Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Monday Rolls By - Unschool Monday

Was it me or was that week ridiculously quick?
We are all enjoying having P work from home for those crazy days between the big Christian celebration and the big calendar celebration. There was some mention of camping but nightly downpours and (lovely) misty days have done away with that idea.
Peter Pan was the order of the day today, precisely Return to Neverland. Can't say I'm all that comfortable with all the questions the air raid sirens are bringing up but I guess that all counts as deschooling for me. Well, it's not entirely accurate to say Peter Pan, rather when one has memorised all three of the existing Tinkerbell movies and listened to Peter Pan read aloud one needs to search further afield to get one's Tinkerbell hit. Which leads me to the fact that we now own not one but two Silvermist dolls(and if you don't know who that is you haven't watched enough Tinkerbell) as well as Iridessa and Rosetta. So much for no barbies! At least they have a reason for having such ridiculous feet since they don't actually need to walk.
What else today? Well, lots of cubby houses, painting. I love love love that a gift of a sideboard plus taking the legs off the craft cupboard has meant that all the art stuff is accessible. I want to do some painting has become I'm going to do some painting. Piano for both littles (I guess it's a sign of a younger sibling when one of their early phrases is "fist first me!") and violin for child the larger. Actually she played a concert for a knitted mermaid doll (we do have some non Disney Fairy toys, phew) who enjoyed it very much.
Lunch was in Kat while scrambling to shop at the co-op before it shut early. We read a second grade science textbook in the car on the way there and at the table while waiting for our food. It occurred to me that it may not look particularly like natural learning to be reading a science textbook while waiting for our food in a cafe but I suppose most parents know you just do whatever works.
Oh, I almost forgot that child the larger wanted to read a book for her library Summer Reading Challenge thingo so I pulled out an easy one she has read before but hasn't counted towards this round of the challenge, no dice. "I've already read that one!". She grabbed a much harder one and struggled through it with all the stubbornness of a childhood me and the single-minded drive of her father. Wow. No amount of "let's finish it tomorrow" or "shall we read a page each?" made a difference. No, she read Every. Single. Word.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Unschool Monday

Joining in with Owlet et al. Today Child the Larger:
  • Sketches planning, more sketches and more planning for the movie M woke up on Saturday morning wanting to make.
  • All of the mazes from the local Library's "school holiday entertainment pack". Wow, I'm impressed with her maze solving ability.
  • Used water colour pencils to paint colouring pages from same (note to self - water colour pencils would make a good present).
  • Painted a diorama of mountains against blue sky (acrylic paint this time)
  • 4 pages of Miquon Maths Orange Book.
  • Carried around the broody chicken, pushed her in the wheelbarrow and swung with her on the swing seat (chicken didn't like swinging very much).
  • Watched segments of the latest Tinkerbell movie seeking inspiration for her own endeavour.
  • Watched all of The Princess and the Goblin (I love the flute in the soundtrack)
  • Quizzed her brother endlessly about all his new words (many many many)
  • Listened to an audio book
  • Op shopped
  • Walked in the cold cold wind and
  • Asked a million challenging and insightful questions
Child the smaller:
  • Answered correctly every word his sister quizzed him about (since she had just modeled it for him when asking)
  • Made quite a few deliberate jokes
  • Was adorably cute despite the fact that he
  • Insisted on the millionth read-aloud repetition of "Sparkle Fun Christmas Shapes" in that way only toddlers can
  • Delighted me with his little pre-sentences such as "Mama. Apple. Up. Cut." ... "Shankyyooo."
And much much more between them of course.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Having doubts

About homeschooling or maybe about natural learning. Not the cliched "She wont learn if I don't teach her" kind but more the (also cliched) "I don't have the patience for that" kind. Sigh. Guess I'll have to get it though because she most adamantly (tearfully) DOES. NOT.  want to go to school.
What do I need? More rhythm? More space (alone time)? More purpose (my own music)? Or just to put it out there that today was a hard day ;)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

India again

Maybe as soon as January. Really. Or maybe not.
Who knows.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Must be crazy

