the new look! If you are looking to get some customization done on your blog/website I highly recommend her. So along with the simple changes, all posts are now more organized in the menu bar. I was always a little sad that my earlier posts were just getting buried forever but not anymore! I’m still tinkering with some of the category names but for now this will do just fine.

It feels so good to be organized! I suppose you could say that I did a little bit of “nesting” on the blog. Which has been happening a lot lately…. Aria will be here in less than two months! The third trimester is so weird. Time is moving so fast yet at the same time super slow. I can’t wait for here to get here and at the same time I feel like I’m running out of time to get everything ready! Anyway, while I await her arrival I am very content to continue blogging, nesting and eating all the halloween candy before halloween actually gets here. I mean seriously. Who came up with the idea to have your third trimester over three major (FOOD) holidays?!

With that said…I hope to see you back here tomorrow! Enjoy browsing the new layout!

Homeschool Adventures

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Over the summer when I decided to start “homeschooling” with Peter I made sure that I had the right perspective and realistic expectations. He is only two years old but his desire to learn is evident. So I did my research and found some preschool curriculums (ages 2-4) that I wanted to try and ordered them. I looked up a lot montessori activities on Pinterest and wrote down a list of supplies that would come in handy. The boys and I took a trip the dollar store and loaded up on a ton of supplies and other random things that we needed. From there I looked at the two curriculums and pulled from them the activities that would work for his age. In the end, each lesson plan consisted of songs, poems, crafts, montessori activities, and counting. I like to say it’s Sesame Street in person. Lord knows I can do a great Cookie Monster impression.

I soon realized that if we were going to get a lesson in, that it had to be pretty soon after breakfast. Peter has a “golden hour” for homeschool fun. If we try to do it too close to lunch or after his nap it is usually disastrous. Sometimes it’s disastrous anyway but that’s ok. Going into this I knew my intentions weren’t to push him or help him “get ahead”, I mean like I said… he’s two. I’m doing this because I love how he lights up when we sing together and when he figures stuff out for the first time. I’m doing it because he is so proud of his crafts/activities and can’t wait to show them off when Daddy comes home.

SONY DSC

Our lessons take about 30-40 minutes max. Sometimes he’s really into one thing more than the others so I let him spend more time on it. Annnnndddd sometimes he could care less about pretty much everything and we whip right through it. I’m not sure how much he’s absorbing but you never know right? I’d like to think his subconscious is taking it all in and saving it for later!

These are the curriculums (and the notebook where I combine them) that I’m using. So far, I love them both!

SONY DSC

 On Monday we introduce the “Letter of the Week”. Then everyday after that, we focus on just that letter and do some activities that connect to that letter. A typical lesson will look like this:

~Opening prayer/songs (Catholic Icing).

~Talk about the Letter of the Week (Catholic Icing).

~Find the letter of the week in a pile of other letters.

~Draw letter of the week on the white board.

~Find letter of the week in a small pile of wooden letters.

~A craft/activity or two usually having to do with the letter of the week (26 letters to heaven).

-Practice counting (hopefully with something that starts with LOTW).

~Read our bible verses and poems for the week (26 letters to heaven)

~Closing songs and prayer (Catholic Icing).

~Then through out the day we are reading books and dancing to the Frozen soundtrack…. at least three times a day.

There is a lot of repetition in what we do each day of the week. I think that for this early on in Peter’s learning development, consistency is key. Thats why we take a whole week to focus on one letter, not just a day or so. The activities will change from day to day but for the most part, everything (and the order we do it in) stays the same. It’s really sweet because he’ll come up to me and ask to do homeschool (aka point at our LOTW white board).

SONY DSC

Sometimes we just don’t get to homeschool on certain days and that’s ok. Somedays our “homeschooling” is simply making cookies, or going to the store and counting the produce as we put it into bags, or coloring pictures for family members, or even going outside and blowing bubbles! I don’t want Peter to have any negative feelings about doing his lessons. Next year I will use the same books and follow the same pattern but obviously the activities will match his age (3) just as they do now (2).

Being a stay at home mom can be tricky but I truly believe that structure and routine is the key to sanity. With that said…I also believe that understanding that sometimes your routine can become completely wrecked and THAT’S OK.

So far Peter (and James) and I are really enjoying our little lessons. Here are some images from our first couple weeks!

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC

Peter loves this little Montessori activity. He matches the colored balls into the corresponding cup. You could easily recreate this with simpler materials. This activity is from House Mountain Natural.

SONY DSC

We did an Angel (Catholic Icing) at the  end of “A” week. The wings were supposed to be Peter’s handprints but he was NOT a fan of having paint on his hands. It was hilarious. So we just took a sponge brush and used that instead. Peter glued down all the pieces and Mommy drew the creepy face. Obviously art lessons will be with Dad.

