YouTube Inspired

I have started to follow a handful of YouTubers over the last year and I shared some of my favorites on an old post called To Vlog or Not To Vlog. One of the ladies I follow has two channels one is for her family/farm and the other one is a more personal one on one vlog. I have been watching random videos but she has posted a few homeschooling inspired videos. She reminds me of the person I used to be and still want to be on some level. I know I have to get to a point where I am taking steps to get myself in order.

The first step I plan to take is start getting up earlier and starting my day off with some me time. I am finding by the time I get the kids up and downstairs I’m cranky and hungry. Then I have little people demanding food and my attention while I try to get my own stuff together. This morning my daughter woke up around 4:30 talking to herself. She wasn’t crying but it was the first time she woke up so I knew it was only a matter of time before she wanted a cup. I took one up and when I went to go back to sleep I was awake. I set my alarm for 6 but couldn’t managed to go back to sleep.

Then at 5:30 my husband and I tried to catch the mouse he could hear (living in the middle of no where, 120 year old farm house, and kids that sneak food into the sunroom) we managed to trap it behind the kids cubbies but we learned they could climb brick walls. We ended up giving up and putting something for it to eat to take care of the issue later. I finally made my way into the kitchen, made my breakfast, and turned the pot of coffee on earlier than the delay brew. I decided I wanted to work on some activities I wanted to do with the kids. I am going to start working on Spring themes in a few weeks so I wanted to at least attempt one winter theme lesson.

I know me that I am the type of person who needs to plan ahead and get all my resources together. In one of the videos I watched she talked about an idea she heard through another lady called morning basket. I loved the idea behind it that I decided that I need to prepare stuff for a week and put as much of the resources in a basket. I had one that was sitting empty so I grabbed that once I was done with my prepping. I planned to do all this the night before but the night got away from me and only did a few things. I did managed to come up with 13 weekly themes for the next three months.

I find myself being inspired by the people I listen to on YouTube. It’s easy to compare your life to theirs but I’m trying to remind myself we are all in different stages in our lives. I started to watch the one lady because she has 8 kids and I will have 6. The big difference is her kids are spaced out so she has teenagers and I think the youngest is 2. It’s a little easier because she doesn’t have to be on top of all the kids all the time. My kids are all young and they fight over everything these days. They want to be doing what the other one is doing but they are not all at the same level. I am trying to come up with things that I can do together but make it age appropriate.

I am hoping to do this again tomorrow – especially since I have a doctors appointment but I still want to get in a routine of waking up early and focusing on things to help me be a better mom, a better woman, and a better Christian. We will be spending time with family after tomorrow so our week won’t look the same but I am planning on still working on stuff for next week. I also pulled out a dot grid notebook I brought last year to use but ended up only using a few pages. I know I do better when I use this system and it gives me a place to keep my thoughts together. I am all over the place – the fact that I got any prepping done today is a miracle because I squirreled a few times before sitting down.

I know it seems silly and maybe foolish that I have allowed myself to get caught up in YouTube but we are suppose to surround ourselves around people who inspire us. There is a lot of things at play but I don’t have a community right now. I don’t have friends that I see on a regular basis and we live in nowhereville so finding people who have kids close to my age is hard. Then let’s face it the older we get the harder is it for most people to build those relationships. We are very cautious and it may take a lot longer time to get to a point where you trust people and open up. I say all this because the people I listen to often inspire me to be a better mom, a better person, and rethink how I see myself as a woman. I will never meet them and I often don’t even respond to their post but I feel on some level I am surrounding myself with women who are empowering.

What/who inspires you to be a better person?
What does your morning routine look like?
What are you doing to help yourself to be a better person?

Explosive Moment – Parent Edition

Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

You know as a parent you’re in a bad way when your husband is upstairs working and he hears your distressed, comes down and sits with the kids for a bit. I did not have my finest moment yesterday and unfortunately they seem to be happening more and more these days. Honestly there isn’t really any true excuse to my reactions because over all it really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just an annoyance in the moment and the thing is me yelling about it isn’t going to change the fact that I have to take care of it.

