Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh my freakin' gosh...

80 wonderful degrees!!! That's right people... almost all the days of August here have been over 100... and today, oh glorious day, it is in the 80's!!!!

So we dawned our shoes, and went to the park for a morning of fun! We made an executive decision to post-pone homeschool till after naptime so that we can take advantage of this wonderful weather.

The the forecast for the weekend... 80's!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!


So, while the weather is tremendous... my three sweet boys who love to play outside, are also super allergic. I'm sitting here in front of the computer with the monitor on listening to nap time... and what am I listening to? Well, the sounds of sniffing, sneezing, and congestion. Oh, and I did dose them up this morning before we went out... they had more last night before they went to bed. Poor little guys just can't handle whatever is blowing around in the wind. Heck, even I, who really don't suffer the way they do, am feeling stuffy!

To all you allergins... stay away from my boys, or I'll be givin' you a knuckle sandwich!

Monday, August 28, 2006

What a weekend

Man oh man was it nice to get away for a weekend to a wonderful hotel, great adoptive parents, tons on great food, and really interesting speakers.

The event was hosted by Lutheran Social Services, and was designed for parents who have adopted children thru the state.

The main focus of the weekend was to strengthen the marriage bond by focus on the techniques of PREP. Basically focusing on non confrontational communication among couples, and even how to use them with your children. While I hoped it would have been more centered around the notion of adoption, I came away with lots of great ideas and things we can actually implement in our lives.

I would have to say, though, the highlight of the weekend was talking with other couples who feel the same way we do, receive the same grief we do from those around us, and struggle with similar issues with the children. It was a weekend filled with validation that we are doing the best for our children, and that we shouldn't let others rain on our party! Ahhhhhh...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Almost time to go!

Almost time to head out to our adoption retreat/conference thing. I am super pumped. Now if I could just finish packing, cleaning, getting the kids up soon, putting the dishes away.... ah the lists of things to do before you head off somewhere!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

1 to 100

Okay last year anytime I tried to help Bobcat count, he would freak out and be all pissy.... not anymore. The kid counted to 100 for the first time, with only a few helps along the way... and talk about a good attitude... what a difference a year makes (well, a few months off for summer).

Bobcat, I'm impressed!

Not only that, but when the others are done with their work and he still has about another 15-20 minutes of work that is just for him... again, good attitude. He also seems to like the one on one attention. I guess sharing me with the other two for the first hour is so different than last year that he thrives of knowing that I am only working with him at that moment!!! YIPPEE!!!!

Granted we are only in week 2 of the new school year... I but I see wonderful improvements from him... attitude and focus that just wasn't there last year.

Of course, Bubba hangs in there for a while, but it gets to a point when he is wanting to go and play... and it just isn't time for that yet. So I am tweeking the order in which do things during homeschool a little bit here and there to help him adjust to his personality and patience. Gotta love homeschool... no where else would you get such personalized schedules!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monumental Monday

Woohoo... another solid day of homeschooling under our belt! Week 1 down, the rest of the year ahead of us!

Today was cool because Bubba had his first day of writing. Granted it was just working on writing the number 1... but that is writing! He was so proud of him self when he saw that he had finished the whole page. And Spiderboy had about 30 minutes of work to complete after Bubba was done, and he did it all without fussing... actually it did it with a smile and a little trash talking about how his brothers don't have hard things like him because he is in first grade. Hey, I have no problems with a little trash talk between he and I, if it helps him deal with knowing that his brothers are out in the living room playing with trains. No what I'm sayin'?!

Oh... and another way cool thing that happened was that Bobcat wrote his first sentence today. He had to think it up himself and incorporate the word dog into it. Here is his sentence: My dog is brown, black and white. He had to remember to start with a capital letter, and end with a period. He needed a little help figuring out how to spell the colors... but not much. Man, to see his eyes light up when he wrote it... it was freakin' awesome!!! THIS IS WHY I HOMESCHOOL MY BOYS!!!! A teacher in a classroom doesn't have to time to gush over what a great job they did and praise them the rest of the day or the days to come... my boys need that, and that is what they get!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lightening McQueen and Superman

This weekend we celebrated Snookie's 4th birthday. It was a small event, just the fam (+ grandparents and aunts)... and it was awesome.

