Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Book and (Leading Lady review)

As I mentioned a few times here I am in the process of self publishing a children's book about breastfeeding. The image above is actually one  taken by my partner Heidi Helser (also the lady behind in images in the last post) 
I don't often mention it here but breastfeeding very much a part of our everyday life. In fact is has been for the last 2 and a half years. I am still currently nursing both Bear and Wolf. It was actually the inspiration behind this book idea. When I found out I was pregnant with W, Bear was only 6 months old and as the time went on and my lap got smaller and nursing with a growing belly became more of a challenge I started looking for children's books to help explain the idea of another baby breastfeeding to a still very young toddler (by this time he was 13 month) every book I came across was set for an older child and a bit wordy or had images that looked a little too dated. I wanted something fresh and new with beautifully simple images that would be engaging enough and that even babies could follow. Here is where The {Breastfeeding} Initiative came alive. After finding Heidi Helser I knew that this was a dream that could come true. We are still in the process of developing the book but you can see a little more of our progress HERE

When Leading Lady approached me about doing a review for a few products of my choice I was pretty excited. I was in need of some new "support". I was able to order two items and here is what I chose the Molded Seamless Underwire Nursing Bra and the Lace-Cup Underwire Nursing Bra.  
Just to give you a little background on Leading Lady they have been around for over 70 years and carry a ton of great intimate apparel not just for nursing but regular items too available in a large selection of sizes. Okay back to the review. The package came within the estimated delivery date which is always a bonus. Both the bras are lovely and constructed very nicely I especially loved that it came with a small booklet with information on breastfeeding  tips tricks and resources  I thought this was such a thoughtful add on. 

As far as the fit  the Molded Seamless Underwire Bra is amazing, it's comfortable lays smoothly under my tops, even t shirts and although it is a molded cup they are soft enough that they are easy to fold down to make for easy nursing. Which is so important when you have a a fussy boy demanding to feed ASAP. The second bra was the Lace-Cup Underwire Nursing Bra.  This bra is lovely and fit well and the cups are also easy to fold down to feed. The only issue I did find with this bra is that the actual mesh back has spandex. So the whole bra is stretchy which makes for a comfortable band but I never felt like I was completely supported, that said I think someone with a smaller chest would find this one great. 
In conclusion I am 100% sold on the Molded Seamless Bra I think I found my go to bra for my whole nursing carrier. With timely delivery and a great product I would highly recommend Leading Lady to any and all nursing moms. 

Be sure to check out all their selection HERE. And if you would like to keep posted on my little book adventure be sure to check us out HERE. 

** this post was a sponsored post, The review was my honest opinion on the products**

Friday, October 12, 2012

On Reality

Well life is in full swing and as I post these pictures I am neck deep in clothing that still needs to be packed. Crossing my fingers that the boys take an extra long nap and have no clue what to make for dinner. 

Isn't the internet deceiving at times? I mean I want to be that mom in the pictures above right now I also want to be the mom I was last week when I posted all those fun projects I did with the boys. 
This week I am far, far from that mom. I am the mom with a bun in her hair, no makeup, quick to anger and running through the motions of my days praying that there will be no major issues and tears (from any of us). 
These are the moment  as a mother you question yourself and your worth as a mother. "Am I a good mom"? How many times do you ask yourself that in a day, in a lifetime. I am sure everyone of us has thought it at times. 
These are the moments you have to stand on truth and not emotion. Stick to just the facts. The fact is that I love my boys with every ounce of my body. I enjoy being their mama and I love to teach them and do fun things with them. Another unfortunate fact is that I don't do well in transition and I fluster too easily. And you know what I am teaching my kids that I am not perfect and that despite that God still loves them and me. I am teaching them that even grownups make mistakes and that WE (adults) are not too proud to apologize and admit them. 
I am teaching them that we are always a family and we will get through this little hiccup together. I am remembering that this is only a micro second in the scheme of life and the grumpy mommy I was yesterday is NOT the real me all the time.  I am teaching myself to laugh at life.  I had a sense of humor once I promise... I think it's packed away in a box in the garage with all our belongings :) 

*sorry for the mushy talk, I still have to wrap up out Pumpkin Week but I might be a little late to post and less frequent in the next few weeks* 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Sorry for the ridiculously photo heavy post. I will count this as a blog birthday present. That's right I am officially one year older and had one of the best birthday's ever! I got to spend the afternoon at the pumpkin patch with my little family. This was extra special considering the fact that this was the first pumpkin patch I had ever been to! In fact it was a first for everyone but husband. Can I just say how special it is as a parent to get to experience these memories and firsts with your little ones. It means so much for our little family to do these type of things together making traditions together. 

