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The News Around Here January 7, 2014

Posted by dreamom in Balance, family, Goals, Happiness, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
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It has been more than a while since I wrote last – which explains why I have a hard time creating a following…

What’s new?  We have a new baby girly (Sweet P).  She is overly loved by The Wild Man, J-Man, The Little Lady, and The Monkey Man.  It was surreal having her arrive so quickly, nicely at home after the two losses before her.  She has a infectious laugh and the brightest eye, and The. Most. Pinchable. Cheeks. Ever.

Monkey man is finishing grade 8, and looking forward to … ::gulp:: high school next year.  He sees himself as so mature and grown up, but he is still my baby boy in so many ways.

The others are being homeschooled, and it is amazing to walk that education journey with them.  It definitely has ups and downs, but more about those later.

One thing that I have been thinking on lately is that I ENJOY writing.  In an effort to do more of what I enjoy, I hope to write a bit more frequently.  To do that I am going to have to tame the busyness that we get caught up in though.  That is part of my goals going forward.  Writing more, work on photography, create more life balance for the family, and work on publishing my book that I wrote eons ago.

We are off to a rousing start.  I took on a project that took up too much time and had me scrambling all last week, and now we are sorely out of routine while a blizzard rages outside.  It was a snow day for school (people were trilled), and work (people were anxious and upset), and now all the roads in the county are closed, and the temperature is dropping to -20 PLUS windchill.  I think tomorrow might be more of the same…



Don’t mind me – I’m just trying… August 4, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Fears, Goals, Happiness, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.

It was suggested to me some time ago that when Mom’s use the word ‘trying’ that they are setting themselves up for failure.  I listened intently, and added some thoughts of my own, and decided that it is true.

I volunteer for an organization which comes along side breastfeeding mom’s and offers various types of support as needed.  I hear Mom’s say “I am going to try to breastfeed” all the time.  If I had a nickle  for every time I heard it, I would be a rich woman indeed.  (Feel free to give me a nickle when you use that term with me! lol).  My thought was always ‘FANTASTIC! They are going to try!’  What was pointed out to me though is that in saying that they are leaving the possibility open for failure, and thus reducing their commitment (as to not look to do more than trying) and increasing the chance of…  non-success.  In hindsight this makes perfect sense to me, and I can see that playing out in the people I have ‘trying’.  The solution?

It was also suggested that what we as parents should do is just make a decision – such as “I am going to breastfeed” (which incidentally what I did unintentionally).  If things aren’t going well, and your life is falling apart, you aren’t receiving sufficient support, and you feel trapped – you don’t just gradually make little consessions here and there – eventually slipping out of breastfeeding without noticing it – you make a new decision.  Perhaps saying “I will now be  pumping to supplement one feed” or some such thing as to make it manageable, yet maintain control and having a clear idea of where you stand.

I found this to be a fantastic way of looking at things and have been trying to rephrase my parenting strategies as to tell myself, as well as others that I am committed to said strategy.  For instance, I am no longer ‘trying’ homeschooling.  I AM homeschooling.  When and if I see a need to make a new decision regarding the education of my children (for which I can choose – sadly for one child I am stuck with whatever I can manage to get from the PS system…), I will.  This has made all the difference for me. I can plan things without fearing looking foolish, and I can order curriculum without ‘hoping’ not to waste money.  I can tell the kids that we ARE doing such and such today without hoping I wasn’t just wasting everyone’s time on something that might not work…

Today I began to read a book in preparation for the birth of baby #4.  I know that when I tell you the topic that many of you will choke on your tea, water, etc. and say “Why on earth would you try something like that!?”  It is on having a Diaper Free baby.  I was first introduced to Elimination Communication (EC) by a good friend (who I miss dearly) from Guelph.  I was skeptical too – although I hope I was nice about it…  The first time I was handed the baby and was asked if I could ‘pee her’ (at maybe 2 months), and I did the whistle cue, and that sweet baby started to pee – I was convinced!  I tried to start with Jordan at that point, but he was nearing 10 months and having nothing of it…  Keep in mind I was ‘trying’.  I did start attending the EC meetings and met other Mom’s (besides my friend) who were, or had done this style of infant hygiene with success.  I knew that this was indeed something I wanted to do – if only Jordan was willing…

Now with baby #4 getting closer, I started reading the book to refresh my memory of what I was hoping to embark on, and build up my knowledge bank so I would be ready.  Tonight as I headed for bed I set down the book, and with renewed vigor thought “I will have to try that.”  At that moment it hit me.  I was only planning to try.  I was in other ways getting the diapers organized, thinking about where to put them so they would be handy.  I was pondering getting disposables for the icky umbilical cord days.  I was only trying.  I was excited to try, but even for something as non-life threatening as diapering decisions I was getting my emergency plan in place and planning my escape route.  I would like to say that going diaper free is more daunting than breastfeeding, thus relieving myself of the commitment to the decision, but that is just not the case.  I was lucky to have access to the support I needed and the stubborn drive to get through the bumps, and the fact that I gave myself no other option for infant feeding.  Baby was getting my milk.  Period.  I was not going to pump for the nursing years because that is way too hard.  Period.  Somehow the baby and myself were going to figure out the dance of milk transfer from me to baby.  Period.  There was no word ‘try’.  EVER.

