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Raising Boys

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Important Spring Break Beach Items for Babies & Toddlers

There is nothing more I love than a sandy, beachy-bottomed baby. I mean its the best! We’ve been really enjoying ourselves this month visiting family on an early spring break. Finally, three babies later, I have compiled a great list of the items I actually use on the beach. It’s easy to get carried away and buy everything you might need. Don’t do that. Here’s what you really need, and what I actually use. I find that traveling light with the essentials makes me happier. If  I’m spending an hour packing the car and another hour unloading at the beach, my kids are asleep in the car seats before we even get there.  I don’t have as many photos as I’d like because I am so busy when we’re at the beach! I look away for a second, and I swear my children are raiding another kids sand castle or…

A Letter To My Defiant and Brilliant Child

Hello sweet child. I am writing you this letter today because I walked out on you and everyone yesterday, and I want you to know why. I want you to look back on that night and understand it was because I love you so much. I walked out the door, and I kept walking because I needed to breath and think about why we were butting heads. See, my precious, you are everything to me. You made me a mother. We aren’t seeing eye to eye right now, and I am wracking my brain and reading books to understand you better. I want you to know how special you are. You are incredibly smart. Your mind races from one idea to the next, and you put together the mysteries of the world in the most beautiful, philosophical theories. Your appetite for fun, adventure and danger are insatiable, and sometimes I’m…

3 Reading Games to Teach Your Toddler Boy to Read

I wrote a post on how I’m teaching my preschooler to read. I recently started focusing on reading because he’s taken an interest in spelling, and his attention span seems to be lengthening to where we can focus for longer periods of time to practice our letters and sounds. One thing I know about my four-year-old is that he loves a game. I can get him to do anything if I tell him he’s a super hero while he’s doing it. I came up with some fabulous games that encourage him to read, with out realizing that he’s even reading! First, we play, READING BATS! Yep, its Batman themed, along with hunting and capturing. My little boy loves a chase, so here’s what we do: I start by cutting paper into squares, or you can use index cards or something that is blank on both sides in a square-ish shape.…

How I Wake Up Happier Than My Kids

Before I implemented some new strategies, my mornings were jump-started with rambunctious toddlers flinging sippy cups in my face. I’d hide under the covers, hoping they’d miraculously go back to sleep. Then, I’d chug my coffee directly from the pot while frantically trying to catch up with my little ones. See, I’m a late-night person. I love the quiet hours after bed time, when there is peace and no interruptions. You might also like: The 5 Best Foods To Lose The Baby Weight and Pump Up Your Milk Supply Increase Your Milk Supply Overnight Prior to my new habits, I’d be just coming out of my sleep coma as I slid half-burnt toast to my zippy and happy children. Now, I have a routine that really helps me win the morning race. Here’s what I do, and I hope it helps every parent out there who likes to stay up…

How I am Teaching My Toddler to Read

We decided to focus on homeschooling our boys because we travel frequently, and we really enjoy being a part of their learning and education. My four-year-old (in 2 weeks!!) has shown a great interest in learning to read, sound out letters and spelling. His mind is working so fast, and he’s really picking up on things. I have a 3-part technique that I am using to teach him letters, sounds and sound combinations. I’ve also added a new post, My Small-Space Learning Corner for Home Schooling.  It’s our little learning space, and I go over what I have and where. I also wrote about preschool curriculum, to help guide you on what to teach if you are doing preschool at home. The first part is so simple, and it is working so well! LEAPFROG LEARNING DVD SET. It is worth every penny of the $9.99. It also comes with flashcards that…

5 Unconventional Indoor Activities For Busy Toddler Boys

After the holidays, we find that the new toys become old, the busy schedules fall silent, and all the holiday activities have been done and enjoyed. Its still cold, wet and not friendly outside. We get cabin fever faster than I can poor my coffee, so out of sheer desperation, I’ve come up with some fun and light-hearted indoor activities my boys love! My Top 5 Unconventional, Indoor Activities For Busy Toddlers: Pillow Fight: This really ends up being a pillow attack on myself. The boys love playing on the bed, throwing the pillows around and basically getting to show me their muscles and strength by nailing me in the face. The best part about this game is they really get some energy out. That is pretty much the goal with every activity: make them tired. You might also like: School of Motherhood: Everything I Wish My Mother Told Me…

School of Motherhood: Everything I Wish My Mother Told Me Before Kids

I studied pretty hard for the SATs. I took courses, went to practice tests, worked with friends and really did my best to prepare for the standardized test that determines your college future. Why isn’t there some sort of pre-parents study guide? One that gives you the list of special skills you need to practice to ensure you adapt and succeed at becoming a mom? I wish my mom, or anyone really, would’ve provided me a study guide or practice list before my first little bundle whirled into my life. You know, like a, “this will be on the test immediately upon giving birth” type of guide. There are so many simple things I could’ve started practicing prior to my first child, that would’ve better equipped me mentally and physically. For example, mastering the one-handed, peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. I could’ve been practicing and practicing this skill to avoid many…

This One Date Night Fail Taught Me More About Being a Mother Than All Three Boys

Boy were we excited. This was a date night we looked forward to for weeks. It was to celebrate many things; a birthday, a new baby, the holidays, remodels and our year of working on our marriage and finding a deeper love in our home. We were ready to pretend we weren’t parents for just a minute. Little baby was along for the ride, but he’s a good baby who sleeps quietly, and compared to the obnoxious toddlers, that’s nothing. I found this fabulous romper to wear. Full of sparkles and lace because all of that is so anti-mommy, and that’s what I was gonna be that night. Not a mom, but a girl dressed up ready to hit the town. Years if motherhood should have given me some inclination that things might not go as planned. I was too excited to give that inkling even a moments notice. We…

Raising Boys to be Brothers and Learning What Brotherly Love Is

We all know the book, Where The Wild Things Are. The imaginary, monster/adventure world describes the mind of a boy almost perfectly. They are adventure-seeking, monster-loving, little kings. They want to fight, take charge and beat things up. Boys are competitive little animals, and it’s not necessarily natural for them to be loving and kind to their brother(s). Brotherly love is a unique concept, but I’ve learned some things that help me understand and cultivate a loving relationship between my two boys. Tackling Is Love: Think of tackling, shoving or karate chopping like hugs and kisses for brothers. At first, it looks like it could be a knock out session, but there’s no anger. There is pure love and play. They absolutely love wrestling each other. Because they are still little, they haven’t learned appropriate boundaries to avoid someone (the little one) getting hurt. He usually cries for a second,…

Becoming a Mom of 3, Life with Two Toddlers and a Baby Guest Post!

On October 21st at 1:10pm, I joined the mom-of-three club. Since that day, I’ve graduated from hospital undies. I started putting yoga pants on, rather than pajama pants. I haven’t quite excelled into my new role as mom-of-three yet. Transitioning into life at home with two toddlers and a baby is a process I’m going through, with no real “I’ve got this down!” moments. (Hopefully soon?!) The older boys are loving this new phase in life. They are running around naked and crazy half the time. It’s difficult to dress them with one hand while nursing the baby in the other. As soon as I sit down to nurse, food starts soaring back and forth, laundry baskets get dumped, pillows go flying, and they literally have the time of their lives. Yeah, I’m navigating through the war zone in survival mode, driven by instinct…. Read More over at Tacoma Working…