Thursday, February 28, 2013

Did you know?


Did you know that  Brielle rubs/pinches/picks at her upper lip when  she's tired? Over and over again for about 30 minutes at a time until she falls asleep. It's  cute and weird all  at the same time haha

Did you know that Brielle says, "No, MY do it!" about 235,000 times a day now?

Did you know  that Brielle likes  to strip down to nothing and then run and find me saying "Look, I naked!"  in the morning? That's my cue to get her dressed for the day :-P

Did you know that  Brielle begs for my food like a little puppy dog, and then when I give in and give her a bite she says "mmmmmmm" in the cutest little voice, making it ten times  harder to resist the next  time she begs?

Did you know that when Brielle gets mad and pouts she repeats "hmpf! hmpf!" over  and over again, just to make sure  we continue to understand just how annoyed she is with us?

Did you know that Brielle now *insists* on sitting in the very back  of the van, in Harper's carseat, on days when I  don't  watch Harper and that seat is empty? Yeah, it's  soooo annoying haha.

Did you know that Brielle asks for  me to lay with her in bed every night until she falls asleep, but 95% of the time I  tell her "mommy has to go into the kitchen and clean up all  the yucky  poop and bugs, and *then* I will  come lay with you" , and she laughs and then falls asleep on her own while waiting for me to come back?  haha. I  said that one time as a joke and it worked, so now I say it every night! :-P

Did you know  that Brielle only likes  to watch Dora, and if Raya chooses one of the other  20 shows taped on our DVR she cries like it's the end of the world?

Did you know that Brielle  climbs on EVERYTHING? Window sills are her  current favorite place  to climb. She  also likes to climb up on the bathroom counter  and I'll  hear  her saying "I'm pretty" to herself in the mirror :-P

Did you know  that Brielle picks her nose and then screams "ewwww, booger!" over and  over  again until I come wipe her finger?

Did you know that Brielle refuses to  hold my hand  in parking lots anymore?

Did you know that I need to  wrap this  up, so I'll save all  of her  other quirks for another  day? :-)


Love you Miss  Brielle!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pro Ballerina!

Perhaps one of my favorite things about having girls are the girlie extracurriculars lol. Now certainly boys can do ballet---Raya actually has one in her class. However there is no comparison to a little girl in a pink leotard! Fingers crossed that the girls continue to love the girlie activities ;-)

So far  Raya continues to love dance class. I'm  so excited for Brielle  to be old  enough to join in---once  she turns 3!!! I'm thinking about maybe even signing Raya up for tap class  next year, because I believe  that at age 4 they  have a beginner  tap class (although I much prefer hip hop or something....I just don't think she's old enough for those classes for a few more  years, at this dance studio anyways).

Anyways, on last Friday we had our second  parent observation day of the year. The kids have  actually improved since  then,  I was  surprised! This  class is simply an intro type class so it's not meant to  really teach hardcore ballet, but they  have learned 1st and 2nd position (I think that's right? haha) and they are doing some balance beam stuff, etc. to work  on balance and coordination. It was a fun class to watch!

Here  are pictures  of my prima ballerina....enjoy!

Running around with another  little ballerina before  class  started....check  out Raya's expression hahaha

Poor  Brielle, she wants to join in so bad!

They let her run around a little before class  started  too :-P

A very hyper ballerina!

Warm up stretches


Look at Raya take this so seriously!!! LOL  She's such a goodie 2 shoes :-P

The perfect skip!

One of the "positions"

The other "position"

Click on this to enlarge it if you must---you have got to see Raya's "cheese" face! She saw me taking a picture  and she stopped what she was doing to pose!!! hahaha...Get back to class Miss Raya ;-)


Balance  beam! The teacher has her arm there just in case for students....Raya  was one of only 2 students  who never had to grab on!

The highlight for Brielle was the paper cone  cups she got to drink water out of while waiting :-P


 
Check  out that amazing leap off the balance beam! haha

Then they were supposed to hop down the line or something and then "leap" over the line. Raya's leaps were hilarious

Her second leap!

