Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blogging Privacy?

As my children get older and more established as "real human beings," I am wondering how appropriate it is for me to keep writing and posting pictures of them on my blog. I know some people wouldn't take issue with it at all, but I am starting to feel like they need to have their own voice and their own rights to privacy.

When they grow up, will they be happy with me that I shared their lives and faces with the entire world, (well, it's open to the entire world), or will they be upset that I volunteered a piece of their lives without asking permission?

I am the Mother, so writing about my family and my children is a big part of who I am, but when all is said and done, they are individuals, and they are people. Perhaps that should be taken into consideration.

I am just mulling this over. Any thoughts?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeschooling Hop

I am really enjoying this 10 Days of Homeschooling Blog Hop, and have been reading many of the blogs, hosting this blogging carnival. If you click on that link you will find 16 different bloggers who have dedicated 10 days to writing about different homeschooling areas they are experts in. Their subjects range from homeschooling boys, to Socialization for Moms, to Montessori method, to homeschooling Pre-schoolers, to getting started as a homeschooler, to un-schooling, to many other areas that I can relate to.

I hesitate to talk about homeschooling with my family and peers because I'm not really sure what exactly what we're doing as a homeschooling family. But, as I am learning, that's okay. It's okay to figure things out as you go, and learn as part of the journey. What I do know is that all the stereotypes, labels, myths, and negative stigmas about homeschooling need to be thrown out the window as you're beginning your homeschooling journey. Homeschooling my kids isn't about what my neighbors are doing, or what those homeschooling relatives did, or what crazy story you heard on the news about un-schoolers. To me, homeschooling is about knowing my kids, praying for guidance, and meeting our needs as a family. It isn't even about public school vs. private school vs. homeschool. It's just about us, and what we feel is right.

One of the greatest lessons I've learned as a parent is that there isn't one way to do things, the world is not black and white, and learning and growing in life isn't limited to the classroom institution.

Whenever I read about other homeschooling families, such as on these blogs, I feel lifted up, and I feel inspired. I feel like I not only want to continue on the path of being a homeschooling family, but I also want to be a better organized, more thoughtful, more attentive, and wonderful parent!
A curious friend last week asked me, "So when do you start homeschooling? Around the time they start Kindergarten?"
My answer, "We already are!"
I believe learning starts the moment you enter this world, and doesn't ever stop. Learning isn't limited to Kindergarten registration, or a certain age you turn. Learning is happening now.

When we first moved into these apartments, our kids didn't know how to swim. It really stressed me out that they were 4 and 2 years old, and didn't have any water skills. I can still remember the first day we went to pool, hauling our kids in with all their flotation devices and arm floaties. They were both a little scared to get their feet wet at first, and I was scared to take my eyes off of them. I wanted them to know how to swim so badly, that I tried to give them formal lessons. "Now Zadok, this is how you paddle, and this is how you kick. Now try blowing bubbles, and stop splashing, your splashing too much. Now come here so you can hold onto me while I teach you to kick!" After several minutes of me giving orders, he was annoyed, and pretty much told me to leave him alone. So I did. Micah suggested that every time we go to the pool we just play, have fun, and enjoy our time as a family. I was still worried about them learning to swim, but was willing to let it go and just have fun for the moment.
After several trips to the pool I noticed our kids feeling way more comfortable in the water. Zadok started asking us questions about how to swim, so we told him. And he started practicing what he knew. While our family was busy playing, he would watch and learn, and we would tell him little tips on how to paddle faster, how to hold himself up, or how to blow bubbles. There was no coercion, or formality to it, just family talking to family.
So guess what? Six months later our Zadok is a happy and confident, swimmer. He loves to swim, and he has learned to swim. (I still vividly rememeber the first time he actually swam. He was beyond excited and kept shouting out,"I'm swimming! I'm swimming!!") And Odin is learning, too. They both love to be in the water, and have found a fun new skill that they enjoy doing!

