Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Daily Toddler Schedule for the Stay-at-Home Mom // Our Structured Routine

Hey y'all!  Having a gently, structured, daily rhythm and routine with little ones makes life easier for everyone.  "Scheduling" helps us create more time for fun and learning and keeps mom's sanity! :-)

When my son was 14 months old, I felt like I was always fixing messing, changing diapers, and half accomplishing things and was really struggling to get ahead on normal housework, let alone have time for fun crafts or playtime together.  I felt like I had worked all day long, but at the end of the day couldn't figure out what I'd actually accomplished!  It was very frustrating and exhausting.  Can anyone else relate to this? I finally realized that my main problem was that I had no written plan for the day, therefore Gavin had no idea what to expect either.  As my husband always says, "Failing to plan is planning to fail".  That is so true!

Taking the time to make a daily plan for you and your toddler will save sooooooo much time and misery in the end.  Children need to know what's next.  It will let them know when it's time to work excitedly or when it's time to play quietly while mom does paperwork.  Instead of being "clingy", Gavin has become helpful.  Instead of whining for my attention, he knows what's happening next, pitches in, and knows and looks forward to when it's time for us to play and learn with my undivided attention.  Sure, everyday is different and random things will come up in our lives unexpectedly, but having a basic, intentional, routine will help keep your sanity as a stay-at-home mom and you get normal stuff accomplished, plus have time for playing with and teaching your baby (and in my case also help my husband run our businesses).  And toddlers LOVE mommy time! ;-)

This is our daily routine as of right now:

5:00 - Mom wakes up and has devotions (drinking a cup of coffee or tea and sitting out on the porch can make this a favorite time to look forward to).  I am NOT an early bird by nature, but have come to LOVE this beautiful, quiet part of my day.  I also do like 10 minutes of prenatal stretches which really helps my pregnant body to not ache and also gives me energy.

 5:30 - Work on blog post, check business messages, research new ideas.
(Jesse wakes up)

 6:00 - Start preparing breakfast

 7:00 - Gavin wakes up, eat breakfast
(Jesse leaves to work)

 8:00 - Clean up from breakfast, wash dishes, get dressed, brush teeth, make beds, start a load of laundry (continue throughout day and also hanging them up to dry and bringing the dry ones in), sweep, set out meat or start something in the crockpot for supper, quick declutter.  Gavin "helps" with chores and plays.

 9:00 - Lesson activity (such as learning colors, shapes, letters, numbers, etc.) (should be planned ahead of time)

 9:30 - Constructive playtime such as playdough (click here for an awesome Homemade Playdough Recipe), building blocks, coloring, etc.

10:00 - Snacktime

10:15 - Reading

10:30 - Playtime

11:30 - Tidy up, prepare lunch

12:00 - Eat lunch

  1:00 - Cleanup lunch, Gavin's nap-time.  During nap-time mom folds clothes, finishes blog post, does any paperwork or computer work for personal or business.  Or takes a nap too if needed (I did throughout the entire 1st trimester of this pregnancy)!  Sometimes I read and study also during this special quiet time.

  3:00 - Playtime/schooltime/craft with mommy! (Again, activities should be planned ahead of time)

  3:45 - Outside playtime if weather allows and "help" mom with yard work, in garden, etc. (if weather is bad, indoor playtime) or mom works on sewing project for example and sets little one up making something too.

(If inside play due to weather, tidy up)
  4:45 or 5:00 - (depending on the meal or when Jesse gets home) Prepare supper.  If Jesse is home Gavin will usually go "help" him with whatever he's working on.

  6:00 - Eat Supper

  6:45 - Everyone helps clear table.  Daddy playtime with Gavin while mom finishes cleaning up supper.

  7:00 - Bathtime, storytime, bedtime for Gavin

  7:45 - Mom and Dad time

  9:00 - Write in journal, plan for tomorrow

  9:15 - Bedtime

I also have some different schedules for certain days of the week and month, but this is our basic, daily routine.