The  best part of the whole thing though was  the end...they are supposed to get a sticker and then "curtsey" ....well  the  little girls in front of her did a proper  little  curtsey and then Raya goes up there and honestly people, she SQUATTED like she was either about to deliver a baby or go to the bathroom LOL. The teacher laughed and acted like she always does that!

So in summary, Raya is a prima ballerina and has stellar balance beam technique and leaping abilities.....but I'm  signing her up for remedial curtsey classes  ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Raya---Speech update!

So I'm not  sure if  I've mentioned  this  yet on the blog, but we have had  some (minor) concerns about Raya's speech--primarily "stuttering".  However, what Raya does isn't really what  you think of when you picture a kid who stutters....it's more that  she just struggles with her fluency and tends to repeat words/phrases....the type of stuttering that can make a story take 20 minutes to tell instead  of 5 ;-)

We asked to be referred to get a speech evaluation and it ended up taking months to hear back  due to some communication errors, but last Friday we finally  had our initial meeting---it went well!

It was hilarious to me because I used to work closely with speech pathologists when I worked as a school psychologist...and as she was going over my parental rights and showing me the evaluation consent forms, etc. it totally put me right back  to when I did the exact same things with parents I used to work with haha. So weird!

Basically the speech pathologist is going to do a typical 60 day eval to see  if there is any reason why Raya would need actual speech services. Based on her initial meeting I  highly  doubt she'll  qualify for anything, but I'm glad we are just double checking! I  kept telling Lee I'd rather look back and think "it was so funny that we were worried about her speech ---she talks so well now!"  ....rather than look back in two years or something and think "man, I wish we would have had her checked a long time ago---we wasted so much time when she could have gotten some help!"

But long story short, the speech pathologist basically  said that Raya has a slight /s/ lisp and she distorts or substitutes  some sounds like /l/ and /r/  ....which are all totally typical at this age....and they aren't expected to have these mastered until ages 5-8 years, depending on the letter sound. So once Raya  is in first grade if she continues to do  these things *then* she would need some speech services, but at this time she said that the only true "error" Raya has is that she leaves off the ending /k/ sound in words ....like in "truck"....so they are going to work  with her on that over this 60 day period.

The great thing is that this speech pathologist already goes to Raya's preschool once a week to work  with other  kids, so she just added Raya to her list and checks in on her now too.

As far as the stuttering, she still has to do more evaluation on that. She said in general kids this age often stutter/have fluency issues when they are trying to tell stories and get excited, etc. She said  Raya  does a lot of high level thinking/talking which then it's not uncommon for her thinking to get ahead of her speaking. Apparently the preschool teachers  told her  that Raya did more stuttering at the beginning of the year, but now they notice it mostly during large group sharing and stuff. So anyways, they are going to work with her a little and they told us to just make sure Raya doesn't think we are putting time constraints on her (i.e. don't tell her "hurry up, mommy has to cook  dinner so tell me your story real quick") ...because obviously  if she feels rushed it can cause more fluency issues.

....and then the assessments they do in the future will let us know the % of time that Raya is fluent vs. nonfluent...and if she is significantly less fluent than other kids her age she could possibly qualify for services next year just for fluency (not for the letter sounds, because like I said, I guess  the issues she has for sounds are just developmental for her age).  So far it doesn't sound like she's going to be considered significantly less fluent because they keep telling me that about half her preschool class does the same sort of "stuttering" and that it's mainly just the age. (Raya clearly stutters more than your average 3 year old, but it just looks unlikely that it's *significantly* more.)

Anyways, sorry for the long rambling post! I just wanted to document this so that in the future if Brielle starts doing the same thing I can look back  and remember what they told me haha :-)  And I will update in 60 days when I hear back about whether Raya will need any speech next year or not!

(And I  was  happy to see  this in the email i got today from the speech pathologist:

" She's a really hard worker and is fun to work with! We are going to have fun :)"

   ...So proud of  Miss Raya--I"m glad she worked hard and did  everything she was asked to do!)

