Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pre K at home

Conner will be turning 3 years old in October and many of my friends with kids his age are putting them in pre k. I am assuming this is the age for it. He is very smart and has picked up a lot already as you have seen with his cooking and cleaning. I would definitely say he is on track or ahead of his peers.

So next week we will be starting our pre k. We have our library trip planned for Monday. We are going to try the letter a day program I found. It's free, a major plus, and it seems simple.

The main thing is a learning board. This is where I got creative. Instead of making 26 different boards for every week, I made 6 signs ( theme, shape/color, number, vocabulary word, letter, nursery rhyme) and taped them to the fridge door. Also, I am finding workbook pages to tape under each label for him to work on.

In addition to working with Conner, I am hoping that some of this may rub off on Miranda. She is very observant for her age. I have an app on my phone to track her progress and she has hit all her milestones up to 4 months and she is only 2 months.

I am also hoping that this will give our day some more structure so I can document and research items about homesteading, schooling and cooking. I plan on making a seperate blog to follow the experience of homeschooling my children. So keep an eye out for it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cloth diapers my way

After two years of disposable diapers with Conner, I was fed up with them.  I hated how quickly the diaper pail filled and how full the garbage can was all the time. I hated when they busted open. But most of all I hated paying $20 a box for something I was going to throw in in garbage. The hunt for a better way was on.

Of course there were many who didn't understand why I wanted to put more work on my shoulders with cloth diapers but I was determined. I researched as much as I could and realized I wasn't alone in wanting something else.

There seemed to be three groups on the subject. First, there are the environmentalist that want to switch to feel they are helping save the planet. It makes since that not throwing away 10+ diapers a day for one baby for 2 years. Lets follow the math 10*365*2=7,300 diapers from one kid. (Don't start doing the math on if the hubby changed his fair share).

Then there are the trend setters. If a celebrity does it, endorses it or mentions it them it must be cool. Not many admit to this group but they exist

Then there is my group, those tired of paying for garbage. There are numerous ways to go about this but this is what I am doing. I went to Walmart and bought 5 packs of the gerber prefolds and a diaper pail. Then I went to and bought 3 thirsties diaper covers with snaps. I lay two of the prefolds in the diaper cover like a thick feminine pad and snap it closed.

Now, when you first get the prefolds, wash them 6 or 7 times in a row to get the oil off of them so they will actually absorb something. Because I double up on prefolds I do laundry every day or every other day. It costs about $120 up front to go this route but compared to what I would have spent on disposables. Back to the math 1 kid *10 diapers per day *365 days per year *2 years =7,300 diapers per kid's diaper age /100 diapers per box optimistically *$20 per box of generic diapers = $1,430 thrown directly in the garbage. For the finally of my math fun $120 < $1,430.

When I finished with the visual of pitting that much money in the garbage made me sick. I also can't go back because Miranda os allergic to the disposable diapers.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby olymics

While watching the relay races, I hear thumping in the background. Turning my attention to my son he after a very loud "ready, set, GO! ". And he's off around the corner, over a pair of boots, sharp turn around the toy castle and finished with a dive into my pillow. It's amazing the imagination he has.
It's this imagination that worries me about homeschooling him. I don't doubt the decision, I am nervous about holding his attention. He learns so quickly it worries me that I won't be able to keep up. He picks up stuff so fast that I have absolutely no clue where he is getting it.
We are hoping to start home school on labor day for preschool. The board is made and the library list is ready. I am very excited to start this journey.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Archery lesson number one

After looking at our future home, we all went to sportsmans outdoors to look at bows for the upcoming season. We got a recurve to try and keep in mind I haven't shot one since before my last pregnancy. I used to be a pretty good shot but the first shot I snap my forearm... painful but not terrible. The second shot, the guy helping us tries to help me correct me hold. This time the string hits the inside of my elbow and drags to my forearm. Again painful but not unbearable. Then the bruise shows up and encompasses all of my elbow. It looks so much worse than it felt. Long story short we bought the recurve and I cannot wait for my arm to heal a bit to shot it again. Yes I am slightly crazy.

