Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bathed in Light.

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My sweet ones, daily reminders of Grace. I look at them, and only see Light. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Birth Story, Unabridged

It's been forever since I last blogged. Blogging has moved to a pretty low spot on the priority list. It's a  hobby. And like all my hobbies these days, are swimming at the bottom of the barrel, feeling all neglected. Poor hobbies. That's okay though. It's a happy trade. 

So I figured since Asa is over two months old now, I should post the ol' birth story.

Now if you recall, with Adoration I had a really fast labor, almost had her in a car, and it was all sorts of crazy. I had a natural birth with Adoration and despite the crazy, was really happy with that decision. I remember telling people how fast my labor was with her and people would say things like, "You are so LUCKY. I wish my labor was that FAST." I would say something like, "Yes, I am lucky the labor was so fast." Because some people have really long, hard labors and I get that. But ya'll, Adoration's birth was INTENSE. There was no easing into it. My contractions were really powerful, painful, and very close together from the beginning. I basically woke up with contractions so intense and painful that I started throwing up immediately and proceeded to keep throwing up my entire labor. So folks, fast does not equal "easy." 

So needless to say, even though I was happy I went the natural birth route with Adoration, and wanted to attempt that again, in the back of my head I'm thinking, "If my contractions are so intense they have me throwing up all over the place HOOK me up with that epidural!" Because when you know exactly what may be coming it weakens the resolve a little, you know?  Also this go round, I was really paranoid about getting to the hospital in time. There would be none of this labor as long as you can at home business. Usually, second labors go faster and I was preparing for that. Okay, on to Asa's birth story.

*Warning: some of this may be TMI, but we are all mostly ladies here, right?

Prelude:

So about a week before THE day, I had bloody show, so I figured baby would be coming sooner than later. If you don't know what "bloody show" is and want to know, google it. I didn't have any of that with Adoration so this was all new to me. A couple of days before Asa's birth day, I was feeling really crampy and slightly nauseous, and during the night my Braxton Hicks started turning into regular contractions. They were still light, but were happening about every 10-15 minutes. They never got painful but stayed regular for a few hours. After obsessively timing them for awhile, I fell asleep. I woke up, my contractions had stopped, and I was not in labor. Phew! Because I was determined to have a clean house, and my house was a wreck which was causing me all kinds of stress. I just needed my house to be clean the day I went into labor. Also it was early, about two weeks early. I wanted this baby to fatten up a little more.  

Part I:
After that one night where I thought I was in labor, but wasn't, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with each passing day. I knew this baby was coming soon. I had the hubby on high alert. On Friday, September 28th, I   was having lots of Braxton Hicks. By 9:00 pm they seemed like they might be getting regular. I told my exhausted husband to go to sleep and try to get some rest. Because if I was going to go into labor, I needed him to be rested. I started timing them, and they were indeed regular, about 10 minutes apart. They weren't painful, but just that "tightening" that happens.
At about 11pm, I'm sitting on the couch watching House Hunters, when I feel a small gush of liquid. I think that perhaps it is part of my water breaking. (With Adoration my water breaking was a HUGE gush, like a waterfall. But it can happen more gradually.) So I go to the bathroom, and to my horror, I see blood completely saturating my underwear. This was all new to me. It totally freaked me out. James is sleeping and I don't want to scare him, so I call my midwife. (Side note: my midwife was the bomb. She gave me her home number and permission to call her whenever I felt like I needed to.)  Not only do I call her but I take a picture of the blood to show her what I am talking about. She quickly calls me back and I describe the blood. She assures me that is normative and that I need not worry. She tells me what to look out for (in case I were to continue bleeding) and tells me I can head to the hospital when my contractions get to be about 4-5 minutes apart consistently for an hour. I update James, and then I try to get some sleep. I halfway sleep for about two hours, but I'm trying to time my contractions. Every time I have a contraction I enter it into my contraction timer app on my phone, roll back over and try to sleep.

Part II:
I finally just get up because I'm too excited to really sleep. I do some last minute straightening up around the house. My contractions aren't really painful yet, but the tightening becomes stronger and they are closer together. About 6-8 minutes apart now. At about 4am they start becoming a little painful, stronger, and are now 4-5 minutes apart. They stay that way for an hour, so I wake up the husband, call our babysitter for Adoration, and gather our things together, including cookies for the Labor and Delivery staff. Our babysitter arrives, I kiss my firstborn goodbye, and we head to the hospital.  