And now, since  I can't  leave you hanging without a picture, check  out these cute dresses I  got for $2.99 at the Children's Place outlet  this weekend!! That's cheaper than a pair of sock you guys :-P  No idea where we will wear them, but I couldn't  pass them up for so cheap!  (And they run SUPER small...Brielle  is normaly a size 24 month and she's wearing the size 4 in the big girl section for this dress!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring's HOT color --- Trendy Tot Tuesday!

Today I'm linking up again with Table For Three and Mrs. In Training for Trendy Tot Tuesday! (And  yes, it's still  technically Monday my time, but I guess the "benefit" of me staying up super late sewing Etsy orders is that I get a head  start on my post hehe. And guess  what?!?! I won the giveaway last week for the Target gift card--waahoo!! Perhaps I will  need to buy my tots something trendy with it ;-)

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In thinking about the clothes I've been stashing away for spring/summer I realized that I'm drawn to one particular  color this year. I'm officially declaring it the hottest color this spring/summer!

YELLOW :-)

I  know a lot of people think yellow is hard to pull off. But if ever there was a time to pull off the hard-to-pull-off colors it's now---when you are 3.5 years and 2 years old :-P  I think the girls look adorable in yellow and it's such a happy sunny color!

Here are the girls modeling some of my favorite yellow outfits we have! The "modeling" took  place on various different days so excuse the craziness :-) I cannot wait until the weather warms up because  I'm so sick of our winter clothes!

Here is a NEXT outfit--not sure what line it's from because  I bought it used...I think it's 1-2 years old. Love the vintage feel. One of my favorites for Brielle!


How adorable is the  back?!



Like  I said  for last week's Trendy Tot Tuesday I LOVE Gap, but I almost  always buy used. I bought t his dress used for Raya...a maxi dress---she looks so grown up!

(Please excuse the stained  red face from her popsicle :-)




I got this swimsuit for  about $2 at Target last year when they  clearanced them out. Back  when my yellow obsession was just beginning to surface ;-)

This  was  the same red popsicle face  day :-P

And now check out the outfit I picked up at Carters recently for Brielle---I die of cuteness...this whale is adorable!

It's  a little big now...bought it with plenty of room to grow since summer is still months away :-P The  whale is appliqued---not screenprinted. It's super cute! There is also a pink/gray bird version and a pink/green frog version of this outfit. Available in baby girl and kid girl sizes! 
I hate paying more than like $5-8 for Carters since  it has hardly  any resale value, but it was on sale and I had a coupon so I went for it. The cuteness clearly shows I  made the right call ;-)

Raya has a Hanna Andersson playdress in a similiar  color scheme too. This is the same brand as that red and white playdress I had to hide this winter haha...she thinks they are so comfy

It's hard  to  see the  matching shorts in this  picture, but they  are yellow!
Then we also have this 3/4 sleeve tunic from Carters this spring---it's a heavy (almost sweatshirt like) material so it's perfect for our cool spring weather. And yellow and blue/aqua of course---my favorite! hehe



And our last Carters items are  these yellow and gray shirts (the yellow bottoms are Old Navy---I need  to get Raya a darker yellow pant, but  we just happened to have these on hand for the fashion show :-)

I love yellow and gray!

I can usually get them  to model one  outfit pretty well...attempting multiple outfits at once turns into a nightmare haha

You can  see  I got a 3T shirt.  Brielle  is a 24 month now  and  I've been buying 2T for summer...but both this shirt and the whale shirt ran small  so I got 3T. Just a heads up if you decide to order too! :-)

Then lastly, here are the coordinating  dresses from my favorite brand Naartjie! My daily readers  have  already seen these---but once again, loving the yellow!

