Monday, May 23, 2011
We also have not decided who is going to do my prenatal care. I will be 10 weeks tomorrow and it is a completely new experience for me not to have already seen an OB and have some sort of plan in place. We have narrowed the hospital down to OU and we will probably see one of the midwives there. Our first appointment with one of the Midwives was a bust. Scott really hated her and it just wasn't a good fit. Since there are now 4 midwives at OU, I'm hoping one of them will work out. It would be nice to have everything set before the end of my first trimester.
The other big thing going on right now is that we are about to start building our house. Yes, after two years of working toward this goal, it looks like it is for sure going to happen this summer! It has been seriously stressful to say the least. We have just hit one obstacle after another. Then, when everything finally did come together Scott and I have had a real challenge deciding what house we are going to build. I'm not even sure we are 100% sure yet. Nonetheless, its down to two. We are just waiting on a few last details to make the final selection. I'm just ready to go. It is has been such a long, emotional process andow that I'm pregnant, I just don't have alot of spare brain energy to devote to it!
Prayers for the baby and house are much appreciated!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Even though we have been hoping to conceive, this pregnancy truly came as a shock to me. Last Wednesday we were on our way home from church and I was complaining about how nauseated I had been feeling for the past few days. Scott and Liberty started joking with me that I was pregnant. By the time, we got back to Guthrie I was feeling so paranoid that I stopped at Walgreen's for a pregnancy test. It was about 8:30 p.m., and I took the test immediately when I got home. I really couldn't believe it was positive. It took all my will power not to take the other test immediately. Instead I waited til the next morning. Of course, the second test was positive as well :). Scott and I have never been good at keeping our baby news secret. So, even though I am only 7 weeks, the whole world gets to know :).
Liberty is very excited to be a big sister again. I am so thankful because until recently she wasn't sure she wanted us to have any more children. She didn't leave my side for a full 24 hours after we told her. I really think this is the first pregnancy that she will really remember so it should be so fun. She is also very excited that Emory will get to be a big sister now too :).
As previously stated, I am already feeling quite yucky. It isn't too terribly bad though and I'm hoping it won't get any worse. The morning sickness gets better with every pregnancy, right? Or, is it that the older I get the harder it is?
We haven't decided on prenatal care yet or where we will deliver the baby. Right now I'm leaning toward OU Midwives.
I hope you will join us in celebrating and praying for this new little life!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Our biggest challenges are naptime and bedtime. Somehow we got out of our naptime routine where Emory sleeps in her bed in her room, so this didn't help when she no longer had her comfort object. Sooo, naptime in her bed has been extra rough. Bedtime, of course, is hard too, but since she sleeps with us at night, it hasn't been quite as bad.
Other than that, it has actually been much easier than I anticipated and she doesn't seem too distressed by it. It has definitely been nice not to be constantly searching for binkies ALL the time. I am hoping once we get out of the binky habit that for the first time in two years, we might actually have a baby that sleeps well...hopefully...please...that would be great :).
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It's been almost a year since I updated the homeschool blog. I hate that I haven't been great at documenting Liberty's progress. She has been doing so well and has learned so much this year. First grade has been loads more fun for both of us and I anticipate that Second grade will be even better!
We have been using My Father's World for the past two years. I orginally chose this curriculum because it is an all-inclusive curriculum with very structured and detailed lesson plans. Since I wasn't quite sure what direction we were going to go with our home education, it was a great way to dive right in without a lot of stress for either of us. Two years into it, I now have a much more research under my belt and a much clearer idea of what I want to accomplish with Liberty (and Emory) in our home education. With a more defined philosophy of education, I have decided to go with a different curriculum (more on that later).
I do want to spend just a little time discussing the positives and negatives of MFW. Since my girls are 5 years apart, it will take some serious brain power to remember what I did with Liberty when its Emory's turn. Better write it down :).
1. Structure. It did just what I hoped it would and allowed us to get started and get a feel for home education without a lot of stress.
2. Phonics. The phonics program is absolutely the best. Slow and steady wins the race is definitely the key to this phonics program, but for us it was totally worth the mind-numbing, snail pace. We haven't had a single moments trouble with reading. I don't really know whether to attribute this to the phonics program or a natural reader. I'll give a little credit to both. We will definitely stick with the MFW phonics approach for future students!
