Welcome to Whit's World

Welcome to the randomness that is my life. You can usually find me wandering around somewhere in my head trying to figure it all out. I blog about the loves of my life, my two boys, our new homeschooling journey, and anything else that moves me. I find that writing is the best therapy. Thanks for stopping by, and Be Blessed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Party Fun!

We went to a dear friend's house for her little guy's birthday party this weekend...he is one month older than my L, and goes by the same name.  Needless to say, the boys had a lot of fun.  And Aunt Katy took some incredible shots; this girl is talented!  You can check out more of her work, or connect with her here:  http://kittyparrish.com/ Here are just a few of my favorites...









All the credit for all of these awesome photos goes to Katy...thanks girl!!

Be Blessed,

Whit

Get Skinny the 6 Week Body Challenge: A Book Review


Well, summer is right around the corner now! (And if you live in Central Texas like me, there have been many days that felt summer-ish already.) We all know what that means: shorts, sleeveless tops and bathing suits...yikes! Every year it comes quicker, and every year I am caught anything but ready for it. Perfect time of the year for a body makeover book review right?!?!

I have been reading and looking through Scott Schmaltz's brand spanking new book, "Get Skinny!". I have to say, I like the way this one reads and is set up. Scott knows what he is talking about as a veteran of 10 years within the fitness industry, as well as holding board certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner. He also obtained a degree as a nutritional consultant and holds 7 certifications in personal training and rehabilitation. The man knows what really works and what doesn't, and now he's sharing all the secrets with you in "Get Skinny the 6 Week Body Challenge"!

The book itself is broken down into 6 chapters...6 weeks to a better body, so you will not get overwhelmed with it all!  Each chapter begins with an honest, relatable story, from a real person who has real struggles with their body, and came out the other end. One of these honest success stories comes from Scott himself too. After the story sharing, Scott lines out your workouts and meals (which are individualized for men and women, and he even includes snack ideas) down to the last detail for the week. The workouts are all doable (you made need to buy one or two inexpensive items depending on what you have) as are the meals.  He focuses on 5 simple fitness components, that will transform your body if you follow this 6 week challenge.

Perhaps one of the things I liked the most when reading through this book, is the sense of encouragement and support that you truly feel from everyone involved in this book...especially Scott.  He encourages everyone to email him pictures and success stories after completing the 6 week challenge.  Who knows, your story could even end up motivating millions of others in his next book. :)

I would highly recommend Scott Schmaltz's new fitness book, "Get Skinny the 6 Week Body Challenge", if you have ever struggled with finding a fitness and nutrition routine that you can actually stick with.

You can pre-order the book now for it's release date of 04/01/2012 through these stores:

1.  Amazon (Paperback & Kindle)
http://www.amazon.com/Get-Skinny-Six-Week-Body-Challenge/dp/1614481237/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329753152&sr=8-1

2.  Barnes & Noble (Paperback & Kindle)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/get-skinny-scott-schmaltz/1105125939?ean=9781614481232&itm=1&usri=get+skinny+-+the+6+week+body+challenge

Connect with Scott today on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linked In, I know he would be thrilled to support you through your fitness journey!

Be Blessed,

Whit

Friday, March 23, 2012

And Just Like That, He's Done

This was my first blog post ever: First Post: In Honor of National Breastfeeding Week. I talked about my little breastfeeding hobo with his blanket...and I said that I did not know when our nursing days would end.

This was the picture from that post...crawling up in bed to nurse. 
 Well, that day has come...and just like that, he's done.

I could not be more pleased with how it all happened. By the time he was 18 months, old he had stopped nursing throughout the day. Every morning the moment he opened his eyes and every night before he closed them, we still shared that beautiful bond. Then, the first week in February, he quit the nighttime feedings.  I started laying him down once or twice a week without nursing...usually on the nights he had a full belly.  Then, one night he grabbed his blanket and his puppy, Cherokee, and walked me into his room to his bed.  He never nursed at night again after that February bedtime.

The mornings were still our time though...first things first, he had to nurse immediately upon waking.  I, of course, didn't mind a bit, and was in no hurry for him to stop those.  I took this picture of him a couple weeks back and tweeted that I knew our nursing days were quickly coming to an end.

