Product Review: TiGra Mount Case

Product Review

Occassionally I receive requests to review items. In the past the items that were being reviewed were items that I was no longer using with my girls. Now that I have my son, we are back in that baby stage and can use some of these products. So when I was contacted to review this product, I was excited to try it out.

I received a mount phone case for my stroller about a week Mount Caseago. This is a mount for my iphone 6 that attaches to my stroller handle bar. It rotates so that you can look at the phone in landscape or portrait position. This product is exactly how it is described. It is durable and easy to use. It straps on to my stroller easily. I love the adjustable strap to make it easy to attach. You can rotate the phone to have in different positions based on
what you need. I was able to keep my phone attached to my handle of my stroller as well as attach to the front of my stroller for my child to use. The case is very tight on my iphone 6 but it kept my phone secure. The only negatives I found were that I was unable to use the phone with the rain cover on and I could not switch the volume button on and off with the rain cover on. Both of these issues seem irrelevant when using the product in the rain. This was a great product overall.

You can check it out here at Mount Case or Mount Case on Amazon.

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New Orleans Wedding Weekend

New Orleans Style Wedding

It is certainly wedding season and to kick off this wedding season, Joel and I attended a wedding in New Orleans. This was a wedding of a very old friend of Joel’s. The bride was from New Orleans and wanted a traditional wedding.

We flew in on a very rainy Friday. Our flight and long drive made us arrive just as the wedding party was rushing to the venue for rehearsal. Joel had to leave before we were even checked in to the hotel. Shortly after I was checked in, it was time to leave for the rehearsal dinner. We ate at the Warehouse Grill. It was a good, a mild-cajun choice. Following the dinner was a social hour. This was to allow guests, not a part of the wedding, to get together. I wish I had thought of this for our wedding with so many people coming in from out-of-town.

The next morning we went to “brunch” with the groom and a few other friends. It took so long to find a place it was actually lunch time. We walked around to a few places and found ourselves back at Warehouse Grill. And I must be honest, Yuck! Their breakfast was horrible! We ordered fried eggs, hash browns, and bacon. Well, I don’t eat bacon so I gave it away. The hash browns were good but covered in a spicy queso. The eggs were so runny that even the whites were runny. It was impossible to eat without gagging. So I did not eat it.

Joel and I left there with the plan to visit the French Quarter but it was already noon and we were chilly and being rained on. So we went to the outlet mall. After spending an hour there we were tired. So we went back to the hotel to lay down. Joel had to be at the venue by 3 and I had to meet some friends by 5 to go to the venue.

The ceremony and reception were shorter than most weddings I have been to. By 9 pm the reception was over and it was time for the second line. This is a traditional march or parade through the streets of New Orleans to celebrate a wedding (funeral, birthday, etc…). Neither one of us had ever experienced this before. The bridal party had umbrellas and special bow ties that lit up. The rest of the wedding guests had glow-in-the-dark jewelry and handkerchiefs to wave as they danced and marched through New Orleans. A band played as we marched through. People came out to watch, take pictures, cheer, etc… This was so much fun! Probably as much fun as the reception.

The next morning we were exhausted but had to catch a flight back home fairly early. It was a memorable weekend.

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What To Do with Circle Time

What to do with circle time

Circle time should start your day of lessons. During this time you will teach using the calendar, days of the weeks, months, shapes, colors, weather, letters and sight words. This post will describe how to use each of these things in circle time.

It is important to start with circle time each day. Using the Circle Time Chart that I described in a previous post, you can introduce the daily tasks each day. This shows the expectations of the student each day. During this time you can sing songs and talk about the weather or other concepts you want to discuss.

Shape

Each month you will work on one shape. There are different ways to incorporate the shape into your lessons.  You will talk about the shape during circle time. This is where you will describe the shape. For example, “Does anyone know what shape this is? That’s right it’s a circle. The circle is round. It has no sides. Can you look around the room and tell me if you see any other circles like this one.” You can use your finger to trace the circle.

You can incorporate the shape in the writing section, in art, in math, etc… For writing you can draw the shape, label it, and turn it into other pictures. In Art, you can create art work using the shape. For Math, the shapes can be used for grouping, counting, patterns, etc…

Color

Each month will have a color of the month. There are many ways to incorporate the color into the lessons. You will introduce the color in circle time. Most likely these will be a review to your child. You can make the color of the month fun by letting your child color with it, use the color marker to write, and can use variations of the color in different activities. Markers and crayons are great ways to use the color of the month.

