Our Minimal Nursery

Well I can officially say we’re ready to meet our baby boy. I’m 35 weeks along and the nursery is done, the hospital bag is packed (will be sharing what’s in it in a post to follow!) and now I’m really just trying to keep myself busy to make the days pass as fast as possible! I’ll be induced around the 38 week mark so 3 weeks and counting.

We began this nursery for our baby girl, Paisley, who we lost last March. And at first I found it very difficult to pick up where we left off to finish prepping it for this new little one. There was a lot of mixed emotion and I wanted to cry every time I entered the room for the longest time. But having said that, once we got started, it’s been very healing to have something to work on and be exited about again. Focusing on preparing things for this precious baby boy we’ve been blessed with has been just what I needed over the past months.

It’s funny how over prepared you are with your first babe or (babes in our case.) We had SO much stuff for the twins and people gave us SO much stuff. But in the months to follow their birth, we soon discovered what we actually would use and what would never be touched. So with that in mind, combined with our journey towards minimalism, we are sticking to the bare minimum for baby boy. And it feels good. For decor, we went with a very minimalistic look and neutral color scheme.  I’m sharing the links to each of the items in the room at the bottom of the post.     

Crib // Change Table // Shelves // Wicker Basket // Crib Sheets // Rug // Knitted ZZZ Blanket // Wooden Ornament Toys // Three Bears Print // Mocs // Diaper Bag // Plaid Blanket on Change Pad // Burp Cloths // Wire Baskets 

Thanks for following along!

 

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A Blessing Shower for Baby Boy

My heart is so so full. This past weekend, a few of my girlfriends completelyyyy surprised me with the most beautiful and intimate little blessing shower for our baby boy. This weekend, I was reminded not only of the incredible and supportive community we have surrounding us but also of the Lord’s constant faithfulness as we navigate through life’s most difficult journey’s. He is so so good and I’m just feeling overwhelmingly grateful. Thanks again to my most amazing bunch of girls for blessing us tremendously. xoxox 

and thank you Sophie for snapping these photos! 😉

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30 week update

Well this was supposed to be a 30 week update but I’m 31 weeks tomorrow and so beyond thankful to be here. It feels surreal to be past the 30 week mark and know that our baby could be here as early as 6 weeks from now! Every kick, every punch, every roll and tumble brings me so much joy and gratitude. God is good.

Weight Gain: I’ve gained 28 pounds so far but you guys I’m seriously bracing myself for the holidays.

Mood: Hmmm it seems to be sort of all over the place. I feel happy and excited most of the time but I’m also still dealing with anxious feelings on a daily basis…constantly surrendering them back to Him. Just feeling like I want this little man to be born ASAP so I can have him and hold him in my arms.

Favourite Maternity Clothes right now: Oh man you guys, I feel like nothing I own fits me right so I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next 8 weeks (with multiple turkey dinners in there at that!) I’ve basically been living in leggings and some stretchy tops I grabbed from H&M and then alternating cardigans. I have a few dressier maternity pieces a friend lent me and some stretchy dresses from Target (like the one I’m wearing in this photo) that will work over the holidays thank goodness! But gosh, I will probably not leave the house and live in my pj pants and husband’s t-shirts for alllll of January.

Sleep: Sleep has not been amazing but to be expected by third trimester right? I wake up to pee on average every hour or two at this point and every time I move or go to role over, I wake myself up. And to top it all off, I’ve had the absolute worst cold and cough for the past 5 weeks that I just haven’t been able to shake. So that doesn’t help with sleeping either! Finally got on some antibiotics to clear it up though so hoping and praying for the best before Christmas is here!  I will say though that just this past week, we upgraded to a king size bed and the size of the bed along with the new mattress has been a game changer! It’s been so much better on my back and the extra room (especially when the twins AND the dog come in to snuggle in the mornings) has been so great. It was at the top of our list of things to get before the new baby so it’s a relief to be able to cross it off the list!

Symptoms: Low energy, (although I’ve started an iron supplement and that seems to be helping quite a bit) slight nausea once and a while, and back/pelvic pain if I do too much walking in a day.

