It was rainy, slushy, dark and cold out.
I knew was taking care of the kids alone for a chunk of the afternoon. I didn’t want to take the baby out in messy weather (my baby boy is one month old!). I decided throw together a sensory bin I had been thinking about for a bit.
My daughter played with it for the entire two hours my husband was gone. Yet another confirmation that simple is best. I did play with her and share some of my own play ideas. It was easy and fun to practice sharing language and have quiet moments to just watch and play.
I put a bunch of black beans and a few handfuls of black-eyed peas in a bin. I added buttons of various colors and sizes.
I threw in some spoons and containers for scooping and pouring, stirring and dumping (toddler favorites!).
When she woke up from her nap, I let her get to work! She found all the buttons quickly. (Note to self: Use more, smaller buttons next time.)
She discovered things and buried things.
And even climbed in!
I have totally been having funky fussy feelings.
I want to blog and hang on A Living Family Facebook page since I’m feeling momentum . However, I need to create another life for myself (financially), and part of that is becoming a childbirth educator. Instead of reading and researching and writing to finish my certification, which hopefully will get me some income in the future, I’m doing the same things for free. I love doing them, but I’ve only been given two years to finish my certification and over a year has passed. EEK!
Seriously, other than the fact that I have no idea what a meme is, this woman was speaking directly to me! I need to take a blog break. This is hard because I love writing and have so much I am thinking about, so much that seems worth sharing (I hope). I also feel eager to start building a new life around all these things that I am passionate about: childbirth, breastfeeding, home/unschooling, and all kinds of parenting topics from babywearing to baby-led solids, from signing with children to gentle discipline.
Christine’s taking a week off, but here’s my plan.
I like feeling community on Facebook with all the mamas out there, so I’m going to keep doing that but limit my computer time to an hour a day. On the blog, after I finish the book club post that is late, I’m going to run the posts I have scheduled. I will keep up the Unconditional Parenting posts every week and the Sunday Surf every other week. I’ll also share my Mamatography blog each week. Then I will take the month of February and see what I can get done when I get serious with this birth educator work.
As Christine requested, here’s what I’ll be doing instead of blogging:
- Reading Birth Reborn (Michel Odent), The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth Birth (Henci Goer), Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding …. and finishing Unconditional Parenting….but I don’t have to write a book report on that.
- Tour a hospital or birth center (need two, but I’m aiming for one) and interview a medical professional there.
- Interview my homebirth midwife.
- Spend time with and create activities for my two year old daughter.
- Stare at, smell, cuddle and kiss as well as marvel at my baby boy.
- Try to get some sort of routine/regularity/rhythm in our family life.
- Keep my house (and myself?) cleaner.
- Write my birth story for my second homebirth.
- Get outside daily. (Carnival post with the rest of my first time ever New Year’s resolutions coming next week….)
- Sleep a bit more…..?
Open and Close (the early set)
As I approach my 36 week home visit with my midwife, I feel the full reality of the upcoming homebirth. My daughter (and the rest of us) will have much adjusting to do once a new baby comes. To ease the transition for her and to create a stimulating environment even if I’m occupied with a newborn, I wanted to create some of activities for her to do.
I made a developmental play resource list in Better Mom activities post. (There are some easy and awesome ideas in there!) She still likes to play with the open and close activity that I shared photos of in my Better Mom update post.
Last night, I finally got the sound shakers together. I did one set of loud/soft shakers and one set of Montessori-inspired sound boxes (a matching activity). I spent a few months gathering containers I thought would work well. (I’m weird and like things to be the same, even if they are recycled jars or whatnot. Especially with matching sounds — materials make a difference!)
Self-checking Matching Shakers
I used dried black beans, rice, salt, oats, dried coconut flakes, lentils and peppercorns. I tried to make sure they were distinctive enough to be effective (loud or soft or different from the others). I only made three sounds for the matching activity so far. I need more containers and then will use a different material, such as a big acorn or something, to get another distinct sound. I kind of wonder if over time her auditory sense will be sensitive enough that she will be able to detect more subtle differences in the sounds. I am thinking she will if she is interested enough.
All in all, aside from the container gathering, it was another simple and quick activity to get together. Plus, I really got two activities out of it because the loud-soft and matching are two different skills. Sound shakers are perfect for toddlers. I am hopeful that my daughter will find joy and satisfaction in the exploration of and play with these simple learning tools.
The Loud Bunch (peppercorns, lentils, black beans)
The Soft Bunch (oats, rice, salt)