Wednesday, March 25

WordFul Wednesday and a Wordful from a sponsor....


OK, not really a sponsor, but I do have some interesting info. to talk about before I get to my WW picture.
I love all things educational-especially when it comes to my two favorite things, computer skills and reading. Well, while I am patiently waiting for Sophie's reading light to click on, I have noticed that she is incredibly good on the computer. So, when I was contacted about a new educational website-I of course checked it out---JumpStart.

I love JumpStart for many reasons. The coolest part is that not only is Sophie learning hand/eye coordination alternating between the mouse and the arrow keys, but ALL of the games she's played so far have required her to practice skills that will enable her to READ and do MATH. Sophie has already spent hours playing on this site. I LOVE IT! You can play on the website for free, or you can become a member and get access to a million other things available on this site. There are also CD-ROMs for sale. The CD-ROMS open a huge resource for learning, plus it offers ways not only for parents to communicate with other parents (awesome,) but you can also leave messages for your kids AND track their progress if they play without you present. Sophie is still closely monitored by me so that she doesn't wander off into a 'older' zone and get frustrated. I want her to keep loving this as much as I do.
This would be a great website for any pre-schooler, home-schooler, or even after school programs. The entire place is really neat--caters to a bunch of ages--and is a 3-D virtual world that can compete with any of those silly video games out there!


Here's a screen shot from something Sophie discovered last week in Adventure Land for ages 4-8. (I personally prefer Story land for the 3-5 year olds, but I let her choose where she goes first, so she will go to where I want her to after about 15-20 minutes or so.)

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At this point in the game, she was looking for the treasure chest with clothing so that she can continue, and in the meantime she found this slide that she can crawl up and slide down. She's having so much fun--time flies when she is on this website.
If anyone is interested I can give out one 3-month trial membership. Just leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you. (Be sure to leave me your email so that I can.)
OK--on with my WordFUL Wednesday.......................
Lately getting pictures from Sophie has been a struggle.


This is usually what I get.
Nice!
Not really.










But I don't want to leave this post with a picture of Sophie's backside--So I put this picture up.

Washing her hands may not seem like a big deal--and certainly not a milestone--except that on this day when I snapped this photo it was because it was the first time I didn't have to ASK Sophie to wash her hands!

Hand-washing is just as much of an issue as getting a picture, so I certainly needed to document her fabulous cooperative spirit. I even asked, "Whatcha doin' Soph?"

She responded, "Well when I came in my hands were really dirty so I came in to wash them so you would let me have a popsicle!"

Work it baby---work it! (what movie?) I can honestly say she OWNS it! Great job mouses--you rock!

And YES, she got her popsicle. Couple of 'em!

Monday, March 23

Window Shopping

You know the saying, 'Act as if thee have faith, and faith shall be given unto thee,' or in other words 'Fake it until you make it?'

Yeah, well, I'm not so sure how they truly work either, but I am certainly giving them a go. A couple of weeks ago I was fed up with not being able to build or even work on my nest. I have to wait until my husband moves his office outside of our basement. I'm going to turn the basement back into Sophie's playroom so I can baby-proof the rest of the house and get ready for the new arrival. WELL,
Since he's not out and I can't cater to my nesting itch--then of course I want to go shopping--but in the economic funk of the world that doesn't seem very possible either. Not to mention that I'm still really early in the pregnancy and I guess I'm more superstitious than I thought. I should at least wait until I find out if it's a boy or girl.



SO--in the midst of it's just 'a little too cold to play outside' but the sun is shining away and we can't clean or organize because we don't have the room and we can't actually go buy the new furniture I want--then we at least need to get OUT of the house and fake it.


So what did I do?


I went to register at Baby'sRus. I mean, Sophie and I were bored to tears, so I suggested that we go pick out new stuff for the new baby.
Sounds stupid, but really we had TONS of fun. Sophie loved holding the 'zap it' gun and I loved getting out to see what's new and cool in the world of baby. Besides that--it was a little more fun than real shopping because we got to zap everything we wanted. Sophie thought it was so cool when I kept saying--Get IT--every time she asked if she could get 'this' for new baby.


We.had.a.BALL! 2 hours later it was time to go home for lunch and a little viewing of HSM3. What a great day.


