"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Hobby–Quilting

Ever since Zoya blogging has definitely taken a backseat, and I have the blogging back log to prove it. I am even giving serious thought to shutting this down. Since I started, I have had at least 10 friends and countless other people I have stalked abandon their blogs, and I fear that I am about to join their numbers. It used to be such a fun way to keep in touch, but now I just feel like I’m a holding a phone and saying “Hello, hello, are you there? Can you hear me?” I only have one friend who still maintains her blog as best she can. It’s not that much fun almost all by myself. Blogging seems to be officially out. And I apologize because I’m sure my will-I-won’t-I debate on blogging is probably pretty frustrating to read.

My new hobby is that I have taken up quilting!  It started when I was trying to find sister-room bedding for Isla and Gemma now that they are sharing a room. There’s no rush because Gemma is still in the crib and Zoya is in the pack-n-play, but I just couldn’t find anything I liked, and I especially couldn’t find anything that was girly and RED and not terribly expensive. I have always wanted to learn how to quilt, but I just needed the motivation! Thankfully I have an awesome mentor and best friend (see here and here) who I have been calling up frequently to exhaust her quilting knowledge. For my first quilts, I am just keeping it simple, simple with a patchwork pattern of a rainbow heart.

Here is the plan that I made up on Excel. All of the colors will be different fabric pattern in the same shade. Emily has pretty much convinced me to use strips in a single white fabric around the heart.

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It’s not difficult for someone who knows how to do it, but considering that I didn’t even know how to use my sewing machine before this, I am starting with quite the handicap. I have all my fabric and my equipment and even my station set up! So far I have enlisted the aide of another friend in town to come over to show me my how to use my sewing machine and I have been preparing my fabric and cutting my squares, which is pretty time consuming.

Doesn’t it just look like candy? I had a lot of fun picking it out, and Isla was a great helper! She loves to watch me work on it, and I have promised to teach her how to do it once I learn.

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So that’s what I’m doing lately and I’ll let you know how it progresses!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

She Fooled Me!

Look who sat up today! Was it not two days ago that I was saying that she was a long way off from sitting up?

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Also, she was up quite a bit night last night. She would not sleep, but she cuddled so sweetly on my chest. I love these days! We woke up to fine her first tooth poking up. So no more gummy grin, but I am sure I will love her toothy smile even more.

Here are her 6 month stats. Her height came out as less than her height at 4 months. Her pediatrician just said, “That’s not right. They didn’t measure it right.” However she did not remeasure it so who knows how tall she.

Height: 24.8” – 19%

Weight: 15 lb 8 oz – 40%

Head: 43.0 cm – 66%

Zoya has us eating out of the palm of her hand! She is just the sweetest little thing, then again, so was this adorable little hellion once upon a time…

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<Sigh.> They get big so fast!

Kindergarten Decisions

The big day is drawing nearer… the day when my baby starts kindergarten!

I have been praying about Isla’s education since she was born, and it is a constant worry to me. I am just trusting that the Lord has it all figured out, but I have a few big fears, especially if we continue to move as much as we have. My primary fear is that her (and her sisters’) education will be spotty and incomplete. My second biggest fear is that we will not be able to provide her with educational options that challenge her. And finally I have a fear that we will be forced to pursue secular options. This isn’t a great fear as she’s younger, but as she gets older, I would prefer for her to attend a school where God and His word are revered. I firmly believe as the author of life and creator of the world we live in, no subject can be thoroughly explored with acknowledging God and the part He plays in it.

When Isla was born, a friend sent me Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning (I wrote about it here) and I knew from that moment on that in my dream world, Isla would have a classical education with a Christian worldview.

The public schools in Midland are terrible, and so the private school options are fairly robust. It reminds me of New Orleans in this regard. We have found the most wonderful school here in Midland and I am so overjoyed!!! Isla was accepted this past week, and I keep telling Nick that I have never been so content anywhere that we have lived because a major fear of mine has been alleviated completely. This school is going to be tough to beat wherever we move!!!

