Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Introducing our Newest Addition

Last week, I shared some of my thoughts on the night before our daughter was born.  The next day, we welcomed our 5th child (and first girl) on Friday, July 18th at 1:46pm.  I went into the hospital that morning for a scheduled induction because of high blood pressure and she was here about 5 hours later.  It was a very straight-forward labor and easier in many ways than my last delivery!

The first epidural did not work and I might have soldiered through without anything, but right after we arrived they asked me if I would be willing to have a student nurse view my labor and delivery.  It was his first time viewing a birth and he was so nervous that no one would let him watch because he was male.  It sounds silly to say, but I was more willing to try the second epidural because I couldn't bring myself to scare this poor kid (and how old do I feel that the college-aged student nurse is now a kid to me??!).  The second epidural ended up fully kicking in right after I gave birth, but it worked enough that I was able to deliver without much fuss.  Thankfully, my little princess only took 3 pushes and I was so happy that my husband and my mother were both there for the birth this time!

And, here she is world:
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Catherine Alice ("Kate")
8 pounds 8.6 ounces
20 1/2 inches long

My husband has wanted a Kate since our first son was born eight years ago.  She gets the name "Alice" from my mother, who is thrilled to have another granddaughter after 25 years.

My other boys came to the hospital to visit their baby sister the next day.
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They were so excited.
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One of the sweetest gifts we received was from my mother who brought me a pink rosebush to plan in Kate's honor and flowers in these pink booties that were given to me the day I was born.  For as long as I can remember, these booties have been in a china cabinet in my mother's house and now they are proudly displayed in mine.  Hopefully, I'll be able to pass them to my daughter one day when her first daughter is born.
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Now, we're home and adjusting to life with a newborn in the house again.  Her big brothers are infatuated with her and her Daddy is over-the-moon to have his baby girl.  We are still traveling back and forth to the hospital every day for bilirubin tests and hoping that her levels will go down soon so we won't have to be readmitted to the hospital.  In the meantime, we are enjoying all the snuggles we can get.
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Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear from you in the comments and have you join us back again!   

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rubber Ducky Letter Learning Water Activities for Kids

This month, the All Things Kids bloggers are bringing you a series on Learning With Water Play.  Water is such a simple way to grab your child's attention and Summer is the perfect time to let them get wet and have fun learning.  You'll find lots of great ideas for this month's theme from the other ATK bloggers at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Crayon Box Chronicles, Sugar Aunts, All Done Monkey, House of Burke, Fun A Day, Inspired by Family, and Where the Imagination Grows.
Learning with Water Play Homepage
My kids absolutely love playing with water sensory bins and our water table .  Lately, we've been incorporating learning activities into our water play.  These activities using the rubber duckies leftover from my son's pirate party were a huge hit with the daycare kids!
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our Last Day as a Family of 6

This morning began like any other, albeit a little earlier than most.  I made the bed, got dressed, started a load of laundry, and made a list of all the things I had to do today.  As I went about the morning, I felt you kicking and it hit me that this is the last day that we'll be a family of 6.  This is the last day that I'll feel you rolling and stretching inside of me.
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You, my little princess have, by far, been the most difficult of my pregnancies.  Even worse than the first where I threw up for the first 4 months.  Maybe it's because I'm older now, this body doesn't bounce back like it used to.  Maybe it's because I used this pregnancy as an excuse to cave to all my cravings for late night nachos and ice cream.  Maybe it's because of the high blood pressure, the severe anemia and the swelling, but my body is screaming at me that this is the last one.  And, now that it's almost over, I find myself trying to hold on to each kick and hiccup.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cheerio Worms - Simple Fine-Motor Skill Activity for Toddlers

Every time it rains, my kids become obsessed with worms. We watch them wiggle and crawl across the driveway and then stop every few feet on the way back from the bus stop to watch them make their way back to the grass. I love their curiosity. Towards the end of the year, we did a few worm crafts and read some books from the library to help us learn more about these interesting creatures.

One of their favorite books was Diary of a Worm .
After reading that book, we made this fun W for Worm art using construction paper and yarn.
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Then, we created our own worms out of Cheerios.  This was such a simple activity using things that we already had in the kitchen.  My Daycare kids then used their worms to act out scenes from the book.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shell Names - Beach Sensory Activity and Homemade Sand Recipe

This Summer has been filled with beach and ocean activities. While looking up different activities, I came across this Shell Letter Matching activity and I just knew that I had to try it with the kids! My Daycare Kids had so much fun with this.  My 2-year-old loved getting his hands into our homemade sand and the older kids loved digging for buried treasure!
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We used our favorite sand and water table to create a day at the beach in this fun learning activity.  To prep for our activity, I took a bunch of dollar store shells and wrote the letters of each child's name on the back using a red sharpie.  Then, I hid the shells along with some colored gems in our homemade sand (see the bottom of this post for our sand recipe).
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The kids had a great time digging through the sand and searching for the letters of their names.  This is a great activity for exploring different textures with the sand, smooth stones, and rough surfaces of the shells. 
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I gave each of them a card with their name on it so the 3-year-old's would have a reference to match their shells to and create their names.  It was fun to watch their excitement when they found their letters and realized that some of them shared letters.  "Look, Mommy, I have an 'a' and Sean has an 'a'!"
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My 2-year-old began packing the shells with sand and using them to create prints in the sand.  The sand is so soft that the kids have returned to this activity several times in the past few weeks.  They've also used it for small world play with their dinosaurs and superheroes.  I love watching their imaginations take over!
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Homemade Sand Recipe (for sand table use):
8 cups wheat flour
8 cups white flour
3 cups baby oil
 *Mix thoroughly in a large bowl 
(I actually made half of this recipe and then had to double it to fill our table)
Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear from you in the comments and have you join us back again!  You can find more ideas for Ocean Activities on our Pinterest Boards. 
Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on our Facebook or Pinterest pages and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dinosaur Ice Dig - Science Exploration for Preschool

As part of our Dinosaur theme, we did this simple ice exploration activity with the kids.  It would be perfect for this hot Summer weather, and it gave us a chance to explore science concepts and develop our vocabulary skills.  In preschool, kids are encouraged to make observations and ask questions.  This is a great activity for promoting these early science skills!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Glittery Fireworks Stamping Art for Kids

With the 4th of July just a few days away, I'm running out of time to share our patriotic crafts. The kids loved this simple painting activity and the results were so festive!  It was especially popular with my 2-year-old who wanted to continue stamping several pages worth of fireworks!
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