2018 Goals

Well, you can say I’m very behind writing this since we are basically in February.  Unfortunately 2018 has been off to a rough start for our family.  We discovered a HUGE leak behind our dishwasher that traveled into our family room.  The leak caused major water damage to our walls and cabinets.  The worst part is that it was a silent leak; it went on for months without any signs.  Even when we pulled out our dishwasher there were no signs of water… until you touched the wall and your finger went right through the drywall (insert eye roll emoji here).  Anyway, we had to rip out three of our cabinets and all of the drywall.  Our house was basically a construction zone (again) for three weeks.  Finally, we’re all back to normal over here and I can jot down what my goals are for this year.

Personal

  • Take vitamins daily – I am THE worst at taking vitamins.  I do it religiously when I’m pregnant and then quickly fall off the wagon a few weeks after delivery.
  • Stick to a cleaning routine during the week – it’s hard with a baby but I’m determined.  If the house isn’t tidy I feel like the walls are caving in and get in a bad mood.
  • Drink enough water – something that I have always been good at but throw a baby in the mix and I forget to drink.
  • Purge and organize around the house – tackle one room or place a week, set the timer for 30 min and purge away!  Would anyone be interested in blog posts regarding my organizing?  How about a linkup?
  • Have grace with myself – I have a lot on my plate and I do as best as I can, but I get upset when I can’t do as much as I did before the baby was born.  I have to remember this is just a season of life, it will pass and what is most important is spending time with my kids and soaking these moments in.

Blog/Business

  • Blog weekly.  I enjoy blogging but just don’t have as much time for it as I used to, but I want to try posting on a weekly basis again.  I’m not going to put an exact number out there because I don’t want to disappoint myself (or you!).  So ‘wekly’ it is!
  • Work more on my Beautycounter business.  I LOVE the company and products.  I seriously cannot say enough good things.  The products are amazing and most importantly are non-toxic.  I want to talk more about it and reach as many women as I can because I think it is so important for women (and men) to use non-toxic products.  Too many of the products that we use are filled with horrible ingredients that lead to so many health problems.   Why not start by using products that don’t have toxins that seep into our skin?  That being said, if any of you have any questions about the products or want to try any samples – let me know!  I’m so not a direct sales person, so you don’t have to to worry about pushing you to buy anything.
  • Post more consistently on Instagram – a few posts a week and also try doing more Instastories.  I enjoy watching everyone’s Instastories but always am so nervous to talk, forget OR just think that what I’m doing isn’t exciting enough.

Homeschool

  • Set up a more concrete morning schedule.  We start school anywhere from 9 am – 10 am.  Before school starts, I’d like to enforce the kids to have their teeth brushed and have them be out of pajamas.  It’s so easy to stay in pj’s all day but I want to change that.  When they grow up, they’re going to get a job and will need a routine so I’d like to start getting them used to that now.
  • I also want them to focus more on reading.  They’re both doing great, but you can never practice reading enough in my opinion.
  • Do more art and science experiments

That’s it!  Those are my goals.  I could go on and on, but let’s be real – I have a baby and there’s no way I can achieve a list a mile long.

What are some of your goals this year?

Baby Girl’s Vintage Farmhouse Nursery Reveal

Phew!  This post has been a long time coming.  If you remember, I wanted to work on the nursery in correlation with the One Room Challenge, but really wasn’t able to.  We waited to get her nursery done until the last minute and my husband cranked it out in about two weeks so there was no way I could really participate.  We kicked it into major high gear!

I had so much fun piecing the nursery together.  It is very simple, but airy and bright which I love.  It is my favorite room to be in! I worked with Carousel Designs on designing her bedding and curtains and cannot say enough amazing things about the look, quality and their customer service.

Ok, so let us start from the top:  I’m usually not a pink person but for some reason wanted her room to be a very pale pink.  I found the perfect color by Glidden called Frosty Peach Ribbon.  It is such a soft blush and really works perfectly in the room.  It’s not over-powering and gives the room the perfect amount of pink color.

