Lap Books for Babies


If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've already probably seen this, but I wanted to make sure I posted here as well, because I discovered the best set of books for babies and toddlers!

Do they see what I see?

A newborn baby's vision is not fully developed at birth.  Because of this, infants show a preference for high contrast images because they are easier to see.  Babies love the blades of a fan in contrast to the ceiling and the dark trim of a window in contrast to the bright light shining through.

As I began to prepare Sarah's movement area shortly before and after her birth- I realized that visual contrasts was an area that I lacked a go-to resource, so I made my own!

Not wanting to develop something that would only be used for a short amount of time, I put thought into designing a multi-purpose card.  I wanted a product that I could use in more than one way over a period of time.  With almost daily use for more than two months now, we have come up with half a dozen ways to incorporate them with both Sarah (2 months) and Tomas (21 months).

Kids Cook Real Food...On Vacation?


I am usually full of ideas and every once in awhile, I decide to act on one of them without fully thinking it through.  Such was the case, when we decided to take our kids to Chicago for a long weekend earlier this month.  After we got them all excited, then I remembered that we can't eat out with Tomas' FPIES and I would need to pack all of our food.  All of the food for 9 people for 5 days.

Suffice it to say we came home with 4 fewer bags than we left with.

Two things made our trip possible food wise- my InstaPot and kids who know how to cook.  Ok, there was also a serious amount of up front planning and preparation, but those two made the whole thing a success in the implementation stage.

Literature Meets Life

Sometimes you read a book aloud and it just sticks.

Last summer we read 7 Seven Riddles to Nowhere, by A. J. Cattapan aloud as a family. It was a book that everyone, including Daddy, enjoyed!  As we approached the final reveal to the mystery of the 7 riddles, the boys spent several car rides debating the solution.  We finished the book aloud on the front porch with ice cream cones.

It was every bit as idealistic as it sounds.

Almost immediately the kids began planning a trip to see all of the Chicago churches visited by the kids in the book.  When Dad had a work trip to Chicago earlier this month, we decided to take advantage and extend it into the weekend as a family to give ourselves a self-guided tour. 

I could spend a post on every church and not share everything we saw, but here are the highlights!

Parenting Books A Mom of 7 Reads

Before I had one or two kids I was sure that everything I needed to know could be learned in books.  By the time I had a couple kids I was pretty sure that books were utterly useless and I would learn everything I needed to know from my family.  Now as a mom of 7, my reality has settled somewhere in the middle.  Realizing that books have their limits, but acknowledging that sometimes we need a helping hand when our family presents us with a particularly challenging puzzle!  No book is perfectly aligned to my parenting philosophy or yours, but these are the copies I reach for when I run into a road block with my family.

2017-2018 Curriculum Choices


School year 2017-2018 is upon us!   I'm excited for fresh starts, clean notebooks and sharpened pencils, but I'm also a little in awe of just how much a "low-key" plan involves for us this year.

That Time I Spilled The Beans About My Marital Relationship to A Cardinal


Alternately titled... Why Heidi should only communicate in writing that can be edited before she hits send.

Do you remember Sarah Margaret's pregnancy announcement?

The short version for those who don't have time to read is that she was conceived in the window of time between when we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and met St. Gianna's daughter and when Lucie was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Of all of my children, she is my greatest testimony between the beauty of NFP (Natural Family Planning).