The first thing I notice driving to the hospital is the humongous full moon on our horizon. Go figure. James and I are both excited. I remember holding hands and talking about our son. I am feeling a lot of relief because there will be no scrambling to the hospital this time. On the way, I call my midwife to let her know we are on the way to the hospital. I am having to breathe through my contractions a little but they are still not so bad. So far this experience is so completely different than my first labor. There was none of this easing into it before. We get to the hospital around 6am. They check me in and send me to my labor room. Since they knew I was going for a natural birth they gave me their largest room with a fantastic view (this hospital was really natural birth friendly.) It was nice, because they didn't have a different triage room. They just did all of that stuff in my labor room. So my nurse gets me all laid out on the bed and hooked up to check out my contractions. And lo and behold, my contractions have STOPPED. I am not feeling any nor is the machine picking up any. I inwardly groan. I don't want to have to go back home and repeat the process. They let me stay to see if my contractions pick back up, which they did. Without the burden of timing my contractions I fall asleep. I think I wake up around eight, because by then, my contractions were getting uncomfortable. Laying down with these kinds of contractions is really uncomfortable for me, so I was ready to get up.  At some point, I text some of my Charlotte girls to let them know and to be praying. 

By now I'm walking around the room between contractions, sitting and rocking on the exercise ball during contractions, or leaning over onto James and breathing through them. I am definitely in active labor now. My contractions are painful and I have to work through them a little, but there is enough time in between them to recover. And they were still much less painful than what my contractions were with Adoration. No urge to throw up in sight. My nurse comes in periodically, hooks me up to the machine to track my contractions, and then releases me to do what I need to do. It's a little frustrating every time she hooks me up, because the machine isn't picking up my contractions very well. And I KNOW I am having them. I would have a heavier, painful contraction and it wouldn't show up at all...or then I would have a really, light one and it would spike. So annoying. This was the part I didn't like about laboring in the hospital. I felt like this part just kind of disrupted the flow. And when you are hooked up to the machine you can't really move around. My nurse was so great though. She was supportive of me wanting to birth naturally and pretty much just left us alone and let me do what I needed to do. 

At some point, my contractions are starting to feel more painful. I am having to focus more doing them. My midwife is not at the hospital yet and we don't feel like we need her yet either. At this point, I put into action some hypno birthing. Now, I didn't take any hypno birthing classes or anything but I read up a whole bunch on it. During a contraction, sitting on the exericise ball, I basically just closed my eyes and visualized that I was in a hammock on the beach. I would imagine the building of a contraction as a wave washing up on shore. And umm...it totally worked. Almost too well. After doing this for an hour of contractions, not only did it diminish the pain, but it felt like my contractions stopped all together. I took advantage of the opportunity to watch an episode of Downton Abby on the Ipad. And sure enough, next time my nurse checked me, there was no read on the contractions. She checked my dilation and I think I was like 4 cm dilated.  At this point, I'm getting a little nervous. It is about noon, so we have been at the hospital for six hours. This labor is getting long and there doesn't seem to be much progress. I'm nervous that the hospital will start pressuring me to take measures to speed this labor up. I'm wishing we had stayed home longer. Thankfully, I received no such pressure. 

Part III:
I start high stepping around the room to try get my contractions going again. They are happening but not nearly as intense as my contractions pre-hypno birthing visualizations. So I keep high stepping around the room. Not much change, but I am getting tired. So I lay down and end up falling asleep.  (James, by the way, is encouraging me and being there for me in whatever way I need him.) While I'm asleep my contractions really start picking up. I sleep as long as I can until they are finally just too painful. I am now groaning a little through the contractions and can no longer speak. I lean onto James during each contraction and applies pressure to my lower back to ease the pain. Still not as intense as they were with Adoration. Still no throwing up. But definitely high on the pain scale and now 3-4 minutes apart. The nurse checks my dilation and I am now 6cm dilated.  Things are really picking up now. I think this was around 2pm. My contractions get progressively painful and I'm shaking during them. This is the point where I would be tempted to get an epidural. But I know we are getting close. And honestly at this point, not having to pay for an epidural is my motivation. Not getting anesthesia saves us like $2000. I ask the nurse if I can get in the shower and she encourages it. 