I foolishly rested my eyes on the couch yesterday when I thought my kids were watching TV in the same room. Usually I will shut the gate but my oldest knows how to open it and since he can do a lot more than his sibling he is the one I now need to keep in the room. I used to have it just for the younger ones but he is getting more daring these days. Anyway – I realized that it was to quiet and the only child that was in the room with me was my youngest boy who is 2. When you leave the room we called the sun room you walk into a space that has a build in desk but you can see the kitchen. I noticed there was water on the floor. I asked out loud why was there water on the floor and when I finally got in the view of the dining room I discovered my oldest took the small plastic bin and put water in it. He had it on the dining room table and him and his 3-year-old brother was playing in it. I did not react very well because I was annoyed that there was water all over the place (it could have been worse) and I told him no earlier when he asked for the water. As I was getting upset with him and trying to find a towel my 2-year-old joined in. My oldest ended up in the sunroom crying and I realized that one of the BOB books was taken out and the younger two emerged it in the water.

Now I was not just upset about the water but now one of the teaching resources I have that I keep out of reach for this very reasons is ruined. My oldest push a chair to the cabinet and pulled out one of the books. He asked to see them earlier in the day I told him later. I guess I wasn’t moving fast enough and I know the reason why he did it was because he is able to read the first six books on his own. He is proud of himself and I was too tired earlier in the day to bring them down. Oh on top of this my daughter who is 8-months was whining in the other room because she was ready for a cup but I was trying to move the water bin to the smaller table with a towel. On the bright side the younger two were entertained for a while. I finally got her a cup and my husband ended up holding her for a little bit but I was still in a bad mood. I felt bad because I could have handle that better instead of reacting so quickly. I mean there was a small part of me that was proud of him for getting the bin all by himself. I was really disappointed over the book but I think I may have another set in the garage because my MIL sent me the one I told her I didn’t need because I already had a copy.

If I’m completely honest I am having a hard time in how little I can do without feeling so strained physically and having to sit because I’m so out of breathe. What scares me is I’m only 22 weeks what will I be like at 32 weeks? My husband has it in his head I’m going to be put on bed rest at some point. I don’t like being in a place I can’t do things on my own. I am a pretty independent person and I hate how long it takes me to do normal life things. I ended up sitting on a pillow on the floor finally sorting the laundry and putting everything on hangers.

I want to get to a point that I don’t react so quickly because I want my kids to learn they can handle things with a better attitude. I am setting a poor example for my kids and often get upset with them when they react in the same way about other things. I love my kids and I know I’m not a bad mom but I do need to get myself in a place that I am not reacting so poorly.

What are some strategies that help you not react so poorly to your children?

Homemade Blocks

The pictures aren’t the best quality due to the age of the photos but when I worked at a daycare we would make these homemade blocks in the toddlers room. My favorite was the blocks we would send home with the parents for them to add pictures of their family. This was helpful for the younger kids because they were able to have a picture of their family and often we would find the kids carry around their block. The downsize is they would get upset if another child had their block. I have made blocks for my kids over the years but I don’t have any pictures of those blocks. These were made when I used to babysit.

Items needed:
Paper
(newspaper, recycle paper, sale ads, etc…)
Empty boxes
(cereal, pasta, amazon boxes, etc…)
Tape and Packing Tape
Brown Wrapping paper
(Dollar Tree)
Pictures
(print out, magazine, sale ads, etc…)
Glue Sticks

I stuffed the boxes with the papers to help keep them from being crushed if a child stepped on them. Just be mindful how full you fill them because if they are overstuffed it’s hard for them to stack the blocks.

I taped the box closed and use regular tape to wrap the box with the brown paper. Once I added the pictures I would use the packing tape to cover the whole box. This prevents the children from taking off the pictures and wrapping paper. I found a lot of free print outs and added them to the box. When I used to baby sit another child I made a box with all their favorite things. They enjoyed looking at the different items on the block. I would make family blocks using a variety of family pictures including extended family.

