Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Great Iphone Debate

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Lately in our house Adrian (husband) and I have been having the big Iphone Debate. We both have one. We are both obsessed with them. We are both getting tired of our own behaviors.

Oh the pesky Iphone. It does so much for us. We can text at an extremely fast rate. We can Facetime with relatives both near and far. We can listen to Pandora. We have apps. Apps. APPS! What a wonderful device. I can take a pic in a mere second, upload it, send it to 10 friends, I can do things FAST! I can check email in a second. I can stop at a stoplight, whip out my phone, check. Message. Email. Facebook.

I can stand in the line at Mix and check messages, Zulilly, Facebook, Email. I could run the world with this handy device. What amazing things I can do.

Oh, but wait! There's a flip side to all of this Iphone porn. It's a F#$@^%$ HUGE distraction. Oh my god! HUGE.

I can no longer go to the bathroom with my own thoughts. Bathroom is that sacred place where (hopefully) you will not be bothered. My quick pee now will last a good 10 minutes.. as long as I have my phone.

I can no longer respond to a text 30 minutes after someone has sent me one. They want an immediate response, because they too are now addicted to this overwhelming sense of urgency. You have an Iphone, You must have it on you. WHY ARE YOU NOT TEXTING ME BACK????????

I can no longer sit on my sofa with my own thoughts. I might try, but within a second I feel the buzzing. The little device aggravating me saying "You have a message! Why are you not paying attention to me!"

Not only am I addicted to this material thing, my children are starting to. They get these grabby, annoying hands that launch towards my precious white box. They want it. Why do they want it??? Because I throw a fit if they dare try and take away my crack phone!

I am wasting precious time that I could be doing other things. Iphone, you take away from my concentration. I can be sitting with my children, reading a book.. and buzzzzz. there you go again. You distract me. And like a true addict.. I can't finish the last sentence in Good night Moon because you have alerted to me and are causing me anxiety.

Oh, the anxiety. It's mind numbing. Always something to check, always something to do. Always mindless.

I held out a long time with getting an Iphone. I hated when I would be with friends and I couldn't tell if they were even paying attention to me, because in a heartbeat they would be on their phones. Old School phones didn't do this. Do you remember standing in line somewhere, 10 years ago, and seeing almost EVERY single person staring down at their smartphone? What in the world did we used to do while standing in line? Did we have thoughts? Did we think to this is a nice day? I swore that I would never be one of these people. I am now. I have that thing attached to me like it's a part of me. It's like my left hand. I really need it.

Can you remember the last time you dropped your Iphone? Panic was overwhelming as it slowly made it's way down to the floor. You hoped, oh you hoped, it was ok. Or the time you submerged it in water and you had to rush it to the Iphone hospital and you prayed for the first time in years. You prayed that dear phone would survive. While you waited the dreadful 24 hours you searched the internet and hung your head in shame thinking that you were going to have to pay $600 to replace it!?!?!

The money! Oh the money! My grandfather would roll over in his grave if he knew how much we paid in cellphone bills each month. We do it because we feel like we have to do it, but we don't. A phone for $140 a month? That's almost a car payment. That's a chunk that can go to my son's going to the Waldorf school. In just a phone....

 My other rant on this shiny crack piece is I am NEVER able to disconnect. We have a computer in our house and two Iphones. Both my husband and I sit on the sofa and one of us, if not both, is eyes wide open on our phone. It's the norm now. I have friends over, they are on their phones. I go to dinner with people, they are on their phones. My favorite is when people show up for a "catch up with friends dinner" and they plop their phones on the table.. REALLY? You want to catch up with me? Can I at least have your complete attention?

It's due time for a disconnectivity intervention. Luckily my husband and I are on the same page. We both agree that we have made our way into icky Iphone territory. We are fed up with our behaviors. Both of us are addicted, so no, we can't just put them in the other room and not think of them. This is our personality.

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So.. What are we going to do? Gasp! I think we are saying good-bye to this shiny devices. In an effort to be able to focus more, pee in less than 10 minutes, to show our children that technology addiction is not ok, to pay more full attention to our friends, family, and children. We will do this to better ourselves.

It is going to be hard. but we did away with cable. That was hard too. But it can be done. There was a time before crack devices. I think I remember liking those days better.

So what am I planning on doing after my addiction wears off? I hope to read more. I hope to sit with people and pay full attention (and if you are my friend or family.. please, let's drop the phone for a bit).. let's really connect.

Disconnect to Connect.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mark Your Calendars! Kim John Payne!!

