Monday, April 30, 2012

Montessori Materials and Waldorf Play

We are trying to get things more set up more like our house was in Germany, and beyond that even more Montessori friendly. I got some great finds at Hobbly Lobby, natural material baskets, sea sponges for painting, and some great tempra paints. Big little had a great time painting with sponges, and little little has enjoyed mouthing them and feeling the textures.
I got Creative Play in the mail a few days ago and am loving it, it's a Waldorf based book that explains the development behind the play, and is full of diy toy projects to promote playful learning with your children. The "Standing Puppet" below is far from perfect but the boys are loving it! It promotes play based on observation, and gives the boys an outlet to play out there emotions and situations that happen through out the day. Its a great way to work through any situation they are having a hard time dealing with, or understanding!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Lying in bed last night holding hands with the hubs I was overcome with the best feeling a feeling that comes in moments like this or in the Temple. It's complete peace, and overwhelming love and joy. Nothing makes you feel quiet like it can. My life is full of moments of overwhelming love, and joy, often truth be told. But peace is not something I always feel. Generally I feel it on a daily basis in moments of prayer, or when I cuddle one of the boys but it's generally not quiet this strong. Life has been up in the air lately and its moments like this that make you feel so much more connected to our loving Heavenly Father. I know some out there don't believe in a power, and even many that do believe in only a vengeful God. Life can be so full of turmoil and sadness that it's sometimes hard to see how we could be as loved as we are. Moments like this, or just simple things make me realized how loved we must be. Even with all the hurt and doubt, and pain in this world, it is amazing how if you look you see so many good things, even just the beauty of nature or of children. It's heartening to know that true love does exist, not just in the form of man and woman, or mother and child but from Creator to created.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Brothers! I adore these two, I cannot believe how lucky I am to be their mama. Having two is so amazing and exhausting, (so so exhausting but only some days). Most days my crazy amount of love for them is so energizing I can hardly sit still. I love that they have each other, that one day when I am driving them crazy that they will know they always have a confidant, a best friend. They will always have someone to play with, someone to confide in, and someone who they know will love them no matter what. Sometimes mom and dad aren't what you need, but a brother and a friend is. My sisters are some of my best friends in the world I love them so much and am so happy that my boys will have someone there for them like I always did. I am so interested to see how a brotherly relationship goes, it's already so different than what I experienced with my sisters. I didn't get to know my brother until later in life, and I absolutely adore the relationship my hubs has his with awesome brother. Watching them wrestle already, and tickle, and just interact with each other makes me soul soar.

Yoga for Kids

This morning after a monster smoothie and a stack of stories the boys (little little joined in on downward facing dog when the stories took back up after yoga on top of the books of course) and I, took it upon ourselves to have some morning yoga. At the moment we are using Yoga Kids, it has a lot of great poses, but I would say its a little more advanced than my unbelievably inflexible little man is quiet ready for. Nevertheless he went through and choose each pose or series of poses he wanted to try went for it. We worked on breathing and holding the pose for as long as he could (apparently anything over three seconds deserves an Olympic medal). Yoga has always been a great life changer for me. You feel so much better, both emotionally and physically when you add it into your daily routine. (Especially when I was pregnant and so full of aches and pains.) We are working on being as healthy as we can body and soul and this is a great way to work towards that goal. Plus nothing is cuter than seeing your kids strike a pose and have a deep breath or two. Here are some of the benefits for children;
"Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves. Doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvelous inner light that all children have to the surface."

Thursday, April 26, 2012


As I type I am anxiously awaiting for my copy of "Simplicity Parenting" to arrive. A book on how less is more for your child, from enviorment to schedule.I have hit the point where I want to know about anything that coensides with Montessori philosophy, playful learning, and anything and everything that is good for our children. At the moment my amazon cart is waiting to be slowly emptied with these fantastic books. Some are about respecting your children more as human beings and less like inferiors, others are about allowing them to learn in their own way and their own pace no matter how unconventional (or irrational to the adult mind) I can't wait to read them all! I am especially excited for the yoga books since big little Loves to do yoga with me. I'll let you know how they turn out as I go!
Little Yoga
Creative Play

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My first Mobile!

I have finally added a mobile to my Etsy shop, now to finish the rest of them!
Hot Air Balloon Mobile

Sensory painting

Since little little eats everything (see below posts to know I literally mean that) I decided to make the boys some edible finger paint, since he also has a gluten allergy I found a great recipe for gluten free paint here. Mixing on cold water first made mine clump, and made the strainer necessary. I used only 1.5 cups of cornstarch and added more water in the end for a little thinner paint. Here is the recipe

* 2 cups of corn starch (I as said, used less)
* 1 cup of cold water (go with warm cold makes cornstarch clump like mad)
* 4.5 cups of boiling water
* Liquid food colouring

Pour boiling water in with corn starch., I'd forgo using cold water at all and just use more warm, separate into jars, add color and stir. It has custard like consistency. It will keep which is great so you don't have to make every time you want your mini garbage disposal to paint!

