Aug 31, 2010

A little quiet today. My head is pounding yet again and I am finding it difficult to concentrate. That and lack of sleep is making me a bit crazy. I am doing silly, silly, silly things because I am just too tired and in too much pain to concentrate. Hopefully it will pass soon.

In the meantime, here are a couple of pics of Princess Belle and Princess Snifflefritz.

Aug 30, 2010

Health stuff

I am getting so close to my first mini-goal (20 lbs lost) on my weight-loss plan that I find myself adding a few more things to get healthy. I am trying (ONCE AGAIN) to cut out caffeine and I am trying to cut back on my sodium intake. I have been using this wonderful site Calorie Counters to track my calories and my nutrition and one thing that I have found is that my sodium intake is really high and it doesn't even count the salt I add later that I didn't write in. I am thinking of buying sodium reduced products and finding others ways to reduce my salt intake.

One side-effect of my cutting back on caffeine is that I have had a headache the last few days. I am trying to switch to herbal teas. I found one mint tea that I really like. I have started filling my coffee perk up with hot water and leaving the water hot so that I can make a tea just as quickly as I used to make a coffee when I have a few moments to relax.

Peterson Directed Handwriting

One product I was lucky enough to be offered for review is a personalized handwriting program by Peterson Directed Handwriting. I received a customized handwriting course for Princess Belle that was perfect for helping with instruction in her printing. One of the complications of having high-fuctioning Autism is that handwriting is a real problem for her. She struggles with it and has really hated any handwriting exercises that we have done in the past, but within 12 days of starting with Peterson Directed Handwriting, the difference in her ability to write numbers was incredible. I take out before and after samples of her work to show my friends when they come over. She likes doing the work and she has really begun to understand how to make her hands perform the detailed movements required in making her numbers, and the instances of backwards numbers has gone WAY down. I am so proud of her and so grateful for Peterson Directed Handwriting. I would love to continue on with the cursive writing when she gets through with the printing.

Peterson Directed Handwriting is inexpensive and it is thorough. It is a handwriting program that has been around since 1908, and it is vastly different from most other handwriting programs out there because it focuses on a multi-sensory approach. This ingrains the muscle movements involved in writing so deeply into the student that they don't ever have to "think" about writing again once they have been mastered.

I found their customer service to be wonderful, and they were more than willing to offer advice on how best to implement the service for Princess Belle. One of the best things about Peterson's is that they are passionate about your understanding of their writing system; how it works, why it works, and what products will best meet your needs. They are so passionate that purchase of the e-workbooks (and most of their other products) includes free one on one consultation. When I spoke to Mr. Rand Nelson, on a real-time internet voice chat, I was really impressed. He listens to your challenges, assesses your needs, and recommends the products that will work best with your children. And he's no skimp on time. He spent a lot of time with me discussing Princess Belle and her writing challenges. He even asked me to get back to him to let him know how I found the product given her Autistic difficulties. And he did all that with me having NO VOICE capability on my computer, so I had to type all my responses in manually.

They want to do all they can to help you achieve success. And everyone has access to a specialist who can provide support and suggestions that can get everyone moving toward improved fluency. You may purchase a training session or subscription through their web store or by phone.

I like that you can print the same pages over and over if your child needs a little more work on some letters than others. Your consultation is available free of charge as you purchase your writing books or at any time you might need guidance. I like the way the program works; it's multi-sensory, it breaks letters into small parts, and it uses the voice to guide the stroke. It's unique but successful. The multi-sensory approach really made all the difference to Princess Belle.

I was super-impressed with this product. I don't have enough words to express how much I LOVED it! It really was a wonderful fit for our family!

To check out Peterson's e-workbooks or their printed materials, go HERE.
Click here to see what other TOS Reviewers have to say!

Just to let you know: I received the product free of charge for review purposes but my opinions are my honest thoughts on the product.

Aug 29, 2010

Three Girls

One challenge to having three girls is trying to get a pic of all three girls looking at me and smiling. I tried with this one, I really did, but then Princess Snifflefritz grabbed a handful of Princess Belle's hair at the last moment and we captured a grimace instead of a smile and after that Princess Magpie was up and running again . . . off to other far more interesting pursuits like pretending to share a bowl of crackers with her teddy bear.

