Busy Bees

Here and there and things everywhere… my house is back to chaos. But! It’s progress chaos! The best kind! I took a break (kind of) and filled my tanks for more action. Thanks to Pinterest…. I’ve got more new missions under way! But first… some big news!! 

Meet Evelynn Violette Barnes! That’s right… I’ve been cookin’ up a baby girl!! And I can’t believe it!!! This will be a whole new kind of new! And my heart is just so grateful! And nervous … yikes!! A girl… a girl… I’m in love all over again! 

-She’s got her little hand up by her face. Hello world! –

Sooo of course I am SO excited about the little baby headbands I’ve been seeing!! And glitter… and cheeta print… and turquoise… and ruffles… and lace… I hope we won’t be swimming in pink… 

Now, Brody will have a little sister and a best friend for life! I am really excited about this because my brother and I are best friends! There’s nothing like family! And I am so grateful ours is growing! 

-My brother and I at Brody’s 1st birthday. It’s almost been a year!-

So… I’ve been racking my brain on how I’m gonna do this whole new baby thing all over again. Naturally… I turned to Pinterest! So I’ve been reading up on tips and other moms experiences! But for the last couple of days, I’ve really been tuned into Brody. He is talking up a storm!! So I decided I need to keep this burst of learning up and excelerate it! Thus, I stumbled onto the Montessori style of learning! And I am SO excited about!! 

  • Basically, a woman named Maria Montessori revolutionized early learning education with a very simple approach: Follow the child. Montessori fosters independence and gives freedom for learning through concentrated work (play/exploration). This approach is set up through five simple categories for the child that can be done at home from birth! These are Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Culture. The best way to implement a Montessori style of learning is to bring your home down to the child’s level. Thus, Montessori stations will now become a part of our home! Each room will have a place where our babies will be able to be involved in daily activities in a safe way. So, I started with Brody’s room! And have set my sights on creating an art/music/learning room in our spare room! These past couple days I’ve made a good amount of progress towards our beginning Montessori goals!

Here’s what I’ve been working on and my brain is SO happy! Here are some before and afters of Brody’s room! We will make some changes as our new Evelynn gets here of course! 

-Lots of toys and things weren’t accessible. Aaaaand of course unorganized and driving me crazy!-
-the crib and recliner will stay the same but felt crowded by the high up cube shelf on the right.-
-Clothes that needed to be sorted hanging and up top. Extra clutter and toys needed to be dealt with. I wasn’t in love with the changing station situation.-

So here are the befores. I recently just redid this room last week but I still hated it. Mostly because I needed time to purge and organize and thanks to Montessori driving me… I have it much closer! I didn’t get pictures of the entire process but the first thing anyone ever tells you is… take everything out first. So I did! 

-Finally got to sort through the dresser and closet!  We filled a giant box and a couple of bags full of old clothes. How did he grow so fast?!- 

-Toys have been organized and put in an orderly fashion. Sorted by activity/type. Brody is playing with his things WAY more often. Yay!-

-SO much more room and comfort! No more disorganized looming cube shelf! –

-No more yucky clutter in the closet! And the dresser is completely organized with the lower drawers accessible to Brody. Soon, we will work on learning to dress and undress on his own :).-

-So happy and organized. Now, Brody has it easier seeing what there is to do!- 

I LOVE how bright and clean everything is! A huge key to Montessori (and a good peaceful environment) is neat and organized. This is important to keep things clutter free and to give your child clear choices for play. Puzzles are to be deconstructed, everything (reasonable) in reach, and the child is to be free to do as they must (in a safe environment). Uninterrupted concentration during play and exploration is key for little ones to learn and thrive! Of course, there will also be some guided activity as well. But, children have been sorely underestimated. They don’t need us adults constantly doing things for them and can figure out many things on their own and in their own way. So I say, let them learn! I’ll be there to help if they do need it :). 
So, I’ve been working on getting stations figured out in the house so we can start discovering. We have the makings of a washing station! We just need a pitcher, bucket, and a towel hook. Oh, and I’m going to paint it as well :). 

