So… what do you DO all day?

We do things… and stuff.

30 January 2009 January 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 7:27 pm

The past couple days have been lots of fun.  Of course I ended up having a lot more fun at the ICS thing than I thought I would.  I can be a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to getting out of my comfort zone.  Oh, and we made 3 dishes with sweet potatoes in them, not fish.  Bailey and I were the only two people who showed up.  I made samosas, and Bailey helped make sweet potato “fries” (they were baked) and beef stew.  There was enough leftover that we got to take some home, so that was nice.

I’ve been a bit paranoid about making these blogs so public, but after some soul-searching I’ve decided that I’m going to leave them as they are.  No pseudonyms, no hiding.  Funny how when you have a question the universe will put answers out there for you to find.  Just as I was mulling over the anonymity issue I checked out Ariel’s blog and saw her most recent entry.  (Ariel is the author of Offbeat Bride and though we’ve never met I admire her work and her openness.)  I am worried, too, that I dissed Bailey’s bio-dad so badly, and that it might appear that I dissed Bailey grandmother.  Honestly, though, I wouldn’t take back anything I said.  I have lost any respect I used to have for her Dad, but mostly I feel sad for him.  As for his mother, I love her to bits, and she drives me crazy, and I’m sure she’d say the same thing about me!

I quietly made a list the other day of Bailey-initiated questions and projects.  My brain knows to trust the deschooling part of the unschooling process, but if I am to be honest then I must admit that part of me was worried.  However, making a list of the little things she was doing really helped me.  This is by no means complete, either, as I only wrote things down when I was near my notebook.

  • Why do onions make us cry?  We saw a mom at the grocery store yesterday who was explaining this very thing to her daughter after looking it up on Google on her cell phone.  (Have I mentioned how much I heart the interwebs?  Oh yeah, I heart it.)  We didn’t hear her entire explanation and I was too shy to approach her so Bailey and I looked it up today.
  • Why is there sugar in fruit?  We didn’t get a satisfactory answer to this one, but learned a bit about sucrose and fructose.
  • What is 15/2?  I still don’t know why she asked that, but I answered her and she was happy.
  • She spent some time playing with Google’s maps.  She discovered the function that allows you to enter two destinations and get directions from point A to point B.
  • When Steve got home they spent some time reading the script for “Grease.” (Her auntie sent her the movie.  It came with a VHS tape, DVD, and script.)
  • We looked together at a book about traditional Shuswap homes.  Their culture is fairly close to ours (I am part Nlha’7kapmx) so we spent some time discussing that and imagining what it would be like to have lived back then.

That’s all I wrote down, but we also went to the library, and she took out another big pile of books (and returned some of the other ones).  She got a lot of fiction this time, as well as some cookbooks.  She also learned that the library will put books on hold for her, and bring in books from other branches.  She promptly took advantage of that!

Yesterday was family day, as it was Steve’s day off.  She let us sleep in a little and while we were sleeping she loaded the dishwasher, started it, and made us coffee!  Woohoo!  Then she and Steve made pancakes while I had a shower.  Bailey set the table and we had quite a feast.

I decided I would like some time to myself so while Steve took Bailey shopping for bathing suits (they both really needed them) I went to Chapter’s and used my $25 gift card to get two books: Painless Childbirth: A Nine-Step Guide to a Conscious & Sacred Birth, and a humourous book, It Could Happen To You: Diary of a Pregnancy and Beyond.  Then we went to Costco and I picked up Yes Man, the book that inspired the Jim Carrey movie.  3 new books!  I am in heaven.

Bailey and Steve decided they’d like to go swimming so they dropped me off at home and headed to the pool.  They ended up staying for close to 3 hours!  Steve dropped Bailey off at home and then ran off 
(late) to rapier practice.

Bailey and I made dinner together and then played Animal Crossing for awhile.  Finally I read her two chapters of Are You There God?  It’s Me Margaret.  I love that book!

Today I was supposed to go to a La Leche League meeting at a friend’s house but her husband is sick so that was postponed.  I think we will go for a walk and make some cake instead.

I am loving being free.  Now that I don’t work 5 nights a week I feel like I have my life back.  There are so many doors opening now.  Besides the Attachment Parenting group that I attend every couple weeks, I am working on starting a Secular Homeschooler’s group in Kamloops.  We have our first meeting on 15 February.  Oh, and Dr. Gabor Mate is coming to town on the 20th and 21st.  Steve and I will go to his public talk on the 20th and then I will be going to an all day parenting seminar on the 21st.

