Adventures in Unschooling

Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Last weekend we took the kids for a walk inside some of the city’s wilderness areas.

My real motivation here was to hunt for morels and while I did find many mushrooms I wouldn’t eat any of the ones I found.

See for your self:

 

I don’t get to post as much as I’d like these days. I guess I am just too busy working and living to document it all on here.

And we have been busy.

We have been:

1. Working: I am working full-time and even the hubby is pulling quite a bit of hours. But with all that we still manage to always have one of us home with the kids.

2. Cleaning: With our place on the market and us hoping for a quick sale we have been cleaning a lot. The yard, the shed, the floors, the dogs…even the kids seem to get dirty 30 minutes after you clean them.

3. Exercising: I have been working out very hard and I have been losing weight. I have hit a roadblock though and the last five to ten pounds are proving to be very difficult to burn off. Here are some pictures of the kids doing yoga with me:

4. Painting: We have been painting, making necklaces, colouring, crafting in general. The kids also really like play doh and moon sand. Here are some pictures of their play table (yesterday’s painting project):

5. Frolicking: Playing at the park, playing tennis, playing board games, wrestling on the couch, signing and dancing to Raffi and just generally enjoy the sunshine (when we get it) and fresh air.

6. Enjoying the little miracles: The Universe has been pretty good to us. My husband’s police recruitment is going well and we are nearing the end of it all. Through all the downs the ups come back around. And the ups are much more special. Also my computer seems to have miraculously healed itself. I had a very invasive virus on my computer that made it virtually impossible for me to even check my email much less blog and today my computer is clean, clear and back to its original speed. My anti-virus finally decided to do its job I guess??? And my washing machine broke on Sunday night but a friend who is moving and currently needing to unload one has been able to offer one to us at a VERY reasonable price. Thanks so much L!

7. Learning: We are all learning. I am trying to learn to be more patient with life and to be a better mother. I am far from the ideal mother and that frustrates me because I like to excel at everything I do. Mothering, though, has been the hardest task I have ever undertaken and I have much learning yet to do.

In general, I am happy with life. I can’t wait for our life to really get going though. We have been living in limbo for quite a while and I can’t wait to get some financial stability and to be back home again.

I have been off the radar these days. I have been really busy working, parenting, working out and occasionally socializing. I am ten pounds away from my ideal weight and I am looking great already! I am down another pant size and am starting to get some nice ab definition. My progress has been mostly documented on my other blog: www.theworldismysoyster.wordpress.com

But even though this blog space has been relatively inactive we have not. We have done Easter egg hunts. We have played t-ball and both of the boys are signed up for t-ball this year.

We have played tennis and played at the park. We have gone for walks and observed a robin in the back yard. We have shopped, played at the library and built Lego structures.

We have played with buttons: 

And played with markers and loved our “baby.”

And painted:

And actually, we’ve done oh so much more. We levelled the back yard and are reseeding it. When that all comes in we have many plans to be out there for meals and for play.

OK. So I need to rev up my calorie burning to lose the weight that has been sneaking back on since I started working in a very sedentary type job again (I miss the flexibility of home…).

I don’t eat on my lunch hour because I snack on fruits, veggies, salads and nuts all throughout the day instead. So I have a half hour to kill at lunch everyday.

Hmmm…

How about I start running at work?

Oh wait. I don’t really have a pair of running shoes.

So I went and got some. I also bought a nice running jacket so that I wouldn’t be freezing my arse off on the chilly days.

Now I need a place to store that stuff.

So I made one.

Here is my gym bag:

I have been keeping that mesh for a long time and finally found a good use for it. The mesh will keep my shoes airing out so that they don’t get all of my stuff stinky. There is also a smaller pocket for my hair elastic, headband and deodorant. I have a towel wrapped in there for wiping myself off a bit (if needed) and for drying off my shoes (if needed).

The shoes are comfortable. I hardly ever come across that. In my attempt to “break them in” I  have been wearing them all day. I went for a run around the block after lunch and was able to finish a full lap without slowing down (which I have never done before). I am sure that has very little to do with the shoes. Just sayin’…

And I also worked up a sweat on the elliptical and trampoline. I’ll wrap up with some core exercises for my flabby mid-section, have a hot shower and head off to bed.

Tomorrow we are hoping to burn up the tennis courts a bit. Weather permitting. We do live in Canada after all.