AND even though we didn't actually buy anything that day--except the jelly beans and pizza rolls that I was craving for lunch-- I did manage to find a bunch of things that I do want for new baby AND because I actually started a registry I got a bunch of free gifts from the store! Whoohoo for window shopping!

This was the first time I actually had fun not buying anything and I didn't even worry about it since we still have a good six months before baby.



Oh, and once again, Sophie is teaching me that she is a little Mommy sponge, and even if words aren't actually spoken to her, she's still soaking up everything she hears.


We were smell-testing baby lotions and shampoos when Sophie encountered one she didn't like.
"MOMMY," she shrieked as loudly as possible, "this smells like CRAP!"



That's mommy's little princess! I was so proud. Yikes.

When I quickly and calmly said, "Sophie you can't say CRAP." (I whispered the icky word.)

Guess what she said?
"YOU do Mommy."

Yikes again.

"Well, we don't say it in public."

What else was I supposed to say:)

Thursday, March 19

PSF: 12 weeks? 13 weeks? Who's counting?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek



I was going to post this picture on my pregnancy blog and compare Sophie when she was in-utero to the new unborn baby, until yesterday when I discovered that I can't find any of Sophie's ultrasounds!!!! WTH???

I NEVER throw anything away. EVER! I still have clothes--no lie--from college in my closet. And yet I go to find VERY precious pictures of my favorite person in the world? nothing. nada. zilch. I've looked everywhere.

I'm so stressed! ARGHH!

Anyway, it's still fun to take a peek at my insides, so here's new-baby-on-the-way Widloe at her/his 13 week appointment. (The doctors said I was only 12 weeks 2 days--whatever.)

One of the best things about having to see a perinatologist is that they have all the best toys-- ultrasounds are AWESOME and all in 3-d! Whoohoo for complicated pregnancies!!
Oh, this is a profile pic and I went ahead and labeled some key parts-so you can see that he/she is throwing up her hands by ears-maybe to cover some of that giant head of his/hers!

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Believe it or not, having that little nose show so soon is a VERY good sign that the risk of chromosomal abnormalities is very low. Well, that and all of my blood tests all came back normal. phew! I still can't believe I was brave enough to take those scary tests-especially after I heard 3 of my friends had false positives!

So there you have it--my uterus is alive and kicking and growing right on schedule. At least not everything about pregnancy is stressful!

Now, if I can just find Sophie's pictures, then maybe I'll relax--for a moment anyway.

Wednesday, March 18

Wordful Wednesday: The sunny side of things.



Last month Sophie and I were reading from her new magazine, Your Big Backyard, (recently upgrading from Wild Animal Baby) and we saw this idea in the back. Sophie got so excited she wanted it for dinner. So, breakfast for dinner was what we did.
Simply spray a small bowl with cooking spray and crack in an egg. Poke the yoke so it doesn't explode and cook for about a minute.
Cut a couple pieces of toast and viola! The greatest sunrise (or in our case sunset) you'll ever eat!
The coolest part is that every time we dress up food to look fun--Sophie eats WAY better. Now, how do I make chicken fun?
Oh, and I stuck in the links for the magazines so that if you have never seen them go check them out. Sophie LOVES both of them and they make it easy to send the subscriptions as gifts. The National Wildlife Federation website is also a great resource if you are looking for 'at home' projects to do with your little ones.

Tuesday, March 17

All Aboard Diner


When I was in college they taught us that in order to fully 'wrap-up' any lesson or theme used in teaching we had to create a closing culmination activity or field trip. What better way to wrap up our A's than to a field trip lunch at the All Aboard Diner?

They should rename the place the the Great Train Robbery. Or how about Choo Choo Cha-Chings. Good in theory and in gimmick, but the place was anything but what we expected. I don't have to tell you how Sophie felt about it--look at that face in this picture! She might have mirroring my face after spending almost $40 on a lunch for 3! At a diner. Not a steakhouse, or even just a Chili's for heavens sake. Ridiculous!!!!! The food wasn't even that good, much less that big. Come on.

Anyway, the next time I pick a field trip, I will have to do better homework before venturing out.
You can tell my hubby got a big kick out of the train that delivered the food. I think he had more fun than the two of us combined!

But, in all fairness to the afternoon, it did feel good to get out for a bit especially when February 2009 seems to have been the longest month in recorded history. Plus, I LOOOOOVVVEEE spending time with my two favorite people in the world, so no matter how much money or time we spend--it's always worth it.