Weather Bear

The weather bear is a great way to discuss seasons and weather. The children can look outside and talk to you about what the weather is outside. From there they can dress the weather bear in clothes appropriate for the weather. This is a great life skill to learn as most children are picking out their own clothes by this age. The weather bear teaches them how to dress themselves for different types of weather.

You can use the weather bear to discuss what the different types of weather are like. For example, “Cloudy means there are several types of clouds in the sky. Those clouds cover the sun.”

Letter

Each week there will be a different letter to go over. The circle time will introduce or remind the child of the letter that you will be doing this week. You can talk about different things that start with this letter during circle time. This will open up the letter lesson for that day.

Sight Words

Each week there will be another sight word to introduce to the children. They will need to read and write this sight word. It is important to go over this sight word. You can use circle time to teach them how to read the word. During this time you can also review old words with them.

Calendar

The calendar is important for multiple reasons. It teaches the kids the days of the week, the months of the year, and numbers as well as telling them what day it is. Calendar time is important to show what day of the week it is. You can use this to introduce future and past days as well. During this time it is great to sing the days of the week and months of the year songs.

You can use the calendar to show numbers. The children can help count by touching the numbers.

Extra Materials

Something to think about including during circle time is a pointer. This will let the children point to objects they are learning about. You can allow them to come up and use the pointer when counting, tracing the shape or letters, etc…

 

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Stitch Fix – April 2016

Stitch Fix_Monthly

I received my third Stitch Fix bow this week. Every time I see that white box with the Stitch Fix logo, I get excited! I’m like a kid at Christmas or on their birthday, waiting to open their presents. I can’t wait to see what is inside!

So what was inside this time…

Item #1

The first thing I pulled out was the Alan French Terry Assymetrical Zip Cardigan $68. I saw that there was a cardigan and got excited. I loved the cardigan I received the first time so I was really excited that I got a second cardigan.

When I pulled it out of the box, I was not in love with it. I saw the zipper and the thickness and thought I was not going to like this cardigan. But I chose to put it on anways.

After trying it on, I liked it a little. The zipper made sense and it was cute and stylish. However, I was still not sure whether or not I would buy it. It was thicker than I could typically wear in this Texas weather. So I was planning on sending it back. Then my husband came home and I tried it on for him. He liked it and made a good point that it is something I could wear out, even if it’s only in the winter. So after talking to him, I chose to purchase the cardigan.

IMG_0685

Item #2

The second item in the box was the Mori Henley Top $48. My inital thought was that the pattern was very loud. I liked teh style of the top. I actually have one similar to this in a solid color. This top looked very thin but it was not thin enough that it required an under shirt.

After trying it on, I was on the fence. I liked the style but the pattern was out of my normal wear. However, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone with my clothing. I put this one to the side for a little while and decided to try it on again the next day. So after waiting a day, I chose not to get this top.

Item #3

The third item I tried on was the Moni Geo Print and Camisole Blouse $58. I liked this one from the beginning. I had tagged this blouse in my Pinterest clothing file so my stylist found this and sent it to me. The only thing I didn’t care for the was the metal studs on it. The fit was really tight on the arms.

This is something I can wear with blue jeans, dress pants, or a skirt. I also think I could pair it with my navy cardigan from my first Stitch Fix.

I chose not to keep this one because of the tightness. I was afraid I would tear it if I moved or picked up my child.

IMG_0687

Item #4

The fourth item that I received this month was the Kate Boyfriend Jean $88. I loved how comfortable these jeans were. They were not tight like the skinny jeans I have received.

I choose not to keep these. I didn’t really like how they fit on me.

Lorelai Leaf Drop Earrings

Item #5

The fifth item was the Lorelai Leaf Drop Earrings $28. I liked the earrings but was not sure if they would be good with having a baby. He is already grabbing my necklaces so I expect earrings to be next.

I had to think about this one. Now I have to say, I will not try on earrings if I’m not sure about buying them. I don’t think it is sanitary to do that. This is just my opinion and choice not to try them on. So for this stitch fix item, I chose not to keep them.

So to sum up:

Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan – Kept

Mori Henley Top – Returned

Kate Boyfriend Jean – Returned

Moni Geo Print & Camisole Blouse – Returned

Lorelai Leaf Drop Earrings – Returned

Note to my stylist:

It is getting warmer here so I would like some shorts or summer dresses coming up.

I also updated my profile so that they could incorporate a few outfits for church, work, or date nights. I had originally picked casual because I am stay at home mom but now I want some other items too. I could go back to work in a year or so and would love to have some new work clothes.

