Tuesday, July 31

Our Mei Tai Carrier

With friends at Greystone Mansion

For Mavry's first 5 months, we used a Moby style carrier and a ring sling that were really easy to make.  Mavry, at almost 6 months, is now about 17 pounds.  The (homemade) Moby still works for her, but it is a little saggy and kind of hot since there is so much fabric involved.  The ring sling was our go - to carrier for the past few months since it's so easy to put on, but since the weight rests on one shoulder, it was getting a little uncomfortable for times when we were out for a while in it.  

I started thinking about buying a soft structured carrier - especially the new Boba Air (it folds up into a small pocket and is relatively inexpensive).  Then I joined a meetup group for mamas and babies started by someone who was in my hypnobabies class.  One of the women in this group uses a Kozy carrier which is a mei tai style that has no buckles or snaps - it just has four long straps that tie.  I realized that I could make my own since the design is relatively simple.  I found these instructions (didn't follow them exactly, but they were very helpful) and I used mostly fabric that I already had on hand.  It only took two short evenings plus one morning nap time to make.  It feels so good to have Mavry's weight distributed on both my shoulders and waist, plus she can now ride on our back too!  Mavry is still getting used to the carrier, but she likes it.  We are experimenting with folding the bottom up so that she can have her hands free. 

Sunday, July 29

Mavry's Play Area

Mavry has a shelf in the living room since she doesn't have her own room yet.  Her shelf is the bottom level of our coffee table.  I got some small shallow baskets from Goodwill to organize her things.  I try to rotate her toys so that she only has a few out at a time and so that her space is kept fairly simple. 

I get jealous of simple little spaces like this or this, but we are glad to have the space that we have for now.  (We are still looking into places to move and are even considering moving in with another family to a large Victorian house.  An exciting prospect!)

When we put Mavry on the living room floor, we put her near her shelf on her back.  She will sometimes stay on her back to play with her toys or kick at the mobile (Colin recently hung the puzzle ball from the tripod), but usually she will roll over to her shelf and go for the baskets.  She spends a little time chewing on the baskets and then pulls one off the shelf to look at what's inside, then she chooses a toy!  It's great to watch her independence in choosing what she wants to play with.

Since she started pulling her baskets off the shelf, I have taken the heavy set of Eric Carle books out so she doesn't injure herself.  She still has the three baskets, but each one has only a few things in it to make her space more simple.  In the Montessori tradition, children have low shelves with activities organized in baskets or on trays so that they can choose an activity and know how and where to return it when they are finished.  Sometimes I will clean up her area when she is not there, but I try to return the toys or books to the baskets while Mavry watches and I describe to her what I am doing. 

Saturday, July 28

Daddy to the Rescue

When Colin comes home at the end of the day, it has generally been a while since Mavry woke up from her nap.  She will sometimes take another late afternoon nap, but not always.  So, at around 6pm, I am trying to work on dinner while a less than rested baby watches from her highchair.  Colin swoops in to the rescue and Mavry loves it.  She gets a big smile on her face when she sees her daddy come in.

Colin has been leading worship at the home group we've been going to and Mavry loves to watch.  We think she may also have an eye for art because she is often found staring at the art on our walls and at the houses of our friends.  I need to get some art on the walls at her level since she may be crawling soon!

I captured this moment one Saturday morning - I was impressed by my multitasking man.  Colin was reading, holding Mavry in the wrap and cooking bacon at the same time!

Thursday, July 19

Puzzle Ball

I made this puzzle ball as a baby gift for a friend.

 And then I made one for Mavry. 

She is on her way to crawling.  She can scoot a little and she kicks one leg out to try to get somewhere when she sees something she wants.  This ball is good to encourage crawling because it rolls away, but not too far.

I followed these instructions to make the ball and included a jingle bell in the middle. 

Friday, July 13

What Do You Do All Day?

Another very well meaning person asked me that question the other day.  I smiled and answered the best I could, but every time I get asked some form of that question, I give an inward sigh.  To those who aren't parents, it seems as if with all the sleeping that a baby does, a stay at home mom (especially if the mom only has one kid!) could get a lot more done, or would need to have something else to occupy her time - something other than "just" being a mom.  So, I come up with answers - I do laundry, try to keep the house clean, spend some time on the internet (I always qualify that I could spend less time online, of course), cook dinner, always have some sort of project going, etc.  Honestly, if I get a trip to the store in, laundry done, and dinner made, I feel like I did a lot that day!

One day I even started a list of all the things I had accomplished that morning.  It went something like this: cleaned toilet, pumped milk (I'm donating some milk to an adopted baby), cleaned kitchen floor and countertops, made carrot flour, cleaned juicer, general picking up, started a load of laundry...
But then I left my red ink pen on the bed without the cap (after going in to pick up Mavry from her nap) and it made a red spot on the duvet cover, which then required spot cleaning - another thing to get done - and my admirable list of things accomplished stopped there.  I had planned on getting peanuts soaking for homemade peanut butter, checking on the pickl-its, get a plan for dinner and change the water kefir, but those were put on the mental list for another day. 