Here are some things that I love about it:

  • It’s Christian. It was founded by several believing families from different denominations in Midland, one of whom also helped found our church. I am so thankful that Isla will hear the word of God and about Him everyday with teachers who are not afraid to pray with her.
  • It’s classical. If Isla stays at this school through high school, she will move into the rhetoric phase of the trivium. I could say more about what I love about the trivium, so I’ll keep it to my favorite phase. Classes are not held in the classic lecture style where students listen while a lecturer speaks. Instead they rely on the Socratic method where a student has to participate to pass! There is a lot of discussion and debate in each classroom. For graduation, each student must write a thesis paper and defend it before a board. Pretty cool.
  • The final clincher that helped me know it was perfect is that it is a university model school through the 6th grade. Isla will have two home days on Monday and Wednesday where I teach her based on curriculum and materials handed out by her teacher. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for a half day Friday, she will be in classes like a regular school. I love this! I love that she will have a chance to learn from someone who cares for her and her little heart and mind as much as me, but that I will get to be involved as well. I hate the thought of her being away from me for so many hours at the age of FIVE. My personal opinion is that the push to move kids into school earlier and earlier and for longer hours is INSANE. From 7th through 12th, it becomes a regular school (with block scheduling – holla!) that students attend full time.
  • The school REQUIRES heavy parental involvement. Parents and teachers SHOULD be working together to educate a child, and at this school we are welcomed to be as involved as we would like to be. We have to do service hours at the school every months. This helps keep the tuition rates low as well. I’m hoping I can volunteer in the library.
  • There is not even one little bit of elitism at this school! That was a big concern of mine in choosing the private school options. Should a Christian school be cliquish and only filled with rich kids? Um no. I wanted the school to encourage children to model love and a Christian heart towards others. From what I have seen and heard of the school, everyone is taught to remember that they are one body. There is even a neat mentorship program in the Upper school where the older kids mentor the younger ones.

Anyway, the more I hear, the more I love. Nick is also very excited after learning more about the school at our parent interview.

I have never been as relieved as I was when we received our acceptance letter. There are a lot of parents who are turned off by the home days, and so there are usually spots available in every grade. Every one told me not to worry, there was no waiting list, just to try to get it in a little early if we wanted Isla to attend T/Th. This is Midland, and so I didn’t trust them one little bit. I submitted our application on January 1st, the first day that you could turn it in. Thank the Lord I did because for the first year ever, both the T/Th and M/W days were completely full and there was a waitlist. T/Th only had two spots available because so many kindergartners were either repeating or had siblings and had precedence. Thankfully we have a T/Th spot! This will work perfectly with Gemma’s mother’s day out schedule. Everyone, including Gemma and Zoya will be able to nap! And mama said amen.

Isla is so excited that I will be teaching her two days a week! I asked her if she would like that and she said “Yes, I would just love that!” She is also excited about her “electives” that she will be taking on Fridays. She has the choice of ballet, Spanish, art and music. I was hoping she would pick ballet, but she chose Spanish and art. I’m a little bummed, but it really should be her decision and she has been very firm that those are what she wants to do.

Anyway, I’m jumping for joy and praising God over here. I really think this might be the reason He brought us to Midland. Midland has really grown on me as we’ve lived here and established a community, and this made everything just click. I am in a very contented place. With Nick’s job, we could move as early as this fall, so I am also at peace with that too, but if we stay in Midland, I will be very pleased.

(And also Isla will learn cursive because some people have been worried about that.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Soccer Star!

So we have become THAT family! The family that is overscheduled and stressed out. This all started when Nick suggested we enroll Isla in soccer for the spring. Isla is already in preschool on T/Th, swim on M/W, Awanas W nights, and ballet on Th evenings. Nick doesn’t ask for a lot so I said yes on two conditions. The first was that it had to fall on a day that we didn’t have anything happening – Tuesdays. And it DID fall on Tuesdays. And second Isla had to say that she wanted to play. Of course she did! So we signed up.

Soccer season only lasts 3 months, but it isn’t just Tuesdays, its also Saturday games and there is a skills camp on Mondays. In a way I am glad. Next year with homeschooling part time (more on that later), Nick and I have decided to cut way down on extracurriculars. Isla will stay in AWANAs, and she can do one other activity that she chooses. That is it!