Aug 28, 2010

Splash Park Adventures

As promised here are some pics of our day at the splash park. It was a fun amazing day and it felt like the kind of day that memories are made of.

Aug 27, 2010

Friday Five

  1. I am glad that my weight loss plan is working. I am down 7.2 lbs this week!
  2. I am super exhausted. Princess Snifflefritz is still waking me up and the exhaustion is starting to get to me. I am doing dumb things. I can't work the printer on our computer properly and I have only been using every day since we started homeschooling! I can't type right and I can usually type 60 wpm. I climbed in bed and started falling asleep and realized I had forgotten to get undressed and take off my glasses!
  3. I am trying to cut back on my coffee but as long as Princess Snifflefritz keeps waking me up, I don't know how successful I will be. I have discovered a yummy mint herbal tea that I like.
  4. I finally cleaned the boxes out my bedroom. It was a huge project and it took so long because I had difficulty finding a time when I could get away from the kids to get in there when Princess Snifflefritz wasn't sleeping in there.
  5. I also started going through the kids clothes. Getting rid of things they have outgrown and pulling out the next size of things that they are wearing. Also a fairly big job but it feels good to be getting something accomplished.

Aug 26, 2010

Birthday Smiles and Snores

And lest you think that my Wordless Wednesday indicates that Princess Magpie did not enjoy her birthday, I thought I would show some pics of her actually enjoying her favorite part . . . . THE CAKE! LOL

And here's how Princess Snifflefritz spent the whole birthday . . .

Aug 24, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

  1. My best friend helped me get my pics off my camera again so I will soon have lots of pics to share with you guys (I just have to go through them all.
  2. Can you believe my baby girl is EIGHT months old??? I can't! It is just going so fast.
  3. I really need to find a way for her to have her own room. I have never seen a baby who is as light a sleeper as she is and she is making me crazy. She is such a light sleeper, I can't put her in with her sisters and having her in my room means I spend the whole night trying not to turn over or snore or move in my bed. NOT FUN!
  4. We went to a Farmers Market today. I LOVED all the fresh veggies. I spent the last of our money and bought some wonderful zucchini, squash, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes. Yummy! I am including some in a yummy veggies stir-fry for my supper tonight!
  5. In homeschooling, we are almost finished our unit study of the 17th century. After that we will start Mexico. I am really looking forward to having some fun learning about Mexico with Princess Belle.
  6. Princess Magpie and Princess Snifflefritz wore matching onsies today. It was so cute to see them in their little matching strollers with their matching onsies.

Aug 23, 2010

Princess Belle Posing

Princess Belle came running out of the room, "Mommy, I am a rich girl! Take a picture of me!" So being the photo-crazy mom that I am, I obliged. She was dressed in her best London Tipton impression being what she thought a rich girl would be. It was fun.

Aug 22, 2010


I mentioned in the past that we have neighbors that share a wall with us. I don't really like when they have contact with my girls because I am never sure what they are going to say. Like the other day. Princess Belle noticed that they had put a screen over the outside of her bedroom window and asked them what it was for. They told her that it was so she couldn't see them when they were naked in their hot tub!!!! She was shocked! She came running out to tell me and said, "Mommy, I didn't know they got naked! I didn't think you were supposed to do that outside." I chickened out and told her, "You aren't supposed to, they are just weird." and left it alone. But she was scandalized and kept thinking about it again and again. It doesn't help that she can see through the screen just fine and now I have to worry about her seeing more of our neighbors than I want her to.

