Thursday, November 12, 2015

Some Thoughts About Star Wars Because of Interstellar

As a SAH/Homeschool Mom my adult conversations are few and far between.  I spend more time then I would like to admit watching and re-watching Star Wars and Frozen.  Over.  And over.  And OVER.  

Because my world revolves around Star Wars and Frozen -- I have come up with some interesting questions and theories about each.  

One I mentioned to my husband last weekend and blew his mind.  Then I did a Google search (sorry Bill, feel free to try Bing and see if that makes a difference) and couldn't find anything about it. 

Basically, because of the science explained in Interstellar -- wouldn't that make the Star Wars travel from planet to planet impossible? 

I'm not going to pretend to understand what Interstellar explained - but there was something about Einstein and Time Dilation and higher gravity fields.  And all that meant that travel to different planets would totally suck because 1 hour on one planet could equal 7 years on another planet. 

So how can Chewy and crew travel from planet to planet and reconcile things like relative time?

I do understand that the Star Wars Universe is not the same universe we live in.  But it does borrow a lot of our rules.  So maybe this is just one of those things we just have to assume they "fixed" or "solved" already.  Like space travel in general and artificial intelligence. 

It's just that this does seem a little trickier!

Any theories?? 

Welcome to our planet!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Eye-Gore and A Busy Week

Monday morning Natalie woke up with a swollen eye.  Why is it so scary any time your babies are not 100%?  My imagination becomes my worst enemy.

 I called her pediatrician and they said to ice it, benadryl and see how it looks tomorrow.

She refused the ice pack.  The benadryl made her hyper.  And the next day it was worse. 


UGH! 

But thankfully, a sweet friend said that she remembered a friend's daughter having the same swollen eye problem and it ended up being just a bug bite.  So I tried not to let it bother me and just let time do it's thing.  

We had a Dr. appt scheduled for Miles well check on Wednesday.  And sure enough, her dr confirmed it was just a bug bite and she would be fine in no time. 


World cutest pjs from Samantha

Miles, however, didn't fare so well.  He got 2 boosters and then an ugly looking rash from his polio booster. 
For reference, my hand is on his knee.  That bump is just how swollen the booster is. 

After much research and a call to the dr, it just is what it is and we have to wait it out.  UGH.

He seems fine, no fever.  But the bump is warm and itchy.  :(  I've been using lavender oil and colloidal silver, but it hasn't gotten much better yet.

 So, to really round out the week - Miles had his first dentist appt on Friday.  He did great - and thankfully nothing to report!!  Whoo hoo!! 

We go to this small dentist office near our house -Oak Point - and it is AMAZING.  They never push for anything, never scare you with threats of root canals or cavities.  They are just the best most chill dentist office I've ever been to.



Miles looked super cool in his shades.  And he loved the suction thing that sucks out the slobber.  Lol.  While we were sitting there waiting for the Dr to talk to him, he refused to swallow and insisted on getting his slobber sucked out.  Haha!

The dentist and assistant were fascinated by his 'fused tooth'.  Apparently it is no big deal really (which his dr told me years ago) but they hadn't ever seen one in real life. 

Excuse his messy face!

So, here's hoping for a much less eventful week next week! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween and House Update

We foolishly thought we'd be in our new house by Halloween.  But, best laid plans. 

So here we are, having a suburban Halloween.  I am secretly pleased - our neighborhood does the exact right amount of Halloween for my 2 kiddos.  We get one kinda, almost scary house and lots of candy.  We walked around for about 30/45 minutes and it was perfect. 

Then we came home to carve pumpkins, make chili, roast pumpkin seeds and watch scary movies Tron.  It is kinda scary how bad the new Tron is, so I guess that counts.


We did get to attend a friends annual Halloween party the night before - and it was awesome as always!!  Tony killed it with his homemade Manolo Sanchez costume.  If you haven't seen The Book of Life - you must do so right now!!  (Thank you Beky for telling me about it, it's our fav movie now!)

