Friday, October 31

PSF: A Halloween Love (hate) Story

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Below is the former home of the two spiders I fear yet have grown to appreciate over the years. I now refer to them affectionately as Charlotte and Chester: two generations of big, giant, scary spiders! I had to picnik them in as they have decided to move away--or so I thought.

It's actually the slider door to my back deck. A couple of years ago a rather large spider, who had not yet been named Charlotte, decided to build a beautiful web here. I was fortunate enough to notice this web when I walked right into one morning while letting the dog out. If you have ever walked into a spider web you know exactly how tickly, sticky, and hairy it feels. At this point I was totally freaking out-yelling and screaming and doing the wiggly dance trying to get spider web off my face. Not a good way to wake up. I was so mad at the spider who did this -- I couldn't wait to get my revenge.

The next night I looked out the door just before going to bed and I noticed the spiderweb was back. I clicked on the light in time to see big, giant, hairy, black Charlotte scurry behind the light fixture. I actually contemplated lighting the web on fire, because I tend to have those instincts in me from time to time, but thought better of it and just went to bed.
The next morning I noticed several huge bugs had been caught in the web--bugs that could very well have gotten into the house while letting the dog in and out.
That's when I let her live.
Then I showed Sophie the web and she LOVED it-thus she became Charlotte and she was a wild, family pet for the rest of the season. We had an understanding--Charlotte and me--and as long as I left her web alone--she would stay outside and continue to catch icky, nasty bugs for me.

That year ended without another mishap-spider and mommy getting along just beautifully and life was good.

The next year another spider came along. I know it wasn't Charlotte because this guy was brown not black-so we assumed it was Charlotte's better half and named him Chester. We made the same agreement with Chester, figuring Charlotte was probably at home taking care of the babies (you know spiders have hundreds-right?) Life was still good-no giant bugs getting in the house, and I learned to accept --rather than hate-- another big spider.

I still get the E-B-G-B's though just typing this little story.

This year?
The web didn't come back. It had appeared that they had taken their babies and moved away. No web, no spider, and a big threat of icky bugs flying around the back porch.
It seemed a little strange that the spiders didn't come back. I still can't believe I actually wondered what happened to them.
Yeah, I wondered------at least, until I saw this spider just about a week ago.............

I was washing dishes when I looked up and saw this ENORMOUS creature looming in the window, teasing me. "Neener neener neeeeener!"
I screamed for Nate to come see and he said that I needed to get a picture of this one. It was the KING of all KING Spiders.

He moved up that night so I was able to get a good contrast picture against the white part of the window. It then occurred to me that this monster may very well be the reason poor Charlotte and Chester haven't come back.

I think this guy ate them.

Seriously. For all I know, this was Charlotte's own offspring who turned on the family and took them all out in order to conquer the backyard.

I'm not naming this one. As a matter of fact, I contemplated catching him and sending him back to the Amazon rain forest where he belongs.

I WILL NOT learn to love him. Especially when I think about the fact that when spiders have babies--um, they have hundreds!

Yeah, we'll be moving soon. And if one of these monsters makes his way into my house? I'll make sure my husband blogs about it, after I've had my heart attack. I just hope I survive.

So, once again, I HATE SPIDERS! Always have, Always will. And I really miss Charlotte and Chester. Never thought I would say that! Poor, stupid, giant, hairy spiders. UGH!

This is the GIANT bugger before I edited the picture.

And this is him, post Picnik. Can you believe this is a REAL spider. In my backyard???????? OMG!

Thursday, October 30

Monopoly anyone? HURRY it ends Nov. 3!!!

You just landed on
You owe me $35 or how about we split $1,000,000?

Monopoly and McDonald's have teamed up again and is offering all sorts of bribes prizes to get people to eat the greasy junk food-I suppose while they are playing a fun family night game.

Well, you know I am the biggest dork with no willpower when it comes to chicken mcnuggets.....

So, let's just say you have officially landed on Park Place-so you can kindly leave your $35 rent by clicking the donate button on the left sidebar, OR you can cough up Boardwalk and I will buy it from you for say, hmmmm, half the bribe, I mean, prize?

That is of course unless you don't really need $500,000--to which I kindly ask that you again please focus your attention on the donate button on the left sidebar of this blog.