I wanted her bedding to have floral aspects BUT not be too flowery.  After searching and searching I couldn’t find anything that I really fell in love with.  I saw that a few bloggers had used Carousel Designs and designed their own bedding.  I went on their site and saw a few material prints that I loved and started playing with the prints.  You can basically customize EVERYTHING!  It was so easy to use and at the end of it all they give you a sample look at what your nursery would look like with your designed pieces.   I picked the materials that I liked and they sent them to me in the mail to make sure I liked the look of them.  They were even more beautiful in person and great quality.  I went with the Pink Hawaiian Floral, White and Gray Cloud Classic Herringbone and the Pink and Gold Bow Ties (they only have the light mint version now).  I played with all of the patterns to create a look that was fresh and feminine.  I LOVE the way her bedding and curtains came out!

The baby’s room is unfortunately the most oddly shaped in the house and also the smallest so we couldn’t fill it with anything big or bulky.  We picked the Hemnes 3 Drawer Chest from Ikea.  It fits perfectly in the crevice of the wall.  I wanted to find a crib that had a vintage feel; I feel in love with the DaVinci Jenny Lind Crib.  It is so pretty and dainty and fits the style I was going for not to mention it’s a killer price and gets amazing reviews!  We found the glider at Buy Buy Baby; for some reason, it isn’t on their website.  It is called the Felicia Glider.  It is SO comfortable and reclines which is awesome for those middle of the night feedings!

Decor wise I kept it very simple.  The mirror is from Pottery Barn Kids (they don’t seem to sell it anymore) as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it for her room.  It is antique wood which I loved because it brought in some wood elements to the room.  For prints for the wall I of course went to Hobby Lobby and bought the two girl signs.  They are super cute and add some warmth with their wood elements too.  The wooden lattice and boxwood wreath I already had here.  I had purchased them from Target and never used them.  I felt the wooden lattice was too plain on its own so I had my husband hammer a hole into it and hang the small boxwood wreath.  The carpet is also from Target; it’s the Safavieh brand, such great quality and so soft!   I could’ve added more decor but I just really love the soft and airy feel of the room as is.  I have a couple of prints that I may add to the wall – but that is it.

There we have it, our baby’s nursery!  I can’t wait to see her grow up in this space and will probably be very sad when she decides she doesn’t like it anymore and wants to decorate her room with whatever she likes when she gets older.

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Must Have Products for Newborns

While registering this time around I only registered for the essentials.  I didn’t want to fill my house or registry with things that I really didn’t need, and being that this is my third time around I knew what I’d need.  Registering can be overwhelming; there are so many things on the market and a lot of them seem like you really will “need” them, but must of them you don’t.  I always go in with the mindset to register/buy the things I need and then a few things here and there that I think I might need or will make my life easier.  It’s hard when you are registering because you haven’t met your baby yet and you don’t know what he/she will be like.  They all prefer different things – and yes, they let you know at a very young age what their preferences are!

There are quite a few things I got this time around that I feel have been a lifesaver and I think every mom would benefit from getting these for their babies.

one | DockATot – I’m sure you’ve heard of this lounger.  It’s all the rage and I completely understand why.  My baby LOVES sleeping in it, and so far sleeps way better than any of my other kids have.  It’s extremely comfortable, while not very plush.  It’s very easy to take apart and wash.  It’s also very lightweight so it is easy to carry around all over the house or with you on trips.

two | Boon Grass, Stem & Twig Drying Set Bundle – This set is so great for drying bottles, nipples, pacifiers and breast pump parts.  It’s easy to clean and looks cute on your counter which is an added plus!

three | Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles – These have been the only bottles I have used this time around.  There hasn’t been any confusion with breastfeeding and using these, so I would say they are great for moms who will be both breast and bottle feeding.  They also reduce the amount of air swallowed which helps with gas – this is especially great for colicky babies.  They wash easily too!

