Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo
When we first moved to Kansas last September I hit the ground running immediately to get plugged in here. Our short time in Arizona was really quiet and boring, and I was ready to find community again. Luckily for our whole family, Manhattan has a thousand and one things to do any day of the week, so finding things to do with Hadley and ways to plug in were easy peasy.
One resource I stumbled upon online was called the Parents As Teachers (PAT) program, which is funded and run by the local school system. I read a little bit about it and for some reason never looked more into it. A few months later I heard that my friends Jessica & Meg were both involved with it and had great experiences so far with their children, so I sent an interest email and got started!
What is it?
The PAT program is designed for families with children newborn through three years old who are interested in having a trained professional come to the home once a month to play age-appropriate activities with your child while encouraging the parents to embrace their roles as the child’s #1 teacher. Their programs are curriculum-based and designed to teach parents how to teach their children using every day items they most likely already have around the house.
For example, yesterday morning our teacher came over for the first time and stayed for a little over an hour. We all got on the floor and she immediately got out a baby doll, a baby bottle, and a baby blanket. She gently showed Hadley how to feed the baby the bottle, how to love on the baby, and how to put the baby “ni-night”. Hadley was loving it and was totally intrigued. I was also loving it because it was so fun to watch Hadley listen to and learn from another authority figure. While she was playing with Hadley she was also explaining to me why caring for the baby doll is actually a big developmental milestone for a number of reasons. I never would have guessed!
She also got out a few other activities for Hadley to explore and play with that I could easily recreate using things from around my house, such as an old olive oil bottle and an empty parmesan cheese container. I loved these genius (free!) ideas, and so did Hadley!
Before she left, we scheduled her next visit and are already anxious for her to come back in July.
After talking more with Hadley’s teacher and doing my own research online, I found out that this program is offered worldwide and in cities in almost every state. Using Google Analytics I pulled up the top cities that my readers come from and then plugged those cities into the location finder on the PAT website. Here are 10 cities that a bunch of you live in that currently offer the PAT program.
PS – It was so fun to see where all of you are reading from!! I love it! Thank you for reading!
Click here for a long list of more locations!
Did I forget to mention that it’s free?! They also have the cutest playroom a few miles away from my house that’s open Monday through Friday for kids to come in and play with new toys and other children. So awesome!
Have you ever heard of this program or had any experiences with it?! I’d love to hear!