Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unschooling, tidiness and rhythm

I think a lot of people hear the label "unschooling" and immediately think "chaos". At our place that is absolutely not the case.

I am a fairly organized and tidy person. I think anyone who has been to my place knows I like minimal stuff kept in some sort of order. This does not mean we live in a museum that is not child friendly, but everything has a place and it means that the kids can find and access what they are looking for pretty readily. As we still have a baby around the place it also means I can keep inappropriate things in high places for the big girls to do when Harper is asleep or I am able to supervise and help fully.

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At the end of each day I pack up. Sometimes the kids join in, sometimes they don't. After a lot of soul searching and deschooling I came to a place where I was not getting pissed off at the lack of help. The tidiness thing is my issue and I think it's part of helping them learn by keeping a house that is uncluttered and user friendly.

We also have no set times that things must happen, but we certainly have a rhythm. I always liked the Steiner idea that life has an in and an out breath. I really agree that naturally we seek to live like that. Seeking outward stimulation and activities and then resting and having downtime. This rhythm seems to happen of it's own accord for us and the in and out breath is both a daily and weekly happening.

I think that it is a misconception that most unschoolers also "unparent", leaving the kids to their own devices with no outside help and no rhythm to their life. Certainly there is enormous room for flexibility and unschooling will look different in each family but it doesn't have to be chaos and disorder.

I'm joining in (a day late!) with Owlet for Unschool Monday. Check out her link up for other ideas.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple pleasures

We've had a HEAP of rain over the last week. Wait, month..hang on, year? let's just say that dams all over Victoria are full.

Which means MUD!! Glorious mud! And playing with our Green Toys recycled plastic tea set from Eco Toys

The kids were out in the newly grassed backyard having a ball making mudpies.

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Love seeing them get messy!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

The hit list and the shit list

Y'all love a blog in point form right? I thought so.

In my crazy busy life there is lots happening so I'm going to put some things out there on either the hit or the shit list. You get the idea. Let's start with the good stuff.

THE HIT LIST
-Grass! Not the "wacky tobaccy" kind but turf. We have had our yard leveled out and turf laid. It looks AMAZING and the kids are enjoying having such a usable space. We've got more seedlings to get in as well, I'll give you pictures when it's all finished.
-Date night. My husband and I had our first date night since...I can't remember actually. It was our anniversary and we went out for dinner and to see a movie. I love my husband. He's awesome.
-tabouli. I'm not sure you can understand my obsession with this stuff. My bestie's Mum makes the best though. It's almost worth having another baby to have her make me oodles of tabouli like she did when I was pregnant with Harper. Actually, maybe I need to find some other way.
-Having my xmas shizz together. Yep, all organized and smug about it too.
-Damn you auto correct
is the funniest thing on the web at the minute. It has me LOLing for real every time I go there.
-a clean car. I washed and vacuumed my car this week. I MUST do it more often-so shiny and no crumbs! To be fair it was cleaned out to find the source of a mystery car smell...which turned out to be a dirty nappy that got hidden in the pram for about 5 days. It smelled about as good as you might imagine.
-hanging out with friends while the kids play. Bliss.


THE SHIT LIST
-having my email account hacked. Apart from the fact I have had that email addy for fricken ever and I had to delete it the hacker stole my contacts list and made it as though I was trying to peddle macbooks and the like to my friends. Fuckers.
-meltdowns, tantrums, whatever you want to call them they suck.
-Harper spitting chewed up food out all over the place, or yoghurt, or water. Finding a partially masticated banana in the barbie house is GROSS.
-snails. They are eating my garden! I have resorted to not so organic means as I'm not sharing any more beer with them.
-my 3 year old's obsession with playing "Yo Gabba Gabba" all day. It makes her talk in a bad American accent and I always have to be Muno, the one who looks like a giant red dildo.
-supplements. I really should be taking some and giving some to Harper but I'm CRAP at remembering. I know "there's an app for that".