Movement: All of my kiddos have been active babes while in my belly. Lots of kicking and punching and full on rolling around. I love it though. It really helps this pregnancy to feel him move so much, especially during those anxious moments when I can give him a little tap or poke and he pokes back to let me know he’s ok. It’s the most reassuring feeling.

Cravings: Hmmm so the latest thing would be clementine oranges. I literally have gone through a box of them myself every 3 days the past couple weeks. Other than that, I wouldn’t say too many other cravings at this time, just lots of carbs still…muffins, bagels and fresh bread yum!

Names: Happy to say we do have our baby boys name picked out but we are going to wait to share publicly until he arrives.

Nursery and Baby Preparation: We actually put the finishing touches on the nursery this past weekend so it feels so good to have that done before Christmas because January will be all about rest, (as much as you can do with two active 4 year olds) and soaking up all the special time we can as a family of four before this little one arrives. I’ll be sharing photos of our nursery after the holidays.

Things I’m looking forward to in Third Trimester: hmm packing my hospital and diaper bags….such a fun task I always look forward to. And really just meeting this babe and seeing what he looks like. But honestly the absolute best moment will be watching the twins meet him for the first time. They have literally been waiting over a year for a baby and you have no idea how much they talk about him and include him in everything we do. (They still talk about their sister in heaven often as well.)  They like to pull up my shirt so they can “see” and talk to baby and sometimes I have to stop them from doing it in public! I know I’m going to bawl when I see them finally hold, kiss and talk to their baby brother on the outside. It will be such a victorious moment for our family. Not much longer nowww!!!

Thanks for reading you guys!! xo

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Road Trip to Nashville

At the end of October we took a road trip out to Nashville. It was a special trip for us for several reasons. First of all, my husband has been a die hard fan of the Nashville Predators for about 15 years now so watching them play live in their own city has been on our bucket list for a while. Secondly, with our next baby arriving in just a few short months, it was our last little holiday as a family of four. So we really took in every moment together, knowing that things will be a lottttt different on our next trip!

The drive from our city to Nashville was about 10 hours long but we’ve been doing long road trips with the twins since they were young so they’re used to it! I always pack them a fun bin full of activities for the car….scavenger hunts, travel bingo, coloring books, a few surprises to open, lace trace toys, water wow books, a bunch of dvd’s from the library and of course lots of snacks and munchies!

It was a quick trip once we were there. We were only gone for 4 nights but I’d say we got a good taste of Nashville life. The only thing we didn’t experience with our kids along of course is the night life, but being 25 weeks pregnant, that didn’t bother me much! The highlight of our trip was definitely the hockey game. The boys were so into it too as we’ve been taking them to hockey games since they were a year and half old. It was great to see how stoked my husband was to be there, taking it all in amongst so many Nashville fans.

I feel like everything else we did involved eating of some sort. We had some good ole’ BBQ while walking Broadway mid afternoon the first day we were there. The scene downtown was quite the experience! Live music for miles and people partying at 11 am in the morning. Not exactly my style but an interesting experience for sure!

The Frothy Monkey was such a fun spot for breakfast and coffee!

We also spent a morning in an adorable small town that a friend of mine is from about 20 min from the city, called Franklin. It just so happened they were having a fall festival that day so it was fun to get out and do some family activities together. And the highlight of Franklin was this amazing bakery we checked out called Five Daughters Bakery. My gosh, the donuts were like nothing I’ve ever tasted. So flakey, so melt in your mouth fresh, so so good! A must-visit if you’re in the area!

A maple bacon donut….not my thing, but he LOVED it. 

And then we jumped over to Greece…haha just kidding. This amazing structure is a historic site in Nashville. It’s model of the Greek Parthenon and it was so neat to see! The boys loved running in and around the huge pillars. 

We had the most amazing taco’s one night at this Mexican place called Mas Taco’s that was recommended to us and that was where we also tried grilled corn on the cob for the first time. (They cover it in parmesan cheese and some other spices and my gosh was it ahhhh-mazing!) They seemed to sell grilled corn on a stick everywhere in Nashville so I was happy we were able to try it! 

