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Our Dual-Faith Home

My husband and I are not of the same religion; like complete opposite religions really. He is a Christian (or “Church of England”, as he would say) and I am a pagan (eclectic, but predominately Celtic based). My husband is an odd Christian though; he believes in reincarnation, past lives, and karma. While he believes in heaven, he also believes that when he dies, he’ll come back. So, yea, maybe that is why he was fine with my polar opposite of his religion. That’s not really the point of this though. The reason I had thought of it is that this weekend is a holiday for me; Lughnasadh. Now, I’ll be honest with you; I’m a lazy pagan. I cook meals for holidays (most of the time), and I’ll spend time out in nature. Really though, my spirituality as a pagan isn’t much different then that of a Christian. The main thing I do is pray. I just pray to someone different, that’s all.

Well, the point of admitting to be a lazy pagan is that I would like that to stop, sooner then later. I’ve used the excuse that I have a kid, and he’s just too young to understand any of it. He probably still is, I mean, he’ll be 3 in a couple weeks. So yea, still too young. However, I could start reading him mythology (they do make kids versions after all). He already likes being outside, and a lot of nature-y things; I could start teaching him more about them. We could do crafts related to my holidays, during those times of the year (I have 8 religious holidays a year; not including the Christian holidays we also take part in). And during those crafts, I could try to explain how it’s related to whichever pagan holiday we’re doing crafts for. 

Well, this coming Saturday is Lughnasadh (some celebrate it on the 1st, some on the 2nd). It is the first of three harvest festivals, and was historically observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Manx as the beginning of the harvest season . It’s name comes from the Irish God named Lugh, and without going into some long history to modern day practices involved with the festival, it was basically a time of feasting, blessing the fields and wells, and athletic competitions were held as well. 

As it is common to have a feast during this holiday, I will be making steak (as they used to sacrifice a bull, and add it to their feast), corn (as the first corns were part of the feasts), and some other things (I’m not sure yet; potatoes, bread, etc). 

When I lived in England, my husband took me to a well during this time. I would just simply put flowers on it, and say prayers. We don’t have any wells near by. However, I would like to do some crafts with my son for Lughnasadh. So, I think I will make a little well. That day, my son and I (maybe my husband too, if I can talk him into it) will go for a walk, and collect flowers, and maybe other nature goodies we find. Once home, I will tell him about well blessings, and we’ll place the flowers on the little well I’ve made for us. 

Other common crafts done during this time include typical fall themed crafts, such as wreaths, corn husk dolls, making a cornucopia, corn and seed necklaces or bracelets, and many other things.

I’m not sure what else we’ll do, but I do think it’s time for me to add in some of my holiday bits into my son’s world.  

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Pom Pom Roads

Yesterday I was inspired by another mommy blogger (The Pinterested Parent) to try some pom pom crafts with my toddler. She had made these adorable pom pom bugs with her daughter, and I thought it would be fun to try with my son. I even went to the dollar store and got all sorts of craft stuff. I was excited to try a new craft with the boy.

However, all did not go as plan, which I guess can be expected when trying something new with a toddler. Maybe it was the glue I used; maybe the pom poms were of cheap quality. Maybe this new craft was too much for my son, since our crafting has generally been limited to coloring and finger painting up until this point. I don’t know.

All was not lost though. Instead, we made pom pom roads! My boy is a car and truck obsessed little one, so I thought well, surely if we build a road together, then maybe it would pave the way to future pom pom crafting. We’ll see about that another day.

What we ended up doing was taking a few pieces of construction paper and gluing them together, and using pom poms to create the road barriers.

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So, sure, it’s something incredibly simple. I don’t even think this would be considered all that crafty. John Avery enjoyed it, and really that’s all that matters.

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Traveling with a 3 Year-Old

So, my son is very close to 3 years-old. We’ll be traveling by plane to visit my father and step-mother just two days after his 3rd birthday. He has flown a few times, including across an ocean (he slept most of it), but this will be the first time he has his own seat on an airplane. I have to admit; this makes me a bit nervous. He is a typical little boy; very mischievous, and never wanting to sit still for more then a couple minutes at a time. I’m also a bit nervous about our layover. I’ve never had one where we have to catch a bus on the grounds to get to our connecting terminal; all within an hour (assuming we land on time), with a 3 year-old, and our carry-ons. I’m tempted to buy a cheap little stroller for him, just to make things easier on me.

So, how am I to entertain the boy while we fly for 2 hours, and then for another hour. I know, that’s not very long at all. Doesn’t matter; at his age, it’s stressful either way. I’ve looked around online for some ideas. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with most of the ideas I’d see in other blogs. Why on Earth would someone bring tiny things that can be thrown everywhere (much to the airline attendants delight, I’m sure) like the little pom poms craft items. Okay, sure, those can be used in several ways for great little hand/eye coordination or fine motor skill practice. But on a plane? Seriously guys? 3 year-old boys tend to throw things, and make a mess at every opportunity. Yea, I was a left a bit unsure of how to entertain him. I do have a few ideas though.

  • Flash cards: For this, I would use ones from the dollar store, or make your own. I have a couple sets already from the dollar store though, so I will be taking those. Being from the dollar store, I don’t care if we lose them. Aside from using them as flash cards, my son likes to have them upside down and flip them over and look at the different cards. We could even make a memory game out of it.
  • Books: If you don’t want to take any of your own books, surprise the little one with new ones. I would suggest getting these also from the dollar store, or even better at Goodwill. I just bought my son some new books for the trip, and I got lucky and Goodwill was having a 50% off sale, so his books were only 25 cents each. For on the plane, I could read them to him. I don’t think other passengers would care that much. Also, he likes to look through the books himself and point out different pictures.
  • Toy cars: Again, from the dollar store. I wouldn’t take his nicer hot wheels, because I wouldn’t want to risk losing them. My son can pretend anything is a road, so I wouldn’t need to worry about that part unless I wanted to. I plan on getting a few, and giving him one at a time. I hope to be able to go at least 20-30 minutes before having to give him another car.
  • Coloring toys: At the dollar store, dollar general, and lots of other places, you can find these little travel coloring sets that come with 4 crayons and a character themed little coloring book, and sometimes stickers as well. I have a few of these set aside. We have hot wheels, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse, and a couple others. I’ve seen these made in all sorts of different kids characters, and only a dollar a piece.
  • Tablet games: We don’t own a portable DVD player, or I would have said that as well. However, our son does have his own tablet (he got my first one after me and my husband got new ones. I wouldn’t just buy a toddler a tablet; a first gen Kindle Fire 7″). I plan on getting him a couple new game apps that I think he would like and not putting them on his tablet until the night before the trip. As well, I’ll keep a couple on there that I know he really likes that he already has. Our cable company has an app that will let us download shows and movies to watch offline, so I will be downloading some of those as well. If they won’t fit on his tablet (the first gen Kindle Fire really doesn’t have a lot of room), I’ll put them on a sd card and let him watch them from my tablet. That should take up some time at least.

I know that’s not a lot of ideas, but I am still coming up with them. We have a little under 2 weeks to go until our trip, so I have time to add some ideas for how to entertain him.

What would you add to the list? How do you keep your toddler or preschooler entertained while traveling by plane?