How to Determine Your Child’s Temperament

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Common sense tells us there are different types of people in the world. You might even notice quite a variety in your own family. One child is quiet and serious while another is excitable and outgoing. Classical scholars developed the four temperaments to describe and better understand these differences in disposition; the temperaments have their root in the ancient Greek theory of humorism.

The four basic temperaments are: SANGUINE, MELANCHOLIC, PHLEGMATIC AND CHOLERIC

Traditionally, personalities were associated with the elements. I’ll mention those here with a brief description of each disposition:

The Playful Sanguine (Air): Quick to react, quick to “let it go.” The sanguine child is sociable, optimistic and fun-loving. His emotions run the gamut and can change very quickly. This child is easily distracted and flits from one thing to another. The sanguine is highly sensual and loves sights, sounds, smells and all the variety the world has to offer. Your sanguine child can find a “best friend” in five minutes and will make other children feel loved and accepted. He is impulsive and may like to take risks; “look before you leap” is not in the Sanguine lexicon! Sanguines are often messy and disorganized. They have trouble controlling their emotions. But the Sanguine loves to please people and is thankfully quite easy to cheer up.3facesofeve

The Perfect Melancholic (Earth): Slow to react, slow to “let it go.” Your melancholic child is reserved and analytical. He wants to do everything JUST RIGHT and may get all bent out of shape when something isn’t perfect. He may appear to other children to be cautious, timid or unsure at first, but the melancholic does form true and lasting friendships. Highly sensitive with a strong sense of justice and fairness, the melancholic is prone to perfectionism and suffer pangs of disappointment if he falls short. This child is easily discouraged, holds on to grudges and has a memory like an elephant. Melancholics generally like organization; they like to gather information, sort things and make lists. This child fears taking risks and making wrong decisions. Being very sensitive to what others think, he doesn’t want to look foolish or incompetent. Melancholics love to learn and take in information; they devour books, recite facts and generally enjoy the idea of school work.

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The Peaceful Phlegmatic (Water): Slow to react, quick to “let it go.” The phlegmatic child seems generally content with life. Give him food, rest and a few toys and he is good to go. This child can get along with just about anybody and earns well-deserved praise for being a peacemaker. The phlegmatic rarely complains or expresses strong emotion on the outside, but don’t let this fool you. Still waters run deep. You might often wonder what’s going on in that little head. A phlegmatic child has the tendency to escape into a dream world and get very little done. Thinking about things is much more enjoyable than actually doing them. He will need a lot of encouragement and motivation to take action. The phlegmatic child avoids confrontation when at possible, and prefers the path of least resistance. He prefers simple, repetitious tasks and loves routine. Complicated or difficult jobs can overwhelm him. But once a task is begun, the Phlegmatic child will almost always persist until the end. He is highly dependable and steady.

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The Powerful Choleric (Fire): Quick to react, slow to “let it go.” The choleric is what some call Type A. This child knows what he wants to do, and likes to take the lead. It can be hard to convince him that he is wrong. Independent, quick-thinking and easily annoyed, the choleric child feels he knows best (yes, he might feel at times he’s smarter than his mama and daddy)! A choleric is highly motivated and gets a lot of things done. He will not back down from a fight, and in fact, he relishes a challenge or a good spar. It can be hard for a choleric to sympathize with others, and he is careful about the friends he chooses. But once he finds a friend or gives his love, he will be fiercely loyal no matter what comes. You will often see choleric children taking charge of their peers in a group.

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Noone is 100% any one of the temperaments, but you can usually discern which one dominates. Most people are a combination of two. For instance, Benjamin (our third) is Sanguine/Phlegmatic. He is fun-loving, friendly and positive overall, but his “Phlegmatic side” manifests itself, too. The Temperament God Gave You is a practical and enjoyable book written by a husband-wife team, and it goes into all the personality combinations for both children and adults, and talks about how knowledge of the temperaments can help you develop your strengths and weaknesses AND interact better with others.

After reading the descriptions, which do you think fits your child or children best? Oh, and be looking for some upcoming posts on how to homeschool and potty training using the temperaments as a guide!