3. Bible. The Bible Reader/Notebook was one of Liberty's favorite things and I think she really learned a lot by doing her stories this way. We are taking this concept and modifying it a little for next year.
1. Math. I think the expectations were too low and the program wasn't as rigorous as I had hoped it would be. Unfortunately, I think I waited a little too long, hoping it would get better. We did end up switching to Math-U-See a few months ago. That puts us behind where I was hoping we would be by now. But, that is one of the beauties of homeschool. We can go at our own pace without the pressure to perform. I have full confidence that she will be on target before long. At any rate, I think we have made a good change.
2. Science. I honestly felt like this was a complete waste of time. I think its much more beneficial for children of this age to be experiencing the world around them through a more natural approach. I wish I had had a better grasp on this concept this year. Liberty and I are both getting better and being more perceptive of the world around us.
All-in-all I have been so pleased with Liberty's progress, with the things she's learned, and the strides we have made in developing the model for our homeschool.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Just yesterday she and Scott were playing basketball outside. Apparently in the course of their play, Scott said something like “the most important thing is to win.” Liberty pondered this comment for a little while and came back to Scott and asked him “What does the bible say about winning.” In her little world, it only matters that no one gets their feelings hurt and that everyone has fun. Since the idea of playing to win wasn’t fully computing in her brain, she needed to verify it with a higher authority. I’m one proud mama that she chose the bible to be the deciding authority on the matter! Scott and I read her 1 Cor. 9:24-27 and explained that she should do everything to the best of her ability to honor God. These deep reflections are a constant thing with her and she has such a desire to please people and make sure she is doing the right thing.
She is just about to finish up 1st grade and I have been so impressed with the progress she has made this year. She is a natural reader. It’s one of my favorite things. She struggles a little with the abstract concepts in math, but she is still doing great. We are a little behind in math simply because I decided to change curriculums just a couple of months ago. I’m glad I did though. She is doing great and responding really well. Like a typical child, she doesn’t always like to do her schoolwork, but she is really doesn’t give me too much trouble. She is very excited about 2nd grade. Apparently she will really be a big girl then! I’m also ready. We are changing curriculums and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
She switched from cheer to dance this year with a little encouragement for me. It was both cheaper and closer for her to do dance here in Guthrie. It turned out to be a great thing. She absolutely loves it and seems to have a natural talent for ballet. She is also on a Jazz competition team this year. It has been a lot of fun. Her team attended the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge at Rose State College and they won High Score in the Rookie division. It was the cutest thing ever and she had a blast.
She also started taking piano lessons last week. She has been wanting to do this forever and for some reason or other we just haven’t started. She is so excited. I can already see that making her practice everyday is going to be a little bit of a challenge. Even so, I can tell that she is really going to enjoy it and pick it up quickly!
A couple of weeks ago she got a new rabbit. She named her Sugar. She has been wanting a rabbit forever. I was trying to put it off until we moved, but moving just doesn’t seem to be happening right now. So, the last time we were in Texas, I let her Papa buy her the sweetest the Holland Lop ever. Liberty was insistent that her rabbit be black. Its so funny, she wouldn’t even consider having a rabbit of a different color. We ended up having to drive 2 hours and spent a lot more money on this bunny than anticipated. Her Papa couldn’t resist getting it for her though when she declared that it was exactly the rabbit she was looking for .