-A Child sized place to brush teeth and hair, wash face, and hands. This will go in the hallway by our bathroom with a potty. Soon!-
Then, we plan on creating a place in the kitchen for Brody to get his own snacks. We will also practice simple skills like cutting and mixing. There, he will also have access to his table ware and learn to set a table for himself and guests. Ian made a table the other night so he can have a good place to sit and eat and whatever else he needs at his level :). 

-Perfect Bubby sized table made with love! Just needs some paint.-

-Bubby “helped” a little- 
So far, he loves it and has been using it often! He is starting to try to pour liquids back and forth as well. Of course this is a perfect opportunity to learn how to clean up messes as well…

-Wiping up the spill like a pro! –
And of course I’m starting to figure out different activities during the day for Brody to keep his mind growing. And of course get some energy out!

-Brody the Dragon Slayer!--Brody the artist.--Brody the builder.--Brody the problem solver.--Brody the color sorter.-
I’ve been having a blast doing so much with him lately! And our new naptime/ bedtime routine is going incredibly smooth! Most days I take a mid day break and every evening I get extra time with Ian. I’m so grateful! Soon, we will start working on earlier timing… which makes me a little nervous! I’ve never been a morning person sooo it’ll be new territory for me as well. Though, I only see benefits for our coming challenges as parents to a newborn. With our toddler (how did that happen?!) busy learning and on a good schedule, our lives should be as “smooth” as can be. Then, Ian will be home during days and life will be very different, new, and fabulously weird! I am excited and counting down the days! 

-Kickin back and watching a show in his room. Giving mommy a break?! I love our Vivint security cameras! –

Soooo, on another kind of related note, the hallway. The only way the washing station would fit in the hallway is if I redid the hallway closet. So I did that yesterday :). And then later last night husband helped me take down the shelves that were there looming over everyone! I am SO happy with how much space is there now šŸ˜. But, during the process of clearing out the closet yesterday… I heard dripping. I opened the door to the water heater to find it leaking all over. Ahhhhhh!!!! So, in-laws to the rescue!!! Because Ian was at work! I called his mom (yay!) who called his dad, who got off work in a hurry to come help me. Phew!!

-gross and scary!!- 

Thankfully, it wasn’t worse than it was and got replaced last night. Thank you Matt, Aaron, and Ian!! And Laura and Heather for keeping Bubby and I company during the process! I don’t know what we would’ve done without your fabulous help! This morning we enjoyed quickly heated water! And it didn’t sound like boulders were falling through the house anymore! Wooo!!! 

So, gaze upon the progress! 

-Yucky horrible closet with things stuffed anywhere they’d fit. Most of the stuff was in there from day 1 of us moving in lol. Ahhh!!-

-Terrible looming cabinets! Stuffed full of bins of things too… didn’t spend time to take a picture lol.--All empty and ready to be redone.-

Voila! All redone a few hours later, despite the water heater business! I sorted and separated things destined for yard sale or storage in the garage. Then I found all of our bed sheets that are actually for our master mattress (woo!). Then got diapers, (the beginning of) clothes for Evie, diapers for Evie, our baby bath, 1 diaper bag, and the baby carriers all in the bottom. Towels, baby bedding/blankets, hygiene products/medicine, extra baby hygiene stuff, and lastly irons/tp all stored happy and organized!! This freed up the cabinets across the hall! And extra bins… And gave me a chance to put old things out for our sale pile. I can’t wait for spring and our yard sale… the garage is getting a little full…

-sale stuff. Get outta the house!! –

-Bye bye cabinets! Makings of the washing station! Just needs paint and some odds and ends … and a potty for the Bubby.-

So, today I’m lefts with odd projects to figure out. But, every day I feel a step closer to peace of mind and preparedness for Evelynn to come. I feel her kicking much stronger these days. I’m getting up often to use the bathroom again (sigh…). I’m getting another wave of morning sickness?! But, I still feel full of energy and drive! And my excitement grows more with each new day that we get closer to meeting our new little one. Brody’s birthday is coming up in May (yikes!!) and we’ve got to start planning for that too! My mother is coming to visit at the end of this month and I am super excited! Brody is down for a nap right now… and there’s quiet. I think I’ll nap too! 

Thanks for reading!!! 


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