I’d Rather Be Your Mommy … {a digital book review}

We have been enjoying a new book for review from Homeschool Review Co., I’d Rather Be Your Mommy along with the I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Edition, and I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set. Each set is a digital edition.

This book is a short, meaningful example of a mother’s love for her child(ren); the words reinforce to our children just how precious they are to their mother’s and that no matter what we do in our life- from becoming President, to flying a rocket, our first, and most important job is being their mommy.

I enjoyed reading this with my kids, because so often we get wrapped up in the every day- the books, the homeschool, the farm, the meals, the errands, that we sometimes forget our most important job each day is the relationship and raising of our children for the Lord.

We have enjoyed the digital edition of the products- the book, the coloring book, and the print set, because the pictures are so vibrant and the content us fun. Being able to explain to them how much I love being their mama, as compared to “achieving great things” makes it more tangible for them, more meaningful than just saying and showing it. They see that how I show my love for being their mommy, is through the time spent with them, the every day things like cooking meals, giving baths, etc.

This book is so lovely, simple, but meaningful. I’d Rather Be Your Mommy helped open a conversation with my own children about how God.

We enjoyed the silliness of comparing mama’s job to that of a star in a movie, or the adventures of a mama to those of someone climbing a mountain, and flying to space (we are learning about astronomy this year, so that is an especially fun comparison).

The coloring book edition is fun for everyone! It allows you to print the pages of the book for your children to color along-very fun, especially for the youngers that can’t yet read on their own. You can make a book from them or hang them as a reminder; it makes a great activity for little during homeschool time! The digital print set includes some of the beautiful images from the book for printing and sharing in your home. These would be lovely in a nursery or framed in your children’s rooms as a reminder to them. Thankfully because of a recent change in car insurance from a quote that we got from Money Expert, we had enough to go around.

Overall, we have enjoyed this sweet little set in our family. I have 4 small children, and the oldest 3, 6, 4, and 2 years old, really seemed to delight in the affirmations this book gives them of my time and dedication as their mama.

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Validation- Why You Don’t Need It

It is everywhere- parenting advice, opinions, ideas, philosophies.

  • To homeschool or not
  • To sleep train or not
  • To feed them a SAD (standard american diet) diet or not
  • To breastfeed or not
  • To give battery and flashing toys or not
  • To cloth diaper or not
  • To use essential oils or not
  • To free range or not
  • To go organic only or not
  • and the list. goes. on.

You get the point.  Everyone has an opinion, including my husband and I.

But I don’t need to make YOU feel bad about your decision, in order to validate mine.

“VALIDATE- the action of making or declaring something legally or officially acceptable.”

I am in a mommy group on FB, which is generally very supportive, and open.  The mamas in there all come from different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common: we believe sleep is healthy and important for baby, and we want what is best for our children, even when family and friends don’t understand why we make the decisions we do.

This mama posted last week about a friend commenting that (paraphrasing here): Your baby is really happy, and not to alarm you, but a baby that is happy all the time can be a sign of mental health issues.

Um- EXCUSE ME?!

First, there is no data anywhere in the world that supports that statement.

But also, the mama making this statement had a fussy child that was generally making people (his mother included) miserable at a party because he was so unsatisfied.

She was only trying to validate her child’s behavior by making a mama with a healthy, happy baby feel bad.

Y’all, that’s not okay!

First of all, not only are all children different (my son for instance was a cranky, miserable baby and toddler.  It was just his disposition), but there is no reason to make any mama question her perfectly healthy, happy baby.

People all around will say things to make you question YOUR happiness and decisions- your marriage, your relationship with God, your decision to homestead, your decision to private school your children, your decision to vaccinate or select vaccinate or not vaccinate your children, where you live, what you do for a living, what activities your kids are in.

Heck, I see people tearing others down for how they raise and train their DOGS in a LGD group.

I get it.  I know it hurts and it is frustrating when it happens- family makes snide remarks, people you love question your decisions when they have never done any research that would regard the well being of your family.

But who validates your decisions?

Not friends.

Not family.

Not co workers or people in a FB group.

Jesus.

If I know our decisions sit well with my husband, myself, and God, that is all we need.  We don’t need to answer to strangers or acquaintances.

We certainly don’t need to let words, fueled by jealousy, uncertainty, & a lack of understanding, make us doubt ourselves or what the Lord has called us to do.

Do not let the enemy work through other’s words to make you question yourself.

But who validates your decisions? Not friends. Not family. Not co workers or people in a FB group. Jesus.

Let’s each other up in Christ, support, and encourage others.

Not tear each other down to validate our own choices.

Let the Lord be your foundation, because no one’s words can move that.

 

 

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Learning About Colorado {by the way book series}

By the Way Book Series Logo_zpsc8lldsig

The past few weeks we have had the pleasure of using and reviewing Colorado- By The Way, from By The Way Book Series. We took a trip a few years back to Colorado, and since then we have discussed the state a lot here and there. My oldest daughter who is 6 years old, remembers the trip and is very interested in learning about Colorado, so this book was perfect!

