Mommy Confession Update

About a week ago I wrote a post about my lack of discipline in getting up before the children. I realized that I could no longer function in the chaos!

I just wanted to give you an update and maybe some encouragement. I can promise you that I am so not a morning person. I love staying up late and HATE, HATE, HATE getting up early. However, the last few weeks have been so amazing. I have gotten up around 6:30 most mornings. (After the first week I found myself slipping back on the couch hitting the snooze. Bad idea!) My days have went so much smoother. I have felt energized and focused.

More importantly my relationship with God has been growing a lot. I've actually been anticipating "our" time in the mornings and not just checking it off my list. I'm so excited that I have a desire for His word again. I'm still amazed that he lets me run back into his arms when I so blatantly neglect him.

If you read the post and thought you could never make that commitment to get up let me encourage you to at least try it for a week. You will be amazed at how much different your days will be if you put the Lord first!


Tot School- 24 Months 1 Week

Here is our Tot School for this week:
(if you are looking for creative ideas you can skip this post. It was a very busy week so we didn't delve into very artsy crafts or activities.) Click here for other Tot School ideas.

I finally got the courage to let her paint. I'm always afraid it will be too much of a mess and hard to clean up. I'm so glad I got over this and let her paint. She absolutely loved it!

We painted something for Daddy for his birthday.

She is obsessed with playing with these dice. I'm not quite sure why!

This week we tried to incorporate a funnel into her pouring exercises. She still needs some help in mastering this skill! I'm still finding pieces of rice on the ground.

The flowers were the big hit for this week. She got to sort the flowers, arrange the flowers in the vase and carry them around in her basket. These turned out to be very open-ended.

She is sorting the Popsicle sticks.
Lovely yard sale find. Only $3.00 for this graduated shape toy.
Aunt "Libia" helping her.
I thought she might want to drive her new car but alas, she just wants to sit in it.
Corbin feel asleep in his seat. It was so precious.

This is the first time that Michaela initiated a picture. We were having a get together at our house for Tots and their moms. Michaela grabbed my neck and started saying cheese loudly. She didn't stop until we snapped at least 3 pictures. I'm loving it! She has been so reluctant to take any pictures lately!!!
I'll end on this note:


Do you have one of these?

Ever since we have been doing arts and crafts at home I second guess throwing away ANYTHING. I finally put a box in the basement to collect my "goodies" so I wouldn't find them all around the house.
It is also great to dig through when I need some inspiration! You should try it.

Corbin had cereal!

Before the meal.Michaela wanted to be right there with us as we fed him.
I say us because Daddy stood up long enough to record the event.

Of course it was coming right back out of his mouth!
Fully Tummy!


Homemade Lacing Cards

I found some cute lacing cards from Totally Tots and I wanted to make some for myself. I tweaked them just a little so I thougtt I would share.

I picked up a package of Foam Sheets at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.
Cut out shapes. Punch holes around the edge.
The problem I noticed was that if she pulled the ribbon too hard it would come back through the holes. I made a coordinating ribbon for each shape. At the end of the ribbon I attached a piece of the foam so that it could act as a stopper.
Not only can they practice lacing and shapes but they can practice matching the colors.

Now what to do with this?!?


Need mats? Go to Target

I found these Bamboo mats at Target today for $2.50 each. I really wanted some toddler size mats for school and these are perfect!

Actual size: 18"x24"

How to "Unsucessfully" make a Tot Book

I recently tried to make a few Tot Books for Michaela. I figured she was still a little too young for these but it wouldn't be long before she could really enjoy these. I wanted to get a head start so I sat down to make a few the other night.

Here is the end result. It took awhile to get here though!
Let me tell you what not to do so that if you ever want to make them you won't have to make the same mistakes!

First things first. Head over to 1+1+1=1 to get the PDF's. Carissa so graciously allows you to use her exsisting PDF's instead of having to create your own. Print them out. I used regular paper but I did notice that she suggested using cardstock. This apparently helps to keep them from ripping. (I'll probably wish i would have done that once she actually uses them.)
Gather your supplies. You will need:
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 1 Manilla Folder
  • Marker
  • Stickers to decorate (optional)
So did you notice that I had 2 manilla folders? This was my first mistake. I thought I needed 2 folders. You only need 1 and you cut that one in half.

Take the two pieces and tape them together in the center so that your folder opens up like one of the science project boards we all used when we were younger.
Start to arrange your elements inside of the book. I used the same format Carissa used but you could always be more creative and change up the layout if you wanted. Either way you have to be careful when you are taping down the accordian element. I didn't realize it was going to matter at first. I taped the last piece straight to the folder. Mistake!
When I started folding the colors I got to the end and it didn't line up. The front square was backwards. I took off the squares and added a blank one at the end. This time it lined up correctly.
I also was trying to be frugal and print the on the fast draft setting on the printer. Mistake. Usually it doesn't matter if the color isn't as bright as possible but when you are trying to teach a young person colors it helps if they can really tell the difference. I noticed that the orange and the yellow were very similar. I had to go back and reprint the color page in the normal setting. In my attempt to save ink I acutally used more!
Eventually I did complete the book but it took a little longer then expected. I've made a few more since then and the process was a lot easier!

