Baby Summary 4 weeks old, baby #5

Baby Sir is doing just wonderfully thus far. We came home with an easy baby. By The Baby Whisperer standards, he is an “angel baby,” meaning He only fusses when he has gas or has a serious complaint…  and even then the fuss isn’t much. Because he was early, and is still young, this could all change I suppose. But in my experience their disposition stays pretty true to who they are as babies.

We have a pretty solid routine that doesn’t require much guess work on my part, yet. This is because I have to wake him for feedings. When we came home I thought for sure he would wake every few hours because he had low blood sugar at birth, was a big baby, and was a 37 weeker. But nope. He wouldn’t eat sooner than 3 hours, because he was so sleepy, so we settled on a 3 hour routine right away.

I had to wake him from the start, So I was able to determine our designated wake time from the beginning, which is really helpful when you have 4 other littles that depend on you every morning.

Ive swaddled Sir from birth, but today I tried the Woombie at his 2nd MOTN feeding, and he loved it. He’s just about too big for it. So I am trying to decide if I get him the next size up or put him in the Love to Dream. Baby #4 hated being swaddled, and loved the Love to Dream. Sir however likes being swaddled… I’m pretty sure he will be a thumb sucker, so whatever we do will need to be a transition swaddle (with the detachable arms) so he can safely roll and suck his thumb before long. I will probably try the love to dream first, because we already have it, and see how it goes.

Woombie Swaddle

– ————-

here’s our routine at 4 weeks old:

  • 730am DWT- nurse, big sister #4 gets to hold him, bottle
  • 830 nap
  • 1030am- nurse, big sister #3 holds him, bottle
  • 1130 nap
  • 130pm- nurse, big brother holds him, bottle
  • 230 nap
  • 430pm- nurse, if someone missed their turn to hold Sir they get it here, otherwise he stretches out and gets bombarded with conversation 😂, bottle
  • 530 nap (this one is usually in the swing, but lately he has been going down fine in his crib)
  • 730pm- nurse, bath/big sister #1 holds him, bottle
  • 830pm bed
    he usually wakes around 1am, and then again between 4-530am. At the first MOTN feeding I give him a full feed, and at the 2nd feeding I just nurse, then put him in the swing until 730am.

(Yes, we had to create a system so each sibling gets a chance to hold him during the day without hurt feelings. 🙄)

because I nurse and supplement, it takes the full hour to do our feeding routine, which also takes guess work out of his wake time. I’ve found he goes down best with 55min-1hour wake time at this point. When it has gone over that he gets over tired.

If I didn’t have to wake him every 3 hours, his day would be a little messier… I suspect we will get there in due time as he approaches 2-3 months old and his wake time starts to vary, he drops the last nap, etc.

We are following the Wonder Weeks Leaps app, which goes by his due date, while growth spurts are calculated from birth date. He just went through a growth spurt, and for the life of me I can’t get him to stay awake for a full feeding the last 2 days. We are doing all the things- stripping him down, diaper change, cold rag, switching sides while nursing, tickling hands and feet… he is just super sleepy most feedings.

He should be hitting  4-6wk growth spurt this week so maybe that’s what’s going on.

— ———-

Things I want to remember:

  • he loves being held by his older siblings; he looks at them in amazement when they talk to him.
  • he loves baths
  • he looks most like big sister #3 and has her disposition … and if she has proven anything it is that easy babies become life loving, go at their own pace, Happy-go-lucky children
  • at 3wks5days he is 11.5 pounds on my scale, up from 9.0lb at birth
  • he is in size 2 diapers
  • he has lots of peeling skin, so we use Weleda baby lotion and oil, He loves having both put on … but it doesn’t really help with peeling skin
  • he can be hard to burp and gets hiccups a lot; gripe water sometimes help
  • he likes his Wubanubs
  • he’s a super heavy wetter, and as much as I LOVE Pampers Swaddlers diapers, we had to switch to the Pampers Baby Dry, because he is always wet. He also poops non stop… Swaddlers weren’t cutting it 😂
  • He looks like his Daddy 💕
  • he is always on the verge of smiling, you can see it in his eyes… I can’t wait for the real smiles to start

 

 

 

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Gaining Independence and Responsibility

Gaining Independence and Responsibility

We have BIG jobs as parents; not only do we need to nurture and care for our children, it’s our job to guide them, teach them responsibility, and how to grow into productive adults later in life. One way we can do this is to teach them responsibility when they’re young through age appropriate chores, so as they grow it’s something that comes naturally to them.