four | Owlete Baby Monitor – If you get anything from this list, get THIS!  This baby monitor is hands down the best thing I have this time around and I so wish I had it for my other two kids when they were babies.  The owlet keeps track of your baby’s pulse and oxygen levels while they sleep.  If anything is wrong, it will alert you from it’s base but also on your phone in case your baby is napping and you aren’t in the same room with them.  This little monitor gives me such piece of mind and allows me to sleep so much better.  I remember with my other two kids, I was always waking up in the middle of the night (aside from them being awake every two hours) to make sure they were breathing and ok – I was a zombie!  This monitor takes all of the worry away for me and I am able to sleep soundly when the baby is sleeping.  I cannot say enough good things about this and I feel like every mom should have one of these! Now, don’t get me wrong, the Owlete is not the best baby monitor on the market. If I had to determine the absolute best, it would be the Levana (www.babymonitortown.com/levana-baby-monitor-reviews), but the Levana is slightly more expensive – so consider your options first.

five |  Aden + Anais Swaddle – These swaddles are the best!  They are made our of muslin cotton so they are breathable, yet soft.  They have a little stretch to them so they are very easy to swaddle in, yet keep the baby comfortable and not too warm.

six | Beautycounter Baby Protective Balm – This lotion is AMAZING! You use less than a dime size for your baby’s whole body (so it will last you forever).  It is so moisturizing; it is a blend of blend of organic shea butter and jojoba oil and is designed to provide a layer of protection for dry, sensitive skin.  Of course since it is from Beautycounter it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals, which is so important when putting on your baby.  Using this lotion my baby didn’t peel at all the way most newborns do.  This lotion isn’t just for babies either – it’s great for any dry skin, I use it daily on my five year old.

seven | Carter’s Long Sleeved Onsies – All three of my kids have lived in these onsies!  They keep them warm, wash well and I love that they are onsies and not any of those pesky outfits with a million snaps.  I loathe snaps!

eight | Mamaroo – this is up there in my must haves.  We use this multiple times a day and she takes some long naps in it.  The Mamaroo has different movement settings – car ride (the one my daughter loves the most), kangaroo, swing, etc.  Besides the movements,  you can control the speed and there are a few different white noise sounds that you can use too.  If your baby doesn’t like the white noise sounds and is used to sleeping to specific music like my other kids were used to, you can play his/her favorite songs via bluetooth.

nine | Oxi Clean Baby – this stuff is pure magic!  There is no stain it hasn’t removed.  I spray it on a few minutes before washing and it removes all traces of any stain and it smells so good!

ten | Emfamil Reguline – I have had a supply issue this time around (another post for another day) so we have had to supplement with formula.  In the beginning my daughter was having a lot of constipation issues.  Her doctor told us about this formula and it has made such a difference!  It has two probiotics in it which are good for the stomach and promote soft stools.  This has been a huge relief for her (and us!).  If you are formula feeding – I recommend this one since it is gentle on their stomachs.

eleven | Ingenuity Boutique Collection Rocking Seat – This bouncer seat is my favorite!  It is so comfortable, goes from rocking to standing still and you can alter the incline from laying down to sitting.  It’s great for lounging or sleeping!  It also vibrates and has a few soothing sounds.  We use this daily and carry it around the house so she can be around us at all times.

twelve |  Solly Baby Wrap – This isn’t pictured, but I just started using the Solly Baby Wrap and am obsessed!  I put her in the wrap and she looks around or falls asleep.  She feels close to me, and I am able to have two free hands which is great.  I can home school, clean or fold clothes; it’s basically a stay-at-home mom’s dream!  The wrap is super soft and very comfortable to wear.

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For all of you nursing mamas, I’ve rounded out a few of my favorite staple items.  If you get these before your baby is born you will be set and off to a strong nursing start!

 

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All of the nursing tanks are as soft as butter and so easy to nurse in.  I also swear by the Mother’s Milk Tea and have drank it for all three kids – it works great!  The Spectra S2 is one of the best pumps on the market and is so quiet and provides such a comfortable pumping session!
I hope this helps any mamas who are currently expecting or have newborns.  I know how hard it is to know what you need or what you will really use.  I truly feel like all of these products are all versatile and any newborn will use and love them.