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How To Make A Diaper Cake

How to Make A Diaper Cake

I recently made a diaper cake for my sister’s baby shower. This was the second diaper cake that I had ever made. My first one was two years ago for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. It takes a little time but I think it is fun to be creative with the diaper cakes.

To make this diaper cake you need the following items:

Scotch tape
Diapers (I used Pampers Cruisers Size 3*) -Approximately 53
2.5 Inch ribbon
Hair Bows
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks

I started out my diaper cake by rolling each diaper into a cylinder. I then taped the diaper so that it would not roll back out. Some people use rubber bands to wrap the diapers.

Once all of the diapers were rolled up into cylinders, I took one diaper and wrapped seven around it. Then I took the scotch tape to tape the entire bundle together to hold it still. This made the first layer. DC_Layer 1

For the second layer, I took fifteen diapers and repeat what I did on the first layer.

DC_Layer 2

I repeated for the third layer as well, this time I used thirty diapers.

DC_Layer 3

Once the layers were complete, I took the 2.5 inch ribbon and wrapped it around each layer. I used to hot glue gun to secure the ribbon to the diapers. I glued two ends together and glued random spots to hold it in place. I did this for each of the three layers. When finished, I added hair bows to decorate the cake.

DC_FInished

To sum up, each layer needs:

Layer 1 – 8 diapers
Layer 2 – 15 diapers
Layer 3 – 30 diapers

* I chose to use size 3 so that the diaper cake can be enjoyed for a short time before breaking down. Size 1 and 2 are usually used early on, forcing the mom to break down their diaper cake.

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Mason Three Months

Baby Monthly Updates

Mason turned three months old on Friday, April 8th. It is hard to believe that he is growing so fast.

This month we celebrated his first easter. Of course he had no idea what any of it was but it was fun for the rest of us. You can see what he received in his easter basket on my first easter basket post.

Watch Him Grow

Mason was 8 lbs 2 oz at birth. You can see his past months measurements here at Mason One MonthMason Two Months. Here are his current measurements:

Weight: 15.2 lbs

Height: 23 inches

He is almost half of his sisters’ weights and over half their height.

He is currently in 3-6 month onesies and sleepers, depending on the brand 3 month pants, and 6 month rompers.

What He Can Do

Mason can roll over from his tummy to his back. He can also roll from his side to his back.

Mason loves to laugh and babble. He mimics our facial expressions.

He is enjoying tummy time more but only if someone is sitting with him. He does not like to be on the floor “alone”. (I said it like that because he is never really alone but he thinks he is). We started putting him in the jumperoo this past week and he loves it. I place a pillow under his feet for a textural feel and so that he isn’t just dangling. I also put a pillow behind his back to support him as the opening for the seat is really wide. He LOVES being in the jumperoo. He has realized he can bounce and will play with the toys on the top. He loves the cow and often times talks to it.IMG_0684

His favorite things are mommy, our dog Maggie, daddy, and his big sisters. Although he is becoming jealous of his big sisters and their time with mommy. He will cry if he thinks that someone is taking his mommy time away. I think it’s funny that at 3 months old, he has this fear.

Babywise

During this third month we have been attempting to transition Mason to sleep the 11-7, 8 hour schedule. We have tried all month for this and have not been successful. Mason is sleeping 8-9 hours at night but it’s not 11 – 7.

7:00 AM – He wakes up. I change him and get him dressed for the day. Then I feed him. He usually eats about 4 oz or nurses for 10+ minutes. From here he is awake for about an Becoming A Babywise Momhour and a half to two hours. During this time we are usually taking the girls to school, running errands or heading to bible study. If we are home, he plays on his tummy and on his back, rotating every 15 minutes or so. Sometimes he is in the jumperoo for play time. About 8:30 he will fall asleep for a quick nap.

9:30 AM – I wake him up from his nap. Yes I wake a sleeping baby to keep him on his schedule. I change his diaper and then he eats about 4 oz or nurses for 15 minutes. This one is a day to day change on naps. Sometimes he will go straight to sleep and other times he will be awake for an hour before sleeping. I try to keep him up but if he is tired, there is no use.  I put him in his bed for this nap.

12:00 PM (Sometimes 12:30) – I wake him from his nap again. I change his diaper, and then he eats about 4 oz or nurses for 15 minutes. This month he has been staying awake the entire time.  During this time we have to leave to pick up the girls and return just before his next feeding time, so he is usually fussy by the time I get them.

3:00 PM – I change his diaper and feed him. He eats about 4 oz or nurses 15 minutes. He is usually awake about an hour after this feeding time. Since he is tired from not sleeping before he is fussy during that time. He falls asleep at 4, usually with me holding him or wearing him.

