Reading is fun…

 

Reading is big in our house.

I like to think my children get it from me but Daddy reads a lot too…when he doesn’t drift off to sleep instead.

When I was younger I would read through the night.

I would read while walking to and from school.

 I would read during class when I should have been listening (Not something I condone).

I would read instead of doing my homework (I know, total rebel).

So imagine my excitement when it was time to teach the Little Professor how to read!

He learned quickly and easily and was reading books well beyond his age level until one day he decided he didn’t like reading anymore.

When I would try to encourage him to read he would act like I was asking him to watch paint dry.

There were a lot of eye rolls, heavy sighs and even a few screams of “noooooooo”!

I realized that even though he could read beyond his age, he couldn’t quite comprehend the actions of the character because he couldn’t relate.  The subject just wasn’t interesting him.

I made it my mission to find him books he’d read.  We tried all kinds and a lot of them were fails, but then we stumbled upon Flat Stanley books.  He liked them so we went with them for a while but eventually the Professor was bored with them.

With a little more searching we stumbled across graphic novels of his favourite super hero’s.  He enjoyed those also and still does, but they lacked the experience of a true novel that I wanted him to get a love for.  So we continued on with our search.

Then we came across the Andrew Lost series and they did the trick.  He fell in love with them instantly but he now finishes a full book in about an hour.  It turns out he’s a fast reader…that he definitely does get from me.

So now he’s almost done with the series and we’ll be on the hunt again.  We’re thinking of trying the How to Train a Dragon series next.  He’s excited!

I realized the key to getting a child to love reading is to let them read what they enjoy.  That sounds simple enough but the tricky part is finding that key book. I don’t believe there are any children who don’t like to read, I just think they haven’t found the right book yet.  Keep hunting.  The book is out there.  Eventually they’ll want to read and they’ll come to you for more books.

I am now going through the whole process with the Princess.  She’s still learning to read and doing really well. We’re taking it slow, keeping it fun, she’s loving it.  She already has a couple book series picked out that she wants to read but for now we need to master Dr. Suess.

In the meantime, I’m going to read her Little Women.  I have fond memories of my own mum reading that story to me.

We come from a long line of book lovers!

Even the Milk Monkey likes to sneak books at bedtime!

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Daddy Says… Rock the Vote

Today I did my civic duty and voted in the state election as well as the national Presidential election.  I’ve always felt it was important to take part in the process and vote in every election, and this one was no different.

Today however, I didn’t vote alone – the Little Professor & Mighty Princess came along.  When talking with them before we went, I found out that the Professor wanted Abraham Lincoln to be President and the Princess wanted George Washington.  I couldn’t argue with either choice, but I did have to explain that they simply weren’t an option this time…

They were pretty impressed that we vote at the same school where they play soccer.  After a minor setback at the sign in desk – I had neglected to complete my town census, so I was dropped from the rolls and had to be added back in – we picked up our ballot and found ourselves a booth.

I explained the process to the kids, and showed them the ballot while we filled out our choices.  I answered questions about the various candidates and gave some information about their positions and they impressed me by making a lot of the same choices I had.  Though, I think there were more questions about the uncontested positions, than the others.

“Why is there no-one else listed?” “What if we don’t like what that person does?”

I also explained the various ballot questions we were voting on and let them come to their own conclusions on each.  Again, they impressed me by reaching the same decisions I had. Overall, they were pretty impressed with the process and yet surprised at how quickly it was over. As we were leaving the Princess asked “so, did we win?”.

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Wild About Mom…

Today while I was searching for a picture I came across all of the Milk Monkey’s baby pictures.

It made me miss the little baby days.

And the smell of baby…I love that smell.

I felt the longing for another baby sneak up inside me….

and then the Milk Monkey woke from his nap.

As cute and as wonderful as he is, and he really is adorable, he’s such a busy, busy little boy.

I started looking through some of his more recent pictures…

   

The toilet paper incident.

and…

The time he locked us out of the tv.

It brought me back to reality.  The baby days are over and that’s alright.

I’m enjoying our new stage in life.

I love hanging out with my children, goofing around with them and listening to all their wonderful creative thoughts and ideas.

I have funny and interesting kids.

My Monkey is just beginning to communicate with me and it’s amazing even if it’s not always what I want to hear!

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Early Birthday Gift…

My family gave me my birthday gift early!

I was pretty confident I had dropped enough hints to everyone but still wasn’t sure they’d actually get it for me.   Well, it wasn’t so much hinting as as it was letting them all know exactly what I wanted.  I even showed my husband the various places he could buy it from.   I’ve dropped hints in the past for things and ended up getting completely different gifts, so I needed to make sure everyone was really aware of what I wanted for my birthday.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, and I had gone long enough without a working sewing machine!

