Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Thoughts from rest

My head is a-swirl this morning with what I've learned in recent time, both resounding and insignificant.

Blaine is home this week.  We are getting up well before the crack of dawn and enjoying the solitude; he in his nest in a lamp-lit basement with the fire blazing next to him, me on the main floor next to the piano and our enormous bookshelf, lit by the art-deco panther lamp.  The fellas haven't been waking up until 7:00 AM, even Yiya.  The space for reflection has been blissful.

He is reading Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel and watching Roman Polanski films on his sister's old laptop.  I am working through a book of poetry on grieving and loss and reading Jane Eyre.  Many of the poems make me cry, but it is good to connect and understand more.

But: what I have learned.

......that just because I am not doing something now, doesn't mean I won't be able to implement it in the future.  What a HUGE asset this understanding is under my belt in motherhood.  I am not sunk because I haven't read Les Miserables or [insert amazing book here] aloud, nor because I have yet to implement a two hour afternoon quiet time for reading and reflection.  Shoot, we've never even had a full-sized Christmas tree.  There is time for all of it.  So many things are worked into, not instantly implemented.  They grow and change, and so the does the rhythm and routine around them.  I am their steward and shepherd.

......that accepting children for what they are is very freeing.  I remember feeling this very profoundly when I realized that there wasn't anything wrong with Baby Truen, he simply wasn't Baby Diego. (Serious and Reserved vs. Super-smiley and Outgoing)  This was very confusing to me his first year.  They are all different; how could they not be?  And as they grow older, tactics and methods that work for one are less effective or useless with another - and that is okay.  It is up to us to figure them out.  X isn't a mutant because he doesn't respond how I would or how I've seen his brothers do it.  They are who they are and it is our job to meet him there.

and not thoughtful at all....
......that all I need to brush my teeth is baking soda and a drop of Sweet Fennel essential oil.  With maybe a little salt mixed in.  We ran out of tooth powder last week and won't be able to get it for another week.  In the meanwhile, Blaine bought a toothpaste that I find unpleasant.  I thought about it a bit, then decided to take an ulterior route and I have to say, I'm a big fan.

The snow is thick at our house and the bird feeders are flocked by squirrels and winter birds.

It feels good to be at home.  It feels good to think.

Monday, December 14, 2015

I must have been very, VERY proud

Last night I slept on my back, holding a pork belly-sized pillow in my left arm like I was carrying it.  I knew it was a pillow, but I told myself in my sleepy netherworld state that it was the bacon I finished that day.  I was clutching it in my left arm like a baby.  It was warm and I swear I could smell it.

I completed my first-ever homemade bacon experiment yesterday afternoon.  I roasted it after seven days of turning it in the brine in the refrigerator.  It looked and smelled amazing.  Un.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Checking in . . . so cathartic

I realized last week that I haven't posted in eons.  Perhaps more than a month?  Life is too full.  I am juggling a huge array of "just life" within these four walls.

This weekend I pondered house servants after dipping my toes into The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.  Yes.  It makes sense to me.  Who has time for pondering the mysteries of life when the realities of upkeep hammers down unrelentingly?

"To everything, there is a season."  I know.  But this season feels like a treadmill.  I hit the pillow at night, running on empty.  Morning refreshes, but not too long after waking, I'm back in the saddle again.

My beloved morning solitude was completely decimated by the time change.  Eliah has upped the ante and often rushes out of bed in the five o'clock hour to find me.  And if I'm still in bed, he's up at 6:15 AM almost like clockwork.

Uncle!  I am trying accept it graciously, taking what I can get.  But as you can imagine, it is hard. 

What the little bugger often looks like by noon,
due to his early morning habits . . . soooo sleepy.

I am also working toward eating at a more reasonable time, starting the evening meal in late afternoon to ensure it happens.  It has taken a reordering of habits and expectations, but it is worth the effort.

In other news, we are slowly simmering down into Winter Rest.  Our outside work is completely finished for the season and last weekend was the FIRST WEEKEND since last spring that we didn't have a full outdoor agenda.  It was amazing, and for Blaine, a little hard to take.  He felt lazy, spending the days resting and nuzzling with the boys.  Lazy.  But when you've been in a full-on run for months and months, it feels strange to sit for a good length of time.

I picked away at little nagging tasks, like reabsorbing last summer's clothing into storage and busting piles that have been building for months.  We also took our yearly family picture for the Christmas cards.  I might even get 'em out by Christmas this year.  Maybe.  Last year it was April.

This year was the first year that we actually have a good variety of pictures to choose from.  Most years, we've just scrounged with something mostly-suitable.  But this year?  Three or four pictures were in the running.  Wow!  It was amazing.  I was so pleased.

One of my favorites from the riff-raff

Part of the success came from switching up our positioning after the first few pictures.  It added a bit of fun for the fellas - keeping them interested while giving us a chance for something actually nice-looking.  So much better.  Note to self: do this every year.

And finally, homeschooling.  This is our fourth "official" year and I finally feel like a dyed-in-the-wool, baptized-by-fire homeschooler.  We have arrived. 

We do our morning Circle Time M-TH: Motto, Read Aloud, Hymn, Poetry, Memory Work, Plutarch, Folk Song, Shakespeare, Mother Goose.  In that order.  Read Aloud: Bible (M-T), Misc. Reading (W), Geography (TH)

Morning Lessons are also M-TH: Math, Copywork.

I have yet to implement Reading Practice, but I have plans to require it 15 minutes per day, M-TH.  Both boys are reading, but only do so when forced.  I have allowed much time for growth and developmental breadth, but I am inching towards making it more a part of their lives.  We read aloud every day, they narrate and listen to audiobooks; but I can't help wanting them to break into their own private world of book-reading.

Fridays are our more relaxed day, where I "catch up" on read alouds, ensure that the bathroom gets cleaned (by Diego and Truen), and we have even been doing "Triangle Time" (haha) with almost-weekly drawings out of Draw Write Now.

So that's it from me.  I'm feeling a bit more balanced . . . the out-processing, sharing, and life-record of putting out a blog post is so cathartic.  I really should do this more often. (Ha.)

The Littles are napping and the Bigs are listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  (We love-love-love HP on audio.) (Jim Dale is so terrific!)

Word from the mother.