Field Trip!

The girls went straight for the hair salon.
We went to the neatest place for Audrey's one and only Kindergarten field trip last week.  It's a place called INK (Interactive Neighborhood for Kids).  It's similar to the Children's Museum of South Carolina we went to a few weeks ago at the beach, but bigger and nicer.  We'll definitely be going back a lot.  (They have a home school day once a month with half price admission.  We will definitely take advantage of that!)  It's like a little indoor town that is kid size.  There's a Post Office, Dentist, Doctor, & Veterinary offices, hair salon, restaurant, grocery store, bank (with working ATM machine & play money), court room, school room, a stage, fire truck, airplane, & police car - to name a few things.  It really is a great place for kids.  They get to role play and really learn & explore.  So fun!  Here are a few pictures to enjoy.
Shopping in the grocery store.

Real checkout counter to play in!

The kids took turns using the ATM card and machine that shot out play money. There was also a working computer at a desk to play bank teller and "open accounts".

The Veterinary Clinic

The kids really loved playing in the diner - taking orders, "eating", and making food.

Audrey and her buddy in the real airplane.

The jury has spoken!

One of Audrey's favorites - playing dentist.  Even her teacher got in on the action.  :)

Loving, Losing, & Living Update

We've had a couple of really good weeks with the girls... but the last few days have been challenging again... more so with Audrey.  I was just talking with Derek about it and I'm wondering if her issues are directly related with her seizure medication?  The side effects of her medication is "behavioral problems".  I know from her previous seizures and EEG results that she is most prone to them when she's tired.  We also realize that she acts out the most when she has missed some sleep.  This isn't your normal run of the mill crankiness.  Her meltdowns are normally following a restless night, it's late afternoon/evening, and she falls to sleep shortly afterward.  She got in bed almost 2 hours late last night, followed by nightmares at 5:00 this morning.  Needless to say, we had a very trying evening.  Not sure why I didn't put it all together before.  Her medication dosage has been reduced for over a month now, so I'll be calling the neurologist tomorrow to schedule her EEG. 

My family and I joined the YMCA last week.  I had my initial consultation last night.  We went over where I am physically right now and where I want to be.  We went through some exercise programs that I'll be doing.  The Y is super cool!  They have touchscreens at every machine.  When I first come in, I log in at the desk and it tells me where to start.  We set all of my info in each machine last night (seat positions on the machines, how much weight per station, reps, etc.).  As I do each one, it logs it into my account.  It records everything I do.  Cool, huh?  Now I just need to find a program to use at home to record my food.

It felt good to exercise again last night.  It's been over 6 months since I regularly worked out.  But, my head isn't quite in it yet.  I don't know if its because I still have a few more time consuming commitments left and it's hard for me to justify doing anything else.  (Remember, I have that "balancing" issue.)  In my head I know that something needs to be done.  It's just making the time again and taking the steps.  It is discouraging to me the thought of starting this journey all over when I came so far before... only to put it all back on.  But, at least I know it can be done!

My family and I (along with the WOW singers and other church friends) had an opportunity over the weekend to serve at a homeless shelter for women and children.  We just spent time loving on them, serving them lunch, and then worshiped with them in a service.  It was amazing watching some of these ladies worshiping in the aisles as we sang knowing they have no home and are going through who knows what!  One lady gave her heart to Christ during the service.  It was just an amazing day.

I spoke with one young lady, 18 years old, while I painted her finger nails lime green.  =)  She's only been there a few weeks.  She's a senior in high school and we had marching band in common.  There was some apparent abuse in her life and my heart broke for her.  I didn't see her in the worship service and couldn't find her before we left.  I haven't forgotten about her though.  Audrey really took up with a little girl, KK.  We're going back this Saturday so they can play together.  There was a 6 year old that glued herself to me for awhile.  When it was time for lunch, I asked her to get her mom so we could get food together.  With her whole body wrapped around me, she said, "I don't need my mom."  Broke my heart.  She also told me that her brother was a bad boy and was in jail.  I still don't know who her mom is.  I don't know if she ever came out of her room or not.  (And by room I mean cubicle.)  I can't imagine what some of these children go through.  But, having an almost 6 year old myself, I'd be devastated if she felt like she didn't need me.  :(

I think it was a good experience for the girls.  I'm not sure that Maddie understood.  I'm not even sure how much Audrey understood, but she did pray for KK on her own that night.  She's very excited to possibly play with her this weekend.  I'm looking forward to going back and seeing some of the ladies and kids again.  I've already got the van loaded with several boxes & bags of clothes!  They need them much more than we do.

