Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Le-e-eaving On a Jet Plane!

I haven't mentionned it on my blog yet (scared to jinx it?) but I'm leaving tonight for a week of R&R in Nicaragua! I'm not sure of internet access or my schedule, so I can't say whether I'll be updating before mid-November. Chances are I'll be way to busy sunning myself to write up a post.

On the home front I've been working on doula clientele, scheduling electrolysis clients around my week away and working like mad to make sure the kids and husband are all set for my week of absenteeism. I was ordered by a friend not to "dare make a single meal ahead! Let them fend for themselves and really miss you!". Hmmm...couldn't do it. I'm too scared that they'll have to survive on McDs and frozen pizzas. So, a grocery-shopping I will go this afternoon and the fridge will be stocked with quick meal ingredients and snacks.

I am looking forward to this week to refuel, slow down and take a breather. Home is busy, busy, BUSY and I need a rest! The girls are generally good, except for the occasional meltdown, but Graedon! Oh, Graedon, you little firecracker, you!

But, that's a post for another time...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eva Turns 4!

Eva turns 4 on October 30th! Since I'll be leaving on the 30th (on vacation!!) we celebrated this weekend instead of next. We decided on a Rainbow theme to cheer up the otherwise dull and dreary October.

I painted rainbows on the windows with homemade window paints.

Eva and her guests made a rainbow craft.

Here's the finished product - stained glass rainbows!

Then, we sang Happy Birthday. I think my singing wasn't a big hit from the look on Eva's face!

The cloud cake turned out to really be a rainbow in disguise!

I had Rainbow Brite colouring books and candy sheshkabobs to hand out as favours, but I forgot them in my bedroom where I'd put them for safekeeping. Oops! K, come and get 'em before I eat them all!

Happy Early Birthday, Eva!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fire Station Tour

One of the things I like about homeschooling is that you can go on all the field trips! Today we had a tour of the Fire Station. It was interesting! At least, I think it was. I spent most of the time running after Graedon who was very excited to be missing his nap. He loved all the big trucks, but his favourite thing was the Pepsi machine. Boys!

I took lots of pictures, but none of them really turned out. Way too many reflecting things in a Fire Station! This is the best one of the lot:

Join the Fight to End Breast Cancer...

...with a pink Poop Scoop.

It's not quite as classy as buying a ribbon or a pink frosted cookie at the local doughnut shop, but it is much more practical.

Thanks for the giggle, Pets Unlimited!

It's Winter!

I woke up this morning to Maddie jumping in my bed.

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! (each one an octave higher) Quick, come downstairs to see what there is outside!" then, not waiting long enough for me to push back the covers "SNOW!!!"

Maddie shoved on her boots, her winter coat, her mittens and all her gear and then paused. "Mom? I forgot to put on my panties."

Welcome to the winter season!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zoology Fair

Our homeschool group is holding a Zoology Fair in November. I am leaving on a trip the first week of that month, and I had been hoping to start our exhibit when I returned. Then, it was moved up a week!

We're starting to work on it today, then. The girls had to pick an animal and make a presentation on it to show in front of the group. The presentation can be as short or as long as they like. Since Mad and Eva are only 5 & 4 (Eva's b-day is in less than 2 weeks!!) it will probably be really, really short. Really short.

At first, they picked cats. Then, last minute, they switched it to dogs. I really hope the dogs idea sticks because I've already printed off a bunch of canine pictures!

So, I need your help. I'm looking for cute, fun little dog poems that can be easily memorized by my little ones. So far I have:

Cold Nose

Little Dog's cold nose
is better than any

alarm clock.

Leave me some suggestions! If yours gets chosen, it will get featured in our homeschool Zoology project!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Amish Amies

When I was invited to visit with the Amish midwife, I wasn't sure what to expect. I very carefully picked out my outfit. I wanted to look proper and modest, but not too Amish. I didn't want them to think I was trying to hard, and I didn't want to look like someone I wasn't, either. What a dilemma! I finally settled on my favourite skirt (thankfully long and gray) and a turtleneck. Decent, but cute enough not to stand out at the store when I popped in for last minute supplies on the way home.

Then, I started thinking about what I was supposed to say and do. Was I supposed to have a list of questions? Should I be in job interview mode? Should I write down all my references and credentials so I don't forget them? What if I say something stupid like "crap" or get a memory blank (happens a lot....)?

