Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sleepless in the OC

It's the last day of 2011. 4:20 in the morning and I am once again sleepless. Why do all my pregnancies include insomnia? Lack of sleep makes mama do silly things, unthinking things, short tempered things.

How is a peaceful pregnant parent supposed to prepare when she is so sleepy? Well, I do have some tips... having done this a few times before!

#1 Do yoga daily- really it helps a lot. Need an inexpensive, easy to use resource? Simple Everyday Prenatal Radiance There now you have no excuse!

#2 Go to bed early, it's ok you won't miss anything really important. Sugar Daddy has made a few jokes about how out 10 year old stays up later than me- but really, they have enjoyed some special bonding.

#3 Watch what you eat. I'm one of those, "Hey I am pregnant- give me my banana split" type ladies- but with age (and apparently mine is an "advanced maternal age" this go around) comes wisdom.

#4 Give in and get up. Make yourself useful, it is quiet in these early pre-dawn hours, and I can get lots of writing, reading, or just gazing at the Christmas tree lights done without the usual gaggle of giggling wiggle-bots.

#5 Write a blog post- and try not to use it to sort through all the things you wish you hadn't said or done out of sheer exhaustion that week.

#6 Be kind to yourself- knowing your limitations and boundaries is what makes you a super mom, not being able to "do it all".

#7 Stay hydrated during the day, I wake up thirsty so often- and then if I quench that thirst I wake up to pee repeatedly, so I try to get my water in all day.

#8 "...think about that tomorrow." Embrace your southern belle and be like Scarlett, don't let your mental machinations make you mopey.

#9 Start your own "night night routine"- this is sorta silly but I believe the little child in all of us still wants a story, a little song and to be tucked in by someone who loves us.

#10 Remember that in no time at all these middle of the night moments will include a sweet little soul- make space in your heart for him or her with affirmations. (See #1, Simple Everyday Prenatal Radiance includes a great list, and right now it's on sale for about a buck- download to your PC, Kindle, Nook and do that yoga- your body will thank you!)

Well half an hour later- still before dawn, do I roll off the couch and do my asanas, go to the kitchen and grab a cookie, or try to crawl back in my bed without waking any of it's occupants? Guess I should practice what I preach... I can always have the cookie with my morning coffee. Yes I still drink a cup of coffee in the morning, I do have 3 other kids who need me whether I got any sleep or not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Family Table

Eating around a table together, facing each other- emulating etiquette and talking about the day really is important. For my family it makes such a difference in the way that the rest of the evening unfolds.

Tonight J-cakes, my almost 4 year old, said "Milo, mommy" and I thought she meant she wanted to watch the classic movie that she and her sister love about the friendship of a cat and dog on a journey. A moment later I realized she was asking for "Hi Lo"- a tradition we started after seeing The Story of Us with Bruce Willis & Michelle Pfeiffer.

We all go around the table and share a high and a low from the day. J-cakes high today was when she cleaned her sister's room (on her own, just 'cause she wanted to). Her low was when her brother bit her. =(  [suggestions now being taken for stopping that bit of nastiness that he has been sinking his teeth into lately]

G-pie shared that the entire day was a high and her only low was when she heard Sugar Daddy and I arguing, and we apologized, it wasn't even a real argument- just tensions running high (plans to be made while toddlers are competitively vying for the sound waves). I told her that we probably need to listen to each other more, so we won't have to raise our voices- hmmm, I am one wise mama, aren't I?

My high? Watching as C-dough my almost 2 year old discovered his shadow and tried to play with it for a good 3 or 4 minutes- on the wall, on the floor, trying to tickle it and looking all around when it would suddenly disappear. Such pure wonder, delight and amazement. These are the days...

(Weird video but great song!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What is Art Club?

The first rule of Art Club is that there is no Art Club. Just kidding, it shouldn't be a secret- and so it shall be no longer- a secret, that is.

A few weeks ago, my almost 10 year old starting talking about wanting to do more art. She also wanted to see her friends more. With my pregnancy, adjusting after the move and Sugar Daddy still on the hunt for gainful employment our schedule has been erratic and she just wasn't getting consistent friend time.

So we conceived of a weekly Art Club where we could use the materials we have (many boxes of disorganized and mismatched arts & crafts supplies) and create works of art together with some friends. I wanted to do it at home for several reasons- mostly the types of project she was interested in, the fact that it is easier for me to keep up with my littles and still get some socializing in myself- and I'd read a post by one of my favorite homeschoolers about how she had game afternoons at her house with a small group during the early years of homeschooling.

Since if was G-pie's idea, I allowed her to choose 5 friends, feeling that 6 girls was the most that would fit comfortably in the garage space we dedicated to this endeavor. With their siblings and moms this turned out to be 18 people and our house is not large.

We never meant to be "exclusive" but we could not, of course, be totally inclusive- having met so many wonderful and enriching new friends. There are people who I have especially felt the sting of "leaving out" of this little learning cooperative, but as it has developed, I am cherishing what we have the opportunity to provide for our children- and am astounded at the unexpected rewards.

Tonight I accidentally created the next meeting as a public event on Facebook, so I am sure many of our homeschool friends saw it- a few of you have already inboxed me. I decided to turn to my blog - just last week this issue came up when one of my tender, loyal friends voiced her fears that we may cause hurt feelings in the community. I thought about it a lot and talked to G-pie and we decided it felt right to continue to provide this excellent atmosphere for a smaller group of kids and hope that our other friends will understand the need we are meeting, as we choose our path along the journey of alternative education.

To ALL of our friends, please know that we would have loved to be able to include everyone, but it just isn't feasible.  I would be more than happy to talk with you if you would like to know more about how we set things up and how it might work for you to create something similar based on your children's interests.

We have decided as a group to have structured art lessons and then free "creative time" afterwards. Being a collective of creative spirits -we have already had our ups and downs, the kids and moms have all grown in our group discussion skills and are learning a lot about the dynamic of a group-led effort.  I have so deeply appreciated that they all honor our original intent- to create art together.

My hope is to be able to blog about this experience, because I do see it as a special one as we continue, always learning, barefoot.

Love to you all- brightest blessings in this happy season.
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