Monday, December 31, 2012

Good bye 2012, Hello 2013

We're saying good bye to 2012 so I'd like to take a look back on what happened this past year. I typically link back to posts but many of my posts are still missing pictures from when I moved pictures in my web album; I hope to finish fixing it soon.

Our 2012 Christmas card picture
  • We started the year in a baby moon with a brand new baby.
  • We celebrated Maddy's 3rd birthday with an art party. 
  • We had to get rid of our mutt, Keme because she attacked our other dog, Annabelle.
  • We adopted a pug pup, Gizmo.
  • Maddy tried dance again in the summer. She loved it and wanted to continue in the fall.
  • We released over 70 Black Swallowtail butterflies and still have 41 chrysalises in our butterfly cage to release next spring.
  • Sean started Kindergarten. 
  • Richard and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. 
  • We celebrated Sean's 5th birthday with a dinosaur party.
  • We adopted a rabbit trio with the plans to breed them for meat come spring time.
  • I worked with a group of locals to get the city to reconsider zoning that bans backyard hens. We won!
  • We got 3 baby chicks; half of what our flock will be. 
  • We celebrated Emily's first birthday!
  • We changed a lot of our eating habits and I lost 16 lbs!
  • I am ending the year with a booming daycare business. Most of the kids I care for are the same kids I had last year.
Even though I failed at project 52 posts this year, I did take a lot of pictures through out the year. 

Looking forward to 2013, here's what I'd like to accomplish:

  • Our healthy changes will continue. I want to lose 10 more pounds.
  • Along with taking lots of pictures of the kids, I will start being in pictures more.
  • While on the subject of pictures, I will do a better job at quickly backing up all pictures instead of them sitting on the computer for months first.
  • We will be trying our hand at gardening again and this will be a better year.
  • We need to do some major decluttering around here.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emily: 1 Year

It's time for another Emily update. This time it's the big one. Saturday she had her first birthday. My baby is beginning to be replaced with an adorable little toddler and I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm excited because it means we have a lot to look forward to. But, I will surely miss my little baby. She doesn't lay in my arms like she use to. She'd rather be on the move or playing. And she's definitely not as little as she use to be! So what has changed this past month? The biggest thing is she took her first steps the day after Christmas. She can only take 3 steps at a time because she gets so excited and falls forward. I know it won't be long before she's running through the house. She's learned to climb too. That one scares me. Especially when she climbs onto her chair and then rocks while sitting backwards. Needless to say, there has been some recent baby proofing! Just recently, pointing has really taken off. She points at everything now and waits to be told what it is. She learned how to say "tree" this way; she was always pointing at the Christmas tree. She's also learned the work "chick". She just adores our baby chicks. She will speed crawl to me and climb onto my lap whenever I have the brooder open. She is still toothless but that has yet to stop her when it comes to solids.

Saturday we had a little party for our birthday girl. It was mainly just family; the perfect size for a little 1 year old. She got her first gift before the party: a little people doll house. While she played, I decorated her cakes; her smash cake and the cake for everyone else. Also, before the party I reminisced on facebook about her birth day. Through out the day I made "one year ago" status updates ending with: 
"One year ago at 1:18 pm I delivered our third baby in our home, in our room, on our bed. As I lowered myself beside my brand new baby we just stared at each other. I was the first to announce “It’s a girl!”. I scooped her up and found a place to lay with her. Heather was the first to see her but I was the first to touch her. She was a nursing pro, and nursed and nursed and nursed. Emily and I then rested there, taking each other in while we waited for Bettie to arrive. Emily's birth was not what I expected but who could expect a 5 hour 18 minute labor followed by a baby arriving before the midwife. Happy birthday sweet Em!"
Her whole birth story can be found here: Emily's Birth Story 

Come cake time, Em did not want anything to do with it! 

She did get to get messy with dinner though!

And finally, I look back on how our little grew over this past year.
I had all these printed and made it into a banner for the party.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Family Update: Dec 2012

I've been a bit MIA lately and haven't posted a lot. A lot has happened over here and I think an update post is needed. Go grab a cup of coffee because this is going to be long. Things are going very well here. The kids are doing great! Maddy still absolutely loves dance and Sean has been talking about maybe trying soccer next year. They both have started going with me to the church I run nursery at. Maddy loves children's sermon and Sunday school. Sean is still hesitant about Sunday school but he enjoyed children's sermon last Sunday. Sean is doing great with homeschooling. We've made some changes though (and still working on some changes). --surprise, surprise, right? School is always a work in progress. We are using Starfall's free printable curriculum for reading. It's working great! I finally bit the bullet and bought a curriculum, Miquon Math. It came in the mail yesterday. I've heard great reviews from friends so I think it'll work great too. Our around the world unit study was a fail. Sean just was not as interested as I had imagined. I'll just file the idea away for when he's older. Sean has given up naps so nap time is now when he does some of his school work. It works better because the littles aren't in the way. He does the rest of his work and Maddy does her pre-k work after nap time when my school aged daycare kid does her homework. Em, well, here's her latest update.

On the daycare front, things are going great. A family that lives just a block away and has 2 girls, toddler and school age started this month. I'm once again at my max on Tues. and Thurs. Even though I'm exhausted at the end of the day, it feels great to have a full house again. The added income right before Christmas is a bonus too.

There's also some furry/feathery changes too. Last month we added 3 rabbits (Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter) to our backyard. The girls are sisters and are younger than Peter. They thrive on attention from us. Every time I open the cage door they run to stick their heads out to be petted. Peter loves attention too but he has a love/hate relationship with being petted. He runs to the door when he sees me but runs away when I put my hand in. But then he leans into my hand when I pet him. Silly rabbit! I bought them from a friend of mine that breeds meat rabbits. Our rabbits will have the same job. By spring they will be old enough for breeding. The kits will then be raised until they are big enough to be processed. I recently had rabbit meat for the first time. It's quite yummy! The difficult part will be staying disconnected from the ones that will be butchered..

