Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Staying at Home

I have found the more we are away from home, the more stressed our whole family feels. One reason I homeschool is so I can watch my children learn. And not just learn, but enjoy learning, soaking it in. There are many, many activities we could be involved in: homeschool groups and co-ops, sports, clubs, dance, gym, church activities, volunteering..... They all have their place, perhaps few and far between instead of crammed 10 to a week. But the more we are gone from home, the less these activities are enjoyed or are even helpful. As a stay at home mom, I have decided it is best for me to do just that: stay at home.

Our family ~ mom, dad, brothers and sisters~ creates an atmosphere that is relaxed because we don't have to hurry and get ready for our next activity. We create interaction with each other. Yes, much sibling rivalry happens, but there is also a lot of older kiddos coming up with games and plays that involve the youngers. If they weren't "forced" through the rivalry part (by being "stuck at home" for so long with "no friends to play with"), they wouldn't learn the joys of that interaction. As Teacher I spend more time on school subjects that catch interest, discuss readings more deeply, take the time to get out the timeline and globe or research via the internet. As Mom I take time to snuggle, read fun books as well as school books, play a game, let my kids help in the kitchen. I find when we have some place to be that day, or even someone coming over, those little things get pushed aside, we get done with school quickly and our atmosphere is tinged with a nervousness that the kids as well as mom certainly feel.

So to learn to say 'no' to so many good things that are offered. To simplify. To realize that our family is a golden entity itself ~ we do not need to add others or outside activities into the mix in order to make it worthy. A few good things sprinkled in become great things. And our home becomes a place of solitude, enjoyment, respite, and belonging.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Harrison is Growing Up

My baby is perhaps settling into life finally. I'm not sure if I don't remember what babies were like, lost the touch, or if Harrison is just different from the others, but I'm having a hard time figuring this boy out! Well, I was. He was very hungry from the get-go. His doctor said I could give him solids early as long as I was careful. He took solids eagerly, but he also was constipated for about 2 months. Even with me feeding him mostly prunes, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Just in the past couple weeks, he is eating a variety of foods and is not crying when he fills his diaper. He still won't take a bottle. Even when I put juice in it. I've noticed he's not spitting up as much in the past few weeks. He has 5 teeth. When he teethes, he gets quite sick: Awful runny nose, cough, fever, won't sleep through the night. I think this last one finally broke through and he slept until 5:30 this morning. Yay! Here's hoping that continues. He is on an eating/sleeping schedule that works for him now. He wouldn't take to any one that I figured out for him. He had to figure out his own! But he has been waking up from naps gurgling and cooing instead of screaming. Maybe he's just at a weight that helps him not be hungry all the time, I don't know. Anyway, he definitely has not been following all the steps that a baby "should follow" like I remember the others doing (perhaps I'm remembering through rose-colored glasses?). But I'm hoping we are finally on a track that is normal for him, so I don't have that nagging stress all the time. You'd think by the the fourth one I wouldn't be thinking, "Is this normal? Is there something wrong with him? Should I see a doctor?":-)

Elizabeth Begins Blogging

Dear Daughter has decided to start blogging! She's been learning typing. Now that finding the right keys goes a lot quicker, I think that helped her decide to go for it. She's under my account (hence the picture of me on her blog). I can keep my eye on her this way. :-) Great work, Elizabeth! Liz Fun

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Simple Efficiency

We have pizza every Saturday for lunch. It's cheap: $5 for two Tony's pizzas at Wal-Mart. We love it for once a week (more than once might be blecchh). One day Phillip took care of Saturday lunch while I was indisposed. He changed just a couple things that made lunch so much easier!

First, he cut the kids' pizza into four slices. I was trying to cut theirs into 6 equal slices so they could each have two. But if you cut 4, and then cut the last one into 3.... It saves maybe 30 seconds of time, but it really makes life easier!

I used to put each pizza on a pan to cut them (we put them in the oven without a pan; the bottom crisps better and faster). More dishes to wash!

Phillip opened up the pizza box and laid the cooked pizza right on top. Fold and throw away!

So simple, but brilliant. Thank you, darling!