Newton Wovenaire Mattress Review

I’ve been so excited to talk about our baby girl’s crib mattress.  Crib mattresses are such a big deal to me. I think they are one of those things that needs to be researched thoroughly before one is purchased because it’s not only an investment and a place that the baby will sleep for years, BUT safety comes to mind and as every parent knows – the safety of your child is always first.  This is where the Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress comes into play.  It checks off everything that I wanted in a mattress and is 100% breathable which is so comforting to me and I’m sure every parent would agree.

Both of my other two kids loved sleeping on their stomachs as soon as they could roll, which is something that always gave me a bit of anxiety.  Now that we have the Wovenaire mattress for our newest addition  if  she decides to sleep the way her brother and sister did, her mattress is breathable and even if her little face gets smushed in it while she’s on her tummy there is nothing for me to worry about – aka, I don’t have to lose anymore sleep than I already do!  Also the fact that it is 100% breathable is also perfect for temperature regulation, so there is no need to worry about the baby being overheated or sweating at night – something that my both of my other kids always did with their crib mattress.

Some other things that I LOVE about the Newton Wovenaire Crib Mattress?  It is water proof and washable – yes you read that correctly!  You just unzip the mattress cover, wash it and put it in the drier to dry.   It is very simple to quickly clean and dry and because it is waterproof, most leaks will not make it through the mattress.  It’s perfect for those leaky diapers.  Newton doesn’t recommend putting any mattress covers on because it will compromise the breathe-ability of the mattress but they make up for it since both their cover and the actual mattress is waterproof and washable. You can easily wash the mattress right in your bathtub if anything were to leak through.  They sell additional covers in a variety of colors if you want to have a backup, which is always a great idea in case any leaks happen at night.

Another perk is that the mattress is  contains no foam, latex, springs, glue, or allergens so you don’t have to worry about your baby inhaling any bad chemicals or suffering or being allergic to anything in the mattress.  So what is the mattress made out of?  90% air and 10% food grade polymer – that’s it!  That’s why they ensure that the mattress is 100% breathable.

I also love how comfortable the mattress is.  I feel like many crib mattresses are uncomfortable; they have springs or feel like plastic.  The Wovenaire is made to be firm enough for babies and their development but also comfortable enough for toddlers and is made to last.  It’s is such great quality!  The mattress fits in all standard cribs and toddler beds so it is a mattress that will last for years, which is important.  Once you’re done with the mattress, discarding it is also easy as it is recyclable.  I don’t think it gets anymore convenient than that!

I am so impressed by the Newton Wovenaire Mattress and although the price point is on the higher side of crib mattress, it is definitely worth every penny.  It ensures safety, is easy to clean and will last through the years.  I don’t think you can find any better.  I’m so happy this is the mattress my daughter will get to use for the first few years of her life!

 

 

A huge thank you to Newton for providing a mattress for our enjoyment and review.

She’s Here!

You guessed it, the reason for my absence is that I gave birth to my baby girl!  You can cay say I took a bit of a maternity leave 😉 .  I’ve been busy enjoying every moment of those newborn snuggles and enjoying her delicious scent.  I’m savoring every minute of this stage, it only lasts so long.  I wish the baby stage lasted longer.

She was born on November 5th so she is just about a month old.  Labor was fast and furious.  I’ve always had pretty quick deliveries, but she was by far my fastest.  I got to the hospital after a couple of hours of contractions that were 5 minutes apart.  They weren’t very painful, but wanted to get to the hospital to get my dose of antibiotics since I was Strep-B positive this time. Baby girl had other plans because she was born 3 hours after I got to the hospital, no time for antibiotics since one of those hours I was hooked up to a monitor to make sure I was really in labor.  There almost wasn’t any time for the epidural either; they administered the epidural to me and she was born 20 minutes later.  It was nice to have that last 20 minutes to relax and focus on pushing without being in excruciating pain.  It all went so fast, which I’m grateful for because labor pains are NO JOKE!  She was born as beautiful as can be with a head full of hair and is the perfect mix of her brother and sister.

