Sunday, 23 September 2012

Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend!
And, as we say here in the south, Happy Fall Y'all!

Do any of my fellow Ds mamas have issues with their kids eating non.stop?  Katie seriously was in the refrigerator every.single.time I turned around this weekend.  

This is the look on her face when I found her eating a half pound of sliced turkey.  For real.  She got into the fridge and grabbed what was in the turkey package and just started stuffing it into her mouth.  Uh, clearly she wasn't that hungry.  She also steals pudding cups, so watch it if she comes to your house.  

Hide your pudding, hide your turkey, lock your fridge.

The boys slept at my parents' house Saturday night, and Chris and I took Katie on a date to a wedding. 

While they were at my parents' house, the boys got some chicken farming experience.

Is it just me, or does Jack look 20 here?  My mom said they chased that chicken around and caught her themselves.  And she's probably traumatized and won't lay eggs for a week.

I loved the gift we brought to the wedding.  So much that I wanted to keep it.  I got a basket at Joann's and put a Red Velvet gourmet cupcake mix, a set of cupcake liners and picks, measuring spoons, and five monogrammed dish towels.  I shrink wrapped it all and made a little tag.

I also made two pillows for them.  They're both just unbleached cotton, one with their monogram (and that pillow was BIG) and one with their last initial.  Love!

It was obviously the first wedding Katie has been to.  She did a good job.  And she looked so cute!

She was a little restless during the waiting part at the church when we first got there.  She was getting a little loud until I told her the baby behind us was sleeping.  Then she was obsessed with looking at the baby, telling me to hush, and signing sleep.  

There was a chocolate fountain at the reception.

Katie liked that as much as she likes a pudding cup.

Here's a rare shot of us all dressed up.  And Chris wearing pants.  (For those who don't know us in real life, Chris wears khaki shorts 365 days a year.  We had to buy pants for him to wear in Russia!  Those are them.)  You might also notice Chris did his hair like Tintin.  Completely unintentional.

The wedding photographer took a similar picture of us, and we will be able to download it on Friday.  I'll be stalking that website like Katie stalks the deli meat aisle at Publix.

Our weather today was gorgeous.  Everyone in our house under five feet tall was a little grumpy this afternoon so we decided to go for a walk.  Katie brought two naked babies she crammed into a stroller and her purple purse.  Which was empty.

David and Jack rode their bikes, and Henry stayed inside and played on the computer.  (Before you report me to DCS, please know that we walked to the end of our road and back.  Not six miles away.  He was in no danger.)

Katie saw the boys putting their bike helmets on and ran as fast as her little legs would take her to the laundry room to get her helmet.  She wore it up the street for part of the walk, but it kept falling off because she wouldn't let me tighten it.  I got the pleasure of carrying it the rest of the way.

She pranced herself right up the road, only leaving her babies in the middle of the street if a dog came in her direction.  And in our 100 yard walk, we saw three dogs.

Jack had his first bike accident.  Chris carried Jack crying back to our house to tend to his wound, and I pushed his bike back down the street with little mama K.  
And of course it happened at the other end of the street.  

She was very concerned about his booboos when we got home.

He recovered quickly.

I put the only one of the new curtains I made for the breakfast room on the back door.  Why did I never put a curtain on this door before?!  I got a $5.00 cafe curtain rod at Dollar General and it's perfect.

The boys and I put these on the stairs today.  David and Jack love them.  I don't even know if Henry noticed.  They freaked out the dogs and Katie!

Does anyone have any good tips for cleaning this bad boy?  More specifically, for cleaning the crystals?  It's hanging in our entry, and it's about 30 feet up in the air.  I can sort of reach it if I stand on a chair near our upstairs railing, but it makes me uber nervous.  My preferred method of cleaning it would be to take it down and replace it, but that's not in the cards right now.

Speaking of cleaning....
For real y'all, this is what our playroom looked like today.

Let's keep it real.
This does not make me happy.
In fact, it makes me itch.
When we moved to this house, I was SO excited for a playroom.  You know, so I could just close the door and who cares if there's a mess, and all that.  Well, I care.  I care if it's a dump and I hate it.  There needs to be a mass toy purge of 2012 soon.  And it will need to take place while David is at school, because he's a hoarder and will freak if one Lincoln Log is gone and he knows it.