Audreyisms & Maddieisms

I realized I hadn't posted any Audreyisms or Maddieisms in a while, so it is time.  I know I've talked about a few individually as they happened, but here's a review for you.  ;)  Straight from the mouths of babes!

Maddie, Age 3

She commonly refers to curtains as "gates".

“Audrey, you are SO cute!”

“Mommy, read me a story with your mouth.  Say, ‘Once upon a time’.”

So Maddie was in time out when I picked her up from preschool today.  She had thrown her bear across the room during nap time (among other things).  When Daddy asked her during dinner conversation why she threw it - she replied, "I wanted to see him fly".  =)  (Why else would one want to throw a stuffed animal across the room, right?)
Maddie was having a difficult time staying in bed one night.  Mommy put her back in bed.  She got out.  Daddy put her back in bed.  She got out.  So, the last time Daddy went in there he said, “Maddie, if you get out of bed again you have to get a spanking.  Do you hear me?”  She whispered, “I’m sleeping.”  (Seriously, how cute is that?!)

She wanted to get out the Clorox wipes and her Nana told her no.  She said, "It's ok.  My mommy lets me play with chemicals."  Ha!!

Audrey, Age 5

“What’s up with that outfit?  Your head looks like a lollipop and your body like the stick.” (She's just keeping it real!)

“Daddelyn McCrae Norton” (That would be a combination of her sister's name and Daddy.)

“I want the freedom to choose what I eat for supper.  Yeah, we learned about freedom today.” (And, she lost it with that comment!)

“He said the really bad ‘S’ word.  He said “stupid” and then Maddie said it.  I didn’t remember what a bad boy he was.  He needs to change his attitude.”  (Tread lightly around her, friends.)

Audrey saw two guys smoking outside and freaked out, "Mom!! Those boys are smoking. They're either going to die or get 'Hair Cancer'!" She was very concerned.

She had a small scratch on her face and she said, “It looks like  I was in war and got shot doesn’t it?”  (Overly dramatic much?)

“Quiet, my leg is asleep.” (Hystarical!)

“Look, it’s a particle potty.” (She tends to mix her up words on occasion.)

“I don’t remember.  Snuffy, my brain pet, makes me forget.  He plugs into my brain.  I have to wake her up.”  “Mom, you need a brain pet.”  “Audrey, how do you get one?”  “Use your imagination.”

We were reading our fortunes from our cookies at dinner.  Audrey turned hers over and read off all the numbers.  She said, “These are my lucky numbers”.  Derek said, “How do you know”?  She replied very matter of fact, “It’s ON the fortune.” 

Good Times

I was just reading some older posts and realized I'm a Debbie Downer quite often so tonight I'm focusing on the positive!  I have thoroughly enjoyed my week with the kids.  Audrey has been exceptionally good this week.  I am so proud of her.  She really stepped up and willingly helped with some things around the house.  She has been pleasant and obedient.  Even in the moments where she has made bad choices, she has apologized and moved on.  The only meltdown she had was after missing 2 doses of her medicine and then back on - coupled with going to bed 2 hours late (yikes).  Shame on me for letting that happen!  The girls have really enjoyed playing together this week, too.  Only a few more week until summer vacation and we can be together every day!  :)

I haven't officially made the announcement on here yet, though it has been talked about and around, but we are definitely homeschooling in the fall.  =)  I'm incredibly excited!!  This is something I've been thinking about and praying about for over a year.  We're all on board and it has been very fun researching and talking with other homeschooling families over the last several months.  I can't wait to get started!  There's a convention coming up in May that I'm hoping to go to.  I'm looking through several curriculum choices, organizations, and activities.  So many choices!  Watch for more homeschool "episodes" coming up.  :)