Overall - it was the perfect holiday weekend! 

And now for the house update --

We've had the foundation guy out to the house twice now, well Beverly has.  And no luck yet.  First he couldn't find the crawl space.  Next he asked for the power to be shut off because of live wires.  So, hopefully he'll be back asap this week.  We really need a quote and to get started on that work before we can do anything else.

Hopefully third time is a charm this week.  Because we are dying to start fixing up what we can and move!  Also, the longer the delay - the more expensive it gets.  So... ugh, common already foundation guys!

I posted a live stream of the place on Periscope last week.  And hopefully I'll post more videos as we get more and more done. So if you don't Periscope (like me 6 days ago) download the app and link it to your twitter to find me!  @amandalauro  It's fun! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Longest Weekend Ever

Whew.  I am finally sitting down.  After what feels like the longest weekend ever. 

My aunt Judy passed away 2 weeks ago, and they had her funeral 3 days ago in Albuquerque, NM.  Our plan was to drive over for the funeral and then drive back with my parents so they could visit for a few weeks.  I figured it would be a good distraction for my mom, who just lost her sister, to be around the kids. 

So we packed up the car, loaded the dog, all our stuff - set off -- and our car started making a weird noise and alarms were going off every few seconds.  Well, being the GENIUS car person that I am - I suggested to my husband (who's on a business call with his boss) to just turn the car off and on again at this stop light 4 blocks from our house. 

If I could, I'd go back in time and smack me upside the head.  Because then this happened. 


Good times. Land Rover of Frisco wanted to charge us more than our mortgage payment to fix it.  So we hot-wired it back home and cried.  Well, I did.  I really wanted to say goodbye to my aunt and bring my parents home with us. 

So my sweet hubby decided we would just take our other (SMALLER) car and figure things out.  So, 4 am Saturday morning we were off.  14 hours later we pulled into Farmington. 

I love being home with my family, but this trip was short and bittersweet.  We tried to make the most of it.  We shopped and ate and drank lots of wine!  The kids played and played!


Then Monday morning we were off again at 6 am for Albq. and the funeral.  My parents agreed to come along in their car and then I'd just drive them home in a few weeks and fly back. 

We got to say goodbye to my sweet mean auntie.  She was tough as nails, but I will miss her. 

Then we got to spend some time with some of my cousins.

After an appointment for my dad, we finally hit the road around 4 pm.  But by 8 pm, I was already exhausted.  The day had been long and emotional and I was so not gonna make it another 9 hours. So we stopped at a lovely cheap hotel in Amarillo.  Our room came with popcorn!  On the floor.  All over.  Fun.

But we slept in late and got a fresh start on the trip the next morning.  And for some reason that trip from Amarillo to Frisco took approx. 76 hours.  We.Just.Kept.Stopping. 

We finally rolled into Frisco around 5 pm and just crashed.  Haha!  I wish!  We had to unload, unpack, feed and entertain the kids.  AND take our broken car to the shop. 

Then my poor husband had to wake up at 4 am this morning to travel to Canada for work. 

Whew.  Poor guy. 

So today is full of dance classes for the kids, errands and grocery shopping.  AND I forgot the dog food, so we have to go back to the grocery store. 

And we've got school work to catch up on, homeschool Halloween parties to go to, and a house to sell. 

Life, it just keeps on moving on. 

RIP Aunt Judy.  We will miss you. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Eyes... My Eyes!!

Allergies caught up with me.  Or, my eyes more specifically.  But I actually blame The Fault in Our Stars. 

I had read the book maybe a year ago and bawled my eyes out.  But time makes you forget.  So when I saw the movie on HBO Go Tuesday night I though "Oh, I know it's sad, but I can handle sad.  It's not that sad.  I'm gonna watch it." 

HUGE MISTAKE.  It IS that sad.  It is more then THAT sad. 