Seriously folks, why not team up and get the goods? If for no other reason then I will actually be able to attempt ignoring my fave greasy joint until the Shamrocks emerge from their frozen cocoon. Besides, imagine if ALL of the prizes are won? Maybe McDonald's would rethink using a wholesome, healthy, family activity like Monopoly and turning it into a fat, cheap, marketing ploy that does nothing but promote the unhealthy habits of the increasingly unhealthy CHILDREN population (and some of their moms!)

OK, I also have North Carolina, Atlantic Avenue, and Reading Railroad so I don't think it would be too hard for 3 or 4 bloggers to hook up and share the prize. It's only money right? (oh, and for the record, you can order a big, giant, diet coke to claim a playing piece if you want to play--you don't actually have to eat their food.)


I find it very interesting to note that the 'Here and Now' version of Monopoly I am showing above actually has McD's french fries as one of their game pieces! They also have a Starbucks coffee cup so if anyone has this version, I'm interested. I'm waiting for the day when Starbucks starts printing game pieces on their cups!

Wednesday, October 29

WordFUL Wednesday : ILUVMOO

Sophie had brought this truck to my attention on the way to the gym the other day.
"Look at the truck Mommy, It's a cow!"
I just new I would get a picture on the way home because I immediately thought of Flea's World when I saw this.
The license plate is ILUVMOO . Cute huh?
Oh, and I also need to give a little plug to Picnik where I currently upload to edit photos. I have yet to acquire my own copy of photoshop, so until I do, this is a great substitute. They have recently added some features which I have used above-- the zombification technique for Halloween, and the mirrored frame are the two I tried for this photo. Since we were in a moving vehicle when I snapped the picture, it's still a little fuzzy, but I think the color added the effect I was looking for. Anyway, just wanted to give credit where it's do, and if you haven't seen picnik yet-go check it out. It's tons of fun!

To play WordFul Wednesday click below to visit Angie!


Tuesday, October 28

A Monday Moment

I have to thank my KUMON workbooks for this one. Yesterday, once we were up, dressed, and fed, I decided I would just let the natural thing happen-whatever Sophie wanted.

So, I asked her, "Do you want to play something or do a learning activity with me?"

How thrilled was I that she picked a learning activity? Of course, Sophie will choose the #2 option I give her about 95% of the time so I admit I'm a little manipulative. Anyway, I was planning on doing some more practice with letter sounds on Starfall, but she didn't want to be on the computer, so I grabbed the workbooks instead. It turned into a solid 2 hours of scissoring, gluing, and tracing words with pencils. Sophie was having a ball using her scissors. We were using the Let's Cut Paper workbook from Kumon and ended up doing about 6 pages!

She only ended up tracing a couple of words, and it's hard to see, but when we got to the dog she insisted on printing the letters herself instead of tracing. I was shocked when she made the perfect lowercase letters--written upside down no less--to spell the word 'dog'. She figured out that if she made a 6 and turned it over it was a little 'G'.

I was amazed--Sophie was proud--and it was the perfect home school lesson I have never planned. Whoohoo for spontaneous teaching and memorable moments!

Thursday, October 23

PSF: Conquering a Fear and a Couple of Foxes

A couple of weeks ago Sophie and I went to a scarecrow festival -- one of our final hoorahs of the carnival circuit. This one happens to be one of my favorites because of the town it's in--it's adorable right along a pretty river. Sophie loves anywhere that has carnival rides and cotton candy.

But this story isn't about the festival.

It's about a fear.

A fear of heights.

An irrational-unexplainable fear of heights.

When I was a kid I LOVED climbing things: trees, jungle gyms, and every chance I got I loved to crawl out a window and play on a roof.

I have no idea when or even why that changed. But will you look at the size of this bridge?

I was terrified. But we had to cross it to get back to the car-OR walk back the way we came which would take WAY too long--we were already running late. Sophie was cranky but I think she sensed my anxiety about getting across this thing because she offered to carry the kettle corn.

Um, yeah. Show off. She's having so much fun sipping her lemonade.

Notice how exactly in the dead center of the bridge she is standing?

Yeah, well that's because she was busy trying to figure out why I was standing directly in the middle of the bridge.

Sophie: Mommy, what exactly is down there anyway?
Me: Whatever. (sigh-I was a little more than perturbed at her acrobat abilities on the middle of a huge bridge) It's a river--that's why we need the bridge Soph. (again, you can tell how directly in the center of that thing I was standing.)
Sophie: but Mommy, you know how to swim!

