Friday, February 26, 2010

a new rhythm

the feeling of spring being in the air (even though in between we are still having snow storms) and the recent series of the waldorf connection really inspired a few thoughts for myself and my family. 

first, to slow down more, to take more time in my tasks, to take a little longer changing my little one's diaper, to play peek-a-boo more, even my almost 6 year old still enjoys it. to have more tickle time, to have more cuddle time. 

second, to take an opportunity to get outside for my little one. she really does need it, kids really do need it (i need it). the baby has such a rigerous feeding schedule, which really keeps me inside. but, i feel it is important to find the time to get us outside.  

third, in exploring the parenting passageway, is to get back to the basics in our family rhythm. i admit that i am somewhat all over the place at times. my mind losses focus, but with the baby is still nursing during the night, i'm going to pat myself on the back for still standing, at this point.

forth, to be gentle with myself and continue to make some time for myself, to reflect, to read, to relax, to do whatever i'd need in caring for myself.  

fifth, to be more joyous and light-hearted and not so serious. 

is spring inspiring something new thoughts in you?

Monday, February 22, 2010

waldorf connection - first seven year cycle & celebrating spring

here are some notes i took from the waldorf connection webcast with carrie dendtler from the parenting passageway talked about the first seven year cycle. carrie's website has an immerse achive of waldorf and parenting information. it is a wonderful resource.

why we do the things we do:
1. love, basis of everything we do
2. holistic view of the human being
3. the first seven year cycle is the foundation for the being
first year-walk, second year-speak, third year-think
birth - 2 1/2 becoming upright, learning to walk.
2 1/2 - 5 speaking, memory begin, play begin, first self-awareness at age 3
5-7 children becomes more conscious of the thoughts to what they say

what you bring to your children in these early years is important and it does matter.
- if feeling a little pressure, moms should pat themselves on the backs for trying to
having a mindful, conscious, gentler, holistic approach which was different then your raised or saw in your family and for working on their inner path
- as long as you are trying and striving and your children see it
- forgive ourselves for not being perfect, we all can fall short at times, be kind to yourself, show your children how to have grace when you make a mistake
- we are fulfilling a need in our children and they are fulfilling a need within us, together
- relax, more about enjoying the process, not worrying if it is all not perfect, it is not about perfection in the end
- it is about healing and going on from where you are

qualities to bring to a young child
1. love and warmth (physical warmth, warm clothes, warming foods, through a home. a home that is warm emotionally and through delight in your child
work as parent is to be connected and loving to a child who is being more difficult than normal. personal development of parent, inner work, be calm, meet child where they are
2. an environment that nourishes those senses. repetition, rhythm, developing the sense of touch, sense of balance, sense of life, sense of movement, everything a child sees or hears. child is seen as a sensory being, with no filters from the world. when child is taking in impressions we need to give a child something worthy to imitate
3. creative, artistic experiences, handwork, painting, modeling
*the first handwork and creative experiences for children is playing with sand, playing in the mud, being outside in all types of weather, polishing shoes, kneading bread, puppetry is a wonderful artistic experience for children (juniper tree puppets, take simple things, simple story lines, nourish a child's soul), look more at the practical things within our home
4. meaningful adult activity that the child can imitate in their play. do something with your hands. loving, rhythmic home life, show them practical work, do tasks for your family in a loving manner, in a joyful manner, sing. do these things because you love your family. let children help. no need to rush through the task. really get into that task and do it joyfully. so your child can see, this is our family and we love each other, this is how we nourish each other
5. free play. children are at the height of imitation. they need to see you doing practical work, they need to get outside to use some of that energy so they can settle down inside. may need to have you help them a little bit, set up play scenarios. how can I make my child's play more creative? arrange toys so they are inviting for play. all toys have a home, that we could really show gratitude and reverence for toys.
get outside to get energy out (2-4 hours a day, experiment with the elements, nature stories nourishing to their souls, connecting child to nature) going outside, connecting child to nature, important for disciplining as well
6. growing gratitude, reverence, wonder. the way we take care of our family, the way we do our tasks around the home, the blessings we have before meals, having a place for everything in the home, the wonder of nature
7. humor and happiness. play with them, do silly things, hug them, pat them on the back, play with them, kiss them, smile at them, give them that warm gesture, not using so many words. work with your child, through their body, through movement, fantasy and imagination. what could you do to get their energy out, use that in a creative way and also lead to what needs to be done. the boundaries still need to be held. keep to what is important in your home, what is the flow in your home, what are the rules in your home, what is the rhythm in your home. your rhythm really should carry the disciplining stuff for the younger crowd. having realistic expectations for the age and what a child can do.
8. adult caregivers who are trying to pursue a path of inner development. our actions are worthy of imitation. developing our own will of taking children outside when we would rather be inside.

