Hey fellow book friends, it's been awhile! I was stuck on reading Jane Eyre forever, but I finally finished! I can't wait to share my thoughts with all of you as well as Babywise II! I took a slight break from Jane Eyre at the end of June/beginning of July to read through Babywise and Babywise II since Kai was reaching the next stage in his development! I originally only read the newborn to 12 weeks old parts of Babywise so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed with info, so I went back through to read the new parts and refresh on the general idea. Babywise II also highlights 5 months and on up to the time your baby becomes a toddler, so I tagged that on the my mom reading for the month. So here we go with a couple of book club chats!
Babywise II -Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
So as most of you know, we're a Babywise family. We read the first book, On Becoming Babywise, at the end of last year. You can read that review here. The PDF method has gone extremely well for us. Kai sleeps so well, eats so well, and is so happy all the time and we can attribute so much of that to working hard at implementing the Babywise method from the beginning. We knew we wanted to continue on with this guidance even after we got Kai sleeping through the night because it's more than just that. It's all about his development and behavior all the time. Babywise II covers solid foods, the difference between punishment vs consequences, starting sign language, and good methods of play for the 5+ month old. It is a much shorter and quicker read compared to the first book, so it was a breeze to get through.
I liked Babywise II, but not as much as the first book. The book goes over solid foods, but I was hoping for more guidance on it since the first book is very centered around eating and sleeping. This book seemed a lot more concentrated on parenting and behavior, which I personally already have a good idea of how we want to go about "raising" Kai. The book gave some good pointers about staying consistent and starting out the way you always want to do things but those are things I already knew. It did touch upon a good way of starting solid foods though and did give some advice on foods to avoid, which I found really helpful. I also enjoyed the section about punishment vs consequences. Babies do not have a conscious, so punishment this early on is pointless.. When they misbehave, it is not intentional...they just don't know! So instead of implementing punishments when they do something you don't want them to do, instead you should go for consequences. One way we've started doing this is with Kai dropping toys on the ground. We pick them up for him twice, but if he drops it a third time, we take it away. Kind of like a three strikes your out thing. This way he will start to learn that if he drops his toys off his highchair or while he's on our lap in a chair, we will only grab it a couple of times if he accidentally drops it, but not if he keeps doing it because it's "fun." We also like the idea of starting sign language with Kai. We've started doing the sign for "more" when he's eating and I think he's slowly catching on! So essentially I liked bits and pieces of it, but overall I give it just an average rating. If you are looking for some help with solids and schedules though, give it a try, but I wouldn't bother reading the rest unless you are really lost on parenting styles. However, I have a couple of better recommendations for those kinds of books here and here.
You can buy Babywise II on Amazon.
Jane Eyre -Charlotte Bronte
I decided to take on this classic this past spring and it while it took me awhile to finish, it wasn't because I didn't like it, it was just because it was really really long and I'm a working mom. Jane Eyre is the story of a girl who is orphaned and grows up with a mean aunt and cousins, a little Cinderella if you ask me. She is eventually sent off to school where she excels and takes on a life around education. She falls in love, has her heart broken, but in the end gets what she deserves. There are lot of ups and downs and exciting moments all through the book and the ending is so heartwarming.
I really loved this book. Jane is an amazing and inspirational character. She's someone I would love to have lunch with and discuss books with. She is just such a likable character and I love her interactions with everyone she comes across. Her love story is fascinating and takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns but I just love the way all of it ends. It's one of those books where you question if it will end happy and while it's not all sunshine and rainbows, I believe it ends perfectly. So while it was really long and took a long time to read from start to end, it was so worth it to read. I highly recommend it if you love the classics and have some time to invest in a longer book!
You can buy Jane Eyre on Amazon.
Be sure to add me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies! I'm currently reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I tried once before and failed, so wish me luck this time! What are you currently reading?!
Breastfeeding can be stressful at times, especially if you aren't producing enough milk to keep up with your little one. We personally have no problem supplementing with formula, but our primary source of food for Kai is breast milk. He LOVES to eat and especially with going back to work I haven't been able to keep up with him as much as I'd like. One thing that I've done since the beginning to help with my production is make and eat lactation cookies. They are so yummy and really do help! On days that I eat them, I definitely see a difference in the amount that I pump. I've tried out a few recipes over the last few months but these peanut butter chocolate chip ones are by far my favorite! They are relatively healthy, too (just ignore the butter and sugar and concentrate on the oats and flax seed ;) )!
