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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The One Flaw of Attachment Parenting-The Overly Attached Parent

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Well dang. I hear all the time how my child is never going to be independent and all this other bologna about Attachment Parenting. They tell me that he’ll never want out of my bed, he’ll always be attached to my boob, and he’s never going to walk. They are SO wrong.

Caleb is so terribly independent and it kind of breaks my heart. Since he was born he has been sleeping with me. It’s just easier to breastfeed and it’s so comforting to have him in bed with me… Now he’s got this desire to sleep in his own bed. It’s actually a swing and not so much a bed but either way it’s not MY bed and that means he is no longer snuggling with me. I was up until three this morning laying there waiting for him to wake up and want to nurse so I could bring him to bed because without him I can no longer sleep. To make it worse, when he was done nursing he couldn’t get comfy in my bed and requested to go back to his swing until seven this morning. I did eventually fall asleep but it was a real struggle.

It’s the same with breastfeeding. He’s a food lover for sure. Now if anyone around him is eating real food he will refuse the boob until he gets a little bit of solids and it makes me really jealous. I love our booby time. It relaxes me and really perks me up and I hope that it does the same to him but when he chooses to eat solids instead of drink the boob juice it makes me question that. I’m just thankful he still likes being worn. He likes his stroller as well but we use it so rarely I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.

Even in everyday play I get a little bit sad. I get down to play with him and because he’s so confident in what he’s doing he’ll just play by himself a lot of the time and I sit here wondering what I’m supposed to do if he doesn’t need me for another half hour or so. I’ve gotten so attached to being there for him all of the time that when he starts to do his own thing because he’s growing up and has all this confidence it makes me feel a little lonely. On the other hand, I’m so happy for him. He’s a smart, healthy, strong, and loving little boy. He will still come check in with me and give me kisses then go back to playing. He’ll still snuggle into me after he’s had a long play and needs a rest. It’s just hard to let go I suppose. I guess I’m doing my job though. Raising independent and caring kids can be a challenge but I think that our little family is moving in the right direction.

Thank You for Reading! Tell Me What You Think? Are You an Attached Parent Too?

Cry it Out? No Thank You!

cioThis is one post when I have to admit, I am judging you if you do use the cry it out method. I’ll be honest. I’m 100% against it. There are zero positives in support of it. On the other hand there are a billion reasons why you shouldn’t use it and there are many other ways to soothe a baby in a healthy and supportive way that helps build confidence rather than making them miserable.

I’ve talked about my son being confident. He is held, coddled, breastfed, worn, and shown love whenever he needs it. When he would “fuss” before a nap or when he’s tired I would rock him and soothe him. Then, he’d go to sleep. Why would he not fight it? Because I didn’t force him to. I didn’t say, I’m the parent and the boss and you have to sleep right at this moment so I’ll make you stay in here alone to cry which does nothing but upsets you more and lose trust in me knowing I wont come give you the soothing you are begging for. Instead, because I would go to my fussing child, who like any baby knows that mommy or daddy is the most important person in their life, he realized that he could trust me to make him feel better. A baby’s natural instinct is to need mom and dad. They aren’t being bad. They don’t know any better and why would they? They spent the first nine months of their life inside of mom. Why would they know the outside would be any different? They wouldn’t. My son knows that he can go off and play but if he is hungry or tired his needs will be met right away because I’ve gained that trust and through it he has gained the confidence to not need to be in my arms 24/7. He doesn’t have to fight for it so doesn’t seem so needy.

Here on the other hand are a few of the terrible affects Cry it Out can have on a child:

1) Science has proven that excessive crying causes blood pressure to rise causing the blood to flow slower through the brain and make it so much harder to breath for the child permanently. Science also shows that parents who use the CiO method are 10x more likely to have children that develop ADHD.

2) The emotional and physical development can be stunted making it harder for them to become independent people.

3) The saddest in my opinion, is that although the crying may eventually stop, it isn’t because the needs or problem have been resolved. The crying stops because baby has given up hope. All this does is create a distant child who isn’t close with their parents.

4) There is no parent child trust relation. The child is less likely to come to the parent in time of need. This includes when they are a teenager in danger of going down the wrong path.

5) When you don’t respond to cries the child becomes less self assured. This has been shown to stop them from becoming more out going, creative, popular, and well-adjusted people.

6) Half of the time, it doesn’t work at all. The baby will just keep going, crying on and on, creating much more stress for everyone involved.

7) Even if it “works” it isn’t a permanent fix. Parents have to do it again and again, listening to their child suffer over and over.

8) Children have the same feelings we do. Just because we think they wont remember ten years from now doesn’t mean those feelings of abandonment wont hurt them over time.

9) Something terrifying is that the rate of SIDs goes up with cry it out families. Due to the crying causing stress and trauma, children often fall into a deeper sleep and stop breathing. Not only are they in their own sleep space where you risk not catching it, but it’s much more likely to happen.

