January 29, 2008

The Search for a Preschool

I've come to the realization that I probably need to start thinking about preschool for Sophia since I've recently learned places have 1-2 year waiting lists. I'm not looking for full-time M-F, but I do think she needs to be able to spend a given amount of time away from me during the day or I'm afraid she'll be one of those wailing kids who I have to pry off my leg whenever I leave her somewhere.

So my quest for the 'right' preschool/MDO has begun. And I'm pretty bummed that the places that jive with my philosophy are all south or central.

I want a place where the kids:

-are treated to hours (not 30 minutes) of outdoor play daily, where kids can run, climb, explore, search, dig in dirt, and get dirty!
-have a home like environment with natural materials
-learn about multicultural studies
-are exposed to Spanish
-have Art time
-have Music time
-have Story time
-no TV time
-are not allowed to bring junk food

-and are given opportunities for PLAY!

This is such a profound and crucial aspect to learning and IMO, our society rushes kids into academia too soon and before they're truly ready. I've seen the results of this as an elementary school teacher. Often, by the time they start school, kids have no idea how to use their imaginations. No idea how to be creative because that was never fostered. Ah, but "Mary knew her ABCs when she was 2!", parents gloat. So what. And then the school system continues to squeeze out any remaining creative and imaginative juices with its current rigid mainstream pedagogy, but that's another story. But I will say, Kindergarten is not what it used to be. Instead of imaginative play in centers, schools are forcing teachers to focus more on teaching 5 years olds how to read and the abstract concepts of writing. And it's leaking down to the Pre-K grades. Reading and Writing instruction in Pre-K. Why the rush? They're going to get it down the road. Let them play, create, discover, learn the beauty of cooperative play, which will in help foster kids into lifelong learners. Although, I don't believe it's necessary to teach a preschooler to read, I do believe igniting the desire is crucial, and it can be done through telling stories and poems, that they learn by listening to, not reading them. How about giving kids a love for language before we start teaching them to read and write it.


I'm trying to find a preschool that allows lots of 'guided' free time play. And I ain't finding anything here in the burbs. So, my choices are to 1). deal with it and be fine with putting Sophia in a mainstream preschool, 2). be willing to make the commute to one of my favored schools, or 3). start my own school!

The last idea was O'Mama, Andrea H's. idea.
I know, we're crazy.

January 28, 2008

ACTNow Austin, Texas

Arbonne came to Austin, and even though I was on the tail end of the flu and should have been resting in bed, there was no way I was going to miss it.


The Infamous Rita

What an incredible president. And so Damn FUNNY!! She has the crowd rolling in laughter every time. She always comes out on stage dancing... 70+ years old and still knows how to get her groove on.


Our Names on the Big Screen


Arbonne launched 4 new products at Austin's ACTNow. 2 AboutFace Products and 2 additional Nutrimin RE9 skincare products that I look forward to getting my hands on.

Saw many new success stories and prayers answered for many families. New RVPs and NVPs (who are making anywhere from $5,000-$30,000+ a MONTH) were given recognition, as well as new AMs and us DMs. I'd just be happy with making enough money so my husband doesn't have to work his guts out to provide for his family. I attended the optional breakout session on reaching the untapped U.S. Hispanic market (why everybody didn't attend is beyond me), but anyhow... Arbonne is looking to be in Latin America in the near future. Yeah! They just need Latina/Latino bilingual leaders who know the language and especially, the culture.

I love being a part of this amazing company and hope I can continue to grow while juggling the 10 other balls that I've got up in the air.

January 22, 2008

Emotional Recovery





So what does my title have to do with Sophia's books? This is all we got done today. Read books. Stuck inside. All day.

The weather and Sophia's mystery illness kept us homebound, and pretty much miserable. In addition to her fussing and lack of sleep (bigtime), I'm feeling pretty crappy myself. She stayed in her pajamas all day, and I didn't change until it was time to pick up Domi. I think it's this damn weather. Like the wilted roses in my front yard, I need sun and warmth to thrive and be happy. As I picked up Domi from school today and asked him how his day went, he tells me, "It was kinda rough, but thank goodness for emotional recovery."

Emotional Recovery.
He's always got an interesting outlook on things.

Also had to shoot a pic of our Brown Bear book.
As you can see, it's a favorite.

January 19, 2008


After seeing my mom make Kombucha for many years, I decided, after noticing the hefty price of bottled storebought Kombucha, that I would make my own. So, I picked up a "baby" from my good friend, Stephana, the chapter leader of Holistic Moms Network at our last meeting, and have begun the fermentation process, by adding green tea and raw sugar to the kombucha culture, which is a symbiotic probiotic colony of yeast and bacteria.

