Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday Mica!

Dear Mica,

Eight years ago you were born. It seems like such a long time ago in some ways; in others it was just yesterday.

I never had morning sickness with you. 7 pm was my bedtime the whole first trimester. I felt like fainting often to. One day I fainted in the shower. It scared me so much!

My doctor didn't know if I'd be able to deliver you the normal way. She talked about that throughout my pregnancy. Towards the end you just happened to be in the breech position. I tried everything to get you to move myself. I laid on an ironing board upside down. One end was up on the bed, the other on the floor, against the wall. That wasn't easy getting on that, being really pregnant! Off I went to get a CT scan to see if it was even possible to deliver you the normal way. It was, so I was scheduled for an external cephalic version. I didn't know what that was. It's where my doctor hooked me up to see if you became stressed out, while she tried to turn you from the outside. If you were to turn, they were going to induce me to make sure you wouldn't turn back. I was all ready to have you. My bags were packed. Cookies were made for the nurses. Everything was ready to go.

I went in not thinking it would be as painful as everyone had told me. Boy was I wrong! My doctor was pushing for you to turn. Another doctor joined in pushing down as hard as she could. You would turn just a little bit, and pop back. Daddy said my eyes looked like I was horrified. I was low on fluid, and you were a long baby.

I went home. At my next appointment I was sent in the following day to have an emergency c-section because my fluid was so low. I swear it all went into my legs and feet!

You were born mooning the doctors. Yep your butt was right in their face. It was frightening because you didn't cry. You were asleep. Then I realized you had a funky shaped tongue. Later we found out that you had a cyst under you tongue. They lanced the cyst. Then cut the flap under your tongue because you were tongue tied. So many appointments followed because of that cyst you had. Doctors didn't know if you'd be able to eat, or talk. You most certainly do both just fine! Doctors wanted to make sure you didn't have a cyst in your brain, or inside your tongue as well. You had to get a head/brain MRI at 2 months old. I cried because I couldn't feed you for a long time before the MRI.

The MRI images made you looks so creepy. We could see teeth that hadn't even come out yet. No cyst!

At 7 months we could have easily lost you! Grandpa Spiehs noticed that your neck was getting bigger and bigger in his care. I hadn't noticed anything when I dropped you off. I really think swelling from a staph infection happened so quickly! The problem was, was that doctors didn't know it was a staph infection. They gave you antibiotics hoping it would make that neck swelling go down! Your fever and white blood cell count was up! The picture below is one of your happy pictures. Most of the days in the hospital were not so fun.

You couldn't turn you head much at all. That made breast feeding oh so interesting. An Infectious Disease Doctor probed us with crazy questions. To this day we don't know why, or how you got it. My best guess is that you got it from an ear infection you had on the same side. It was a week in the hospital. One more week at home on IV antibiotics. They could not get a pick line through, so you just had the IV in the arm. Giving you IV antibiotics scared me 1/2 to death! Then you got the Rotavirus, had to go back into the hospital. You were throwing up left and right. I thought it was from the antibiotics. I didn't know you were fighting yet another infection! Back home we went again. Then you broke out in hives all over from the Penicillin. Another call went into the doctor for that.

You never crawled right. You sort of drug one leg under you. When it was time for you to walk, you limped. It was just because you didn't exercise that one leg. That lead to more doctor visits.

After all that major crazy stuff, you've been healthy for the most part! A total drastic change from your babyhood!

What are you like now?

You love to read! Magic Tree House books are your favorite! You also love Legos. You still haven't grown out of wanting to dress up. An acting camp over the summer was your cup of tea. The whole family likes to watch Little House on the Prairie. You have swimming lessons and Jiu-Jitsu both once a week.

Other things about you:

I ran into your name a few times. One night I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to this on the TV:
Found here
Turns out there's a famous ski resort in Heli Canada named Mica. Kind of odd to wake up with that on the TV!

Then I was thumbing through a graphic design book and saw this:

Found here
It stands for Maryland Institute College of Art. Perfect! I do think it's odd that Institute and College are in the same name of a school. It's still cool that M | I | C / A is an art school!

Mica is a shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure, found as minute scales in granite and other rocks, or as crystals. It is used as a thermal or electrical insulator.

You are very bright in school. You can't wait to grow up. Your brother is the opposite. I want to tell you to slow down, and your brother to hurry up. I just want a middle ground.

Happy 8th birthday Mica!

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

I started doing what I call Sing, Sing a Song Saturday.  I'm going to post one song on Saturdays that the boys or I like. 

The song may be part of a movie, a kid's video or just a song we like. I'll try and include why we like it and/or the history of the song/singer.

I'm not going to introduce anyone new today. Well maybe some will be new to you. I'm just going to post some songs that have touched me from movies.