None of our lives are the same, but this is what works for us.  I would like to encourage you though to take the time and set up even the simplest of routines.  It truly does help!

See also:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Maternity Outfit Post // Blue & White, Stripes & Jeans

Hey y'all!  Wow, it's so crazy to realize that my little boy will turn 2 years old this weekend!  Where has the time flown?  In only about 3 1/2 months we will be welcoming our new baby boy into the world!  Big changes coming around here.  Well, anyways, I'm pretty excited about having two little munchkin fellers running around. :-)

 Sorry for the odd lighting in all of these pictures :-/
With my quickly growing baby belly, it is hard sometimes to find outfits that
are comfortable, but also look nice.  This one of definitely fits that description!

 My daily hairstyles lately have ALL been some type of bun!  Today's was a Sock Bun.
Bun styles are just soooooo practical for mom life, summer heat,
and can be thrown into place in a jiffy.  I highly recommend them. :-)


// outfit details \\
Shirt: Sears
Cardigan: Sears 
Jeans: Thrift Store (for $.80! a great find)
Flip-flops: Given to me


Thanks so much for visiting!
Take care and have a fabulous rest of the day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Choosing Contentment // 6 Ways to Be More Satisfied Everyday


"...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." -Philippians 4:11b

Contentment is an attitude choice.  It takes effort, but is so worth it.  We've all seen people that are rich and have every material thing, but are very unhappy, and also the little kid living in poverty with a big smile on his face.  What is the difference?

          - Contentment is the ability to chose to be satisfied with what and where God has placed you in your life and to make the very best of that situation.
       
           - To make the best of everything, even when you don't necessarily have the best of everything.

It is easy to look at negative aspects in our lives and sometimes wish for something in someone else's "more perfect" life that we see on facebook, pinterest, instagram, watch in movies and shows, hear in songs, or read in books. But, instead of looking around at everyone else and seeing how awful you've got it, be thankful for what you have and where you are, and make it beautiful!  It is great to dream about where you want to be in life, but don't just wish about it to the point of only seeing the negative of where you are.  Make goals for what you would like and put the work in towards the steps to achieve that goal!

We often think well I'd be "happy if" I did this, or if I moved there, or if I had a nicer house, or had more money, or was in this relationship, but the truth is contentment is a choice of attitude.  If you are unhappy and discontent now where you are, that is going to follow you even to where you say you would be most "happy if".

Once you've learned to see the beauty in the mud, and chosen contentment over comparison, you'll feel a huge burdening weight of the depressing, pulling-down, feeling of dissatisfaction lifted off your shoulders!  There is so much beauty all around us, if only we would take the time to see it!

Thankfulness, joy, and contentment are very closely related.
When you intentionally chose to be thankful,
joy and contentment are produced.  

Here are practical 6 ways to choose contentment everyday:

1. Look around and find something or someone that you are thankful for right now.  Find 5 things a day and write them down somewhere that you'll see them often and/or in your journal.  Then every time you think of something you're grumpy about, replace it with one of those 5 things.  Practice makes perfect; when you practice thinking contentedly and thankfully, it starts to become a habit.

2. Instead of looking at a hopeless pile of dirty dishes in the sink and griping about having to wash them, be thankful that you get to wash them because you have them to eat off of, and you had food to eat!

3. Stop looking at everyone else's joys and wishing they were yours.  Start noticing and appreciating your own!  There are so many others that wish they where in your shoes.

4. Look up verses in the Bible about contentment, joy, and thankfulness and memorize them.
Here are a few to get you started: Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:11-13, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Psalm 118:24, Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 15:13, Hebrews 13:5, Nehemiah 8:10, Galatians 5:22, Proverbs 17:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

5. Help someone else!

6. And finally, set goals to get where you're trying to go and start accomplishing them, but only after you decide to be content right where you are.

So will you join me today in choosing contentment?

Will you decide to start being satisfied with the blessings God has already given you?

