Tag Archives: learning

He built a small house around himself

The little guy built his cocoon!

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Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting

A proper update

So I realized that I have been great about documenting all my knitting adventures lately, but not so great about documenting Bean and this pregnancy. The last time I did anything close to a real update was about a month ago when I talked about the learning adventures of Bean. So I’m well overdue, I’d say.

I guess I will start off back at the learning adventures, as it seems like as good a place as any. We’re still trying to make learning a daily part of our lives in a natural way.


Reading with her Papa just before heading out to a Halloween party we attended.

However, I’ve completely cut the DVD portion of the Your Baby Can Read! system out. When all the stuff about the Baby Einsteins videos came out I decided that Bean did not need to be watching TV, even TV specifically designed for babies, yet. Actually, the DVD part of the system is what bugged me the most anyway and that is what I was talking about when I said I was not willing to follow his strict plan for learning.

His suggestion is that you watch the DVD for the unit you are on twice a day. You are also supposed to move on to the next unit once a month and once you move on to a new unit you are still supposed to watch the DVDs from the previous units three times a week. So you figure that by the time you get to the end of the five or six DVD system your kid is basically going to be watching TV a majority of the day. I think this is ridiculous.

Besides, Bean is a very inquisitive and alert little girl. She wants to learn about the world around her. She is constantly asking what stuff is. She loves music and particularly likes it when we sing songs with hand motions in them like The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I really don’t think I have anything to worry about as far as her ability to learn. And besides, she’s ONE.

Bean has become a full-time walker. It has been so nice because now I don’t have to carry her everywhere anymore which is admittedly getting harder and harder to do as the pregnancy wears on. She can climb the stairs and will follow me around the house or walk somewhere holding my hand.

I completely weaned her on November 1. It wasn’t something I was really planning on. Actually, the biting issues had completely stopped (finally!) and I was pretty much fine with continuing to nurse her before naps and at bedtime. Plus, everytime that I thought I was going to do it she’d get a cold or had a reaction to vaccines or something and I felt like I needed to continue so she could get antibodies and stuff.

About a week or so before I weaned her I had started getting really uncomfortable Braxton Hicks during every nursing session that would last for several hours afterwards. So I started to think that I really should reconsider weaning her because I didn’t want nursing to send me into premature labor or something. I was still feeling really torn about the whole thing though because I knew she just wasn’t ready to stop. She was always coming up to me and tugging on my shirt. I guess my philosophy is more along the lines of child-led weaning in some ways.

Well, on the afternoon of November 1 I nursed Bean as usual before her nap and she basically treated me like a jungle gym the entire time. She was even upside down at one point. It was pretty ridiculous. That combined with some contractions afterwards had me frustrated. I came downstairs and told Stephen that I was done. However, in the back of my mind I wasn’t sure if this was really going to be the case. I’ve said that many times and then not actually quit. Well anyway, the rest of the day she didn’t ask to nurse. I gave her some regular milk before bed that night and she didn’t ask to nurse again. The next day came and she didn’t ask to nurse at all. It’s been like that ever since. So I guess she was just done like me. I’m really glad that this is the way it went and I didn’t have to make it happen because I’m not sure I would have been up for it.

On a related note, we’ve been having some food issues around here. Today Bean once again proved that she’s willing to eat pretty much anything so long as it is in a restaurant. She shared chicken nachos from Baja Fresh with me and ate quite a huge portion of them. If I try to make the same thing at home, she picks at it. Same goes for anything from orange chicken to broccoli to pasta, etc. At home she’s just incredibly picky and I can hardly get her to eat. It is very frustrating. Some days I/we go out to eat for lunch or dinner just so I know that she’ll get something to eat besides grains (cereal, bread, oatmeal, or crackers), dairy (yogurt or milk mostly and cheese only in the form of a quesadilla) and fruit. I thought I had solved this problem by eliminating Cheerios from her diet and while that did seem to make things a little better and get her to try a few new items, the problem still seems to persist. I’ve tried the “toddler boat” idea (an ice cube tray or muffin tin filled with various items for them to graze on all day) from Dr. Sears, spoon feeding jar food (works sometimes), and a whole host of other things. At her last doctor’s appointment Bean was anemic and her pediatrician said I need her to eat leafy greens and red meat. I have not been successful at all in this. Any suggestions from parents of other picky eaters would be welcome.

She’s also teething yet again. A couple of bottom teeth are coming in. She’s been a bit of a bear to deal with some days. She is also chewing on everything. I’ve actually had to take her books and other cardboard type toys (some blocks and a couple other items) out of the toy box only to be looked at and read with our active supervision because she was eating them so much. I feel like a bit of a bad mom because of this since she loves her books so much, but the amount of cardboard consumption was getting ridiculous.