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January 20, 2013 @ 9:30am 
Where: Siskiyou School, Ashland, OR

KIM JOHN PAYNE Workshop--Giving Children Choices: How Many & When?
Widely acclaimed speaker and author Kim John Payne returns to Ashland at the request of parents and educators to share Giving Children Choices: How Many & When?

In this talk Kim John Payne will explore....

How to dial back the choices and regain loving authority in your child's life.
How to avoid having everything becoming a negotiation and yet still be a listening and sensitive parent.
An overview of the brain based developmental stages that shed fascinating light on when to introduce choices and how to do it.
Parenting that is child centered, not child led.

Kim has been a school counselor, researcher, and educator for nearly thirty years and a private family counselor for more than fifteen years. He has shared his wisdom with over 100 North American schools and with families around the world through his lectures, workshops, blog, and his book, Simplicity Parenting. 

I am so super excited about this event. Kim John Payne's book, Simplicity Parenting, forever changed my view on child raising. Living a more simple life with children, reducing the extra "noise" of the world, and listening deeply and intently to my own children are some of the great things I have gained from the readings of Kim. I HIGHLY recomend signing up for this event. I ran into my house, turned on my computer and signed up instantly! 

Hope to see you there!!!! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Klamath family time

Adrian had the fantastic idea of a family day to Klamath today. It was such a fun adventure!!! He's been working a ton and our rhythm at home has been greatly disrupted. It was so needed to have a fun family day. 

View of Mount Shasta
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The boys after some great rock throwing
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Bald Eagles. Such beautiful birds. We saw a few this trip.
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Yea, I know, this picture is BAD ASS!!!!
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Pure beauty
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My three favorite people!
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And my lovely boys!
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I am forever grateful to live in this beautiful world. To know such beauty surrounds us in this crazy world. Thank you Earth!

Bummer Alert: My camera started acting up on this trip. I am holding my breath that it's not a permanent glitch and our Hawaii trip won't be disturbed. GASP

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Story Telling

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 {photo courtesy of the Siskiyou School}
Friday evening, the Siskiyou school hosted Nancy Mellon to give a lecture on storytelling. I have never been a big story teller, but have always enjoyed listening to others. I was so happy to hear her speak on the importance of stories with young children and with one another. With the crazy that surrounds us with technology, it's nice to root yourself into the ground, let your mind find a story, and tell it.

We were able to do exercises during this lecture. It was fascinating to watch myself take on the roll as the timid child who was so afraid to share at first. My heart started to race, I got nervous, and then I started to speak. I found myself, at first, afraid to speak, in fear that I would sound foolish, but then I realized I was surrounded by such beautiful people, then I breathed, exhaled... and told my story.

These workshops are really great for me. I walk away with such a new internal confidence. I leave there feeling like a better parent and ready to add more depth into the very layers that we have open in our lives. I leave there feeling even more rooted in Waldorf Education and wondering where this journey is taking me. It's been fascinating and rewarding beyond words and comprehension.

This morning, the boys and I sat for an hour just telling stories. One on each side of me. Their eyes filled with joy, happiness, and wonder. There excitement for me to share with them these words, to see them find their own images, to hear them say "just one more, please mama." Stories that I hope stick with them and they carry on in their lives. Stories that will make them feel safe and warm. Stories full of love.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tiptoe Lightly My Son

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"Walk with me through this field, look gently, walk gently, gazing at the earth. For under each branch, for under each fern, for under the earth, we will see it. The tiny dancers. The tiny umbrellas. They are there. Walk slowly now. Gaze. You will see. Breathe in their beauty. Take a glance. Maybe not touch. For they are here. They stand tall in this busy world. They offer a mystical birth of winter. They are here. 
Tiptoe lightly. 
They are fragile my son.
Let your eyes gaze upon them. 
Look in places you might not see at first. 
For they are there.
Waiting for you to bestow upon them your visions. Your dreams. Your fantasy. Tell the story. "

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To dream. To wander. To enter yourself into the mind of a child. The richness of the unknown. The beauty of innocence. It takes you places you haven't felt since you yourself walked on a winter's day. Exploring the Earth with your hands. Discovering. Fantasizing.

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Developing stories. Enchanting our child's mind. 
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Thank you Mother Nature for all your tiny beauties and the ability to tiptoe lightly with my son. 

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Rooting In Community

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We have lived in Ashland a little over two and a half years now. We see familiar faces, we have friends, we are finding our place in our community.