My own daughter thinks I'm a big chicken.
At least we made it across--even though my palms were soaked, my heart pounding almost as hard as my head, and I felt really stupid by the time we got across. I hate that I was such a big chicken. But I did it. All the way across. It only took 10 minutes.
At least I conquered the fear. For one day anyway.

Earlier on that day...
Me: This is called the Fox River Sophie.
Sophie: Are there a lot of foxes in there?
She just loves to be the center of attention. Did I mention how many compliments she got that day for her dress? After awhile she turned to me and said, "Mommy, why do people keep looking at me?"
Me: Because you are gorgeous kiddo and people can't help but notice you.
Sophie: But they're not saying anything to you.
She misses nothing.
So, this is one invisible chicken mommy saying -- have a great weekend!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

May you please turn your attention to the spotlight....

I think everyone loves to feel good, especially when posting and reading in bloggerland. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing my name and blog on another site. Over the past couple of weeks I've been given the honor of being in the blog lights and have been linked to a bunch of blogs. Thanks everyone! Whoohoo for links and spotlights!!!!

Now it's my turn to put the spotlight on some of my favorite fellow bloggers AND to keep this circle of light and warm-fuzzies going as much as possible.


Nicki over at Slow Down, Gym Shoe AND Kelly over at Close to Home have both tagged me for the 7 random things tag. I really do love getting tagged! Thanks Guys--WHOOHOO for TAGS!

7 random things about me......................

1. I love to talk about God. I'm not churchy or anything or even religious really, but I do believe in a higher power, supreme being, celestial controller of the universe-whatever you call it--he's there and in charge of everything. It's comforting to know that because of God, I am accepted, approved, redeemed, talented, blessed, empowered, AND I don't have to control anything or even figure it all out. I just get to BE. Thank God!

2. I love the Gilmore Girls so much I would move to Connecticut without ever having been there. (oh and of course, Sophie would have to go to Yale!)

3. Reading aloud to Sophie is one of my favorite things ever. I try to get one or two books in before nap time and a few in at bedtime. This doesn't happen everyday, but most days. I really love books and try to take her to Barnes and Noble as often as I can. Even though she would rather play with the trains and toys than look for books, she always sits and reads with me-plus it's a nice environment to hang out in.

4. I would rather shop for toys/books than clothes-or even shoes.

5. If given a choice between dressing up and going out for dinner-or grabbing Mickey D's and watching the Wizard of Oz? Yeah, there's no place like home. seriously.

6. I truly believe that Dairy Queen is good for the soul.

7. My current favorite movie is Underdog - recently replacing Enchanted. Twister is still a close #2 and has been since it came out.

Now, I will tag the following bloggers: (for the simple reason of wanting to read more about you guys!)

1. The Sports Mama at You Don't Have to Like Me
2. Killlashandra at Modern Mama's Fabulous Favorites.
3. AVTCoach at This Abundant Life
4. Missy at Bees and Boo-Boos
5. Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes
6. Rachel at Following in My Shoes
7. Supercool HotMama at Super HotMama's House

But wait there's more! AWARDS! whoohoo for awards!

"Just Me" over at Snickerdoodles gave me a Kreative Blogger award! Thanks Just Me--love your blog!

Along with giving it out to 6 other bloggers you also post 6 things that make you happy when you get this award.

Because I've been drowning in a cesspool of hormone created tragedies in my head these days nothing seems to be making me happy except my precious quiet time at my computer. So I thought it would be appropriate to share with the world just exactly where I spend my time when I get lost in cyberspace. I chose for my 6 things that make me happy to list 6 BLOGS that make me happy ..........WHOOHOO for them as I give them this award.

1. Hope Floats : I love this blog because Melissa was not only the first blogger I encountered just about a year ago, but she is also right around my neck of the woods (the woods being the outer suburbs of Chicago.) Whoohoo for that! I laugh lots when I visit her blog, especially when she is explaining her latest underwear chronicles. Oh, and she is my good luck charm because both of the blogger contests that I have won have come from her! As a matter of fact I am enjoying some positive affirmations right now! But besides being a funny, close-to-me blogger, she is also very charitable in festive and sometimes bloody ways. She is one cool blogger!

