This year is off to a great start. January was a full, yet very relaxing and restful month.  We had a few cold days and several spring like days this January so it doesn’t quite feel like winter!

Bread Bakers

The boys have been helping me in the kitchen quite a bit lately. We started our own wild sourdough starter and have been experimenting with sourdough.

Kitchen Help

This is a pretty accurate glimpse into my life. It seems like no matter where I am, I have 3 little people right there beside me. They all love to be in the kitchen. Paxton enjoys helping me cook, Weston loves washing dishes/playing in the water and Cecilia is obsessed with the dishwasher! I’m learning to slow down, not be so task oriented and enjoy having them working alongside me.
Playing Games

One of our Saturday mornings included an outing to Cracker Barrel for brunch. The boys love playing the ‘peg game’!

Snuggles

Holding a sleeping baby never, ever gets old! Every night, I nurse her to sleep and some nights, once she’s asleep, I pull her up on my chest and just hold her. It’s moments like these I never want to forget!
First Piggy Tails

Miss Cecilia had her hair fixed in piggy tails for the first time in mid-January. So, so cute and she looks so big when I fix her hair!
Park

We had a solid week of amazing weather. So, we went to the park down the road a couple days and just enjoyed being outside without jackets in January! Cecilia is big enough to play now, she was climbing some steps, crawling every where and even slid with me! 

My Helper

Weston spent a few days with his Mimi and Papaw so Paxton was my big helper for a few days! We were planning to bake bread so he ran into the kitchen and got everything ready. He’s such a fun kid.

10 Months Old

Cecilia was 10 months old on the 20th.

Here are some milestones from 9 to 10 months old:

    • Can stand unsupported for a few seconds
    • Started pushing the walker wagon all around the house
    • Started saying ‘mama’ ‘dada’ and some other babble on January 16th. It was like a flip switched! She now hollers ‘mama’ when she wants me!
    • Finally enjoying foods and has quite the appetite.
    • Crawls on her hands and feet, not her knees.
    • If her brothers close their bedroom door, she ‘knocks’ and cries because she wants in.
    • Has a huge little smile.
    • Nursing 5 times during the day and once during the night.

10 Months

Her monthly pictures are getting harder and harder to take because she won’t stay still!First Snow

We had a very light dusting of snow on the 27th! The boys have been talking about snow all winter so I brought them all outside as soon as they woke up. Only in the south do people get excited about such a teeny amount of snow. This was Cecilia’s first time seeing snow.

Georgia Snow

Our happy Georgia boys looking at the thin layer of snow on their picnic table! John David and Rachel

One of my ‘goals’ for 2015 is to do a better job taking pictures of ‘just us’. We have very few pictures of just the two of us from the past 4.5 years and I hope to change that this year! 50th

We celebrated my mom’s 50th birthday the weekend of January 30! We had a low-key birthday celebration that was just lovely!
Mom birthdayMy dad, sister and I filled up a jar of 50 notes. The notes included why we’re thankful for her and memories!

January 2015 was a lovely month and I’m hoping the mild winter weather continues into February!

Here’s a glimpse into a day in my life as a stay at home mama of three on January 26, 2015.

8 am

8:00 :: I am up already an in the living room with a cozy blanket. My baby girl actually slept all night which is very rare and I’m well rested and excited to begin the day. All of my littles ones are still sleeping so I enjoy a very quiet, quiet time in the living room with my Bible, a parenting book and my planner. My husband joins me around 8:30 and we talk for a few minutes and pray together. Around 8:45, the kids start waking up.

9 am

9:00 :: All of the kids are up now. John David brings Cecilia to me as he’s leaving for work. I change her diaper and then nurse her. The boys start playing while I’m nursing. As soon as I finish nursing, I head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

10 am

10:00 :: Cecilia is eating her breakfast while I prepare the boys eggs. The boys look at Paxton’s Awana book while waiting to eat. We all eat breakfast. After breakfast, we read Paxton’s Awana lesson and go over his verse for the week. Then I start cleaning the kitchen, taking out compost and loading the dishwasher while the boys sit at the table and color. (This picture of the boys sums up their personalities – sweet, silly Weston and serious Paxton!)

