Struggling Week

Honestly, I have to say being a stay at home mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. I really love being home and able to experience all the milestones. Somedays, like this week- well have been somewhat of a struggle. My brain hurts, I’m tired and feel very overwhelmed. I know many moms who seem to not have this issue and many of my friends probably don’t realize I struggle as often as I do. I have had a few friends say they wish they did crafts and such with their kids like I do. Well let’s be honest: sometimes I don’t. I don’t feel guilty either. Some days are just let’s watch tv all day and do nothing. Not even get out of our pjs. Yes, pjs are a regular attire in this household. Lately, I have been so blah with laundry well I don’t want to add the enormous pile I already have! My house is a disaster and I keep telling myself tomorrow let’s get some energy and then well it doesn’t happen. Here we are a week later, dishes aren’t fully done, laundry is pulling up, tv has been on constantly, my leggings are apart of me and naps are everyday.

The girls have been testing my patience and each other’s. It’s very hard some days they constantly fight. About who got what, she took my toy, I want to sit there. I would rather relax and just let them know they have to figure it out before I get up and start to separate them. Not sure if it’s the best idea but hopefully they learn that being nice to each other the day goes by much smoother!

Well, now I have rambled on. Let’s just say I am right there with you. You are not alone! Motherhood is hard. It is rough and sown times I think brings out the worst in some. I wouldn’t change it for the world. They make my life complete.

Though I do wish I could afford a cleaning lady! Just saying!

Hey New Year! I’m Still Catching Up

It’s been about two months since I have blogged. Christmas came and went as well as the New Year! Here’s a little catch up for you!

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Our elf Pixie stopped in after Thanksgiving. She was such a hit this year! Definitely will be back next year!

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The girls went with Tony’s parents to cut down a tree! We still didn’t have snow.

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Tenley started a new smile! What a cutie! She loves glasses!

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Lyla decorated her own christmas tree in her room. It will be a new tradition each year. Both girls will get their own tree in their rooms to decorate however they would like. She was so proud of her tree. I absolutely loved it!!

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Since Tenley liked to break the ornaments and pull them off and not put them on. I decided I would still do the little tree but I would decorate it for her a little. Next year, she will decorate her own! She loved having it in her room. Every morning she would point at it and laugh and smile!

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My sisters and my brothers girl friend Michelle went to my moms house and did baking! After a few hours we had a tub full for each family! Great tradition! Love spending time with family!

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We have a local park that does a light show for free every December. We took the girls again this year and it was a total hit! It’s definitely worth going to see it at least once!

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Lyla made her own christmas list to Santa this year! She was in heaven cutting and gluing! It’s her favorite I think! I just love her hand writing! She is getting really good at writing the letters without seeing them!

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Baby Santa

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The girls spent the night at my parents house and Pixie out elf went to grandmas house too!! Lyla was so surprised!! My mom was so creative with how she had Pixie the next morning! I can’t thank her enough for helping keep the spirit alive for our girls!

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Tony got me a christmas gift! Origami owl jewelry. It’s a locket with two girl charms with October and march birthstones and also a march birthstone heart for him. I picked it all out! I absolutely love it!!

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Christmas Eve came and we did pjs and hot chocolate after spending the afternoon at Tony’s parents! We got so many great items! It was so nice seeing everyone as well! Christmas Day we went to my parents house after we did our family opening. All the cousins were there and the kids had a ton of fun! It was nice to spend the day with family. We all got great items there as well! We were spoiled!

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My nephew Jordan came to stay with us for 5 days! Lyla was in heaven! She didn’t leave his side the instant he got to our house! We stayed in at home with him on New Years! Were definitely boring! Just kidding! It’s nice to stay home sometimes and not go out!

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The girls got sick and now they finally feel better! Glad we got the sickness gone and done for the year! Now we don’t need to get sick anymore! **knock on wood**
My house is a disaster but I am thankful we have a home and warm heat because the temperatures have been -20 degrees with a wind chill of -50! Yes that’s negative 50! Insane we haven’t gone any where. Haven’t done much because relax and snuggle!

