The Bookmarked Life is my take on catch-all posts–a record to help me remember this season of life.
Right now I’m:
…my philosophy/theology/ethics of social media use as my kids get older. I see lots of resources to keep kids from doing dumb things online, but what about things that parents post ABOUT kids online? In the past I’ve had a habit of recording funny things the kids do and say on Facebook, but a recent episode when an anecdote about me was misrepresented on Facebook made me nervous–I can handle it because I’m an adult, but what if that happened to one of the kids because I unthinkingly put up a story about something I thought was funny? I may need to record those moments differently to protect their privacy. I’m interested to know if anyone else is thinking or writing about this!
…Furnishing My Mind
Eliza had a vocabulary explosion while we were out of town in July. They say that a change of location often has that effect on kids, and certainly it’s true of Eliza! One I really want to remember is the way she says “statue.” It sounds like “staht-yeuw” and we keep trying to come up with reasons to make her say it because it’s so cute and funny.
In another great example, Eliza came dancing into the room wearing her sister’s ballet slippers. She hauled her foot up on my lap and said, “DIE! DIE plezz!” I was taken aback. My word! She’s only two and already has had enough of me!? Then I realized that the string was untied and she was trying to say “TIE please.” That was a relief!
…Living the Good Life
We had a great week at the beach with my parents (pictured above), enjoying the sand and the pool and getting a good break from our home turf.Then Josh had to get back to work but the kids and I spent another week with my parents at their lake house. My parents got this huge inflatable thing to drag behind the boat and the kids had a blast.
The lake they live on is huge, with lots of fun coves and waterfalls to explore and rock formations to climb.
We visited a bunch of interesting places like the Biltmore House gardens, a science museum, and two museums in our own city, one of which offered a hands-on opportunity to pan for gold! Fool’s gold, but still fun!
We started school again on August 3, with a revamped schedule, new approaches to problem areas, and some different ways of doing things. With a 4th grader, 3rd grader, 1st grader, toddler, and new baby due in November, we were due for some problem solving. One innovation I have high hopes for is Table Time. This section of our day is where I’m putting non-core subjects on a loop. If I try to do Latin, Spanish, geography, artist study, composer study, poetry analysis, Shakespeare, and things like that every day, some of them wind up not getting done. This year I set up a schedule to hit each of those topics twice a week during table time. We will do those subjects all together, at the table, while the kids eat a mid-morning protein snack. I also added in memory work and a brief calisthenics break to this part of the schedule, and so far I think it’s going well. If the new setup keeps working once the novelty wears off I will post more about it.
Eliza needed a backpack for co-op this year, so I grabbed a ridiculously cheap one that had decent colors. Then I felt bad for buying my child a $3.97 backpack so I decided to upgrade it a little. Fortunately I have a huge collection of embroidery flosses and found three to match the colors. I added a flower and vines, then her monogram, then some more scrolly things, then put stripes on the monogram. I could probably do more, but enough is as good as a feast. I listened to podcasts while I embroidered and kept it simple, so it was a fast and fun creative project. She REALLY likes it and refuses to take the backpack off, even to sleep. If you lose Eliza these days, you can just listen for her little voice singing, “Mah backpack! Mah backpack! Zaza’s backpaaaaaaack!”
I started tracking my time in August (more about that later) and one thing I remembered from previous time logs is how very, very much time I tend to spend in the kitchen. With school starting back up and work to keep up with and a toddler who really, really, really wants to be snuggled around 5:30 every afternoon, dinner prep can easily be an hour and a half of cooking while breaking up fights and dragging a crying kid or two along while they are attached to my legs. I enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen, but I prepare three meals a day for six people so I don’t always want to go full gourmet. As this problem crystallized in my mind, Lora Lynn posted one of her seriously helpful updates (I consider her a virtual mentor, even though she has no idea who I am) and I decided to do some freezer crockpot meals.
I found some meals that seemed to fit with the way we eat (mostly protein and vegetables with lots of flavor) and used Lora Lynn’s tips to create 15 meals, prepared in crockpot liners, in just an hour and a half. There was an extra half hour of cleanup, but still, eight minutes per meal beats 90 minutes per meal hands down. I’ll keep you posted on how we like the meals, but I’m thinking that getting a few meals off the schedule might be worth it.
Every time I plug my phone into the car (I play audio books and music for the kids via the phone) the system defaults to the Hypnobabies: [Wahhhhwwwwwwnnnnnggggg noises] “Wellllllcome to your birthing day affirmations…..today is such a wonnnnderful day to enjoy liiiiiife.” It’s creepy. The kids can do a bang-up imitation of the lady, but this is getting on our nerves. However, due to how our music is stored now, I can never seem to get it from iTunes to my phone via my laptop. I have to use Josh’s computer instead, and I never remember to do this. I need a better system. Although for some reason I am now COMPLETELY convinced that today is a wonderful day to enjoy life.
What are you bookmarking this week?