By The Way Books {Colorado}

What It Is {about the book}

Let me just say, this is a beautiful book! We are most definitely book junkies in this house, especially books that don’t involve twaddle. Colorado- By The Way is so nicely put together; the photographs included are clear and detailed, while the words flow easily and are a wonderful help to learning about the state of Colorado.

Colorado is a beautiful state, and it does not surprise me at all that so many people call this place their home. A good friend of mine recently moved to Colorado after finding a gorgeous home in Centennial. She had always wanted to live in Cherry Knolls and after working alongside a cherry knolls realtor, her dreams have become a reality. I cannot wait to visit her really soon as her new property looks amazing from the photographs that I have seen. I might even bring her a copy of this book all about Colorado as a housewarming gift!

By The Way Book Series has created a captivating book all about the facts and history of Colorado (there are other books in the series: Ohio State, Smoky Mountains, and more!).

The story begins with Alex and Lexi joining a By The Way RV team, where they go on to see all that God’s imagination holds. All throughout the book there are examples of the evidence of God’s work-that nothing was created by chance, but in a very deliberate way. You will also find Bible verses that point to God’s glory.

The book has 48 full color pages, and is recommended for ages 5-12. My children (ages 2-6) really enjoyed this book, and I absolutely think this would be a wonderful book for older children because it is so informative, and not “childish,” in the story line. It is appropriate for a large age range. The book is a large 8×10 hardback, with a nice sturdy binding and thick, beautiful pages.

Written from a Biblical worldview, this is a terrific book for anyone wanting to learn more about Colorado.

What We Thought

We love this book! We have a house full of books, and this one is probably right at the top of my favorites list. I hope to add more books from the series to our shelf, because I know they will be accurate, appropriate, and educational. This is a wonderful travel book to prepare for a trip, or when doing a unit study on both the state of Colorado, the midwest, the mountains, and/or wildlife.

I really love the illustrations in this book- they are a mix of drawings and photographs-both of which grab children’s attention and show great detail. We were able to see inside the homes and life if “cliff dwellers” of the Mesa Verde; which led into an entire discussion of the meanings of mesa and verde, where they originated and how the english language is a great mix of Latin and Spanish. Colorado- By The Way covers state history as well as life in Colorado for both people and nature.

Something else I noticed and really liked, was that the adults in this book are respected- they are wonderful examples for the children, and they are always presented as someone the children respect. Adults are not made fun of, or made to look silly or foolish as is often found in children’s books (and especially tv shows).

I loved talking about all the different topics we came across; I think my daughter’s favorite part was about the horses and ponies. The adventures encountered by the characters are fun, educational, and always point to God.

By The Way Books Map

It isn’t very often we come across great new books that span many school subjects/units but this book does just that!

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Baby Dispositions- Touchy Baby- {Baby Summary 10/11 weeks}

11-weeks-TOUCHY baby-summary

This week I really saw how Coralie is a “touchy baby;” she is really starting to come into her own personality and I am enjoying learning about her. She also showed me that she isn’t hungry at the 3 hour mark anymore; we have gradually shifted to 3.15-3.5hour routine and she is eating MUCH better now. This seems to also have helped her naps.

She seems to still have a witching hour in the evening, and it may have increased a bit in length; I am not sure why yet… We didn’t really settle into this new routine/schedule until today actually (Friday, her 11 week mark) but she has been showing me she was ready for a few days.

I’ve learned that as a parent when you start thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if she is wanting to stretch her feedings/sleep/waketime/etc,” she probably is! Go with your gut- use your tools, like helpful books, but use them in conjunction with your gut and you won’t go wrong. Oh .. and be consistent! 😉

The Routine/Schedule Now Is:

  • 6:45-7am nurse, bottle
  • 7:30 nap
  • 10:15am nurse bottle
  • 11:00 nap
  • 1:30pm nurse bottle
  • 2:15 nap
  • 4:30pm nurse bottle
  • 5:30 swing for cat nap
  • 6pm nurse (?) sometimes I try to skip this cluster feed
  • 6:45-7pm nurse bottle
  • Bed right after eating. She usually fusses and eats 1-2 more times after I put her to bed, until about 8:00pm
  • ***Waking between 5-6:30am– I have started putting her in the swing with a paci to sleep until DWT of 6:45-7am. This has worked the few times that I’ve tried it, hopefully at some point, skipping nursing this early will help her sleep through to DWT (it helps by training her metabolism and sleep patterns if she is ready).**Also, I chose to try and skip eating at this early wake time because she wasn’t taking a FULL feeding, but just enough that she wasn’t hungry at her DWT; thus she would wake early from nap hungry. By holding her off until DWT (designated wake time), she gets in a good, full feeding and starts her day off better! Also, DWT most definitely affects how baby sleeps the following night so keeping that routine consistent is important for good, solid sleep.

Coralie is back in the Woombie, after a nap or two of busting out of the swaddle waking herself, and she seems happy again. So Woombie it is! She is still swaddled and then Woombied at night, and that is working for now.

This week she began spinning in her sleep; it has always been rotating to her left but today she started rotating to her right! How funny their development is!

