Friday, March 28, 2014

Setting up play

I wanted to share with you how I set up play for Rosemary each morning.  Our morning routine can either run two ways, smooth or chaotic.  I prefer smooth.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Rosemary is learning "in", putting objects "in" things.  One day when I was observing her play, I realized that she was taking out the play kitchen sink (which is a metal bowl) and dropping objects down the hole.  I have since taken away the sink and left the "hole" permanently.  Each morning, I set up a few items on the shelf of the kitchen and within a few minutes of her coming downstairs, she makes her wake to her play kitchen and drops each of the items down the hole, that's part of her work and routine.  She's very sensory seeking, so the sounds the wood makes with this kitchen set suits her perfectly.

The rest of the morning while she's waiting for the bus to pick her up for school is spent playing with any other musical toys/objects in her space.  She is also very musically driven which has been a wonderful reinforcer for her.

Once everyone is out of the house except for Nathaniel, I set up different activities for him to engage in.  This morning, he spent most of his time working on building this tower.  I grabbed my video camera and managed to take some good footage of him doing his work.  The video is here.

This "setting up play" is always changing, always evolving, and always amazing to me.  Watching all of our children learn and grow has been one of the most rewarding experiences of being a mom and ultimately their first teacher.  I am always looking for ways to nudge them a little farther down their path of growth in this world, to give them just enough challenge to stay engaged and curious and to keep learning exciting and fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Springing forward

Hello everyone!  I'm so glad Spring is here!  With that being said, let's backtrack a little.  This has been one of the fastest winter seasons I remember.  With so many weeks of snow and school cancellations, my dental surgery, inconsistent schedules, abrupt illnesses, it sent my head spinning.  Here is a small glimpse into those weeks spent.

Highlights for me this winter have been the Daddy/Daughter Dance, dinner out with my straight A student!, Nathaniel's play these days are so much fun, his self feeding is fun too!  Rosemary is growing leaps and bounds, is beginning to say a few words when prompted, she can now put items "in", which is something we've been working on for years.  She's learning how to self feed using her spoon which is amazing, she's as joyful as ever!  This season was a wonderful mirror into my own growth.  My lack of focus and planning is what stood out to me most over the last three months.  As the children are getting older, I'm seeing how much more I have to work on these things, not only to have a more functioning household, but to become a better model for them as a parent.

The season had a way of stretching all of ourselves in ways that are necessary for growth.  I've come out on the other side celebrating in the ways we all have changed and grown, and learning how to rejoice, even in the chaos of it all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


With all the snow and closed school days behind us, we are focusing on one thing this week, Spring, Summer, and gardening.  Our first step into that glorious manifestation was buying seeds, making plans and dreaming for warm sunshine.   Each year we make changes to the garden layout, decide what we're going to cut out of the plans or add.  This year we're adding more potatoes and have 6 rows already in the ground as of last week when the temps were in the 70's which is unlike this week where we're getting more snow and freezing participation even as I write this.  Such bi-polar weather we're getting this season, which has proven to really reveal and stretch my patience more than I'm willing to admit.  It's times such as these, that with this winter card we have all seemed to have drawn this year, that we grow, mature a little more and reflect that which nature has always been reflecting back to us, that we can be peaceful during a lot of chaos, we can grow during a lot of chaos, and we can have faith in the unknown and trust that all is well, even when it feels the times we're in are so tremultuous.   

So here's to the most sought after change in seasons I've ever experienced.  I honestly can't wait to feel the warmth and sunshine on my face that will stay with us for more than a day or two, and look forward to what's ahead, yet at the same time, trying desperately to enjoy the days we're in.