My Child, My Hero


Caleb… Goodness, my friends… I love this child more than I can ever imagine, and I love who he is. At only 2.5 years old he already has this incredibly bold and defined personality, and I feel so blessed to be part of his life. Getting the chance to watch and facilitate his growth… There are no words to describe how full my heart is because of him.

He is smart, inquisitive, and full of imagination. I love watching him play out different scenes with his toys, have conversations on the phone with those he love (even when they aren’t on the other end), and explain the world around him in only ways he knows.

He is stubborn, strong willed, and knows what he wants. I love that when he doesn’t get his way he will try to convince us to give in, and does so (most of the time) without any tears. I love that he has full choice over things like food, clothes, and (when possible) sleep and that he knows it. He’s not a picky child at all, and I really believe we don’t make a big deal over food. He picks out what we have for dinner a good percent of the time, and I love that he uses his deductive skills to make those kinds of choices.

My favorite part of him though is by far his heart. He is sensitive, compassionate, and incredibly empathetic. I love that despite his independence, he looks for connections. He will come to me, give a great big hug and kiss, tell me he loves me, and go right back to playing. I love that before naps he comes over, snuggles right into me, and will rub my arm until he falls asleep. I love that when he sees another kid crying, he goes right over, asks them what’s wrong, and will rub their head until they stop crying. I love that if someone asks him to stop, he listens. I love that he always wants to share and make sure that everyone around him has a toy so they are happy too.

This small human is like a dream to me. I could not ask for anything else in this crazy life. Even in my darkest moments, I look to him and I’m filled with hope for the future, because he’ll be part of it. He is the future.


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.

Alrighty, Back Carry It Is!

I so wish I had a picture for you all, because it was truly adorable. Very soon I’ll have a phone again, and pictures will be attached to all of my posts. For now I hope I can paint the picture for you instead.

I live in Maine, and as I’m sure all of my state side readers know, Maine is cold. VERY cold. The big problem for me is that I don’t drive… Currently we walk or bus everywhere we need to go. That means that I have to walk Caleb to his preschool each day before going to mine. Trying to push a stroller through snow is a very illogical thing to do. Yesterday, I did it anyway. It took me an extra fifteen minutes to get him to school.

Sadly the time part isn’t the worst part. Caleb will not wear gloves or mittens. He’ll either rip them off, or sob and scream till they are removed. It’s way too cold to be out without gloves, but there really was no other choice. It’s too cold in general really. We’d get to his school, or home, and his hands would be pink. We always offer gloves, and on especially cold days I’d fold down his sleeves and put gloves over them so he couldn’t get them off. It broke my heart to hear him scream, but I couldn’t figure out what else I could do.

Today, I decided enough was enough. I’ve been avoiding using our Ergo because I usually have a lot of things to bring with us. We both have full school bags, and it’s much easier to just toss them under the stroller. Since I didn’t have class today, I just tutor on Fridays, I decided to try the Ergo. I woke him up, got him dressed, and tossed him up in the carrier.

Right away there was a big smile across his face. He loved being so close and snugly when he first woke up. The best part for him was that he was warm! His hands were tucked inside of my jacket, which was wrapped around us both, and his hood was much easier to keep on with him face to face with me rather than in the stroller. It wonderfully also saved us a ton of time. I was able to walk at a normal pace, and the snow was no problem for us.

The only problem was the pain. Last year I really hurt my back. It felt like I’d crushed it. I went to the chiropractor a few months ago, and I’ve been feeling better, but not my best. This morning, carrying my just about thirty pound child on my front, all of that pain came back temporarily. I was dying to get him off of me, and dreading the walk home. It’s not long, just a fifteen minute walk, but I was really worried that the pain would last.

After tutoring I picked him up and decided to try my second ever back carry. The last time I tried it, nearly a year ago, I spent the whole time panicking that he’d fall out. This time, I had his teacher look us over once I’d gotten him all snuggled in, and it felt a whole lot better. We started our walk home, and I couldn’t believe how comfortable it really was. No pain, barely any pressure, just a snugly baby on my back.

Within minutes, he was passed out for a wonderful nap. Usually if he falls asleep in the stroller, when we get home and I try to move him he will wake up and be miserable all night. With the carrier I just sat on the couch, unlatched it, and gently laid him down. Such a simple transfer, and he got a great nap in! I really love this boy. I’m so thankful for our Ergo. It was an incredible investment.

I’m Not Perfect

Something very interesting has been happening since going back to school. Corey and I have somehow become a role model to even younger parents! During our family read meetings (we meet with a teacher in a little office off of a pretty public hallway/cafeteria area) we have had at least one person come in each week and say something along the lines of, “I always hear you guys. You’re like the perfect parents!” We have people who tell us how “awesome” we are, and how they hope they can parent like us. IT IS SO WEIRD. I mean, what do we say to that? “Oh no, we screw up all the time.” “You should see my house, it’s trashed!” I WANT to be a good role model. I don’t want to look like a failure, or like we’re doing it all wrong. I don’t think we are. I also know that we are learning, we mess up, and we have a lot more to learn the older Caleb gets.

I think the key though… is knowing we aren’t perfect. I can admit when we make a mistake. I try so hard to not yell at Caleb, and usually don’t, but once or twice a month he’ll do something dangerous and boom, it’s like I explode. “CALEB GET OFF THAT FREAKING THING!” “NO DON’T OPEN THAT!” “STOPPPP!” Then there is this look on his face like I’ve smacked him across the face, and I feel absolutely awful. I NEVER want to hurt my son. I want him to feel loved and safe at all times. I’m the adult, I should be able to control myself, and yet I make this terrible mistake. Immediately I apologize to him. I tell him I should not have screamed, that I was scared, and I will do better for him. I give him a hug if he wants one, or I leave him alone until he’s ready to forgive me.

