We've been in the dinosaur phase a LONG time, you guys. So long that I was feeling officially tapped out on ever running around making dino toys roar, reading another dino fact book, or watching one of the MANY Land Before Time stories (the songs get rough, guys. Even Reba McEntire as a Pterodactyl can't save 'em). So this morning while the baby was snoozing, I tried out 3 different dinosaur themed preschool skill activities, and by golly THEY WORKED. 100% engagement! I'm pretty sure all of these ideas could be themed with any type of animal or characters with which your kid is OBSESSED. They build in literacy and math skills and help you not go crazy during playtime. WIN WIN!
The first one is for reading, the second for art, and the third for math!
Wow, I’ve seriously been trying to write this post for over a month now and can never seem to finish! Ha! #momlife. I’ve had some friends ask about how the 3-day method went, so I didn’t want to give up on sharing my thoughts.
Before actually getting started, you really must read the entire method created by Lora Jenson. There are so many things I heard about potty training and was doing *mostly* right. Rowan was even interested in it and used the potty at 18 months old! Had I not known this FULL method though, I don’t know if I could’ve sealed the deal for him to be fully trained before he turned 2 1/2… maybe not even by three! He's a strong-willed one.
Here are the 5 things that surprised me the most…
We are big fans of snow days over here! They usually only come once or twice a year, so we don't usually have time to get sick of them. Our city also doesn't have enough salt trucks or plows to handle all of the icy roads, so we get to completely shut down for a day or two.
It's even better when no ice has weighed down power lines, and we are still cozy with all the comforts of home (internet, heat and all) like today.
Rowan wanted to sled like the big kids for the first time, so we had to improvise with a plastic storage box. It was a pretty good solution thanks to Zack's ingenuity, and he didn't topple out even once! I'm also proud of myself that I didn't take any pregnant-falls on the ice, even though everything is pretty much like ice skating.
I don't really have anything monumental to share other than our funny storage box idea.. hahaha! But I just wanted to remember this day, because it's been really fun. I also have a recent obsession with Enneagram tri-types and instincts this week, and I just really want ALL my friends to take Enneagram tests so I can know what everyone's dominant type (and wing) is. In between building snowmen, taking naps and playing board games, you should get on that right now and tell me what you are. If you don't, then I'll feel like a big piece of my friendships are missing -- like the type 4 wing 3 that I am. Ha!
Rowan turned two this month, and we had a birthday breakfast picnic with our family + a few of his little friends. And I did it! I finally did it! I threw a low-key party without stressing (except once for five minutes), no crafting, and zero let-down expectations.
The only theme I did was everything in dark blue (his favorite color). So I used picnic blanket plaids in blue and had lots and lots of blue balloons around his birthday present -- a teepee! (I figured this was the last year before he was fully talking and submitting birthday theme requests, so I took it and ran! One last, easy, cutesy party before dinosaurs invade my life!)
When we were dating, I'd make Zack a compilation of all of our videos for that calendar year. Now that my biggest life milestones revolve around being a mom, they revolve around our little son. These videos are one of my most favorite things to do!
Aaaand we're BACK! I hope none of you are tired of me talking about our trip already. If you are, then I'm not sure why you are looking at my blog right now. Get outa here!... JK I love you, please be my friend. You guys, the mom-brain and travel-haze is so real, because I've been home for about a week and am already forgetting details about things that happened. God help meh! I'm so glad I'm writing this down! If you missed part one about our Oxford visit + how we packed, then check that out first.
So on the 5th day of our trip... "my true love gave to meeee... FIVE GOLDEN--"
Sorry. Staying on track...
DAY 5: When we were planning this section of the trip, we definitely made a calendar error. We wanted to just take a train to Glasgow and stay there for a day, but then we realized we were one day short and would have to stay on the railway alllll the way to Fort William with only a short stop-off in Glasgow.
Well, our traveling craze just earned us another badge. We officially survived our first family-style international traveling experience with an almost 2 year old. Back in March, we took a cross-country trip to Portland and drove down to the Redwoods in California. After that experience, I had moments of doubt that we would ever be able to travel internationally or with multiple children one day. But then... as we thought back on our planning mistakes with the Oregon trip and realized Rowan's free, under-two travel window was expiring (along with my last month before returning to teach)... we knew we had to squeeze in a trip. CARPE DIEM, PEOPLE!
So I just read a NY Times article about how much unhappier American parents are compared to parents in other countries... pretty sad, right? Oh, "Land of the Free", why do you have to be so restricting sometimes? August is National Breastfeeding Month, and I've been thinking a lot about the vast differences between all the mothers in the world and in our country. What we do have in common is the lack of paid maternity leave, restrictive hospital practices during birth, and the idea that all women must be and do all things.
But isn't it insane that a common life experience sometimes couldn't be ANY more different if you compared two different kids or parents?
...those couples that struggle to get pregnant vs. those who have a surprise pregnancy, stressful breastfeeding journeys vs. those who find it easy, families with relational conflicts vs. those with financial troubles... It's a wonder anyone can relate to each other in adulthood with how differentiated our lives can become.
Remember how clueless you were before experiencing college, or marriage, or your own pregnancy? Well guess what? Your experience in those topics have only gained you knowledge about your own life and a GENERAL knowledge to relate to others in similar life stages. But the fact of the matter is that we are still mostly clueless to each other's lives, and we have no idea what it's like to be married to their spouse, have their job, or parent their children... and etc. and etc. and etc... AAAAAND soap box over! Isn't it mind-blowing though? Well, it is to me anyway.
And it truly explains why so many mothers have a hard time understanding their friends... and how you feel so much loneliness and isolation when your experience isn't matching up with others in a group. It's all common sense that everyone's life is different, but for some reason in parenthood we feel like we are all in this thing now, and we are all supposed to "get" each other. Again, maybe it's just me.
This month marks 22 months of my "extended" breastfeeding journey, and let me just say that I don't have a whole lot of people in that club with me. haha!
I'm sure that nearly every mother -- no matter what their journey of feeding their baby may be -- feels shame in one form or another. So I thought I'd share some of my moments of shame heaped on (unintentionally and intentionally) by others and our American society. Maybe they will help someone...
In just 3 short months, little Rowan is going to be TWO. How did this happen so fast? Seriously. One interesting thing going on with him at this age is how his receptive language is surging, yet he hardly produces real words. So this got me thinking and wondering how many other young toddlers out there are this same way (or if the norm is to just be jabbering already)... Or is it just half and half?
I couldn't find any hard statistics on how many toddlers are slower to produce expressive language, but I do know that it is more common in boys. I also read that 70-80% of late talkers will outgrow a language delay (if they have no delays in comprehension). But then this kind of sent me down a rabbit trail as I wondered, how do you know if you might be in that other 20-30%?