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Category Archives: Play

Things I will miss

I will be sad when:

* Norah no longer says “deseasers” when she means “tweezers.”

* And “hotella” for “nutella.”

* When Cedar no longer runs through the house carrying her step-stool so she can hang with the humans over three feet tall.

* Picking out little girl clothes.  Norah won’t let me dress her anymore.

* The pigtails!

* Norah’s imagination.  Or as she says, “Mommy, I’m imaginating something.”  Here is a recent example.  Norah and her friend Ryleigh had a playdate a few months ago.  Ryleigh has a stuffed Rudolph.  Norah has a stuffed Clarice.  A week ago, Clarice gave birth to a small moose named Clancy.  Clarice has been a great mom.  Norah makes sure that Clancy is nursed to sleep each night and fed on demand throughout the day.  However, Norah has tremendous anxiety because Rudolph has not met his son.  I’m talking quite the tantrums to see Ryleigh RIGHT NOW.  I did call Ryleigh’s mom so she could tell Rudolph about his son.  And we have a playdate arranged this week so the family can be re-united. 

I should mention that the little plastic guy in the picture is Hansel.  He is forlorn because Ryleigh has his wife, Gretel.  He’s waiting for the playdate, too.

* I’m going to miss babywearing.  Cedar already wants to (GASP) ride in the shopping cart! 

Many more things will be missed.  What will not be missed is the screaming sibling fight that is breaking out AS I TYPE.  “My castle!  I had it first!” 

Better wrap this up!

Faster than a tormado

We had an extra four year old in the house today.  I thought it would distract me from the fantastic explosion of toys if I took notes on some of the conversations I overheard.


I have the hardest job in my house.  I fold napkins.

Well, my job is harder.  I catch all the lizards outside my house.

I fold more napkins. 

I catch a million lizards.

We’re like twins cause we have the same thing to eat!

I can run faster than a horse.

I can run faster than a rocketship

I can run faster than a “tormado”

I can run faster than God.

Mom, who can run the fastest?

My cousin is going to marry Justin Bieber

Who is that?

I think he’s a boy at her school.

That is NOT what a kangaroo sounds like when it gives birth.  It says “Boing Boing Boing.”

My [stuffed] puppy tore a little when her baby was born. [did I mention this was a midwife’s 4 year old?]

This will be your dog “collard” to wear.

We also had marshmallow roasting and sprinkler running.  And the girls built elaborate play scenes.

She wore an itsy bitsy

Easy Preschooler Activity

Norah and I made a marble run for the fridge.  It was super easy and we were able to complete it during Cedar’s morning nap. 

Collect paper towel and toilet paper tubes.  Wrap tubes with construction paper.  Glue a magnet to each tube.  Create your marble run, place a container on the floor, and drop in a marble.  We had to use a large wooden bead because the marble was too heavy. 

Norah has had fun making different runs.

P.S.  I saw a fridge marble run available for purchase in an educational toys magazine and it was out of our toy budget!  So can we call this upcycling?

I love lists

a la Parton Ponderings

Reading:  The Road of Lost Innocence (I alternate between reading it and throwing it across the room)
Listening:  Still loving Great Lake Swimmers.
Watching:  Youtube videos of ballet performances per Norah’s request.
Cooking:  My share of a grass-fed, healthy cow affectionately named Huey.
Wearing:  Nursing tanks and this new skirt
Wishing:  I could teleport
Thinking:  About a new birth project–wait and see!
Craving:  Red beans and rice
Digging:  The Sermon on the Mount podcast series from Mars Hill (the Grand Rapids one; decidedly NOT the Seattle one)
Excited About:  a baby for my baby sister
Laughing At:  How much Cedar loves food
Hoping:  I can figure out this Elimination Communication thing
Annoyed With:  the current disorganization of my household
Feeling Bad:  Haven’t spent enough time with dear friends lately
Loving:  Norah’s thirst to learn–she’s into lighthouses and bird-watching lately
Planning:  my current Hypnobabies class

Morning Glory

I’m so happy to announce an exciting new class beginning in February taught by Ashley–the same crafty mama I blogged about in December

Morning Glory Parent-Tot Group
For children ages 1-3 1/2 with a parent, grandparent or caregiver.