*Oh, we finished the A's about two weeks ago, but I totally forgot to blog about them-so this post is just a touch late!

Monday, March 16

Paying it Forward to.....


Congratulations to Corey! @ Living and Loving Every Minute of It!


It won't be hard to follow Corey's blog with her gorgeous pictures of her little Sugar Bear, all of her infinite mommy wisdom, and her love and expertise for photography that she is happy to share. She's got one cool blog and she is a great blogger friend. Thanks to everyone who was interested in the book, and please don't forget to follow Corey so you can get another chance to play!




I had written every one's name on a sticky note and put them in a basket and had Sophie pull the winner.


Sophie: "Why am I doing this?"
ME: "So I can give away a book."
Sophie: "Can I have jelly beans?"



So, Sophie wasn't exactly interested--but I know a bunch of you out there are, so keep an eye on Corey because she will be paying-it-forward when she's done.
Thanks for playing!!!!

Friday, March 13

PSF: Relax Mommy, I'm ready.....

You're ready. Really? Am I ready?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


Once again, Sophie has proven to me that all of her developmental milestones happen naturally. Sure, I need to provide certain tools and encouragement but eventually she always chooses to move forward and try out her sea legs when it's time to grow.
Of course, for months before she makes the decision I am always sweating, worrying, sometimes even defending why I haven't done something about it sooner-to the people I think follow the real status quo, or what's "normal."

Here are my big examples:

1. At about 2 1/2 Sophie still drank one last bottle before bed. Did I push? Nope. One night she just said, I don't want to drink a bottle. OK. That was that. No more bottles. sniff.

2. When it was time to be diaper-free, she again made the decision. OK, Mommy, I'm ready to just wear the undies. OK. That was that. No more diapers. sniff.

3. Out of the blue, before I even thought about it, she decided all on her own that she wanted to take showers instead of baths. What? OK, That was that. No more bathtub. sniff (she did recently re-discover the joys of the tub, and will choose a bath 'just for fun' sometimes. phew!)

4. The doctor's office has always been tough but for her 4 year old appointment, she boldly announced to me that, "I will be brave Mommy, and I'm not scared." Normally, I have to surprise her by just taking her, and bribes of sprinkle donuts and skittles are always involved. Not this time. Not only was she brave as she flew through the check-up with flying colors, but she also even dared to take a peek in a pediatric dentist office on the second floor of the building. OK. That was that. No more bribery for health. sniff.

5. Last night at bedtime I offered the option for the millionth time to try sleeping in her own big-girl bed, and she quickly said, OK Mommy, I'm ready. OK. That was that. No more co-sleeping. No more family bed. big giant sniffs!

After it was lights out- see you in the morning- you're the best big girl in the world- sleep tight-I love you, she totally fell asleep. (Oh, and she announced that she will be the best big sister if new baby is a girl, and the best big brother if new baby is a boy!)

What? Hold it--you're not supposed to be ready yet, I'm not ready yet. But I didn't say that.
My entire reason for not pushing on these matters was that I wanted Sophie to be emotionally ready for the changes, not just physically. I've always gone slow and at Sophie's pace--so that she can appreciate and welcome change--not be afraid of it.
Well, that's all fine and dandy, and these examples are giving me glimpses that I am accomplishing my goals--but I forgot one little thing--ME!

I'm was a complete mess. Seriously. I wasn't ready for her to be on her own last night. I offered it, but I didn't really think she would do it. Holy Crap.
I was downstairs happily watching my favorite Grey's Anatomy, completely uninterrupted, when all of a sudden I had big boo-hoo tears running down my cheeks. Where's Sophie? Oh yeah, sound asleep in her own room like every normal 4 year old. I dreaded going to bed. I wasn't ready.
I dragged myself up anyway. I brought up our at bedtime Popsicle and popped in my comforting Gilmore Girls. I couldn't relax, couldn't sleep, and I missed Sophie ridiculously.
So around 10:30 I went back downstairs to sit with my husband who was shocked that I was still awake.
I realized then that I was experiencing the exact kind of anxiety change can bring when you don't know it's coming. I wasn't so sure I could handle it and I knew I didn't want to go back to bed anytime soon. So, I put on some eating T.V.--Triple D from the food network, and ate my way into exhaustion: pepperoni, bread & butter pickles, and jelly beans. Yep-I'm preggers all right. All of the emotions I was having were what I had been trying to spare Sophie from--at least until she's old enough to handle it.