Interesting facts about Liberty…
1. Favorite foods are pizza and salad.
2. She gets embarrassed very easily
3. She auditioned for her first musical this year and will perform May 4.
4. She loves Barbies!
5. She loves to wear skirts.
6. She is still wearing a size 6 because she is super skinny.
7. She loves jewelry, especially earrings.
8. Her top career choices right now include such things as, ballerina, pianist, actress, and chef.
9. She adores her baby sister and has finally decided that she would like to have more siblings
10. She is forever making up routines for us to watch her perform. Most of these take place in our backyard.
11. She hates vegetables. I’m proud to say that I got and entire asparagus spear down her yesterday!
12. She is very sassy and thinks she knows everything. She is constantly correcting us.
13. She still prefers to sleep with us although she will sleep in her room whenever we ask her too.
14. She loves to color and draw.
15. Her favorite color is purple.
16. Her favorite animal is a cat.
17. She is super excited about 2nd Grade, even though she has barely finished 1st!
18. She loves to play board games.
She is growing up so fast! She is such a bright, sweet, and sensitive little girl. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for such a special little person.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Emory is 21 months old now. Wow, the time is sure flying and she isn’t a baby anymore. I think I got a little spoiled since she didn’t walk until she was 17 months. I was hoping she would stay little longer. Well, not only is she walking, but she has started to run. Like everything else she does, she has her own style. When she takes off, she ducks her head down and pumps her little arms. She acts like she’s taking off in a 100m dash and its little more than a fast walk. The most super cute thing ever!!!
One of my favorite and simultaneously most hated thing she does is twirl her hair. She’s done it since she was very small. It started out as a way to put herself to sleep, but now she does it all the time. It’s her comfort thing. It’s really cute, but the reason I also hate it is because she twirls her hair into knots. She doesn’t have a lot of hair as it is and the knots are so bad that I have to cut them out. Right now she is sporting what I like to refer to as a layered look. That’s being kind, since I pretty much just hack the knot off wherever it occurs. Thankfully her hair is so thin and wavy that it really doesn’t look that bad. I hope she stops it before her hair gets thicker and more difficult to cut!
Sleepy hair twirling
I finally took her to the pediatrician for her 18 months well-child check. I’ve been terrible about doing this since we don’t have insurance and because I don’t vaccinate. It seemed kind of ridiculous to take her when she was perfectly healthy (and thankfully she has been remarkably healthy)! She was still doing great at 18 months, but I was a little concerned about her speech. She still isn’t talking—not a single word, no Mama, no DaDa—nothing! I have been waiting to take her because it is obvious that she isn’t delayed in any other area. She has also developed a remarkable sign language all her own and is quite capable of expressing herself and letting us know what she needs. Anyway, the pediatrician recommended she be evaluated by early intervention services (SoonerStart). I’m familiar with the services because of Lilly and I knew she would recommend we do it. After her evaluation, it was determined that she is right on target or exceeds her age in every category except expressive language. She scored around 24 months for language comprehension. Again, I had assumed this was the case, which is why I let is go for so long. She will start speech therapy this week. It will be very low key and I will be responsible for making the recommended changes. Her speech pathologist will only see her every other week. I’m great with that and definitely don’t want to do anything more intense at this time.
Our two biggest challenges are still the binky and sleeping. Both are a result of mommy’s overindulgence! I have set her 2nd birthday as the termination date for the binky. I have to get myself geared up for it. I know it probably won’t be as bad as think. She takes great naps. She is down to one nap a day. The problem is nighttime. She is still sleeping with us. She sleeps great with us and we actually don’t mind it most of the time. Scott and I go back and forth about it and still haven’t come up with a good or consistent plan to get her sleeping on her own.
In her bed (with the cat) at naptime
We are really beginning to see her personality develop. She is so like Liberty in a lot of ways, but at the same time very different. It will be interesting to watch them grow. She has a very affectionate and compassionate personality just like Liberty. She doesn’t like to see others hurt and is quick to comfort them. She is still very funny. I think she is definitely going to have a more care-free spirit, unlike our brooding, worrisome Liberty.
Other interesting facts about Emory….
1. She loves shoes. She wants to wear them all the time.
2. She is such a show-off and desires praise from everyone. Telling her she looks beautiful is one of her favorite things.
3. Favorite food is pizza followed closely by rice.
4. Her favorite activity is swinging. Don’t start pushing her unless you intend to stay at awhile!
5. She is finally able to go to her own class during church. Sweet Victory!!
6. She is definitely going to suffer from allergies/asthma just like Liberty did. Let’s just hope she’s grows out of them like her sister did as well!