2. My Chaos My Bliss: I love this blog for about a million reasons! Cecily R has a way of making raising kids seem so blissfully normal, yet incredibly off the wall, while at the same time expressing unconditional love for her family and dealing with the craziness that only a stay-at-home mom can appreciate. I love to play the PhotoStory Friday game that she hosts with a fellow blogger, and I can't seem to get the picture of her in high heels out of my head. (It's the post that got me hooked to all things Cecily!) She's a gifted writer and talented photographer. I always feel good after reading what she has to say and seeing pictures of her beautiful children.

3. Burgh Baby : The Burgh Baby's Mom is one of the funniest bloggers I've stumbled upon yet. I love the way she expresses her love and pride for her beautiful little toddler while simultaneously keeping me in hysterics because she finds the humor in every situation-especially the unsuspecting fellow drivers in and around 'The Burgh' as she calls it. I crave her stories of the scary babies and look forward to her shopping sprees and LOVE her hierarchy of parental intelligence-but most of all, I just love the way she expresses her ultimate appreciation for her leading lady. (It's also cool that she's got me on the cool kids list and on her blog roll!)

4. Kay's Simple Life: The first thing I need to say about Kay is that she has SPECTACULAR taste in music; every time I jump on her blog I hear just the 'right' song for the moment. I dig this about her! Second, she is very talented with the crock pot and shares her knowledge-which I thought was delicious! Third, she is not only a devoted mother, but a brilliant homeschooler as well and shares lots of tricks of her trade with the blogging community. She is one special mom. Oh, and not only does she have famous taste in shower curtains, but her street is famous too thanks to Extreme Makeover Home Edition .

5. Living and Loving Every Minute of It: I encountered Corey's blog just recently this past summer through the PSF posts and I am thrilled that I did. She is one fantastic photographer and is not shy about sharing her expertise! I love her insatiable appetite for her Sugar, as well as her ability to share nothing but hope, happiness, and miracles with her blogging friends. She is remarkable and though I've only read her for a short time, I am now a loyal fan!

6. SevEn cloWn CirCuS: Angie is one-of-a-kind. Seriously. You HAVE to visit this blog if for no other reason than she is incredibly saucy! She is the host of her own WordFUL Wednesday game and it's so fun to see how people actually interpret their otherwise wordless snapshots. She is an AMAZING mom with stories that will melt your heart with a kiss, make you laugh out loud with a kick , and she will answer if you ask-as honestly as she can. I love that about her. Mostly, I just love that she really loves her family and has some incredibly gorgeous children. She is also just a very real mom with very real mom humiliations to deal with that make her so endearing and easy to like. She is the best!

While scrolling around for my favorite posts I stumbled upon this one which I am ashamed to admit I never saw! Angie gave me an award here and somehow I completely spaced and missed the whole thing. So, a very belated THANKS and WHOOHOO to Angie for thinking of me over the summer!

I would love to give this blog award to a few of my other faves in bloggerland:

1. Robyn @ Where's Jelly? for being the kind of blogger I wished lived just 2 hours closer to me.
2. Julie (aka crazymamaof6) @ Truly Delightful in Every Way for doing it all SO WELL w/6!
3. Tommie @ Tuesday Update for her take on what Happiness Is...AND her taste in shoes!
4. MamaGeek @ What Works for Us because she is McCrafty & likes the same TV show as me.
5. Alexandria @ I'm the Mom for her crayon philosophy-love it!

Wednesday, October 22

Wordful Wednesday :: Look Mommy, My Arm is Bleeding~!

Sophie thought is was soooooooo funny when she started playing with the little color tablets that makes the bath a tub of fun. Unless you use the red one.

I'm pretty sure I lost about a month of my life .

I re-gained composure quick enough to remember the camera. She just thought it was so cool how she could make her hands, arms, legs, cheeks, and feet bleed. Um, why? I have NO idea!

Thanks Crayola. So glad you helped her find her calling for a career in special effects.

Please play along with Angie for the wordful Wednesday!

Monday, October 20

Letters have sounds?