It was then I finally got it that I am the one who is old enough to handle it. So off to bed I went.
It was so weird. The hallway bathroom light on-the bedroom doors propped open just a smidgen, and every in their own room happily dreaming away. SO WEIRD! The dog was excited though. He came up on the bed and sat right in the middle where Sophie's pillow used to be--and put his head on my pillow.

Alright, I guess I can be grown-up about all of this. I am the mom after all. OK. That IS that. No more baby. sniff.



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Thursday, March 5

PSF: A River in an Ocean and a Potion~ Moving On.......

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek



Sophie: Mommy, I want to sing that song that makes you smile.

Mommy: Awww! Let's hear it!

Sophie: (in the CUTEST little singing voice ever):

Like a River in the Ocean,
My Potion
Move On,
Like a river in the minute, move on.

Move On, is what we did today! The flu is over (THANK GOD) the SUN is shining and the breeze--although very brisk--was WARM! It was a beautiful day and we wasted no time getting outside. We played at the park, took a bike ride, and then played hopscotch on our home-made sidewalk hopscotch board. PERFECT DAY!
Life is good!

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Sophie was so happy today she even posed for a quick picture. This kid rocks!

Yep, that brought down the house!!!!!!
Any guesses to the band? Anyone?
Well, how about this--I'm combining today's PSF with a giveaway--a PAY it FORWARD giveaway.
A couple of months ago a dear blogger buddy, Kelly at Close to Home, read the book, Chicken Soup for the Mother of a Preschoolers Soul, and loved it so much she wanted to share the wealth. I jumped on it because I love all things Chicken Soup and this book did not disappoint.
Plus, Kelly, being the awesome blogger that she is, sent me some goodies that Sophie and I adored--take a look:

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Now it's my turn to share. I want to send someone this copy of the book and keep it going. If you would like to read it, just say so in a comment. I'll pick someone Monday. Oh, and please leave me an email so I can contact you!

Have a great weekend!
and Thanks Kelly! The booked rocked and I am finally paying it forward!!!!!

Wednesday, March 4

WordFUL Wednesday: Just one picture please?


It occurred to me that during my recent cave-dwelling I have neglected to take my usual million daily pictures of Sophie. So, in order to rectify this, last week I tried to catch her in a natural pose doing something normal--coloring.
Even though I never once uttered the phase, "smile" or "say cheese," she knew exactly what I was after. This was the cutest silly pictures she gave me. The rest had an amazing amount of toddler tongue showing. (I know she's no longer a toddler, but it sounds better than preschooler tongue. for some reason. )
So, yeah. My beautiful girl--acting in all ways like the little entertainer she just may be destined to be.

Feel free to jump in on the WordFUL Wednesday fun and jump on over to Angie's.

Tuesday, March 3

Gatorade just might save our lives...........

Let me ask you something......Have you ever put a saltine cracker in your mouth when you are deathly thirsty and just let it sit on your tongue?
I did.
Today.
And I have to say that it is fabulous!

I can't remember the last time I was in this much pain. I've broken several bones, required dozens of stitches, and even a C-section, but all of those (even the one where I got cut right in the leg on spring break and needed 27 stitches on that gusher) run a very distant second to the pain I am feeling right now.

We are calling it the Cherry Koolaid Flu.

Sophie loves her koolaid, sugar-free of course, and that is the only thing she's really been able to have since Sunday. Remember I told you how sick she got? Well, it's the only thing that she has thrown-up too.

Then at about 1AM this morning it was my turn. I too love a nice cool cup of Koolaid so yeah--uh huh.

Then my husband came up to check on me at about 5:30AM only to detour himself to the guest bathroom. He likes Cherry Koolaid too!

The three of us are one pathetic site. My poor husband learned the hard way that fizzy diet 7UP just churned up his stomach even more--and kept him occupied for quite some time. Stuck to the couch or bed, where even sitting up to watch T.V. is incredibly painful, I'm trying desperately to see the good in this.