Ooo in the next week I will be showing you my voxbox I received! Super pumped! Also, I will be working hard on valentines day owls! Exciting stuff happening!

Cleaning and organizing! School! LyTen Love! Busy Busy! Can’t wait to get back to blogging! See you soon!

Busy Busy

Been pretty busy here. We’ve been doing school, organizing and spending family time together. A few weeks ago Tony and I went with his parents to Illinois to do some antiquing. I have to say that I am glad we experienced it. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. There were so many vendors there. I think over 500! That’s a lot of walking and a lot of seeing the same things. I was hoping that were going to be much more of the items that I wanted but that wasn’t the case. The ones that I did want though the price was insane. There is no reason the price needs to be jacked up that high. I know everyone has to make that dollar but yikes!! I would definitely go to more around Wisconsin than go there again to get the prices we do!!
We have been at least going every other weekend antiquing. Then, taking the other day for family and the weekend in between for cleaning. Although, we havent done much cleaning. I did also decide to take custom orders for LyTen Love. I haven’t got too many which is probably a good thing because I have been working on a few special items. A little surprise for a friend and also a little something for our home. I am pretty excited to be getting ready for christmas. Tony agreed I could put up Christmas items the day after Halloween. Well, it’s already the 5th of November and I haven’t yet. Wow!! That is a miracle. I can’t wait to show you all the ideas I have. Also, I have been making a tradition list for the girls. Super excited!! Elf is coming to our house this year!! I have pinned so many awesome ideas. The girls are going to love him!! Is anyone else doing elf? Have any great ideas?

A Letter to my Daughter

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Dear Tenley,

My dear sweet baby. That is what you are. My baby. In two days you will be turning 2 years old. I still remember it like it was yesterday finding out we were pregnant.

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I was not only losing my current baby into a big girl, but gaining you as my new baby. The nine months I carried you went by so fast. I don’t think I was completely ready for you yet. You were my strong and independent baby. I knew that the day you decided to stay in my belly when I fell down the stairs. That was a huge scare. I didn’t want you coming that soon and thankfully you decided to stay in there. 38 weeks was a huge milestone for me, for us. After my body decided to make your sister come at 36 weeks I was afraid you were going to as well. Such a big girl listening to me when I told you to stay in.

The last few weeks you kept teasing me though making me think you were coming. Of course you decided the day daddy worked in another town to come. We even had a 40 minute drive to the hospital. Although you didn’t care! That morning mommy had Grandma doggy come and get mommy and Lyla. That was definitely a ride. I am pretty sure Grandma didn’t want you to come in her car so we got the hospital really really fast! Safely but fast!

Once we got to the hospital it didn’t take long from there!

Only about an hour or so after we arrived daddy did too! Thankfully!!

Because at 3:27pm you were born.

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If you want to read the entire birth story
Here it is

me and daddy

You were beautiful. You smelt so amazing. That amazing baby smell that I didn’t want to get rid of. I could smell you forever. I didn’t get the chance to smell your sister because of the c-section. Which saddens me because she probably smelled really good too. I know I sound crazy! Moms, am I right?! That smell is incredible. I could see so much of your daddy in you. The way you overtook my heart. It was love at first sight. My biggest fear of not having enough love for two children, well it was squashed. My heart grew! It’s a love like no other.

Wow!! Baby love really is a passion of mine. Cant ya tell?!

Back to you being a big girl! Makes me want to sob right now.

I am writing this letter to you to tell you all the wonderful things about you and what you have taught me.

Always to laugh. Dont make a scene when you get hurt. You are one tough girl. You pick up right where you left.
Patience. You don’t say much at this point yet but if I just watch you we will understand each other.
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You inspire me to be a better mom.
You give the best kisses.
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Babies don’t divide love they multiple it.
You help me remember that you want to be free. You are independent. Crib=cage!
You taught me not to buy new items because you are the destroyer of all things.

