Thursday, January 16, 2014

Going TV Free

First off: TV Free is probably unrealistic for most families, I know it is for mine. However, what I am focusing this post on, is going TV free during the day with children as much as possible.

That being said, being TV free takes patience, planning and time. I start my days off with the children by turning on some calm music on Pandora and having a craft ready. Having something organized to start the day helps them get into the mindset of meaningful work.

I make sure to offer lots of free play and outside time. Being outside is gravely important for all people, but especially children. We have become a very sedentary society and the simple act of going outside has become a chore. We go outside at least 30 minutes a day, preferably an hour or more. We also have several periods of Free Play throughout our day, as well as some structured activities like sensory play, crafts and kitchen activities.

Lastly, we read and listen to stories. The children have quiet periods throughout the day where the are expected to spend time quietly reading, drawing or listening to a story. I love SparkleStories.com but also recently discovered justbooksreadaloud.com that is also lovely (although some of the books are more mainstream like Dora). Some of our favorite stories to read right now include Winnie the Pooh, The Fairy and the New Year, and the Bunny and the Baby.

I hope this gives you some ideas for your family!

In Love and Light

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Finding Motivation

It's been one of those mornings...one where I just want to crawl back into bed.

I was kept up all night by cats getting into the trash, running through my room and jumping on my bed. My Little One did not sleep well either so when my alarm went off at 6am, I really did not want to get up. Oh and did I mention that I'm going through a detox cleanse as well?

I finally dragged myself out of my bed (it's about 15 degrees here) and got everyone dressed and fed and set about about arranging the craft for my daycare kiddos. We're learning about stars, yellow, horizontal lines and winter right now. By the time I had it set up on the table my first child arrived. I went to open my front door only to realize it was frozen...awesome....

It's now 7:30 and so far we've had two accidents, a major meltdown and and full change of clothes.

So I broke down and turned on a movie.

It's not how I planned this day to go, but that's not what matters. As long as something gets done, then the day has been successful.

The kiddos are watching a read aloud story and are calm, I have a load of diapers in the wash, and the dishwasher just finished. I may not get the crafts done that I had planned, we may not even read the stories that I had picked out, but the day is not lost...my dishes will be clean and put away, I won't have to scramble to wash diapers tonight, and maybe my floors will get cleaned.

Finding motivation isn't always easy, you have to step back from the situation...let go of frustrations. I keep a running list of things I need to do, when I have time, I pick something off the list. This means that my house isn't always spotless, sometimes I have dishes in the sink and sometimes no one wants to do the craft I had planned. But then we just move on to something else. This simple list keeps me motivated to keep trying. Hearing the children laugh and get excited over seeing something new is worth it...and at the end of the day when I'm exhausted...I look at the list, add a few more things and know that although it will never be done, I've had a great day.

In Love and Light

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Getting Back to Simple in 2014

I have been on a short hiatus from blogging to focus on healing my sweet Little One. I have mentioned before that he was ill, specifically we now know that he is anemic, gluten intolerant and has other food allergies. After a few months of worrying and some tears, we are now on an upturn!

For this reason, I have decided to share the next part of our journey with you. I have just achieved a dream of mine, opening a daycare. I have one little girl staying with Little One and I today. We have had a wonderful time playing with dolls, exploring outside, baking cookies and reading. After a brief meltdown, I decided that the comfort of a favorite movie was necessary. I rarely have Little One, or other children I care, watch movies, but I do understand their comfort and distraction.

Next week begins our first learning unit (there were only two days in this week). We're discovering stars and the color yellow :) I'll be posting about our lesson plans and pictures of our crafts (hopefully)

In other news, with Little One being so premature, my body has struggled to bounce back from pregnancy. I lost the weight very quickly due to stress, but this isn't particularly healthy. I have decided to focus more on my health this year, now that Little One is doing better. As I am still nursing, doing a traditional detox is not safe. I have cobbled together a smoothie and meal plan to make sure I'm getting enough calories, while also allowing my body a bit of a break.

In conjunction with this, I am putting together meal plans from Nourishing Traditions. I am very excited about this! It is something I have wanted to do for a long time but have had excuses for not doing so. Similarly, I have made excuses not to exercise lately, but am now determined to try again. Is anyone else interested in the health benefits of yoga and tai chi?

And lastly, due to being a single mom and on a somewhat flexible income, I've realized I need to be more organized--especially with my budget. I am working my way through Dave Ramsey's Babysteps Plan. I'm hoping to get all debt paid off and have a decent savings account by the end of 2014!

Wishing you all the best in 2014

In Love and Light

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Almond Chocolate Cookies

So, as part of combating my son's anemia, we have eliminated dairy from our diet. After reading some if the ingredients on the Almond Milk in the store, I decided to go ahead and make my own (not too hard and not too bad).

As a result, I had a lot of almond meal sitting in my fridge.

I was craving cookies after a long week of interviews and decided to try making some with the almond meal I had before it went bad (yes it can, smells nasty! ). After searching pinterest, I had a few ideas and set about making baby friendly cookies.

The recipe:

2 cups almond meal
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 need coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp ground flax seed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix ground flax seed and and water in small bowl and set aside.

Combine almond meal, flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients, asking with flax seed and water mixture and completely combine (make sure to really combine otherwise see cookies will be less chocolaty). You may stir the mixture, but I found using my hands worked better.

Make small balls (1-2 tbsp each) and place on baking sheet a few inches apart. Slightly flatten each one with hand or use a fork to create an indented design.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes 24 to 36 cookies depending on size.

I served mine with strawberries and blueberries or peanut butter. The best part to me is that this cookie dough is edible raw :) (you could even add chocolate chips or homemade Nutella!)

A great treat, high in iron and bioavailable. Yum

In love and light

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This Last Week

This last week has been a whirlwind of interviews, cleaning, baking, freezing meals and doctors appointments.

Some of you know that about a month ago, my Little One got sick with a cold that has inexplicably not gone away. It resulted in a panicked call to the pediatrician when his fever spiked suddenly as his father has a history of seizures with fevers. Little One has been very tired the past few weeks and it looks like we finally have an answer.

Anemia

Little One has low iron and hemoglobin, not uncommon in preemies, but stressful because it can cause problems like low oxygen which affects brain development.

So my blog is going to take a slight turn. I'm going to be sharing recipes that I am using to help boost his iron as well as some budgeting and organization ideas that are helping me stay sane while running a daycare, business and going back and forth from the doctor and therapy.

Thank you all for your love and support, it means so much to us!

In love and light

Friday, October 25, 2013

See Him Grow

My Little One is a year old. It's hard to believe this time a year ago, he was fighting for his life and we were unsure of what complications he would face.

The pictures below show how much he has changed. From my incubator baby to my off and crawling little boy.

In love and light

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Birthday Boy

Happy birthday to my amazing, sweet, miracle boy! We made it to one, I can't wait to see what this year holds for us.

(I'll be doing another birthday post of our home celebration and his party. Stay tuned! )

In love and light