New house

So hoping for this to go through. We found a house on 9 acres that I have absolutely fallen in love with. What makes it better is it is surrounded by 120+ acres that is also for sale. We can't afford to get it all at once but I would love the opportunity to expand.

We are hoping to start substance farming- kitchen garden, chickens, boar goats, and honey bees. After all that is established I want to start a heard of angora goats to harvest fiber for spinning yarn. We are also playing with the idea of cows but gor now goats is the road I am choosing.

Also the kitchen is perfect for canning and processing veggies and meat, not to mention a huge pantry for storage. Oh, the previous owners are leaving the dishwater. Yay! I have never owned a dishwasher before.

I need a lot of prayers a good wishes if you don't mind. This is our dream come true

Friday, August 3, 2012

Yoga for mommy

I finally am clear to start working out again! This is about the most unhealthy weight wise I have ever been. To get back to pre pregnancy weight I need to drop 20lbs. To get back to my ideal weight I need to drop 110lbs!

Like most, I have no idea where it all got packed on at. When I worked, it was 50 hour weeks of very active days. I admit that in my down time before kids I didn't want to do much of anything. When Conner came around, I tried to keep up but never dropped the weight and gained more. Then Miranda packed on quiet a bit.

I know diet is my main issue. I can't have any sweets in the house because there is no self control. Why tempt myself if I don't have to? This has been a blessing to because Conner doesn't beg for candy as much as some kids we see.

Another major battle is portion control. I am use to cooking for two adults and making huge meals to save for later. Now that Daniel works nights and they feed him I have slowly started learning to cook less. Conner eats like a bird so it is hard to count him as someone I cook for.

Issue number three is I eat when I'm bored. Not that much of an issue with two kids, however if I'm not busy then I start inching towards the fridge.

I noticed today that my posture has become terrible. After confirming with my people about post partum exercise, I got the go ahead for yoga or palates or anything low impact. So out came the yoga mat and 6 week program I use to do in college. Sorry to say I only got through half of it. ( Granted I was being used as a jungle gym while doing the poses.) I started to get down on myself about not finishing but then I started to feel how much better my back felt.

It is my goal to at least get to where I can finish the program daily even with Conner climbing on me.I also intend to better manage my diet now that it's just for me and the kids. Daniel does eat with us every now and then but not enough to count. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tea time

Every morning, I brew two pots of tea. First there is black tea for everyone and then there's my nursing time tea.

I am still breastfeeding my youngest and it has been an adventure. With Conner, he was tongue tied and couldn't latch on properly, so I ended up pumping all that I could and supplemented with formula. He really took to the formula so I stopped trying after three months.

With Miranda, her tongue was blessedly not tied but for whatever reason we couldn't get it together and I now pump and feed her with a bottle. She, however, can stand any formula what so ever. She becomes the fussiest child on the planet.

I had to do something to help me produce more milk to meet her demands. I asked the midwife that helped deliver her what she recommended and she gave me an herbal tea that was suppose to help but it tasted horrible. I took it upon myself to find something and found nursing time tea.

The stuff works. I went from producing maybe four ounces at a time to eight or nine. I was sold. Now I don't have the luxury to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea, so I brew up a pitcher in the more and drink on it all day chilled. This works for me as I don't have to wait on the water to boil and then the tea to infuse and then cool enough to drink. By the time I do all that 3 or 4 emergencies and dire issues have occurred.

I would also, since I am on the subject if breastfeeding, like to encourage any pregnant woman or woman trying to get pregnant to try to breastfeed for the first month. You don't have to be that lady that goes till the kids in grade school but honestly try exclusively for the first month. If it doesn't work out, hey you tried. There are options like what I do, pump and bottle feed, or mix with formula, or formula feed. As long as the baby is health and mommy isn't stressed then everything is great.

I would like to make clear that I was not paid to plug a product, I just wanted to make known what worked for me in the hopes that it might help someone else.