Natural Parenting Class

This new 6 part series is taught by various local experts in the fields. Price is $120 per couple and will meet on Wednesday evenings. Class size is limited so register early!

Whether this is your first child or your sixth, this series is a great way to learn the basics of a more natural parenting method.  The series begins by discussing methods to help start (or delay) a pregnancy and continues through every stage until a gentle baby-led weaning. Not only are these methods natural, but they will also save your family, time, money and energy.

Series Topics:

Natural Family Planning
NFP or fertility awareness helps us learn how to move with the flow of our bodies and know our bodies. This knowledge of how our cycle works can be used to help achieve or avoid a pregnancy and can safely be used while breastfeeding.

Getting ready for your ideal birth can be an exciting time. You will learn various birth options and comfort measures for a low intervention birth.

Healing Touch
The outside world can be loud and bright. Learn strategies for soothing and calming a baby through gentle touch as well as signs to look for after birth that baby is aligned and positioned correctly.

As soon as baby arrives, you will need to be ready to teach baby to nurse. Making good choices during labor and in the early hours after birth can help set you up for a successful breastfeeding relationship.

This section will cover latch, breastfeeding management and pumping/bottles for those returning to work.

 Baby-Led Weaning
Research is showing that the days of rice cereal and premade baby foods may have only been advantageous to those selling it. This simple and gradual food introduction and weaning method provides complete nutrition for your baby while saving your family money.

Cloth Diapering
Whether you want to learn about cloth to save $2-$3K, to save the environment, to keep chemicals off your little baby or just because they are cute, this section will cover the basics for how to get started and the pros and cons of different systems.

Babies that are worn more cry less. Babywearing helps promote baby/parenting bonding, helps establish a strong breastmilk supply and just helps parents get things done. Learn the different styles and benefits.

Register Here!

Are all toys created equal?

This it the first post in a series about toys and what to look for when toy shopping.  In the early days of Little Ants, we wrote this post: about our experiences with selecting toys.  Well that post was 12 yrs ago (It has a different date from moving blog services). A lot has changed and a lot hasn’t changed in the last 12 years.

What has changed:

1. Most parents do not remember the lead paint recall scare of 2008.
2. Wood has become the new black.
3. Tablets entered the market
4. LEGO finally effectively tapped into the little girl market
5. Prices on toys jumped due to all the extra regulations that resulted from point #1.

What hasn’t changed?

1. Children’s natural curiosity.
2. Children’s desire to play with and interact with parents and older children.
3. That play is the primary way children learn in the first 6 years of their life and remains important through adulthood.
4. That some toys encourage and inspire children more than other toys do.

So over the next few weeks as we go over what the difference is between types of toys and what they encourage psychologically, emotionally, and mentally it is important to remember that while some of our culture changes and shifts towards more technology and more batteries, that the intrinsic nature of the child does not.

Check back tomorrow for our post “Batteries not Included”.

Lego Classes

Story Book  Class: Little Ants is excited to announce two Lego StoryStarter classes.  Classes will meet once a week for 12 weeks.  Level 1 is for  3-6yrs   Level 2 is 2nd-5th grade.   The Preschool group with be a retelling and building of classic and original stories.  The Level 2 Grade School group will incorporate building with writing stories on associated software. Class is $75 for preschool $100 for grade school for 12 week semester.  Classes are at 3:30 pm Tuesdays for 3-6 yr olds & 3:30pm Mondays for 2nd-5th grade. Register Here



Building USA History

Students will learn about events in US History by discussing/presenting facts to the rest of the class, then building the scenes out of Legos. Each student will be responsible to research one or two topics and tell the class about it throughout the semester. Each week we will cover one topic and build a lego scene based on the topic.  Ages 4th-8th grade. Class is $75 per student for 12 weeks.  Class will meet on Thurs at 3:30pm. Register here.

Classes will begin the week of Sept 15th.


After the flood

About 3 weeks ago our store had a major sump pump failure and got 2.5 feet of water. It caused chaos to two businesses that are already “kinda” chaotic, but this post isn’t a pity party. It is about being spoiled good.

