Monday, January 23, 2012

House Hunting

It has been pretty mellow around here, just living life every day.  We are starting to look for a house, which is exciting!  Brendan and I have been together for almost ten years and we have moved every year or two since then.  It will be so nice to settle down for awhile.  We looked at three houses yesterday and I have to say, it's fun to imagine yourself in some houses, but it's also depressing seeing how little we get for our price range. 

I am not one to need a big house, but I do need a usable house.  I need counter space in my kitchen (something I have never had, ever) and I need a room that we can live in that won't feel cluttered the minute we put a couch and toys in there.  The first house we looked at had everything we need, I am so geeked about it and wish we were actually in buying mode.  We're not, we are still saving but just starting to look so we know what we want when the time comes to buy.  This house is updated but still has things we can do to make it our own.  It has a great entryway (for all those boots and mittens that are strewn about right now...) and a cozy living room, and good sized bedrooms, and an attic that is all ready to be finished and made into a sewing studio!!  Or a master bedroom but I'm leaning toward a sewing studio.

The other houses we looked at were...okay.  One only had two bedrooms so it wasn't really an option, we just wanted to look.  It was immaculate, these people are organizers to the extreme.  I have never seen paint in the basement so well organized!  They had everything labeled and put away, I was in heaven just looking at it!  But it only has two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen and just wouldn't fit our needs.  The third house we looked at was TINY.  Like I felt claustrophobic just walking around and there was no furniture in it!  The dining room was barely big enough for a two seater table, let alone a big table and high chair.  The kitchen, as much as I love vintage kitchens, was too vintage.  Like vintage in a way that can't really be used.  And the bedrooms were teeny, did people not have full size beds back in the day?? 

So we had fun looking and imagining and now I am in full decorator mode, excited for the day we are in a house we will be in for more than a year.  A friend sent me a link to this blog, that has house tours of other bloggers.  I had so much fun last night after the kids went to bed just browsing and pinning everything I liked.  Which was a lot.  Now this morning I'm looking at my sad walls and thinking of what I can do to spice things up without spending any money and using what I have.  Which should be easy enough, I have bins of fabric and crap shoved in every closet, I should be able to come up with something...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homeschool Question

I like the idea of homeschooling and I don't believe kids need the "socialization" that school brings.  But...I know Ingrid is a social butterfly and loves to be around kids her own age.  So I need to know how other homeschooling parents deal with this.  Are there other homeschoolers around that you meet up with?  I'm trying to get one together around here but I'm not sure how many other homeschoolers there are.  There have to be more, right?  I'm in a city!  There are tons of people here, I'm not the only one thinking of homeschooling. 

Any  advice would be appreciated!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Smear Campaign Continues

New Year's Eve brought another baby's death in Milwaukee.  Another sad, tragic case that they are blaming on co-sleeping.  I am completely saddened by the idea of a baby dying at such a young age (approximately two months old) and yet I am angered that it is being used to continue a smear campaign. 

From what I have read, it goes something like this:  Baby was passed from 22 yo aunt to 10 yo aunt at bedtime.  10 yo takes baby into a room with a few other kids all sleeping on two crib mattresses on the floor.  Sometime in the night, someone sees baby is unconcious, which is when they go wake up the parents that are in the house!  And somehow this is called a co-sleeping death!

A few points to this story make me really upset--one, that the baby apparently had been throwing up and having seizures the day before and yet was not at the hospital or even being closely monitered by parents.  Two, that baby was left in the charge of a ten year old.  I babysat as a kid, I started at 11 and was very mature for my age.  But, never did I have a sick baby in my care!  Three, that the parents were home but were not taking care of their own (sick) baby.

This is a case of neglect, pure and simple.  A case that has everything to do with the poverty these people are living in and the fact they are obviously uneducated on how to take care of a child.  The baby was passed from person to person throughout the night, when her parents were in the same house sleeping.  There was no cosleeping, there were a bunch of kids shoved in a room with a baby in the middle.  That is not cosleeping!! 

Instead of finding a scapegoat in cosleeping, which can be a very beneficial and lovely practice, the authorities should be educating parents everywhere on how to safely care for a child with basic ideas like don't leave your baby with a ten year old!  Or don't put a 2 month old in a bed with other kids!  Those are easy things to teach people, right? 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy At Home

So I thought a lot about the pros and cons of Ingrid in school and talked it over with the mister.  I thought he'd be against taking her out, since he's a pretty traditional school kind of guy.  But luckily he didn't have any major issues with it.  I think he's noticed a change in her, too.  And I don't know, it just seems my gut instinct that it was school that made for the change in her attitude.