Bedroom Switcharoo

I had to share with you how crazy productive we were today!  I got all the girls' fall/winter clothes put away, the spring/summer clothes out & organized, and several donation bags ready to go.  Also, we've been talking about switching all but the Master bedroom for a while.  Only one of the 3 extra bedrooms upstairs had a decent closet - which happens to be in the guestroom and the least used.  So, it made sense to switch Audrey into that room and make better use of the space.  And, Maddie is starting to get an opinion - LOL - and wanted a pink & purple room (instead of her 'nursery').  Since she was in the smallest room, we figured the guest room should be there.  Are you keeping up?!  So, here's how it goes:  Audrey has the old guest room, Maddie has Audrey's old room, and the guest room is in Maddie's old room.  LOL  My only major concern was moving the guestroom into Maddie's mint green room.  We had decided to paint Audrey's new room because we could just paint the top half and be done (it went from blue/brown to pink/brown).  But, since all the guestroom stuff was blue/brown - moving in to a room with mint green walls could pose a problem.  No fear!  I remembered a nice white comforter that had been dry cleaned some time ago just hanging in the back of the closet - and wa-la!  It actually turned out to be a bright, cheery tranquil room.  I'm quite pleased!  I'll post some before/afters for you.  Keep in mind the kids' rooms are not done.  Audrey has no wall hangings yet (polka dots to be put up tomorrow - and possibly new bedding later).  But, after our full day, I had to share (better quality pics later).  =)

Guest Room BEFORE - now it is Audrey's room

Audrey's New Room with more space and pink/brown walls, minus the wall hangings.  Polka dots on the way & new bedding on the way.

Guest Room BEFORE - Maddie's sweet nursery

New Guest Room - Calm & Relaxing

Maddie's Room BEFORE - Audrey's sweet room (old pic)

Maddie's new Big Girl room!

Bye, Bye Spring Break

Spring break is nearing the end... sad, but true.  We had a good day yesterday.  Took a little road trip to visit my sweet niece who will be 2 next month.  She is the sweetest, happiest little thing.  :)  My girls adore her - especially Maddie.  She talks about her every single day.  She loves that she's bigger than someone.  Funny thing is, Maddie is so little - and well, baby Aly's genes are a lot more promising for height opportunities.  It will be a sad day if and when Aly shoots up and Maddie realizes that Aly is bigger than her.  ;)

I have to share a couple of funny quotes from Audrey on our trip.  I haven't updated my "Audreyisms" in quite some time - but I will be adding these to the list.  She was sitting in the back of the van after about an hour and a half and we were all talking.  She says, "Quiet - my leg is asleep".  LOL  That just struck me as funny.  Another thing that she does a lot is make up words - or mix up words.  Prime example yesterday: we passed a construction site and she said, "Look, it's a porticle potty."  She's so stinkin' cute!

So an enjoyable day off yesterday = long work day today.  I ended up working until 5:00 trying to catch up on stuff and filling in for my boss who is on vacation this week.  So much for working part time, huh?  Still so far behind on paperwork because every time I go in the office there are so many other requests that I don't have time to do what I'm suppose to be doing.  Makes the time go by quick though! 

Derek & I have agreed that me working outside of home is not working for us.  Seems like the girls have been sick a lot more (took the girls to the doctor Wednesday for the 3rd time since the end of January).  Maddie has been acting out a lot since starting daycare.  I've hardly cooked at all which means we're spending more money eating out - and it's much less healthy.  I've had no time to exercise.  The house is a mess most of the time. 

I haven't officially told my boss I'm leaving, but he knows that I won't be available much this summer because both girls will be home every day.  I also mentioned that we'd be homeschooling in the fall, so I probably won't be here at all after summer.  I haven't given him an actual end date.  He's suppose to start looking for an extra person next week when he gets back (I am working 2 positions right now).  I know that leaving work will be a gradual process.  I promised him from the beginning that I'd give him ample time to find a replacement if I ever decided to leave.  He's a one man show, so I will not leave him high and dry.  He's been great to me. 

Well, that's my thoughts for the day!  Looking forward to a stress free, commitment free weekend before the crazy week ahead starts!

