Colorful Solutions

So The Boy can no longer lounge about until I’ve asked him for the 18923776th time to get ready for the day…

We sat down and created a list of self care responsibilities that must be completed upon waking and before breakfast.

We also outlined regular weekly activities so that when an opportunity arises we can look for conflicts easily.  And of course we made it a fun and colorful art project as well with snipping and pasting and stickers.

The Complete Calendar
Weekdays planned with regular activities…
The Boy’s personal calendar – ‘His Idea!’ he says

I  try to squeeze as much writing in to his days as possible – as you can see we’ve got a long way to go with legibility 😉

The Boy wanted to ensure he would’t forget the days of the week OR how many of them there were 😉

He decided he also needed a monthly calendar to outline special days throughout the coming month!

The Boy’s plan for Saturday the 29th

Another colorful and crafty project we did this past week was a math chart.  It is helping The Boy understand number placement and more!  Plus it just makes checking our math so much more interesting 🙂

The Boy setting up a problem

A Day at a Time

I mentioned in a previous post that we are still struggling to organize our home / work / learning time a little better here…

As with other things in life, I have been leaning toward what is working, instead of deciding what works and aiming for that.  It makes me appear lazy though to some… so I do a bit of hustling as a front or come up with a spiel just to quash any uneasiness others may have… the people pleaser in me…

The Man has faith, I think ;), in my abilities to coordinate The Boys learning experiences.  My sister also accepts that I want the best for The Boy and that I am still finding out what that means.  The both have some questions but generally leave me to it 🙂

But for others; my parents, former co-workers, friends, and so on…  honestly, the fact that we are homeschooling this year hasn’t even been a topic for discussion for most of these groups.  They have probably just assumed that The Boy is back in his private school…  I’ve been out of touch with so many friends since The Baby – but that’s a whole ‘nother issue – they ask more general questions –Hows the family? Hows the house? Are you sleeping, yet? -when I talk to them now since it has been so long.

We have no curriculum.  He takes no regular classes.  We don’t do workbooks.

It is proving to be a difficult concept for most people who were traditionally schooled.

We don’t really unschool (yet? lol )… in fact, I try to avoid saying we do any variation of it so to avoid looking like a poser.  We’re in this middle ground right now; a difficult style to explain to folks on either end of the spectrum.  I don’t even know if it IS our style – a few more eyebrows raised – it just so happens to be what we are doing at this time.  We get up, at no specified time (though bedtime is generally routine which translates into a general time of alertness in the morning), The Boy completes a few self-responsibilities (washing up, brushing, dressing), breakfast is had and then the general plan is to pick a book in the morning to squeeze in sometime during the day before bed, and we take the day as it comes…  We have a few activities that are routine throughout the week (meet-ups / park days / trips to library / etc) but they are optional still and may or may not happen.  This, of course, works much better for us with The Baby in tow.  Who knows what the plan would be if we didn’t have to accommodate for feedings / changings / naptimes … but we do… and next year it’ll be a different game plan entirely I’m sure.

What is working right now

– Getting The Boy excited(?) about keeping track of responsibilities and planning – we created this weekday planner and charted out the months planned activities thus far.

– Journal-ing what we have done everyday and being consciously thankful for those things – The Boy knows this as ‘pick 5 things [you are thankful for]’ – usually a dinner or bedtime activity.

– Reading at least one book a day; The Boy has also picked Monday morning as the time frame for ‘reviewing’ his favorite book read by writing out information such as title / year of publication / things he liked / etc.

– We have a weekly Playground meet-up, Games Day meet-up and Sports Day meet-up as well as a planned hike (weather permitting) to Trader Joes for ‘Kids Corner’ every week

– The Boy picked Wednesdays for a trip to the Library.  This week he will finally be getting his own library card – Super Exciting

– We typically meet with a friend of mine for an outing, usually a hike, during the week when we are all available.

– Math – the key is keeping it happy and enjoyable for all of us – right now consists of us alternating creating problems for one another that we solve on our own and then together.  The Boy thoroughly enjoys penning out looooooooong equations for Mommy to solve with at least that many O’s.  We practice some in our heads, some written, use the TI-83 a bit, and we have also developed this cool chart that has proven to be quite fun.  We also have been baking a bit more together and are discussing fractions / measurements.

– The Boy has also taken a (free / intro) Yoga class, been to a Wildlife reserve, enjoyed an Indonesian Festival and so much more.

