Saturday, August 31, 2013

Windowsill Sitting

The windows in our new house are mostly quite low to the ground - they make a perfect little perch for Cole to enjoy a book or ten by the window:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blackberry Picking

A few weeks ago, we got together with some dear friends to go blackberry picking:

 Dean and Baby Grant:
 Mark helping the boys out :)
 The fruits of our labor! At least, the ones that didn't get consumed by our little blackberry-eating helpers ;)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Links to Love

Some amazing articles I've happened across in the past few weeks:

In just a few months, I'll be going through post-partum and everything that means...including a post-partum body (URGH!).  I really enjoyed this perspective, written in response to the ever-classy Kate Middleton.

My favorite: This article, with seven concise secrets of highly happy children.  Yes.  Yes. YES.

A little startling, but a highly interesting point of view regarding a daughter's sexuality found here.  Read it with an open mind and tell me what you think.

I'm NOT a fan of rap music, but when Chris showed me this video because he knew how much I would love it, I knew I had to share it on here.  Read the lyrics with the sound on mute if you have to, but rap or not, the words have an amazing, powerful message of love and tolerance:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Screen Time

This is a longer video, about 15 minutes, but it's a fascinating look at the effects of screen time in young children.

If you've spent any amount of time with me, you might know that we don't watch TV with Cole.  It's not on when he's awake, ever.  It's just not something we do. 

Even before we had Cole and I started researching the effects of TV on children, I always had some thoughts as a teacher about how television affects children's ability to learn.  Seeing more and more kids diagnosed with ADD and ADHD had something to do with it.  I also noticed how much harder teachers were having to work to keep even "normal" kids' attention - we as teachers simply cannot compare to how exciting and entertaining electronic media is.

So Cole has never watched any amount of TV.  And you know what?  I don't notice it a bit.  I never have any desire to turn on a show or a movie for him.  I don't feel as though he's missing out on anything by not watching a Disney movie.  He's bright, creative, and learns quickly.  He builds with blocks, reads books, plays outside.  His attention span for independent play is phenomenal, but if I do need a break to do some chores, I ask him to read some books independently and then when I'm finished, I'll read them to him. 

Is TV watching the worst thing in the world?  Of course not.  I know plenty of kids who watch it and are perfectly fine.  But there are so many other things I'd rather Cole do that are healthier and better for his developing brain. 

Has it always been easy?  Nope nope nope.  There have been times I've wanted nothing more than to plop him down so I can finish my book or do some sewing...or take a nap. But the amazing thing about sticking to my guns for three years is that now I'm seeing the results of our non-TV "experiment":  I have never met a three year old who can read (ten words so far); who knows all letters, capital and lowercase, and all sounds; who can count to twenty; who can read independently for an hour and half or more; who is persistent and focused when playing for hours on end; and who is extraordinarily well behaved.  All those hours that other kids watch TV?  My kid is reading and playing and running. 

I have absolutely no judgment for how others parent their children...but this is working for us, so I feel compelled to share some of our reasons why we do things the way we do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Third Pregnancy: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

A HEALTHY BABY!!!  woo-hoo!  It's been such a relief to go in for each ultrasound and midwife appointment and hear a strong heartbeat and see Baby squirming around in there.  After a year of stress and worry, thinking I might never be pregnant again with a healthy babe, it is so easy to appreciate the miracle of pregnancy. 

Also, Cole.  You guys, I have the coolest kid around.  He's been so excited for this baby, frequently planting kisses on my belly and practicing to be the most helpful big brother when Baby arrives. 

The Bad:

Urgh.  Blah.  Morning sickness.  All day sickness.  All day, all night, all pregnancy sickness.  Seriously, peeps, if I throw up one more time I am going on strike.  I cannot believe how sick I get during each of my pregnancies.  So much puking.  And not just throwing up - I have major food aversions too.  Like anything that is not liquid is a no-go.  I am always amazed that I come out of pregnancy with any weight gain at all, because I have SUCH a hard time eating anything at all when I'm pregnant.  Fortunately, I have plenty of extra weight to spare (fortunately??), so it's not like Baby is going to starve or anything, but the constant nausea and struggle to find something to eat gets pretty old.

And...the worry.  When our last pregnancy ended in miscarriage, one of the things I mourned the most was the loss of innocence.  Every little moment of joy is overshadowed (slightly) by moments of anxiety.  The first trimester was especially difficult - trying so hard to not be too excited, as a form of self-protection; yet desperately excited. 

We're pretty sure this is our last pregnancy, so I'm trying hard to relish all the good parts (the fluttering little kicks! watching Cole get excited! planning Baby's nursery! washing all those adorable baby clothes! stretchy maternity pants!) and keep perspective on the lack of appetite and nausea. 

Twenty weeks - halfway there!

Monday, August 19, 2013

An Announcement

You may have noticed things have been a bit on "radio silence" around here.

Yup...and here's why:

Baby will be arriving sometime in January! Needless to say, we are all super excited :)
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