Lego, Minecraft, Playdoh Charlotte Mason Inspired Narration Cards

Charlotte Mason Narration Cards

This year is our first year homeschooling.  The “meat” of our curriculum comes from Build Your Library, a secular and literature based curriculum that is inspired by the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.

Included in the curriculum your purchase are a wonderful collection of narration cards for your kids to draw or choose from.  My kids really love Minecraft, Legos, and Playdoh, so I’ve created 20 more cards to go with the ones included in our Build Your Library curriculum.

Printable Narration Cards

I print mine on bright colored cardstock and laminate them.  Then I cut them up for the kids to choose from on days we’re doing narration.

These could be used separately from the Build Your Library curriculum.  They’re straightforward enough to be used in any homeschooling environment.  Simply have a child do his daily readings—or you read to them—and then draw a card.  You might get:

Build your favorite character’s home in Minecraft.

It’s fun and helpful to have discussions before, during, and after these kinds of activities to help build on what the child heard, remembers, learned, feels, thinks, etc.

>> CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF FILE <<



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5 Printable Planner Pages—Arrowhead Themed Coral & Brown

Free Planner Printables

School is back in session or about to be for children and adults alike, which means the summer relaxation season is wearing off.  Before we know it, it’ll be the holidays and extra curricular activities will be in full swing.  Calendars will be full, if you’ve been fortunate to use one.

Related post: Dates to Remember Printable

If you’re still looking to put together a planner for the busy season of life—really, what season of life isn’t busy, though?—then here are five free planner printables just for my awesome readers!  This is a first for me, so let me know how you like them or if you find any mistakes!

Meal Planning Planner Printable

I’ve included a daily, weekly, and monthly planning page.  In addition to those two pages, there’s also budget and meal planning pages.  What other pages would you like to see in future free offerings?  What are your favorite planner pages?

Free Editable Planner Printables

These pages are completely editable, as well.  You can change many parts of them, and I highly encourage you to experiment and let me know how it goes.

Related post: Free Printable Baby Book Pages Part I

Soon, I’ll be adding lots of other options to my Etsy shop.   But don’t worry, freebies, sneak peaks, and discounts will all continue right here!

>> CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DOWNLOAD <<

What would you like to see for the next freebie?



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Motherhood from the Bathroom

Motherhood from the Bathroom

When we bought our house, there was my husband, myself, our Kindergartener, and our toddler.  Three bedrooms.  One—large—bathroom.  Now, we’ve added our daughter, a cat, and two large dogs.  Suddenly, our house—and especially the singular bathroom—doesn’t feel quite so large, or big enough at all, really.

However, based on what all the other moms (and some dads, too) are saying…I don’t think it’s the one bathroom that’s the issue.  It’s just the reality of parenting, where you have one or four bathrooms, one or six kids.  I’m not the first to notice. 

Patti of Insane in the Mom Brain, who is totally hilarious, and a collection of other bloggers published I Just Want to Pee Alone in 2013, which went on to be a four book series.

Now that I’m up to three kids, three pets, and a husband…Well, bathrooms—or bathroom, singular, rather—do not equal privacy in this household.  We didn’t even have a door on our bathroom for at least two months after the last one literally came off the hinges.

Bathroom Realities of Motherhood

Eating in the bathroom.

I don’t want the kids to eat anymore cereal.  I want cereal.  I’m hiding in the little “cove” our toilet sits in, eating a bowl of cereal while the tea I’m boiling on the stove boils over and karma bites me in the butt.

Related post: 5 Step Parent Confessions

Everyone’s bladder is on the same schedule.

I’m seven months pregnant and I have to pee.  Suddenly, I’m racing a toddler in a diaper and my six year-old to the only toilet in the house because everyone else now has to pee, as well.

Motherhood: Racing children to the bathroom

The tub doubles as a toilet.

While my kids have never peed in the sink, like some of my friends have at parties, it’s probably just because they’re too short to reach it.  The tub, on the other hand, regularly gets peed in (see last point) by kids and adults, alike.  My toddler may have finally grown out of pooping in the tub every time she takes a bath.

Can I join you?

I hope you don’t mind the close proximity of toddler hugs or a neglected cat who wants to be pet while you’re trying to poop.  Because since you’re sitting still for a few moments, everyone is demanding to take that time to get in some snuggles.  Or maybe you’re in the shower and the only way the baby is getting bathed is with you.  Even my cat likes to live life on the edge—of the tub—while I’m trying to shower and the dogs try to sneak in and get a lick of the delicious shower water.  If I try to shower by myself, I’m “caught” 99% of the time by an already-half-stripped small child demanding to get in the tub for the fifth time today.

Related Post: 4 Tips to Get Kids to Enjoy Reading

All eyes on you.

Maybe this one time, you actually don’t have a small child trying to sit on your lap or a feline who is taking advantage of the empty space for some quick petting.  Well, if they’re not sitting on you, they’re staring at you.  I hope you don’t have a shy bladder, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dog laying at my feet staring up at me or a kid watching me for no particular reason.

Real talk.

My kids always have the most pressing questions when I’m on the toilet or in the shower.  If they’re miraculously otherwise occupied, my husband absolutely has to show me the “funniest” YouTube video ever or tell me that same story he told me yesterday.

Kids & husband need to talk in bathroom

Sure.  Lock the door.  I dare you.

