Thursday, December 20, 2007
So I didn't make handmade cards this year, that's okay. The extra time was another moment that I could spend connecting with my family. I didn't make those cookies that I wanted to try this year, oh well, that's something to look forward to next year.
Buck turned 38 on Monday. He requested a yellow cake with vanilla frosting. I didn't realize until right before we sang and did candles that we are missing an "8" candle so I had to do 35 and add 3 single candles. It looked pretty sad....
One thing I have been doing lately is playing with my camera. Jensen had a DSLR and since we talked photography a lot I knew he would want me to have it. I don't have the manual or the software that goes with it but I am slowly learning how to use it. Ian has been a patient model for me while I play around.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
We bought our tree last night and spent the evening decorating the tree and the house. The Advent calendar is filled with treats, the stockings are hung (by the chimney with care), the lights are up inside.
I can't for the life of me seem to get a decent picture of my Christmas tree. I did get a picture of my most favorite part of the tree though-my garland.
When I was a little girl we lived in the same town as my grandparents and so we spent Christmas morning at our house and then went to "Fort Evergreen" as my Grandpa called their place, in the afternoon. I loved to dance around their living room, admiring the decorations and especially the candy garland on the Christmas tree. It looked like lifesavers and of course I had to taste it just to make sure it wasn't real. It is plastic, glittery, kinda tacky and was probably made in the 60s but nothing says Christmas to me like that garland on my tree! When my grandma died 3 years ago it was one of the only things I asked for from the house.
We enjoyed a marvelous day with Evie and her boys today. I was treated to Iain the Human Pretzel:
Ian and I had such a good time with our friends. Iain and Ryan always play so well with Ian even though he is younger than they are. They hunted zombie aliens and played with castles and legos and all kinds of fun stuff. Ryan and Ian invaded Evie's jewelry box for magic rings and artifacts and she was so patient and generous with them to let them use her pretty things.
Evie and I got to chat for a long time which was so fun for me. It is wonderful to have a friend who is an unschooler like me since I don't seem to know many at home. I just wish we lived closer to each other so we could meet up more than once every month! Thanks for inviting us, Evie.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I guess the worst part of today is that I am gaining on Jensen. For as long as I've been alive he has been around and he was always my older brother. I am still 2 years behind but pretty soon I won't be. I think my 33rd birthday will be really hard because then I will be older than he ever was. My life will move on and I will get older and he will always be young. It seems wrong to me.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I am really loving this challenge because it helps me look back over my days with Ian in a sweet, loving context. Also, I am waking up each morning with joy and anticipation in my heart wondering, "What lovely things will happen today?"
Here are just a few wonderful moments from this week:
Sunday Oct 28: As I was getting Ian out of his car seat at McDonald's I mis-judged the top of the door frame and totally hit my head as I bent over to undo his belt. As I was trying not to cuss out loud (I failed) and trying not to cry because it hurt so much Ian said, "Oh, Mama, you hurt yourself. Where does it hurt?" I pointed to the spot on the top of my head and he kissed it better. And it WORKED!
Monday Oct 29: On the way home from playing at the airport observation deck Ian started talking about Buck. "I miss Daddy. I want to see him at work. I want him to come home with us." When I explained that Buck had to finish his work day and couldn't just kick off at 2 he said, "Well, then I want to stay with him 'til he leaves." We stopped by work and visited Buck. He couldn't leave just then but he did take some time to play trains with us so Ian was happy.
Tuesday Oct 30: After a long, full day with a party (where he told us,"This is a good party!") and a bit of trick-or-treating (some towns here are celebrating Halloween on Tuesday this year) we snuggled at home under a blanket on the couch to watch some TV. Ian was in Buck's lap and he started nodding off. He smiled as he fell asleep and he looked so peaceful and happy to be where he was. I absolutely love moments like this!
Wednesday Oct 31: Halloween was fun because this was Ian's first year to go trick-or-treating. It was a joy to watch him walk around in his costume in the dark collecting candy. It reminded me so much of the fun I used to have as a kid. We went with his "girlfriend" who kept asking him, "Ian, are we married yet?", to which he would reply, "No! Not YET! We aren't big enough!"
Thursday November 1st: Today we saw some friends we haven't been able to see in several months. We spent the whole day at their house and Ian and I had a blast. For me it was great to catch up with my friend. The best part of the day though was probably when Ian and his friend ran across the lawn with their arms outstretched to give each other a big hug.
