Sunday, September 30, 2007

Negative 6 year old

I'm havin' a hard time with Biggie, who for some reason is really down of everything. Why does this occur? Today, I had to make her find one good thing to say about our walk, and I stopped dead in the middle of our story because she was interrupting me so. Yes, I know, she got a reaction, but I am still human and, frankly, I was annoyed.

Which leads to another prob: Biggie doesn't like the story repetition. I get, "Oh, no, not this one again." After only a day or two! How do I overcome this? Like today, I tried to just get on with the story, because I know Littlie is okay with it, until Biggie's actions started influencing Littlie! Very frustrating.

Megalomaniacally, since last post, I have accomplished a major goal: I have needle felted a Mother Earth doll for our Nature Table. While I could have sourced one (somewhere on this god-forsaken island, for triple the price), I really wanted to make ours. She's about 4-5 inches tall and I will post a photo one day. My views on nature table creations have changed tho', having read a wonderful article about materialism and the nature table. It's premise was, why buy a needle felted pumpkin (beautiful tho' they may be) when you could just put a real pumpkin on your table and actually have NATURE present!

Finally, Beltaine! Southern Hemisphere, so it's not in May. Instead, it falls on Halloween. I am hoping to braid hair, make some flower crowns and rise to wash our faces in the morning dew (omg, my mom just read that and cringed. hehe.) Still figuring out how to have a May Pole in a shared community.....hmm. But that leads to an even longer discussion of being weird solo, without fellow weirdos to enhance the experience....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Here's today's big concern: am I ever going to teach my kids something academic? Or, perhaps more appropriately phased, are we ever going to establish a routine that allows for Lessons?

You see, Biggie is wonderfully cerebral, and I am probably one of the only moms in this world who worries because her daughter is gifted. She can hear something once and know it by heart; downside to this is that she needs work with her hands (and body). In fact, her Waldorf teacher, before we left school, said that we need not be concerned about her learning academics, because she just gets everything sooo fast.

For me, this means that I am not even beginning to push academics any farther than they have already gone (oh, and she just turned 6, so waldo'fficially she shouldn't even know most of what's already in that li'l head of hers!). Today, she perfected her blanket stitch, felted some wool, read some books and went swimming. We made guacamole, devilled eggs, a cake and started a new set of mealtime verses. A decent day's work, really.

Yet, what I fear most is that my children will reach majority age and not know arithmetic! Or anything else academic! I feel like I am never quite getting started with HomeSchooling, because the "lesson time/circle time/story time" isn't consistent. I keep saying that they are still decompressing from school, or that (as is the case now) it's public school holidays and therefore it's more important that they get to play with their friends, or that their playtime was too important to interrupt. I read and research homeschooling incessantly and yet I don't feel like I am actually doing anything. Does this ever change? How long before we all settle into lessons?

At least the cake was from our Waldorf "Spring" resource. mmmm.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Un-Encumbering the house and me head

Been feeling encumbered. The Irony to this is that we are such minimalists and have far less stuff than anyone we know: no Lladro, no demitasse cup collections, no pots of potpourri, nada.

Anyway, yesterday I hit my limit: I cancelled cable (my TV only gets used maybe an hour each week), put the TV in a closet, and reconfigured the furniture. Included in the latter was a wonderfully therapeutic experience of demolishing a desk which I have always hated. Earlier in the week, I cleared out Biggie's room (I left her with only creative stuff..nothing to write with or on), but just can't quite get a handle on Littlie's room, because she is so creative that she uses everything imaginatively (she made a leather belt into a racetrack for her matchbox car). Now I have room in my living room for playstands, yeah!!! I think I may have to make these myself, however, because here in NZ, the only ones I can find are $350 per pair with NO CANOPY. Whoa! Since I left all my tools in America, I wonder if I can make these with just the basics?

AND, this morning, the various parts of that desk became carpentry work for the kids as they helped take the sides apart, take the legs off, etc. The little round legs are being sanded as apples, or fairy bushes, or little trees; and the bottoms of the sides I waxed to try out as painting boards. Biggie embraced the notion of Recycling.