Here are a few ways we nurture responsibility and work ethic in our home:

Family Pet

A pet is a fantastic way for children to learn responsibility. There’s work involved but there’s also reward- the fun times and love returned from a pet helps children to know work is worth it. Caring for animals is a great way to build a sense of responsibility and nurturing in our children for others.

A smaller pet like a rabbit is a great place to start; after acquiring a hutch, food and hay bales for them, children can then take on the responsibility of feeding the pet, playing with it, and cleaning out the pen/hutch as needed.

If your home is suitable for a dog, children can be responsible for walking, practicing training, and teaching commands, depending on the child’s age. Our kids are in charge of feeding animals, filling water pans, brushing, and changing litter/bedding on the farm (some jobs with help). Start by showing your child how to take care of the animal, and then slowly wean them onto doing the chores themself. 

Assign Chores

As adults we’re aware there are things we need to get done in life- Going to work, paying bills, running errands and keeping house; we do them because we have to, not because we necessarily enjoy them. Learning from a young age that there are tasks to be done can help when children get older and have more responsibility. Assign age appropriate chores to children and make it a habit. Simple acts like making the bed, setting the table or loading/unloading the dishwasher are a few examples.

We do a lot of tidying and cleaning up in our home through out the day-maybe not the brilliant lego tower, or the perfectly arranged doll setup, but the piles of books, random toys spread around, clothing, and shoes, etc are tidied throughout our daily routine.

Let kids be kids and have fun, of course- but it’s no bad thing to get them used to life skills. In our home responsibility is part of being in a family, living well, and being good stewards of our blessings.

Teach Budgeting Skills

Finally, teaching kids about money and budgeting skills can be useful. Kids dont understand the concept of money and can find it ‘unfair’ when mom and dad say no. Understanding how money is hard earned and finite in quantity can be really useful from a young age. Let them earn allowance by doing extra chores, helping a loved one around their home, and teach them how to divide it up- savings, spending, and “bills” if necessary. They’ll quickly learn that once it’s gone it’s gone, and how saving for the things you really want can be incredibly satisfying. 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Glow in the Dark Easter Eggs: Egglo Eggs {a review}

This post was written 5 years ago, and still these eggs are a joyous tradition in our home! While you can no longer find these specific eggs for Resurrection Sunday, you can purchase the scrolls to go inside any glow in the dark egg HERE.
Egglo Review
In our home, we have never done Easter egg hunts, or Easter baskets.  In the spring, the kids get a spring basket, that is completely separate from Easter itself.

For the Resurrection, we read scripture leading up to that Sunday, learn about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and have a nice family dinner.  We avoid Easter bunnies and chocolate- Everything is pretty low key.

I had the chance to review Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs and the book, The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure by Egglo Entertainment.

About The Program

Egglo Eggs are different; they aren’t just another egg you stuff full of candy for your children to hunt on Easter morning.  This program is based on John 1:5, “The Light shines in the dark and the darkness has not overcome it.”  This entire set encourages your children to learn, love, and truly enjoy the real meaning of Easter. Though it is designed for children ages 4-13, it can be adapted for all ages.  I used it with my three year old and 18 month old.

Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs and The Great Easter Adventure book are fun and Christ centered.  The eggs either have a beautiful cross on them or are plain.  There are 12 in a box, consisting of four colors- blue, green, yellow, and pink.