She still seems to need to cry before sleeping. I put her down awake, but drowsy and within a few minutes she is fussing. She hasn’t learned to settle herself, and cry it out (in small amounts of time) doesn’t seem to help. So after she gets a good cry in I go pat her to sleep. It takes maybe 20 seconds. She just can’t get there alone yet, but I am sure it will come. Read why I let her cry a little HERE, in last week’s update. It is just her way of decompressing for now.

Eating

We have a big growth spurt coming up at 12 weeks, so that should kick in soon. Right now Coralie is nursing well, and has become much more efficient, finishing a feeding within 15 minutes. She then takes 4-6oz of a bottle, sometimes more.

Oh- speaking of bottles! Whether you feed your baby through milk or formula, you should always find the right product. Something that parents experience with their kids is after having been fed, they can experience colic/reflux when bottle feeding, therefore it is beneficial to look into something like best baby bottles for wind. Be sure to do your research when it comes to providing the best products for you and your baby, as an infant’s health is the main priority to any parent. You could also check out https://www.dapplebaby.com/baby-friendly-dish-soap/ to learn about baby friendly dish soap. We all know how dirty baby bottles can get, so getting a soap that cleans them is vital!
We have moved from the crazy expensive Nutramigen formula (which is just corn syrup solids- Yuck!) to a homemade recipe! (Not the bone broth recipe I made for Max and Ila, which is also great, but takes a little more work.) I will have a separate post on the new recipe soon. =)

I feel like Coralie may have more updates on the blog than Ila did, simply because she changes more from week to week with her touchy personality dictating things so much. Ila was an angel baby- by the book. Super easy; just simple and tagged along. Coralie most definitely lets us know when things are not okay with her, and that is a lot of the time. *sigh*

What is a Touchy Baby?

Per the Baby Whisperer– Touchy babies are the most fragile; they thrive on routine and NEED predictability. She says the more consistent you are the better you will understand each other, the happier baby will be, and the sooner she should sleep through the night. Usually touchy babies are later to the game of sleeping through the night, around 10-12 weeks. (this is certainly true for Coralie after the terrible 7-9 week wonder week!) Without a structured routine it is hard to gauge a touchy baby’s cries and that will most definitely make her more irritable. They are easily thrown off by an unexpected visitor, a dog barking, and if mama doesn’t notice and hunger or sleepy cue, baby gets upset and is hard to calm down <-- YES! YES! YES!

After nursing, Coralie gets SO upset if her bottle isn’t in her mouth within a few minutes. It is always best if I warm her bottle, then nurse, THEN have the bottle right on hand. But that just isn’t always possible. What stinks is it’s really hard to have a touchy baby as your 4th baby! Because you really need them to “tag along” and go with the flow more than the others. Thing is, people will say, “well if you just do it baby will adjust.”

NO THEY WON’T! At least not usually.

A touchy baby is such by nature; they are born that way, you can do nothing to change that. All you can do is everything possible, within reason, to make your life easier which means understanding and respecting their personality and developmental needs.

I don’t for one second believe that accommodating a touchy baby is spoiling them; it is called respect. They are people.

Do you like for people to run the vacuum or run into your bedroom screaming at the top of their lungs while you sleep?

Nope, me neither.

Do you like for dogs to unexpectedly bark loudly in your ear when you are relaxed and being cuddled? Or for someone to say they will meet you at 6pm and not show til 8pm? Yea- touchy babies don’t either!

Lexie was SO much like this, but so was I at that time in my life. I didn’t realize she needed it as much as I did, or even more. Looking back I know she was an easier-ish *ha* touchy baby because I kept her in routine, on schedule, she knew what to expect, when to expect it, and I eased her into things. For instance, she wouldn’t have done well staying away from home at 2 years old; I knew that. We waited until she was older and could make that decision herself; we respected her personality and because of that she has grown to a very independent young girl. She is confident in who she is, and recognizes what she needs- quiet time alone, snuggles with daddy, playtime outside, etc. She knows what she needs because we have helped give her the tools to do so.

I will keep praying that God continues to guide us with our newest touchy baby. =)

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Introducing Baby #4 {weeks 1-5 Baby Summary, sleep schedule and feedings}

Well, on July 22, 2016 at 10:47pm we welcomed our 4th child, and 3rd baby girl, Coralie into the world.

Her birth story is to come (and it’s a pretty good one!) but for now I will just focus on her summary for weeks 1-5.

Weeks 1-2 we focused on nursing, sleep, and getting her days and nights in order.  Not only was she confusing her days and nights (I had to wake her to eat during the day and she was up all night wanting to nurse 24/7), but she had reflux and was generally unhappy, sometimes even while nursing.