This was the biggest testament to me that education doesn't have to be this formal engagement, with lessons, and classrooms, and authority figures. It's just part of simply living. This was the first of many experiences (these past 6 months) in watching our kids learn and grasp onto things, and me being able to finally throw out the idea that they need formal schooling to do that. I have learned that when you provide a happy environment for learning and growth; an environment where kids can ask questions, feel free to explore, and feel excited to learn, that is true education. For us, this will be done through family homeschooling.

Maybe someday our kids will want to enroll in a public school. That's their choice to make. I'm sure they will also be involved in many social organizations and clubs, community classes, and sports groups. Later on, I fully encourage them to enroll in college, earn degrees, or go to a trade school to learn useful job skills. But for now, homeschooling is the way to go.

Well, enough with writing, I have to get back to my blog hop! I guess I just wanted to say that I feel inspired this week, and am happy with the direction we are heading as a family, and the choices that Micah and I are making together for our children.

Micah graduated with his Masters in Science Education this past week! Yeah

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

squishies

I don't know where I come up with the nick names I call our kids throughout the day.
They know what their real names are, but have learned to answer to everything from Pootie, to Odi-wan, to Moosh face, to squishy, to Budgie cakes, to Woodgie smoosh, to whatever pops into my head. Its no wonder they call me "The Big Bootie," and I am starting to answer to it.

Here's a few pictures of my squishy,, smooshy, woodgie faces. I sure love these guys.:
Here's Pootie-poot in the bath. I love this baby. I love his slobbery kisses, his chubby cheeks, his smiles that melt me to pieces. He is my third baby, and such a blessing.

I love taking walks and nursing him. He is my little attachment, my little love.


Here's our little Odi-wan. He is such a clown, and such a dreamer. When I'm busy taking care of the baby I don't have to worry about him being entertained. I'll come find him building a dragon castle or a birds nest out of blankets, or collecting different colored hangers from the closets for fun.



And Budger-smudger, he's almost five years old and real fun to hang out with. He wants to learn how to read and write (sometimes), when he's not busy pretending to be our pet dragon named Sparky. I love his imagination and sense of adventure.




All three boys together, I am one proud Big Bootie.

Monday, February 7, 2011

my Winter calendar

NOVEMBER: Hey look guys, snow! Wooohooo it's snowing! Let's get out the sleds, and warm jackets. Oh boy, it's my favorite gloves and hat! I've missed you, my favorite gloves and hat! C'mon everyone lets' bundle up, run around, and build a big snowman! Weehoo! I LOVE snow!

DECEMBER:
I sure hope it's a beautiful, white Christmas! I sure love snowflakes and snow angels, hot cocoa, and new warm pajamas! Let's bundle up by the fire, light some candles, and read Wintery poems of romance and whimsical, happy snow-filled places!

JANUARY:
It's snowing.......again. I guess we should go sledding, since it's nice out. But it's so stinking cold. I sure wish it wasn't so cold. Well, I guess we'll just stay in because bundling up the kids is so tedious and hard, and I can't find anyone's missing gloves or socks. Geez, that darn cold is making my ears hurt!Let's watch a movie instead.

FEBRUARY:
Stop the fricking snow already! I hate snow. And that stinkin cold air is such a harsh slap in the face. I just want to go outside and feel comfortable, and go for a nice walk without feeling the cold, sting of death on my face. Damn snow is making me crazy. If it snows one more time I swear I'm gonna lose it. If we watch one more movie I'm gonna cry. Do they make anti-depressants just for Winter?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

musical beds

So what is musical beds? It's when no one ever sleeps where they're supposed to sleep, because everyone else's bed seems more comfortable, more toasty, and more fun. Oh wait, it really means that all the kids end up in the big bed by the end of the night, and we are all somehow squished into this giant, cozy sleepwhich. (that's a sleep sandwich.) And then Micah or I will end up in one of the little beds because we can't sleep with feet in our face.
It's pretty comical, really. We tuck our kids into their beds at night, and then, just like magnets, they are sticking to us by morning. We usually all wake up together in one room, and everyone's smiling. And well, the baby, he's always stuck to me. I couldn't sleep away from him for a million dollars. He is tucked right up by my chest, snuggly and warm. Waking up in the middle of the night to a chubby, yummy smelling baby has been one of the greatest joys of mommyhood. All 3 times.
Here's a photo of a few of us enjoying a morning cuddle (and snack):

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hard.

