Yummy and Dooter got dressed up first thing this morning to go visit their grandparents and great-grandma, to go "truck-a-treating", as Yummy said.  Yummy shivered with sheer excitement, while Dooter was just pleased to be going for a ride in the truck.   

 
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One of Yummy's recurring play themes is GeeBee's Party.  GeeBee is her special stuffed giraffe that has been with her since birth; she follows Yummy almost everywhere and helps her feel safe.  GeeBee has birthdays at least two or three times a month, and the idea is always the same: cupcakes and presents.  


 
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It is a snowy day, and despite not looking forward to another winter, I am relishing the beauty of it.  My family is arriving this afternoon for a late Thanksgiving celebration (we're Canadian), but it feels more like Christmas at this point!  In the meantime, what better way to spend a snowy day then to curl up with a good book, or perhaps, a Book Bin??

A while ago Yummy requested a "Book Bin" for her Quiet Times; I asked for ideas on my Facebook page -thank you for your input!  I was at a complete loss of what to put in a book bin, but after a recent trip to the library I realized what Yummy was really wanting -just books, plain and simple!  Yummy borrowed an enormous stack of books, then decided to take them all into her room for Quiet Time.  I am pretty sure it was the quietest Quiet Time in the history of Quiet Times; I left her poring over a Berenstein Bears book and didn't hear a peep on her monitor for at least 45 minutes.  

 
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Poor Dooter has had croup the last few days, and unlike his sister, he is a cranky, non-sleeping kid when he is sick, so neither Mr. Man or I are getting much sleep either.  We are all a little exhausted!  My sensory bins have been such a help in distracting Dooter from his woes and also for keeping Yummy busy while I don't have the energy for entertainment.  

 
Thanks so much to Missy from Dot To Dot Connections, for nominating me for The Sunshine Award!  I'm honoured that she considers me part of the group of "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."  Her blog definitely fits that description and if you haven't checked her out yet, please do!  The Sunshine Award is a fun questionnaire that lets your readers know a little more about you.

 
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A couple weeks ago Yummy and I collected autumn leaves in the yard to preserve for future artmaking. We coated some in glycerin, which we used for our Frosty Leaves project, and layered others in a heavy book between sheets of wax paper, to use for today's art exploration.


 
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The letter "E" was Yummy's next choice for an Alphabet Dance, so we got to experiment with the non-locomotor movement of EXPLODE!  

 
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I am starting a series called The Alphabet Dances, which is going to explore different elements of dance and give me and my children some exercise with our creative explorations.  I'd love to have you join us and let me know how your kids enjoy it!

 
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This is a two-part art project; a festive garland to hang in a doorway, across a wall, in front of a window, wherever you need a bit of cheer!  Yummy's garland is intended as a gift, but it would be a wonderful homemade birthday or party decoration as well.

 
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We humans have been shaped over the millennia by the rhythmic rotation of the earth, by the diurnal dance of day and night.  We have been formed by the rosy shadings of light at dawn, and by nighttime's reply as scarlet and violet descend into velvet black... Day by day our world shifts imperceptibly, moving inexorably from spring's first blossom toward a world glittering in ice diamonds.  Both the rapture and the travails of this cycle have formed our human psyche... Our children, who live closer to basics than we do, are profoundly affected by the life rhythms we determine for them.  Many problems we experience with our children can be addressed by setting a simple daily rhythm that allows their needs to be met in a timely way.
                                                                                                                                                         -Sharifa Oppenheimer

Finding a Rhythm

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Children thrive on repetition.  Having a steady rhythm is also an important foundation in our own lives and leads to a more peaceful home.  When Yummy was a baby, our days were often formless, since I didn't really know what to do to entertain a baby.  Other than having a consistent nap schedule, we drifted spontaneously through the days.  This wasn't such a big deal while Yummy was crawling around, but as she got older I could see that we would benefit from more stability.  

Two parenting books encouraged me to create a routine for our family: Steady Days by Jamie Martin and Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer (links at the bottom of this post!).  I could relate to what Jamie Martin says in Chapter 6, "I noticed that my day with my children quickly turned to chaos if I didn't have a plan...I became frazzled and less patient with them -I didn't like myself that way... My motive behind [my routine] is not to control my children, but to give them my best."  Both books are excellent resources not only for how to implement consistent routines, but they both also have lots of ideas of what you might like to schedule into your routine (household chores, structured play, bedtime stories, etc).