Can I hate “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”?

I’ve been doing theme days for my daughter while we’re working on some schooling. I choose a book and then activities that go along with it. This past Friday we read “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Rosemary Wells. It’s my daughter’s favorite book. We then did several spider related activities and finished by watching a animated version of the song on Youtube.

That has since spiraled out of control in to a 50 video playlist of different videos and versions of The Itsy Bitsy Spider. She begs for me to play it again and again. She has had it going on the background while she’s playing for days now and to be honest it’s starting to drive me up the wall. I tried to convince her to change to something else, but she’s not having it.

If I never hear the Itsy Bitsy Spider again that will be fine with me, but she wakes up 23 minutes from when I’m writing this. 22 minutes. 21 minutes. Wish me luck.


July Monthly Bullet Journal Set Up

It’s that time of the month, for me at least. I’m setting up for the following month in my bullet journal. This is when appointments and bills start coming in for the next month and I need a place to write them down besides my future log.  This is my favorite part of the month. It’s when I create the most pages at once.

I switched at the beginning of this year to a more traditional calendar format for my monthly. I just love the way it looks.


I LOVE my Zebra Mildliners! I use them in almost every spread I make. The large orange numbers and the words July and Goals are written with the orange one in this spread.

I will fill in the bills, appointments, etc on top of the orange numbers and write my goals along the blank column on the right. The days of the week stickers are from my favorite Etsy shop createdbydanielle1

My second two page spread in my monthly set up is very simple. It has the word gratitude on the top left and strips of orange washi tape on the bottom of the left page and the top of the right page. I use these pages to write down or draw things I am grateful for or that make me happy throughout the month.

The third two page spread is very similar. It is the word Anxiety on the top of the left page and a strip of washi down the left side of the left page and the right side of the right page. I use this space to write down everything that is triggering my anxiety. It helps to reduce the panic attacks if I get it out of my head for a bit.

The final two page spread in my monthly set up includes a page I title currently on the left hand side.


This page has space for things I am doing or enjoying this month.

On the right hand side of that final spread is a page where I plan what I will post here on my blog each Monday and Thursday as well as what I will post on my facebook page daily.

As soon as we get to July I will start writing dailies on the following page.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

One of our local libraries started a new program two weeks ago called “1000 Books Before Kindergarten.” They handed out trees with apples to color in. Three double sided sheets have the first 300 apples for the project. We took them home and set them in a place I would remember to color the apples in.

In truth I thought it was a silly program for someone like my daughter who requests stories to be read to her all the time. We will sometimes read the same story a dozen times in a row. I laughed and thought how ridiculous the program was. We would be done with the first tree in a week I thought to myself.

Here we are two weeks later and we have 54 apples filled in. I’m not sure if that’s because I just can’t remember to color in the apple after a story, if I’m underestimating how many books we’ve read when I get back to my desk after a long reading session, or if we really have only read 54 books in the past two weeks. I’m not saying that’s bad by any means, just that it’s less than I expected.

Reading 1000 books to your child can sound like a lot if you don’t read often, or even if you do, but it is a challenge that is completely worth tackling. If your child is one day old, read to your child. If your child is a screaming three year old that only wants to read books about dump trucks or sword fights, read to your child. Even if your child starts kindergarten in a week and there is no chance you will finish the challenge in time, read to your child. If your child is twelve and willing to listen to you read out loud to them, read to your child. Reading to your child is never amiss.

Hearing us, as parents or caregivers, read out loud to them and seeing us reading for our own pleasure are great ways to show children that reading is fun and what child doesn’t want to do something fun.

Are you going to take on the challenge with your toddler?

Bullet Journal Reusable Shopping List

Bullet Journal Reusable Shopping List

I’m setting up my new bullet journal to begin in July. It is an A5, squared, lemon Leuchtturm1917. One of the first pages I knew I wanted to transfer over from my old notebook is my two page spread featuring my running shopping list and a running list of things I’m waiting on. The center orange part is a 4 x 6 inch post it note.