One thing I wish for our children is a deep connection to their "home." I want them to feel comfort in their surroundings, around the people they see, and one day when they leave and come back home, I hope they feel a certain peace of familiar. I have been informed, however, that Hudson is never leaving home and will be living with us forever. Hmmmm.....

On this note, I was very excited to walk in the Festival of Lights parade with our local bookstore, Treehouse books. An amazing gem of a store that holds many of great books, art supplies, knick knacks, and many things Waldorf. The moment you walk in the store you are brought into a world of wonder, mystery, woodland creature land, and let's not forget the amazing gnomes lurking around. I heart this place almost as much as my kids.
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The kids and I dressed as Woodland princes and princess. I made us crowns with woodland creatures and glittery capes. It was so much fun making these things and then meeting our friends at the parade. We also made our lanterns the weekend before. Treehouse put on a lantern making event. Hudson and Nolan were VERY excited. Our first intro into parade walking ;-)
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My crew 
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The night sky welcoming the lights.
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Face painting for the kids
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Not your typical "christmas" parade. Which I LOVE about this town
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I also finally got around to making the kids their balaclava hats. These are super important for our bike riding since knit hats don't fit under helmet and for whenever the snow finally appears.. here's hoping.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Poem to Nolan

I love when I find old notebooks and such... when they hold such tiny treasures that speak volumes.

Last night I found a book with a poem to Nolan.  I wrote it in March of 2011.

To Nolan
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That cold day in January
a mama overdue.

I welcomed you my sweet son
into loving arms so true.

Your warm body in my arms
greeted with those eyes that were sure to charm.

Slow days at home, I watched you grow,
your smell. your sounds. your life I began to know.

My heart grew ever so full,
from first smiles, to giggles, to teeth and drool.

Your head on my shoulder, then to my chest, 
for mamas arms, lap, warmth, seem to comfort you the best.

So goodnight my sweet boy,
your life has brought me so much joy. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reader Question

I received a question from a reader today about shopping with kids.

The question: "How do you go about your shopping with kids? My kids lose control at the store and want everything and always want me to get them food!?! What do you do?"

The best advice I can give is not to give in. I very rarely take my kids shopping with me because I know it's not an enjoyable activity for them. I usually try and wait until the weekend when my husband can watch them. That being said, I do take them at times. I started at a very young age telling H (now 4 1/2) that the toys live in the store. That we were not going to buy things and if he wanted something he could ask for it for Christmas or his birthday. That really worked for him. He never asks for toys because he knows we are not going to get them. We also try and buy really high quality toys, so he knows those only come for special occasions.

Along the lines of food. I made the mistake of forgetting snacks once while at Target. I ran to the baby aisle because I had a screaming baby. I grabbed one of those puff snacks. You know the ones: organic, sweet potato, something or other fluffed air in a plastic container!?! Well I gave them to him to try and "get through my shopping." He devoured them. Then I read the ingredients:

 Sweet Potato Puffs Ingredientsorganic brown rice flour, organic rice flour, organic apple juice concentrate, organic freeze dried sweet potato powder, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, choline bitartarate, vitamin and mineral blend (ferric orthophosphate (iron), sodium ascorbate (vitamin c), niacinamide (vitamin b3), d-alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin e), zinc oxide, vitamin a acetate, cholecalciferol (vitamin d3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin b5), cyanobolamin (vitamin b12), riboflavin (vitamin b2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin b1), pridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6)), natural mixed tocopherols to preserve freshness

Then I felt guilty. He had a horrible stomach ache that night and he developed a rash on his chest. Not sure what caused it, but I decided no more of those "quick, grab, my baby is crying, gotta make it through the store" foods. 

I highly recommend packing a snack with you if you have to take your kids shopping. I feel that teaching them that going shopping: IE, the mall, the local stores, Target, whatever equals getting a less than desirable "snack" is not a good way of coping with our child that might not want to be shopping.

On another note, I try not to fear the tantrum or meltdown. If it happens, it happens. We don't always have to try and "fix" our kids behavior with giving them what they want. Persistence in saying "no you may not" have that, will more than likely warrant you better behaviors in the future. 

I hope this helps alleviate any less than desirable moments for you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . . 

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Winter Faire

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It is a very rare moment when you won't see me sporting my camera. I pretty much take it everywhere: the park, the mountains, the living room, you get my drift. My kids have learned  at a very young age to stop, say CHEESE!!!!, and then act "normal." I love capturing their lives. I love looking back and remembering all the amazing moments that I have had with them.

