i was thinking today about what really makes up the daily life ellie & i share right now -- at sixteen months, our days are so very different than they were even a few months ago. there are a few constants in our days & as i try to simplify & surround her with beautiful, simple, natural things there are some very clear favorites for this sweet girl. here they are!
1. we read a lot through out the day & i have so many favorite books, but as ellie forms her own opinions & has books she seems to love to read over and over and over (and over!) again -- this book, trains go, is one of our tried and true loves. i think it will be my new go to one year old birthday present -- the sounds, simple illustrations & things to talk about on each page are just so wonderful. (thank you nana!)
2. the great outdoors. we are truly outside every day -- usually multiple times a day. rain or shine, cold or hot, we find a way to explore. often it's our own backyard (on hotter days, i fill a big cooler with water & she has some simple buckets, shovels, cans that she fills over and over) or the nearby park or some other place we just stumble upon. i find there's nothing more grounding for both of us than just stepping outside. when the day is dragging on or we just feel off, we set off to be outside. i've also found when we travel it's one of the things that settles ellie into a new environment fastest. we took a wonderful weekend trip to north carolina this weekend and literally went to a park five times in three days (!!) -- we made new friends, did familiar things like the swings & slide and discovered new things to climb on. i also find i'm better about talking less (goodness knows i could be quiet more often) and letting ellie try to new things -- we both just settle into being in the great outdoors.
3. this wonderful table & chairs. i'm trying to do small montessori activities with ellie each day -- i went to a montessori school as a child & the methodology just makes sense to me -- it fits with my natural approach to motherhood. (if you're looking for a wonderful book to begin, this is my favorite -- thanks margaret!) i've found this table is our best investment we've made in things for our house for e. we begin each day coloring and working with play dough or animals here each morning. we often eat snack here -- stove top popcorn, trader joes organic animal crackers (so, so good!) or some blueberries. we just invested in two more chairs because we so often find ourselves with three or four of us who'd love to have a seat. this one is so well made & beautiful -- i just love it.
mamas, what are your favorite things these days? i feel like i've finally gotten perspective on being a first time mom -- you really don't need much, but some beautiful, practical, we made things go a long way -- and then get outside! :)