Okay enough with the mushy talk. I must be getting softer with my old age. After our pumpkin adventure we ended the night with a sushi dinner. Sounds like a win all around. Can I make this a birthday tradition? 

*p.s. Bear could not stop pointing out all the pumpkins and telling me they were "orange circles" looks like our pumpkin lesson plan sunk in. *

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jack O'Lantern with Simple Shapes

I was planning on doing a Jack O'Lantern project to introduce triangles to Bear. I searched YouTube for a kids jack o'lantern song and found this little cheesy song. I loved the fact that it starts with a blank pumpkin and slowly forms the face piece by piece starting with the eyes. I introduced the pre-cut shapes (green triangle for the stem, black triangles for the eyes and nose and circle for the mouth since these are the only two shapes we are working on.) first and we went through them. We then watched the video.

I then pulled out our pumpkin stamping picture and used it as the base of this project. If you don't have this you can have a pre-cut large orange circle out of construction paper or have your little one paint one prior to this.  Then I replayed the video bit by bit. I would pause when a new piece of the face would appear. I would then name the facial feature and ask where his eyes are and count how many eyes he had. I handed him two triangles with glue already on them and had him place them on the picture. We continued this process through each feature. Playing and pausing the video with each step.

Here are a few objectives of this projects

  1. colors (green, orange, black)
  2. shapes (circles, triangles)
  3. facial features  
  4. counting 
Once complete I had him paint leaves and vines to connect all his pumpkins.

** Mommy Confession** this one was REALLY hard for be to be hands off. I usually can just watch the process but maybe I really wanted it to look more like a Jack O'Lantern. Who knows? I had to remind myself that this was HIS work and I needed to back off. Do any of you ever get that urge to get in and make things look "perfect"?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Stamping

 After we had our pumpkin science we decided to be resourceful and use our gutted pumpkin again. This time we did pumpkin stamping. Although you will only get a stamp of the outline of the cut pumpkin it still worked out. I gave Bear a brush and he traced around the pumpkin which was a great way to reinforce CIRCLE which we have been working on this past week.

Wolf of the other hand flipped that little pumpkin half right over and painted the inside. Well after the attempted to eat the paint of course. What is it with my boys and their silly faces? W in this last picture makes me laugh every time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let's Celebrate

YAY!!!! We have finally found a new home! I am so excited. It was completely worth the wait as  the home and the location are better than we could have imagined. I feel like this was such a lesson for me especially, to trust God and know that things will happen on His time.  So before I start getting caught up in the craziness of packing and moving I wanted to take a little moment and count my blessings as of late.

  • for having an awesome husband that works hard to provide for this family
  • for my two little silly boys, my days are so much more exciting with them 
  • for this wonderful home that we are able to move into
  • for our current home that has allowed us to make so many memories 
  • for a loving a supportive family
  • for this little corner of the internet that allows me to jot down ideas, inspiration and memories

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Science

 This by far has been one of the cheapest, most fun activities I have done with the boys thus far. At a total of  47 cents for this little pumpkin at our grocery store, my only regret is that I didn't purchase a ton to decorate with. One of my very favorite types of activities to do with the boys are the ones where all I do is set up and watch the show.

First of I set up their small work table in the kitchen. I cut the pumpkin in half and gave a half to each of the boys. Wolf only stayed at the party for  a little before he had to take his nap but I am so happy he got to experience this.

Bear got right in at first and I helped describe the texture using words like "squishy, slimy, sticky, yucky" he wasn't totally sold about the texture so I gave him a spoon to help him keep playing. He began sorting out all the pumpkin seeds so I gave him a few small bowls to sort out the guts and the seeds. And like any toddler with a spoon of course he had to taste test it. Apparently not a big fan of the taste but I believe that may be the only thing he disliked from this whole experience.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Leaf Headbands

Woohoo! Day 2 of Pumpkin Fun is behind us and this one was a blast! Although I must admit that there were actually no pumpkins in this one. Our focus was positional and opposite words. IN, OUT, UP, DOWN. 

