Welcome and thank you for taking the time to check out my new blog. I am going to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my family. My name is Laura and I am a mother to two little ones. I have been a stay at home mom for about 4 years now. I have a soon to be 4 year old girl and a very active 19 month old boy. They keep me pretty busy most days but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been married to my husband for 5 years now but we have been together for 11 years. (WOW! It doesn’t feel like its been that long.) My blog will feature many of my interests but will primarily focus on my adventures as a SAHM, crafting and different ways to save money. I am a lover of all things coffee, volunteering opportunities, crafting with my Cricut (I’m a newbie), and trying new recipes. We recently relocated from Phoenix, Arizona to Chicago, Illinois so along the way I will share the different places we’ve visited. I am all for new experiences and keeping these kids active and out of the house during our weekday mornings.
I look forward to sharing lots of ideas with you all and hope that you find some helpful.
Fall is near and it’s my second favorite season. I love the crisp breezy mornings but more so I love all the fall holidays and family traditions. We love to go apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and Halloween. This year we have a weekend road trip planned to drive up to Wisconsin in a few weeks, we are really looking forward to that.
Can we also take a second to get caught up. My two kids have grown and seriously I am loving seeing them thrive in this new phase of life. My girl is now 6 years old and my son is soon to be 4 years old. Life is great!
Hello ya’ll! I can’t believe it is February and here we are still in Chicago surviving this wintery weather that WE are totally over! We have another round of snow coming in tonight and snow is one thing but when it turns to ice that’s when it worries me. Hoping spring gets here soon, we have family in town by April so we are definitely hoping for warmer temps. At this rate, 40F is warm enough, ha!
We officially have a Kindergartner in the house! This momma’s heart has been completely nervous during this whole week. The fact that my daughter has been excited to start school has been such a huge sigh of relief. Last week we started going over the different things we learned from preschool like: asking for help when needed, standing up for yourself, using your voice, being kind and taking care of all your personal hygiene things. From the time she entered preschool we realized how quick the typical “you’re not my friend anymore” really broke her heart. We realized that while it was good to be kind to your friends that it is also okay to stand up for yourself. It was a long process but we made it!! One day she came home from preschool and said mommy a girl in my class was being mean and I told her that I wasn’t playing with her if she was going to be so rude. We celebrated, we told her how brave she was to use her voice to express her feelings, oh it was awesome! That girl’s day was made when she saw how incredibly proud of her we were. She was so PROUD!
So as we move now into the next chapter which is Kindergarten for her we are excited about all the wonderful things she will be learning this year. She is looking forward to all the learning ahead.
AS your children move into a new school or grade level, what are your biggest concerns? How do you help manage it? What are some things you have learned along the way as your children have started school? Please share, as a new mom in the elementary school age it’s all so exciting! I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m head over heels excited every morning I get to pack her lunch and stick a little love not inside. I purchased a YumBox from Amazon and a couple little accessories to help brighten up lunch time.
My girl is soon to be 5 years old! Have I mentioned this also means she’s off to Kindergarten this fall, I can’t believe it. I’m so nervous but she isn’t worried she’s constantly talking about how excited she is to go to school. This momma’s heart is at ease knowing she isn’t nervous. It feels like I blinked and here she is at almost 5 years old. This means my not so little guy ( who likes to correct everyone and say “me, big boy”) is almost 3! yikes! What a fun and rewarding journey this whole stay at home mom gig has been the last 4 years. Time and time again I am so thankful I have been able to experience every little milestone with them.
This momma has got to get back to my party planning list. We are doing a Moana theme and I am creating as many of the items as I can. I will post pictures once I have everything set up 🙂
Oh the joys of motherhood! These days I feel like I’m “winging it” motherhood is exhausting. You overcome an obstacle and a new one arises and you spend every quiet second thinking about all the outcomes and possible solutions. This brings me to my keyword of the month which is self-care. I want to make sure that I am making time to care for myself and my mental health. These days the opportunities for self-care are more feasible for me. I am no longer nursing or have a little baby at home that needs my around the clock care. This is exciting!! Self care for me is taking a relaxing bubble bath, a morning out to have coffee and plan our week ahead, shopping, exercising or crafting. What are some ways you make time for yourself? What does self care mean to you?
Saturday mornings are an important part of my week. Every Saturday morning I wake up early usually around 6/7 am and head out with planner & headphones in hand. First stop is coffee and I will usually stay there for a good hour. It is so calming. Everything is quiet. I’m out and about for about 3-4 hours usually and come home feeling so refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Last but not least, friendships are so crucial for me. I am far away from my family and friends back home so I love having a couple good friends to share all the joys of motherhood with.
