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Monday, August 4, 2014

Running Late

Confession: I am late for nearly everything.  Or else I'm really early.  Or I'm dashing in just barely on time but totally flustered and stressed out.  Luckily, people are kind to me and I mostly never miss anything truly important (see, sometimes really early because I'm super paranoid about being late for something!).  But apparently this even applies to my spring cleaning, which I'm just now starting in August.

Do you ever have those overwhelmed moments when nothing will do but to clear out a room and start fresh? I had that last week.  Life has been so crazy busy lately, and I'm often so tired that in my free moments I just don't have it in my to put away a load of laundry or mop the floors.  But instead of tackling the more mundane tasks, I decided to use my Saturday morning while the kids were with their dad to clean my room.  That's right, my own room, which hasn't gotten any love since I moved in here a year ago, except to jam more extra stuff in the closet and under the bed and anywhere else I could put it.  It seems like mama's bedroom can be a reflection of the rest of life, since it often gets the least personal attention and gets it last, if at all.  There were literally bags of papers and things hidden in there that I had packed haphazardly when I moved out of ex's house last summer that I had never opened, now a for a year plus.

In any case, it did take the whole morning.  And I wanted to quit almost as soon as I started.  But boy oh boy did it feel good to have a functional and clean space when I as done.  I got rid of two full garbage bags of old papers and junk, donated a bag of clothes, and put two more bags of clothes into storage until the winter (and/or until I lose 10 pounds, hah!).

And my kids came home and were so excited.  We all sleep in my room, and they love to play in there no matter what it looks like, but my daughter made sure to tell me that she was "so glad" I cleaned my room for them this weekend :) It's just one room, and maybe I'll run really late and wait until the actual srping to continue my cleaning spree, but hey, it's the little things, right?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wild and Crazy

I'm off on a crazy new adventure-taking the kids camping on my own! I'm so excited to get away for a few days without work, laundry, and yes, computers and TV, as distractions.  I managed to break my smartphone a few weeks ago (electronics and I are allergic to one another!) and I grabbed a cheap and outdated replacement for the time being, so I will even be without Facebook and email easily accessible.  The kids are so excited to have mama all to themselves too-I've been stressed about money and picking up extra hours at work while we are on our "summer vacation" from homeschooling.

We are heading to the beach, sleeping in a tent, and planning lots of time playing, hiking, and enjoying each other's company (and lots of s'mores of course!).  I had never camped as a kid, and I've never gone as the only adult, but I am feeling proud of myself for booking the trip anyway and am ready for the challenge.  Cross your fingers that I have good weather and I'll check back in to let you know how it goes.  Happy summer!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


So, sad little neglected blog, it's been a while.  Like, a long while.  And a lot of changes!  First of all, my babies have gotten so much bigger!!!  They are 4 and 7 now and in danger of convincing me that they are not *gasp* babies anymore.  But even they will tell you that they'll always be my babies :)  Seriously though, it's kind of amazing to look and them and realize how much more growing and learning and changing we will experience over the next years.  And kind of scary for mama to realize how much changing and growing and adapting and letting go will need to happen-but now quite yet, with the letting go at least.

We are still homeschooling, heading into second grade and preschool next year.  We tried out an online school for the first half of this year and it was not a good fit for us.  We are back to a much more relaxed method, definitely closer to unschooling than anything else, though I have officially given myself permission to do whatever works for us without buying into the labels.

The biggest change is that I'm now a single mom.  It's been almost a year now since I officially moved out with the kids, and it has been quite the journey.  Like everything in life, there have been ups and downs, but overall we are all adjusting and happy.  I feel stronger and more capable than I ever have before, and that is an amazing feeling.  I still sit up at night worrying about the effects on the kids, worrying about how to make enough money while still being with the kids, and worrying about how to ever get enough sleep again, but overall, life is good.

I thank you if you are checking back despite the fact that I haven't written anything in 2 years.  And I welcome you if you are a new reader-please stick around and I promise to do so as well!  I really do love to write and share and I hope that at least a couple of you enjoy reading my random rambles sometimes.  Feel free to pop into the comments section if you have any questions or thoughts for me!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Turn, turn, turn...

As the actual season is changing (chilly mornings, final garden harvests...) we seem to be turning towards a new season in our own little family.  The little guy is 2-1/2 now and naps are slowly slipping away, right through my fingers it seems!  He still naps most of the time, but once every week or every couple of weeks, we will have 1, or 2, or 3 days without a nap.  It is a hard adjustment to make for me, but I think hardest for big sister who has come to enjoy that quiet time every afternoon with her dolls and special toys she doesn't want to share, and of course, with mama!  She asks when "mama-time" is every day and rushes off to play quietly in her room while I get her "baby" brother to sleep.  Although they have their moments, they really are so sweet together and big sis is so patient with her very rambunctious little brother, so I look forward to giving her that one on one attention too.  You know, the kind that isn't constantly interrupted by pulling a naked child off the table or counter, or the kind that doesn't need to be diverted by a suspicous rummaging in the fridge and an insistence that he CAN pour his own milk from the full gallon, or the rushed trip to the potty, or the "Mom, he's HITTING ME!" Yikes.  Rambunctious doesn't quite describe this kid, but we love him anyway :) 

In any case, we have pushed through those napless afternoons when they happen with lots of outdoor play time, sometimes a special snack for all of us, and some quiet cuddles on the couch while I TRY to nurse him to sleep!  In turn, my sweet girl and I have enjoyed some special cuddly reading time after the little guy crashes out at 7:00 p.m.!  I didn't realize how much I missed snuggling my girl to sleep-I always do bedtime by myself with both kids, pretty much since he was born, so we have gradually moved from an hour of tummy rubbing and cuddling while I nursed a newborn into having my daughter pop right into her bed after storytime to fall asleep by herself (in the same room though) while I nurse her brother to sleep. 

