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Goodbye Gray Dog, Hello White Dog

Are you a mom of an adventurous little one? Then this post is for you! I found this amazing stain spray in my laundry room. I must have bought it for something along the way, but I don’t remember using it. Stains usually don’t bother me, and I know having an adventurous little boy that they are going to happen. What I didn’t expect was  my little boy to fall in love with his stuffed white dog Frost.

Chief loves to bring Frost along on his adventures no matter where he goes. Today, we joined a few other moms and kids for an outdoor playdate and of course Frost had to join. Chief told me that Frost insisted on bouncing on the trampoline, sliding down the slide, trying to swing, etc. But alas, Frost took a spill from the trampoline right into the dirt! Chief was devastated because he was covered in dirt. I told him it would be ok, that we would give him a bath when we got home. Knowing that we would wash him and he would still have a nice gray tint to him.

Right when we got home, I turned on the washer machine, added our homemade laundry detergent and thats when I spotted it.Oxi-Clean Max Force Spray, hanging right in front of me. I shrugged my shoulders and thought, well what would it hurt. I sprayed Frost all over with a nice coat of the spray and tossed him into the washer with my fingers crossed. What came out was shocking to me. Frost was completely white again! Like a brand new stuffed animal from the store. Chief was super excited and couldn’t stop talking about how clean and cozy Frost was.

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After Oxi-Clean Max Force

I wish I would have taken a before picture, but I didn’t think about it until he was already in the was. But trust me when I say he was so dirty and completely gray. So, if you don’t have Oxi-Clean Max Force and you have adventurous littles then make sure you go out and get some today! You will thank me later. (Affiliated Link to Amazon)

 

❤️ Brittny

P.S. Don’t forget to share this post, to help out another fellow parent in need of a clean snuggly friend.

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Holiday Traditions and Family

Boy it has been a busy few weeks. The holiday’s have officially started! This is always a super busy time for our family, as we really enjoy this time of year. So excited for all of our family Traditions.

Thanksgiving

Yes, I know this has already passed, but I can’t help but talk about my favorite food holiday. Our Thanksgiving is usually spent at home with just Chief, my husband and my self. This year was a big change for us, and we did things a little differently.

We have not spoken to part of my husbands family since I became pregnant with Chief. Long back story there. A few months ago his grandfathers cancer became worse, and it brought our families back together. We have really made an effort to be a family again, and chose to spend Thanksgiving with them.

It was nice being able to spent time with everyone again. I’ll be the first to say, it is odd being together like nothing happened after a long period of time. But I believe that this is what this holiday is about. Coming together and being Thankful for all the things you have in your life. I am so thankful that everyone can be a family again, get along, and spend time together.

In all, we had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Lots and lots of turkey, sides, and desserts. The food is by far one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. I absolutely love Turkey, and left over turkey sandwiches. Plus, I love to cook. This year I made dessert for our get together.

Rice Crispy Turkey Legs.
Rice Crispy Turkey Legs.

I made these awesome Rice Crispy Turkey Legs treats for the kiddos. They were super easy to make, and the kids thought they were the coolest things ever. I found the recipe here. I had the same struggles that they did in the video. It was quite comical. I decided to cool my rice crispy’s in the fridge, and they I took them out to form them. This was MUCH easier then trying to do it while they were warm and gooey. In the end they were super yummy and well loved.

Christmas

Now, this is my FAVORITE holiday. I love everything about Christmas, from the decorating, to the music, the weather outside (well when its not 80 degrees), the baking, and just the over all spirit of Christmas.

We started decorating early this year. I just couldn’t wait. We put up our Christmas Tree on November 1st, but didn’t decorate it. Which luckily we didn’t because I actually purchased a new tree after we set up our other tree. I couldn’t help it. My dream tree was on sale, so I just went for it.

We finally put up the decorations on the new tree a few days before Thanksgiving and its beautiful. I was finally able to go with the theme that I have always wanted, which is a country rustic theme.

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Christmas Traditions

Christmas is a time filled with traditions for our family. A tradition that has gone on in my family for the past 30 years, is that all the kids get new Christmas pajama’s each year. That way they will all look good in Christmas morning pictures. This will be the first year that my mom has decided to only do this tradition with just the grandchildren. This has been a shock to me. I love tradition and I hate when it gets broken. But I guess now that I am 30, its time to continue the tradition on my self. The bummer of being an adult. Time to hit up Target.

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Another Christmas tradition that my family has, is that each child has their own mini Christmas tree in their bedroom. My mom bought Chief his for his first Christmas. Each year she purchases all the grandchildren an ornaments based off their interest. I love this, as it is like a memory of each child and their personality throughout the years. We have also expanded on this tradition and we purchase a family ornament each year for our tree in the living room.