I love this picture of us.
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It shows us very well

Even though you love being with me all day- you make me smile when I come to get you out of your crib and you yell “daddy” at me! Makes me know you love us both.
I love how you trust me to always catch you. You are so brave but at the same time still lean on me. I love that. Don’t ever stop.
You have taught me that it’s not really you needing me, but I need you.

I love you. I always will. Through it all. The hard the bad the good and amazing. Tenley Rose you have blessed me in so many ways. I cannot thank you enough.

Love forever and a day,
Mommy

Letter B for Bugs

The second week of school we worked on the letter B. It was a fun-filled week of bugs! Along with the letter b we worked on the number 3, yellow, and the oval. I had many different activities worked out and since this was our first week officially starting I figured we would go as we could. It worked wonders and she really enjoyed learning. On sunday, I made up the closet door that will hold our main items. This door will show her the virtue we are working on, the letter, some theme items will be placed there and also the verse from the bible we will be learning. I am super excited for the next coming weeks.

(sorry so blurry- took a quick picture with iPhone and didn’t realize until I took it down already)
letter B door

Everyday of the week we will put a number on our calendar. Also on Sundays, I will be putting up flash cards under the calendar of the letter, color and shape. On the white erase board so far we have used only for project hanging.

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I keep forgetting to take pictures so they are of the letter A which we just finished last week. I am a little behind on blogging and also, I now know to use only the dslr camera not the iPhone. Obviously, iPhone doesn’t equal quality.

I tried to use simple items that I either had around home or from the dollar store. There was a bag of these colored sticks and colored blocks for one dollar I picked up. They are great for color learning and also for manipulatives for math. I used washed out jello cups and a circle punch to punch cardstock. Easily wrote numbers with a marker and then had her take the sticks and put the correct amount in each cup.

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While she worked she insisted on having the large bugs on the table as well. Of course I said yes! How fun is it with bugs on the table with us!

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My mother has been helping me a great deal with printing and making items for this. She has been so wonderful! Thanks mom!! I am not sure I would be able to do this alone and keep up making items for LyTen Love. I will post at the bottom where we had found these great printables.

I had her take the cards without the words on them and match them on top of the page with words. She did a great job even though she had a hard time identifying katydid and the praying mantis.

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Since we worked on the caterpillar the previous week I thought this worked in this theme as well. It is a simple printable with the life cycle of the caterpillar on it. It has numbers on the side 11-20 to help with counting as well. Loved this printable.

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I also found some great printables for the weather and days of the week. Each day we talk about the weather outside and how hot or cold it is. Then she traces the day of the week, finds the number of the month and writes it out. Awesome printable for everyday use. Instead of having to print them each week I have been using the sheet protector I got from the dollar store.

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I also wanted to have her work on her cutting skills. I am that mom who is deathly afraid of her using them. So I haven’t allowed her to use them as often as she probably should. It’s a great motor skill learning to cut. Especially, zig zags and curves. She did so much better than I thought she would. Its her favorite activity. If she sees me pull them out she can’t contain herself and we usually have to do it right away otherwise she is too antsy to do anything else.

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Dont mind the messy hair… this is why we love homeschooling. No more fighting about brushing hair in the morning to go somewhere.
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I found an adorable craft on Pinterest. Take a simple egg carton and make a bug. She was really excited about making him. It was a little hard for her to get the pipe cleaners through it but in the end she loved making it. I just gave her simple permanent markers and she drew on him. It was heaven because the markers are the “off-limits” markers and she got to use them!

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Look at that smiley face!! Again… iPhone don’t use!

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Here is an example of sheets from a dollar store learning book. It has lots of letters, shapes, number sheets. It is fabulous! Also, using the sheet protector I can reuse the sheets over and over and over!

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This past week we worked on Letter A! I will be posting about letter A shortly!