Learning Resources Want List

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

I think if I would go for a master degree I might focus on curriculum because I have enjoyed creating lesson plans while I was working toward my associate degree. I loved creating the weekly lesson plans for my preschool class. I have been putting a lot of thought into creating lessons plans for my kids the thing is I want to get to a place where I can create a general theme and create multiple levels of learning since I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 2-year-old. It’s hard to do one lesson without the other ones being right there wanting to be apart of the lesson. I am also thinking about the future and trying to plan ahead. We have two more kids coming and I will start to officially start homeschooling my oldest in the fall.

I am starting to watch videos of other parents who are using a variety of curriculum/resources to help to teach their kids. I like the idea of not following a curriculum but I also found that I do better having resources to read. If I had extra money I would be investing in a variety of resources mostly because I like having a large selection and I know that just because one resource works for my oldest it may not work for my youngest.

I am currently using this book with my 5-year-old. It’s definitely an older book and it gives you step by step instruction for each lesson. We are currently on lesson 33 and I find we get through the lesson a little quicker because he has picked up on the words pretty quickly. I don’t always read everything to a T because some of it is repetitive and he doesn’t need that for most of the lessons. My 3-yr-old has asked to do some lessons and he is able to follow along during the first few lessons but what I have found is he has a hard time combining the sounds together. He knows all the letters upper and lower case, he can write the letters, and he knows the sounds. I have a feeling he is going to need lessons that are not traditional and outside the box of school. Which is why I’m homeschooling all the kids.

When I have extra money this is the first resource I am going to invest in for the my younger two boys. I think they would benefit from this program but I won’t truly know until I have it in my procession. The deluxe package is $144.95 before taxes and shipping.

This is another resource I would like to get my hands on. I may pick this up because it’s only $18.95 on Amazon (at the time of me writing this blog). If I have a variety of resources I could combine and use what I feel will work for each child.

This set is found on the Usborne Books & More website. This is on my wishlist for my oldest since he really wants to read. I love sets and since I’m big fan of this book company I hope to invest in this set. I am a book consultant but I am not really working the business at this time.

I currently have four sets of BOB books and I’m working on getting more. I managed to get the four sets I have due to Yard Sales. I love second hand because there are a lot of times when you can find something that was barely used for a fraction of the price. Now I find that isn’t the case using the Marketplace. I am amazed at the prices I have been seeing for used items. Totally off topic but always check online for the item. I have found some things are cheaper in the store then the listing price on Marketplace. I also found that you can get the same item for the same price or less depending on the item. I pulled out the first set a few months ago and my oldest wasn’t really getting it but now that he has been doing the book I listed above I may pull them out again and see if he can do it now. I have also been suggested by other homeschool mom’s to use this resource.

I was watching a video of a mom of 8 talk about the resources she was using for her kids for that school year and she talked about this website a few times. I decided to check it out and found that they are getting ready to launch new resources for the ages I would need so the Level K Primer is no longer available and the new curriculum which will be called Kindergarten Prep will launch in April 2022. They still have Level K available but that is also being discounted and the new materials will be available June 2022. I have not done a lot of research on this but I feel at this point that will need to wait since they have new material coming out.


I will come up with more resources I would like to get my hand on but for now this is my current list. I am going to start looking into math curriculum but I’m not on board with the whole common core concept but this is something my husband and I will talk about over time. Our oldest has started to work on math problems on his own because one of the clear pouches we have for them to use with dry-erase markers has some sample addition and subtraction problems. I plan on adapting any lessons to things that our kids are interested in because my goal is to keep the love of learning alive because a lot of times due to the demands school requirement and testing we create environments that are not enjoyable for kids.

What resources do you use for your kids?
What programs do you feel is beneficial?

Please suggest other resources for me to check out for kids ages 5, 3, and 2.

Twosday!

02/22/2022

I saw someone on Facebook post a picture of their kids at the age of 2 so I figured I would do the same. I posted a picture of our daughter at 2 months. Then of course we have the best 2 combo coming later in the year. I wish I would have taken the time to think about it and plan something fun to do with the kids involving the number 2. I am adding videos to their lesson list talking about counting by 2’s.

