Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summertime Fun!

This last week seems to have gone by in a blur! We have been busy with lots of activities and crafts. I have definitely noticed a difference in the activities I have been doing with the kids. When I was working, I really didn't have as much time to do craft/sensory activities. I would try and cram them in during the weekend. With all of the family and friend obligations we usually have during the weekend, activities sometimes got pushed to the side. This is a nice change! We found some great activities on the Melissa and Doug website. The one we decided to do was ice and water pirate ships. The kids had a great time helping me make the pirate ships and they also had fun decorating their paper sails (which were kind of a flop once in the water!)

Putting stickers on their sails! Sam did a great job cutting his out
My niece spent the night last night and everyone had a great time! Sam has been super excited about this. She ended up sleeping in his room, and he couldn't have been happier. We took all of the kids to the movies to see Madagascar 3. It was actually a really good movie! The kids loved it, but with popcorn and drinks, it ended up costing us about $60!! Plus that's not paying for Lilly or Ben! It's definitely going to have to be a special treat kind of thing. Today the kids woke up early and we started crafts right away. I bought these dollar water paint booklets, and the kids really enjoyed them. It was kind of hard to get the paint from the little strip of paper on the bottom of each page, so I ended up buying watercolor paints from the dollar store. They worked fabulously! I absolutely love the dollar store! There are so many little thing and things for the kids to do there. My parents bought Sam a small trampoline for his birthday and we haven't had the time to put it together, so my dad did it for us yesterday! The kids are in LOVE with it. Sam was so excited and it's the perfect size for them :) big shout out to my dad for doing that. It's going to definitely provide lots of entertainment, plus I think it will be good for Sam.

Enjoying crafts at 7 in the morning!
Sam jumping on his new trampoline!
In some not so good news, apparently Shaun's insurance is giving his OT trouble about paying for his therapy!!!! I received a call from his therapist telling me her boss has been calling the insurance to try and resolve the problem. In the meantime, she had to cancel all of his sessions!! I am sooo mad! Sam has some fine motor issues, especially with his pencil grip and strength. He has some sensory issues and has REALLY benefited from his OT sessions. Shaun was supposed to call his insurance company today to find out what the problem is. It had better get resolved quickly! I can't send insurance companies. I feel like it is always so difficult to get things to work, and they don't really want you to use your policy. I will definitely update on what we find out.

In the meantime, we are going to be relaxing and experiencing new things this week!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Vacations...Fun, but Exhausting!

We got back from Florida late Saturday night and we are all exhausted! It was a fun trip, but it took a lot out of us. We went with Shaun's parents to Orlando, Florida. We ended up going to Disney world for two days, Seal World, and one day at the beach. The kids had a great time and really enjoyed meeting some of their favorite Disney Characters. They really haven't watched a lot of Disney movies, just Peter Pan and Cinderella. Sam is in LOVE with Peter Pan. He pretends that he is Peter Pan all of the time and loves all things that are related to pirates. Lilly really likes Tinkerbell and Cinderella. So, it made their day when they met them.
The Shaw Family's first time at Disney!

Wow! Disney world sure is exhausting! We only went to Magic Kingdom, but we still saw maybe a sixth of the park. I didn't realize it would take close to an hour to actually get to the park (you have to park your car, catch the tram, then catch the ferry or train). Once we were inside the park, it seems like we had to stop between every ride for food or bathroom or just a rest! I think we will definitely go back, but maybe when its not so hot outside! We bought little fans to clip onto the strollers, so that helped a little bit, but I know Ben was kind of miserable. We brought lots of drinks and snacks to help keep the kids happy. We also tried to save money but bringing a soft cooler with our lunch in it. We would buy a soda and sit in one of the air conditioned cafeteria-type restaurants to get out of the heat for a while. I would definitely recommend doing that if you ever go to Disney World!

Sam meeting his idol 
Poor Ben! It was SO hot!
The beach was really great! The kids loved playing in the water and in the sand. Ben did a great job and loved crawling all over the place. I was afraid he would constantly put sand in his mouth, but he only tried that a couple times. We are going back to Florida in July (I know we are crazy) with my parents. They rented a house right on the beach, so I know the kids will love playing there everyday. I am hoping this is a more relaxing vacation! We only have one big activity planned, so that should help with the relaxation part. My mom has gotten tickets for us to go on an actual pirate ship (well not actual pirates, but an actual ship). Sam is going to LOVE this. I can't wait to see his face when we pull up to the ship. It should be a nice vacation, but I am not looking forward to the long drive. Since the kids have to stop so often it takes a total of about 24 hours for us to get there-It should take around 18. The kids did a great job, but its still a long trip!
They had so much fun! 

I have so much to do around the house, especially since we left in a bit of a hurry and its a big mess now! Oh well, I am sure it will all get done! Before I know it, we will be leaving again,  but I am going to try and leave the house in better shape this time :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Official Week!

Well, this is my first official week as a stay-at-home mom! It's not really going to be a regular week, as I am trying to get everything ready for our vacation Thursday. I am already loving this feeling! Even though I had the summers off at my former job, this feels different. It doesn't feel like a vacation, it feels more real and official! I have been noticing people post some pretty snarky Facebook posts about stay-at-home moms this weekend. I really, really hope that I wasn't like that when I was working. I don't think I was ever rude or looked down my nose at homemakers. I am pretty sure I was just envious and wistful about it. I think I am going to have to get used to the snide remarks, but I sure will stand up to them! I really don't think one is better than the other, it's just what is best for your family and what you can manage. I have wanted this for four years and am so thankful that it has finally happened, that nothing can knock me from my cloud (at least for a while!).

I have a lot I want to accomplish this summer, cleaning and organizing, as well as working on things with the kids. Sam is four and is already reading, so I want to work on improving his reading skills and his handwriting. Lilly still needs to master the basics; recognizing colors, letters, and numbers. Sam was so advanced in those areas that it is hard for me not to worry about her :) I know that she is right where she is supposed to be, but I want to give her the best start possible.

We haven't shared this with a lot of people, but we are pretty sure Sam has hyperlexia. Basically, he has advanced academic skills and an unusual interest in letters, words, and numbers, but has a delay in language and social skills. There is debate about whether hyperlexia is on the autism spectrum or not, but that doesn't really matter to us! He has not been formally diagnosed, but does receive speech (language) and occupational therapy. He is also in a special education preschool classroom to help with his language and social skills. I can not say enough good things about his preschool experience so far. We were so worried when he first started, but he has made so many improvements that I am thrilled with his progress! I cannot wait to see what kind of improvements he makes next year! It's really hard to tell at first that he has any delays, but once you have a converstation with him, you will notice that he uses a lot of learned phrases and has a tendency to repeat lines from shows he has seen. He is such a wonderful, funny, sweet, michevious little boy and we are so lucky that his delays are not more serious. Some days when he is having a melt down, or I have to repeat a direction for the fourth time, I have to remember that!

So that's the plan for this summer; clean, organize, play, explore, and learn!! It's going to be great!