A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 04/25/2016

church directory photo

(an ‘outtake’ from our recent church directory photos)

If I haven’t mentioned how much I LOVE living in West Michigan, let me assure you, I do!

After a LOOOOOOOOONG cold Winter, I sometimes question why we love West Michigan so much, but then Spring hits — then Summer — and then my beloved Fall, and I’m reminded over and over and over again why we stay here.

(Obviously, the fact that almost all our family and friends live here, Dave’s job is here, our church is here, and our farmhouse is here hold some sway as well!)

Everything is sprouting and blooming and growing and green, and it’s just so fabulous to be outside again!

I’m getting excited to make rhubarb muffins and strawberry rhubarb jam with our fresh-from-the-garden rhubarb.

Speaking of the garden, Dave and I are hopefully optimistic that we will have our “best” vegetable garden yet this year — although we don’t have much competition (see photo below of previous year’s garden attempts!)

15174819219_f60bdee655_z

Our vegetable garden goals for this year are to grow more varieties of veggies, to grow larger quantities, and to keep it relatively weed-free.

We haven’t planted anything yet as the weather people tell us it still might snow here later this week… but we are getting excited (and by “we”, I pretty much mean “me” — Dave is a good helper though!)

In the meantime, we’re spreading mulch… lots and lots of mulch!

Crazy Mulch Story: 3 summers ago, we had more mulch delivered the first week in July — on the exact day I realized I was pregnant with Simon. I hadn’t felt good for several days and was wondering what on earth was “wrong” with me. When I realized I was pregnant, I knew we had to get the mulch down ASAP because I was only going to feel worse as the weeks went on.

Now, EVERY time I smell fresh mulch, I have that awful morning sickness feeling all over again (yes, I promise I’m not pregnant!)

We spread about 15 yards of mulch this past weekend, and we have about 20 yards to go (possibly the one negative to having so many planting beds!) We’ll get it done eventually… at least the kids are really enjoying the big pile!

Dave is having fun with our new-to-us power washer (we bought it from my parent’s neighbor). He’s been power washing the cement walkways and steps around our house — it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes. Our concrete looks brand new again!

Nora and I also used the power washer for a bit when she “helped” me power wash the garage floor (in her bathing suit and boots). It felt good to get that project crossed off my list since the floors were crusted with dirt and salt from the winter roads.

Nora is in the process of learning to ride a bike without training wheels. She has been wimping out the past few days as she is apparently “too scared” to keep trying. She was actually doing a really good job, but I’m not going to push her because I have enough experience dealing with Nora to know pushing never works.

I’ve learned to pick my battles with her, and training wheels is NOT one of them!

Another battle I’m not willing to fight (at least most of the time) is letting her do her own hair. The girl has been on a mission to learn how to do her own hair for a few weeks already, and she has finally mastered the ponytail. She will often just do one random ponytail on the side of her head and leave the rest of her hair down, but the other day, she actually did pigtails, and they looked pretty cute.

(painting is one of Nora’s favorite things — I draw it,  she paints it, she’s happy!)

We’ve been all over town, to the library, to the store, to the bank, to school, to story hour, and more — all with her crazy hair. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t phase me at all! I’m proud of myself for letting her do it “her way”… but I did tell her there will be some times when mom is going to do her hair.

The shirt below is now her new favorite — she wears it at least 3 times a week 🙂

.

Simon has been a bit of a stinker lately — throwing wild temper tantrums over the weirdest things (last week, he had an hour-long screaming fit because we were planning to ride bikes to the park.) Seriously!

And the picture below is me trying to stop him from screaming (by taking pictures and letting him look at them) when we stopped by Target to buy more bubbles. Everything went fine until the cashier threw away my gift card with more than $20 left on it — and then had to go through ALLLLLLLL the gift cards in her trash to find it again.

target

Simon is doing a fabulous job keeping up with Nora and the other older neighbor kids — it’s SO fun to see him have such a good time playing and running and laughing with the “big kids”.

He has been eating like CRAZY the past few weeks (he regularly has 3-4 pancakes plus eggs and fruit for breakfast every morning) and his afternoon naps are getting shorter and shorter. I guess he really is turning into a big boy!

Many of you have asked about his speech therapy — right now, we’re just using a local service from our county where the therapist comes to our house once a month. However, now that he’s two, we qualify for a more intense program where they will come every week. We have seen a lot of progress so far, but he is still quite “delayed” in terms of where they would expect a 2-year old to be.

