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Showing posts from January, 2014

Monthly Meal Planning

I wasn't really planning on blogging about this, but I've gotten a few questions on Instagram about monthly meal planning.

Morgan and I wanted to make our food budget a priority this year, so starting in January we started with a monthly meal plan. Basically, I plan every meal -- breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- every day for the entire month. Almost all of our shopping {except for some weekly staples} is done in one large trip at the beginning of the month.

Then, all of our dinner prep is done in one day, separated per meal into freezer bags, and popped into the freezer. When we are ready to eat, we take it out and either heated up, cooked in the oven or throw it into the crock pot. After a month, I'm completely hooked.


So, here's how to do it {or at least how this newbie does it}: Print out three blank monthly calendars -- label them breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Collect meal ideas.  For breakfast and lunch we pretty standard list of things that we eat on a regular basi…

Letter B Montessori Tot School

Henry is 34 months old.
We continued exploring letters this week at tot school, and moved on to the letter B. It was a good week, although Henry was a little reluctant to spent much time working. We did go on a little staycation, which created a little too much excitement and anticipation this week. I am happy to be back to "easier" letters where we can do some fun activities.


On the first tray was button pouring. We did this tray the first time we did the letter B. At that point, Henry was much more interested in the buttons themselves. This time, he was great at pouring and really enjoyed this tray...until he spilled once. Then, he refused to use the tray again. I think we have a little perfectionist on our hands.


The second tray was a little ambitious. It was a set of small blocks with the letter B painted on it. The goal was for Henry to assemble to blocks to make the B. On the back of the blocks, were numbers, so that if the numbers were placed in order the B would be c…

Montessori Infant Floor Bed

When Henry was a baby, I had no idea what Montessori was or really how it could be applied in a home. So, we set up a very traditional nursery for Henry which included a crib for Henry to sleep in. But, this time, I'm not sure I want to have a crib. 
In a Montessori infant environment a floor bed is typically used. A floor bed is essentially a small mattress or mat on the floor. The point if for the bed to be very low to the ground so that as the baby grows, he or she has freedom of movement within the environment. Obviously, a floor bed requires that the rest of the room be completely safe and well thought out so that the infant is safe while alone.


{Wonderful floor bed example from Vibrant Wanderings}
You can see some really beautiful examples of an infant floor beds on my Montessori Home Pinterest Board.
We use a floor bed in Henry's room and it has worked wonderfully for him. However, there's been one little problem...Henry complains that he is cold. Henry's room …

Boy or Girl?

In just two weeks, Morgan and I have the big 2nd trimester ultrasound scheduled! I'm so excited I can hardly wait. Not only do want to see the baby, but I really want to learn if we are having a boy or girl. I think it will really help me connect to this baby and finally start believing this is all real. I should say we absolutely couldn't care less about a boy or girl -- I just want a healthy baby -- this is just for fun!
So, lets keep busy for the next two weeks by guessing the gender! I'll have a poll in the sidebar {right over there -----> } until next Monday night. The ultrasound is SUPER early in the morning on Tuesday, and I'll be happy to share right away -- no fancy gender reveals here. I think we will also share the name at that time, but I have to confirm that with Morgan.


Anyway, before you guess, here are some things to keep in mind {based on completely meaningless old-wives tales} I had two dreams early on that the baby was a girl, but I've felt bo…

Letter A Tot School

This was our first week we used our new tot school focus of phonics and letter construction. It wasn't a huge shift from what we did the first time through the alphabet, but there were some subtle changes that I hope to expand over time. Our first tray in our Letter A Tot School unit was a sandpaper letter/salt tray. 
Henry is 34 months.

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This was the first time I used the sandpaper letters and the salt but this is going to become a permanent feature each week. Henry and the co-op kids all seemed to have some interest in the sandpaper letter -- but not as much as the salt. I'm hoping over time the sensory aspect of the salt will lose its appeal and they will be more interested in using the tray how it was intended.


Ideally, they would trace the letter, while saying its sound. Then, write the letter in the salt. Henry did trace the letter quite a bit, but never did it in the salt. However, he has an iPad app that he used to disl…

Catch the Moment 2/52

Another week down. This week was busier and reaching for the camera was harder, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Editing this week, focusing on the basics -- white balance and reducing the noise. I've also noticed I've made it two whole weeks, without getting into the picture, I should work on that.

Day 10: First nap Henry's taken for me in months!


Day 11: Saturday morning Legos.


Day 12: My working companion in her favorite spot -- in front of the heater. {iPhone -- unedited}


Day 13: Movie, by the glow of the iPad

Day 14: Coloring at the counter.


Day 15: "I hungry" as we're tucking him into bed -- finishing dinner in his pjs.


Day 16: Tot school, blog prep.



8 More Winter Boredom Busters

Last winter I posted 8 Winter Boredom Busters for Toddlers! Specifically, for the stuff I did to keep Henry busy in our long cold Minnesota winter. Well, this year, he's older and we're doing some new and exciting stuff to keep warm inside. So...here are 8 MORE winter boredom busters for toddlers --

Sand/Water Table: So many parents of children understand the awesome power of a sand/water table in the summer. It can provide so many hours of fun. Well, don't let the fun end in the winter -- bring it inside. Yes, they take up a little room, but they can provide hours of contained sensory fun! Try water, water beads, beans, glass beads, salt, cotton balls, or any other type of sensory material! Or, bring nature inside and play in the snow or ice!



Large Surface Coloring: Of course Henry loves to color of regular pieces of paper, but try taping some butcher block, or easel paper to a large surface! He goes insane! So, many possibilities. Add crayons, markers, dot painters, and c…