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Friday, January 27, 2012

365 Days of Preschool at Home {Day 5}

Yay! 5 days I haven't given up yet! Learning self-discipline is a good thing for mamas!

As important as academics are for children, there are more important things! Yes building up a good foundation in education is great, but it's really nothing if your kids don't have strong character. There are a lot of ways to build character in your children, and it can be incorporated into your daily homeschooling routine. The most important thing to remember is to praise character. When your daughter helps her younger brother pick up his toys, praise her helpfulness. When she draws a beautiful picture for you, praise her hard work and creativity. When your son is polite or prays for his food, don't praise him for a good prayer, praise him for being thankful.

Yesterday my almost-3 year old and I cleaned his room and his brother's room. Cleaning is a great homeschooling tool. Learning to listen to what Mama is telling them to do, coordination to do it, and a good feeling of being helpful is acquired! My son loves to carry the cleaning bucket all around the house for me. He sprays the carpet freshener before I vacuum. He picks up all the toys and books and puts them away. He likes to wash the window cleaner off with a paper towel, load the washer/dryer, unload the dishwasher (with guidance). There are so many ways little ones can help around the house. If you take time to teach them how to do it well, you can trust them to do it that way each time, and it IS a help! Don't expect perfection; praise them for their willingness to help and listen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

365 Days of Preschool at Home {Day 4}

We like to encourage reading in our home, so our book shelves are packed and overflowing with children's books. Now that Boon can read around 15 words by sight and sounding out, I wanted to make some books that were just for him. I found a site online that helped me figure out how to make different types of books. I decided on the stick and elastic book.

While browsing, I discovered another amazing site that pretty much lets you write your own books and print out as many or as few as you want! Bookemon is awesome! I started creating one for Christmas for both of my boys. I'm thinking of starting a series called The Grand Adventures of Boon and Smiley (no, those are not my children's real names :P).

Anyways making books using words you children know well really helps boost their reading confidence! Here's to happy reading!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

365 Days of Preschool at Home {Day 3}

Today we learned a little bit about fruits and vegetables. Our learning experience started at the grocery store produce section. We bought broccoli, blueberries, grape tomatoes, and a watermelon. The kids had a lot of fun putting them in the cart and helping with checkout time. When we got home we had tomatoes and blueberries in our lunch. After lunch we had fun building with add to the fun we have these little megablocks with stickers on them for different fruits and vegetables. So the kids can use these blocks to build little gardens. Use this time to talk about the different types of fruits and veggies. Tonight we'll have watermelon for supper, so then we'll look at the seeds, cut them apart and look inside of them, talk about how seeds grow!

Here are some great stickers you can buy from Amazon:



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

"During pregnancy or birth, about one in 35 women will experience intense pelvic pain and may find it difficult to walk, climb stairs, and other movements that involve the pelvic bones. This pain is a result of separation of the symphysis pubis which is a joint in the very front part of the pelvic bone structure. There is cartilage that fills the gap in the bones. During pregnancy, hormones such as relaxin soften this cartilage allowing the pelvic bones to be more flexible for delivery. Some women, however, have too much play in the pelvis causing a large gap between the bones. This makes the symphysis pubis area extremely sensitive to touch."-Taken from Birthsource

When I was about 23 weeks along with Smiley (my 2nd child), I developed Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I spend the rest of my pregnancy in absolute agony. There was pain walking, sitting too long, standing, bending, getting out of bed. It never went away. After Smiley was born via C-section (OB/GYN told me it was a good thing I elected for a C because the baby wouldn't have come out vaginally), the pain went away for the most part. I would only feel slight tinges of pain if I had been sitting too long in a car or walking too much. 

I am now 14 weeks along in this pregnancy, and I began feeling the SPD pain returning a little over 2 weeks ago. I was so afraid because I didn't think I could make it through another pregnancy again. I contacted my OB/GYN and he told me not to walk unless necessary and to take 1,000 mg of Tylenol. I couldn't help but feel there must be a better way.

I began to do a lot of research online-especially via facebook groups, and I found a lot of references to chiropractic care as a means to help. I found a Chiropractor in my area who was an actual Dr. of Chiropracty who specializes in pregnancy pelvic pain. I had my first visit yesterday. The first thing she said after the exam was "There is hope!" What wonderful words to hear! 

She said my left pelvic bone was rotated almost completely backward, and my other bone was forward. They were totally separated. She said it was the worst she'd ever seen, yet there is hope! Because of the unevenness my one leg was 2 inches shorter than the other one and my muscles were a mess because of compensating for that. She adjusted my hips/pelvic area, and when I stood up I almost fell over! I'm not used to having my legs be the same length! She gave me some exercises and instructions for heat therapy. I have hope that there will be much less pain in this pregnancy!

Here are some resources if you or someone you know is suffering from unbearable pelvic pain.