I used to have a small section on my weekly spreads for shopping list items for the week, but found I sometimes needed more space than was allowed by that set up. I moved the shopping list to this spread at that point. I like the post it note because I can add what I need to the list, put it on my organized weekly shopping list when I’m meal planning, and simply cross the item off on the post it note in the spread. I then keep using the same post it until it has all been written on and crossed off. At that point I can simply remove the used up post it note and put in a new one to start fresh.

The Waiting On spread works in a similar way. I use it for packages I’m waiting for in the mail. As soon as I order something I usually add the name of the item to the list. Once it ships I add how it was shipped (ups, usps, fedex, etc) and the last few numbers from the tracking number. Once the tracking has been updated I add the expected date of delivery. After it arrives I cross the item off and like the shopping list, once it has been filled and crossed off to completion I swap it for a fresh post it.

I use this two page spread so often it is where one of my two bookmarks live at all times. I am certain it will be a constant in my bullet journals for the foreseeable future.

Overwhelmed by Curriculum

I can’t even remember how it started now, but it was only about eight weeks ago.  It was probably a workbook from Dollar Tree that my daughter found and wanted to take home. It probably had stickers. And I’m sure I said ‘Yes’. Sounds simple enough.

Eight weeks later, my house is filling up with curriculum, my brain is on overload from all of the options and research, my anxiety is rising trying to choose the best books and manipulatives, and our budget is starting to complain about all of the money going towards more workbooks instead of refilling our freezer. I am overwhelmed. I have too many options and I’m trying to buy everything I can make our budget afford.

Yesterday I bought a workbook set from dollar tree that had four books, one each on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Division! For my 2 year old that can’t add yet? What am I doing?

Just because it seems like a worthwhile workbook or set of flash cards or anything else does not mean we need it. It does not mean it will work for us now or maybe not ever.

There are so many choices and so many price points. Do I spend $300 for a preschool curriculum? Or piecemeal free worksheets and books we read together to get through a year of learning. Should we just stick to doing what my daughter thinks is fun and not worry too much about focused learning or projects? She is two after all.

I want the best. The best curriculum, the best everything for my daughter. If I chose the wrong series she may not flourish, it could be the difference between her curing cancer and working a minimum wage job for the rest of her life. No pressure, right?

So what do I do? For starters, I keep reminding myself that she is two. As long as she is having fun and doing more than watching Paw Patrol and eating junk food all day, then she is doing fine. She’s learning all the time. She’s growing all the time.

I tell myself to relax. If she can’t read before she turns three, that won’t be the end of the world. If we don’t finish every workbook, that won’t be the end of the world. If we don’t have ‘school’ every day, that won’t be the end of the world either.

I tell myself to relax and have fun with my child. Tickle fights, snuggles on the couch, silly dances, and fun music are all even more important than worksheets and  reading lessons.

So, I tell myself “enjoy your child today. Love on her. Give her squishes and as many kisses as she can stand.” Dishes can wait, learning to read can wait. She won’t want to snuggle on my lap for much longer. She’s already too independent as it is. Just love on her while you can. The workbooks will be there when she’s ready, and so will I.

My Current To Be Read Pile

My Current To Be Read Pile

Reading is always something I’ve loved to do. I had been an avid reader from the time I learned how at about age three until I had my daughter nearly two and a half years ago. After becoming a mother I found myself never having the time, the brain power, or the quiet I now found myself needing in order to focus on the words.

I missed reading terribly. So at the beginning of this year I set myself a goal to read 17 books in 2017. So far I’ve finished eight this year. I think that’s more than I managed to read in all of 2016.

My to be read pile is always larger than I can possibly finish in a reasonable amount of time. Especially because most of the time the books are from the library and I have a three week time limit before I have to return them, sometimes it can be expanded to six weeks if no one is waiting for it.

I am pretty certain I won’t finish every book on my current stack, but these are what I am hoping to read soon.

Currently I am reading ‘Illuminae’ by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s a book I’ve read before and loved. My library recently purchased the sequel, ‘Gemina,’ and I couldn’t wait to read it. But I decided that I would need a refresher on the first book before I could dive in to the second. What was going to be a skim through became a full read. I’m hoping to finish both of these books before they have to be returned and everything else I want to read is falling behind those two.

Two other books on my list have been on my list for a while. They are ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod and ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen. These two have been on my list nearly since I started bullet journaling over a year ago. Those two I purchased and am excited to read.