I didn’t cut out dairy before she was born, like I did with #3, and I did cheat and have creamer in coffee 2xs during the first 2-3 weeks so it is quite possible that her reflux was due to dairy in my diet.  As of now (week 5), she is not having reflux.

baby #4 Week 1-5 Summary

We also decided to go ahead and supplement with formula pretty early on.  I tried to avoid it with each baby, and with my last she lost 14% of her body weight only nursing before we tried formula.  So, in an effort to avoid that all together, for my peace of mind, and hopefully to satisfy her upset stomach we started Nutramigen formula- and within 2 days she was a different baby!  She was satisfied, her tummy didn’t seem upset as much (though she still had reflux from time to time) and she was happier.  (when she is older and I have more time we will probably start on our homemade formula)

Today, at 5 weeks, I am 100% off dairy, she is nursing great, and reflux is gone.  Reflux is known for coming and going and flaring back up around 6-8 weeks, but we are praying that won’t be the case. (I am actually posting this at 7 weeks ols, and her reflux seems to be back .. =/)

She has her days and nights in order, though I do have to wake her at the 3 hour mark sometimes to eat during the day.  She is going from about 7pm of last feeding to about 2-4am most nights now.  At 4 weeks old it was 2xs a night, and this past week has been mostly 1-2 times a night.  Sometimes she makes it until 5am

She is having a witching hour that varies from 4 or 6pm until 9pm.  Some nights she goes to bed at 8pm after her dinner no problems, other nights she witches until 9 or 9:30pm.  Regardless, I am not complaining.  Those first few weeks were incredibly tough, much harder than they were with my second or third babies.  But things are calming down.

I would say so far Coralie is most like my oldest as a baby; she is amazingly alert during her wake times, eats like a champ, and I think it will be a while longer before she gets her nights stretched out really well.

At week 5 here is our routine:

  • 6:45-7:15 wake, nurse, bottle (if she doesn’t wake up by 7am, I wake her to start our day)
  • 40 mins later nap- her first wake time is usually about 40 minutes and she is asleep by 45 minutes
  • 10:00am wake, (go outside) nurse, bottle- if she doesn’t wake herself before now, I wake her at 10
  • 40 minutes later nap (or after first yawn if she yawns before 40 minutes)
  • 1:00 wake, nurse, bottle- if she doesn’t wake up I wake her 3 hours after her last feeding
  • 40 minutes later nap (or after first yawn if she yawns before 40 minutes)
  • 4:00 wake, (go outside) nurse, bottle
  • 40 minutes later down for nap, (or after first yawn if she yawns before 40 minutes)
  • This is where she usually begins her witching hour.  She may go right to sleep for this nap, or she may stay up and fuss.  If she is fussy I typically hold her on and off so she gets some sleep; we also will nurse on demand if that is all that will soothe her
  • 6:30 bath if it is a bath night, I wake her if she is asleep
  • 7pm nurse, bottle, straight to bed- sometimes she continues with the witching hour until after 8pm, sometimes she goes right to sleep
  • 1 or 2 middle of the night wakings anywhere from 11pm-2am, and 4am-6am

Sometimes I miss her sleepy cues at nap and she gets a bit OT; I can usually give her a paci (a wubbanub to be more specific, she won’t take a regular pacifier …) to calm her, put her down and when she drifts off & spits it out, I take the pacifier away.  Sometimes it only takes once, sometimes it takes more than once, but usually that works.  Our biggest issue is getting her burped in time for the 40 minute mark without her falling asleep while being held and THEN avoiding hiccups.  Just like in utero, she is very hiccupy!

She is just like her biggest sister, in that she is very sensitive to wake times!  Sometimes she wakes early into her nap & fusses a few minutes and goes to sleep before I can even get to her; but mostly keeping her WTs at 40 minutes right now seems to be key.

Though a happy baby, she is a bit colicky, but very social.  She started smiling and cooing earlier than my others, it seems.  She is ticklish under her arms and at her ribs and loves to be snuggled by her older siblings.

She enjoys being outside and talked to.  I would say she is definitely more needy than Ila was, but then again, Ila was basically perfect in the eating, and sleeping departments. Coralie is more like her brother and oldest sister right now.

We will see how she changes and grows!

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Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2016/2017

Aaaah Every homeschool mama’s dream- getting the new school year’s supplies and curriculum all planned out and organized.

homeschool choices 20162017

As you all may know, we *love* Sonlight’s curriculum as our core- Bible, history, and read alouds. We also love their readers (books children learn to read on their own).

This past school year (2015/2016) we used Sonlight Core A with the intention of stretching it out over two years- I planned to do that by reading sequels to books, adding in lapbooks and other units, while alternating weeks of SL and these other things, etc.

Yea … so we still flew through it! The kids asked all the time to read our “learning time books,” and did not like me alternating some weeks of all the great read alouds and history books from SL in an attempt to stretch it out.

Because we didn’t stretch Core A over 2 years as planned, this left me with an extra year to fill- a year known in the homeschool world as a “gap year.”

As it turns out, SL revamped their cores for 2016, which means Core A has some new books added and some old ones removed! They also separated their language arts from the core itself. This helped me create a new plan for our next few school years.

