The Type A Mom Guide to Painting Rocks with your Toddlers

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but there’s a new trend sweeping the country (really continent) this summer and fall!  And that is painting rocks!  I’m sure that wherever you are, there is a (your city) rocks group on facebook.  Basically what it is, is people are painting rocks and then they hide them in parks and on streets around their cities and towns.  Then, other people go out and look for them! They share pictures in the groups of where they’ve found things, and where they are rehiding them, or if they are keeping them!  It’s pretty fun, and my kids are LOVING being able to paint on rocks.  And it’s fun watching them have fun… but, the type A part of my self cringes basically the whole time!! So here are a few tips for how to paint rocks with your toddlers as a Type A Mom 😉

  1. Keeping them tidy
    As tidy as possible anyway.  I put them in giant t-shirts (well, our old shirts, but giant on them) and then I wrapped them around their feet so they (hopefully) wouldn’t get any paint on their pants/shoes/feet.  It happened anyway, but at least I tried right?

2. Put paint in a container
If you have more than one child, it might be a good idea to give each of them their own paint containers.  Aiden kept dragging theirs over so Autumn couldn’t reach it.  Oops! Next time they will have their own paint.

3. Don’t expect they won’t get messy
No matter how careful I tried to be, they still got paint e v e r y w h e r e!! Especially Aiden.  He tried eating it, he painted his hands, he painted his sister, he painted everything.

4. Let go!
Just let things happen!  Things started to get more fun when I stopped chasing after them trying to get them to NOT paint on each other or on themselves.  It was way more fun for them to just be able to paint freely.

5. Keep them contained or be outside
I know I have my two on a big cardboard box in the backyard, but I think it would have been a better idea if they had been in chairs with Aiden strapped into his high chair.  Keeping them contained and unable to crawl around would have also kept the mess contained!  Since we were outside, it was okay because the grass can totally get painted and it’s fine.  Next time though, we’ll be inside at the table 😉

6. Just don’t do it
haha but for real.  If these photos make you cringe because of the mess, maybe it’s better to just … skip this activity.  Aiden painted his pants, Autumn got paint on her boots, there was paint everywhere I didn’t want it to be.  BUT they had a load of fun, so I guess at the end of the day, that is the part that matters 😉

Have you tried painting rocks with your toddlers yet?  Let me know how it went in the comments!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Mom Like a Gilmore

I’ve been watching through Gilmore Girls lately, and I love the differences in parenting styles that the show portrays!  The differences and similarities between all the women of Gilmore Girls was especially interesting.  As a mom, I like to see what choices other moms make, and their thought process behind it.  So watching Gilmore Girls, which has a LOT of moms in it, was really fun!

I looked up a list of all the different types of parenting styles (with the official names) and determined which mom of Gilmore Girls mommed in which parenting style.  Which mom are you?

Mom like Lorelai
Positive Parenting/Spiritual Parenting
Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory, are best friends first, and mother/daughter second.  Lorelai is Rory’s confidant, sounding board and all around friend.  Lorelai sometimes will play the “mom card” when it’s necessary, but for the most part, she is Rory’s buddy.
Lorelai Gilmore follows positive parenting philosophy because she isn’t about strict rules and enforcing a specific list of things Rory can and cannot do.  She’s more interested in being there for her daughter and being a role model for her.  Lorelai wants Rory to be happy.
Lorelai Gilmore follows spiritual parenting philosophy because allows Rory to explore her own talents and interests.  Rory wanted to go to Harvard from a young age, she was interested in cotillion, and a myriad of things that she, herself, literally ran away from in her youth.  But she supported her in it, even if she didn’t totally agree.

Mom like Emily
Authoritarian Parenting/Narcissistic Parenting
Emily Gilmore is very into making rules, and big punishments when they are broken.  She is the ultimate authority of the household, and what she says, goes.  She rules over her household with an iron fist, and doesn’t allow for mistakes (you can especially see this in how many maids she goes through every season.)
Emily Gilmore is very into authoritarian parenting.  It’s her way or the highway, basically.  There’s no room for questions or revision.  It’s just the way that she is.  Her daughter rebels to this hard.  She sneaks around, and eventually runs away.
Emily Gilmore also shows characteristics of narcissistic parenting.  She sees her daughter as an extension of herself, so if her daughter screws up, it is on her.  It is an embarrassment for Emily when Lorelai does something wrong.