Oh and I realize I’m 22 weeks today.



Is anyone doing anything special for today?

Comment below of some fun ideas to do on Twosday!

Drowning in Kids Clothes

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

When you have young kids that are growing like weeds the feeling of having to restock the next size is a never ending battle. I have bins of variety of sizes of my boys clothes since I had my first son.

My bins are broken down to:
Newborn/O-3 Months
3 Months/3-6 Months
6 Months/6-9 Months
9 Months/9-12 Months
12 Months
18 Months
18-24 Months/24 Months
2T
3T
4T
5T
Random bin with sized 6-8

My oldest is currently in size 6 so we do not have a bin created for this size. My 2nd born is in 4T but I am about to move him to 5T pajamas since my 3rd born needs to move up to the 4T pajamas. He also moved up to 3T pants and 4T shirts. Typically my boys are one size in tops and the another size on the bottoms. This isn’t an issues since I have bins of clothes but what I am finding right now is I have no idea where the 3T pants ended up because we were in the middle of moving and living in a few places when my 2nd born was in 3T pants. I managed to find 3 pair of pants in the 3T bin but I know I have to have more in a random bin. Currently all the bins are in the closet which makes it hard to get to certain sizes. I also need to sort the newborn/0-3 months clothes to see what I need for the additional son that is coming. I need to pack up all the 2T pants and we need more 4T shirts since two of my sons are wearing the same size. I also need to pack up the 6-9 months of my daughters clothes and hang up the 9-12 months. I think my aunt gifted us 6-12 months clothes but I am going to put them in the 9-12 months pile. I also realize that my oldest who lives by the philosophy of NEVER wearing pants does not have any sweatpants in his current size. I like putting them in sweatpants when we will be home all day because I don’t like wearing jeans all day.

I am planning on going out with my three youngest so I can attempt to look for size 6 sweat pants, 4T shirts, a few more pieces in 9 months, and I may look for a few things for the twins. I also wouldn’t mind finding another pair of shoes for my oldest since he only has one pair in his current size. My oldest is a homebody so he will stay home by choice and my husband can work in peace. I hope to check out Once Upon A Child and their is a thrift store next door so I am going to check there first. Once Upon A Child can get pricey but I try to find things with the clearance sticker on them when I can. I like going there since they have everything broken down in sizes – most thrift stores do not and I have to look at every single items. There are times I will just go to Target and get what I need because a lot of times they have sales and I can get stuff on the clearance rack. I do plan on trying to sell my daughters old clothes at some point because I honestly want to be done after the twins are born and there is no reason to hold on to her clothes. I would love to be in a place I could just give them away but we like other people could use some extra money to get more clothes for the kids.

When I get home I will need to wash anything I brought and since I did all the laundry yesterday it’s a good time to pack up stuff and get ready for the “new” stuff. I know this will only last for a short time before it will be time to shift clothes once again. I plan to share a post about our closet and the system I have in place. The thing is I am going to have to rethink it once the twins come because we won’t have room for their stuff. I can’t wait until we are in place that will be permanent because things feel out of control and it’s not the “way” we are used to doing things. Then again if I had my way I would want a big laundry room to do what I hope to do one day.

What kind of clothes system do you have?
Do you hold on to your kids clothes just in case you have more kids?
Where do you take the clothes once you are done with them?
Do you try to sell them?
When you do decide to get rid of their clothes do you hold on to anything for keepsake?

Week 21 + Echo Ultrasound

Knowing I’m having twins and knowing that this pregnancy is going to be different than any of my singleton pregnancies can be stressful on it’s own. I found out at my second ultrasound but first with MFM that I was having Mono/di twins and my stress level has gone up even more. Any excitement I had was gone because not only was this going to be different in general there could be a lot of issues. Oh and at that ultrasound there some concern for baby b due to it’s bladder size. Now fast forward to 21 weeks and Baby B has been demanding attention almost every time we get an ultrasound done. The bladder was fine by the next ultrasound but at my 19 week anatomy we found out that they could see cysts on Baby B’s brain. If you want to read more about that ultrasound check out: Anatomy Ultrasound. Now I forgot to update about the echo ultrasound that was done a week after the anatomy one. I was told this was normal for twins especially mono-di twins, plus I’m over 35 so you know I’m automatically high risk.