A lot of what we do are things I previously would have tried to squeeze into our busy schedules anyway.  But now we have more time to reflect and discuss.  Its no longer a whirlwind of activities.  We don’t have to ‘review’ what we just learned at one activity (in the car, mommy fighting traffic nodding ‘ uh-huh’) while on the way to activity number two.

We are still de-schooling but I am looking forward to it all 🙂

A Bend-y Body

Over the last eight-or-so-months, I’ve lost sixty-plus pounds – not to shabby, eh? I did, however, lose about 20 of that in about 20 minutes once my son was born 😉

I haven’t really achieved any fitness ideal though. I’m not terribly unhappy with my current shape or size but I was getting used to being so much more before baby number two. I’m able to squeeze in some moderate exercise ( I’ve accepted it will be a bit further into the future before I can resume my gym rat ways ) but I have this nagging urge to flex, bend and twist! Start fixing to do it and uggghhhh…. Stinging! Burning! Pulling!

Resting in a stretch with elbows under knees at our former – cramped – apartment in 2010. Apologies for the ancient looking photo 🙂

A dream of mine in recent years was to offer ‘flexibility training’ – for fitness, for athletes. I would often strike up a conversation with folks at the gym who were intrigued by my thorough stretching – I am no yogi – I just think most bendy people probably don’t practice at the gym. Most of my ‘flexibility training’ came from a young lifetime of soccer and from my various coaches. Through the years it became a daily practice; never did I exercise without stretching. My form may not be perfect as I have never formally trained in any respect; I choose to continue a stretch if it feels good and discontinue / alter a stretch if it doesn’t… Listening to my body… Learning what makes it happy… I have been quite flexible; all with practice of course. Initially, it was a regimen. But as each stretch became easier to hold for extended time I found myself adjusting slightly to the nearest muscle and would start there at my next practice. Over time I developed a way to pull each muscle and thoroughly enjoyed each practice, stretching usually for at least an hour, sometimes two, most nights (after The Boy was in bed).

Lying in a stretch – photo snapped by my husband in 2010.

Once The Baby formed his little body in mine, exhaustion forced my hand, and though I bought/borrowed many a pregnancy yoga DVD, I was too exhausted to care after working full time and generally single parenting The Boy since The Man was working 60 plus hours in a week. Eight months later now, I thought I’d at least be close to be former bendy body. But it seems I forgot what little time is available with newborns around 🙂

I have decided to make a commitment! (!!!)

Instead of just hoping I’ll “have time later”, I am going to make time! I am going to give myself thirty days to make some progress. I will commit to stretching every other day and will have my photographer (a.k.a. My Sissy) catalog where I am throughout.

I am fed up with finding the time to sneak to the gym but being to embarrassed about my straining to stretch in front of others.

I am tired of feeling locked into place.

So ready for the freeing of my limbs. Ready to feel each muscle gently lengthen again.

I’ve just got to persevere past that initial burn to unlock happiness!

Wish me luck!

Time Management – One Lifetime Available Only

My insides feel like they’re jumping about … every time the “Order Confirmation” appears on my screen from! Its only happened, you know, twelve times, but still so exciting! Its like a breathing in new air of inspiration! I can totally make this happen! I am going to be able to buy that vacation home in the Adirondacks and live off my Vintage sales! The Man still rolls his eyes a bit when I exclaim ‘I’ve had another order!’, but I think he is slightly more encouraged each time 🙂

I have discovered that creating treasury lists helps bring like-minded shoppers to your shop. Plus its much fun – like window shopping but less sad because it has purpose!

It is quite reaffirming knowing that I actually have an eye for these things… I’ve always thought I had a gift 😉

Since we’ve begun our ‘Eclectic Homeschooling’ (which according to this survey of homeschooling types is what we’re doing), I’ve been trying to get everyone on a schedule, albeit a quite fluid one. For the last two weeks we’ve been sort of rolling with the punches when it comes to ‘learning time’. This however does not seem to be the approach we need right now; perhaps once The Boy is accustomed to being at home and not having free time all the time it will flow a little more smoothly. He is still in ‘weekend mode’ all the time though and hasn’t gotten used to the idea of periods of learning time here at home when he is staring down his Lego’s…. It has led to many unfortunate days of unhappiness. So we have begun to plan out our days a bit more; we do not, however, apply a time but rather a sequence of events. This leaves room for late nights that provide for late mornings or whatever event we want to join in on with our various home school friends.