So that's a peek into my life at the moment..how about you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Epic week.

We've had an epic week. Busy busy busy.

I've been to the movies *twice* (Harry Potter and ahem, Jackass 3D) Luke and I went out on a date for our 6th wedding anniversary, xmas shopping, time with friends, having our back garden fixed up and the general business of life with kids.

I'm not complaining, it's been lovely actually. But I totally dropped the all on the blog this week. Actually the internet in general.

Catch you all soon with an actual blog post about an actual topic lol

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I got an award!

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Yay! An award! And versatile is a pretty apt description of my blog lol.

Task 1. Thank the person who gave you the award: Big thank you to Jayne at Random Ramblings of an Unhinged Mind

Task 2. Share 7 things about yourself:

1)I have a peanut butter obsession. I eat it on pancakes amongst other things. Don't eat the peanut butter at my place...unless you are comfortable with my fingers having been in there.

2)The idea of sharing drink bottles with my kids makes me want to gag. Clean up vomit-sure! Wipe a pooey bum-no problem! Get an atom of saliva or food in my water-BLERGH.

3)I am 14 days younger than my husband

4)I wanted to be an actress or a vet when I was in high school. I was pretty good at acting and won some awards and went on to be a vet nurse-which cured me of wanting to be a vet lol.

5)I'm a bibliophile. I LOVE to read. I could read by the time I was 4. Before kids I used to knock back at least one book per week, often more. I loved commuting to the city by train because of all the extra reading time! I'm pretty open to genre and author-anything but Twilight really haha. In english class, I used to get the reading list for my grade and go read all the books in the first few weeks of the year. I re-read books I love over and over. My favorite books are To Kill a Mockingbird (not a coincidence my daughter is Harper) by Harper Lee, The Stand by Stephen King and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

6)As much as I love living in Melbourne I regularly get homesick for my hometown of the Gold Coast in Queensland and miss my family and friends there terribly.

7)I'm a crier. I cry in movies, when I'm upset or overwhelmed, when the lyrics of a song move me. I cried when the winner of junior Masterchef was announced.


Task 3. Pass the award onto 12 Bloggers you have recently discovered. I'll try for recent but no promises. Also Jayne covered a few I would have done-check her list out.


1) Disney princess Recovery. I LOVE this blog! "the experiences of one parent and my quest to reclaim my daughter's imagination after it was hijacked by Disney Princesses."

2)Honest To Betsy. A great Natural Mama blog

3)With Hands and Hearts Full. Beautiful blog of a homeschooling Mama of 6.

4)Restless Wanderer. Love her in real life, love her blog. Homebirth, breastfeeding, doula-ing, home education. All topics I love!

5)Bowl Of Stones. Lovely Steiner home educating Mama. Beautiful blog.

6)Homebirth-a Midwife Mutiny. Blog by an amazing midwife in South Australia. If you are interested in homebirth you should read this.

7)Majikfaerie. Great Aussie unschooling, midwifing blog.

8)Planning With Kids. I get lots of great ideas from this blog!

9)The Parenting Passageway. Not a new blog to me but always worth a mention. If you are after an inspirational parenting blog with a Steiner angle, check it out.


10)Apron Stringz. Also not a new blog to me but I'm always inspired by this radical housewife's honesty.

11)Natural Parents Network. New site! Lots of great info and blog posts over there. It even has a forum.

12)Earthy Motherhood. Great blog about just that!

Phew! That should keep you going for a while!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unschool Monday

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I'm joining in this week with the lovely Owlet for her Unschool Monday.


Water water everywhere. Tannah and Willow are obsessed with water at the moment. They like to fill up containers of all sizes and float things in them. They like to cut up paper and fill their glasses of water with them. They like to add food dye and sparkles and make "potions". They like to wash all their toys and use a spray bottle. They like to jump in puddles and tip water in the sandpit. They like to help me hose the seedlings. They like to fill up their measuring scales and try to make them even.


