Thursday, August 30, 2012

To The Woods We Will Go....

Things have been busy here....busy and stressful. Stressful and busy! Have you ever wondered what the title of our blog meant? My husband came up with the title many years ago around the FIRST time we tried to sell our house and move...before we even had Benjamin. To the woods we will go! That has been our goal forever. Finally it is going to happen. Our house is under contract and we are supposed to close on or before Oct. 31. So two months left. We have yet to find a house that fits our needs though. This is where the stress part is coming time ticks away and we are another day closer to being homeless! We have seen perfect houses and perfect properties, but never the two together. Issues with cess pools, HOAs, a back yard that consisted of a very dangerous cliff, etc etc....Cla says we won't settle. WE are looking for our "House of Dreams". The house we will raise our children in and live forever.....Our Ingleside (if you aren't an Anne fan you won't get that and you SHOULD be an Anne fan.)

So we are primarily looking in Carbon County Pennsylvania.  I took a few (very few) pictures when we went up to look at houses a few weeks ago.  Really took pictures of these trains to show Ben so really gives you no idea of how beautiful the area is, but here ya go anyhow.

Oh, and I beg for prayers that we FIND our Ingleside!!

downtown Jim Thorpe

My little pixie girl had a good weight check yesterday.  Truly I was shocked and I credit only St. Anne (and my mom who apparently stuffed her with food the day before) who I have been begging with prayers.  So she gained back the 4oz she lost last time plus two more ounces for a total gain of 6oz.  So she has squeaked by once again!!
And speaking of know I have always dreamed of having a little redheaded waif-ish girl who I could put in old fashioned dresses and braid her hair and she could be my Anne Shirley.  So I got the redhair and curls and the waifishness but she is sure taking her time growing her hair!!  But lookie here!  I got her hair up in two little adorable braids *sigh*  I SWOOOOOONNN!!!!!  I love it and she so needs to keep her hair up because her curls are just....well, a bit nutty and it gets so tangled and knotty and it is impossible to brush and she hates having it brushed.  So hopefully she will let me keep her hair in braids and we can avoid some of the nightmare aspects of having the most adorable hair ever created.

Holy crow...just look at this face!!!!!!  I joked to Cla once that since she is Anna and not Anne ("Anne with an E") that when she is old enough to have her first e mail address she should be AnnewithanA@whatever.something.  I am hilarious...I know.

So on to Beatrice.  An interesting thing about her.  We almost never call her Beatrice.  She is almost exclusively Buggy.  Yet, if you call her Buggy she acts like she is deaf....won't look at you, doesn't care.  If you call her Beatrice she turns right at you and smiles.  Could a 7M old be showing preference?????  So I HAVE been putting in an effort to actually refer to her as Beatrice...since she seems to like that better LOL

So I mentioned somewhere along the way that she tested positive for a dairy allergy.  She has since had further testing and is also positive for egg and peanuts.  And she is ridiculously sensitive.  If you think about milk while looking at her she breaks out in hives and I am only BARELY exaggerating!

This morning I was loading the dishwasher and she was trying to climb in it and she will put anything in her mouth and eat it.  So my hands were all wet and dirty from whatever I was putting in the dishwasher but I had to quickly grab her and whisk her away so I could finish up.

When I went to get her out of the pack and play she had broken out in hives LITERALLY in the shape of my hands, right where I grabbed her.  You can see where my fingers were around her body under her arms.  There was some dairy on my hands when I grabbed her.  She is just SOOO sensitive!  I shudder to think what would happen if she actually ingested something.
No picture of Ben, but he recently saw the allergist as well.  He had a scratch test done for egg and he had just a very small reaction.  So he is scheduled to do an egg challenge next week at CHOP.  So he might be able to have eggs again.  And we did a challenge at home with dairy and he has been doing fine so he is back on dairy too!  This of course changes little for the household since Beatrice is starting to eat table food and so I still need to cook egg and dairy free.....

Ohh and homeschool starts Monday Sept.3!! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Cake to Celebrate the Assumption and Other Randomness

Nice cake huh??  Soo yummy too!!  I used the Wacky Cake recipe.  The recipe was developed during rationing and has no eggs or milk in it.  So works great for us.  And it is delicious.  This is the same recipe I use for birthday cakes etc.

Also made chocolate zucchini cupcakes.  They came out really nice.  As you can see many have been snacked on already.

And for the sake of posterity:  Beatrice cut her first tooth AND randomly started waving and saying "bye bye"  She just picked it up I guess?  It is beyond adorable!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well, I won't say spectacularly because we are severely limited by space and sunshine (we barely get any direct sun in our yard.  But we manage to get a few things here and there.

These are our last bunch of onions.  Most are very small because they were not in a place that got much sun. 

I have NO idea what these flowers are but they smell AMAZING!!  My sister in law's mother gave me a cutting last summer after I admired how nice they smelled.  Never thought to ask what they were LOL

My black eyed Susan.  I had a great bunch of daisies too but they have died already.  I wish these things stayed in bloom longer.

This is our oregano.  We pick it and dehydrate it to use later.

Here is the view of our jungle garden.  That is it....the whole thing right there LOL...Well that is where our veggies go...our berries and herbs are in other spots.

ripening tomatos..