Friday November 2: Today's wonderful moment didn't start off well and it really applies more to me than to Ian. We went to a local forest with another Ian and his mom and brother. The 2 Ians kept running ahead of us on the trail and at first I tried to yell for mine to come back. After a bit though I realized that Ian was smart and he kept choosing good places to stop and wait for me to catch up, I trust him and so yelling at him wasn't extending that trust to him or in his ability to make his own choices, and yelling sounded horrible and was just silly! So I stopped. My Ian and I had a lot more fun after that. This was a wonderful moment for me because it is another time that I silenced my fears and doubts and got my parenting self back where I want to be.
Another wonderful moment was around dinner time when Ian was playing with fridge letter magnets. He told me he was writing 'My little pony' and then told me he wants "too much My Little Ponies." Too much to Ian means a lot; more that he can hold in his hands. He has one MLP doll now that is plush and about the size of a Care Bear. He takes good care of Rainbow Dash and loves to cuddle him or rock him to sleep. Rainbow Dash is just one of a lot of Ian's interests. He loves Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, knights, cars, mama and baby animal sets, cowboys, books, movies, etc...I just like that he sees MLP as one of many fun choices.
Saturday November 3: We met Buck's mom and cousin at the mall in Winston-Salem. Ian found an old photo booth and wanted to get his picture taken. At the last minute he asked me to be in the picture with him (as well as Baby Dinosaur). It was really fun and reminded me of being a kid. The top picture is missing because we gave it to Grammy.
Sunday November 4: This morning while we were waking up Ian got really close to my face, put his hands on my cheeks and said, "Stay here with me. I like you!" Then he kissed me on the forehead. :) I am sick today and as Buck left for a sword fight this morning Ian ran in the room and said, "I will take care of you, Mama!"
So, there is just a sampling of moments from this week. It was such a busy week! We normally like to have a day or two where we lay low and hang out at the house but it was fun to see lots of friends and we had lots of adventures. It was hard for me to narrow my list of moments down for this entry. I consider this to be a great week. I wonder what wonderful moments will happen next week?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
1. I was almost traded for 10 camels once in Saudi Arabia. No really! A Saudi guy offered my step-dad camels in exchange for my (11 year old) hand in marriage. Thank goodness he declined the offer, but he did get some usage out of it as a threat later on: "If you don't behave I will sell you for 10 camels!"
3. I sucked my thumb until I was 12. I can't believe I just admitted that. My family did everything they could think of to get me to stop. I lived in fear of falling asleep with my thumb in my mouth during a sleepover. One day I just decided to stop on my own and I did.
10. Sometimes I think of tastes and smells as having sounds. It is hard to explain but I associate certain tastes (like mint and stew and bell peppers) and smells (like cinnamon and cloves and grass) with sounds.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The first thing we noticed about the fair was that it was unnaturally hot! The leaves on the trees hadn't even really started to change.
We wandered through the crowds and the booths, admiring the crafts, jewelry, furniture, art, and people. I found lots of things I liked but I was indecisive so I left empty-handed. I wish I had been more vocal about wanting to go back and look at certain booths. I am pretty good about making sure Ian gets to do the things he wants to do but I am not always as mindful about my own wants. I was fascinated by all the detail and love that the craftsmen put into their wares.
Ian wanted to ride a pony. He rode one named Flicka and had a great time. He was a little bit nervous but he loved his pony, the saddle and the experince. He didn't care for the helmet though.
We sat down in the shade of a cherry tree for lunch. Everyone went to different food stalls to get their favorites. While we were eating Ian told us that he wanted a ribbon stick. We had seen a few kids waving brightly painted sticks with ribbons on the end and Ian thought they were cool. I asked him where we could find them and without any hesitation he said, "In the big barn!" The big barn was our next destination. We hadn't been there yet and we couldn't see the entrance. The barn was where the dancing and singing was held. There were also booths inside and Folk Festival shirts for sale there. As soon as we walked inside we saw a boy with a ribbon stick. I asked him where he bought it and sure enough he pointed to a stall about 20 feet away! Ian was right! I asked him how he knew they would be there and he said, "Because I wanted one." Wow. I wish I could be that sure of myself. Seriously.
We bought kettle corn and wandered around some more. Ian walked around with Grammy a bit. When he saw us again several minutes later he ran up to us singing his Transformers song at the top of his lungs. It is so fun to watch him learn and grow and share things he is passionate about with us.
We didn't stay at the festival for long but it was such a treat to be together, chatting and laughing (and sweating!) and holding hands with loved ones.
P.S. Thanks to Stephanie for her help in figuring out how to do the photo merge thing in Photoshop!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
At the end of the week we won the auction and the coveted prize arrived today! He was overjoyed to have his toy arrive and I was too! We quickly opened the box and began playing. We have found lots of uses for it besides just having egg and spoon races. The spoons can be lined up, the eggs can be cooked and served to mom, the egg shells can hold treasures, the egg shells can be stacked.
