"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

We live on the east coast and so will most likely be effected by hurricane Sandy over the next 48 hours.  We will not be hit as hard as other areas, but expect some power outages to come our way.  I have to say, I'm much more comfortable with this storm.  I remember last Snowtober... I mean October, when we had a freak snow storm that took out our power for 7 days (See my post HERE) .  We didn't expect the storm we got, and were not really prepared for the damage that occurred   This time we are ready!  So what have we been doing to prepare for the hurricane?

  • We brought all of our lawn furniture, toys and swings into the shed.  
  • We put the garbage can behind the shed so it is more sheltered.
  • We filled up every little gas tank we had and made sure our generator was filled and in working order.
  • We filled both of the gas tanks in our cars.
  • We made sure we had plenty of water.  (Single bottles and jugs)
  • We made sure all of our fire alarms and carbon monoxide detector were working and had good batteries in them.
  • We made sure we had plenty of flashlights/battery powered lights with extra batteries for each.
  • Made sure we had batteries for a radio.
  • Stocked up on paper plates, cups and utensils.
  • Made sure we are stocked up on toiletries and diapers (for Peanut).
  • Checked out our supply of non perishable food (I have a rubbermaid bin downstairs packed with extras in case of a storm).
  • I also pre-made as much food as possible and froze it (the reason for the generator).  This includes breads and pre-made sauces.
    • When the power goes out for a prolonged period of time we cook on our grills.  I sauted mushrooms, garlic and onion and froze them in olive oil.  All we will have to do is put them into pasta, rice or quinoia that we boil on the grill to add a bit of extra nutrition and flavor.  You can also do this with fresh herbs.
  • We stocked up on snacks/drinks.
  • I made sure we had plenty of activities for the kids while we are stuck in the house.
  • We also got out our "weather" tent.  This is a small tent for the kids that we set up as a fun treat to play with during a hurricane or noreaster.  It gets warm pretty quick in the tent so it helps keep us warm when we loose power and it's cold out.
Our "weather" tent.
  • I try to get a new movie or 2 while I'm out as another special activity for the kids.
  • Do ALL the laundry and dishes in case we loose power.
  • I also made a yummy warm supper last night (Potatoes stuffed with bacon and onions) and a big warm breakfast this morning (french toast)
I also came up with an alternative homeschool lesson plan for today.  Today we are learning about hurricanes! (Of course!)  Here are a couple of sites I found for kids:

Hurricane coloring pages
A kids guide to hurricanes and hazardous weather
Hurricanes 101 Video
Weather Wiz Kids
Enchanted Learning- Hurricanes
A Teachers Guide- Weather
Sesame Street- Hurricane Kit (For after a hurricane)

Hurricane Irene: What we did

SO that's our hurricane prep in a nutshell.  We pray everyone stays safe!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trouble in ballet

Do you see that???  Yup, that's my Sassy in ballet...looking up someones skirt.  I was hoping (and praying) that ballet would go smoothly, but I guess I wasn't thining.  I forgot that Sassy has never been in a "typical" class of any kind.  She is used to therapy, which is centered on Sassy and when she would get bored, they would follow her need and adapt to her.  I also didn't take her sensory issues into consideration.  Ummm...is it a good idea to put a child with SPD in a room that echos and all 3 walls are made of mirrors. hmmm...okay, so maybe I should have thought that one through a little more.  I was so excited that she no longer needed therapy that I couldn't wait to get her into a class with her peers.

She has admitted to me that she is bored in ballet and it is time to look for something new to try.  She also has let me know that she doesn't want to quit (wooohoo!).  The teacher (who is aware of Sassy's diagnosis) recently pulled me aside and asked me if I had any suggestions to help Sassy while in class.  After much brainstorming with my mom ("Nana"), we came up with a plan.  We would have Sassy play in front of a mirror to get used to the mirror, and we would practice waiting.  I talked with Sass about the plan and it semmed things were good.  Well, that is until Wednesday came and I realized we hadn't done any of it. (grrrr....I'm aggravated with myself but trying to cut myself some slack, it's not like we don't have anything going on.)  We took 10 minutes before we left to practice waiting and she did well.  That day back at class she did well and I relaxed a bit.  The following week she did "okay" (that is when this pic was taken). 

 Last week was AWFUL! She was all over the place!  You could tell the other kids in the class were aggravated with her, she was obviously a disruption in the class.  Then when the teacher wasn't looking (and I was focused on Peanut at the time) she found her way into something she shouldn't and bumped her head.  The teacher took her out of the class crying.  Her head was fine, but the teacher had mentioned that Sassy had said she needed to use the potty.  I checked her head, then dragged her to the bathroom.  She threw a fit.  I then had to practically carry her out of the building kicking and screaming.  She was upset because she wanted to go back to class, but at this point it was over anyway.

