Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Even MORE Sight Words!

I had a request for some more sight word worksheets, so I'm back with a THIRD set!  Available for free download, I only ask that you not reproduce them online and link here if you're sharing.  Feel free to print out for personal or classroom use.

Because these were made from a custom list, they aren't all sight words, but it's still a very useful list.  This set is bigger than the previous two.  There are 35 words and 2 worksheets for each word, one with the cut and paste portion in order and one with it mixed up.  I'd suggest downloading the whole document from google, then you can print out just the pages you need.  They are in alphabetical order, so it's not too hard to check if a word is there.

Here is your link!
Sight Word Worksheets Set 3

You can find the original sets here.

Cream Cheese Brownies

I've become a brownie snob.  I started out making them from scratch because I didn't have a mix in the pantry and now when I taste a mix, the chemically (yes, totally a word) taste is overwhelming to me. 

Last year, I posted a recipe for classic brownies.  Today, I'm back with cream cheese brownies.  The recipe is slightly adapted from The Best Recipe cookbook (affiliate link, but a really awesome cookbook I've had and used for years.  It's a great gift for someone new to cooking).

Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownie Base
1 stick (8 tbsp) of butter
3/8 c (6 tbsp) cocoa powder
1/8 c (2 tbsp) oil
2/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1c sugar
1tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2/3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Filling
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.   Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray

2. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl or over a double boiler
3. Add cocoa powder, oil and chocolate chips
4.  Stir until chocolate chips are completely melted.  Microwave an additional 10-15 seconds if needed, but be careful not to overdo it
5. Add in 1c of sugar and stir well

6. Stir in vanilla.  Then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
7.  Add flour, baking powder and salt.  These ingredients should be mixed together first, but in the interest of reducing the dishes I have to wash, I dump the flour in first, then put the baking powder and salt on top and just mix it into the flour a bit before I stir the batter.

8.  In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, 1/4c sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until blended and smooth

9. Spread half of the brownie base in the prepared pan and spoon dollops of cream cheese filling on top
10. Repeat the layers, then drag a knife through the batter to get the marbling effect.
11. Bake 50-60 minutes.  Toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few fudgey crumbs, but not raw batter.

12. Enjoy in small doses.  These are incredibly sweet and not too terribly good for you either, but some days ya just gotta have a treat!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Our Schoolroom

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I'm behind again, but I'm linking up to School Room Week on the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.  We started school this week and it seems as if I've actually gotten our set-up right on the first try this year! 

I was pretty worried about homeschooling more than one child for the first time. For an added level of difficulty, there's a toddler running around too.  I knew we needed to be organized and I think what I've come up with is going to work for us. 

We don't have a dedicated school room, so we do most of our work at the kitchen table.  On the wall, I have put up a cork board and a dry erase magnetic board:
The cork board holds progress charts that came along with our All About Spelling and All About Reading programs.  The girls love these so much, they have requested I make some for our math lessons too.  They really love to put a sticker on the lesson they've just completed and see how much ground they've covered. 

The dry erase board has been a key part of keeping me sane during the day.  Each night, I write all the lessons each girl will do the following day.  As we complete the lesson, we erase them off the board.  This has been so important.  When Secora is occupied or down for a nap, it's very easy to glance at the board and see what is left to be done.  For the lessons Sierra does independently, I don't have to remind her quite as much to get them done, she can look at the board and know she still needs to do.  When I do have to remind her, I have it right in front of me, not hidden in a binder.  That makes it easier for me to remember it needs to be done.

 The other half of the board is blank right now, but soon it will be a chore board.  One of the frustrating things about the Accountable Kids program is that the chore cards are all stacked up.  The program is set up for kids to have morning, afternoon and evening chores.  We don't really care when the kids do their chores though, we just want them done sometime during the day.  Our plan is to put magnets on the back of the cards and put them on the board each evening.  When the girls wake up, they will be able to see at a glance what they need to do and work on them as they have time. No more digging through the cards or forgetting things because they're hidden behind other chores.
At the end of the table, we've put up a pegboard to hold commonly used supplies:
I have the supplies organizer I made out of old jeans holding pencils, scissors, glue, rulers and crayons.  The silver file organizer was purchased at Target.  There are three sections, one for each kid and one for me.  The girls each picked a color and I have 5 vinyl pocket folders in their color.  On the weekend, I get out all of the papers they will need for the week.  There is a folder to hold their papers for each day of the week.  Each night, I put their folder for the next day in the organizer so it's ready to grab.  Completed papers go in my section and after I grade them, I put them in my folder (also in that section) to be filed in our permanent records at the end of the week.

