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A week without a theme | indiasroses.comblowing bubbles in front of the barn

Oops… I kinda dropped the ball on my theory of keeping my 2.5 year old stimulated with weekly themes and corresponding craft projects. I also dropped the ball on regular bedtimes and eating anything that has to be prepared with heat. My poor husband has been coming home from work to a wife who has eaten cheese, crackers, salami and spinach for dinner…. again (I’m only on like the 4th night).

But in my defense it’s all for a really really good reason. You see, on Thursday we closed escrow on our very first home! It’s the most incredibly fantastic feeling to know that in 2-3 very short months when we bring home our second child it will be to a home we can live in forever if we want to.

Currently we live in a second story one bedroom apartment. It’s a wonderful little place and being a family that relates to the downsizing movement (living more simply in less space) it was really perfect for us. As a fairly crunch bunch of three a one bedroom was really all the space we needed for co-sleeping, closet sharing and closeness in our family.

But then my daughter turned 2 and energy exploded forth from her little body like sunlight piercing through the tiniest crack in a curtain and shining strait into your sleeping eyes… and I knew that as far as backyardless apartment living went… we were screwed. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

So the house hunt began. Well the house hunt began…. And then stopped because we weren’t really in a practical position to buy a house at the moment and our rent was so cheap in the apartment that we couldn’t get to a practical place without staying here longer, let me rephrase… So the pre-house hunt began! We used all the money we were saving from living in a smaller location to pay off ALL of our debt, every last penny of it. Fortunately being young (and somehow wise about this particular subject) we had very minimal debt and had been sort of working to pay it off already. So then we were completely 100% debt free!

When we went in to talk to our mortgage broker (If you live in Humboldt County and are looking for a mortgage broker use PMG and never look back) we assumed she would tell us that we could start looking to buy a house in a few months when my husbands work history was a little longer and a little stronger, really all we were looking for that first day was an idea, an idea of what we could afford and how it was going to impact our budget, but no… that day she told us what we could afford and that we could start looking… NOW.

So…. The house hunt began. We still had a little bit of time left in the day so we called a realtor and fell in love with the first house that we saw, and were given a full case of the heebie-jeebies by every other thing on the market in our price range. The next day we put in an offer and after 37 of the most stressful days of my life we were given the keys to our new home; a two bedroom one bath with a big yard and open concept kitchen living area.

Now back to the lack of theme this week. This week has been crazy. I have been packing like mad because I am a pregnant woman in her third trimester that has been completely deprived of the ability to nest over the last month due to the ever changing uncertainty of escrow. Being told that it really is our house and we really do get to move into it has triggered some primal part of my pregnant brain and I was able to almost completely pack our entire space by myself with a 2 year old in two days. My only break downs have been over the heat (the reason why there have been no fancy diners for my hubby), and my inability to move my packed apartment to my new house because as a pregnant person I draw the line at carrying boxes down stairs. If we lived on the first floor everything but the furniture would already be over there, but since we don’t I stare at my giant pile of boxes (gratefully) waiting for my husband’s day off.

I would just like to add that while moving and escrow are stressful on me as the domestic of our family and my husband as the provider, it is also very important to remember that anything stressful to adults stresses out children, they can feel displeasure and uncertainty in their home and it’s very important to give them a break and do what you can to ease the transition for them. One of these things for us has been to put our potty learned daughter back into diapers after seeing she was struggling and uninterested in continuing with her current potty skills. Giving her the grace to take a little break from the stresses of being hauled off to the bathroom every 45 minutes made a huge impact on her overall happiness and we know that once things are settled she will be ready (in her own time) to try again.

And lastly I would like to thank the U.S. Veterans Association Loan Office for giving us the opportunity to become home owners before 25. My husband’s service in the armed forces has given us countless opportunities to better our lives and I appreciate all the wonderful benefits we receive.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.

 

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A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

My two and a half year old daughter is a handful. An adorable, loveable, sweet, curious handful, but a handful none the less. She is very smart and becomes under stimulated incredibly easily. And as everyone with a toddler should know under stimulation breeds misbehavior, tantrums, and a whole lot of unpleasantness all around. So in a hope to improve the general atmosphere of our home I have initiated Theme Weeks!

Each week we pick a theme and base our play and learning around it. This week I chose SNAILS. So instead of seeing my daughter struggle and wondering what activity I could do with her and getting overwhelmed by the mass quantity of possibilities on my Pinterest feed I narrowed it down by choosing one theme. This week whenever I noticed she needed a little something I first thought snails and from my own creativity and a little help from Snail Crafts on pinterest we were set. It was amazing how much easier it was to come up with fun ideas when I’d narrowed it down to one specific topic.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We started off by collecting three garden snails to be guests in our home for the week, and learned how to keep them moist and happy with a little help from Wikihow: How to Care for Garden Snails.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After carefully observing them in their new terrarium home we moved on to something we could get a little rougher with… Polymer Clay (we used Sculpey brand clay because it’s incredibly easy to manipulate). We rolled the clay into long snakes and then rolled the snakes into spiral snail shells, formed little snail bodies and added a set of copper wire eye stocks and were set to bake them. We followed the baking instructions from the side of the clay package and a half hour later we had fully cooked, solid and very hot snail toys. We let them cool for 15 minutes and they were ready to go.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After having a chat about Simple Snail Anatomy (Eye Stalk, Shell, Muscular Foot, Mouth) we got into a discussion about Escargot and she was inspired to do a little imaginative play in her kitchen.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We also had a snail inspired lunch of peanut butter and jelly rolls, banana slices and carrot slivers served on a bed of fresh baby spinach; it was a big hit, and way easier than you would think. When I was putting it together I was surprised to see that once all the elements were placed together it looked great, so don’t be intimidated and give it a try.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

Having spent some time on snail anatomy I got to thinking about spiral shells and spirals in general so we spend an afternoon with our pens, crayons and paper drawing lots and lots of spirals and talking about how they go around and around and around. We also made spiral shell sun catchers by putting our own spin on this great little tutorial over at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas about making coffee filter art.

By the end of the week my daughter could identify and draw a spiral tell you the basic anatomy of a snail, and is a much more pleasant, much happier, much less whiny little person who loves snails, and I feel like a great, attentive mother. Wins all around in my book.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions

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