Some days I do absolutely nothing with him. Hare to believe right? Some days I just let him play alone. He can come snuggle with me, I make sure to feed him and change his diaper, but I don’t play with him. It’s rare, but those days always make me feel like a failure. I just have no inhibition on those days, I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to play pretend. This only happens every other month about, but I know it’s a problem. I also know that it’s probably not going to change because once in a while I need to take a break, and that is okay.

You guys know how much I love breastfeeding. You know I believe in self weaning and full term nursing… OH MY GOSH I hate night nursing. I’ve forced Caleb to night wean. I just can’t do it. It makes me ANGRY. My blood boils and I start resenting him nursing at all. For both of us, I put an end to it. I feel bad. He wasn’t ready, but I put myself before him. I know deep down it was best for both of us, but I still feel a twinge of guilt each night when he asks to nurse.

These are just a few of the things I am doing wrong. I know I need to change some things, I know that I am doing wrong, and that’s what makes me a good parent. My desire to be the best for my kiddo, the ability to see my faults and not justify them, and my constant hunt for knowledge is what makes me come out on the other side giving people the impression of perfection. I’m so grateful for the people I have before me, all my “homies.” If you can take anything from this, just remember to keep moving forward. You don’t have to be like your parents. You don’t have to be like yourself a week ago. Every day you can become better!

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


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

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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!

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Preschool Love

First Day of Preschool

When I chose to go back to school I had to find child care for Caleb. It worked out perfectly. His preschool is only a five minute walk from my school, has amazing credentials, and is incredibly affordable. We spent a few days before deciding to send him there checking out the school, letting him play at the playground, meeting teachers, and having him sit in on half days. He loved it, we felt comfortable, so we signed him up to start on the first day.

That picture makes me laugh every time I see it. We had just walked up to the school, I wanted a few first day of school pictures, but Caleb had a different idea. He marched right up those steps saying, “Bye, I go in.” He turned around just long enough for me to get this snapshot. We made our way inside and he went right to playing. We said bye, since I had to go to school myself, and he didn’t even look up. My attachment parenting raised love bug had no problems with us leaving him at school.

Now we are five weeks in, and nothing has changed. He loves going to school, is having so much fun, and his teachers are very impressed with how much he knows compared to his peers. Each night before a school day I ask him if he wants to go to school, and just gets so excited! I thought that we’d all have a much harder time with this adjustment, but it turns out we all had the tools to do it.

Water Beads ROCK!

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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!

Reduce, Reuse, and Craft!: Turtle Drink Holders

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Corey has a slight soda addiction. Very often, aka every day, he runs to 7-11, and brings home his soda, as well as a snack and drinks for Caleb and I, in a drink holder. I’ve been keeping them all pilled up in my pantry for a few months now, because I knew eventually I could use them for something. Last night a friend of mine was telling me her nickname used to be Shelly. This led to a conversation about turtles, and the creation of this craft!

Walking by this afternoon, I spotted my pile, and instantly thought, “Turtle shell!” I grabbed a bunch of green, orange, and yellow markers. Caleb and I sat on the living room floor going to town on the drink holder. I colored one of the triangles green, and he copied. Then I outlined everything in different colors, and had Caleb cover¬†everything else in his cute multi-colored scribbles. He really went to town on it and I’m completely in love. He learned about some pattern recognition, we talked about colors, and I told him about turtles while we colored.

Once the shell was done, I just grabbed a piece of paper and drew a quick head, tail, and legs onto it. I’m sure one of you awesome readers can do something even better with it, but Caleb was anxious to rip the cup holder apart. There was a little rip, and he had started picking at it. I asked him if I could get a picture first, and he said, “Okay mom. One.” After I handed it back he ripped it to pieces, and then colored more on the pieces. Silly, silly little boy.

Let me know if you try this! It was a ton of fun for Caleb and me. I think the next craft will be turning one into a cow.

Updates and Announcements!

First of all… my phone, aka my camera, has been destroyed by a certain, sweet, little boy dropping it into a cup of tea. Second, I’m really awful at updating this blog. Life gets busy, I go to long, and then months go by before I post anything. I’m so grateful for the people still following me. I’m amazed that people are still finding their way to my blog even without consistent posting!

Now to give you all a run down of what has been taking so much of my time!

July we did a lot of outside play. Family walks, water play, pools, etc. It was fun but there weren’t any huge events.

August, I turned 21! We had a karaoke night at a local bar. People tried, and failed, to get me drunk. Instead, I stayed lightly buzzed and sang my heart out. My aunt took Caleb over night, and Corey and I had a weirdly kid free date the next day. Also! We went to Caleb and Corey’s first music festival, Soul Fest. I’ll tell a lot more about that later.

September was a big month. Not only did I go back to school, working on an Education Associates degree, but Caleb started Preschool! He absolutely loves it.

This month, just five days ago, something amazing happened… My baby, my favorite person in the world, this tiny little being that grew inside of me… TURNED TWO! It was a fantastic family day.

Now that you’re caught up, I want to talk about a new series we’ll be starting, in real life and on here, Monday. Because we are planning to Home/Unschool, and we’re living in Maine, once Caleb get’s older we’ll have to create portfolios to get signed off on. I’m a planner kind of person. I like to know what we are doing every day so… I’ve been working on gathering resources and combining curriculum to start building a preschool curriculum. Monday is the first day of “home school preschool” for us and I will be sharing, hopefully each day, what we did. Each week will have a theme and activities to go along with it. The curriculum is good for ages 2-5!

Thank you again for reading!!