My family did not disappoint.

 The kids gathered around me as I opened the box.  I tried to act as surprised as I could but 2 of my 3 children had already broken their silence after the delivery man dropped the box off.  Since the Milk Monkey has a vocabulary list of about 10 words, and sewing or machine isn’t one of them, I’m sure you can guess which two can’t keep a secret.

I hadn’t even removed it from the box before the Professor said “Now that you have a new sewing machine, you can start working on a quilt for me.”   He asked if we could go to the fabric store and choose some fabric so I could get started.  That’s what I did Saturday, only I chose the fabric without him so it could be a surprise when I finally get it finished.

Unlike some people I know, I can keep a secret!

This is what I chose…

and this is my first block layout…

I hope he loves it as much as the Princess loves her quilt!

This is my machine when it’s lit up without the extended table attachment…

Isn’t it super cool?!

I really like my new sewing machine!   It makes sewing so easy and I was able to try free motion quilting on this machine and I absolutely love how fun it is.  With a name like Confidence Quilter, it makes me feel like I know what I’m doing.

I see much quilt making in my future!

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The Tooth Fairy Returns…yet again!

The Little Professor is keeping the Tooth Fairy busy these days!

She even made a trip to the hotel last night…it’s amazing how she can find us no matter where we are.

I’m loving how cute my little guy is without all his teeth.  It’s very hard to concentrate when he’s talking to me because all I want to do is squeeze him and kiss him, especially with the little lisp he has with all the gaps.

The Little Professor is loving it because he’s filling up his piggy bank.

The Princess is beginning to catch on to the Tooth Fairy business and is vigorously wiggling her teeth to cash in herself.

I have to remind her that the teeth will fall out when they’re ready, we can’t force them.

Meanwhile her big brother has big plans for his new found wealth!

I’m secretly hoping the other top front tooth falls out soon because even though I don’t think he can actually get any cuter, I’m still going to love it!

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John Carver Inn…

October 31, 2012

We do not celebrate Halloween for many reasons.  I’m not going to get into that now.  However we aren’t oppose to fun.  In fact, fun is something we try to have a lot of in our family.  So instead of dressing up and going door to door for candy we do other fun things on this night.

This year we decided to spend the night at John Carver Inn in Plymouth.  When we told the kids they were super excited!

Since Halloween night is not a very popular hotel night, especially when it falls on a day in the middle of the week, we were able to check in super early.  That gave us a whole day of swimming in the pool.  Really, that’s what it is all about for our kids.  Not only did we get lots of time to swim but we had the pool to ourselves the whole day with our own personal life guard.

The pool at this hotel is super cool.  It has a big, winding slide that is really fast.  The kids probably went down it somewhere between 75 to 100 times, easily.

For the first half of the day we were calling it a pirates ship but then it dawned on me.  Plymouth.  Big rock in the center of the pool.  John Carver Inn.  Probably not a pirate ship but the Mayflower.  Sometimes it takes a little while, but I usually figure these things out eventually.  Usually.

After swimming for a while, a long while, we headed back to our room for lunch and a movie…Kung Fu Panda 2.  Then it was off to the pool again, this time we were there for close to 3 hours.  We had raisin fingers by the time we got out.

Now everyone is exhausted.  The kids are sound asleep, snuggled up in their comfy beds, dreaming of room service breakfast.

Today, I once again earned the title of BEST MUM EVER!

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Daddy Says… A Long Time Ago…

Big news today – Lucasfilm is being acquired by the Disney Corporation for an incredible 4.05 Billion dollars! And to top it off, they are already announcing plans for 3 more Star Wars movies!  Episode 7 is expected to be released in 2015, with Episodes 8 & 9 to follow in the coming years.  This is pretty staggering news considering George Lucas always said he would not be doing any more Star Wars films.  And as he explained today, he won’t be doing them – though of course, he will be involved and has already begun the story treatments for 7, 8 & 9.

George Lucas is passing the baton to Kathleen Kennedy, co founder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and Gary Marshall and producer of several movies including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and the Sixth Sense.

The more I think about today’s announcement, the more excited I am about the possibilities!   There are a lot of really great stories already written by some very talented individuals telling the further stories and adventures of the Skywalker family and the Jedi Order. Though, I’m sure the new President of Lucasfilm is likely to take things in her own direction – with George Lucas standing by “as her Yoda” as she quipped in an interview today.