Katie had a bit of an identity crisis this afternoon....She was a little bit Robin, a little bit Mario.

She and Jack were playing babies.  For Jack's third birthday, he got this doll.  He quickly gave her the very un-PC name of "Baby Brownie".  Seriously.  And, of course, the name stuck.  He drags Baby Brownie all over town with him, although that is happening less and less now.  But always, when playing babies, he's the daddy to Baby Brownie and won't let anyone else touch her.  He loves her very much.  He had her all wrapped up in Katie's pink blanket this afternoon and tucked into bed.  He also had a bottle propped up next to her, so clearly we need to have a talk about bottle feeding babies in bed.

Katie wrapped up her own baby and rocked him back and forth.  She has come a long way from being terrified of dolls!  

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Kitchen Chalkboard {or embracing the mess}

We've been having some trouble around our house.  
Can you see it?
Look closely....

It's crayons that have gone astray.  
Like, on to the walls.
This was in the breakfast room last week.

This was on the wall in Jack's room last month.
And it took E.I.G.H.T. Magic Erasers to clean it up.

Katie and Jack both know they are not to write on walls, but for some reason it's just too tempting.  I'm sick of yelling about it, so I've decided to just embrace it.

We painted a chalkboard on the bottom third of the wall that was the victim of some bad drawing in our breakfast room.  We just washed the wall, drew a level line, taped it off, and painted.  I had the chalkboard paint already from when I made a chalkboard for the playroom, so this was a completely free project.  

If they slip and write on the wall a little, it just washes off.  I felt like it looked like it was missing something, but I was determined to keep it a free project, so I looked around the house for something to add.

I remembered this scrap banner I had from Katie's party this summer, and it's perfect!  It even looks great with our newly painted door, so it was a total win-win find!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Katie's First Day of Pre-K!

Katie had her first day of Pre-K yesterday!
She was so excited to go to school.
She's been to her classroom a few times for testing and to meet her teacher, and she totally understood where she was going when we said it was a school day.

When I told her it was time to take her picture, she grabbed her backpack and stood by the door.  She is such a smart cookie.

She ate breakfast and lunch at school (and lunch was a pork chop, lima beans, and steamed zucchini....further proof that she'll eat anything).  The thought of her prancing around the school cafeteria with a tray makes me crack up.  Her fingers are like one inch long - how can she even hold a tray?!  She had PT at school also yesterday.  I'm sure she l.o.v.e.d. playing on the playground!  Her teacher's note said that she stayed in circle time, worked independently at her desk, followed all directions, went potty several times (and came home wearing the same clothes - no accidents!  {insert fist pump here}), and they are so excited to have her in the class.  I'm so proud of my girl!

I admit I was far more nervous for her first day than for any of the boys first days, ever.  Katie has very, very limited communication abilities.  If something happened to her at school and the teacher didn't tell us, we would never know.  That is a scary thought.  Katie cannot tell us about her day, can't tell us what she did, can't tell us if she had fun or was sick or fell off the monkey bars.  We really are putting a lot of trust in her teacher and the school, and that's a terrifying feeling.  I really love her teacher though, which has made this much easier.  Katie had also, until yesterday, not spent any of her time since coming home without either Chris or me.  We were a little unsure of how she would do being by herself, but she was awesome.  Duh.  She was markedly more tired last night, so I know she had a busy day!

This is my favorite picture from the morning, because it so accurately conveys every person's personality.  David looks sassy (and big - excuse me, when did he get so tall?!), Jack looks like he's about to do something naughty, Katie looks sweet as can be, Henry looks like a love, and I look either really excited or like I'm about to check into a psychiatric hospital.  Both of which might be true.  You pick.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tuesday Twelve, The Four Months Home Edition

1.  Katie has been home for four months.

2.  She's changed a little.
Or entirely.

3.  She uses the potty now, almost completely independently.
And I often feel we should have stalls put into the bathroom.

4.  She can do anything the boys can do.  Or so she thinks.  And if she *can't* do it?  She's going to try and try until someone makes her stop.  This is one determined child.

5.  Katie weighs 34 pounds now and has grown almost 2 inches since she came home.  

6.  She understands e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. we say to her.  I think most people we knew were most concerned about the language issue - that she "spoke" Russian and not English.  That has been absolutely no issue.  She never spoke Russian, and we certainly don't speak Russian, so transitioning to English has been easy peasy for her.  