I am so glad that we are living this unschooling life. A couple of years ago I would have just dismissed his idea as just a temporary want and I would have disregarded it. I never would have gone out of my way to find it for him unless he kept "bugging" me about it. Even then I might just tell him that it was too bad that we didn't get it and we just couldn't find it without even looking for it.
I will be forever grateful to people like Sandra Dodd and Pam Sorooshian for putting information about radical unschooling out there, for living it and for continuing to write about it. Our lives are changed forever and definitely for the better. Of course we have day-to-day crap like everyone else but life with my kid is so much more fun and peaceful than I ever thought it could be!
Oh, and of course Hi-Q joined in on the egg-spoon fun. He is always a part of our play!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Around lunch I asked what he wanted to eat. "Copcorn!" he shouted. I made a big bowl of popcorn and put his in a special Shrek bowl. We cuddled under "Big Blue" (a blanket made by my grandma that is both big and blue) and watched "Goonies." It is amazing to me how much joy there is in our house when I simply listen to Ian and say yes. If he were in pre-school he couldn't ask for popcorn for lunch and we definitely couldn't cuddle every day.
While we were in Lowe's the other day a cashier told me to value this time with him while I can. She said that the day her son went to kindergarten was the last time she was allowed to hug him, and her 13-year-old daughter won't even talk to her. I just told her that I do cherish the time I have with him, but I don't worry at all about him not wanting to spend time with me. And I don't.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Last week I yelled at him for some stupid thing that I don't even remember. After I calmed down and breathed I came back to him and I apologized and asked him, "What do you think I could do next time I start to yell at you so that I calm down and don't yell at you?" He smiled and immediately told me that I could, "sing the sunshine song!" The 'sunshine song' is "You are my sunshine" and it's one of our favorites. I sing it to him pretty much every day and if I forget he reminds me to sing it.
So, yesterday he was eating mint chocolate chip ice cream on the couch and after a while he told me that he spilled "a little" on the couch. I don't mind a little spill here or there so I wasn't mad until I saw that the whole underside of his diaper was green and so was the couch. I started thinking all sorts of terrible and selfish things in my head and I started to yell. Ian jumped off the couch and sort of started crying. I stopped, though, after about 3 seconds, took a breath, and then belted out, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...." By the end of the song he was cuddled in my lap and I was kissing the top of his head and I was marveling at my wonderful son. Best of all I was truly not angry anymore. IT WORKED!
Now if only I can start singing before I yell next time I will be set...
Friday, September 14, 2007
Here are the 2 Dad Can Do projects we made today. The wand is all finished. I decided to add jewels to the tip of my wand.
The Simpsons d'oh-nut is a work in progress. I have assembled it, painted it, and applied the sprinkles. After the paint dries (it has been drying for hours--I think I will turn 31 before it is dry!) I will cut out a bite and then paint some purple doughnut goo coming out.
Thanks for the idea and the website, Evie!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
We had lots of adventures while we were there.
We had a picnic at a table with my initials carved in it:
We fed the fish at Cherokee Lake and posed for pictures, we crossed the bridge and then climed down into the dam and traversed across barefoot by jumping from rock to rock, we went to Santa's Land, we saw "Robot Pengiuns" (according to Ian), we panned fer gold and gems, we went swimming, we (Buck and I) visited Rome, Georgia, we saw a movie, we spent lots of time in the sand box and the boat, we ate good food, played with animals, had good conversations with family, and had a great visit. Phew, we were busy and now I am tired!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
We stayed at the Contemporary Resort. Although I loved being on the Disney property and getting to take advantage of free transportation and extra hours at the park, I disliked that we weren't in the main tower. When I made reservations I chose "garden view" since it was cheaper than "theme park view." I didn't realize that "garden view" really meant "not-even-in-the-same-freaking-building-and-inconvenient-to-everything view" but other than that we were really happy with the hotel.
We went to Disney-MGM Studios the first day. We figured our plan would be to go at a slower pace than we had pre-Ian and maybe leave in the afternoon, rest and come back. Ian loved the Star Tours set and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. But the absolute bestest part of the day, maybe even the trip, was a visit with Mater and Lightning! I couldn't even get him to look in my direction for a picture because he was so excited.
After the daily afternoon thunderstorm at 3 (it is Florida after all) I rode the Rock 'n Roller Coaster by myself since no one else was interested in riding. I found a street sign near the Tower of Terror that said Gower St.
I thought that was pretty cool since my husband used to live on Gower when he was a baby and his parents lived in Hollywood. We went back to the hotel at about 5 and decided we were too tired to go back. We spent the rest of the night swimming, watching TV, eating, enjoying fireworks, and relaxing.