Sunday, October 30, 2016

Last McMaze Ever

We have a local farm, McMaze, who runs amazing events, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, haunted hay rides, ect... Unfortunately it was announced that they were retiring/closing after this season *cry* My sister and niece insisted they had to take the girls for one last hurrah.

They even brought Joshua a baby pumpkin (he stayed home for a playdate with friends)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Possibility of Autism

Joshua was screened for autism last November when he was 2 yrs, 5 mths. At the time of the screening, we only answered "yes" to one question (his obsessiveness to lining up objects).

Now, at 3 yrs, 4 mths, we are seeing more signs of autism.

We had a speech appointment a couple weeks ago just to get a reassessment and discuss what we can do at home while we wait for another block of actual speech therapy (see my frustrations on that here). Our usual therapist, Sassy, was out of the office so we met with one of her partners. Someone who hadn't seen Joshua since we first started with speech. Halfway through our appointment, she asked if Joshua had had autism screening. Yes, but a year ago. He was still under the usual screening age and still non-verbal. We discussed calling the developmental ped again so re-screen him.

Last week I saw Joshua's family doctor for an unrelated matter and brought up what the speech therapist and I discussed. We talked and she did an informal screening. She too, agrees that we need to make a follow up appointment.

Now to wait to see the developmental pediatrician again...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - 10/21/16 and Tot School Weeks 6 and 7

This is a combined post because I'm in a crazy busy period of work. Still lots of learning going on, just not as much documentation! Random colds have been floating in and out of our house too, so set school work hasn't happened as normal.

The girls took part in their first Cookie Blitz. Most of Guides funds come from cookie sales. This Blitz in particular ended up sold out!

Paramedics came to Olivia's brownies to teach them some basic first aid. Olivia was thrilled to bandage her friend's "cut" arm. Even better (in Olivia's opinion) was the fact that they let her keep the gloves. She wore those things for days!

Brianna's dad is really good about me homeschooling her and has never questioned my wishes in it. Occasionally He gives her assignments. This one was of the history of the company that he works for.

Life Skills! We got new blinds this week and I had Brianna hang them. Now she knows why I hate them lol

Random pumpkin craft with LOTS of help from Joshua.

Brianna did Joshua's schoolwork with him. He loves telling everyone letters.

This one was more a lesson of sharing and taking turns. Something Joshua is completely not fond of.

Joshua woke up this week with a swollen face, complaining of pain. A doctor's visit showed nothing wrong. No ear infection, no tooth abscess, no strep, nothing. Just random swelling and pain. Now it's gone. I guess Joshua just likes to be special.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschooler, Hip Homeschool Mom and Homeschool Creations.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Taking Health Seriously Pt. 2

This is a follow up post to my March health post.

I am now at 42.6 pounds lost (!!!!), at least 4 clothing sizes and (going by bust+waist+hips) 10.5 inches smaller. All since January.

I am SUPER stoked. I haven't been this small since I was about 5 mths pregnant with Isaac (17 years ago,,,). I am only 12 (!!!) pounds from my ultimate goal (which is still technically "overweight", but I have a large frame and have no interest in being "skinny", just healthy).

January to the end of May I worked really hard. I've never done so well for so long and my new clothing sizes proves it. In June I had 2 surgeries 11 days apart, one of them major abdominal surgery. I was on restrictions for 6 weeks and even after that still felt like a zombie.

While I didn't get much exercise done over the summer, I still worked really hard to keep my eating good. 95% of the time I stayed below my calorie goal on MyFitnessPal. Even with the lack of exercise, I managed to lose 10lbs over the summer.

By the end of Sept, I was feeling 100% again. The temps were cooler. Workouts could happen again! We all love walking and have a great bike path that's only a block away. I put together a daily workout to try to tone, since losing all that weight has shrunk a lot of parts but also made a lot of parts floppy.

We joined AquaFit now that beach season is over. While AquaFit is MUCH harder than it looks, it is still fun. And it's something different than the usual sweaty reps. We walk there while the weather is still nice so we get a 2 mile walk in as well.

As winter comes, it'll be tempting to get lazy. I really hope I can keep the will power to keep going!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - 10/14/16

The remnants of sickies are still hanging around our house. As I'm sure you don't want to see a pile of snotty Kleenex, this is a picture-less Wrap Up.

This week is Fire Prevention/Safety Week. We started out the week watching a video our local firefighters put together about smoke detector and battery replacements. We just checked and changed batteries in ours last week so it was a "yay we already did that!" moment.

Being that it's my busy season for my home business, the girls have had a lot of independent work. I mean, most of Brianna's already is, but Olivia too has been mostly working on Reading Eggs and Math Seeds rather than paper worksheets.