I assure you, it is a lot more pleasant, uplifting,
and fun than wishing, wanting, or complaining. :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Medieval Celtic Braid Crown Hair Tutorial

Hey y'all! It's hair tutorial time again!  Due to the extreme popularity of the medieval braid wrapped braid hair tutorial (seen below) that I did last year, I decided it about was time try a new elvish hairstyle along the same lines. 

How to:
For this one, start by braiding a little braid
on each side of your head

and fasten them together while
you work on the next step.
(left just like this is pretty too)

Next, starting a little further down from the braid, make a small two-strand rope.
To do this, take two strands of hair, twist the right one to the right and cross it over the left.
Then take the right one (which was the left), twist it to the right, and cross it over the left.
Repeat all the way down.  Make another one on the other side of your head.

 Fasten them together with the braids.
Take a small strand of hair and wrap the elastic band with it and tuck it in the band
underneath where you won't see it.  This is a cool trick to hide an elastic band
and makes things look more awesome.

Hope that makes sense! :-)

What are some of your favorite Celtic or medieval hairstyles?
Are there any hairdo's that y'all would like for me to make a tutorial on?



Monday, May 23, 2016

Gavin's Favorite Children's Books // Importance of Reading at a Young Age

Ever since Gavin was first born, reading together has been one of our favorite and most special times.  He loves to listen to the words, look at the pictures, and learn.  We read some throughout the day, but always read a couple of bedtime stories before going to sleep.  It is a good way to calm down for bed and a special one on one time with mommy. :-)

I don't just want to read to him, I also want to make sure that what I read him is teaching good things.  In looking for new books, I've been kinda disappointed at what is out there for children's books and am constantly on the lookout for more good quality children's reading material.  There are a few good books though that we've have really enjoyed.  If any of y'all know of some good children's book, please list them in the comments below!  I would love to get some new ones for Gavin! :-)

I've made a list here of some of his and my favorite books that we have acquired:

One of my very favorite books that we have
is the "Light My World" Thomas Kinkade series that Jesse's mom gave us!
They are so beautiful, the rhymes flow well, and they teach good things.

For example in the book Colors:
"For warm lazy summers
and flowers that glow,
for dancing sunlight,
God made yellow."


Here's an example from Numbers:
"Let's count God's blessings,
let's have some fun.
what's the first?
It's number 1."



Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Okay, this one is by far Gavin's very favorite book!  He loves it and if you ask him which book he wants to read, it is always this one. A lady at church gave it to him for Christmas and it has been read over and over since. :-)  It is a nice poetic story about a dump truck
that learns the value of helping one another.

Thank You God by Kathleen Long Bostrom

This is a sweet book about learning to be thankful.
The illustrations are very innocent and beautiful as well.

Here is an example of the words:
"God made land
and God made seas,
God made flowers, plants and trees.
Thank you God for making these.
Thank you God. Amen."


A little boy favorite about a fire truck.


This book and the one below are from my childhood
and Gavin enjoys them too.



These two are very bright and colorful picture books of real animals
and trucks to help relate the object with the word for helping learn to read.


Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I realize this is not a little toddler book, but something we have tried to incorporate as a family is Jesse sitting down and reading to the kids in the evenings (instead of television).  Gavin really enjoys hearing his daddy read this story.  He likes that it has bears in it!:-)  And I like hearing again all about their pioneer lifestyle from a little four year old's perspective. We don't read much at a time due to his 2 year old attention span, but it is good practice for learning to sit quietly and listen for longer and longer periods of time without just looking at brightly colored pictures.  Plus some of my favorite memories of being a child was when my daddy would read us a good, interesting story.  It is something that we want to do with our children and Gavin always looks forward to it eagerly!

Well this is my list so far!
What children's books do y'all recommend?