The red baskets at the top hold were 4 for $3 at Target.  They hold things like colored pencils and markers.  I can take a basket down and put it on the table when it's needed, then hang it up out of the way when we're done. 

And you'll notice the hairbrush.  That was pure frustration.  We haven't been able to get them to put their brushes back in their bathroom when they're done using them, so we've tried having them hang them up on the board instead.  As you can see, there's only one there, so that's not working either.  You win some, you lose some.

Across from the table, we have built in shelves:
One shelf is full of daily use homeschool supplies.  There are teacher books that are needed on a daily basis and a binder full of about 6-7 weeks worth of worksheets.  Another binder holds the folders for the current week's work.  The small box towards the left holds our All About Spelling and Reading cards.  The bigger box in the middle holds all of the math manipulatives.  There's a tape dispenser, stapler and hole punch stuffed in there.  The small plastic drawers on the right hold my supplies that the girls don't use.  On top is a random roll of duct tape and a tortilla warmer that has salt in it for Sedona to practice her handwriting (she can "write" in the salt with her finger before we move on to writing on paper, we're trying to improve her mechanics).  I definitely need a little more organization here, hoping to work on that this weekend. 

The books we aren't using on a regular basis are in another room on our regular bookshelves.  We also have a keyboard and an old computer set up in another room.  Practicing music and Spanish both require making a fair bit of noise, so it's nice to have those in a separate place so they aren't disruptive to whoever is doing quieter work. 

I do also have a magnetic calendar that I just haven't had Josh hang up yet.  Sedona is in the process of learning about calendars, so she will have the task of putting up the number for each date in the morning and reviewing days of the week. 

Near the bookshelf, we have two school desks.  The orange one has been around my parent's house since I was a kid.  The other one was generously gifted to us by a friend and repainted by my dad.  These aren't entirely necessary, but are nice to have.  Secora will bug the girls at the table sometimes, pulling on their papers and trying to write in their books.  For some reason, she leaves them alone at the school desks.  They also think they're neat to sit at.

Last, but most definitely not least, there is a small table in the corner that holds playdoh supplies and on the kitchen table there is an old playdoh container filled with crayons.  We also stack the worksheets we don't need to keep in the center of the table.  Secora can easily play with playdoh or draw on the back of papers without us needing to get anything out for her.  She's still a toddler, but it buys us 10 or 15 minutes of uninterrupted time here and there. 

That's our schoolroom!!  The first 2 years, I had to adjust our set-up as the year went on, but I think this year we've finally figured it out.  Hopefully this works for us through the elementary years!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Attack of the Lesson Plans!

Not Back to School Blog HopThe girls have been begging to start school, so we've decided we will officially start on Monday.  That means I've been busy getting everything in order. I'm excited to blog about our new school room set-up this year, but I'm still working on that over the weekend, so I don't have pictures yet. Look for that post early next week at the latest!

My organization is a bit different this year compared to past years.  To start with, I'm actually getting organized.  In the past, I really only had one school aged kid.  Sedona would do activities here and there, but Sierra was the only one following a specific curriculum.  Every Sunday, I would sit down with all our books and just write down the plan for the week.  I didn't put any thought into it, just a quick printing out of worksheets.  That worked out okay for one kid.  When I realized I needed to run to the store for supplies to do a science experiment, we just ran to the store.  It worked out just fine except for the time I realized we needed earthworms in the middle of winter.  That didn't go so well.

This year is going to have to be different.  Now I have two school aged kids plus a toddler that is into everything and only naps for about an hour a half a day.  We have to be able utilize nap time and "little sister is occupied" time effectively without unnecessary delays.  It's going to be tricky and I'm sure we will have some false starts and missteps figuring out how to balance everyone's subjects. 

This is not the year for me to be scrambling for supplies at the last minute.  In an effort to be much more organized than I usually am, I have been creating lesson plans for every subject for the whole year.  There is still room to skip days when needed or push a subject to another day if someone has decided they just can't do any more school right now, but the plan is there.  For subjects that require extra supplies, I have a supply list for each lesson so I can easily see what I need.  Each subject still has it's own separate plan instead of all being combined so that we can keep our flexibility, but each weekend I will be able to sit down with my plans and write out the specific lessons for the week on my calendar and gather the materials needed without having to get out 10 books.