So, after crying for a solid 2 hours straight, well sobbing really, I went to bed with red swollen eyes.  Not a huge deal until the next morning when my right eye is crusted/swollen shut.

Long story short and $100 later (eye drops are EXPENSIVE) - I'm stuck wearing my glasses (an old Rx and I can't even see) for the next couple of days.  It looks like pink eye, but it's just allergies.  My eyes itch and hurt and I can't see.  Good times.

 The Fault in Our Stars - you were so not worth it.

In other news, I am now obsessed with Gossip Girls.  Much less crying.  Much more backstabbing and rich-kid envy.  But I can't stop watching it! I haven't had a show to watch in forever.  It is so trashy and good!! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Miles Away Again

We are moving!  Yay?  Moving sucks.  But this house -- we are so excited!!

So, first of all - we could never have done this without the help of our amazing friend Beverly.  She flips houses professionally and we've always been in awe of her talent and knowledge when it comes to this trade.  Mostly because it seems like such a complicated business and she KILLS at it.  She just knows EVERYTHING there is to know about every single detail.  But also because my husband is obsessed with HGTV and we both love the idea of flipping a house, or even just buying one to fix up and live in and have exactly the way we want!

She is the reason we have this house in Frisco.  From finding the short sale to helping us get it.  We already owe her huge for this one!

Then.  She did it again!  She found us an amazing house in Uptown (technically Oak Lawn area) that is PERFECT for us.  And again, without her help in a million different ways, we could never have this opportunity. 

We owe her our first born.  But honestly - she can have either of these crazy kids this week.  They are still fighting like cats and dogs.  Also, they co-sleep.  So we might have to come to other arraignments.

But I digress.  This house!!  It needs some work.  Foundation.  Probably electrical.  Maybe even plumbing.  Besides all that, it's mostly live-in ready.  It has been updated in most places.  And we will update things we want to change as we can.  But we are so excited at the potential!!!

 

We are just excited to be moving back to Dallas!  Since we've left, we have felt like we were never home.  Even our house now doesn't have pictures up on the walls.  We just never felt at home here.  

This house is 3 bedrooms, 3.1 bathrooms.  It's almost as big as the one we are in now.  It's walking distance to a grocery store and a ton of restaurants (some of our favorites from when we lived in downtown!).  

I've already joined a couple of homeschool meetup groups down there!  

It's all so exciting.  

So, for now - we are focused on foundation repair and getting out of this house we are in!  

Know anyone who wants an awesome house in Frisco? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

We've Got Some Work To Do

If it's a 50/50 chance to get them on right, how on earth does she keep putting them on wrong.  Every. Single.  Time.

Also.  She LOVES sporting socks with flip flips.  MUCH like her Nana, who I've always said she looks like.  (Especially when mad.)

This girl is 2.  And she is a hot hot mess.  Clearly.

Every time I laugh at anything (something on tv, something I'm reading, something Miles does, a text message) she says "what Mommy, me?"  with a big smile on her face.  Like for sure she is just the funniest thing ever, of course I'm laughing at her.

Her vocabulary is off the charts.  Or maybe I'm just comparing her to Miles at 2.  He didn't say anything.  And she says EVERYTHING.

Some of her favorite things to say - "I see" (anytime anyone shows anyone anything) "No mine" "My turn" "No I do it self" "Where'd pappy (paci) go?" "Where'd baby go?" "My iPad" "Socks on!" "Shoes on!" "Where going?" "Who dat?" (for anything, person or item) "I wann one" "I wann one too" (usually any time I have a bite of anything in my mouth, whether she's eaten or not.) "I so so hungy, mmmm mmm mmm mmmm" (while rubbing her belly) "I watch ABC Songs" "Oh, sank you mommy" (thank you) "sank you, welcome" "No" "Sorye Miyels" "diapy off" "diapy doo doo" "poopoopotty" (thanks to her brother they both say a LOT of poop jokes) "potty on potty" (while taking her diaper off and then sitting on the potty) (she may be trying to tell me something)

And pretty much anything she wants to say.  Because she says EVERYTHING. 

