Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

My husband discovered an extravagant nest immediately outside our back door, about 3 foot off the ground, 5 days ago (Friday). It was built in an old Mountain Dew box that was sitting on top of our grill table awaiting dryer days for the fire pit. Dryer days was that day and it almost went in. He quickly put it back and left it where it was. The box and some of the nesting materials were still wet from the days of rain.

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Saturday, she had an egg in the nest. We hadn’t used our grill all winter but we had just got a new gas tank that day and we were clearing the patio and pulling out the grill to prepare to cook dinner on it. I walked outside and he had moved the nest. I said no! it has to be back where it was, so I needed to find something else to set it on at the same height and in the same spot, so that we wouldn’t be disturbing it. I quickly thought and I found a solution and the nest went unmoved.

We left it alone and the next morning (Sunday), there was another egg in the nest. Oh how excited I was that we didn’t make her abandon the nest. I forgot to take a picture of the lone egg in the nest however I did get a picture of the 2 eggs. We don’t have to go look in the nest, it’s literally right as soon as we open the door to let the dog out. [ I worried that she put her nest in a terrible place with how highly trafficked the door is.] My husband said when he was letting the dog out one morning before work, she was in there sitting on her eggs and didn’t seem bothered by him at all. “She’s a little wren,” he said.

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Yesterday morning (Monday) I went to let our dog out to use the bathroom and there were three eggs in the nest.

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That’s when I decided to look up how many she’ll lay, I saw her today and I was wrong before, so I’m editing it now, she’s a Carolina Wren not a House Wren. They nest anywhere from 3 feet to 6 feet off the ground and they will lay an egg a day until they reach 3-7 eggs. Then they incubate from 12-16 days. I was intrigued to read that her mate may sometimes bring her food while she’s on the eggs. Once they hatch it will be another 10-16 days before they leave the nest.

You can read more here https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Wren/lifehistory

I think being able to watch her clutch grow and possibly be able to see them hatch and become actual birds is a very neat experience. My biggest fear is that she’ll abandon the nest and I’m really hoping she won’t. I would love to be able to document their development, since I know the time frame of their whole cycle personally.

This morning when I let the dog out to use the bathroom, there were four eggs in the nest. Only one or two more days and she’ll be done laying. I still haven’t seen the mama with my own eyes yet. This is an exceptional learning experience for the children because I can educate them about a bird’s life cycle. How important it is to leave nature untouched and to just observe. After seeing a cat give birth to kittens a few months ago and to watch me carry their sister in my belly for 9 months, they are intrigued at the fact that birds lay eggs and have to sit on them until they are born.

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I will continue to observe and update on the nest in future posts. So if you’d like to see more about these babies, follow me.

 

**EDIT**
I finally was able to catch a photo of her since she isn’t in the nest much during the day, I snapped a quick shot tonight. (I didn’t have to get close, I just used my zoom)

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Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

In case you lost track of time

Welcome to the end of April. I’m going to use this entry to update any followers as to what’s going on in my life since I’ve been gone quite a while without writing a post. Sometimes it just seems impossible to remember to maintain it honestly. So here we are, in Spring! It’s been a very interesting month.

Our youngest is about to turn a month old on the 30th. Yep, she’s finally here. I can’t believe it’s been a month already, but it has. She was born March 30th at 5:11pm 6 lb 15oz and 19.5″ long. She came naturally which was a first for me out of the 6. My water had broke at 7:50am while I was in the process of waiting at the preschool for them to open their doors at 8:00am. Needless to say, I’ve never had my water break before on it it’s own, so I was a bit excited and nervous and kind of scared. I had no contractions so I just waited those 12 minutes patiently while calling to make arrangements with my mother and to let my husband know (at work) that it was time to go to the hospital. 9 hours later and voila, beautiful baby girl! I’m breastfeeding of course, as I’ve done with all my others. Everyone adores her and all the children are very happy to have a new baby sister, for now at least, ha.