Before our door came off the hinges and we replaced it with another, the bathroom door was the only interior door with a working lock.  First, I can’t tell you how many times I was locked out of our only bathroom because a kid had messed with the lock and then closed the door when exiting.  Second, when you lock the door as the parent, all the previous points still apply except you now have kids and pets on the outside of the door in a state of panic because they can’t reach you.  The littlest children are probably crying and hysterical and the older ones can just yell their questions through the door or tattle on each other or narrate exactly how upset the littlest is.

Related Post: Today I was a Bad Parent

Basically, the bathroom stops being a place for private, long, hot showers and sexy time with your significant other.  It stops being where you spend an uninterrupted hour getting ready—makeup, hair, etc—every day.  It’s almost as much a family gathering place as the dining room.

Maybe that’s not your reality.  But it is mine.  What’s motherhood from the bathroom like at your house?


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Pregnancy & Your Vagina

Pregnancy & Your Vagina
This week, I found myself getting on Google and searching "ugly vagina during pregnancy." Believe it or not, I didn't get a bunch of R rated nonsense.

Surprise! Tons of other women are posting on parenting, pregnancy, and baby forums about this. This is my third pregnancy and I'm kind of wondering why I am having this vagina epiphany right now.

So, obviously most women are expecting some changes during and/or post childbirth. Thanks to me (and Google) you can now be informed that it starts before birth, ladies!

Vaginal Changes During Pregnancy

New Scent, Taste, and Extra Discharge

Yes, that smell might actually be you. Thanks to your sensitivity to smells, you'll probably be the first (and maybe only) person to notice this. Your partner might notice a new taste...or maybe not. It's there, but not always as noticeable. To top it all off, you might find yourself changing your panties more often, and not just because you peed yourself after sneezing.

Related Post: Relieving Pregnancy Pains Without Medication

Cheeseburger Crotch

Okay, so I didn't invent this term. The internet informed me that ugly pregnancy vaginas were deemed by some genius, "cheeseburger crotch." This is basically what someone thought their vagina looked like during pregnancy thanks to the swelling/puffiness that may or may not be equal from one side of your vagina to the other.

Varicose veins are not uncommon, even in the vaginal area. You or your partner might also notice a blueish tint, which can also be normal, thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow. To top it all off, pregnant women typically notice more ingrown hairs.

Extra Discharge During Pregnancy

Higher Risk of UTI/Yeast Infection

Pregnant women are at higher risk of getting a UTI thanks to extra pressure on the bladder and yeast infection because of the pregnancy hormones that change your pH balance.

On the Plus Side

There might be one benefit (other than the baby at the end, of course). Due to increased sensitivity and swelling during pregnancy, you might experience more intense orgasms!

Related Post: Today I was a bad parent

Keep In Mind

Pregnancy and child birth are miracles; that's for sure. The whole process is amazing and unusual and beautiful and crazy. Every pregnancy is different, and your doctor/OB/midwife is your friend! If you're worried or unsure, call them about it!

This is not medical advice, but I hope you've found it informative and maybe a little amusing.

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Beginners' Guide to Cloth Diapers

Beginners Guide to Cloth Diapers
Modern cloth diapering is not your grandma's safety pins and some wash cloths...or those ugly plastic pants at Wal Mart. Reusable diapers have come a long way, with a plethora of options. This is great, except it leaves parents feeling overwhelmed.

Cloth diapering can be a wonderful experience with the right information and tools. I have compiled some info to get you started.

Different Cloth Diaper Types

There are different types of cloth diapering options, because we love to make it overwhelming, right? No, really, it's just like there's a variety of disposable diapers. Every parent, baby, and lifestyle is unique and that's why there are so many options of cloth diapers. What's perfect for you might not be the right fit for your neighbor.

Overwhelmed by Cloth NappysAll In Ones

Also called AIOs.  AIOs are cloth diapers considered to share the most similarity to disposables. They're all one piece and most are somewhat customization because of a pocket option to add extra absorbency.

Pockets

Pocket diapers are basically a "shell" of a diaper that has a pocket to put whatever inserts/absorbency you want in them.

Covers

Covers are PUL, waterproof diaper shells that you can use with folded prefolds or flats laid in them or with fitted underneath. You can typically reuse covers multiple times in one day by simply wiping out the shell and allowing it to dry.

Hybrids/All in Twos

Hybrid systems and AI2s are combination systems. The most popular are cover-like systems with snap in inserts, but there are other kinds that combine multiple cloth diaper options.

Related Post: 4 Reasons to Cloth Diaper

Washing Cloth Diapers

When it comes to cloth diapers, this is probably one of the biggest reasons we lose parents. People are often 'grossed out' by the thought of washing poopy diapers or completely overwhelmed with the often contradicting advice.

I wholeheartedly recommend Fluff Love University as a resource for washing cloth diapers. The website also has a plethora of other information and a facebook group where you can live feedback!

For a beginner, here are some important and relevant cloth diaper washing facts:
  • You do not need to rinse out diapers of exclusively breastfed babies. Breastmilk poo is water soluble.
  • Older toddler poo often rolls right off into the toilet without you having to rinse the diaper.
  • Fabric softener is not cloth diaper friendly.
  • Homemade detergent is a no go.
Related Post: 6 Ways Babies Benefit from Babywearing

Start Cloth Diapering

Buying Cloth

You can buy cloth diapers used on facebook buy, sell, trade groups like Cloth Diaper Swap or on DiaperSwappers.com. You can buy new cloth diapers from a variety of places online and, if you're lucky, a local retailer. Places like Kelly's Closet and Diaper Junction are good starting places.

So, now you have some info to get you started. I hope you're not feeling too overwhelmed. Feel free to drop a comment or question and I'll do my best to answer!


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