I spy a zucchini
Our lone and beloved apple.  We have a dwarf container apple tree.  I should have taken a picture of the whole thing.  It is really amazing.  At one time it had three apples but somehow two of them were lost (squirrel or something?) and this lone apple is all that remains LOL.....we will each get one wedge of it when it is ready to pick!

A garbage can of weeds you wonder??  No!!  These are actually our potatos!! We grew potatoes in the ground last year and got a small crop.  This year we didn't want to take up all the space with potatoes so we found somewhere along the way this idea of growing them in a garbage can.  We will see how they come out!

So here is what I pulled out of the garden.  That light green round thing in the bowl.  That is actually a cucumber.  Our cucumbers are dying and this is all we have so far.  No idea what the story is with it.  And there are our onions all cleaned up!  I will use them later in the week for a potted chicken.

We would love to grow enough tomatoes at once to be able to can them for the winter.  But we just don't have the space.  So I just use them as they come and rather than make a whole production out of it I literalyl just toss whatever I have into the food processor skins, seeds and all.  I let it go until it is liquid.

Frothy tomato liquid.  I then start my sauce using store bought cans of crushed tomatoes and I just add this right into the pot with that and the seasonings and whatever else.  Always comes out great and really fresh.  If you don't have a long time to cook it down then you can add a tomato paste as well.

And there is also a Buggy sprouting up!!!  She pulled herself up on the couch....just poked her head up to say hello!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012-2013 Homeschool plans

So school starts at the Salvucci house on September 3rd and I have been making my final plans and trying to get organized (and failing miserably at it, but the reasons for that are a whole other story for a whole other post that involves the fact that we have sold our house and are moving *gasp* true story!)

So here are my plans for Ben for Kindergarten:
We are roughly following MODG for Kindergarten with a few swaps because he is a bit ahead in those areas
Reading/Phonics: Little Angel Reader Program
Math: Abeka K
Poetry: MODG recommedations
Literature: chosen read alouds of chapter books and picture books (some plans for winnie the pooh, Beatrix Potter, Charlotte's Web, Mary Poppins...any other suggestions?) and the saint/liturgical/picture book recommendations by MODG, and Catholic Treasure Box.
Handwriting: Creative Alphabet
Religion: Golden Children's Bible and recommendations from MODG
Music: 36 Traditional Catholic Hymns
Art: we have a few Illuminated Ink projects, craft projects he will do along with Anna, and the illustrations that are part of the MODG poetry

I think that is everything.....and currently I am thinking it will be too much for him as a very young Kindergartener, but I figured we will go for it.  We can always cut back on whatever we need.  My issue...if you can call it an issue, is his reading/math skills are at a 1st grade level, but maturity wise he is very much a 4yr old, but he is begging me for school.  So we will forge ahead and see how it goes.

Plans for Anna:
We are roughly following 26 Letters From Heaven (not sure I am even getting titles correct here...just want to get this all down on "paper" for my own sake).  She will do a letter a week with accompanying crafts and activities on an as needed basis.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What's a Buggy To Do???

Buggy (which is her real nickname) has been super busy and so I am several milestones behind.

So, for a while she did this funny little sit up thing....sort of a lounging sit up.  She didn't have the balance to sit up on her own yet, but she did her best. She is now sitting up like a champ though.

And not only is she sitting up and crawling on hands and knees, but she is standing herself up and starting to cruise!!  She is a super motivated baby!

This was Ben's favorite toy when he was Buggy's age and they are such clones...of course she is loving it as well.

This is her second real bath in a real bathtub but I forgot pictures the first time.  She loves it.  Bath time logistics are complicated as Ben and Anna are too rough in the bath to take one with Beatrice and they like about three times as much water.  So I have started just tossing Buggy in quick, scrubbing her up, taking her out and then adding more water for the two bigger kids.

Beatrice is also eating really well.  She loves baby food and is growing really well now as far as I can tell.  No doubt she is doing more than fine developmentally! She sees her GI this week and I will be very interested to hear how much she has grown.  Perhaps it will be our last GI appt if she is eating and growing so well and it seems whatever her issues were early on were more likely allergy related and not GI related.

 Not sure why these came out so blurry. Dirty lense?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Annabella turns 3!!

Once again so behind with posts and updates. Just busy with life.. July 28th was a momentous occasion here. Anna turned 3 years old!! I do not have a lot of pictures, but she did have a very nice party here with family and some friends and lots of beautiful gifts. She had a truly lovely day.

while she napped we created her birthday cake.  A princess castle...or at least the best facsimile I could create.

opening some presents.  I think Ben was more excited than Anna to get a few more trains to add to their collection.  Anna now has Emily, Rosie, Molly, and Lady...pretty much covers the female trains.

anything else in there??

opening her Holztiger figure.  A raccoon.  They get a Holztiger for birthdays and Christmas.

What's all the excitement??

a blow-up ladybug chair from Ikea.  I told you my pics are lame LOL
Happy Birthday my sweet Annabella.  You are a passionate, COMpassionate little girl with a heart of gold.  May you always be as full of life and love as you are right now.