 

Life lately with her has been great!  She eats like a champ and sleeps the best out of my other two at this age.  Big sister and brother are so in love and always want to hold and cuddle with her, which is so sweet to see.  They have both been so patient and understanding.  She’s already responding to us and giving us little smiles here and there.  She’s pretty easy going and fits right in with our crazy crew, she was the missing piece to our family – even if we didn’t know it!

One Room Challenge: Week 4 – Baby Girl Nursery

Hello and happy Thursday!

I know what you’re thinking – “One Room Challenge week 4?!!  What happened to weeks 2 & 3?”.  Well, to be honest there wasn’t much action going on in the nursery until last week.  We cleared the room one week, and did nothing the next because life has been hectic and there has been a ton going on.  Last weekend the room went from zero to sixty.  In two days my husband finished clearing out the remaining things in the room, painted, built the dresser and crib, and put together the glider.  Poor guy was hard at work last weekend, but things needed to get done and he’s such a trooper about it all (amidst some complaining 😉 ).

Ok, so let me fill you all in from the beginning – lets start with the paint.  I’m not really a pink person, at all – my oldest daughter’s room has been green since day one and accented with pinks, peaches, mint green and gold.  This time around though, I wanted to paint the room pink.  I picked the lightest shade of pink I could find.  It is called Frosty Peach Ribbon by Glidden.  It’s so soft and such a beautiful color.  Her room is small, and unfortunately the weirdest shape, so I didn’t want a color to overpower the room, I think the color we picked works perfectly!

We decided on the Hemnes 3-drawer Chest in the white stain for the room because of its size.  It fits perfectly in the crevice of the wall I wanted.  We originally thought we would use our oldest daughter’s dresser for the space but it was too big so we got this one and love it so far. I’ve already started stocking the  drawers with all of the baby things and am so happy with how deep the drawers are.  The only thing I’m worried about is fitting the changing pad PLUS a diaper caddy on it.  My mother-in-law got me a storage cart – you can kind of see it in the pictures.  Although it’s very cute, I’m not entirely sure about using it.  So far it seems hard to get things in and out of the cubby holes.  We bought Ikea’s storage cart, but it is going to be too big and bulky for the area I want it.

I’m in LOVE with our DaVinci Jenny Lind Crib.  It’s a perfect size for the room, not bulky at all and brings the perfect splash of vintage charm to the room.  I can’t wait to put my Carousel Design custom bedding on it and see my whole vision come to life!

The carpet shown was just delivered  yesterday.  I had originally ordered this one (here) and while I thought it was very pretty, the colors were too dull for the room and the cream color in the carpet almost looked dirty.  I found this one (here) on Target.com too, and thought it was beautiful and would work well in the room.   The quality is great and it was half the price of the other carpet, score!  Another Target find was the cute pillow on my glider (by the way, my glider is from Buy Buy Baby – it’s called the Felicia Glider.  Unfortunately it is no where to be found online, but it is sooo comfortable and reclines) the aqua piping on the pillow is perfect and will go great with the pink and ivory throw that I plan on draping on the glider.

I’m slowly but surely starting to organize her closet, I’ve bought a couple of bins and hope to have it done soon.

That’s all of the progress so far.  I hope to hang up the curtains and art for the walls this weekend and have the room look mostly finished.

Here’s what’s left to do in the room

see week 1 here

 

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One Room Challenge | Week One: Baby Girl’s Nursery

I literally just found out about the One Room Challenge yesterday afternoon and immediately decided to join the band wagon.  I’m 34 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and we haven’t started on the nursery at. all.  We have purchased the crib, dresser and glider – but besides that? Nada.  Joining the ORC is perfect timing for me.  Although I hope to have most of the room done before the 6 weeks are over because I’m already cutting it kind of close!