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*New* Fuzzibunz One-Size Diapers Review

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Fuzzibunz has spent over a year reinventing the brand and their products, and sent me two complimentary samples of their one-size diapers to review.

Size small is made to fits 7 to 30 pounds and I tested this one on one month old Ingrid.  Size large should fit 10 to 45 pounds – this one I tried on 22 month old Erik. This vibrant aqua shade is called “Caribbean.”

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The new Fuzzibunz two-part one-size system replaces the Fuzzibunz Elite one-size diaper, which has been phased out. Below is a quick photo comparison between the old and the new.

Features and improvements include:

  • More snaps in better placement, including a crossover option
  • Rounded wings, instead of the triangular shape.
  • Elasticized back pocket opening.
  • Custom woven, reinforced fabric and heavier/more durable stitching.
  • A contoured microfiber insert.

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Here’s a collection of photos showing the new design and unique contoured inserts:

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You’ll notice there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. This has always been a signature feature of Fuzzibunz one-size diapers, which adjust by way of buttonhole elastic inside of the leg bands. But don’t worry, because there’s not a learning curve. It works in the same way your toddler’s pair of adjustable jeans or pants do. If after a lot of use the elastic begins to stretch out, Fuzzibunz makes it very easy to replace it without having to sew anything.

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THINGS I LIKE

  • The hourglass-shaped contoured inserts give more coverage than a typical rectangular insert, and are very absorbent. It’s sort like a fitted diaper that is absorbent around the wings and waistband, not just down the middle and back
  • The leg openings are soft and snug, and the elastic gives you a more fine-tuned fit than a snap-down rise.
  • The addition of crossover snaps for tiny newborns is a welcome feature.
  • The Fuzzibunz warranty is good for 3 years on the snaps and 1 year on defective materials and workmanship.

THINGS I WOULD IMPROVE ON

  • The small diaper is narrow in the crotch, about 4.75 inches. This makes it tricky to stuff. The larger diaper has a wider crotch (about 5.5 at the narrowest) but because the insert is much larger at both ends, it also takes some time to stuff and get it fitting just right in the front and back of the shell.

Fuzzibunz still sells the popular “Perfect Size” diapers, which start at size XS for newborns. If you’re curious to see how the XS Perfect Size compares to the new Small, check out the photos below. Both fit quite well, but the Perfect Size is less bulky in the front.

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Here’s how the new Fuzzibunz fits on my toddler and my newborn (ok, she’s 2 months old but I like to think of her as new).

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The small might actually fit your baby from birth to potty training if they start out small to average like Ingrid (7 pounds at birth). If you are getting started with cloth and have a bigger baby or toddler already, the large might be a better bet. You might also choose the large if your babies tend to be bigger-than-average at birth and fatten up really fast. :-)

You can get the new Fuzzibunz one-size diapers at the introductory price of $18.45; eventually, the retail price will be $19.95. It’s available in 5 colors at the Fuzzibunz website, or select retailers like Kelly’s Closet (aff).

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Moody Sisters Dry Shampoo Review & $25 Gift Card Giveaway

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Moody Sisters is a collaborative effort between two talented sisters who realize that skin and hair can be…..moody and unpredictable. They are one of my favorite organic skincare companies and so I’m really happy to share another one of their creations with you: Moody Sisters Dry Shampoo.

It comes in a 2 ounce tin and includes a little applicator puff. Retail price is $12.00. The dry shampoo is a soft, powdery mixture:

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The all-natural, vegan ingredients include Organic Arrowroot Powder, Cornstarch, Organic Colloidal Oatmeal, Baking Soda, Organic Almond Meal, Lemon Peel Powder, Organic Witch Hazel Powder, Essentials Oils of Lemon, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot and Lemongrass.

The fragrance is mild and refreshing, with hints of citrus.

Dry shampoo can freshen your hair in between washes and remove excess oil. Look at this before and after picture shared by Moody Sisters:

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If you have oily hair and it tends to get limp or shiny-looking in between washings, this would be an ideal product for you to try.