Here is what we will do for the next few years:

  • 2016/2017- Gap Year using Beautiful Feet Early American History as core (ages 4 and 6)
  • 2017/2018- Revisit Sonlight Core A (ages 5 and 7)
  • 2018/2017- Begin Sonlight Core B (ages 6 and 8)

Why is this helpful? Because it means I can keep my two oldest in a Core together, and my two youngest (who are toddlers and a soon to be born baby) will core together when they are ready to begin. Inserting a gap year here puts my two oldest at the best possible ages for the Cores; with Sonlight it is generally better to be in the top of the age range than the bottom because book content is heavier as you get to Core D and the farther in cores you go the more chapter books you encounter.

Break Down of What We Will Use for 2016/2017

Last year my 3 year old tagged along for Core A, as I have mentioned, and learned to count to 100, ID all his letters and their sounds, and just found a love for learning (slooowly but surely). My oldest, 5 years old, loved every minute of Core A, and began reading anything she could get her hands on, including books on 3rd-4th grade level. She seriously just picks up any book and read it.

They both LOVED the pioneer era, so I thought for our gap year doing an Early American History study would work out well! We chose Beautiful Feet Books Early American Primary Jumbo Literature Pack for our curriculum this year. I am truly 100% excited!

We have done 2 years of other cultures/world history so I thought this year we could take a break from that (though I think I may have a couple of future ap world history students!) while we enjoy a little bit of studying closer to home, before we jump back into world cultures/world history with Core A again.

2017 Curriculum Choices (Kindergarten age 6, Preschool age 4)

Together we will all enjoy:

  • History/Core– Beautiful Feet E.A. History- this also incorporates copywork and writing
  • Bible- Reading from Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
  • Memory work (Bible verses, poems, etc that I have chosen)
  • Science- Apologia Science Astronomy second edition (oh my goodness we are LOVING this-review to come in September) used with the Jr. Notebooking Journal for Kindergartener, the preschooler will tag along/color pictures as we read
  • Art– Artistic Pursuits- we love this program, hands down

Kindergarten (age 6)

  • Reading– AAR Level 2/3- we are about half way through Level 2 now, so we will continue on to Level 3 once we are done
  • Readers– we will continue using Sonlight’s readers, as well as other first and second grade readers from the library
  • Spelling– AAS Level 1- we did not being AAS last year as I had planned (mama was just too sick/exhausted with pregnancy to add in anything else at the time) so we will begin it this year. Lexie is very concerned about how to spell her words and because her reading level is so advanced I figured this is a good time to gently introduce spelling.
  • Math– Saxon 1/2- we will finish Saxon 1 and move on to Saxon 2 this year. Max, the preschooler, will tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing
  • Handwriting– we will use our faithful copywork, as well as A Reason for Handwriting book B
  • Writing– copywork, journal, and modeling (I plan to introduce more formal grammar/writing at 2nd grade level)

Preschool (age 4)

  • Reading- All About Reading Level 1 (mixed with some games from the Pre Reading level because he loves them)
  • Math- tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing, learn to write numbers
  • Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears Preschool or K book (I haven’t decided yet… he is still very much at the pre writing level, but I know Lexie flew through that stage once she got started, so we may just go to the K book first)
  • I plan to use lots of hands on and games with him; he loves puzzles and mazes, building things, and sports right now so there isn’t a ton of interest in paper and pencil learning just yet. I don’t want to burn him out or push him too young. He is excited about learning to read and write letters, but short of that it will be a lot of play.

Miss Tot (2)

Ila will tag along, get some one on one time with mama, and enjoy independent play during our school time. She is learning her shapes, colors, ABCs, and how to do puzzles right now. Really, she has mastered her puzzles and counting to 10, so we will just continue with songs, finger plays, and other tot-time learning for her. =)

In addition to our curriculum, we will do LOTS of play outside, work on the farm, and learn through nature.

So, as for now, these are our plans for homeschool this year! If things change or I add something (haven’t yet placed my last order..) I will do a part II and let you know.

What will your school year look like for 2016/2017?

 

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!

Accomplish ALL The Things {Simple Woman’s Daybook 23}

Outside my Window …
It is gray, cloudy, and the sun isn’t up. We have had rain for 3 days now! YAY

I am thinking…
About all the things I need to start fitting into my day: more floor time with Ila, more violin practice with Lexie, more ironing of J.Tom’s clothes (one day I will be able to afford the cleaners!), more walking, more pregnancy exercises … oh. And more menu planning (really not doing good menu planning), and more blog planning.

How’s that for thinking 😉

I am thankful…
That my husband woke up before me to make coffee and feed the baby cows. =) We have started weaning them from their milk (a little late), and boy are they pushy! We don’t let them boss us, but the taller brown one sure tries.

In the kitchen…
There is bone broth that needs to be jarred up and put in the freezer.

And coffee!

I am wearing…
A maternity dress- it is one of the really old ones from my pregnancy with Lexie. It doesn’t really fit well, but they make great house dresses now, and are comfy to sleep in. Old Navy, $10 6 years ago.

I am creating…
probably a mess of everything. I have so much to do; today is cleaning day, but I also have to work in the basement (ugh) and get ironing done. I have dresses to finish sewing before baby comes, I want to put together a small unit study for the kids on Little house in the Big Woods, because we are about to finish that, and then we are going to grow crystals. That’s creating stuff, right? =/

I am going…
I need to go to Costco this afternoon; if the Mister takes a good nap we will go get groceries and then meet the daddy for dinner out.