Tell me what some of your family traditions are. What do you do for the holidays?

 

❤️Brittny

 

 

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Sleeping in his own room!

Sleeping has always been a problem in this house. I have grown up with sleep issues, and it seems that I have passed that along to Chief. For the last year and a half he has co-slept with me, and my husband has slept in his room. While I loved having him in my bed, it was definitely time for a change.

The decision to co-sleep

I never thought this would be a topic that I would discuss. When Chief was born there was never an intention of co-sleeping. It wasn’t until he was about 2 1/2 years old that his night terrors started. At first we tried to keep him in his own bed, but it was exhausting being woken up 2-3 times a night. It wasn’t a normal wake up either, it was bolting awake to the sounds of your child’s terrifying screams. I would fly out of bed, instantly awake with no chance of falling back to sleep quickly. Added to the fact that at this time I was still working and was just purely exhausted.

After weeks of night terrors, I caved. I brought Chief into bed with us, and it was great. Well, for Chief and I it was. My husband hated it. He decided that he would sleep in Chiefs room, and we would sleep in our bed. We figured that it would only be for a week or so, and then his night terrors would subside. Little did we know that it would last over a year. Luckily my husband was a good sport about it.The set up we had worked for us, so we just rolled with it.

The decision to co-sleep is difficult for some, and so simple for others. If you make the decision to co-sleep make sure that you read up on the safety precautions that need to be taken. The biggest thing I learned during our co-sleeping journey is to not let anyone make you feel bad for your decision. Yes, co-sleeping isn’t for everyone but it could be just what you need for your family.

The Change in Sleeping Arrangments

We finally decided it was time for a change. Chief keeps telling me he is a big boy, so I told him if he was a big boy them it was time to sleep in his own room. We talking about what would happen once he started to sleep in his own room. He understands that it means that Mommy will not be in bed with him when he falls asleep, even though we are still working on this part.

There are many ways you can go about moving your child into their own room. There is no right or wrong way, as long as it works for your family. I have chosen a rather controversial method, by putting a TV in his room. Gasp! I know, terrible mom. But this is what works for Chief. Right now we leave the TV on until he falls asleep. This helps keep him in the room until he is fully tired. Otherwise, he is up and down a million times a night. The hope is, that once he gets use to being in his room alone, that we can start to time the length that the TV is on.

Laying with his pup Raylan
Laying with his pup Raylan

This is not going to be an easy change by any means. But I am looking for anyway to make this easier on all of us. The biggest plus so far is that I don’t work at the moment, so I am able to sleep in and take a nap. Tonight might even be an early bedtime for mommy.

 

Adding Monster Spray to the Mix

It has been had keeping him in his bed, not giving into the temptation to just go in a lay down with him. It is exhausting, but I know that its for the best for Chief.

I use essential oils on occasion and have found that they work great. Last night as Chief was crying that he couldn’t be alone because the monsters and bad guys would get him. Then it came, a flash of an idea. I jumped out of bed and grabbed my oil kit. My mom had given me little spray bottles to make hand sanitizer previously. So I grabbed my bottle of lavender, a little spray bottle and some tap water. I put two drops of lavender oil into the bottle and topped it off with water, gave it a shake and ran it into his room. He was so excited to have his own special spray to get rid of the bad guys.

Magically it seems the spray has worked. At least for one night. We shall see what the rest of the week holds. I am hoping that eventually he will be able to sleep on his own with out 100 ups and downs all night, but for now I am grateful for everything I can get.

If you do choose to go this route with your little here are items I used.

Whatever works for your family

There is no magic fix to sleep issues. A quick search of google will produce thousands of ways to get your child to sleep. You have to do your research, find what works best for your family and go from there.

Don’t fear, while one way may seem like the absolute perfect way to go for your child. Only to find out 2 days in that it is making your child absolutely miserable. Don’t stick with just one way either. Mix a combination of ideas to form the perfect sleep schedule and ideas.

Good luck in your search to find the perfect way to get your littles to sleep.

 

❤️Brittny

** This post contains affiliated links.

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Our Arctic Adventures Part 1

Winter is upon us or so we hear them say for all the states above us. Living in Florida leaves us with 12 months of warm weather. It’s November, and its currently above 80 degrees outside almost every single say. So we are bring winter into our home by learning about the Arctic.

With our plans to move to Michigan in the very near future, we felt it was time to learn about the different climates around the world. Since it is almost time for winter, or what us Floridan’s call winter. We decided to start with the Arctic and Chief is super excited.