If you have very dry hair and shampoo less often, this product is a clever and easy way to freshen and clean your hair (and scalp) between washings.

To apply, you simply dab the puff into the powder, tap the excess into the lid and then pat into the top of your head. Massage into the scalp with a small towel to absorb oil (this part feels great!) and then brush it out. The fine powder is a bit tricky to work with, so I make sure to stand over a big sink while working it into my hair. I also discovered that a little goes a long way for me; my hair is dry, not oily, so only a small amount is needed to clean and freshen my hair and scalp.

Bottom line: If I’m in a mad rush in the morning, or in a not-so-shower-friendly place (think: family camping trip), the dry shampoo helps give my hair a temporary boost. It looks better and feels better, so I can wear it down or up with confidence.

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There’s a big SALE going on right now at Moody Sisters, with some pretty significant discounts. So if there’s something you’ve had your eye on for a while, or you just want to try them out for the first time because of all the great feedback you’ve read, then check out the deals!

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Jess and Whitney asked that share an exclusive coupon, just for signing up to their email newsletter (I love getting their emails because there’s almost always a sale, a fun giveaway or some new products to try out)! To get 25% off your next order, plus FREE shipping and a FREE sample, just follow this link. 

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There’s also a giveaway! Moody Sisters is sending a $25 store gift card to TWO of my readers. Open to US and Canada; enter below!

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5 Reasons to Have a Rooster in Your Flock

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Should you have a rooster in your backyard flock? Some families worry about aggression, or being woken up every day at the crack of dawn. But my family LOVES having a rooster. Assuming there’s no ordinance or law against it in your area, here are five reasons you might consider adding a cockerel to the mix:

Roosters are beautiful. As with many other species on Earth, the males are more showy. Roosters don’t just stand a head above the hens; their feathers are often more colorful or unusual. Some look quite exotic!

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Roosters are helpful. They are fierce and vigilant protectors. At the slightest sign of danger, they go into action. I love watching our rooster corral the ladies in a safe place; he scolds them and threatens them if they try to venture out before he feels it’s safe to leave. When attacked, a hen begins to cry in a loud, pitiful voice. She tries desperately to get away. The rooster, however, will fight back with all his strength.

It’s nice to know someone else (besides us) is watching out for “the girls.”

Roosters are entertaining. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the show. We like to sit in the backyard and watch the rooster do his thing. He crows. He struts. He bosses the girls around. He’s the cock of the walk and doesn’t want anyone to forget it.

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Roosters add possibility. If you decide to hatch some eggs later on, having a rooster is handy. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase fertilized eggs.

Roosters add diversity. Who wants a bunch of mommies and no daddy? Let’s hear it for variety, right? Having both females and males in your flock makes things more interesting, and educational for everyone.

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While we’re on the subject of roosters, here are three common questions people often ask:

Do our hens need a rooster in order to lay? Not at all; hens will give you nutritious, delicious eggs whether they are mated or not.  And although some people still hotly debate the topic, most studies seem to show there’s not a difference nutritionally between fertilized and unfertilized chicken eggs, although there are some slight variances in structure. Some chicken enthusiasts will swear to you they can taste a difference, but I’ve never noticed it.

How many roosters should you have? The ratio of roosters to hens will vary according to breed and living quarters. For most standard backyard breeds, having one rooster for every 6-8 hens is plenty. Some smaller and more active breeds (like the Buttercup pictured above) can suffice with one rooster for every 10-12 hens. Free ranged birds give you greater flexibility; housed or caged birds offer less. Too many roosters will result in in-fighting and “roughing up” the females.

Are all roosters mean? Not by a long shot, so don’t let the story your grandmother told you about beating off a cock with a two-by-four scare you away. Certain breeds can be prone to aggression (the Rhode Island Red immediately comes to mind), and others are more mild (we’ve had good luck with Orpingtons and Buttercups). However, breed alone is not a determining factor. Handling also comes into play, so try out your “chicken whispering” skills early on. Hand feed your birds. Hold them in your lap. Let the children carry the young cockerels around. When all else fails, throw the bad boy in the stew pot, or use Craigslist to re-home him.

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