I have also been feeling mentally encumbered, mostly in that I can't seem to get into a routine (or rhythm). In truth, I think I am putting too much pressure on (see that post about Perfectionism, mom); I have spent so much time reading everything I can get my hands on about Waldorf homeschooling that my brain can't actually sift through it fast enough. Obviously the key is hyper organisation. But this is a definite wall for me. Thus the reason I have cleared out the house, in hopes of allowing more freedom and clarity for my wittle brain, as well. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Now I have to go plan my menu for the next week, so that I can be an effective grocery-shopper. (Indulging my ego-centricity: how is it possible that the same person who once could write dissertations in multiple languages and has successfully started a business from scratch, can't seem to keep her refrigerator stocked? This is why my kids are Waldorf.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

How weird is too weird?

This is a topic I keep coming back to: it's all fine and dandy for dear hubby and I, as adults, to embrace and indulge our weirdness, but is there a point at which we are making our kids too weird? For instance, here's us: ex-pats, organic-made-from-scratchers, non-vaccinators, Waldorf homeschoolers, who teach our children that God is basically The Force (that's two Star Wars references--DH will be proud), and who have now decided that our family festivals will be Pagan/Neo-Pagan (Solstice, Equinox, and so on). The munchkins don't get pink Barbie birthday cakes, they have very few plastic toys, hardly any TV, and think that homeopathic remedies taste good but vomited up the orange-flavoured baby Tylenol that I (one time, when I tho't they were really in pain!) tried to give them. They play Chiropractor, not Doctor, and sometimes I see them look at other children like, "What's up with that?"

So now I wonder, are we so weird that our munchkins will never be able to find like-minded husbands (omg, I sound like Mrs Bennett!)? Will they turn around one day and as us, "Why couldn't you just be normal?" Is it possible that we, in our effort to live mindfully, are dooming our wee ones to life on the fringes? A bit dramatic, I know.

Furthermore, if I accept that I am still pretty young, and that my beliefs are growing more and more holistic everyday, I must also accept that I will continue to make my kids more and more unorthodox. So I return to my original question: how weird is too weird?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tired. Plain and simple.

Haven't posted this week because of exhaustion. S scored a fabulously high fever, which necessitated our first-ever attempt to reduce her fever (tepid bath), and summarily our earliest-ever trip to our doctor (normally, we wait it out, but this time we were there within 24 hours!). We have a great doctor, who totally gets how we live. Anyway, within another 24 hours, she was back to normal. As her birthday is two days away, we think it was a waldorf-y change of life fever (I just wrote that so my Mom can worry about our weird-ness!!)

But, man, did that experience throw off our blossoming rhythm. And everyone, even the dog, has been tired.

That having been said, I made a needle felted root baby, have finally sorted out Story time, found a wonderful selection of Spring stories at the Baldwin Project: http://www.mainlesson.com/, we made caterpillars from wool roving, and went on a good beach trip. Not too shabby.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Indians, Tats & Dragons, oh my!

Wow, I love homeschooling....yesterday, we had our first day when I really felt like a Waldorf hs-er: we used three dowels and some wool yarn to create a tepee frame, which then was wrapped in a playsilk (blue!), some feathers, a boa and some burlap. We used the little people as characters. I then told the story of Thanksgiving and R made up a story of her own. S finger-knitted an indian headband for R and we sang lots of Indian songs. THEN, we made indian drawings!!! All very Steiner-y.

@ bedtime, R (age4!) asked when she was allowed to get a tattoo.

This morning's bike ride consisted of two little St Michael's chasing one big Mom-Dragon! hehe.

And because I have been debating having the girls share a room, but didn't want to buy new furniture without knowing if they could actually do it, I shoe-horned both double beds into S's room. Yeah, they're now chatting away right now, as they as supposed to be sleeping....

I feel happier with my kids then I have in ages. No time stress, no food stress, no errand stress. Aaah.

