Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life: November 2011

Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life is about paying attention to what it is that we do on a day to day basis and how we impact each other and the planet. We will talk about all of the things that we do here at home to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Mistake

The Bean has been learning hand work.  She is very excited.  What she really wants is to learn to sew, knit and crochet.  But we are starting small.  Her fine motor dexterity is not fine enough for anything complicated yet. So, we started with sewing quilt squares, and weaving on our pot holder loom.

We got started, and I showed her how to thread up the loom and draw the hook through with the yarn weaving in and out.  And then, she started making mistakes!  I knew it was coming, and at first, I prompted her to fix it.  But I wasn't enjoying that process, and neither was she.  Finally, I stopped insisting that each row be perfect and let her simply do it.

Two rows later, she was able to see that she had made a mistake.  She hadn't been able to find the mistakes when I was the one finding them, but left alone for 2 rows, she found them.  I showed her how to correct it.  A few rows later, she was finding and fixing the mistakes herself.  By the time she was done, her rows were perfect.

Amazing that I thought I had to teach her.  She knew how to figure it out all by herself!  My mistake.

She also took the pictures.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Papa, the Pancake Artist

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

We have a fabulous weekend tradition at our house.  Every weekend, I sleep in.  Ok, not quite the 10:00 rolling out after a lovely uninterrupted stretch of having a bed all to myself that I used to relish, but when the Bean is up by 7, the Bug by 7:15 and Squeaker by 7:30, Papa entertains them downstairs while I snooze.  But that's not the best part.  Ok, I know it sounds like the best part, but it really isn't.

Next is pancakes and waffles!  Mmmm!  Every weekend, Papa makes a triple batch of allergen friendly waffles and pancakes.  We all eat as much as we want for breakfast the first day, and freeze the rest for breakfasts throughout the week.  On days when Papa is feeling especially wonderful, he sprinkles chocolate chips on my waffles.  And on the most wonderful days, he serves said chocolate chip waffles in bed!  But, that's not the best part.

The best part is when Papa takes custom orders for pancakes from the Bean and the Bug.  The Littles climb into the red kitchen chair, and think up whatever shape sounds like fun - and Papa draws it in pancake batter, making anything requested.  See, for example, this pancake horse.

We've had hearts, squares, blobs, tractors, houses, horses, pumpkins, and even the occasional circle!  And THAT is the best part of weekend mornings.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Everybody Loves a Ride

Babywearing is one of the things that has made my parenting life so much easier and more pleasant.  We started off with a pouch style sling when Bean was a baby.  From about 6 weeks on she lived in the pouch and loved it!

She hung out in the warmth from my body and soaked up my smell.  She nursed.  And since she (and I) had a tendency to panic when we weren't together, the pouch gave me my hands to do important things, like feed myself, while keeping her close.

Yet, the Bean is the only one of my babies who has been fond of our pouch.  I still have it.  I've tried it at different stages with each baby.  But she is the only one who has been truly happy in it.  Perhaps because she was so small.  When she was about three months old, she outgrew the pouch, and we moved on to ring slings.  Yes, plural.  I seem to have a thing for ring slings.

Above, the Bean with her first illness, cuddled in a heavy corduroy and flannel ring sling.  Below, the Bean at her first Easter in blue and white polka dot cotton ring sling.

Below, the Bug on his birthday in a cotton ring sling.  He did not like carriers much between about 6 weeks and 9 months, so there aren't many pictures of him in them.

Even Daddy wore the kids sometimes!

We tried out the mei tai a few times, but no one really loved it.

Then we got an Ergo, which we all loved!  However, I can't find a single picture of any of us in it.  However, it was truly worth the investment, and we used it tons.  I sometimes used the Ergo as a front pack with the Bean on my back as well.

Then I've got my water pouch, which I love and don't use nearly as much as I wish I did.  It seems we don't do a lot of swimming.

And for our new addition, I couldn't resist just 1 more carrier!  So, we tried out a wrap.  Oh, my, this is my favorite ever!

The wrap is my truly hands free option.  It helps me to get done what I need to get done in a day with 3 little ones.  It keeps Squeaker happy hanging out snugly.  In fact, he gets so excited when he sees me get it out that he waves his little arms and legs and coos and laughs.  He loves it, as the Bug would say.  And so do we all.  Even my mom commented to someone one time while waiting for me to wrap him up, "It takes a while to get him in there, but it really is the best way to carry a baby."  Proof that everybody loves a ride!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Putting the Year to Bed

With Halloween past, I am looking forward towards winter, and all that goes with it.  This stretch between mid-autumn and winter always feels to me like we are putting the year to bed.  The harvest is done.  We do the last of the yard work for the year.  We put away the children's outdoor toys, and move the climber to the basement for letting off steam in the cold.  We begin to haul firewood up to the house for lighting a fire first thing in the chilly mornings.  We gather our leaves, acorns, walnuts, pinecones and other nature items for play and crafts.  We put on our flannels and sweaters and clothing that envelops us in warm hugs.  And we venture into the darker months.

As it grows colder, the children will not want to spend so much time out of doors, and we will move to more indoor activities.  We will read more, draw more, bake more, craft more and snuggle more.  We will prepare for the upcoming holidays and make gifts for our loved ones.  And we will draw closer to one another.

The year is putting on her colorful pajamas.  Soon she will be covered in a blanket of snow, sleeping peacefully until spring.