Color my Life


I’ve always been a very critical person when it came to myself. I like to call myself artistic. I play piano and guitar, paint, draw, crochet, make jewelery and bows… I’m certainly not a master in any of it. Knowing that whatever I was making or playing wasn’t perfect would always make me feel low. Eventually I’d stop doing whatever it was other than at home by myself or with Caleb.

Now, that’s the thing. Caleb doesn’t know that his artwork wouldn’t be considered perfect. He doesn’t know that his finger paintings would be considered anything more than some splashes of colors. He is proud. He has fun making things. He takes pride in presenting his colorful art work and you know what? That makes it the absolutely most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. He makes art, or strums his guitar, because it makes him happy. You should see him go at it screaming a little song and strumming his guitar for us. It’s just the sweetest thing to watch.

We can all take a lesson from Caleb. Don’t take life so seriously. Don’t do things you enjoy for other. Do it for you. If you like to draw, do it. You don’t have to make a masterpiece as long as you have fun along the way. Kids are so smart. Let’s let them color our lives.

Monkey See, Monkey Do/A Lesson on Trust


I debated on the title of this for a while. My child is not a monkey, I am not a monkey, but the saying is fitting all the same. We went camping a few weekends ago and it was a great learning experience for Caleb and I. I kept catching him doing things I’d expect from a child a lot older than nineteen months old. These were things that if I trusted him less, if I was assuming he COULDN’T do it, wouldn’t have happened and would have been incredibly hypocritical. Children are smart and capable. Anything an adult can do, chances are pretty good that the child can as well. Now I’m not saying he can fix a bike on his own. I’m just saying, he can help and he can try. He can understand that tools go ‘here’ when things need fixing.

The night before, he saw people loading fire wood into the pit. The next morning, he went over, lifted all of those heavy logs, and placed them in the pit. I was ready to jump on it and take the wood away before his poor toes got squished. Instead I stood back and let him complete the task he was so determined to finish. After he dropped each log into the pit we would clap for him and he would absolutely beam.


My uncle had another bike propped up on the table to fix it. He was tightening a bold and had Caleb’s complete attention. Caleb reached up onto the table, grabbed a couple of wrenches, and went to work on this other bike. He knew that was where the wrench went and it would make the bike, “All Better.” He learned about the idea of fixing things by watching an adult and took it upon himself to do the same.


Before bed he spilled a little bit of water on the floor. Now, I kid you not. He grabbed the mop, as he’s seen his Mimi and I do again and again, and mopped up his mess. Now this was, at the time, a nineteen month old toddler. He knows that when something spills, it needs to be cleaned up. He knew that the way to clean the floor is with a mop because he’d seen us do it. He took the responsibility upon himself, of course without being asked, to mop the mess he made.

Be a good example for your children. Trust that they will follow it. If they see violence, they will be violent. If they see you fighting or yelling all the time, that’s what they will do. If they see you using gentle hands, that’s what they will reflect. Children are sponges. They pick up on everything they see. So, what do you want them to reflect?

I LOVE My Ergo!


I’m a huge lover of baby wearing. I’ve had a woven wrap from Wrapsody, a Maya Ring Sling, Cheapie Soft Carrier, and an Infantino Wrap Carrier. All great, all affordable, but all a pain in the behind and Corey wouldn’t wear any of them. I’ve been drooling over an Ergo since I first heard of baby wearing but could never spring for one at the full, and yet still reasonable, price of $150. One of my besties, Brittney, and I were taking a walk with our kiddos a few weeks ago though and were talking about my desire to have an Ergo. It just so happened that she had an extra one that she had an extra one she was looking to sell. We agreed on $75 and I became the proud owner of this lovely green and brown Ergo.

Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago and this carrier really got a work out. My uncle wore him on a nature work and over a wobbly bridge. Right before that, I had him attached to my front walking around the largest candy counter in the world. It only takes a few seconds to get him into the carrier and positioned and only about a minute when changing sizes. No pain on my shoulders or back, no way for him to fall out, a great breathable material, and it includes a nap hood which keeps the sun and wind off of his head and holds his head in place so he can comfortably nap. This carrier is all around the best I’ve ever had and well worth the purchase.


Longest Candy Counter

Mixing Colors!

end of mixing colors

When Caleb was 6 months I first posted about this edible finger paint I like to make for him. The other day we were feeling a bit creative (aka Caleb was trying to draw on everything in site) so I pulled out the paint, stripped him down (well, I threw this pair of boxers my nana gave him over his diaper so it wouldn’t get dirty), and plopped him into the high chair. I had some paperwork to fill out so while he was painting, I let him have at it so I could get my work done. He started out like any other day, pushing the paint around with his fingers and spoon. Then my curious little boy decided it would be so much more fun to toss the paper away and dump the paint right onto the tray to play in. This, was the first step to a great educational activity.

Mixing Colors

He started to mix the colors together so I put the paperwork aside and we talked. First we named the three main colors. Red, Blue, and Yellow. I asked him to mix together the blue and yellow. Once he saw the green, he shocked me by pointing out the fact that it was, indeed, green. He wouldn’t say the other colors but he would point to the correct one when asked. We mixed up orange and purple as well.

This simple activity, that didn’t take more than a few moments to transition into, was so much fun for the both of us. I could have just pointed to colors in a book or shown him a video. Instead though, he was able to see in front of his own eyes, using his own hands, how mixing two colors would create something completely new. I asked him today, totally to show off, not going to lie, what blue and yellow make. He said green. That’s so awesome to me.


We made a little keepsake for this cool activity.

So now just because I can’t resist, here’s some of the paintings he ended up making after our little color mixing lesson. They were all created by him smacking (booming) the paint and then smacking the paper.

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Daddy’s First Night Nappy

Daddy's First Night Time Change

Woohoo! This was just last night and it’s going to be a short post but this is a monumental moment right here.

Corey, finally, willingly put Caleb in his “night nappy” without even being asked. Until now he has thrown a bit of a tantrum every time I even hinted at him putting it on. He would put on a pocket diaper without much of a problem but a cover and prefolds? Not so much. So, yay everyone. Last night he properly, without being asked, got Caleb ready for bed and I’m so incredibly pleased.

The cover pictured, as well as the prefolds, are from Sweet Pea Diapers.

Learning to Read/Identify Items and Words: The importance of availability.

climbing for booksLast Sunday I had a party and while I was cleaning up and getting ready for it I made a terrible mistake. I put Caleb’s books on the very top shelf of a shelving unit that’s tucked away into a corner. Usually he has full access to his books and he’ll go over, grab one, and plop himself down to look through it. Once in a while he’ll even bring the book to me and read it to me in his sweet little babble.

Every day we read together. That means very different things on different days. Sometimes he just wants to hold the book and turn the pages after I only get a word out. That’s okay. I’m not going to force him and make it any less fun for him. Other days he’s perfectly happy to snuggle up in my lap and allow me to go through each page, read the words once or twice, and point out all of the little details such as what color someone’s eyes and hair are or who’s taller or shorter in the scene. No matter what, when he brings a book to me (or when I call him over to read if it’s getting late and he hasn’t shown interest yet) my goal is to make it fun so that he never feels like reading is a chore.

Books are a great way to explore the world. I have an awesome 101 first words book that we read probably two or three times a week at least. I’ll read each word and point at the object it defines. Then we’ll talk about different colors on the page, how many of each item there are, and how he uses it or will see it. His absolute favorite page is the one with the clothing because he likes to point at the shoes and shout shoes at me a dozen times till I can spit out, “Good job, you’re right, those are shoes.”

