One thing I have always attempted to do with Bentley and Cora was sensory play and exploring. When we lived in our old house we didn’t exactly have the space to store bins or even have a nice place for them to actually be able to play with them unless I got everything out and put it on the dining room table in a small bin that they often times fought over.
Now that we have created a little oasis in our new house for them to create and explore, I was able to take one of Cora’s birthday presents (we used it as a sand box prior) and use it the way I intended it to be used for, a sensory table!!
A few weekends ago now, Cora and I decided to do a little shopping while the boys did yard work with grandma and grandpa. And with her expertise, we created our very first season themed bin. We were going back between a spooky Halloween theme and fall theme, but since we are able to start and keep the bin out a bit longer, we went with just a Harvest/Fall theme. I myself think that it turned out fantastic!
Here’s what we put into it…
Dried Beans (black, pinto, kidney, and chickpeas). We used 2lbs of each kind to fill the bin to our liking.
Fake mini pumpkins + corn on the cob.
Mini hay bales.
Fake fall maple leaves.
Mini white apple buckets (found in the wedding department).
A scarecrow and harvest owl.
Wooden spoon + silicone spoon.
We purchased almost everything at our local Dollar Tree with the exception of the chickpeas and wooden spoon!
Our plan is to keep this out out through November and then get one started for a Winter theme! We will be starting a sensory tote to put all of our different themes in so we can rotate as we want. We will focus on seasons first and then possibly move onto holidays + fun random themes like the beach or space!
Having a creative outlet has always been important to me. I used to craft and create whenever I could. I even remember taking light switch covers and gluing layers of pictures together to make my room look cool. I taught myself how to crochet. It has always been a big part of my life and I wish I had more time to take up some of the creative hobbies that I seemed to loose over the past couple of years.
That is why creating a space for the kids to create in was so important to me. When we bought this house and saw that the basement was mostly finished I squealed a little inside! Not only could I create a massive space for them to hang out, I could build what we call “centers” for them to really do the things they love.
We have been adding piece by piece to create their little oasis and have a few more projects in the works, but I was determined to get their art center done before the new baby came. I wanted to give them an inside space that they could go to and just be kids. Make a mess. Imagine great things. A place for them to get away to if they want or need to. And it turned out way better than I imagined!
We had a few things that I used from our old house. This included the wall hung easel that Cora got for Christmas last year, the metal cart, the look what I did wall hanger, and the red sensory table that Cora got for her birthday this year. I knew that I wanted to include all of these into the space, but wanted to tie it all together with something meaningful.
I found the amazing quoted print at Hobby Lobby when we first moved into the house. When I read it I started crying and knew it had to go into their space. I finished it off with portraits of both Bentley and Cora from our sunflower photo session this summer. Those pictures meant so much to me personally and our photographer (Brittney E Photography) did such an amazing job capturing our growing family.
A few other things I added…
Wool pom pom garland (Amazon)
Metal paper wall organizer (Amazon)
Plexiglass on the wall (Menards) – We use Tempra paint sticks to color on this. Super fun + easy to wipe clean.
Kid size table + chairs (Amazon)
Pencil/marker/crayon organizer (Metal buckets from Walmart, wood backing from our yard)
There are still some things that I want to add including an organization cart and hanging wall organizer for small craft supplies such as googly eyes, etc. but I am so thrilled to give them a space where they can hang out and use their imagination!
No I just have to figure out what project I want to tackle next!
How is it that a pregnancy can feel like eternity but also feel like you blinked and it was over? I feel as if we were just finding out that we were expecting with a whirlwind of other changes happening in our lives. We were so excited that to see the word pregnant on that pregnancy test because it took us longer this time around to conceive than it did with Cora. Logan and I both agreed that we wanted just one more little Larson (yes, we question our sanity sometimes too) and knowing that our family was going to be in our eyes “complete” was an amazing feeling. I couldn’t wait to feel the kicks again.
With this pregnancy I did go to Fetal Maternal Medicine to make sure complications weren’t present as they were with my other two pregnancies. And miraculously everything looked wonderful! All they found was that I had what is called Venus Lakes on my Placenta and watched little man’s growth for another week, but soon released me to let things go naturally.
As I hit this milestone of 38 weeks, we are now anticipating the arrival of our little boy in just one week! They are planning on inducing on the 21st of September and I have to say I am relieved to finally know a date! With prior anxieties and also the fact that I am still working a full time job, knowing we can line things up with family makes things just a little bit less chaotic!
We cannot wait to meet this bundle of joy and share this newest journey!
It’s easy to get into the swing of negativity right now. There are so many unknowns in the world and so many opinions that seem to be pushed into our lives. Sometimes we just need to sit back and remind ourselves to be positive. To be patient with how life is going right now. Everyone has something positive to pull focus on! That’s what I am here for. I am creating this special place for my family to look at when we are feeling defeated, where we can say “Hey! Remember how much fun we had when we did that?” Our life is chaotic and busy but I never want to forget how much our family grows every single year. Not only with us getting older, obviously, but also how we grow together and with each other. It’s an amazing journey and it’s only just begun.
So what has happened to the Larson family in 2020 that we can pull focus on?
In January I got a promotion at work! This promotion has opened a lot of doors into my leadership growth. I was able to travel to LaCrosse and go through (most of) my training. I pushed myself so hard to get to this point and it was an amazing feeling to feel myself grow into a career.
We also found out we are PREGNANT in January! I found out the week I was headed for training, so lots of excitement was happening! We also found out we are welcoming another little boy. Feeling really blessed to be able to keep the Larson name going. I never really knew how much that would mean to us.
In March local schools were shut down and Bentley was pushed into packet learning from home. This is where some chaos started, but it also gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my kids and learn how to balance my life a little better. How to prioritize and set up a better structure with my family.
Even though schools were cancelled Logan and I were still considered essential workers. Although there were some uncertainties that came along with this and not knowing if we were going to bring the virus home made us nervous, we also felt very blessed that we could still bring in our same income and support our family like so many other families could not anymore.
In July we bought our HOME! This has been something we’ve wanted to do since we got back home to Wisconsin, but just weren’t financially able to. With support from family we were able to find our dream home tucked away in the country. It has everything we could ask for as our family grows and is so peaceful and wonderful.
Logan started his schooling for his new department. He has wanted this from the time he started at the mill and it happened! It’s going to be quite the journey but being able to go to school and have on the job training will be essential for his continued growth. We are very proud of him!
We also had an amazing season on the racetrack! This is what our summer consisted of. I never realized how much I would love being a race wife. In the beginning I found it stressful, but now that I have surrendered to my own feelings and see how much it has positively impacted my kids, I love it. We had a new car this year and you could tell that Logan’s seat time was paying off. He did awesome and now there is talk about when the kids are going to be in cars. (The verdict is still out on this one.)
It is now September and my due date is in just a few weeks. To say 2020 has been amazing for us is an understatement. We may have had to do these things in different ways to accomplish them, but we did it and are going to go into the new year in a place we always wanted to be!
Take a minute to look back at this year and pick out the positive points, big or small! Jot them down somewhere and when you’re feeling the negativity rain down on you, look at your list. There is so much to be happy about friends!