Just wanted to quickly update on our progress of our map theme last week. While it has been a lot of fun I have quickly come to realize that one week is not sufficient time to hit all the things I would like. So I have decided from here on out I am doing themes in two weeks time again that may change with each theme but that way we can hit all the areas and not feel rushed. Anyway, I’ve got a cycling class to attend but I will upload some pictures tonight.
I cannot believe its April, ya’ll this year has flown by for us. It’s my birthday month and I still get pretty excited about those. The reason I am writing tonight is because I have officially decided to take the leap into our homeschool adventures that will include a ton of hands on learning experiences. I REALLY want to soak up these days with my kiddos because they will be long gone before I know it. Sorry to get sappy but anyway this week we are focusing on Maps that is our theme to kick this baby off. I will link below the resources I have used this week so hope that is helpful to you.
My calendar is flexible with my kids. My primary goal with this is to learn new things by doing and creating but I do not want a rigid schedule. I want the freedom to move things around as needed and that is the beauty of this whole homeschool thing, isn’t that neat? Wednesday morning we are planning an outing to the local Children’s Museum and I’m sure we will find things there to integrate our theme for the week. The opportunities are endless, everything around you has a purpose and a perfect opportunity for a learning moment. For example, the drive there and discussing what do we see around us that helps us when using maps? The streets all have names (they are preschoolers, we are keeping it easy peasy 😉 ) the ponds that are listed in maps, are we traveling North, South, East, West? My vehicle will display that so really want to keep it simple for now. I’ve been here almost a year and I still need a map to get there, whoops! WE will definitely be connecting my gps to the radio so we can hear all the neat functions of that.
Thursday we are having a beautiful day in the 70’s and to put that into perspective today it snowed and we were in the 30’s so we are taking full advantage of that day to be out. Again, I will choose a couple areas to integrate it into our day –for example, how long the drive is there? Is the park far from the house? Maybe we will sneak in a puzzle or two and I am just fine with that. I plan to use our Fridays strictly for catching up and summarizing our learning. I am looking forward to updating this later this weekend and letting you know how it all went.
For the meantime here is our work in progress, we created a map of our neighborhood with a box we recycled they painted grass and we build streets. They glued schools, parks, made houses, and tomorrow we will be adding more details.
Our first Easter in Chicago is upon us. It will be our first year to spend it without our extended family around. We’ve been lucky enough that even though we have lived out of state, our home state (Texas) for the last 2.5 years we have always been able to fly home. This year is different. We have a preschooler with other commitments and a little guy with some extra curricular activities. BUT we are so thankful that my mother in law decided to come see us for a WHOLE week and that gave us lots of opportunities for date nights and the kids got lots of new memories with her. I am beyond thankful for that! Being away from our family has definitely brought some challenges for us but when we have that time with them we know we are extremely lucky to have them around.
Tonight I am preparing the kids Easter baskets as my mother in law’s last day is tomorrow. We decided to celebrate Easter a day early while she is still here. We have lots of fun things planned for the kids. This is the second year I am making Easter baskets for the kids and honestly I don’t know I’m not really a big fan of them. Ha! Next year, I plan on focusing on necessities to prepare them for summer like buying swimsuits, sandals, etc and a couple small $ items. This year their Easter basket includes a Kinder egg, a couple items from the Target Dollar Spot, a chocolate bunny, and probably a couple other small things I’m forgetting at the moment.
SO excited that Spring is here & we are totally hoping for warmer weather and daily park days. Wishful thinking possibly, as we have experienced our first real and brutally cold winter here in Chicago. WE are so over this cold and ready for some warmth.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the coming months especially our first summer before the big sister starts Kinder. I can’t believe I will have a soon to be kindergartner, yikes! We are taking full advantage this summer to fill our days with new memories, lots of new experiences and lots of time outside. I really want to focus our time into learning with a lot of hands on experiences and real world applications because really that’s where the connections happen. I’ve started planning out weekly focus themes for the summer time once the girl is out of preschool for the year. We are currently really into the solar system and nature. It is so exciting to put this into action and have the kiddos both home and learning together.
If you are interested in some additional resources or ideas I have pinned some on my pinterest board: summer themes
I will be adding more as we show new interest in topics so stay tuned! If you have any suggestions on other wonderful mom blogs please comment below. I would love to follow other moms and get some new ideas.
For the mean time you can catch us indoors keeping busy with duplo legos, here is my daughters take on a doctors office!