Love: It’s Really That Simple

25525_1227661821026_3310786_n

With the first anniversary of #LoveWins upon us, I’ve been having a lot of emotions pop up. Apparently I still have a lot of anger towards the people in this world who oppose same sex marriage. I mean, I really can’t wrap my head around it. Can you believe there are people out there that would rather a child be left in foster care than have two moms? Or that they actually believe that some random relative the person has never met should have say over their medical care and that their long time partner shouldn’t?

I’m so proud to call these two women above my mothers. They showed me love, compassion, how to treat my child, trust, and most of all acceptance. They showed me that being honest is a gift. They showed me that love is the most important thing in this world. They showed those around them what hard work looked like. I posted this picture on my facebook today, and the comments make me cry. The love that others felt for them, how grateful they were to know my moms, all the gifts my parents gave them… wow!

Here’s the kicker for me today though. Caleb and I were looking through some pictures of my moms, and we come to the one posted above. Caleb points to the heart and says, and this is a direct quote, “They’re in love. That’s my grandmas.” Queue my heart shattering into a thousand pieces. He’ll never get to meet them. He’ll never get to hold their hands, snuggle them to sleep, or learn from them like I was able to, and that breaks my heart. It destroys me at my core. Yet, despite that, his statement is profound and powerful. This little almost three year old child gets what far too many adults don’t. Love is love. Love is everything. Love is the ONLY thing that matters.

Today, I challenge each and every one of you to show a little love for those around you. Bonus points if you show love for the LGBTQA+ community. There is enough hurt in the world. Today, let’s aim for love.

 

You ARE Loved!

Advertisements

Finger Paints and Stamping Fun!

I LOVE painting, and Caleb has been talking about painting a lot the last few days. First thing this morning I made a batch of my edible finger paint, and when my sweet boy woke up I surprised him with this painting station.

I really wanted to do more than just finger painting, so I grabbed straws and toilet paper rolls (two things I obsessively collect which drives Corey crazy) and stuck one of each into each of the six colors I made. I got Caleb naked, and gave him some paper. Then (last picture) I created examples to show him how the stamps work, and also to show him with the straw you can blow the paint around. He LOVED blowing the paint.

He really focused on the color red today. I was surprised. I made two purples and pink for him because he’s been so into them, but red was the cool color today.

After three of the toilet paper roll stamp paintings and one of the straw paintings I gave him a paintbrush. That’s what led to the second picture, and I loved watching him paint lines and then smack the brush against it like a stamp. It was cool to see that the concept we were working on really stuck with him. Lastly I took a straw and drew his name into his painting! I think once it’s dry we’ll put it on his bedroom door.

Originally I planned to do more. I was going to “stamp” his hand to make some Valentines Day cards, animal prints, etc… but he wasn’t having it. My normally messy loving boy really didn’t want to get his hands dirty today, so I didn’t force it. The paint only takes a minute to create anyway, so if he seems more willing later on, we’ll just do it then. I want to get some actual stamp pads and stamps. I think he’d love that, and he liked stamping his hand last Friday.

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

12180922_960236644038642_1330236384_o

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.

Craft Time: Cow Tube Kites

WIN_20151018_152442 (2)

This week, for our home-school preschool curriculum, our theme is cow. I don’t have specific things written up for weekend activities, but figured we could do a random craft involving cows anyway. I put on a few cow videos to introduce Caleb to cows, and I prepped this while he watched. Super easy project:

White Paper Cut to Fit Around a Toilet Paper Roll

Black Paper for the Legs (cut into strips and accordion folded)

Black Paper Cut for the Spots (or washi tape!)

Marker for the Face

Glue Sticks

To start, I had Caleb put the glue on the white paper, and I wrapped it around the toilet paper tubes. Then I ran out of glue! I ran around trying to find more, but instead found some black washi tape. I drew a quick cow face on each of these, and then cut a bunch of washi tape squares. I helped Caleb glue his tail on, then we each went to town putting on the spots. I showed him how to fold the legs, we cut them out, and we both taped the legs on together. I have seen these with some other animals, and I figured it would be cute with a cow as well.

Right now they are handing on our “project line.” Later we will tie a little yarn to the top, and bring them outside to blow in the wind! This is a very easy project, but it has a lot of steps. By the time we got half way through the spots, Caleb was pretty done. We got up and danced to Old McDonald for a few minutes, and he was ready to go back to the craft. It’s okay to take breaks!

WIN_20151018_152451 (2)

Water Beads ROCK!