Who knew science could be so wet?

Check out the link up HERE for other great unschooling blogs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's OK.

I had a horrible day yesterday. Just one of those days that was long and hard. Throw a bit of PMS into the mix and it was a recipe for disaster.

I have really struggled with the last 6 months of mothering 3 children. I found the first 6 months relatively easy. It was not without ups and downs (such is life)but I was not collapsing into bed each night exhausted or counting down the minutes until Luke arrives home. The reality of having 3 children born so close together has set in.

Yesterday there was retrieving chewed up pastels from the toddlers mouth, being drawn in to adjudicate fights between the older 2, endless requests for help, weeing into undies, being chastised for selecting the wrong cup for milk and sandpit toys being bought onto the couch. It all sounds pretty petty right?

And it is. But it's OK to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Being the main carer for 3 small people the majority of the time is hard work.

It's taken me a long time to realize that it is only that. It's hard, draining work sometimes. It just is what it is.

It doesn't mean that I love my kids any less or that I'm doing anything wrong. It is not an attack on friends or family to make them feel they're not doing enough. It is not a cry for help. It does not make me question how I parent. It is not a sign of weakness or whining. It is not comparing my situation to anyone else's. It doesn't mean I don't love my life and feel grateful everyday.

It just is what it is.

When Tannah was a baby I struggled. I really struggled. I find it painful to even think about how hard that first year was for me. Instead of saying "This is hard" I kept my chin up and soldiered on because I made that admission up to be something that it is not. And by doing that I made it harder for myself. Sometimes being a parent is hard. It just is what it is.

By making it OK for me to say that I can decompress. I can be honest. I can ask for help. I can take time out. By turning it into a statement and not a judgment of myself or my kids it takes the guilt out of that admission.


If you find parenting hard at times it's OK.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things I know

-oil pastels are tasty. I don't know this personally but they must be nice because Harper loves to eat them.
-bath water is tasty. See above.
-investigate how the snail population is in your garden before you plant your seedlings.
-watching your child conquer a fear will make your heart swell.
-co-sleeping is less fun when you have to also share your bed with your child's favorite My Little Pony.
-The same goes for breastfeeding
-sometimes going with the flow makes Mama impatient. I want Tannah to like listening to chapter books now! I want to relive my youth by reading Charlotte's Web aloud.
-the washing. It never ends
-It is almost impossible not to catch giggling from delighted children.
-my children still think I'm cool for singing along to the music at the supermarket. I'm aware this could end at some point.

What do you know this week?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Brain constipation...

I have a few very interesting ideas rolling around in my head that i would like to blog. About not freaking out about spontaneous praise, and how being honest about being a natural parent influences other people, about birth snobbery and even about the recent storyline of Packed to The Rafters. Really.

But every time I sit down to write it's like pulling teeth and I delete the drivel I'm squeezing out. But it's all in there...waiting to go. I need some bloggers laxative to get the ideas moooving on out.

In the meantime here are a couple of links to places I've been around the blogosphere of late.

My story "Blossoms" appeared on the wonderful site With Tears Of Love. This site is about sharing, supporting and understanding stories of baby loss.

I've also been a guest blogger on Bring Birth Home talking about how my birth trauma even invaded my first beautiful homebirth and how I wish I'd stayed home the first time. There is lots of other content over there to inspire and empower women to give birth at home.

Righto. Now to try and remove the block....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Play! Potions and mud pies.

We Play


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My girls are loving messy play at the moment. Making "potions" is rating highly. If the weather is bad they make them inside with food dye and paper and water. But if the weather is fine, like today, they make them outside out of mud, water and sand. With some plants and rocks thrown in for good measure.

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Looks delicious right? How about a cup?