7. The only other toys she typically plays with are blocks and plastic food. She loves to pretend to cook.
8. Her favorite movie is High School Musical. Is that ok? Am I a bad mom?
9. She loves books.
10. She loves to be outside.
11. She always reminds us to pray before dinner. She reaches for everyone’s hands and smiles really big.
12. She has learned to unlock my iPhone. I’m just glad she didn’t learn sooner.
13. She loves to wash her hands and brush her teeth.
14. Her favorite game is wrestling on my bed.
15. She’s still not the best eater, but her new favorite snacks are cereal bars and granola bars.
16. She’s not crazy about bath time.
17. She thinks it’s really hilarious to wear mine and Liberty’s shoes.
18. She hates it when her hands are dirty. It’s a real pain when she eats with her hands instead of a fork because I have to wipe them off between each bite. Thankfully she is getting really good with her utensils.
19. She loves her Nana and Papa. She is a real Papa’s girl. Funny since we don’t see them all that regularly.
20. She has both ridden and fallen off her first horse. Very scary for mommy!
I just adore her. I am thrilled that God blessed us with another child and that it was her!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I got this great idea from a friend and was so excited to start a new Haas Family New Year’s Eve tradition. I bought 7 bags and labeled them by the hour, starting with 6 p.m. and ending at 12 a.m. Each bag was to be opened on the specified hour and contained a family activity for that hour. Not only would we have a blast, but all the activities and anticipation kept us awake until midnight! All of us had a difficult time waiting until 6 to kick off all the fun.
At 6 p.m. we opened the first bag. It contained all the things we needed to make cookies. We had ritz crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate flavored almond bark. This ended up being a huge disaster! The cookies were a mess and looked terrible. However, they still tasted good and Liberty had a lot of fun making them.
Daddy and Emory sat in the kitchen and watched as Liberty and I made a huge mess!
After cleaning up, it was just about time to open the 7:00 bag. Now that Liberty had a better idea of what was to come, she was even more excited.
The second bag contained a family craft. I tried to think of something we would be able to save and look back on throughout the years. I came up with these ceramic tiles. Again, what seemed like a great idea turned out to be quite messy. However, after a small learning curve, we were able to produce a rectangle tile with each of the girls handprints. Later Liberty would paint and decorate them.
I was very excited about the 8:00 bag. It contained a new game for the family. Playing games is one of Liberty’s favorites and something we do on a regular basis. The challenge is finding a game that all of us will enjoy. Liberty could sit and play games like Candyland and Hi-Ho Cheerio for hours, but Scott and I need something a little more stimulating. I finally settled on Apples to Apples. This game helps Liberty with her reading skills and is a great way to learn the meaning of words. Plus, it can be super hilarious. Even though it was a little above her reading level, she loved it and we all had a great time.
By 9:00 I was ready for a quieter activity. I knew this wouldn’t be as exciting for Liberty as all the other gifts, but I thought it was really important. For awhile now, Scott and I have been saying scripture-based blessings over the girls before they go to sleep. I have been meaning to print them out but just never have. This was a perfect opportunity. Each girl got a sheet of paper with her name written on it. It listed the blessings that Scott and I want to speak over them this year and their scripture reference. I also chose for each girl a specific character trait that I wanted them to focus on this year. I specifically wanted Liberty to focus on not being afraid. I wrote out several scriptures that I thought would help her as she prayed through them this year. Emory was a little more difficult since she is so little and is not old enough to participate on the same level. Instead of focusing on something she needed to work on, I chose something that is already a clear gift of hers. I want to continue to encourage her to be Joyful. I listed the scriptures that support this sweet gift. After we talked about the scriptures and blessings for each girl, we watched a slide show of pictures from the past year. This was Emory’s favorite. She loved watching all the pictures. She kept blowing kisses to the tv.
At 10:00, Emory went to bed. There was no possible way she was going to make it to midnight. Liberty opened the gift by herself. It was a movie and popcorn. It was the perfect gift to get us almost all the way to the 12:00 hour.
At 11:00, Liberty opened a bag that contained candy. I just want to mention that Scott had fallen asleep on the couch by this time and missed the opening of the 11:00 gift. We should have eaten his candy! We saved it for him though and he did wake up about 15 min later. We at the candy and finished watching our movie.