What I received

  • A box (12 eggs) Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs  ($11.99)
  • The book The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure ($12.99)
  • The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure audio download ($2.99)
  • Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls ($4.29)
  • The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide ($14.99)

How we use the Program

Lexie and Max are both obsessed with eggs in general- Max likes to eat them, Lexie likes to crack them when we bake.  We have one little play egg, I am not even sure where it came from, but they both obsessively play with it.  Now that we have the entire set of glow in the dark Egglo Eggs, they like to go in the closet and watch them glow; we charge them several times a day!  haha

I overheard big sister telling the tot, “Now, this light is just like the light Jesus.”

I wasn’t really sure if they would be into hunting the eggs, but I laid them on the counter and let them “charge” under the light so they would glow really well.  The directions say to let them charge for about 30 minutes in direct sunlight, or 45 minutes under in-home lights.

So, we looked through the book (which in many ways was over Lexie’s 3 year old head, but was valuable non the less.  Then I hid the eggs in her room (we have blackout shades in there so it was nice and dark) while they waited in the hall.

*I cannot tell you how much fun they had hunting for these glow-in-the-dark eggs!*  But then, Lexie also understood the lesson of the glowing eggs, what they represent, and how they tie into Easter.  It was a win-win for us all!

hunting egglo glow in the dark easter eggs

(it was dark in her room, but the flash on my camera is on)

We may have hidden and found the eggs a dozen times the first day.   Quite possibly more.  She has asked to do them once a day ever since.  They are such a joy and I feel good about using them in our home.

After we tired out from the excitement of hunting the eggs, the kids enjoyed coloring some of the pages from The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide.  There was something in there for both the kids to enjoy.  The program guide includes lots of valuable activities, fun snack recipes, and items to print to add to your Egglo Eggs.  It is also set up for both schools/churches and families.  I highly recommend purchasing it to accompany your eggs.

As part of my review, I received the scripture scrolls as well- we love these!  They take the eggs to a whole new level.  We put the scrolls inside our eggs before hiding them, and then after the kids found all the eggs, we opened each one.  Lexie thought it would be fun to choose a few scriptures as our memory verses for the coming weeks.  Max just liked to shake them inside the eggs and make music.  =)

Egglo Scripture Scrolls for Easter Eggs

Overall Experience

Our experience with the Glow In The Dark Egglo Eggs and The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure has been a positive one.  It was a great way to add a little more fun into our Easter celebration, and keep Christ in the center of it all.  Lexie understands the real meaning of Easter, and the little Mister is on his way to understanding too.  That is what this program is about- and that is why I can gladly suggest this program to anyone interested in doing an Easter egg hunt or celebration with their children.

Connect with Egglo Entertainment

 Egglo Review

 

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Dear Girls: Be Great

My beautiful, and wonderfully made girls.

One day you will be young ladies. One day you will feel the weight of the world’s expectations on your shoulders. Suddenly what were your personal thoughts, your convictions, your morals will be questioned-and you will be told they should be public for the world to see.

They will be challenged. What you believe will be mocked and your convictions will be made small by the world.

Do not let them turn your confidence and who your are into something that doesn’t matter. Who you are in Christ matters. Who you are because of Christ- a born again sinner, someone learning, growing, and LOVED by Jesus Christ- matters.

It matters most.

Dear girls, be great Quietinthechaos.com

It matters more than hanging out with the young people that seem popular, get to do what they want without consequence (right now), without feeling ashamed or convicted. And it matters more than what you think is most fun right now.

You will take risks. You will make mistakes. We all make mistakes-big ones, small ones, and sometimes life altering mistakes. Learn from those mistakes.

But know that making the right choice will never be wrong. Period.

It may make others uncomfortable, you may lose “friends,” and feel very alone at times.  But making the right choice will never give an end result that you regret- it will never fail you.

And when you look back at those hard parts of your life and then glance at where you are, you will find some friends are still there, some friends didn’t make it out to stand with you, and some friends were never friends at all.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, don’t let the world break your heart or discourage you. Find joy in the tiniest of things because one day those tiny things will be the BIG things. Remember who you are, that your parents love you more than you can imagine, and you can change lives with the greatness God has in store for you.