Here is the final list of what we will be using this year (most links are affiliate links, clicking them will not raise prices for you, but will give me a small commission if you choose to make a purchase):

Sierra: 7/8 years old (birthday is soon), 3rd grade, strong reader.  We don't do every subject every day.  I expect this to translate into about 3-4 hours of work each day.
  • Spelling: All About Spelling.  We decided to switch to this from the regular "list on Monday, test on Friday" approach.  We've already started it and we're loving it.  I decided to start her on Level 1, which is going really fast because she already knows most of it, but there are some key things she's learning, so I'm glad we didn't skip it.  She will get through at least Level 2 and possibly Level 3 this year.
  • Reading: There are a lot of books we'll be reading this year.  Many tie in with her history lessons.  In addition to those, we'll be reading The Candymakers, more Little House on the Prairie, and The Toothpaste Millionaire.
  • Math: Right Start, Level D.  This is our 3rd year with Right Start.  The first year was a little rough on her as she worked on undoing some bad math habits she'd been taught, but now we love it.  Math is not her favorite subject, but most of the time she is eager to work on these lessons.
  • Spanish: Rosetta Stone.  We purchased the full set of Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish while it was on sale a while back and I think it's going well.  She can do the program independently, but I feel like I didn't require her to do enough last year.  She is only through half of Level 1 right now.  This year, I am requiring about 20 minutes a day (there is a time estimate for each lesson, so I went through and made a lesson plan requiring certain lessons each day based on those estimates) and she should finish Level 1 and get most of the way through Level 2.  
  • Music: John W. Schaum piano books.  She will continue working through these books on a keyboard (piano would be better, but keyboard is what we've got) and she will continue taking the theory tests from the Texas Music Teachers Association to be sure she's learning the concepts.  
  • Writing: we will be working a lot on writing this year.  Our base will be Evan Moor 6 Trait Writing and Evan Moor Grammar.  She will also be writing some sort of story once a week, which I will edit and have her copy into a final draft.  By the end of the year I hope to have her progressed to doing at least some of the editing on her own. 
  • Art: she will follow along with Sedona's art lessons
  • History: we will be working through early modern history.  I created lesson plans on my own and they are available for free here
  • Handwriting: she is dying to learn to write in cursive, so we will work on that as long as she's interested, but I'm not pushing it.  She'll get plenty of handwriting practice with the regular writing assignments. 
  • Geography: This is another subject she begs to do just for fun.  We'll go through the Evan Moor Geography book.  She already knows all of the continents, oceans and states and is picking up countries from our history lessons.  Next year we will do a more formal geography/social studies plan to go along with modern history. 
  • Science: Science Odyssey Earth Science and Astronomy Level 1 from Pandia Press.
Sedona: 5 years old (just had a birthday), Kindergarten, eager to learn but can't sit still for more than about 30 minutes
  • Math: Right Start math Level A.  She completed about one quarter of the level last year, we will finish it up and possibly start Level B depending on how she's doing. 
  • Reading: All About Reading, Level 1.  She already had a good phonics base from speech therapy and doing BOB books.  I think All About Reading will quickly get her to "real" reading and she is very eager to do it.  My only complaint so far is they use regular type face "a" instead of the "a" kids are taught to print, which confuses her at times, but she's figuring it out. 
  • Spelling: We will probably start All About Spelling Level 1 sometime around Christmas.  I don't think she's quite ready for it yet.
  • Handwriting: She writes fairly well, but doesn't write her letters in the correct left to right format.  This is partly from watching Sierra (who is a lefty, so I've allowed her to write right to left and bottom to top) and partly because we just haven't taught her to write, she's figured it out on her own.  I wanted to do Handwriting Without Tears with her, but it's not in the budget right now, so I'm doing a modified version on my own utilizing many of their concepts. 
  • Science: She will do basic, fun science experiments to gain a basic understanding of science concepts.  I've been working on creating some worksheets to go along with these units and provided them for free here.  I still need to work on more worksheets and putting together more detailed lesson plans for her.  I will probably tie her lessons to Sierra's science lessons as much as possible. 
  • Art: I've created a two days a week art plan that I made available for free here

Whew!  It's going to be a great year, but it will take some getting used to.  I don't think Sedona is ready to work independently very much yet, so she will need a lot of one-on-one help.  Sierra is more independent, but she still has plenty of time in the day where she needs direct instruction from me.  I'm just kind of hoping Secora continues to love drawing and sitting her at the table with us will help keep her quiet and out of trouble for part of the day.  I have a feeling we will need to utilize evenings and weekends sometimes though. 