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I'm playing along with Childhood 101's We Play! You can check out a heap of great play ideas (and maybe add your own) HERE

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Simple pleasures

I think I'm going to try and do this every Sunday. It's nice to look at some of life's simple pleasures and things that make us happy

Butterflies that land on your hands
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Fluffy yellow chicks
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Carousel rides
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Sprouting seeds
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Happy, sparkly eyes
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Hope your Sunday is full of simple pleasures too

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Because I'm a fat woman...

I love this post from Janet Fraser about being a birthing woman and discovered it is based on a quote from Women's liberation in the 80's. This post over at Corpulent has had me thinking about how accepting of my body I really am. I used to wear bikinis. I'd like to start wearing them again..I digress. I love the idea of a fat manifesto, a fatifesto?

I have written this from the perspective of being a fat woman because that's all I know how to be.

Because we are fat women and
Because we are told we are too disgusting, too lazy, too ugly, too smelly, too stupid, too gluttonous , and no one will ever want to have sex with us, love us, enjoy our bodies, because we are told we have no will power, eat too much, exercise too little, sit around eating donuts all day, because we get horrible, degrading things shouted at us by complete strangers, because we get unsolicited dieting advice, because we can’t possibly get married without trying to lose weight, because finding clothes that are comfortable, fashionable and easy to buy is difficult, because people think fat is a death sentence, because we get our bodies policed, because the media is constantly telling us that there is only one way to look beautiful, because we are offered dangerous alternatives like surgery and calorie restricted diets and excessive exercise, because it’s none of anyone’s business what I do with my body, because we are taught to hate fat, because health comes from eating well and moving your body-regardless of size, because bodies come in all shapes and sizes and fat bodies should not mean shame and discrimination and disgust…and so for these and many other reasons I’m part of the fat acceptance movement

Who's with me?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spring?? Where'd you go?

It's so cold and miserable here today. Again. I have been feeling my pull to "spring clean" my house and my life and what I want to do is throw open the doors and windows and let in some fresh air and sunlight. Instead I'm starting my spring cleaning in a closed house-I even have the heating on tonight.

I'm almost reptilian in my need for sunlight and warmth. I can only handle the cold for so long before I feel myself start to fade. I like to wear as little as possible dammit! I like line dried washing!

Despite all the soul sucking effects of a long long winter I have some spring type stuff going on here

-I'm cleaning my whole house out. Yep. Every cupboard and drawer, shelf and box is being scrutinized as to the usefulness of it's contents. I LOVE to declutter. It's amazing for the soul!
-we are having grass laid in the garden and are having some landscaping done to make the space more user friendly
-we are starting to plant our food for the coming months
-and we have these new additions to the Yay For Homestead. 5 Baby chicks. Bok Bok (her real name) has been sitting on some fertile eggs that were gifted to us by a friend. The whole process was very exciting and now we are all delighting in "Mother Hen" and her babies peep peeping around the yard.
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I'm going to keep watching the weather forecast and get outside now the kids are mostly better. Bring on spring!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things I know-the home from hospital edition

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-There is nothing to prepare you for having a child so sick that they cannot wake up fully, stand up or eat
-There really is no place like home
-a good and caring nurse is worth their weight in gold
-sleeping on a bed that doesn't crackle with plastic protector everything is so quiet
-hospital food really isn't that bad
-getting a private room is probably the only advantage to not knowing exactly what is wrong with your sick child
-having an toddler who is not eating makes you so so grateful that you are breatfeeding
-only expensive, fancy disposables contain liquid poo fountains of the toddler variety.
-when you have been away from your big kids for 3 nights they will look older when you see them again
-seeing your very sick child start to turn a corner towards getting better will make you so very grateful, especially when you see some of the long term patients at the children's hospital you are at
-getting the all clear for meningococcal will make you feel like high fiving the doctor
-getting the OK to go home with instructions to "rest up and breastfed as often as you can" will make you feel like hugging the doctor
-looking beside you and seeing this on your own couch in your own home is too wonderful to put into words

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