*The only warning I have is to make sure your baby doesn't have a peanut allergy before you consume these. Try out eating a little bit of peanut butter and make sure your baby doesn't have a reaction. If you are in the clear then bake away! Otherwise, just skip the peanut butter in the recipe and make yourself some chocolate chip cookies!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I use the convection baking option)
2. Mix water and flaxseed meal in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes
3. Mix butter (at room temp), granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs 1 at a time until well combined and then add vanilla
5. Add flaxseed meal to mixture and combine well then set aside
6. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brewer's yeast.
7. Slowly combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. This takes about 1-2 minutes
8. Add oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter to the mixture until well blended
9. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll in to a ball. Place balls on a cookie sheet
10. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. In our convection oven, 10 minutes is perfect
11. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling
And enjoy and make that milk, mama! Oh and if you aren't a breastfeeding mama, don't worry, these won't make you produce unwanted milk, ha! Caleb eats them with me all the time and loves them! If you're wondering though what the secret to helping with milk production is, it is the brewer's yeast. Oats and flaxseed help, too, but brewer's yeast is a natural mammary gland stimulant. So eat up, mamas!
Hey everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had a very memorable one, that's for sure! Every year we host a Cinco de Mayo party at our house for all of our friends and it was extra special this year for a couple of reasons. One, Cinco de Mayo finally fell on a Saturday this year, so we actually got to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo! And two, it was our first big get together with Kai! We had a taco bar, lots of chips & salsa, and of course, margaritas! On Sunday though, it was one of the best days ever. We baptized Kai and had a beautiful luncheon at our house to celebrate with all of our family. It was one of the most special days of our lives and we are so overjoyed at how much love everyone has shown our little boy! Thank you to everyone for celebrating with us and sending him congratulations!
So in the spirit of having an overnight guest this past weekend and many more to come over the summer, I wanted to share with you how we make our guests feel welcomed into our home and ensure they have a lovely stay with us! I've picked up some tips over the years and know when we go the extra mile for our guests it is much appreciated. So here are the extra special little things that I do in our home when we have friends and family stay with us.
Fresh Flowers in Guest Room
I try to always have fresh flowers in our guest room when we have a visitor. They are always such a cheerful welcome! In the summer months, I usually have an orchid sitting pretty on the nightstand and in the colder months I will put a pretty bouquet in it's place.
Light a Candle the Day of Arrival
So the only real use our guest room ever gets is Wrigley laying in the sun spots, so sometimes I feel like it can be a little stale in there. To liven it up, I always light a candle the day our guests are going to arrive. I also do this in our guest bathroom. Not only do they make our whole upstairs smell great, but they make it feel so warm and inviting when we show ours guests to their room.
Set Towels Out
One thing I always do for our guests is set out a bath towel and multiple face towels out on the dresser. I personally always feel awkward asking for towels or snooping around for them, so I try my best to have it all ready for them when they get here. This way if they want to shower or wash up after a long travel day, they can do so right away.
Have Extra Toiletries in the Guest Bathroom
Another awkward thing I've found when I'm visiting others is if I forget any toiletries, I always feel bad asking to borrow their stuff if it's not in the bathroom I am using. So, I always make it a point to have extra shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and an unopened toothbrush available in our guest bathroom.
Clean the Room
I know this one may seem obvious, but some of us have kids and some of us have pets, so it's very easy for our houses to get messy. I know I've had it happen in the past where the guest bed is all messed up from Wrigley trying to snuggle on it, and I get so embarrassed! So obviously put clean sheets and blankets on the bed and make sure you dust the surfaces. Also, make sure there isn't too much clutter in the room. You want your guests to experience a peaceful setting while they're staying with you. Then shortly before they arrive, do one final quick over to make sure everything is still tidy and cleaned up.
Stock Your Kitchen
Obviously your guests won't be confined to your guest room the whole time, so you want to make sure other parts of your home are inviting, too. One way to do this is to stock up on lots of food and drink options in your kitchen. It is always nice when you're offered a few options at someones house. Not everyone may like the same drinks and snacks as you, so that is why it's good to have some variety. Unless of course you know your guests' favorite food and drinks then it would be nice to have those things on hand to make them feel extra special that you thought of them before hand!
These are just a few things I like to do to welcome guests in to our home and make their stay with us extra special! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@dianakaravida) for lots of fun videos of Kai and Wrigley!