Final Prouct:


Great Online Store for Melissa & Doug/Montessori Toys

You may have noticed some of our new Melissa & Doug toys. Most of the new toys came from our family for Michaela's birthday. (We could never afford to buy her all of these great toys!) I did a lot of research to try to find the best prices and the most affordable shipping.

I came across a great family owned business: Out of the Toy Box. The customer service was excellent, the shipping was very fast, and they even included a little bear for Corbin as a gift. (I was trying to feed Corbin while we were on the phone and I think she could hear him screaming ;) I love being able to buy items from a small business! You can click here to learn more about them.

Originally, I was going to get some of the traditional Montessori equipment from other websites but I wasn't able to beat the shipping price: It is FREE if you spend $99 or more. When you get a few people together to make a purchase you can all benefit from the shipping prices! The prices for the M&D items are very comparable to other websites and stores you can purchase the toys from.

And the best part: They are going to start carrying traditional Montessori equipment for the classroom. I'm so excited!

I can't wait for Christmas now!

1+1+1 Introduction

One of my favorite blogs is having a celebration!

1+1+1=1 is celebrating 1,000 subscribers. You can read my introduction here but make sure to get to know some of the other wonderful Momma's who read her blog.

My name is: Amanda

I have: a two-year-old daughter, a 4-month-old son and a wonderful husband

I am: a Child of God, Mommy, Wife, Sister, Daughter,

The name of my blog is:

I blog about: Mostly my children. I also touch on my relationship with God and my husband

I have been reading at 1+1+1=1: since March 2009

This is my first time commenting on 1+1+1=1:no

My favorite Bible verse: Psalm 118: 24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I participate in Tot School: yes


Confession of the Sleep Deprived Mommy

I stay up way too late.

Almost every night.

I'm not sure when exactly this horrible habit started but I really need it to stop. (I tried to actually go to bed at a decent hour but it was too early and I woke up and was not able to go back to sleep.)

I really think that this bad sleep schedule is affecting my family and my relationship with God negatively.

First and foremost, my children are usually the ones to wake me up. I have been getting up with them. This starts the day off way too chaotic. Most mornings I don't spend any time with God because as soon as my feet hit the ground I am taking care of little ones. I always say I'll do it during nap time or while they are playing but this rarely happens. It also makes me feel very rushed and unprepared for the day. I don't feel like I have on any armor, let alone the full armor. And it never fails that most nights I go to bed without giving God the proper priority in my life.

Secondly, it affects my children. Mostly because if Mommy is not in tune with God, she is not going to be properly equipped to train and lead them for the day. Also, I'm not really ready to give them proper care and attention in that first hour or so. I'm not a morning person at all.

When I let her wake me up breakfast will usually consist of a cereal bar, banana and milk. There is no thought to the nutritional value at all. She eats the easiest thing from the cabinet. She will also watch tv because it is nearly impossible to give Corbin his bottle and do anything else. (He likes to cry off and on during feedings.) I would really like to teach Michaela to spend time with God in the morning and get a good start to her day. I'm learning that it is extremely hard to break a bad habit once it's established.

I have justified staying up late in the past by saying it's the only time that I can get things done around here since the kids are asleep. There is some truth to this statement but I need to look at how it is affecting my priorities and my family. If I put God first He will give me the desires of my heart. I really think that if I put God first the rest will fall into place.

My goal for the week:

Get up at 6:30 every morning. This should give me 1.5-2 hours in the morning before the kiddos get up. I'll let you know how it goes.

(p.s.- I posted this at 12:47 at night.)


Tot School-24 Months 1 Week

Michaela is 24 Months

Playing Dress Up
Playing with her new dollhouse
Writing on her Chalk BoardPlaying Music with Melissa & Doug Band Set
(I love birthdays. Great way to get those toys you really want but can't afford. I also love Grandparents ;)
She stacked them up and put them on the shelf in one trip
She loved the latch board. She could have played with this all day!

Matching Geo Shapes. I thought she might be young for this but she wanted to try.
She did an okay job with it.
Of course, we had to draw on the board.
Playing with the Magnetic Dolls. Also a birthday present.
I set up her Little People Village to keep her busy while I cooked.
I just thought this was cute...
We finally got to go to the pool this week.
First time all summer!
Blowing Bubbles
This was her face after frozen yogurt and a fudgesicle.
We went to the pool again today!
Tot School this week included a lot of free play time which she really enjoyed. I think there is something to be said about balancing educational time with free play time.