Monday, August 22, 2016

How We Learn












Our boys learn all the time. We do not do school or a formal curriculum right now. Perhaps we will eventually. But for now, we are taking learning one year at a time, and our boys are currently thriving by being at home and doing interest based learning. Our ultimate goal is do to whatever works best for our boys...whatever helps encourage them to be free thinkers, full of imagination, passionate, kind, loving, a lover of nature, a life-long reader and a life-long learner. 

For now, this is how we learn,  this is how we live. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Finley the Foodie Baby

At 9 months old, Finley most definitely can be described as a "Foodie Baby". He LOVES to eat, and eats just about anything and everything in sight these days.

I approached food very differently with Finley than I did with Noah as a young baby. I did not make baby purees for Finley like I did for Noah. Instead, I choose the "Baby Led Weaning" approach with him. Wow, what a difference it made.

Finley eats three meals a day with us as a family (and sometimes 1-2 snacks per day), and he basically eats everything we eat during meal times which makes my job so much easier. I do not have to make him something separate at mealtimes. His serving is just a bit smaller, and we cut his pieces up smaller than ours. He truly enjoys meal time and is such an adventurous eater so far. He will try anything and usually gobbles it all up!

It is so amazing to watch him use his little fingers in the pincer grasp to pick up food and put it directly into his mouth. There also is no frustration during meal time (except the process of getting him into his high chair ;) When the boy is ready to eat, he is ready! Mealtime is a bit messy though. ;) With Noah and the purees, he would get frustrated if I wasn't feeding him fast enough, and he always wanted to eat my food instead of his....hint, hint baby led weaning! But as a first time mom, I was nervous about choking, gagging and food reactions so I would only introduce one food puree every few days before adding a new food. With Finn, we did not waste anytime. I already knew he was sensitive to dairy and corn and we are a gluten-free family, so these foods have not been offered to him so I haven't had to worry about reactions there. He has been fine with eggs and nuts, and we haven't done raw honey yet since it is not recommended until a child is at least 1 year old.

He eats various meats (ground beef, ground pork, chicken, etc), gluten-free grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits. He will eat both raw and cooked fruits and vegetables. Some of his favorite foods include: local grass fed ground beef, almond milk yogurt, sautéed summer squash, bananas, momma's morning oatmeal, waffles, almond butter, avocado and bacon.

All in all, baby led weaning has been a great experience for our family! For anyone out there who is considering giving it a try, I would say go for it. It truly has made Finley into a real "Foodie Baby" who loves to eat and will try just about anything!! Happy Eating!:)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Finn is 9 Months

Sweet Finn is all over the place now! He crawls everywhere (and is quite fast too), and he can now pull up to his knees and feet when he has something to hold on to. He tries to keep up with his big brother, and he def. keeps me on my toes these days!;)

Will update as soon as he has his 9 month well visit next week!

Likes: being outside, being with his family, smiling, crawling, pulling up, clapping, playing with his fridge magnets, being held or worn in a wrap, chasing after Noah, playing with Daddy, eating and  food, babbling (aka singing;)

Dislikes: being put down for too long, getting dressed and diaper changes, cutting his canine teeth

Sleep: He is taking 2 naps a day, a morning nap around 9ish and an afternoon nap around 1or 1:30ish. Both naps are about 1-2 hours each. He is ready for bed at night around 6:30pm and wakes around 6:30-7am. We are still co sleeping at night, and he still likes to nurse a few times during the night.

Foodie Baby: Finn LOVES to eat, and it def. is one of his favorite times of the day! And boy can he eat! He is eating 3 solid meals a day and sometimes 1-2 snacks as well. His meals are not tiny portions either. Sometimes he is eating just as much as Noah does for a meal. He eats just about everything we eat these days (minus raw honey, peanut butter, refined sugar, chocolate and fish), just in smaller bite sizes. It blows our minds  how much he can eat right now...he is definitely a growing boy! He also still loves to nurse and usually nurses every 2-3 hours during the day. Be on the lookout for a "baby led weaning" post in the near future all about Finn's foodie baby experience thus far.

Teeth: Finn now has 8 teeth...4 teeth on top and 4 teeth on bottom. He also has 1 or 2 canine teeth cutting right now. I have a hard time assessing inside his mouth these days since he has so many chompers. :/

Til next month!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

We are Home!

We are home indeed! Coleman, the boys and I can most definitely say that we have found our home. The beautiful land, the community, our all feels so right for us. The boys could not be more in their element, esp Noah. He is so happy up here and seems more at ease being surrounded by all the nature, the quietness and the slower pace of life. We miss our friends and family dearly, but we know we made the right decision for our family. We cannot wait for you to come visit! Here are some photos of the land around our home and a few photos of our new house. Enjoy!

Lake Eden

The horses

Camp Rockmont farm

Our whimsical front porch


Dining Room


My kitchen garden

Our peaceful back deck

Blue Bear Trail in our woods

Our new furry friend ;)

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Our sweet, beautiful boy, you have transformed into a little boy right before our eyes. How are you 4 years old already? You amaze us everyday with all of your accomplishments both physical and mental. You fill our lives with so much joy, laughter, energy, singing and dance. Sweet Noah, your kind, tenderhearted and loving spirit is truly one of a kind. We love you more than you will ever know, and we wish you the happiest of birthdays today!

Personality: Happy, kind, friendly, active, sensitive and tenderhearted, lover of nature and the outdoors
Weight: Around 36 lbs 
Eyes/Hair:  Beautiful, big dark brown eyes and silky, long dirty blonde hair.