We knew when we started designing Kai's nursery that we wanted to have a little spot for Wrigley to curl up in in his room. Wrigley loves to be wherever we are and since we knew that we would pretty much be holding Kai 24/7, we wanted Wrigley to have a spot that he could go to and feel comforted since he wouldn't have much space with us in our laps or in the rocking chair. We came up with the idea of putting a small dog bed in the nursery for him but then decided to go further thanks to our Up Adventure theme and made him a teepee for it, too! It was the simplest DIY, and I want to share it with you all today! Here's what you will need to make a teepee dog bed for your fur baby:
Wrigley weighs about 17 lbs so we got him the small bed. He likes the comfort of curling up nice and snug. If you're pup prefers more space or is bigger than Wrigley then the medium would be the better option. However, this is just the bed we picked out...any dog bed works!
White Canvas Fabric
We went to Hobby Lobby and picked up some of this white canvas fabric for the main part of the teepee. You'll want about 2 yards of fabric.
You'll need four 1/2 in x 48 in wooden dowels to make the stand part of the teepee. If you want a bigger teepee for a bigger dog then make sure you get longer and thicker dowels.
You'll need some twine to hold the dowels together.
You'll need a couple push pins to hold the fabric to the wooden dowels.
Step 1: Position the 4 wooden dowels over the dog bed to figure out the how much space you'll need around it. To make the teepee part at the top, criss cross the dowels. At the bottom you'll want the dowels to be positioned evenly around the backside of the bed. Ideally you'll want a dowel on each side of the bed and a dowel at each back corner of the bed.
Step 2: Wrap the twine around the dowels about a foot from the top. Use a long piece and wrap it as tight as possible.
Step 3: Take your canvas and drape it around the dowels. Start it about an inch below the twine and leave about a foot of material in front of the front dowels to wrap inside the teepee to hide the dowels on the inside. If you feel like you have too much material you can cut it with some fabric scissors. Use a push pin to hold the material to the front two dowels.
Step 4: Place the bed on top of the extra canvas. That's it! You're done!
For some added fun, you can add some twinkle lights, do some free hand painted symbols/your pup's name, or put a pin on it like we did! Now your fur baby has a fun place to snuggle up all day long and it's a nice, whimsical addition to your home.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for some daily life fun! Have a happy hump day!
Last month I only finished one book but it was a really really good one! I read The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl and seriously loved it so much. The book covers the obvious...the way Danish parents parent their children. Danish people tend to rank the highest on the world happiness scale and there must be a reason for it. In my December book review, I mentioned that I read The Little Book of Hygge and how it helped me to learn the Danish way of Hygge. I actually found out about this book thanks to The Little Book of Hygge!
The Danes have an acronym for their parenting theory, and it is PARENT. It stands for play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, and togetherness. Each chapter explains the importance of each part of PARENT and how to incorporate it in to your parenting style and children's lifestyle. A short run down of it all is it is important to just let your kids play. Nothing fancy involved. Let them truly use their imagination and interact with each other. The act of authenticity is important in encouraging your kids to be comfortable in their own skin. Being true and authentic with them goes a long way for their self esteem and learning to trust you and others around them. Reframing helps kids learn how to deal with negative situations and life's disappointments. It basically is teaching them to always look on the bright side. Teaching empathy is so important early on because it really is a learned skill. In the end we all end up with kind and caring children. The no ultimatum part is essential to prevent power struggles and hopefully keep any resentment from building up between parent and child. And lastly togetherness is hygge. It is about spending time together as a family and creating a close bond between everyone in your household.
Guys, every word of this book resonated with me. I was basically nodding and saying "yep" the entire time I was reading it. I honestly agree with every single thing this book has to say with every fiber of my being. That's how much I loved it. As I've mentioned before, I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and this book is heavily based on a child's psyche. The PARENT philosophy fosters good and happy behavior in all children. Every aspect of PARENT is so important to helping our children grow in to kind, loving, and happy people. I have made a vow to myself to parent with PARENT every day. If I catch myself deviating from it, I make a mental note and reframe myself! I know I can personally work on being more empathetic and try harder to look on the bright side of things. It all starts with me as a mom and how I can be the best model for Kai. I personally feel like by parenting Kai with PARENT, I will only become a more loving and happy person myself! Now that to me is a huge win. I actually feel like it has helped me with any baby blues I was experiencing postpartum, too. Just by thinking about how I can look at the upside of something or empathize with whoever or whatever is upsetting me, I have been able to overcome a lot of difficult emotions. As Kai gets older, I'm looking forward to really incorporating PARENT in to our lives. He is already such a happy baby, and I'm so excited that I've found the tools to hopefully keep him that way forever!
You can buy The Danish Way of Parenting on Amazon.
Make sure you add me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies! I love seeing what you all are reading these days, too. I'm still currently reading Jane Eyre...give me a break, it's a long one! But I'm really enjoying it so far!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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