Back on the wagon

I have been thinking a lot about the lack of routine we have in our household at this time. And when I say lack of, what I really mean is there is NO routine, none. at. all.  I know how we got here: bed rest for momma + holidays + new baby + moving = no set schedule.

However, I do not like to function that way. It is very hard on me to not have a set schedule in place, so that I know what needs to be accomplished. Especially where school is concerned. I worry that my kids will get behind and never catch up, they will be “those” homeschooled kids, the ones who you wonder what exactly their parents taught them?? I, of course, want others to interact with my children and think “what amazing, smart, well-mannered, respectful children!”

Of course,  I know that I am not going to leave my children to flounder  in their education and that as I work with them the well-mannered,  respectful, smart, etc. characteristics I desire will start to bloom in each of them in different ways. Which is why having a routine is so important to me. It was a HUGE pull towards the workbox system. I knew that the ability to schedule out the day using the workboxes would help my children to work independently, at their own pace, while giving me a smidge of alone time! (That last part is a bonus – but one I crave none the less.)

I have enjoyed seeing the delight and pride my children take in finishing their work and moving their workbox tags to the completed station. I know that my children love to learn and I want to do everything I can to keep that bucket full! I just need some help getting back on the wagon, so to speak!

So, for all you homeschooling, workboxing, unschooling, charlotte mason, and every style in between mommas: Got any advice for how I can get back on schedule with a new baby in the house? (One that is still on most nights waking up twice; even though I thought I had that problem solved,  and of course he requires a lot of attention. What are some ways you worked around the new addition to your family?


I’ve never had one of these before

No, not a baby. That sweet boy is my third. Look closer at the pictures… A thumb sucker! I have never had a thumb sucker before!  My first baby pulled on his ears like crazy, so much so I took him to the doctor several times thinking he had an ear infection. Finally I wised up, listened to my mommy instinct and realized he simply pulled on his ears when he was tired. And now, almost 9 years later that same sweet boy has never had an ear infection, must of been the breast milk, but I digress…. My middle child did not have a quirk per se, she simply wanted to sleep in her own bed. From day one. For 5+ hours at a glorious time!

So, now that Liam has discovered his thumb, his new comfort has become our entertainment. (Wow! I need to get out more!) It is the cutest thing, to watch him figure out how to get his thumb into his mouth. It takes him a bit, but eventually we hear the loud SLURP, SLURP of accomplishment. I took this picture the other day, because as you can tell, he has not quite figured out where to place the rest of his fingers.

Along with his new habit, I now have a list of new “fears”:

  1. Will he suck his thumb until high school?
  2. Will the thumb sucking cause his teeth protrude?
  3. Is he hungry again???? Or just wanting that comfort???
  4. How does one exactly take away the thumb? (Ha!)

Oh well, I am sure those fears will be replaced by others soon. That is the way mommyhood goes. Until then I will keep watching him  work to get his thumb in his mouth and celebrate his accomplishment once he does, knowing this stage goes by so fast.

Summer School?????

This school year has been full of starts and stops. We started off SO strong! I had a schedule (that we kept!), I was organized, excited and happy with our days. Then LIFE happened. I was put on bed rest 3 0r 4 times, I lost count; had a weekend stay in the hospital for kidney stones, then we had the holidays. And most importantly, Liam made his appearance. Then 2 weeks after he was born, we moved to San Antonio. (Just typing all that makes me tired!) So, needless to say, our schedule flew out the window.

All of the chaos that was the end of 2010, beginning of 2011 has made me re-evaluate the idea of summer break. When my kids were in public school, I looked forward to summer almost as much as them – if not more! The ability to sleep late, wear pajamas all day, and do nothing if we so chose almost made me giddy. Fast forward 2 years and now that is the norm around here! Well, maybe not the sleeping late with Liam here, but the rest is. So, summer is not as exciting as it once was. Especially this summer, being in a new city with a new baby – venturing out during the hot days is even less appealing to me.