Let it Be makes me cry. If you've ever watched Across the Universe, there is a lot of emotion when this song is sang by Carol Woods and Timothy T. Mitchum. The whole movie has covers of Beatles songs. Still to this day I get the chills when I watch it.

This next one is from the movie Frida. Frida just caught her husband Diego having sex with her sister. The ultimate no no! I just really sympathize with this scene. The jealousy comes out in me. I want the two characters to be happy on one hand, and I'm so pissed at him on the other. By the way the painting towards the end of the clip is Salma Hayek completely painted. I think the song sung by Lila Downs is perfect for the scene.

The next song makes me happy. It's from the movie I Am Sam. Sam is a high functioning man with a mental disability. He was left with a baby, then the child was taken away by the state. No worries he gets partial custody back. Black Bird was sung by Sarah McLachlan in the movie. The clip from the movie isn't on YouTube. I found a clip of the scenes with someone else singing, and another clip of Sarah McLachlan singing. The song is so simple, yet so powerful at the same time.

What songs from movies have impacted you?

Friday, August 9, 2013

What's Popular?

It used to be colors that came and went. Clothing styles and home decor came and went as well.

Now vintage is back. Mixed patterns, and all colors seem to be acceptable. Any type of clothing and decor from modern to vintage is ok to use. A lot of people mix styles up. That's ok as well.

What is popular? Do you ever think about that? Never would I of guessed that what's popular would be some of things that we proudly own, have, wear today.

The last few years mustaches have been in. Even I like them. It's cool to wear that stache.

Mason jars are in every store it seems. It used to be "redneck" to drink out of a jar. Now they are even sold at high end stores like Pottery Barn. We drink out of them at home.
Someone made bacon popular. I like it, it's good, but it's greasy fat. Some think it's in the meat group. Let's face it, it's fat. It's been around for a long time. I find it humorous that it's popular. Especially when people put them on cupcakes. The cupcakes were good before you added the bacon. Bacon mints do not make your breath fresh.


Being a nerd is no longer a bad thing. It's considered sexy and popular. Put the word, "Nerd" on a shirt, then put that shirt on a sexy girl, and guys are all over her. Some people even wear black rimmed glasses with no lens because it's "HOT".
Chevron Stripes are now the "Thing" to get. They are on t-shirts, baby blankets, rugs and more. This is a new one that quickly came onto the scene. I've been seeing them all over ads.
The one I can't understand is the grumpy cat. I wish that one would go out of style. No offense to those that like that ugly thing. It's just not me.
What things did I miss? What else is popular?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Block Builders Review

Have you ever heard of Fat Brain Toys?

If not you NEED to check out their website. They have so many toys that are not only fun, different, but also educational.

I have two former students that work there. They work on their packaging, website, ads, and more.

I just won a toy called Block Builders off of their Facebook page.

About Block Builders:

  • It was a winner of 2011 Parents' Choice Gold Award.
  • In 2013 Major Fun Award - Puzzles.
  • There are 6 cubes that break apart in their own unique way. 
  • It gives kids and adults a fun way to understand architecture.
  • There are 50 building puzzle cards.  They give facts to historic and modern architecture.
  • Can be played with individually and independently. 
  • This game focuses on critical thinking, perception and spatial awareness.
  • It has levels of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert.
  • Awesome packaging that doesn't take up a lot of space.
  • Price: $32.95.
Here's what the blocks look right out of the box. Simple enough. Right?

The blocks break apart like this:

There are cards inside. You draw one and create what's on the card. The card tells you an ArchiFact about modern or historic architecture.

This card says, "Norman: a style of buildings erected by the Normans (1066-1154) based on the Italian Romanesque. It was used principally in castles, churches, and abbeys of massive proportions. Sparsely decorated masonry and the use of the round arch are characteristic."

The next one we worked on was this one:

This card says, "Constructed between 1931 and 1936, Hoover Dam was built to last approximately 2,000 years. The concrete used in the construction of the dam will not by fully cured for approximately another 500 years. Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at the base."

What I thought of Block Builders?

I thought the age recommendation is right on. It's for ages 5 and up. Both of my boys ages 5 and 8 seemed interested! In fact they fought over it. I said, "It can be played by both of you." Sometimes they still struggle with sharing.

Isaak of course can't read the ArchiFacts yet. He certainly can build some of the easier cards.

This game reminds me of the game Rush Hour. It doesn't look like Rush Hour. The pieces are very different. It's the critical thinking that made me think they were similar.

What I think of Fat Brain Toys?

I love the fact that the website and store have an out of the box mentality with their toys. They carry some toys you'd find at any toy store, but most of them are different. They have a lot of toys that teach kids something, while they play. 

My children love going into their store; located in Omaha, Nebraska. The workers are friendly. They have toys on the floor that kids can play with. 

Sometimes they hold special events at their store. One time farm animals were invited to be outside Fat Brain Toys. My kids really loved that! 