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Maternity Church Outfit Post // Black and Blue Midi Skirt

Hey y'all!  My life has been full of potty training, gardening, kissing boo-boo's, and drinking hot honey vanilla chamomile tea (has truly become a staple for me during this pregnancy).  I haven't posted very many outfit posts lately quite honestly because what I've been wearing mostly just hasn't seemed very blog worthy.  Maternity clothes for church are not very easy to find in stores right now unless you want to wear very bright colors like orange or giant stripes.  I would LOVE to make a nice DIY maternity dress and hope to soon!  Maybe it will happen. :-)

This skirt is actually not a maternity skirt (click here to see an older post on how I styled it for non-pregnancy), but works amazingly for one because it is soft and stretchy and can be worn low under the belly so it doesn't feel restricting.  I've found a lot of stretchy maxi skirts to be the same way.  I love it when I can re-purpose my clothes to work both ways and not have to spend more money on maternity clothes!

This is what I wore on Mother's Day and it proved to be great for functionality with a toddler, comfortable for pregnancy, and nice enough to wear to church.  Click here to read a letter of encouragement for all of you moms of little ones.
 This messy bun hairstyle (click here to see a hair tutorial for this
topknot style) has seriously become my go-to hairdo right now.  It works for the heat of the day, keeps your hair out of your way, and looks kinda classy too which is always a plus.

// outfit details \\
Shirt: Given to me
Tank: Walmart (not maternity, just big and stretchy)
Skirt: Walmart
Flip-flops: Walmart
Bracelet: Special gift from Jesse on
our vacation to Gulf Shores beach


What has been your go-to outfit and/or hairstyle?
Do any of y'all have creative maternity outfit ideas?

How I Potty Trained My 2 Year Old In 3 Days

Hey y'all!  Well, I did it (finally)!  I have officially potty trained our 23 month old son.  Gavin's 2nd birthday is at the end of this month.  I had been wanting to potty train him early, but life just kept going and I never saw a long enough opportunity where I could be at home and stay consistent. :-/  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I decided, "That's It!", I will not buy anymore diapers! (Until Sept. of course for our new little boy)  I already had a big box of pull-ups and decided to use those as emergency backup, lol.  I set my goal for him to be potty trained by his birthday.  That gave me four weeks.  That is totally doable right?  Well, here is how we did it, maybe this can be helpful for some of y'all that are approaching on that step. :-)

We set aside 3 days where we would be at home completely (no store errands).

I'd read a lot of other mom's experiences and talked with a ton of moms as well and just decided to do what I thought would work best for my boy.  I talked to him and explained what the plan was and brought his little portable potty back out (I've had it since he was 10 months old, oh well).  He was excited!  I also bought a bag of m&m's as "Yeah! You did it!" treats to encourage him.

Day 1
So starting first thing in the morning, I noticed that his diaper was totally dry.  Perfect opportunity, 'cause I knew he would need to go soon.  I took him to the potty and talked with him about it.  He liked the idea and sat there trying to figure out how to go tee-tee, but nothing happened,  I gave him two m&m's though for the effort and that got him thrilled!

At this point I just left him diaperless and yes he just went around for a while like a naked little indian boy.  First, because I wanted to be able to see as soon as he started to pee, so that I could escort him to the potty immediately.  And, secondly, 'cause I wanted him to visually see what was happening before in his diaper (I definitely think that helped too).  My chance came pretty quickly.  He started to pee while playing. I got him to the potty and he finished going there.  This happened like 6 times before 11 o' clock and every time, he didn't seem to know he was going until he saw the puddle on the floor and said, "oh, no".  If I asked him where you're supposed to go tee-tee and poo-poo, he would say the potty and shake his head no pointing to the floor. I knew he had gotten the idea, but was having trouble feeling when he started to go.  I called and talked with my husband about it and we decided since he's a boy, it doesn't splash on his legs and he doesn't notice that he's peeing til he looks down and it's too late.  So, we decided that real underwear would be more uncomfortable when he wet them and maybe he would recognize what was going on.  Well, after one more pee on the floor and a great big poop on the rug! Yuck! Mommying can be so fun sometimes, lol!  Jesse came in at lunchtime with new underwear from the store.

