Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Busy.

Today was a packed day. Honestly, if we didn't have a car and were still in NYC, I would have only been able to do one thing. We did lessons in the morning, then made and had lunch. At 1pm, I had our portfolio review with our umbrella organization. It was super quick and easy. I'm really happy we went with an umbrella. Then a quick bathroom pitstop and food break at Whole Foods on the way to a playdate at a playground. I got a text from Scott that he would be at the train station at 5pm. It was a nice surprise and the girls and I picked him up. We all came home and Scott made tacos.

Vera has started reading. It's crazy. If you're a friend on Facebook, there's a video. Vera picks up and retains stuff quickly. She's easy to teach and she wants to have lessons. I think a lot of it is she really really enjoys the focused one on one time. I hope Vera doesn't lose her momentum.

I checked out a few Ed Emberly how to draw books, and both girls are eating them up. Vera's thumbprint drawings are hilarious. Abby has surprised me several times with some awesome work. (And for those in B-more, Ed Emberly and his daughter will be at Enoch Pratt Free Library in April. Again, the Pratt rocks.)

Penny had the closest to baseline poo today. It was more mustard color than dark forest green, and there were curds! Curds! I thought I'd never see those white specks ever again. There was still blood. I'm pretty sure I know what it's from. I'm hoping, fingers crossed, I can get Penny to baseline by Sunday. So for those keeping tabs, I'm gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts (including peanuts), chocolate, coffee, legume, refined sugar, and obvious corn free. I was dreaming today about what to trial first. Scott wants me to trial soy first. Soy sauce in particular. I love nuts, and that's what I cut out this week. After a soy trial, I'm going to trial almonds. How can one live without nut butters?! Also, there's things I've noiced about myself in this elimination diet. Once I cut gluten out, I found I can't tolerate beans and sugar all that well. Sugar especially throws my stomach into loops. I've stopped needing to wear deodorant. (This started after I cut out eggs.) No more cravings for really really sweet foods, like ice cream or cookies. Scott thinks I'm nuts. Maybe I am, and it's all in my head. Either way, gluten is evil, and so is corn. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Things.

I was all set to type this on the desktop, and Penny woke up. So, yet again, I'm typing this on my phone...

I'm reading The Core, Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education as a refresher. I love classical homeschooling. It's so simple, and how can you argue against a system that's been around for over 2,500 years? The Trivium follows how a child grows. It's "natural". It's how we think as humans. Grammer, logic, rhetoric. I find the book to be a nice compliment to The Well Trained Mind. 

Abby will be done with her second grade handwriting book this week. I'm debating whether or not to start the next book, which is cursive. I'm thinking I may want to fill in the gap left over by handwriting with copy work for science, geography, and history.
Abby's reading is improving, and because she's made a leap forward, her math is slipping. How many times have I blogged about this give and take dance she does? Today, she forgot how to subtract one. Ay! Then, because she knows she's struggling, she starts to write everything backwards. When she starts writing things backwards, I've got to go super slow through the lesson with her.

Saxon Math comes with flash cards. I don't usually do the flash cards because after the drill sheet/lesson/meeting/worksheet, Abby's kinda math-ed out. The other day, Penny pulled the flashcards off the shelf and Abby saw the bright colored paper and was interested. I put them in a bag and said she could keep them in her bag or the car to practice when she felt like it.

Seven is turning out to be a very difficult age for us. It's been just as hard as the 3.5/4.5 age. What's worse is Vera's having her horrible 4s the same time Abby's doing her cranky 7s. Someone please save me when Penny turns 4, Vera's 7, and Abby's 10! There's been lots of rudeness, tantrums (not the toddler kind, but the stomping off whinning kind), and NOT LISTENING! I've said countless times now, please don't get in Penny's face while she's nursing, and please keep Penny on the ground. Those two things make my blood boil, especially the nursing thing. I know Abby does it because she sees me cuddling Penny to nurse and Abby wants too feel close too, but oooo! Space, child!

I'm working really hard to find my balance with Scott working so much. I feel like we barely get to talk to one another until the weekend. Then the weekends are over before I blink. Plus, I'm cooking now with Scott holding my hand. He'll prep a lot of the harder stuff, like de-bone the chicken, for me. I think he's working this Saturday, too. I teared up when Scott mentioned our nine year wedding annaversary is on Tuesday. I totally forgot. Completely. 

So for anyone looking for gluten free baby wipes, Earth's Best Chlorine free wipes are supposedly gf. I'm waiting to hear back if they are soy free as well. I called the company to check. I like keeping a box of wipes around for travel and such. What do people use for dish soap and dishwasher soap that's gluten/soy free? And bathroom cleaner?

