Rhythm of our days…

Oh my… is it really the last week of January already?  I hope winter is going by as fast for all of you actually experiencing a “real” winter.

I realize I haven’t posted in ages.  I guess the whirlwind of the holidays and then recovering from the holidays left little time for blogging; but, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas.

With the new year here and Lincoln getting a bit older (he’ll be 3 in May, what?!?), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about rhythm in our home life. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been quite interested in the Waldorf education philosophy, and creating a predictable rhythm is a big focus.  Simplicity Parenting also definitely touches on it.

I’m not talking about a set schedule per se- certainly anyone with a toddler can attest to the fact that maintaining tight schedules becomes quite difficult.  But, more of a gentle flow that helps a child know what to expect throughout the day (mealtimes, play time, bed time, etc.).

Currently, we have pretty good daily habits, but I’d like to work on creating more seasonal and yearly rhythm too.  This can be accomplished through focusing on seasonal changes and special holiday and festival celebrations.  Obviously, we all know the traditional holidays (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.), but delving into Waldorf, I’ve begun to discover all sorts of additional cultural festivals throughout the year- as well as ways to make those season changes (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, etc.) more special.

I have grand plans to start incorporating these events into our year- we will see how that all pans out 😉 I will keep you posted.
First up is Valentine’s Day, so I am working on a few, small things we can do to make that day special at our home.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few family pictures we took just before the holidays.  The session was a lot of fun.  We were in the arts district in downtown LA and had an amazing photographer (Britney Moore Photography, for anyone local to LA… she was fantastic!)

Happy New Year everyone!

PS- Any tips on special things you do to celebrate throughout the year, please feel free to share 🙂

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Simplicity Parenting

I am by no means a parenting expert, but I may be an expert on parenting books simply based on the massive amount of reading I have done since Lincoln was born.  I have a nightstand overflowing with various books about early childhood education, respectful parenting and creative activities to do with children.

currently on my nightstand...

currently on my nightstand…

Anyway, one book that I just finished and thought was really great is called, “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne.  It had so much great, useable advice to “raise calmer, happier and more secure kids.”

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The book covers ways to simplify your child’s environment, create a predictable rhythm, maintain (somewhat) predictable schedules and filter out the adult world. I like that the author offers a lot of real stories of families he has helped and delivers the information in small, doable suggestions that you can actually implement in your life.

One piece of advice I have been focused on lately is simplifying the environment- in other words, reducing the amount of toys and “stuff” in our home.  Put simply, the author suggests, “the amount of toys your child sees, and has access to, should be dramatically reduced.”  I’m sure that every parent can attest to the way toys and things just seem to accumulate and multiply!  So, I have been sorting through Lincoln’s toys, donating quite a few and boxing up some others that we pull out only occasionally.

It is really amazing to see how Lincoln’s creativity comes alive with just a few toys available to him.  He literally plays with a big wooden train, a bunch of colorful wooden eggs and a handful of cars and trucks all day long.  (I mean, he does have a few more toys readily available, but Lincoln is truly content with the same few things day in and day out.)  I am also happy that our living area isn’t constantly overwhelmed with toys everywhere.

Anyway, if you are looking for a good parenting book, I highly recommend “Simplicity Parenting.”  There is a lot of good advice for mamas with toddlers, but even school age kiddos could definitely benefit from a lot of the tips.

Also, unrelated to parenting, and waaaaay late, I just read “Gone Girl” and it was amazing!!
Have you read any good books lately?