Little little loved the feel of it, and of course ate some. He seemed more interested in putting his feet and "walking" (think mobile downward facing dog) across his brother and cousins paper's. He did however end up with a beautiful modern print :) Big little's preferred medium at the moment is sand dollars, so we have a few more to display that are a rainbow of perfection. It's so much more fun for kids to paint when they get to feel the texture and truly explore the paint! (Big little played with it and then decided it was gross, and wanted a brush. Always the kid to want clean hands!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The greatest blessings!

It doesn't generally take much for me to be grateful for my family, pretty much anything I see of think about makes me thank the Lord for my husband and boys. Yesterday's scare has made me think a lot. During the incident it was more of a silly baby eating everything, but everyone's reactions has made me realize just how blessed we are. Blessed that I looked over and noticed, whether it was a whispering from the Holy Ghost, or mothers intuition I am so thankful that I choose that moment to look over and notice he had something in his mouth. If I hadn't have known what was in there how easily would it have been brushed off as just another thing  that beautiful boy shoved into his mouth. Who knows what damage could have ensued, even the death. I am now slightly terrified to let him wander the house, with all my craft supplies and projects that I do every where. I think vacuuming may become my new hobby, with a vaccume that is industrial quality. You never know when its someone's time, there are so many out there who have to go through the ultimate pain something I pray every day I will never have to endure. Any other test to face but that one. When I read things like this  I am SO thankful for every moment I have with my children, and so thankful to God that he choose the hubs and I to raise these AMAZING children. This life can be so full of fear and sadness and I am so thankful for every happy moment I have with these beautiful children and this beautiful man.  I can't imagine a day where I didn't get to kiss these beautiful lips and feel the soft skin of my baby. I love every moment of nursing him, I love how he cuddles up to me and how he curls himself up like he did when he was in the womb. I am so thankful for this beautiful little child and that he is OK!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Emergency Surgery for the small one

Yesterday little little decided it would be a great idea to eat a sewing pin. Luckily I turned around and noticed he had something in his mouth and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me it was not something he would be OK eating. After desperate attempts to get it out he decided it must be something worth having and bit me as hard as he could. I pulled my finger out of his mouth and when I went back to try again it was gone. I swear even when the E.R. is quick you still wait forever. After telling us it was a time sensitive matter they kept us waiting for half an hour before they even did the X-ray. As you can see on it, the pin was jammed in his throat. It was decided that he would have to be sedated since the risk of inhaling and sucking it into his lungs was to great while it was being removed.
Having your small child go into surgery is always terrifying even if it's quick, the risks of anesthesia however small terrify me. Sitting in a surgery waiting room waiting for your ten month old to come out is a horrible feeling. Mostly because of all the horror E.R. shows I have watched, needless to say I worried most of the time even though I knew he was in good hands. Thankfully we had lots of prayers and he recieved a blessing before he went in. It was harder to remove than expected, it had gone in and up further. Thanks to many prayers and a great doctor he did great and it was over in forty minutes. He like the Hubs and his brother is an ornery little monster when waking up from sedation but cute and cuddly as can be! He finally could nurse after seven hours of not eating and he calmed down and was content to cuddle away the hours that he had to stay for observation. We are sure this is the first of many visits for this one, he eats EVERYTHING (needs a muzzle it's so bad) and he is fearless.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday favorites

This post is a bit late, and the pics are not that great (it's late ish) This has been one of my absolute favorite purchases. My Instax mini has been on many travels and has given us more memories to hold on to. Big little can handle them and keep them without the worry that he'll easily destroy them. And I love the vintage feel that Poloraids give. You can get cute albums for it here, and make your own like these!

P.s. The camera is on a great sale right now! This is my FAVORITE photo store Ever!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On the road again

Three and a half hours into a fourteen hour drive with two small children. Luckily we left around four a.m. and the boys are just waking after a short nap. By this time tomorrow we'll be basking in the fun of visiting grandma and grandpa (in our case Yiayia and Grandaddy) Thank heavens for books on tape that will the hours away.
I can't wait to take the boys to the beach and hopefully get big little to realize how fun it is! (Big little has hated the waves since he and his buddy had an incident with huge waves dousing us and trying to sweep them away on a beach in Spain.) I can't wait to show them all of the wild life on the Cali beaches! Sand castles and sea lions here we come!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reading Nook (montessori area #1)

