Saturday, January 31, 2009

Total Ruined.....

At the dollar store today there were some neat stickers to do with the body and weather and etc....where you stuck the stickers on pictures instead of writing the answer....I thought they were cool and offered them to August who seems to have a magic antenna that picks up anything that might be to do with 'learning' anything mom thinks is cool. I actually put them back and hope that he processes this to mean his wishes count....Of course some children's literature is so OBVIOUSLY teaching that it's not that fun to read (Their fav MSB Chapter Books for one) but they still love them....and this week we read Sonlight's recommended "Greg's Microscope" - It's not SUBTLE at all, choppily written and so darn obvious what the point of the story was (get the kids to use a microscope - John Holt would HATE this book - like kids need spurring on to look thru a microscope), .....but they fell for it....and out came the salt and sugar and slides and microscope and water and WOW LOOK DADDY!!!
He put together a super cool very complicated bulldozer lego kit yesterday, I mean complicated multiple instructions.....and coming home from the library I heard from the back seat "Mom what does W A R M spell", "oh, ok" a couple of minutes later "Mom what does t o w e l spell" and so it went......He was reading back there.....
Sawyer on the other hand is happy to jump into Math-u-see books and "play" with numbers......I know what not to do with that one.....I've learned from my mistakes with August....
Apparently my mom had company with a grade 2 aged daughter and she raved to a friend of mine about how much more "mature" and etc she was than August......My friend had to point out that a lot of it was a big "hannah montanna" act and not the 'real' child......I am so glad my kids aren't exposed to all that sexualized, commercialzed cr @p - Grade 2 and having posters up idolizing that.....MENSH!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Neat Day

What a perfect day.....The boys LOVE Magic School Bus (they watch it and rewatch episodes each morning without fail), so I order the Chapter books thru Scholastic (and for the most part I hate Scholastic.......the rampant commericalism....I could go on for hours) and even though they are so OBVIOUSLY (to me) teaching, but the kids love the adventures, and they do pick up on the info imparted by the nutty Friz. So we read MSB "The giant germ" then look at Usborne's "the complete book of the microscope" full of awesome pics of germs and microbes and hair in knots and so on....and then tried to find our sea monkeys to grow (where the HECK did we put that kit???) Instead found a wooden map of the world with little flags to place in holes beside the right country that the kids have never seen - A attacked it with vigour....using another one of my books with country names and flags - so he had to find the country in the book, alphabetically, look what the flag looked like, then find it's flag out of the pile and put it in the right spot.....all from my kid who can't read.....let alone figure out "alphabetical order" Then we read more about Spiders - H loves them - Did you know there is a spider that lives underwater??? It makes a web, puts air bubbles in it and then uses that space to eat it's prey....All this was interspersed with Lionel Trains, walks outside with Daddy, piano practice, webkinz, treadmill running and various other random activities.....a perfect day, I wish each one could be like this......
Ok it wasn't totally perfect, H had a bad night and was INCREDIBLY screamy/weepy/waily all hard to deal with and nothing that can be done.......

Monday, January 19, 2009

naomi aldort

I just read this in her newsletter:
A mother asked me, "how do I know that its all right for my baby to breastfeed and fall asleep on the breast?" Looking for evidence, she missed the proof. Thinking that the baby doesn't know took this mother away from the loudest truth: reality. The baby is nursing and falling asleep. That's how I know that this is what the baby should do. He does it.
I just love this. With my first, August, I listened to mainstream others, at first, even though we had Sears' The baby book. He lost weight, significantly (like a LOT more than the usual.....), the first week. I reread sections of our only baby book and went on a "breastfeeding holiday" I nursed until the cows came home....and in one week he gained all that and more......I was so dang proud. My first pangs of attachment parenting had hit (not including not letting him out of my sight at the hospital.....) Thank god they did.
So how does this apply to learning and education. Mainstream people agree kids must go to school and the proof is that kids who go to school learn (?). But so do those who stay at home. So where is the proof otherwise. Why are they so AGAINST homelearners/lifelearners? Because they don't want to keep their kids at home? Because they WANT their kids at school so they can have some 'freedom'? Even my supersweet neighbor, with a SUPER kid, said to me "Aren't you worried about social interactions?? Aren't you worried about him missing something?" My son has started labeling maps that he draws. For example: an "E" for elephant. Now if I listened to my Lucy Calkins writing in elementary set (neat books by the way...but not for my kids), he should have been able to do this in K, I tried hard to get him to do it in grade 1, and have perhaps made him fight wanting to write now because of my efforts....Now he's doing it without my help, and I forsee a natural progression....if I can TRUST that he will do it on his own. I fight my own internal battles constantly with mainstreem educators and parents and pressure from others and what I want for my kids.....add to this the fact that my early memories are female, and I LOVED making perfect letters. Do kids learn despite going to school? One of my friends, a trained teacher, spoke of imitating at home what she did at school and making her girls and herself MISERABLE. After 3 weeks she gave up, she dropped it. So what does this say about what is inflicted upon kids at school by the most wellmeaning people. I remember August saying "Mummy, it's so looooooooong" Having said all that, maybe for some kids, school is a haven.....a whole 'nother subject.....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Parenting and Dentistry