The echo ultrasound was over all good but the doctor did managed to see a small leak in baby B’s heart. They said there was no major issues and typically those type of issues will correct themselves. I have to go back in two months to get a new scan done to see if baby B’s leak is still there and if it has gotten worse. I left that appointment feeling kind of discourage because that was the third thing that we have learned about baby B. If I am truly honest it’s really discouraging and I find myself not being super excited in fear something might happen. This past Tuesday I made my way for my 2 week check up. I knew what I was looking for as the woman did the ultrasound and I couldn’t really see the cysts anymore. I didn’t want to assume so I waited to hear from the doctor. The woman came back due to the doctor being behind and told me everything looked good. Now they did give me the option to wait for the doctor but I honestly want to get out of there. I brought my oldest with me because typically my appointments are fast but we waited in the waiting room for a hour before going to a room. They said both babies looked good and they had lots of fluids. He said he didn’t see the cysts anymore but they will know for sure at my next ultrasound because that one is a growth one. Oh and they were both head down – I know this can change often but I am hopefully that I will get to try for a vaginal birth.

I left there feeling a lot better but then the reality hit me. We are only 15 weeks away from our family being a family of six to a family of 8. Now that’s if I go until 36 weeks but it could come sooner. I started to freak out in my head. We still have so much to do and our future is still up in the air. We need a bigger car, another car seat, a car seat stroller (I swear by them), and another bassinet (I want one like I have already). I need to go through the newborn clothe and decide what I need overall. Then my husband is moving along with preparing for a deployment and that added some additional stress. This isn’t a new thing I just haven’t been allowing myself to think about it. Due to the past year or so I don’t want to ask anyone to provide any of those items – I want to be able to get what I want. I am find getting second hand but needing the funds to do so and then taking the time to search for the items. We also have to prepare our living quarters for their arrival and it’s not ideal. We were hoping we could move before but that may not happen. The jury isn’t out yet but I am trying to prepare myself to stay and figuring out how to handle all those challenges.

Pictures: Both babies didn’t want their face to be captured for a picture so they only got weird side views.

Anatomy Ultrasound

19 weeks already and I was told a few weeks ago I was pass the halfway point. Which freaked me out a little more than I expected – we still need a bigger car and we need names. This test is the big one and with a singletons it takes awhile but now with two its even longer. It got to a point where we had to take a break because each baby was giving the technician a hard time for certain shots. I went to the bathroom and stood for a period of time. Once she came back she got the rest of the shots. It was nice to see the babies and I have no idea how they keep them straight. I have to trust they know which one is Baby A and Baby B. We did get a confirmation that they are both boys. I am currently seeing a MFM and because that was the office who was doing the ultrasound. I got to talk to the doctor the same day but I already knew what he was going to tell me because the technician pointed it out. I don’t know if it’s still the policy or not but in the past I was told the technician could not answer any questions or tell you any news. Then again this is my first time having to go to a MFM for my appointments but she did say she was only pointing it out because I just shared about my second child.

When I went for my 20 week scan for my second child I noticed on the screen something did not look right on the scan of his brain. I didn’t ask anything but I had it in my head to check the results when they appeared on the MyChart. When they came in I read they found a choroid plexus cysts. The thing is no one called me to make an earlier appointment or even tell me what it meant. I told my husband and he began to look it up. I learned later what it could have meant and how serious it could be if it does not go away. I was also informed that this is pretty common to see this around this time and typically goes away a few weeks later. I had to have another ultrasound done on a later date and everything came back normal. I was informed again that this was the case for Baby B. I have another ultrasound in two weeks and they will check him again. I’m not to nervous about it because of the experience I had with my second child but I won’t lie it’s does give me some pause. I am praying for full healing but I find myself wondering what it would mean if it doesn’t fix itself. This is the second time now that Baby B has given us a reason to be concern. He is 9 oz and Baby A is 8 oz. I was told by the doctor that they are smaller then most babies at this time in the pregnancy but I was confused when he told me that. If you have any of those apps that tell you what size your baby should be at this time they also include the general weight. Baby B is bigger than what the app says and Baby A is only slightly smaller. They are not concern at this time but still it not fun to hear these things.

