Play “Date”

Saturday Reagan’s little boyfriend Jaydon came over to play. It is so cute to watch these two interact together. They’ve been friends since we moved to Iowa when she was 4 months and he was 18 months old.

First we made salt dough (aka Homemade playdoh) which is super easy and extra messy!

Excuse my messy microwave. Clearly I need to make banana bread.

Then we made handprint keepsakes which I baked to harden. Do you know how hard it is to get a good handprint from a toddler? This is 3 decent out of 50 attempts…each. We will paint their name and date and give them to family members.

Up next is out painting project. This was fun…and a complete mess!

Exploring the table I set up. Oh, what’s this? Reagan had already pitched her egg carton on the floor.

The mess started developing rather quickly once we got started.

This is the completed activity. I must confess I was very surprised how focused and engaged in the project they were. We must have painted nearly an hour. Afterwards a bath was very much in order. I forgot to get a picture of Jaydon’s caterpillar finished but basically it was John Deere green and yellow which is fitting for a tractor loving 2 year old!

We finished with a bit of finger painting before our bath and snack.

My goodness, I love being the mama to a toddler!

I got this idea over at Pinterest. Are you addicted yet? I am.

 

 

 

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It was a wonderful Christmas!

It honestly couldn’t have been better. Such a sweet and simple Christmas. We went to Church in the morning and then came home and opened a present or two. During the afternoon I cooked since we had some lovely friends over for supper. Throughout the day we let her open the rest of her presents. I use the word open rather loosely since I didn’t actually wrap most of them. Just displayed them on the piano.

In keeping with the simple, meaningful family rhythm we are trying to have in our home we decided to keep the focus of Christmas on little family traditions, doing nice things for others, special foods and most importantly the birth of Christ. We wanted the gift giving to be small and not extravagant. That is actually hard to do, especially with a first child. It would have been so easy to go over board as I kept seeing so many neat things she would have loved. In the end I edited it down to 3 gifts (like the Wise men brought) and a few simple stocking stuffers. I also did this for Michael.

I dyed lots of playsilks in rainbow colors. Playsilks are great for imaginative play. They can be anything the child dreams up! A super hero cape, a blanket, a tent, a doll sling, a table cloth or a million other things. I dyed some 11×11 hankie size to put in this wooden tissue holder I decorated. Reggie loves emptying the kleenex or wipes box so this was a big hit.

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I found this little wooden sorting game on Etsy. It also has a scoop to practice those fine motor skills. This is also a nice addition to our play kitchen. Acorn soup anyone?

Michael loves the wooden bus and the peg people. Reagan and him played for a good long time. We may need to work on not throwing these little guys all the time. Kind of hurts when you get pegged with one.

Here first reaction…at first I thought she was excited but then realized she was irritated at something..

It seems her new gifts where getting in the was of her morning piano playing! She bangs on the piano first thing every morning. It’s the best way to wake up!

She loved her new doll cradle! It has been a huge hit! Margaret knit her dress. Isn’t it gorgeous!

It came with the cheapest bedding so I had to make it a cute replacement.

This was just a plain wooden tissue box holder I scored at Hobby Lobby for like $2. A quick paint job and piece of scrap paper and doodads and it is a cute container for all the playsilks. Not too shabby for under $4.

All in all it was a top notch day. I hope you had a beautiful holiday with the ones you love.

Parenting Philosophy part 1

AKA the means by which God can humble you…

Fact: I am an outspoken woman with strong opinions.

Truth: The branch that does not bend in the wind will break.

While I spent all that time praying for a child I used the waiting period to research what type of parents we would be. To define our parenting style. Michael was very much on board although a few of my ideas confused him. But he did take the time to think them over and we worked out a game plan.

Along came baby. And the realization that our game plan may need a bit of tweaking. This was hard for me. Heart-breakingly hard. I was so completely sold on the idea of attached/natural parenting that I didn’t really even consider anything that wouldn’t fit into that style.

And after my unwanted/unplanned C-section (seriously I wanted to homebirth) my milk didn’t come in….a battle I fought for 6 weeks. Can you imagine taking every known herbal supplement, a prescription pill, drinking a gallon of water, and eating a metric ton of oatmeal while pumping every 2-3 hour AND caring for a newborn? I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone…but it took me 6 weeks to give up the fight. I traded the pump for prozac since at that point in the journey I needed the prozac more.

