Daddy-Son Time <3

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One of the benefits of Corey working at Lowe’s is that he gets to bring home the Build and Grow projects to do with Caleb. Soon as he walks in with one of those sets, Caleb just lights right up. I’m actually really impressed with Corey too. He could build the whole thing by himself in a few minutes, or be too worried he’d get hurt to let Caleb help. Instead, Corey involves Caleb in the whole thing.

First Caleb reads him the instructions. Then Corey kind of follows them, but usually has to pull a few parts apart as he goes. Then he has Caleb help him put in each nail before he hammers it in. Caleb has the option of using stickers, or not. He can put them on and rip them off later. It’s totally Caleb led. In general it’s just a blast watching them, and I know he’s learning just so many things! Putting the little nails in the holes? Totally fantastic fine motor skill practice. Following instructions? Puzzling pieces together? Great brain activities.

It’s also education for Corey. Patience, letting go, trust… It’s really beautiful watching them together.

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.

Day One, Two, and Three of Home-school Pre-school

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I’m so sorry for the lack of active pictures. It’s really hard to do school and get pictures without someone to work the camera. I’m also really sorry I didn’t post day one or two. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about this anyhow!

Monday was really simple, but a total blast. We started by introducing the learning board, and more specifically introducing the theme of the week. This week we are focusing on cows, the word calf, the color green, shape square, letter A, number 1, and nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.”

I woke him up with this poem:

Little Calf by Katrina Lybbert

“Good morning, little calf,” gentle mother cow said.

“It’s time to get up from your sweet hay filled bed.”

Little calf jumped, stamped his feet, swished his tail,

And followed mama past a shiny milk pail.

Out into the barnyard, holding his head high,

Little calf look up to the blue, blue sky,

Birds flying past chirped a joyful song,

Little calf smiled, and felt happy all day long.

Then we watched a few YouTube videos about cows, and then we started talking about calves. We’re still breastfeeding occasionally, so I explained to Caleb that calves drink their mom’s milk the same way he drinks mine. As the day went on we sang “Old McDonald” over and over, but just talked about him having a cow. I had him get on all fours with me, and we moo’ed like a cow. It was a lot of singing and moving for the first day.

Tuesday was a little harder for us. Caleb wasn’t a huge fan of sitting. That’s okay with me though. The focus of the day was on green and squares. Because Caleb didn’t want to sit still, we decided to just walk around the house pointing out all the square and green things we could find. I figured we could just do the other activities on Wednesday…

Wednesday, today, was wonderful. We woke up with the Old McDonald song, and an awesome green outfit which to my surprise he could identify. After we got out of school we went to the library. I found a ton of great books today. The best was, “The Great Big Green” by Peggy Clifford. Everything is green until the end, and it ends up being the Earth. We also went through books about farms (to talk about cows), a letter book which we focuses on the A with, and a number book where we counted up to three, because Caleb can count to three and wouldn’t stop at one. When we got home I sat him down with a few worksheets I printed off. One had a tree dropping leaves with dotted lines showing the fall pattern. I showed him how to draw lines based on the dotted lines. He said, no. Instead he drew lines from the bottom of the paper to the top. Totally acceptable to me. A line is a line. Then we colored a square green. It’s part of a set of shape cards we’ll be working on through the weeks. He helped me glue the name (square) to the back of the card, and we moved on. I cut out the template for a cow cube, and he glued… some of the spots that we were instructed to. It came out really cute though. We talked about how there was only ONE cow cube, how a cube is made of squares, and that it was, obviously, a cow. Totally the perfect project for this week!

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Two Quick and Easy Fall Crafts

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Every other Friday Corey and I go to a parenting/parents financial/life skills class, and afterwards Caleb joins us for a play group. Today we read Brown Bear as a group, and then did a few activities the instructor had set out for us. My favorite, and one that Corey and Caleb spent a lot of time on, was painting with cinnamon! It was just a little water mixed with cinnamon. It looked really cool. The water turned the paper a light brown, and the cinnamon gave the bear’s fur some really great texture. The best part was how great it smelt. I have a ton of pumpkin spice in my pantry that I’ll be doing this with on a fairly regular bases.

The other activity only took a few minutes, but made Caleb very happy. I was working on his curriculum tonight, and that involved a ton of cutting and gluing. While I was working, he asked to help, but I had to say no. As soon as I was finished, however, I threw this second craft together. I ripped a piece of purple paper in half, cut out two pumpkins, two stems, then let Caleb make a few cute in the orange paper left over. While he was cutting, I glued my pumpkin down (the one on the left), and then asked him to do the same. He put glue onto the pumpkin and laid it in the corner. I smoothed it out, and then he glued down the stem. I grabbed us a couple of green markers, and he drew some scribble “vines” on his while I worked on my pumpkin’s vines.

