Looking for Something?
Browsing Category


Author: FLORA

I am a post-career SAHM (Stay-at-home mom), living in Bozeman Montana. I share stories and ideas from parenting with a Montessori and Positive Discipline inspired perspective. Also, I LOVE DIY projects and finding great ways to use thrift store or hand-made toys for my little ones.
Learn more about why I say I'm "Just" a stay-at-home mom.

Find more on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Decide What you Will Do (To Motivate Children to Clean-up)

Today, I want to share how this tool can be very effective in motivating a toddler to clean up.  &#...

How 1-year-olds are the best teachers


004A9053This week I have been noticing how my child has an amazing capacity to help me enjoy the present moment more than I ever have before.  So I want to just take a moment to say thanks for all he does.

1.  When I follow his lead, I am so much more present to the world around me.

Last weekend we were on a walk down our friend’s street and he started screeching. At first I thought it was a sad/angry tantrum, but as I looked at his face he was smiling. I was perplexed for a moment, and then I realized he was echoing the birds in the nearby trees. I hadn’t even tooned into their beautiful songs, and yet he was able to notice and start mimicking them.  What a wonderful thing to be stopped in my tracks to listen and “talk” with the birds.

2.  He helps me to notice things big and small.

There is nothing like having a 1-year-old to help you notice the tiniest things in life. I may notice a giant beautiful tree, but Chunky Monkey will stop with incredible curiosity to marvel at a tiny blade of grass.  He loves to explore every detail of gravel rocks, dirt, plants, etc.  I have never spent so much time noticing “tiny” things on the ground level, and I must say, I’ve been missing out!;)

3.  He helps me to treasure little moments in a spectacular way.

I have always loved buying myself a latte or having 1-on-1 time with a friend. But now, if I have a moment to myself to slowly savor one of those treats, I soak up every little second as if I was spending it with a celebrity. Similarly, there are such precious moments with my son. Hugs, kisses, and the word “momma” have never been sweater than when they come from this little 2 foot man.

So, I am just feeling especially greatful this week for the gifts this little man brings to my life. I am always thinking of ways to teach him, but at 1 year of age he is already teaching me!

Healthy yam pancakes


yam pancakesThis recipe is great for a healthy gluten-free breakfast and/or snack.  This recipe was adapted from a recipe in a great book called  “Super Nutrition for Babies” (which you can find on Amazon).  It is filled with ideas that are considered easier on young digestive tracks, and yet – still yummy!

Here is the fabulous recipe for these yummy yam pancakes (*adapted from Super Nutrition for Babies):

yam pancakes22 eggs

1/4 c previously baked yam

Pinch nutmeg

1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt

1 tsp Ghee, butter or coconut oil.

1/4 c. Arrowroot powder

2 tbsp. coconut flour or almond flour

Mix all ingredients.  Melt the Ghee in a large frying pan and pour mixture out like pancakes.  If pancakes are too thick, thin with milk.

yam pancakes 3*And your little one can even help with mixing the batter.

I found these are great not only in the morning, but for easy on-the-go snacks (in a baggy).



What to do when your 1-year-old won’t get in the car seat

Quote from Positive Discipline. Jane Nelson & Lynn Lott

Quote from Positive Discipline. Jane Nelson & Lynn Lott

This is a tiny example of using the Positive Discipline tool of “Connect before you correct”.  I am NOT saying this will always work, but I had a tiny success moment the other day and thought I would share it, in case it could help another parent.

We were leaving Music Together class (where my 1-year-old had just had a ton of fun), and he was not interested in going home.  We got to the car and I couldn’t quite open the car door to get him into his seat because the car next to us was about to pull out.  So, I set him down in the grass in front of our car and let him walk around in the median a bit (holding my hand).  *This may have not helped our situation because he loves to be outside walking around.

Anyway, once the car was gone, I opened the car door and tried to sit him car seat trouble with toddlerin the car seat but was greated with a very hefty hip thrust forward, arching his back and screaming.  Yeah.  Loud and clear little buddy.  You do not want to get in the car. Got it.