I have the shower as hot as it can go. I lean over onto the bar on the side and let the water pelt my lower back during each contraction. This feels like heaven and lessens the pain considerably. Thankfully, the hot  water stays super hot. I am in the shower for at least an hour. The nurse periodically comes in to to get the baby's heartbeat. I just tell her when I'm having a contraction and she takes the heartbeat during it to make sure it's not going down too much. The heartbeat goes down a little with each contraction but it seems like it is because the baby is now getting ready to drop into the birth canal. My midwife is now on the way.  

My midwife arrives and I reluctantly get out of the shower because she needs to check my dilation. My contractions are immediately so much worse out of the shower. I don't remember my exact dilation but I am super close. At some point I tell my midwife I am thirsty. She asks, "Haven't you been drinking?" And I'm like, "well....they told me not to." Earlier I HAD been drinking as much as I wanted, but then my nurse saw me, freaked out, and informed me I should only be on ice chips. I tried to adhere to that rule, but still snuck some sips of Pedialite here and there, but not as much as I wanted. When I tell my midwife that they told me not to drink, she rolls her eyes, and tells James to get me some water. Gotta love those rebel midwifes. ;) (Side note: my midwife actually was once a L&D nurse and this very hospital, but left it and got her midwifery certification and went on to become a kick-a$$ midwife. I think she has been delivering babies almost as long as I've been alive. love her.) 

After my midwife checked me she told me that the baby was basically right THERE, but that my bags of water were basically all that was preventing baby boy from making his way out. She said, if I wanted she could break my water for me. It was basically, break my water and he would be on his way out, or wait for it to happen for who knows how long. With Adoration, my water breaking was the most terrifying part of that whole labor. It was beyond intense and was the worse contraction I can remember having. At this point my contractions are officially a 10 on the pain scale and rolling over on top of each other. I don't know how much longer I can endure them and I am ready to meet this baby boy. With barely a thought, a tell my midwife "YES. break my water."  

She gets everything ready to break my water and for baby boy to be born. I am laying on the bed and James is holding my hand. My midwife breaks my water and I immediately start having the worst contraction I've had until this point. James gets woozy and says he has to step away to get a drink of water. I just remember clutching his hand and saying, "No!" I don't remember this, but he did it anyway cause he really was about to pass out. He got his sip of water, quickly recovered and came back to me. And I continued to squeeze all life out of his hand. My midwife tells me I can push whenever I feel the urge after breaking my water. Right after she says this, I start contracting and start involuntary bearing down with the force of the contraction, and say "I'm pushing!!" and can feel Asa moving down the birth canal.

 Asa's heart rate drops during the contraction more than was normal. This part is scary because I can sense my midwife is concerned even though she appears very calm. I can hear his heart rate slowing down. I am wondering am I going to have an emergency C section? But it seems like it is too late. Asa is on his way out. My midwife and the nurse quickly move my position so I'm on my side and can bend my leg and move it up towards me. His heart rate goes back up a little with the change of positions. At this point my midwife has me push as hard as I can with the next contraction (presumably because of the heart rate.) I feel the baby start to crown and she instructs me to slow down. . His head completely clears and we find out the cause of his heart rate dropping. The umbilical cord is wrapped very tightly around his neck. My midwife instructs me to do whatever I can to not let my body push. This part was hard because I was contracting but I breathed and was able to do it. I was pretty motivated. I wasn't going to let my body push with that cord still wrapped around my baby's neck. My midwife expertly and very quickly cuts the cord from around Asa's neck. I immediately hear his heart rate return to normal, and I let my body push. My midwife expertly guides me in my pushing/slowing down for Asa to gently come out. I remember my midwife lifting him up and I was waiting for that beautiful wail. And after a couple of seconds, he let it loose. My baby was born. He was healthy. He was here. After my water was broken, it was basically just three contractions rolling on top of each other for him to come out. 