He's not a morning person, just like his momma :)
Two weeks ago, we said our final good-byes to that phase.  I went in to grab him from his bed one morning, and asked if he was ready to "Hungry Mommas".  He had been teething, and tugging at his ears, and running a fever off and on...those mornings he is usually more than ready for his little wakey wakey snack.  But that morning, he responded with a very emphatic:  "No, no momma!"  My heart broke a tiny bit at that moment, because I knew he was done...and he was.  He is still a grumpy butt in the mornings, but now he wants to go straight into his highchair for a yummy breakfast meal; and I must say that the mornings are a lot easier on me now with one less thing to do.  It thoroughly pleases me that he made the decision on his own, and on his timeline, without any outside persuasions.

I am so proud of us both for sticking with it as long as we did...when I brought him home from the hospital I figured anywhere from 6-12 months would be good enough.  We will have an unspeakable and unbreakable bond forever after those many special moments we shared.  I will miss his sweet little noises he made when he was "hungry mommas", and the way he rubbed my face and hands, and played with my hair while he received the natural nutrition that fueled him.  But I also look forward to the many new adventures we will share as he transitions from my baby boy to my big boy...

Be Blessed,

Whit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Classic Simplicity in the Nursery

Today I have a guest post from Zsa Zsa of My Urban Child about classic and simple pieces that can make a big statement in your nursery or toddler room.  I am gearing up to redo L's room for his second birthday, and I now want everything from their store...including the pieces below!!

High quality furniture is a must for the most special room in the house- the baby nursery. Just like any other room in your home, it deserves nothing but the best furniture where safety and comfort should be number one. Buying good furniture for children may seem a costly investment when you consider that children’s needs change rapidly. Since safety and comfort are essential in the nursery, it is practical to buy furniture that can adapt to your child’s changing needs. Instead of compromising quality, invest in pieces that will last for years! How do you do that? Well, invest in classic, simple pieces for the nursery.


For example, a crib that converts into a toddler bed will give you value for your money. The Oeuf Robin Toddler Bed Conversion Kit easily transforms from a crib to a toddler bed. Just lower the easy-to-install side rail and your toddler would be able to easily go up and down the bed. In case you didn’t know, Oeuf is an environmentally- friendly company, so this long lasting crib/bed is made from sustainable Nordic pine and birch and painted with 100% natural water-based paint.


The Robin toddler bed has a matching Robin dresser. This has three drawers for storing clothes or toys. It can also be used as a bedside table to hold a lamp and a couple of books for bedside reading when your child gets older. Just like the matching Robin bed, this dresser has simple but elegant lines that will make it fit in either a classic or modern nursery!

Oeuf is a company known for its adherence to quality, practicality, and function. By using materials that are sustainable and kind to the environment, this company answers all the needs of modern parents and their babies. If you’re an eco-parent whose priority is quality, comfort and sustainability, then the pieces you should choose for your nursery should be all these things. Invest in quality, classic pieces that will not only meet the form and function requirement, but also become statements of your individuality. With modern, classic nursery furniture, you can never go wrong!



There will be more posts from My Urban Child, as well as some great reviews and giveaways, coming in the future.  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for their daily flash sales, and if you use the Promo Code:  WHIWORLD you can get 10% off your purchase!


Be Blessed,


Whit

Monday, March 19, 2012

StripedShirtz: Review & Giveaway!

I am a t-shirt and jeans/shorts kind of girl! Especially these days with no where to go but the park or grocery store. Okay, and maybe I am a little bit obsessed with striped shirts...I have a, uhm, few...


So naturally, when I heard about Laura (the incredible woman and the brains behind stripedshirt.com) I was all about it! She has created the most adorable, and unbelievably comfortable, striped shirts so you can wear your favorite sports team's colors (whether it's your kid's baseball team, the NFL, or everything in between) in style without looking like a "face painter" as Laura calls them.  Let's face it, it is next to impossible to find cute fashionable sports wear, for ladies and babies...you will never have this problem again!

I have honestly worn mine almost a dozen times since it arrived. It washes and wears so well; since the shirts are 95% cotton and 5% spandex, they keep their fit. So many of my tees fit great for a while then hang loose and worn looking after several wash and wears Striped shirts will not do that to you!  I also adore the thoughtful details that are added to every tee, including the adorable red and white striped shirt logo and the tag-less neck.


I chose the green and white striped tees for me and L to wear on St. Patty's day this weekend...so cute!!!