(Even as I type this, I'm thinking I need to go check on my pickl-its to see if they're ready for the fridge.  My friend Ruth reminded me of "If You Give a Mom a Muffin" that has been circulating the web recently.  It's funny because everything I start makes me remember something else that needs to get done!)

As this article attests, life with a baby (or any age kid probably!) means that it's difficult to get anything actually finished.  Oh how I miss getting things finished!  Clean laundry sits in the washer waiting to go to the dryer, or in the basket waiting to be hung to dry, peanut butter brownies (try these! only three healthy ingredients and delicious!) burn on the bottom because the timer went off while I was putting the baby to sleep, countless tabs stay open in my browser as a to-look-at-later-when-there's-more-time-list, the open box from yesterday's package sits on the floor waiting to be either tossed or recycled, something I'm sewing sits on my desk (half finished for weeks), multiple books are on my nightstand and coffee table in various stages of completion, my cup of coffee goes cold almost every morning....

This is why sometimes it's hard for me to get out of the house.  Some "stay at home" moms hardly ever stay at home, and I look at them in awe because I wonder how they get anything done!  Of course, I need to get out of the house regularly for a change of scenery and because Mavry and I both enjoy it.  We take long walks to the library on sunny days for our vitamin D and my mental health, we have occasional dates with other moms and kids, and we do the grocery trips and other errand running. 

Part of my "problem", I admit, is that we hardly buy any processed foods anymore.  This requires more food prep, which is something I generally enjoy and definitely think is worth it, but it does take time.  Other reasons are that I am overly ambitious about how much I think I can actually get done and I struggle with placing too large of a portion of my perceived self-worth in how many things I can cross of my list in a day. 

So try not to ask "what do you do all day?" (or any other form of the question) to any stay at home mom or dad.  However well meaning, it doesn't come across that way.  I love that I get to stay at home, but I still struggle sometimes with justifying how much I didn't "get done" other than being a mom all day.

Tuesday, July 10

Real Food Summit

I've been listening to the Real Food Summit the past two days and it's pretty amazing.  It's a lot of information with three presentations to listen to a day (they are only available for free for 24 hours), but if you have any interest in real foods and being healthy, give a few of them a listen!  It's free!  Six of the presentations have already been closed, but you can get the links to listen to them until noon on Wednesday Pacific time here

I'm becoming more interested in real foods and generally being more natural - not to the point of stressing out about it, but just becoming more conscious of these things and making changes where I can.  I'll probably blog more about these choices soon too. 

Saturday, July 7

Rolling Over, Mobiles, and the Floor Bed

I found these pictures on my camera when I uploaded her 5 month pictures. We recently re-introduced the black and white Munari mobile after having the green Gobbi out for a while.  I wasn't sure she'd be interested in it again, but she has spent a good deal of time observing it this week, mostly from her tummy.

Mavry loves being on her tummy now.  I think we were getting ready for church when I put her on the bed for a little while.  She rolled right over to the edge of the co-sleeper and started batting at her polyhedron mobile.  She seemed to be aware of the edge and kept her balance on it. 

She will often fall asleep on her tummy too - this time with a rag I had used to wipe up some drool or spit up underneath her sweet face.  

Mavry is sometimes seen balancing on the edge of the bed or occasionally found after having rolled off the bed.  She doesn't have the dolls in the corner anymore because I wanted to preserve them.  My Mom made me the Raggedy Ann dolls and Mavry is currently mostly interested in chewing on them.  Also, one day I found her chewing on the edge of the picture frame, so her bed is now clear of extras.  She now has a Montessori floor bed that is more in line with the clean and organized look it is meant to have. 

Friday, July 6

Mavry at 5 months

Mavry is 5 months old today!  She is still drooling a lot and chewing on everything, but no other signs of teeth yet.  She sits at the table with us in her high chair and watches us eat at meal times (sometimes watching each bite move from plate to mouth) but we will wait until next month to start her on solids.  She is so aware of things and loves to interact with people.  She rolls over as soon as she's put down and is now pulling things off the lower shelf of the coffee table to play with.  We think she's the cutest little girl we've ever seen, but we admit to some bias on that point. 

See Mavry at:
4 months
3 months
2 months
5 weeks

Thursday, July 5

"Summer just opens the door and lets you out."

Thanks to Today's Letters for this video.

We celebrated the Fourth yesterday with a much needed day at home and a nice back patio dinner with friends.  Mavry wasn't thrilled about fireworks (our neighborhood has had more than its share this week) so we came home and finished watching the Star Wars original trilogy (my first time to really watch them!) that we'd started over the weekend.  Good times. 

Sunday, July 1

More Montessori Mobiles


Kylie at How We Montessori has put together some posts featuring different Montessori mobiles from her readers.  If you look at her post today, you'll see Mavry and some of the things Colin and I have made for her.

I have learned much from this blog - I consider myself lucky to have this and a few other Montessori inspired blogs to look at for inspiration.  It's been really wonderful to see different spaces and mobiles that she's featured in this series.