Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Our Year in Review

2010 was filled with many blessings for our family; it was a year which truly changed our lives!

Minnehan Family Farms had a successful calving season with a negative death loss (11 sets of twins!), our garden blossomed and the corn/soybeans did well too! We doubled our living space with an addition and got a few more things cleaned up around our farm. Two weddings joined families and welcomed the births of two baby cousins. I decided to change careers and return to school while still running my part-time business and we made the decision to live more eco-friendly. Everyone has been in good health.

The biggest change to our lives this year was the birth of our first child, our son, Trayton! He had us wrapped around his tiny finger from the moment he was born in April and I could not imagine life without him. It never occurred to me that I could love someone as much as I love Tray; he is our whole world. I am still amazed as I watch him grow and develop his cognitive, social and motor skills, it seems like he does something new every day.

We are very much looking forward to 2011 with the approach of Trayton's first birthday and all of the wonderful things we get to experience with him!

Our resolutions:
  • Lead healthier lives through exercise, nutrition and educated greener choices
  • Live life to the fullest
  • Provide the best possible family and learning environments for Trayton and serve as good examples for what we teach
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and wonderful 2011!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas 2010

Our first family Christmas photo from Portrait Innovations!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Tidbits: Temperament

Have you ever spent time observing the wide range of behaviors a child exhibits on a day to day basis? I never really gave much thought to why children behave the way they do until I had Trayton. Temperamental qualities have been linked to how a person adjusts throughout their life span. Child psychiatrists Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess' research focuses on child development. They studied nine behaviors in children to better understand temperament.

The behaviors studied were:
Activity level
Approach or withdrawal
Attention span and persistence
Intensity of reaction
Quality of mood
Threshold of responsiveness

Three tempermental patterns were derived from the frequency and intensity with which these behaviors were exhibited; research found that all of the children exhibited the behaviors at some time, however, some children were predispositioned to show certain behaviors:

1. Easy - a child exhibiting this pattern would be characterized by their ready adaptabilty, positive mood, and regular sleep, elimination and eating schedules. They also exhibit positive approach responses to new situations.

2. Difficult - pattern is characterized by the slow adaptability, intense emotions, irregular sleep, elimination and eating schedules, irritability and fussiness. These children also exhibit negative responses to new situations.

3. Slow-to-Warm-Up - children exhibiting this pattern have a low level of activity and tend to withdraw from new people and situations. However, their withdrawal is closely followed by their gradual acceptance and adaptability to the new person or situation. Their sleep, elimination and eating schedules are fairly consistent.

Children who do not fit neatly into one of the above patterns of temperament are said to be average, meaning that they may exhibit the behaviors listed above as positive or negative and at varying times, but particular behaviors are not exhibited more than others as in the three afore mentioned patterns.

Thomas and Chess found that the three patterns, Easy, Difficult and Slow-to-Warm-Up, were stable predictors of temperament throughout childhood.   

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Our Lil' Gift

Definitely mama and daddy's favorite gift this year as the onesie implies!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading! Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top Mommy Blogs

Diapers Full of Blarney is listed on Top Mommy Blogs! I am really excited and hope to meet some new people here! I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work, so please bear with me as I fumble through figuring it out (or feel free to leave a comment.)

Hope you enjoy! Your vote is appreciated!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Friday, December 10, 2010

Farm Fresh Friday: Eco-Insulation

When Ryan and I found out we were going to have Trayton, we knew we needed more room in our one bedroom, ~900 sq.ft. little old house, circa 1900. We decided to put on an addition to give us two more bedrooms, an additional bathroom, new living room and poured basement (since the old basement was made of stacked bricks, and old tree stumps supporting the floor joists - not your ideal safe place in a region prone to tornadoes.)

We opted for eco-friendly insulation both in the living areas and in the attic. Ryan blew Comfort-Zone Low Dust Cellulose Insulation in the attic. Comfort-Zone is made from 100% recycled newspaper and other paper products, has the highest insulation (R-value) per square inch and retains this longer and is non-toxic. I was concerned about the toxicity when I looked at the fire retardancy. However, this insulation's fire retardancy is formulated from the naturally occurring element Boron (which also makes it resistant to insects, rodents and fungi.) Boron is commonly ingested through fruits, vegetables, milk and coffee and is used in the medicinal world for the synthesis of some drugs. For more information, the USDA Forest Service and Forest Products Laboratory conducted experiments using Borax-Boric Acid as a fire retardant and there data can be found here.
The second type of insulation used in the living areas was a foam sprayed by Iowa Spray Foam Insulators, LLC. This insulation type uses HeatLok Soy technology, which recycles plastic waste into a polyurethane foam and renewable soy oils. We used this when we remodeled the old part of our house and it works wonderfully to insulate and reduce sound. We have noticed a dramatic difference in the amount of heat and air we use, it is very efficient! We would have liked to have used this insulation in that attic as well but $$$ deterred us at this time. We do plan to use it in the years to come when we have to replace the cellulose.