One thing I have issues with is how gregarious Ingrid is.  I worry she needs that time with other kids her age.  Today we went to the children's museum and she ran right up to a kid her age and said "HI!  Let's be friends, okay?"  And then they played together until we went to the next installation.  She loves other kids, I don't want her to be denied that.  Are play dates, story times and outings enough?  I kind of like it because it will mean she and Otis kind of have to rely on each other and play together, and if I have siblings, I might as well have ones that like each other, right? 

Anyway, this week has been so nice, just playing and painting, coloring, going outside.  Ingrid has helped me with laundry, wiping off the tables, cleaning the bathroom, making dinner.  She has had zero temper tantrums and only a couple times she cried, both at the end of the day when everyone is crabby and hungry and tired.  Otherwise she is singing, playing with her toys, coming up to me and hugging me, saying "I like you, mom."  She plays with Otis, shares with him, is overall just happier.

It just makes me happy.  I have to sign her up for next fall already next week, which feels kind of funny, like we just made this big decision to keep her home but I have to decide about next fall right now.  Oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  Maybe 4 is magic for her, she'll be totally fine.  And if not, I won't hesitate to pull her out again!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

To School or Not?

Yeesh, it's been almost two months since I've posted last.  Sorry, guys, it's been crazy busy!  But I have been thinking about this whole school thing for awhile now, so I thought I'd post my thoughts and see what the wise blogger women had to say.

Ingrid is in K3 Montessori this year.  She likes it.  The K3 class stays until lunch, then most go home, but they do have an afternoon part they can stay at, with lunch, recess, a story, and resting time.  Ingrid likes school so much she asked to stay for the afternoon.  Which means she's in school from 9am until 3:30pm.  Every day. 

Part of me finds this just fine.  She likes it, she never cries when I leave her, she never is upset when Otis and I walk out the door.  She has friends at school, loves her teachers.  I like that it doesn't interfere with Otis' nap time anymore, since he sleeps until 1-2pm.  I also like not having to drop her off to school and then turning around a couple hours later to pick her up again. 


I feel like school has made her so sassy.  And emotional.  The past few weeks have been horrible, with temper tantrums and crying at the drop of a hat and not listening and lots of yelling.  I was completely at a loss.  Then we had off for the holidays.  We got back into our routine of a slow morning with lots of play, coloring, puzzles, running errands, then resting time in the afternoon.  Temper tantrums slowly faded, my happy girl was back, and I was so much more calm having her home. 

She loves to pull out this bag of scrap fabric I have and play fabric store.  Or play with her guys and her new castle she got for Christmas.  And I love that she will do that for hours!  Or read seventy books in a row if she feels like it.  Otis is pretty much the same way, too, so instead of rush rush rush, put a screaming baby in the car seat, run into school, drive home, more screaming baby, back in the car, etc etc, we just hung out, didn't drive anywhere for a couple days at a time, everyone was happy.

School was supposed to start today, only I thought it was tomorrow.  So we went to the library for story time, the kids had a blast, Ingrid was loving being with all the other kids.  And I thought really, tomorrow we have to go back to the hustle and bustle of school time?  I don't wanna!!  Part of me just wants to keep her home until K4 starts next fall.  She is happy at home, I'm happy with her at home (not one of those parents who loves the start of school, which I DO understand, but for us it's so much easier to be home!!) But what to do?  Is it me being selfish because I just don't want to do the school run anymore and be rushed in the morning?  Would it be teaching her something like you can quit if you don't like it?  Is that a bad thing?

I think the main thing I'm learning is that school is SO not on my high priority list right now.  If she has to miss a day, it totally does not bother me.  Jesus, if she misses the next semester it wouldn't bother me!  I could see her staying home until Otis goes to kindergarten, honestly.  So if it's easier for me, I am game to keep her home.  But, is that fair to her?  She likes school.  She likes home, too, but am I keeping her from something?  We do story time and there's a kid's time at the Children's Museum, too, so we'd have our outings, and we always have play dates. 

What to do??????