Monday, October 31, 2011

Tillery Tot School- Numbers and Review Week(s)

For the last couple weeks we have been reviewing the letters S, E, T, and H as well as learning our numbers. (I forgot to take a picture of our Tot School Board before removing all the things this week.)
To help Seth learn his numbers we worked on our Magnatab. My brother got Seth this cool learning tool for his birthday. It just so happened that The Parent-Teacher Store here in BG sent me a birthday coupon and I was able to get the uppercase alphabet magnatab for half of the original price. We worked with it, too!
We played with a big foam dice (found at Mighty Dollar several years ago) for a while one day. Seth loved to throw it up over and over. He wasn't too interested in counting the dots but that's how it goes sometimes.
Seth has taken an interest in watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse lately so I picked up some Mickey Mouse number flashcards at the Dollar Tree recently. We practiced counting with them. I hid them around the house and then we would go find them and count to make sure we had numbers 1-5. We threw them up in the air and Seth would try to grab the number I would call out (that was very difficult for him). So we had lots of fun with this $1.00 set of flashcards.
My mom let us borrow this String Along Numbers book and we also read several other number books.
We even permanently added some foam numbers to our
Tot School board so that we could count them everyday.
Some of our fine motor activities included:
lacing using pipe insulating foam (similar to pool noodles) that I cut into pieces
and dropping water into a mini muffin tin using an old medicine dropper.
To review our letters we did some name activities. I made paper confetti and we traced over Seth's name with glue several times.
Then we sprinkled the entire paper with the confetti.
It was kind of messy but turned out cute. We used the mess to practice some sweeping.
We used our magnetic plastic letters.
We hunted for the S, E, T, and H and used them to spell his name.We also did some of the activities that we had previously done
here, here, here, and here.
So this week we are moving on to the Letter "I"!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tingling Feet

The tingling in my feet started one week ago. I first noticed it as we were eating at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Jackson. We had worked all day finding family heirlooms and we had settled down to enjoy some family time. I quietly leaned over to Bryan and whispered that my toes were tingling. I didn't want anybody else to know. I didn't want anyone to worry.
In the back of my mind, I knew this could happen, but I was really hoping losing most of the eyesight in my right eye would be it. I think I have been in denial about the reality of this disease. On Monday, it was just the front halves of both feet, but by Wednesday both feet were tingling on the verge of numbness. I haven't lost the ability to walk, it just feels funny when I do.
After being tested for a Urinary Tract Infection (which was negative), talking back and forth with lots of the MS clinic nurses on Tuesday and then again on Thursday, I decided that I would just ride out this flair-up without taking steroids. The steroids would only make any improvement I am going to have happen faster, they don't actually treat anything. I was going to have to stop breastfeeding the entire time I was on steroids plus another seven days. Since this flair-up is only sensory related right now and it is not affecting my balance or hurting my ability to walk, my doctor thought opting out of the steroids would be fine. It's a waiting game with flair-ups and it could be hours, days, weeks, or months before we see how it all turns out. I'm just praying that this time my body will be able to heal completely and the tingling will go away.

Family Heirlooms

My family has been sorting through all of my grandparent's belongings in order to sell their estate in the next few weeks. So last weekend we had the opportunity to go to Rutherford, TN to claim what we would like to keep. My Pepaw and Memaw had so many cool things. There were several items that I would have loved to have but I just didn't have any reason to keep them other than they were cool or slightly sentimental.
For instance, I loved this bicycle speedometer. It was my dad's when he was a little boy. I thought about keeping it for Seth and Silas but it was missing a clamp on the back and we weren't sure it it worked properly. Instead of keeping it, I decided that I would just snap a photo of it.
There were a few other things that I found interesting but I didn't keep like...
this 1937 Singer Sewing Machine.
I do love a vintage sewing machine.
There was also this cool oil can...
a handmade clown made by my Memaw...
an old butter churn...
(I thought it would be neat to hold umbrellas and stuff like that,
but Bryan didn't agree so we didn't take it.)
this cute tea kettle...
these two wooden people ...
(They have been at my grandparent's house on this wooden shelf for as long as I can remember,
so I'm glad I took a picture.)
and lots of large spools of thread.
So what DID we take with us?
This beautiful sewing machine/table...
which now resides in our living room.
It is one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door.
I feel so special to be able to call it mine now.
I also grabbed some small spools of thread.
One box even has wooden spools. I just love it!
This dainty little vase looks lovely in my windowsill.
I gathered up all the old skeleton keys I could find.
(My Pepaw was a locksmith after his sewing machine factory days.)
I picked up several kitchen items including some tiny Tupperware containers.
I found a few pieces of jewelry that I can't wait to wear.
I also found some crafty items. I have big plans for the Altoids containers.
I thought a few more embroidery hoops could be added to our wall.
One of my favorite items that we found thanks to my dad was this "new-to-us" 64 year old toaster. It was given to my grandparents as a wedding present by my great uncle Claude. It sure beats our burnt up toaster and makes the perfect piece of toast, by the way.
I picked up this wooden gavel and a wooden car that Pepaw made.
I just love how crafty both my grandparents were.
Bryan took several tools and there are a few other special things that might show up on the blog sooner or later. It was a special day to be able to go through all the things my grandparents owned. I hope to be able to pass some of these things on to our kids and grand kids one day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

All Aboard the Potty Train!