And once  again, they are currently a little  too big. Hoping the girls  grow! :-)
 
So what is YOUR favorite color for this spring/summer? Anyone else  loving yellow or do you predict a different "hot" color?! :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Time For Tots

First off, thanks to everyone for the comments on Brielle's vlog post---that was fun! I'll try to take more videos from time to time :-)

Secondly, I don't believe any of you who said you weren't jealous of my snow in the last blog post :-P You're secretly wishing you had wet soggy shoes and something to shovel, don't lie!

Tonight though I want to share a really cool shop with you all---one that I shared waaaaay back when Raya was little, but I ordered another kit recently and it reminded me of how cool the shop is so I want to share again!

The shop is called Time for tots....you can find them on fb and Etsy, but their biggest selection of kits is on there website here Time for Tots

Basically they make little learning kits for kids! I got Raya her first kit when she was around 20 months old or so. They make kits designed for toddlers (level 1) and recently started offering level 2 kits for older kids!

The thing about these kits is that they aren't rocket science, but I will glady pay the money for them if it means I don't have to spend 3 hours of my own time thinking of activities, printing/cutting/laminating, and then buying various supplies etc. Seriously, at first the kits might seem a little expensive (I think they range from $15-25 each), but when you think about what your time is worth it's really not much at all!

The kit I most recently ordered was for Raya and it was a name kit---basically fun practice spelling/writing her name! She can spell her name outloud, but I could tell she didn't fully understand what she was spelling, and she still needed help writing her name completely on her own, so I thought this would be a fun kit for her. She loves it!


I had seen this name kit on Etsy about 6 months ago and kept thinking "oh, I can make something like that some time!" .....fast forward 6 months and I still hadn't  made anything lol. Like I said, these kits are great for us moms who have limited time in the day and want to spend that time actually *using* the activities rather than cutting/pasting/preparing the activities :-P

Here is a better look at some of the stuff in this name kit

The kits come with EVERYTHING you need---even markers, etc. This kit has a fun "roll your name" game, flower pots where you "plant" seeds that have the letters of your name on them and then "grow" flowers that also have the letters of your name on them...there are tracing activities, lots of manipulatives for learning the letters of your name, etc. Everything comes in a case with instructions for each activity too!

Sounds super fun right?! Well, if your child is too young to learn her name, or already knows his name, no fear because there are tons of other kits!!! There is also a "kit  of the month" club where  you can save money by buying a 3 month subscription, and you'll get an exclusive kit automatically sent to you each month! (I'm very tempted to do this :-)

Here  is one example of an  early toddler learning kit (for like Brielle's age) Toddler Busy Box

Here is an example of a kit a little more advanced Beginning letter sounds

They offer a holiday themed kit for each holiday too! Easter peeps learning kit

They have kits geared towards  boys or girls...and for older kids too! Here is an older boy themed kit Superhero level 2

They  also sell sensory tubs! Great for the really  little ones especially :-) I spy colors sensory tub


There are TONS MORE too---check out the website!!! I got Raya one to go in her Easter basket  one other year....you can see my blog post from back then about it here


***I  no, I didn't receive any free items or money for plugging this cool store---but hey, if they happen to read this and want to send me something I'm totally open to it! ;-) ***


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Aren't you jealous of this SNOW!?

All  of my readers from warm climates may typically have the  upper  hand...with  all  your fun outdoor trips and non-jacket weather even in February, while  we're here in Iowa bundled up and  freezing...

BUT you can't  take  cute snow pictures in your front yard! Na-na na-na boo-boo ;-)  

Friday we didn't wake up to nearly  as much snow as they had predicted, but we got plenty to play in! And while I don't normally like being cold and wet, it was actually pretty "warm" and not windy on Friday which made for some fun snow play---and cute pictures. Enjoy!



Snow angel!


Her  short little legs had some trouble walking  in the snow :-P

"mom, help!"




"Wait, where's my glove?"

"OMG, my glove is gone and my  hand is going to fall  off!" :-)

Raya was climbing  all around this  tree on a big  pile  of snow...

...and then  she fell over  and got stuck haha

She was very interested in these  red berries!




Poor Brielle  had no chance of reaching the berries.

Sometimes it sucks to be little :-P