(Old but classic photo of motherhood in the trenches. A baby playing with a plastic bag, a naked two-year-old putting on a bra, and a living room full of trash.) HABITUATION! I heard this word for the first time in awhile and it really struck a chord. Can you indulge the English major in me while I share a definition for it? "Habituation is a form of learning in which an organism decreases or ceases its responses to a stimulus after repeated or prolonged presentations. Essentially, the organism learns to stop responding to a stimulus which is no longer biologically relevant. For example, organisms may habituate to repeated sudden loud noises when they learn these have no consequences." I lov

The State of Things

Summer is winding down over here and it's bittersweet. Yes, this summer has been physically exhausting--three kids ages four and under at home all day every day with no camps. But in my experience, the first year with a new baby is always exhausting, summer or not, other kids or not, and I think we've done pretty well for ourselves. We've done all the crafting, bike riding, swimming, and playground-ing. We had the best vacation. We've had lots of porch picnics, made lots of ice cream, gone to lots of farmer's markets, and watched lots of TV (if we're being honest). We haven't seen a ton of Nick and somehow I've managed to not lose my mind. I'd like to get in a couple more playdates and one m

Back-to-School Wellness Essentials

One thing I don't miss about the school year is all the germs. We had our healthiest year yet last year, and I largely attribute it to the vitamin protocol we were following. We've scaled it down over the summer but will start ramping back up over the next couple weeks and I thought I'd share what we'll be doing. GIRLS: multivitamin probiotic vitamin C vitamin D ME: multivitamin probiotic vitamin D stress resistance complex NICK: multivitamin probiotic vitamin D I've also been wanting to start us all on an Omega 3 supplement and just got this cod liver oil for us to try. I am officially a grandmother! During flu season we also all take elderberry daily because we follow my midwives' anti-flu

Weekend Reading

TGIF! Our dentist told me it was "Baldwin morning" during our visit this week. Just wait until George makes it four cleanings at a time! Am I the only one who schedules things this way? Bang it all out at once, two hours in the dentist be darned. Here are some links from around the web for your weekend reading: How to Avoid Overscheduling. Loved the bit about the pioneers! Gains and Losses. "If I don't gloss the past with sentimentality (something I have a tendency to do), some of those years I couldn't wait for the routine of school to start, for a little more structure to our days, and a little more calmness-some days stretched me to my breaking points, some made me wish for just a moment

God Bless George

We had the most special day celebrating George's baptism with family and friends. Here are some photos from the day, if you'd like to see! "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 "The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as the

Speak to Your Children

I had the kids at the shoe store yesterday for back-to-school shopping and was promptly reminded why I don't do things like that. Every other mother with small children had the same idea, and as we waited to be fitted for shoes, I was trying not to pay too much attention to the mom in front of us who was badgering her young son about the price of his shoes. "Of course you like those shoes." "You've really graduated to big kid prices now." "You're lucky I love you." At our next stop, the pharmacy, a man cut in front of us in line (do you not see I am juggling three small children?) and then later almost hit us with his car in the parking lot. In trying to give these people the benefit of the

You Don't Have to Like It

The past couple weeks were tough ones. Snippets of life included: George deciding to go back to his newborn sleep/feeding schedule Nick working late almost every night Nick, on the one day last week he did make it to dinner, asking me if I'd like him to pick up takeout on his way home to give me a break and I burst into tears of gratitude and exhaustion Discarded pee-soaked undies scattered throughout the house Me showered and in pajamas by 4:30/5pm Me accomplishing the above task by having a crying baby on the bath mat outside the shower, leaving the girls to their own devices, and Eloise coming in mid-shower telling me that Mimi "went poop already" (in her undies) My "downtime": half-snooz

Amelia is Three!

Our Amelia is THREE! This little girl was the sweetest and easiest baby. She brought so much peace to our family. She made me LOVE newborns. She is the best snuggler. She is a girl on the go. She is FAST and FEARLESS. If I had to guess, she will be my stitches kid. Always getting bumps and bruises and thinking AFTER doing. She has always been a lamb of a child. Until recently, she really didn't cause me a day of trouble in her life! (Age three is historically theeeeee worst in our household, so if you think of it, please pray for me. We haven't been off to the best start lately.) She loves ballerinas and babies and is usually found in ballet slippers and a "yee-o-tard" with a babydoll stuffe

A Dinner Hack

This is something I've been doing lately that is saving a bit of sanity. Sunday: roast or grill lots and lots of veggies (400* for 20-25 minutes) and a double or triple portion of protein (usually chicken or sausage). Sunday dinner example: roasted veggies + sausages with bread + olive oil dipper Then, the next two nights I repurpose the veggies and meat. Monday dinner example: pasta with chopped roasted veggies + sausage + parm Tuesday dinner example: stuffed baked potatoes with roasted veggies (sausage is usually gone at this point so if we have bacon, which we usually do, I'll cook some and add it here), guacamole and/or sour cream and/or cheese. I'll also make roasted veggie + cheese que

A Natural Antibiotic + Mouth Care

I had a mystery toothache last week which escalated to the point of not being able to chew my dinner. Rather than the hassle of making a dentist appointment (when will scheduling and attending appointments NOT be an impossible task?) and possibly being placed on some kind of broad spectrum antibiotic, I went through my inventory of home remedies and concocted a little mouth rinse with warm water, sea salt, and 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract. I also rubbed a couple drops of lavender essential oil along the outside of my jaw where it was painful. After one use of this my pain significantly decreased, and after a couple uses I was on the mend. Worth having this tool in your toolkit if you

Friday Links

I don't have a lot of words today because I have a baby who isn't sleeping a lot (is too happy to sleep a thing?), a husband who is working a lot, and two toddlers who have seemingly boundless energy. See above photo for my energy level at all times. SOS. Here are some links I've enjoyed from around the web lately: The dramatic brain changes of motherhood. I wish I had known all of this before having my first baby! Prescriptions for outdoor play Empowering kids in an anxious world The joy of missing out This made me laugh, and so did this. This made me cry actual tears. Fixing your attachment style (I liked the first half, but the end got a little wonky for me) Happy weekend!

Recreation Desperation

"Mommy don't you think we should stop making sweets every day? So we don't get sick?" Some people bake for recreation; I bake out of desperation. If you are in the middle of the summer at home with young kids, maybe you need some fresh ideas in your bag of tricks? Or is that just me? I'm happy to share a couple of my recent go-to activities, both of which have been culinary. And while neither of these requires any actual baking, they fall in the same category of last-resort-kitchen-activities-with-toddlers. We bought this ice cream maker and have been making one flavor a week. Last week, strawberry with farmer's market berries. This week, vanilla. Delicious! I saw on Jenny's blog that Magnol

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