Making Snow Slime

Recently I read a homeschooling blog Side by Side Learning, where they have climate themed workboxes. I thought this sounded super fun, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. We currently have our classroom set up Montessori style. We have trays and baskets each containing their own separate work. Chief has the option to choose whichever work he would like to do, and he completes it until he is finished.

This week we started our with our new work, Arctic snow slime.  It is pretty cool, and very simple to make. We used the recipe from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. To go along with our snow slime I purchased the Arctic toob collection from Hobby Lobby, plus side is you can use a 40% off coupon! If you order online don’t forget to use ebates(affiliated link), this will give you an additional 2% cash back on your order.

After making our snow slime, Chief experimented with putting his arctic animals in the snow and seeing their tracks. This activity kept him entertained for about 30 minutes as he looked at the tracks in the snow, he made a little story about the whales and the wolves, and just had fun.

After Chief was done exploring this new work, we added it to a tray on his work shelves so that he can work with it as he chooses.

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Arctic Toob Animals

This weekend I will be photographing our Arctic toob animals on a white background and printing out cards for matching. I will also be creating flashcards with animal tracks once Chief because more familiar with each Arctic animal. He will then be able to match each animals based on the track marks they leave in our snow slime.

Safari Toob collections are one of my most favorite tools to bring into the classroom. They offer such an amazing variety, for just about any topic. I love that these collections are very life like, and not cartoonish at all. This helps with being able to distinguish these animals, people, places, plants, etc. in person. The Safari website also has a lot of information regarding the items in their collections.

Future Arctic Studies

Our work with the Arctic climate will last us several week, most likely through January. We will be adding additional adventures, projects and activities as the time goes on. So make sure to come back and read up on what we have learned.

Please feel free to comment with any arctic adventures you have taken with your family.

 

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Childhood Best Friends.

The best kind of friends are your best friends. They know everything about you, they love you unconditionally, and their friendship means the world to you.

Childhood Best friends

Do you have a childhood best friend? Does your child have a best friend? I personally have one that I still talk to 25 years later. We lost touch in our teenage years, and then on a stroke of luck we were living in the same town and only 5 minutes from each other. We were able to reconnect and have been keeping in touch for years now thanks to Facebook, since we now live about 4 hours away from each other.

My husband has his childhood best friend , who is more like a brother to him. They talk at least once a week if not more. His best friend is also the godfather to Chief, and he is a great person to take over for us if it were ever needed.

As for Chief, he has a best friend, who is great. They truly have the most precious friendship. Seeing the two of them greet each other after not seeing one another for a week is the best. Our favorite meeting place is at the community park. Usually one of us will get there before the other, and watching these two run to each other screaming in happiness is AMAZING. Here is to hoping they stay friends for the next 50+ years. img_2549

Finding Friends

This seems to be a harder task in todays day and age. When we were younger friendships were so easy to come by. You basically walked out the front door and starting playing with whoever was in sight. It didn’t matter if they were the cool kids, the popular kids, the dorky kids, or the odd kids. We were all just kids looking for some fun.

I grew up in that iconic suburban neighborhood. We all played together, front doors were always unlocked, you played outside until the lights came on or you heard Ms. Norma’s whistle to come home. We played hockey in the streets, moving our full-sized goals out-of-the-way when everyone started screaming car. We played manhunt, we roller skated, the boys skateboarded, we cause mischief and most of all we had fun. You found out where your friends were by seeing who’s bikes were in what yard, you knocked once and walked inside announcing that you were joining in.

Today its much more difficult. There are no kids outside playing, and finding friends is difficult unless your old enough to be in public school. Being that Chief is only 3, he has had limited access to other children. Luckily as a stay at home mom we are able to attend playdates, local events, story time and much more. We love meeting new friends at the events and at our  favorite place of all, the park. Meeting friends at the park is great because you can see if their playing style and personality meets that of your child. You are also able to engage the parents, get to know each other and schedule playdates for the future.

Living Near or Far

This is a topic that affects most friends at some point and time. People move, either in the same city or to other states completely. We will be tackling this topic with Chief in the future, as both us and his best friends family are planning to move to different states as soon as out homes sell. To make it easier, we have already planned on multiple visits from each family. There is so much to explore in this world and what better way to do it, then with your best friend.

Distance can make or break a friendship. No matter how strong it once was, living far away can be difficult. It’s very important that you take the time to stay in touch, even if it is just once a month. This is why we will be making sure that we stay in touch with Hadley girl, as Chief calls her.