I'm a little late again this year, but I'm linking up to the 2012 Not Back to School Blog Hop.  I hope to catch up on the other weeks soon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fall Gardening

It's time to start thinking about fall gardening around here.  We cleared a lot of things out of the garden over the weekend and planted some "summer 2" crops.  We stay warm long enough here to be able to plant most spring crops a second time.  We're mostly sticking to squash and green beans for that.  In another month, it will be time to put in fall plants, so we have to leave room for those too.

The front bed here used to be all of our bell peppers.  We picked the last of the peppers, and planted the entire bed with summer squash.  The second bed is our hugelkultur bed.  It's really flattened out since the spring when we first planted it.  It did work as planned and was more water efficient than the other beds.  We tried not watering it at all, though and it's not quite THAT efficient.  In the heat of summer, with limited rainfall, it probably needs to be watered about half as often as the other beds.  The decaying wood in the middle holds a lot of water so infrequent, heavy watering is ideal. Here, we cleared out the old bean plants and replanted more green beans.  The giant plants behind that is all our okra.  We haven't been harvesting that as regularly as we should, so there are a lot of pods that will have to go to seed there. 

On the other side of the garden, we have a lot of clear space waiting to be planted.  The first bed is our strawberries, which we plan to nurse through the winter.  They have put out a lot of shoots and put down roots, so they should produce well next year.  The other beds are empty and mostly waiting for broccoli planting time.

In the back of the garden, we have cantaloupe plants growing.  We have never been successful at growing melons, so we were very happy to get this one! We made slings out of old pantyhose and hung them from stakes so the melons can hang in there rather than sitting on the ground.  This is virtually eliminated bug and rot problems.  I'm a little nervous about cutting into it, I sure hope it's ripe!  I've read they're ready when they "slip" off the vine (separate from stem with just gentle pressure to the side of the stem) and smell sweet.  That's the case with this melon, so there's hope!

We also picked a lot of jalapenos yesterday and Josh made up a few pints of bread and butter jalapenos.  You make them just like bread and butter pickles, only you use peppers instead of cucumbers. 

Last, but not least, our most exciting event of the weekend.  We got our first blue egg!!!  We have a few ameraucana chickens (also called easter egg chickens).  We think one of them is laying light pink eggs, which just kind of blend in with the brown eggs.  Over the weekend, we got our first blue egg though.  We were excited to find out at least one chicken will be laying blue eggs!

We have harvested 108 pounds of produce from our garden so far this year.  I think there's a pretty good chance we'll reach our 150 pound goal for the year!  You can see the full tally at the garden totals page, if you're interested.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Vacation

This time last year, we were getting ready to head to Disney World.  Needless to say, that wiped out our travel budget and then some.  We wanted to take some sort of vacation this summer, but because we were starting from zero and only had about 6 months to save up, it needed to be somewhere pretty close and reasonably affordable. 

Several months ago, we caught a good sale that Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine was running for reservations booked far in advance.  We checked out some other vacation options and realized the sale made this one of the cheaper possibilities for trips we were considering. 

If you haven't heard of Great Wolf, it's a hotel with an indoor water park.  Not just a pool and a slide or anything like that, a full water park.  There are also other fun activities for the kids, like MagiQuest.  The girls were WAY more into MagiQuest than I expected.  It's basically a hotel-wide scavenger hunt.  You have a wand that is programmed to know which quest you are on and you have to run around the hotel finding certain things.  When you point your wand at the items, they light up or move or talk and your wand remembers that you've found them.  You make your way through different quests and can continue to play if you come back another time. 

First, the basics.  Great Wolf isn't cheap.  There are sales to be had depending on when you go and, generally, the earlier you book, the better.  We have tried for last minute reservations before and it's never worked out.  The prices rise as the hotel gets booked up.  The rooms do all have a fridge and microwave though and we used that to our advantage by packing all of our breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  The last time we visited a Great Wolf Lodge, we only stayed for 1 night, so we spent all of our time in the water park.  This time we stayed for 3 nights, so we had plenty of time to do other things.  We bought each of the big girls a paw pass.  The paw passes are a just a packaged deal that gives you all the basic activities at a discounted price.  I think they may vary from location to location, but for this trip, each paw pass included one build-a-bear type activity (they got one animal and one outfit of their choice for the animal), a MagiQuest wand and game, a photo print out (there are a few chances to have your picture taken), a glitter tattoo, 20 tokens at the arcade, a scoop of ice cream, and a t-shirt they got to color.  Needless to say, between all of that and the water park, they were occupied the whole time we were there.  I only had two complaints about the hotel.  First, all of the stuff the kids want to do is crammed together in one hallway that you walk through to get to the waterpark.  The Great Wolf in Grand Mound, Washington is set up differently and I much preferred their layout to the Grapevine layout because it reduced crowd traffic a bit.  Second, the internet in our room didn't work.  You could connect, but it was too slow to actually do anything.  After a half-hearted attempt to say the problem was on our end (it definitely wasn't) they refunded all of our resort fees (which apparently cover internet, but they aren't optional), which I was fine with. 

