Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preparing Children for a New Baby

We are enjoying this experience of sharing our pregnancy with our four children. I've come up with some wonderful ideas how you too can celebrate this miracle of pregnancy as a new mom or mother of many.
- Calendar - Growth Chart - In the Womb Movie - Reading List - Board Game - Sibling Shower -

A "Baby's Growing" Countdown Calendar
Use the weekly calendar idea I created or your own calendar. The designed calendar can be redrawn on construction paper or printed on your choice of paper, perhaps blue or pink!? Cut and paste the corresponding image when that week has arrived, covering the number. Be sure to read all the fun facts about your baby’s development! I recommend or for weekly development information.
Pregnancy Calendar for KidsPregnancy Calendar for Kids
Pregnancy Calendar for Kids pg1Pregnancy Calendar for Kids pg2
Pregnancy Calendar for Kids pg3Pregnancy Calendar for Kids pg4

Fetal Growth Chart with Fun Facts
Is your baby a blueberry, a pickle or a pineapple? Find out these interesting size comparisons as the embryo/fetus grows within the womb. Click on an image below to see up close or print. I compiled this information and images from, and

Fetal Size Chart wk1-11Fetal Size Chart wk12-14Fetal Size Chart wk15-16Fetal Size Chart wk17-18Fetal Size Chart wk19-20Fetal Size Chart wk21-24Fetal Size Chart wk25-28Fetal Size Chart wk29-32Fetal Size Chart wk33-36Fetal Size Chart wk37-42

Movie about Pregnancy
With parental guidance, my children were thrilled with the movie In the Womb by National Geographic. The only shocker was the last few minutes when she gave birth - the sounds and a quick shot of "down there." Perhaps preview it first? Incredible real and computer graphic images of baby's growth and new discoveries!

Books to read to your children:
Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman, ill. Ben Hatke

Baby Margaret Mary: My Journey to Birth by Gale Crush

The Miracle of Me by Amy B Pedersen

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer

List from
What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy? - by Cocovini
Before You Were Born - by Davis
My Mom's Having A Baby - by Butler
What to Expect When Mommy's Having A Baby - by Murkoff
List from
Happy Birth Day
Baby on the Way
Julius, the Baby of the World
What Baby Needs
How Was I Born
Arthur's New Baby
Our New Baby
Welcome with Love
We're Having a Homebirth!
A Pregnancy Education Game for Families
Thanks to The Catholic Toolbox Blog, you can print out your “Look Who’s Growing” game board and playing cards at:

  For mom's like me, who had their first baby shower oh so long ago, I discovered there are many who enjoy throwing a shower for their children who are to be the new BIG brother or sister. Read these 5 topics to start planning!  Thanks to those bloggers who shared their ideas to inspire me!


Game Plan & More Good Ideas I Didn't Use
1. Plan ahead: Create invitations, plan a meal, clever snacks, etc. Once young guests arrive, there is no time for dilly-dallying! Invitations should include a start and end time. If open for gifts, consider ideas such as story books or other items the big sis or bro can share with the new baby.

2. Food Ideas: Mini Burgers, marshmallow fruit salad (pastels), drinks in baby bottles,  fruit blocks (cubed fruit), alphabet crackers, Bathtub Punch, Babies in a Blanket (hot dog crossaints), baby carrots, …

Snack: Nibble Necklaces made with Cheerios, fruit loops and life savers. String on licorice rope or plastic craft rope.

Snack: Marshmallow Babies
Dessert: Cupcakes or cookies are a classic choice!
Dessert in a jar: Consider baby food - the dessert jar selection is quite yummy. Gerber's Blueberry Buckle and Peach Cobbler! Or fill baby jars with pudding. If you don't have the jars, you can buy small canning jars.

3. Craft Ideas: One craft could be something all the kids make for the new baby. Other crafts for them to take home would be simple and inexpensive.
> Guest Gift: Children's Diaper Bag. Have each child decorate a bag (sewn or purchased) to use as their "diaper bag" for the day, holding their game sheets, prizes won, crafts, etc.  This would also be a great door prize.
     *Oriental Trading's design your own tote
     *Pattern to sew a pretend diaper bag and accessories

> Tie Dye Spit up Cloths or Cloth Diapers.

> Decorate a floor blanket, or keepsake onesies or bibs.  - Use stencils, fabric markers, fabric paints, iron ons, etc.  [Many ideas sparked by Google Images] For the blanket idea, have kids do hand prints in different colors, with their names written by it. Onesies should be individual, good for smaller parties.
[Isn't That Cute Blog idea]

>Make homemade baby blocks.

>Make Hand Puppets. Older kids would enjoy this project. Be creative with socks, paper bags, felt, etc or purchase a kit.

These adorable puppets are available for purchase at The Land of Nod online. Oriental Trading has a basic set you can decorate.

> Snow Baby Ornament: Cute directions for an easy baby ornament for any season.

4. Game Ideas:

Whose Water Breaks First - Prior to the day of the baby shower, fill each of the cups with water enough to cover the plastic baby toys at least halfway (since they may float). Place the cups in the freezer until frozen stiff (you need to prep the night before). The day of the baby shower party, give a cup to all the women who attend the shower as they arrive. Whoever can melt the ice the quickest or their water breaks gets the prize. The baby shower attendees can try to melt by blowing hot air on it or putting it in the sun (everything goes, let them get creative). It's a game that everyone can play at the baby shower no matter what age or physical limitation they may have.
>Can also have babies frozen in ice cube trays, then added to drink at the same time for faster game play.
>Suggested prizes: Water Balloon Kit, Snowglobe

Diaper Toss -  Wet a bunch of diapers and fold them up. Set up a diaper pail and let the kids toss them in, starting close and further away with each turn. Winner has most diapers in at the furthest distance, or a team win of tallied most in the pail.
> Prize ideas: Sand shovel and Pail, baseball, suckers…

5. Playtime Fun

Baby Food Jar Lid Game - A simple memory game to have on the table for intermittent play time. This blog has directions and a cute print out.

