Monday, August 24, 2009

On The Market...Again

After weeks of what felt like a molasses like moving process of meeting with different Realtors, comparing their market analysis', and waiting for answers to questions and negotiations involved with our relocation package, we finally got our house listed this week...

Or,Take a Virtual Tour

Strange, how this all feels so vaguely familiar...almost like we just did all of this not so long ago....hum...

I'm really sad to be leaving our house and South Carolina, I love it here! But I am still trying my best to stay positive about our move to Birmingham, AL.

Here we go again!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Implementing Montessori

Despite the chaos with our upcoming relocation, I still have to fulfill the awesome responsibility of being a mother and that often includes being a teacher as well.

While Nate and Juliana attend preschool several mornings a week, Pete and I still feel it to be a great responsibility of parenthood to implement daily learning at home as well. With that in mind, and my background working with Montessori, (I worked as an assistant teacher at a Montessori preschool during college) I couldn't think of a better method to apply to our children's daily lives.

What is Montessori?

"The Montessori Philosophy is a way of observing a child, each child individually, to discover his or her unique personality, needs, tendencies and talents; it is respect for each child's choices and interests and ways of processing information and learning; it is a profound respect for and protection of the crucial periods of concentration and contemplation that guide the child and reveal the peaceful, happy human -- kind, generous, focused, hard working, healthy and creative.

The Montessori prepared environment supports free movement in a beautiful and inspiring place. In it the world is introduced with joy, beauty and precise work with the hands and the mind; it is an environment where learning and work are seen as the means to happiness, self construction and a deep love for others and the world.

The high academic achievement that usually accompanies Montessori education is merely a by-product of learning with joy." (Quote from founders of the Garden City Montessori).

While researching Montessori over the last few months, I compiled a list of methods to begin implementing within our parenting of Nate and Juliana.
-Better organization of the home and daily life (routine/structure)

-Continual touching of things is a sign of curiosity and should be encouraged. They need to be taught about things that should not be touched, and should be taught normal discipline and learn self control.

-They learn most from imitating adults and other children.

-Children learn or fail to learn respect for things from our attitude for them.
-Embrace their desire to be independent and to want to do things for themselves.

-Cardinal Rule: Never do for a child what he/she is capable of doing for himself/herself.

-Teach them to learn and think for themselves, rather than their depending on us to do it for them.

-Cardinal Rule: A place for everything, everything in its place.

-Let them make mistakes and try again without your interrupting to show them how.

-During the “learning” period of the day, the only visible activities should be the one(s) your child is working with. And then remove that activity when the child is done working with it.

-Each task must be completed before it is returned to its place. This teaches perseverance and self discipline.

-Only use the learning/school activities during the “school/learning” period of the day so that they are respected as learning tools/activities and not toys.

-Chores/household assignments should be done because they are the child’s responsibility and contribution to the family’s daily living, not because a reward is expected upon completion.
I believe it is my job while they are at home with me, to make sure that their learning these vital skills are done in an enjoyable, loving, honest, creative and successful way.

August 15, 2009

Recent Memories:

Nate and Juliana were up in the family/play room playing when Nate called to me to come quick.

Nate: "Mama, Look what Juliana did," he exclaimed excitedly, as he pointed to a numbers puzzle.

Nate: "She did it all by herself, Mama!!! I am so proud of her, aren't you too?" he asked me as he ran to her and hugged her!!!!


Juliana to Pete (who was sitting at the desk in the family room) after she walked in to play-

"Oh, my, I didn't know anyone was in here!"


The kids referring to our Alabama Realtor, who's first name is Jimbo, as "Mr. Gumbo!"


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Escaping the Here and There

I've been away from here for a while, being overwhelmed (mostly feeling overwhelmed) by life and all that it has thrown at me in the last few months. Mostly I've stayed away because I didn't want to bore you with the constant, "oh, poor me, my life really stinks right now" routine- because overall, it doesn't, really. Yet lately I have felt myself gravitating away from my surroundings, friends and even family and moving toward a quiet, comforting place within myself. Call it coping, call it safe, call it whatever, but I am starting to see it for what it is, an escape from reality... and from the disappointment of not being able to live life in the way I really want to be living it. Am I making any sense? I hope so...!

Oh sure, I've been staying positive and have decided to truly embrace the fact that we are moving (again) and to a far, far away place (it's really not that far...) that I never in a million years would have imagined my family ending up in... Alabama.
But it's okay! I promise. I am just feeling slightly sorry for my sad self. I'm allowed, aren't I? After all, my days are now filled with de-cluttering and cleaning (constantly) our house, all in preparation for potential buyers (strangers) to walk through, phone calls with Realtors, both here and there, online house hunting, working with our relocation agent, and trying my best to support my husband through all of this, and not be completely absent from my children's lives...

Anyway, this past week, we took a road trip out to Birmingham and stayed for a few days. It was a whirlwind of driving, exploring different towns, looking at houses, scouring maps and searching for county lines, talks of the future, time in the hotel pool, getting lost in Jumbo sized neighborhoods, and figuring out which restaurants foods the kids would endure.

While Pete had to work one day, I did however, make some time to visit the Birmingham Zoo and treat Nate to his first ever strawberry milkshake...both were awesome to see.

Otherwise, I've been trying to retain a sense of normalcy for the kids, making sure we still have a good balance of play time and learning time. We started having a "circle time" each morning, spending about 10-15 minutes talking about the day of the week, month, season, our plans for the day, and 1-2 lessons about music, history, science, etc... I have been using What Your Preschooler Needs to Know and have really enjoyed it as much as the kids!

Nate and Jules have also become completely fascinated by water and how much fun it can provide. Needless to say however, we've had to have a few discussions about not being wasteful with it, (or not spraying the hose 3 inches away from your sister's head...).
One last, positive note- We finally got our blueberries! For some reason, our bushes decided that they wanted to hold off a few weeks longer than all of the other blueberry bushes in the world... But they are here now, and I have been treating myself to peach sorbet with blueberries every few nights over the last two that is some great self pity food!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Week in Review

Wow, this week has gone by fast! And here we are, Friday already...

The kids and I spent the first part of the week visiting my sister, Krista in Savannah, GA. We made the most of the hot weather and spent the days at the beach and swimming in a pool and playing in a water splash park area. The kids had a blast and Krista and I distracted ourselves with the kids from the crazy chaos in both our lives right now!

Tuesday night we headed to a local park for a National Night Out picnic.

Nate and Jules loaded up on hot dogs and brownies, made new friends, ran like wild, played like the day had just begun and later, slept soundly all was great.

Today, I am cleaning the house, heading to the library, getting some other errands done and getting ready for our upcoming travel/visit to Birmingham, Alabama. Hope your Friday is enjoyable!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Morning Thoughts

I love a nice quiet Saturday morning... The husband is still asleep, the kids are playing in the family room and I am sitting down with some toast and coffee, carousing food and "living" blogs, getting lost in the inspiration of other people's daily ongoings.

Why can't I just whip up some braised beef short ribs or a lemon souffle pudding? Oh why, oh why, do they make it look so yummy and easy?!
We finally got our rain yesterday! And I was only too happy to send the pleading kids out into it! They excitedly put on their rubber boots, donned their new slick raincoats and I, with my own broad grin, watched them happily skip out into the falling water...

The pure joy of being a kid; no responsibilities other than making the most of what the day brings to sure can't beat that.

They had a blast, and really, so did I just watching them!

I hope your weekend is wonderful!