Just this weekend the Professor, the Princess and I were all watching “A New Hope”.  It was the Mighty Princess’s first time seeing a full length Star Wars movie and she really loved it!  She had seen some of the Clone Wars episodes, and of course she is a Jedi Padawan herself – but this was the first time she was able to see Princess Leia in action.  After the movie ended, the two of them were off to play Star Wars up in their room and there was a lot of “You be Luke, I’ll be Leia” talk going on.  It’ll be a lot of fun to share the news with them both! The series was a big part of my childhood and I’ve been a fan ever since and I love that I get to share the experience with the kids as well!

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Hurricanes and Dishwashers…

Hurricane Sandy is in the process of hurling herself towards us.  We spent the weekend preparing for the incoming storm by doing the usual things…stocking up on water and food, taking inventory of our candles and flashlights.  Daddy even made a little space in the basement just in case of a worst case scenario.  Even still, we’re not really worried.  I’ve lived here for 8 years now and at least once a year we prepare for a storm like this and as of yet, we’ve never really had an issue.  For that I’m very thankful.  I’d rather be prepared and have nothing happen than vice versa. Besides, putting away the summer furniture, empty planters and outside toys needs to be done anyway.

In between storm preparations and emergency broadcast calls, and well, other various weekend tasks, we have decided to get a dishwasher.  It’s been almost 5 years since we moved in to this house and we haven’t had a dishwasher during that time.  Yup, that’s right, we’ve been washing by hand the whole time.  My hands have paid the price too.  I have been dealing with excruciating eczema on my hands for the past two years.  They blister and itch so bad that I have to scratch them even though the blisters burst and my fingers bleed.  Then they dry out and crack and bleed some more.  Washing dishes makes them worse and with the winter coming up we just need to finally get a dishwasher.

You would think it would be easy to just choose a dishwasher but it’s not.  I went online and did all the research.  I only looked at ones that have excellent multiple ratings and narrowed it down.  Then compared the selected ones…etc.  Eventually I found the one I really liked but noticed it said not returnable, which was a little alarming because what if it doesn’t fit?  After an email and some IM chats with Home Depot it turns out it probably wouldn’t fit.  Most built in dishwashers measure 24 inches wide and at least 34 inches high.  Our spot is 23 and 7/8 inches wide and 33 and 7/8 inches high.  Actually, I kind of lied, we do have a dishwasher, it just doesn’t work but that means a dishwasher can actually fit the space.  So I had to start my search all over again, but it’s a bit confusing because they have various height measurements for the dishwashers…there’s the cutout height, the minimum height, the maximum height and the assembled height and of course, they’re all different.

Soooo….after a weekend of research, we’re back where we started.  No dishwasher!

We will have to talk to someone after the storm.  We might not have power anyway, so at least we’re really skilled at washing dishes by hand!

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Hives, Coughs and Pneumonia…

The Milk Monkey has had a cold for the past 3 months.  He coughs all night and his nose is constantly running, he wakes up crying in the mornings and after every nap.  He had his 15 month wellness visit the other week and the doctor listened to his lungs – they were clear.  We were told to bring our little monkey back if it didn’t clear up in a couple weeks.

Last night we listened as our precious sweetheart coughed and whimpered throughout the night.  We knew something wasn’t right…it had gone on long enough, so today an appointment was made and we went to the doctors.  Our little guy has been having bouts of hives and lots of rashes for months now also.  When he cries his little face gets blotchy red and puffy and we’ve been fighting a persistent diaper rash for over a year.  I kept thinking it had something to do with allergies even though we’ve been told by the doctors before that hives aren’t necessarily an allergic reaction.  Sometimes hives are a result of a virus too.

The doctor who saw the Milk Monkey today thought that maybe it could be that his little body is producing too much histamine.  She noticed that when the Monkey laid his head on Daddy’s shirt his face became all red and irritated from the small amount of contact.  She decided he should see an Allergist to get to the bottom of all of this.  Meanwhile, she also wanted us to take the Milk Monkey to have his chest x-rayed just to rule out anything else.  It wasn’t an emergency or anything, but it had to be done before we see the Allergist.

I decided we should do it right away, just to get it done.  The hospital was on our way home and we only had two of the three kids with us so I figured it would be prudent to do it today rather than leave it to last minute.  Thank goodness Daddy agreed and we went today.  It turns out our Monkey has pneumonia starting in his left lung.  We were expecting the results of the x-ray within a day or two but instead we got a call on our way home and the nurse told us they’ve already sent a prescription for antibiotics to our pharmacy.

Tomorrow we will call the doctor to find out if the pneumonia is a result of untreated allergies or if it was unrelated.  I still want to see the Allergist to see if we can get some of the other issues cleared up too.

Tonight our little guy is in bed after his first dose of medicine and hopefully soon he’ll be feeling better.

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