Mom like Mrs Kim
Authoritarian Parenting/Helicopter Parenting
Mrs Kim is a very interesting character.  She keeps Lane under her thumb and tries to control every aspect of her life, including setting her up with future doctors at 16 years old (when these boys are very far away from medical school).  Mrs Kim has a very specific idea for what she thinks Lane’s life should be like, and tries to make it that way by force.
Mrs Kim is an authoritarian parent because of all of that.  Lane has to keep her true self hidden because she doesn’t want to disappoint her mother.  Mrs Kim has very specific sets of rules and insists that Lane follows them.  There are no negotiations and Lane usually has to lie in order to do things that she actually likes.  Mrs Kim is very old school in this way.  She thinks that children should behave and not do a number of things that Lane ends up doing.
Mrs Kim could also be described as a helicopter parent.  She’s very involved with Lane’s school, and keeps a watchful eye over all of her extra-curriculars.  She’s very interested in helping Lane have a better life and wants to work with her to get it.

Mom like Sookie
Positive Parenting
I love Sookie St. James as a mom.  She treats her children like they are people and not just babies.  She supports them, and guides them, as opposed to making them do things and setting up rules.  It is because of this that Sookie follows the positive parenting philosophy.  She is raising her children by being a role model to them, and teaching them how to be grown ups.

Mom like Lane
Unconditional Parenting
We don’t see a lot of Lane as a mom, because her little ones are babies when the series ends.  But I have no doubt that she follows unconditional parenting philosophies.  She wants her children to have a different childhood than she has.  She wants to encourage them in their interests and help them to grow.  If that means going to church every Sunday, she will support that.  Ultimately, Lane follows unconditional parenting style because of how she believes that her baby shower is her last party, because she is prepared to do everything for her babies.  She puts a lot of herself aside for their well-being and that is fully unconditional parenting

Mom like Liz
Unresponsive Parenting – Jess
Positive Parenting/Unconditional Parenting – Doula
Liz Danes is an interesting character, too.  When we know Jess in season 3, she is fully absent.  She can’t handle him anymore and sends him to live with Luke.  She pushes away all parental responsibility and lays it on her brother.  I love Liz as a character, but she is kind of a flake.  She depends too much on men who are totally wrong for her, and that leads her down the wrong path.  I believe that she could have done better by Jess if TJ had gotten there earlier.  TJ, though kind of an annoying character, is incredibly good for Liz.  I think his presence helps her to be a better mom to Doula than she was for Jess.
Again, we only see Doula as a baby, but she seems to be a much better mama to her little daughter than she was to her son.  She’s got all the latest gadgets for having a baby and puts her all into raising that little girl (while making jewellry on the side).  We see a parent who sometimes needs a break (normal) but who keeps close watch on her daughter via monitor.  Liz Danes follows positive/unconditional parenting for her daughter.

Mom like Sherry
I hesitate to even label Sherry under a specific parenting style.  Sherry’s focus was her work, and she put that above her family … but it is also possible that Sherry suffered from Postpartum depression.  They never really dive too deep into the whys when Sherry left for France, just that she didn’t want to mom anymore.  But, none of her friends had babies yet, and she was in over her head.  A lot of things could have influenced her move, and not just her daughter.

What do you think? Do you agree with these parenting styles for each of these women? Which one are you most like?

xoxo,
Alysa

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quite rightly

dress: thrifted // headband: made by me (Alysalovely Littles) // necklace: Mama Gems

I’m so ready for (more) summer weather!  I took these pictures a few weeks ago, right before we headed off to the spray pad with our friends to frolic in the cold water there because it was SO. HOT. out.  The last week has been all rain, basically all the time.  Sad.

