Holiday Reading

Every month Emma gets one of those Scholastic Book Catalogs from school. We don’t usually order from them because we go to the library so often. However, the books are really cheap and with the holidays coming up and a long trip to Michigan in our future, I decided to go ahead and put in a small order of 5 books. Although, my grandparents have a whole library in their basement that would surely tide us over. But it turns out I love kids’ books just as much as I love adults’ books. Go figure.

So here is what we have on our reading list for November and December.

reading

Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Holidays More Meaningful

I can’t believe the stores are already full of Christmas decorations!! Did I miss Thanksgiving? I hope not. Every year Christmas starts earlier and earlier and the stores get crazier and crazier. For me, it really takes all the fun out of it.

I love putting Christmas gifts together. I love trying to figure out that one thing that everyone will really love and wrapping it up all pretty. But the craziness of the season has driven me out of the stores and in search of more enjoyable and more meaningful ways to spend the holidays.

So today, I’m going to share a few ways you can add more significance into your holidays , whatever they may be, INCLUDING Thanksgiving.

Continue reading

Fall Fun!

I love fall! Especially in Florida. Fall is such a relief after a steamy, hot Florida summer. The warm sun and cool breezes are enough to invite even the most highly screen-addicted individuals outside. We’ve been super busy getting our Fall Bucket List checked off and the best part is, we still have several more activities to go! So today I’m going to share with you our Fall Bucket List and the many ways we’ve been checking those items off. Some things we enjoyed so much, we did them twice! I’m a wild one, what can I say? ;)  You can also check us out on Instagram to see all the adventures we’ve been having!

Fall Bucket List

 

Continue reading

I Heart Montessori

DSC01553

 

Emma turned two on September 30. I look at her and I can’t believe how much she has grown even just in the last few months. She picks out her own clothes and is learning to dress and undress herself. She puts things away properly (when she wants to), throws trash in the garbage, closes the doors when the dogs are out so they don’t go in her room and steal her toys (lol). She prefers if I don’t cut up her food and she’ll grab her own spoon if she needs one. I know that there is so much more she would do if she had access to more. And she LIKES doing it. She WANTS to help mommy in the kitchen. She wants to help mommy clean. She wants to do things herself and learn about the world around her. This is fun to her. Even when I try to get her to play with her toys,, it’s never for very long. If given a choice, she would rather paint than watch TV. She would rather cut up vegetables and mix batter than to play with stuffed animals or put together a puzzle. In the last example, this is mostly because that’s what I’m doing. But she still enjoys it! She likes learning! Most children do as long as they are learning about something they are interested in and at their own pace.

This is what Montessori does. It makes everyday things accessible (and safer) for growing children. There is a blog I follow written by a woman who lives in Australia with her husband and their 2 boys. Montessori must be big in Australia because they have all the good Montessori shops. Anyway, this blog is so helpful when you want to learn about Montessori for a child 3 or under but you don’t know where to start. She has her blog broken down into age sections as her youngest son was growing up. It details all the toys and supplies appropriate for that age and where you can get them. The thing I’m most excited about tho is her new shop! She just opened it up and it includes a beautiful selection of kitchen supplies, practical life items, developmental toys, care of self items, blocks, games, and puzzles. They just opened and the selection is small but she has selected items very carefully based on what her children used and what worked best for them. All the items are high quality and toxin free.

Personally, I can’t wait to get these kitchen items for Emma. She loves apples and would be so proud of herself if she could prep them independently.

fruit_corer_1024x1024 grater2_1024x1024 Spatula_set_green_1024x1024 Wavy_knife_yellow_1024x1024

 

The shop is already sold out of this transferring set. We play with transferring a bit in the tub but this would keep Emma busy for quite awhile.

transferring_set_for_shopify_1024x1024

 

Then she has these block sets that I know Emma would love. She loves Legos but sometimes they get stuck and she gets frustrated. And the “tinker-toy”-like set would be something that she and her brothers would enjoy.

Natural_Wood_Construction_Set_1024x1024 rainbow_blocks_1024x1024

 

The one other thing I really need to get for her is a Learning Tower. I just found one on Craigslist for $80 so hopefully I can snag that one. Brand new they are just out of my budget.

learning_tower440

 

And lastly, these are not strictly Montessori but Emma LOVES to paint. She’s gone through like 4 of those multi-pack Crayola paint packs and so I’m looking for something that will last a bit longer and that doesn’t smell so nasty (that can’t be a good thing). So we’re going to try these by Eco-Kids and Glob, respectively:

eco-paint-sm_largePaintKit_large

 

Anyone out there doing any Montessori transformations in their homes? What great resources have you found?

Gettin all riled up!

pesticides_child_iq_214

If there is one topic that gets me riled up it’s food. Specifically the topics of organic and GMOs.