Perhaps one of the greatest things about stripedshirt.com, is you will not spend more than $20 on anything in her shop!  This means you can buy a tee for everyone in the family, or in all of your favorite colors, without breaking the bank.  I know I must pick up some of the dark orange and white ones before Longhorn football season rolls back around.  She also has the most adorable Tshirt wraps that can be thrown over your striped shirt for those cooler morning and evening games or outings.  (I'm probably gonna have to grab one of those for the fall too!)

Connect with stripedshirt.com on Twitter and Facebook today.

Now...who wants to have a package like this show up in their mailbox?!?!


For your chance to win a matching set of mommy and me striped shirts from stripedshirt.com, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  There are lots of ways to enter, and some daily entry options, so what are you waiting for, enter now!

Good luck and...

Be Blessed,

Whit

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Galloping the Globe: A Review

J studying the Pacific Ocean.
I did not have long to choose curriculums once we decided to pull the trigger and begin homeschooling this year. I knew that I wanted J to learn World Geography this year because it was something that intrigued him. We began the year kind of winging it through geography lessons however. I found a ton of terrific online resources and we discussed and examined various landforms. Several months into the school year, I reached out to the awesome people of Geography Matters on Twitter to ask where a good place to start with their products was. I received the fastest help ever, and before I knew it, they were sending me a copy of Galloping the Globe to try out and review! (Excellent customer service doesn't even begin to describe the members of this incredible team!) The curriculum is geared for students in K-4th Grade, so it can be used, and then in a couple more years, used again at a different level. The ladies that created this are genius!

Upon first glance, I was a little overwhelmed...just being completely honest. I looked over the list of books they recommend using with the curriculum, and thought, "Gosh, that's a lot of books, I can't afford all of those!" (It is a predominantly literature based curriculum, in which your children are learning by reading. You will need to buy additional books besides Galloping the Globe.) But then I soon discovered the most terrific thing about the Galloping the Globe curriculum, you can customize it in a MILLION different ways. It can be tailored to your teaching methods & your children's learning strategies, strengths, and interests. I have found most books used through Amazon, and haven't paid a dime over $10-15 for any of them shipped (most were just dollars).

This is our collection so far, and have more currently in route.
Another fabulous thing the writers, Loree Petit and Dari Mullins, accomplished is allowing this one book to guide you through Geography, Bible, History, Science, Literature and many other activities, in a Unit Study style. This could literally guide your whole spectrum of curriculum for an entire year, or more. Since our book arrived once we were already well into some other curriculums that we love, we are using it to study Geography, History, and Bible and are all learning a lot! Most days he draws a picture about what we read and writes some interesting reading facts & important definitions he learned. He is retaining all of this knowledge so well this way!

We began the curriculum by studying in Jack Knowlton's Maps & Globes and and Geography From A to Z...these 2 books provided 4 weeks of reading and lessons. They will both be picked up and used again as we study the continents individually...especially the landforms one. By the end of that unit, J had a clear understanding of the history and evolution of our maps and globes, can read a map using a key successfully, and can identify various kinds of maps. He also has a good grasp on the many different landforms across our world.

I was able to use this curriculum in correlation with our Noeo Science Biology studies. J is fascinated with the ocean, so we explored each ocean individually through the A New True Book collection, and simultaneously looked at seashore habitats and fish in science. We just wrapped up a 4 week study on everything oceans...they are 2/3 of our Earth's surface right?!

An excerpt from J's notebook.
Incorporating our Bible lessons with what we are studying in Geography, has proven a great method as well. We read a Bible verse each morning that has to do with our daily lesson. This is a terrific way to gain focus in the morning and starts our day on a positive note. I also use a verse each week as a scripture memorization assignment. On Monday the verse is assigned, and by Friday we can both speak and write the verse from memory.

Next week we begin a six week study on Asia, and I think I may be more excited than J about our upcoming lesson plans. I sat down last weekend and highlighted all the books, resources and activities I want to use in the Galloping the Globe book. We will learn about 5 of Asia's countries in depth...what the children are like, how to count from 1-10 in each language, the history of the country, major geographical features, flags, government, population, etc. I plan to finish each country with a new recipe, game or art project; I have some really fun things on the agenda!