I was guessing he was sad to leave class and all the other kids, so instead of having a power struggle to try to shove him in the seat, I pulled him out of the seat and onto my hip and talked him through it a bit. *Lots of connecting to what he was likely feeling.    “CM, I know you are sad that we are leaving.  It was so much fun in class today, wasn’t it.  We got to play with fun instruments and friends.  It’s hard to say goodbye.”

Then….the correction.

“Let’s look around though.  See! All the other kids are getting in their cars to go home.  The class is all done (a phrase he knows from when eating is done).  So, we are going to get in our car too, to go home.”

I was annoyed, but did my best to talk slowly and with a calm voice (not easy in these moments).  

After a moment of looking around and watching another car drive away, I sat him back in his car seat and talked about the fun that was ahead.  “Dad will be home when we get there, and we will cook dinner together and get to play together.”  His body softened into the seat and we were able to move forward as we normally do.

So thankful for this tool from Positive Discipline. I would love to hear comments of what you do when you get that hip thrust out of the car seat (or other tough moments).  I know they will come again!

4 Tips to Stay Centered as a Parent


centered as a parentI think it is super important to take a mommy “vacation” for some self-care, if you have a support system that will help you to do this.

3 weeks ago I took my first trip away from my little “Chunky Monkey” (1 year old), to have  a girl’s weekend with my mom and some friends at Westminster Woods Camp and Conference Center.


Couldn’t say it better myself!

1st off, I have to give a shout out to “The Woods” (as we call it), for being one of my favorite places in the Universe.  It is a peaceful adorable place in the redwoods of Norther California, where I have made memories since I was 2 years old.  I used to go there as a summer-camper, then I went as a high school volunteer, and then as a college summer staffer.  So, going back is like returning “home”.

The speaker at this Women’s retreat was Sheila Denton of the Unique Self-Coaching Collective.  She is amazing! And since you couldn’t all be there to benefit from her amazing ways of leading us all into a more centered place, I want to share some of her wisdom with you.

1.  She asked great questions.  Great ones for anyone to ask themselves.  Take 1-3 minutes to let your pen free-flow to complete each of the following statements:

Continue Reading

What is Mindful Parenting?


Last night I attended a local parenting workshop on Mindful Parenting.  I Mindful parentinggot some great take-aways, so I thought I would share them here.

Mindful Parenting…

1.  Is NOT about being a perfectly peaceful, tea drinking, yoga mom (or dad).

2.  It is observing, “showing up”/being present with your child, not judging (yourself or your child) for mistakes that happen, enjoying the present moment, listening (really listening and not just waiting for you turn to speak), and welcoming what is emerging in the moment (which can require dropping your agenda to flow with what the moment requires).

3.  It’s about connecting to your body.  The best way to be a “mindful parent” in a difficult moment is to draw your attention to your body.  Stop, take a breath, maybe wiggle your toes or fingers, and remind yourself that you are in this moment.  This helps to pull you out of any magnified emotions that may be fueled by what went on throughout the day, or even with someone else, and it helps get you out of the “fight or flight” mode (if you’ve gone there).

4.  Recommends Collaborative Problem-Solving instead of being a rigid “boss” or “doormat/people-pleaser”, over-indulgent parent.

The steps for Collaborative Problem-Solving come from Ross Green, and were described in the workshop like this:

When an issue arrises with your child where they want something you can’t/don’t want to give them, you….

  • Empathize first.  People (including children) are always more likely to compromise if they first feel they have been heard, understood, and validated in their feelings/request.  This puts the child’s interests “on the table”.  This could sound like, “OK.  You are really wanting pizza right now.  Let me think about that”.
  • Define the Problem. This is your chance to put your side of the issue on the table (SOOOO important that this comes 2nd, not 1st). This could be, “Well, we need to get to a doctor’s appointment in 10 minutes and I want to be sure we are on time”.
  • Invite the other person to the “problem-solving party”.  This can be as simple as saying, “Hmmm, what can we do about that?”  or “How could we get some pizza and get to the appointment on time?”  It’s a chance to encourage the child to be solution-focused, and shows that you trust they have wisdom and ideas for how to solve the problem.  The younger the child, the more you are going to help them come up with ideas, but you still always want it to have the flavor of brain-storming options, instead of telling them what the solution has to be.

I hope you enjoy increasing your mindfulness in parenting, and I’d love to hear what “mindful parenting” is to you.