WONDERFULLY CRAZY

A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spoiling Our Children

The other day I was in the grocery store when I overheard a conversation that struck my heart.  A toddler was in a grocery cart crying pretty hard reaching out for her mother, the mother in turn responding to what I can only assume was her own maternal instinct, picked up the child to comfort her.  Quickly however the woman they were with (I'm guessing grandmother) insisted that mama put the child down.  "She must learn" said the woman.  "You can't spoil her, let her cry".  While the mother seemed to disagree with this, she did as the woman told her and put the child back in the cart (who immediately started crying again).  I try not to judge or force my beliefs on others, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to run over to that mama and tell her "It's OK, pick up your little one, it's what she needs!"  I didn't of course, We all have our own way to navigate the turbulent river of parenting and I respect that.

I remember my children being babies and being criticized for not "putting them down"  carying them everywhere, in a sling, in a backpack, sleeping with them (the blasphemy of it all).  I'm a firm believer in listening to your instincts when it comes to these things and that there is no "right" way, that we all must find our own way. 
Miss Molly at around 7 months, love those cheeks
As a baby Molly needed to be held close, all the time...everything you did back then you did with Molly in your arms or in a sling. Dishes, cooking, cleaning, walking...we tried the swing that so many folks are fans of, we tried putting her in the crib and just walking away.  But it just didn't feel right, she was crying, reaching out asking  no begging to be picked up and held close, secure in her parents or other loved ones arms. It was exhausting at times, but she was happy and that made mama and papa happy, really we didn't mind.
When it came to sleep we never planned on a "family" bed.  We figured she would sleep with us for a week or two then move to a bassinet or crib in our room.  I found that I myself slept better having her next to me, I could put my hand on her, she could nurse at will and all 3 of us got more sleep this way, it worked for us, and the bassinet became a very handy clothes hamper:) Eventually she slept in her own bed and continues to sleep there every night...seems to me no harm done.    She is still a snuggle bug and the shy quiet type (until you get to know her of course).  She is however also a very strong willed and independent young lady.  She's heading off to over-night camp for the 4th year this summer and can't wait!  She even asked if she could stay longer than the 2 weeks "perhaps 3 or 4" she says!  This is not a spoiled child, I feel in no way did giving her what she needed (constant holding, rocking and loving) as a baby spoiled or ruined her in any way.  I believe that giving her that gave her the knowledge at a very early age that she was safe and secure.  That a parent or other loved one would always be there when she needed.  This kind of parenting in my humble opinion can only help to foster strong, healthy, happy children.
Corey at about 6-7 months with Greg in Providence
Corey was a different baby, he didn't need that constant holding, he wanted to look around, see the world and take it all in.  He did however need us close by, a hand to hold or something similar.  He nursed through the night until he was 3 (at times I thought he would continue through college) and when he did start sleeping in a big boy bed we stayed with him (both of them) until they we sleeping.  Again, this felt right to us, it worked for our family, and what do you know he goes to sleep all by himself now.  He does like to sneak into our bed at in the wee hours of the morning.  Honestly I don't mind, A day will come that he will be grown, so I'll snuggle my little guy all I can.  It gets tough sometimes, he's almost as long as us now and I'd lie if I said papa doesn't sleep better without that extra set of big feet kicking him.  But for all his grumbling about it, he too knows we'll all survive.

My point for all this rambling is this:  responding to our babies needs, whatever they may be are in my opinion is  NOT spoiling them at all, but instead helping them to navigate this crazy world with security and confidence.  No matter what anyone thinks or says I believe that we (all of us) as parents know what is right for each of our children in our hearts.
I make no claim to be a perfect parent and have many many flaws, but I trust this process we are going through and navigate the waters the best I can doing what feels right.

So I say lets listen to that instinct whatever it may be... 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Finding Time

One of the things about the busy lives we all seem to lead these days is finding time for the simple little things that are so important to our very being.  Recently we took advantage of the amazing weather and had a little birthday get together at my brother's house.









Something we don't do nearly enough considering how close we all live to each other.  It was great to be with family, but the highlight for me was watching these cousins play together.  The amount of fun was immeasurable.  They laughed, chased, climbed trees and had adventures all about the yard as the sun went down.  The littlest one watched with such enthusiasm, clapping her hands and yelling, the kids all came over to her little spot to say hi and show off a bit.  All I could do was smile (and try to snap pictures of course).  Yes this is something we must find time to do more; with these cousins and the 4 we now have in Vermont.  These kiddos need to hang out and grow up together.

Oh just in case you were wondering, the wee one is wearing her latest Auntie Angie outfit!  Isn't it cute?  The Milo vest and some little bloomers from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

 Linking with Amanda for weekending.

Friday, March 23, 2012

This Moment

Linking with Soulemama for {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 Happy Weekend to You.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Annual Haircut

Every year sometime in the fall, the same thing happens; Corey announces he is going to grow his hair long enough for a ponytail.  His gorgeous locks grow quickly and through the winter we watch as it gets closer and closer to the ponytail stage.  He deals with it through basketball season, all long and in his face, but when asked he says no to a haircut (he's growing a ponytail).  He tried a headband this past year, but didn't like how sweaty it got so continued with the hair in his eyes. Then; every spring we start to have some warm weather.  Most of that thick red mane goes back into a ponytail, but the front still hangs out. "Almost" we say.  And then suddenly, just like that he announces "I think I want a haircut, my head is so hot it hurts".  Yesterday, it was in the 80s so I really wasn't all to surprised for the annual announcement came.  I did my job as mama and called the hair salon right away.  As much as I love this hair of his, it does get a bit unruly and he is never very happy about me combing or brushing it (I'm pretty sure it would be dread locks if no one intervened from time to time).