Well, this picture is a few days old. I have seen the error of my way. How dare I put his books so high up and expect him not to do something scary like climb up onto the back of the couch to get them back! He showed me that our approach to reading and learning is working. He showed me that he does enjoy our time together, learning about a world beyond our own and even closer (as in every day life) and that what we’ve learned has stuck with him. After seeing him so desperate to get to his books I decided from now on he will have a little library set up in every room. Yes, that includes the bathroom! This is the time to start the building blocks of tomorrow.

Let’s Read!

Fluffy Bum Doesn’t Fit? Custom it Is!


I never imagined I’d ever order my child custom clothes. I’m the kind of person who thrifts for everything from clothes to furniture and in a way even food. What I learned very quickly though about cloth diapering is that pants no longer fit the way they used to. It’s getting warmer so it’s not a huge issue since a cloth bum and tee shirt is alright to wear anywhere and since body suits can be bough a size bigger and be fine as well. We live in Maine though so we still have our days that are just too chilly. Yeah baby leggings work great too, but we only have one pair and they don’t go with everything. So… Maxaloones.

Maxaloones are these awesome pants that grow with your kiddo and they have a stretchy fabric circle over the bum so that cloth diapers can fit better without being squished (which can cause leaking). What makes them extra great is at the waist and feet there is breathable, stretchy fabric that can be rolled up or down to change the size. This one pair will last him at least another year.

I ended up commissioning Morgan, from Crabby Pants (they have custom diapers!), to make us a Mickey Mouse pair of Maxaloones and ended up splurging for the matching hooded tee shirt. We, all three of us, absolutely love this outfit!! It’s so comfy, just warm enough, and fits like a glove. Plus, I mean, it’s Mickey Mouse. Caleb’s favorite thing in the world is Mickey Mouse. Which leads me to the next thing I wanted to tell you, he is constantly asking to wear it and actually helps put it on which is very different from how he normally acts when it comes to clothing.

Yesterday we went to Papa’s, a local sub shop, and I took off the tee shirt part to avoid it getting stained and he instantly started whining to get it back. Never before have I seen my child want to wear clothing. Corey and I got a good chuckle out of that.

Things are just going so well. Caleb eats like a champ even though he’s still nursing. He sleeps through the night right by my side. Thanks to Brittney, my friend, we are now the proud owner of an Ergo and Caleb adores being carried in it. Being a crunchy and attached mother just makes my life so much easier and happier.

The First Leak-Still Loving Cloth


For the first time ever, Caleb leaked through cloth today. I was so sad. What made it worse is he had to be in the ergo, had to take his pants off, and the fact he leaded was just disappointing. So what did I do about it? I went over to Eco Baby Boutique with my friends and got him a “cool dude” pair of baby leggings! These things fit really well, even over his ever so chubby thighs, diaper changes are a total breeze, and the best part is he can show off his ever so cute fluff bum.

Corey started off really reluctant to cloth. It started with, oh ew. Then he got to, I don’t know how to do it. Now his only real issue is with the cloth wipes so he still uses the disposable ones. When I first mentioned baby leggings to him it was a big no. I even made a pair… that was an even bigger no. When I came home with these today though he was totally into them. Yes, I totally picked the foot ball ones in hopes that he would like them and it worked.

Cloth has become a total blast for us. Searching out all the new patterns, trying to figure out the best deals and fit, and learning about the proper care is a new hobby for me. I’m still a newb when it comes to cloth but for all of my fellow newbs I figured I would share some of the things I’ve gathered from this wonderful new experience.

Brand wise price does not mean something’s better. The two cheapies I’ve tried (each about $5) are Sun Baby and Alva. I don’t really recommend Sun Baby as much as I’m not a fan of the fit and the bamboo inserts I like. On the other hand Alva diapers fit wonderfully, are super sturdy, just the right size, and the best part is you don’t have to buy six at a time. You can buy one and it’s all good. Another thing I’ve learned… CHARCOAL BAMBOO is the best kind of insert. You can get 8 for $20 on Alva’s website and you really should. It’s super cheap that way and they work the absolute best.