Monday, September 3, 2007

With birthdays and holidays approaching

I found a wonderful site that allows Waldorf-y gift registry. So, Moms, here's a way that you can buy gifts that the girls will really enjoy. That having been said, we are also happy with Visa gift cards, but we know sometimes you want to give something (yes, we have been related to you ladies for a long time!). Also, excepting the baby items and the items that are too large to ship (bummer!), anything on this site is fine. Please have a look and see just how wacky your kids have become.

The Three Sisters Gift Registry: https://www.threesisterstoys.com/giftregistrysearch.aspx
then search by our email address. The site does a funny thing where they actually dump you into our account, so please don't change any of the settings. Thanks!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

You know you've been to a Waldorf School when...

I loved this when a saw it, many moons ago. I ask forgiveness if I have unknowlingly swiped it from your site!

You know you have been to a Waldorf School When...

You know pencil shavings make everything prettier.
When your trousers get ripped, instead of throwing them away you whip out a needle and thread and fix them.
Fairies and gnomes were your childhood friends.
There's no need to research the dating history of your BF or GF, you know everyone they've gone out with.
Knitting is not just a new trend; you've done it since class 1.
You've made socks, hats, potholders, recorder cases, dolls and stuffed animals and sewn your own clothes.
It doesn't seem weird to have the same teacher for eight years.
Tie dye was part of your dress code as a child.
A least one of your women teachers didn't shave.
You've dyed your hair an unnatural colour at least once.
You've held hands and skipped around a may-pole, and no one thought it was odd.
You have lived in a house without a TV at some point.
You can spell out words with your arms – no need for the fingers.
You have eurythmy shoes lying around your house.
You've worn a eurythmy dress and a veil!
Everyone in school knows if you skip class, break a rule or start going out with someone.
You know not to breathe near the light blue paint!
You can play a recorder.
You can never forget your embarrassing childhood – they chose a picture of you to go in the school brochure.
You didn't have Barbies and Legos as a child – you had wooden animals, hand sewn dolls and wooden Lorries!Y
ou know most of the bible stories even though you may never have set foot in a church.
You wonder if Steiner has an agreement with Volvo to only drive their cars.
You've been asked 'isn't that a cult?' when you say you went/go to a Waldorf school.
The thought of main lesson books haunt your dreams in your years after you graduate.
You've been in at least one Shakespeare play.
You couldn't wait to get out, but once you did you kind of wanted to go back (because of no homework).
You don't know the Pledge of Allegiance, or the national anthem, but 'I do behold the world' is permanently imprinted in your brain.
You remember having lots of breaks – one after morning snack, and one after lunch!
You've known how to make stained glass windows, carve stone and wood, dip your own candles and make candle sticks since class 1.
You know that however hard you try to escape…You will always be a Steiner Child!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Computer + Narcissistic Disorder = Blog

Okies, first, I noticed poor grammar in that first sentence of the last post. Must redo it!!! No, resist, resist.


Second, fab day on the HS front (for me, at least). Fam went to the Fairy Festival and lurved it. Mom bought some overpriced Steiner goods from our ONLY supplier in NZ (which equates to price gouging!). Then, discovered further price hikes as follows: local art supplier charges $15 for one 12x16 sheet of hardboard; local hardware store charges $7 for a gigantic sheet of hardboard, and then a pittance for the cuts. Needless to say, I called my mom and had the immigrant grump-session today!


But! (and here's where the narcissism comes in), I have made stuff!!! 2 more gnomes and one angel. Wow, and before today I was really impressed by the angels.


Here are my jawas (those are the little StarWars guys, for the unsci-fiers), one fairy, and an angel:



Don't know why the bad focus...too much wine.
Next, I just have to figure out how to create a visual aid for The Pancake. Any ideas? Oh, yeah, and make a sandbox, design a city garden, find affordable watercolour paper in NZ, along with an easel and three blackboards with rounded edges, all this while my husband is plying me with wine. G-d love 'im.