Monday, July 30, 2012


This is the very beautiful Bali Breeze in Brigid. It's made of super comfy tshirt material and while I'm not a huge fan of dealing with so much fabric, this wrap takes about 45 seconds to put on. Tillie loves it and it's nice because she's secure and her head doesn't wabble all over the place. The mei tai is my true love, but I have a feeling this will always be my go-to carrier with Tillie. I need to find new ways to use it so I can mix things up a bit.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homeschool 2012-2013

The kids and I are ready to start up again so I thought I'd share what we'll be doing this year. The plan is to do school M-Th. 

Maeve, 7, second grade

Math: Life of Fred 
I plan to have her do a chapter a day unless she needs a break. I will supplement with a generic Usborne math workbook that looks good. 

Science: Sonlight C
This is already planned out for me and I love it. 

Phonics/Handwriting/Grammar: Progressive Phonics, Explode the Code, Handwriting Without Tears, Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind Book 1
She'll work on each one once a week. 

History: Lesson Pathways
I used Lesson Pathways to outline our year. The website does a decent job providing relevant links, projects, and information, however, I will also use a few Usborne books. I'm not sure yet how often we'll do history. I will guage interest and go from there, but I'm thinking twice a week unless there is a lot of interest on a topic. 

I am not planning anything formal for language arts because I do not think there is much of a need at this age. Each kid has a book list and we will read chapter books as a family. We're currently reading Little House on the Prairie. 

Finnegan, 5, kindergarten

Math: Singapore 1A
He's almost finished with this one and will move to 1B upon completion. He loves math and will work at his own pace. I also bought him an Usborne generic math workbook if he gets bored. 

Science: Sonlight C
He'll work with his sister.

Phonics: Progressive Phonics and Explode the Code
Finn is already reading so he'll be skipping ahead in Progressive Phonics. He'll one or the other everyday. 

History: Lesson Pathways
He'll work with his sister. 

Oren, 3

We'll go through a letter a week and use a lot of sensory play. 

All of the kids will be utilizing thier workboxes this year. They have number lines and everything and I'm hoping it encourages individual work. 

As always, I wil tweak as we go. I might also start having them do a bit of reading so they settle down before dinner. I keep try to create little reading nooks, but the kids turn them into chicken nests or forts. Or boats. Or islands. get the idea. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tin Foil Babies and Other Absurdities

My cousin, who is in her early 20s and single, told my mother today that newborns are wrapped in foil shortly after birth. She was serious. Apparently, she watched something on tv that showed a home birth and the baby was wrapped in a silver heat camping/space blanket. Not foil.

Another stupid thing I'd like to comment on is the Paleo diet which seems to be all the rage. It's basically the Atkin's diet of high protein and little to no carbs. Except if you're Paleo, you're eating like the cavemen. That sounds great and healthy, right? I mean I want to eat real food like cavemen. I was looking up breakfast ideas and found a Paleo recipe for brownies. Brownies just like the cavemen made using coconut flour and chocolate chips...wait.... This struck me as incredibly funny. I understand that eating real, whole foods is good for you, but it seems silly to use coconut flour and try to pass it off as a caveman food. Perhaps the cavemen did make their own coconut flour, but I am skeptical. I also seriously doubt that cavemen made brownies. Why not just call it a gluten free diet or something?

Last, and somewhat related to food, is Gatorade. I am not a fan of Gatorade and do not allow my children to drink it. It's full of sugar and food dye and doesn't add much of anything to their diet. My kids were given bottles of Gatorade at Halloween and started calling it protein. I have no idea why they started calling it protein and, in fact, try to not question most of what they do. When they say "protein" in regards to Gatorade, it sounds like "PROOOOTEEEEEN!!!" and they behave as though they've struck liquid gold. Up until two days ago, they had never even tasted Gatorade. Daddy, bless his heart, gave them some Gatorade in secret after he took them swimming. Their grandmother, bless her heart, gave them more Gatorade today. At one point today, I could almost swear my children were cavemen. Very thirsty cavemen who were incapable of speaking correctly. I heard "PROOOOTEEEN!!" at least 20 times while my lovely paleolithic creatures with bright red lips and chins chugged their disgusting beverages in the van on the way home. They don't get that from my side of the family. Hm, never mind. It was my grown cousin, after all, who thought newborns were wrapped in foil upon delivery.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Life with Four

I am busy.

Laundry is never ending and having to wash diapers again means that stuff gets piled up. I taught Maeve how to do the laundry and it was awesome for about a week. After that she decided that laundry really wasn't much fun and requested a new chore.

I am constantly feeding people. Oren opens the fridge no less than 50 times a day.

Maeve and Finn are good, although they've been bored lately because it's been too hot to do anything.

Tillie is three months old. I'm not sure how that happened. She's a sweet baby and has huge smiles. She has found her voice and hands and is really trying to roll over. I usually let her have some naked time whenever I change her diaper and she moves her legs all over the place. As soon as her diaper is on, she stops moving. It's funny. The boys are constantly in her face and it drives me crazy. Maeve almost always watches from afar and will try to cheer Tillie up if she starts crying.

The garden is out of control with weeds this year and I've given up. I honestly don't have time to do anything productive outside. It's a bummer because I love kale and chard and have none for the freezer. We did have quite a bit of peas and have 70 tomato plants so it's not a complete loss. I might end up with some squash too, but I'm not holding my breath. I barely manage to change my underwear everyday at this point so it's not surprising the the weeds in my garden are taller than me.

I've given the chicken feeding/watering chore to my husband. I do enjoy the chickens. We have one chicken that is a couple of weeks younger than the others. It was a moment of weakness at the feed store. The youngest is a buff orpington and she is so much smarter than the others. Anytime I bring them scraps, she gets right in there and takes what she wants before the old ladies shoo her away. Then the other pullets chase her around and are jealous of her awesomeness and ability to steal food. Chickens are wonderful creatures and I would watch them all day if I could.

I have come back to reality and have stopped considering the possibility of us moving this year. It's not going to happen. I really want an acreage, but I need to be happy here at least two more years. There are too many unfinished projects and I have an anxiety attach just thinking about cleaning the house for a showing. That would involve doing things like scrubbing the baseboards and finishing the paint projects I started four years ago. I am confident we'll move eventually and when we do, it'll be bittersweet.

I have several sewing projects that need to get done. I have 14 diapers to cut out and sew, two skirts for Maeve, three skirts for me, a couple of headbands, some pants or shorts for the boys, and chair seat covers for the dining room chairs. I'm hoping to get the diapers done in the next few weeks and then start on everything else. Tillie hates the sewing machine and will not sleep through it if I'm wearing her.  Apparently she can't be bribed with the promise of a cute diaper butt.

So that's it. Sort of. It's not even the tip of the iceberg. I do love having four kids, but most days I'm happy that Tillie is my last. Haha. I said that after every kid.