My Water Broke - if weather permits, try to break the water outside in a traditional water balloon fight!

Baby Station -  For playtime, simply have a baby care station with dollies, diapers and doll clothes. Great for really little guests.

Snow Babies -  Winter fun making a snow family!

MORE SHOWER IDEAS… as if that wasn't enough :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chore Charting

Priorities: Those things you need to do before anything else gets done.
Procrastinator: Someone who lets their priorities get put on the backburner, until the last minute arrives. Leaving them anxious.
Homeschooler: A person who's priorities are changed by the minute because LIFE HAPPENS. And they're okay with it.

Chore Chart
There is so much going on here, I need to stay on task. I've revised our successful chore chart to be in order of daily to-dos.
Make Bed & Get Dressed
Eat Breakfast & Brush teeth
School Work & Reading
Playtime & Chores (listed by the day)
Homework Complete
Bedtime 8:30pm
Immediate Obedience
Mommy's Happy Helper

Daily Musts for Sanity and Sanitary needs:
Chore Chart
  • Sunday Service (Good Behavior at Mass)
  • Monday Messes (Major toy cleanup)
  • Tuesday Toilets (Bathroom cleanup)
  • Wash it Wednesday (Wash Floors & Windows, after craft time)
  • Thursday Trash (Get garbage out)
  • Friday Folding (Laundry Day)
  • Saturday Shoe Closet (Entry Way Cleaning)

**Person with name on chart the most gets to pick the next Red Box movie for the weekend, or can opt for the $1 bill. [Mom & Dad not included, or we'd win every time!]
*Everyone gets a treat for their efforts.

A friend of mine also suggested if you like email reminders and helpful hints. And of course there are many self help books on the subject.

Side note: Sewing has been slipped in the schedule for our multitude of costume days ahead! You can read all my ideas at my sewing blog, Modest Mommies!
Disney CostumesDisney Costumes

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Countdown to Saints Day

I know I've been slacking on my idea posts. Well, I came up with this one with Mikayla's help. But just got started today.

Anyone else tired of being asked "How many more days until Halloween?" How about a countdown to the following day, All Saints Day on Nov 1st? Our Forever Tree is where we host our seasonal countdowns.


October Countdown to All Saints Day!

Oct Countdown to Saints Day

What you'll need:

A Forever Tree or Hanging Spot

31 Mini Pumpkin Baskets, labeled #1-31

31 Names of Saints or Saint Fun Facts ( Saint Printables)

Perhaps a small treat in each basket too?


Take down and read or research one per day during October to prepare for All Saints Day on November 1st.


Click Here for a PDF of what I printed and cut out to fold up into the baskets.


Autumn Scenery

It was beautiful here, all the fall colors just outside our front door. I love our new place. This is just what it looked like one year ago when we made an offer to buy it. Fall, my favorite season.

fall scenery


Instead of snow days, we have nice days off. Then the wind came and blew it all away. Anyone else who doesn't like that brown season between fall color and snow!? We made up for the loss with many leaf piles to jump in. And shish-kabobs of leaves?

fall sceneryfall scenery


and dirty little boys. Wait, that's year-round. :)

fall sceneryfall scenery


But that cold, windy and rainy part of autumn seems to have taken that away too. So we get back to school work. Can you see how much she likes math?

Darn Math

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Close enough

We're not finished redecorating our house after the remodel and finding out the gender of our next little bundle of joy. But done enough to show you all!


We decided that we aren't the best family to have a table and chairs with painted top and padded seats. It's just been met with spills and scratches. So when we came across this beauty, I was sold! My favorite part, the hickory top to match our cabinets and a bench for the little ones to share! This plus a highchair and we're ready for a Table for 7, at home anyways.

Our New Table


The girls' room is still a work in progress. I took off those awful doors and draped Sabrina's fairy curtains in their place. My girls got a lot of clothes, so we brought down Sabrina's dresser too. I plan to paint a fantasy tree and flowers on the wall, it's all in my head. We sold the bunk beds, and we decided to search for a twin over full bunk bed. So the girls are bunking upstairs with the boys for now.

Girls Room


As if we didn't have enough to do, I nudged Tom to paint the fairy pink room over with serenity green. Not for the baby, but for Stanley our 7 year old.

Sabrinas RoomSetting Up the Boys Rooms

Setting Up the Boys Rooms

As you can see Stanley didn't waste any time moving in. He also loves his new big boy bed with the best view in the house - all those colorful trees. Lots of room for those Zhu Zhus and army men.

Setting Up the Boys Rooms


Now why would we do that!?


Because we had to make room for Edward (Eddie) Joseph Michalek!

Baby 7 - Boy

When he's not in the bassinet by Mommy, he'll eventually be bunking with Jonathan in the blue Disney characters room.

Setting Up the Boys Rooms


The name is still up for debate. We've also considered "David Michael" and "Daniel Joseph." But we have until mid-February for that to be settled on.


So yes, it's a boy! We are so excited to have our boys just 2 years apart - playmates. While our girls are currently 5 years apart, and so are the older boys. We are still soaking it all in, having 3 boys. Tom's first comment was "at least they won't be arguing who gets to use the bathroom." Implying, if it's busy - they'll just go outside in the bushes. Luckily I have two girls to do lady things with.


Love you all - got so much more to do before bedtime. Oh wait, it is bedtime! Goodnight!


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