Be great, sweet girls.

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Homeschooling Through Transitions: the hard times and the happy ones

4 Practical Tips for Homeschooling Through Family Transitions

**Originally published February 2016** I enjoy these practical tips, even now, during seasons of what feels like temporary chaos. My children are older now, we have a small farm, and much more on our plate in this season than normal. These have been wonderful reminders for me! Maybe they will help you as well!

My oldest child is soon turning 5 years old (say whaaaaa?).  I am by no means a homeschool expert; I have researched and read since I was 3 months pregnant with my first child, played around with schedules, dreamed of homeschool room ideas, used a few different curricula and tried different learning activities for my two oldest to try and find them the best personalized learning solutions so that they don’t miss out on their education.

And still, I am a no expert; I don’t think we become experts until we have graduated at least 1 homeschooled child! Haha

In the last few years we have had several family transitions- 2 babies born, rather large moves (one cross country), and job changes for the husband (one job that meant a LOT of travel)- that means we have “schooled” through some tough changes.

No matter how uncomfortable or scary our changes have been for the kids, I have found that homeschool ALWAYS makes our home feel like, well … home.  After the latest move my daughter told us she didn’t like this rent house, it wasn’t home.  So, as any mama would do I stayed up that night contemplating what would make all the kids (because she was surely expressing what her 2 year old brother was feeling but couldn’t say himself), feel comfortable again, feel at home.

And I almost immediately knew it was school- school, our Bible, reading, activities, learning and working their brains together, that is what made our house home and gave our days intention.  Homeschooling isn’t just school- it is a lifestyle, it is IN the center of our home, of which the central focus is Jesus Christ.

Schooling Through Transitions:

1. Prioritize:

What is most important to your family?  For us it is reading/phonics, math, handwriting, and Bible/read alouds.  My kids are still very young (though my oldest is ambitious), so our main subjects that require “work” are only for the oldest: reading/phonics, math, handwriting, and copywork.

Science and art are on the back burner until the fall, after we move and get settled in the home we are buying.  (I did this because getting out all the things we need for science and art is a mess while living out of boxes, and keeping the  baby hands off of it in a home that is not exactly set up for homeschooling is hard!  But if your children are older and can work independently and more responsibly, then go for it.) 

Also, make sure you are doing work that everyone loves- because otherwise you are less likely to make it work during the transition.

2.  Start earlier than scheduled in the year:

Even year-round schoolers like us take a break and have a specific date in mind for introducing their full-on school year.  When you are expecting a new baby, or making a move, you know school is going to get delayed at some point.  For us, we have always moved school earlier, again prioritizing the most important subjects, and then taken a break when needed (the week OF moving/baby being born) and then slowly gotten back into the groove of things.

3. Get back into routine:

Most homeschoolers I have talked with or asked have said getting back into the routine of school after a big life event is not only comforting, but helps all the kids behavior wise as well. (And that is definitely true in our home!) 

Most kids do well with structure and expectations, so it would make sense that their routine at home helps with behavior and a sense of stability.

4.  Relax:

At this time, it will do everyone good to relax (I know, easier said than done).  We kept a general routine, but some days I had to get meals made for the week or things packed up for a move, so the kids just colored while we talked about the letters they heard in words I called out.  I know mine are young, but this would be okay to do with olders too!  Reviewing math facts, memory work, having them do copy work and art, etc can get you by until things become more formal after your transitions.  The beauty of homeschool is that in general, we can take breaks when needed and always have time to catch back up (there aren’t hours spent standing in lines, taking bathroom breaks, etc so we can do double the work in half the time when we really need to!). 

So breathe, Mama- relax and find learning opportunities in everyday life to make your life easier through this transition!

How does your family school through big life events?

Our favourite Apps for Homeschooling iOS and Android

Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up {April 7th}

The last 2 weeks we’ve spent our days adjusting our routine. I think I’ve said it before … at least I’ve thought it-vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors make reading aloud SO. HARD. I feel like I am yelling over a toddler the entire time. At this stage everyone fusses over my lap, so we’ve moved our reading aloud to my room, on the big king sized bed where they can spread out and hear me better.