7.  She says about 30-40 words.  Starting today, she will be with a new speech therapist and will go for an hour, twice a week (instead of 45 minutes once a week).  She will also begin getting speech at school for 30 minutes a week (to start).  Hopefully more than tripling the speech she receives will help her to really have some even bigger progress, because she's still got a long way to go in the communication department.

8.  She starts physical therapy tomorrow at a private therapist.  She will get an hour a week there and thirty minutes at school, once a week.  We've seen great improvements in her gait, balance, and muscle strength since she came home just from doing things like running, playing, jumping, and climbing on the swing set.  We want to increase her muscle strength to help eliminate hip dysplasia (which is SCARY!), increase her muscle tone, improve her balance, and improve her gait/bowed legs.  I would say the bowing of her legs has improved by about 75% in just four months, just by having the change to use those muscles regularly.  I know regular PT, although her need is minimal, will bring some great improvements for her.

9.  She will be participating in a pageant in November.  Yes, I said pageant.  Look out Honey Boo Boo Child.  No, you will not see me on Toddlers and Tiaras anytime soon.  She will be in the Miss Fabulous Pageant, which is a pageant developed for girls of all ages with disabilities.  Everyone gets to have their hair and makeup done and gets a sash and tiara.  And Lady K is going to be so stinking cute.  Her dress was a flower girl dress my friend's daughter wore in a wedding.  I could just eat Katie up in all of that fanciness.

10.  She starts school on Thursday.  I'm sad that she will already be in school, but she will do so well and is super excited to go.  We've met her teacher several times, and Katie really likes her.

11.  We had her IEP meeting yesterday, and I was very anxious about how it would go.  It was great - we have set some good goals for Katie to work toward a typical Kindergarten class.  Some of them are about increasing her communication skills, some are "life skills" goals, and some are things like being able to match colors, animals, shapes, etc., being able to trace lines and squiggles, recognizing the letters of her first name, and other academic goals.  I am so excited to see her progress and am thrilled with the teacher she's got.  Her teacher really will challenge Katie I think, which is exactly what we want. 

12.  I think the part of Katie being home that I like to watch the most is her with her brothers.  They each have a different relationship with her, but Henry is in love with her.  He is such a caring, gentle, sweet brother to her.  He is so proud of her all the time, and wants to always tell me when he sees her do something that makes him happy.  He reads to her, helps her brush her teeth, helps her on the swing set, and holds her hand.  He's such a fantastic boy, and Katie is so lucky to have him.  He makes me proud every day of the way he loves his sister.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Back Door Makeover

While I was at Joann's the other day getting the material for the fort kit I made, I saw this fabric.  I loved it, and it was 30% off.  I decided I wanted to make new curtains for our kitchen and breakfast room with it.

Then, it made me think of this color, Teal Lake by Glidden, which I am obsessed with.  So I decided to paint the interior of our back door Teal Lake.

We've replaced the back door since we moved in. 

When we moved in, we had a thick, solid wood door that was not protected at all on the outside by a storm door, etc., so the moisture over time caused it to swell, crack, and start rotting.  It was a great door, but it needed to be replaced.

We replaced it last year with this fiberglass door that can be painted or stained.  And didn't paint or stain it.  The window makes a HUGE difference in the room and lets so much more light in.  I also really like it because I can easily see the kids in the backyard and (duh) can see who's at the door when someone rings the bell.

This is what our breakfast room looked like Sunday morning.

One coat already made my heart happy.

I got started on the curtains and my husband told me that the night before the dog had gone into our dining room (where my sewing machine was set up) and got tangled in the power cord.  That made him rip the machine off the table and it broke!!!  I seriously started sewing curtains for our kitchen on Henry's Pixie Plus sewing machine....  The good news is that Chris thinks he can fix the sewing machine.  He's already taken the whole thing apart, and he's pretty confident he can repair it.  And he feels awful, because I had the door to the dining room closed so nobody would get into the sewing things and touch the machine.

This was the breakfast room Sunday night.  
I l.o.v.e. it.  
I did two coats of the paint in a semi-gloss finish.  It looks so great!  

Next up in that room is some bead board on the walls, paint the upper portion of the walls a deep khaki,  and Chris is going to build a banquette and a farm table.