Sidebar: Mummy!! Did you know that you can put the treadmill on a mountain????? It's sooooooo cool, we can run uphill.
2 days later: Mummy! I can run 2 kmh backwards!!!!!!!
Mummy: Geez, I don't know if you can go on the treadmill again. Hmmm Well I guesssss so.....
H had a bazillion cavities filled on Friday under anaesthetic at the hospital. I managed to insult the recovery nurse, cause the dentist to lose face and well, you know, piss everyone off. Man. No, seriously, they call for me that he's awake and calling for me so up I go at a run...and meet the dentist on the way, who says "Yes, it went well we did all 8 fillings" I look confused, "You mean 9" Now the dentist looks confused. "You know, his last front upper tooth with the black blotch on the back......." (He had the other three pulled after they absessed after breaking them all in a fall......) So I get in with him (and get told not to nurse him argh which I ignored) and his first words to me were "Mummy, I'm hot" so I strip him off, the poor kid is COOKING, like sweat dripping off his head and wet sweaty hair. I guess the recovery nurse was worried he was cold. They let me take him back to the peds unit to watch tv, and wait for him to pee....where the other waiting parent tells me "wow did he ever call for you for a long time, at least 15 minutes" (She was waiting next door to the recovery room with her son to go in) I was HORRIFIED. He was being COOKED for 15 minutes, no wonder he was stressed and upset. (I heard the nurses talking under their breath about his bp spiking.....) I thought they called me as he was coming out. So when the recovery nurse comes in to check his stats I ask her why he called for me for so long. She gave the other lady a nasty look and said something about being busy (1 other person in recovery chatting to his nurse, whatever) .....Ok so I pissed her off, maybe she'll get the next mom sooner......(I told H I would be there when he woke up :( Then when we were finally allowed to leave I saw the dentist again in the hallway. After small talk, and being told to make a follow up appointment, I ask about the missed tooth and I get told "Oh, I decided not to do that one and let it run it's course" HUH??!!! What about the quote for 9 fillings? What about the form I signed that said the procedure had been discussed with me???? What about the other ABSESSES we had to deal with??? We are so pissed. Mistakes can be made, fillings forgotten, but LYING??????
Then we go to Micky Ds for lunch and I see a NEW baby strapped in her carseat with a bottle propped in her mouth. I just felt so sad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

So there!

My mum so thinks we're screwing the kids up it's not funny - and then she asked this morning "What's the smallest flying mammal?" And A yelled "BAT!" (We just happened to read "The truth about bats" Magic School Bus chapter book the night before....) Did you know that there is a bumblebee bat? Coolness. Now the kids want to see one and were AMAZED that we have bats here and want to see one NOW! Of course we only see them in the warmer months....not when there's snow on the ground. Ok, I just googled it Bats hibernate here :)
I occasionally yell at my kids (ducking) and am always amazed at how fast they seem to get over it.....sometimes while I'm still ticked. They are just happily continuing on with what they are doing. Joyful and curious. Inquisitive and passionate. I watched a mother yell at her son the other day....he looked at her mournfully, then she yelled some more, same and then a few minutes later observed them continue home walking 10 feet apart. He is in kindergarten. I was horrified at the miserableness of the child. What was she yelling? It must be part of the equation. I yell when I'm frustrated, not getting their attention or well, when I'm frustrated at the total chaos that is my life and need someone, anyone to listen to me.....and get the damn jammies on...... I don't degrade my kids, I don't belittle them, I don't call them names, I'm pretty predictable "I don't want to yell, and I don't want to ask you 5x" so maybe it goes in one ear and out the other. Great. I know what the parenting experts are going to suggest..... But my point is this - I don't attack my kids. They seem to know that it is built up frustration. It's like they expect it and they know it'll blow over fast. It seems we have built this into our way. I was talking with hubby about this whole experience and we know we need to be more proactive at step one of the frustration chain......I am going to work on this .....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Kinda Like Dominoes.....