Life is good.

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27 January 2009 January 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 8:46 pm

I hate blogs that start with “sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile…” but, uh, sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile.  Due to Seasonal Affective Disorder, January is the worst month for me, mood-wise, and it’s hard for me to feel motivated to do anything.  To top it off, we had more than a week of very low-hanging cloud.  Now it is bitterly cold, but I don’t care because the sun is back! 

Last week, my ex-mother-in-law (Bailey’s grandmother) was asking me some more about homeschooling.  I figured I might as well be upfront about the style of homeschooling that we do, so I offered to send her some information.  I gave her a list of books that have helped me over the years (by John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, and Grace Llewellyn), as well as some links.  I made sure I expressed my passion for this style, and sounded very enthusiastic about sharing the information with her.  Truthfully, though, I am scared.  She is fairly open to new ideas, but if she does the research and thinks unschooling is a horrible idea then I might have a fight on my hands.  I’m trying to stay positive, though, and manifest the result that I want.

Bailey was on a Sims kick for a couple days.  She likes making Sims to look like people she knows.  Then she spent a couple days getting ready for a sleepover at a friend’s house.  I was a little worried about the sleepover, because the last one she had ended in disaster with her fighting with her friends, and throwing up due to lack of sleep and too much candy.  I think this one went fairly smoothly though, although she came home at 4 p.m., crashed on the couch for 3 hours, and then slept for 12 hours that night!  (Of course, she swears up and down that she and her friend went to bed early and had a restful night’s sleep, lol!)

Today we are going to ICS (the same place I go for Baby’s Head Start) for a Healthy Living Kitchen.  Apparently we’ll be making fish and, presumably, learning about how fish can be part of a healthy diet.  Honestly, why do these community agencies have to make things so simplistic?  People can’t really be that thick, can they?  “Really?  I shouldn’t shake a baby?  And fruit is healthy?  And smoking can kill you?”

Gah.  /rant.

 

20 January 2009 January 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 8:13 am

New discovery: regularity of blogging correlates directly to amount of Lost I have been watching.

We have been keeping fairly busy.  The Attachment Parenting group was fun, and Bailey didn’t seem to feel out of place with all the babies and toddlers around.  I got to hold a 6-week-old and a 5-month-old!

Over the weekend we went to a baby shower and I got to hold a 4.5-month old.  It’s been a real baby week!  Bailey was the only other kid there, unfortunately, but she got lots of attention.

Sunday was super lazy.  We cleaned a little, but mostly we sat around as a family and watched episode after episode of Lost.  By Monday night we had finished Season 2, but when I went to work to pick up Season 3 we found that someone had already rented it!  Disaster!  We are all in withdrawal now.  I am almost tempted to go to another video store and actually pay to rent!  (I can still rent for free at my local video store because I am still technically employed by them).

Today was Inauguration Day for the incoming U.S. President, Barack Obama.  Even though I am Canadian, I couldn’t help but feel excited and hopeful today.  I try to be cynical to protect myself against disappointment, but I let that go for today and just enjoyed the pomp and circumstance.

Today we also went to see a nutritionist, and found out that I am actually doing much better at following Canada’s Food Guide than I thought I was.  Admittedly I was trying a little harder the past few days knowing that I had this appointment and having to keep a food diary, but I didn’t actually change my eating habits all that much.  Mostly I just eliminated the junk, which is something I’ve been working on doing anyway.  Bailey had lots of fun playing with the fake food that the nutritionist has.

After the nutritionist, we went to the library.  Bailey took out 21 books!  She decided that the UFO/sasquatch/ghost kick she had been on was actually a little too scary for her, so she returned all those books, and today took out a variety of books on different subjects.  She got some baby names books, one about grammar, some fiction (including 2 by Judy Blume that I get to read when she’s done!), a few about puberty, one about technology, one about Venice, one about Force & Motion, and her favourite: Like A Pro which I should really just buy for her since she’s always taking it out from the library!

Tonight we went as a family to the Philosopher’s Cafe, an event hosted by the local chapter of the Council of Canadians.  Essentially it is a group discussion about a specific topic.  Tonight the topic was ‘Living Subversively in the Midst of Empire: Jesus and Obama.’  It was Bailey’s and Steve’s first time going, but I’ve attended a few times with my old roommates.  I don’t know that Bailey absorbed much tonight, but that isn’t why I brought her.  I just want to expose her to as many cool opportunities as I can.