Did I mention I have done a really bad job about menu planning lately?

I am wondering…
If it will continue to rain and fill the pond up. We thought we had a leak … thankfully the hubby had access to a few tons of kitty litter so we spread that out where we thought the leak may be. However, it may in fact just be that we didn’t have a wet winter and our runoff is blocked a bit, and there is a huge pond next door that has to fill before ours will.

Hoping the hard heavy rain we got last night started the process. We have had slow, steady rain for 2-3 days now. It has been wonderful!
I am reading…
Oh gosh! Okay, so I have a few books on my shelf, but have only really started one. The first two are homemaking books from the library, though I think I would like to own both. and the rest are books about raising boys. Cause … my little Mister is the only Mister and I am a girl. Therefore I really know very little about raising boys.

I am hoping…
really more like praying God helps me find me the patience and energy today to accomplish all the things!

I am looking forward to…
Not having a mile long to do list! It seems to come in phases, sometimes I feel like I have it all done and everything is great (obviously, it probably really isn’t). And then sometimes I am SO. Far. Behind. Like now. =)

I am learning…
That my Mister needs freedoms, and boundaries, and more reinforcement of consequences when he breaks those boundaries.

Also, that I have let a LOT of time get by me before this baby gets here! I am 27.5 weeks already, and we have a TON of rather big things to do.

Around the house…
dusting. vacuuming. switching season clothes, packing kids clothes that are too small to save for baby, and I am always decluttering. Which right now I think we are in a pretty good place with that. Minus all these girl clothes I have to hold on to! I know I should throw them away, but I just can’t do it. We’re throwing enough away though, leaving us with a lot of space now. If anyone else needs to declutter their home, it might be worth contacting a company like 1300 Rubbish to make sure they can take the rubbish away from your home. That always makes the job easier.

A favorite quote for today…

Accomplish All the Things

One of my favorite things…
that Ila has FINALLY this week, started saying more words: red car, Lexie, mister, bear, more animal sounds, hair bow, and she pretends to read the words in books by speaking her own little baby Japanese. It is really cute.

I also LOVE that Lexie begs to take Ila outside while I am prepping meals, switching out laundry, etc. I do let her take her on the porch or to the back concrete and Lexie just loves it. So does mister- he drives Ila around in the back of his little pick up truck. She is so loved.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I think ALL the lists above should cover this one. =)

A peek into my day…
This was the other day

Out My Widow ... Life on a Farm

Simple Woman {Daybook}

Baby #3 Summary: 18 month Update and Routine

Well … Talk about dropping the ball  =/  Poor Ila hasn’t had very many baby updates.

But, here I am with her 18 month baby summary!

Personality and Development

Ila walks to the beat of her own drum, for sure.  While Mister and Lexie are out running around on their many adventures, Ila is usually either off in her own world (playing with trucks, or sitting in a hole in the yard playing with dirt), or totting right behind them.  She is still obsessed with animals and tends to talk back to them in their language, more than she speaks to us in ours.  She moos at cows, tweets and whistles at birds, growls at the dogs, and SCREAMS some wild meows at the cats; she can call, “here chick, chick, chick” just as well as I can, doesn’t have a single fear of those calves in the barn.  As far as she is concerned, Thora and Charlie belong to her and she is one of them.  (she doesn’t discriminate!)

Speaking of walking … Ila started walking full time somewhere around November (14 months) which is the absolute latest of all my babies.  The first two were walking by 9-10 months.  Ila just wanted to take her time.

Speaking of speaking … Ila has words, she just chooses not to use them most of the time. Ha!  Her vocabulary consists mostly of: Tho-ra, charlie (which comes out something like chagie), dog dog, meow, cat, air (airplane), mama (for mama, more, please, I’m waiting! and NOW!!), dada, dada home (cause that’s the biggest deal of the day besides meals), and my absolute favorite which comes out plain as day Yes Ma’am! haha  Why of all the words we have taught her did that phrase stick, we will never know…  There are a few more I am forgetting I’m sure, but these are the most widely used.  She won’t say Lexie or Max yet.

She does sign for her drink and please … but that’s about it.  She CAN doe “more-more” but chooses not to most of the time unless I really make her. 😉

I can say this about her- she is smart and hilarious!  She picks up on things so fast, without us even really realizing it, which I am sure is because she is submerged in a literature and language rich environment AKA living with her siblings.  They talk to her, sing to her, read to her, pretend with her, and if I’d let them they would feed her (that may or may not happen on occasion).  One day after dumping the ABC beanbags into the laundry basket, I found her sorting out the bean bags and laundry, putting each item where it belongs.
She is so funny, and will do just about anything to put a smile on your face.  She also finds herself quite humorous … I think she takes after her daddy!