While I work with Peter, James listens to all the songs and poems while coloring or playing with his blocks. Now, I’m not trying to make James memorize the periodic table of elements! It’s just fun to think that by playing with these blocks, he will be familiar with them and someday he’ll have that “Aha!” moment. Maybe.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

It usually ends up like this….

SONY DSC SONY DSC

When it was the letter “B” Peter spent time stringing big beads onto pipe cleaner.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

Friday’s lesson is usually a bit more relaxed but Peter always does one very important activity…

SONY DSC

Peter arranges flowers in a vase for Mary!

SONY DSC SONY DSC

“To Jesus through Mary!”

When Aria gets here our lessons will probably be a little more sporadic but that’s ok. As far as homeschooling goes, we have a very exciting adventure ahead of us!

Weekend Notes

IMG_2084

Last week was crazy.

In between the usual chaos that comes with being 7 months pregnant and taking care of irish twins, there was even more chaos. On Wednesday I basically just made myself come to terms with the fact that my house was just going to be a big fat mess until at least Saturday. So where was all the crazy coming from? Andrew’s youth group was going on retreat this weekend so we had to get him ready for that. I had also been asked to contribute a “Communion of Saints Wall” for the weekend. It was so much fun to make but it did take some extra time. Peter and James got away with a lot last week… A lot. But the wall turned out almost exactly as I had pictured and the teens on retreat liked it, so obviously it was worth it.

IMG_2017

On Friday we said goodbye to Andrew and then things got serious. For almost two hours (while the boys napped thanks be to God) I was furiously working away on some decorations for my bff’s engagement party. There I was in all my pregnancy glory huffing and puffing and sweating profusely. I was totally working against the clock because not only was the party that night but I had a wedding to attend that evening as well. Now… I didn’t mean for these events to coincide. Pregnancy brain for the win! I knew the wedding was that weekend because Andrew couldn’t make it due to the retreat. So I ASSUMED it was Saturday. Nope. I was wrong. It was Friday. So here I was frantically running around the house getting myself ready, getting the boys ready, wrapping presents, and making decorations all because of my giant brain blunder. Let this be proof my friends that pregnancy brain does in fact exist and it does not mess around.

Anyway… Dropped the boys off at Helmsdeep where they had a splendid time playing with their grandparents as well as their aunts and uncles. Then I was off to the wedding!10301290_10152410164033388_2031266789900012551_n

It was so wonderful to see my good friend Danielle tie the knot with the wonderful Keith Downey. Plus, I got to see some friends from out of town that I don’t get to see very often anymore!

1000265_10152411340608388_6705327543308468075_n

Then after giving my best to the bride and groom I was off to see the future bride and groom at the engagement party.

10730920_10103257492096622_4907891014854056151_n

From left to right… The lovely Annie, my pregnant self, and Emma the bride to be <3 I really wish the wedding and the party had been on different nights because I felt like I missed out a little on both. However, I’m still thankful that I was able to be present for both of my wonderful friends, even if it was brief.

After crashing extremely hard into bed Friday night, the boys and I woke refreshed and excited for a much needed relaxing day. We ran some errands and then came back to the house where I was finally able to attack “the mess”. Our poor kitchen table is set up to seat eight yet I could barely make out the table underneath the mess.

IMG_2083 IMG_2084

Finally the beast was tackled and the boys and I went over to see Andrew’s parents for the evening. We had a delicious dinner and the boys got to play with a new train set and help make some yummy cupcakes.

IMG_2082 IMG_2080 IMG_2081 10469916_10152412821953388_8815098200179492492_n

Then on Sunday morning everything was going great until Peter face planted onto the tile floor running full speed. There was blood. Like a lot. Thankfully I was getting ready to give them a bath so the water was running and I was able to just scoop Peter up and put him in the tub. His poor upper lip was bleeding pretty bad for a while and he was unconsolable for over 40 minutes. For the next couple hours I was trying to determine if I needed to take him into the ER or not. It had stopped gushing blood but it was still bleeding so that’s why I was concerned. Finally after talking with my Dad (the doctor), Peter’s pediatrician, and some awesome moms, it was decided that he didn’t need to go in. I learned that….

~The mouth bleeds A LOT.

~If I would have taken him to the ER they most likely would have just cleaned him up and sent us home.

~They rarely do stitches in the mouth.

~Giving him a popsicle helped with the swelling and pain.

~Advil, Motrin etc. needs to be administered as soon as possible.

So yeah. My husband missed out on ALL THE FUN! After Peter had napped, eaten his popsicle, and calmed down, we headed to church because my middle school youth group was meeting that day (great timing right?!). However, thanks to a wonderful team the afternoon went awesome and my kids ended up making a ton of sack lunches for the homeless. Total win.

IMG_2054

James was a little peeved that he wan’t at home frolicking in his diaper and playing with his toys. But soon after that, Andrew was finally back, we went to mass, came home and once again, completely passed out.

Here is hoping for a much calmer week with a little less blood, sweat, and tears!