Our new routine involves mama tending to the farm chores before the kids wake, getting her workout in after breakfast ,and brain warm-ups for all the kids! Day light savings really threw me for a loop this year as far as waking early goes. I am finally getting used to it. I strive for my mornings to look like this:

  • 5:30/6am- mama wakes, breakfast for the hubs, pack his lunch, coffee with him before he leaves
  • tend to meat chicks & LGD pup outside
  • Jesus devotional & coffee with my Help Club for Moms book
  • Prep Breakfast
  • 7am Kids up, eat, morning basket
  • Kid chores and 7yo practice violin- dishwasher, waste baskets, laundry, pick up floors if not done night before
  • 8:15/8:30 Mama works out, kid brain warm-ups (videos on youtube for crossing midline)
  • 9:00 Begin read alouds in my room
  • 9:30/9:45 begin table work- each day includes Reading/LArts for each child, math, handwriting/copy work We do other activities on various days, looping them (Latin, Apologia Science we are reviewing, art, messy play, game school)
  • During that time, the tot (20 months) goes to independent play in her room, and after the 3yo has done school along with us for a while, she also goes to IP
  • 11:30 Lunch
  • 12:15 Tot’s nap, others play outside
  • 12:45 Preschooler’s nap
  • 1:30 5yo naps, 7yo rest time or time with mama
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps-play outside, nature study, handicrafts of their choice
  • 5:30 dinner
  • This time of year, depending on what daddy is doing outside after work and how everyone napped, we are outside after dinner then come in for baths and wind down. We’ve been spending several evenings a week at the table coloring, doing more learning time (science, or new spelling, writing letters, practicing cursive, etc). I LOVE this time because it brings Daddy into our homeschool setting for just a snippet, allowing the kids to tell him all about what they’re learning, show him new skills, inviting him into their world.

**Some evenings are spent folding laundry as a family while watching Create TV on PBS-Martha Bakes, This old House, Lydia, America’s Test Kitchen, etc. They are our favorites! We have pretty much written off all the mind numbingly ridiculous kids shows on Netflix & Amazon. They truly hurt my brain- We are already very picky about what our kids take in (supposedly targeted for kids … targeted being the key word here) but even the appropriate shows are just stupid. These days our shows consist of Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, and sometimes the book adaptations of If You Give a Mouse, or The Snowy Day, or nature shows. Nothing else seems worth our time or brain cells. (If you have any suggestions for quality kid shows that aren’t “twaddle,” please share in the comments!) The amount of content out there that you really wouldn’t want your kids seeing really seems to be overwhelming these days but at least parents have access to more information than ever on how to combat this harmful material being consumed by their children.

Our studies this week have included:

  • David and Saul in the Bible
  • each day we read The Little Island– focusing on narration and seasons (3yo loooves this living book!)
  • read The Apple and The Arrow from our Sonlight Core A, and our missionary stories from The Good News Must Go Out
  • commas in a series, writing sentences, list making and narrating an item from that list (from The Good and The Beautiful LA), spelling from our new Memoria Press (for review), handwriting letter review (5yo),
  • naming and measuring line segments using linking cubes, writing numbers, skip counting (5yo)
  • handicrafts- my daughter is finishing a bag for her co-op sewing class, all of the kids are really into card making, and other paper crafts. We made crowns this week
  • All About Reading level 1-beginning and ending blends, read stories from reader (5yo)
  • the 3yo is learning her letter sounds, enjoys Starfall 1 day a week, and literally writes and draws all day long
  • Science right now is coming from Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Anatomy & Physiology We are loving this just as much as their Astronomy, and I will have a review on that very soon!

In between lessons we have planned special plants for our garden, played outside, studied the bees collecting pollen, taken nature walks in the woods, and observed the changes that come with SPRING! (though this morning we have played in SNOW, and made snow cream … Because winter just doesn’t want to leave us!)