Well, I shouldn't have worried. They were very very nice. The midwife was welcoming and she kept the conversation flowing. We spoke about birth, pregnancy, experience, learning opportunities, legal issues, peanut butter frosting and learning new languages. Her assistant was great, too. I don't think I messed up too badly, and I don't think I said "crap" once. :)

I met the pregnant mother that the midwife thought I could help. She seems sweet, very quiet. It will be a very different experience than hospital birth, but I'm sure that there's plenty we can teach each other!

It was a good day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Busy January?

I haven't blogged about doula-ing in quite some time. Like anything in life, being a doula has it's slow times and it's busy times. Something new has come up, though!

I've been keeping in touch with a couple midwives around here in hopes of being able to help them out at births. I've offered them my assistance doing anything from cleaning up the mess, making tea and even sitting in the corner with my mouth shut, but nothing much came of it. In the last week, though, I've had a call from an expectant mother hoping for a homebirth, a midwife with a client due in January, and a second midwife with a client due in January and another in February!

Nothing is for sure as of yet. The moms still have to give their okay for me to be present. However, it's a huge step in the right direction. To even be considered for a birth is an honour. I really hope I am able to sit in on births with the midwives. It would give me some experience seeing natural birth, and also give me an opportunity to learn from them. So far my births have all been in hospital, so homebirth will be new territory for me. A welcome territory, to be sure!

So, Friday I will meet with one of the midwives. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Sock Sushi

Bro R and SIL N are expecting their baby in 6 weeks. 6 weeks! That's hardly enough time to blink! My mom, sister, Maddie, Eva and I were able to make a very quick trip to Qu├ębec for the shower.

I tried really hard to think of something for the baby that would really suit my bro and SIL. And then, I saw it on Little Bit Funky. Baby Sock Sushi! Perfect!

I got together a little take-out container, 2 chopsticks, little white baby socks, black felt, black hair elastics and little squares of orange felt. I'm not going to give a tutorial because I'll let Little Bit Funky do that.

In no time, I had Baby Sock Sushi!

Then, because he's my brother and she's my sister-in-law, I didn't feel that 4 pairs of socks were quite a big enough gift. So, I taped together some bills to make a square and I origamied a crane! Depending on how cheap you are, you could do this with 5 dollar bills, 10s, 20s or even 50s. If it's my shower, try to go for 100 dollar bills, though.

It was fun, different, and it was a great conversation prompter. Try it sometime!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thank You For...

With Thanksgiving just around the corner (for us Canucks, that is), this week will be filled with turkeys, pumpkins, pilgrims and thankfulness. Our first Thanksgiving craft was a Thank You wreath.

For this craft, you need:

A circle, about 12 inches across. I used a cake bottom from the store. That was very handy since it had a tab in which to poke a pushpin through for a hanger.

Leaf cutouts, done ahead of time for little ones, or un-cut if your kids are handy with the scissors.



A banner that says "Thank You For..."

On half the leaves you will want to write something for which you are thankful. My girls were especially thankful for their animal friends.

Glue a layer of blank leaves on the wreath. Then, glue the leaves with the words on top, leaving a spot to paste the banner. If you have older kids, or craftier mamas, then you could spiff the wreath up with nuts or berry garlands, or anything you want!

Be sure to hang it where everyone will see it unless you forgot to put someone's name on there, and then you should hang it where that person won't see it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Making Reading Relevant

We've worked on readers. We've done the whole "See Spot run" thing. It was a bit, shall we say, Yawn! In the end, though, Maddie especially enjoys stories in which she is the hero. And, so, being the sneaky Mom that I am, I've started making our own stories! Lately, we've been reading about us... The Patterson Family!

I have to remember to use all words that Maddie can spell out. We haven't done the weird phonics, yet, so silent "B"s and "ph" sounds are out. With the practice we've had, though, Maddie can read the story above.

My trick, though, is to leave the top of the page blank. Then, as she reads each sentence correctly, I draw in part of the story. She gets really excited to see what the story will look like at the end. Check out the cute jumper I'm wearing at the campground! Blue really brings out the colour in my cheeks.

No matter what, though, there is always a Mommy cat and her kittens in the drawing. It has nothing to do with the story, but if that's what it takes, then I'll do it!