Building Our Story: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Montessori Reflections for September #Montessori #Preschool

Montessori Reflections at a Montessori Preschool

September In Review:  Montessori Reflections 

Well we made it through our first full month of school.  Success!  I am amazed at the changes that I have seen in Jude in just these 5 short weeks being enrolled in our Montessori school and very thankful for his teacher...she is a keeper.  

So what did Jude do in September? 
He finally got a lesson on the classroom reading tree house which means he can go into the tree house and read on his own now...he loves it!  I love that he loves to read.  Also he got to do a couple of lessons on the Practical Life area in the water works.  He really really wanted to pour water...he would ask me and his teacher every day if he could so she gave him a lesson early.  

Jude got to sing one of his "Jesus" songs at the church connected to the preschool and he did great.  He was very excited to go to the front of the church with his class and teacher and sing.  It was the cutest thing.  Growing up!

We had a celebration in his classroom for his teacher for her birthday; being the room mom means I got to gather a gift and stay for the song and well wishes.  Even though I was late to work it was so great to see Jude in his element!  Like I said before, seeing the changes with my own eyes make my heart happy.  I know this Montessori schooling is perfect for him!

We had another family night out for dinner to benefit his school - lucky for Jude it was at his very favorite place to eat out....TEXAS ROADHOUSE!  Yup our kid likes steak bites over cheeseburgers.  ;)  It is nice building a community with the other families that attend this school and church.  

Jude got to go to his first Scholastic Book Fair and pick out some books.  He and his grandma went after school and picked out 4 new books!  Lucky boy!!  He was very excited to come home and read those books.  

Now for the highlight of September!  Jude's first field trip!  We went to Miller Farms in Platteville Colorado to do some exploring, harvesting and playing.  Gardening is a big part of Montessori teaching so this trip was perfect.  We took Jude out to the fields and we picked all kinds of veggies!  Yum!  And now we are going to go over what we can make with all of the produce we came home with.  First on our lists:  Salsa and Soup!  More on the trip in a later blog post!  A must visit!!


Jude still wakes up every day asking if it is a school day and I love that.  He really has a favorite activity and that is water play right now.  He is starting to have friends too - 2 that we hear a lot about!  Too cute!  

How is it already time to think about October? 

How are your kiddos doing in school so far this school year?


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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Leek and Yam Chowder #recipe

A must try -  Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe!  Fast, easy and perfect for a cool fall evening!  

This is another fall family favorite in our home and it is something I would have never thought I would crave.

After going on Jude's field trip (more to come on that trip) we ended up with a ton of fresh produce on our counter tops.  Yum!  So I had to figure out what we were going to do with it all.  
First up...use our leeks and SOME of the potatoes that we harvested at a local farm by making this great chowder!  

Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe

Leek and Yam Chowder
Free Printable Recipe Link

Ingredients:
1/4 stick of butter
2 cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes 
2 regular potatoes (Peeled and cubed)
1 large yam (peeled and cubed)
3 medium leeks (sliced and cleaned)
4 cups boiling water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
small carton heavy cream
Sweet Basil and salt and pepper

Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe

Preparation:
1.  Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a large pot.
Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe
2.  Add 3 medium leeks (sliced and cleaned).  Stir and cook until tender.  
3.  Add 2 cans of Italian Stewed tomatoes, 1 large yam (peeled and cubed), 2 regular potatoes (peeled and cubed), pepper to taste to the large pot.
Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe
4.  Dissolve 2 vegetable bouillon cubes in a 4 cups of very hot boiling water.  Add to large pot.  Stir.
5.  Sprinkle generously with sweet basil.
6.  Bring to a boil then turn to low, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
7.  Add 1 small carton of heavy cream, stir and cook an additional 15 minutes.

8. Serve and enjoy!


Leek and Yam Chowder Recipe



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Friday, September 27, 2013

Rox or Sox

Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox! 
We were able to attend one of the two Rox vs. Sox games here in Denver.  Being a Boston Red Sox family and  Rockies family is hard when trying to decide what team to chear for! 
 
Jude decided to wear his Red Sox shirt and his Rockies hat.  Jeremy did the oppitsite!  Got both teams covered!

This was Teagan's first experience at Coors Field in Denver.  She had a fun time looking around and clapping when everyone else clapped!

 Dinger is always in our plan when we go to the Rockies game!  Jude loves him, Teagan was not too thrilled with him. 

Me and my girl!  Love her!  All smiles!