Monday Musings

Spring Break, here we are!  What ever will we find to do?  Let's see - we started out with two beautiful, sunshiny days and are currently listening out for storm and tornado warnings.  Yikes!  But... no fear, the much needed mulching got done just in time to blown away!  We got the play set in the backyard taken completely apart without the help of the treacherous winds.  Maybe they'll just blow it all away and we won't have to worry about hauling it off!  Ok, enough about yard work and weather... Here's a picture I just had to share.  I've been passing this house for over a year and every time I pass it I think, "man, I need to take a picture of that!".  So today I did.  Sorry for the quality - I was the passenger trying to take a quick shot through the driver's side while we were driving by.  ;)  Anyway, this sooo reminds me of a family I grew up with.  They lived in a mobile home for many years while they saved up and built their dream home (directly behind the trailer).  They, of course, moved the trailer after the house was built.  I'm assuming that is the case with this house.  I don't know how long they've lived in the trailer, but I'd guess a pretty long time.  The house (ahem... mansion) behind it still isn't finished, but man what a house it is!

Cool, huh?  Quite a sight for sure!  

Moving on....

We had a great afternoon at the park with the girls today.  Seems that a lot of people had the same idea as we did.  :)  Nonetheless, the girls got ample time on the swings (since theirs is in a heaping pile in the backyard) and climbed on the play sets.  Derek also flew our kite for a while.  It was a great day for it!  

Did I mention WHY the play set is disassembled?  We've been saying since we moved here that it needed replacing (the previous owners left it behind).  Just like most of the do-it-yourself projects that were done by previously mentioned owners, the quality of workmanship on the play set was mediocre at best.  :/  It was ok for a while because really, how much damage can a 25 pound person make?  But, now there are two of them -  more rambunctious - and the safety was concern.  We've also been working in the yard a lot and decided we'd build a playhouse instead (and by "we", I of course mean Derek).  He's got grand plans to include the slide and swings.  He's so handy like that!

Well, enough of my ramblings for one night.  The storms have successfully woken my 5, going on 15, year old who is asking some pretty deep questions.  I'll leave you with a few more pictures of our day.

Go fly a kite!

Climbing the wall


Vacation Days

I promised to add a few more pictures of our vacation.  What a great time we had!  The weather wasn't very warm and we had a lot of rain, but we had a fun time way.  Saturday we took the girls to the Children's Museum where we spent a couple of hours playing, meeting Clifford the Big Red Dog, and experimenting in different centers.  I've got some great pics to share.  :)  We spent the afternoon driving around and walking around Barefoot Landing.  We bought a kite and flew it on the beach when we got back.  Sunday we spent most of the day just hanging out at the villa.  It was really cold and rainy.  We put together 2 puzzles and played Uno Moo & Old Maid a lot.  :)  The girls just enjoyed being somewhere new and playing with each other.  We left early Monday morning to head home.  It was 39 degrees and rainy when we left.  The girls were troopers on the long drive.  Can't wait for the next trip!

At the Children's Museum

Playing restaurant

Meeting Clifford the Big Red Dog

Playing in a raft

Making pizza

Driving a slug bug =)

Digging for fossils

Maddie loved playing post office

In the Magic Schoolbus

Making Ooleck like Dr. Seuess

Flying our kite

Big girl flying her kite

Loving, Losing, & Living UBP 2011 - This is Me!

My name is Kim and I'm excited to be participating in my first Blog Party!  I've been blogging about a year - and like me - my blog is ever changing.  :)  It started out as a place to document my weight loss journey, but has evolved into a place to share the day to day life of balancing kids, husband, work, and play.  I blog about being a mommy trying to balance it all (LOVING),  the struggles of weight loss (LOSING), and a Christian seeking to know Him more (LIVING).  We have decided to be a homeschooling family next year, so a lot of focus has turned that direction.  Parenting 3 & 5 year old girls is an adventure in and of itself.  I frequently seek advice from fellow moms and love to share in others' life journeys, as well.

I'm a 30-something year old from TN, but now live in GA.  I've been married almost 7 years.  I spent 15 years as a Colorguard Instructor for marching bands.  I still dabble in choreography for different musical productions here and there.  I love to sing!  I am an avid scrapbooker (and other crafts) - though I really don't have much time these days.  I'd like to say I'm highly organized, but really - I enjoy reading about getting organized and envision the day that everything in my home is neatly tucked away and properly labeled.  :)  

That's me in a nutshell.  I'm a hodge podge of a gal just trying to make it through this life one day at a time.  I hope you'll come along for the ride!
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