I decided it's time I knitted something for myself. Of course, I settled on this:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/steingraues-strickmieder
I worked out casting on and the band pretty easily but had to consult google translate for the lace pattern. After reading this my hands are shaking too much from laughing to knit ( even if I could figure out what to do)
Decorative Weight Loss:• Leftist decreasesAt the beginning of the Rs 1 RM st, K1 st, slip the next st re(= How to knit right), the following M re st pass slipped throughM to knit pull. Thus, the decline tends to the left.• Right-wing inspectionsAt the end of the RS is the third and fourth last zus.str sts, K1, 1 RM.Thus, the decline tends to the right.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just because

It hardly happens anymore. At 16 months M was still napping in a sling quite regularly, A hardly ever does. It seems he'll give up sleeping in the daytime even earlier than she did.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What we've been doing

 This is M helping P paint a stupa at a hospice (Karuna) in Brisbane. As I mentioned we recently got home from our second big road trip in a few months. This one was really big. From here to Brisbane, stopping a couple of times on the way up to camp then to the Sunshine Coast, then back to Brisbane for a day and night, a night in Ballina and then P pulled off a masterful feat on superhuman effort by driving all the way back from Ballina to the mountains in one afternoon/evening!
P studies Tibetan Buddhist art with Andy Weber who is only here once a year. We arrived in Brisbane a few days early so P could help with the stupa painting at Karuna as per the photos and then headed up to Chenrezig Institute for the real work.
Gosh it was a tough trip, but brilliant at the same time. We arrived at CI late at night & transferred the children straight into beds in our dorm. First thing next morning while walking up to breakfast the director stopped M and I, gave us big hugs and said "Welcome Home!". Ah!
Many more stories to tell of course, but that's enough for now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Deprived of childcare

Apparently my children are. This is the creche at the sports centre which also houses "Kids Kingdom" (cheesy play centre). There are little cars to ride in, huge slides, tunnels and trampolines but what are my children fascinated with? The mini-prison...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jiggetty Jig

So we are home again after our second big road trip. Much to report! Hopefully I'll get to it soon. Life just does not stop of course and I feel as though we hit the ground running, more like sprinting upon our return and haven't stopped yet.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Consensual Purification

I've yet to explain the title of this blog so here goes. Consensual refers to our aim for our family life. In the sense of Consensual Living or Radical Unschooling, applied to all relationships within our family unit. Purification refers initially to the Vajrasattva practice I began around the same time as I began this blog but also to the idea that living peacefully with our children (and spouses) will contribute little by little to peace for all beings. Even or perhaps even more so when it's bloody hard (hence purification).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adjusting to life with one less computer and more

I've already mentioned the demise of my dearly beloved laptop. She is much mourned by M as the last remaining source of dvd viewing pleasure (the drive in P's laptop having been worn out from over-use in the months following A's birth). That means we compete to get our screentime fix from the itty-bitty HP Mini thingy. Which really means that M gets her fix (of youtube or reading eggs usually) while I'm cleaning or cooking or putting A to bed and I get mine late at night when she is finally asleep and he wakes for more milk & sleeps on my lap while I read or right now, blog.
P has quit or is in the process of quitting his main client. Which is, I must say, the best news I've heard in a long time. The house feels different already. The children are enjoying having two parents instead of one and a bit and I am enjoying less cooking (as well as the conversation). No doubt it will bring us a little closer to the (financial) edge than we have been used to for the past few years but it's nowhere we haven't been before and the benefits abound :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ooops!

Doesn't everyone have to make a post like this sometime? My laptop appears to be dead. Vale, dear friend. You served me well. However...............No kudos to me for never quite getting around to backing up the photos or the library data for Kunsang Yeshe I say again. Oops!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

If you've ever doubted

That it's difficult to do anything in a kitchen with a toddler around and especially if you've ever wondered why mother's complain about how difficult cleaning is just take a look at what can happen in 20 seconds...
He had fun.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Anger

Gosh, is it that time of the month already? The time when anger explodes out of me before I even realise I'm angry. When the look on my little girl's face is what makes me notice I'm shouting. Sigh. Better take some magnesium...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Foster Care