Now tomorrow is Wednesday and I just don't know what to do.  I don't want to pull her from class because it's good for her to learn how to act in these types of settings.  I also don't want to show her that when things get tough you quit.  My problem is that I don't want her to disrupt the class for the other girls.  They all paid for the class just like we did, and I don't really know when to draw the line with her.

So that is my ballet "trouble"  Thoughts?  Suggestions?


Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekly wrap-up: A is for Apple (MFW)

This past week in our homeschool we were working on the letter A for Apple Unit.  I was SO excited that this unit lined up with Apple Picking season here in New England...until the rain started...no apple picking for us!  We still had alot of fun though!

Peanut doing his "dailies"
Sassy doing her "dailies"
We did all of our work from My Fathers World Kindergarten.  This kids are starting to get used to the routine and look forward to school each day.
Sassy cutting out her letter flashcards.

We also used some of our time this week doing some online work on Starfall and ABC Mouse.com.

We work don some outside worksheets too from workbooks we have.  Peanut and Sassy love using the daubers to make letters.

Despite the rain we refused to give up completely!  We went to the farm and bought a bag of apples and used them to make homemade GFCFSF Apple Crisp.  It was DELICIOUS!  I found the recipe HERE.

I couldn't get pictures of everything, but want some more apple ideas?  Check out these sites:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cloth Diapers and Older Toddlers.

About a month ago we had a guest blogger write an introduction to cloth diapering called Cloth Diapering 101.  I had asked her to write about cloth diapers because I knew she had a ton of knowledge about the subject, and because I had recently jumped into the wonderful world of cloth diapers with our 2 children.  

Why? Well, for a number of reasons.  First, to save money! Peanut is now 5 (and 2 years into potty training...we'll get it someday!) and Sassy (at the time) was showing no interest whatsoever.  I honestly was sick and tired of paying for them.  Our second reason was because of chemicals.  No matter what disposable diaper you chose, there are chemicals.  Now I'm not saying there are no chemicals involved in cloth diapers, but the amount is significantly less and you have more control over it.  Third, I was a little curious.  When I thought of cloth diapers, I thought of the white cloth, folded and pinned to a child.  I have a close friend due with twins who is planning to use cloth diapers, and her research spiked up my interest.  I learned quickly that cloth diapers are definitely still around, and boy things have changed!

So, I jumped in and bought some cloth diapers.  The first thing I tried was Gro-via.  I purchased them new at a local store.  They were the cutest things I had ever seen!  I loved them!  I soon learned that you have to wash the diapers a certain amount of times before using them (if you don't I promise you will have leaks until they have been washed a good 3-6 times), and that you can't use just any detergent, you have to use certain types or you could ruin the diapers.(For more info click HERE. )  It was obvious to me that my biggest issue was going to be size.  I bought  the largest size of the Gro-via's I could get and yet they still were a little too small.  3 weeks ago I could squeeze Sassy into them, but now they just don't fit.  On to my next attempt.

I then bought 2 Bumgenius diapers, one size with snaps.  I also bought a pack of inserts.  At first I really wasn't a fan, but now I love them!  I actually use them at night with my kids when they sleep.  They are really too bulky during the day, but work great at night with some doublers. (Right now I'm just using organic cotton doublers and it's working good!)

I was still on the search for something not as bulky that would help with potty training.  I had a lot of moms tell me not to waste my money, but I KNEW my kids were going to be in them for a while, and that it would be worth my investment.  During the day, at home I put my kids in a pair if cotton underwear, or training pants.  I was able to talk with Kim over at Green Earth Baby Works .  She was a WEALTH of information. (If you are looking to order from somewhere I would suggest going through her.  She is so honest and knowledgeable, and I'm all about supporting small businesses.)  After discussing options with her, I made the decision to try a few different types of "pull-ups".  I ordered 4 sets of Flip Trainers and the side extenders and fell in LOVE!  We use these every day!  If we are home I will have in 1 insert.  If we go out I throw in a second insert to be safe.  They are not nearly as bulky as some of the others we had tried, they fit both children well and they seem to contain messes very well. I also tried the GroVia Trainers with the side flex panels and again, fell in LOVE!  These are great on their own for little occasional accidents and can hold an insert for a little extra absorbency.

Another obstacle I encountered was what to do with a loose stool.  Peanut still has tummy troubles and so that can make cloth a little more difficult.  I found these wonderful little diaper liners which helped make my life MUCH easier!

I'm still new at this and learning.  By the time I am really comfortable with it, the kids will be potty trained (finally!), but it still has saved us money in the long run and have been better for the kids a well. I recently found some left over disposables and used them on Peanut for a day for convenience and his skin broke out terribly!  I won't do that again, that's for sure!  All I have to say is that it IS possible to cloth diaper with Autism and I have to admit,  I LOVE cloth diapers!