Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ha Ha Holiday at Valley Feeds



A wee stop at the Valley Feeds store opens up an opportunity for some funny fotos!



Nutcracker Ballet (& Tutu-orial)

My First Ballet

When O woke up, we announced a Mystery Day was about to begin.
Months ago, we learned the Nutcracker Ballet was coming to Burlington and offering home schooling families an amazing discount on the tickets.
We packed her a special paper bag snack and took her to the ballet, which she watched intently while nursing a couple of candy canes!


Sure the music was magnificent, the dancers were divine, the scenery was sensational, but O was hooked on those costumes (read: tutu's!)
..and we have been receiving impromptu performances since the curtain went down!

Tutu-orial
When Framma arrived at her anniversary celebration in a pink veil, O couldn't wait to get her hands on it. Framma gladly obliged (thanks Framma), so we went home with a train of tulle.
Once it ripped and tore in several places, O allowed me to transform it into a tutu for Georgimina.



 Step #1 Measure large width elastic around waist.


Step #2 Cut tulle in 2" strips and fold in half (adds more 'umph' to the frill!).
Find the center for Step #3.


Step #3 Tie tulle in double knots and bunch together.



Step #5 Put one stitch in each strip, to hold them in place.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Larger than Life Brite

 Elf- Day 16

One thing led to another this morning, but basically the Elf inspired us to create a Larger-than-life Light Brite!
We took our non-heating Noma's and poked holes in the roof of the infamous saw box.
Then we pushed through the string lights.
We even moved the box over the heat register for a little 'fake fireplace'!

 Warming up the Day

All the while, watching O & C enjoying the simple activity, I was thinking of ways to develop the light images: designs, words, numbers....


But I took no action.
They were mesmerized!

Parenting Picks: Yoga, Breath & Rhythm

Yoga Pretzels

Daily rhythm in Waldorf education is not centered around fixed scheduling, but rather a consciousness of the ebb and flow that naturally occurs each day. Lavender's Blue home school mom, Kelly Ehrman paints descriptions of how her family rhythm flows and invites parents to look at their own daily activity and flow of emotion in the household to create their own rhythm.
Rhythm throughout the week  http://lavendersbluehomeschool.com/blog/

Kelly stresses that playtime should take priority over scheduled activity (meaning lesson plans, field trips and play dates etc.) and how flexibility is the privilege of the home-learning family.

Unlike a set curriculum in school, if we don't reach a goal, we put it aside for another day or eliminate it altogether, depending on how much we value it's product. In addition, working so closely with your child, helps you cater topics for introduction, based on their interests and abilities.
Flexibility is the biggest draw for home schooling, in my opinion.
Once home learners discover, they can do (or not do) whatever they choose, weight is lifted and an enormous amount of freedom is available.
There is nothing to conform to and that in itself is a life lesson to you and your child.

Rhythm is essential; the benefits of yoga and breathing exercise definitely help ground us to our day.
Particularly when emotions run high, returning to your breath is a no-brainer, I often forget about.
But O is not and never has been interested in following any yoga instruction, mine or otherwise;)
As we were unpacking books for our new bookshelf, O came across a box of Yoga Pretzels that tweaked her interest. So I went with it, offering her to pick a card from the 50 available.
There are four easy steps including pictures,  to learn a new pose (I sound like an infomercial!), so my instruction is not necessary.
She can completely self-learn and she had some interesting revisions to demonstrate!
Maybe tomorrow I won't be the only one grounding myself midday.

EXPAND ON RELAXATION & RHYTHM
Stress-reducing sounds. Apartment Therapy came out with this post just in time for the holidays! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-reducing-stress-relaxation-and-being-happier-at-home-202199 

(Blurry Little) Elf-Day 13-15

 Self Portrait

 Reminicing

Stocking Stuffer

Little Tree, Big Forest

 Little Tree, Big Forest

The tradition of cutting down a tree for Christmas, is a little odd.
We hadn't really thought about it until we lived in China, where this is not a tradition (but you can certainly get your fair share of artificial tree's there!)
Our previous Christmas in Shanghai was the first year we purchased a real tree. 
In fact, it was potted and now resides on a friends balcony all year round.

When we went for O & C's first Canadian Christmas tree, O happily retrieved branches from previous customers cuttings and began towing them around, convinced that this would suffice for our seasonal tradition.
Daddy, on the other hand, was on a mad hunt for The Best Tree in the lot and by best, I mean biggest!


And so O held tight to her branches, while Daddy cut down his pick.
Baby C and I stayed low profile, taking selfies and such!


As we carted our tree onto the oncoming tractor trailer and boarded for a ride, we passed several teeny tiny tree's, that would be ready for customers when O turns fourteen years old!
Next year I'll vote for the potted version we can love year after year!
But I'll be hard-pressed convincing Daddy, who loves this chopping tradition;)

Tree Skirt

When I turned my back for a minute, O was sporting this skirt, taking the term quite literally!
She reminded me of this little doll http://www.breiehagen.com/#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=0&p=6&a=0&at=0

Saturday, December 13, 2014

For the Love of La Leche

O's 'Good-Bye' Flowers from La Leche League Shanghai

Before bed, O was playing the role of the La Leche League leader on the phone.
She has been attending monthly meetings with me since she was 4 months in utero and it was her first official outing after she was born.
She has been attending as long as I have.
La Leche has had an enormous impact on my life as a mother, but I hadn't realized how informed she is about breastfeeding, until this conversation.

After a few minutes of listening to her play a leader, I pretended to call her.
 I love the brevity and directness of her replies!
M: "Brrrring. Brrrring."
O: "Yes!"
M: "Yes, La Leche League? Can you help me?"
O: "Yes."
M: "My baby is biting. What can I do?"
O: "Before she bites, take her off of your nipple."
M: "Okay thanks! Bye!"

O: 'Mom, call again."

("Brrring. Brrrring. Niceties. Etc Etc.)

M: "Hi, I was wondering, when is your next meeting?"
O: "Anytime you want!"
M: "How about tomorrow, around 10. Where is it?"
O: "Breast Street."

M: "Hi, I have a four year old that still wants to nurse. Is that okay?"
O: "Sure, if you allow it." (she actually used the word, 'allow'!)

M: "Umm, I just had a baby and the nurse said I can't breastfeed for a few days. What should I do?"
O: "Switch nurses."

M: "I have twins. How can I nurse them?"
O: (whispers to me) "Mom, can I put the pretend phone down. I need my hands? (continues conversation with mom of twins, demonstrating all the while) "You can give one breast to one baby and have your four year old hold up your top to give the other breast to the other baby."
M: "You mean I can nurse them both at the same time?"
O: "Yes. If you want to."

M: "My baby wants to nurse all night. I keep having to go and get her. Is this okay?"
O: "Yes. Move her crib beside you."

M: "My baby is spitting up every time I nurse. What should I do?"
O: "Put a wet wipe under you."

M: (not breastfeeding related, but still information-seeking
"My four year old doesn't want to get her needle next week. What should I do?"
O: "Don't make her."
M: "My one year old also needs a needle. What should I do?"
O: "The needle is very quick. Then give her milk."
M: "So it's okay to give my baby a needle, but not my four year old?"
O: "That's right."