In the last 2.5 weeks, I have been spoiled rotten. My husband bought my tired body an iPad mini (which is how this post was written since my days are still kinda crazy). The local LLL group raised funds to treat my family to an edible fruit basket and help me rebuild the resource library I had accumulated through the years.  Someone even wrote Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and got my autographed book replaced. Tons of friends and customers have helped clean, scrub, and restore as much damaged stuff as we can. GR Freeman heating and cooling came and fixed my furnace when they heard insurance wouldn’t cover it. I mean seriously I have been pampered and spoiled. My heart is bubbling with love and appreciation, but there is more….

I have been spoiled good.  I often hear moms come in the store talking about welling meaning family members that say not to hold the baby too much or answer every cry because they will get spoiled rotten. As a *mostly* grown adult, I have to say that this time of being held either in prayer, in work, or in thoughts has not spoiled me in the sense that I now think everyone should give me everything that I want, but has spoiled me in the sense that I feel loved. I feel rejuvenated to keep supporting new parents in their journey as I am also so supported. Why would our society think that a tender innocent baby would feel any different when spending hours, days, weeks in the tender loving arms of their parent?

You can only spoil with stuff. Love refreshes and preserves.


Thank you all for such generosity the last few weeks.

Potty time…again….

With 5 kids, I have potty trained, well 5 times. While each of my children has been different in the age and what part of training was the most difficult, I have found that there are some key aspects to potty training.

My basic method is to put the diapers away tell the child they have gotten too big for them and they now get underwear. This is where it gets, well, messy. I literally put the child in underwear. The result, there ends up being a bunch of “clean spots” in our house as I have mopped up pee from one location or another. Last month I decided I was done with my daughters super sensitive skin and removing all acid food from our diet. It was time to venture into the potty world and be a potty girl (anyone remember that Barbie girl song from the 90s? If so feel free to replace the “barbie” part with “potty” and annoy yourself to death).

This is what my week looked like:
Sunday- we introduced her little potty and how she can use it anytime she wanted. We also showed her the new panties we bought.
Monday – We explained that the panties actually go on your bottom and not your head and put a pair on her. The rest of the day was spent changing pants and underpants about every 20 minutes.
Tuesday – We spent the day changing pants and underpants and mopping the floor every hour (note the fact that the time was getting longer). Everytime she peed on the floor, we would sit her on the potty and remind her that is where she puts her pee. That it is where mommy goes potty, daddy goes potty, and then we named every brother and how they go potty there.
Wednesday – A few pees managed to be on the potty but the rest was on the floor. Lots of clean spots in our house at this point.
Thursday – I was getting annoyed. I was sick of washing underpants out in the sink (we only had 7 pairs) and sick of cleaning pee. I was about to give up, but remembered that I promised that as long as she didn’t complain about using the potty, I would take her submission as enthusiasm. So we kept at it and only had about 3 pees not in the potty!
Friday – Every single pee made it into the potty and the same on Saturday.

Night time is a different story. She often wakes up to pee, but sometimes doesn’t. I honestly don’t know that I am determined enough to keep her dry at night to get out of my warm cozy bed. Maybe when she starts letting daddy take her potty at night my brain will start realizing that she does actually give signs in her sleep that she needs to pee.

For more tips, an oldie but a goodie: Potty Training from 2011

Mama’s little babies are growing up. Life on the creative side.

In a few short weeks, I will celebrate 12 years of being a mom. As a new mom, my goal was to raise children who were still creative and willing to think outside of the box as they got older. I always wanted them to know they were only confined by their own imagination and the toys I bought them reflected that desire. I bought open ended toys like simple building items, simple wooden foods, and simple musical instruments. I always encourage reading stories, dramatic play and allowing them to come back to play instead of having a game needing to be end because of the confines of a space or basket. Almost 12 years later I have not one but 5 kids who not only can think outside of the box, but often don’t even realize there is a box in the first place (unless it is a large enough piece of cardboard to make a shield). Yes my life is chaos in motion, yes our toys take a beating (but they have all survived 5 kids), and yes some days I wish just one battle could be cleaned up so I don’t trip on it, but I also remind myself that some day all the Lego battles, wooden towers and train wrecks will be gone and I hope that I am left with adults who put that same desire of completion, self motivation, determination and ultimately joy into the world around them to leave it a better place than when they first found it, with a little more love, a little more respect and a little more creativity. Our life is chaos, but I relish in the present to fill me for the future.

