Monday, July 25, 2011

screaming genes

Yelling, screaming, lamenting, caterwauling...oh the dramatics I might fall into trying to control someone else's behavior...and that little mirror of a girl of mine has picked up all of it and then taught it to her baby sister. *big sigh*

Does she who screams the loudest get results?  really?  In my experience as a child it doesn't work, yelling leads to more yelling, leads to louder screaming, possibly culminating with voilence and damages. Now as a parent, when I've slipped into a non-thinking state, I have made threats I didn't intend to, eventually forced to follow through with something I feel ill about as I've trapped myself with my reactive if/then chatter.  If I don't follow through I'm in the cut as the idle threat drill sargent parent who if battled enough can not be counted on to enforce any boundary.  Then that drill sargent gets to lament and whine about how the child is out of control, and can never be made to be cooperative.

I never wanted to be the embattled mother, playing victim to my child's attitudes, desperation and exasperation showing with every iteration and gasp at her behavior.  And I still don't.  Earlier this year I was doubting our decision to homeschool, I thought, "if this is what it's going to be like I can't do it".  Then came Love & Logic and I finally got some real verbal tools to use for every situation.  With the fits and starts over the summer parenting became truly fun, and I knew it.

I don't have to yell any more, and ultimately that's what I want.  I want to parent in a patient conversational tone every moment they're awake.

Glittery Germs and Toileting

So there exists a lack of hand-washing and toilet flushing in this house.  Miss Monkey has issues flushing the toilet at home for some reason.  It is also difficult to make sure she is washing her hands after toileting or after being outside.

I read somewhere a hand-washing teaching technique:  Put glitter all over child's hands.  Tell child to go play. Explaining that the glitter is germs, and look for wherever the glitter came off, that's where the germs spread because the hands were unwashed.  Then, only a good soapy, running water wash will remove all the glitter.

Miss Monkey didn't even want to go play with glitter on her hands, and then in her attempts to shake it off, rub her dry hands together she actually became rather frustrated with the ineffectiveness of her technique.  Her hand washing was perfect this one time. I drove the point home a little farther in an agreement that if she chooses not to wash her hands, the consequence will be an extensive "wipe-down" chore, i.e. wiping every single toy in the play room.

Now, for the lack of toilet flushing.  If it's urine, that's not such an issue.  I mean, I don't walk into the bathroom and get an "EW!uagh!" shock if it's only pee. She'll flush in public bathrooms, at other people's houses and many other places.  It seems home is the problem.  I just made a deal with her...she doesn't have to flush, but she can only use the upstairs "kid" bathroom, and she must shut the lid.  And I simply won't use that toilet anymore except for spraying diapers.  UPDATE: With some thought it's decided that this isn't the safest tactic 'cause E is pretty interested in the toilets.  Explaining this to big sister, about safety and cleanliness, and letting go of results...well there's been improvement.  Though I still find myself hollering for F to come flush while I wait outside the washroom door.  At least it's not as often, I think she was really getting a kick out of my gross-out reactions.

Maybe she's trying to save water? and toilet paper?  Wiping the bottom is yet another issue, and only time will help with that.  I know if I insinuate my "help" there, it only serves to enable and demean.  Yet another one of my control issues that I've to let go of.  There will be natural consequences with that particular habitual lack of cleanliness, consequences that I can't teach by talking at her endlessly.

In fact, I've already learned, and am coming to greater and greater acceptance every day, that no monologue, no diatribe, no pleading or screaming, will teach better than real life experience.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Not sure it counts but these are my seedlings from earlier this year.

  Fuzzy cozy blanket for Baby E.

 Gift apron.

 Thank you notes for gentlemen that helped move our piano.

 Sugar scrubs Christmas gifts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Live Where

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

My dream house, on land with trees and a wide stream, alpine meadow-ish within a day hike to the ocean.  Where there are four fully expressed beautiful seasons, the spring rainstorms of my Texas childhood, the snow of the Rockies, the ocean of Maui, and forest to play.

The House I envision...

A ranch style with a great basement, and possibilities.  It's open design, south or west facing, but bedrooms on the east side I think.  Big lot, many diverse trees, room to grow plants and creatures including children. Old style windows, easy open, maybe even walk through, allowing that gorgeous morning breeze to flow through....and then double paned for those snowy winters.  There's a boiler with radiant heat throughout, eco-savvy heating and cooling is ideal.  The roof is of a beautiful durable eco-conscious material, the lighting is recessed and adjustable, there are skylights in high ceilings.  Solar panels are feeding part of our energy needs.

This house has wood floors throughout, the kind one doesn't have to worry about walking on after mopping, tile bathrooms, maybe carpeted bedrooms.  Industrial style organization bins in the kitchen, butcher block counter and table, non-reactive stone or solid color granite counter-top.  There is a real exhaust hood above the big beautiful gas range and gas double oven.  I like the idea of a professional grade rubberized flooring, with a drain for the kitchen. Big sinks, not black, not stainless, I prefer enamel or porcelain.  I like the look of pale wood with white for cleanliness and light.  The glass cabinets show off both my matching dishes and the eclectic collection I've accumulated thus far.  Counter-top garages for appliances, outlets abound.  A fireplace serves both the living area and the kitchen for those experimental fire-cooking nights.

The bedrooms are inviting and bright.  The master bath has vanity mirrors and sinks, multi-direction shower heads, steam capability, pebbled shower floor, deep tub, and water pressure that will ease the rinsing of thick hair.  There is a bidet in the master, and of course water-conserving toilets throughout. 

Storage cabinets and bookshelves are built-in throughout this house, convenient for each living area, and accommodating to children playing hide & seek.  The closets are all smart spaces, with plenty of options for clothing storage.  The mudrooms at front and rear of this house have plenty hooks and cubbies.  There is a laundry chute in the bedroom hallway leading right down to my gorgeous efficient large capacity washer and dryer.  (btw: efficient must describe getting the clothes clean, in addition to use of water and electricity)  There in the laundry is a built in drying rack, and a big clean workspace for folding, sorting, etc.

The Man has his own studio area, with custom bathroom and television outfitted to his specifications.  There is a yoga & meditation room, possibly a detached shala, floor to ceiling windows so practice can be open to out doors.  There is at least one outdoor room, steps from the kitchen, for grilling & guests, the kids play bocce, soccer, and kick ball in the yard.

The playroom is also my play room.  Again built-in cubbies and shelving, plenty of storage space.  A wide, high table for my crafts, and desk items, with comfy bar height stools, and outlets all around.  A lower table for smaller persons to work on their projects.  A chalkboard wainscot all around cork flooring, The Man has painted a garden mural on one wall.

And this house is open to all our family and friends at any time, there is only love here and we let it flourish wildly...I don't have to dream this part up though, it's already real.

New Label : Things I Make

Super Blankets for new baby cousin.


Snazzy Dolly Diapers

Shower Sack