When Life Takes Over…

MarinaJeepSometimes even the best laid plans can go down the tubes. Unfortunately, we had to cancel Marina’s birthday party. It seemed like everyone in the house had some sort of flu bug that just wouldn’t go away the week before. The last thing we wanted to do was pass it on to the kiddos that would be attending. So far it looks like it is passing Marina up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

She still had a great celebration with family and Elsa did indeed make her visit (Auntie’s rule!!). She loved her birthday cake even though it looked like a snowstorm gone wrong and just seeing the joy on her face when she got her Frozen Jeep was worth all of the preparing and planning that we had into the party. Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Preschool Fun – Our Circle Time Board

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One of the biggest challenges I have had was finding well rounded preschool curriculum that did not require a computer or tablet for Marina to use. Technology has it’s advantages but I love the hands on experience of learning instead of sitting my little one in front of a screen. Thanks to Dadrific over at Life On A Dime, I was introduced to HomeCEOAcademy. It was exactly what I was looking for! A full curriculum program that would prepare Marina for Kindergarten, with lots of hands on learning.

Our first adventure into preparing for the start of the next preschool session is making our Circle Time board. The instructions for the board are well written and the graphics are adorable.

Material Needed

  • Printer
  • Card Stock
  • Glue Stick
  • Poster Board
  • Fun Designed Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Clear Box Tape or Laminator (I seriously need one of these!)

First came printing all of the components.

Cutting out the cards was a very simple process.

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Normally the circle board would look something like this.

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As many of my readers know, I found out I was pregnant with Marina when I was still in high school. I am now in college working on my bachelor’s degree and am still living with my parents while I finish college. Marina’s home school area is being set up in the family room. Because of the lack of wall space I would need to put both the Circle Time and our Schedule Board on one poster board. The top portion of the board is our Circle Time board. By using our handy dandy Duct Tape (Marina picked the Zebra Stripes), I converted the circles into pockets to hold the day of the week and weather cards. I used clear box tape to laminate the cards so I wouldn’t have to worry about damaging them as we work through the complete preschool program.

YAY! Circle Time!

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We now have a condensed version of the Circle Time board that will function the same as the full board would. Keep an eye out for my Schedule Board post to see what our completed project will look like!

You can read my initial review of HomeCEOAcademy’s Curriculum here.

Baby Jack and Company and #spreadthelovey

First of all I want to state that this post is not a review or a sponsored post in any way. I just believe in what the company does. My little brother has a blanket that was given to him while he was in a hospital burn unit at 18 months old. Luckily he only had to spend one night in the hospital but he loved that blanket and slept with it for years. He is 15 now and still has the blanket put away.

Baby Jack and Company understands how comforting it is for little ones to receive a gift like that, especially when they are in a scary place with so many strange people around them. Not only do they donate to charitable organizations but they started the #spreadthelovey Kindness Campaign to allow their customers to get involved and become Kindness Reps in their own communities.

You can purchase a 14×18″ lovey blanket at a discounted price to be sent to any hospital or organization listed on their #spreadthelovey page. They also have an option to join their Kindness Rep team. Check out their #spreadthelovey page for more information on how you can donate or join the team. You can also visit their instagram page to see how much these donations mean to the little ones.

About Baby Jack and Company:
It all started with a boy. A boy who loved ribbons. The boy behind the brand, our CEOJack once got his finger stuck in a ribbon loop so we decided to come up with a unique design that is safer for little fingers. Baby Jack and Company sells sensory tag blankets with sewn shut ribbon tabs. These tabs are a great form of entertained, comfort and our new design is educational.

Flood Water Still Rising #SCFlood2015

**Updated list of charities assisting disaster victims**

For the past week South Carolina has been ravaged by record flooding.  Even though the rain has subsided the devastating water continues to rise. Many families have lost their homes and others are still being forced to evacuate as the surrounding rivers reach record flooding levels. As the flood water travels down the state to the lowcountry, the river in my area isn’t expected to crest until Saturday with more rain predicted.