I don't have a whole lot of pictures, because there just isn't much time for worrying about keeping a camera dry when you're watching 3 small children in a water park.  I did take our waterproof handheld video camera, but lots of kids in bathing suits and this blog just don't mix. 

So this trip was interesting.  It was in danger of being cancelled up until the day before we left because we were all sick and I wasn't getting better.  Things turned around at the last minute though, and we were able to stick with our plans.  When we arrived at the hotel, we went straight for the water park.  Within 10 minutes, I lost my glasses.  Now, I'm really blind.  I know people say that all the time, but my vision is so bad that with my glasses off, I can't even see the E at the top of the chart.  I don't mean it's blurry, I mean I can't see it at all.  It's so blurry it goes away.  You don't get exact numbers at this point, but my vision is somewhere around 20/1000.  What normal people can see from 1,000 feet, I have to be at 20 feet to see.   I can't read a book without glasses and most importantly for this trip, I can't recognize my children without glasses.  Without glasses, there was no way for me to be of any use for childcare unless I had uninterrupted physical contact with one of the kids.  Once they let go of my hand, I was hopeless to find them without grabbing every random kid in front of me.  We had a very tense half hour or so where I sat in a chair with the little girls thinking of how to get around this situation while Josh and Sierra searched for my glasses.  Several times, Josh came back with an "all is lost" expression, but he kept going back to look more because really, what else are ya gonna do?  He finally found them in a very unlikely place and we all breathed a HUGE sigh of relief while I bee-lined it to the gift shop to buy a strap that would insure no such craziness happened again.  

We played for a couple of hours before grabbing a pizza for dinner and then heading to the nightly story time.  When we got back to the room, we realized we had brought a lice infestation with us on the trip.  Just what you want on vacation, right?  Bugs.  It was 9:45 and the nearest drugstore was only open until 10.  We made a mad dash to buy supplies and stayed up way too late combing hair and washing stuffed animals in the guest laundry room.  The late night on day 1 led to a meltdown on day 2 when the adults decided to go out to eat and the kids revolted and cried for sandwiches in the room because they were so tired.  On day 3 we found out one kid had a bunch of hard and swollen lymph nodes (we've been to the doc now, it's nothing major, but we weren't sure of that then).  And along the way we ended up with four minor, but "ouchie when combined with chlorinated water" injuries.

Really though, we're fairly good at rolling with the punches most of the time, all of those things are a humorous foot note.  I think the reason it felt like a stressful trip was mostly because of Secora.  She has some sensory issues that can't quite be diagnosed yet because of her age and inability to really tell us too much about what she's thinking.  For a long time, we have been focused on her eating because these issues kept her from really eating anything at all (she nursed a lot) until fairly recently.  Now that she is eating and we've learned her quirks and adjusted to them, days seem somewhat normal here at home.  Getting her out of her element kind of emphasized that things aren't normal.  She enjoyed herself and there were plenty of times you could tell she was having A LOT of fun.  But you could also look around at all the other kids her size and see that she was not acting like any of them.  She was clearly distressed with being around a lot of people in an unpredictable situation.  The small stresses of taking care of her here at home (that were driving the desire for a vacation in the first place) were sometimes magnified while we were gone.  That just feeds my own anxiety and feedback loops of anxiousness are just oh so fabulous. 

It was all still worth it though, I think we'll just be a little more prepared for what to expect next time. 

On to the pictures!

Secora in the room.  She LOVES to draw and recently figured out how to draw on Sierra's DS.  So, she's taken to stealing the DS whenever Sierra leaves it within reach. 
Sierra and Sedona coloring their t-shirts.  This is in the Cub Club.  They also have movies playing and regular coloring sheets and crayons.
The big girls outside the Bear Paw Cafe
In the lobby, there are big easels.  During the day, the boxes are full of blank over-sized coloring sheets and crayons.  At night, during story time, all of that stuff is picked up. So, Secora took advantage of the empty box to make herself a little cubby hole and play with the ball Sedona won in the arcade.
Every night, there is a short animatronic show in the lobby, followed by a Cub Club employee reading a story, then a character greeting.  Our last night, the character happened to be Violet, the only one the girls would go to.
Pictures with Violet!