WIN_20151017_133503 (2)

Look at that smile! This was a total win. Yesterday we went to the Dollar Tree, and I finally grabbed water beads. They are in the garden/craft section. They come with a vase, and the two packs I got came with three packs of beads. You soak these beads in water over night and they become little jelly balls. Non-toxic, not sticky, easy to clean up… it’s the perfect activity for kids and toddlers!

For us, Caleb is such a water and sensory loving kid that I knew we needed these. He will play in water all day long if we let him, but it ends up with him, my floor, and often me being soaked. These water beads, however, give the feelings of playing in water without actually getting wet.

Talking about fine motor skills though, there is a never ending amount of possible activities you can do with water beads. We spent over an hour playing with them when Caleb first woke up today. We started with them in the pub mix container (yay for recycling) where he could reach in just to check out how they feel. Then I grabbed a bowl and asked him to pour some in. I grabbed a little puppy toy, showed it to him, then hid it beneath the beads in the bowl, and asked him to find it. That was fun. Puppy is one of his favorite words. Then he grabbed cars and started driving in the bowl. That was really cool to watch actually. The beads moved like waves and would cover his hands or the car. Last but not least, I asked him to help pick the ones from the bowl up and put them back into the container. Talk about fine motor skills. Picking up slippery little balls is hard work! He did great though.

I wanted to share a few other activities we are planning with them. One is taking different containers to scoop and transfer the beads with and to. Tubes are a lot of fun. Pour some in one side and have your kiddo at the other end. It’ll be messy, since they’ll bounce everywhere, but so much fun. You can take bottles, with the smaller lid holes, and have your kiddo drop beads into them. Sorting, counting, working the motor skills… I really recommend having these on hand!

Outside the Box

dani

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

Art of a Conversation: Toddler Edition

1484700_874513519277622_2310006533952354558_n

^^^ Look at the Blue’s Clues Shirt^^^

My sweet little barely eighteen month son has quite the vocabulary. Some of his favorite words include Sister (for our cat), Go, Yes, Dani, Mama, and Yum. Through the day he likes to shock me by spitting out some pretty great words such as hamburger and uncle. The best for me though? The fact that, at least 40% of the time, he has the phrase “Thank You” down pat for when someone gives him something. Warms my heart right up.

Let’s be realistic though. A few words here and there does not a conversation make. Watching Caleb watch Blue’s Clues though, showed me just how well he grasps what a conversation is. In the show Steve (or Joe) goes about it essentially the same way; asking questions that the viewer can answer. He’d say, “You see a clue? Where?” Caleb would respond by loudly babbling and pointing at the screen. It hit me that what he was doing WAS having a conversation. Someone said something to him, he responded and waited for the someone to say something else back to him. It dawned on me just how smart that really was. Words are important of course, but being able to have a proper conversation, to me at least, is just as important. So… yay!

The Dirty Truth About Menstruation after Childbirth

COREY - WIN_20140725_183057

EDIT: This is just one case. No, not everyone has a period like this once they give birth. This was written because many women have this experience and it can be scary. Everyone is different. Do not take this as, YOU WILL HAVE THIS.

Oh my goodness. They don’t warn you about this. No one talks about it. No one wants to talk about it but gosh do I wish I had known what would or even could happen once I finally got my period back. Let me just tell you, this is not the kind of post you want to read if you have a sensitive stomach or you are squeamish but it is something you should read if you are or soon will be pregnant.

Thanks to breastfeeding I got a wonderful extra seven months of no period. It was wonderful. When I finally did get it though I had no idea what was going on and found myself in the ER. I was convinced I had internal bleeding or even that I had been pregnant some how and was miscarrying. Thankfully neither were true, which we found out after four hours, and it was just a period.

Here’s what you can expect:

-VERY heavy bleeding; don’t be surprised if you soak a pad within two hours

-An insane amount of clotting; it’s like you’ve just given birth and the clots are still coming out

-Watery gushes of blood

-Extreme cramping

It might be scary, and I can guarantee it will be gross and a pain in the neck, but it’s normal and will eventually get better. Sadly tampons tend not to work anymore (they either soak too fast or they fall out) and pads have to be the super kind. The worst thing for me is sleep. I have to get up every few hours just to go to the bathroom, gush blood into the toilet because my body doesn’t let it all out while I sleep, and change my pad.

