Thursday, June 21, 2012

Top 5 Breastfeeding Items

This is just a list of the top 5 breastfeeding items that I am glad to have had while nursing.
  1. Nursing tank top: It has been the best help, I know that I don't want my bare side showing while I'm nursing in public and this seems like the best way to prevent anybody getting any sort of peek.
  2. Nursing cover: This is essentially a blanket with a strap that goes around your neck so the baby or the wind doesn't pull it off, giving an unexpected victim any surprises! There are several manufactures of them, or you can find tons of tutorials to follow. I made mine and want to make one more, when I do I will post my own tutorial.
  3. Breast pads: I think everyone needs these. I needed them all the time those first few weeks, but especially at night when you might be having a further stretch in between nursing or laying in a strange way. I recommend either making  your own or investing in some good ones. The reusable ones from target ( Nuk brand) are terrible, not soft at all and just poorly made. And who thought It would be a good idea to make disposables? They gross me out just thinking about, they are made of the same bad stuff disposable diapers and pads are made of. Dioxin and that toxic gel ( and they want me to put that on my babies natural food source, no way!) Some of the brands I like are ImseVimse and several etsy shops sell nice, even organic nursing pads. I would recommend having at least 5 pairs at a minimum to get you through several changes before you need to wash.
  4. Some sort of nipple cream, one that is safe for the baby to ingest and one that is not super stiff. Even just simple coconut oil is wonderful.
  5. A big glass of water. This is the best way for me to get all the water a nursing mom needs, if you are dehydrated it will effect your milk supply. Make sure your container of choice is BPA free and made of safe materials. Glass or stainless steel are the best, but if you must have a plastic container opt for one that is safe. BPA will pass through breast milk so unless your 100% sure don't use # 7 plastics. The safest plastics are 2, and 4. Never use #3 or #6 plastics though they are known to cause problems.
There are other things that come close to making my list of favorites. A nursing pillow is very nice to have as well as a nursing bra, and ice packs. But these are the 5 things I would be very sad to live without! ~Erica

Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 2nd grade homeschool curriculum choices

     I wanted to share with you all our families homeschool curriculum choices for our 2nd-ish  grader, our son just turned 6 over the past weekend. The main reason I said "ish"  is because he is only 6, my husband has worked at a private classical christian school for the last several years and before our 2nd child was born when our son was ready for school we choose to put him in kindergarten there and both my husband and I were able to work there together with him. Then when our soon to be one year old was born I have been able to stay home with our children. We began our homeschool journey in august last year and just kept him going in the subsequent grade level. He has done surprisingly well and so this year we will keep the process going, I know that if the need arose to slow down or go back and redo something, or if I just don't do well as a teacher I will be fine with that knowing we have a bit of buffer room. So here are our choices so far.
     For Bible we will be using
  1. The Bible  (ESV or NASB)
  2. The Gospel Story Bible  written by Marty Machowski, our family has been disappointed by most story bibles by the lack of truth that they have. And we found our selves having to change the stories as we were reading and just don't enjoy doing that. This one had some recommendations and endorsements from some people we respect, once we read through it I will post a review of it, but for now I can't give my opinion.

.      For English we have chosen
  1. Rod and staff: Preparing to build, the 2nd grade text

    For Math
  1. Math u See by Steve Deme: Beta ( we used the alpha this past year and it went well so were staying with it)

.      For History we will continue using.
  1. The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer

For Science my husband and I felt that for now at least Apologia was the best choice. They have several places you can start for Elementary Science including Astronomy, Botany, and Zoology: flying creatures of the fifth day. We gave our son the choice of the three, and for Science we are doing
  1. Apologia Elementary Botany

For Penmanship he copies the Westminster shorter Catechism and memorises them as well.

for reading he starts his day by reading one page of his Bible and then we will begin reading for 20 minutes a day from a book of our choosing.
     This is our plan as of now, I will update as this changes and let you know how he does with our choices. I know that this looks like a lot but it shouldn't take him more than a few hours to complete a day. I will  soon write a post of what our schedule looks like after we get into our new curriculum in a week or so.