I can tell he is frustrated with his lack of words — he tries so hard to say certain things and it just doesn’t come out. I feel bad when I can’t figure out what he wants, especially when I can tell how frustrated he is. Hopefully we’ll make good progress once we start meeting with a therapist on a weekly basis!

.

James celebrated his 9-month “birthday” 2 weeks ago by popping out a couple more teeth (he currently has 7.)

He seems to be handling the teething pretty well, so I’m happy about that.

He loves being outside — the blue car pictured below is his favorite mode of transportation right now!

He has been walking along furniture for a couple weeks already, but still not walking on his own (although I have a feeling he’ll be an early walker like Nora).

He doesn’t seem to like any baby foods or solid foods yet, but he will gnaw on Veggie Straws and apples. I haven’t worked very hard to get him to eat solid foods yet because he doesn’t seem interested, and I figure it will be a lot easier in the summer when Dave is home to help out around meal times.

In general, James is still quite happy most of the day — I am VERY thankful for this!

What We’re Watching on Netflix

Now that the weather is getting warmer, Dave and I are usually outside working on the yard every spare moment, so we don’t watch much Netflix.

One thing I did notice is that I can no longer find episodes of Curious George or Princess Sophia (2 of our favorites). Not sure why they would take these off Netflix, but our family is not happy about it!

Dave and I did finish the last 2 episodes of A Fuller House a couple weeks ago — and we started watching Tiny House Hunters when we went to visit my sister and her husband 2 weeks ago.

Oh, and speaking of visiting my sister, I had to laugh when we got home and looked through my pictures — the first picture is on the way down; the 2nd picture is on the way back home.

(here’s the link to the Trunki neck pillows we use)

.

Our Weekly Menu:

SUNDAY:

  • Quesadillas
  • Chips and Mango Salsa
  • Ice Cream

MONDAY:

  • Crispy Cheddar Chicken Bake (recipe coming later this week!)
  • Oven Roasted Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Applesauce
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

TUESDAY:

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

  • Leftover Crispy Cheddar Chicken
  • Lettuce Salad
  • French Fries
  • Fruit
  • Apple Cake

FRIDAY:

SATURDAY:

A Couple Quick Announcements:

If you haven’t entered to win the BANDI Belt Giveaway from last week, today is the last day! 

I love my BANDI Belt and get so much use out of it when I’m outside with the kids… it’s the perfect spot for my phone, chapstick, a pacifier, etc.

Also, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is making its 2016 debut later this week. I already have my bundle (and I’ve already claimed many of the freebie bonus offers) and all I can say is this year’s bundle is the BEST yet!

I’m so excited to share all the details with you later this week — but if you’re interesting in more information, simply enter your name and email address here.

HomemakingJustGotEasier

I’m getting my hair cut and colored later this afternoon (still not exactly sure what I’m going to do)! And we have family pictures coming up in 2 weeks.

We’ll be doing LOTS of yard work and (hopefully) tiring our kids out by running around outside as much as possible. Maybe they’ll even learn how to sleep in before Summer 🙂

What are YOU doing this week?

0Shares

Filed under: LifeDaily Life

Leave a comment

35 comments

  1. Mary

    05/07/2016

    Just wondering what sippy cups the kiddos are using? Do you have recommendations of your favorite? I would love to find dome good ones for my little guy, he is 2. Thanks so much for your time!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    These cups are the MAM cups — but we have lots of different brands and don’t have a problem or issue with any of them!

    [Reply]

  2. Kristen

    04/27/2016

    I was just reading on another website (hip2save) about a free app called Colorscape, which lets you create a coloring page from a picture on your camera. Then you can email the image to yourself and print it. Thought it might give you a break from drawing pictures for Nora to paint 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    cool — thanks for sharing Kristen! I’ll have to check that out since I’m not the best artist in the world 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Barb T.

    04/26/2016

    One of our children did not like the falling or the possibility of falling. He learned very quickly by practicing on the grass! worth a try.

    [Reply]

    Barb T. Reply:

    I should have made clear – he was learning to ride a bike without training wheels.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — thanks for the clarification! I was picturing you walking with an infant on the grass (since I mentioned getting James to walk) — not bike riding 🙂 That might be a great idea for her!

    [Reply]

  4. Suzi

    04/25/2016

    Simon is only a couple weeks younger than my little guy and Curious George is the only show my little man watches. We watched it on Amazon prime but it got pulled in late March because apparently Hulu bought it. Good for Hulu users but a huge bummer for us.