The last three books on my to be read pile are ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon discovered through a commercial that showed before a video on Youtube; ‘Everything Leads to You’ by Nina LaCour I believe was recommended in a Youtube book review I watched; and “The You I’ve Never Known’ by Ellen Hopkins I found while  browsing the library. Ellen Hopkins is a long time favorite author. I love the format of her books and the stories always grab me deeply. She is the one author my husband always dreads for me to read because I always end up sobbing uncontrollably at the end.

I positive I won’t get to all of these books before they are due to be returned, but I am making the effort to squeeze in some ‘me time’ and get back to reading something that is just for me.

Homeschool Mom Tag

I have watched several homeschool Moms answering the questions in this tag in videos on Youtube. I thought it would be interesting to answer the questions, but does teaching my two year old count as homeschooling? I believe the answer is yes.

According to the definition of homeschool is “to teach (one’s children) at home”.

We do that. So here are the ten questions:

1. Were you homeschooled?
2. Did you know always know you’d homeschool your children?
3. What are your 3 favorite books in your homeschool library?
4. Are you the only “teacher”? Does your spouse help, outsource help, tutors, etc.
5. Where is your favorite place to buy homeschool curriculum?
6. Do you have a set budget for your homeschool?
7. What are 2 must have homeschool supplies?
8. What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to teach?
9. Are you involved in coops or homeschool groups? What has your experience been in these groups?
10. What is your approach? ( Charlotte mason, eclectic, classical, etc)

My answers:

Were you homeschooled? Yes. I went to a public school through the sixth grade and was homeschooled for grades 7-10 at which point I tested for a GED.

Did you know always know you’d homeschool your children? No. My husband was against homeschooling. He was always adamant that if we had children they would go to school.I wasn’t sure I wanted to homeschool either. We’re still not entirely sure what we will do when she reaches the age where the state requires her to have a more formal education, but at this point we’re leaning towards homeschooling her as long as she wants to.

What are your 3 favorite books in your homeschool library? This is a really hard one. We are a home of book lovers so we have an overabundance. I’ll go with current favorites though they are subject to change at any moment and with no warning, my daughter is two after all. Her current favorite book to have read to her is ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Rosemary Wells. Her current favorite book to read to herself is “My first 1 2 3 : a first counting book” by Sam Chaffey. It’s a counting book that goes up to the number 20 instead of just to ten and loves it! And book three would be the “Touch and Feel Puppy” book by DK Publishing, Inc. My toddler is dog obsessed and she loves that she can pet the dog pictures and feel their noses too.

Are you the only “teacher”? Does your spouse help, outsource help, tutors, etc. I think at age two everyone is teaching her all the time. As far as more formal work, I set up all school related activities and I’m the only one that does workbooks with her, at last so far. We do attend a music class for toddlers and their caregivers though.

Where is your favorite place to buy homeschool curriculum? We are still pretty new to curriculum of any sort, but anything we have used so far has come from Dollar Tree, Sam’s Club, or Amazon.

Do you have a set budget for your homeschool? We are a one and a half income family so we have a tight budget for everything. We do not have a budget line for homeschool supplies as yet though the funds just come out of what we would be spending on toys or other miscellaneous things.

What are 2 must have homeschool supplies? My daughter’s Kindle (with wifi) and stickers. We use both in so many ways.

What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to teach? We don’t follow too strict of a schedule or curriculum. I try to offer her a variety of options, but we are pretty much only focused on math based work, handwriting/prewriting, and reading, with some logic and lifeskills thrown in.  My favorite would have to be math because she has the most fun with it. My least favorite it writing and pen control because she doesn’t enjoy it. I keep coming up with new ways to get her to practice or at least try, but she really doesn’t enjoy it so I don’t push too much. She will write when she’s ready.

Are you involved in coops or homeschool groups? What has your experience been in these groups? We are not in a group or coop and I didn’t know they were a thing until recently so I have no experience thus far.

What is your approach? ( Charlotte mason, eclectic, classical, etc) Eclectic and casual. We’re willing to try just about anything once.

Feel free to leave any answers to the questions below. I would love to hear from you too!