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Bird Watching {Nature Study for the New Year}

This winter (Mostly Jan-Feb) has been bitterly cold on the farm. Between the ice and wind, we have been inside with very little nature study in our school days. When My Dad sent the kids a see through, window mounted bird feeder as a little Valentine special, we were all so excited!

We spend our mornings at a big table my husband made, eating breakfast, reading Bible stories, reciting poems, listening to hymns, and singing little finger play songs (surprisingly my oldest 2 enjoy the songs and nursery rhymes along with their youngest sisters). Now, we get watch birds eat right at our big window!

This may be one of my favorite gifts we have ever received, and oooh how it enriches our homeschool days! It will be fun to add in bird watching with our nature studies, right from our breakfast table. We’ve already had a few different visitors perch and enjoy their seed. And the kids are loving the idea of comparing these birds to other ones in other regions. We’ve had a look at some of the more tropical birds like Toucans after deciding to check out Costa Rica Focus, and the burgeoning birdwatchers are keen to see them up close. Maybe one day!

Part of our nature study this spring will include some beautiful field guides I got the kids this fall-I chose guides from the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide series. I could sit and stare at the pictures in these guides all day long. My oldest pours over books like field guides, and her younger siblings are following suit. I plan to rearrange some nature and science books for spring in the coming weeks, so these are moving from our science book shelf, to the science basket near our bird watching window. 🙂

This week I am so thankful to be thawing out, and have birds to watch, I could care less about the formalities of nature study! Haha but, I am excited to get back into the routine of it.

(As a side note, the bird feeder is very well made, sturdy, and we have had No problems with it mounting to the window. Even in crazy high winds, the feeder stays put! I followed the directions that came in the box for cleaning the window, dampening suction cups, etc, before mounting.)

How does your family nature study? What will you be studying this spring?

Put on a Happy Face {Baby #3}

My third born is most definitely her own littler person. All children are their own born persons, just as God intended, but this one … this one at barely 3 years old, while twirling on the top of a picnic table in nothing but a tu-tu and muddeclared herself a fairy princess.

We had never even discussed, read about, or watched anything to do with fairies. Or Princesses for that matter. *insert eye roll here*

So from that point on, I realized our Little Miss will forever be her own burst of light , arcing over everyone as they dance in her glow.

Then I bought her a fairy…

And a fairy book.

——–

But I’ve concluded in the realization of who she is- kind hearted, the life of the party, sincere, excited, bright, eager to learn, and independent- she is just that scary thing I feared about raising girls.

She is *all girl,* with a little mud thrown in.

My first born girl is so predictably me-a serious tomboy, genuine and fun loving but introverted, living in a world of books and over analyzation. Mister lives in a world of all-things-Daddy, outdoors, sports, and engineering; he finds value in learning, quality time, and problem solving.

She is vivacious, finds fun in anything-alone or in a crowd- loves spontaneity; she flirts with risk, and dances everywhere she goes, with a perfect ballet twirl thrown in (yea, that part she didn’t get from me).

She will forever do her own thing. I only pray that she is certain that thing is always aligned with loving Jesus, and that I give her the grace she needs to be who she is, in Him. He is going to do wonderful things with her life, with the personality He gave her. I know that.

Baby #3 is the epitome of the word rainbow; a prism through which light shines lighting up the world around her. She is boundless energy, eager to share with anyone willing to sit a spell dance along.

I am thankful for the chance to dance along with her.

happy face

So proud of her happy face man, with “thick hair”

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

How to Grow a Dinosaur: A Book for New Siblings {new release review}

With 4 tiny humans running around, you can bet we have had many phases, changes, and adjustments in our home over the last almost 8 years. Adding a new addition every 18 months t0 2 years can be a challenge for older siblings.

We love literature in our home, and have found that reading books and poetry usually help us with any new changes, especially when young children can comprehend but not yet express themselves verbally.