If you would like to help the residents of South Carolina, donations for the flood victims are being accepted by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and The United Way. There was also and SPCA flooded. Right now the animals have been moved to temporary foster homes. You can find out more about them and donate to their fundraising efforts at FRWFloodRelief.

These charities are also accepting donations to benefit those affected by the flooding:

Keeping it simple.

MarinaOutside3With so much stuff going on in my life it’s easy to forget that sometimes it the simplest things that can make a difference. Watching Marina explore the world around her, enjoying many of the things we take for granted, reminded me that I don’t have to keep a hectic pace. I can take the time to discover simple things like the squishy feel of a mushroom and the softness of the grass beneath my feet. There is wonder all around us if we just take the time to explore it.

This parenting thing is a whole new experience and just knowing that a little person depends on you for everything from learning life’s lessons to being clothed, fed and kept happy, can be overwhelming. I ask myself everyday how my parents managed to do it so many times. But then I look at MarinaOutside4the wonder and joy on my little girl’s face and understand exactly how they did it. There is so much innocence and unconditional love that you can’t help but nurture it and in those moments when I am feeling overwhelmed, I will remember to keep it simple. Life doesn’t have to be complicated.

To My Professor That Has No Children…

MarinastandboxI know it’s hard to understand the huge responsibility of caring for a tiny human is, especially when that little human is a 17 month old that has no fear or survival instincts. So before you tell us parents that we should be able to focus on other things like studying, research, etc., while we are watching a toddler, you should give it a try yourself.

You do not just “shoo” a toddler away when they are demanding your attention.  There are way too many interesting objects in their world that may cause them harm, including in areas that have been “child-proofed”.  While you were busy “shooing” that child away, they found some really cool wires to play with that are attached from your laptop to an electrical outlet. No matter how safe you try to make their environment there is always something to get into or climb on. All it takes is one second of inattention. Children are smart and come up with some pretty ingenious ways of escaping safe zones like stacking toys to use as a ladder. In the case of my daughter, she has learned to open the safety gate.

MarinaRockingChairNot everyone gets 8 hours of sleep a night as you implied in class yesterday either. I get up early in the morning and stay up well after my daughter goes to sleep so I can have a little time to myself to take care of classwork, projects for work and school and honestly just to take a breather and unwind. If my child is awake, so am I. It doesn’t matter how little sleep I have gotten. I completed my first semester of college on caffeine in a semi dream state because I had a baby that needed a diaper change or to be feed at all hours of the night. To imply that parents don’t care about their grades and can manage their time better to work in that 8 hours of sleep and all the coursework required without it being in an occasional rush to get things done is naive. Many of us not only attend college, but we also have jobs as well a children. Time is a commodity for us and we manage it the best we can.

In the future , I would suggest making statements from experience and not your preconceived notions of what parenting and childcare should be like in your dream world.

Missing Summer Already!

Me&MarinaSummer is over and I am back to school. Marina and I had a great time this summer in the pool,  going for walks and visiting the aquarium. Now I am back to the grindstone and missing her every second I am away.

Some of my favorite summer finds:

These have become must haves for on the go and at home. The green salve has been amazing for mosquito bites and the bitesizers has made it very easy to cut Marina’s food into small pieces at home and on the go.

MarinaPoutIt’s hard to believe that my baby girl is no longer a baby. She is a 25lb package of toddler dynamite that has no self preservation instincts. I completely understand my Mom’s obsessiveness  for baby proofing the house and having a completely safe play zone and even that can have it’s gray areas. My child is a climber so therefore anything from stuffed animals to the toy box becomes a stepping stool and she is fast! If she doesn’t hear the latch lock click on the gate she can have it open and take off through the kitchen in a matter of seconds. We have been busy installing cabinet latches in the kitchen and safety straps on dressers and anything else she can pull over.

She loves to read and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She sings and dances along with the characters and adores Minnie Mouse. She is getting a pretty big vocabulary and says please and thank you, though everything is a cat until she learns otherwise. I think she’s going to be a cat for Halloween this year!