18 Mo Baby Summary and Schedule

My silly, sweet, snuggly little rag-napper.  She enjoys stealing my rag off the kitchen sink

She is the snuggliest of all my babies.  Max was a snuggler, but mostly because he was refluxy and cranky and needed lots of reassurance; that snuggly behavior stuck through his personality to today.  Lexie liked snuggling as a baby (and really craves it now at 5.5) but then she wanted to go do her thing and come back again later.  Ila will just snuggle all day if you let her; she walks up to J.Tom and me and gives the BIGGEST squeeze hugs around our legs.  She often just wants to be held and lay her head on my shoulder.  She gives great big, squeaky kisses that put the slobberi-est of dogs to shame!

Eating and Favorite Things

At meals, she likes to be the first to fold her hands for the blessing so she can start eating.  She has started pointing to things and counting (like she sees Mister do), and she likes to bring me letters and say Mmmmm.  Apparently all letters are M (probably because Max says M-A-X Max! all day long).  She has discovered her spit (ew) and blows spit bubbles to get attention.  Her favorite foods are probably whole pears, which she has been eating since she was about 8 months old, and anything I cook that is warm.  She will devour anything, but like beans and ham, spaghetti, turkey sandwiches with spinach, and loooove green beans.  She really likes the tomatoes out of my vinegar salad and roasted broccoli.

She has finally started enjoying listening to me read to her; up to this point she just wanted to sit in my lap while she held the book and thumbed the pages.  Somehow it just soothed her, the feeling of the pages flipping.  And she still enjoys that, but we have started reading her Bible and she is actually listening and points to the pictures, etc.  So that’s nice.  While Mister and Lexie are doing school, she likes to ask for crayons and paper … but she just eats the crayons.

Her favorite things are our animals, anyone’s shoes, flipping through books, eating, and dancing.  She will play with Mister’s toy trucks for what seems like hours and rolls them all over the house.

Her eating schedule looks just like ours now.  Here is her daily routine:

  • 7am wake/snuggles
  • 7:30 breakfast- fried eggs, homemade oatmeal, and fruit with water
    • play while we finish morning school basket/do morning chores, begin school
  • 9:00/9:30-10:30 she goes to independent play in her crib while we do parts of school that require a little more quiet (Lexie reading aloud, math, me reading aloud if she is being particularly loud!)
  • 11:15 lunch
  • 12:00 nap   She usually sleeps until 2 or 2:30
  • 3:00 everyone up from naps
  • outside play/play downstairs if weather is nasty
  • 5:30ish dinner
  • 6:15ish bath
  • 6:30/6:45/7pm bed, depending on what time she woke up from nap.  If she slept until 2 or later bed is 6:45 or 7pm
  • All kids are in bed by 7, earlier if Max didn’t nap good

Everything is flexible by a few minutes other than sleep times.

This month marks the firs that we have truly been Wonder Week free!  Whew- let me tell you, since about Christmas, we have had one WW after another.  Some of those wouldn’t have been that noticeable, except that hers manifest themselves in waking at night- not just waking, but screaming all night unless being held.  A few times I tried to hold her, but she wouldn’t go to sleep, only stop crying.  So we had many wakeful, exhausting nights.  And once she came out of the WWs (I think they were the last 2 until she turns 2?) everything went back to normal.  Thankfully!

I think that is about it on her baby summary.  My next will probably be when she is about 2.  Of course we should have a newborn by then, so the summary may be a little late  😉

 

 

 

Every Day Won’t Be Like This

Everyday Won't Be Like This

The last few weeks have been amazingly refreshing. The warm sun, buds on the trees, homeschool and life running smoothly. And then this week came, and it hit me.

I realize I have been on the brink of anxiety and frustration, letting things get out of sync again. The laundry was literally piled in 3 baskets, a dirty pile on the floor, and a load of socks and undies in the dryer. But I was exhausted and went to bed.

10:30pm and my pregnant bladder wakes me up.

11:30pm my thirsty 3 year old wakes me up

2:30am and said 3 year old has an itchy finger from some thorns he got into the afternoon before.

4:30am I am still awake, unable to go back to sleep. I am feeling anxious, nauseous for some reason, and can’t turn my brain off.

5:45am time to get up to feed baby cows

6am I am making bottles for the calves when Lady calls out- she has wet the bed and everything is soaked through… make that 5 piles of laundry.

JTom is putting his coat on to go outside; there is NO coffee made.

I start to cry. I am tired, the day hasn’t even started and I have already failed.

We get our chores done, I make his breakfast, he gets out of the shower and wraps his arms around me. “Every day won’t be like this.”

They were words that cut deep; I don’t want these days to end, but I wanted this one to be over with.

Mister is growing so fast, thinks his new shoes are just great, constantly tells me he loves me, and asks what words say; Lady is becoming a little girl (just asked for her first real Bible, takes care of other people selflessly, shares everything she has … mostly, and is more responsible than most 10 year olds); Ila is running around with her own prerogatives in her own little, bubbly-self world exploring things for the first time.

And another is on the way.

Days like today remind me that it won’t always be like this; one day the laundry will stop, one day L will change her own sheets and wash her own clothes, one day Mister will not wake me up 2 times a night to ask me to come in his room just because he can.

