Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog

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7 Months!

He’s keenly aware of his brother every move.  He scoots across the room as soon as you turn your back.  He thinks he can walk (he can’t) and insists on standing up (one second).  He pulls himself up on things and then topples over.  He has two bottom teeth, which he likes to grind into my shoulder.  He is DONE with baby toys – only big brother’s toys will do.  He either screams or sleeps in the car, there’s no in-between.  He sucks his thumb when he’s tired (pretty cute).  He’s tried mashed bananas and avocados so far and although he doesn’t appear to get any of it into his mouth (it’s straight into the bath after a feeding) his poops smell like, well, poop.  He’s SEVEN MONTHS!


My favorite things to do with my seven-month old:

Put him in my wrap and go for walks or go to the beach or pool.  (I have a regular wrap and a water wrap).

Roll a ball to him (he’s always amazed when it reaches him).

Try and read a book to him (before he eats it).

Watch him cover himself with mashed bananas (somehow cuter than mashed avocados).

Baby exercises!  (He sits on my stomach or around me for leg lifts, sit-ups, stretches, and squats.)

Introduce new things (primary colors, shapes, textures) in a small wooden tray Montessori-style.  (He usually tries to eat the tray.)

Let him check himself out in the mirror (he’s in love with his reflection – the brother he wishes really he had).

Swing in the baby swings at the playground (or with Daddy on the big swing).

Play peek-a-boo!  (Usually during diaper changes using a small blanket – otherwise he scoots away before we’re done).

Tickle-fest!  (He has the funniest laugh!)

Songs with musical instruments (usually something we can bang – BAM-BAM)!

Chase the cat, dog, or big brother (and grab fistfuls of hair)!

Bite Papa’s toes (the baby does that – not me – but it makes me laugh)!

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God’s curriculum is Nature

Do you ever need a theme other than nature?

We have been enjoying our playtime in nature during the recent warm, spring weather.  It’s difficult to tell who enjoys it more, me, Noah (5 mon), or Boaz (3 yrs).  I can’t say enough good things about my toddler’s reactions to nature.  I enjoy incorporating nature (sand, ocean animals, more animals) into our shelf work (Montessori-inspired).  Sometimes my toddler needs a little encouragement as we drive by the playground and head to the beach, woods, or water areas.  The playground equipment calls to him.  We go there too, after we play in nature.  Since I talk it up so much, I thought I’d show some pictures to prove we really do it!  You’ll see some pictures of a scenic park off of a lake where you can walk along the water, through the woods, and down to a beach.  We discovered a pair of ducks and built (rather destroyed) sand castles.  At home, I made activities with sand and toy animals – matching games, words games, and sensorial activities – to bring nature into the house and continue the theme.

I think that God’s curriculum is Nature.







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Placenta Postpartum

For my second baby (now 2 months old), I tried something new.  Placenta encapsulation!  Sound weird or wonderful?  If you do not know what placenta encapsulation is, please check out the link below.  Basically, you hire someone to collect your placenta after the birth of your baby and they dehydrate and encapsulate the placenta for your consumption during postpartum.  The placenta helps with recovery, including mood and energy.  I was very skeptical.  My only complaint after trying it was that I wish I had more.  I only have a few left!  They gave me a jolt of energy, like having caffeine, but without any negative side effects.  I have not read any scientific studies or analysis about them so I was wondering what other people thought.  Care to share?

Have you tried placenta encapsulation?  If so, what do you think?  If not, then why?

I used Carolina Placenta Lady for my placenta encapsulation. She was great!

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Montessori-inspired Baby Play Areas

I’ve been working on little play areas for our two-month old.  The set-ups are Montessori-inspired but with some consignment items.  I stick with the Montessori ideas but if I often find things at the consignment store.  At two months old, my baby likes to look at mirrors, black and white pictures, faces, and mobiles.  He’s learning that when he hits things, they move!  He coos back at me when I talk to him.  I sing songs with him and often read short books while he’s doing tummy time.  I try to have tummy time once every wake period.  He’s very happy on his tummy.  I always have an eye on him.  Here are some pictures of our play areas for our two-month old.  There’s also a video on my YouTube channel.IMG_4753 IMG_4754 IMG_4755

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Toddler and New Baby Time

Playing with my toddler AND new baby (2 months) is a new challenge for me.  How do you juggle playing with both kids?  Did you experience sibling rivalry?  A jealous toddler while you nurse?  Guilt leaving the baby crying while you tend to the toddler (I’m thinking about potty training in particular!) or visa versa (just more guilt)?