Some things I’ve found that helps:

-Take Ibuprofen every few hours to slow down the bleeding and help cramps

-Take a short walk

-Relax; take a nap when your little one naps

-Eat foods that are less gassy; avoid dairy and some vegetables

If anything seems off to you, don’t be afraid to go into the doctors though. Just know that it is NORMAL to bleed so much and to pass so many clots. Also, it can last MUCH longer. My second period lasted almost three weeks and was terrible. My first only lasted two weeks and this third one I’m hoping for a much shorter time till the bleeding stops but thankfully Ibuprofen makes it much more bearable.

Thanks For Reading Everyone! Hope This Helps!

Personal Comfort and Full Term Breastfeeding

10341476_10204002812850433_3854694459968414088_n^^ Joyce, a fellow full term breastfeeding supporter and friend of mine. ^^

Breastfeeding until your child wants to wean is wonderful. It’s this great bond between mother and child, helps their health, and it’s great for most moms as well. The reality though is that not EVERY mother feels this way. Some moms work really hard to nurse for even the first six months because they feel so uncomfortable. They don’t feel relaxed or comfortable with having another human sucking on their breasts. It’s not something that nature or normality is going to change. That’s okay. You tried and even breastfeeding one day is better than not breastfeeding at all.

What I want to talk about though, is what happens when your child is old enough to understand and tell you they want the boob, but you aren’t as comfortable anymore. Mayim Bialik, one of my favorite attachment parenting role models, mentioned that breastfeeding doesn’t work when either party is uncomfortable. She nursed full term with both of her children but it was on her terms and there is nothing wrong with that. When you nurse and feel uncomfortable you end up stressing. That stress gets passed onto your child and you both end up frustrated. There is no point in nursing by then if it’s just going to hurt your bond. Take a step back, think of what is best for you both, and go with it.

On the other hand, don’t let others make this decision for you. I have a friend who really loved nursing her two year old. Other than me, who only has a nine month old, gave her support on the situation though. Because of this, she decided to wean. We were talking about it just the other day and she really regrets and misses it. Her daughter seems fine with it and there has been no real change there, but personally she wishes she was still nursing. This is a very personal decision. The benefits of breastfeeding don’t just disappear at two years. There is no medical reason to stop. The only ones who can make the decision is you and your baby.

If you every need support, please feel free to message me.

My email is sami.jordynn@gmail.com or you can message me on facebook and twitter.

I am here for you to answer any of your questions.

Thank You for Reading!

How to Not Raise a Princess (or in my case, Prince)

10514695_545496108909219_3567781013744572072_n

^^ My Friend’s ADORABLE 13 month Princess ^^

Children do not spoil, food does. That doesn’t mean you can’t accidentally entitle children causing them to believe the world revolves around them and that they will always get exactly what they want. Here are three easy steps to avoiding this.

1) Don’t make your child share and don’t let them expect other children to share with them. I went on a play date recently and Caleb’s friend, who is two and a half, was playing with a doll. Caleb wanted it and went to grab it from her. Her mother jumped to tell her to share and I said no. Don’t worry about it. It’s her’s. I don’t want Caleb to think that just because he wants something, he will get it. That isn’t how life works. You don’t get a car that belongs to someone else just because you want it. There were plenty of other toys so I just redirected him and he was fine. She was a happy little girl because her toy, that belongs to her, wasn’t taken away from her. She was already sharing all of her other toys and that is going above and beyond to be gracious in my mind. I wouldn’t want my one special thing taken away either.

2) Don’t be afraid to say no. I know, shocking after my introducing the idea of no post. It’s true though. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Times for that are like when you’re in a store. If your child is screaming for a cookie, and they’ve already had enough sugar, tell them no. Don’t reward screaming and disrespect. Instead, because we all know that the screaming doesn’t stop just because you say no, redirect. I talk about it again and again. Offer something healthy if you can afford it. Oh look at this super awesome apple. Honey you can pick out something yourself if you want but it can’t be a cookie and you can’t eat it right now. This way, their want is understood but you are leading to a better decision.

3) Money is not the only thing that makes a child happy and more over it shouldn’t be the main source of their happiness. Sadly, so many parents use money to stop crying and to make up for lost time. That’s the best way to make a child spoiled because they will forever need more to fill a much more important spot in their life. Kids don’t naturally want stuff. They just want you! The more QUALITY you time they have the less material items will mean. This means that even if you work, the time you have with them matters. Cuddling, talking, asking questions, can make your child feel loved and wanted and that need for things doesn’t even come up.

 Thank You for Reading and Good Luck My Lovely Readers