Hi friends! I’ve been kind of MIA lately, but it’s been for such a great reason, I promise!  I’ve been preparing for several farmers markets that I am participating in this summer and I’m SO excited about them!  That, in addition to our monthly May Market, of course! 🙂 That will be this Friday/Saturday and it’s going to be awesome!! Check it out at the link above to join the group!

Otherwise, we’ve been doing a lot of hanging out.  Going to spray pads, to the park, it’s been a great summer so far!

What summery things have you been up to lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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What Mom REALLY Wants for Mother’s Day

It’s almost Mother’s Day in North America, and so you’re going to be seeing a lot of kitschy “I heart my mom” stuff all over the internet.  Please. Please. Please. Don’t buy your mom that crap!!  Here’s the deal. It’s so easy, and so much cheaper than what you’re even thinking.  Here is what mom REALLY wants for Mother’s Day:

01 // to SLEEP
Basically ask any mom how much sleep she’s getting, and she’ll probably laugh at you.  Especially when they have little babies and toddlers, but I’m told mamas of teens also don’t sleep.  The gift is, you let her sleep in!!  If someone else can get up with the kids, that would be perfect.  If the kids are old enough to fend for themselves for an extra hour or two in the morning, that’s awesome too! Just let her sleep.

02 // to NOT have to cook
My perfect Mother’s Day goes a little something like this: Wake up, eat food that is brought to me, drink coffee that is brought to me. Eat lunch that is brought to me.  Eat dinner that is brought to me.  Do 0% of the cooking all day.  Perfection.  If that means taking her out to eat because you don’t want to cook either, that’s ok! Just don’t make her cook her own meals.  It’s the least you can do.  And it leads us to…

03 // to NOT have to clean
All those meals Mama didn’t make? She doesn’t want to clean up after them either.  If someone else has made a giant mess making those meals, that someone should also clean it up.  Just saying.  Moms clean enough, they deserve a break.

04 // for NO ONE to be touching her
Space please! We love our kids, we love them a lot.. but especially when they are very little they want to be touching us all. the. time.  Can we have some space?

05 // to NOT have to plan anything
I know I have a mom, too, and I will be seeing her and giving her something… but I don’t want to plan anything. I want things to be done for me that day.  I want to go with the flow and have other people do things for me. It’ll be so nice!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Rachel’s Remedy: A Review!

Parenting, amirite?  It’s got some tough stuff.  Luckily, there are some amazing products out there to help make tough things a little bit easier, or in the very least, more comfortable.

When I first started breastfeeding Autumn right after she was born, it was P A I N F U L.  She had a bad latch (which I now know was due to a lip tie), and she wanted to nurse ALL. THE. TIME.  So it hurt. A LOT.

When Aiden was first born, he took to breastfeeding right away.  He ate like a champion.  And, it was basically painless!  I think because Autumn weaned so close to when he was born, my body was still used to it, so I didn’t have the initial pain that I had with Autumn.  It was lovely!  It’s been great breastfeeding him.

Fast forward to now.  He’s growing teeth! Yay! He’s sleeping through the night! Also, yay!  But….. he’s biting me. And, he’s not eating all night so I’m very often waking up engorged.  Boo.  Not to mention the fact that he’s got some lovely little nails that he likes to dig into me when he eats.

Enter Rachel’s Remedy Breastfeeding Relief Packs.  OH-MY-GOODNESS! Can I please gush? I need to gush a little bit.  Last night, Aiden decided that he wanted to bite me instead of sleep.  Super great, right?  I left his room a little upset, and in pain.  I plopped these packs in the microwave& heated them, slipped them on into my bra, and it was like instant relief.  It felt as though he had never bitten me at all!

And want to know the best part?  As if the sheer relief wasn’t enough?  These are reusable and washable!  I love it.  I can totally see myself just having them chill out in my freezer so I can quickly grab them when I need them.  Also, they’re the perfect size for bumps on little heads as they grow, so just because you’re done breastfeeding doesn’t mean they’re not still useful 😉

Overall, this was a lovely product to try, and I REALLY wish I had them back when Autumn was a newborn because these would have been SO much better than what I was doing at the time.

