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Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Childbirth, Children, Choices, Education, Family, Fatherhood, Homeschool, infant, Life, Lifestyle, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Childbirth, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Potty Training, Pregnancy, Stay At Home Mom, Terrible Twos, Toddler Challenges, Toddler Naps, Toddlers | 1 comment

Patience Is Key

Patience Is Key

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Several times throughout my time as a mother, conversations have come up regarding different parenting styles. Should you co-sleep or cry it out? Should you breast-feed or bottle feed? Should you go natural or have a medicated birth? When it’s time for potty training, do we try boot camp or let them learn on their own? The list goes on…

It has been my experience that I always choose the long road. I’ve had three natural births (including two decently long labors lasting over 24 hours and a shoulder dystocia baby), we co-sleep, I’ve breastfed each of our three babies until they were at least one year old, and we homeschool. We let our kids potty ‘train’ in their own time (which we have really lucked out at so far!) & our discipline methods are few. It seems as though we have created work for ourselves, but I truly believe it will make a difference in the long run.

Everything requires patience. It takes longer to learn how to breastfeed your baby than it does to mix a bottle. It takes more time to sleep with your baby or rock your baby to sleep each night than it does to cry it out. Natural birth takes more work and waiting patiently for that baby to come may take longer than you would like, but it’s worth it! It’s always worth it. Your children are worth it.

Patience doesn’t come easily around our home these days. Juggling all life has to offer while raising children is hard work.

Hopefully our children will, in turn, learn that patience. Patience is a very important quality to hold throughout life. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have much. However, what I do have is most often spent on our children, and I have to remind myself of this on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I realize this post will fire up some defensive parents, but relax. I’m not judging those who don’t do what I do. We are all unique and to each his own. The only difference between you & I is a little patience.

I would like to show my experiences, that what you think may be harder at first glance may actually be easier in the long run.

You see, natural birth often leads to healthy babies, which often lead to healthy bonding, which also often means successful breastfeeding which often leads to a sleepy baby. Don’t you think this is a good start to life, if you can help it? Wouldn’t you imagine children are much more likely to have happy childhoods if this is the way they begin? It seems like so much less frustration and annoyance if the anxiety is lessened by living this way.

It doesn’t stop there (And here is where I need to be reminded most these days). Remaining patient while raising our children hopefully teaches them to be kind and gentle, patient and understanding.

Once again, obviously we will all live how we need to live. And we all will love the way we need to love. A little patience certainly has never hurt anyone. In fact, patience is key.

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Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Breastfeeding, Choices, Cleanse, Cooking, Detox, Food, Healthy Lifestyle, Moderation, Motivational Posts, New Years' Resolution, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

“Sweet” Detox Cleanse

“Sweet” Detox Cleanse

Ready for a new year? I know we sure are!

I’ve made a decision to return to the healthy lifestyle I chose when I became pregnant with my firstborn 6+ years ago. Whole foods, limited dairy, no processed foods or refined sugar, limited no alcohol, no caffeine (wean, wean, whine)…

When I’m pregnant or nursing, it’s easy, since it’s primarily for someone else. However, when life gets busy & time vanishes, it’s difficult to keep up with full, whole meals to feed five people.

Since I’m done nursing (Little Miss Hadley weaned a few weeks ago), I thought it was a great time to do a detox cleanse for my body. We have been SO busy. We’ve been eating poorly, making no choices, really, but simply eating anything we could get our hands on. As a result, I haven’t been able to lose any weight, and I’ve been holding on to this baby weight – from all three ‘babies’ – for much too long now. Time to nip that right in the bud. Perfect timing, really, since it’s also the start of a new year.

With the help from a fellow homeschooling Mama friend, we’re going to find our way to healthier eating again. Jodie Rogers is a Holistic Health Coach & owner of Ray Of Radiance. She has given me a few tips to start this new year right!

Day One included a warm lemon water first thing this morning. Jodie explained how powerful and wonderful lemon is. I believe my body is naturally craving it because I was all about drinking the juice straight from the lemon! I did warm some water in the kettle & drizzle some lemon in. Jodie stressed to use warm, not hot, water. We don’t want to kill any good properties of the lemon.

I’ll do my best to keep updating here on the blog as I partake in this new food journey.

Please feel free to comment & include any tips or suggestions you may have that work for you! Thanks, friends!

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Choices, Cooking, Creative, Economical Activities, Family, Healthy Lifestyle, Homeschool, infant, Kids Activities, Library, Life, Marriage, Moderation, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

How I Function {With Three Kids}: Part One

How I Function {With Three Kids}: Part One

Be realistic. Generally I never make an appointment before 10am. It takes at least one half-hour per child to prepare to leave the house, just to exit the front door. Why make yourself crazy?!

Go easy on yourself. I breast feed on demand until my kids are at least 12 months old. Trust me, it’s easier!

•Like I said, Go easy on yourself. I co-sleep. We’re all much happier and there’s much less wailing, crying and whining, and much more sleep for everyone.

(As I type these facts, I realize this is a great reminder to myself that it is all worth it! The love in our family is apparent and whole.)

Let them do it. We teach our children (usually with their lead) to brush their own teeth, wash their bodies, clean themselves, get themselves dressed, clear their plates from the table after meals, etc. I’m not ashamed to say we potty train at an early age, with baby-led signs, simply to make it easier. Our kids have usually been ready by eighteen months, and we’re just fine with that! They love to get themselves dressed and brush their own hair after baths. Obviously it builds self-confidence and boosts their big little egos. It’s a win-win!

Eat well. We eat whole, raw foods often; I cut up fruit and vegetables to have ready to eat in the fridge. I make crock-pot meals and sauces and many times I don’t cook! (Thank you to our local grocery store, Wegmans, for your super easy $6 Meals which provide my family with a nutritious meal when I am too busy to cook.) When we DO cook, we pretty much make meals in an assembly line, healthy pyramid-style, directly to the kids place at the table. Time-saving and nutritious!