Our last day there happened to be my birthday and my husband planned a little coffee shop hop for the morning. He knows me well! We hit up 6 different spots and split a drink at each spot. The twins had had it by the end saying “Not anotherrrrrrrr coffee shop Mom?!?!” but we had fun! And you guys, the coffee in Nashville is a whole other ball game. I could barely go back to drinking starbucks once we got back. The shops we visited were:

  • The Well
  • Bongo Java
  • Crema
  • Eighth and Roast
  • Headcourters
  • Frothy Monkey
  • The Perch

At the end of our coffee hopping, we stopped at Biscuit Love for breakfast    donuts again. Beware if you go, that getting into this place meant waiting outside in the freezing cold for an hour. BUT, it was well worth the wait! SO so so good!!! Another must visit in Nashville!

So I think that’s a wrap! We heard some good music, watched some good hockey, and ate a TON of amazing food. Another State checked off our list!

Thanks for reading!

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Homeschooling: Two month re-cap

Well we’re into month three of our homeschool journey and while we’ve had our fair share of frustrating moments (ok sometimes frustrating days), I’d say for the most part, it’s been going really well for all of us. In fact, I’m loving it and I think (I hope) the boys are too.

I thought I would share a few things that I’ve been learning thus far as we’ve been going along.

Mama Time = Necessary!

When you’re with your kids all day and all night long, 7 days a week, you NEED to carve time out for yourself. It can be so easy to get so caught up in our schedule and routines that I actually forget to do this and then I wonder why I’m feeling so drained and getting so easily agitated by the littlest things. I’m so thankful to have a husband that is on board with the decision to homeschool and also supports me running a business from home. He’s really sensitive to knowing when I need a break and if I forget to call it, he’ll send me out for the evening or a couple hours on a Saturday to do something for myself. Maybe meeting up with some girlfriends or getting a pedicure. Or sometimes it’s literally just grabbing a coffee at starbucks while I respond to some e-mails in peace and quiet or ya know just scrolling through pinterest. Whatever it is, I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to be “mom/teacher” again. I’ll add here too that being with my kids full time, investing so much of myself into them, I need to be working on things that fuel my own soul as well. My job, believe it or not, fuels my soul. Taking photos is my creative outlet so getting out for a photo shoot is also a breath of fresh air for me. It keeps me excited about life and allows me to pursue something that I’m passionate about. So important.

Also, even though our boys have pretty much dropped their nap, (They probably nap 1-2 times per week) I still send them to their room for quiet time each afternoon for about 1.5 hours. They start with a short rest time and they they are allowed to play quietly with puzzles, lego, play mobile etc., This promotes independent play while also giving me some time to think in quiet, maybe eat some lunch? get a little work done or somedays (while I’m pregnant) take a little rest time myself.

No Set Kindergarten Curriculum

I shared in the summer how we would be taking more of an un-schooling, unscripted approach with our schooling and while I was pretty confident in my decision, I did worry a bit that it wouldn’t go as planned or that I would regret my approach. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a Type A personality and thrive on being organized and prepared ahead of time so letting go of the reins a bit to be more flexible and allow the interests of my children to guide our learning has been somewhat of a challenge for me. But overall, my kids seem to be thriving with this way of doing things and I’m adapting to the flexible, unscripted approach too! We do have a few books and resources that I’ve collected over the past couple months that I pull from for activities but nothing rigid that we are set on following.

We also do have a few basic daily routines in place such as our “morning time” during breakfast each day where we do our devotional and calendar. We also focus on a new letter each week (learning the sound and how to write it, big case and lower case) and a weekly memory verse that goes a long with it. But everything else is very spontaneous. I leave lots of room for learning based on their interests and also what sort of mood they’re in. If I’m finding the boys are very active one afternoon and I know they’ll have a hard time sitting down and focusing on the work-sheet I planned to give them, I’m learning to be flexible and pull out or make up an educational game or hands-on activity to do together instead. I mentioned in my last homeschool post that one of my main goals for this year is to instill a love for learning into my kids so if they’re not enjoying what we’re working on, we’ll move on or leave it for the time being and pick it up again later.

