Autumnal Paper Chain: Home-school Pre-school Day Four

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Caleb had a very productive day of learning. We were supposed to focus on the letter A and number 1, but he knows those pretty well. We did a coloring page of the letter A, and talked about “one crayon at a time,” but then we moved on to something way more fun, because I kept looking out the window and seeing the beautiful colors of Maine in fall.

I took him outside to go learn about, and pick, leaves. We talked about how they start on trees, and then fall to the ground as it gets cold. Then I showed him all the colors they come in. I asked him to pick a bunch for our craft. I wanted to grab some of the incredibly beautiful and bright leaves… but I’m short. So we ended up with some cool gradient leaves instead. Orange and yellow, green and yellow, and red and yellow are what we ended up with.

Before we went I cut up a sheet of green, yellow, red, and orange construction paper, then when we got home I showed him the papers and how they matched the leaves we collected. Next it was time to talk about patterns and practice our color recognition while building a cool autumn leaves paper chain. I had him hand me ONE green, one yellow, one orange, one red, etc, etc, until all the papers were gone. He would hand them to me sometimes, and other times he would slide it through the last chain. We clothes pinned it up, and Caleb chose which chains would have leaves hanging from them. So much fun!

Even though this wasn’t originally on the curriculum, figuring it’s cow week not seasons week, I decided I couldn’t pass the chance up. We still got to talk about green (the color of the week), read a few books, and the fine and gross motor skills used to identify and say colors, as well as threading the paper through the previous chain, was a great practice, and covered what was planned. Oh, and while we were reading I pointed to a piece of broccoli. I asked Caleb what it was, because he loves broccoli and can say the word, but instead of identifying it he said, “Green.” I was really pleased. It was a fun day of learning for the both of us, and really nice to bring nature into our learning.

“My Mama!”

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One of the funniest parts of my day is bed time. Corey will lay down with me and snuggle while Caleb plays. The thing is… After a few moments, Caleb notices that we are snuggling and he comes over and pushes us apart. He claims me so that his daddy can’t snuggle with me. We always end up laughing hysterically.

This morning I climbed out of bed and Caleb happened to wake up; much earlier than usual for him. He comes into the living room where I’m sitting and he climbs up onto me and wraps himself around me. All I can think is that he’s once again claiming me. I can just picture him saying, “My Mama!” It’s funny how that happens though; how our children get so attached to us, know us, and need us. It feels like a blessing to be so loved by this little person. He absolutely amazes me.

Sorry about rambling all sentimentally today, but I can’t get over this amazing gift I’ve been given and how sweet he really is. I just… I love him. I don’t know what else to say!

The Importance of Friendship

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After high school I really drifted away from any friends I used to have. More than that, after Caleb came I realized how different my “friends” and I really were and decided that parting ways would be best for both Caleb and I. That’s okay. Eventually though, without even knowing it, I found myself very lonely. All the play groups and classes in the world couldn’t make up for just plain out not having friends. For Caleb, he has his cousins and what not but they are all bigger than him. They aren’t on the same level as him which made it hard for both of them to really play and interact properly. I was feeling pretty bad that my child was as alone as I was. We have each other of course, and that’s enough for me, but I knew that having friends would be better for us both.

Well, one day I went to the crochet group I started and I met Amy. She brought her daughter Alyara with her and in the middle of our meet up had to nurse. It was an insta-connection. Alyara was only a month younger than Caleb and super cute. Amy’s friend Brittney ended up booking a Thirty-One party through me a few weeks later and all of the kiddos were invited. Caleb and Alyara met that night and oh my goodness they were adorable. He would hold her hand and snuggle up to her… and she’d put her hand out and push him right away from her. Oh yeah, we know who wears the pants in that relationship!

That night there was another kiddo present. Sharlett, Brittney’s daughter, who is only a couple of weeks younger than Caleb. They didn’t bond much that night but… the story doesn’t end there! The three of us started hanging out and our little ones did as well. Watching them play makes my heart sing. The way we feel says a lot as well. Caleb and I are both a lot happier and less lethargic having something to look forward to, aka our play dates. Sharlett and Caleb have found a special bond though. Both are charismatic kiddos who love the park and food. They play so well together and I can’t get over just how cute they really are. I mean… just look at this!

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So go make some friends mommies! You will feel so much better, you will not have as much stress, and your little ones will have someone to spend time with as well. I mean, hopefully at least. Just, don’t be alone. Loneliness can over take you and turn you into someone you don’t want to be. Friendship is important. It’s important to show your kids how to be a good friend. FRIENDSHIP.

Fluff Bums are so Dang Cute

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Disposable diapers… Who’s seen the video going around about the uses for what’s IN a disposable diaper? It’s crazy and just a little be terrifying. All the more reason to love this Fluff Bum journey we’ve begun.

Caleb had been getting terrible rashes from leaks and what looked like chemical burns. Seeing him in pain I said, “No more!” Cloth is an investment. You can use them for more than one child, they have less leaks (ruining less clothes), and lets be frank here… they can be absolutely adorable! Never doing or even really looking into cloth before, I was sure I wanted to start using them but had no idea where to start. Luckily Caleb’s best friends’ mum’s, also my friends, are total masters of the cloth bumming.

These lovely ladies took me down to our local Cloth Diapering store, Eco Baby Boutique in Sanford, ME, and the owner Stacey helped me get a good start. I ended up purchasing three diaper covers and six prefolds as well as some diaper safe laundry detergent. She showed how to set the prefold up in the cover and we went on our way. The first 24 hours using these diapers was awesome but completely chaotic. I was doing laundry every few hours to keep him in cloth and I learned that his normal outfit, a onsie and size 12 month pants, were NOT going to work over his fluff bum. The solution? Maxaloones for pants (or size 18 overalls) and either ditching the onsie for a regular shirt or a onsie extender.

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A few days later Amy, one of my friends, beyond kindly gave me six pocket diapers and I ordered charcoal bamboo inserts (which are apparently a great insert and really well priced on Amazon!). These diapers (with inserts) hold SO much pee and keep all of the moisture off of Caleb thanks to the fleece layer. Adding these extra six that don’t need to be changed quite as often helped a ton.

THEN my friend Brittney and I split an order from Sun Baby for their diapers… SO CUTE. I wasn’t a huge fan of their inserts so I really need to order more, but they are certainly cute and adding those three as well as one more cover has rounded it out so we only need to do one load a day.

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So what did I learn that might help you? For an 18 month old you need about ten-fifteen diapers and a washing machine available, covers with two prefolds work pretty well for over night but a fleece layer would make it even better, and gosh baby poop is nasty.

Ms. Stacy and I Love Laundry Day

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     I just love the feel of having all my clothes being clean and being able to pick anything I own to wear. It helps keep the stress down and makes the morning decision making go a lot easier. Ms. Stacy here loves to help once the clothes are clean and folded. She swears she is keeping them warm and organized. Yes sometimes I find fur on the clothes afterwards, but she has me convinced it’s from someone else.