Staying in touch

This is the most important part about friendships. Staying in touch can be difficult. Especially once you get older and life starts getting in the way. Luckily with technology today, it makes staying in touch so much easier. There is Facebook, instagram, twitter, FaceTime and so much more.

Personally, my favorite way to communicate is good old fashion snail mail. Who doesn’t love getting letters in the mail? Even if it is something as easy as saying hello, how are you? Something about hand writing a letter makes it so much more special. Since Chief is still young and not really into writing at the moment, his letters may not be more than a scribbled drawing. But that is a child’s way of communicating with their friends. Just make sure you include a cheat sheet for the other parents.

Once we move, or Hadley girl moves, we will begin our first long distance friend ship. Filled with lots of drawings, and little objects that we can send her. Then once we are both settled in our new homes, we will beginning with the visits to each other. There will be so much to explore, and so much fun to be had. I can not wait for this journey for him, and for him to continue to foster his friendship with his Hadley girl.

Here’s to many great adventures with your best friend.

❤️Brittny

 

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Daylight Savings Time is Here

Well the time has arrived. Today is the last day of Daylight Savings Time and our clocks will go back 1 hour while we sleep. As parents we are no longer afforded the luxury of sleeping in that extra house, even though we are the ones who need it most.

Sleep issues are coming.

Does your child already have sleep issues? We sure do. At almost 4 year old, Chief still does not sleep in his own bed and does not sleep through the night. As a stay at home mom, this is not something that has concerned me. The time changes can be horrendous on our schedule, sleep and sanity. We do little things to help make it easier that seem to work for Chief, but may not work for all.

Naps or rest time is usually inevitable during these changes, especially on mornings where he has gotten up earlier then usual. We have not had a true nap time for about 6 months, but we do rest. Our rest time is usually around 1-2pm in the afternoon, and about 45minutes to a hour long. We will rest wherever he likes, usually on the couch where we watch a movie or tv show. But lets be real, Mommy is the one who needs these naps and rest times more then they do. We are the ones who are up all hours of the night.

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Releasing all his energy at the park with the hopes he will sleep well tonight.

Adjusting bed time is usually inevitable as well. While he is usually in bed my 7pm, we will increase it to about 7:30-8:00pm. My hopes of doing this, is that he sleeps in longer in the morning. I have found that getting up to early makes for a very cranky start to our day. We spent today at the park with the hops that it will help release all his extra energy, and fingers crossed he sleeps well tonight.

Here is to hoping that all our little ones sleep well during the time change, and pray they let us sleep in. Even if it is only an extra 20 minutes.

To whom ever invented the time change, What were you thinking? Obviously you didn’t have children.

❤️Brittny

 

 

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Why did you choose to homeschool?

Well, I get this questions a lot. My family is full of public school educators, and I have nothing but respect for them and their profession. I made the decision to homeschool my children many years ago. The best way I explain to people that this is a decision I have made in the best interest of my child, and my child’s future. Now the long answer to why I will home school……

Public School Education

Were you educated in a public school? My answer to this is always yes and no. I went to elementary school, 6th grade and half of 7th grade,  half of my 7th grade year was completed at home, through a hospital homebound program, and the I dropped out during my 9th grade year.

During my 7th grade year I had informed my parents that I had be sexually abused by our neighbor and I had a very hard time dealing with everything. I was terrified to leave my house, and I was terrified that I was going to be hurt for coming forward. (I now know that coming forward was the right thing to do, and I was kept safe by my parents. ) My parents and my counselors spoke and found it best for me to complete the year at home.

I went back to school for my 8th grade year and I loved it. I became president of a program at school called SADD( Students Against Destructive Decisions). Being the president of this club helped with my social skills, but my anxiety was still strong and I missed a lot of school. I finished out my 8th grade years, and entered high school and this is where things went down hill. My anxiety was terrible, I suffered from panic attacks, depressions, ptsd and more. I had a very hard time making new friends; my anxiety made me the weird girl and so much more. I ended up dropping out before the end of my high school year.

The Unexpected

Now, here comes the most amazing part! One that is always unexpected when I tell people I dropped out of school. I went back when I was 18 and got my GED, enrolled in community college and got my Associate’s of Art’s degree, and then enrolled in University where I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree.

The biggest shocker, I applied to and was accepted into Law School. It was a conditional acceptance, I had to complete a summer program first, but I was accepted. I was so proud. I talked it over with my parents and my boyfriend( at the time, now my husband) trying to decide on what I wanted to do. Would I go to law school? How would I pay for it? I didn’t receive scholarships and tuition was $75,000 per year. I ultimately decided that I would wait and I would retake my LSAT test in the next 3 years to try and up my scores to be able to receive a scholarship.