SPD Pelvic Pain Support Facebook Group
Pelvic Girdle Pain and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Support Facebook Group
Plus-Size Pregnancy
Well Mother
Isis Chiropractic Centres
What To Expect
Physical Therapy Journal

365 Days of Preschool at Home {Day 2}

Today was all about art. I have an abundance of scrapbooking paper that I no longer use, so I let the children use it for cutting, coloring and painting. Boon and Smiley love to paint, but that's really an outside project for us because they're still a bit too little to keep from making a horrible mess with the water color and paint. So I found a really great product that lets them paint with no mess.

 Crayola Paint Pens are awesome! The boys and I painted and colored for a long time at the table, and had a lot of fun.

Usually I try to structure Boon's school time, but today was an errand day, so we just ran errands and did what we could in the early afternoon. Today I'll be working on another project for tomorrow, and I will share it with you then!

Monday, January 23, 2012

365 Days of Preschool at Home {Day 1}

Today we broke out our creativity hats and put them to good use. On rainy days it's hard to find things for boys to burn up some of their energy. I've found a perfect little learning tool that helps with that!

I cut out large shapes of white paper and drew numbers on them. Then I taped them to our wood floor (make sure they're taped on all sides so no one slips). Next I gave Boon stickers to put on the numbers as I called them out. Then we played a number hopscotch. I told Boon to stand on a number and then told him which number to hop to next. Smiley just hopped all over the place enjoying the game (he doesn't know many numbers yet). Next we cut out little "fires" with construction paper and put them on the numbers. Then, the boys drove their fire trucks around to the different numbers to put out the fire!

It was a lot of fun, not messy at all, and it was some good number reinforcement!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

365 Days of Preschool at Home Ideas

I will be starting a 365 day project-inspired by my friend at Dear Anya. I will be doing a different preschool at home idea each day. I am currently preschooling my 2 (almost 3 year old) at home, and I've found some pretty fun ideas that work for him. I'm looking forward to beginning tomorrow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Have A New Kid By Friday By Kevin Leman

I had stumbled on a book by Kevin Leman called "How To Bring Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down," and I loved it. By a recommendation from a friend, I bought his "Have A New Kid By Friday." Now, I am a reader, and I'm always thinking of ways to improve my parenting. Let me say, of all the books on raising kids I've ever read (and it's been a ton), this is the very best. Results immediate.

It's all about expecting things from your children, telling them things one time and expecting obedience, but if they don't do what they should--THEY take responsibility for their action. Reality discipline is what it's all about. We started this with our almost 3 year old, and wow, within 2 days it was working.

Our days are much calmer, happier, and our child is truly happier (but not because we've been trying to make him happy). He's learning to be responsible for himself, his actions, and his emotions.

This book is full of common sense, and truly puts parenting in a clear plan for you. I love it and would recommend it to everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Topics You'll See On This Blog

I just thought I'd give you an idea of what you're likely to see on this blog in the future. There are some basic themes that are really important in our Happy Habibi House. :)

1. Spiritual Things- My husband and I are both Christians. We love the Lord Jesus Christ, and have found Him to be not only our Saviour, but our greatest Friend and Help at all times. He is truly the reason I live, and the ONLY reason I have joy even when life is hard. So, you'll probably see a lot of devotions, poetry, Bible verses here. Enjoy it!

2. The Feingold Diet- My husband and I are completely sold on this wonderful diet for our children and our entire family. What began as a search for solutions for children with ADHD tendencies ended up in finding a diet that WORKS. Within a week our son was focused, balanced, and ready to go! The basics are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives. It meant we had to completely change our diet, but it has helped so much. You'll be seeing a lot about this on the blog as we try new things!

3. Homeschooling- We've tentatively begun homeschool preschool with our almost 3 year old. He knows his alphabet (upper and lower case), his numbers to 20, all his colors, all shapes (including octagon, pentagon,crescent), as well as a whole host of useful information that he shares with us daily. :) As we learn more about what works, I'll be posting it here!

4. Raising Boys- Yes, this is my new major in life. It's on my mind all the time. What really works when raising boys to become kind, respectful young men. I've read a lot of books, talked to a lot of moms, and I'm not afraid to be brutally honest about being in the trenches. Be ready to read about this more than anything else.

5. My Hobbies- Food, music, books, movies, politics. :)

This is Our Life

I've been playing with the idea of starting another blog for a long time. Our life is so crazy sometimes with it's ups and downs, and I've found that waiting for a quiet period of life just won't do. It's going to be a good many year until that comes about!

So, first let me introduce myself. My name is Rachel. Words that describe me are: Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend, Follower of Jesus Christ, Thinker, Giver, Caring, Joyful, Worrier, Pray-er, Encourager.

I am married to Samer. My husband is Lebanese (thus the title for the blog-Habibi means beloved, and it's what we call one another).

My boys, that's them in the photo above, are almost 3 and almost 2 (14 months apart), and we're expecting our 3rd child in July of this year.

So, life is crazy, joyful if not always happy. This is our life. Hope you can relate to us and enjoy getting to know us!