I’ve decided to write a post dedicated to some of my favorite things. Of course, being a mommy, most of them will be things that are child or family-related. I’m going to work on it for a couple of days when I have a second or two because I’m trying very diligently not to let my computer become a god. (Oh, and these are in no particular order…)
1) Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann- I won’t go into a lot of detail, but basically I used this approach as part of a large program when I taught first grade. Also, I babysat for several families and know several large families that use this as their primary reading “curriculum.” Gabi and I started “school” yesterday. (She said, “Mommy, you’re teaching me like Ms. Beadle!) So far, she’s doing great. She does get easily distracted and has a hard time staying still, but I can get her back on track fairly quickly. The lessons take 12-20 minutes. I have to admit that, even though I know how to lesson plan, I like that it lays everything out for you. It tells you exactly what to say and how to say it and warns you not to use your own words because you could miss an important concept. Great for a mommy with 5 little ones! We got our copy at Barnes and Noble; it was $22, but that’s cheap for a reading “curriculum” when we have at least 5 children that will probably use it!
2) My Ergo– I love, love, love my Ergo! My parents got it for me as Matthew’s baby gift. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use it when he was tiny because I didn’t have the infant insert. A few weeks ago a friend from church let me borrow her insert and it’s been wonderful! Yesterday I even put Evan in it on my back- he was whiny and wanted to be held and I had lots to do. I love having both hands free and he was content to be along for the ride. Their website is http://www.ergobabycarrier.com.
3) Vinegar– Okay, so I know that I’m way late on this one, but I finally bought 2 gallons of vinegar at Sam’s for less than $4 last year to rinse my nursing supplementer with. Since I’m not using that anymore :(, I’ve started using it for other stuff. Last night I had the greatest time sanitizing the sippy cups and, especially, the VALVES! They were so nasty! I’ve tried and tried to clean them, so finally (duh!) I boiled them in water and vinegar. Ta da! White and shiny and gunk-free- and safe for the kiddos! I’m going to get two little spray bottles this weekend so the girls can have some safe vinegar and water cleaning solution to help clean with. Which leads to the next thing…
4) Laundry: Yes, I just said that I like laundry. Know why? Because Gabs has been helping me with it. I started by folding the laundry, then giving her little stacks and telling her where to put them. Then I let her pick up the stacks and told her where to put them. Yesterday I sat and fed Matthew while she put away all the laundry that she could reach (which was most of it). She confused Matthew’s 2 drawers, but, other than that- she did great! I was so proud of her and it’s so nice to do something productive together. Oh, and she also likes to hang clothes on hangers. She knows that hers are purple and Sarah’s are pink, and the others are too high to reach so I hand them to her with the item that needs to be hung. We still have our “family closet” and I love it! We’re planning on using our closet in the new house/apartment at seminary for the family closet, and using the kids’ closets for storage.
5) Bluebehemoth.com: A friend introduced us to this site last year and we love it! It’s kind of like a Christian itunes, except on a much smaller scale. We have a huge wishlist of things we want to listen to. My new favorite that we downloaded last week is called, “Teach Them the Faith” by Dan and Karen Vitco. It’s the Shorter Catechism put to song. At first I wasn’t sure about it because the songs are really soft and slow, but now I love them. The woman who sings them has a beautiful voice. They’re perfect for bedtime; we have a cd in both the boys’ room and the girls’ room for nap and nighttime. In fact, I know you’ll laugh, but James and I can hear the girls’ cd from their room at night and we love listening to it, too. Very good resource to teach your children the basics of the Christian faith at a young age.
6) Mommy Necklaces: Okay, so this is something that I’d actually like to have, but don’t already have. They’re necklaces that were designed for nursing, but are for all mommies. They’re made to be pulled and played with without breaking. In fact, they have a 3 year warranty. I haven’t worn any jewelry at all in over a year, and haven’t worn it more than on the occasional Sunday for 3 years- I just was always worried about it snapping off and bead or things falling everywhere and someone choking. These are beautiful and should withstand the test of my kiddos, even. (If anyone wants to drop hints to James for Mother’s Day, you’re welcome to. 🙂 Just kidding. Their website is http://www.mommynecklaces.com. They even have matching earrings!
Okay, that’s enough for one past. You may be bored reading this, but, then again, maybe some of these things are things that you’ll love, too! I hope so! I’ve got to get ready for “fun day” tomorrow. We’re going to Charlotte to go to the Apple store at the mall and to Ikea. Yay! I’m determined to pack and plan as best I can to have the most stress-free day that we can have. Plus, we’re bringing food so that we can save money. (Though we may eat lunch at Ikea because their food is a great deal and they have Swedish choices, which will remind me of growing up in Europe :).) Hope you all have a great weekend, too!