And I am SO not ready for potty training. 

Fall, Fighting, and Gunk In Your Eye

It's finally so lovely outside it hurts!  Like, literally.  We've all got some crazy allergies turning gunky up in here.

It started Tuesday with runny noses for both kids.  I immediately started the diffuser with Theives and DC oils.  I started pumping them with Briarrose and Elderberry and Highlands Allergy medicine.

But despite my best efforts the boogers are turning into coughing fits and gunky eyes.  Miles coughed from 4 am to 5:30 this morning.  And I woke up with my right eye gunked shut.

Fun times.

Also, with this fun gunky fall weather - my children have turned into fighting machines.  I swear, something is in the air.  They will not.stop.fighting.  And I'm losing my cool.

Miles is insisting on bossing Natalie around.  And Natalie loves to just walk over to Miles and smack him as hard as she can for no apparent reason what so ever.  So.  That's fun.

Maybe it's because we've been staying in all week since I thought they were sick.  Maybe it's cabin fever!

I'm fairly certain it's just allergies though, so I'm gonna hit up the Family Health Market for more allergy medicine and get these crazies out of the house tonight.

But first, while Natalie naps, a quick reading lesson and writing the letter S.
Which he did for like 30 more seconds before sliding off the couch in boredom.  So I made him write his name and then let him go to the garage to play with his dog.

We'll come back to this one!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I'm Just Gonna Leave This Right Here

More on the subject of teaching kids to read at such young ages.  This article is awesome!  Touching on what kindergarten looks like in America with Common Core and comparing it to Finland. 

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland

Let kindergartners play! 

Some highlights --

Finnish schools have received substantial media attention for years now—largely because of the consistently strong performance of its 15-year-olds on international tests like the PISA.

 [Children] learn so well through play. They don’t even realize that they are learning because they’re so interested.

When children play, Osei Ntiamoah continued, they’re developing their language, math, and social-interaction skills.

Those things you learn without joy you will forget easily.

Nowadays, Finnish teachers are free to teach reading if they determine a child is “willing and interested” to learn.

But there isn’t any solid evidence that shows that children who are taught to read in kindergarten have any long-term benefit from it.

Ok... just go read it!  It's all good!  

Our Homeschooling Day

In my last post I mentioned that we don't necessarily do "school" every single day.  Which is true.  But I don't want to imply that we don't bother with anything ever.

We do school a lot.  Some days we do more then others.  Some days we do nothing (rare).  But most days we try to hit at least our reading lesson out of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and math.

Since I haven't dropped the hammer on our math curriculum yet (I want this one!) we've been doing our Star Wars Math workbook and lots of fun apps on the iPad.  I love the Starfall app.  It's teaching him things like coins, measuring, geometry basics, fractions, and more with fun games that he actually loves to play!  We also practice letter writing and I think it's thanks to the Starfall app (and the Star Wars workbook actually) that he finally grasped 12, 13, 14, 15.  He kept skipping 13.

A DMB friend actually introduced me to a bunch of other fun iPad apps.  One that teaches about our bodies (he loves it) and one that's a really cool interactive atlas of the world.  So if he is playing well with his sister or by himself, I usually let him play.  When he wants to play a video game or watch TV - I let him do a learning app or a Star Wars workbook.

Some days it's hard to fit everything in.  Between playing, running errands, taking care of a 2 year old, meals and taking care of the house.  I'm still trying to find my groove.

I've had our Kiwi Crate art projects out on the dining room table all week, and we just haven't had time to get to them yet.  But we did 2 art projects last week, so I'm not worried about missing one this week.  We can try to catch up later.