I am still aiming to organize my time a bit better… I’ve penned all of my responsibilities and ambitions out and am currently trying to fit them all in one lifetime. It seems it shan’t be possible….Since the start of typing this I have put The Baby back to sleep three times, brought the diapers and covers in from where they were drying outside, tidied up the kitchen in hopes that The Man won’t be dismayed with the state of our house when he gets home, and have been looking for my tape measure for the last twenty minutes…. Currently working out a schedule for updating my shop and my blog on a regular basis … I’ve even committed to writing a few guests posts (!) so I’ve really got to get it together!

To all those Wonder Women out there – Have any tricks of the time management trade?

Believe In The Little Things

I like to ‘fill my karma cup’ up as much as I can.

My husband is about tired of hearing, ” karma cup!! KARMA CUP!!!” as he ignores merging guidelines and forces his way through traffic.

It seems that what you send around really does come back around your way. Perhaps I am more attuned to noticing it when its positive, but when a stranger stops to compliment my shoes / offers to assist me with my four grocery bags full of bananas / allows me to cut in traffic when I seem to need it most, I feel vindicated for past good-doings. No, I am not saying I expect to be ‘paid back’ for everything I do. Rather I find joy helping others knowing that when I need it most, though I may not even know it, Karma steps in.

I certainly throw my share of nasty adjectives at other drivers on the road sometimes… and I sense the repercussions of that as well… When I’m late to a meeting and its totally because that O-must-be-a-cool-guy-to-not-let-me-through-grid-lock sedan blocked me (not because I’m habitually late), my mind darts around over the past week to all my wrong-doings. I didn’t let that pedestrian cross the street / I left no tip at the bakeshop / I could have helped that woman to her car / ……………

So I try as often as I remember to call the number on the utility truck and pay that driver a compliment; I’ve surprised more than a few call center employees with that one. I tip as often as I can (delivery folk / baristas / etc ) and always tip more than 20% when eating ; the only way to really botch that is to be excessively short or rude. So when I saw this ad for a free futon on craigslist I sent him an email telling him he was awesome lol


Awesome(ly Terrible) Black Futon Mattress (South Arlington)

Date: 2012-09-05, 9:13PM EDT
Reply to this post [Errors when replying to ads?]


Need a bed for your horse sized dog/starter for your bonfire/bedding for your unwanted house guest that you grudgingly agreed to put up but secretly want to suffer like shit so they leave as soon as possible?? Take my free, standard sized, black futon mattress! I slept on the thing for ohhh, six months straight and could feel every rail and rod that held my shitty futon frame together. If there had been a pea under there I would’ve felt that too and could’ve had a damn children’s book written about me. Alas, I’ll just have to dream about ruling my minions while hunched over the sink eating 711 taquitos like a criminal. But you don’t care about that, you’re all like “Give me the deets of the free shit, you wordy hooker!” Ok, ok, no need to get all impatient huffy pants. . goes. . ..

• Free!
• Futon mattress
• Black
• Standard size
• Are you a playa that wants that ho gone once you’ve had your way? No one wants to sleep over on this! Once they leave you can make your way back to the coziness
of your own bed!
• The only murders that have taken place on it are the late night, drunken demolishing of Mario’s Pizza. (Don’t judge, 24 hours yo!)
• Possibly inhabited by the ghost of the ex that I inherited it from.
• No weird smells or stains.
• Dog and cat hair add character and make you seem like a compassionate individual. “I LOVE animals! I foster homeless ones!” I’m willing to vacuum the hell outta this shiz
if you are willing to bring me a six pack of bud light or a shitty mixed CD in exchange. (No country!)
• You must pick up and help me carry from my front room to your car/truck/pack mule. (I have weak girly arms.)
• No taquito crumbs.

If you plan on murdering me, please don’t reply



I love craigslist – just reading random posts makes my day

Remembering how I live for CHANGE…


“My forte is change” <— Remember that?

My dear husband is still coming to terms with my fondness for all things new and shiny.  Big changes are headed our way and yet again each shift in our lifestyle is compounded with another seismic shift.  It’s all happening at once and keeping him stressed and me busy as usual …I’m enthused and he lets a little worry out the window each time he realizes I will win him over 😉 … he gives into my charms a bit easier every time.

All of the wonderfully awesome things I had been eyeing on Post 1 are on the back burner now… Fun-er, more exciting things I have found!!