These are all things I’m working through and here are a few things I’ve learned so far.  My toddler wants to help but he’s genuinely not sure what to do with a baby.  So I ask my toddler lots of questions about how the baby is doing.  Is he happy?  Is he crying?  Hungry?  This seems to help my toddler interact and be a part of the mommy-baby situation.  My toddler now likes to report the new baby’s behavior, especially in the car when I can’t see him.  My toddler also likes to help by getting things for me such as a diaper or water.  In the pictures below you can see that my toddler also likes to mimic what I’m doing and take care of “his” baby, who he named Isaac.  Since he likes to do everything himself, he can practice doing all the things I do with our little one.  This way if he asks to do something to help that maybe is not appropriate yet, I’ll ask him to do it with his baby!

What are your toddler/new baby tricks?  How do you handle both together?

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Our Birth Story

I took off from posting for a few (almost 4) weeks to have our second baby.  Our little boy, Noah, was born the day after Thanksgiving (11.28.14).  My water broke just as the oven beeped for the turkey (around 4pm).  I was laying on our bed trying to wake up my toddler from his nap.  I had to roll off the bed and onto our dogs’ bed laying on the floor since I was gushing so much.  It was a little alarming.  I called the midwife and was informed that labor might not start for several hours.  So I relaxed and since I wasn’t feeling anything, we sat down for our Thanksgiving dinner.

By the end of dinner (6 or 7pm), I started feeling mild contractions.  The first few contractions felt more like cramps but they were coming at regular intervals (about 10 minutes apart).  Then the contractions grew stronger but the frequency become inconsistent and varied between 7 and almost 20 minutes.  I tried resting in bed but the contractions grew stronger and made it impossible to sit or lay down.  The best position for me during the contractions was on my hands and knees and I continued to use that position even during pushing and delivery.

The contractions became even stronger and longer in the late evening and by 10 or 11pm I decided to ask the doula to come to our house for assistance.  I later learned that my contractions were more painful because Noah’s arm was up by his head and therefore pushing on my spine.  During this time, my mother, dad and husband took turns trying to get my toddler (2 and 1/2 yrs old) to sleep.  He wasn’t having it – too much excitement.

Contractions increased normally until around 1 am.  At that time, my contractions were still about 5 minutes apart and we starting discussing going to the birth center.  What seemed like all of a sudden, I had a very strong urge to squeeze my husband’s hand and have him very close.  The next two contractions were extremely close together and very long and strong.  We then RUSHED to the car and off to the birth center.  I felt Noah coming during the 30 minute drive to the birth center but resisted the urge to push.  My husband was very calm.  He managed to drive and hold me off as I grabbed his hands and shirt.  The noises coming out of me were primal.  I actually proud of how my body took over.  Our doula followed behind in her car and later admitted she thought we wouldn’t make it!

I’m not sure how I got out of the car but as soon as I walked into the birth center I collapsed in relief (more screaming and gushing).  I was helped to the bathroom and then into a huge tub.  Noah was born before the water filled the tub, which was helpful for the midwife since as I mentioned Noah’s hand was near his head.  The cord also needed unwrapping.  Sitting back in to the tub with Noah on my chest was the best feeling.  I had climbed the mountain and could relax and enjoy the view.  He latched on within 10 minutes (I think it took me about 2 days to figure out latching with our first baby).

I love that the midwives let me sit in the tub for as long as I wanted.  Then they helped me walk a few feet to a nice snuggly, warm bed and wrapped me in towels as we continued nursing.  My parents brought our toddler over shortly afterward and everyone had fun sharing the birth story.  I had delivered within 11 minutes of arriving at the birth center!  After snacking and laughing on the big bed (my toddler ate the most), we all headed back home to sleep.  It was about 3 or 4am.  We only stayed at the birth center about 3 hours!  Snug in our bed at home, Noah and I dozed and nursed for the next few days.  He is a nursing champ (thank you La Leche).  It was an amazing birth and we had a very amazing birth team.  Welcome to our family Noah!

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Crafty Moms – Nursery Ideas

I’m always amazed when I hear about what other moms are up to!  There are some seriously crafty, creative women out there.  They are hard at work maintaining the “fort”!  I always think of them as pioneers – navigating new landscapes and settling new territories.  Building homes…

Check out this mom’s remodeling work for her kids’ room and nursery.  I love the colors and the hardwood flooring!  Beautiful!

Have you remodeled or redecorated your kids’ rooms?  What about the nursery?

Kids Rooms @ Stupendous Strouts

Ella's room 2

Owen's original room 2