Gavin was thrilled about the "big boy" undies! :-)  He had been consistently running to me saying, "tee-tee!" while in mid pee before.  And finally, after about two more times in the undies, the third time he yelled, "momma, tee-tee!" his undies were dry and he went completely in the potty!!! Success!  The m&m's were very helpful by the way.  He never really eats any candy so they were super special and exciting for him.

My first tip of advice is to Be Prepared.  Have potty (I really like the portable potties with the removable bowl), treats, and underwear ready before you begin and talk to your little one excitedly about what y'all are doing.  Visible joy in your face will thrill him about what is happening and how he's a "big boy" now! :-)

Day 2
Well, the idea was basically established the first day.  The second day was just reinforcement and a whole bunch of barely wetted underwear to wash.

Another tip of advice is feed him lots of salty stuff and things like peanut butter so that he'll be really thirsty and drink a lot!  This was really helpful because it gave us plenty of opportunities to practice.

Day 3
By now he had the concept down!  And was barely wetting the underwear at all before getting to the potty.  Don't worry though, accidents are going to happen.  I just kept working with him and helping him to achieve the goal.

Now
We still wear pull-ups at night and when we go to town, but other than that, we've been diaper free for almost three weeks!  I still have to help him pull his underwear down far enough and we swapped to gummy bears at some point, but I am thrilled with the success and can honestly say I haven't changed a diaper for the first time in two years!

Nap time tip.  Lay down a water-proof crib liner under him for naps and go ahead and let him wear the underwear as an idea for getting ready for nighttime potty training.  He has yet to wet them and hardly ever has wet pull-ups when he wakes up in the morning, as long as I have him not drink much liquid before bed and have him try to go one more time before falling asleep.

Our first town outing was to the hardware store.  I was so proud when he said, "tee-tee!" and we made it ALL THE WAY to the big public toilet and used it there!  Also, on the way home in his carseat, he said he needed to go right before we got to the house, and again we made it to the potty without getting the pull-ups wet! :-)  One happy momma right here!

Well, that's how we did it, but everyone is different.  I hope this has been helpful for some of y'all.  Be sure that you are both prepared and ready!  

I knew Gavin was ready because:
- he was very interested in the bathroom and flushing the toilet,
- noticed and very much disliked wet and dirty diapers,
-told me as soon as he had a poopy diaper
-and really wanted to be a "big boy"


How did you potty train your kids?
I'm still learning and would LOVE to hear from y'all!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dear Moms Of Little Ones


Dear Moms of Little Ones,

This letter is for you,

   the one who seldom gets to sleep through the night

   stylishly wears spit-up stains,

   talks about poop in normal conversations and how the potty training is going,

   don't know when the last time you took a shower was,

   you can quote the bedtime books cover to cover,

   you spell out words all the time (even when your kids aren't there!)

   everything is peaceful, but when you get on the phone it suddenly sounds like a tribe of savages in the background,

   you no longer answer to your real name,

   you're so used to noise that silence becomes uncomfortable or suspicious,

   you've been washing the same load of laundry for three days, because you keep forgetting to hang them up to dry,

   who gets to have sticky jelly in her hair the rest of the day due to a precious hug and kiss after snack-time,

   who finds an old sippy cup in the car and dreads opening it, having no idea what nasty contents it may hold,

   you tell your guests repeatedly "sorry about the mess" while scooting laundry, legos, crayons, and rubber duckies over so that you both can have a seat on the couch,

   you who no longer gets to eat meals uninterrupted, without getting up, cleaning up a spill, or maybe never even finishes after sharing your food with little mouths (therefore you may hide and eat snacks in the corner during the kiddos nap time!)

   kisses boo-boo's and wipes away tears

   who can never make that difficult decision between cleaning or napping when the babies fall asleep

   you have the ability to hear a cough through three doors away,


Does any of this sound familiar? :-)
Cherish those little ones.  Be thankful for all the small things.  Give that snuggly, giggling, drooler another big hug.  If you're exhausted and don't think anyone understands, remember God gave your children to you for a reason.  You're making a difference, raising and shaping the heart of your little ones.  You've got a very important role and you are doing an AMAZING job!

