Tea time is a daily occurrence in our house this time of year. Camden was struggling to wake up from naps, so wanted to give him something that he could look forward to that would help him wake up. Now tea time has become an anchor in our day. He chooses the herbal tea for us to drink and makes the tea. We usually also have a little something sweet to eat and share stories about our day while we drink it. Marley has her own little tea cup that she adores. (She’s been using the same cup for three months now with out it breaking!) It was so much fun to share our favorite daily ritual with their great grandmother. 💕
I love how much my family has embraced Montessori. My almost 87 year old grandmother flew across the country by herself yesterday to visit our family and meet Marley. She brought Camden a very special gift- a Christmas tree hanging that she had quilted just for him. She brought tiny ornaments to sew on so that they could decorate the tree together and she could see Camden sewing in person. Not everyone is willing to hand a three year old a real sewing needle, so to have her create this project just for him was incredible. Such a thoughtful, meaningful gift that we will treasure through the years. My heart feels so full. ❤️
The sweetest little mushroom popped up in the woods today! Happy Halloween!!🍄
Now that Marley is 14 months, she is able to use her water station totally independently. She was having trouble putting the cup in the right spot, so I put a sticker down to show her where it goes and she has been flying solo ever since! 💦
I love coming across moments like this one. Reading together and soaking in the warm autumn day in their new chairs. 🍁
Teaching a 13 month old to use a water station is a very wet experience, but is absolutely worth it. The independence she has gained from being able to serve herself water is wonderful. When Camden was this age, I would only put as much water in the station as I was comfortable cleaning up. I’m doing things a bit differently this time because Camden is used to getting his own water and our set up is safer for young toddlers. First, the spout only releases water when pressure is applied, so it can’t get left open. We also have the water source on a water resistant crate from Ikea and have a bucket inside so most of the spilled water gets trapped in a bucket. There is some lovely industrial carpet on the ground so that our concrete floors don’t get dangerously slippery. Lastly, I have a sticker on the crate where the water glass goes so that she knows where to put it. We still wipe up spills but most of the water is controlled, which means I am able to have water in it all of the time. She is still learning to recognize when the glass is full so that it doesn’t overflow (and of course she likes to run it sometimes just for fun), but I can’t believe the progress she has made in the past few weeks. Now instead of asking me for water, she gets her own glass and starts the process herself. Small humans are so capable when we give them a chance!
I had one of those chats with Camden’s teacher yesterday that no parent really wants to have. He has been having a hard time moving his body carefully around other children and has been pushing when someone gets in his way. While it’s never fun to hear, I’m glad to know about it because it means we can start working on it at home too. Last night we had a conversation where we talked about solutions to the problem. First, I acknowledged his feelings by talking about how frustrating it can be when someone is in your way. Then I told him it was a problem because someone could get hurt and it is not respectful to his classmates. Then we worked on coming up with solutions. I wrote down all three of his ideas and we narrowed it down to one thing he could try the next day. Next time someone is in his way, he thought it might be a good idea to say “beep, beep!” This is not exactly the solution I would have come up with, but the important thing is that he is learning to think through these types of problems. I got a great report from his teacher today and when he got into the car he told me two stories about when he “beep, beeped” his friends without me even asking. We will work on saying excuse me sometime soon, but I am so proud of him for coming up with a solution and sticking with his idea. If you have a young child, you should absolutely read “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen” by Joanna Faber and Julie King. This book is excellent and I use their ideas all day long! (Picture from our hike this weekend, which I think nicely shows all of that three year old boy energy 😉.)
We’ve been going on the same hike every October since we got married seven years ago. This photo is one of my favorite family traditions. I love, love, love seeing how much our little family has grown!
This little glimpse into his world at school is such a gift. Camden is in a Primary Montessori program five mornings a week. As a parent, it can feel like the classroom is a bit of a black box. Montessori schools don’t give daily reports like some preschools and it is sometimes a challenge to not know exactly what he is doing, especially for a Montessori junkie like me. I’ve learned a few tricks for helping him learn to talk about his day, like asking what a friend worked on that day and giving him details about what I did while he was at school. But mostly, I’ve learned that I can get an idea of what he is working on by observing him. The sound games he wants to play in the car every day, the folded napkins at our house and the sudden interest in Africa are all clues. I’m so proud of how much he has grown in the last month. This little boy has been working on big things. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
I absolutely love handmade clothes. The unique designs and love that gets poured into every piece makes them stand out from other clothes. I love knowing who makes our clothes. This beautiful coat was Marley’s first birthday present from my mother. I worked with Joan fro SwingCoat on Etsy to pick both the lining and the outer layer. I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out! It’s easy to move in and perfect for fall. And guess what? She makes adult coats too! #notsponsored
Before I found Montessori, if you told me that a 13 month old could unload a dishwasher full of real ceramic and glass dishes, I would have told you that there would be a floor full of glass. But here she is, carefully carrying her dishes to her cabinet and putting them away. Do they always wind up in the right spot? No, but this is so much more about the process. She is learning that she is a valuable member of our family who is capable of contributing to our family life. •
Here’s how we got to this point: Before she was stably walking, I would carry the plate and we would hold hands as we walked the dish to the cabinet. I modeled exactly how I wanted her to do it, so I always carried one dish at a time. Then, once she started walking stably I let her carry the dish and walked next to her. Now she doesn’t even need my help! I just stand at the dishwasher and hand the dishes to her. She hasn’t dropped a plate, but if she does we will just calmly clean it up. She’s been using real glass and ceramic dishes from the beginning and has broken a few plates along the way, so she carries her dishes with care. This is my second Montessori child, but I am still so totally and completely blown away by how capable she is when I trust in her abilities! (Also, can we talk about how sweet it is to watch her patiently wait for me to give her her next dish to put away? 😍)
Today I am thankful for slow mornings, circle sorting and that tiny little curl! ✨
I can not say enough how much I love Brûlée dishes for young toddlers and babies. The walled sides of the dish make a wonderful place to push food onto a fork (or into their hand if they are not using utensils yet.) At 13 months, Marley is now very confident with her fork, but of course still uses her hands too. Here she is eating (surprisingly spicy!) chicken tikka masala with rice. I ran out of her dishes yesterday and served her food on a normal plate. She ate the same meal completely with her hands and totally ignored her fork. Giving her the right tools made all of the difference!