Mopsy and Cottontail


As you may remember, I've been working hard with a group of people here trying to get the zoning regulations changed to allow backyard hens. Last month city counsel voted, 6-3, to allow up to 6 hens in all single family residential lots!! The lady that founded the group started last December. Less than a year is record time for this to pass. I'm thrilled! So, I ordered half our flock. And this week 3 baby chicks arrived at our door. I got an Easter Egger, a Buff Orphington and a Black Australorp. The are a hoot to watch! I love watching them chase after each other. The Buff Orphington is the tamest so far. She was the first to climb into my hand when I hand feed them. The Black Australorp is the adventurist one. Within the first few hours she figured out how to get out of the brooder. I fixed that though. The cutest thing is how they already seem to crave human contact. They chirp quite loudly when the house calms down; at nap time and bed time. We'll probably wait till spring to get the rest of our flock. We might even try hatching eggs.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful November: Part 2

November is thankful month. Part 1 of my thankful list can be found here: Thankful November: Part 1.

Nov. 16th - I'm thankful for a husband that puts up with my urban homesteading ideas.

Nov. 17th - I'm thankful busy Saturdays that get us out of the house and out to see friends.

Nov. 18th - I thankful for lazy Sundays.

Nov. 19th - Today I'm thankful for the extra bed in our room that the big kids climb into most nights. Without it I would have missed Sean's middle of the night belly laugh.

Nov. 20th - Today I am thankful for a city council that voted to approve keeping up to 6 hens!!!

Nov. 21th - I am thankful that sometimes when 1 door closes, another opens.

Nov. 22nd - Today I'm thankful for family. Especially that we have so much that lives close by.

Nov. 23rd - I am thankful for my parents. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Nov. 24th - I am thankful for our home and that we're not renting.

Nov. 25th - Today I'm thankful to have a second job at a church nursery and the unexpected side benefit of having the kids attend Sunday school.

Nov. 26th - Today I am thankful for Maddy; our awesome little social butterfly.

Nov. 27th - Today I am thankful for my polite children. Sean and Maddy made me proud using their manners at dinner.

Nov. 28th - Today I'm thankful that honey helps my throat since my voice went into hiding on Saturday and has yet to completely come back.

Nov. 29th - I'm thankful for Emily. She is truly a blessing to our family.

Nov. 30th - Today I am thankful for health.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emily: 11 Months

11 months; yikes! We'll be celebrating Emily's first birthday here soon! Em has done a lot of growing again this month. She has mastered pulling up and is cruising now. My favorite is when she's standing and hears some music. She starts bouncing. Maybe she'll be a dancer too. We're still working on baby signing and she has learned another sign. She can now sign "more". It's not perfect because she tends to do it fast but she gets the message across. She has picked up a new word too. Her word for nursing is "na-na".

A couple extra pictures from this month:

And a little comparison I put together a couple weeks ago; Sean and Emily:  

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful November: Part 1

I'm sure you've seen it on Facebook. Friends are posting daily what they are thankful for for the month of November. Here is part 1 of mine:

Nov. 1st - I'm also thankful to be celebrating another of Sean's birthdays. What an awesome little boy he is.

Nov. 2nd - I am thankful for my job: for being able to do what I love, for being able to do it at home not having to leave my children, and for all the extra hugs, smiles, and giggles from my daycare children.

Nov. 3rd - I am thankful that our insurance pays for us to see a chiropractor. My adjustment and muscle work massage was much needed today.

Nov. 4th- I'm thankful the kids didn't wake up early with the time change...even if no naps and a party were the cause.

Nov. 5th- I'm thankful for referrals. B/c of November birthdays I had 1 spot in my daycare open up this week. I ended having to turn people away without advertising thanks to referrals. Now I get to snuggle with a new baby. ♥

Nov. 6th - I'm thankful Romney didn't get elected in. Sorry for all that voted for him; he scares the crap out of me.

Nov. 7th - I'm thankful for an easy naptime. All kids that still take a nap were sound asleep at the same time. And the one that doesn't did his school work and then played quietly. :)

Nov. 8th - I'm thankful for breastfeeding. It's about the only thing that is making Em happy tonight.

Nov. 9th - I'm thankful to be able to get out of the house sans big kids every once and awhile.

Nov. 10th - I'm thankful for Saturday morning snuggles from my 3 little ones.

Nov. 11th (and everyday)- I'm thankful for our military men and women and their families. They sacrifice so much for us.

Nov. 12th - Today I'm thankful for coffee.

Nov. 13th - I'm thankful for little boy humor. Not a typical thankful post but who knew that something as simple as the word "butt" would result in such an awesome belly laugh.

Nov. 14th - I am thankful for baby sign language. Em is signing more and more lately and her face lights up when she realizes I understand what she wants. I'm thankful to be able to communicate with Em before she can speak.

Nov. 15th - I'm thankful for my little brother. Happy birthday Justin.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sean: 5 Years

My little peanut is 5 today. What an awesome little guy he is! He's smart. He has amazed me with how much he has learned. He's kind. This is most evident when he's with his baby sister. He's so gentle with her and is always looking out for her. He's goofy. He loves to make faces and tell jokes. He's helpful. He's our doorman; always rushing to open the door for everyone.

 What is he into now? He loves building so Legos are still a hit and so are tools. He loves dinosaurs. He loves superheros. He loves riding his bike and digging in the dirt. He loves Jeeps.

This year Sean is having a dinosaur party...but more about that after Saturday.

Sean's birth story can be found here.

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