Aug 21, 2010

My Journey

I am feeling pretty good these days and I know that makes for less interesting blogging, but the truth is I feel like I am finding me again. I am starting to remember the me that I was before I was a mom and a wife. I love earings, I loving taking care of myself and feeling good about myself. I am doing more with my hair again, I am thinking more about what I wear again, I am sassy and funny again. I think this new happier me has something to do with the fact that despite the fact that I am still sleep-deprived, I am finding myself with a renewed energy and a sense of well-being. I am loving my girls, I am satisfied with my family size, and although the me I see in the mirror doesn't reflect the me I feel, I feel healthy and strong. I feel like I am on a journey to a happier, healthier, more well-rounded me and that in going on this journey, I am becoming a better mommy too. The kind of mommy who feels so good she sings, dances and acts silly in the middle of the grocery store just because it makes her girls smile and the kind of mommy who enjoys her girls and spending time with them.

Aug 20, 2010

Friday Five

I decided to post some pics of why I hate my new place. I took pics the day I moved in and I loved it that day, before actually living here and realizing how inconvenient it really is here.

So here are some pics of some of the reasons I want a new place here in town.

First of all, my bedroom. It is lovely. It is huge. It houses Prince Charming and I, our computer and our baby girl. That means that when I want to get on the computer, I have to try to sneak on at some point when the baby doesn't need me, because when she is sleeping, the computer wakes her up. It also means that I have to almost hold my breath all night because she is a LIGHT sleeper and turning over in bed, moving too much, snoring, etc all wake her up. I HATE IT. We need a place where she can have her own room.

Second, my laundry room. Or rather my laundry closet. It is that little place behind Prince Charming in this picture. Notice there is nowhere to put a table or some shelves or anything at all to help me spread out and organize. It is also in Princess Belle's room which again limits my access somewhat. I HATE IT. I need a place with an actual laundry room.

Thirdly, my kitchen. Isn't this a lovely room? It is, but that is the entirety of my kitchen. This tiny little space is where I get to create my culinary masterpieces for my family. It is too small!!! Also, notice that lovely fancy tap on the sink? That little tap means I can't use my dishwasher!! It won't hook to that tap. I HATE IT. I need a bigger kitchen with more space for two people to be in the kitchen at once and a normal tap on the sink.

Fourthly, my dining room, or the lack thereof. This little cubby hole is the entirety of my dining room it is too small but the fact that there is nowhere else in this house that my freezer will fit means that I can't even get use of this space. I have to put my kitchen table in living room and my freezer here. I HATE IT. I need a basement for storage and my freezer and a proper dining room.

Number five is a double whammy, this door that you see and this beautiful floor. This lovely shiny black floor smudges when you walk on it, and scratches when you look at it. It is awful! This door you see leads to our neighbours half of this house. It is NOT soundproof and when we are in our living room, we play games to figure out what they are watching or wondering how long it will take them to get their dog to stop barking. I HATE IT. I want a nice normal floor I am not scared to ruin that looks clean when I clean it and neighbours I don't have to listen to all the time.

The thing is, it is a beautiful home and if we were a smaller family, it would probably suit us just fine, but right now? For us? I HATE IT.

Aug 19, 2010

Wishing for a camera cord

We took all my girls to the Splash park today. What a fun time they had. And you will have to imagine the adorableness of three little girls in their swimsuits and of three little girls in their dresses. They were so cute and adorable I could just squish them, and I took lots and lots of pics, but since my camera cord is still missing, you will have to take my word for just how cute they were all in their swimsuits splashing in the water.

Aug 17, 2010

When Your 8 year old gets the camera (take two)

A few times in the last couple of months, Princess Belle has gotten her little hands on the camera. (as a result the batteries are dead, but we will overlook that right now. LOL) I haven't the heart to delete her pics as it is like taking a peak into her world. So, I thought I would share them with you guys. I didn't share the blurry, what-the-heck-is-she-photographing-here pics, but I did share a lot of them.

This was a good day. After we finished homeschool, we put Princess Magpie down for a nap and Princess Belle, Princess Snifflefritz and I went out. I took them shopping for baby food (it is on sale). Then we went to the library. They are selling off some of their books at a quarter each so I got some for Princess Belle, their were some novels in the back for free that I also got some from as well. After that we headed to the park, when we got there, the water park was on, so we ran home and got Princess Belle her swimsuit so that she could run and play in the water. She had a great time and so did I.