They stock many American made toys, award winning toys and toys that will last!

Way More Than a Box 

Way More Than a Box is something that Fat Brain Toys pretty recently started. It's a spot where people can upload toys and more of things they've created with a box. It really gives you ideas on things that you can make at home.

I uploaded two of our box creations. 

Check out other ideas on what you can make with boxes at Way More Than a Box!

Check out Fat Brain Toys and enter their weekly giveaways on their Facebook page.
Follow Fat Brain Toys on Twitter.

Disclaimer: The opinions on the post are my personal take on the product. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review. I did get products to help with the review. 
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I was reading Isaak a farm book last night, while we were at the Y during Mica's Jiu-jitsu class.

There were words that I knew he didn't know the meaning of. I asked him: 

"Do you know what a 'heard' is?"
"Do you know what 'graze' is?"
"Do you know what a 'flock' is?"
"Do you know what 'jive' means?"

Of course I went over these words at different times; when we came across the words. Each time he said, "No." I would explain to him what each word was and ask him again what the words meant? He didn't know. He didn't listen to me at all.

Finally he said, "Mom just read the book already! I just want to hear the story!"

I told him, "Isaak part of reading is learning what the words are about. The story doesn't make sense if you don't know what the words mean." 

Isaak said, "Mom that's what school is for." 

I said, "Yes you learn in school, but you also learn at home. You are going to start getting homework. We have to do that at home." 

Isaak said, "Just read the story Mom." 

Maybe it's wrong, but I refused to read to him. I said, "If I'm going to read to you, you have to be willing to learn from me." 

Last night I tucked him in his covers and said, "Isaak you get to go to school to meet your teacher tomorrow for Open House. How exciting! Are you excited?" 

Isaak said, "Mom I told you I'm not excited at all." 

This is going to be one heck of a transition!

For the record I'm super excited for Isaak! 

I think Kindergarten will be good for him. Mica couldn't wait to grow up. Isaak on the other hand doesn't want to grow up. He needs a slight push. He'd be totally fine with us taking care of him the rest of his life. By the way he loved preschool!

Daddy and I haven't had the same weekend for 8 years! He worked the weekends to have Thursday and Friday off. Then Grandma and Grandpa watched them 1 day a week, Aunt Terra watched them 2 days a week. Daddy watched our 2 nephews on Thursday and Friday. Then when Emerson was born 2 years ago, Terra couldn't work our system any longer. My parents took on 3 days for us. This summer Daddy barely worked (only 3 days a week), so my parents only had 1 day to watch the crazy kids. I took 1/2 hour lunches to pick them up early (at 2:30) on that day. It will be nice to have weekends back. We can actually go places. People can come see us; see all of us.

Monday, August 5, 2013

WW: Captain Mica Underpants

Mica wanted a Captain Underpants party. Who am I to trump his creativity? I did set some limits. He could have this theme for his family party, not his friend one. He could not just wear his underwear. He had to wear tan pants under them. He was annoyed with me when I told him about the no just underwear rule.

 The party is this weekend. I've already posted an invite, but here it is again if you didn't see it:

Mica wanted capes, so I made them for Mica, Isaak and cousins Evan and Elijah. I got the idea from Jolly Mom, but kind of went my own route.

Here's Mica dressed up as Captain Underpants. He's holding his weapon, which is his lasso of toilet paper.

Totally Photoshoped. I had to do it.

Now I've got to figure out how to decorate the cake. It will be fun.

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If you have a moment I have a giveaway up to win a Crazy Dog T-shirt. I also have a giveaway up to win an 8"x10" Easy Canvas.
If you want to learn how to make the cape Mica is wearing go here.

No Sew, No Velcro Cape

I got the idea for making capes on my friend's site: Jolly Mom. I initially was going to follow her cape pattern. It was right there to use. How could I not? The capes I was making are for older kids.

Mica's having a Captain Underpants party. I said it could only be for his family party. I didn't want him running around in underwear around his friends. Even so I made him wear tan shorts with underwear over them. Mica is the type of kid that wants it all for his party. I give him what I can. For the rest I say, "Tough!"

If you are not familiar with this character here he is:


It's an odd comic where toilet paper is his weapon. So strange, but Mica and his cousin Evan like him. It got him into reading chapter books.

I ended up sort of making up my own cape. I'm going to walk you through the steps.

I wasn't too excited about this next step. Captain Underpants has a red cape with black dots. Mica had to have the black dots. I thought it would look a bit like a watermelon, or ladybug. It does, but it's his party, and his cape. We made black dots. It works well to just trace around a jar with chalk. You can make whatever pattern for the capes that you want out of any color of felt.

You can leave the bottom straight, but Captain underpants doesn't have a straight bottom cape. I cut out a wave type pattern.

Ta da, here's Captain Mica Underpants with his toilet paper laso. I'll show more pictures for my WW.


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