I Read a Few Books Along the Way

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I remember when I graduated college, I was most excited to finally be able to read books that I was actually interested in and enjoyed. I wasn’t much of a fiction reader at the time, and I’m not embarrassed to give the Twilight series credit for enlightening me to the joy of reading fiction. However, I still love reading non-fiction, and still do it most often.

In the airport on my honeymoon, I picked up a copy of The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which quickly led me down the rabbit trail of reading and researching holistic health and nutrition. Fast track ten years later, and here I am tending to a large garden, raising chickens for eggs, making my own sourdough bread, eating fermented foods, with two young children born in my bedroom. Needless to say, I’ve read a few more books and blogs along the way!

Now having said that, just because I’ve read a few books doesn’t make me an expert in anything. At all. Honestly, if you ask me why I do a certain thing, chances are I don’t remember the details of why. I read the well-researched information, apply it to my life where and when necessary, and move onward. It simply helps govern the decisions I make for the health and well-being of my family, but reading comprehension and memorization was never my strengths in school!

Since I have been asked more than once for resources that have asssisted me along the way, I figured it is easiest to share my favorite books and blogs here for anyone interested to have. I have learned that most people are only able to learn and apply new ways of living if they are open and searching for it. So if that is you, this post may be for you! I will link to where you can find the books for sale online, and also update this post if I come across any new resources.

Fertility, Pregnancy, & Birth:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

The Healthy Pregnancy Book by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Garten

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare by Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan, ND

Respectful Parenting:

Caring For Infants With Respect by Magda Gerber

Your Self-Confident Baby by Magda Gerber

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury and her blog was a God-send for me

Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Farber and Elaine Mazlish

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

Health and Nutrition:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Nourished Beginnings Baby Food and Beyond by Renee Kohley and the recipes on her blog are used very frequently in our home

The Weston A. Price Foundation

Nourishing Our Children

The Vaccine Book by Robert W. Sears, MD, FAAP

Updated 1/31/18 to add (how could I forget?!): Wellness Mama

Homeschooling:

Free To Learn by Peter Gray

Teach Your Own by John Holt

Simply Charlotte Mason

Wild + Free Online Homeschool Community

 

May God bless you on your personal journey to better health and wellness!

Xx,

Anna

 

 

 

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DIY Sand Pit

DIY SandpitSpring was upon us so I started researching ideas for an outdoor playspace. We live in the woods, so there is already a lot for a toddler to play and stay busy with, but I really wanted to have a section of our yard to be a safe area for my son and his friends, cousins, and God-willing, future sibling(s) to play in. I decided the first thing we needed was some sort of sandy area for him to dig in. For the time being, we had a bucket full of sand collected from our creek that he enjoyed, but it was limited enjoyment. I also wanted his play area to blend in with the natural landscape, and not be an eyesore. So, we decided to build our own sandpit using rocks we found around the property as the boundary.

I started by making an outline between two trees, near our hammock, where I envisioned the sandpit. Matt thought it was too big, but I reminded him that it won’t always just be one child playing, and it would be nice for them not to have to play on top of one another. Once the outline was set, we began to dig up the ground to make it level and deep enough for sand to not overflow into the yard.

Sandpit Progress

Sandpit ProgressOnce we had it dug up, Matt found some landscaping cloth and garden staples at Home Depot, that we adhered to the pit before placing any rocks in it. This ensured we wouldn’t lose our sand into the dirt over time. We then searched for and collected rocks of various sizes that we could manage on our own without a machine other than our 4-wheeler and trailer. We made a large pile, and began outlining our pit with the rocks. Matt started by putting the largest ones in the back, which was also the deeper area. Once the rocks got small enough for me to manage, I finished the front half.

Collecting Rocks on the 4-wheelerSandpit Progress

Sandpit Progress

Sandpit Progress

Sandpit ProgressMuscle Shadow

I used leftover fill to back-fill around the rocks, and then cut open each bag of sand to dump into the pit. Of course, we had to go to two different Home Depots to get enough 50lb. bags of play sand, and of course they were by two different companies, therefore two different colors and consistencies. I was really bummed about it, so I tried to mix it up since I much preferred the look of the white sand over the orange-ish sand. As I emptied the bags into the pit, my son stood by the edge and began to throw rocks, acorn tops, and sticks into the sand. I told myself that the sand pit would never be “neat” and I had to get over it right then and there. We bought 40 bags, but I chose not to use the last 4 to save some money, so 36 in total!Sandbags in Sandpit DIY Sandpit

After crushing one finger between two rocks and cutting my finger with the razor blade while opening the sand bags, the sand pit was finally ready to be played in! So, as L stepped onto the sand and realized it was not rock solid ground, he immediately wanted my help getting back out. This past winter he also refused to walk in the snow. While on vacation to the beach in the middle of this project, we learned he also strongly dislikes walking in sand. I am very hopeful he will soon get over his dislike for walking on unsolid ground, and actually use the beautiful sandpit we put so much time, sweat, pain, and love into creating for him. I suppose for now he can just throw random objects into it. Whatever makes your heart content, Big Guy. It’s all for you (and I suppose the chickens too)!

Playing in Sand Standing in front of Sandpit Chickens in Sandpit