Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's go on an adventure, DADDY!!!

After nap Miss Moo was very excited to play in the small kiddie pool and huge yard at NanaPop's. She bailed water, giggled with her sister, dug with an excavator, and snacked on apples. She was greatly enjoying her afternoon as Nana and I chatted on the deck and relished some of the last moments of the season. Soon she turned to me and asked to go on an adventure. Then she remembered that Daddy was here with us this trip.

"I've never been here with my Daddy before!* He can go on an adventure wiss me!!!"

Pretty soon the trio completing our small little family were swinging, exploring, and collecting pine cones.  There were giggles, laughs, and sunny memories made.

Not a bad way to see you sneak away from us, Summer. Don't be a stranger.

*He HAS in fact been with us to NanaPop's plenty. Mostly it occurs around holidays when it is cold and there are lots of relatives to visit. ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

doTERRA Oils at Bathtime

I recently became introduced to doTERRA oils. I learned a decent amount and signed up for the membership. When our first shipment came I was thrilled.

Moo and Roo always enjoy bath time. There is splashing, giggling, and general busyness. This activity sometimes means that Moo won't be able to settle down for bedtime. She isn't really acting out or being "bad", she simply can't shut off her brain and go to sleep.  Enter doTERRA.

I started placing three drops Serenity and Balance in the bath water as the tub filled. The girls would start out fun and splashing and be calm and gentle within ten minutes. When bath time was over, I'd add a few drops to my fingers and rub them on the back of their necks. Daddy would do bedtime and everyone would be asleep within 30 minutes.

Then we skipped a bath time because we hadn't left the house. Moo was up until 10 and finally fell asleep in a bed she made outside my bedroom door. Again, she wasn't being bad. She just wanted to be where someone was because there might be something going on. The next night I FORGOT THE OIL.  Again, up until 10 singing in her room and "reading" books.

This afternoon we are heading to NanaPop's house. I have already packed our oils so that we can try our experiment there. Bedtime is usually more time consuming there but the girls essentially settle down. I am optimistic that things will go more smoothly because we'll have oils AND Daddy.

What tricks do you use with your little ones? Would you consider aromatherapy?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little Thing You Say DO Sink In

Miss Moo, Miss Roo, and I went to Busch Gardens for the first time last week. I was amazed at how well they behaved with just me taking them around. After a full day of fun, we headed home. Each girl had her water bottle as we took the ramp down to merge onto 64.

Roo began coughing on some water she gulped too quickly. I began telling her to calm down and breathe. She was a little red but still breathing okay so I didn't pull over.

"Put your arms up!! It will help your breathe!!" Moo suggested to her. Roo did as she was told and began to return to normal breathing patterns.

"Very good, baby girl! Thank you for helping your sister!"

"You and Daddy tell me to do that, right Mommy?? It helps us breathe!"

"That's right baby girl! Great job!"

Moo beamed from the backseat.

It does sink in. All those things your try to teach, and explain, and teach again ad nauseum.  Our children are listening. They look to us each day for guidance, love, support, and the opportunity to learn and gain your respect. Children respond best to accolades and acknowledgement that they have not only done something well, but they have learned it and applied it successfully. So keep trying. Even on days when you are ready to hit your head against the wall, perhaps even more than once, try to remind yourself that it's worth it.

Tonight at dinner, Roo began to choke a little on her water. Drew and I asked her in unison if she was alright. She lifted her  arms over her head, coughed once more, took a deep breath, and grinned from ear to ear. We were so proud of her and so was her sister. We all told her that. And she beamed.

It's all worth it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Book About BOOBS!

Ever since I nursed Miss Moo, I've been kinda Boob crazy. When I was nursing Roo, I found a hat that makes their head look like a boob. If we ever have another kid, I might have to crochet that now that I know how ;) 

Our good friend, Mookie's Mama, told me about a book dealing only with boobs. I ordered it that night. With October fast approaching, I started reading it so I can touch on breast health a lot that month.

I invite you to check out the book Breasts and see what you think. I'm only on chapter 2 so far but I'm hooked. I'm learning a lot and laughing. Who doesn't like to giggle about boobies???

Mama Needs a New Plan

I've had a lot going on lately, and that's led to NOT a lot of me time.  I miss writing, I miss being crafty, and I miss reading. These are all things that I must focus on and reintroduce into my daily life.

