Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tomato Funeral

First it was the beetle invasion (actual beetle from garden).

Then it was the branch that fell during a thunderstorm. Right on top of the raised garden. The only area that I have put time and money into in the entire yard.... and that I love dearly. (This picture is after it was moved.)

These are just a sample of the tomatoes that fell off all 10 of the tomato plants when said branch fell. Almost every tomato was knocked down... and were so close to having more tomatoes than we even knew what to to with!

Rest in peace beautiful little tomatoes. Tell your brothers and sisters that you hope they make it, too! :)

(The garden did survive... although I had to pull out 4 of the plants... we'll just have to wait for the new little tomatoes to come in)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Discovering Waldorf: Rhythm

There is energy in this universe.

It sings and it dances. It laughs and it cries. It heals and it hurts.

It's rhythmic.

Morning and night,

Spring, summer, winter, fall

Ocean waves, blowing leaves, singing birds.

Sweeping, baking, and hanging laundry to dry.

It fills those who open to it and give it away.

And it's the strongest in a child, my child.

And I will knit us a blanket with it.

Warm and tight.

This Man

I am so thankful my daughter has a wonderful father!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Modern Dollhouse

I am very excited to have finished my modern dollhouse. Full credit for the design goes to Made by Joel, whose crafty ideas area always inspiring!

I can't wait to make the furniture for it!

Swimming with the Snakes

Yesterday was oneofthosedays...

Bug was fussy from the start (that's what happens when you don't fall asleep until 10 p.m. and wake up by 5:30 a.m.).

Then, a thunderstorm came and blew a large branch right on top... right on top of the one 8 foot by 8 foot section of my yard that has been lovingly and carefully tended (not to mention hundreds of dollars poured into), my bountiful square foot garden.

I happened to see it, and it literally sucked the breath out of me, I was so shocked.

I should have taken a pic with the branch on top, but didn't because I was so desperate to see the damage.

It's hard to tell how much will survive.

Before it fell, I had started moving mattresses and bed frames to create the "great co-sleeping room of 2010." For some reason, the branch made me all more determined to finish.

As I was pulling out a bed slat, it caught and then suddenly released.... taking a huge part of my thumb and slicing my fingernail in half.


I didn't need stitches or anything, but it hurts.

And, I completely understand the need for opposable thumb.

Truthfully, it's been on of those... weeks? months?

House has rotting wood... at least $1000 repair. Recliner broke (now just a chair), nice couch just caved in on one side, toilet screws corroded and leaking on floor and under toilet (slowly).

I know none of these are tragedies, but it has been like water torture around here.

And how did I end the day? I went here and got some white habotai silk scarves to dye with Kool Aid. Thanks so much to Childhood Magic for the great idea.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekly Rhythms

"What day is today, Bug?" I asked my sweet little girl.

"Tasty Tuesday!" she replied, "and we're going to make bread and butter today!"

This is our first week using a weekly rhythm and I am astonished at how well it is going!

We made a rain stick with materials we had at home and just ate a lunch of fruit smoothies and homemade bread and butter.

My little two-year-old bug can already tell me the days of the week, and she's really enjoyed the simple projects we've done.

Here's our rhythms for each day:

Music Monday: Make instruments/play guitar/sing/dance

Tasty Tuesday: Cook something child friendly

We-Create Wednesday: Art or craft project

Things to Know Thursday: More focused learning project (ABC's, etc.)

Freestyle Friday: Field trip or random fun project. This may change to "farm friday" if I can make contact with an organic farm to go pick some produce each week (we live in a very rural area).

We haven't gotten to the weekend yet, but will eventually add to those days as well. I love, love, love having a flexible plan for the day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hitting My Stride

I've never exactly been conventional.

I love building, putting things together, and creating. I am the one in my house to assemble the grill or fix the toilet.

We co-sleep (yes, on purpose), breastfeed an almost three year old, and believe that kids actually need plenty of love and attention... a focusing of energy that fills them and prepares them to love themselves in the future.

I teach Lamaze and have definite ideas about mainstream birth practices.

I believe in eating food that nourishes, and pretty much ignores the current food pyramid. We're trying to buy more and more organically.

I've recently fallen in love with the Waldorf philosophy of education (or what I know of it!). I love it's combination of structure and rhythm with freedom and creativity!

But, I've recently realized that much of my frustration since entering motherhood is that we're not set up for our lifestyle. I guess we didn't realize it for so long because, where we live, no one does things like we do.

We have a queen bed that we co-sleep in that's still up on its frame, and always has been. It's been so uncomfortable for us at night that my husband sleeps most nights in another room. We don't really have an area dedicated to learning and creating. We have toys and art supplies that don't really support our philosophy of education.

I think what's most frustrating now is that our investment has been in things that don't support our lifestyle. Plastic, worthless toys that our daughter almost never plays with. Dedication of space to things that aren't really important to us, mainly just because I wanted them to look "nice" and "conventional" to guests... which is just silly.

So, the next two months are going to be about centering, focusing, and reorganizing for our little family.

My first step will be reorganizing our bedrooms.

What once was: 1. master bedroom 2. guest/toy room 3. office

Now will be: 1. sleeping room 2. real play room 3. reading room

I think we can start this with almost no money spent! Now, if I can only find a Bamboletta doll on ebay for $20 :).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Morning Routine

Our morning routine is a work in progress, but it's definitely a start. Most of it starts from flylady.com!

  1. Wake up and cuddle... sing some Bob Marley to my Bug (Don't worry, about a thing) ;)

  2. Stumble to the kitchen and make some coffee for myself, chocolate milk for Bug.

  3. Let her watch TV while I check e-mail.

  4. Take a shower if I'm not going to the gym (child care is only from 9-11) or get dressed for exercise.

  5. Get Bug dressed and ready to roll.

  6. Make the bed, swish and swipe the bathroom counters and toilet, and start a load of laundry.

This gets us to breakfast... I want to add some yoga in, too, but haven't been able to make it fit without feeling too rushed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Daily Rhythm

Figuring out this whole stay-at-home mom thing has been really tough for me.

I want to be organized, but strict schedules just don't fit with my personality or parenting style. I can't even tell you how many times I tried, and failed, to follow some google-found schedule another parent or guru created. Flylady.com has been helpful with the cleaning, but hasn't quite addressed other parts of my day. So, most of the time, I have been just plain frustrated.

Recently, though, I discovered the Waldorf philosophy on parenting and education, and it really resounds with me. I'm still learning the basics, but I love their idea of rhythm in the home.

A daily rhythm provides predictability to the day, but is also flexible enough to accomodate real life... unexpected events, illness, or just plain fatigue. I've realized that rhythm, or lack of it, is my main problem. I just don't naturally do things in a consistent, steady way.

It relies on the idea of breath. During the day, events are structured to expand or contract. And, there is an emphasis on maintaining a peaceful, unhurried pace to the day.

For the first time, I really thought about what was important to me in a day, what needed to happen every day, and how I could juggle the responsibilities of home, family, and my part-time work.

So, I finally have a routine! It's really simple, and based on times that I'm almost always home. I have a morning routine, a routine for each meal time, and a before-bed routine. I also have weekly rhythms... things I do on the same day each week most of the time. It helps me be more centered, balanced, and productive without feeling like a task master.