Building US History Class

Handwashing made easy

Last month my family went on vacation.  My youngest has very sensitive skin and has reacted to the soap residue in hotel washing machines.  We decided that this trip we needed to try something different.  What we found was definitely different, but also easy and fun.  We bought a Breathing Mobile Washer.  It basically looks like a plunger from the outside but the inside is an aerator to move water and air through your clothes mimicking the agitator in a top loading washing machine.   I was skeptical to say the least but within 5-10 minutes of squishing the mobile washer through the tub or bucket, even the diapers with poop were clean.  The process was easy. I  filled a tub or bucket with water and some Allen’s Naturally soap and then tossed in our clothes.  The squishing was fast and effective.  I then dumped the soapy water and went on to my rinse cycle.  I refilled the bucket with clean water and squished some more.  The last step was the hardest part of wringing the clothes out.  My husband and I were thinking we needed some sort of wringer or centrifuge.  Since that time I found a recommendation on their website from a brilliant mom who used the wringer from a commercial mop bucket.  That would make this everyday doable not just vacation doable.  Over all it was a great way to save power, energy and get my clothes really clean.  For apartments or those without washers, this would be a valuable asset and at $20.00 you  really can’t go wrong.  That is only a handful of loads at the laundry mat!



The squishing was so much fun that my daughter joined in helping wash her diapers.

After we were done washing, I hung the clothes to dry on a portable drying rack we made out of two pants hangers.

Two multi pant hangers clipped together and hung from the hotel chairs.

DIY Bookshelves

Got Christmas items that now need a home? Check out my quick easy do it yourself shelves.I am very proud of the bookcase I built for the kids so I thought I would share it.

This is what it looks like when opened up.

It is hinged so you can do it as a corner shelf or a flat wall and then when it isn’t used, it all folds onto itself. Now I need to go get a board to make a table top that will rest on the top when it is closed so we have more workspace. The best part is that even with all of the wood the whole thing cost about $75.00 and we bought good wood. The guy at Lowe’s cut all the boards so I didn’t have to figure out how to manage a circular saw with kids. He even cut the panel for the back.  I bought some wood screws, wheels, hinges, and a latch. My dad shared a great tip from my grandfather, his father-in-law, which I love to hear stories about him learning from him.  He was the type of man that all men should be, but I digress.  Anyway the tip was to clamp the boards for both sides together so that they are being drilled straight through and you don’t have to worry if you are a cm off. You still need to line the two holes per shelf up on the one board, but it is a lot less to keep precise. Then I literally just screwed it all together added the wheels and hinges. Had my kids sand it (kids are great for that and the LOVED it) and latched it shut.

Scavenger Hunt!

WIN an Ergo!!!!


We decided that since we started out online 11 years ago, we should extend the hunting fun to you our virtual friends.  So you have until September 15, 2013 to email us with the answer to the following questions.  If you get stumped, comment on our FB or comments here to ask for more clues.  You will know you have the right answer because you will see this little image on the page of our website. Everything is a clue to an item we carry in our store.

So now the questions:

Scavenger Hunt




  1. Have a kick at 4:20
  2. As a video game I was a success but the movie I was based off of was a box office flop
  3. The 16thpresident lived in one of these before the white house
  4. Great practice for the World Cup
  5. It’s a kugelbahn
  6. This Mother loves to boost your milk supply
  7. bonjour je suis une girafe
  8. I use to be a grass now I have wheels
  9. Weird Al would be jealous of these wheels
  10. Since life isn’t always full of straight lines, measure with these.


Email: with your answers by Sept. 15th.  Happy Hunting!