Here are the links to the printables:

Life cycle puzzle
Bug matching
Weather and days of the week

Sensory Containers

Last week, we worked on the stages of a caterpillar which was way fun. We even had a caterpillar to watch. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it fully through the chrysalis stage. I am waiting to just make sure but I am pretty positive he didn’t make it. We have not told Lyla yet in fear of her reaction. Hoping we can make it easier by telling her that we will get a kit for her birthday in March. Get your own kit.

This week we are going to be working on All About You. Since, I am watching another child this week until friday we are not going to be working on the letter as much. She knows the letter Y pretty well because it’s in her name. I am moving the first two letters to the end of our schedule.

After this week, I will post links to the pages we worked on for all about you. It will include her phone number, address, family information and what she likes and doesn’t like.

To hold you off I wanted to show you some sensory color containers my mom made for Lyla ! I am hoping to add more to them and also make colored rice to add the to the buckets.

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I am pretty sure she will love them when I start them!! My fabulous mom has helped me get so many things prepared. I am not sure I could do this alone!!

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First Day Adventures

The months have passed quickly and before we knew it two days ago was our start day for school. Lyla was pretty excited and I was nervous!! It has taken a ton of prepping and printing to get things ready. I was originally going to start watching some kids from the end of August until next year. In the end, Lyla was not listening as well and concentrating. My main goal is to homeschool and be successful. I chose not to watch the children in hopes it will help Lyla stay on track more this year. The first day of school was supposed to start the 3rd of September as the other kids in town. I am watching the one child the first two weeks until the new babysitter can watch him. I am so thankful that she was a friend and understanding of our situation. I just want the best for my daughters.

I still have to rearrange her schedule around since I had the start day the 3rd. Which we are still going to be working on small items just not going in deep like I was planning. So maybe its a good thing. We can start slow and easy and then work out a schedule that works for both of us.

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The weekend of Labor Day, Tony and I went on a little hike near some railroad tracks and found a monarch caterpillar! I just knew it was a sign that we were going to have a great start for school. I have now made this week learning all about the life cycle of the butterfly.

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I didn’t have a lot of information so I went straight to pinterest and found some great ideas! Also, I had joined a website called teachers pay teachers. It really has some great items for free as well as ones you pay for. Sign up its free!

Starting out, we made a caterpillar craft! The kids enjoyed decorating that page for the caterpillar to live on. Even Tenley joined by sitting on the table and observing and drawing on her own paper.

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That night we worked on labeling a worksheet of each stage of the butterfly. She did really well writing each word. We have lots of practice to do but I have hopes she will be a pro! These work sheets I had gotten off the Teachers pay Teachers site. At the bottom of the page it gives this link.

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That was all we could accomplish during the day. It was pretty late in the afternoon and I had to run to the post office and make dinner. We decided we were going to work a little more after dinner time. She was pretty excited to work again on things!!

At a rummage sale this summer, I had found these great wooden shapes for sewing. She absolutely loves it! I think it was her favorite part. She was a pro at it!!

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The first week of school I had scheduled the letter I. Our first theme I wanted to use was ice cream to make it an easy fun start. So, I had prepped and made a few construction paper ice cream cones to match lower case and upper case letters. She did pretty good. There were a few she got stumped on but once she realized that another letter looked better there she figured it out. (The popsicle sticks were to keep them from blowing off the table- we had our fan on)

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I had her do some pattern matching which she had fun and I didn’t realize I may have to find her a few more activities. She is so quick with these. I will have to find more challenging items.

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I took simple empty jello cups (thanks mom!) punched circles from a Pepsi cardboard box and wrote numbers on the circles and put them in the bottom. She then took the sticks and put the correct number in each one. I then mixed them up and had her redo it with the blocks color coordinating. She did really well. We have 1-4 down for sure!

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We worked then on a worksheet where she drew the stages of the butterfly.

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I am pretty excited with how school has been going for us!! I hope everyone had a wonderful start to school.
I have been praying a lot lately to help us stay on track this year!! I am very thankful she loves to learn new things. She is pretty excited. Hoping to post weekly about what we have been learning!