Monday, November 28, 2016

The Best Cyber Monday Shopping

Can you believe it's already time for Christmas shopping? I am really excited for the holidays this year and already getting questions from friends and family as to what's on our wish lists. If you're shopping today, here are my favorite sales around the web:

Minted is doing 20% off of EVERYTHING.

Nordstrom has a huge sale going. As always, free shipping and free returns.

Target has 15% off your entire order - in stores and online!

REI has tons of deals up to 50% off.

Ergo Baby is 30% off Newborn Bundles.

MOO is 30% off everything.

Tea Collection is offering 30% off everything.

Land of Nod has 20% off and free or flat-rate shipping on tons of items, including furniture!

Finally, if you're in the mood to treat yourself to a little something, I can personally recommend this, a bottle of this, and absolutely this. Happy shopping!

(photo of shopping in Zermatt by J)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Traditions

Since having kids, the holidays have really come alive for me. Their excitement and joy is pure magic to watch. When we go for a Christmas tree, hang lights and decorate, their eyes are filled with amazement and wonder. It really is the best.

Now that Coco and Theo are getting older, I'm really excited about establishing our own family holiday traditions. Here are a few we're excited to incorporate this year.

The Elf on the Shelf

I actually can't think of anything more obnoxious than The Elf on the Shelf! And yet. It is exactly the sort of thing that will make five-year-old Coco go absolutely over the moon. And for that, it is worth it. I already told Coco that one of Santa's elves will be coming to live in our house between St. Nicolas Day and Christmas Eve. Her eyes got all wide. I explained that the elf will be watching to see if she's bad or good, just like the song. Then, on Christmas Eve, when Santa delivers her presents, the elf will go back to the North Pole. She actually gasped audibly and clasped her hands in front of her chest. Elves are available with light or dark skin (bravo!), as boys or girls. When I asked if she would rather have a boy elf or girl elf, she shouted, "GIRL!" Done.

St Nicholas Day

This year, we are going to celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Coco and Theo will each put a boot outside their bedroom door. Then, in the morning, they'll discover that their boot is filled with special treats like a chocolate orange, mandarins and cookies. They will also each get a pair of matching pyjamas! Last year, we got them matching pyjamas for the first time and it was the cutest thing ever. This year, I got them the sweetest pair from Baby Gap. I can't wait to see them wearing them all winter long!

Visiting Santa

Another fun tradition we started last year was visiting Santa and having photos done on his lap. At the mall in downtown Spokane, there is a gigantic tree at least two or three stories tall and Santa has a big throne-like velvet green chair flanked by giant candy canes at its base. I don't know how great Coco and Theo thought it was, but J and I thought it was great. Santa had a real beard and the photo was so adorable! Definitely something we'll do again this year.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you feel like you enter the holiday season prepared, or is it a time of total overwhelm? ;) xo

Monday, November 21, 2016

Montessori Monday: Baby-proofing

Montessori Monday is an advice column written by yours truly. If you have a question about Montessori philosophy, parenting or discipline, or anything else in that realm, contact me and your question could be the next Montessori Monday post!

Dear Lindsey, 

If there is a Montessori theory on baby-proofing I would love to read about it in a Montessori Monday post. My 11 month old just started crawling a month ago and already wants to walk on her own (can't quite yet, but probably soon). We took precautions where she could get seriously hurt, but what about areas like a small floor bookshelf with books and magazines? I'd rather just teach her that she's not allowed to pull all of the books off the shelf. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Or am I being too optimistic?


Dear Tori,

There's darling baby Coco looking very guilty as she finds herself caught red-handed about to pull every single book out of the (bolted to the wall) bookshelf. The way I see it, baby-proofing comes down to two things: safely and sanity. It sounds like you've got the safety piece under control, so now it's time to gauge your approach to the sanity piece.

There are, of course, two opposing schools of thought with this. The first school of thought is that you make the baby fit into your life. The second is that you adapt everything to be baby friendly. The fit-the-baby-into-your-life folks believe that you can teach the baby not to do certain things. Rather than move the Fabergé eggs to a higher shelf, they're of the opinion that if you just reinforce again and again and again that the baby is not to touch them, after a while, the baby will accept this and ignore the eggs all together. This is a lovely idea in theory, but I have never heard of it actually working. What tends to happen instead is a power struggle. The eggs, or in this case books, become a point of contention and a battle of the wills ensues. I say it's best to just skip all of that and remove the books, or eggs, or whatever it is, all together.

For several months, in the spirit of making everything baby friendly, we took all of the books from the bottom two shelves of our bookcase and put them in a box in our cellar. We still left Coco's baby books on the bottom two shelves of her bookcase in the entryway and she pulled them out just about every single day. We could have moved those, too, but for whatever reason, I was able to maintain my sanity putting those away every day. Sometimes I had to put those books away multiple times per day. Other days I just stepped over them until she was in bed and only put them back once. Ha! Then, after she had outgrown that phase, we brought our books back.

The general rule is make sure everything is safe. Then, once safety is no longer an issue, don't have anything accessible to your baby or child that you can't easily part with if it gets broken or that you can't deal with in terms of sanity. Both of our kids went through long phases of unpacking everything from the kitchen cupboards on a daily basis. This was okay with me, but if it hadn't been, cabinet locks would have been in order. In terms of safety, we did lock the cabinet with all of the pyrex and stoneware. If you're really consistent and patient, you can try teaching your baby not to do certain things. And, depending on her personality, it might just work. If it's not working and you're starting to lose your mind, just eliminate the problem, keep calm and carry on. Happy baby-proofing! xo
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