Montessori-Inspired 5 Month Old’s Bednook!

Since we bed-share (note: bed-sharing is sharing the bed with your child, co-sleeping is sharing a room to sleep) Belle is used to nursing to sleep. She had a few naps in her crib, but transitioning her from nursing in my arms to a laying down position was just always a fail. I knew she would be on a floor-bed eventually (crazy sleeping Rose still is, but is moving to a real bed soon) I just didn’t realize how soon it would work out to be the best option for us. Having her on a floor-bed allows me to snuggle up and nurse her to sleep before sneaking out for some grown-up time, or to get cleaning done. While the Ergo is still her favorite place to nap, I can occasionally get her down in her bed. I will explain the different area’s in detail.

Floor-bed: Having her crib mattress on the floor allows for independence. She can roll or scoot off and get to her toys easily.

Toy Basket: I plan to switch this to shelving eventually, but for now this works just perfectly. The goal here is to display her toys beautifully and give her minimal items so she is not overwhelmed with too many choices. The toys I have chose here are soft toys she can play with on her own.

Banner: It is best to treat the child’s room as it is- theirs. You wouldn’t have your wall art or decorations on the ceiling, so why put the child’s art so high that they cannot enjoy it? For now Belle only has a banner, but I plan on having Rose paint her some wall art. To make your own banner, simply use some colored paper or fabric, print and trace a bunting banner pattern, cut and secure to a ribbon. This was so easy but added so much to her  space.

Rug: Belle’s rug is more for looks than comfort, but if you have rough carpeting, or even wood floors you should use a rug that will enable your child to comfortably navigate their room. I actually pulled this rug out of the give away pile. It has a hole that is hidden by the need, so this was just perfect. I dislike taking things out of the give away pile, but this is one I am thankful I thought of!

I believe the room is very visually stimulating and calming. I stuck with the pink and teal/light blue color scheme which really helped the decorating process. I was able to do this in a few hours with belongings from around the house.

Be sure to always take your child’s safety into consideration before all else. As soon as Belle is big enough to grab her banner, it will come down or be raised. Her basket is secured to the wall so it down not topple on top of her. If you use shelving you absolutely must secure it to the wall. Belle has a lovely, heavy, framed piece of art that I wanted to hang low for her, but decided against in fear it could fall on her.  I moved the jars down for the photo but those are actually out of reach, on top of my night stand. Her caddy that holds diapers, wipes, her breathing monitor and PJ’s sits down there usually.

I am so happy with this space and it truly sparks joy! When I first made it, I kept walking in just to look at it, and called it our “happy place”. I really encourage you to make every space in your home a “happy place” as I am working on doing!

Happy Bednooking!

xoxo,

Paige

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Our Quest Towards Minimalism

This is going to be the first of many blogs I write about our quest towards minimalism. We want to one day (hopefully very soon) live in a tiny-house. I first heard of tiny houses many years ago. I brought it up with R and I was shocked to find out he had no idea what I was talking about! I showed him, and ever sense he has been hooked on the idea. I was pleasantly surprised! We are still working out many of the details (biggest thing being- how in the world will we fit our family of 6+ in a tiny house?) but it is definitely my motivator to get back to minimalism.

As far as minimalism goes, I have known of this amazing way to live for many years now, as well. We were once minimalists. I had empty closets. I had only the bath products we needed, not overflowing baskets for future use. I could fit everything we owned (besides furniture) in my van. It was really freeing knowing we could up and leave at a moments notice, and be able to bring everything we owned! However, merging households, being forced to unload my childhood bedroom, mommy -ahem- growing, and thinking I needed EVERY new-fangled baby product for Belle (there was sooo much cool STUFF that came out in the 6 years since I had Rose!) we accumulated far too much.

I want to call my things “belongings” rather than “stuff”. I want to know exactly where everything is because everything has meaning, a use, and a place. That is my ultimate goal. I want more time with my kids, and to be able to focus more on them rather than dealing with “stuff”. We are going to use and enjoy every belonging we have- not having to search for it, and not cursing at it when we have to squeeze it back into it’s “place”.

Every day we have been purging. I say we, but it is me. R has his clothes (far too many, but that is a losing battle), game consoles and games, blankets, and hunting/outdoor gear. He’s got himself together so to say! Belle’s room is finished (blog post on her Montessorri-inspired bednook to come) and her toy’s are pretty minimal as well. Rose’s room has been purged, purged, and purged again. Just when I think I am finished, she is ready to part with more. Just last night we got another garbage bag full of stuff out. She is so on board with this and I am so proud that she sees value in less. Grown-up’s closet and nightstand, which is really all we had in our room, is finished. Kitchen, closets, and bathroom are partially purged.

My goal from here on is to finish the “partially finished” areas. I am going to participate in our church flea market then drive straight to donate everything that is left over. Rose’s room is going to get a face-lift including Ikea shelving with bins to keep her organized and meet her ultimate goal- a quick to clean room she can enjoy. We are oh-so-close to the finish line, and then, it is all about keeping it minimal. If you have suggestions on how to stay minimal and not get caught up in the “stuff” please share!