We haven’t played since it started snowing and now that the snow is almost all gone we are ready for some racquet action. I need to get my racquet re-gripped this year. I am wondering if I would do a good enough job if I did it myself.

I don’t really want to get into it but my husband’s job didn’t pan out and we got strapped for cash and I got the better offer on the job front. I am not happy about. Neither is my husband and neither are my children.

I am not that happy with my work environment. I am working in an office butt up against a shop and so my office environment constantly smell like dirt and dust and it is constantly dirty.

I am also the only female even remotely close to my age (that I have seen anyway) so I have no one to share my lunch with. I had lunch with a woman who was probably 40 years my senior but we shared interests in cooking etc. I don’t feel a connection at all with anyone there.

I don’t enjoy the work either.

 Boo hoo. So sad. Whatever.

It pays what I need to pay my bills and it is an early shift which means I get home early and have more of my evening to myself. I also miss the worst part of rush hour traffic too. Which I am happy about. I still really wish I could have worked closer to home and avoid the horrifying traffic altogether but none of this arrangement is really what I wanted.

I am trying to stay positive. I am trying to put good vibes out and focus on what I want. Which in this case is for us to get our place on the market and sold ASAP and then for my husband to get into his training soon.

The real bad news though is that being away from home means I am not getting to focus on my weight loss like I did and I have been gaining weight again.

This makes me so mad because I spent two months working hard and I lost 15 lbs and now it is all creeping back on.

There is stuff I can do. For example. I can make an effort to exercise at night. I am often busy with everyone else’s needs during that time but I could schedule an hour in there for me.

I could walk around during my lunch. I haven’t been because it’s an industrial area and there are no sidewalks. And it’s been chillier lately too.

My job keeps me at my desk pretty constantly. I don’t even get up for faxes or photocopying.

So I make an hourly trip to the bathroom and use that as an excuse to get up and stretch. I could do yoga in my cubicle but there is a massive window facing the shop entrance in front of my cubicle. So I’d be doing warrior two and some guys would walk by. Classy.

I am actually feeling a little bit better about the job now. I was very miserable for the first half of the week. I have come to grips with my reality now. But I do need to come up with a good strategy to avoid gaining all of my weight back.

I am thinking new running shorts (mine are too big now) and some new running shoes.

My husband has also been bugging me to start hittin’ the tennis court once again. That could be a start. I just worry it’ll be too cold for the kidlets who won’t be running around quite as much we will be.

Anyway,

I will be posting some more positive news soon.

I finished my sun the other day. I think it really needs a glaze. One of these days we’ll head over to the ol’ art store and see what they’ve got.

It looks too matte and it is very porous. I think a glaze would make a world of difference.

It now hangs in my kitchen. A little bit of Mexican sunshine for our depressing snowy lives.

Speaking of snow, it is getting warmer out there and it is melting. Woo hoo!

These pictures were taken on Monday’s walk:

I love how beautiful snow looks when it melts. Even dirty snow. It has such a voluptuous texture. I couldn’t help but run my fingers along the round ridges.

I have also found a little bit of time to paint. This is the newest piece in my new Urban collection. OK, it has two pieces in it but I think I may have finally found my art style.

I love it the way it is. My husband thinks it need a little something more. But it’s mine so it is staying like that. I love the simplicity and contrast. What do viewers think?

We have been very stressed these days. Luckily,  my husband and I have been making it a priority to not blame each other and to take time to reconnect with each other.

Money stresses are notorious for breaking couples apart but even though we are both noticeably stressed out we are still finding time to encourage and love each other. This is making all of the difference in the world.

We have also been making sure we go out for fresh air and exercise everyday and that we are trying to eat healthy. My husband also watched a documentary that touched on the concept of using Vitamin C to increase health and reduce stress etc. So he wants to buy a Vitamin C supplement. I assured him that we had lots of Vitamin C in our mostly raw diet but he insists on a supplement. How cute is that? I love my holistic hubby!

But the problem still persists even if we are trying not to let it get to us. And after waiting and waiting for a decent job to come up for my husband, our budget is getting desperate. So I called my old employer and they can get me working right away. Probably by Monday.

It really bites that I won’t have the time to play with my kids or to make art and crafts. To read and to uncook. But we need the money.

Plus my hubby has a minor surgery coming up this month and he would have to take about eight to ten work days off for it and that would be hard for us to budget too. So, I go back to work. He can focus on healing, our bills get paid and that’s really all there is to it.