I receive free products from Guidance Guide for review purposes but my opinions are all my own.

xoxo,
Alysa

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Parenting with Grace and Truth: Book Review & Giveaway

I read a lot of parenting books. I really enjoy reading about different styles of parenting, and in each one I definitely take things away that I can use in my own parenting journey.  So when I was contacted to review Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn, I jumped at the chance of reading it!  I want to be able to parent in a way that is modelled after Jesus, and that is what this book is about.

As I say, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review.  Everything said here is my own opinion.  This post also contains affiliate links.

When I start reading any parenting book, I usually start by looking at the author’s bio on/in the back of the book.  I look to see what their qualifications are.  Dan Seaborn mentions on the back of this book that he has four kids with his wife.  That makes me think, ok, so he kind of knows what he’s talking about!  I read a longer bio that also said that he has worked as a youth pastor, so he really knows what he’s talking about with regards to teenagers.  I think it’s important to mention this, because there have been books I’ve read in the past that the author didn’t mention anything about whether or not they were a parent.  I know there are lots of non-parents that are very smart and everything, but as a parent, I take the advice of fellow parents more seriously.  So, I really like the fact that he mentions on his bio that he has children.

The way Parenting with Grace and Truth is set up is each chapter is about a truth about parenting.  Some examples are, The Truth About Developing Good Character in Your Children or The Truth about Effective Parenting.  I found it really interesting that Seaborn talks about these parenting issues as basic truths, and not just any truth, but truth with a foundation in Jesus.  I really liked that.  Another thing he does in each chapter is, he finishes each chapter with a number of questions to consider.  I think that makes this a good book to read with a small group.  There are questions that would make wonderful discussion questions with other parents.  And finally, he has a little blurb at the very end called “Dan’s Reality Check” where he is real about the truths he just talked about in the chapter.

Reading through this book, I found myself nodding my head in agreement about quite a few things.  I found myself hi-lighting sections of the book because I wanted to remember exactly what it said, so I could tell other people about it later.  I think that this is such a great resource for parents!  Though I am currently in the baby/toddler stage of parenting, and he talks a lot about parenting teenagers, I still got a LOT out of this book, and there was a lot I could take away and use in my life right now.

One of my favourite chapters is when Seaborn starts talking about specific parenting styles.  So he describes authoritarian style parenting, helicopter style parenting, and the very best parenting style: Jesus style parenting.  The way he describes Jesus style parenting made it seem actually attainable.  Jesus style parenting is perfect, but the way we do it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If we’re striving for Jesus style parenting, that is enough.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this book is the fact that there is scripture throughout each chapter.  Seaborn writes about parenting in a way that is based in biblical truth.  I think that is the one of it’s huge assets.  You can read exactly which verse he means when he gives his advice.

Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn was a really great read, and I think it will be one that I go back to again and again as my children get older.  And good news, friends!  You have a chance to win a copy of your very own as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US/Canada.  Good Luck!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Easy Advent Calendar for Toddlers

Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar Toddler Advent Calendar

Over the last year (or so), I’ve been collecting Christmas books and putting them aside for the month of December.  Every morning, my children will come downstairs and find a different Christmas book sitting under the tree!  That will be the book we read all day, and then they’ll hear it before bed at night.  And the next morning, it’ll start again.  The final book will be Twas The Night Before Christmas, on December 24th.  On Saturdays, it’ll be a Christmas movie under the tree for us to watch as a family that day!

I’m super excited to get started.

If you’re looking to do something like this with your kids, here are some tips:
– Start looking in thrift stores
– Check out the dollar store
– Ask your thrift store loving friends to look for you!
– And if you don’t have enough in time, the library is a great place to get any extra books!

Do you do anything for advent with your kids?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Tea for Two – 2nd Birthday Tea Party!

My little girl just turned TWO, and to celebrate we threw her a tea party!