I am so excited to share this journey with you!

xoxo,

Paige

Morning Sickness

Rose’s pregnancy was a breeze! Belle’s, on the other hand, was a miserable nightmare for the first 15 weeks! While it is very typical to suffer from “morning sickness” (ranging from feeling queasy to not being able to smell, let alone eat foods), you should be aware of a complication called Hpyeremesis Gravidarum which is not just your typical morning sickness that should be treated at home. If you have persistent vomiting and are rapidly losing weight be sure to call and speak with your doctor to rule this possibility out (I had to receive an IV at one point- be sure to listen to your body!). However, more commonly you are just experiencing typical morning sickness. I use the word “just” there lightly! It was crippling for me. I would spend my days on the couch throwing up and only eating certain foods (cheese or go-go squeeze Applesauce!). I will tell you, though I felt as if it would never end, these symptoms did disappear at 15 weeks! I lost 15 pounds in that time, but quickly gained it (and then some) back.

Now, to some remedies! The most simple is to eat small portions of food all day, rather than three large meals as you may be used to. A lot of women find themselves feeling sick but feel better once they eat something. I know it is tempting to go for the starches (cool fact: it is believed this is our way of avoiding possibly harmful foods such as under-cooked chicken or listeria from fresh produce), but try your best to be mindful of the foods you are eating through out the day. A good middle-ground here is to at least opt for a healthier choice such as a sweet potato, quinoa, or toast with peanut butter and banana’s when you feel your tummy really needs that heavy food to calm it. Another popular suggestion is to eat saltines BEFORE your feet touch the ground in the morning. Throughout the day, chewing peppermint gum (for me I actually found wintergreen to be most helpful) or, sucking peppermint or ginger candies is known to help. Any food or drink with ginger, for that matter.

For me, the most helpful solutions were found in a desperate trip to the pharmacy. I researched and found that MotionEase was safe during pregnancy. I am very against any drugs during pregnancy (or really ever) but I decided, the risks outweighed the benefits here. PLEASE do your own research before deciding to try MotionEase. It can be found in most stores, in the motion sickness aisle, http://www.walmart.com/ip/12346124?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227000158291&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40754428952&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=78606807392&veh=sem

Another product I found while searching that worked extremely well for me were Sea Bands wristbands. Again, these are found at most all stores. http://www.target.com/p/seaband-mama-morning-sickness-relief-acupressure-wrist-bands-2-count/-/A-15339983?ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=15339983&ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=pla_health+beauty+shopping&adgroup=sc_health+beauty&LID=17pgs&KID=e019097f-7b8e-46ff-8e35-f9d3c7081b4e&kpid=15339983&gclid=CjwKEAjwpPCuBRDris2Y7piU2QsSJAD1Qv7Bix7Zrr9wSloS-Ozu97n61qC0Nie89N7CkUjOvC-_7xoCTQ3w_wcB

Most importantly, remember that this too shall pass. If the sickness is holding you back from activities with your older children and you feel bad, just know that in the long run this sickness is a mere speck in the grand scheme of the miracle you are growing. And, hey, it must not be that bad- I clearly already forget how miserable it was since we want another baby soon!

Congratulations, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a solution that works for you.

xoxo,

Paige

About the Railroaders Daughters (and their parents!)

Hello readers! I wanted to start by introducing the Railroaders family and tell you a bit about us. I’ll start with the rock of the family- Daddy as the Railroaders Daughters call him, whom I will reference as R throughout the blog. Mommy Paige and Daddy R met many, many years ago in Middle School but didn’t start seeing each other until years after graduating! (Mommy Paige saw Daddy on Facebook and that was all she wrote… until now. Now she’s writing about it all 😉 ) Typically people ask if we knew each other or were friends when we went to school together so I will tell you- we knew of each other and even shared quite a few friends through out the years but our paths never really crossed. I did once write an entry in his High School sweetheart’s yearbook saying “don’t let that one go”. I laugh and say thank God she DID!

Now for the daughters- big sis, Rose, is 6.5 and we are starting her second year of homeschooling next month. She is entering first grade, though I say that solely for aging purposes- I go off of abilities not what grade level my kids “should” be in. She loves daddy time, playing with Barbies and helping cook. If you met her in public you wouldn’t get a word out of her. If you heard her at home, she’d have you in stitches with the witty and above her age level thing she says! She most definitely gets the big sis of the year award.

Little sis, Belle, was born 6 years and 4 days after Rose! She is mommies VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) baby. She is a busy body at 6 months and has been crawling for a while now and recently started pulling herself up on things. Not much we can say about her yet, but she loves her boobie milk and getting into everything she can!

The quickest way to describe our family:

We are a homeschooling and hunting family, living on a budget, striving for greener living and minimalism interested in a Montessori learning style and believe in breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, and are pro-life, pro-gun, outdoor loving, God fearing, people loving kinda people!

I’m so excited to share our journey with you,

xoxo Paige