First on the agenda was our reading trying to focus the most on the words listed above. Second was our art portion of the day. We made simple leaf headbands. All I did was cut out a few leaves out of construction paper that I had Bear color with crayons. Wolf was even involved, I cut a long strip of paper that I had him color and later used as the headband piece. It's a good thing we had our Wee Can Too crayons because this little guy is still really oral and I am so happy that I have peace of mind that these crayons are totally safe and edible. Once they were done I fitted and taped the headband together and glued the leaves. Let me just say that these were a total hit.Both the boys loved them and kept chasing each other around pointing out each others headbands. 

 I guest posted on Love Play Learn a few weeks ago about this little game  which is one of the boys favorites and today was no exception. (For full description of the game click on the link) This time I emphasized putting the leaves IN the basket and taking them OUT. Also throwing them UP and the leaves falling DOWN. This game lasted the rest of the morning and it was the first time that Wolf took an interest in all the fun. He especially liked collecting all the leaves and putting them back in the basket. 

The last picture has nothing to do with the actual game but my goodness is that brother love so sweet. My heart was swelling with love at this sight. 

Still need more inspiration? Don't forget to check out The Artful Year: Autumn E-book. With 78 pages of crafts and recipes for the whole season this book is well worth the price. Click on the link to see a sample of a few projects.

The Artful Year eBook

Pumpkin Fun Day 1: shapes and colors

Our first day of our Pumpkin Fun theme is complete and  I am pleased with how well Bear took to this. Actually he seemed to love the whole idea of spending this time together in the morning. Plus he got to paint, which probably rates in the top 5 favorite things he like to do. 
Here is what we did:
  1. The night before I cycled out his toys. I added a few shape stackers and shape sorters and I added a ball (circle) basket I also placed a handmade card with an orange circle in the basket to reference when we are playing with the balls.                                                        
  2. We read Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin and a simple shape book. The main thing we focused on was a PUMPKIN, CIRCLE, ORANGE
  3. I wanted to see if he could identify a circle already so I placed three of the same type of items in different shapes in front of him to see if he could pick out a circle. He was able to do that. 
  4. Secondly I places different types of items in different shapes in front of him and see if he could pick out the circle. He was able to do that as well. Then he decided to name all the shapes after Thomas characters. Typical. HA!
  5. We moved to painting. Just a simple art project I drew a circle and he had to paint  it orange. It was a mix between finger painting and a brush because this little guys likes to have options. I was impressed by how well he stayed in between the lines. And like any proud mama it is hanging on our fridge as we speak. *fyi he has also named his painting after a Thomas character, Sir Handle to be exact and when he showed papa that is exactly what he said. *

Conclusion: He seems to recognize circles pretty well so I will be adding another shape to go over. He hasn't mastered colors yet so we will be going over them a bit more. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Fun

Bear's first pumpkin carving 

I mentioned in my last post that my MIL wrote out a curriculum for Bear. It is primarily a  pumpkin curriculum with a few added fall items. It is for the first half of October. I am so excited to be able to share it with you. 
Here are a few of the objectives we will be highlighting in the next couple of weeks. 
  • Sorting  and shape identification (in this case it will be a CIRCLE)
  • colors (Orange) 
  • positional words and opposite (down, up, in, out) 
  • extending vocabulary (smooth, squishy, slimy)

I am giddy about this. Although we do activities often I have never used a more structured way to plan our days. I think this a great start. I am excited to think of more ideas within this theme and running with it.  So if you are interested in this little journey stay tuned we have some fun activities planned.

Check out all the links from this series
Day One: Shapes and Colors
Day Two: Fall Leaf Headbands
Day Three: Pumpkin Science
Day Four: Pumpkin Stamping
Day Five: Jack O'Lantern using Simple Shapes

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday

Hello Monday. It's the start of the week already and despite everyday feeling the same and blurring together I am pleased to say we have made it through papi's first business trip. WOOHOO!!! Although I have made a mental note of good and bad ideas to do on your own with your little ones all day in order to make for the smoothest time possible I am crossing my fingers that I won't have to pull the list out for a while.

Papa is back at work today and we are all back to our new normal. My MIL has sent me a seasonal curriculum that she has written for Bear and I am so excited to start it and share the  process with you. So there you have it the highlight of our Monday .