I know, it sounds totally icky, but it's the friendly type. So hopefully, in about 7-10 days, I will have the wonder beverage resulting in dozens of elements, many of which are known to promote healing for a variety of conditions--removing toxins, improving circulation, relieving a myriad of health ailments, as well as help prevent major health problems from developing. It's even been said to stop severe menstrual cramps (yeah!!). Since Kombucha reproduces itself, and if I maintain this culture correctly, I could have a lifetime supply.

January 17, 2008

January 15, 2008

Children's Museum Adventure

My main Mama, Andrea, leading the way

Lotsa random stuff here - a creator's heaven.

January 13, 2008

Peace and Music

Waiting to be picked up from trumpet lessons.

Can you tell my child is a peace monger?

And another plaque

Here's my musician with his most recent honor - placement into the High School Region Band. The Region Concert was last night, and quite amazing. This mama is so very proud of him. Like I've said before, quite an accomplishment for a freshman.

January 12, 2008

Saturday Outing

Got Sophia dressed, put on her shoes, got snack trap filled with yummy items, sippy cup filled, and her hair done for our girls only Saturday outing. I just had to snap a photo of Sophia with her bow-decorated chongos (spanish for ponytails). You know how long I've waited for this moment...to be able to put bows in my child's hair?

And they're almost on straight.

Had a nice morning. First stopped at the bank to open up a savings account for Sophia since my inlaws sent us a Christmas check specfically for that purpose. Also deposited the boys' Christmas checks in their savings account. Then we were off to Old Navy to check out their huge winter clearance sale and was I happy to walk out of with bag full of items that were 75% off. Bargain shopping feels great.

On another note, I've been looking for a dollhouse for a while now. I don't want plastic, but finding a durable house made from wood, isn't easy to find, but alas, I found this one today.

Since the 'families' are sold separately, I have 4 choices;

Family A, B, C, or D.

Family A - White Family

Family B - Black Family

Family C - Asian Family

Family D - Latino Family

So what happens when members of a family don't fall into just one category?

I can't choose family A because I sure don't look anything like the mother with my black hair, and the boys don't fit quite right there. Next, I consider the Latino family because I'm part Latina and the boys even moreso, however, none of us look like them because our skin is not dark brown. Not all Mexicans have dark brown skin! My mom was the Mexican and she had vibrant red hair, freckles, and skin that would not tan.

I almost think I look more like the mother doll in the Asian family, Mike and Sophia the dolls from the White family, and the boys, well, if they had a Latino family with dark hair, but light skin, that could work.

They should sell the dolls separately so people can pick and choose their dolls to fit their family best. Or perhaps I'm just overthinking things. I suppose I'll get Family A and Family B and just mix the two up and just let the kids use their imaginations.

January 11, 2008

January 10, 2008

From Head to Toe

My dear friend Allison, reading to the tots.

January 08, 2008

Bleeding Purple and Gold

Several LSU fans and and our close friends, Dallas, Natalie and Ethan, came to our house last night for a game watching party. All were happy to celebrate the Tigers victory in the national championship! If you've never met an LSU fan, you haven't met a real college football fan. These folks literally bleed purple and gold. I should know -- I married one.

January 05, 2008

I have a REBEL!

A Canon Digital XTi 10.1MP Digital Rebel Camera that is!
And I'm totally stoked about my new toy.

I only have experience with PnS (point and shoot) cameras, so an SLR camera is a completely new world for me, but one I'm ready for. Got a crash course today from the prima on aperture, ISO, and shutter speed and the basic features of this baby. I barely remember what it all means, but I got the basics down (I think). Came home and it was dark, so I played around with Sophia's train with the kitchen light on.

This first photo is taken at a high aperture-f29 and ISO 400.
Note how you can see the stacking toy and the plants clearly in the background.

Here's what I'm excited about. Shot the same pic again, but changed the aperture. See how the background blurs? I LOVE that!

Taken at aperture 2.8f, ISO 400 and 1/6sec (I think)?
And you know what the best part is?
I didn't spend a penny on it.

The hubby had 'points' with his previous employer's reward program, so we cashed 'em out for an SLR.

More to come (even though I have no idea what the hell I'm doing!)

January 01, 2008

New Year's Eve 2008

For New Years Eve, Mike and I went to Mandy and Paul's house. Had a large group to play Apples to Apples and Taboo, which is always loads of fun. Nothing like watching Mike and Mandy (who are both oh so headstrong in their ways) play Taboo and have to sit next to each other. Don't have a picture of it, but the Taboo timer accidentally ended up 'broke' after a Mandy-slam on the table. Can't imagine why? Ha.

Thought this round of cards was appropriate for every guy playing the game. Ironic that these were played in the same hand (since they all work for CompUSA).

Out with the old, in with the new.
For every door that is closed, a new and better one opens and we are all looking forward to 2008!