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Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Children, Education, Family, Homeschool, Kindergarten, Memories, Motherhood, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 2 comments

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

This Is Homeschool: 01.16.14

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We’ve been spending lots of days in our jammies (you’ve got that right – full days in pajamas – simply because we can). Between multiple illnesses among us and the freezing cold temps outside, why bother getting dressed?! Today, being a ‘recovery’ day, we decided to stay in our pj’s & do things like play cards, dye noodle necklaces (post coming soon), read, & do workbooks and a few other projects.

We love playing cards for so many reasons. As homeschoolers, it teaches us various concepts such as numbers, taking turns, strategy, planning ahead…and as a family, it brings us together for some time, usually a long time, and teaches patience as well as how to win and how to lose.

Crazy 8’s (pictured) is a great game for little ones. Also, Go Fish, Old Maid, & Speed are fun, age-appropriate games to play with preschoolers & kindergartners. The kids love playing card games & learn in the process: a win-win! Who knew a little play could lead to such enrichment?!

What are some of your favorite family-friendly card games? Do share, please!

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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 3, 2014 in Children, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, Decor, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Family, Home Decor, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Library, Lifestyle, Minimal Living, Motherhood, Organize, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

20140103-120818.jpgHere’s a little something you may not know about us: We live in a 1200 square foot town home.

Five people. Two bedrooms. One general living room. One kitchen. One dining room. One and a half bathrooms. One garage. One basement.

One work-from-home Mama. Three homeschoolers. One hundred percent childhood energy.

You do the math.

This photo depicts an organized, believe it or not, version of our current set-up for a “play area”. (It may appear a tad hazardous, but not to worry, those shelves are anchored several times to insure safety.) All of our new Christmas presents & overflow of toys have been sorted and arranged. This is pretty much everything the children have, nestled into this puzzle of shelving.

The homeschool area was just relocated yesterday & has to be organized, art & projects hung up, shelving installed. This is depicting the bare minimum.

There is always something more needed in this space. We always need something more to keep us from going bonkers while living in close quarters.

Sure, we have outgrown our space. You’re not the first person to think that, not would you be the first to call me crazy for choosing to homeschool three little ones in such a tight space.

The time will come when we have our own home, but now, life is just too busy and hectic to have to worry about a new roof, a leaky hot water tank, broken windows or a new refrigerator.

We are making due with what we have because that is the way to happy.

We are choosing happiness together. Really close together.

For tips on how to stay organized with lots of toys, books, games, puzzles, and supplies, please don’t ask me.20140103-121935.jpg

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 in About Me, Children, Family, Motherhood | 1 comment

Ten Things About Me

Ten Things About Me

There is a “Things About Me” post circulating on Facebook that I thought I would answer here on the blog instead of on Facebook. (And, in turn, it will be on Facebook.) Ahh, social media!

Off the top of my head, here are ten (random) things about me:

1. I can double dutch.

2. Someday, I would like to add two more children to our family. Preferably twins, but I’m not wishing, because I am aware as the saying goes, ‘be careful what you wish for’.

3. I hope to become a jazz musician – slash – midwife/doula when our kids are grown.

4. I don’t have any tattoos nor will I ever skydive.

5. If I could live anywhere, it would be Venice, Italy. Or Rome. Or Florence.

6. Speaking of living anywhere, Josh & I would love to road-school with our family. It would be beyond wonderful to travel the world and learn alongside our kids.

7. I love good people.

8. I am half Italian & half English. The red hair comes from both sides. I felt more Italian growing up, but as I age, I’m learning to feel connected to both sides. (Side note: I despise the term “red head”. It’s not even red. It’s auburn, or ginger, or strawberry-blonde. It’s never red.)

9. I am a classically-trained pianist and have been playing piano for over thirty years. Yikes.

10. I should be painting.

What’s neat about you? Share in comments below and maybe I’ll share a little {something tangible} with you!

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Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Christine & Co. Design, Christine & Co. Design, Creative, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Holiday Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Homemade, Jewelry, Motherhood, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Happy Autumnal Equinox to all our wonderful readers! With every change of season, it sure feels good to add a little something to your wardrobe. I may have just the thing for you. Christine & Co. Design creates beautiful pieces of affordable jewelry to compliment any wardrobe.

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I met Christine Meyer, owner and sole artist of Christine & Co. Design, at my first Brainery Bazaar. I was drawn to her clean space set-up and super-cool ninja pendants. Once I chatted with her, I immediately felt comfortable with her gentle and joyous spirit and of course her creative mind. Oh, and I also was and still am head-over-heels for her eye-catching business cards (see photo above) which, she realizes, leaves a lasting impression with her clientele. Christine is a mom to three beautiful children, hence the name “Christine & Co.”. She says she joked about signing her name this way, toting her kids around when they were young, but in fact the joke was a reality as they were always together (a sure sign of a good mom). Christine can often be seen with her teenage daughter, who lends a hand at her shows, and there’s always laughter coming from their end (another sure sign of a SuperMom!). Somehow she manages to create fun, whimsical pieces of wearable art and clever home décor while caring for her family and home. A SuperMom indeed!

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Christine & Co. Design’s glass pendants are created with “high quality acrylic paints, wonderful washi tapes, and vibrant alcohol inks”. I love an artist with an eclectic mix of media! Her glass necklace pendants are sealed with a two-part resin that is crystal clear which will allow your piece to shine & last a lifetime! Some of my favorites include the ninja pendants as well as any/all of her glass pendants like the Primary Colored Painted Glass Circle Pendant, the Color Mosaic Art on Glass Pendant, and the Yellow Moon and Stars Glass Pendant. The mother in me adores the Personalized Family Pendant! They are each unique – no two pieces are the same. That alone makes for a perfect gift for someone else but an even better gift for yourself! Christine has found a neat use for washi tape; I will admire her work for years to come if she keeps finding new ways to create. Christine & Co. definitely has something for everyone in her shop on etsy. She even makes personalized home décor gifts like subway art monograms and perpetual calendars. These make great gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people in our lives. And everything is so reasonably price, especially considering the time and work that goes into creating each piece. Isn’t everything in her shop just SO FUN?!

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WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU??

Christine & Co. Design is providing one fortunate winner with a glass pendant necklace of their choice (up to a $30 value)! Choose from her shop – winner will be announced one week from today!

Enter to win HERE!!

What is your favorite piece by Christine and Co. Design?

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! Looking forward to hearing your favorites!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) glass pendant necklace of their choice from Christine & Co. Design (up to a $30 value). Contest begins September 23, 2013 at 12:00am and ends September 30, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, September 30, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Christine and Co. Design provided me with a glass pendant necklace in order to accurately and honestly write a review for this post. I was not compensated in any other way to feature this artist. All opinions are my own It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). I support local, handmade art and you should, too. 🙂

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