Snookie's favorite character (ever since we saw the movie) is Lightming DeQueen (his words!), so I went all out for the little guy. I found these great wall hangings at the party store, Lightening McQueen, Doc Hudson, and Mater (of course), all the plates and napkins and a kick ass candle for his cupcakes. When he got up from his nap before his guests arrived, he started freaking out. He was jumping up and down going crazy about the characters that were looking back at him (bigger than him) on the walls. It was priceless! And to top things off the best presents came from us (which is how it should be). We got him a large Lightening McQueen car (that says things... yes it is annoying but he loves it so I can live with it) and a killer Superman cape with shoulder harness that makes sounds. Again, kind of annoying but he loves it. Now in our house... Superman flies around lifting up Lightening McQueen to show us all his super human strength!

Happy Birthday My Sweet Snookie Monster!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bobcat at his finest

Sitting at the dinner table the other night Daddio asked Bobcat to spell his name... cristo-vel.bmp (270082 bytes)after spelling it (7 letters) he says "Daddy you gave me a long name, you could have given me a shorter name! But I like my name."

During spelling Bobcat was supposed to draw a picture of something he was thankful for from God. His drawing: a cross in the middle, Christ on one side, and him on the other side. His comment, Jesus wants me to help and carry the Cross!! At age 5, he can be so profound.

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Day of School

The First Day of SCHOOL!!!

This morning, after a tasty breakfast we hit the books. The boys were energetic, enthusiastic and eager to use all their new manipulatives.

So we hit the floor running. Even Snookie was cooperative and interested in particpating with the boys. Spiderboy was a little fussy when Bubba's portion was completed and he still had a little more to do. Once I explained that the sooner we finish the sooner he would get to play with the other two! It will take some time for him to realize that this is just how it is going to be.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The count down has begun

I mentioned in a previous post that I already ordered my curriculum and was waiting on it to arrive... WELL IT DID! Boy it was like Christmas when those boxes arrived. First round come on Tuesday, and then my last box to arrive was yesterday. IT IS FREAKIN' AWESOME. But to say that I'm not a little overwhelmed would be a lie. It is a lot of stuff.

This is the second year that I've homeschooled, and while I thought we had a pretty structured set-up last year... it doesn't even compare to what I have sitting in front of me right now! Of course last year it was just kindergarten (not that kindergarten isn't important, on the contrary it is the foundation)... this year I will be teaching first grade and kindergarten, and I'm not using the same materials I did last year. Maybe that is why my eyes are the size of watermelons as I wade thru it all, last year I was confortable in the activities... now I am again learning. Ahhh I guess this is how it will be every year.

The one subject that is completely different is math this year. I decided to switch both boys over to Saxon Math, and it is a lot more involved that MCP that I used previously. It is a lot more involved. Instead of only using an activity book, this really utilizes lots of manipulatives and real world application. I'm impressed, but the teachering manuel (for each grade) is 500 pages... in the largest spiral I've ever seen!

Another area that I'm really excited about is religion study. This year Bubba will be using the Image of God series, and Bobcat is working out of the Faith and Life series. Both seem to be so well done, and on their level... which really seemed to be lacking last year.

Other things the boys will be working with: Little Stories for Little Folks Phonics, Little Folks Letter and Number Practice, Seton English, My First Catholic Speller, Writing Can Help.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Meet the family

MommaLlama: I'm a Catholic housewife who loves her vocation. Daddio and I have been married for nearly 7 years now, he's still my main squeeze and partner in crime. I homeschool our three sons who are currently in Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade. My time is usually spent with one or more of the boys sitting on me in some fashion while hotwheels are being tangled in my hair. When I'm not schooling and engaged in fierce boy play, you can find me in a local civic band tooting away on my flute and piccolo!