Using a paint brush, gluing things down, placing the stem… these are all great motor skill practice. The more things you do, especially with little pieces, the better your kiddo will get at it all. I wouldn’t have thought to let him cut something a few months ago. Now, after watching how careful he is with everything else, I can totally trust him to be capable. I love watching this little man growing before my eyes.

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.

Attachment Parenting and The Adult Relationship

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I just have to say before I really get into this, I didn’t realize it until now but Corey and I have not taken a single photo together without Caleb since he was born. I looked through both of our phones and every single picture of us together has Caleb as well. So, my goal for today is to take a picture with Corey and without Caleb. Other than this though, our relationship is never better.

As someone who supports Co-sleeping and Bed Sharing I am always getting asked, “How do you have time for sex?” The reality is, sharing a bed with your child doesn’t mean that they are constantly in bed with you. We make the time to do the deed. Caleb is perfectly safe playing in the living room for ten minutes. It’s not like people only have sex once they go to bed. Nothing would get done if that was the case. If you are like me, you’d have to get up after every time, probably waking yourself up too much, and not being able to sleep again right away. Don’t fear not having sex. If you want to be intimate with your significant other, let your kid play alone for a minute and take the time out to spend some alone time. It confuses me as to why people even have to ask.

Another thing that people think is going to be affected is “date night.” I’d like to start by saying, not everyone needs to be away from their child on date night. I LOVE that Caleb is usually with us. We are a family, we all love each other dearly, and it doesn’t hurt Corey and I’s relationship to bring him with us. On another hand though, we can certainly go out without him. Just because I’m nursing and we are an attached family doesn’t mean Caleb has to be with us 24/7. It is okay for me to pump for an evening away. It’s okay for him to be with someone besides me. I’d prefer that someone be family that he’s known for a long time but even a trusted friend or nearly stranger can work out as long as they understand how I parent and will treat my child the same way I do.

One last thing is that some men resent their other half when they become so attached to their child. Well, here’s the thing about that, it doesn’t matter. I’m sorry but the child is and will always be the most important thing. I’m all for giving your other half attention, and it is healthy to do so, but if anything that makes your child comfortable or happy is sacrificed to make him less grumpy then it isn’t worth it. Try to get him as involved as you though. Explain to him why you do what you do. Let him burp baby or feed solids when the time comes. Have dad wear the little one. A lot of men that do it feel a much stronger connection to their little one. I am so grateful to have a guy by my side that supports this style of parenting. I hope you all get the same experience that I have.

Thank You for Reading!

 

Oh Happy Day! 100 Views in One Day!

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THANK YOU!

My wonderful followers, on Twitter, Facebook, and Here…

I am so grateful for the support I’ve gotten.

This is the best we’ve done so far.

I really hope that my writing is helping at least some of you.

Please let me know what you think.

I really want your feedback.

Tell me what you want to read about.

Is there anything specific you need help with?

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Once again, thank you so much.

Breastfeeding Do’s and Don’t’s

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Before I start, I have to say, if you are breastfeeding even part time then Congratulations and Good Job. I know it isn’t always easy or convenient. I know that it can hurt. Your back aches, nipples are sometimes raw, but the benefits for baby and you are beyond worth the moments of discomfort. You both heal faster, mommy looses weight, baby’s immune system gets stronger… I could go on and on. Next I have to tell you that I am not a lactation specialist so my tips are all personal. Though a lot I did get from people who know what they are talking about so I wouldn’t worry.

Do’s:
-Do breastfeed!
-Do keep baby angled, not flat.
This prevents spit up and helps them digest better.
-Do still burp baby.
Just because you are not bottle feeding does not mean they don’t have gas.
-Do keep them awake. Use wash clothes to rub their back or strip them down to just a diaper. Either way, keep them awake so they get a full feeding each time.
-Do use something for your nipples. Nipple Butter is not too expensive and saves you tons in the long run.
-Do massage your breasts and do let them soak in the water during a shower.

Don’t’s:
-Don’t feed sitting up in bed.
Your back will thank you for sitting in a chair with a back.
-Don’t forget about the boppy while out.
They are a savior and while worth the $20 they cost new. It makes bf comfortable for both mom and baby.
-Don’t get frustrated.
Baby feels what you feel. Stay relaxed. They won’t latch right on everytime and that is okay.
-Don’t assume they aren’t getting enough just cause their poop slowes down.
That is normal. Babies can go three days without passing a stool without it being a concern.

Well, I hope these help. If you think if something to add, feel free to message me on here or email at Sami.jordynn@gmail.com. As always, thanks for reading!