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My oldest, the 5th grade homeschooler, is about to be finishing up her course work. Can you believe it!? It was a 36 week course that we’re about to be finishing up in the next 2 weeks. It was definitely a very trying experience and one I’m not likely to repeat with any of the children. It could just be the attitudes, the lack of her motivation and willingness to learn and comprehend. I’m probably just not the best “teacher” for her as far as standard curriculum goes. I did my best, we did our best and we made it through it, but we’re looking forward to starting back to public school in the fall.

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My 8 year old son with ADHD has excelled in school tremendously since being medicated in November 2016. He’s gotten A’s & B’s in his 2nd, 3rd and going on 4th quarter report. He’s even scored well on the NNAT2 test that he has been invited to join a group called Talented Development where he will be working with an Academically Gifted Resource Specialist once a week in a group of similar students for the remainder of the year. In the following school year he could be working with AG kids/courses as long as he maintains a 3.0 GPA. We’re very proud of him and his achievements.

My 5 year old son is going in for his ADHD evaluation next month. He has been giving his Kindergarten teacher and school staff gray hairs since the beginning, but there was nothing I could do since his pediatrician can’t or won’t diagnose under 6 years old. There were no other options for me with him until then, so you can see how starting school in August and not turning 6 until 6 days before school lets out has made this school year very difficult. Thankfully though considering he has demonstrated ALL the characteristics of his older brother before his diagnosis, that I’m confident that putting him on the same medication will result in the massive changes that his older brother went through and will make the next school year 100% better.

Cap & Gown pictures were yesterday for my preschooler. She has an exciting month coming up, turning 5 years old and graduating preschool. She’s had such an amazing school year and has gone above and beyond the expectations of learning for the whole year. Her report cards were magnificent and her behavior was excellent. Her teachers just adore her and I know she’s probably going to miss it very much but I’m hoping she’ll enjoy Kindergarten just as much.

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My homebody for this last year is finally going to be starting preschool himself in the Fall. He’s looking forward to it. I just finished the last 2 forms yesterday when they called me in to confirm his placement in the 2017-18 school year. That will leave just me and the little miss at home for the next 4-5 years once they all start back to school, which is only a few months away. They let out May 26th and will be going right back probably the 2nd week of August.

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We have some fun things in store coming up so I’ll write about some adventures & experiences soon!

In case you lost track of time

The Faces of ADHD/ODD

My oldest son (age 7, he’ll be 8 at the end of December) was diagnosed ADHD (combined) & ODD on November 16th. We knew he had trouble staying focused and listening and following some instructions, he also had a defiance streak among other issues. It wasn’t until he started 2nd grade this year that the issues started showing themselves more in the school environment. His defiance was aimed towards teachers instead of just us, he lacked focus and couldn’t control his verbal outbursts, which made him a disturbance in the classroom. He ended up having to spend just about every day in the office.

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In the few short weeks since school following the start of school which was August 10th, I got note after note home from his teacher. We scheduled a parent teacher conference by the first PTA the following month. Pretty soon 2 months into school he had 2 referrals with a third on the way. He was even seeing the guidance counselor once a week and she recommended the teacher fill out a form for his Pediatrician. We had 3 parent teacher conferences and eventually all this struggle led to what the school calls an RTI which is an Intervention done by the school officials (principal, guidance counselor, teacher) so they could better assist him with trying to do better, keep busy and stay focused. Since they knew he was about to be going to the doctors for an ADHD evaluation they were making changes that were typical for an ADHD child.

Surely enough between the form the teacher filled out and the form I filled out for at home, along with his report card, his conduct markings for the first 13 weeks of school and the referrals plus the information I gave about him on a more personal note. She did not hesitate to diagnose him ADHD and ODD. She also referred him to a psychiatrist for further assistance on other issues. She then prescribed him Vyvanse that day and I started him on it the next day. We let him know that the pill wasn’t magic and that he also had to do his best along side it.

On just his 2nd day on the medication I got the first ever positive note home! I was thrilled. After a week his conduct report came home and it was a 71%, it’s never even been close to that. We noticed a drastic change with him at home too. He’s more attentive, focused and less defiant.