This year, we kept it on the smaller side, so we could have a sit down lunch.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

We set it up so that two tables could fit into our dining room, and then I filled each table with food.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

I put up a wall of pictures of Autumn from the last year.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

I made a big floral A for Autumn

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

For lunch we had fancy sandwiches (cream cheese, egg salad, and chicken salad), bruschetta, and fruit skewers.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

Tea for Two birthday party

For dessert, I made cupcakes, and sugar cookies, and we had Polish candies, vinatarta, and cream puffs and nanaimo bars (not pictured).

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I decorated tea cups for everyone to take home with them!

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And, of course, a few different types of tea.

Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party Tea for Two, Second Birthday Tea Party

It was an amazing day, and I’m so happy with how things turned out for my little girl.

Autumn’s outfit:
Dress: thrifted // shoes: Baby Gap // hairband: Little Stitches by Brandi Little

xoxo,
Alysa

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Supported In Breastfeeding: Book Review + Free PDF

It’s 3am, and I’m sitting in my son’s nursery.  It’s quiet, with only the small amount of light coming from a little owl lamp on his bookshelf.  My husband is asleep, my daughter is asleep.  It feels like it’s just us two.  I’m tired (exhausted), but I love this.  I love cuddling my little one and helping him fall back to sleep again.  I love holding him in his sleep, and I love knowing that I can give him everything he needs in this moment.  This is what breastfeeding looks like to us, right now.

But, breastfeeding didn’t always look like that for me.  It can be hard.  It can be painful.  It can be stressful.  Sometimes I accidentally flash an entire room of people without trying.  Sometimes, I don’t care because I need my baby to eat.  Sometimes it feels as though I am all alone in this.

And that is why Supported In Breastfeeding is such an important book for breastfeeding moms.  If you’re breastfeeding, or planning on breastfeeding your baby, you should read this book.  Because none of us are really alone in this.  We’re all going through very similar things with breastfeeding.  Whether your baby takes to it immediately, or you struggle with it.. we’re all in this together.  Supported In Breastfeeding has 20+ stories from real life moms who have been right where you are, and that was so encouraging to read.

As I read through this book, I could relate to so many of the different stories.  I found myself nodding along with all the struggles and triumphs that these breastfeeding mamas described.  I felt so connected to the women in the book, even though I’ve never met any of them.  Their stories are so similar to my story.  I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to breastfeed their baby <3

Supported In Breastfeeding book review

Are you currently breastfeeding, or about to start breastfeeding when your baby comes?  Check out this PDF – Essential Breastfeeding Guide – free just for you! <3

Find more information about Supported In Breastfeeding & buy it here!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

I was able to read this book in advance of release in exchange for this review, the opinions stated here are my honest ones.

 

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To My Daughter on Her 2nd Birthday

to my daughter on her 2nd birthday

My dear Autumn,

You turned two today! Which feels almost impossible because I’m pretty sure you were just born.  These last two years went by so fast, but especially this last year.  You’re growing up, and it’s much too fast.

This past year, you started walking, you started talking more and more, and your little personality is shining through even more.  It’s so much fun when you let us know exactly what you want, exactly the way you want it.  This year, you got your big girl bed, you got to go to Touch-A-Truck, you made so many new friends!

This past year, you gained a little brother.  He is one of your favourite people, and you love to bring him toys (and take them away), wipe his mouth, and kiss his cheek or hands.  He is totally captivated by you as well.  It’s amazing to see how much you two love each other.

You want to do and see everything, you just love to explore your world.  Whether we’re at the park, the library, or in our own back yard.. all you want to do is check everything out and see how things work.  You especially love walking around and around in our house.

You have so many favourite things right now.  You’re obsessed with anything that has to do with bunnies, or boats.  You love Disney, especially Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Beauty & The Beast, Zootopia and Frozen.  You love to sing “Let It Go” and “Beauty and the Beast” in your sweet little voice.  You love to take care of your baby doll, and you enjoy feeding her just like mama.  You still love books, and you love colouring at your little table in my studio.

I love you so much, and I’m so excited to see how you change and grow over the next year <3

xoxo,
Mama

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