Likes:  Playing outside, climbing trees, riding your balance bike and tractor, hiking and exploring, playing with Daddy, telling stories, reading books, playing in creeks, going to playgrounds, playing with friends, tractors and cars of all kinds, music, Star Wars, the woods
Dislikes:  Your feelings being hurt, sleeping alone, washing your hair and water on your face
Talking/Development:  You love to talk, tell stories, ask questions and carry on conversations with your peers and adults of all ages. Your pronunciation is much clearer now too. You love numbers (just like Daddy) and can count to 30 and sometimes go even higher. You can do some basic addition. You know all your colors and shapes, your full name (Noah Allen Smith) and can spell your first name (N-O-A-H). You know some letters and absolutely love to read and tell stories. You also love to run, jump, gallop, ride your balance bike and tractor, and CLIMB.You are most definitely an avid tree climber these days!:)
Sleeping:  You are usually asleep for the night around 7:30-8pm and wake up anywhere from 6:15-7am. You still usually take an afternoon nap around 1:00 or 1:30pm or have quiet time in your room. Your nap is anywhere from 30 mins-1.5 hours these days. We had some nighttime sleep issues occur this year (nightmares, trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night, etc), so Daddy now sleeps in your room with you at night. You are loving having Daddy sleep with you and you tell us you want him to sleep with you forever!:) Once Daddy started sleeping with you, all of your sleep issues resolved!

Eating: You continue to be a good eater for the most part but you are much pickier now (veggies are no longer a favorite of yours, sigh). Some of your favorite foods these days are: Larabars, salami, almond milk yogurt, Applegate Farms chicken nuggets, apples, hotdogs, homemade granola bars and homemade baked goods. You are still gluten and dairy-free.

Looking Forward To… Getting settled in our new home in NC! You are loving it so far and seem to be in heaven up here with all the woods, mountains, and nature to explore!
HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY NOAH! You are our beautiful and sweet boy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Finn is 8 Months

Sweet Finn started crawling this month and eating just about everything in sight! It is so fun watching him move all around the house now and chase after Noah and the animals! I think all the movement is making him very hungry though. ;)

No new stats this month.

Likes: smiling, crawling, clapping, playing with toys, being held or worn in a wrap, snuggling with Momma while sleeping, chasing after Noah, playing with Daddy, eating real food, babbling (aka singing;)

Dislikes: being put down for too long, getting dressed and diaper changes

Sleep: He is taking 2-4 naps a day anywhere from 30 min-2.5 hours each. Most days he takes either 2 longish naps (1-2.5 hours each) or 3 naps (morning, afternoon and late afternoon cat nap if one or more of the naps are short). He is ready for bed at night around 7:00-7:30pm and wakes around 6:30-7am. We are still co sleeping, and we moved our king size bed to the floor to help keep our crawling baby safe.

Foodie Baby: Finn still loves to nurse and usually nurses every 2-3 hours during the day. He is now wanting to eat so many real foods. He will feed himself and will also eat from a spoon, and he is eating 3 meals a day now. Some of his favorite foods these days are: yogurt, avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, bacon, puffs, black beans, noodles,  hummus and eggs.

Teeth: Finn now has 8 teeth...4 teeth on top and 4 teeth on bottom. I also felt a canine tooth starting to pop through the other day. This little man has SO many teeth!

Other Fun News: We have a crawler! Finn started crawling a little over 7 months old (just like his big brother).

Til next month!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Finn is 7 months

Our sweet baby had a very eventful month! He started eating more solid foods this month. In the beginning of the month, he was primarily just exploring the foods with his hands, but now he is sometimes eating food off of a spoon and is starting to put more food in his mouth from his hands. He is really liking avocado, banana, mangos and sweet potatoes. He mastered solo sitting, and he also started clapping and scooting on his bum which he is so proud of!:) This little boy wants to move these days!

No new stats this month.

Likes: smiling, scooting, clapping, playing with toys, being held or worn in a baby carrier, snuggling with Momma while sleeping, playing with Noah, listening to Daddy sing, nursing, books, watching his big brother, babbling (he can now say "dada" :)

Dislikes: being put down for too long, getting dressed 

Sleep: He is taking 2-4 naps a day anywhere from 30 min-2 hours each. Most days he takes either 2 longish naps (1-2 hours each) or 3 naps (morning, afternoon and late afternoon cat nap if one or more of the naps are short). He is ready for bed at night around 6:30-7pm and wakes around 6:30-7am. We are still co sleeping, and he is still nursing anywhere from 2-4x per night on average, but they are still very short feedings, and we both go right back to sleep and wake up in the morning rested (well, most nights! ;)

Foodie Baby: Finn still loves to nurse and usually nurses every 2-3 hours during the day. Like I mentioned above, he is eating much more solid foods now. I offer him fruits, veggies or something off my plate during each of our main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). He will now eat from a spoon and is trying to feed himself, but he is still having a bit of trouble getting small foods in his mouth (i.e.: puffs, peas, black beans, etc) and keeping small items in his mouth. His tongue is still pushing foods out of his mouth a bit. Baby steps! He has sampled/explored lots of foods so far: avocado, bananas, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, apples and homemade applesauce, black beans, mango, carrots, cucumber, bread, waffles, crackers, puffs, peas, zucchini and potatoes.

Teeth: Finn now has 6 teeth...4 teeth on top and 2 teeth on bottom. And just a few days ago, his 7th tooth started cutting (his bottom left incisor). We are hoping the Tooth Fairy stays away for a bit now once this tooth is done cutting. He has more than enough teeth for a 7 month old!

Other Fun News: Finn can now sit solo, clap and scoot. He also babbles, sings and blows raspberries. His first word was "dada". :)

Til next month!