Monday, December 12, 2011

A little bit Waldorf

As William's 3rd birthday approaches, and the pregnancy nesting kicks in, I have started to think more about the physical environment of our home. My mother in law helped me, a few months back, to declutter and better organize every single room in our house. I went along, somewhat half heartedly. But now it is growing within me, and urge for less. I want FEWER things. And I want the things that we have to be basic and of good quality.
My focus lately has been on toys. I've been reading about Waldorf, and I love the Waldorf(ian?) approach to toys and play. Like many homes, our play things were starting to consist largely of plastic and/or electronic entertainment. Toys that do all the playing FOR the child. Funny how our society has come to feel the bigger and fancier the better, and then sit there dumbfounded when the kid choses to play with the box instead! It should be no surprise to us. Kids have incredible creative minds. A box can be a million and one things. Building blocks create whatever their little minds can come up with. A peice of fabric becomes a cape or a fort. Studies show kids benefit from having time to make believe, and having a creative outlet, whatever that may be. Yet your basic wooden or fabric, non-electronic toy is hard to come by these days in a given toy store. That's not to say a child can't make believe with plastic and lights, but there's just something so authentic and satisfying about getting back to basics.
It has also been found that less is more. Too many toys overwhelm a child. More time will be spent intensively playing if only a few special toys are out. So this year for Christmas and his birthday, my son is losing a whole lot of plastic crap, but gaining some multifunctional, creative, open ended items, and I can't wait to see what awesome adventures he'll have.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This post is a long time in coming. It's a concept I've been pondering and researching, for a long time. Unschooling. Most people go to school. Some people do school at home. I want to unschool.

I dislike many things about schools. I could list them all but we might be here all day. I guess my main beef is that they force every child to learn about a predetermined topic, at a specific time, in a specific method, and to a specific extent, none of which takes each child's abilites, learning differences, or interests in general into consideration! When I discuss this with friends I always use the example "if my child doesn't care about the planets in the sky, why should he be forced to learn them?" Who determined that he must know the planets? There's a WEALTH of information out there. Why can't he delve himself into something he enjoys, in a manner he enjoys, at a time that he's ready and willing to learn these things. And I think the worst part is, that if he fails to learn said thing which he didn't care about to begin with, he is now graded and basically, his worth determined by a mark on a paper. Everyone else's marks being better than his. How unfair. In their attempted to educate, they're killing a child's inate desire to learn. Fear of failing. Bordom with structure. So close to friends and yet so far, because talking lands you in the corner or the hallway....

A good example from my own life is the reproductive system. I didn't care much about it in high school. I didn't care about the details of how babies were made and grow in the womb. The information didn't stick with me at all even thogh I had a general interest in science. I subjected myself to the notion that I was learning to learn. How rediculous! A child is born willing and eager to learn. How quickly does a child learn speaking and counting without being taught. Just by listening copying. Trying without being afraid of failing. But I digress. 4 years later here's me, trying to start a family. How EXACTLY does that stuff work. How can I boost our chances? How incredibly fascinating this tiny cell grows into a full size baby in 9 months... I soaked up information like a sponge. I couldn't get enough. I found websites, videos, animations, pictures, studies, whatever I could get my hands on. And it was the center of my world for a while....

In school I stretched myself to the max. I was so desperate to cover all my bases, take as many classes as I could... I stressed myself out. I couldn't really focus on any one subject. I couldn't follow my dreams, which ever interested me the most. I had to keep all my options open. That was the best plan, I was told, for students who didn't really know what they wanted to be. I applied to a college for graphic design... kinda just happened. Wasn't my one love, I just did it becuase it was something sort of related to art. I was accepted but didn't go. Over the years my interests changed so much! I wish I'd been able to stick with one thing and study it extensively, rather than covering 7 different academics, plus other activities... One of which was lifeguarding which I almost dropped to focus on academics... I ended up lifeguarding for 3 years and it was a GREAT job. Not a carreer but it could pay the bills and I enjoyed it.  And in the very end I wanted to be... a mom. One day I might go back to work... But if you were to ask me now I probably couldn't guess which field. Maybe a midwife... would be cool. Definitely not something I would have considered in high school .They don't talk about midwives in high school. They talk about doctors, teachers, trades, etc... And you're supposed to pick, with out even knowing most of what's involved... it's impossible.

And I digress again. I tend to ramble when I get on the topic of unschooling. I hope most of it still makes sense. I leave you with a quote.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
–Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Emotional week.

Sorry I've been massively MIA lately. It's no coincidence that I disapeared after getting that cricut. I've been scrapping away. I also bought a cuttlebug a week or 2 ago so I'm going a bit scrap crazy.

It's great therapy for the difficulties we're facing at the moment. This Thursday, the 27th would have been my due date for the baby we lost last Nov. And to add insult to injury, it'll be marked by yet another failed cycle. Nice little reminder of how I'm definitely not pregnant, let alone holding a newborn.