How to Grow Dinosaur , written by Jill Esbaum is a fun new book about an older sibling dinosaur who is learning all about his role as a big brother. What do babies need? What do babies do? What is my job? In this sweet-sibling story, big brother learns the bad news aaand the good news about the new baby in his family.

With Mike Boldt‘s,bright, silly, yet simple illustrations this is a great guide for siblings and parents. The pictures are sure to make the kids in your like laugh, and feel at ease about the new baby coming into their life. How to Grow a Dinosaur helps open the conversation of what is and is not appropriate behavior around a new baby, and how it can be hard for both bigger siblings, and the newest sibling.

This beautiful, large hardback book, with its 40 pages is perfect for children ages 2-5; my 7 year old was able to relate to and enjoy the story.

If there is a new baby coming into the life of a child you know and love, this makes a *great* sibling’s new baby gift. Mama and daddy are sure to appreciate the special story they can share with their children.

How to Grow a Dinosaur-sibling book

This newest book we’ve been reviewing is releasing TODAY, so get your copy now Amazon!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Friday on the Farm: {Birthday & Camping Edition}

I am writing this on Sunday and back dating for the sake of hitting Friday on the Farm. *insert cheesy face here*

We have spent the last 2 weeks celebrating birthdays … one right after the other. It has been a joy!

The kids got a new play set/fort/swingset/tree house/whatever you want to call it for their combined birthdays. Hopefully it will last for years to come, and will eventually become an actual tree house in the woods, near the pond.

They each got a small little special for their birthdays- the 7yo a field press and the last Narnia book, The 5yo Mister a bug/small animal terrarium for nature studies and a bug field guide, and the 3yo little Miss a fairy garden house.

Each of the kids had their own special birthday cake- all gluten and dairy free. Boy did that require some special grocery store trips … But we managed to do it!

Mister’s “rocket” cake:

Big sister’s Smores ice box cake:

Little Miss’s dirt cake:

The husband smoked up some BBQ for the week:

We spent Wednesday-Saturday camping at a local state park; all 6 of us in the pop up camper and our new caravan (not forgetting to bring out RV battery as that comes in incredibly useful sometimes!) that we finally managed to get finance for (thanks to Auto Finance Online, see this site for more info). It was surprisingly less difficult than expected. More specifically, after the first day and night, we had things figured out. haha. Keeping the caravan safe and secure is definitely a concern for anyone who owns one. Wheel clamps for caravans ensure that your caravan is not going anywhere you don’t want it to!

A few random camping with tiny humans tips we found made things easier:

  • Get one of these for the baby. just trust me. There is a time and place for a pack n play, but these little sleep tents are amazing when traveling! They fit in the tiniest spaces and can easily be covered with a light blanket for darkness
  • cover baby’s sleep tent or pack n play with a blanket
  • noise. machine. We took the humidifier we use at home in the kids’ rooms, but then remembered the pop-up has an AC fan, so we used that. PERFECT for blocking out the noise at a camp ground during naps and bedtimes
  • kiddie potty. We just keep on in the camper now, because it is easier than them using the camper potty, and we dont have to go up to the bath house, AND we don’t have to worry about them having privacy from fellow campers
  • wagon– saved our lives. when baby wasn’t being toted around in it, fed in it, or just playing in it, the 3yo was pulling it around for fun
  • picnic blanket– again, couldn’t have done without it
  • crocs for every child
  • overalls the kids can rewear each day, with a clean shirt underneath
  • just leave all the luggage bags in the car to keep camping space clear and organized. It’s a tip I learned from a friend after they hired a campervan with Rent.is on their European adventure, and it makes sense. Each night I got out their PJs, they changed before going into the camper, and I put their dirty clothes into the dirty clothes bag. Clothes to be reworn were placed on top of their bag (in the car) for the next day

Just some camping fun:

I woke each morning to my husband making coffee and breakfast over the fire. He is irreplaceable.

It was a lot of hard work, but one of the best family vacations we have had. My sweet husband did most all of the heavy lifting and hard work, and though I know he enjoys it, it was such a blessing to me. I actually got to chill and not really fret about anything. It was really nice.

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