For those of you that are new here, I’m Amanda a stay-at-home (first year) homeschooling mom living in South Florida.  We found out we were excepting our surprise little girl in March, and since then have been in the throws of a home renovation (more on that in a second).  This blog is my little slice of the internet.  I’ve been blogging for four years now and love to share about my favorite finds, wine and home decor – this is my first One Room Challenge and I’m excited to participate and see everyone’s beautiful spaces!

Our nursery will be in what was is the playroom.  For our other two kids our nursery was said and done with by this point in my pregnancies but this time around it’s been hard to get to.  We are just getting done with a major re-do of our first floor – kitchen, flooring and adding a wall with French doors to our living room to turn that into the playroom.  We were only supposed to do the kitchen and little by little do the other two aspects, but once the workers came to measure and give us estimates we realized that if we wanted it done correctly, we had to do it all at once.  All of the projects snowballed into each other.  Of course throw in a construction group that tells you things are going to be done in X amount of time and it isn’t and my husband’s new work schedule and we got delayed.  Very delayed.  And here we are 34 weeks in with nothing done, but a long do to list.

Lets take a moment of silence for what the room used to look like… neat and organized.

Right now the status of the nursery is 1/2 baby things 1/2 toys and miscellaneous things that need to be moved out of there.  It seriously looks like Monica Gellar’s secret closet in Friends.  I’m embarrassed to even show it, but hey – that’s the whole reason of the ORC, to show progress and the evolution of a room, right?

Here is the current state of the baby’s nursery:

Trying to find the perfect shade of light pink

 

Are you as traumatized by those pictures as I am?  I cringe every time I walk by the room.  So much to do, so very little time!  So what is on my to do list for this room?

 

As I mentioned, we already bought the crib, dresser, glider and I have her bedding and some of the decor for her walls.  I’m going for a slightly vintage-y feel with some rustic touches.  You can read more about that here (click here).

So there we have it!  We are going to try to get it done in sooner than the allotted six weeks since we pretty cramped on time.  I say “we” because let’s face it, I’m at the mercy of my husband to paint and build the furniture.  But after that, I take full control and get into full nesting mode, which I can’t wait for!

 

 

 

Thank you to Carousel Designs for providing our baby’s custom bedding and to Newton for providing our crib mattress.

Country Themed Baby Shower

This past Saturday my family threw me a baby shower.  They asked me what theme I wanted and I picked a country theme.  I originally wanted it to be at this big barn we have in our area.  It has chickens that run wild, horse rides and a petting zoo.  I figured it would be perfect for the kids to enjoy, except one thing… we are still in the middle of hurricane season and it pours constantly – did I mention mosquitoes?  It just didn’t make sense for this time of year as there is no guarantee that the weather would cooperate.  After getting married during a hurricane, I don’t take any chances with the weather – especially during hurricane season!  I’ve learned my lesson.

The city my husband works for has a union hall that we used for our 10 year anniversary party and we decided to use again for the baby shower.  It’s a perfect space for a smaller crowd (we had about 40 people at the baby shower and about 60 at our anniversary party) the city added some cool bricks to the walls that made the space perfect for the theme!  When my family asked me about the theme, I also said that I wanted succulents and a naked cake; and boy did they deliver!  The shower was more gorgeous than I could have imagined, complete with faux barn doors and hay!  Succulents and baby’s breath were everywhere.  We used Mason Jars for cups with flower printed paper straws, and there was plenty of burlap to make for the perfect country feel.

We were showered with so much love.  Most of my family was able to attend and most of my closest friends too.  Baby girl made out with plenty of gifts from the registry as well as many adorable outfits.  I don’t think anyone can resist buying clothes for a baby girl, they are the cutest!  It was a great time and makes me a little nostalgic that it was my last baby shower to have.  I’m trying to soak in every little thing this time around as I know this will be my last baby.

