Tuesday, December 30, 2008
...loves reading aloud, but wishes Clifford had never been written?!
...uses nursing as an excuse to eat a second helping?
...hasn't dusted in 3 weeks?
...has been tempted to give in and let the kids eat cake for breakfast?
...sends the kids outside so they can run and I can crash?
...loves to inhale the powder scent of Pampers?
...has been tempted to cut my long hair because there is spit up in it yet again?
...wouldn't trade what I do for anything in the world?
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Bake for 5 minutes, or until chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon.
Remove baking pan from the oven and quickly place a red or green plain M & M into the center of each Kiss.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then allow to see for 1 hour in the refrigerator (or eat warm!).
Monday, December 22, 2008
First, I etched a simple design onto a white, unscented candle. (I used an empty lead pencil, but you could use anything with a dull point.) Since it is Christmastime, we decided to make tree and snowflake candles, but you could try other simple shapes.
We let our candles dry for 1-2 hours and voila!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
When Ben was four weeks old, Brian and I had to attend a funeral. We decided to leave the older kids with my mom, but my little nursling needed to go along. Knowing my casual/trendy slings wouldn't do, I decided to try the classy Rockin' Baby Pouch. The sleek cotton looked dressy but not showy. Unlike the pocket slings I've tried in the past, this pouch required no folding. Baby simply fits inside the pre-shaped pouch opening. Great for babywearing newbies!
I also love that this sling is reversible so if I have a more informal occasion to attend, I easily switch to this more "splashy" print!
Rockin' Baby Pouches retail for $82-- a little on the high end of slings I've seen but expected for the superior quality of the fabric and the added features.
Like this sling? Keep checking back for my sling giveaway in February!
Friday, December 19, 2008
- I was holding a baby while working.
- Those darn cloves bruise your thumbs!
The lovely fragrance and the precious mama/daughter time was worth it all, though!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Many have written interpretations of Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker. I've found most of them to be tedious and wordy for young children. Last year, Gavin and Maddie were fascinated by a video of Mikhail Baryshnikov dancing in this classic ballet. I tried reading them a written version of the story, but they were bored before I finished. This fall while perusing the library shelves for books to take home, I came across this gem:
I was excited when it was finally the right season to check it out! Written and illustrated by Susan Jeffers, this book is perfect for the younger age group. Though a simpler version, it is not condescending! And what beautiful artwork! Maddie, especially, was captivated.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to take Maddie this year to a live ballet performance of The Nutcracker and was amazed how much of the story she remembered and pointed out to me!
(We also like Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening with illustrations by Susan Jeffers.)
Monday, December 15, 2008
A friend of mine had a baby in November so I decided that was the perfect opportunity to pull out the cloth and embroidery floss and get to work. I made a super simple no-sew fleece blanket and embroidered the corner with the baby's initials and a floral design. I am able to embroider while nursing which made things even easier! It only took a couple of hours from start to finish.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Disaster #2: While I was upstairs, Maddie climbed onto the kitchen table and ate the candy off of our gingerbread house!
Disaster #3: Gavin climbed under the tree and opened one of his Daddy's presents.
Note to self: Keep kids with me AT ALL TIMES!
Gavin (4), Maddie (2 years), Owen (3 months)
Disaster #2: As if #1 wasn't enough, I awoke at 3 am the next night to more sounds in the "no-no" room. This time, he had the presents out again, but this time was trying to wrap them back up for me!
Reminder to self: Keep kids with me AT ALL TIMES!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Giveaway #1(Dominic boots): Commenter 8-- Sarah McKelvey
Giveaway #2 (Julie boots): Commenter 6-- (another) Sarah
Giveaway #3 (Paul shoes): Commenter 8-- Maria
Monday, December 8, 2008
When I told him, I was going to take a special picture of him to put on my blog for his birthday, he said, "Special? Like this?"
That's a 6-year-old boy for you!
Seriously, though, time has flown and I'm happy to celebrate my energetic, math-minded, tender-hearted, not-so-little-anymore boy who six years ago today made me a mom!
Happy Birthday, Gavin!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thanks to Molly and Tickatoo for their generous sling donation!