Baby wearing at the game!  Makes it easy for everyone!

Plus then I get snuggles with my girl!!!
 
It was a great night...Teagan did great and took a really good nap and Jude had fun watching his Sox and Rox with Daddy! 
 
 
Now for a little trip to the past....
Last time we went to a Red Sox game in Denver was the day before I went into labor with Jude!! 
 
 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

High Five by Janet Evanovich #bookreview

Time to share my 8th book read in 2013...slow clap is appreciated!
  

High Five
(Stephanie Plum Series #5)
By Janet Evanovich

My review:
Well Stephanie never has a dull moment in her bounty hunter lifestyle and that seems to be the way she likes it.  
Being a bounty hunter is a hard job when your Uncle goes missing, body parts are found in a trash bag, you keep missing getting blown to pieces, 2 HOT men want you...bad, and a little person decides to make your couch his home.  This is book 5 in the Plum series.  Mix in the hilarious Grandma M., the talk of marriage and high sexual tension you will be laughing out loud when reading this book.  
Stephanie has to find Uncle Fred.  Everyone is relying on her.  Of course nothing is easy in her world but she certainly finds what she needs and helps her family in the end.  
This book leaves you hanging in the end...wondering - does she call Morelli or Ranger over for a night of fun?  I had to start book 6 immediately to find out!!  ;)
Evanovich continues to deliver and I really feel like with every book she builds Stephanie's character more and more.  Great fun and easy reads for a busy mama!  

My recommendations:
I know I keep repeating myself but these books just keep getting dirtier!  ;)  Great for the mature adult and for those that like a little danger, sex, cursing and plain old fun in their books!

My Rating:


5 out of 5 cupcakes.  Yup - again!  I am hooked.  I love this series.  

What am I reading now?
Hot Six
(Stephanie Plum Series #6)
By Janet Evanovich

What are you reading?


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

We were lucky enough to take Jude this weekend to a screening of Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2!

This was Jude's second trip to the movie theater and this guy was so excited.  He loves the first Cloudy movie so we knew he would have a great time.



If you ask Jude what his favorite part of the movie was he will tell you "The Cheese Spiders!"  Ha! You will have to go see the movie to understand. 
I laughed out loud a lot in this movie...total adult moments and I love that in kids movies.  Gives us not so youngens the great experience of fun at the theater too!  I really think these movies are so creative and fun.  I love the bright colors, great music and fun storyline.  Not to mention the fun food/animal name combos!!  We have a great time thinking back to what we saw in the movie now.  Some examples:  Wildbeet, Flamango, Cantalope, Taco-dile Supreme! 

This was Jude's first 3-D movie and I was surprised but he kept his 3D glasses on the whole time!  He loved it. 

This movie comes to theaters on September 27th!  This is a must see for any kiddo that had fun watching the first Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs! 

 
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How To Be Healthy In An Unhealthy Family

From the seemingly endless expansion of processed foods to super-size mania, to our often fat, salt and sugar-based eating culture, Americans are in the midst of a full-on nutritional crisis. Today, more Americans are now more obese than ever, and an already large and alarmingly increasing sector of ourobese are children. For whatever nexus of reasons, each generation seems to be adopting lifestyle habits worse than those of the preceding one.  It would seem that the best way of collectively reforming our eating habits is at the level of the family.  But how do we go about making the needed changes?
 
A healthful way of eating is anchored in the way we eat as much as in the foods we consume.  In fact, before you are able to set intimidating alien dishes on the table, you may need to work with your family’s attitude towards making healthier choices. We humans can be deeply attached to the foods we eat--  they can be sources of comfort and even identity—sometimes to the point of unhealthy dependence.  Depending on the resistance level of your family, you may need to take it slow.

Eat planned meals together.  A family’s eating habits can be reshaped by group reinforcement:  think of it as a kinder, gentler sort of peer pressure. The worst way to encourage change is to make family members feel that they’re being policed, so by sharing in a regular ritual rather than watching over their shoulders, you can influence through positive example and observations. The act of making dinner an intentional event not only makes it easier to plot out balanced meals-- it usually slows down the pace of eating to make room for conversation, and puts the brakes on overeating.