Now, I understand that not everyone is going to co-sleep. I understand not everyone will find their grove. But please, don’t let your baby cry it out. There is no benefit. It is completely unnatural and it’s a real way to torture your child with. I can tell you first hand that the CiO method does not work the way so many people believe it does. Instead it makes life harder in all aspects. You will have a fussier, less energetic and confident child on your hands. Just give the peaceful approach a try. I know you have things you have to get done and that nap and bed time can be important, but over all shouldn’t your child come first?

Thanks for Reading Everyone. Let Me Know What You Think.

How Much Freedom is Too Much Freedom (for a 9 month old)

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First of all… Happy Nine Months to Caleb!

What a great and amazing nine months it has been.

So here’s the scenario. As I sit here and type, my son is playing in the hallway off of the living room. A few minutes ago, he was even farther away and out of my sight in the kitchen. To be clear, I just cleaned the kitchen an hour ago and I know it’s completely clean and safe for him. On the other hand, I am human and you never know what could happen. Does this amount of freedom make me a bad parent?

I am going to say no. Some people look at me crazy when I tell them I let him do this. The majority tell me if I’m going to let him play by himself like this then I’m not practicing attachment parenting. Some tell me that my child is too independent and it’s my job to watch over him and occupy him. What they don’t see, or in reality just choose not to remember, is that I’m breastfeeding, bed sharing, baby wearing, and playing with him 80% of the time we’re together. My son knows that if he needs me for any reason that I am here and will take care of him. All of his needs are being met. People look at this so strangely though because they expect him to be needy. They expect him to be up my butt.

This is where I believe Attachment Parenting gets a bad rap but that idea is wrong. Attachment Parenting makes children more independent. When they don’t have to be afraid of anything, when they trust that mama and daddy will always be there, they aren’t afraid of going off with strangers or wandering a room away. I think that allowing him to do that boosts his confidence and him knowing that I’m not afraid for him and that I trust him boosts it even more. A confident child is happy, outgoing, and in touch with his own feelings. This freedom I’m giving him could be considered dangerous for someone so young but I honestly believe it’s part of raising my child personally.

Tell me what you think. Comments or emails. As always, Thanks for Reading!

Blessings 08/11/13

1. Yard Sales! I know, I know! Yard Sales take up too much of my blessings but today was amazing. The last big item that I needed for my baby is a stroller/car seat combo. The one I really wanted was $300 brand new. Driving down a random back road today there was one sitting in front of a house. We pulled over and sure enough it was for sale. For $50. This is the most important big item I needed and now I’ve got it. Praise God!

2. Practice. My cousin just had her third baby boy and we were over her house today. Her and my aunt went off to look at some stuff outside so I was left with the baby. He began to fuss and if felt so natural to swipe him up and comfort him till he let out his gas and began to fall asleep. This kind of practice and success with him makes me feel more confident about my first son. It gives me peace of mind.

3. Maternity Clothes. If you read my last post then you know my love for them but I really want you, dear reader, to understand how blessed I have been by this one shirt. I felt so much better today in it. Having it fit perfectly, keep me the right temperature, flatter my curves, and look cute was such a confidence booster. You always feel better when your confidence is up.

Weight Gain Sucks: Size Zero or 5x

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     Years ago my cousin had gotten pregnant and was always whining about getting bigger. As a former size zero she had become a size ten just from her baby belly and enlarged breasts. She didn’t look any bigger to me really. Her face didn’t show it, nor did her arms or legs. At the time I thought she was being ridiculous. How could this skinny little thing complain to me, a size XL? 

     She explained it to me though. When she spent all this time keeping her body one size, it was depressing to gain so much weight so fast. Her body hurt. Because of all the extra weight, her back had begun aching and she felt ugly. Her body was not recognizable to her and it made her depressed. 

     When you don’t fit into a pair of pants, even if you’ve only grown half a size, it hurts. I’m a very confident person when it comes to my body. Now though, instead of the 1X person I’ve been for over five years now and gotten comfortable in, I’m a 3X or more. The only reason though is that my belly has grown because I am pregnant. That extra weight is nearly killing me. My pelvis aches if I stand for much more than half an hour and my back kills me every night. I can’t get comfortable and my legs feel like they are jello. 

     It is the worst feeling though when you can’t fit into your clothes. When you have to go up two, three, four different sizes. It makes you feel like your whole body is expanding and you’re out of control. My family has been kind helping me get big clothes like that as my belly expands, really nice clothes even, but it’s still hard for me. Yesterday though I learned a valuable lesson. I’m still a 1X. I just need to get 1X in Maternity clothes! What a wonderful feeling that is. Putting on a shirt that has my size written on the tag as what I’d learned to love and have it not only fit me but feel very comfortable as well. Now I am putting the 3X clothes to the side (besides this one shirt I love) and wearing the clothes that are truly my size. 

     So here’s the lesson my dear friends. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Only good. If you are feeling down about your size or weight gain, remember that it’s temporary. Pregnant or not, it is always temporary. Life is Good

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