Monthly Archives: September 2010

Little Mama Part 2

So this is mostly an update to this post, but also an update to this post.

I figured it is high time I talked about crafts on this blog. Or something other than monthly child updates.

Only problem is that I am really trying to stay focused and finally finish Bean’s big girl quilt. I just want to get it done and get all the other half finished projects I have around here done too.

Here is my progress so far:

I finished sewing all the squares together to make the quilt top. This is an absolutely huge milestone.

I don’t have a good quilting machine. So I decided to hand quilt this thing. At first I was going to do this cool pattern that I made up myself and traced onto the quilt back, but my stitching isn’t so good. I am opting instead for hand tying at all the corners with some pink scrap yarn.

I was making really excellent progress and then we got that heat wave and there is just no way I can sit with a mostly flannel quilt on my lap to work on.

So today, after a seriously disasterous nap time that eventually ended in two children napping for a tiny bit at the same time, I made Bean a little diaper bag to hold all her baby accessories that we just got her with birthday money.

I basically just made a mini version of the two diaper bags I made (one for myself and one for our cousin). I used the stiff felt for the lining of the bag to give it some body and I used ric-rac to cover up unsighly edges. It’s super cute and much nicer than the one they had at the store which came with some other “mom” accessories that I wasn’t too fond of.

When Bean woke up from her nap, she was pretty thrilled with it and immediately went to work caring for her baby by changing her diaper.

I think my favorite part is that all this stuff now has a place and a handy carrying case.

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Bean turns two!

While in some respects it definitely seems like she is a typical two-year-old and that two years have indeed passed, in many other respects it really feels like this should be her first birthday. The last two years of my life have just felt like one big mashed up and fast year.

I’d like to say that I didn’t turn into a mom-zilla and that I handled the party planning and the birthday milestone with grace. That we did all her favorite things and it was the best weekend ever.

That would be looking at things with rose colored glasses though.

While we did manage to do and eat many of her favorite things this weekend, there were definitely some bumps in the road for me.


One of the high points: Bean eating one of her favorites for dinner on Friday night (her actual birthday).

Friday we took the day off from preschool so that I could run all the pre-party errands. By about 4:30pm I had completed pretty much everything, but I was really stressed out. So much so that I was shaking and my brain racing with a million thoughts.

I had decided on Thursday that I just didn’t really feel like making cupcakes myself. I thought that it would be so much more worth it to go down to a gluten free bakery in Los Angeles to get a few cupcakes for Bean and others we know with similar issues that would be attending the party. Then I would get some regular cupcakes at the grocery store for everyone else.

First, I got bad directions which put me in the ghetto in San Fernando. I finally found the mission with several bus loads of kids and thought it safe enough to pull over there. Then I used my phone to get some directions, but it is really hard to do turn by turn directions on the phone without a voice control or someone else to navigate for you.

I finally reached the freeway I was supposed to take into the heart of the fashion district downtown and it was a complete parking lot with lanes ending and me having to merge and merge and merge. Getting honked at. Then right before my exit three lanes joined back in and I had to merge some more, but those lanes were going fast and our lanes were still at a standstill.

Got off the freeway and then parking was an issue. Also, I forgot to get out cash for parking. It was hot and dirty. There were some scary people walking around. After about my 15th trip around the same city block a bunch of meter spots opened up and they take cards.

Getting the kids out and into the stroller was interesting while parked along a curb on a high traffic street, let me tell you.

But then we got the cupcakes and got out of there.

I was thinking to myself that night as I went into bed, this is exactly why I was against little kid birthday parties. Particularly ones they will probably not even remember.

My attitude changed.

Bean had a great time.

And she loved her cupcake. Even if it was sightly melty due to the hot weather.

Most of our family was able to make it. Some of our friends showed up. There were definitely not nearly 40 people there so we had lots of leftover food.

We got to hang out a bunch with my sister who was up at Pt. Mugu doing some training for her upcoming Pacific Tour.

Most of my family also got to Skype with my sister up in Oregon all at the same time. It was nice to see her face even though she couldn’t be here.

Saturday night we went to BJs where Bean got another one of her favorites. We are super excited that they now have a gluten free crust on their menu.


Yes, she is extremely tired in this picture. The heat took so much out of all of us. We also wound up waiting forever for our food because we had to wait until a manager could come over and give us the food allergy info brochure.


This was for the grownups.

Yesterday we beat the heat with an afternoon at the beach (along with a million other people).

Cherie and I were like a couple little kids. We built a dreamy sand castle with an underground tunnel entrance, a moat, and all sorts of sea decor that we scavenged on the beach.

And then we let Bean destroy it. Another one of her favorites.

It was a good weekend. I just need calm down sometimes and not be so uptight or stressed over silly things.

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Co-op Preschool Week 1

We just wrapped up our first week of our co-op preschool and I think we learned a lot about our kids and where they are at right now. I think we all had a lot of fun and are looking forward to it in the weeks to come.