So, I have decided to school during the summer. I am not sure how much or how little we will accomplish, but I want to accomplish something other than memorizing Phineas and Ferb episodes! All joking aside, here is what I have decided on for Summer, hopefully starting in mid May:

Math: Continue with Math U See. The kids love the program and it works very well for them. We are currently on the Beta (Olivia) and Gamma (Aiden) level.

Science: Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. I am excited to start this curriculim. I know I am starting with the second book, but my kids want to study sea mammals because Sea World is basically in our back yard. I want to take advantage of our season passes and the shows to add to the lessons. We will go back and complete book 1 next.

Geography: I am going to use Expedition Earth: A Journey Through God’s World by Erica  a

Still trying to figure out what to do for grammar……

How bout you? Are you schooling through the summer or taking a break?


You are not the boss of me!

I recently took my 2 month old to the doctor for a check up. When the subject of vaccinations came up, I simply said we are not getting any at this time. I saw the confusion in the medical assistant’s eyes, but she covered it nicely and simply said she would let the Nurse Practitioner (NP)  know.  As I waited for her to come in, I wondered what type of approach the NP would take. 

Once the formalities were over, she cut to the chase. “Dr. M requires her patients to have their vaccines. Have you spoken with her about this?” 

WHAT??? I could feel my blood starting to simmer, and I counted to 10 before I spoke. “No,  I have not spoken with her, but this the decision my husband and I have made for our baby. We are delaying all vaccines until we are comfortable.” 

The NP then tried to convince me about the benefits, and how they would work with me, even if I want to do one at a time. I thanked her for the information and smiled.  

However, the entire time I was getting more and more frustrated. The longer she talked, the more I wanted to scream at her – “You are not the boss of me!”  (But, I of course didn’t – my older 2 were in the room! Ha!) I understand that medical professionals have a job to do, and I appreciate their knowledge. However, when it comes to the ultimate decision on what will and will not go into my children’s bodies, I am the ultimate decision maker (along with Abel). Many times I feel that medical professionals try to bully patients into their way of thinking. Especially on the topic of vaccines. But I am not going to be bullied into a different way of thinking to make them happy!

I bit my tongue to keep from defending my choice. Why? Because I should not have to defend my choice ! I am not making this decision lightly, I am researching, reading and praying about this. I am not saying no to vaccinations solely on the premise that I am scared of Autism. I am saying no because I simply want to make the Best. Decision. Possible. End of story! 

As I left the doctor that morning, I felt a slight victory. I did not cave in when I felt the NP disapprove  of my choice, I did not get emotional and cry ( a big plus considering all the post pregnancy hormones that are still taking over my body!) and I said what I felt needed to be said; no more, no less. Because in the end, these are my blessings to take care of, protect and nurture. And I will do my best to make God directed decisions at every chance I can. Because my kids are worth it. 


Everything you ever wanted to know…..

I should have added “about Breeann Villarreal” to the end of the title. But, then you might not have read this, huh?

I am  first and foremost, a Christ follower. I strive to keep Christ in the center of all I do. I fall short, very short, a lot. But there are times, glorious times,  when I am successful and allow Christ the room He needs to help me be all He desires. I am committed to living out my faith on daily basis, learning from my mistakes and accepting the grace that God generously pours out on me.

I have been married for 11 years (at the end of the month) to a great man. During this past decade (Oh. My. Goodness!) I have learned so much. We have grown together, pushed each other away, and pulled each other close. At times I have thought I could walk through this journey with out him, and have come to realize that there is no way I would want to!

We have been blessed with 3 children. Aiden, 8 years old and too smart for his own good! He loves dinosaurs, the solar system, superheroes and Japanese Anime. He is probably the pickiest eater you will ever meet – but we are working on that! Olivia is 6 years old and wants to be the boss! She is smarter than she knows, loves to host tea parties, dress up and get her nails painted. Liam is our newest blessing. He was born in January, is learning to sleep through the night and he has s smile that lights up the room.

Things I am passionate about:
God’s grace and the relationship we can have with Him when we fully accept it
My family
Cloth diapering
Getting a bargain
Delayed (or none at all) vaccinations

Oh – Did I mention cupcakes?!?!?!?


More tomorrow!