My Dad is home from Europe, so I am hoping to see him tomorrow.  I am also hoping that my mom will agree to take Bailey overnight so that Steve and I can have some couple time.  It’s so nice to be able to do that on a “school” night!

 

14 January 2009 January 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 3:33 am

Yesterday was library day, and we came home with our usual pounds and pounds of books.  Bailey took out many books about UFOs, aliens, and sasquatch.  We explored the oversize book section, and if I’d parked closer we would have brought a couple of gigantic art books home with us.  Instead I got a book about Hobbits, one about Kamloops (where we live), one with fun projects for kids, and one about the Suzuki method by Shinichi Suzuki.  I also got a couple books about financial planning that a friend recommended to me: “Free Parking,”and “Stop Working, Start Living.”

That night, Bailey wanted to make supper.  After looking through our cupboards she decided on Sweet and Sour Pork Chops (recipe on the linked page).  I helped her out a little, but she did most of the work on her own.  It was delicious!  Plus, it helped a little with the pineapple craving that I’ve been having.

Steve and I have gotten ourselves addicted to Lost.  We watch a few episodes each night, since I can still rent for free from my old job at the video store.  Bailey watched one with us last night and she liked it too.

Today Bailey drew some inventions and I told her I’d love to see how one of them worked (automatic frying pan washer).  She came back a little while later with something that reminded me a lot of a Rube Goldberg device.  We spent some time looking at cool machines on YouTube  (I tried to imbed that one but it ate half of the words that I wrote and I got mad), and then proceeded to try to make one of our own.  We weren’t very succesful but we had fun trying.  She spent the rest of the day working on various inventions, and she’s in her room right now with Steve trying to make one. 

Tomorrow is the Attachment Parenting group at our friends’ home.  She will be the oldest one there, but she is excited to play with the babies!

 

13 January 2009 January 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 9:20 pm

Sunday was a church day.  (It’s a Unitarian Universalist church*)  I am the Sunday School teacher, and we use a Montessori-style program called Spirit Play.  I did a story box about the 7 promises of UUism and then the kids worked on whatever they wanted to do.  Bailey explored another story box made by a fellow congregation member about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

After church Steve and I did some more cleaning.  We have been working really hard to get our tiny apartment clean before the baby comes.  We have given away and thrown out probably half of our stuff!  Even our storage room is 100% organized now, filled only with those things that are truly used only seasonally (camping, xmas and halloween decorations, etc).  We each only have a couple small piles left to conquer!  Even Bailey’s room is finally perfectly tidy.  I am so proud of us all.  Living in a home this organized is vital to my mental health, and isn’t as boring as it sounds, lol!  We actually tend to do more projects and fun stuff together when we can actually see the kitchen table and find the materials we need.

We went to M&M Meat Shops in the afternoon to spend the $50 gift certificate that we got for xmas from Steve’s parents, and then picked up Bailey’s friend so they could play for a couple hours.  They spent an hour outside in the snow, and then played in Bailey’s room.  I heard them dancing and singing.  So cute!

Monday was another lazy day.  Sunday was a “bad uterus” day for me and I think all the contractions tired me out.  Bailey and I watched Beethoven 1&2 and made Rice Krispie squares.  She also did some art and worked in her workbook.

One of the people at my church works at the Distance Education division of our school district.  I mentioned it to Bailey and she seems interested in checking it out so I will make an appointment.  It isn’t exactly the “no curriculum” approach that I want, but it might just save my butt in the event that her bio-dad decides to go after me.  I won’t make any judgements until I meet with them.  What I’ve heard so far is that you have an online “teacher” that helps you stay within the provincial curiculum, but that it is up to the parent to deliver said curriculum in whatever manner they choose.  I would really prefer to 100% unschool, but I am painfully aware that I may have to justify my decisions to her bio-dad. 

Today we are off to see a nutritionist and then going to the library.  It’s +1C and it’s nice to have an outing!