So the three boys were playing naked on mummy's bed, jumping around, while we dealt with paperwork in the office for a legal action we are taking (you don't want to know, in a nutshell....salt contamination of our water supply by the highways department next door......a long story) and we hear a bang, scream and crying, which stops .... then a minute later S comes in holding his head. Seeing the copious quanities of blood, I immediately say stitches. Hubby gets snow and we stop the bleeding....finish our paperwork....and head to the doctor. S and I sit in the walk in clinic waiting waiting waiting....and finally get in the room. Of course he is asked mulitple times what happened. (Doesn't help this is the THIRD time we have taken him in for scalp the past 1.5 years) The doctor puts on some numbing agent and I head for a pee (The reason we like this walk in clinic - it's beside Starbucks!) I hear from the bathroom at top notch "I spy with my little eye....." I head back to find the nurse yakking with my boy. She's like "So, what happened?" And S was describing "Well my brother had a pillow on his head..." she looks confused, he follows this with "and, well, you know dominoes??? It was like that, he went down and then so did I....."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Toy

Yep, we fell for it, the treadmill that would get us ready for ski it on sale, a good one great to use, easy to fold up...and it's been folded up since we bought it. Er....hubby may have gone on one run. BUT it is the greatest toy ever. Did you know 5 year old Sawyer can run 10.1 kmh??? Yep, he holds on as he runs, his little legs are moving at full speed and his face has the most ecsquisite look until he has had enough, lets go and swings from the's hilarious. The boys spend hours taking turns on the treadmill now....and the ones that aren't running??? They have lego and etc to drop on the back and watch it shoot off the back of the moving treadmill. I better tell them they can ONLY use it 10 mins a day, so they want to use it more.....hehe

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cleaning Up Joyfully...

I've read so much about what kind of parent I want to be; I am not an instinctive parent, but when I read about parenting styles I know instinctively what is right (HA! Who am I to judge?) I was describing my mother and a bit of family history with a friend and she said to me "Ohhhhh, that's why you read so many parenting books...." I'd never thought of it that way. This is kind of how I stumbled into attachment parenting. We were reading all these books about being pregnant, and how the baby was developing, and I said to hubby "We better get some books on how to take care of a baby....." He bought the Sears' Baby Book. Which was the best one he could have. It started with the premise that you take what you wanted from the book, and ignore everything you didn't agree with. This kept me reading. I was going to breastfeed on a 4 hour schedule (thanx mom.) baby was going to be in a crib, sleep the night thru at 6 weeks....etc.....HA HA HA!!!!! I went from that to a LLL leader.......EEEEEEEanyways I digress.....I was reading a cool article and something really hit me in the head. Something that I knew already and forgot, something that I do most of the time, but forget when I'm tired or frustrated....basically if you make a big deal about how crappy it is to clean up after your kids, then why would they ever take joy or want to clean up after themselves, since it's such a drag for mom. My normal procedure is to get the boys and say "Let's organize your room!" and we all tromp in and have a cleanfest. And it's usually great together time. And in fact, I'm pretty ok with a messy bedroom. However, toys gradually get spread all over the house, in multilayers, and this mommy would like some sort of, I don't know, method to my madness. Trust me my house doesn't smell like bleach...and I'm a clutterbug.....but I'd like to be able to vaccum once in awhile....I don't care if there's toys's when there are trains, hotwheels, tinkertoys, AND lego etc out....spread out.....(ok I know my kids have too many toys...I'm working on simplifying) that I start to go looney. After play toys away. Clean up clean up everything in its place. I get frustrated and start getting ticked, and take the JOY out of it. They don't look happy, I'm not happy, noone's enjoying themselves.....I *know* instinctively that this is NOT WORKING and NOT THE WAY TO INSPIRE them but I keep at it.....silly me. This has got to stop.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I was watching Oprah today (like the first time in about 7 years.......she drives me a bit nutty) as I was folding the MOUNTAIN of laundry.....(that's my excuse for turning on the tv)......and it was about finding satisfaction in your life....Changing your life to do what makes you happy. That may be quitting your job to do what your heart desires (the example was banker who is now a trapeze artist) and then Oprah said something along the lines that Most women are not at all satisfied in caring for their children. (I took this to mean SAHM, I could be wrong.) I felt sad. Very sad. I am so DARN lucky that I can spend every day with my beautiful, curious, happy, joyful, busy boys.....I would be SO MISERABLE if I had to go to work and leave them at school or with someone else. Wow, when they go to a playdate I miss them - I can't imagine going thru that every day....and then trying to deal with the whole household management thing and working outside the home....CRINGE (MAYBE if you are out working and your kids are in school your house just stays tidy and clean!? Yah! That's it. It never gets messy......)