Be honest without passing judgment.  Again, no one likes to be told what to do, even when they know it’s good for them. Instead of taking the path of nutritional militancy, simply confront family members with the cold facts of their eating patterns in a rational, casual way. If you know your spouse is not happy with their current size, give friendly reminders of the simple cause and effect he or she is choosing to ignore when they go for the third helping or order chili cheese fries, instead of a salad.  If you know you’re hitting a touchy subject, you might want to voice these observations in private.  A little joking can actually make the medicine go down, but family-wide shaming can backfire.

Be prepared to make deals.  Positive reinforcement and exemplary eating habits can sometimes only go so far, so if your family is truly beholden to junk food, some kind of intervention may be in order. However, by framing the new rules as a negotiation, family members won’t feel like they’re being punished or bossed around.  As every good negotiator knows, always begin bargaining for more than you intend to get. For instance, if you want your family to eat a veggie-based meal at least two nights per week, start out asking for four. You meet your goal; they feel they've talked you down:  everyone wins.
 

In any event, make the changes gradual.  Tiny replacements and introductions over time will be received better than a sudden head-to-toe game change.  Furthermore, do your homework to make sure the choices you want to enforce are in fact informed ones.  For example, many would-be reformers eager to wean their families off too much processed red meat purchase vegetarian imitations that are ironically even worse thantheir carnivorous counterparts.  Above all, see eating habits as one part of a greater equation that includes exercise, sleep, and stress levels—and do your best to maximize all of by sharing as much of your lives as possible.


Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer in Southern California, and often writes for NorthWest. She knows how important it is to eat healthy, and tries to encourage her family to do so as much as possible. She enjoys getting her children excited about healthy food by allowing them to help in the kitchen.


Thank you Virginia for sharing this article full of tips for healthy families.  

Disclosure: This is a guest post, not written by me, and I received compensation to post it.

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kidecals: Love for Colorado


It shouldn't surprise anyone that Colorado has recently been hit with devastating rain that has resulted in horrible flooding, damage to homes, businesses, roads and most important lives.  Multiple people lost their lives during these monsoon like storms that took out roads with ease - there are still 60 or so people unaccounted for at this moment.  Sad.  Horrifying. Unreal.  
The pictures really show the damage and the mess that multiple counties are now having to deal with.  Not to mention the cost - cuz guess what?  Colorado is not in a flood plain...which means no flood insurance!  I cannot imagine seeing your home washed down a river and know that you will be paying outright for the rebuilding and missing items.  Makes me tear up just thinking about what those people must be feeling even weeks after the floods began.  
 Living in Colorado and seeing the rain come down in sheets and see the ongoing warnings and closings all around us was terrifying.  We were so lucky, no damage at all.  Our neighbor's weren't so lucky, their basement flooded.  They still have a standing home though.  In our area we got 8 inches of rain in a matter of 2 days.  Up north they got 8 inches in a couple of hours!  Seriously!  What in the world?

So now...what can we do to help these folks, some who have lost everything.  


Enter kidecals - a Boulder Colorado company all about sticky stickers!  Amazing labels for babies, kids, teenagers and adults.  These labels stick to everything and are personalized and just plain adorable!!  Love ours!
In total Coloradoian fashion, kidecals are looking to give back to the victims who just happen to be their neighbors and home.

So here is the deal...
What do I want my readers to do today?
Buy a set of labels - you won't be disappointed.  So many of you sent your kiddos off to preschool just weeks ago...how perfect would these adorable labels be for their bags, coats, shoes, lunch bags and folders?
 
   

While you are placing your order add a Love for Colorado sticker for just 7 dollars - that 7 dollars will help the flood victims to rebuild and start fresh!  
ColoradoFloodStickerFeaturedImage

For my readers I will be hosting a small but meaningful giveaway.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment below answering this question:
Where would you display your Colorado Love Sticker?

Other entries:
1. Tweet the following:  I am supporting  victims by buying a  sticker from  by  
Leave a comment on this post with your tweet link.

2.  Like kidecals on facebook  Leave a comment stating your fb name.

3.  Like Building Our Story on Facebook.  Leave a comment stating your fb name. 


I will choose a winner on Friday September 27th at 10:00am MST using random.org.


Disclosure:  Kidecals provided me with a store credit to purchase labels/stickers of my own.  These are my opinions and views and was not swayed by any gift or credit.  

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Monday, September 23, 2013

11 Months Old

Yay!  Clap for me...I'm 11 Months Old!!
 
 
Yes you are reading that correctly...Teagan is less that one month away from being 1!!!!


Teagan loves playing "Oh My Head" just like Jude did!
 
