How Much He Loves Her

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Among my many doubts about the close spacing of these two youngest monkeys of mine, was how well Tomas at 19 months would respond to his new sister.   While it has not been a seamless transition (he's tired of extra people around the house and doesn't always want to share Mommy and Daddy, both completely understandable), overall he has taken his cues from big brothers and sisters and loves her as much as they do.

Here are some adorable moments from their first days together.


5th Times the Charm

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When we first learned that little Miss Sarah Margaret would be joining our family, I had my doubts.

Ok, I had lot of doubts.

I said a lot of prayers of "I sure hope YOU know what you're doing God."

As the boring, uneventful weeks of pregnancy passed by I began to feel more and more comfortable hoping for a boring, uneventful birth and recovery period too.

I started to dream about a normal recovery period.   One where you hold a baby when he or she is born.  Where you nurse early and often, as much as you want.

See, I don't talk about it much but my history has stolen those early moments from me all to often.  The last time I delivered a baby who went straight to my chest was Kenna.  Ten years ago.

Oh yeah, and she was already dead.

So not exactly normal.

The Perfect Toddler Evening

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Alternatively titled, Daddy found a toad and Tomas followed it...

On a rare activity-free night home as a family this week, Tim and a few of the kids headed out to finish planting the garden.  Tomas naturally followed and had quite the adventure of his own learning how to transplant a tomato.

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That alone would have been a beautiful toddler evening, but then they found the toad....

What Others Are Saying

My new book has been out for almost a month now and every day I am hearing from people who have read it and have beautiful stories to tell.  They might not know yet that their stories are beautiful, but they are.

Here are a few thoughts from other bloggers.
(Note:  I will add to this list as needed!  Feel free to leave links in the comments to this post.)

Finding Mary in Miscarriage from Not So Formulaic

Book Review- Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb from Puzzled by the Pieces

Pregnancy loss, the rosary, and a book I wish I had years ago from Into Your Will.  Be sure to check out Jen's list of gifts for mom's experiencing pregnancy loss for some other great gift ideas as well!
There are also a handful of lovely reviews on Amazon.

At the end of the day, your stories of life, loss, and love were the impetus to taking a risk in writing this book.  I am so humbled and honored that you have chosen to share them with me.

Beyond Chore Training

Timecard System

Chores posts are always popular in this space .... and as a busy mom of many, I do not struggle at all to understand why!

My first line of chore defense is always to teach them properly and consistently from the very beginning.  I wrote that out in eleven more specific steps, here.  I don't, ok I try not to, pester too much and I don't offer rewards for getting the basics done.   Some things in life have to be done, no matter how unpleasant they are.

That being said, even as a stay at home mom, I have opportunities to go above and beyond my regular vocational duties and earn some extra money.   Since we don't pay our children an allowance, we give them the opportunity to earn pocket money using a timecard system.


Pre Reading Skills with I-Spy Books

Pre Reading

Look & find, or I-spy, books are a favorite around here and they have a great dual purpose of promoting visual discrimination, a key pre reading skill.  Visual discrimination, or the ability to see how two things are different or the same and how they relate to each other, is how a child eventually learns to tell the difference between an "a" and an "o" or a "p", "b", "d", and "q".

Playing more advanced levels of the traditional Montessori I-Spy games using beginning and ending sounds combines auditory and visual discrimination.  All of this can happen developmentally before kids need to be looking at the letters at all!  In fact, the more you play these games before (long before!) introducing letters and sounds the more easily your child will be able to make the jump to writing and reading.

Which teacher-geeks me out just how cool the brain really is.

It's ok if you don't get quite as excited about this stuff as I do.  You can still reap the many advantages of I-Spy without all the nerdy back information about what effect it is having on your child's brain.  Look and find books are a great way to do that.   Here are a few of our favorite collections.

5 Reasons This Homeschool Blogging Convert Wrote A Book About The Rosary

5 Reasons

As my latest writing project starts circulating in the coming weeks, I know that some people might wonder who on earth is this Heidi Indahl person anyway?  What qualifies her to talk about the rosary or pregnancy and infant loss?

On first glance, coming to this blog or following me on social media just might leave a person even more confused!

Here are five(ish) answers that question.