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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


A few weeks ago, four of my friends and I got together to make felt boards for our kids. After realizing that we were not organized enough to actually let our kids help out, we decided to let the kids play while the mommies made the felt boards for them. (I know, but it's not a perfect world).

We met at my house on Friday morning, made some breakfast, let the kids run wild, and made some felt boards. I had cut the felt into long rectangles beforehand, and the first thing we did was fold them and sew yarn to close up the two long edges. One of the short edges was left open so we could slip in pieces of cut plexiglas to make the boards rigid. Then, we went to town cutting felt shapes for our kids.

This is what a felt board Friday looks like. Is it strange that there are only 2 pictures of us working on the felt boards themselves?

Monday, November 28, 2011

100 Things to be Thankful For

Amanda from Let's Take the Metro writes a weekly gratitude post, and this Thanksgiving, she has challenged us to write 100 things we are thankful for. I wrote 50 on the Green Baby Diaper Service blog (along with Liz), but I wanted to do something different here. (I was also supposed to post this last Thursday, but I've been overwhelmed with life lately).

I often find myself complaining a lot. How often do you say, "That's my biggest pet peeve" and then you realize you have about 100 pet peeves?

I also often think when I'm in the middle of a particularly difficult situation, "Why is my life so hard?" And then I kind of punch myself for feeling that way because certainly my life is pretty great. But I do often try to consider how my life could be easier, and I've thought about making a list, just so I can help myself streamline and simplify.

This gratitude post is a version of that list. But I'm taking everything I complain about and finding the gratitude in it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turn Anything into an Activity

Since my Sunday Surf post about online toddler games, Baby T has really mastered using the mouse. I had a comment that was a good resource for online toddler games, and it's amazing how perfect it is. It's engaging and just challenging enough to keep Baby T's attention and make him feel like he can do it by himself without getting frustrated.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nursing the Holidays

When I had Baby T, I was still working full time, and I looked forward to the holidays: They were a time when I could just be with my baby, nurse him whenever I wanted, and stop pumping. Even with all the traveling and hustle and bustle, managing the holidays with a breastfeeding baby was easier than working full time with a breastfeeding baby.

Plane Travel with a Nursing Baby

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This week has been a big one for milestones: Little M is exploding with the things he does. He plays peek-a-boo with me by holding my hands and putting them over my eyes, then peeling them off and peeking in at me. He says "throw!" and throws his toys. (Ok, he actually says something that sounds more like "oh!"--but still. Pretty cute.) His favorite activity lately is putting toys into containers. And he understands what I tell him. If I tell him to do something, he usually does it. The kid is practically walking, and it's not right--newborns aren't supposed to walk!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make Your Own Montessori Sandpaper Letters

Okay--they are made of felt, not sandpaper. And to give your child a really well-rounded experience when learning letters, they should be lower case and upper case. But this is a start.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 2 Best Breastfeeding Products: Boob #1 and Boob #2

...and believe me, you'll need both, because one will inevitably make more milk than the other or your baby will choose a favorite.

When I had Baby T, I was armed with breastfeeding products: A boppy, nursing bras, nursing pads, nursing tops, a double electric pump and a hand pump, several different types of bottles, a bottle drying rack, a Milkmate storage system for expressed breast milk, quick clean wipes for the pump, a steam-cleaning bag for the pump, breastmilk storage bags, and Lansinoh.

When I had Baby M, I had boob #1 and boob #2.

It's not that I didn't need everything the second time around, it's just that I was too busy to bother.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Little M Hits a Milestone

--and so does mommy.

Today I have the whole day to myself. 

This hasn't happened in at least two and a half years, since I had  Baby T. But I decided to have Baby T stay home with me one extra day and put Little M in daycare one day a week. Little M is starting to really enjoy being around other kids, and I knew I wanted to have him in daycare at least one day when he turned one. When I realized that was just three months away, I started to imagine what a day without kids would be like. And I started to get excited. The thought of what I could accomplish was so enticing, that I decided to put Little M in daycare sooner than I had anticipated.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen: An Activity for Every Age

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Someone is usually eating, washing dishes, cleaning out the fridge, or doing a project in there. It’s the only room in the house that’s not carpeted, so it’s the one place where my kids are free to run with paintbrushes and play with water without me cringing. So on those days when the weather prevents us from going outside and the kids are getting cabin fever, off to the kitchen we go. It’s a never-ending smorgasbord of activities.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

SUNDAY SURF: Online Toddler Games

Authentic Parenting Sunday Surf

Baby T has reached an age where he's interested in the computer, and I know he gets to use it sometimes at daycare. Since we only have a laptop, the mouse is a little less toddler-friendly, and he used to get frustrated with it. It has been hard finding online games that aren't too challenging and that keep his attention. Many of the games I find require you to hold down a button on the mouse while you drag an object, but that's way too complicated for Baby T right now. So since I haven't done much surfing for myself this week, I thought I would post links to some great toddler games that are easy to do together.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Breastfeeding Choices the Second Time Around

I have been lucky enough to have breastfed two children without many issues. Baby T was a no-brainer. He just latched on and away we went. Of course, I wondered if his latch was good since he didn't flare out his lips very much, but it wasn't painful, so I didn't really question it. We had issues down the road with nursing strikes and then with weaning, but initially, it was smooth sailing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Captivated by Cattails

Last week, Baby T and I were playing outside in the late afternoon when he spotted our neighbor playing with her friend near a drainage ditch. Of course, he had to find out what the kids were doing. It turns out they were plucking apart the cattails that grow in the ditch, floating them into the air in a feathery, winter-like dance. It was magical.

Baby T thought so too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: A Garbage Man and a Trash Bag Walk Into a Bar...

Baby T has been talking about his Halloween costume for a few weeks now. When we were waiting for my friend's husband to finish his Iron Man race this weekend (Go Z!), Baby T was telling the people around him, who were holding trash bags filled with the race participants' items, about his and his brother's costumes.

But the evening did not start off great. Baby T woke up with a mild fever and was a little bit cranky. It was a good thing that he didn't give us his typical "I only want to wear TJ's (PJ's)" tantrum. We maneuvered him into some green cargo pants and the rest of his costume without much of a fuss.

But he wasn't happy when picture time came.
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