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 Etsy.com! 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?

Becoming AWESOME

I want to be awesome.

Wether that’s to my husband and children or to a community….

I want to be a person that they say,
‘Oh her?’
‘Yea she’s awesome, isn’t she!’
‘She created this from the ground up!’

I want to fulfill a purpose. Sometimes my purpose involves going back to school. At times my calling seems to be just to work my butt off to pay for what the future may hold. And yet at other times, I swear I’m being called to draft a few like minded friends to drop everything, take up farming and live communally….

I feel like I need a plan. A plan to be awesome!

Is there anyone who can say they successfully balance all their ‘purposes’? Give focus to one goal and it always seems to eventually lead to slack with another goal. Do successful people learn how to leave bits of the goal buffet off their plates?

The Man loves to tell me everyone feels conflicted in their twenties…
I’m hoping that it’s a growing thing too…
If I continue to force upon myself competing achievements that one day I’ll magically have them all under my belt with hands to spare…
Like by 30. I think 30 is going to be an awesome year. And I’m just going to keep that envisioned awesome mojo going until it happens!

The internet makes things so damn exciting!

I am habitually optimistic – could be the wine, but I like to believe wine brings out your true nature 😉 –

Usually its great! I mean, all the time I think its great, but sometimes it becomes clear that I have too little doubt… like the time I fought to let The Boy take a (familiar and parallel!!!) hiking trail and he wound up on a nearby street with a bus driver stopping to help him… I totally trusted that he would be fine… I did not think about the fact that he would run like a bat out of hell to ‘beat’ us to the end of the trail…

It beats The Man’s pessimism any day…. or at least balances it out

Soooo… I mentioned in the last post that I had finally opened an Etsy.com shop, which is something a couple years in the making… I have had SIX sales since!! I’m so stoked about it! It has been thrilling every time I get an “Etsy Order Confirmation” email… I knew all the relics I stockpiled would be someones treasure one day!

Since signing on to Etsy.com a couple years ago I have drooled over the section aptly named “Quit Your Day Job”. I would read endless accounts of people realizing they could make their hobbies their livelihood whilst sitting at my desk, eyes spread wide – a bit of crazed jealously and caffeine will do that to you… Whyyyy could this not be me???? Granted my SIX sales aren’t going to be paying the bills BUT they definitely could … one day? 🙂

I’ve just been ogling over the most recent shop featured for “Quit Your Day Job” and they’ve definitely found their niche (waterproof “shower art”). I’m always laughing in amusement and showing my husband the things people actually buy online half trying to convince him that we can do this…! So freaking exciting that I’m making it happen…

So NOT exciting is my infected, impacted wisdom tooth… I have avoided the dentist for SIX years… I have many a gone filling and all three of my wisdom teeth are impacted with the fourth growing under the gum 100% perpendicular to the other teeth (I’ve really been telling people that I am one of those evolved humans that grew with less (only three) wisdom teeth : / ) … The dentist made it known today he would not be dealing with that mess… The oral surgeon will be responsible for cleaning up my mouth now… If only this could be a lesson to The Boy that he needs to be brushing more carefully! Anyhow…. I tell you all that since it forces me to be on a smoothie diet – no chewing for while – sooo I’ve been perfecting some smoothie recipes! YAY!

Since going RAW – and now maintaining a 90% RAW diet – I have come to love the DATE! Never had I had one before going RAW even though I am a huge fan of dried fruit… My sister had been raving and they’re in like 99% of RAW dessert recipes so I bought a box… Now I depend on them…

———-BEST SMOOTHIE YOU WILL EVER HAVE IN YOUR LIFE ———-

So simple and yet I crave it every day. I can literally taste like a caramel whipped frappe… So sweet and creamy…Gah!

I usually soak about 10-12 dates overnight (just leave them covered with water in the blender until morning)

Then throw in about 4 bananas ( Super Ripe bananas – if they’re not covered in brown spots It will taste like banana and not dreamy caramel)

and Blend!

Whoa! Best thing I ever tried and its 100% good for you… I have one just about every day and make a super big portion for after a workout…

First Camping trip with an infant to come this week! More to come!

Remembering how I live for CHANGE…

Soooo…

“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… 🙂

Lastly,

-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!