child inclusive = i am setting the rhythm and tone of my home because i have more experience living on this earth and you deserve so much love, warmth and dignity. and i am going to show you how our family should do things. i am going to include you in all these tasks. here is your part to help. we are going to have time to play, we have time to go outside, and we are going to have time to sit down and have a warm family meal together.
i set it with love and attention to what my child needs are and feelings are, the art of parenting. i know when to follow that rhythm. a flow to your day. lovingly take into account the things that they needs, getting their energy out, creative play, warmth, worthy work to imitate, creative experiences, free play.

disciplining 4 1/2 years = children have a lot of energy and opinions. outside time to diffuse that. strong, steady rhythm, things happen in a strong and steady flow so they know what to expect, to have those have warmth for the child. find support for yourself, finding ways to fill your own tank. if you want to teach a behavior to your child one of the best ways is to do it in front of them. preserving the dignity of the child, having respect for the child and where they are. have tools in your tool bag, use humor, no need to be so serious, letting things go, ignoring things, "picking your battles", use distraction, solve things with warm, protecting gestures, pictorial imagery, positive places with imagery "hop like a bunny over here", phasing it as positively as you can. look at your child sleeping, how innocent and little they are. have a good grasp of realistic expectation for your child.understand where they are coming from. use less words. use gestures. can i say something calming and peaceful to my child. is this worth it? does this have to be addressed right now? child is learning, new and different things.

- sibling rivalry. you need a bag of tricks. when things are falling apart, have something calming. gather for a story. when things are clam, you try and make restitution. give child power to fix what was going wrong. as parent, have your bag of tricks to hold the space more closely

-dad being a part of bedtime routine in a calming way. a warming routine. back rubs. rocking small child. telling a story, singing. dad to decompress on your way home from work. steady routine, cultivating weekends for roughhousing, rough play, outside play

books mentioned:
you're not the boss of me
how to raise your children without sibling rivalry


the waldorf connection webcast featured eileen from little acorn learning. here are some of her thoughts on celebrating spring

lent. think about sacrifice, think of something to give up. as adults, self-reflection, what you could give up or what you could give better of yourself. can you give up negative thinking, worrying, regret? as we prepare for spring, as mother's we could prepare ourselves, a rebirth, a new, wake ourselves up, inner work to start a new season in our lives with our children. examine our lives and where you'd like to be. maybe give yourself 15 minutes of quiet, maybe a yoga class.

preparing our homes. decorating within the season. different colors. spring cleaning. declutter. recycle old toys. go through clothes. get down to the basics. less is more. donate items. reuse some of these things. do i really need all this stuff? emphasis on less is more. children just need the space to just be.

spring cleaning with the children. make it a point to include them in our tasks. find the patience within us to include them in our work. it gives them a purpose.

seasonal nature table. display symbols of the season in your home. signs of life. small plants. seedlings. empty nests. display the four elements. earth=soil or plant. water, air=pinwheel or kite, fire=beeswax candle.

she went on to discuss spring activities, such as composting, growing corn. if you would like to hear the series on the waldorf connection, they could be purchased.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

happy birthday

happy birthday daddy. we spent the day planning for my husband's birthday. my little one put so much thought into the preparations, it was very lovely, she is very lovely. from making his card to creating and arranging a beautiful space for our festivities. she made a birthday banner from her finger knit chains (with a little help in cutting out the wool circles). another of her finger knit chains was used to wrap up his present. it is wonderful to see her love gifted in these thoughtful and beautiful gestures.

rainbow love

:: wet felted acorns from the other day

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

waldorf connection - learning handwork together

i was lucky to catch the waldorf connection webcast about handwork with heather from shivaya naturals. here are some of the notes i took from that....