Below are a few pictures – the lighting isn’t the best in the union hall, but you get a good idea on how pretty it all was.  I’m so thankful to my family for doing this for us – definitely an awesome way to ring in our daughter’s arrival.

homemade apple pie cookies, caramel and candy apples

small containers of jam as favors

 

 

 

Olive and Mustard: Fall Favorites

There are two colors that are giving me all of the heart eyes this Fall – olive and mustard. I cannot get enough of them; together or separate they are my colors this Fall and I see myself getting a few pieces to wear on repeat.  Now if only South Florida would get the Fall memo!  I don’t see that happening any time soon as it’s still so dreadfully hot here.

I like that both colors add such a fun splash of color to any outfit and are the epitome of Fall.  Many people are not fans of mustard, but it’s been a favorite color of mine for a long time.  Since I am all heart eyes over both colors, I have gathered my some of my favorite pieces to share with you all.

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What colors are catching your eye the most this Fall?  Have you started incorporating Fall pieces to your wardrobe yet?

We Are Homeschooling!

One of the big changes that our family has made recently is the decision to home school both of our kids.  Homeschooling is something we have always been interested in doing, and  if you have been a long time reader of Kids and Cabernet, you know that I home-schooled my daughter through Pre-K  (click here to read) using a curriculum that we purchased.  Although I loved homeschooling her then, we found a very small school very close to our home and fell in love with the staff and teachers.  The school had a very homey feel which I loved since I liked the idea of homeschooling and we decided to have her go to Kindergarten there.  She also attended first grade there.  There were really no complaints except the fact that I felt that we barely got to spend time with her.  She went to school from 8:30-3 and then always had homework and projects after school which sucked up a lot of her time – I felt it was a little much at times.

I’m one of those moms that likes to be with her kids a lot; I think it’s because I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since day one with them and it just feels natural to have them around.  My husband and I spoke and decided that for our growing family homeschooling would be beneficial.  We like that it is at our own pace, and there isn’t a hustle and bustle in the morning or a mad rush in the evenings to do homework, eat and rush to get ready for the next day – I think that is MAJOR with a newborn.  I particularly love the schedule; we typically school between two and three hours and then we are done for the day!

We chose the Timberdoodle Curriculum for our kids and I can honestly  that I love it.  The curriculum comes with everything including teacher’s manuals and a schedule of how much needs to be done everyday to finish the school year in 36 weeks.  Another great tool from them is the tool to set your own schedule for the year.  I love this because once the baby is born, I plan to take some time off so I was able to schedule the year using a 34 week plan instead of the traditional 36.  There is also very little preparation required of me since the curriculum comes with all of the manuals and schedules.  I like that part a lot because I do not have to prepare days in advance (or even a day) to school the kids.

I spy a kitchen sneak peak! We are STILL without a back splash, ugh.  Also this picture is a representation of real life – laundry and a little bit of a mess – keeping it real folks!

 

We are three weeks in, and both kids love it.  I was a little skeptical about my son liking it or him not listening as well because I’m “mom” and not his “teacher”, but he’s doing great and is being challenged as is my daughter, which was also a concern of mine.  She did great in school and was one of the smartest in the class so I wanted to make sure she was going to be challenged.  I like that Timberdoodle likes to keep school fun – they include art, science and things that require thinking skills and imagination which is so important.

We usually start school around 9:30 and are done by lunchtime which has been great!  We also are only doing school from Monday-Thursday; Friday’s we are off :).  In order to keep the kids and myself organized I created a schedule so the kids know what to expect throughout the day.  I have also included an hour of quiet time so that I can get some housework done or rest.  In the hour they can play, read or if I decide they can go on the iPad.  Basically it’s an hour to keep my sanity and to encourage them to be independent.  Below is my schedule for anyone interested.  My husband’s schedule recently changed too so it’s just me during the day with the kids so this schedule is key for me getting things done and not feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day.

So far homeschooling has been a great experience!  I love spending the extra time with my kids and watching them learn.  I also think once the baby is born it will be great for them both to be included as much as possible and be able to spend extra time with her.  I truly believe that life lessons are also a part of schooling.  The fact that they are home and are able to see how the house is run, help with chores and help me bake sweets (it’s math!) is all a part of learning and they are also lasting memories that we are making as a family, which I love.