Lesson planning for the Asia unit.
We will definitely be using the Galloping the Globe curriculum to finish our year out and it will probably take up most of next year as well. I will post more about how we use the curriculum along our way, but thus far, I have nothing but positive things to say about it!! If you are looking for an all encompassing Geography curriculum for next year, look no further!

Galloping the Globe comes with a CD-Rom that contains reproducible pages that are also found throughout the book, as well as lots of activities. There is also a corresponding lap book to purchase if that's your family's style. (We have created out own lap book of sorts.) You can stay connected with the writers through the new Facebook page they created. There is also a Yahoo Group set up for everyone using the curriculum. This is a great place to get more ideas, share what is working for you, ask questions, and once again, connect directly with the writers of the curriculum. You definitely get more than your money's worth when purchasing this curriculum!!

You can stay in touch with the incredible staff of Geography Matters on Facebook and Twitter...you will want to do this definitely. They provide free printables, among tons of other fabulous resources to all their fans. (I told you these people rocked!!)

You can pick up your own copy of Galloping the Globe on their website here:  http://www.home-school-curriculum.com/product/galloping-the-globe-now-with-cd-rom
;or browse through their other selections.  I know you will find the perfect Geography curriculum to tailor to your family and classroom.  I'm happy to answer any questions you have as well...we love this curriculum!

Be Blessed,

Whit

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Galloping the Globe at no cost to me, for my honest review and opinion.  Stay tuned for more reviews as we journey through the curriculum.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A New Fav!

My new favorite picture!! It captures his personality in one lucky iPhone shot :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Validation


So we are quickly approaching the end of another school year (I mean it's spring break already!), and I have to say that I am more happy with our decision to homeschool than I ever imagined I would be. It seems like more and more lately, I receive some sort of validation for coming to that tremendous decision.

A couple weeks back, we ran into J's Kindergarten teacher at the grocery store. We adored her, and were so blessed that she was in J's life when he began school. She was always so openly communicative and gentle with me and J, and I truly appreciated it. Anyways, I digress...she was thrilled to see J and the not so little anymore baby L. J was so excited to tell her all about everything he is learning and how fun homeschool is, he went on and on, and she was more than happy to listen. After I chatted with her about it all for a minute, she informed me that they want them to cease teaching calendars in Kindergarten. Wait a second, WHAT???? That is how they always started their day when J was in school. He anxiously would await his turn to participate in posting the date or the weather for the day. This of course comes after I heard somewhere else they would be eliminating traditional cursive as well. Learning cursive was one of my fondest school memories, and J has thoroughly enjoyed the same in our homeschool this year.

I am so thankful that I am not teaching him to ace an abbreviated test under incredible pressure once a year. Instead, I am teaching him the things he needs to and is eager to learn. We move at our own pace, we beat our own drum, but at the end of the day, I am confident that J is receiving the best education possible for him! How do I know that? The kid is also teaching me daily! He reads so many books, that he is an encyclopedia some days.

I do want to make absolutely clear here that I am not bashing public schools or anyone affiliated! These are just my honest opinions as related to my world.

Be Blessed,

Whit

Friday, March 9, 2012

No, Why, and Wow...More Smilestones Than I Can Count!


My littlest man will be 2 years old in less than two months now...will someone please figure out how to make time slow down?!?! For the past week, all of the sudden I feel like I am playing with and talking to a big boy, not a baby boy, anymore. (Even though I will probably still call him my baby until he turns 25!)

His grand imagination is really cominge to life as he plays more and more independently these days. I watch from afar and listen to him making noises and sounds appropriate for the toy. The coordination increases leaps and bounds daily; running and jumping are more fun than anything. Catching a ball is just as much fun as throwing it. He can tell you what most pages in his new favorite book, Go Dog Go, say. And, the vocabulary that he is all the sudden developing, leaves me jaw dropped through most of the day.

This week I have heard these three words over and over again though...no, why and wow! Out of all the words in his growing vocab, these are the most fun to him. The little man seems to be extremely opinionated these days and when he doesn't like something, "No No No Momma", goes on repeat. He shakes his head yes and no these days too, so you really get the full effect of the "No". Then, two days ago, he started the "Why"; I thought I still had a while before that kicked in, boy was I wrong. As he threw everything off his high chair the other day, I told him "No. No throw buddy", to which he responded "Why?". What, wait, what?! I tried not to find the humor in it in front of him, but couldn't refrain, so then he thought it was pretty funny. Now, every time I ask him to do something, or stop doing something, he responds with "Why" and places an ornery grin on his sweet little face to accompany it. Perhaps his most utilized word nowadays is "Wow". I can only imagine how "wow" everything appears to him in his little, short world. It reminds me daily to stop and see everything around me that I should stop and say "Wow" about more often.