I was unsure yesterday how to plan my week. I've decided to take a break from Montessori; it's very hard and there is definitely a reason teachers need to be trained in it. I'm back to just planning my weeks based on different themes like I did last year. SO-I figured since fall is in bloom I would make this a LEAFY TREE week and do all sorts of colorful activities including a trip to the local arboretum.
Of course there is an underlining "reading" theme that is also taking place. I'm dying to teach her to read, but I was a little stuck. You see, I want to purchase the zoo phonics kit, but the initial kit is VERY expensive, and the entire preschool kit is even more. Since I have an 'all or nothing' mentality I guess I can wait for Santa Claus to bring me this kit. In the meantime, where do you start --besides the usual reading aloud and letter recognition?
Then I saw a website about letter sounds and the light clicked.
I mentioned last night to Sophie we were going to be learning about letter sounds this week when she asked me the question, "Letters have sounds?"
Perfect! Away we go! Oh, and then I said a group of letters make words and she goes, "They do?"
Oh yeah-one step at a time.

BTW--I have been super busy doing all sorts of activities with Sophie and have the pictures to prove it. The problem with posting and keeping up with my blog is called an HSG--had one last week. If you know what that is I'm sure you'll understand and if you don't, God Bless-- I certainly hope you never have to, it's not exactly pleasant! Also, the wicked witch* inducing round of clomid has also prevented me from posting or having much contact with the outside world at all, but it seems to be subsiding for now. Here's keeping our fingers crossed.
Anyway, I have lots of catching up to do, and will be busy this week for those of you who like to stop by and check out what we are up to-I will start letting you know.

*wicked witch is putting it mildly....snapping at EVERY little thing that goes wrong and dissolving into tears when someone doesn't put the cap on the toothpaste....oh yeah...oodles of fun.....I started bawling the other day when Nate turned left across traffic too fast because our giant truck might tip over, but then again not fast enough because a car was coming and could have hit us! Now that is crazy!!!!!!! good times.

Friday, October 10

PSF: and a Happy New Year!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I thought that by putting down my camera this week I would have more time to stay "right in the moment" and really enjoy time with Sophie.

Welp, I put down the camera this week, and I literally can't remember one thing that we did! Um, and when in the world did Friday get here? I'm still stuck on Wednesday.

Not much of a story, but it's the best I can do.
Strange week. Very strange week.

Moral to this story? My camera not only improves my memory, but also slows down time. If I don't pick it back up--the next thing I know it could be Christmas and I'll still be wearing my Halloween costume! (only 76 days away I believe--so just in case I forget --

Merry Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving!:)

I did manage to click these pictures as we were running out of the house trying to make it to music on time. Phew! At least I know we did in fact GO to music already or I might have tried to go today;)

Oh, and one more thing--these are real smiles this week so I do know that we are doing something right! I just love that little haircut of hers--wish I could wear it!

Wednesday, October 8

Wordful Wednesday: T.C.B.Y.

Yesterday, I tried very hard to stay right in the moment. I have to say it was pretty tough-if for no other reason than it was Tuesday. I've nicknamed it Terrible Tuesday but I did try everything I could to turn it into a Terrific Tuesday.
I failed. On many, many levels.
BUT, because I like to focus on the good stuff that happens, here's a little photo snack of one of the things that was terrific about our Tuesday.
When Sophie woke up yesterday she was all cuddly and cute and started playing with me and Jackers. Then she said, "Mommy let's go back to sleep!" I didn't hestitate on that idea. It only lasted a second though and she was playing again. Then I mentioned we should stay in bed all day today. (If I'd stuck to that then I wouldn't have these pictures.)

But we did stay and play for almost another hour. We were daydreaming about what our day would look like if we just stayed in bed. Then the bed became a car, a boat, and an airplane. It even allowed us to grocery shop-while we invented a giant once over scanner for the groceries so we no longer have to use the conveyor belts and just leave all of the stuff in the bed/cart/car. It was so much fun and I really felt like yes-I stayed in the moment.
After many, many mishaps and meltdowns, just before BOTH of us were in tears I said, (to myself) "screw the rules, let's get an ice cream cone." It was 3:30 and I was supposed to be on my way home to start dinner.
We happened to be right next to a TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt) when it I felt the compulsion for junk food right before dinner. Now I haven't been here in years and it was so fun to discover that not only was everything yogurt but most of it is 98% fat free--except for the sugar-free & fat-free version I was able to delight myself in.
This place rocked!
Sophie was happy. I was happy. and all was well in the Widloe World again.
Plus, this little afternoon snack encouraged me to for-go making dinner and head to the health club instead. So glad I did. I got in a great workout, and came home to make a nice healthy soup and sandwich dinner.
Phew! We made it through this day. Oh, and the frozen BLUE yogurt that managed to dribble all over Sophie DID come out of her sweatshirt last night. Phew--again. Oh, and Sophie only ate about 1/2 of this cone btw. Even kids have limits:)

For more WordFul Wednesdays please go over here to Angie's blog.