(Speaking of time-saving, invest in an inexpensive, clean-able, wipe-able tablecloth. HomeGoods has pretty, inexpensive padded plastic tablecloths that are appealing enough to use while your kids are young.)

•We read a lot and watch tv only sometimes. Our 4 1/2 year-old now loves to read to her siblings, which is truly the most precious thing ever!

Live comfortably. The house is most certainly always messy. We’ve agreed that our priority is the children, so any disarray that gets in the way is just secondary to them. (And they’re ALWAYS the ones creating the mess so we know they’re enjoying themselves thoroughly!) As they say, a messy home is the sign of happy children.

Relax. I take baths to relax, about once a week, in the evenings when the kids go to bed (or sometimes before, thanks to my dedicated husband!). Everyone has their thing, mine is often baths. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I read, but the most efficient way for me to relax is a hot, steamy bubble bath.

Date other people. We take our kids on one-on-one “dates”, even if it’s just to the grocery store, the library, or to fill up the tank with gas. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just a little something from time to time to let them know they’re important and loved.

Get creative. Literally. We pile up the scissors, glue sticks, crayons & paper and ask them to make a castle or a butterfly, a rocket ship, whatever! They’ll come up with something even if you can’t, don’t be afraid to get artsy. Check Pinterest for ideas if both you and your children are at a loss. {Doubtful.}

Call in the troops. We enlist help. We have family that is close & we call in them when we need their assistance. We don’t take advantage (we rarely go on “date nights” and even more rarely go out with friends together – and we’re ok with that.) so we only utilize their loving babysitting when needed for work-related things, appointments, outings like that.

Above all, enjoy the ride. Love your children, kiss and hug them often. There is always one piece of advice every new Mom hears repeatedly: It flies by. And it really does. In the blink of an eye, you will be choosing a first birthday outfit, picking which soccer camp they’ll attend, playing ‘Tooth Fairy’, teaching multiplication, then *gasp* applying to colleges.

Just. Stay. Little.*

What are some tips you would like to share? What gets you through the day with your family?

*I met this beautiful woman who creates beautiful pieces for little girls. Debbie from Sweet Lemonade has a cute little necklace with this phrase, “Just stay little”, and it says it all. We are collaborating on a few sweet surprises to come! Stay tuned.

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Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Choices, Creative, Etsy, Family, Healthy Lifestyle, Holidays, Homemade, Homeschool, Life, Moderation, Motherhood, Music, Natural Parenting, Parenting, Passion, Philosophy, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, Winter, Work From Home, Working Mom | 0 comments

Goodbye, 2012

Goodbye, 2012

A new year is on the horizon.

A time to start fresh, if you wish. To renew. To begin again. Your choice.

This year, I have more on my plate than ever before. I’m a stay-at-home, work-from-home Mom of three, ages four and under. I teach music. I teach piano. I own a shop. I knit. I paint. I blog. I homeschool. I exclusively breastfeed our baby. I’m trying to do it all in twenty-four hours each day and it is no small task.

This year I will have confidence.

I will do more and think less.
I will pick my battles before they break.
I will be organized, effective, and concise in my daily life.
I will let love and be loved.
I will understand, be patient, and thoughtful.

My resolution is to do more but to worry less.

My resolution is to be me.

To just be me.

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Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Children's Songs, Family, Favorite Things, Featured, infant, Motherhood, newborn, Parenting, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

I Love When

I Love When

I love when she falls asleep sucking her thumb then it slips out of her pursed little mouth.

I love when she makes cute little squeaky noises.

I love when she smiles so big and so real at her siblings. And at us.

I love when she has to burp but refuses to break her latch as she nurses, squirming and wriggling her chubby little body against mine.

I love when she reaches to grasp a toy, so determined, so new.

I love when she snuggles. With anyone who wants to snuggle back.

I love when she bats her barely-there lashes at her Daddy, flirting & wrapping him around her barely-there finger.

I love when she smiles in her sleep. When it’s not gas-related.

I love when she coos. And when she tries so hard to communicate with us.

I love when she shivers when we take her out of a bath.

I love when she stares at her hands and feet for what seems like hours at a time.

I love when she wakes hungry, yet only makes a few tiny sounds to let us know she’s ready.

I love when she figures it out.

I love when she tries to sing with me. ABC’s. The Hadley Song. Sing A Song Of Sixpence. Pat-A-Cake.

I love when she waits patiently to be dressed, always with a smile.

I love when she nuzzles her face into mine.

I love when she breathes.

Fifteen weeks old. Almost four months. I love this baby girl.

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Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, infant, Life, Motherhood, Natural Parenting, newborn, Photography, Stay At Home Mom | 4 comments

HDS Week-to-Week

HDS Week-to-Week

We love taking pictures in our family. We think it’s neat to capture the moment in an artistic way, to be able to show our children when they’re older. When Marsden was born, I made it a challenge to take a photo a week of just him, on his week “birthday”, & see how he changed. Well, that lasted about 12 weeks, maybe?! Now, I am challenged to do the same thing for Hadley. Here is her week by week photo a day, beginning with her at 0 weeks.

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I’d say she’s filling out quite nicely! Must be all that delicious, nutritious breast milk. She weighed in at a snuggly thirteen and a half pounds at her two month check-up!
And so, here we are nearing twelve weeks. I’m wondering where the time is going. We are having a ball all together, but things sure are moving at a rapid pace. Although, looking back at these photos, Hadley’s newborn stage seems so long ago. It feels like she’s always been with us, a part of our family. We are five now, and it feels oh-so-right.

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