Am I crazy? Fostering is something I've always wanted to do. My previous partner and I went through the application process, were approved and about to start training courses when we moved interstate. Since then I've either been concentrating on music or breeding small ones of my own. However last week I saw an ad (a rather desperate ad actually) in an op-shop and it's been eating away at me since then. Could we do it? Could our littlies handle it?
Questions questions questions

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ouch

For three days now I've had awful stomach cramps starting in the mid-afternoon. I am hereby officially diagnosing myself with colic (the horse kind, not the baby kind). I've obviously been eating too much lush spring grass!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A community cafe

The wonderful (and aptly named) Joy whom I consider to be very definitely a part of my tribe despite having seen her less than biannually in the last 15 years is working hard to get a brilliant idea of hers off the ground.
You can check it out here:
http://background-joy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Photo-free

There's lots to share but I find it so much easier to have a photo or two to start the flow of words. Unfortunately the black hole in our house seems to have swallowed the camera battery charger. Then of course there's the whole ongoing mobile phone saga too, so not even any mobile photos to share. Sigh. Oh well.
In case you were interested - child the larger is currently covering the loungeroom with an elaborate wooden train set construction. Including a road next to the train tracks like the GWH here in the mountains.
The small one just fell asleep in the "other" meitai.
Grass-fed beef with black bean and red wine (and lots of garlic for our colds) stew is in the oven. Two loaves of sourdough were removed from said oven (not by me) shortly before the stew went in. Cottage cheese is draining (again not my work) and we are planning on going to Juggling Jam tonight.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The one year ago right now post

One year ago right now the fire in my loungeroom was blazing, hotter than before or since.
One year ago right now I knelt on blankets and mattresses in front of the blazing fire holding my tiny son.
One year ago right now I felt the wave begin to crash over me and handed my son to his father so I could concentrate on the contraction that would finally help his placenta be born.
One year ago my loungeroom was full of blood and towels and blankets and water and hot hot hot fire and precious people and love, so much love.
The mess is gone, the people are sleeping and the fire just barely sputtering but the love is still here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exhale

Well, I really don't think A has measles. Thank goodness. His rash continues to fade and there has been no fever since Monday night. The mastitis is on it's way out as well, and good riddance to that!
All in all it's been a week of hermit-dom though. We've missed all our usual activities through either me being to sick to take them, wanting to quarantine A in case he was infectious and M deciding she needed a day off from ballet. Actually (sickness aside) it's been lovely. I love home days. I do feel out of touch though, I hate to admit it but I'm missing facebook. Certain people don't seem to get emails, or text messages or any other form of messages really. Oh well, I guess the trade-off for enjoying peaceful days at home is becoming a social pariah.

Measles Alert in the Blue Mountains

Ugh! That's enough to make any mother of an 11 month old with a rash panic. Fortunately a) A's rash looks nothing like the pictures I can find of measles b) it seems to be fading a little and c) it started on his trunk and spread to under his arms, groin and now behind his knees. Still, the fear is quite pervasive. Must stop consulting Dr. Google and just take him to a real doctor tomorrow (scarlet fever is my current diagnosis, eek!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No pot roast

Well, at least not yesterday. It's in the oven today. Somehow I doubt A's fever was teeth related since he came out in an awful rash. We thought it might be chicken pox but to me it looks more like excema. Sigh, who knows. We haven't been off to the doc because (apart from that one hour of fever on Monday night) he has been perfectly happy and hasn't seemed sick at all.
Of course, along with a sick baby what do I always get? Mastitis. Ugh! Yesterday I was feverish and out of it all day. Hence no pot roast. I think I did well just keep the fire going and give M some pasta for dinner. Today is better but still sore and low on energy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tomorrow I will learn how to cook a pot roast

Or I will try at least. I deleted my facebook account, so now I'm forced to share my inanities here.
My boy is feverish too. Teeth I hope.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A special guest



A great-auntie who is truly a great Auntie. Much loved all round.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Real Food, Real Kitchen, Real Parenting

Inspired by Calamity Jane's post on "real kitchens". Here is my kitchen after an afternoon of cooking with two small children in tow. Lasagne, beef and lentil stew and chicken stock if I remember correctly, plus assorted snacks for the larger child and myself.


And after an hour (yes, an hour) of cleaning...