Tuesday, October 7

from this moment..

Most of the time in my life I am striving for something, learning something, or working on something (that something being anything from spiritual awareness to a connection with God to learning a better teaching method to a more organized household and menu schedule)--waiting for THAT moment when it all makes sense and I achieve that goal and my dreams come true and life ummmmm, begins? Wait. No, that can't be right. My life began a long time ago. Why am I still waiting for that moment?
I finally get it--THAT moment is now. Not tomorrow. Not when I lose weight, have more money, pay off debt, live in my dream house, have more children. No, it's right here-right now.
I easily forget about the moment because I am anticipating 'what's next.' Have I put the laundry in the dryer? Did Sophie brush her teeth? Are we ready for tomorrow? Do we have a plan for today? OK-Sophie's eating lunch, let's get out the craft--or the books--or change for the park--or start dinner--while I wait for her to finish and so on and so forth.
I don't want to be 50 or 60 or 85 by the time I realize that 'what's next' is really supposed to be 'what's now?'
What happened to having lunch with Sophie--right now, right when it happens?
What happened to enjoying what we ARE doing - instead of prepping for the next thing?
It's soooo easy to get distracted and let my mind start to spin out of control during the day-overwhelming me with all sorts of things that have to be done before I go to bed. The have-to can wait. Have-to's are things like shelter, clothing, food--you know, the basic needs like a blogger friend kindly pointed out to me recently.

So, I'm practicing 'staying in the moment' and I find when I get a little "camera happy" I begin to start living in the future thinking about new activities to do, posts to put up on the blog, and anything else -except- whatever it is I happen to be doing at the moment.
So--over the weekend I put the camera away.

On Saturday, we decided to grab some Jimmy John's and go to a park for picnic and playtime. It was a gorgeous day outside-not a cloud-about 65 degrees (70 in the sun without the breeze) and we were all together-including Jack. I remember thinking while we were eating our sandwiches how I wished I had brought my camera-then remembered why it was good I didn't.
I enjoyed myself.
We ate at picnic table and shooed away bees.
We laughed when Daddy-O was more scared of the bees than any of us.
We talked for the dog while Sophie fed him half of her lunch. Then we laughed even more when Sophie talked for Jack too.
We sat on the swings for more than 30 minutes and just talked and talked and talked. I taught Sophie how to do a 'spider' ride on the swing, even though I am too big to make it effective.
We laughed some more.
It was so fun to relax, smile and laugh, and just BE. We stayed in the moment and the moment was mmm, mmm, good!

I adore days like that. It's what makes life sweet. It's why we are here.

Yesterday afternoon I started to get a little cranky because of all the 'have-to's' rolling around in my head. It was then I told Sophie to pack it up we are going outside. I REMEMBERED TO STOP! I REMEMBERED what is important--the moment. Here's what happened when I did.
We went to the park for a bit. Played and had fun. Just me and my daughter-swinging on the swings.
When we got back our neighbors were up (from their naps) and out. Sophie got to play and the moms got to talk--for like 2 HOURS! We just stood there chatted and the kids ran around and played and I swear to God --life was perfect.
Our neighborhood felt so normal, nice and safe. It was so much fun.
By the time we got in Sophie was super tired and dirty, so I bathed her while dinner was cooking and she conked out on the couch right after dinner at 6:30.
When I stayed in the moment--everything fell right into place beautifully. I had plenty of time to clean up dinner, have some adult conversation with 'the boys downstairs' (Nate & Co.), AND I was able to just BE before any 'what's next' thoughts crept in my head. Awesome!

The only flaw is that I don't have the pictures to prove it. Maybe I'll get one of those really skinny cameras that I can fit in my pocket--but not until I mastered the art of 'staying in the moment.' I don't want any distractions yet because it is just such a great thing. I have really been able to relax and go with the flow much better over the past few days.

I did snap one quick picture yesterday though. It appeared Jack was missing us and took Sophie's pumpkin pillow to keep him company until we came back. He's such a sweet puppy.

I can't wait to see what our moments will look like today!

Monday, October 6

I'm being followed! WHOOHOO!