I have to laugh at how adamant he is about keeping his hair long and then with the flip of a switch he is excited to have it cut.  It breaks my heart just a little, I hate to see those curls go, but so does he so it never goes super short.
Just enough to cool down a bit.
As it dries you notice the curls start to form again, and the growing cycle will begin again.

Of course we celebrated this 80 degree, haircut getting, shorts wearing weather with a trip to our favorite local ice cream shop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Warmth



                          An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
                                                                              Henry David Thoreau
 
Oh this weather has been amazing!  We have been enjoying spending as much of our day outside as time will allow.  The warmth of the sun feels so good, healing even.



We're trying to get some school work done (outside of course), but mostly we are just enjoying the sunshine...I've been pulling out gardening books, we got some flower seeds the other day and the dogs have been getting a much longer walk.
Funny, it was such a mild winter that I seem to have forgotten it was still winter and I/we needed this sunshine to warm our souls.
The change of seasons moves me in a way that is hard to put into words, I love it, I cherish it, I breath it in...


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

outside

Yesterday was amazing, I had work to do inside the house for sure, but it felt like I needed to be outside enjoying the sunshine, cleaning up the yard getting ready to add this "room" to our warm weather living space. 
Before I got busy working I wanted to occupy the kids for a while so I set a few paint supplies on the picnic table and and casually said "you guys haven't painted rocks in a while".
And that's all it took!  I am always amazed at how their creative juices start flowing.  Before long there were pet rocks, who needed a homes, birch bark was fetched, thread and needles were requested and soon there was talk of a whole village!



These two can have such fun together being creative, they work so well, helping each other flesh out ideas, sharing tools and finally seeing their plans come to fruition.

a frog

a door to the tree

a little pink mouse

what village doesn't have a ground serpent?

a snail
I have a sneaking suspicion that this little village in the corner of our yard will continue to grow through out the spring and summer and I can't wait to see who the inhabitants are, what they build and what sort of mischief is occurring in Stoneville.

what's happening in your yard?

Monday, March 12, 2012

24 hours

These kiddos are fortunate enough to have a lovely set of grandparents in the amazing city of Providence.   We really don't take advantage of this close proximity to family and a funky little city nearly enough.  So after Molly participated in the Maine College knowledge Bowl a 2 day basketball tournament for the boy we packed up and headed south for just a quick little birthday visit, but what a grand time we had!
First there was a bit of visiting, then birthday dinner for a young grandpa at this fun little noodle restaurant.  Then yesterday after a super yummy grandparent/grand kid made breakfast, there was a quick tour of grandpa's office before taking in a Brown University gymnastics meet (something Miss Molly has been very much looking forward to).  The highlight of this little whirlwind trip for me though was just a quick walk in the this fun little city.







The weather was perfect for strolling around campus and being silly, kids didn't even need their winter coats (yay).  There was excellent pizza and falafel, new sweatshirts, funky sunglasses from a street vendor and a general feeling of happiness.  Yes this was a fine 24 hours indeed my friends.  One that we really need to do more, family is so important and so is letting these kids of ours explore this world we live in.
How was your weekend friends?

Linking with Amanda today

Friday, March 9, 2012

This Moment

Joining Soulemama for
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 enjoy the weekend friends!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gathering

Yesterday was one of those days I find myself almost giddy at just how lucky I am.  I get to have this amazing life at home with these kiddos of mine most days.  When I do have to be away from family to work I have a career I love!   I've realized that work is also very much social time for me.  I work with an amazing group of women who love the process of childbirth as much as I do. There are strong bonds that form between us during our job.  Sometimes over very stressful situations, sometimes over just sheer joy of what we do and sometimes when there is down-time we can't help but open up to each other about our lives.  We share such intimate moments together it only stands to reason that we would feel close even if we seldom see each other outside the hospital. So imagine my excitement when we had a little gathering outside of work!  As it turns out these great ladies in addition to being passionate about childbirth and breast-feeding are crafty mamas as well!
 I packed up some supplies, made a sleeve for my cuppow cup to make drinking hot coffee easier.  It's literally a cuff from a felted sweater, no sew, no nothin'!  Gotta love it, now I can drink hot and cold beverages from a mason jar without spilling all over my self.


 The focus for this crafty little outing was felted wool, check out this dining room table covered in felted sweaters!  I couldn't believe my eyes. 


Bunnies, birds and mittens were made.  There was lovely conversation (only a little about work), amazing food and a general feeling of contentment and excitement.  Many crafty ideas were formed in my head, given by friends or inspired by books and a need to re-stock my wool sweater stash was born...it's been since this post about a year ago that we got a new stash.  I think I know what I'll be doing later today>

Thank you my lovely lady friends for such a wonderful day and reminding me just how lucky I am.  I do hope we do it again soon.