I almost think this no nap traded for a super early (and easy!) bedtime might be worth it, but only time will tell how this season will turn...

In other news, we enjoyed an end of garden feast for dinner of fried green tomatoes plucked fresh from our vines and sweet potatoes dug up today!  I am already missing summer!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beginning again

Tomorrow is our official first day of "school" for our kindergartner and our toddler tagging along.  Of course, this is completely arbitrary, but since she is seeing a lot of her friends heading off to the first day of school and getting a little jealous of the resulting fuss, we decided to make her day special too.  We had a special dinner this weekend, complete with kid-made cupcakes-and will do a first day of school picture tomorrow morning.  So many cute ideas on pinterest for back to school!  I love the chalkboard with the date, grade, and what they want to be when they grow up-what a great memory!

We are using Five in a Row as our main curriculum this year.  I am an unschooler at heart, but need a little bit of structure or we tend to do a downward slide into getting crabby and tired and hearing lots of whining, so this relaxed, literature-based program is our compromise!  We have also been doing Explode the Code for phonics and Right Start Math for...math :) I have big plans to incorporate Spanish this year too. 

I so love to look at my beautifully organized spreadsheets and binders, review my daily plans for the week, and admire the stack of books I ordered from the library ahead of time to complement the week's topics.  Because I know-KNOW-that in a few short weeks, this will be out the window!  I am sure we will still get ideas from the curriculum, but I will be so shocked if we are following it this closely come mid-year.  But I could be wrong-this is what happened last year when I tried to plan everything out, but honestly we didn't have enough to keep us occupied academically, so perhaps this year will be better.  She seems to thrive on structure and routine, but also needs lots of open play time (she's an introvert like her mama!).  So, basically I need to structure lots of unstructured time into our schedule! 

I'll update on how this first week goes-we are reading the Story of Ping and doing lots of activities about Chinese culture, with maybe a quick trip to Chinatown or at least a Chinese restaurant (random side-note: I cannot, for the life of me, spell the word restaurant correctly.  I have to look it up every time.  This is one a few words that constantly trip me up!)

I hope everyone is enjoying this slow edging towards autumn..I adore summer, but find myself looking forward to those crisp, cool days as we enter the new season. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Life has been pretty crazy lately.  Mama has been working late at night, leading to some cranky mornings.  Do you ever notice how the days when you especially need to just be left alone, the kids pick up on this crabby vibe and respond by being extra special needy? Oh boy.  This has led to some serious situations the past few days/weeks, often culminating in my feeling angry and frustrated, and then guilty.  It is hard to be patient and kind and loving all day long when all you want to do is just sit down and rest quietly alone, with no little monkeys climbing all over you and clamoring for attention. 

We've been trying to keep busy, since those lull moments are often the hardest.  Lots of outdoor time, lots of running around and playing while mama tries to get the laundry hung up or the garden weeded.  Not a whole lot of schooling going on lately, though C (my 5-year-old) has been asking for lots of science experiments and "fun" math.  Those, of course, were my two least favorite subjects as a kid, so it is funny to see her so into it.  She is still refusing to practice anything having to do with reading, but will sit and listen to me read for as long as my voice can hold out!  I am making peace with not keeping up well with my planned lessons for the summer, but hoping that we can overcome this period of exhaustion to plan some fun stuff for the fall. 

And really, what else do kiddos need in the summer besides sunshine, daily raspberry picking in the yard, and watching our garden grow? They are happy, healthy, and growing, and I am just trying to remember how amazing they are even in the midst of desperately needing some quiet time of my own.  Time really does move too fast!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Loving Summer

There is something about this burst of summer weather that is so uplifting and motivating.  The last few weeks have found us to be either crazy busy with birthdays, special events, etc. or unable to get the energy to do...well, anything.  At first, I was panicking about nothing getting done.  Then I was letting it go and being okay with taking a few weeks off of schooling and just focusing on getting the basics together and actually enjoying said birthdays and special events.  But after a week of recovery last week that I mostly spent reading on the couch and being tired and dreary, I finally pulled myself together with a little help from the goregous, sunny, 80-degree weather kind of day we had today. 

So what do I consider a productive day?  Well, let me tell you, I felt like super woman today and I don't want to hear any evidence to the contrary!  Somewhere around 6 or 7 loads of laundry washed and hung out on the line? Check! (The scariest part is the number of loads still to go--eeek!).  Simple and fun reading/phonics game thought of, created, and played with daughter? Check!  (Finally got her interested again!) Just-for-fun cupcakes made? Check!  Cleaned out (very filthy) car? Check!  Played in sprinkler with kiddos? Check!  I feel like I am missing a few things, but rest assured that this was a hugely productive day compared to last week! Plus, I ended the day with the majority of the house straightened up and no dishes in the sink-always a treat in the morning. 

Maybe the difference wasn't just the weather, but the fact that we were up and out of the house early for us taking step-daughter to school and stopping for bagels.  But don't worry, this will not stop me from lounging over my morning coffee tomorrow :)