11 am

11:00 :: I’m finally finished cleaning the kitchen and start the dishwasher. I get everybody dressed for the day, start a load of laundry and then we read books. (Our homeschool ‘preschool’ basically is reading a lot of good books!) After reading, I head to the kitchen to start prepping lunch.

12 pm

12:00 :: Weston is helping me prepare lunch. Most days we have simple ‘snack lunches’ (vegetables, fruits, cheese, nuts). Our lunch was radishes, celery, guacamole, apples, peanut butter and cheese. We eat our lunch and linger at the table after we’re finished eating and color some more. While the boys are still coloring, I move the clothes to the dryer and then go back into the kitchen to do some dinner prep.

1 pm

1:00 :: I’m still in the kitchen, cleaning up our lunch dishes as well as continuing to work on dinner. The boys are playing in their room and Cecilia is with me in the kitchen.

2 pm

2:00 :: I’m nursing the baby down for her nap and enjoying the baby snuggles and the quiet. While I’m nursing the boys are quietly playing and ‘resting’.

3 pm

3:00 :: The boys are watching TV and the baby is still sleeping. I run out to the mailbox to check the mail, get the laundry out of the dryer, fold laundry and start a load of laundry. Cecilia wakes from her nap and I fix the boys a snack.

4 pm

4:00 :: The boys are eating their snack (these growing boys stay hungry!) Cecilia is with me in the kitchen playing with some puzzles while I’m working in the kitchen, doing some more dinner prep. I also send some messages to several ladies, inviting them to the Mom’s Group I lead at church.

5 pm

5:00 :: I’m back in the kitchen! My days seem to revolve around preparing food for my growing family! This time I’m in the kitchen to start cooking dinner. While I’m working on dinner, my sister calls and I talk to her for a few minutes.  The boys are playing while I’m in the kitchen and Cecilia is playing with them some and in the kitchen with me too.

6 pm

6:00 ::  My husband has just arrived home! I’m still cooking dinner so he takes the boys out to the garage for a few minutes while I finish up. Dinner is finally finished around 6:30 and we sit down to eat!

7 pm

 7:00 :: We’re all still sitting at the table together finishing up dinner. Oh, how I love our family dinner conversations these days now that our boys are getting older! I start cleaning up the kitchen and John David encourages the boys to start tidying up their toys.

8 pm

8:00 :: We’re in the kitchen starting our night time routine of FCLO/butter oil and cell salts. After we take our oils, we get all the kids into their pajamas, brush teeth and I start nursing the baby. I talk to my mom briefly and then we start reading bedtime books.

9 pm

9:00 :: We’re finishing up reading our bedtime books and John David gets the boys in bed while I’m nursing and holding the baby. She is finally asleep so we put her down for the night. I read a little bit, talk to John David and then we head to bed. (We’re night owls but lately we’ve been shifting towards going to bed earlier because we’re so tired at the end of our days!)

So that’s 8 am to 9 pm in January 2015. This is a pretty accurate glimpse of our days during this season of life – we stay home a lot and just savor the simplicity of life with little ones!

A Day in My Life Posts from previous years:

January 2014

January 2013

January 2012

Reading back through these posts from the past 3 years, it’s neat to see that my days haven’t changed all that much – my children have just grown and we’ve added another little one into the mix! I know these unstructured baby/toddler/preschool days will be coming to an end this fall when Paxton starts Kindergarten.

a day in the life 6

I’m joining in with Simply Rebekah’s A Day in the Life…

Grain Free, Homemade Baby Food
Our family has been on a journey towards real food since the birth of our first child.

We started our first baby on rice cereal at 6 months and he was eating other grains (like Cheerios) before the age of one.

Our approach to baby food is different for our third baby. We are keeping her grain-free until after she turns one. Babies do not produce enzymes to digest cereals and it’s best to wait until after they are one to introduce grains.