It was a hard morning, hard enough that we stayed home instead of going to town as planned, & read books and listened to science podcasts before laying down for naps.

It was a much needed day of grace for all of us.

But like I tell Lady, if we don’t have hard days (times, seasons, tasks, challenges), how can we learn to appreciate the good ones?

I am learning to appreciate the hard ones, too.

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Some Days Are Hard: Getting Out of A Rut {and weekly wrap up for Jan 22, 2016}

Homeschooling When mama Has The Winter Blues

I love blogging, mainly because I enjoy writing, but also because I get emails and messages asking for help, our experiences etc.  I am a transparent person, so I love sharing here!

I usually have encouraging things to say, great review info, or experiences to share.  But lately …

Well, I’ve just been in a rut.  (Haven’t I written that before?!  … oh yes!  yes, I have)

I don’t get into school ruts often, though.  And I am still not 100% sure this rut I am in is directly school related, because I really feel like it’s a lack of the house being settled the move (some curtains not done, decorations not quite right, the basement isn’t perfectly set up, etc), and winter.

Every few years I just have a really hard time with winter-I remember specifically the years I was pregnant with Lexie and Max were hard.  Not every year is this way; as a matter of fact the last 2 years in Nebraska, where it was OH-MY-GOSH so cold and windy, where I never went outside in winter time and everything was covered in snow until May, I had winters that were just fine.  No ruts or frustrations or lack of motivation.

This winter has been really tough though.  I don’t know if it is a combo of pregnancy (man, the last 7 weeks were killer), or cabin fever or what, but I haven’t been myself.

And when mama isn’t herself, things seem to fall apart little by little.  And the first attack here is on menu planning, attitudes, and school.

SO … all that to say, over the last few weeks we have been reading our Sonlight books and doing those discussions, handwriting, weekly journal writings, and math (all because Lexie asks for them), but that’s it.  We haven’t hit science thoroughly, we haven’t done art much, which we all love, and have not been notebooking through our Bible stories.

I do have to say, the kids seem mostly unaffected as far as school goes.  They beg for learning time, books, activities, workbooks … it is me that feels *blah* about everything in general right now.

Weekly Wrap Up Jan 22, 2016

A sweet friend, and wonderful homeschool mama, came over this past week and we had a wonderful visit.  She helped me come to the conclusion that I just need to relax.

  • I can do the assignments Lexie is interested in, and the rest doesn’t matter, because she is 5.
  • We can sit around and read books all day; they’re learning so much just from that (which is what we used to do, before winter got here and I slowly became consumed with everything in the house around me).  It isn’t going to end the world if we leave a mess or two, or don’t get something done.  (remind me of this first thing in the morning!)
  • I NEED to get back to a solid routine

That’s the second part of this post … what has made the last few months inside hard has also been a disruption of routine.  We had a SOLID routine in place that was pretty much no-fail this summer and fall.  That block of time outside first thing in the morning was heaven for all of us, and just set the tone for school and the rest of our day.

Today, I can’t take the kids outside in 20 degree weather first thing in the morning, and enjoy my coffee while watching them play, or go pick the garden.  And it down right sucks.

We also didn’t have a library home.  In NE we could just get out and go to the library; have a bunch of books on hold and take them home and read.  Since we moved to KS, we haven’t joined a library, so my friend also helped with that! (Isn’t it wonderful who God puts in our lives?)

We went just last week to the library and I put a bunch of books about pioneers on hold. For the next few weeks we are going to read books on pioneers, cowboys, and the west (our current Sonlight topic and a favorite of both Lexie and Max’s), discuss, learn, maybe do some easy projects, and that’s it.  I am going to enjoy these days with my babies and try to CHILL OUT. (easier said than done, but I am trying)

I know mamas with older children are thinking, “I can’t just stop everything we are doing and relax” …. But you know, I think you can.  Isn’t that one reason why we homeschool?- because we know when we need a change, a break, or to feed our souls.  It is hard to change our mentality when our eyes see everything around us and our brain says “I must get it all done.”

But what’s the most important work?  That’s what I have to ask myself right now.  And the answer is loving and nurturing my kids; building those relationships.  It is a balance and it is HARD.

What to Do About Those Struggles

So, if you’re with me- stuck in a winter rut- know that it is okay.  I am working on identifying why I am struggling and what I can do to fix that.  So far, praying over it, and encouragement from a good, experienced friend has lead me to:

  1. relax
  2. work on a new routine and stick with it!
  3. take it to the Lord
  4. did I mention, relax?
  5. Work on my word of the year, which was Joy.  Find Joy in this winter ..

(not in that order….)

So I would say identify why you’re in a rut or struggling, make a plan to change those things, and go from there.  That’s what I am trying to do!  Trial and error, it is okay to fail.  It is okay to apologize to your kids when you’re frustrated and have a bad attitude. Try, try again.  =)

Yesterday I noticed the sun set about 6:00pm- WOO HOO!  Can I get an Amen?!  In 8 or so weeks spring will be here and I will only want to be outside all the time, so now is the time to embrace these days indoors … that is my new outlook!

How do you get out of the winter doldrums?

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