When we checked out of Great Wolf, we decided to go to the Legoland Discovery Center before we left town.  Sorry to say, I can't recommend that.  The lines were ridiculously long and it was packed with people.  They had to have been in violation of some fire codes or something.  We couldn't really get in to do any activities and it was too much stress for what it cost.  Perhaps at different times of the year it would be better, but we won't be going back.  The store wasn't very good either, but maybe we were spoiled by the Lego store at Disney World.  On the other hand, the Russell Stover store in Corsicana, TX was a pleasant surprise.  They have a HUGE 75% section in the back of the store and I chose to finish up the trip by purchasing 5 pounds of chocolate.

That's our vacation in a nutshell! It'll probably be a while before we have another one.  Our current situation just isn't as conducive to road trips as it has been in the past.  This is a season in life for staying put, I'm sure another traveling season will show up eventually!

*I was not compensated in any way for this trip or writing this post.  Just writing about our vacation!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Routine, Here We Come!

I can't remember the last time I went a full week without blogging!  After my last post, I got much more sick.  It was miserable and I was just about convinced I needed some IV antibiotics or something.  My fever returned and my cough got significantly worse.  By Friday, I had taken 5 doses of the new antibiotic and called the doc to see if I should come back (since a weekend was coming up).  They said it give it more time.

Saturday was the first time in weeks I woke up feeling pretty good.  That was convenient because we had a vacation planned starting Sunday afternoon.  We were considering cancelling it as late as Saturday afternoon, but with everyone doing well and my fever apparently gone for good, we decided to pack an extra large "just in case" medicine box and stick with our plans. 

I'll write more about the vacation soon, probably tomorrow.  We enjoyed it aside from our run in with lice.  That's just want you want at 10pm on the first night of vacation, right?  To look at your child's head and realize she's covered in lice?  We made a mad dash to the drug store and then stayed up until 1am that night combing bugs and nits out of her hair.  That's okay, you can shudder and gag as you read that sentence.  It's the only time I've ever had the thought of, "I soooooo wish we had boys because it would be a lot easier to just shave her head." 

You would think the late night would result in sleeping in.  Unfortunately, my children have a ridiculously accurate internal clock that wakes them up at 7am almost without fail.  So even though they were in an interior bedroom with no windows and the door closed, they still woke up at 7:20am.  Roughly 6 hours of sleep followed by a long day of water park fun is pretty tough on small children. 

We came home to chickens that are really ramping up on egg production, a garden that needs some serious work and fall prep, a dog way over due for a good grooming and de-shedding treatment and a list of prep work that needs to be done before we start school!  A regular daily routine is just around the corner and I think we'll all be glad when it's here!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Still Summer Sickies...

The pharmacist at Target knows me now.  As soon as I walk up, she grabs our medicine and heads to the counter.  That's usually not a good thing.

In the last week, we've been to the doctor five times and filled eight prescriptions.  So, you know, it's been lots of fun around here. 

We are making progress though.  Poor Secora had her repeat bout with hand foot and mouth a week before all this started.  Just about the time she kicked that, I got sick.  Next it was Sedona, Sierra, Secora and then Josh.  Sedona kicked butt and took names.  I picture her little immune system looking like '20s gangsters and saying, "Antibiotics?  We don't need no stinkin' antibiotics."  Everyone else needed a round of zithromax to help out. 

Then Secora got better and got worse again.  She had to add on some amoxicillin, but seems to be on the mend aside from some tummy upset as a side effect from the meds. 

And poor ol' mom.  I was the first to get sick and apparently the very last to get well.  I STILL have fever.  It's been almost 2 weeks now.  I did improve the first few days on the zithromax, but then everything came back.  I thought maybe I caught a cold on top of everything else and just had to wait it out, but I went back to the doctor today anyway.  She said it was highly unlikely I had something different and wasn't too happy that my fever was back, so she put me on omnicef.  So far it's not working, but I'm hoping it kicks in soon. 

Really the worst of it is everyone being cooped up at home with a tired and cranky mom.  The zithromax made Sierra really sensitive to the heat (she's getting a crazy heat rash on her neck within minutes of going outside) and we've had 100+ temps for a while, so the big girls can't even go play in the yard.  Everyone is looking forward to getting back to more normal days, hopefully that comes along really soon!


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