    Thank you for sharing a slice of your world with us all!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, bummer! We don’t get Hulu… but we do have the PBS app, so we can get a few episodes of Curious George. Also, the Curious George movies are still on Netflix (at least right now) and Nora really likes those.

    [Reply]

  5. Jade

    04/25/2016

    My daughter loves Sofia also, and she would be very mad if it weren’t on Netflix… So I went and checked to be sure, and it is still showing on our Netflix. Maybe check the spelling? It’s “Sofia” with no “p”.

    [Reply]

  6. Bonnie'sMama

    04/25/2016

    I don’t remember if you’ve ever mentioned using sign language, and you probably already use it with Simon. Sign language has been a big help for us with the toddlers and babies we’ve had through foster care, adoption, and birth.

    I’m now working with my third boy with speech delays, who just turned two. Using sign language bridges the gap between the point when they know they want to say something and the point where they’re able to actually say it. It cuts down on so much frustration, for both the child and the parent. And it helps the child begin to understand that there are ways to communicate beyond grunts and howls–words!

    There are sites devoted to baby sign language, with short videos to show how to do basic signs. It’s so much fun to watch children and babies begin to use signs to communicate. I just taught the ten-month-old how to sign “light”, since she was noticing the lights on the ceiling.

    Blessings on you, Dave, and Simon as you teach Simon to speak. It is a lot of hard work and the progress can feel very slow. My son used only vowels at 2 1/2 when he was placed in our home. Within 9 months (and with a terrific lot of work), he was completely caught up. You would never know that he’d ever had difficulty speaking.

    You–and Simon–will get there, too.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We’ve done a little with sign language, but not a ton. It is definitely helpful for some things though!

    Sounds like you are a pro at babies and toddlers — how wonderful that you are able to touch so many little lives!

    [Reply]

  7. Cindy

    04/25/2016

    Andrea – Thank you so much for mentioning Call the Midwife in one of your blog posts. I started watching it and love, love, love it! I have watched all the back episodes and am now trying to be patient as the news ones come out weekly. Any other series you have watched that you would recommend? Have you watched Doc Martin on PBS?

    I live in Michigan also and totally agree with you on the seasons. Winter can get pretty long but I love our seasons!

    [Reply]

    Gaynor Reply:

    Love Doc Martin too! It used to be on at 9pm on Sunday – the escapist slot – here in the UK.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome — isn’t it great! I actually haven’t started watching season 5 yet! I was thinking of waiting until the summer and then watching all the episodes right in a row, but now you have me wanting to start watching the first 4 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Kelly S

    04/25/2016

    I always enjoy these posts!

    I have the same morning sickness smell-association with a few things. A few weeks ago we were on vacation and the hallway of our hotel smelled just like the apartment where we briefly lived when I was pregnant with baby #2 (two years ago.) It instantly took me back to that time – I had to cover up my nose whenever we walked through the hallway! So strange!

    James is getting so big!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Smells are HUGE for me! I have a very sensitive nose, so there are lots of smells that bring back weird memories for me 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. JJ

    04/25/2016

    I love that you are a dessert family! =) My 2 year old has random tantrums that especially boggle my husband(who is extremely logical–ha!). After church, I give them a snack to keep them awake on the ride home(read, Mama needs nap time!). I forgot their snacks but had lollipops(they LOVE dum dums). My daughter had a tantrum when she couldn’t get the wrapper off. So my husband tried to help her. Then she threw a tantrum because he tried to help her. #thestruggleisreal

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We are very much a dessert family! 🙂

    And yes, we have struggles on the way home from church almost every week! James almost always nods off the sleep in the midst of Simon asking for candy and Nora complaining about something!

    [Reply]

    JJ Reply:

    It’s good to know we aren’t alone!

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa Morosky

    04/25/2016

    Curious George has moved to Hulu (not sure if it’s on regular Hulu or just Hulu Plus – we have Hulu Plus). They have at least one Curious George movie on there too. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    boo — we dont’ do Hulu, but we LOVE Curious George 🙁

    [Reply]

  11. Kelly Hess

    04/25/2016

    Glad to hear the speech therapy is working. My daughter was diagnosed with Apraxia at 2 1/2. She has been getting speech therapy one time per week and this year she went to our district preschool program with additional therapy. She has made huge strides! I understand the frustrated part, I think that is the hardest thing when they can’t verbally express what they want. Keep on top of it!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Kelly, Glad to hear your daughter is doing well with her therapy — I’m sure it’s so rewarding to see her making such great progress!