If I am going to plan to succeed with this I am going to have to erase the word ‘try’, and insert the word ‘do’.  Period.  If I was having this baby in Guelph I would know that I would have the support of my dear ECing friend, and the group of women who met to support each other in this diaper choice that was so against the norm.  Here in good ol’ Manitoba I don’t have that.  My friend Mhairi is supportive – although having not done it herself… yet 🙂  That is all I know.  Heck I have been a bit of a black sheep here for having cloth diapers.  (When mom’s see the diapers or covers they beam and say “OH!  You have cloth diapers!”  Like they have just found water in the desert…)  It is going to be hard to not try.  It is going to be harder still to just do it.  I can’t wait to start explaining my taking my infant into the bathroom at…  anywhere!  I DO know that it is achievable, and I do think that it is a wise choice (in the end) for Mom, baby, and the environment – but this is going to take an AWFUL lot of doing!

Down to Business July 28, 2009

Posted by dreamom in family, Home, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.

Before the end of school Kyle’s teacher from this past year, and this coming year sat down and went over where he was at.  Turns out in the transition from Ontario to Manitoba he missed out on some cursive writing, and numeracy.  Since he left school a bit early to visit his Dad, and came back half way through July I decided that we would start in earnest in August.  I am a bit early, but it seemed like the time was right.  So today is our big day.  He is working on Addition – with a constant prod to keep motivated.  Also on the plan today is Music (he is also supposed to practice the recorder this summer), and doing a journal entry for today.  I ordered his cursive book a week ago, and am hoping that it will be in anytime.  It is the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, and is a fantastic way to teach printing and writing…

Libby is only four so the pressure is never on to push the ‘schooling’, but she is lamenting about how she has all these books that she can’t read, and will explain to Jordan (sorrowfully) that she would like to read to him, but can’t.  She is really anxious to get going, so away we go.  The plan for her today is doing some printing (Kumon, until the HWT book for her comes), a Kumon Cutting book – to work on fine motor, and a bit of phonics.  She too will do a journal entry (as they all will every day) – with the hope being that the writing will increase to eventually match the picture.

Because no one likes to be left out Jordan has some Kumon books on folding, and cutting to do, as well as making a picture for his ‘journal’.  With him it is less about learning the basics, and more about learning the routine.

In the coming days I hope to find our Children’s Bible – we typically would read a story from it, and have the kids retell it, or do a picture about the story.  It has been missing since the move, and gradually I hope to re-establish the routine that we had started last summer in Guelph.

That along with a trip to the park should make for a pretty full day.  The only thing that will derail it now is that it is 10 am and Kyle is already showing signs of needing a nap…

Fueling the Dream July 3, 2008

Posted by dreamom in Faith, family, Happiness, Homeschooling, Life, Parenting.
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This last little while has been a weird time for me.  I switched medication levels and have found something that is really working for me.  At the same time though I am finding that I am buckling under the stress and pressure of our situation.   This month we are completely relying on a mixture of our parents and anyone else we can scare up to pay our bills.  We are waiting to hear about the outcome of a couple of jobs and this is really the end of the line for us.  If one of these jobs don’t work – Kevin is going to have to leave his Masters undone and get whatever job he can find.  That is a daunting fact after 5.5 years put into it.

We pray earnestly, and it just gets delayed more and more.  I am not sure what the purpose is in this.  I trust that God does have something planned, but for the life of me I don’t know what, or if we are even headed in the right direction.  We just continue to pray and pray,and wait for God to give us an answer.

I think that is one of the most difficult aspects of all of this as well.  I want to participate in so many things this summer, and experience so many things with the kids, but we can’t.  Even with the help we have we are falling short.

On the other hand, now that school is over for the summer I have been homeschooling Kyle.  I am so proud of him!  He has been working 4-5 hours a day on school.  I have a math program that he is eagerly devouring.  We have a printing program, phonics program, and a general language program, and even though it is Kyle’s most difficult subject he is working hard on it without complaints.  For Science and Social Studies we are going very Charlotte Mason.  I am loving it.  The biggest issue with it right now is that Jordan is terribly cranky, and difficult to handle, and we haven’t figured out what to do with him yet.  That will come with time, and I suspect with the teeth that are trying to break through!

In regards to the title, the only thing fueling the dream right now is prayer.  Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.  Feel free to add us to your list  🙂