Bobcat: He's the oldest of the boys and thinks he rules the roost.

Bubba: He's our class clown, and all around good humored kiddo. There isn't a food he doesn't like, and he's a bottomless pit with two hollow legs that always require nurishment.

Snookie: Words simply can't describe the youngest of our brood. He's one of a kind!



Monday, August 7, 2006


I love cooking!!! Seriously, it is a huge stress reliever for me... I feel like I'm using all of my brain (the group up part, and the imaginative kid part), and in the end I have a product to show for it.

At some point in my life I think it would be great to take a few cooking classes. Not the kind for a grade mind you, I'm done with that sort of thing... something that is low stress and fun. I think baking/pastries, and then maybe some sort of main dishes (I have no idea of what style, though) would be the two things that really interest me.

Why... well take for instances this weekend. DH had a birthday on Friday, and we decided to do the cake part on Saturday. He asked for a carrot cake a week or so before, so I decided to make one from scratch. Now I have done a couple of cakes from scratch before, but never carrot. Anyway... ever since I started the new meds I have felt horrible, but on Saturday while I was working on the cake (and the homade mashed potatoes, and the roast on the stove) I was able to lose myself in the work and not think about it. It was great, even though I wasn't sure how the cake would turn out (mind you, I'm known around here for really awesome cakes and to take on something that I don't know how will turn out it very scary for me!). Same kind of goes for today. Again, I don't feel well at all... but I'm working on a nice dinner, and as long as I'm focused on that I seem to be able to fight through the ickiness!

So of course now I'm looking for a few more recipes that are more involved for the rest of the week to keep me busy so I don't have to think about my stomach trying to escape through my throat!

One step

One small step for mommy and the boys, and giant leap for homeschooling...

Well, maybe not that dramatic... today we had a mini-lesson for homeschooling. NO our curriculum hasn't arrived (much to my disappointment), but we hung up the wipe off calendar and spent about 20 minutes talking about it and how it works and writing in some important dates for August! I'm hoping that by having this calendar up, and using it daily, that maybe some of the fussiness we experienced last year won't be there because they can visually see how much longer (week wise) we have before they have a break.

Things they helped label on our calendar: our swim playdate tomorrow, when we go to Holy Mass, Snookie's birthday, and the date of his party, Daddy's birthday... that sort of thing. It was fun, we reviewed days of the week with Spiderboy... and we talked about what a month was, and how many days make up August. The only downer was for Bubba when we couldn't put his birthday up there... because it is in September! This was very sad for him, bless his sweet little Bubba heart!

Sunday, August 6, 2006


This morning we took the boys out to play tennis! After much consideration we thought that this is something that they would/could excel at. At nearly 4, 5, and 6 we don't have to worry about sign ups, uniforms, physicals, and ridiculous practice times and games -- this seems to be the way to go for now.

Saturday we went to a neato sporting goods store and purchased tennis racquets for Spiderboy and Bubba (Snookie is still a little to, um, green to swing a racquet).

I would definitely say that our first outing at the courts was a successful one. We should the boys the proper way to hold the racquets, and began the process of introductions to ball handling. I think our next outing will be even more fun. I think the hardest part was keeping Snookie occupied. At one point I simply left DH with Bubba and Spiderboy, and sat on the court with Snookie and played 'floor tennis' with him (just rolling the ball back and forth between the two of us)... and that just seemed to make his day!

I think the boys were slightly disappointed that we were just going to let them swing the racquets around and see if they hit things, but when all was said and done I think they were proud of themselves for the steps they made with what we did!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Two years and counting

