Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crazy busy a reminder to breathe

and appreciate daily rituals, like bedtime...

Sprout who has "bubbas" and "babee" and giggles through his prayer and says "nigh nigh".
Nature Girl on her very last night as an eight year old.

Wild Thing who always brings his day's adventures to bed - the duck races balloon and bubbles - and his trusty bedtime buddy gnomey baby.
The newest addition to the bedtime ritual, after warm milk and vitamins, bathroom, brush teeth, into jammies,  but before prayers and kisses and hugs is putting glasses on snow bear.  I love that Wild Thing does this - way cuter than a glasses case!

Good night, sleep tight!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Annual Waldorf May Fair at the South Shore Waldorf School

Nature Girl met up with some Wolfville/Summerville friends.  WildThing and Sprout tagged along
As Blockhouse is just down the road from Lunenberg we had to stop by the Bluenose.  Wild Thing asked me to ask the crew if they were pirates.  They told him no, they were just sailors.  He told me to tell them if they stole stuff they could still be pirates.  They were amused.  And amusing - they were oiling the deck and wearing plastic bags on their feet. We'll come back in August when we can get a tour, and are going to take the kids to the Sea Monster exhibit at the Maritime museum, and hopefully (depending on $$$ - whale watching)  Darkmirror is excited about the giant squid exhibit in the Sea Monster's exhibit.
Sprout loved the sandpit and ate his weight while we were there.

Wild Thing of course went for pirate face painting.

Darkmirror was camera shy, but he ate his weight in hamburgers.

I caught up with a bunch of friends,  am envious of those going for their teacher training next year in Toronto, this summer in BC, and am hoping to be back from Ottawa in time for Chiron East (grade intensives this year!)

Papa Pan has been totally swayed.  He might do the grade intensive too! 

The kids spent their tickets on popcorn, organic lemonade, homemade playdough, dreamcatchers, and flying birdies.  The cakewalk was a bust (I really hate those things!) but they got cupcakes as consolation prizes.  I bid on a piece of art (4 sparrow chicks in a nest) in the silent auction but didn't win cause I was too broke to give a real bid.  Papa Pan isn't into paintings - he loves wood - and fell int love with a dutch woodworker's work (BEAUTIFUL stuff that uses the curves of the rings to make images)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Darkmirror says I'm on another insane hippie kick

He says 60% of the food available is processed crap, and readily admits it is likely toxic but he's all zen about shorter lifespans and chronic illnesses because we have SCIENCE.

I've been reading horror stories about breakfast cereal. I've decided to make my own. The kids won't be pleased, it is the junk food I allow in the house. Cornflakes have to go, and puffed wheat is a MENACE, and don't get me started on the sugary stuff!

So I'm sprouting wheat and making yogurt and planning a big yummy healthy granola with cinnamon and vanilla and dried fruit.

And then I'm looking for gluten free casserole recipes that freeze well to take to Mary and Andy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm sitting here nursing Sprout who is again covered in hives

Reeling from shockingly sad news. A dear friend had an asthma attack while swimming on Saturday. He drowned. His wife was able to get him back to shore but he never regained consciousness. The hospital worked for three days to try and jumpstart his brain. Today they transferred to Halifax and he is being kept on life support long enough to line up the people who will receive his gift of life. his organs.

I am just crushed by this. I can't get his family, Mary and Andy, out of my head.

Goodnight John. I was blessed by knowing you, your warmth, your music, your gentle spirit.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Musings on sustainable living

I have been reading about the recent phenomena of families abandoning the suburbs and staying in the city as a sustainable living choice and I'm having a great big disconnect from the discussion. There is another option - rural village community living.  It is how I grew up, and it seems the most (to use a very waldolf mama term) nourishing lifestyle I can give my children too.

The benefits I witness:

A barefoot childhood (no worries about glass, needles, etc where we can run and play)
A daily exposure to agriculture and where their food comes from
A daily exposure to wildlife and a respect for it
A daily exposure to seasonal change in big ways, and more importantly, the  small, the kind that require that you be in touch with them daily to see the changes.
A less consumerist culture to grow up in (not just our family - culturally village life is not built around shopping as entertainment-  there is a farmer's market weekly, one co-op grocery store in town, farm market stalls along the highway, small locally owned shops for books, clothes, drugs etc, we don't have any kid's clothes shops in town - our shopping for clothing is ALL at a second hand store called Frenchy's.  It's a chain!  We have one mall in the entire Annapolis Valley - in New Minas - and we NEVER go there.  New Minas is home to all the yucky big box stores like Staples, Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, etc.  I don't take my kids shopping in New Minas so while those options exist, it's been easy to shelter my children from them.  My kids are growing up spending their allowance on locally produced goods, that they buy directly from the producer, and it's so easy.
Knowing their neighbours, who are also their police officers, firemen, teachers, pharmacist, doctor, dentist, handyman, etc.  Everyone has a face and a name and an address.
"It takes a village to raise a child" means here you know if your child is getting into mischief you'll hear about it, and that person will know your child well enough to feel they can say something to them - there are more natural consequences to learn from in a culture where people feel they are involved with one another.
Because there are so many lessons being learned easily about being a good neighbour, kids are granted more freedom for independence earlier.  Kid's walk to school, they bike about town, they run off in their own little gang on market day.  They are allowed to have their own culture, still, like we had as kids.
A "make do, repair, reuse, respect" kind of materialism.
The kids are exposed to a lot of local culture like local music and art and theatre, it isn't something produced by "stars" it's produced by people they know.  So they feel empowered to be involved in the arts too.
Green space and quiet have been proven to be vitally important to reducing stress and alleviating stress symptoms in kids with ADHD, as well as those who have a positive family history of mental illness.  

The cons:

We rely on a car to go places out of town.
It requires a trip to the city, and the exhaustion that's part of that kind of day, to go to bigger world class museums.  We can't just pop into the Discovery Centre any old day...but that might not even be important, we can pop off to a lake, the woods, a river, a mountain, a bog, a swamp, or a variety of ocean side habitats any old day.  A museum exhibit on tidepools doesn't compare with the real thing.
While we still live in a multicultural community, I worry about "tokenism".  In a city they'll meet lots of people from a different cultural group, sometimes there are whole neighbourhoods.  In a small community they'll still meet people from all corners of the globe, but it might mean, for example, that their only experience of Chinese culture is with *one* family that lives on our street.  Their only experience of Caribbean culture might be through migrant workers .

To be honest I have never seen any benefits in suburban living!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photographing kids

Sprout mid yell...
Nature Girl and Sprout playing catch those toes....
Wild Thing being , well, wild.....
Me playing catch those toes....

I get plenty of nice smiling posed pictures from my kids and I never like them.  I much prefer the insane candid shots.

I think this swing set might well be the best 75.00 ever spent!

Our 75.00 yard sale find

Friday, May 8, 2009

We've made a monumental decision.

We put an offer on a house today.  In Nova Scotia.   It's a rambly old farmhouse that needs some work but it feels like home.  It's in a village we love, lots of friends about (both ours and every one of the kids) which makes the move a comfy one.  The kids should be able to stay at their current schools as long as I'm willing to drive them (Darkmirror to the bus route, Nature Girl into school).  We've been going back and forth about staying here or moving back to Quebec for several months now.  It just feels that life will FLOW more easily here.  It must be the force of the tides talking soothingly to me.

Today after we filled out the paperwork we visited next door to the  local school.  Nature Girl wants to go there (as keeps happening - her best friend is moving AWAY), but I'm not sure yet - have to suss out the admin.  However, right next door to the school is a cooperative parent resource centre and I think I've found Wild Thing his nursery school for next year. 

It *smelled* like home - kinda apple sauce and cinnamon and playdough-y.  There was a big poster for the Virtues project right inside the front door.  No Christian posters (the other good option I found was VERY Christian and it's part of their curriculum to discuss how accepting Christ saves you...not my child!)

Came home to find out we had another really positive showing.  Its down to two houses with them, us or another place.  I hope they pick us.  I find selling a house is a lot like being an overused dishrag that keeps getting wrung out.  I'm ashamed to say I put off a much needed shower today because I didn't want to mess up my bathroom!  The socks I'm wearing are still wet because I polished the entryway with them on my way out the door, atleast they smell like almonds!  I think my priorities are a little skewed.

This week has been rough.  My big sister has breast cancer.  I've ordered myself not to google.  I feel helpless to help.  I love her and I'm worried about her.  I'm worried about her son.  I'm worried about my other big sister.  I'm worried about my mom.  I'm worried about my daughter.  I'm scared and sad and full of emotions I can't even explain, they buzz around in my head too quickly to identify.    I look at my own breasts and feel like they are treacherous time bombs.  The little pink slip of paper with the mammogram screening number I was given at my last check up is a bookmark in my bedtime reading of Sense of Wonder.  I'll call on Monday.