Lastly, Abby's eczema is back. It's environmental. I have my suspicions and I need to remember to mark when it flares.

Scott reading to the girls before bed.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vera Turns 4

Vera's birthday was on the 12th. It was a quiet day. I made a new favorite for dinner- potato scramble. We had a family party on Saturday. Vera was beyond excited to have a birthday party. Scott made a buffet for nachos and tacos. Mexican food tends to be Penny and Abby safe. I made vegan gluten free cupcakes and no one knew. They came out a bit dense for my liking, but they were still the best gf cupcakes I've ever tasted.

Cute things Vera said about her birthday-
"When I wake up, will I be a different number?"
When she woke up on her birthday, she asked me to measure her hands against mine to see if her fingers had grown.

Today, Scott asked Abby to call his father. Jiji answered the phone by saying hola and began speaking in spanish thinking it was Scott. Abby, holding the phone out, turns to Scott and says, "Dad, your phone turned into Spanish mode somehow."

Penny's been blood free since I've been egg free. Her poos are still icky. I want to try to go package free for three days and see what happens. Otherwise, corn would be my next big elimination. Today was not a good poop day for Penny. She suddenly started screaming, and then pooped, then screamed again. It obviously was a painful poo. We're slowly getting on track again with ec. Thank goodness. I hate piles of dirty diapers! Penny seems to be peeing less too, and that helps. 

We've all got head colds now. I swear we can't catch a break!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I cut eggs out this week.  Eggs should have been one of the first things I cut seeing how I was allergic to them as a kid.  And if you're one of those people who believe you never grow out of allergies, than I probably shouldn't have been eating them anyways.  No blood this week.  Penny is almost to baseline.  She still has mucous in her poos, but no blood!  So I'll see where we are next week.

Our holidays were busy with family.  Lots of running around between all the sets of grandparents.  I'm glad it's over.  It's time to get into a routine and settle down.  We haven't had a normal, quiet week since well before we moved from NYC.  Abby and I were also miserably sick through out the holidays.  Abby started throwing up before Christmas.  Scott and I chalked it up to dairy exposure at the holiday party since no one else got sick.  Then a few days after Christmas, she was puking again, then I was violently ill.  I'm talking on the floor sick begging Scott to take me to the hospital sick.  The poor man sat by my sick ass side and tried his best reassure me that I wasn't going to die, and if I passed out, he'd be there. Abby seemed to get better, but was still complaining of a slight tummy ache.  New Year's Eve she puked again a half hour before midnight.  This time, Scott took her to the ER.  Abby had x-rays done and a UTI test.  Both negative, thank goodness.  This was one nasty virus.  Only Abby and I got it.  I HATE tummy bugs.  We both lost weight.

I took the girls to Enoch Pratt Free Library today.  I love that library.  The NYC Public Library's children's room in the main branch is nice, but the Pratt's children's room is cozy (and there's a pond with fish!).  The librarians were awesome.  I love a good librarian.  You know the kind where you're searching for a certain type of book, and they actually help you find exactly what you're looking for?  Or take my daughter to show her where all the new picture books are located and which ones look like fun?  Even though we had to pay for parking (4$ for 2 hours), it's worth it.  I'd like to make it a weekly trip.  Also, I'm going to start asking each girl to pick out one audiobook, one fiction, one biography, and one non fiction.  Audiobooks have become a life savor in the car.  They keep the older girls quiet, entertained, and I find them relaxing.

Oh, and we got a van!  A Toyota Sienna!  It's lovely.  I'm in love with my swagger wagon with remote entry doors.  I don't even have to exit the car to get the girls unbuckled and Penny in the Mei Tai.  I just turn the car off and walk to the back.  Then we all exit from the back doors.  It probably looks like a circus act from the outside, but it's cold out and to put a Mei Tai on in the cold is no fun.  But, seriously, there is that much space.  The most troublesome is Penny is seated in the third row.  This is because I have to sit next to her when Scott drives, and Penny needs Abby when I drive.  I need to talk to Scott, but I'm thinking it might be easier to move the middle captain's seats together, and put Abby and Penny in those and Vera in the third row.  Anyways.

My ec'ing struggles continue.  Penny and I are completely out of sync.  I've got to get us back into a groove.  The holidays, illness, and food issues messed us up.  I ordered extra prefolds.  I never needed extra prefolds with Abby and Vera.  Not having a washer/dryer that's easily accessible, is not helping either.  I try my best.