Can we take a moment to talk about baby and young toddler clothes? I had so much fun putting together a capsule wardrobe for Marley this fall. The most important factor that I considered for every piece was her ability to move in it. Clothing that is too tight or stiff (like jeans) can restrict her ability to move. I’ve also totally avoided dresses up to now, since she was still crawling occasionally. The extra fabric makes it a challenge to get anywhere and can be very frustrating for crawlers. (I even hemmed some longer shirts over the summer so her knees wouldn’t catch them them while she was crawling.) But now that she is walking all of the time, I’ve added in a couple of dresses. She hasn’t missed a beat, so I know that it was a good time to introduce them. We’ve also opted to use soft soled shoes (like moccasins or shoes with soft rubber soles) to allow her foot muscles and arch to develop naturally, rather than conform to a hard pair of shoes. I want to do everything I can to support her new skills and making sure she is dressed appropriately is one of the easiest ways to do that!
I could watch Marley clean up spills all day! At 13 months, she loves any task that has multiple steps. I can’t even tell you how many times we have cleaned up spilled water together, but she has clearly been paying attention to what I’ve been doing. It makes my heart sing to see her do it on her own. Go Marley!!
Calling Seattle caregivers of babies and toddlers (0-2.5)! Are you interested in learning more about the Montessori Philosophy? Or just want to meet other like-minded parents in the area? Join me and @montessoriinreallife this fall for our 2nd Parent-Child series at our new, beautiful indoor location in Phinney Ridge! Your infant or toddler will get to play in a Montessori prepared environment while we discuss a range of topics, from how to set up Montessori spaces at home to strategies for respectful parenting. This fall series includes 6 classes, starting Wednesday October 17th. You can purchase a class bundle or individual classes. To learn more and register, check out our website (link in profile)!
Oh how Marley loves this little duck! It has leather feet attached to the wheels that make a sweet little pattering noise when she pushes it. So much fun for a new walker to use while she practices her skills!
This weekend we went apple picking and pressed some cider! Fall is here!!What are your favorite fall family traditions?
Calling Seattle moms and dads of babies and toddlers (0-2.5)! Are you interested in learning more about the Montessori Philosophy? Or just want to meet other like-minded parents in the area? Join me and @montessoriinreallife this fall for our 2nd Parent-Child series at our new, beautiful indoor location in Phinney Ridge! Your infant or toddler will get to play in a Montessori prepared environment while we discuss a range of topics, from how to set up Montessori spaces at home to strategies for respectful parenting. This fall series includes 6 classes, starting Wednesday October 17th. You can purchase a class bundle or individual classes. To learn more and register, check out our website (link in profile)!
When I made ravioli for lunch today, Camden looked at it in dismay and yelled “I don’t like ravioli anymore!” Sensing an impending blood sugar related meltdown I asked him what healthy food he wanted to eat for lunch instead. He announced that he wanted PB&J, which sounded like a great option to me so I told him I would help him make it after I finished changing his sister. I heard him banging around in the kitchen a little bit, but then it was quiet. I walked back into the kitchen to see him making his own sandwich. I was putting away my camera at the time, so I had time to snap a photo before he saw me. He looked up at me and said “I’m ready for lunch now!” And sat down and ate it. I feel like we’ve been in the weeds for the past couple of months, with him wanting help with almost everything and experiencing some intense emotions, so walking into this was absolutely beautiful. If I’m being really honest here, I actually cried a little. The last couple of months have been very challenging to navigate, but above all I have been trying to remember that he is working on big things. If the sound games in the car this morning and the independent sandwich making are any indication, I think I am about to see a big leap. So if you feel like you are in the weeds too, just remember there might just be a sandwich at the end! 💛