They have an app called Class Dojo and all school year it’s been negative after negative to the point where he was so bad at school he missed out on 2 school functions based on his conduct. Since the medication he hasn’t had a SINGLE negative mark on his Class Dojo, they all look like the photo below. Amazing. His second conduct report came home this past Tuesday and it was 100%. It’s a complete transformation.

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For 2 weeks I’ve been getting notes home about how good he’s been doing. It’s like he’s a different child. I was skeptical about medicating him at first. I didn’t want to be one of those parents who jump right into drugging their children for all their problems. But ever since he started taking it and I’ve seen the incredible changes there is no doubt in my mind that this was the best choice for his education, his well-being and his overall function.

I know his 2nd 9 weeks report card is going to be too far gone to repair, but I’m pretty confident that by the 3rd 9 weeks his grades are going to drastically improve. We’ve seen the improvement just in his behavior in the 2 short weeks he’s been on the medication. We’ve also seen the graded work that has been coming home. It’s a major change to what we were considering the norm.

Here’s an example of a few weeks prior vs. the 2 weeks on the medication.

Here is his 1st 9 weeks progress report.

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Also his 2nd 9 weeks progress report which has improved a little bit from the first 9 weeks, so I am looking forward to seeing the changes in the 3rd 9 weeks now that he has something to help him focus more.

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I’ve heard of so many people having children misdiagnosed and many parents against medicating their children. I was worried about all the same things, heard all the same horror stories. I put my worries aside to do my best to help my child. I was so ready to suck it up and figure something out no matter what it was. I was at my wits end. Tired, no exhausted, and completely stressed to the max. Sick of crying day in and day out, begging for answers that never came. This may not be the complete answer, but in just the short time he’s been diagnosed and medicated… it’s amazing how much that child has changed and how his behavior and focus have gotten so much better. It’s like the child I always knew he could be, he just needed help getting there. I’m proud of him and I tell him every single day.

The Faces of ADHD/ODD

Perfect Treats for the Family

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to try some products I’ve never used before and to even get the familiar products we  love to review on.

I’ve received my first TastyVoxBox via Influenster for free and I was thrilled to discover what was inside and begin my reviews.

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Tasty VoxBox Included:

1- Full size bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original Hot Sauce
1- Full size can of French’s Crispy Fried Onions2- Yogi Tea Bags
1- Bag of Kashi Dark Cocoa Power – Plant Shake
2- Packets of Splenda Naturals (Sugar Substitute)
1- Country Crock Recipe
Coupon for Country Crock and Smart Ones

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Now I’m still in the process of testing these products, but I’ve gotten a few under way already.

Splenda Natuals
I’ve had pre-existing experience with this product and though it’s not my go-to, it’s tolerable to me in some instances, like for instance running out of coffee creamer. I enjoyed a cup of coffee with milk and Splenda last night to quench my craving. It’s definitely an acquired taste in my opinion, especially when you are used to using granulated sugar.

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Frank’s Red Hot

This was already one of my favorite hot sauce brands. My husband and I pretty much can put hot sauce on everything. Chili, BBQ, Pizza, Stews, Tacos, Quesadillas, etc. It’s the perfect amount of spicy with excellent flavor. We love it.

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French’s Crispy Fried Onions

My husband and I enjoy these on many things. Him and the kids can eat them straight out of the can. Hubby also likes them on Green Bean Casserole. We also eat them on our hamburgers, inside our diced home-style potatoes and mixed with green peppers for steak toppings. Today I enjoyed them on top of my BBQ burger sliders!

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Country Crock

We use this for oiling a pan prior to cooking to add great flavor to food. I’ve also used it in baking and absolutely love the easement of it’s packaging and the flavor it brings out in our treats. I’ll have to use the coupon to get some more because when using it for baking and cooking a lot, it doesn’t last long here. I’ll probably bake some holiday cookies soon!