A parent-tot group is a nurturing environment where adults attend with their child for play, mealtime and conversation with others on early childhood topics. The small group, limited to 7 families, fosters community and offers a space of support for families. We can further our bonds with our children while cultivating community with others. It is a time to retreat from the busyness of the world and focus our minds on ourselves, our children, and our small group in a warm, lovely environment.

Join us for 2 1/4 hours on Tuesday mornings in our “classroom” – a cozy little guest house on a gorgeous private property in North Greenville’s Green Valley subdivision. Together we will:

~ explore Nature’s beauty as we discover magic hidden around every turn on our group nature walk

~ engage in both outdoor and indoor play with toys made of natural materials

~ learn interactive games, songs, verses and rhymes that reflect the changing seasons; you can take these home and immediately bring into your family life

~ cook and share a nutritious group snack using whole grains, fruits and veggies (organic when available), and herbal teas – all snacks provided

~ work on an adult craft to share with your child (handmade toys are the best gift for a young one-when made by a loved one it’s even better!)

~ experience puppet shows with beautiful, lovingly created all natural puppets

~ spark conversations on parenting and early childhood topics

~ learn the importance of rhythm and purposeful work as a method of guidance, worthy of imitation by our young children

Adults are asked to actively participate in all aspects of the group to provide a healthy model for learning through imitation by the children. Adults will have opportunities to observe, as well as engage in, their child’s play while contemplating their developmental needs. Snack and craft time conversations will focus on early childhood topics previously decided upon by the group. Families have the opportunity to take home photocopies of related articles and all of the songs/rhymes/verses/games for further reading and reference.

The session includes:
Adult Orientation on Saturday, February 6th 9:30-11am
six group classes on Tuesday mornings beginning February 9th – March 23rd 9:15-11:30am
the possibility of one more adult only class later in the session
all snacks and craft materials
handouts for adult reference

$125 for one adult with a child
Additional children/adults in the same family may attend.  A discounted fee is offered. 

Please contact Ashley for more information or to register at waldorfmama[at]gmail[dot]com.

Local Toymaker


Challenged to find a toy that is not “made in china?”  Or ridiculously priced?  Or plastic?  Or requiring batteries? 

Want to support a local craftswoman? 

Check out Ashley’s amazing handmade Waldorf toys.   Ashley is trained in Waldorf Early Childhood Education and is a parent educator.  Click here for more info on  Waldorf education .  She makes her beautiful toys in Traveler’s Rest but, of course, can ship anywhere.  

She says:  Inspired by the limitless imaginations of young children, each toy is created with much love and warmth.  Toys are purposely without detailed facial features to promote open-ended play and feed the infinite expressions of the child’s imagination.  The beauty of the craftsmanship and simplicity of each toy beckons to be played with in a myriad of creative environments for years to come.  Appropriate for ages birth through 7 years (and beyond!).  My own children, ages 1 and 2, are my research and development team!  I craft each of these toys from my home.  The all natural materials I use include: hardwoods; wool – roving, batting, felt and yarn; cotton; bamboo; and found materials like acorn caps.  Please allow 1-2 weeks for most custom orders.

I know I’m purchasing several pieces for Norah’s stocking.  Take a look and if you’d like to see pictures of all of Ashley’s work or if you would like to purchase a few, email her at waldorfmama [at] gmail [dot] com.  


 Gnomes – (measuring approximately 4″ tall) in custom tailored outfits; gnomes are warm and wonderful to touch, all outfits are securely attached, and make great imaginative play toys as child grows – $4 each; 3 for $10; 6 for $20 

Flower children and acorn fellows – each meticulously created and inspired by the changing seasons. A wonderful addition to sprout on a nature table and into imaginary play.  Acorn folks are $4 each; a family of 3 – 2 adults and 1 child – for $10. Flower folks $6 each. (not recommended for children who will put them in their mouth) 

Birthday/Dress Up crowns – a delight for the birthday celebration or for dress up; sized for young children to adults with adjustable velcro. – $15 each

Birthday Ring – inspired by rings from Germany, contains 12 hand tailored figures on a beeswax sealed wood base; customarily, child chooses one each year to stand in the center and the spot on the ring is filled with a candle; at 12 years old the ring is fully alight with all figures in the middle.  Not recommended for everyday play. – $85, set includes 12 figures, wood base.