To start – I have opened my Etsy shop (!) … Aaaannd have had two whole sales! Yes!!  It’s still very new and green but I’m working on building it and feel thrilled that I have crossed that bridge!  I joined Etsy two or so years ago with the intent to open a shop.  I let life sit her ass in front of me too long – I leap-frogged and got a clear view of what I needed… The Man better hang onto his seat 🙂

I have also (finally!) convinced my husband to let me Home school our eldest!  Trust, when I say convince, I don’t mean I just asked.  My friends literally congratulated me when I divulged that he finally agreed.  To be honest, this was one time when I was nervous that he wouldn’t budge…  Sooo YAY!  I am very excited for what this means for The Boy and ultimately our family.  At this point I am still in planning mode – I lean more toward ‘un-schooling’ though am not completely convinced that’s best for us and I am trying to keep my excitement to a minimum and keep my mind open to possibilities.  I could use any input I can get!  This year ( “first grade” ) is a “trial” and The Man has made it clear he wants verifiable proof that things are actually getting done and evidence of behavioral/academic improvement for The Boy… 🙂


-THIS major life change is one brought on by The Man for once –

My mother-in-law will be moving into our home when she returns from a trip abroad.

It’s amazing how small our three bedroom home seems now trying to figure out where everyone’s  life will fit.  We have been anticipating this change but had thought we had some time before it happened…. either way there will certainly be ups ( live in sitter = first date night in three months, at least) and downs (any tips for privacy, anyone?), but it’s happening and we ought to make the best of it.

— maintaining a High-RAW diet (about 85 – 90 %)  but more on that soon 🙂 —

Cheers to CHANGE!

Peel things before freezing…

I will soon get into the habit of sharing what exactly we are eating everyday….

But tonight I had to share my creation!

SOO.. I threw some bananas into the freezer last night as I had read something about using them as a base for ice cream… figured I should leave them until tonight when I’d have the energy to focus on making something…I reached in the freezer and picked them up and in an instant I realized my mistake… I hadn’t thought about the fact that I would have to peel them frozen solid. Fudge… So I peeled them, alternating hands in my mouth so I didn’t lose sensation in my tips : /

It was so worth it though…

Toss in blender and BAM !

I decided to go all out and add about three ripe strawberries to the mix and saved some for a topping…

It was surprisingly ice cream like…I thought it’d either be mushy or like banana shaved ice… So wrong! Now I see what the fuss was about!

Topped it with a few more strawberries and some raw Chocolate I had leftover…

I thought about drizzling some Honey but decided I’d like to try it in the buff first…

My mind is reeling with possibilities now and I’ll have to try it again this weekend…

freezing the berries first and adding a whole lot more for a berry ice cream …

I blended three bananas – not sure why- but 1.5 is probably all one person needs for a nice sized dessert portion…

I definitely ate all of my ice cream tonight though! Its bananas so who cares! Awesome that you can indulge shamelessly…

This is the one aspect that, no matter how my diet changes, I hope to keep up with. I have a fiendish SWEET TOOTH (extreme emphasis not exaggerated) and I have been feeling so satisfied in that regard. I hope to keep my desserts mostly RAW even if I start slacking otherwise( cut me a break – I’ve got two kids and a husband who is out of the house for 70+ hours a week and you know, other things, like, LIFE ). The savory cravings belong to my sister and I’ll have to check and see if we’re meeting needs in that area… but I’ve got this covered! AND its yet another delectable recipe for which you don’t need nuts to make it something other than fruity slop!

I’m having an AWESOME moment right now basking in this new found enjoyment of completely-good-for-you desserts!

I sure hope I wasn’t the first person to make the banana mistake … I feel awful silly about that

I certainly learned something though and I’ll be sure to think about what I’m trying to accomplish in the end (peeled banana ice cream) and not just the immediate goal (freezing the banana!)…

Sticker Shock…

My lovely family took a trip to Whole Foods two days ago… my husband was in a for a surprise

: /

I had completely run out of produce… no greens (and none left in the garden…), no fruit except two bananas, and no veggies… I was stuck eating dried fruit and raw nuts in the morning… with a banana smoothie -_-

So after debating whether to let me go sans children or not, we all decided to hop in daddy’s car and head over. Since I was on empty I was going to be grabbing a lot… like, more than I think he knows I eat…  Since my tummy was also on empty I was cranky and made some irrational (gourmet raw finds) purchases as well…

The bountiful fruit pedestal..


and the packed fridge…


I heard him clear his throat as the clerk spouted the total $…

Any guesses on how long all this will last? 🙂

I’m hoping to stretch it for three more days….