Chewing on her crib to alleviate the teething pain.


You can see the damage from her chewing just above her hand on the right side of the picture.

As far as pregnancy, depending on which due date calculation you use I am somewhere between 32w and 33w3d along. In the last week or so I’ve had a resurgence of some of my first trimester woes, particularly heartburn and morning sickness. The morning sickness is fairly easily taken care of by Zofran and Unisom, but both make me really drowsy and so can only be taken just prior to Bean’s nap or bedtime. The heartburn, on the other hand, really doesn’t seem to have any cure. Sometimes it is so bad that it makes me cough and gag.

Even without nursing anymore I am still experiencing a lot of uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions. They usually occur when I have busy days or when I have to climb the stairs a lot. Sometimes they make me have panic attacks. I think this is because my uterus gets so hard that my lungs and other organs are even more squashed than usual. I start to feel like I can’t get a good breath and then I panic. I know this is not good. I’m really trying to figure out ways not to panic and calm down. Sometimes just drinking some really cold water seems to help. I really want to figure this out before it comes time for real labor though or I might be in some serious trouble.

Anyway, that just about sums everything up around here. Hopefully I’ll be more prompt with my updates in the future. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Natural Living, Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth, Ramblings

Learning baby

I remember the first time I took Bean to one of my old workplaces and the head anchor there was like, “Lisa do you read to her?” “Um, not really,” I answered quite sheepishly. “Oh, I read to my boys all the time. I’d nurse them for hours and just read and read.”

I came home and was a little freaked out and intimidated. Oh, no! What if I was already stunting Bean’s development? I didn’t even have any kids books yet. I remember calling my sister-in-law and asking her if I should already be reading. A few weeks later Ruth brought up a mini-library for Bean and I started trying to read sometimes, but she honestly wasn’t at all interested.

Within the past year, Stephen has really started to love reading and learning. He is rarely without a book these days and his guitars and amps are mostly sitting around collecting dust. Part of that makes me a little sad as I’ve always been a big proponent of his musical endeavors, but it just isn’t where he’s at right now. I do love, however, the effect of both of us reading all the time has on Bean. Like most kids she wants to copy everything we do and being such a Papa’s girl this is especially true of anything he does. She loves to pull out her books when we do and look at the pictures, point to things in the book and ask us, “Isth ut?” (which I think might mean “What is that?” or “What is it?”) and have us read to her.

The past couple months I’ve also started going on starfall.com a couple times a week and doing a few letters with her until she gets bored. And then for her birthday, my sister, Andrea, gave us the Your Baby Can Read! language development system which has been featured on infomercials and TV shows. I admit to thinking this thing is quite cheesy, but I read through the materials and what he says about early learning seems to make sense.

I am not, however, willing to dedicate a daily allotment of time for reviewing the DVD, books and flash cards. I think his system is a bit strict for a child this young. Plus, I think the way the system goes about teaching words encourages sight-reading over phonics (which is why I continue to use starfall).

In the few weeks since we started using it though, Bean has learned some of the words. While she can’t say all of them, she does recognize clap (she claps her hands when it is said), mouth (will point to her mouth), baby (she can actually say this one), arms up (does this), and hi (waves).


Clapping after pointing to the word clap and hearing me say it.


Waving “hi” after I pointed to the girl waving hi and said hi to her.

I really don’t think there is much to his system though that most parents couldn’t cobble together on their own. I think the biggest part is just actually setting aside time to either read or go over words, pictures, letters, colors, etc. Repetition seems to be a big part of it too. I also think it is important to watch their cues when they are this young. If they are clearly disinterested and ready to move on to the next thing, I wouldn’t force them to continue to sit through the rest of the video or book or whatever.


She really likes pointing to the tiger and hearing me say that one. I’m not sure why.

Anyway, a few friends asked me to do a bit of a review of the product and that is what I think so far. I guess this means homeschooling has already begun around here?

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Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Literary Love, Parenting, Reviews

White balance

As I said earlier, I figured out how to adjust the white balance on my camera and it makes such a difference.

I still have Christmas decorations up so don’t judge my laziness…

Prior to adjusting the white balance:

After adjusting the white balance:

Both photos were taken just minutes apart and I changed no lighting in our house between them. All I did was go into the white balance setting on the camera and adjust it. I used to get so frustrated taking photos in our house at night or in low/yellowish lighting situations because my photos always turned out yucky looking and not true to their colors. Now I know what to do to change this!

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