If you’re avoiding grains, what do you feed baby?

Baby's First Food

 

First Baby Foods

  • Soft Boiled Egg Yolk
  • Banana

We slowly introduced soft boiled egg yolk starting at 6 months old. (Just the egg yolk, no egg white – the egg white is the allergen!) Soft boiled egg yolk is simple to prepare and our baby girl loved and still loves her egg yolks.

She ate soft boiled egg yolks for the first few weeks of solids and then we introduced a little bit of banana into her diet. Banana is an easy baby food – just mash it a bit and it’s ready to eat.

Puréed Foods for the Beginning Eater

  • Avocado
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches

Around 7.5 months, we started introducing other foods in addition to egg yolk and banana.

Avocado is another easy baby food – just mash it and feed baby. We steamed the squash, baked the sweet potatoes and cooked apples, peaches and pears before puréeing.

Freezing Homemade Baby Food

The squash, sweet potatoes, apples, peaches and pears can be prepared in large batches and frozen (I freeze in ice cube trays). Preparing foods ahead of time and freezing is a convenient way to have homemade baby food easily accessible.

Finger Foods for Baby

(All of these foods cut into teeny pieces)

  • Avocado
  • Carrots (cooked)
  • Hard Boiled Egg Yolk
  • Chicken/Steak
  • Ground Beef/Turkey/Venison
  • Bananas

Around 9 months old, she started gobbling up her purées and was interested in feeding herself. We began offering her tiny cubes of various foods and allowing her to feed herself. She’s good at getting the teeny pieces of food into her mouth and it’s adorable to watch her chubby little hands as she feeds herself.

She’s 10 months old and keeping baby grain free has been easy so far.

For feeding her on the go, I pack a small cooler bag and bring along her homemade baby foods. Yes, it takes more effort than carrying around convenient dry puffs or Cheerios but it’s worth the effort to keep her digestive system healthy.

What are your favorite grain free foods for baby?

Recommended Reading:

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care

*This post contains affiliate links.

Toy Library

We have organized a toy library to help keep the toys in our home manageable.

For a while, we had a toy rotation but they still had too many choices. When our kids have too many toy choices, they just drag everything out but don’t really play with anything – too many choices can overwhelm young children.

Our children tend to play better if their toys are not all out at once. Allowing them to choose a toy or two to play with at a time helps them to engage more deeply in their play. Plus, there are fewer toys out so our house is not over run with toys.


Cooking Drawer

All of their toys are not always stored in the library. We currently have 3 drawers in the end of their bunk bed that contain imaginative play things. One drawer holds their play dishes and two drawers hold their dress up things. These are always accessible.

The rest of the toys are organized in the toy library in their closet.

To organize our toy library, we evaluated each of their toys.

Toys that Stayed:

  • Sparked creative play
  • Building toys
  • Musical Instruments

Toys that Went:

  • Battery operated
  • Close ended toys
  • Low quality toys

After culling toys, we sorted the remaining toys into categories like trains, farm animals, cars, blocks, etc. We then grouped like toys together into bins to store on the shelves.

Organized Toy Closet

At the beginning of the day, they choose the toys they want to play with. If one boy wants to play with the farm animals, he gets the bin that holds the farm animals as well as the play barn and tractors. Another boy may choose to play trains so he gets the bin that contains all of the trains and train tracks.

They can play with these toys individually or together, it’s up to them. We just ask that they pick up those toys and put them away before choosing another toy or toy bin to play with.

At 3 and 4, they’ve not quite mastered putting the toys away before choosing another but they’re learning. I often encourage them and help them with the pick up process.

With this toy library set up, the amount of toys throughout our home during the day has been greatly reduced. There still are toys all over their room and in our living room but every toy they own has not been pulled out.

Another benefit of this toy library, clean up is simple. At the end of the day, we put the toys back into the bins or drawers they belong in. It only takes a few minutes to pick up and all tripping hazards have been removed for the night.

Related posts:

Toy Rotation

Gifts to Encourage Creativity in Young Children

How do you organize your children’s toys?