Despite the umbilical cord troubles, Asa scored a 9 APGAR. He was as healthy as can be. My midwife was so awesome during all of it. She knew exactly what to do and was such a calm, peaceful presence. Plus, I didn't tear at all. I credit that to her her expert guidance during the pushing. I wonder if things would've ended differently if I was under someone else's care. 

Asa Trust was born at 4:43 pm.  My little love. My sweet boy. James and I were instantly in love. 

My labor started about 11pm on Friday night. I had light contractions through the night. We arrived at the hospital at around 6am on Saturday morning. My labor was not very difficult until the very end. The last two hours were the only really hard, "I don't think I can do this," part of labor. Before that everything seemed like it gently progressed.  My labor with Asa was more than twice as long as it was with Adoration and so much easier. So faster is not always better. I'll take longer any day if it happens like that! 

Props if you've read this whole thing. That's pretty much the birth story. Two children born naturally, both in supportive hospital settings. Because I didn't tear, my recovery was much easier this time. And because my labor was less intense I felt much better post-labor. And I didn't throw up once. 



First breaths. 
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Perfection.
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In love. 
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Adoration meeting her baby brother.
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The best husband and daddy. 
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So thankful. 
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Son.

     Our Asa is almost a month old. I can scarcely believe it. This second time around I am even more aware of the brevity of this sweet, newborn stage. I'm trying to soak it in with every fiber of my being. Having a son has opened up a new part of my heart. It is not more or less than how I love my daughter, but it is different in a way I can't quite describe. We are blessed.

Asa entered the world in one of the busiest seasons of our lives. In the midst of our fatigue and all the parts that must be kept moving, I find myself breathing in so many moments, forcing my heart to remember them forever. My husband napping with his son. My daughter spontaneously wrapping her arms around my neck and saying, "I love you Mama. I prowd of you." Asa, his bundled warmth, sleeping on my chest. His baby sounds and sighs. That glorious newborn smell. The way he instantly calms down when he hears my voice. That look in my husband's eyes that lets me know he is head-over-heels in love with me. My daughter giving her baby brother hugs and kisses. So many more. They are happening every day, between and throughout the bustle, the potty training, the errands, the work, the meals, the tired eyes. And they are pure gold. We are rich, indeed.  

Asa, our son, is growing like a weed. Two weeks early, he was on the smaller side at birth, weighing in under 6lbs.  But in three weeks he gained three pounds, his little limbs and cheeks filling out in that delicious baby way. These photos were taken when was 2 weeks old. He looks fatter now. ;) 

I'm planning on writing his birth story at some point (I need to do it soon while it is still fresh.) But for now, here is a letter to my son. (after the photos.)

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Dear Asa,

My sweet son. You are everything and more than I thought. You are going to grow to be a great man. I already know it. A "Great" that is measured in integrity, kindness, and justice. God told me and your daddy that you would be a peacemaker: strong and steady and calm. We already see it in you, from the way you came into this world, to your peaceful temperament, to the way you bring peace to our hearts when we look at your little face. You are a blessing to this family and all of our hearts our bigger because of you. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

I love your forever,

Your Mama



Friday, October 19, 2012

Learning at Home: Fall


Well, I had planned on showing you our "Human Body" Theme next, but we have been on that theme for like three weeks and the photos aren't quite ready. Having a baby changed our immediate priorities around a  little. ;) But I feel like we are in a groove and we are ready for a new lesson plan. I've waited to do "Fall" activities...cause well, in SoFlo it just hasn't felt like Fall. But pretty soon, in the rest of the country, Fall will be over and these activities may be irrelevant.

There's not really any photos for this post, because we haven't completed this lesson plan yet, and most of the activities are pretty self explanatory. But I wanted to get it posted while it was still Fall in the rest of the country!


Theme: Fall
Letters of the Week: A and F
Songs: 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Leaves....,  ABC phonics song.
Books: Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert; When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey; Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington

*ABC phonics song goes like this: "A is for Apple, Ahh Ahh Apple. B is for Baby, Bbb Bbb Baby, etc."  You just sing words for the letter, emphasizing the sound of the letter.



Letters of the Week Coloring (on the chalkboard) ---> Alphabet, Art



Upper Case/Lower Case Matching Game ---> Alphabet, Small Motor
Lower Case Letters are new for my daughter, so we will start off this game really simple. I'll probably just have two different letters out at a time to introduce the concept to her. I'll show her what the lower case letters look like first, then see if she can match them.