This summer we are not doing ANY activities at all. I am really looking forward to doing nothing for a while. We have all been so tired since soccer started.

Anyway back to soccer!

Isla has only had 4 practices and one game. I was surprised at her first game that she didn’t jump in more, but she had only had two practices at that point. I’ve never played team sports, but I can imagine that it’s pretty overwhelming to try to listen to your coach, the referee, watch your team mates and the ball! I know she will just improve with time.

Her team is called the Starbursts… super cute name! And her soccer ball is pink. LOVE!

Here she is getting ready for her first practice. I have been learning a lot about soccer fashion. Like did you know that socks are supposed to go OVER your shin guards?

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Here’s her first game.

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An awesome daddy, with two of his beautiful girls!

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Gemma had a meltdown because she wanted Isla’s water! She is cute so we keep her around.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Zoya P. is 6 Months Old!

She’s actually closer to 7 months old, but who cares? Whose counting?

My plan is to record her stats, a few milestones, share a ton of pictures and move on. She doesn’t get much blog time, but this kid is a-dored with a capital A. We all pretty much live for for her smiles and coos. Except for Gemma who pretty much lives to use her as a chair.

Everyone thinks her eyes will stay blue! She’s my first with blue eyes like me. My big girls have hazel eyes like their daddy. I love their beautiful hazel eyes, but it’s exciting to have one take after me!

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Here are her 4 and 6 month stats. (can’t find her 6 months stats so will update with those later like nothing ever went missing little 3rd forgotten baby…)

Height: 25 inches (65%)

Weight: 14 lb 5 oz (54%)

Head: 42 cm (69%)

Zoya has some adorable extra rolls and she looks chubbier to me than I remember Isla being, but she’s not in a super high weight category. I’ve stopped paying attention to those because they don’t seem to matter or even make sense some of the time!

Baby Fats!

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Movement/Body Stuff

She is a LATE roller. She didn’t roll from back to tummy (the hard way) until 5 1/2 months and from tummy to back (the easy way) until 6 1/2 months. She did it backwards! I checked with her pediatrician who said that everything else looked good developmentally, so not to worry that she rolled so late. She’s strong in the core (crazy because all I see are rolls and cellulite). Her personality is just happy and content and gurgly. She’s never been a wiggler, just a cuddler, so I just think she didn’t care too much about moving.

Since then however, she has been moving and rolling all over the place! She can roll over to a toy she wants and reach for it! She’s so cute. Now I need to keep my floors cleaner.

She also found her feet in the 5 month range, adorable.

She’s all rolls in her core, so she doesn’t seem to be close to sitting up on her won. However she can lean forward and rest on her hands well if I sit her up.

Here is Zoya picking up leaves. I’m happy with her fine motor skills.

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Personality

Zoya is so happy and content! We love her smiles.

Sisterhood

Zoya is still the apple of Isla’s eye. However Gemma is going through a pinching, hitting, and scratching phase and occasionally Zoya is her victim! Sometimes Gemma will hit Isla or Zoya with objects.  It makes me so sad because Zoya used to grin when she saw Gemma coming. I’m working on Gemma, but in the mean time, I just can’t leave Zoya on the floor with Gemma around. She needs to be in her high chair or in my arms.

Gemma has also started sitting on Zoya. When she sits on Zoya’s back it’s cute and Zoya laughs. Gemma’s not much heavier than Zoya. However, she has also started stepping on Zoya. Arg.

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Food

I am going to try more baby led weaning with Zoya. She doesn’t seem to interested in food and with the way our lives are now, it will be much easier to just feed when and what I feed the big girls when she’s older. I have tried some purees, but she just isn’t ready. So for now she’s still just breastfeeding.

Her sisters however, have given her a taste of lollipop, which she loved. SmileIMG_7012IMG_7010

Sleep

Zoya was sleeping through the night, but she is getting bigger, and since she is not on solids she wakes once from hunger every night. It doesn’t bother me because she goes right back to sleep and I do a lot better on less sleep than I used to.

I really cant think of anything else!

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Pure and Undefiled Religion

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