* A brief description of our church from the Canadian Unitarian Council:  

We are…
-a religious community where the binding covenant includes support for the individual in his or her own search for meaning and truth
-a gathering point for those who reject creeds and dogmas in favour of an open and unfettered exploration of religious traditions
-a life-affirming religion with values validated in this life, not in some place of future reward or punishment

 

10 January 2009 January 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 4:49 am

Yesterday was quite busy, and I was glad we had been rather lazy the day before.  After dropping Steve off at work we went to the midwife.  Bailey got to hear the heartbeat for the first time!  Then we went home and rested for awhile.  Bailey played in her room, and then went on the Webkinz website for awhile.  Just before we left for my second appointment we did the coolest experiment that I found here.  (Put some milk in a saucer, put some drops of food coloring in the milk, then put one small drop of dish soap in the middle of the saucer.  It’s so cool!  And you’ll thank me for not elaborating on what happens.  It’s more fun to find out on your own.  Don’t worry, it’s not messy!)

My second appointment was with a program called Baby’s Head Start.  I decided to go there because I found out I could get $10/week toward healthy food.  I feel a little bit bad using their resources though because I think it’s really a program aimed more towards women and families who are a lot more at risk than we are.  By ‘at risk’ I mean women who need help with addiction issues, severe poverty, lack of education surrounding nutrition and breastfeeding, etc.  They don’t seem to know what to do with me.  I plan to homebirth, I homeschool, I plan to breastfeed until this baby self-weans, and I’m looking into things like Natural Infant Hygiene.  In short, while I don’t think of myself as particularly granola-y, I am probably a lot more crunchy than many of the women who access their services.  And yes, I’m aware of how snobby that all sounds.  What I’m trying to say is that while I am ‘at risk’ for poverty, that is about the only way I fit into their program.  Man, that still sounds snobby.  I’ll just give up trying to justify my elitism, lol.  Just accept that I am better than everyone.  😛

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping.  We got a fake 6′ tall xmas tree for $8.00!  (It was 75% off.)  It’s no beauty, but at least now we won’t have to shell out $30 for a real one when xmas rolls around again.  By the end of our shopping trip we were both exhausted.  And then we had to lug everything into the apartment! 

I am so tired of living here.  It’s only one  flight of stairs, but there are three doors (two locked ones) to negotiate to get inside.  And when I want to do laundry I have to lug everything down two flights of stairs through five doors (two of which are locked.)

Today we visited with my sister and her 4-year-old son.  We went shopping and Bailey played with her cousin for hours.  Now she is outside with Steve.  They built an enormous snowman and are now making an igloo.

I just got off the phone with my ex-mother-in-law.  I told her that I pulled Bailey out of school and then I held my breath.  As I expected she didn’t fully get it.  She is worried about how I am going to get Bailey to sit still at the kitchen table to do her work when I have a new baby.  Um, yeah, I didn’t mention that that is not what I am doing.  It is very important that I keep this log, I think.  If I run into any trouble I’ll formalize this writing into an offline version.  Now that she knows, she’ll make darn sure that her son (Bailey’s bio-dad) knows.  And she’ll push her concerns on him.

Anyway, I will not worry myself about this.  I am the primary caregiver, and I am doing what I know is best for Bailey.

Even though we’re unschooling, I think I need to keep the following subjects in mind when I log our activities:

  • math
  • physical education
  • science
  • The “S” word (socialization.)

Deep breaths, positive thinking…

 

8 January 2009 January 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — keekahoney @ 8:13 am

Bailey woke us up this morning with coffee!  I don’t know how she learned how to make it, but it turned out great, and she even remembered what each of us took in our coffee and brought it to us in bed.  I got up right away, and despite only getting 3 hours of sleep, Steve did too.

We had big plans for the day, but didn’t get it all accomplished, mostly because poor Steve was so sleepy.  We did manage to bring a carload of Bailey’s old toys to Big Brothers (they collect donations and sell them to thrift stores).  Oh, and Steve brought donuts to the mechanics at Jay’s for fixing our windshield wiper problem at no cost.

Today was my last day of work.  I am definitely relieved, but also a little sad.  I have worked at the video store for 1.5 years now, and while it is a frustrating place to work sometimes it is definitely a big part of my life.

Once they dropped me off at work, Steve and Bailey went to his mom’s house to help them with their internet.  Then Bailey went to my mom’s while Steve took mom’s foster kid with him to rapier practice.  (We sort of play in the SCA, and Steve is a rapier fighter.)

Today Bailey cleaned her hamster’s cage, did some pages in her workbooks, played with her toy cats some more (now they all have at least one “broken” limb each), played with her PSP, watched TV, and kind of vegged along with us.

And that’s it!  Kind of  a blah day.