I really struggle with the fairness of it all. I may have already said. But it's so hard when you see all the fertile mertles around you. Perhaps they've had their struggles as well. Or struggle in different areas. But it's tough when it seems to come so easily to others. WHY is it so hard for us?

But then I remember that God has the whole world in his hands. He hasn't forgotten us. He knows exactly what we want and how badly we want it. But He in his infinite wisdom has a better plan. And He works all things for our good. Sounds like a whole bunch of cliche quotes but they really comfort me. They relieve the anger and bitterness, even if only for a moment. I need to keep these thoughts at the forefront of mind at all times, I guess.
Maybe that's the reason for all of this. Who knows.

Anyways, I spoke with my doctor and he said Heartland Fertility Clinic might not see me if I'm still breastfeeding. I got all worked up. I mean. It's only once per day! But I called them and they were fine with it. Not only that, but apparently I was already a patient there from last time! So instead of waiting 6 months to get in, June 2nd I have my first appointment with an RE. Hooray! I already had some basic bloodwork done. All seems fine so far. But there's a whole lot more to look for. I have an ultrasound June 14th and I'm sure my husband will be getting a battery of tests done as well. I'm just glad to have the show on the road. Wondering what's wrong with us is the hardest part. Even if it's not fixable, some answers would be nice.

Until then, pray or send good thoughts if you can. My heart goes out to anyone else dealing with the same. :(

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cricut Expression.

This machine is a must have for scrapbookers. It has definitely taken my SBing up a notch. I got it about a month ago (saved up my pennies!) and I haven't been able to stay away from it. The possibilities are endless with this machine. The 2 boxes you see there are cartridges. You put them in the Cricut and they tell it what shapes to cut. Full words, single letters, shapes, tags, swirlies...You can chose size (up to 2 feet tall!) position on the page (if you're using just small scraps of paper) depth, pressure and speed of blade, all kinds of things! You can cut vinyl for wall stickers, like this:
A list of all (most?) of the cartridges is available here:
There are some seriously gorgeous ones. The machine came with 2, and I have 1 coming in the mail. Got it off ebay for 25 incl shipping. Pretty good deal for Canada. These things retail at over 100 sometimes. I know where all my "allowance" is going for the next several months!!

Here's a sample of the layouts you can create. This my most recent. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I totally recommend this machine. I'm having way too much fun with it. :D

Monday, February 21, 2011


My son needs a playmate. Play dates are fun, I get together with friends a few times per week, and there's playgroup on Tuesdays. But that's still only 2 hours or so. This kid was not meant to be an only child. So I've decided to start babysitting. I've posted an ad; we'll see if anyone responds.
The extra money will be an added bonus of course. If I'm still not pregnant by next winter we'll probably use the money to go on a little vacation. I'm wishing I thought of this a year ago because I could have really used a vacation this winter. But alas. It's almost over. I mean, old man winter hasn't loosened his grip yet, but he can't hang on forever! And then it's going to be looong hot days, basking in the sunshine in the kiddie pool... working on a killer tan..... That's all a person could ask for, really. Oh and a playmate for DS.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I've been trying to write this post for quite some time now. I need to share the Kefir love. I was given some grains by a friend when I was only first mildly interested. Since then,  it has done nothing but impress me.

Kefir grains look like tiny heads of cauliflower. You put them in a sugary liquid and they eat up the sugar and  turn the liquid it into an effervescent, slightly alcoholic beverage that's actually good for you! Packed with millions of probiotics, tons of vitamins, minerals and yeast, it has been heralded as nothing less than a superfood. It cleans out the digestive system and helps your body absorb nutrients better, run more efficiently, improve immunity, curb unhealthy cravings and has a calming effect on nerves.

Dairy Kefir's sugar of choice is lactose. It thrives in any type of milk. Which is great because my son is allergic to cow's milk so I can make him his own out of goat's milk. If you're lactose intolerant you could probably still eat dairy kefir, as the grains pretty much eat all the lactose.

Anyways, all you have to do is throw the grains in a jar, fill it partway with milk and wait a day or 2.  Just as it starts to separate, strain off the "whey" and collect the curds.  Don't use a metal strainer, I use cheesecloth.
When I first made kefir I let it separate much to long. It gave it a sour, vinager taste. Now that I strain it on time it tastes pretty much like plain yogurt. I like to mix it in smoothies or with juice. My son LOVES it. Even plain.

Water kefir is a little different. It thrives on just plain water and sugar. Some people add molasses, lemon, ginger, banana, all kinds of things! My personal favourite is just putting it in straight grape juice. It comes out tasting much like a sweet wine or champagne, really, since it's fizzy. I don't have actual water kefir grains. I just converted my milk grains.

I'm thrilled to have found this because growing up I was on antibiotics. A lot. My immune system is fairly shot. So I'm working really hard to get my daily intake of kefir. (I think they say 8 oz a day? But work your way up to that.)
I'm 100% willing to share my grains with anyone, since they do grow and multiply. I'm starting to notice this lol. And the more grains you have the faster it ferments the liquid so. Lemme know if you want some! :)