Pattern Matching ---> Math
I made a felt board by just wrapping an old canvas in some felt. I cut out some felt circles and drew different patterns on each one and cut them in half. I mixed them up and let Adoration try to match them. She did this at first, but then just ended up playing with them after she matched them. (Don't force activities. It's okay if they explore them in different ways than you intended.) 


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Apple Printing ---> Theme, Nature, Art
Cut an apple in half. Let your little one use the apple as a stamp to dip in paint. You could print on paper or...even on fabric! I'll probably get a canvas tote from the dollar store to let her print on, to use as a library book bag. 




Leaf Collage---> Theme, Nature, Art
* Go on a nature walk, collecting leaves. 
* On the sticky side of clear contact paper, let your little one place the leaves, making a collage. 
* Seal the collage with another piece of contact paper, sticky side down. Display with pride!




Color Matching with egg carton and leaves ---> Theme, Nature, Math, Sorting,Colors

The same concept as this:  

But instead, use leaves/ nature objects your child has collected. I would probably paint colors on the bottom of the egg carton that more closely resemble nature colors instead of the bright primary colors shown in the picture above. 




Which is Bigger, Which is Smaller? with Pumpkins ---> Theme, Math
With different sized pumpkins, have your child point out which one is bigger or smaller. 




Carve a Pumpkin/ Bake the Seeds ---> Theme, Sensory, Sorting, Science
*Obviously the cutting part is for the adults, but children will love helping you scoop out the goop and seeing the transformation. 
*Have your child help you pick out the seeds to bake for a snack for later! Include them in the whole process of preparing/baking the seeds. 




Extra/Just for Fun:
*Visit a Pumpkin Patch/ Corn Maze/ etc. 
* Bake an apple pie/pumpkin pie together.
* Make applesauce
* Go apple-picking.
* Decorate pumpkins by painting, glitter, stickers, with markers, etc. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Change of Seasons

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     It's finally starting to cool down here in South Florida. I do yearn for a true Autumn, where the leaves of the trees all catch fire and the air is crisp and sweet.  But I am not a lover of cold, and autumn always seems so short hailing in winter with it's cold and dark.

Here the seasons change more subtly. Fall in South Florida is a final exhale of summer heat. Giving way to strong breezes and ocean swells, the surfers and kiters come out to play. When winter is striking other places and people start complaining, it is perfect here. The temperature hovers around 70, and conversely, winter here is my favorite season. There are many things about South Florida that do not agree with me, but the weather is not one of them! 

The past couple of days I have felt a change in the air. Summer seems to be ebbing away. The air is moving. It's a new season in our family as well. We have grown...our love has grown. Our new little one has brought such a stillness and a peace to my heart. I am reveling in the simplicity. There are more changes for us on the horizon, but I can honestly say, this season is so very sweet. 



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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Welcome to the world Asa Trust!

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Asa Trust Boothe
Born September 29, 2012
4:43 pm
5 lbs 11 oz
20 inch

The last week has been quite eventful! Asa decided to come a little early. We've been 
spending our time learning to be a family of four and absorbing his newborn sweetness. He is the most
peaceful baby and his big sister sure does love him. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God." Matt 5:9

Welcome to the world Asa Trust. You are so very loved!
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Learning at Home: Moon and Stars

Hey ya'll! We completed our first official week of a full preschool lesson plan at home and it was a big hit. We actually did more activities than I originally planned, and I've included those as well. I tried to include photos for most things, because I get most people are more visual.

People ask me a lot where I get my ideas. It's a combination. Some of them I've done before as a former preschool teacher. A lot of them I just make up. They are basic concepts of early childhood learning that once you understand are easy to think up ideas for. A lot of these ideas aren't new as well. I find stuff on pinterest, montessori sites, by googling, and on early learning blogs. A really great blog, I pulled some activities from (and tweaked a little) is No Time For Flash Cards. Seriously, so many ideas and activities there.