I cherish every moment of these smilestones, but I sure wish they would slow down just a bit, momma can't keep up some days!! Do you have a little one growing leaps and bounds in front of your eyes? What are some new fun accomplishments in their world?

Have a beautiful weekend everyone, and...

Be Blessed,

Whit

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Hello all, I hope everyone's week is off to a fantastic start! I wanted to share my new love and obsession with all things coconut. The scientific name for a coconut is cocos nucifera...they call it the Tree of Life. Why not, did you know that coconuts contain lots and lots of fiber, minerals and vitamins that are essential for your health?

About 6 months back, I began cooking with coconut oil (which by the way, does not bother my son who is highly allergic to nuts). I fell in love with it immediately! It is such a clean and pure oil and cooks up things beautifully in both the oven and skillet. I have even done Panko fried chicken or pork chops in coconut oil. The switch has done wonders for everyone's gut. Then, I discovered that the same oil, can be used to clear up a very bad diaper rash, and almost overnight!


Soon after I picked up the coconut oil, I spotted coconut milk in the dairy section. With all the chances of hormones in cattle these days, I was willing to try it out. It actually contains more calcium than regular milk. I picked up the unflavored kind first, and it was pretty watery, not a big hit. But, I went back and picked up Vanilla flavored, and we never looked back. We eat it with our cereal (with Cheerios and bananas it's heaven!), put it in smoothies, make protein shakes with it, and just drink it plain. I do keep a small thing of regular milk for cooking purposes on hand though.

I like to keep coconut water on hand too, usually flavored with pineapple juice or something of the like. The last time the baby was sick, he drank lots of it and got better in the blink of an eye. Lots of good electrolytes!

2 weeks ago I needed some new conditioner, so picked up some made from coconut oils and milk along with a coconut oil serum. My hair feels so smooth, clean and healthy since I made the change! I plan on picking up the shampoo this weekend.


I love the coconut! I believe that it is one of earth's natural super foods, and am glad to know they aren't trying to genetically modify them yet. Have you discovered the amazing healing and beauty qualities yet? Any other super foods you love?

Be Blessed,

Whit

Coconut picture courtesy of nrpaquette via Photobucket.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sticking With It

So if you follow along on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably heard me mention taking little man, L, to gymnastics the past several weeks. He is getting to be at that age where he needs interaction with other kids and a place to run, climb and play that's padded!

The first time he did pretty good, I expected it to be a little overwhelming for him. He pitched a huge fit for J(he loves his big brother and doesn't understand why he can't play too) and we left after 25 minutes. The second time, about the same amount of time. Pitched a fit for big bro, tried to make him change his mind (yeah right), got bit on the chest, and left. Last week he had a mega meltdown and I was humiliated. That particular week, there were lots of what I like to call, divas, pointing, staring and gasping. I calmly and quietly gathered our things and left thinking, well this just isn't going to work, I'm not going back. What I failed to remember though, was that the kid had not slept good all week, was teething and exhausted. He was having a blast that first 20 minutes of class, but then it was going to hell in a handbasket quick every week.

Well, I decided to get over myself and stick with it for everyone's sake. I made sure he was good and ready for bed last night so he would sleep good, and we had a calm morning. When we got there, I had J sit under the window where his little brother can't see him. Usually he doesn't want to run right in to the gym, but today he did! He played so hard and had so much fun today! The big balance beam scared him before, and today he didn't want to stop walking all the way down it. He climbed the rock wall about 25 times, and hung like a monkey almost as many. He danced, and clapped, and interacted with the other kids. After 40 minutes, he was worn out and started looking for a way out, so we left. He was done, but happy, so for the first time we didn't leave in a screaming blaze of glory!

I left my phone with J today so I could focus totally on L instead of trying to snap great pictures, so this is what he looked like after class.


I'm becoming better about sticking with things despite my awkward crazy feelings and issues. In this case sticking with it payed off, and I can't wait to take him back next week!

Have a terrific weekend everyone, and...

Be Blessed,

Whit