Sunday, October 23, 2011

Smells of a Homemade Autumn

I can see a series coming on because I absolutely adore this time of year for it's wonderous colors and smells. Warm spiced cider, homemade applesauce, apple cranberyy pie, pumpkin pie, turkey... Oh I'm in heaven all over again. Can you tell my two favorite seasons are autumn and winter? Ha!

Today Gorgeous, my in-laws, my parents, and I carved/painted pumpkins and sat around for an end of the year barbeque. My husband has been sick today so he tried to sleep while I did double momma duty. My daughter ADORED painting the pumpkins for so long and loved the feel of the slimy pumpkin innards. She even had her first slice of pumpkin pie gobbled away in a matter of seconds and wouldn't let us take away her pumpkin cider! She is such a huge pumpkin fan-from the picking to the playing to the eating!

Between her love of all things pumpkin and my love of all things apple this time of year I'm going to be writing up some of my favorite recipes from my childhood with a primal twist. Be ont he lookout for a few Autumn themed posts coming up!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toddlers on long car rides

So I promised you all a post on tips for long distance traveling with a toddler and here it is:

When you have a young toddler (remember this is on my own experience and Gorgeous is 14mo) it’s tempting to leave them in the car seat like you could when they were babies. Here’s the thing though: as much as sitting in a car that long hurts your bottom, imagine how much it hurts your little one’s bottom when they just discovered mobility! It’s tough being constrained when you just learned the freedom of movement.

Get your toddler out of the car seat every time you get out of your seat. EVERY time! If you can, allow them to walk around a bit, even if it’s holding your hand in a parking lot. If you can’t, at least the change of position will help them feel better.
Toddlers also are usually somewhere in the potty training stage so be prepared to stop often! While you should never limit fluids like we may be tempted to do, always plan your stops to try to coincide with a potty break. Bring along a small portable potty if you can for those quick “I got to go now!” moments. If you haven’t ventured into the potty training stage then bring lots of extra diapers and covers (if you use cloth like me) as well as a few outfit changes and plan to stop at least once an hour for diaper changes.

Always bring lots of toys with you! Bring enough to cycle through as they get bored and try to get some “new” toys for entertainment. A new toy to a toddler could simply be a toy she hasn’t seen in a few days! So hide those toys to cycle them through, parents!
Lastly, we all need to eat. So be sure to bring along snacks and main meals that are less mess foods. We brought bananas, sausage, cheese sticks, pretzel sticks, and a few “toddler” foods from the baby aisle as a treat for her. We stopped for lunch at Safeway and dinner was fast food (I know, not the greatest but if you can limit your fast food consumption to one meal the entire trip you are doing great!).

So I want to hear from you. What are your tips for keeping the young kiddos happy on long car rides? Admittedly, Gorgeous is a very mild mannered, well behaved toddler so I don’t have to deal with a lot of tantrums and such. She’s also an only child so we don’t have siblings to deal with. So, readers, help me out here!

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Montessori, long drives, and toddlers

Hello!

Lately I've been pretty busy. This is normal for me, though. I took a 20 hour drive to and from my sister-in-law's home town to move her back here. Yes, with a 14mo old. I have some tips and tricks on this coming soon. I also have been getting back into going to church and am in the process of starting a new choir with the church for Christmas (yay!). But, mostly, I've been doing a ton of research on Montessori activities for Gorgeous (and deciding that I'm going back to school to be a primary education teacher-probably only on a substitute basis for now since I want to homeschool).

It's difficult to find actitivities for Gorgeous because her brain is so developed compared to her body. She is so smart that she prefers educational activities like transfering and feely boxes and such over basic toys like the dancing Elmo toy she has. But she wants to do these activities but then gets frustrated because her body won't respond the way she wants it to (like how she wants to scoop rice from our sensory box into the funnel but can't seem to get the scooping motion down). I'm not quite sure how to help her so I'm doing my research to try to figure it out.

If anyone has ideas please let me know. Otherwise, look for a more in depth post to come soon.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Toddler Montessori Enviornment

I've been working a lot on focusing on things that make me calm and still seem productive. That means that I've been doing a lot of homeschooling with my almost 14 month old daughter, Gorgeous. I tend towards a Montessori background when it comes to my parenting/teaching style and I find that it can be very inexpensive.

Here's our temporary setup for her enviornment in the living room:

In front of the tv (which is usually set to seasonal or toddler tunes music choice during the day) we have this:

Photobucket

We have her favorite Ernie doll in the stroller so she can be like Mommy and push a baby around (while working on walking), her music station (Elmo's Piano and a drum filled with various musical instruments), Big Bird and some old recieving blankets, a galvanized tub filled with various purses and containers that she can put treasures into and out of (I also store her dummy phone in one purse, her button string in another, and her treasures in an old coffee tin-she even has a "picnic basket" filled with fake food), a small purple container she can tote around (currently holding a bumpy gourd), and a striped container that stores her alphabet mat when not in use and her pink sock monkey container, some books, and an egg with her favorite duck inside otherwise. The pink sock monkey container holds her Abby Cadaby wand (for her Halloween costume), her "Happy Hippo" (a squeaky pink hippo), and her grapes vibrating teether.

Photobucket

Across from this station and next to my usual sitting space is a big basket full of a variety of bouncy balls, tennis balls, and stress relief balls plus a couple of old paper towel holders. This sits on top of our sensory tub. Inside the sensory tub is, of course, our sensory items and a blanket we put down under her when she plays with it so we can catch the thrown rice.

Photobucket

Our last area is a cozy area on the other couch. I put a blanket down, a few books in the area, a big pillow pal, and a giraffe that she adores.

Oh, and I have a bunch of books next to grandpa since she likes to try to get into the area behind them. This is my way to try to allow her access to the space in a positive way.

To add some science into her life Daddy found a praying mantis in our yard and put it into an old terrarium he had with some crickets he caught for the food. Every meal we sit down and watch the bugs interact while we eat. She loves it!

I'm also working on some routine charts for her and will incorporate some seasons, weather, and calendar work within the next 6 months. Unless I end up having to get a conventional job I plan on doing this as long as she lets me homeschool her!

I find that homeschooling, especially in the preschool years, can be the best frugal choice that instils lasting values in your children.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Have better sex tonight!

I’m not going to sugar coat this one (I am primal aren’t I?) so any pillow queens should leave the room now.

Okay, now that the rest of us are here this is how it is: I’m a mom so I’ve obviously had sex. I’ve had the amazing but awkward first time sex where your legs are getting in the way and no one can aim for their life. I’ve had the I’m not horny but you are so here’s an orgasm kind of sex. I’ve had pregnant sex, anal, oral, etc, etc. But I’ve never had this kind of sex without the aid of a handy dandy vibrator (can’t you just imagine the Blue’s Clue’s dude saying that? Ha!). Here’s how I achieved virabtor orgasm with just me and my husband:

I wasn’t thinking about anything but us. I practiced mindfulness when it came to sex and was able to fully feel how amazing he is. I wasn’t thinking about the baby or my in-laws in the next room (okay, maybe a little of the forbidden lust came into play…). It was just me and him. Want better sex? Don’t think about anything but you two (or three or however many).

I participated. This is why I asked the pillow queens to leave the room. Because I was one until last night. Seriously, how do you expect the other partner to know what you like if you don’t tell them or participate? If your guy is going at it and he is almost hitting the spot them move those hips ladies! (Wow, I have random characters popping up in my head right now. I just thought of the trainer from Rocko’s Modern Life saying that.)

So that is it. If you want better sex then be in the moment and participate. You’ll be so glad you did.