Besides, I figure that after his career gets going he will be supporting me for the rest of my life so I am happy to be able to take this stress off of his shoulders for now.

He will still need to find a part time job to help us catch up from the last month of little to no income.

We would have been better off but he wasted two weeks with this company only to find out they lied to him about his earning potential. They wanted to pay him $11/hr. That’s after the two week $9/hr training period. Yeah, he has a house, a van, a wife and three kids. $11/hr should be enough. Right?

They knew he had a whole butt-load of people depending on him and they still lied to him. So he is expecting a tiny paycheque but it will not cover most of our expenses. Plus they asked him to use his van to tote people around and the company never compensated him for it.

They are scum bags!

But anyway, the company I am going back to pays me semi-fairly and I get a deposit in my account every Monday like clock work. I need that kind of stability after the last three months we have had.

I am not talking about a formal education here but rather an informal one. My kids have been a major driver in the topics that I have chosen to learn about in the last five years.

When I became pregnant with my first child I started reading about pregnancy and child birth. I was interested in natural birth but I didn’t know where to find midwives etc. And like many people who lack information I was also a little bit scared of birthing away from an hospital that had “professionals” on hand. So I went with a hospital birth.

I won’t go into it right now but my experience was not pleasant and I started searching for alternatives when I became pregnant with baby #2 (who was born at home in the water).  FYI: Baby #3 was born in a birth centre with a midwife. We did this simply because it was free and it was an equally  wonderful water birth. I heart my midwives. 🙂

My midwife with baby #2 was very holistic and encouraged me to look at more natural way of doing things.  I spent many, many months reading about everything from the safety of  natural childbirth and home birth, to the unhealthiness of processed foods and meat, to the merit of natural medicines.

This research branched off in many areas and resulted in our adopting many different philosophies in parenting and eating. We became vegetarians (who are mostly raw vegan now) who wore our babies in slings and co-slept. Even now, my baby is 15 months old and I am still nursing her. I have no immediate plans to stop.

Then when Trey started to grow older and started to become a lot more challenging I started pouring through dozens and dozens of parenting books. We desperately tried to undo the damage we had done by following Dobsonian (LOL! Dr. James Dobson) parenting methods. We followed his advice for a while but that seemed to only make our kids rebel more. Time outs, punishments, yelling and in our desperation, spanking, only made Trey angrier and less cooperative. I have now learned that a hug can be much more effective at encouraging good behaviour than a time out!

It was through this learning that we learned to practise attachment parenting with our children and not just our babies. I am constantly falling off of the wagon but I try again and again because the happiness, security and self esteem of my children is important. In our parenting we strive to show our kids that we love them even when they act in ways that are difficult for us to accept. And that is hard for us to do too.

I have also looked into many different topics relating to their health. I have read extensively about vaccination, vegan diets, antibiotic use in children and treating childhood diseases at home.

When our eldest was about three and a half we started thinking about schooling. I had always known that I wanted to homeschool but as we started looking at all of the different philosophies of parenting we became aware of one called unschooling. We fell in love with it and have been thoroughly enjoying practising it in our home.

And when our kids show interest in a topic now we find that we begin to learn about it too. For example we started learning quite a bit about nature on our nature walks. We now have all kinds of field guides that help us to identify plants, clouds, animals and bugs.

And lately our kids have sparked an interest in space in my husband. My husband has been avidly reading about the different planets and I have been inspired by his interest and have been immersing myself in the articles and photos from the Hubble Telescope site as well as from my own guides at home and from Wikipedia. 

I have learned things about space that have been blowing my mind.

For example. I have learned that the sun is actually a star. And that there are many, many stars that are much, much, MUCH bigger than ours (see illustation below). I have also learned that some of these other stars have solar systems of their own.

Which means there is potential for life in other areas of our very vast universe. I have also learned a lot about telescopes (how they are built and which ones are good for which conditions etc.) and Kevin has been teaching me all about planets.

I am also up to date on the current theory of star birth and am getting to be pretty well versed in the terminology. Words like nebula used to mean nothing to me but I can tell you what it is and what the difference between an asteroid, a meteor and a comet is. LOL.

All this just because my son got interested in planets. 🙂

The image below came from this blog post: http://tomsastroblog.com/?p=5198  You can click on the image to see it zoomed in. It helps with reading the names etc.