On to the lesson plan! We usually do our "school time" at the beginning of the day. We always start off with an alphabet activity and one math/logic activity. After that, we either read a book, play a game, and sing some songs, then we are done. Or instead of following it with books and songs, we will do an art or sensory activity instead. Or we will just save the art/sensory activity for the afternoon. The whole idea behind early learning is learning through play, so it should be fun for your child and not forced. If they don't like something or quickly get bored or frustrated with it, move on to something else. Adoration absolutely loves her school time, partly because it is one-on-one play time with mama, and because these activities are stimulating for her. And we don't do different activities every day. A lot of the time we start off with the same activities. As long as they are still interesting for Adoration. So try a few of these ideas, or copy the whole lesson plan, whatever works for you!


Theme: Moon and Stars.
Letters of the Week: M and S. 
Songs: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, ABC's, Going on a Bear Hunt. 
Books: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle; And if the Moon Could Talk by Kate Banks; The Jesus Storybook Bible (creation story.)
Any books that go with the theme would do, just search on your library's card catalog. We just added these into our before naptime/bedtime book routine.

Letters of the Week Coloring ( on the chalkboard.) ----> Alphabet, Art
We started off everyday with this activity. I just drew the letter on the chalkboard. Adoration would name the letter, then she would color away.

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Letter Recognition Game ----> Alphabet
Place three letters before your child. Ask them to find/ pick out one of the letters. Repeat until it gets old. We do this with magnetic letters usually, but sometimes we will use some Trader Joe's letter cookies that we have (When Adoration finds the letter, she thinks it's really fun to get to eat it.) 



Counting 1-5 (one-to-one correspondence) combined w/ Marshmallow Toothpick Game. ---> Math, Small Motor Skills. 
*I made a sheet, drawing 5 circles, with the corresponding number above (we used this all week.)  
*For the marshmallow game portion, Adoration placed a marshmallow in each circle. Then together, we counted the marshmallows as she pointed at each marshmallow. By the end of the week she was doing this by herself. After counting, she used the toothpick to pick up each marshmallow and place it in the bowl and well...some went into her mouth too. ;)
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*Using the same number sheet, we also counted fruit snacks one day (minus the toothpick pick-up.) Another day, we used pennies. After counting the pennies she placed each penny in her piggy bank. Really....any small object would do.





Shape Sorting Manipulative ----> Math, Shapes
Any kind of sorting/puzzle falls into the Math category, because it uses logic. 
So together, we played with her shape sorting toy. I would have Adoration name the shape before putting it in. If your child doesn't quite have those verbal skills yet, ask them to point to a triangle, square, etc. 
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Sorting Found Nature Objects ----> Math
Using feathers and shells we have collected in the past, I had Adoration sort all the feathers into one cup, and all the shells into another. We already had these nature objects, but you could go on a nature walk with your child, collecting leaves and sticks THEN do the sorting.
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Puffy Paint Moon ----> Theme, Art, Sensory, Alphabet, Shape 
(from No Time for Flashcards.)

You will need: mixing bowl, spoon, measuring cup, black poster board/cardstock/heavy duty construction paper, white crayon, glue, and shaving cream.

*On heavy duty black paper (we used poster board,) draw a big circle for the moon in white crayon.  I also wrote "moon" on the sheet and the letter "M." I emphasized how "moon" starts with the letter, "M." I also had her name the shape (circle.)  You will eventually cut this circle out, but I wanted Adoration to have the letter visual as she was doing the activity.
* Mix together 1/2 a cup of glue and 1 1/2 cup shaving cream. Let your child help with the mixing.
* After it is mixed, let your child explore, spreading the goopy mess on the poster board, over the circle moon.
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*When they are finished, let it dry for a couple of hours (2-4.) Cut out the circle and glue onto another piece of black heavy duty paper. Hang up where your child can see it! (I like to keep our projects where Adoration can see them for at least a week after they have been completed. It helps them remember what they did, plus, it's a source of pride.)
Before and After: 

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Shaving Cream Color Mixing ----> Sensory, Colors
This activity was not originally planned, but my daughter was already messy and shirtless, and I already had the materials needed at hand. She enjoyed the moon activity so much and was itching for more.