Our reading nook/movement area/play area extraordinaire! Montessori has so many great things that we want in our children's lives and in our homes. Before this house Little little's room had a movement mat now that he is up and about we don't need the mat but the mirror is great for developing self awareness, and seeing how his body works! He loves watching himself play or pressing himself up against the mirror and kissing it! I made the boys a comfy poof so we can all snuggle up and read as many books as we can get in. The shelves are at low varying heights so that both boys can get books of their choosing, letting them choose their own books gives them a sense of independence and a want to read. The boys love their little area, the wonders of an under the stairs closet! I love how Montessori teaches you to make an area that is child friendly with everything at their height and having them be able to access any learning material (books, paints. toys) at their convenience and use it in any way they see fit! Coming up when I finish it up, an outdoor art area!
P.s. This is my favorite Montessori bedroom ever!

Ikea magazine rack
movement mirror

spice rack bookcase

Monday, April 16, 2012

Outdoor Love

I'm borrowing this list from HERE,
After some adorable pics on Sew Liberated I just was thinking about how great outdoor play is. I love how happy my boys are when they are outside it is so great to see the joy in their eyes when they explore the world. It's amazing how much wonder they can have over such little things. It makes you take a second look at the world around you and realize how great God really is and how much he must love us to give us ALL of this!

The benefits of outdoor play are well documented, and include:

  • increasing physical activity
  • increasing the body's vitamin D levels
  • reducing anxiety and improving mood
  • improving concentration and focus
  • enhancing imaginative and creative play
  • promoting problem solving and leadership skills
  • growing the next generation of stewards for the earth
  • developing stronger immune systems

Less time spent playing outdoors is linked to:
  • obesity
  • type II diabetes and high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • anxiety disorders and depression
  • attention deficit disorder
There has never been a more important time for parents and educators to make outdoor play a priority for the children in their lives.  It is one of the best things that we can do for their health, education and well-being.

List from This link


I'm the type of person that prefers my baby in the room with me for the longest amount of time possible meaning as long as my husband will stand it. (the first 4 months and the second 9, only because we were in the middle of an international move). However co-sleeping wasn't an entire night thing for me. There is always the point where they have to lay in the cradle that is up against the bed so I can still stare them down at every convenience. I guess most light sleepers like myself could have a problem with it or it could just be that I have loud sleepers. Little little in particular would spend the majority of the night growling and as the night wore on it would get louder and louder. I love sleeping with the baby right next to me so I can feel their breath and feel their presence next to me, even if it results in me getting little to no sleep. In fact I try at least a few times a week to take a nap with little little just to get the extra loving in. Now that we have switched a little closer to the "French" eating schedule and I finally gave up my nightly feedings for him I have to say we are all sleeping better but I don't think I will stop missing it anytime soon. It usually was me laying down on the floor nursing, and Little big loved to join in the cuddling. I can't tell you how many nights I woke up an hour or two later, both my arms completely dead and both boys sweating all over me (best cuddling!)  With it being such a good bonding for mom/dad/baby and sometimes even older kids I wonder what others think of this ridiculous add..
While there are dangers they are mostly for overweight or smoking mothers, or for some reason anyone in Wisconsin, and who knows how often it's SIDS and not just co-sleeping.
Worth it?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favorites-German Alps

Every Friday I am going to do "Friday Favorites" things that I love that have made a difference in my life whether products of places. And after three wonderful years living in Germany things in Europe are bound to be on the list often. Today is for one of my favorite places, the German Alps, Driving up to them after hours of flat/slightly hilly German countryside is one of those experiences that takes your breath away. There are few places I have been that I loved enough I would move there, and this is one of them. From the amazing castles like Neushwanstein to the view from Germany's tallest mountain you see all around you how fairy tales were imagined. This is a place filled with beautiful Bavarian Villages, timber-framed homes and shops that make you want to move right in. It's a place that gives you a sense of peace and tranquility, being surrounded by such unworldly beauty makes you just want to take up a hammock and stay for the rest of your life. Given the chance I would jump on a plane, and make the 12 hour flight kids and all just to spend the day there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bringing up Bebe