Happy Mother's Day (everyday)!

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31

Know that you are loved!

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed; for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10

You can do this!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philipians 4:13

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Our Gender Reveal Party

Hey y'all! Last Sunday we found out whether our baby is a boy or girl.  My sweet 12 yr. old, sister-in-law, Charlene has been excited about hosting a "gender reveal" party for us since the moment we told her we were expecting again!  She went all out and it was very sweet of her. :-)

 Jesse and I went to the doctor and got to see the ultrasound of our precious, little one wiggling around!  Made my heart squeal with joy at watching our darling baby squirming and playing with its fingers.
 It kept its little hands up over its face during most of the ultrasound, but we did get a couple of good face pictures. :-)
Since Charlene was REALLY wanting to do this party, we had the nurse put the "gender related" pictures in a sealed envelope and handed those to Charlene so that she could plan the surprise. We went to the doctor on Thursday, so for me, Sunday couldn't get here fast enough!

A picture of the beautiful, creative hostess!

 She had everyone pick a paper to pin on that said "Buck" or "Doe" for whichever one they thought it was going to be.  This turned out to be a pretty fun and funny idea for everybody. :-) {By the way, Jesse and I both picked boy}
 For food there was spaghetti and garlic bread as the main meal, and also chicken salad croissants, stuffed celery sticks, chips and dip, fresh strawberries, delicious Pineapple ice cream punch, sweet tea (decaf so I could actually drink some! Since I am pregnant lol), and Charlene worked hard on making a camouflaged cake that said "Buck or Doe" on top.

Finally, for the actual revealing, Gavin popped a balloon with the specific colored confetti inside!
Aaaaand.....IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!
Below is the video:
A video posted by Jesse and Alice Wright (@wright_at_home) on


(This was my first try at embedding a video using the HTML code so if you're having problems getting it to work here is the link to our Instagram so you can watch there:
It's a BOY! Instagram video by wright_at_home

 Two very excited parents!

Gavin is gonna have a little brother!

I am so excited to meet our new little boy!
I am completely out numbered by boys around here. Lol

"For this child I prayed;" -1 Samuel 1:27a

Thursday, May 5, 2016

So Much To Be Thankful For

Hey y'all!  Well, I'm finally back to the blog!  Sorry for the unintended break I took from here.  We have been very busy over the past few months with building our house, growing our home-based businesses, and also growing personally as a family. Here is the post from our Wright Family Farm Blog to explain a bit about what we've been up to! :-) 

The Lord has truly blessed to us and we've got so much to be thankful for!  As humans, sometimes we can get caught up in the troubles and worries of life and forget to take a step back and look at the big picture, and notice all of the countless blessings and joys that are right in front of us to enjoy!  Jesse and I just celebrated our third wedding anniversary back in March.  It does not seem like we've already been married for three whole years!  So much has changed in three years and we as a family have come so far in our relationship with the Lord and with each other.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for the rest of our lives!

As far as progress around our homestead goes, we've been building more on our house (another blog post on that to come soon) and setting up more raised bed, mulch gardens which are is exciting and are very beautiful!  Also, being self-employed, one of our main concentrations lately has been on setting and accomplishing goals in all areas of our life and on the growth, focus, financial aspects, and productivity of our businesses.  We are so very excited about the Sawmill Shed/Office Building that is going up right now too!!! Yay!

Freshly cut lumber
Working in the office
"Brown paper packages tied up with string..."
Love getting to wrap and ship our
packages for Wright's Trading Post.
Making and decorating our products to be unique,
beautiful, and special for our customers is definitely one
of my favorite parts of the business!
Aaaaaand......I've saved the best news for last!  Our family is expecting it's
newest little baby Wright on September 15th! :-)<3 p="">

What are y'all thankful for right now?
Have y'all been setting and accomplishing any goals lately?

"O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good:
his mercy endureth for ever." Psalms 107:1

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