Friday, January 17, 2020

Six needs More Mom

Washing rocks to use for math practice.
The more I learn about homeschool, the more I love it. Orion and I started homeschooling on January 6th and it is such a relief.

My main reasons for switching him to homeschool were so that he could have:

1) more sleep
2) more playtime (preferably outside)
3) more food (though food is not my forte)
4) more Mom

The "more Mom" reason has surfaced as the most important. He has heard me summarize my reason for homeschooling him as "because he needs more Mom-time" and it seems as though it gave him permission to want me to be with him all the time. Which, as an introvert, isn't exactly what I had in mind. But which, as I learn more about motherhood and my power to nurture, I am at peace with. Maybe he needed me more than I realized. I finally gave him permission to be six and to need me.

When he wakes up he comes to find me (usually on the couch) and we snuggle and read some poems and stories. (Literature. Check!) I love Charlotte Mason's education philosophy, so we pause frequently and I ask Orion to narrate, or to "tell me what we just read." He's pretty good, when he feels like it. One day he "narrated" in gobledegook, faux Chinese, and alien before translating it to English. He did this every time we stopped to narrate...  which is every two paragraphs!

Before we started homeschooling, Orion asked if we had to do so much history, like Lilli had. Of course we don't. But the next day he told me he wanted to learn about cavemen. Which coincides fairly well with the beginning of The Story of the World Volume 1. He built a country with train tracks and geometric blocks while I read about archaeology to him. Then with hardly any encouragement, he drew a map of his country in his sketch book. (Geography! Yay!)

We followed a few rabbit holes. One day I picked up a Magic School Bus book on bones that we started weeks ago (and have to turn in to the library soon). We only read a few chapters, but then we pulled out our How the Body Works book and looked up the chapter on bones. We read a bit there, then pulled out the playdough and some straws to make a model of the microscopic structure inside of bones. This was a good activity for Davey! I have been wanting to do preschool activities with him for months. But now, with Orion home, Davey is getting more stories and more activities.

We're also working in Copywork (handwriting), Chores, Devotional, Physical Activity, and Math. Though my math plan needs some work! I encourage him to draw pictures of the things we're learning and talking about in his sketchbook. But it hasn't caught on yet. I have tons of plans for art, but my execution needs some improvement.

Despite having more to do than can physically be done in a day, I feel exhilarated by how calm and peaceful I feel. I'm enjoying Orion more than I have in a long time. And while I don't get to pay quite as much attention to Davey during the morning like I used to, I have delightful interactions with him and am so grateful for him. I'm working on connecting with Lilli better, too (I visited with her in her CLEAN room one night last week and she brushed my hair! It was heaven!).  

Now. If only the dishes would wash themselves!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Keeping the Tooth Fairy Busy

This tooth fairy thing is getting complicated!

Lilli and Orion both lost a tooth on Sunday!

We got the teeth in place the same day, which is a record! (We put them in the windowsill, because earlier this year there was an incident with a tooth being paid for, but not collected, because it was lost in Lilli's bed for a week. The tooth fairy auditing department sent her a note (with a dime, to hold it down, because it was tiny) thanking her for turning in the missing tooth.)

Well. Lilli woke up before her tooth fairy came. She brought me her tooth in a huff and put it on my bathroom counter.

Orion, who doesn't want a fairy to come when the rest of the world get a mouse, slept long enough for el Ratón Pérez to stop by before school. But it too him two days to notice the shiny new coin.

Monday night, while I was snuggling Lilli in bed, I explained to Lilli that Laura (her tooth fairy) was running late on Monday. She had come by after Lilli left for school. Lilli knows that I send Laura messages, and occasionally deliver teeth to Laura (like in the incident mentioned above). While I was telling Lilli about Laura stopping by, Lilli said, "Wait! You SAW the tooth fairy?"

Uh... (thinking fast) "Yeees."

"What does she look like!?"

Um.... (more thinking fast)

"Well, she's taller than normal, for a tooth fairy."

"That doesn't give me much to work with. What color are her eyes? Is her hair blonde? Red?"

"Well, she's so small that I couldn't tell what color her eyes are. But her hair is kind of blonde-ish."

"Blonde-red?" (I think she imagines her tooth fairy with red hair!)

"Nooo... more like blonde-brown."

She was satisfied at that point. But if she ever starts to catch on, at least I can honestly say that I am not her tooth fairy!

We discussed putting her tooth out for Laura to come by another night. But we can't find it. I'm worried that Davey might have found it and played with it...

We knew about the little tooth mouse that visited our vecinos y amigos at our last house. But we found The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez by René Colato Laínez at our library just before Orion lost his first tooth and he realized that the Tooth Fairy isn't the only one with the tooth collecting job out there!

I particularly appreciated the story in this book because I have so many friends who are from other countries who are currently living in the United States with their children. When you're an expatriate or the first generation born in a new country, who collects your teeth? Your native tooth-collector? Or the one from your host country? The tension in this story subtly and beautifully addresses a dichotomy immigrants face in most aspects of their lives.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

House Hunting and Cute Cheese Graters

Checking to see if the cheese is coming out.

We've been house shopping!

House shopping takes a lot more work than shopping for a car or mattress! I thought those were big projects. But house shopping takes all of the online research and the test driving, plus traveling to every house you think you might be interested in. 

We live almost 200 miles away from where we're buying a house, so we've also been travelling a ton. We've been home from our last (and hopefully final) house-hunting trip for five days and I finally feel human again.

Quick update:

Darren graduated from HSU in December 2018. Yay! 

We had a rough month when a promised job fell through. But he was offered a job with the Soil Service (USDA) in January. I am really grateful that the job 1) started right away and 2) allowed him to work in the Arcata office so that we didn't have to move right away. 

Ultimately, Darren's supervisors want him in the Chico office (which may relocate, or not, things keep changing). The housing market in the Chico area is impacted because of the Camp Fire last year (both renting and buying), so Darren's supervisors have given us extra time to find a place to live over there. 

We just started inspections on a house. It's a little bit terrifying and a little bit exciting.


life with kids is like living in a blender. 

We missed lunch and tea time today (Lilli and I are attempting to establish a hobbit meal schedule). I was a little skeptical about Davey helping with supper (which turned out to be dinner), but he clearly asserted that he wanted to help with the cheese. 

It turns out he was hungry. He worked at it for several minutes, then asked for help. When I gave him a hand, he promptly ate half of the cheese in the serving bowl.  

I guess I better do better at the meal schedule...