This week I'm going to review the first non-ring sling I ever tried. When I wore Gavin and later, Maddie, I had a closed ring sling that I was given by my local La Leche League chapter. I also had a hand-me-down ring sling that my mom passed to me after my sister Bekah outgrew it. I wore Owen in those but never felt as though I had the right fit. I wanted something a little snugger. I did a google search one day for a fitted pocket sling and discovered Hotslings. It took a few minutes to decide on a size. Hotslings has a wide range of sizes, but since they are based on a combination of weight, height, bra size, etc., I wanted to be sure I was choosing the right fit. I ordered one and began using it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep.
Since Owen was no longer a newborn, I carried him in either a kangaroo carry (facing forward with legs crossed in front of him) or a hip carry. This sling allowed me to take all three kids out shopping or for a walk without worrying about a curious little one getting away from me. With Owen securely in the carrier, I was free to hold a little hand in each of my hands!
I was amazed at the comfort. Owen was a whopper baby-- 25 pounds at 9 months-- but yet I felt very little back or shoulder pain even when wearing him for extended periods of time. The sling certainly saved my tired arms since Owen was a clingy baby and enjoyed being carried most of the day. Despite its heavy (excuse the pun!) use, I found my Hotsling held up very well. If it got dirty, I washed it and hung it to dry, and then it was back in use.
Knowing I was expecting a fall baby this time around, I wanted to get a fleece sling for chilly errand-running days. Molly at Tickatoo donated an Oasis Fleece Baby Sling by Hotslings for Ben and me to try. I was immediately taken by the soft texture of the fabric. So cozy. I was afraid fleece might be too stretchy, but while it does give, the fabric is sturdy and durable. The pouch on a Hotsling is more shallow than some pocket-type slings so it took some getting used to, but with Ben tucked securely by my heart, he fell asleep quickly.
This fleece sling is so warm, I have no fear of Ben getting chilled out in the cool air. I did find that my fleece sling was cut a little smaller than my plain cotton one so choose a size bigger especially if you plan to wear it over a sweater or coat.
Hotslings range in price from about $35-$57. They even have a pool sling made of waterproof fabric with built-in UV protection.
Don't forget to keep checking back for my sling giveaway this winter where I'll be giving away one of the slings I review! Can't wait that long? Sign up for my shoe giveaway by Monday at midnight!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
About a month before Ben was born, we realized we didn't have a place for his clothing and we set about looking for a solution. Gavin, Maddie, and Owen were currently sharing two dressers but they were at capacity. Not wanting to clutter the room with an additional dresser, we decided to start from scratch. We sold one dresser and moved the second downstairs. (More like an armoire, we decided to make it our TV cabinet.) We purchased one of these open storage units from Target. It fits into the closet so it takes up no space in the room. Each child chose a different colored bin and they keep their underwear, socks and PJs in their own compartments. (This system works well because Owen can put away and find some of his own laundry.)
For more Works-For-Me Wednesday, visit RocksinMyDryer!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Take for example my youngest sister, Bekah, who is 7 and in 2nd grade, and my two oldest kids, Gavin, almost 6 and in 1st grade, and Maddie, 4 and not formally in any grade yet. When this current school year started, Gavin began a 2nd grade math book. Bekah was finishing up the last chapter of her 1st grade math book. Maddie could count to 40 but couldn't identify written numerals. As far as reading ability, Bekah was starting to read a few books on her own while Gavin could stumble through and sound out a few words very painfully. Maddie picked up one of Gavin's phonics books and began reading on her own without any training!
In a classroom setting, would Gavin have been skipped ahead into 2nd grade or an accelerated group so he could excel in math or would he have been kept with his equals in reading ability and relearned math skills he was far beyond? Would Bekah have been held back since she had not completed her 1st grade work or would she have been allowed to continue flourishing in phonics with her peers? And what of Maddie?
A family member was telling me recently that her child was being made to repeat a grade because her reading was not up to par with the rest of the children her age. Her math skills were acceptable, but since she needed more phonics work, she had to be held back. The mother said it was upsetting to the child who wanted to move on with her peers and as a result, it was also upsetting to the mother. It saddened me to think of that little child becoming discouraged just because she was not moving at a predetermined pace.
It is not the public school's fault! How else can they handle classrooms of kids with varying skill levels? It is not possible to have one child in multiple grades. With homeschooling, there is freedom to let a child grow in their own timing.
Neither has been put in a box!