This past Saturday we went to the Winter Faire at the Siskiyou Waldorf school. It is this fantastic event that we attended last year. Last year: Baby in tow, a bouncy three year old barely able to stay in a room for more than 2 minutes. This year was very different. There were curious eyes, able bodies, moments of reflection. There was a mother and father breathing in all the beauty of this school and what they are doing for our community. There were teachers speaking of their wonderful experience at the school. There were displays of students work. Such beauty, such dedication, such appreciation. We want this for our children.

Adrian and I walked away with such a sense of fullness. Talking with teachers, talking with parents, talking with Directors.. they all embodied a certain happiness, an eternal happiness for Steiner and his teachings. They have such open smiles on their faces. They welcome you into their world and hope that you too will see what this lifestyle can bring you.

Waldorf Education and lifestyle has already brought us so much joy. As a mother of two young boys I laugh when people say "you must have your hands full." Such a negative comment in my eyes. I don't have them full, except for loving these two boys of mine and enjoying each moment as they pass.

So, no. I did not take my camera to this event. That's how much I cherish it. I wanted to soak in all it's beauty through my eyes and mind and not through the lens. I wanted to only remember it in my mind. I wanted to watch their eyes fill with wonder and delight as they met the winter fairy. I watched their stillness as they had their faces painted. Their able hands dip strings into beeswax. Their curious minds watching the woodworkers drill holes into their candle holders.

Being Present! One of the best gifts we give our children.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Look to the Right

I now have a preview of hats and you can pay through Paypal! YIPPEE!!!

Here's a close-up of the hats:
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Pinecone Elves: Tutorial

The days are cold and gray and we are spending a lot of time indoors. I have been "pinning" so many ideas of crafts with Hudson. This one was super cute and fun.

The next few weeks we plan on making many things for the holidays. Christmas cards, Elves, ornaments, wreaths, garland, etc. Hudson also has a boat making idea for all his friends. Yikes! Christmas isn't that far away I see. :)

Here are the cutie little elves:

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What you need:
*pinecones (around 2 inches high)
*wool felt
*pipe cleaner
*hot glue and gun
*2/4 in wooden craft bead
*needle and thread (optional)

This project definitely needs adult supervision for the hot glue.  Here is a complete list of directions: Martha Stewart How-To Pinecone Elves

How to include your child:
Hudson painted the ends of our pine cone with glitter. As he stated "everything is better if you add gliter"
Hudson then painted the rosy cheeks
I added the eyes with a black sharpie pen
Hudson would hold the pinecone when I went to hot glue something
Let your child pick out the colors. our elves have very colorful arms and legs ;-) 
We then added a stick for them to carry and glued a felt star to each. 
We did not sew their outfits, but glued them together. 

Post your pictures to the comments section! I can't wait to see!

Monday, November 12, 2012


In our busy lives of fast cars, fast phones, fast internet speeds, fast everything.. it's hard to just put all those things on silent and sit and wonder. To turn off the phone, to turn off the computer, to refuse to let the outside world in and sit deeply in your own mind. gazing. daydreaming. wondering. For just a second, two, three, maybe more.. you let yourself out of this hurried world and enter into a life of simplicity and carefree.

As the days are turning colder, we have found ourselves inside more. Summer, with it's beauty of heat and the ability to sit for hours outside, also warrants busy days. Bike riding, park dates, swimming. Our lives are full in such a different way. Today, we find our new ways of tending to our day.

Today H gave me the most wonderful moment. A moment. Captured in my memory. Pure beauty. Pure innocence. Pure wonder. After our cleaning day had commenced he welcomed me to relax on the sofa. He asked for some "Huddy/Mama cuddle time" (N was napping). I jumped at the opportunity, grabbed our blanket, cuddled him in my arm and gazed outside. The blinds open. The sky gray, cold. The wind blowing fast. The last leaves gripping hard to the tree, holding on for just a few days longer. We watched. We talked. We asked each other questions.

"mama, do you think that leaf there will fall soon"
"I don't know, do you think it will fall.. now?"
"how about now?"

"mama, the sky is kind of scary, but not scary like I'm scared, but like scary like gray."

30 minutes of watching this leaf. 30 minutes of uninterrupted life. 30 minutes of.. wonder.

Our lives can be busy, they can lead us to miss these moments. These moments when our children show us just how beautiful the world is. One leaf at a time. One gray sky. A morning I awoke without ambition to welcome the cold days. It turned out to end with me feeling so lucky to have these precious moments with my son. His eyes so bright and beautiful into this world.

Baked Fruit for Breakfast

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{photo courtesy of Blog: Beauty that Moves}

I am so excited to try this recipe! I had to share it here too!

Baked Fruit for Breakfast!