And that's what I love about homeschool.  We go at our own pace!  If we don't hit our reading lesson every day - then I make up for it during the weekend.  Sometimes we do 2 lessons in 1 day if he's really having fun.  He loves the book we're using, so it's been easy to get him to do his work so far.

And some days we really are just too busy playing!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Knew It - In Defence of NOT Teaching My Preschoolers To Read

Those ABC Mouse commercials with 2 year old kids learning to read always bothered me.  Don't get me wrong.  We have ABC Mouse and Miles loves it.  It's fun and it definitely teaches Miles a lot. 

But I've always though - WHY?  Why would we want to teach 2 or 3 year olds to read?  What good could that possible do?  If they know how to ready at 2 - won't Kindergarten AND 1st grade bore them?  Maybe even 2nd and 3rd!  If they are so advanced that they act up in school - how is that a benefit? 

We started ABC Mouse when Miles was 4 and 1/2.  It hasn't taught him to read, but it is useful.  Especially since we are homeschooling.  But we don't use it often.  In fact, if I'm being honest - we don't even do "school" every day.  Not yet.  We try to do our reading lesson every day.  But some days the kids are so busy playing together that I don't push school work. 

Kids learn through play.  We've been told that again and again.

This recent news article from the Washington Post points out this problem in schools --  "We are consistently seeing sensory, motor, and cognitive issues pop up more and more  in later childhood, partly because of inadequate opportunities to move and play at an early age."  "If children are not given enough natural movement and play experiences, they start their academic careers with a disadvantage. They are more likely to be clumsy, have difficulty paying attention, trouble controlling their emotions, utilize poor problem-solving methods, and demonstrate difficulties with social interactions."

So how is focusing on academics at such an early age a benefit?  Turns out, it might not be!  This study suggests that it all evens out in schools anyway.  Which makes sense since teachers have to teach to an entire class, and often cannot focus on the advanced students. 

But don't get me wrong.  If Natalie is interested in reading early - I will do my best to help her learn what she wants to learn.  But I don't plan on focusing on it.  I want to encourage play instead, as much as possible. 

I do agree that all children are different.  Another reason I want to homeschool.  We can go at our own pace.  I can tailor each curriculum to each kid.  More then public school will ever be able to. 
Which, for now, means lots of play with a little reading and math thrown in when we're not playing!

Blogging - I Miss You

Oh wow.  This thing is still here!  It's been a while, huh?

There are only a million different reasons I just couldn't keep this blog up after we moved to suburbia and had another baby.   But the big ones --

1. I hated that the name didn't apply any more.  So I kept waiting to change the blog name, switch it and move all my content.  But moving content is hard. So is coming up with a different name.  It bothered me every time I tried to post. 
2. Going from 1 kid to 2 is hard.  Having your husband start a new job with TONS of travel RIGHT when you have that second kid is REALLY hard.  At the time I felt like a failure for not blogging regularly.  But the whole blogging world just became very overwhelming for me and I needed a break.  I kept up blogging for Dallas Moms Blog because I love it, how it brings moms together and I love all the contributors and the friendships I've made.  So, by default, this one had to take a back burner.

I've thought about restarting a lot.  I know this little blog doesn't have a ton of readers, but I mostly blog for myself so that doesn't matter.  But I do want it to be interesting and fun.  And every time I started to write in the past, it just wasn't right. 

But recently I've found myself writing blog post worthy things on Facebook and then deleting them because they are just too silly/long to share there.

So -- here I am.  Back to see if I can give this a go again.  We've been looking at properties back in Dallas lately, so my blog name might just come in handy again soon.  And now that I'm homeschooling my 5 year old (!) I feel like I have a lot to say and need an outlet.

Plus, I know at least 2 of my followers are dying to know how homeschooling is going, how it works and want to make sure I'm not just eating Bon Bons all day.  No, sillies - I'll just be blogging all day!

I kid, I kid.

Maybe.

So, welcome back readers!  Let's get this party started restarted!!