We did make it to Mass last week! The snow was coming down thick but the wind was down so no drifting. I was so happy. I was not so happy to hear Father say he would discontinue the cup for a bit due to flu season. On one hand I can certainly understand, but on another, we only use the cup if we have to go to a different Mass outside of the 8:00 a.m. It's only for a few weeks...
Feeling snowbound, the kids and I headed over to my parents' for an evening/overnight. My husband's workload has been heavy so that gave him time to focus solely on work, and gave us a much-needed change of scenery!
All About Miss Z...
Miss Z is feeling so much better and had the all-clear from the doctor! She may have it rough if she catches even a common cold for the rest of the season but for now, she is all good and mostly all smiles.
These two girls just love bath time. Miss Bear has the cutest way of calling Miss Z "honey." So, so cute.
Miss Z is really a great toddler so far. She reminds me so much of Skipper at this age, with just a touch more fire to her personality.
While she can talk, all she needs to do is grunt and point to get what she wants. The kids just love talking for her.
She will not sleep alone which is driving me a bit crazy lately. Most of the other kids started separating around this age - at least for half the night. Not this one. Thank goodness she is so cute. ;)
All About Critter...
A certain little boy turned 7 on Thursday. He was so excited. He was quite tired when he woke up and told his big brother sleepily, "Today is my birthday. I'm almost 8 now." It is also the year he truly figured out that he would always be younger than his older brother. ;)
Critter is such a stinker. This is how he usually starts posing for pictures. On purpose, knowing I want a photo. I have many pictures to prove it.
I gave a few choices to Skipper to help pick out a birthday cake for Critter, but all the kids helped make the cake, even the birthday boy. It was super easy to do, but if you make two cakes make sure to have double the frosting! I used the red velvet cake recipe from Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook and used the construction how-to from Betty Crocker.
Skipper made a present for him, and was so excited to have him open it. It was a wood burned picture of a car going up a hill.
The birthday boy? He's into bunnies, woodburning and drawing, looking at pictures, beginning to read (yay!!!), subtraction (no joke, story to follow), Imaginext, Skylanders, helping in the kitchen, and doing whatever his older brother is doing.
The subtraction story... So Critter has a natural ability at math but until now he has done a majority of math verbally and with manipulatives. Little by little he is moving to paper and writing equations. Knowing that he is now proficient at addition I threw in a very simple subtraction problem to see if he would catch it. He did not, and added it instead. I pointed it out, and he looked confused, so I explained how it was subtraction, that we were taking it away, etc., etc. I verbalized it and said this is like if you have five cookies, and you gave one to your brother, how many would you have left? He told me he would have five cookies. Thinking he did not understand I explained again. Not talking, my son erased the one and replaced it with a zero. I think he gets it, don't you? I told you he is a stinker.
All About Miss Bear...
Ooh, this child. True to her nature, this week has been up and down for her. She insisted on this hairstyle the other day:
She had seen it in a magazine at the doctor's office the other week. I don't think I could have ever pulled it off, but she did.
This girl is full of sugar and vinegar. She is quite an experience for me. And so chatty! Each night I lie with the girls, nursing Miss Z, and holding Miss Bear's hand. Miss Bear always tells me random stuff. Very random, and not always true.
The other night after she told me a few things, she quieted down, and I thought, good, she is going to sleep. Nope. All of a sudden she heaves this huge half sigh, half cry, and sobs out, "If daddy dies then we will never see him again!" I think my heart stopped a beat before I told her that he was not dying tonight and would she like to have him come in for a hug (she would). I don't think the door was quite shut before I heard a dreamy sigh and the words, "I really wish I could be a little mermaid." A slight pause, followed by, "Or maybe I will go with *Skipper* into outer space." Sigh... and sleep. I really never know what she is going to say or do next.
Miss Bear really, really wants to learn her letters - how to say them, how to write them. The only problem is that she has the attention span of a puppy. But she is young so I don't really get bothered by it. She will read in due time.
All About Skipper...
This boy is growing up way too fast. His birthday is coming up soon (March), and he is that odd mixture of little boy with hints of his older self peeking out. He is tall like his daddy and nearly as tall as me already (I am 5 foot, 4 inches). He is reading constantly, which I love, love, love. I wish he would apply himself equally well to the rest of his school lessons. ;) He has a natural gift with language but it does not come across on paper yet. And he is just awesome with kids - very gentle and funny and nurturing. I love it.
Both boys enjoy karate. On Thursday they tested for their first stripe in orange belt (my husband tested for his second stripe). The difference between their first testing and this was very apparent. Before class started, the boys had fun "teaching" Miss Bear some moves.
My husband, Adam, who loves karate and has lost a little over 30 lbs since starting last July! You can't tell here, but he is a tall man at 6 foot, 8 inches. I barely reach his armpits, haha!
Today... I will be quite busy helping with the woodcarving show. This is the first year the boys will help out too. We're supposed to have a little wintry weather this morning but hopefully it goes away quickly.
This week... a pretty boring, normal old schooling week. I think. I hope. We need one to get back into the school schedule. We do have a planetarium field trip this week which will be great fun, especially for Skipper who loves anything space! I also have a joint boys' birthday party to prepare for.
On health... I am feeling good again. For now. I just have to take it day by day, and try to exercise and eat as well as I can and hope that with time, my body doesn't hate itself so much. ;)
There are two things I know now that I didn't know before. I met with the doctor yesterday for a follow-up and to discuss my pulmonary testing I had done a few weeks ago. Turns out I do not have asthma but instead have indication of small airway obstruction copd, which can be confused with asthma as it is similar, but the big difference is that it is not reversible, which explains why the albuterol does nothing for me except when I had bronchitis when I was sick. The doctor is a little confused why I would have that considering my age and I do not smoke, but whatever, it is there so it is what it is. I am not experiencing any symptoms now so my focus is on getting in shape to be able to use oxygen more efficiently. And I suppose, to stay on top of illnesses.
The other is doing a workup with my gynecologist concerning endometriosis. I have been having issues. We will see how that goes. Reading up on it, it makes a lot of sense, minus the fertility issues. When I told my mom she was so nice to inform me, "Yeah, I had that. It's why I had my hysterectomy and the same with my sisters and your grandma." Really? You're just now telling me this? I love my mom, but she is so funny with her memory sometimes. For instance, my mom added to my birth story a few months ago by telling me I had a collapsed lung when I was born. In her defense, I am sure much of my birth is a blur to her as she hemorrhaged nearly two months before her due date which led to labor and little old me being born. I guess we're both fighters. :)
Ok, health questions for ladies over the age of 34... My sister-in-law and I were chatting last night. She's 34, a year older than I am, and hasn't felt well herself this past year as well. What we found funny is that both her mom and mine said that 34 was the turning point for them, where they felt like their bodies went haywire and seemed to fall apart for a bit. That was the year my mom had her partial hysterectomy as well. Thoughts on this? Anyone agree or disagree with this? I found it curious that both our moms said this separately to us.
What I am Reading... Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice still for the book club. I have had so little time to read. I need to get in gear so I can start Mansfield Park for February/March.
I also received the new book The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne of ThePaleoMom.com. It is big and looks like a textbook, but fun to read. I have yet to read it (I just got it!) but I love the dedication:
I am also steadily reading through The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest. I can only read this in bits as it is full of good stuff. Really good.
And now, I really have to go, gather all my items for the show, and head out. First, a final thought from Elisabeth Leseur:
"Let us open our hearts to admit all humanity. At the touch of the divine, let us resound with every generous thought, every human affection; let us learn to find in each soul the point at which it is still in touch with the Infinite, with God."Have a wonderful week. God bless.