My husband and I were trying to watch the news this morning and ended up just turning off the T.V. due to the high volume of food commercials. OMG--I can't type the F word--as a matter of fact, just thinking about anything remotely edible could send me into the other room, with waves and waves of dry heaving.
Wait, no, that's not a good thing.
SO, after the three of us spent literally 6 hours in bed this afternoon (Sophie and Nate actually slept while I just rocked back and forth)--we all decided for a change of scenery and are back down in the family room.

I talked to the nurse at Sophie's pediatrician's office and while she was incredibly sweet, comforting, and sympathetic, she did tell me this could last from anywhere to 5 to 7 days.
The sweet nurse told us to slowly sip room temp Gatorade and chew ice chips until we felt strong enough for something real like a little saltine cracker.

SO while I honestly feel like I am dying a slow painful death, I keep repeating over and over, I am healthy, I am strong, I feel great. Over and Over and Over.
I think it's working because I have actually been able to hold down a whole handful of crackers. Now we are all sipping our Gatorade--and you know something? I think once again Gatorade is proving to be the miracle drug. A long time ago my sister swore by it's medicinal powers to relieve every womanly symptom you could think of--and I think today we are experiencing first hand the miracle power of this wonder drink.

So that's a good thing.
Another good thing is that just about by the time this is over we get to spring ahead the clocks and officially start Spring! Hooray!
I refuse to retreat back into the cave that I had recently moved out of, and I have to say I am REALLY looking forward to feeling better. Really. I am strong, I am healthy, I feel great.

Holy flu! I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's the worst feeling on the planet. I know have confirmation though that Sophie is stronger than me and my husband because she has not uttered one complaint through all of this. She is such a trooper!

Unfortunately she won't try the saltine trick. Neither will my husband. Maybe tomorrow. I have a feeling we are not going anywhere. Oh, and thanks to pre-posting I was able to finish a WordFul Wednesday that has nothing to do with our pathetic little current state of ill health.

I'll keep everyone posted on when this starts to let up though. Jeez--I still can't believe this is happening. Thank God it's still freezing outside and we are not missing anything.

Sunday, March 1

ABC's are here again!



Thanks to the help of an awesome website called Starfall Sophie and I are resuming our preschool activities until the it's time for her to actually go to school.
We started with the letter A because Sophie said she wanted to go in order. OK, so our ABC days are back.
First, we did about 30 minutes of computer time, and later after lunch we did these pages together--which are similar to some of the activities online. She got a lot of practice following directions (coloring the capital A's red and the lowercase A's yellow,) tracing her letters, counting the number of apples and finishing the sequence by drawing in the four picture, cutting and gluing pictures of things that start with A, and we even got lucky because we did this on Presidents Day and actually found a pic of good ole' President Lincoln himself--A is for Abraham.
Anywho, Sophie even helped me turn all of her cutout pictures into a silly sentence using all of the cutout words she found in the magazine: Awesome Abraham jumped Above an Ape in the A.M.
Stay tuned for more of our preschool adventures and a brand new website I'll be reviewing shortly called, Jumpstart. We've already had tons of fun there.
As for today, the poor little mouse woke up with a nasty case of the stomach flu. As of now, about 4:30--she can't even keep an water down. Poor thing--she's so thirsty!
I wonder what is the mystical force that makes me instinctively hold out my hand to catch her vomit? I really don't think I care that much about my floors--why in the world do I do that?
eeeewwwww!

Silly Sunday: Can you spell that please?

"Your name?"

Susie Widloe? I always respond to that question with a question-as if I can't believe my name is Susie Widloe! My husband thinks it sooooo funny. Susie Widloe? Really?

then, LOTS of people assume when I give my name, that I am saying w-OO-dloe, instead of w-I-dloe.
Once we get over the 'wood' part of the name, next comes the l-o-E spelling, instead of l-o-W.
I tend to get all annoyed at the inconvenience of it all-and most of the time assume other people are weird to misspell my name. Jeez! Get it right people! what.a.pain.

Imagine my surprise (no-make that my dorky-bubblegum excitement) when I stumbled across an old Partridge Family minisode on the new Hulu website.
The show is titled, "The Story of Red Woodloe." Not only is it spell wood-like people assume, but it also has the E instead of the W to it!

Yep, just another example of how I'M the weird one around here. I mean really, whoever heard of spelling Woodloe with an "I?" ;)


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