A New Approach to Baby Proofing!

I sinned. I am coveting my neighbor! (although this particular neighbor lives 45 minutes away)

They have this amazing play area for their 2 children. Sooo jealous! A played here the whole time we were at their house for one of their sons birthday parties. The play area has this cube wall with lots of baskets full of goodies, a fun rug, a mounted TV, a bench, and a pretend kitchen!

On the 45 minute drive home all I could think about is how I wanted that! I want an area where A can play safely and where all of her toys and activities are organized. Her toys are currently all tossed in a wicker basket…when she wants to play she dumps the whole basket out on the floor and crawls away! I digress…A needs a play area!

Our home does not have the amazing layout that our ‘neighbors’ does so we have to improvise. First idea, make like Harry Potter and put A under the stairs! Meh, no go. I got that whole area cleaned out and put down her ABC foam floor and it still looked like a closet under the stairs. No direct sunlight. I can’t see her. I wasn’t happy with this.

So, I started Pinteresting (is that a word? Kind of like Googling?) and found some great ideas!

Since A was born I kept hearing about this Montessori thing. I originally thought it was just a school but now I am learning its kind of a way of life education. A way in which A can be respected and treated as an equal in our home. In short, Montessori believes that children (infants included) have developmental opportunities during their lifespan.

I am going to quote this so I get it across correctly “Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development, and an educational approach based on that model. The model has two basic elements. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development. Based on her observations, Montesori believed that children at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.”

Another AHA! moment for me! This makes perfect sense! To simplify this – instead of creating just one play area/room we have decided to make the whole house a play area! We want A to feel comfortable and safe in her home; not only in a small confined place that we created for her.

Our first step is to Childproof everything. I’m not talking putting locks or anything on doors or cabinets. We are going to put anything that she is in danger of playing with at levels she can not reach. Doing this will give her access to things she can play with without hearing NO! <–such a dirty word!!!    For example, in the kitchen we are creating her a drawer where her apron, utensils, and some pretend food items will be kept. When DH and I are cooking dinner- she can help too! In the bedroom, we are creating her a quiet space with a bookshelf and a sitting area where she can relax, read, and enjoy the sunshine through the window. In the bathroom we are making the bottom drawer hers – it will have her pj’s, diapers, and toothbrush. I think you are getting the idea!

We are so excited! Planning a trip to Ikea tomorrow to get this vision underway! I will keep you updated throughout this process!

This website (through Pinteresting) was my inspiration:

http://jen-peacefulparenting.blogspot.com/2011/01/our-montessori-home.html

I like to hang.

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See this? This is “my wall“. It’s where I hang my cool finds and memorabilia.

That small box in the middle- that’s a gift from Australia! The framed poster at the top end- signed poster from my first Blue October concert! I made that pallet shelf at the bottom. The VT license plate is DH’s.

Also hanging up there is special pictures of some amazing memories and people. Namely, our wedding and a frame full of DH & I’s adventures! I love this wall!

Today, I hung a new addition! Not on this wall – but right above our dining room table. A space where our family gathers and spends quality time. Our family will continue to add precious memories here for years to come!

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Beautiful, isn’t it!

A Paradigm Shift

After listening in on an amazing teleconference on Thursday evening I felt a paradigm shift within me. The teleconference was given by Pathways about Mindful Motherhood. I don’t know all of the principles but they kept discussing grounding yourself and living within that moment. Not to worry about the things that are past or just happened- Not to worry about the future, immediate or pending- Just feel the now. I feel we, as beings living in this fast paced society, forget to do this. We are always worried about what is going on around us; never taking the time to actually enjoy it. This ‘grounding’ just made sense to me. There are moments that I get so caught up in life (cleaning/cooking/dishes) that I forget to take time to see my daughter. To actually see her. What is she learning while I do these dishes? How does she feel? How do I feel?

The diapers needed to be washed on Friday or A would be running around in the buff! DH was home in the afternoon so I washed and took them to the line. This whole time the ‘grounding’ discussion was on my mind. I kept thinking “how do I apply this in my life?” I stopped hanging the diapers and placed my feet firmly on the ground below me. I looked up to the sky. I breathed. I felt my feet rooting into the earth. I breathed and just…existed. This is where the shift occurred. It was only a few moments but the most powerful! Life changing!

It was after that moment I decided that I wanted to live in the now. I wanted to be here in all ways.

This past weekend I took a Telephone and FaceBook hiatus. Being unplugged sure does the body good! Our family had a wonderful weekend full of embracing life and each other. We enjoyed time at the beach, family grocery shopping, good food, a movie, and a walk to the soccer field! We had energy! It was as if being unplugged gave us more energy to do the things we wanted to do and not just wish we would have done them when Monday came.

I have to encourage everyone to try this- to plug in. Plug into the ground that is! Right now, STOP. Take a breath. Ground yourself and just exist.

I look forward to learning more about these principles and applying them to my life. If this one step can create a paradigm shift I am excited to see what the rest will bring!