*In a baking pan, squirt some shaving cream. Have your child help you squirt a couple of drops of food coloring onto the shaving cream. We did "red" and "blue" to make "purple." As Adoration was mixing it, she said, "a new color, mama!"
* Let your child explore, mixing it all together, using spoons, their hands, a paintbrush, etc. We also drew shapes, pictures, and letters into the shaving cream. PicMonkey Collage3




Constellation Craft ---> Art, Small Motor, Math, Alphabet
(from No Time for Flashcards.)

You will need: black construction paper, white crayon, star stickers.

*On the construction paper draw either a real constellation (we did the big dipper) or make-up your own (a shape or an object.)
*Draw dots on the constellation, as a guide for where the star stickers should be placed.
*I encouraged Adoration to stick the stickers over the dots for small motor practice. After the constellation was completed, we counted the stars. We also talked about how it looked like a spoon and that we could find that same shape in the sky at night.  And we talked about how "stars" start with the letter "S."
* After the constellation was completed, I let her go to town, sticking stickers wherever she wanted just for fun.
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Sensory Play (with lentils) ---->Sensory, Small Motor

Using scoops, spoons, cups, and bowls, let your child play with dry beans or lentils.
(This can get messy. We did it where I can easily sweep up the mess. Or you could do it outside.)
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Extra/ Just for fun:
*  Make a fort in the dark with start turtle or flashlights (we have a turtle nightlight that projects stars onto the ceiling.
* Take a trip to a Planetarium.
* Stay up past dark and go star gazing.  

Hope this is a good resource for learning ideas! Next week, our theme is "The Human Body."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Cozy, Little Home: Living Room


Here is a peek into our current residence: a cozy, little 1950's house. We will be in this house until May. Then things are a bit up in the air. We are ready to buy for economical reasons...but also to be settled in a home for the next couple of years of our lives...but we aren't quite sure what state that will be in yet. ;)

For now this little house is our home. It is by no means perfect. It has little bedrooms, one teeny bathroom, and closets the size of my pocket. And the real kicker....no dishwasher. Which causes me no end of frustration until, inevitably the thought of children in India sleeping in vegetable crates or African children scavenging through dumps, or the memory of a homeless pregnant woman pan handling on the highway in my very own town pops into my head as I'm cursing dishes.  And the cursing turns to thanksgiving because when thoughts like that pop into your head, how can I not be thankful for my abundance??

But this house... it is charming, cozy, and sweet. And being inside it just feels good to me. Sometimes, when we sit around our kitchen table, in front of the big window, I imagine a 1950's family eating dinner. The thought always makes me smile. I have a feeling this little house will always hold a dear place in my heart, because such precious memories are being made here. 

On to the tour:
This is our living room. I'm not quite sure how to describe my style but I guess I would say I like things to feel fresh,light, airy, and uncluttered. I like things a little on the rustic side and I'm drawn to pretty, beachy colors. Sometimes I desire a little more edge, but I think deep down, I'm just more of a romantic, southern girl at heart. For example, I originally wanted some edgy, modern fabric for throw pillows, and ended up getting a water color inspired floral. Not edgy at all. But it was pretty and apparently my heart just wanted pretty.

There are always little changes I am wanting to make decorating wise, but I am pretty anti-hoarder, and with all our moving, we've kept our furniture and decor to a minimum. Sometimes when thrifting, I'll see a really cool chair or interesting frames that I end up passing over because they would have no where to live. Or because replacing something we already have just doesn't warrant the expense. But I would love to add a pop of bright, punchy pink via some throw pillows for the couch. ;)  The walls are this light lemon yellow color, and I really wish they were white....or a light dove grey. But oh well, they are neutral enough. We've done the paint the whole rental thing before and when it was time to move out and had to paint it all back, I wanted to shoot myself. 

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Well, that's the living room!

You can find the first part our our home tour on Mandy's blog, She Breathes Deeply.  Featured, are the playroom and Adoration's room. We've made some changes since. We moved the flokati rug into our living room. We got a low pile rug, better suited for playing. And it was only $20! Which is a great price point for a play rug if you ask me! And we added a rocker to Adoration's room.

New rug in playroom:

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We also added this little table in a previously empty corner:

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I was on the look out for the perfect pink rocker to go in Adoration's room. And I found a vintage, velvet rocker for a steal. Here it is, in it's new home:

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Next up on the tour....our dining nook. Stay tuned!
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