When it comes to monitor size and memory my BIG computer kicks my lap top's butt. This is my main computer, so all of my faves, scrapbooks, and fun stuff are on this computer--including a list of all of the blogs I love to read regularly. For some reason, Sophie does not like my big computer. She doesn't mind if I sit with my laptop in the family room to read blogs-or even if I take it upstairs before bed to chit-chat on the mom boards. But, if I were to go into the living room to the 'big' computer after dinner? She's in my lap and won't leave me alone. I get to read nothing--unless Mickey Mouse or Nickelodeon websites are involved.
See why I want to teach her how to read? How fun will it be when she can really start using her computer?
So, if I want to play catch-up with bloggie friends other than at 5AM-the little laptop it is. What a pain to keep up with my blog rolls and add favorites to both computers-never mind the fun stuff I can't do on the little laptop-like scrap booking.

I noticed this morning however that 2 people are following me.
I have no idea how long they have been there. WHOOHOO for finally paying attention! Has this feature been here for awhile?
Now, I get to start adding all of my fave blogs right in my very own dashboard. No matter what computer I go to--I'll be able to find you. All I have to do is sign in-whoohoo! I'm so excited. It may take a couple of days to get everyone in there, but hallelujah--no more blog rolls. I'm simply going to follow you instead. YEE HAW! It is very twitter-esque.

Now, just waiting for some commentluv to become compatible with blogger and I won't miss one important post-from anyone who stops by.

Thursday, October 2

PSF: My sad little Dorothy and a GIANT life-lesson

This has got to be the saddest picture I have ever taken. Not because she's not adorable in her new Halloween costume, because she totally is, but because Sophie is just so sad behind that smile. I can't think about it too much, or I start to cry. Sophie isn't really smiling here. She's smiling through very real tears. She was trying to put on a brave face--because her mommy was mad at her. My heart is seriously breaking.

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For the past week or two, anytime Sophie doesn't get what she wants, she starts to cry and walks away and has a 'mini' fit. She doesn't throw herself down and have full-blown temper tantrums, but she makes 'mad' faces and clenches her fists and goes and sits away from me or whoever is bothering her. She's not asking for help-or simply choosing something else-and her frustration is truly getting the best of her.

In this picture, Sophie was so sad because she was comparing her shoes (which were 2 sizes too big) to the giant pumpkin on the window. She was trying to tell me how big they were on her feet-like how big the pumpkin looked on the window. I was so focused on trying to take her picture in her new costume that I got confused about what in the world she was talking about and really upset her. Her frustration thresh-hold is unusually low and it took me some time to figure out that my frustration thresh-hold is even lower than hers.
Thankfully, I am finally aware of it. Whenever I encounter a parenting problem -in any area -I consult my smart love book. It reminded me that when my child is frustrated I need to react with loving regulation and comfort until the frustration subsides--not anger or withdrawal of my love and attention-and certainly not harsh words and consequences~that's demeaning. Only in this way can she learn how to deal with life's ups and downs while simultaneously experiencing the esteem-boosting type of loving relationship she has with me at all times. Otherwise I run the risk of teaching her that I want her to be upset when she gets frustrated with others OR that her frustrated feelings are OK--when in fact they are not. They are normal, but not OK--I sure don't want her to walk around frustrated all the time.

Well, you know what I have been doing lately?

Sophie: Mommy, I want more candy!

Me: Sorry Sophie-you'll get a tummyache.

Then -- when she cries I get all mad that she isn't understanding and accepting. Ew. I get mad because she is mad. This is just when she is upset. When I'm frustrated? Um, I clench my fists, make my mean face and stomp away. Seriously! Holy cow! I am the one crying over the spilled milk--because I'm the one who has to clean it up! I am acting and dealing with frustration exactly like my 3 year old. How do I know this? Because she is simply doing what I'm doing. She's my little mirror. I'm not handling frustration well at all lately--and I am teaching her how NOT to handle it. She just may be more emotionally mature than her own mother.

So, the lesson here? Stop taking pictures when Sophie is crying. No really. I need to get a grip, take a chill pill, or have a drink for God's sake! What in the world am I taking life so seriously for? From now on it is my goal NOT to show bad examples of dealing with frustration to Sophie. I WILL show her what is a big deal and what isn't and the appropriate responses to both. I WILL change my reactions. After all, it is just milk-and it can always be cleaned up.