Our Decision to Homeschool

Ultimately, my Husband and I decided to start a family. I have several cardiac issues so we spoke with the doctors and they said it was better to have children while I was young, rather then later down the road. I knew before we started down this road that our future children would homeschool. I didn’t know how many children we would have, but I knew they would homeschool. We ended up with Chief, and he is our world. For his first few years he attended the Montessori school where I worked and it was a fantastic beginning to his learning. Chief is now 3.10 years old (Almost 4, where did the time go?) and doing fantastic.

We started our homeschool journey in August of this year. We are using this time to work on his letter recognition and number recognition, as he is struggling with this. We are using a few different curriculums, mainly focusing on a letter of the week with a review of all past letters. This is working well for him, and we are starting to incorporate more in each week. He proudly tells people when they ask, that he does homeschool. Which usually leads into more questions about our homeschool life, and how we go about learning. I loved educating people of the huge possibilities that homeschooling provides for children. Luckily we haven’t come across anyone super anti-homeschool as some of our friends have.

Stay tuned for more info on our curriculum and schedule.

❤️ Brittny

 

**If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, or assault you can contact RAINN or your local law enforcement agency for help. Don’t stay silent, tell your story and send your offender to jail.

 

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Homemade Homeschool

As a homeschooling family with a single income, we find our own ways to create our homeschool materials. Little man has been struggling with his recognition of letters, and tracing. So we are trying a new approach. He previously used sandpaper letters when he was in Montessori school, so here is my take on them. They are super easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. Here is what you will need:

Supplies:

Glitter Paper ( in your child’s favorite color.)

Or Precut Glitter letters (Make sure they are textured)

Hot Glue

White Card Stock

Paper Cutter

I use my Cricut to cut out my letters using the basic Arial Font, and made them about 2″ tall. You can adjust yours to whatever size you would like, or purchase the precut letters in the size you would like. I then cut out my White Card Stock into 3″ squares , then hot glued the glitter letters to the center of my card stock. They turned out great!  The total cost for the project for me was under $2. I already had the white card stock and hot glue, so I only had to purchase the glitter paper which was around $1.50.

I highly recommend that if you are a homeschooling parent that you purchase a Cricut. You don’t have to have the top of the line if you are just using it to cut out projects. I have the Explore One and I use it for homeschooling and for my online business. It is great to be able to cut things out on the fly and not have to worry about how its going to turn out. It is very helpful when the littles get older and start having projects of their own that need to be completed. They can use it to create the things needed without having to go out and specially buy items.

Here is our finished project. He loves them, and they are red which is his favorite color. He instantly started to trace the letters. I only placed out the letters that we are currently working on, so that he will not get confused. Good Luck with your projects!

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We do school in our Jammies.
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Happy Halloween!

Wow! I can’t believe it is already Halloween! Where has the year gone? For the last 3 halloweens we have always gone to the same place in our town. This year we did something different. We went to my husbands aunt’s house. We recently reconnected with part of his family after 4 years, so it was nice to get together and spend time with everyone.

We had a fantastic time! Little man went as our version of Captain America. Little man has never been a fan of costumes and I previously purchased some and he flat out refused to wear them. So now we piece together our own outfits. On the plus side, they are not just for halloween, but worn year round. This year you can find me out with either a Fireman or Captain America. He loves to dress up as those to characters, and I love to fuel his imagination.

 

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I asked him to say cheese. He said, I’m not giving you no cheese, mommy!

 

We got an astonishing 4 buckets of candy, and it is now all hidden in the pantry, and the chocolate is hidden in the freezer. Just admit it, the chocolate is for the moms, and its more delicious in the freezer. We are very grateful that his aunt’s neighborhood puts on such a great Halloween for the children. We walked a lot, played a lot, and over all had an amazing time. I would say that the only down side we had, was it’s a HUGE neighborhood and no bathrooms. We had a bathroom emergency about an hour in, and since little man doesn’t know how to stand and go potty yet we were in desperate need of a bathroom. Luckily, the next street we turned on had a Sheriff Deputy and he was more then generous to let us use his bathroom. After about 2 hours of walking, Papa and Louie went back and got the truck to pick everyone up since we were so far into the neighborhood and the kids didn’t want to walk anymore, plus my legs were so done and going numb so it was time to head home.

I can’t believe that we have just celebrated our 4th halloween with little man, and next up is Thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS! I hope everyone had a great halloween with their little ones!

 

xOxO