Today, two years ago, we were waking the boys up from their first overnight stay with us! We fed them breakfast... played, had some lunch and then headed back to their foster home for one last time. Cindy, their foster mom had a little party for them with some of their little buddies in the neighborhood... and she asked us to stay and meet everyone. When we left, the boys stood at the screen door screaming and crying. That was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do. We got in the car and drove away waving to them, and had to pull over after we left the neighborhood... because we too were crying. In four days we had become so attached, just as they had. Tomorrow will be the anniversary of signing the placement paperwork. We woke up (way earlier than we needed to) and went to pick them up (we left too early as well, and had to stop and get breakfast to waste time) and the remainder of their stuff, headed back to the house. Our social worker, their social worker and the supervisor came to our house and we signed our new life while the boys played. TWO YEARS. In some ways I can't believe it has been that long, in other ways when you say two years it seems like nothing. But when we think about it... Snookie (youngest) has now been with us longer than he has been anywhere else that makes us feel more, ummmm, I guess important/permanent. He will be four in a couple weeks... he was one when we brought them home, and three weeks later we celebrated his 2nd birthday!

Friday, August 4, 2006

As it gallops beyond

Life is good, right?! I have a great marriage, and great kids... and all in all I'm doing really well.

There is one teeny tiny thing that I have avoided blogging about, avoided thinking to seriously about, just really worked hard to not have it interfer with my life (over the past two years)... fertility (actually lack there of) and pregnancy. But that is becoming exceedingly more difficult. We have several friends right now that are preggo... in all different stages, it seems like every mom who comes down the isle at church is preggo... heck it seems like every where I look I see expanding waistlines of the baby sort.

It is as if it (pregnancy/fertility) is galloping ahead in the beautiful sun... ribbons and banners flowing behind it in glorious color dancing in the wind. And I'm behind it, stretching to reach it. Leaning far beyond my balance point when I realize that the brilliance is not as close as it appears... it is an illusion, just too far to reach. And I sit on my turtle, desperately wanting to follow behind. I can't be mad that it gallops ahead, and it isn't my turtles fault for not being faster or going the right direction... for it is just a turtle doing what it was created to do. (odd story I realize, but that is how I feel right now)

What can I do? I take the medicine that I'm supposed to that won't necessarily help me get pg., but will hopefully make me healthier... all the while making me feel worse than the symptoms of the infertility that I suffer from. It's true, I don't mind the searing pain... it is the feeling of needing to puke all the time that I hate... so with the meds I have the pain and the sick stomach (oh yay).

So what does it boil down too? Me, sitting on my turtle -- playing with my boys, and watching others go thru pregnancies.

Doing my best to smile.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I can't wait

There are a few things on the horizon that I just can't wait for! So what are they:

1. The arrival of my homeschooling curriculum I just ordered. They say it takes 3-7 business days to arrive... come on post man and show me the goods! Spiderboy will be starting first grade, and Bubba will begin kindergarten, and I am so pumped about the stuff I picked out for them! YAY!

2. A weekend retreat/conference for adoptive parents. It happens at the end of this month, and it is Friday thru Sunday at a pretty nice hotel, and is free!!!! First off, I would probably have paid for this... we (DH and I) have been looking for something like this, and the Lord answered our prayers. Not only is it for adoptive parents (a couple who is married is part of the criteria), it is for those parents who adopted children thru the state foster care system... SO PEOPLE LIKE US... And since it is in our area, that means we have a great potiential to meet people near us that share the same joys and struggles of the nature of our parenting relationship!

I know... it is only two things... but two really big things! Number one being the materials we are going to use for the next year, and number two... some ideas, support, and encouragement on the road we have chosen for parenthood. YAY!!!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Toast on the wall

No, this is not a new metaphor for life... this is really toast on the wall. After breakfast this morning, the boys got down and went to their rooms to get dressed on their own. I went in there a little while later to check the progress... because it was taking a while and I noticed something on the wall. It was about the size of a dime and soggy looking. So I asked the boys what it was, Bobcat (the oldest) was the first to pipe up that it was toast. My next question (obviously) was who put it there...? A lot of "umming", and it came out that Bobcat put it there. After sending the other two back to the gameroom, I had Bobcat clean up that mess... and then handed him a rag - IT WAS BASEBOARD TIME! So that is where Spiderboy is right now... on his hands and knees cleaning the baseboards.

Don't mess with Supermommy... :-). Oh... I'm a genius, he is now working on that vent cover under the A/C inside with all the little slits!