I can’t promise that I’ll do weekly updates on what we are doing with school. I’ve seen too many homeschool bloggers do the same before me only to fail. So I don’t even want to promise. 😉

I know that homeschooling brings out a range of opinions from people and can be quite controversial. This is what I’ve decided to do for now and this is sort of the background on it all.

When I first moved to Thousand Oaks, I decided to take some classes through the parks department. There were only two other moms in the class with me and their attendance was spotty. It was fun, but it was expensive. I was especially disappointed because one of the main reasons I had decided to do it was for socialization (both me and Bean).

I’ve talked a bit on here about how Stephen and I recently started going to a new Bible study/community group that we love. I had asked one of the other moms in our group that we usually do playdates with if she wanted to take some parks classes with me this fall since our daughters are pretty close in age. I figured I could at least count on her attendance if nothing else. Their family decided that it seemed like a lot of money to be spending for 1/2 hour a week for 6 weeks. I still decided to sign up for the classes.

Then she told me about a co-op preschool and parenting program the school district does here for parents and kids under five. A friend of hers was involved (and since she mentioned it I’ve heard about it over and over again all over the place) and loved it. Again, the finance thing was something that now Stephen and I were questioning. You’d think because it is a co-op and parents are expected to attend and help out that it would be a little less expensive than normal preschool. But no. That is not the case at all.

At some point one of us mentioned that maybe we could just make up our own program. My friend has tons of supplies, curriculum ideas, crafts, etc. leftover from her days as a preschool and then kindergarten teacher. I had a couple homeschool books on the subject.

And then just like that it was all I could think about. I started obsessively planning and spending nearly every moment of my free time coming up with lesson plans and picking up and searching through books at the library on preschool crafts and activities. Within about a week we had our first few weeks scheduled out, other moms with preschoolers contacted and even plans for field trips.

Anyway, I really believe that I can give my kids a better education at home for less money. That kind of sums everything up.

Our first day we had two other moms besides ourselves and 6 kids. I wasn’t able to take a ton of pictures because I was engaged with the kids, but I can tell you all about it and what we learned.

Our first day we were running a little late, but we got there and had a great time:

We decided to break things out by themes. Our first theme is ocean life. First up we did some exploration stations. My friend has a water table so the kids got to play with some ocean toys there and we also had a couple other “stations” with books/pictures about the ocean/ocean animals, and some stuffed ocean animals.

Then we did some circle time. We sang the song “Octopus” by Charlotte Diamond. We learned the hand motions to the song and my friend also has some felt creatures that go along with the song. The kids seemed to really like it so we did it a few times.

We tried to do a story time, but they were not really paying attention. I think this will get better as our houses are not so new to the other kids and all the toys so distracting. So we basically skipped story time. We did learn the sign language for fish and talked about how God made all the fish. I’m not sure if the kids really got that part either.

Then we headed outside to do some parachute games with our stuffed sea creatures. The kids loved this, it was a lot of fun. As a side note, I remember in elementary school doing parachute games a few times with a really giant parachute and I always wanted to do them more and have my own parachute at home for it.

We came back inside and let the kids do some free play with the toys. They also had snacks. During this time we pulled the kids out one by one to do some hand print art.


Sprout’s is on the left, Bean’s is on the right

Then we cleaned up and the day was done.

Today we were supposed to head out to Ventura to see the indoor tidepool exhibit at the Channel Islands Visitor Center in the Ventura Harbor, but we decided to postpone until next week. The other two moms were not going to be able to make it and I had a long week with a trip to LAX and an unexpected trip to Bakersfield. So, we decided to stick closer to home and go to the Babies and Books weekly event at our library, the tie in to the ocean theme was that they have a really awesome and huge aquarium with lots of fun and colorful fish.

We definitely learned some things from the library event as well. Both of us noticed how well our kids did for the story and singing time. They were actually sitting down nicely, paying attention to the books and songs and even participating a little. I think it is very strategic how they have the toys in the back under blankets and the first thing they have everyone do is come in and sit down for the story time and songs. Then there is playtime afterwards.

So, we’re going to try and incorporate some of the things we learned this week into next week. Next week I’m hosting and I’m turning my living room into a kelp forest. Wish me luck!

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Sprout – month eight

The kids and I basically sent the day in the car. So, a trip to the park was necessary when we got home for sanity’s sake. The lighting was amazing (imagine that word in the most sing-song voice possible) this evening. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

And finally, melt my mama heart right now:

(More Bean pictures from tonight coming in a later post)

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Coming soon…

My friend and I just decided to do a co-op preschool. Our first theme is ocean life. There will be field trips and crafts and tons of fun stuff that I can’t wait to share with you all.

Unfortunately planning things out for that, reading up on homeschooling, reading our book club book, a couple craft projects and our weekly community group are pretty much taking up all my free time, brain power, energy, etc.

So, I will return soon, but not quite yet. Things will be sparse until then.

Oh and I just realized I never updated about this, but the caterpillar died. It started to hatch from the cocoon. I was fairly certain it was going to be a moth, but it only made it halfway out before it stopped moving and that was the end of things. Not everything makes it.

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Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Natural Living, Parenting, Ramblings