I don't know how many out there are the type to read parenting books, I myself find that during pregnancy I read everything that I can get my hands on about pregnancy. During normal life however I am more drawn to books about teaching my kids, montessori books and books on play based learning. This book however isn't a boring book telling you what you should do and how you should do it. Bringing up Bebe doesn't get close to that type of book, it's funny and emotional and you can relate in almost every way to the author. Teaching your children is such a struggle and knowing that others are in it with you is always comforting. One of the main things I loved in this book is "The Pause" it's something you start when the baby is a few weeks old and while it may sound mean to some it's a great way to teach your kids patience from the beginning. It's about letting your child cry for a few minutes before you give them what they want, it's not about depriving them but about teaching them to self soothe from a young age. This book is based on French parenting and while there are things I don't agree with overall this book is amazing and is very close to how I want to raise my own children. It's about having kids that can entertain themselves, having kids that eat at 3 mealtimes and only one snack time a day. Being an American mother I have toted around food for my kids to soothe anything from whining to them annoying me. I have to say that this new one snack a day has gone well for me, while my Little Big doesn't love one snack a day he is getting used to it and no longer turns to food for everything.
Another thing that I think is essential for a modern family to survive is having a marriage based family. Not neglecting your kids but letting them know that your husband/wife comes first and that you two are always on the same page. Letting them know that there is family time and there is adult time and the latter is not something they can interrupt. This book draws you in in so many ways and is a lovely read. It's the type of book that motivates you to try harder as a parent and not just go the easy way and, not just while you read the book but after too. I plan on getting one for every pregnant woman I know!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Wearing

One of my absolute favorite pastimes is baby wearing, I enjoy it so much I will go on walks just to strap little little to me. It's as close to the goodness of pregnancy as you can get, you know your baby is warm and has everything they need if they are nestled up that close to their mamma's. Even on our cruise to Greece where I was wearing him for 6-8 hours a day I didn't get sick of it, they are in the perfect kissing reach and you can smell their sweet little breath. Baby wearing gives you the chance to have that piece of your heart they took when they were born back, it's a feeling like few others. My favorite is front baby wearing where you can kiss them the entire time you wear them or feel their breath when they fall asleep on you.  It turns grocery shopping with a child from a slightly hellish experience to a lovely way to relax and spend time with your baby. And while it may turn hiking into quiet the sweaty affair teaching your kids to love the great outdoors never felt so good!
Back wearing is just as good for the closeness and a lot easier when your doing something like hiking the only downside is the lack of kisses. There is nothing quiet so great as having little little snuggling up to my chest, if only big little didn't weigh close to 40lbs I'd tote him around too.
Not only is it something that is great for your day to day happiness but baby wearing has tons of benefits, it helps with the bonding process, mother, father, or even grandparents. It makes life immensely easier for everyone, and not just easier a lot more pleasant. And it helps colicky or sick babies, and trust me any one who has survived colic knows how important something that can calm your baby is.
You can even baby wear in your moby without a top for skin to skin contact which is great for bonding and for baby. Read this story about skin to skin to see just how amazing it really is, a baby pronounced dead at birth was resuscitated not by CPR but by skin to skin with his mamma!
P.s. my favorite carriers are moby (for the baby baby stage) and Ergo for that and anything beyond! ( I prefer the ergo sport it's a few more dollars but more breathable and living in a state as hot as this one I need that!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Everyday you notice little things that make you gawk in wonder at how two children with the same parents can be so different. How is it I can have a three year old that is so timid, and fearful of the unknown and have a brother who looks like a mini version of him who is so fearless. I love watching the different reactions my boys have to the same things. Today at the Zoo the bigger little man decided it was better to avoid the carousel and opt for the train, while baby blue eyes was ecstatic about the whole thing. One would gaze in wonder at the gorilla as he banged on the glass all while staring us down while the other ran the second he noticed him. Their fears and anxieties defiantly come from different places. Yet they both have the same sweetness that fills you with joy at the sight of them. While the big little will cuddle for hours on end, the little little gives you five minutes at most (unless he is in the Ergo best invention ever btw) they both are so full of love, and both so defiant even at young ages, both look to you to determine how far they can push the limits, and both light up at the sight of me and the hubs. It's amazing that two people made out of the same stuff who look so much a like can be so different. It makes me eager to see what our future children will be like. While little little is easy going and care free (as long as he eats, I swear both boys could eat a horse and still be hungry) big little is cautious and not always easy to please. Somehow both of them are full of joy at even the littleset things and make me thank God everyday that I get to be their Mama.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Momma Love

Momma Love
Something that is second only to the love I have for the Hubs, momma love is one of the most amazing feelings out there. It's what gets you through the long nights, and the exhausting days, it's what picks you up when your most down, and it's what feels your heart with a joy so potent you feel like you could burst. Nothing makes my heart grow or my heart flutter more than my boys, big and little. It's amazing that you can love someone so fully from the word go, even when they are the size of a pea inside your belly you have love for them and it seems to just grow day in and day out. I can't imagine a love more sweet, or a more complete joy. It makes your heart ache for all those who don't/can't have kids whether it's by choice or not. It's something that is the essence of beauty, to love someone so much that you can't imagine your life with out them, and are so thankful to know that they are yours for time and all eternity. For anyone out there who has yet to feel this amazing love look forward to it, you may loose some of yourself to motherhood but you gain so much more. I never thought my heart could hold so much, and am SO thankful that these two amazing souls are ours to love forever more.