My Backyard Wishlist

 We just bought a house and I’m dreaming of what to put in the yard for my kids. 1. Two Small  Trampolines I want two so that I can enforce having bigger kids and toddlers on separate trampolines, or for older kids, one person on a trampoline. 2. A play enclosure covered with vines This photo and instructions are from 3. 4 Cozy Coupe Cars for the cousins to play traffic 4. Water Table I actually just found this water table at the thrift store last week! Yes! 5. A Simple Mud Kitchen that doesn’t require any tools tools to make Above is one from And here is one from KC Davis on TikTok 6. A Slide big enough for adults to use I haven’t found anywhere to buy one so for now I’m just putting this picture of a really big one that I took in a park.

Eco-Minimalist, Useful Bulk Stocking Stuffers for Adults for $1-$7 Each

(No affiliate links) Many of us moms need to buy stocking stuffers not only for children, but for adults as well, at least for ourselves and/or our partners, if not others. This year my mom asked her adult children to help out with stocking stuffers for everyone. I had a lot of fun finding inexpensive, quality and useful stocking stuffers that I could buy in bulk for my siblings and parents! I had fun thinking of things that almost any adult would find to be a helpful addition to their life. These are gift ideas that work for anyone. They are generic, yet meaningful in their usefulness. I thought I might as well share the fun with all of you and make double use of the time spent. I can save other moms some time! I only bought a couple of these things, but I thought of a lot of ideas. These are real, useful things that happen to be so small that you can buy a lot for not much money. I also tried to find things that are eco friendly because they make other things last longer or keep you

Gobbi Mobile

 The Gobbi Mobile was designed by Gianna Gobbi , a Montessorian and Catholic educator who studied under Maria Montessori.  It is a series of 5 balls, all in the same color but different shades. The balls are hung in a line along a 45 degree angle.The lightest shade is furthest from the baby and the darkest shade is closest. Most people find that their babies become interested in it around 8-10 weeks. At this point, babies are supposedly able to start distinguishing different shades. You can see them moving their eyes from ball to ball. This could be because they are distinguishing shades, or practicing adjusting their focus for different distance, or both. If the balls are moving, they may practice object tracking. This mobile has no angles like the previous two had. A popular Montessori principle is to isolate, or at least pare down, how many concepts are taught at once. So this mobile focuses only on shade and height, not on angles or different colors.

How We Do Toy Rotation at our House

 When I first got into Montessori, I thought it was going to fix my 18 month old's entertainment crisis. Montessori would provide him engaging work, he would be engaged. He wouldn't bother me anymore! I thought if only I could have the money to afford all of the little wooden Montessori manipulatives and have the energy to create all of the DIY screen free toddler entertainment buckets you can find on Pinterest , he would finally cease to be bored.  Looking back, it was basically the thought, "If I can replicate the constant newness of the TV in his physical world, I will have succeeded as a parent." This podcast episode about toy rotation was a huge lightbulb moment for me.  Nicole, a Montessori mom whose oldest is 10, says that she tried to do the same thing when she started Montessori with him as a toddler. You really should go listen to the episode, but essentially she found th

Octahedron Mobile

Howie lost interest in the Munari mobile at about 5 weeks. I switched to the Octahedron Mobile and he was immediately enthralled. I'm not going to repeat what's already been written, but you can read more about this mobile and why it is so interesting for this age here!   Here is a DIY: I hung Howie's first two mobiles at his side instead of above him, because he would never look up at them if I put them above him. Consequently, he could hit them. I don't know how much he hit them on purpose or on accident, but he seemed to take delight in the way they moved when he hit them. He would play with them for long periods of time for such a small baby. Once or twice a day that is, depending on how fussy he was; it wasn't like they were a cure-all magic baby entertainment zone. But on the regular, not constant, occasions when he was fully rested and not-gassy a

Seeking Rest and Recovery in the Midst of Things

 Today we went for a Sunday walk. Since I’m an old school Sabbath observer, I look to rest and find delight in simple joys each Sunday. It’s a day of respite from the relentless goals that stress me out all week. Today on this delightful spring evening walk, I had the thought, “If I deserve this kind of respite and delight on Sunday, why not every day?” Or in other words, “why should I save this feeling I get from not working on mundane tasks and going on relaxing nature walks for Sunday, when I need this kind of renewal all week?” So I’d like to go on walks every day. I’m afraid that they’ll be a drudge though once they become a task. I guess the only thing to do is try it out and iterate from there.

Happy 2 months, Howie!

Howie never turned two months old because his birthday was supposed to be February 29th. In his second month: We got a SNOO and he started taking 45 minute naps, instead of 5 minute naps. That marked a dramatic change from probably being on the brink of postpartum depression back to semi-normal life. Then I started feeding him before putting him down, as well as swaddling his arms, and then he slept 2 hours plus much of the time. Sometimes he still takes 45 minute naps, usually because I forgot to feed him before putting him down or because he wasn’t awake long enough. Sometimes he falls asleep early and I change his diaper again to wake him up. I think he has to be awake for about 1.75 hours to sleep for more than 45 minutes. But he loves to go to sleep after being awake for only 1.5 hours, and then take a 45 minute nap. It's crazy, I think after a nap has passed the 1.25 hour mark, something inside me resets. It feels like Howie has been asleep forever and I am ready to care for