The "school" year is quickly approaching  and we are still in limbo with Drew's work status. We are implementing a homeschooling plan with Moo and Roo which requires a rhythm in our lives. It also requires planning.

I have decided that I need to begin planning by setting time aside to plan. So, I am hoping to start scheduling in "work hours" for myself 4 times a week. I have also decided to start a structure to my blogging activities. Most of my bloggy friends have this and it works really well for them.

My current idea is as follows:

  • Mama Mondays  - I will focus on something I like and enjoy or feel passionate about.
  • Teaching Tuesdays - These posts will either relate what we are learning for the week, give a lesson plan or structure for a particular activity, or discuss a particular teaching style or strategy that I am interested.
  • Wordless Wednesday - I love the simplicity of these posts and have borrowed this idea from countless others.
  • Therapeutic Thursdays - Oils, home remedies, information on season needs, etc. I'm still brainstorming on this one a bit.
  • Fun and Frivolous Friday - This is my fun post. It will be about something we have done or are planning just to enjoy one another.
  • Simple Saturdays - I'm hoping to set this post schedule around simple ways to eat well and eat real food.
  • Sundays -  I am still considering what to do here. I'd like to focus on faith and family, but sadly we've been very lacking here lately. Perhaps this is the nudge that I need.

So there it is - a framework to a plan.

What do you think?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Busch Gardens Bound

After our first experience there as a trio yesterday, we are returning to Busch Gardens tomorrow as a FAMILY! That's right - Drew has a weekend OFF!!! I am so excited you'd think I was the preschooler!

Starting Monday, I have a whole new plan for blogging, planning, and general Mama-ness. Check back in then. Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Does anyone know how to make a Mermaid out of tape???

Apparently, I do. Or, I WILL, rather,  as that is what Miss Moo has requested that we paint.

I purchased a few canvases a week ago with the intention of  teaching shape and line design, along with a little color mixing reinforcement, by creating two canvases in homage to Piet Mondrian.   This particular project was one of my favorite to teach and watch the children enjoy when I was a Pre-K teacher and later a Museum educator. The idea came from this wonderful book by Mary Ann Kohl. (If you like the idea of education and process not product, look her up. She's amazing!)

My Pre-K's LOVED this activity. They loved the bright primary colors with which they painted. They enjoyed laying the tape upon their canvases and watching shapes form between the lines. But mostly, they squealed in delight when they could remove the tape after everything had dried. I loved the activity because we could discuss so many concepts, and they kids could have entire conversations with one another about their individual works.

I couldn't wait to do this activity with Moo. I began telling her what we were going to do while driving home from the park yesterday. She listened intently as I began describing the process. I was almost done with the steps, explaining that when we pulled off the tape shapes would appear.

"How about a Mermaid, also?"

I glanced at her in the rear view mirror.

"The tape will make shapes, baby girl."

Her eyes narrowed a bit. Then she smiled.

"Ummm, no thanks. I think we should matke a mermaid!"

It was then I realized that even thought I may make lesson plans, homeschooling isn't going to be like preschooling.

We chose to start homeschooling this fall because Drew's company's contract is up for renewal, so our short term future isn't certain. I didn't want to enroll her in preschool only to yank her out in a month or two, move her, and start over again. Drew and I had also decided we were going to home school our girls starting at the elementary age, so starting a few years earlier wasn't going to cause any harm. If anything, it would get us all in a rhythm by the time she was "kindergarten ready". I've been reading, researching, compiling, and starting plans. We've been integrating some structured learning, thought she doesn't realize it, into our daily routine. I'm also trying to set up our calendar for outings and field trips once the weather cools down a little.

But unlike Pre-K, here I can focus on my two children and what they actually enjoy and excel in rather than what is required by a higher authority that they master. My Pre-K's didn't really have a choice in what they did, my girls do. In the past my plans were fairly rigid, now they are fluid. It's liberating- and a little terrifying. I'm learning along with my girls, some days MORE than they are. But this is my job now, and I do love a challenge. I was a great teacher in the past, so I hope to be as good to my girls as I was to my previous students.

So during nap today, I better teach myself how to tape down a mermaid so she can paint it. Simple lines just won't do.