We did a nature walk. The girls insist on calling it a "nature walk" even if it's something we do often and it's right next to our house *sigh*

We started our first Country Study in over a year. Getting a subscription to Universal Yums certainly helped get the ball rolling! (check my post about Universal Yums here) Our Country Study this round is Thailand. Look for a post next week to read all about it!

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Hip Homeschool Moms

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Universal Yums

The Hmmm...schooling Mom wrote a blog post about Universal Yums a while ago and I knew this would be something my kids would love. And it ties perfectly to our Country Studies!

Thankfully, in Canada, we are considered international so we get our boxes later than the US. Which means I get to find out what country is coming up this month so I can plan a country study around it.

When you first open the box you see a tissue paper flag (which I thought was awesome) and a little information book. The information book gives you some info on the country, some fun trivia and and explanation of what each snack is. 

We signed up for the smaller snack box which promises a minimum of 6 snacks. Clearly, they are very generous with their "minimum of 6" as we got 9 different snacks and a total of 17 items!

I was worried about Olivia, the crazy picky eater not getting any enjoyment out of this as we struggle to get her to try basic foods let alone foods that "look weird" or have another language on the packaging. 

She really impressed me though! She actually tried *everything*. There were items she didn't like but didn't let that discourage her from trying the next item.

Here is her "super spicy face" (not surprisingly, being Thailand, there were a few spicy snacks. This was her face towards the bread sticks, yet she ended up eating almost the whole box!

Brianna is a big food lover like me so I knew the monthly snack boxes would be right up her alley. Here she's testing the spicy sesame peanuts. "They're not *bad* but the sesame makes them wrong!"

Brianna's favorite item was the coconut chips.

Olivia had a tie for favorite items being the garlic bread toast (basically garlic melba toast) and strawberry wafers.

My favorite item was the tea drink (sorry, no pic). It was similar in flavour and texture to a milkshake. It instructed to drink it hot or cold, we went for warm.

The girls loved this addition to our Country Studies and look forward to the next box. While it's a money spending thing (and I'm a super frugal person), it's totally worth it!

Linking up with Hip Homeschool Moms and Practical Mom

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hodgepodge Wednesday

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house? My personal favorite thing is dreaming about the potential of my new space. I am a lover of floor plans and organizing house (not so great at DOING the organizing though!). Worst thing, packing. We have too much crap!

2. What's moved you recently? The US election. I refuse to be political on my blog though so I won't comment as to HOW it has moved me.

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so? Definitely forward. School is actually happening with little "babysitting" from me required. My business is keeping me busy. Joshua's speech is finally happening.

4. On the move, move mountainsget a move onit's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain. "Move Mountains" Oct/Nov is my busy time for my business. I make a lot of items that are giftable and stocking stuffers. I also make car seat ponchos which are only needed in the colder months. Needing to move mountains though is based on the fact that I often take on more than I should and can get overwhelmed to make it all happen. 

5. What song makes you want to get up and move? Peppy Christmas music

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'? I pretty much live on coffee and that is my "on the move" thing typically grabbed.

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home? Something Christmasy that stays up year round. In my house, I have a jingle bell wreath that has lived on my front door since we moved here 5 years ago. I also have Christmas lights up (and on) on my porch year round. Yes. I'm THAT person.

8. Insert your own random thought here. Brianna is learning French. I don't speak French. She could be telling me off and I'd never know it...

Head over to From This Side of the Pond to check out others!

A Walk in the Fall

I used to do a link up (that bombed when I slacked on my blog) called Wilderness Wednesday. Every Wednesday I would post the link up with a post of the things we did in nature that week.

I should probably start that again. But with Canada going into winter, nature can be a little white and a little cold. Not to say that winter isn't beautiful! It's just cold. Last winter was amazing. Normal winter... the hair in your nostrils can feel like they're gonna break off.

So maybe come spring....

However FALL in Canada is incredible. We have all the beautiful colors and the perfect temps. The girls and I went for a walk along our local bike path (a gorgeous 40+ kilometer path along the St. Lawrence river). Now that the temperatures are better, we get out walking a lot. With the healthy lifestyle we're working on, it's perfect!

We found a swarm of super cool looking bugs on a tree. The 2nd pic is of the bottom of the trunk. We discovered a few different ages of the bugs. The youngest ones are red and as they get bigger they turn more and more black.

Research proved that they're Boxedler bugs, thankfully harmless.

In several areas along the bike path are crab apple trees.The girls like to pick them and toss them into the water for the seagulls (who happily scoop them up!). Olivia also just likes to demonstrate her monkey skills while Brianna paranoidly watches.

We found a turkey vulture in the park along the bike path. Seeing them closer to our house is pretty uncommon but I've never seen one in the park area which is just off our downtown.