Things I do Not want to forget:
~You are in 12 month clothes
~You are wearing size 3 diapers
~You still have no interest in eating much of anything with any texture
~Sleep?  Ha only in mommy and daddy’s bed…super!
~You are not just army crawling anymore!  You are the cutest crawler!!
~You look like you could start walking at any moment!
~Your brother is your best friend.  You love being around him.
~Even though you love Jude you tell him by screeching that you have had enough of him at times!
~You hear music of any kind and you DANCE!! 
~You can say a couple of words: “Big Bird”, Mama, Dada, BYE, HI, Thank you.
~You love to wave and blow kisses.
~You also love to give open mouth kisses…they are messy but perfect!!  ;) 
~Clapping has become one of your favorite things!
~You are the sweetest little girl but I can tell you are going to be a strong willed lady!  I love it!
~You get overly excited when Daddy and I come to pick you up from Grandma’s – screaming and bouncing around!  So cute! 
~You met a horse for the first time and thought he was so neat.  Doc is a special horse in our family.
 
You are a cupcake and we love it!  I cannot wait to see what this month will bring us.  Maybe walking, more talking, big girl car seat?  A birthday!!!  Eeek!!  So fun!

 
This girl is all smiles and on the move all the time! 
 
What a special little lady Teagan is.
 
 
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LifeBankUSA: Cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking



Cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking - something I would have never thought that these issues would be something an expectant family would be having to consider.  We were never fully aware of what "banking" was all about and now that I have been introduced to LifebankUSA, I really wish we would have had more information for when we had Jude and Teagan.  I want to provide my readers with this information and also a chance for them to win something so great for newborns!!  Read below for all the information!  


ABOUT LIFEBANKUSA

As the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking -- and the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant -- New Jersey-based LifebankUSA is a technological leader that is pioneering key medical innovations in the field.  Owned by the Celgene Corporation, a world-class biopharmaceutical company, LifebankUSA also operates a robust donation program and collects cells from anywhere in the US for use primarily in advancing medical research. 

Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking, and it's available only from LifebankUSA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are many important reasons to choose LifebankUSA.   
"LifebankUSA is a pioneer in placenta-stem cell technology. Our stem cell banking program meets and exceeds the highest standards in the industry-and we are the only company that can provide access to technology that allows you to boost the number of cells you can recover after birth."
- Robert Hariri, MD, PhD
CEO and Founder of LifebankUSA
There’s only one opportunity to save your baby’s stem cells for the future... 
As an expectant parent, your baby’s health means everything. Right now, he or she is protected in the womb and will soon enter the world. There is a lot to think about and prepare for, but an invaluable step you can take when your child is born is to preserve his/her stem-cell rich cord and placenta blood The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.  In fact, since 1988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.



When you bank with LifebankUSA, they include tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) for free.* Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development.

LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of their complete banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time.†  Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.



LifebankUSA wants to give parents the chance to win one of the hottest baby items, the 4Moms mamaRoo. With the LifebankUSA mamaRoo Facebook contest they will be giving away TWO 4Moms mamaRoos (valued at $260 each) in a random drawing from entrants in this Facebook contest. The mamaRoo bounces up and down and sways from side to side, just like parents do when comforting their babies. It plays soothing nature sounds and has the option of plugging in your own MP3 player. Enter by clicking the photo or the link above for your chance to win the baby item that is on EVERY expectant Mom’s baby shower registry!



This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering the contest, you understand that you are providing your information to LifebankUSA and not to Facebook.



*Storage fees apply after the first year 

†Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post all about LifebankUSA.  The company mentioned above provided me compensation for my review and thoughts - my views are in no way swayed my the monetary items.  All reviews are my own.  


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Friday, September 20, 2013

Whats on your TV?

During the summer I feel like TV is just plain boring. Well everything but Dexter.  Jeremy and I have been Dexter followers for years.  We love this show and are really sad that after Sunday Dexter will be gone.  The very last Dexter airs on Sunday - after 8 seasons we will say goodbye to our Sunday night fun.  


This summer we also got hooked on a old HBO show Six Feet Under (Another Michael C. Hall show).  Jeremy and I are into the second season so far and loving it!  I kind of like having a series to just watch every couple of evenings at home.  After we finish Dexter and Six Feet Under we will need a new series.  Any suggestions???


In just a couple of weeks my favorite show will be returning too!  Grey's Anatomy!!  


So what will you be watching?  What series do you love?  And what do you suggest for our next series?


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