5:30 PM – If he has had a nap, I wake him, and change him. Then I feed him 4 oz or nurse him 15 minutes. He again stays awake for about an hour after this feeding. During this time I am cooking dinner so he gets tummy time, time in the swing, or snuggle time with Joel. We have been trying to keep him awake during this time so that he is tired for bed.

7:00 PM – This is bath time for him. I schedule his bath time just before a feeding time as it usually wakes him up and he is hungry during this time. If I feed him before the bath, he will spit it up during the bath. I learned that lesson with the girls.

7:00 PM – He is usually awake for this feed because of his bath time. I nurse him for about 15 minutes before putting him to bed around 7:30 PM.

4:30 AM – He wakes to feed on his own. He usually nurses about 20 minutes and then is back to sleep until I wake him at 7.

With this schedule I am able to get 6 – 7 hours of sleep at night. A few times this month he has slept all night without waking. I have started swaddling him again which seems to be helping him stay asleep. At first I felt like he was not sleeping through the night yet but my pediatrician reminded me that I put him down at an earlier time than I go to bed. He is asleep at least two hours before I got to sleep so it may not feel like I’m getting a full night, but he is.

Up Next in Babywise scheduling

Mason will have his next transition around within the next two weeks which should drop the 4 am feeding all together. I am hoping that we will see more of these nights that he sleeps until the morning. He will have the fourth transition between 16 and 24 weeks that will drop him to five feeding schedules a day. During this time he will be introduced to baby food so this will help with the dropping of feedings.

Mason’s next schedule should be the following:

7 AM – wake and feed
9:30 AM – wake and feed
12:30 PM – wake and feed
3:30 PM – wake and feed
6:00 PM – wake and feed (stay awake until bedtime)
8:00-9:00 PM – feed & bedtime

This should drop his current 4 am feeding time.

Three Month Pictures

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Creating A Preschool Curriculum

The girls are approaching four years old way to fast! I cannot believe my first borns are turning four in about five months. They remind me of this often.

With four coming up, the topic of Preschool has been a reoccuring discussion. The question of whether or not to send them to full time preschool or leave them at their current two days a week preschool program. If we send them to 5 day preschool, where to send them? There are long waiting lists at all preschools in our town. I had a lot of trouble getting both girls into preschool two years ago. I was worried about not being able to get them into a different preschool. This issue really affected our discussion.

After thinking about it, it was decided that we would keep them at their current school program and I would teach them on the days they are not in school.

Why? This is something I asked myself as well. And my reason was why not? I am a teacher Homeschooling with Momwith a masters in curriculum and lesson design. I can teach them at home to reinforce what they are learning at school and make sure they are ready for Kindergarten. With August 31 birthdays, they are already at a disadvantage. They will be the youngest in their classes and therefore the lowest maturity level. So I would like to prepare them for Kindergarten myself. They are in a wonderful program, even though it is only two days a week. I want to keep them in this program to give them opportunities that I cannot at home. I want them to be able to socialize with friends and learn from a different perspective than mine.

How am I going to do this? And with a small child no less? I have to be honest, I am a little nervous about balancing a baby and teaching them but I have a plan started that I am confident will be successful, even with a baby.

I am currently working on a curriculum and lesson plan to teach the girls. I started this process by looking up the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for preschool. These are the skills and knowledge that children must master TEKSbefore entering the next grade level. Each state has them and anyone can look them up.

For preschool, a lot of the standards involve social and emotional readiness. For example, can they sit in a classroom instructional setting? Are they listening to the story? etc..

Some other standards or skills are for Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing and Technology. I was shocked to see all of these skills for preschool. They even have skills for Art, Music, Drama, and Physical Education. After reading each skill, I know that some of these are simple skills that can be incorporated in every day activities. Others are tasks that can be accomplished y taking some time to work with your child.

Now that I had the TEKS for preschol, I started looking for ideas on lessons and themes. The girls have strict school days at their school, so I wanted to do something structured but different than their school. I am creating their preschool curriculum with weekly themes. I will have lesson plans, activities, and even experiments to do with the girls.

I am sharing this information with you. As I develop the lessons for each week, I will write a post with the detailed lesson and activities for you to use as well. Lessons will include material lists. The lessons and activities will be downloadable.

I am excited to start creating the preschool curriculum and lessons. Check back for the preschool lessons.

Also check out my Circle Time Chart coming soon. It is a perfect solution for beginning your lessons and collapsible so that it can be stored.

No Place Like Home School

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