The St. Lawrence river is a huge river system. There's load of different wildlife including the ducks, seagulls and a heron hanging out on this rock.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tot School - Week 5

We got some new Melissa and Doug "toys". Joshua looooves them. His favorites right now are the wooden alphabet (which has both upper and lower case) and the cutting eggs.

Joshua loves to be a big helper. One of his favorite "chores" is emptying the dryer.

We got some new lacing cards and he thinks they're just great! Lacing cards are a great way to practice fine motor skills without it being something "boring" like writing or coloring.

He really likes these printables I keep pulling out (a lot of them are leftovers from Olivia's preschool years so I'm not positive where I got them!). He's having lots of fun learning how to glue. Next up, scissor skills! *eek*

Linking up with 1+1+1=1, Homeschool Creations and Hip Homeschool Mom.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - 10/7/16

We had a very slow week due to illness floating through the house *again.* There was a lot of Minecraft playing and YouTube watching.

I got Olivia an abacus to help with her math. She's working on time right now and was disappointed that her abacus doesn't apply to time so she just played with it. I showed her how it works to add larger numbers (which is so much easier than her counting out a zillion math jewels).

We started doing Lego challenges. They help with fine motor skills, patience and creative thinking. And hell, they're just fun! The girls each got 100 random pieces and had to create something that used every piece. It's a lot harder than it sounds! Sadly, I didn't think to grab a pic of their completed projects, but Brianna made a giant human powered/ride on robot and Olivia made a YouTube video making lab.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Hip Homeschool Mom

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Top Ten Things To Drive Me Crazy

I've been meaning to start doing the iHomeschool Network's Tuesday Top 10s but kept forgetting or getting distracted. So I figured I'd start with a slightly sillier one.

Top Ten Things to Drive me Crazy
(specifically, my kids, in our homeschool life)

1. Skipping assignments and thinking I won't notice. Really? I check your work! I *will* know you didn't do it. And claiming to have completed assignments that require my assistance (read alouds and such)? Um. I know I didn't do it, so how could you have?

2. Pretending you don't know it's school time. Sure, Joshua can't tell time. But his school time doesn't have a set time. However, both Brianna and Olivia know how to tell time, so 10am is pretty easy to know. Especially since we have 7 various clocks in the areas they spend time in in the morning.

3. Humming or otherwise making distracting noises that you recently told your sibling to stop doing. And you wonder why your sibling won't stop when you ask...

4. Whining about your sibling having different types/amounts of schoolwork. You're 7 years apart. Even in the subjects you do together, the *work* is going to be different!

5. Checking facebook when you're supposed to be doing xyz. *cough*Brianna*cough* I'm fairly certain your research on Leukemia isn't giggle worthy... that would be a meme.

6. Claiming that your chore is done when you have grabbed no cleaning products. I may be working but the cleaning closet is on one side of me and the room you're cleaning is on the other. You never passed me...

7. Whining about a sibling "playing" on the computer while you have to do schoolwork. *cough*Olivia*cough* Your sister's schoolwork is ON the computer!

8. *Still* doing schoolwork at 10pm because you piddled around all day. Dude. Do. Your. Schoolwork.

9. Grabbing a snack at snack time when you slept late so just ate breakfast 10 minutes ago. My kids live for food. All. The. Time. So we have set snack times. Sorry, you don't get to eat breakfast at 10am, snack at 10:30am then lunch. You aint hungry.

10. There's not enough hours in the day. Seriously, this one is the worst. I'm not asking a lot, just like 2 or 3 more hours. I'd get SO much more done!

Google Image

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tot School - Week 4

Waaay late posting this week!

Joshua is continuing to love school and often asks for it long before I've had enough coffee to process the request. This week we worked on some fine motor skills (like lacing pony beads on pipe cleaners, not pictured). 

This was his first time working with a glue stick. He was pretty excited and did fairly well!

He loves reading stories. I have a bunch of these little tot school story books that he loves, as well as actual books.

One of the great things about homeschooling is I don't always have to be the teacher. Here he's showing off his school work to Grandma and then our neighbour

We live next to a furniture store and our side yard butts up to their cement wall. Instant jumbo drawing wall! None of their customers see this wall (unless they're in my yard lol) so they don't mind. Brianna was drawing circles for Joshua, his current favorite shape, and he drew a one in front of a zero and informed her that it was ten. Then started making his own 10s. The Y looking thing next to the 10 he's drawing was his drawing of a 9.

Joshua had a grand time with friends (seen here in red) at my niece's birthday party. There were 3 other kids his age and a giant field to run in. The bonfire proved to be interesting with 4 toddlers, but everyone managed to stay safe.

Linking up with 1+1+1=1, Homeschool Creations and Hip Homeschool Moms