I listened to the last interview on Nicki Knight’s Living Green Summit this morning on my way to work. I posted a link to it on Facebook and it was a really great summit with interviews from a variety of health professionals. You can purchase access to the interviews for $47 and I have to say that I think it’s worth the investment. I missed a couple of interviews and the others were so good and so informational that I’ll be purchasing access myself. You can find out more at http://livinggreensummit.com/welcome#greenedition

So the last interview was with Max Goldberg, Founder of LivingMaxwell.com, one of the nation’s leading experts on organic food and GMOs. I found myself doing a lot of nodding and making a lot of comments to no one (since I was in my car, alone) like “yes! exactly!” Needless to say, it inspired me to write this post as it still shocks me the number of people who don’t know about these topics and especially the number of people who don’t care! Newsflash! It’s not all about you! The way we grow food today affects our children and all future generations as well as the planet as a whole.

Sorry. I told you I get a little riled up.

Continue reading

Book Review: Mothering the New Mother

51ADlFHs+gL

I just finished the first book from my postpartum doula training. This book has an updated edition that was published in 2000 but my library didn’t carry it. However, the book was so informative and has so many resources in it, I will eventually be purchasing my own copy. And even though the edition I read was published in 1994 (almost 20 years ago!) I was shocked at how valid the information still is.

This book covers pretty much every topic I wish I had known about during the postpartum period: life after childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, going back to work, becoming a stay-at-home mom, siblings, and a guide for creating a postpartum plan.

As women, we often take on several different roles. We are chronic multi-taskers, do it ourselfers, and do it all’ers. We work, we study, we play, we teach, we mother, we manage our households, our careers, our health, and so much more. And we are always ready to take on more. So we assume that when we have children, that too we will be able to handle all on our own. We rarely ask for help and when we do we feel guilty, unentitled, or worse, like failures. Well guess what? You are not alone. You are entitled. And you are definitely not a failure.

Continue reading

integrative-medicine-1

Was anyone else in total shock when you took your child to the doctor for the first time and they gave them 3 vaccines all at the same time? I was. And I’ll never forget the second time I took her to get vaccines and that night she just cried and cried and cried. No fever. No seizures or anything like that. Just cried and cried and cried. I felt like a horrible mother. She was going to be going to daycare in a few months and I didn’t think I had a choice. Every time Emma would go to get vaccines, I had to make sure to time it correctly because I knew it was always going to be a bad day. She never had any “real” symptoms. She would just be cranky, cry at the drop of a hat, and she would never sleep well. Even though I would give her acetaminophen (which I know now was a mistake). Even though I would let her soak in an Epsom bath for awhile. I didn’t know about alternative vaccination schedules. I didn’t know that we could opt out for religious reasons. Emma received all her vaccinations up to 15 months and then we opted out of the rest of them. She’s on a solid diet with Fermented Cod Liver Oil (for Vitamin D) and Probiotics and she hasn’t been sick since. We are now in the process of selecting a new pediatrician. One who practices Integrative Medicine.

So what is Integrative Medicine and why would you want to consider it?

Continue reading

Preschool Books and Activities for Fall

Emma and I have a common love of books. Ever since she was just a few months old, she has loved books. It’s the sweetest thing to see her flipping though one, “reading” her own version of the story to no one in particular. Finally, it dawned on me. I should probably take her to the library.

Hello?

Continue reading

Montessori-izing and the perils of Ikea

Ok. I know I said I was going to transform Emma’s room into a Montessori wonderland over the Labor Day weekend. Well, as usual, things didn’t go as planned and I didn’t even start the work until this past weekend. I still have a ways to go and some decisions to make. But here is where we are at so far:

Last weekend I went to Ikea to pick-up wire curtain rods and baskets for her clothes. I found out the key to a successful shopping trip in Ikea is to walk quickly and avoid the second floor. Neither of which I did. So, in addition to those items, I also came home with 2 large shadow frames, a small table and chairs set (only $20 so I consider that a total win!), a small lamp, glass storage containers for the kitchen, and pots for an overgrown snake plant. All things that I will use and “needed” in one way or another. I was definitely most excited about the table and chairs and, to my delight, so was Emma!

table and chairs

Continue reading

My Birth Story: Part 2

I gave birth at a teaching hospital. Which means my C-section was conducted in front of a small audience of well-intentioned students. How I love those good intentions. As they prepped me for the epidural, I was trying to breathe and to commune with my unborn child, to let her know that everything was going to be ok. That even though she could feel my stress, anxiety, apprehension and so on, I couldn’t wait to meet her, to see her, to hold her. But instead I was being bombarded with those lovely good intentioned students asking me questions and reassuring me that this kind of surgery was really no big deal, nothing to worry about. Shut. Up. Please.

So they did the epidural, which was not nearly as bad as I had convinced myself it was going to be. I couldn’t feel it except for a teeny tiny twinge at the end. It was over before I could even open my mouth to say I’d felt something. Then they VERY quickly lay you down, before you fall over, and strap your arms down and out like you’re on a cross. I’m crying. My nerves are completely undone. Enter the lovely anesthesiologist.

Continue reading