Knot dolls – a lovely first toy for the young child; knots are easily grasped and soothing to gnaw on; made from soft cotton fabric &/or organic bamboo fabric with wool batting in head (choose solid blue or pink) – $10 

Balls of all sorts – felted (both wet and needle felted) wool with custom designs (small 2″ diameter $6, medium 3″ diameter $9, large 4″ diameter $12), embroidered cotton with a small rattle enveloped inside (4″ diameter $7); wool felt patchwork ($10); great for indoor play as first a rattle then an interactive toy

Carved wood animals – each hand carved, sanded smooth and finished with food grade beeswax; lovely as a first toy (safe for teething) then an addition to imaginary play as child grows older – prices start at $7. 

Knitted animals – Soft and soothing to the touch (wool and cotton yarns), they can accompany many lovely tales children never tire of hearing (consider a mama duck and her babies with Jemimah Puddle Duck, bunnies to accompany any of the many fun rabbit tales, or a donkey, cat, dog and rooster set to illustrate the Bremen Town Musicians…) – Mama Duck $10, ducklings $4 each or a set of Mama and 2 babies for $15; rabbit $8; horse/donkey $10; rooster or chicken $4; cat $5; dog $10; elephant $15

Felt animals – pictured are two Scotty dogs; more designs to come in the future – $8 for solid $15 for appliqued

Mobiles – each individually crafted from pecan branches with wool and silk decorations – custom order, sizes and prices vary

Washcloths – knit or crocheted with organic cotton and quite lovely for the entire family – $7

Gift sets – multiple items may be selected to create a fun gift set; great for baby showers and birthdays! – prices vary

Aren’t they gorgeous?

She’s got a bag

that is filled with toys.

Check out Norah’s creative engineering.  She made a sleigh using a jelly bracelet, the roof of a toy doghouse, and Cedar’s hat.  Should we nickname her Macgyver?  The “norah doll” is holding a whip which is a piece from her playhouse gazebo.

Here is a close-up of Santa’s sack:

Watching her play really makes me miss being a kid.

Pregnancy Update (Again)

I’ll get to the how-to-have-a-smoother-birth post.  But now…

A pregnancy update.  Here is a shot of today’s belly:



Pretty boring, really.  I feel some nutrient depletion following my run of births lately.  Low energy.  So, I’m eating lots of greens and trying to catch up. 

Oh, this is fun.  I had the first leg cramp of my life last night (likely because of aforementioned nutrient depletion).  It was horrible!  It felt so unsafe–unnatural.  And guess what my first reaction was?  “Go, go gadget hypno-anesthesia.”  Which, um, totally didn’t work.  Because I haven’t practiced enough and it isn’t a superpower I can call on at any moment of need.  So, the next reaction was to scream but I had a sleeping hubby and daughter beside me.  I’ve had clients who got leg cramps during labor.  What awful insult!  Leg cramps are much worse than labor. 

Note to self:  get back on your hypnobabies training regimen and always, always take your cal-mag before bed!

Other pregnancy news.  This very active baby continues to prefer crunching low in my pelvis.  I evict the sweetling with some pelvic rocking each night and suddenly I have a raging, grumpy baby squirming back down into my pelvis–very unnerving sensation.  I don’t know why the little one won’t stretch out more.  Whine.   

And today, while playing at the lake, I burned my belly.  Note to self:  whereas normally my belly will not soak any sun, the stretched out belly burns easily.  Sunscreen is advised. 


Advanced Prehistoric Babywearing

I know, I know.  The title sounds oxymoronic. 

You might remember that my toddler loves for her dinosaurs to babywear.  See last year’s post

Today, we were startled to discover the baby torture device carrier she rigged for her long neck.  If you look closely, the mother dinosaur is wearing three babies using a headband, two ponytail holders, and a carabiner.