After I gave up that fight and stopped sobbing 80 times a day I was able to relax and enjoy motherhood more. I loved toting my little snuggly babe around in a sling or carrier. I loved having her near to me and smelling her baby freshness…except she didn’t love it as much. And by about 4-5 months she was mobile and would rather roll all over the floor than be carried. How can this be? She was supposed to spend her days in the sling learning confidence and nurturing and all those lovely attached parenting principles. Nope, this baby crawled at 5 months which was before she could even sit up on her own.

There have been other adjustments along the way but thankfully I have learned that while parenting it is possible you will have to eat a few words…or a lot. Which can be very humbling.

I am learning to be more flexible which is something I strongly suspected I needed to learn.

And the good news is that despite all my best laid intentions going down hill. We still have an amazing child who is smart, strong and well-adjusted.

And isn’t that the goal anyways?

Happy Birthday my sweet girl!

I can’t believe Reagan has turned 1 already. The cruelest part of childhood is how fast it flies by. We are enjoying every minute of it.

I have been planning her party for months and since I had a very small budget I knew to be resourceful and creative. I should have titled this “How to have a great party on $100 bucks”

***Disclaimer*** These pictures are terrible. There was a storm rolling through casting shadows everywhere. Also, while I actually have a great camera I have not bother to learn how to “use” it. I just keep it on auto. So no spectacular photography here today folks.

I had envisioned this whole fete happening outside however after putting up the tent and hauling everything outside it became VERY apparent about 45 minutes before party time that we needed to haul everything in very quick like. It POURED.

Main Buffet table

The yummies. I left go of my controlling nature long enough to let Michael, his brother Mark and my mother in law help decorate the cupcakes and pixie pretzels. Perhaps they don’t look exactly as I had intended but we had a great time making them. I also discover that the pixie pretzels (pretzel rods dipped in candy melts) are the perfect PMS treat. Salty and sweet.

Drink table. I decorated the whole party around those polka dot straws. Seriously.

Crepe paper rosettes. These we so fun to make. I couldn’t bear to toss them so I pinned them up in the sewing room.

We had carrot cake and banana nut cupcakes. Homemade, of course.

I forgot to take a picture of the treat bags until after the party. At least there were a few left to take a picture of.

Our Birthday girl!

In hindsight I realize I should have made her a coordinating bib to cover her birthday dress.

Our first adventure with refined sugar.

We had so much fun at the party. We got to visit will lots of our favorite people and even open presents.

Whew…who is going to clean up this mess?

Happy 5th of July

Since I am a day late in posting…

When did my sweet, tiny baby starting looking suspiciously like a little girl?

She’s not a very cooperative model since she is always on the go.

We are wrapping up our Tennessee vacation. Actually, we are very happy to be heading home today…well, except for the 12 hour drive and all. We learned a lot on this trip…

*NEVER visit TN in July…Holy Cow it’s hot! Too Hot…like can’t breathe hot.

*Old people are immune to hot. My mother in law keeps the AC set at 77…seriously. And she carried a sweater with her everywhere.

*After having the stupid television on around the clock I am even more pleased that we gave ours away.

*I discovered I love the Justice League cartoon. I have never liked cartoons.

*My mother in law’s idea of “baby proofing” is no match for Reagan the wrecker!

*While it is very important to be diligent with the sunscreen for the child, you must also remember the sunscreen on your own pasty, white back. I am burned to a crispy critter.

*My car goes on auto-pilot when they light up the Krispy Kreme sign.

* I still get to drive through Paducah, KY on the way from IA to TN and you know what that means…FABRIC!

The most important thing we learned is that while we love our family, our “home” is no longer in Tennessee. Home is in Plano, IA and we can’t wait to get back!

Farm fun!

We love animals! We are so excited that so many people at our new church live on farms. Spring is a wonderous time on the farm especially farms who have kids who do 4H.

We took Reagan the other day to visit our friends The Rogers. They have lots of animals on their farm and we even got to watch them shear some lambs. Plus they give me the raw wool!

I love how intrigued and curious Reagan is… she wasn’t scared at all. She was trying really hard to get down so she can do some exploring on her own but since she has to also taste to explore (what is with putting everything in the mouth?!?!) we thought it best to keep her contained.

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I serious love old tractors! Seriously

We met bacon I mean pigs.

And baby chicks! I had to check Michael before we left to make sure he didn’t try to chick-nap any…he LOVES baby chicks…and chickens.

I suspect Reagan was a little confused as to why she can pet this bird but not the bird at home. Although I must say that petting this bird has renewed her interested in a certain feathered sibling…

GOATS!!!!

If you have read my blog for any amount of time you will know how I feel about goats!

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The sheep weren’t very pleased about getting a haircut and thus uncooperative with my desire to take their pictures.

We had a great time. It was so neat to introduce our sweet baby to this part of God’s creation!