Oh man, just when I think I'm at ease with the path we are taking with our kids, I go and blow it. I mean I went and read a bunch of blogs by super moms. You know, the kind of mom I'm not. When *do* these women find the time? I think we're ticking along fine, and I think progress is being made (ok, so what if Sawyer doesn't know the name of the last letter in his name, he knows it is the last letter in his name.....) August is reading more and more and really figuring it out...He can even be asked to read to his brothers in a crunch, sometimes. Holdy made a Sawyer letter (S) today out of an elastic....But as for big involved projects? Uh, no. games, nope.....the little guy only gets in there and ruins them. Card games with August, nope. Can't, the little guy again. Reading? Yep, every day, as much as possible....sometimes more than an hour, sometimes 15 minutes....My goal: 1 Hour. Playtime: Endless TV: Magic School Bus, Superwhy, Word World..... Computer: sometimes, today Yes, Holdy did Sesame Street games Nature walks? It's my goal to do something outside with them as much as possible....Does going out to check out the black bear footprints along our fence count? Digging parsnips for Xmas dinner? Carrots for the reindeer? Shovelling off the sagging trampoline and scary snowloaded greenhouses?? Ok ok, we did do one walk at Millard Park by Walmart this week ....Skiing? Yep, 2 days before Xmas 2 days after.....lots more to come.... Playing outside in the snow: Now this SERIOUSLY cuts into any REAL (tongue firmly in cheek, I think) learning going on as I have to drag the kids in to eat dinner, they barely undress, if at all, then head out again til bedtime, drag them back inside and force them into pjs and into bed. My kids need to go to bed early or we, the parents, suffer with endless pointless meltdowns the next day.....
On one post I read "stay tuned for more ideas to integrate learning into your daily life...." HUH??? I thought that was what I was doing everyday. But am I? Am I doing enough? Are we?? Maybe what I do isn't as structured as some, more fly by the seat of my pants type stuff....Like August asked why the gravy pourer measuring cup (now bathtub toy) poured out of the bottom, so I explained that oil/fat floated on water so with this kitchen tool allowed us to pour out the gravy and leave the oil/fat.....I promised to show him tomorrow.....I mentionned oil tankers crashing and spilling oil and sea birds landing in it....but does this sink in??? (Has Ms Frizzle talked about this??? )
I looked into ordering some Painted Lady Butterfly Larvae today.....that would be cool. Of course this was from the blog of one of the super moms.....
I looked into Discovery Streaming....but I hate the idea of sitting them down to watch *more* tv....
I'm so frightened of trying to do some sort of project with the boys, August more specifically, and ruining it for him by getting to teachy....I'd love to do some sort of project with birds - journalling etc, but it seems if I try to introduce something he *knows* what I'm doing and refuses....I had some stuff on my laptop about earthquakes, he found it and was looking at it but as soon as he realized I had it for him he stopped....ARGH!!!!
Where would he be if he was in school right now?
Heard this week: A: Mom, why do eagles look so beautiful when they're gliding but their sound is so bad. (At the park listening to the bald eagle calls, an almost undescribable sound)
S: Are you going to back up then? (After explaining something was my back up plan)
H: I love worms.