Raising kids is hard.
My friend who is pregnant with her 3rd, recently asked me how it feels to be a mother of three so I told her,"It's overwhelming." And she replied, "Oh! Well, thanks for your honesty!"

Your welcome.

Ironically, I think it's because I've allowed myself the freedom to admit that it's hard, that I've been able to relax and have more fun with it. For me, knowing something is hard is better than trying to constantly convince myself that it should be easier.

In the past I've complained that going grocery shopping is hard, a trip to the library is hard, a simple walk down the street is hard, all the while wishing and arguing that it should be easier to do these normal things, with 3 kids.

It's not.

It's not easy because raising kids is hard work....as it should be.

Hard work became my mantra when I was in labor. I would say over and over again, "Labor is hard, and it hurts, but you can do it."
The honesty in my words allowed me to open up and birth my babies joyfully, instead of fighting against it, and spending my energy wishing against it. Giving birth became easier once I accepted that it was hard.

For me, knowing something is hard, makes it easier to cope with.

So yes, raising kids is hard, because it just is.

And I'm totally okay with that now.
And we're having a lot of fun.

Especially
when I have Spiderman by my side. ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Keeping the Happy

I'm not saying I'm an expert on happiness, but I do know that it is something that everyone strives for in this life. "Happiness is the object and design of our existence", as the Prophet Joseph Smith once said. And I do know that happiness is what motivates us to do things like work harder, be stronger and better, learn more, find peace, find religion, find answers and direction in life--you name it. I think most people will agree that happiness is important.

When I wake up and hug my kids and play on the floor with them, I am happy. When I wake up and start cleaning and checking email and making lists of things I need to do, I am unhappy. (I can do it later!)
When I take all the extra free time I have to write in my personal journal, or read my scriptures, or read the latest issue of the Ensign, or read a good book, I am happy. When I use all my extra free time on cyberspace social networking, or clicking through the endless sea of blogs about people I don't even know, I am unhappy. When I wake up and say my own prayers and pray with my kids, I am happy. When I exercise I am happy. When I don't exercise I am unhappy. When I watch a good movie with my husband I am happy. When I idly flip channels on cable I am unhappy. Holding and snuggling our baby makes me happy. Thinking about ever being away from my baby makes me unhappy. Working outside of my home would make me extremely unhappy. Spending time with Micah makes me happy, hence getting our kids to bed at 8 o'clock pm makes me happy.(although waking up at the butt crack of morning makes me unhappy...but ya can't have it all) Being my authentic self makes me happy. When I help a Mom with breastfeeding I am happy. When I do nice things and serve others I am happy. When I eat a lot of junk food I am unhappy. When I finish an awesome sewing project I am happy. When I let a messy house stress me out I am unhappy. When I wake up each day happy and grateful to be mother to these 3 wonderful kids and wife to amazing Micah, I am happy.Oh and rainbows and pumpkins make me very happy......and on and on.....

Knowing what makes me happy and unhappy is pretty cool. I am going for happy these days, so spending more time doing what makes me happy and less time doing what makes me unhappy seems logical. I am grateful for God's help in helping me find the happy, keep the happy, and continue to follow the happy. I fully appreciate that He points me in the right directions (when I ask), because otherwise I could be a basket-case.

Everyone's happy is going to be different.
This is my happy right now.

I should also mention the happy inspiration I've received from reading this article, "Of Things that Matter Most." by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Some of my favorite quotes,
"In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e."
"We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strenghthen our families."
"I think most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing."
"As we evaluate our own lives with a willing mind, we will see where we have drifted from the more excellent way. The eyes of our understanding will be opened, and we will recognize what needs to be done to purify our heart and refocus our life."


Also, photo booth makes me happy:



"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God."
— Joseph Smith Jr.