I thought I would share the list of books and resources I do have and pull from periodically:

  • The Kindergarten Tool Kit  – love this kit so much! the boys really enjoy using chalkboards and white boards for letter and number practice. It’s nice to switch it up from pencil and paper and the kit also comes with a set of number and letter cards and a book of great hands-on activities.
  • Kindergarten Learning Essentials: Math, Reading, Writing. – I found this book at Walmart believe it or not and it’s amazing! It was created based on the learning expectations of the Canadian Kindergarten Curriculum and it’s the book I pull most of their work-sheets from, most often for letter of the week but also for math, as it goes through everything they need to know for jk (patterning, measurement, number sense and numeration etc.,)
  • Kumon – My book of numbers 1-30 – I haven’t used this book too much yet but probably will more in the new year once my kids can write numbers 1-10 really well.  it focuses on number recognition and formation of numbers 1-30.
  • Gotta Have God – Fun Devotional For Boys ages 3-5 – I picked this up a month into school when we started implementing our morning time during breakfast and the boys just love it! The devotionals are only a page long and each one focuses on a moral, value or character trait: eg., generousity, joyfulness, trust, manners etc., with a little story, verse and prayer to go a long with it. There is also an optional hands-on activity to do if we have time or feel up to it.
  • Calendar and Weather Cards This has been great little tool for teaching the boys the months and days of the week. It’s also great for us to talk about what we’re doing that particular day and order the activities together.
  • Number And Letter Chart  – Great for reference in our classroom if the boys forget how to write a certain letter or number when we’re doing an activity. I also have them count the number chart with our pointer to see how far they go. They love this activity!
  • Our Local Resource Lending Library – our local Toy and Resource Lending library has been incredible for homeschooling. They have so many educational kits all labeled by theme, season, subject etc., so we’ve been taking advantage of this and making a trip there several times each month. If you’re a homeschooling family, it’s worth checking if they have something similar in your town or city!
  • Pinterest – As you know, there are SO many fun hands-on education activities on Pinterest. Whenever I’m feeling like I need something quick and fun to get us away from book work, the options are endless. I love you Pinterest.

The importance of connecting with other Homeschoolers: 

I’ve been discovering that this is so so important! It can be super easy to feel secluded and alone in this journey of homeschooling if you don’t make a point of getting out and connecting with other homeschoolers through the week. It can be in a larger group setting or just small play dates but i’ve been realizing that homeschooling community is KEY! We are blessed to have a solid group of close friends who homeschool along side us and this makes it all the more enjoyable and fun! You need other moms to chat with and share ideas and resources with. You need community. You need a support system in place. Through the fall, we did a weekly nature group with this core group of friends and through the winter we plan to continue to do field trips and other outings together.

Not comparing our family to other Homeschool families.

The comparison trap for anything in life is so easy to get caught up in without realizing it. I sometimes find myself starting to get a little anxious when for example, someone else’s child, the same age as mine can print their letters better, or is already starting to read etc., etc., Or perhaps, I’m just seeing or hearing about another mom doing what sounds like more exciting and interesting activities with her kids. It’s easy to quickly feel like you’re failing or not doing enough when you’re the one responsible for your child’s education. But hello, it’s kindergarten. And one of my main reasons for homeschooling in the first place was to allow my children to learn and progress at their own pace. Comparing my children to others or expecting them to do more than they’re ready to, isn’t good for any of us. Our journey with homeschooling is our own and I plan to keep it that way.

Leave lots of Unscheduled Time 

Other than the sports I have the boys enrolled in, nature group with our homeschool friends, bible study mornings, and the odd play date through the week, I’ve been finding that we all enjoy having more unscheduled time than not. At first, I wanted to have something planned for every day to get us out of the house. And while it normally works out this way even if just for an hour, the few empty mornings and afternoons we have each week together seem to be all of our favourite days. The boys LOVE to have p.j. days where we don’t have to rush out the door to be somewhere and can enjoy a lazy morning in our school room working away in our p.j.s. That’s one of the best parts of homeschooling in my opinion!

So that’s just a few things that I’ve been learning in the first few months of our homeschool journey. We’re having so much fun with it! And I think that’s all that really matters this first year. Thanks for reading you guys!

 

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