I WILL give her my love and comfort--even when I'm not giving her that ice cream cone she's crying for-or that toy that she desperately wants to play with. I bet she stops freaking out. I bet she learns that no matter what she get the best of me-as much as she needs. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

It sure has been a crazy couple of weeks!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Preschool Puffs and Plugs: Week ending Oct.3

Homeschooling updates from a proud parent's point of view
*Puff: praise extravagantly; to publicize with often exaggerated praise; *Plug: the favorable mention of something,

I needed some sort of catchy phrase to start summing up our activities-especially since I am having trouble with daily blogging-and there seems to be a lack of jazzy synonyms for words like summary and review. So, I dug a little deeper, stretched a little farther, and found 'puffs and plugs.' I know I could use 'weekly wrap-ups, or Saturday summary' but I wanted something a little brighter with the sparkly touch that seems to be all things --me.

OK, let's start with the PUFFS:

Monday, September 29:Craft Project

On Monday, Sophie chose a pumpkin patch scene to create with a foamies kit bought at the craft store.
She figured out how to put the two trees together by herself.Then using the box as a guide she created her masterpiece.The only thing I did was hot glue the tree, fence, and sign to the base-right where she told me to.
She's a perfectly proud-of-herself preschooler. I am perfectly pleased at her efforts. I'm even more thrilled with her ability to follow directions; her capability of sitting in her seat content and behaving for almost an hour; and I couldn't be happier with her tiny little motor skills getting all that tape off the back of the foamies and the fact that she was able to figure out how to assemble this practically on her own.

Tuesday, September 29: Bead Sorting and jewelry design.

The Montessori lessons** I was using said to pick four shapes with same or only 2 different colored beads. I decided Sophie could handle something a little more challenging.
With a bit of coaching from me, she made the decision to sort by color instead of shape. Each time she got bored with a color she moved on to a new color. This kept her busy for almost 20 minutes! I think she enjoyed putting the beads into this container the best. She was really excited that the box tops snapped in place.

Then it was time to make a necklace and 'jam' on her guitar with it on. I couldn't get a great pic of the necklace though. I'll have to do some editing and post in the future when I get the chance.

Wednesday, October 1: P.E. and a little tool-time.

Notice anything about this bike? (besides the fact she is growing quickly out of it)

Yep. No more training wheels. She fell gracefully though and seriously had more of a fit wearing the helmet and knee pads than she did when she fell over. She's one tough cookie.
After all of that great exercise (for me and her daddy) she decided she still wants the training wheels.
So she put them back on. I may have helped a little.

Now for a couple of plugs:

Also on Wednesday we did a Montessori exercise playing I Spy with one of the actual I Spy books--the Halloween version. It's great for teaching letter sounds (I spy something that starts with a B,) colors (I spy something black,) and even a some higher level cognitive skills (I Spy something that flies only at night.) A bat was the answer to those three--in case you were wondering. Anyway, this was a fantastic teachable moment while at the same time disguising itself as down time-getting Sophie ready for a nap. LOVED IT! We will be doing this one often. I am sooooo looking forward to the Christmas version. It will be a staple in our Christmas time activity schedule.

This is Sophie giving herself a plug once the training wheels were back on. Good for you Butter Bee~Take a Bow!

*definitions from
**I have decided to tone down the Montessori pressure I put on myself by picking one or two activities for the week and then just improvising on the rest-relying on my former teaching skills to help me turn play-time into learning time. She absolutely lives in a complete educational environment, so pretty much everything she sees, hears, and plays with will help her grow leaps and bounds educationally in some fashion or another. This week was a LOT less stressful than last week, and instead of scrambling to fill time, this week we ran out of time to do all of the activities scheduled. Plus, if I use Thursday as a wrap-up day, I won't feel so damn guilty about not posting everyday. Today we were going to do science and practice making bubbles, but we will postpone until next week.

Wednesday, October 1

Wordful Wednesday: Move over Miley--heeeeere's Sophie!

Maybe we can start a new show on Disney and call it "Hannah Montana - The Preschool Years!"
She is absolutely a ROCK STAR in the making. Just remember: you saw it here first!

We have recently discovered the joys of Hannah Montana, and Sophie is trying to live the Best of Both Worlds. Her HSM head/microphones come in handy while banging out her tunes. I'm soooooo psyched she loves music so much! Whoohoo for the tunes!

For more WordFul Wednesdays go here to Angie's Circus! Or click on her button on my sidebar!

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