A few weeks ago, Seth showed a strong interest in using the potty. So in an effort to keep his motivation going we decided to start some potty training. We brought up our little potty that we had been given at a baby shower. After Seth successfully used the potty a couple of times, we decided we needed to step it up a notch. I found a train themed potty chart and we decided to start giving stickers for any successes. We also decided it was time to buy some "big boy" underwear. We made a huge deal about it! Then as a big reward for filling up his potty chart, we thought Seth would enjoy doing something special. He had never been on the carousel in the mall so we took him one evening in hopes that he would think it was super fun. He loved it! So we knew it would be the perfect reward to remind him about each time he added a sticker to the chart. A couple of days into our potty training endeavor it was apparent that Seth wasn't quite ready to control his bladder no matter how often we tried. He was a pro at pooping in the potty though so we decided to keep the sticker chart going but also go back to diapers. He can take his diaper off if he needs to go, but it cuts down on all the messes from accidents until he becomes better at peeing in the potty.
One evening while browsing Pinterest, I saw a special toilet seat made specifically for potty training. Because we have a pretty small bathroom in our house, and our floor space is very limited, we jumped at the chance to have a built in potty seat on our toilet. We found it on Amazon and thought the $30 investment would be worth it especially since we can use it for several years (all the way through Silas' potty training days). Now that we have been using it for a couple of weeks, it was totally worth it!
Here's how it works:
The toilet seat looks like a typical seat closed.
When you raise the lid, the adult seat is the same as any other toilet seat.
But, then when you need the kid-sized seat you pull it down from the lid which is held up with a strong magnet. The especially nice thing about this is, once you close the lid, the kiddie seat clings back into the lid so the next time you lift it, the adult seat is back to being ready to use. That way you and guests don't have to mess with lifting a kiddie seat every time they need to use the bathroom.
We love it and so does Seth. He is so willing to use the new seat, he filled up his chart in no time.
So last night we went to celebrate his potty success. We rode the carousel two times. Once with daddy...
and once with mommy.
As soon as we got home, we started a new chart and Seth is already well on his way to filling up another one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One of the Tough Days

Being a parent can be tough. Yesterday was especially tough and also stressful. Seth had been having some trouble with his teeth, and after having his first dental exam a couple of weeks ago, we learned he needed to be put under anesthesia to fix some of his problems. I had been beating myself up about being a bad parent and wondering how in the world could our sweet boy go from everything being fine to all of a sudden having a mouth full of cavities? I was so ashamed I couldn't even take Seth to the dentist. Bryan had to do it. Well, we found out it that Seth has a genetic problem where he was pretty much doomed to get lots of cavities even with our brushing from the moment he got his first two teeth. We had to "fix it and move on" as our dentist kindly explained. We will have to be very diligent about not letting Seth drink juice or milk in between meals, only water. He has to brush two times a day and later when he learns how to spit without swallowing he will have to use prescription toothpaste. Hopefully later his permanent teeth will come in and not need as much protection as his baby teeth.
Originally Seth was supposed to have the corrective dental work done of the 31st but we got a call late Thursday evening wondering if we could do it on Monday, that is if we could fit in a physical on Friday. We made it all happen and we arrived very early at the hospital yesterday morning. Bryan did all the hard work by going back with Seth for all the prepping while I stayed out in the waiting room with Silas. I held it together pretty well until this little old lady that volunteered at the hospital offered to stay with Silas so that I could go back and join Bryan and Seth. I teared up and told her I just couldn't do it. I didn't want Seth to see me upset because I knew it would just make him upset. She obviously felt bad about making me cry and stayed and comforted me for a while. Almost three hours after we arrived they started the procedure. Two and a half hours after that we got a call that Seth was headed to recovery. After conferencing with the dentist, we thankfully learned that Seth got to keep all four top front teeth. Because those teeth are so thin, it is hard to fill a cavity on them if the cavity is too big. The dentist was unsure of whether he would be able to keep them or not before going in. To be honest that was my biggest fear out of everything. I just didn't want Seth to have to go around without his top teeth for the next five or more years. But they were fixable and we took a big sigh of relief. After fixing 16 teeth in all and sealing them to help prevent future cavities, we thanked our dentist and then finally got to see Seth.
He was in pain and hated the IV in his arm, but after a minute or two he calmed down and drifted off to sleep in the holding area where you have to stay right before leaving from outpatient procedures. Because he actually had an ear infection and cold-like symptoms during his physical he had been placed on antibiotics. Everyone knew that going into the surgery and felt that he would be fine during the procedure, but afterward as he was sleeping he was having trouble breathing. It was like he had a lot of drainage clogged in his throat and upper chest. We tried and tried to get him to cough but because he had a tube down his throat during the dental work, it was sore and he wanted to do anything else but cough. So they decided to do a chest x-ray and because the picture wasn't very clear they had to do another one. By that time Seth had woken up and was eating jello and Popsicles and his breathing seemed back to normal. After the chest x-ray confirmed he had no fluid in his lungs and the nurses monitored him for a while longer we finally got the ok to go home.
Seth went to bed a little earlier than normal but woke up bright and early this morning as if nothing ever happened. He has been going strong all day making lots of messes and having fun. Watching him play makes me thankful that the tough days only come around every so often.
(taken with my phone just before leaving)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Fun

After our trip to the pumpkin patch this year, it was time for The Pumpkin Patch Parable. This year we didn't make it through the story because a friendly neighborhood kitten decided to come join in on the fun. Seth got so distracted we opted to read the story later and let him enjoy the cat while we went through the pumpkin cleaning process.
Later, I carved and painted our pumpkins to make them look like lanterns (an idea found on Pinterest).

I love how they turned out and they fit in perfectly with the rest of our usual autumn decor.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Spy...Brotherly Love

I have had our I-Spy quilt put away for a while, but I thought it would be good for Silas to use for some tummy time and to also see if Seth could actually play I-Spy with it. It took Seth a few minutes to understand how the game worked but then he was identifying things like crazy.
Silas was enjoying just hanging out...
and during his tummy time, I spied some brotherly love.
My sweet boys, I love them dearly.