benefits of handwork in Waldorf:




builds creative foundation

love of art

connection for child to their whole person

connection to the whole process and their place in that process

development of character

understand the whole process from sheep to yarn: visit sheep farm, wash and card wool, watch wool be spun, creative play and expression with wool and yarn, move into finger knitting and knitting on needles

books that were mentioned:
all year round
the children's year
circle round
heaven on earth
family festivals and food

Monday, February 15, 2010


:: my little one has been asking to learn to sew, so we had a chance the other day to head down to the fabric store. we picked up some ball point needles and some fabric. she picked out a few softly colored cotton fabrics and just when i thought we were done, she brought me to see a shimmering iridescent fabric, she thought would be great for fairy wings and then we searched for a twinkling oceany blue fabric that caught her eye. for a mermaid tail, of course. this is our first, my first stash of fabric. and we have some very ambitious projects for a little one and her mama who does not sew. well technically, i do not, but i'll be figuring it out. any tips?

this is a sneak peak another one of her projects. more to come...

lots of love

:: handmade valentines and a gift from our little one, a stone decorated with buttons and a string she finger knit. and a bunch of clues used in our valentine's day treasure hunt. we started this treasure hunt last valentine's day and my little one really enjoyed it. she dressed up, wearing her playsilks and was ready to go. she asked for it to be longer next year :) i love the simplicity of the holiday we shared together. breakfast made by dad, handmade cards, a treasure hunt, a few chocolates, a few candies, a few new plants and a handmade treasure pouch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

making upcycled valentine wreaths

:: we made these the other day but i forgot to write an entry about them. we made these the day my little one lost her first tooth. notice the christmas ornaments still up in the background, thank goodness they are all packed away now.

to make the upcycled valentine's wreaths, i cut fabric into squares and we strung them onto wire. we filled the wire up with the fabric squares, twisted the wire ends together and formed the wire into a heart.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i sent a letter to my love

:: my little one's heart banner

:: woolly treasures

:: tease up your wool

:: put wool into cookie cutter

:: add soapy hot water

:: use chop sticks to press down on wool. the wool will start felting and will feel firm

:: rinse in cold water. put between two towels and press down to squeeze out all the water. let dry.

a tisket, a tasket
a pink and purple basket
i sent a letter to my love
and on the way i dropped it
a little puppy picked it up
and put it in his pocket

(remembered from one of our music classes)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

reggio insight

i am able to visit camp creek from time to time and the entries often leave me thinking, contemplating & questioning education. what does education me to me and my family? what do i want education to be for my little ones? what education is vs what education can be?

limits can be so...limiting
in defense of reading...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

a snowy day

:: snapshots from our beautiful snow-filled day

Thursday, February 4, 2010

outdoor ice pictures

:: first we had a little walk outside to gather up some supplies. it has been in the teens and below zero with the wind chill, so it was a brief walk. inside we gathered some cranberries, bowls, and jute cord. we selected our material and arranged it in the bowl then we slowly added water. we submerged the ends of the jute cord in the water to allow it to be hung. then put the bowls outside overnight. in the morning our ice pictures were frozen solid and ready to be hung. they are beautiful hung outside a window.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

candlemas blessing day 1 & day 2

we had a two day candlemas celebration. we started the first day making some pancakes and singing a candlemas verse. we also made this song into a little fingerplay, which are always enjoyed with much excitment.

The Groundhog by C.Aldinger from Sing a Song of Seasons
Ground-hog in your hole so deep
Raise your head and take a peep
If your shadow makes you leap!
Curl back up and go to sleep

we read a story called, the sun is my favorite star by frank asch. but the mothering board had these suggestions:
the snowdrop adapted from
hans christan andersen
the coming of spring
the candles by hans christan andersen

i really liked this family's day of celebrating, shadow tag and this little verse.

Little Candle
Little candle burning bright
You are such a pretty sight
Show us all you shining light
Little candle burning bright

:: with winter keeping us tucked inside, we cut paper snowflakes. we used nail scissors, which made it so much easier for my little one to cut with

:: using our new modeling beeswax to make a little snowman for our nature table.


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