I plan to take my oldest son the next time I go because he has been asking questions about the whole experience. I think he would enjoy seeing his brothers on the screen and he gets to see them use the ultrasound. I showed him a short video of what the machine does but it was a general video not one that focus on babies. I need to watch any of those videos because they may show/explain the inserted one and I don’t need him to start asking those type of questions. He has seen way too much since he was in the room when I had my third child. Then again you never know he may go into the filed because his mother couldn’t stop having babies. *wink*

Learning Resources Storage

I LOVE the Photo & Craft Keeper by Simple Tidy that can be found at Michael’s. Last year I saw a post that someone use this container to store cords and I treated myself to a clear one. I am a big nerd when it comes to organizing and I get excited about the simple things. Confession: I have a container problem and in the future you will see how I use multiple containers. I am in the process of working on a toy project that I have done in the past and slowly working on.

Michael’s had these containers for $15.00 so I brought two more because I realized we needed another bin for cords because I’m married to a computer tech and we have A LOT of cords. I got the rainbow one for a variety of teaching resources. I shared in another post about the sign language cards and I was able to organize them.

When cleaning off my desk the other day I came across an activity I put together for a lesson I did for one of my classes, when I was working toward my associate in Early Childhood Education. I had multiple sets because we had to make enough for other students in the class to use while you taught the lesson. I decided to start making new cards and use the tiles I had. I plan on getting more foam so I can do more word families. These are the things I LOVE doing and since I’m having multiple children all these resources will come in handy.

What are some containers you have used that you LOVE?
How do you keep your teaching resources organize?

I need to work on an inventory of what I have for teaching which is another huge project I need to work on but haven’t figured out the best way to do it. I am thankful that I am able to do these things for my own kids because I have spent years teaching other kids in different settings. Now I get have my own preschool – just with my own kids.

Sign Language – One Card A Day

I was given a large set of sign language flash cards. I have always had an interest in sign language but never taken a class. I had a friend who took a class in collage and later on the college adopted a deaf program that was at another college that shut down. I know that learning words in only a small steps to actually speaking the language. I think the reason why I have always had an interest is not because of my slight hearing lost but when I was a child it was the one thing I taught myself on my own. My grandmother had one of those kids plastic plate mats and it had the ABC’s in sign language. I remember sitting upstairs and teaching myself the alphabet.

I have exposed my kids to a video done by Jack Hartmann on YouTube called “See It, Say It, Sign It”. I chose that video when my oldest started to show interest in reading at 3. He learned the letter sounds but he also learned the sign – just like I did. Even now my second born will tell me letters using his hand. It’s cute to watch my 2-yr-old because he tries so hard to do them but hasn’t fully gotten it at this time. It’s cute to watch him try while the song is on. Now each day we do a new word and we hang it on the wall. It’s fun because they will review them on their own and tell their dad. We are currently working on fruit words and once we complete the list I’ll put away the cards and begin a new pile.

I taught all our kids when they were babies the sign for please, thank you, more, eat, all done, and milk. I am in the process of teaching our daughter since she is only saying some sounds. Going back to Jack Hartmann if you want some other videos that teach basic sign language you should check out “Sign the Colors” and “Animal Signs”. My kids love these videos but my 3-yr-old is the one who seems to be drawn to those videos even more then the other two. He used to do the color signs but we all need a refresher.

What are small things you do daily to help your kids learn something new?
What was the first thing you remember teaching yourself as a child?
What other words do you teach your baby to help them communicate before they have words?

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