The countdown begins! We opened our 12:00 bag about 10 minutes early. It, of course, contained lots of party stuff—tiaras, horns, party poppers, steamers, and balloons. Emory woke up right before midnight and was able to celebrate for a few minutes before we all headed off to bed after the best New Year’s Eve party ever!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I HOPE YOUR YEAR IS BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
The Haas Family has a few standard Holiday traditions and it seems each year we add a new ones and tweak old ones. We kicked off the holidays this year by heading to my parents house for Thanksgiving. Scott took the whole week off, which is really rare. We decided to drive to Dallas first. We spent the day shopping at IKEA (Scott had never been before) and then spent the night with our great friends, Mary and James. It was nice to have a break in the long drive and when we got up we were only an hour and half from Mom and Dad’s. My sister and I spent the day cooking and preparing for the feast the following day. It was so much fun and we had a blast just hanging out and playing with the kids.
On Friday, we went to Rochester to decorate Lilly’s tree. Scott was able to go with us this time which we all enjoyed since he is rarely with us when we travel to TX. Plus, this was the first time he has seen the improvements that my parents made to our family plots (pouring the curbs and filling in the low spot with dirt). It really has made all the difference and looks so great now. Oddly enough, it was freezing that day so we didn’t spend a lot of time there.
After Thanksgiving it was time to really start gearing up for Christmas. One of our Christmas traditions usually includes going to the tree farm to cut down our tree. Unfortunately this year we had to skip our annual trip to all of our dismay. We simply didn’t have the room this year to put up a big tree. We settled for a 4ft artificial tree. Since we were all a little disgruntled at having to skip one of our favorite holiday events, we put the tree up before Thanksgiving. Liberty also insisted on putting Christmas lights up in the house since we couldn’t put them up outside this year.
Something we have done for several year now is go ice skating downtown. This is Liberty’s favorite thing to do. She talks about it all year long. Again this year, it was so warm that the ice in the rink was actually melting. I was a lot more like trying to water ski on ice skates! Liberty was soaking wet within minutes. She is finally old enough that falling down isn’t all the fun it used to be. She had a lot of fun, but she didn’t argue when it was time to leave.
Scott has refused to skate for the past couple of years. Instead, he hung out with Emory and watched. We also attempted to visit Santa Clause the same day. This is a hit and miss tradition with us. Because we don’t actually teach the girls to believe in Santa it usually isn’t a high priority. This year, however, Liberty insisted on going. We went to North Pole City because we had been told that he was the best Santa. From what we saw it appeared to be true. However, after waiting for over an hour we gave up! This girls had fun looking around the store and riding on the train though.
Christmas cards are my favorite part of the holidays. I love sending them and I love receiving them! We ended up taking three different Christmas pictures. Our first shoot went very badly and all the pictures turned out terrible. The second shoot was a winner. The girls looked so beautiful in their Christmas dresses. We ended up using that photo for our cards. However, when I went to address them, I realized I was 10 short. We ended up taking the third picture at church one night. It turned out so great too and we used that pic for our last 10 cards.
This year during the Territorial Christmas here in Guthrie, Liberty performed in The Nutcracker in a Half Shell with her dance studio. She was so beautiful! She did a great job with her routine and was so proud. She had two different performances and after each we gave her flowers. I think she thought this was the best part! It was her feel so special.
Finally, Christmas Eve! We celebrated by attending the candlelight service at our church. It was such a great kid-friendly service and Liberty really enjoyed it. When we got home we had dinner and a birthday cake for Jesus.
In and effort to save time, Liberty decided we should buy a pre-made cake from the store. She thought this one was the most beautiful! She had to add her own decorations though.
On Christmas Eve the girls always open pajamas. This year I found the cutest matching snowman PJs. They looked so cute.
Christmas morning Liberty managed to sleep unitl 8:30. Since we stayed up late the previous night, I had to wake the baby up so we could open gifts. Scott and I try very hard to keep the gifts to a minimum and make them thoughtful. This year was especially fun because Liberty had been wanting a scooter since she broke her little one this past summer. So, of course, we got her a new “big girl” scooter. I also decided to get her a sewing machine. She definitely wasn’t expecting it and was totally thrilled. Emory was easy this year. She got a baby and a little radio. She was just happy to open something.
Liberty’s reaction to opening her sewing machine.
After we opened presents, we got ready and headed over to have Christmas dinner with our good friends, Ellen and Spencer. Of course, there were more presents there too. We had a great time and came home full and happy for afternoon naps.
We had an amazing Holiday season this year. We were all so happy and so blessed.