    [Reply]

  12. Michelle

    04/25/2016

    I really related to this post! Your daughter reminds me so much of mine. Painting is still her favorite thing and she is 8 now. They look alike too. I can’t get anywhere pushing her either. When I finally ignore her she clicks and does it with most things. Sometimes I think she’s more interested discussing something than doing it. Reading was the same way with her. When she clicked and got it we ignored every teacher that said to insist on a specific amount every day. We just kept making books available, being excited for her progress and using books as a reward. It’s worked for her and I swear she reads better than I do. I am convinced that making it a battle or a chore would have destroyed that love.

    My son is not much younger than yours. A month or so ago I took him to the dr because he became so challenging with the screaming I became convinced he was in pain. The dr said its the terrible twos. I wanted to respond it can’t be and you must fix this now, lol! Dr also said she thought he was on the verge of a major developmental leap that was causing a lot of frustration. Sure enough, within two weeks he needed a toddler bed, he could jump, we had to change locks so he couldn’t get outside, he figured out the baby gates, AND his language clicked and he started talking soooo much better. No wonder he became so intense all of a sudden! Since then he’s grown a size in clothing, can use a spoon and cup, and gave up his stroller. He is a completely different kid. I think the speech therapy is great and will make a huge difference for your family. Things can change quickly and I will say a prayer that it does. My son is still intense. The time out spot has doubled as a calming down spot and he will go there on his own when he needs it. We use it often and I think all that practice calming down must be good for him, haha.

    James is a doll. We are done growing our family so can’t relate much to a happy baby. Kidding!

    I love your blog, thank you for keeping up with it and sharing these kind of posts.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Michelle!

    And I think you’re right about Simon — in fact, just tonight he walked over to the medicine cabinet, pointed up to where I keep the children’s medicine, then pointed to his teeth and said “ow!”. I asked if his teeth were hurting and he said yes while pointing up to the medicine again.

    I have a feeling he’s getting his 2-year molars right now, so I’m sure that could be the cause of some crabbiness 🙂

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I hate that they suffer! That is also very impressive he knew what would help!

    [Reply]

  13. Ashley

    04/25/2016

    Hey Andrea, have you heard of deep mulch gardening? This seems like something you’d like. There’s lots of great info here: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/05/deep-hay-mulch.html. It’s what I plan to do this year

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well, I’ve never heard that term before, but that’s basically what we do (maybe not quite as thick of the hay as she used though. We always put straw down to cover the dirt in our garden… there was just one year when we didn’t (when I took that picture) and we had massive amounts of weeds EVERYWHERE! Also, just an FYI, if you use grass clippings, your garden will be pretty stinky 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Mandy

    04/25/2016

    There is no place like Michigan! My husband and I have been gone for 6 years and have recently made the decision to move back so we can raise our son around friends and family. I am so excited for him to experience his first Michigan fall come September!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know! Nora already told me she can’t wait for Fall! I told her we have to enjoy the Spring and Summer first!

    [Reply]

  15. Shelley

    04/25/2016

    Hi Andrea, oh the cement walkways look soo nice… Is there any specific power wash that you will recommend? we have to get the walkways clean in our house too.
    How do you like the neck pillow?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Shelley! I don’t even know what brand our power washer is — but I’m sure if you just look at the reviews online (for whatever brand you are looking at buying) you’ll get a good idea. They can’t be finicky machines (ours always seems to have some little issue) but we have utilized it a lot and it’s handy to have around.

    [Reply]

  16. Kelly

    04/25/2016

    Have you looked into the PBS Kids app? We have it on our Roku and I think it’s available for free for iPhone/iPad. Curious George always has 4-5 episodes on there and a few longer collections of clips. I can’t help you with Spohia, since that’s not PBS… We love George here too. (And Mighty Machines, which your boys might love. It is currently available on Netlifx. Cheesy songs and dialogue to go with real footage of large machines at work. Construction, fire trucks, trash, trains, etc.).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we have the PBS Kids app and the Disney Jr. app, but you can only get a couple episodes of the shows with those apps. The Netflix App had 30-40 episodes or more.
    And yes, Simon LOVES Mighty Machines!

    [Reply]