For a slightly more expensive brand but my absolute favorite, try out Sweet Pea diapers. Both their covers and All in One bamboo diapers are fantastic. They fit really well, have double elastic around the legs, and with double snaps they aren’t going to come off or roll down uncomfortably. At night all we do is double up on their prefolds in a cover and it lasts no problem till morning. I’m a little excited about this brand. They have really cute prints for both boys and girls (not that it matters) and they are really reasonably priced for such nice diapers. I’m meeting the people who make them next month and I can’t contain my excitement.

I hope that those of you questioning or thinking about cloth diapering take the dive. It’s a really great thing to do for the environment, your wallet, and your little one’s bum.


SO COLD: Swimming?


To say the least, everyone thinks that we’re crazy. This is just barely the beginning of warm, way too warm and humid, weather in Maine. That means that the water wont be warm enough for probably at least another month. Yesterday was 80 degrees out though and I was pretty determined to go swimming. Covered in sweat, not even owning a bathing suit, I told Corey I wanted to go down to the Rec. and secretly gathered Caleb’s swim stuff and towels.

We walked the fifteen minutes down to our local Recreational Park. I walked right past the play ground Corey wanted to stay on and straight into the water. Heck yes. It was cold; frigid even. Did it feel amazing though? Absolutely. Caleb, my little water baby, was so ready to dive right in after me so I had Corey put his swimmy diaper on him and his bathing suit. He ran right in, fell over, swam a little (which was pretty impressive; he kept his head up), and then ran right out. A few breaths later he walked right back in up to his thighs and smiled.

He was only really in the water a few minutes total and then stood just up to his ankles and splashed around. He wasn’t in any danger, I was right there with him and knew that even though it was cold it wasn’t TOO cold. If he had turned blue or had been shivering uncontrollably I totally would have taken him out. He had a total blast. I mean look at that smile! He was just about to run back in and was so pleased with himself and where we were.

Once again, this all comes down to trust. I trusted that if it was too cold for him, Caleb would have gotten out of the water. I trusted that he wouldn’t let himself get hurt by the water. I stood back and let him do his thing. Corey was at the ready with a towel and dry clothes just in case. Sure enough though, he had the time of his life in the “big puddle.” I’m so glad our little family got the chance to go out and have fun like that with one another.


Outside the Box


Kids are awesome. Dani is my niece that I put on the bus half the time. Usually Caleb is still sleeping by then (and Corey is sleeping right next to him) so he gets to stay home. Today though he got up with me at 6:30 so I decided to get him dressed and have him come with me. Goodness I’m so glad I did.

Dani and I always stand in front of these stairs/this ramp while we wait for the bus. While their was snow I’d throw her on top of the snow and chase her around a little but mostly it was just cold and we would just stand there and shiver. This morning though, these kids had an absolute blast. They were playing “tag” and the side walk was safe. They had to keep running up the ramp though and the stairs were off limits because they were too dangerous to run on.

The kids set all the rules, Caleb didn’t even try to run into the street, and for the whole ten minutes we were out there neither got bored. It was their imagination that fueled the fun. I could have said, “No, no, kids. That’s not our stairs. Stay down.” I could have said, “I don’t think so Caleb, those stairs are too dangerous for you.” I could have said, “It’s too dangerous being near the road, come stand with me.” I mean, Caleb’s only one. Trusting him to run around near a road makes me incredibly nervous.

I trust them though. I trust them to make good choices. I trust that Dani wont let Caleb get hurt. I trust that they wont be too loud in front of someone’s house. I trust that they are capable little people who aren’t going to get hurt from running around on a few stairs and a ramp. That trust allows their creativity to shine, for them to learn important things such as boundaries, and to grow as people in general.

I just wanted to share this happy little moment in my day. These kiddos make me so happy and proud to be a part of their lives.

Caleb Outside