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Shoes

Simple livin' be darned. I've got a shoe fetish (it seems). Today I bought a black pair to match my red mary janes that are pretty scuffed and I've got three pairs for A (yes three) and a pair for M on order from here. Not that she needs any more shoes but it wasn't fair...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bibliophilia


One of the spaces I look when things get "too quiet" around here. At least they like to read.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rhythm, routine or just stuff I want to get done...

This is a fairly mindless post, prompted by the fact that Monday is turning into a regular home day around here which is great. So I thought here was as good a place as any to jot down a list of Monday chores:
  • Vacuum/sweep
  • Tidy kitchen/dishes/laundry/feed the chickens - all the normal daily stuff
  • Mop
  • Change sheets if needed
  • Grind flour
  • Cook something that attempts to use up the remainder of last week's organic veggie box
  • Start a new batch of beef broth (I much prefer the name "Broken Bone Soup" as it's called in Healing with Wholefoods)
  • GET RID OF (one or two) THINGS! More gently known as decluttering or even purging. It's sorely needed around here.
Oh, and of course play with the kidlets. That kinda goes without saying.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm exhausted today

and surfing the net while M watched a dvd and A slept in a meitai on my chest I found this post of Soulemama's. Ahh.
Now the dvd is finished, A is awake once more. Off to mother myself by mothering my children.
Have a lovely day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blog Crush

I have a blog crush. Calamity Jane has been listed in my links at the side for ages but after this post:
http://apronstringz.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/radical-homemaking-and-feminism/
I'm am head over heels in love. Ah!
The article she links to is great too and I NEED that book.
I've been meaning for ages to post a response to Calamity Jane's "Real Kitchens" series. I'll get onto it soon. I have the pictures, I just need to charge the camera battery so I can upload them...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First word

A does lots of imitative speech. For example if he is looking at something and we name it he will try to copy the sound. Last week at the museum he said something recognisable not in imitation (at least the first time I've noticed). Reaching out for the door of the cubicle we were in he said "ah-dooooooooor". I know I'm not crazy because M excitedly turned around and said "Did he say door?"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Should be titled miscellaneous

Here are a few things we've been up to. Making cheese (not that I can take any credit). Moving on from cruising to climbing, yes he got onto that chair all by himself and mighty proud he was too. And the biggest little one (pictured at Jenolan caves), oh there's lots to write about this little one. Perhaps best saved for her own blog or at least a post of her own.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Electricity-free day

Phew. It's been an interesting day here. Last Friday a friend lent P one of Laura Inglis Wilder's books he'd recently read to his nearly 7 year old daughter. While I'd seen a few episodes of Little House as a child, I'd never read the books. In fact, I didn't realise there were books until I was about 30. This led to all kinds of disccusions about what can best be described in shorthand as "doing it all". You know what I mean, the thing that always comes up in self-sufficient type discussions. Timely discussions for us as a strange set of circumstances led to us having far too much raw milk that needed to be used up so most of the discussing occurred whilst P was making cheese or evaporating milk (takes hours!) to make Indian fudge. Around midnight last night in the midst of said discussion, "click" the modem and phone were off. Hmm, my computer started showing the battery icon double hmm. A glance into the bedroom where the little people slept. Yep, the night light is off. Yet we have lights. Hmmm. A trip to the fuse box. Yes, the safety switch for all the plugs in the house has been tripped. OK, turn it on. Nope. No difference.
So until 2pm today when the electrician arrived to replace the faulty safety switch we had effectively no electricity. Because one doesn't really need electric lighting in the middle of the day even here in the misty mountains.
*snip*
Blog post interrupted by life.
So to get to the point, our day yesterday until the elecrician turned up was really rather pleasant. For one thing it was nice to be able to honestly say "No you can't watch a video" rather than saying it but actually meaning "I don't want you to watch a video". I liked it so much I'd like to do it every week. P suggested going further and having "electricity day" once a week. Sounds like a fun challenge but I know M wont be pleased about it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aw man!

I've been really enjoying the chance to do a few minutes flute practice here and there and piano too now that we have a reall one *happy dance*. But today A decided he is old enough to crawl up the stairs out of the studio. Dang! There goes my practice time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Eating




Oh yes, my boy is eating. Where did the time go?
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