Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I haven't been flying lately, barely fluttering, if that. It has put a strain on my marriage and caused an irritability from me and disconnect with my kids too.

But I'm dusting off my wings. I got so disgustingly far behind in cleaning my kitchen we had the most fruit flies that we've ever had, ever. They were even in the cracker and bread baskets (although I noticed that after cleaning most more obvious food sources, perhaps they were just scrounging.)
I procrastinated doing costumes (although they turned out awesome!), and getting ready for the party.
We ended up postponing the Halloween party a day due to terrible weather and the power flickering. (Many local friends were without power, luckily we never lost ours completely) So I got an extra morning to do stuff for it, made it less stressful. And Ellie had a fever the night before the actual party so it was nice that we already had most of the set- up done before deciding to postpone.
The party was still a great success, lots of lots of kids and families had great fun.

The daily goal going forward:
Finish cleaning up after the party (it was in the shop so not our regular living space), catch up on laundry (must wash Halloween costume clothes by Friday!), wash dishes daily, keep the floor swept (TMI but there was a sequin, from Ellie's crafts stuff, in Penny's poop the other day, clearly she found it on the floor, and ate it.) and spend 15-30 minutes decluttering and cleaning the craft room/office until it is tidy enough to actually work in. (It is still a wreck from moving rooms and then making costumes).

To end on a high note:
I did get a lot picked up in the craft room/ office when I was in training at work Monday (as much as I could tethered to the phone headset listening to the training conference call).
I took back some merchandise returns finally so our trip to walmart for tooth brushes, dish brush, rain poncho, deli food for dinner and soda stream syrup only cost like $3 (also thanks to Savings Catcher gift card).
I'm almost caught up on dishes (washed a mountain of them and actually put them away today!)
I put away a basket of laundry and picked up laundry today.
Made a hot breakfast for the family last couple days.
The fruit flies are nearly gone! Thanks to not buying any fresh fruit, acv+ dawn traps, funnel-on-cup traps and a few fly strips and commercial fruit fly traps. (and cleaning/washing dishes)

Tomorrow we go to the Pumpkin Patch (didn't get to go earlier in the month.) Made hubby cancel his regular Wednesday night plans so he can be home with the kids because I swapped my shift at work to get the first few hours of my shift off, and I'm working late instead. Hoping it doesn't rain too bad- prepared if it does.
We plan to carve pumpkins Thursday night.

I realize I have found myself in this place many times, struggling or recently struggling and I have committed so many times to do better at everything, it is a constant focus to improve, and needed because I always slip slide backwards.
I'm not giving up though.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Unschooling style grocery trip

Some kids go to school for like 6 hours a day. Some kids do schoolwork at home. Some kids are unschooled.
Unschooling is basically just the philosophy that children can prosper simply by learning through life, parents provide opportunities for children to learn through daily life and interests and play. Life and interests are a natural motivator to learn and children (all people actually) learn best when the motivation comes from within and is focused on an interest the person has.
I try to always see and utilize the natural learning experiences life provides. (Try! I'm working on doing it more).
Today at the grocery store Ellie (3.5) helped read the signs, helped write codes on the bulk bin tags and I explained how we know how much something costs. (Social knowledge, math).
Ellie learned letter recognition when we checked the bulk item tags against the bins, (I write curly 2s, the sign has flat bottomed 2s). (Literacy)
We weighed the package of mushrooms to see how the scale pointed to 8oz which is half way to the pound mark, then read the package where it said 8oz (math and science ) (I realize these are advanced topics for her to master.)
She counted the peaches as we bagged them up. (Math)
Ellie told me what letters were on the fruit signs so we could find the peaches, (literacy) and used texture to tell the difference between nectarines and peaches. (Fine motor development)
She used small motor control writing on the tags and large motor control hanging on the cart, lifting groceries and and scooping from the bins. (Physical development). Learned impulse control sitting in the cart after loading groceries on the bin. (Physical development)
We read the granola bar names and she found which one had a C for cashews. (Moons as she calls them, cashews not Cs). (Literacy)
Looking at cereal bars, she "read" the boxes by looking at the fruit pictures on the box (early literacy, representation) to find the one she wanted.
We read ingredients to find some juice that wasn't mostly sugar. We talked about healthy drinks and treat drinks. (Health and physical development)
We talked about how the deli closes at night because less people want pizza and smoothies late at night. (Social knowledge).
She moved out of other people's way and we said excuse me, and waited our turn to talk to the cashier. (Social development).

While this trip took a little longer than normal for what we were getting, it was also more peaceful because I was really paying attention to Ellie and remembering that she is only 3 and I kept appropriate expectations for her. She wasn't bored and she felt proud of contributing. Her ideas were heard since she had some say as to what we bought (she begged for broccoli and carrots, mom win!)