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The other items in the box I’ve never tried but will definitely get around to them so I can review them for this campaign with Influenster. I’m glad I got the chance to help spread the word and get some of these product names out there. For those who are already fans, cool; If you’re just discovering some of them like I am, I hope you’ll continue to try new things as I do!

 

Perfect Treats for the Family

Feeding the kids’ Lego obsession

So after Christmas 2015 my husband and I went on a CLEARANCE AISLE rampage where we bought a ton of stuff discounted! We basically spent half of what we could have spent if we had gotten stuff full price. The most expensive one we purchased was the Friends Heartlake Shopping Mall. So because there were lots of Lego’s on clearance we got just about every one we came across while we were shopping for only a week. (which we did at 3 different Walmart’s, 2 Kmart’s and a Toys R Us) I’m only going to post pictures of the Lego’s though and not all the other stuff. So the older 3 kids get these Lego’s this year. I can’t wait to help them build them!

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Feeding the kids’ Lego obsession

13-14 weeks: VIVID DREAMING

I’ve always had some pretty crazy detailed and off the wall dreams, but lately they have been pretty intense.

My dreams are so realistic that in the instance that I am in fear or anxious I wake up struggling to breathe or breathing heavy and my heart racing. I’ve even woken to a cold sweat and even crying.

In good dreams  with less anxiety I find myself thinking these things are really happening only to be awoken to the reality that it hadn’t. Though sometimes a tad depressing, especially when you’re holding thousands of dollars in your hand and you wake up with nothing there.

I’ve also had a dream that I was flying recently, these dreams give me anxiety as I am afraid of heights and in my dreams I generally cannot control my flight or height or direction. In this particular dream though, my flight was through running fast and pushing up off the ground when I was ready to ascend. It was actually relieving. I was not afraid and I actually could control how high I went, how fast I went and the direction of my flight. It was exhilarating to say the least. I woke up with my heart sped up a little, but not in the fear that I once did.

Another dream recently that has happened on 2 occasions was me simply going through my day to day, it seemed so realistic. Though one thing out of the ordinary, I kept finding huge spiders everywhere! They would have thick webbing as they lowered down from behind things or dropping from the ceiling. Now I have arachnophobia and we’ve just killed 3 spiders in the last week inside our house. I’m not sure if my sub-conscious is just playing off that or what. It’s been nerve racking. These dreams didn’t wake me up, but they did stick with me in terms of remembering the detail of the spiders and everything.

I’ve always been a “vivid” dreamer. Pregnancy seems to definitely  intensify it a bit. They are so realistic and I can decide what to do in them even when sometimes I’m not aware I’m dreaming. There have been times when I know I am and I have complete control. It’s quite interesting.

Do you lucid dream? Are you so sure that you’re really doing these things until you wake up and realize it wasn’t real? It’s crazy sometimes! Sometimes I just want to go back to sleep and jump right back into that dream but I never can.

13-14 weeks: VIVID DREAMING

How much love do you want?

I’m a big fan of custom artisan work. I love the creativity and beauty in the products of these artists. I adore walking through farmers markets and festivals and looking at all the work other people do. All the time and dedication in each piece. It’s incredible and inspiring. Of course artisan work is going to be more costly than the mass-produced products you find in the common department stores, but being handmade and covering costs and at least some time, it’s to be expected and should be appreciated.

One of my favorites is where I buy my custom jewelry MADE WITH LOVE BY LAURETTE
(affiliate link) Her jewelry is one of kind and truly made with love. I love browsing all of her creations because it’s magnificent how beautiful all her pieces are. They make great gifts for yourself, friends and family for any occasion. I love my bracelets from her and I wear them all the time. Every time I put them on I think about how neat they are and how much time and effort went into making them. It makes me appreciate them that much more.

She doesn’t stop at just bracelets. There are earrings, necklaces, awareness, and even cremation/memorial jewelry also. She can even make custom matching sets! Her work is just great. You can check her out at the link above or below. I’m sharing purely based on the love of her work and wanting to help make it seen because it is beautiful.

Made With Love Etsy
Made With Love Facebook

How much love do you want?