Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My infant carseat review

We (read as: Me. Dh could have hardly cared less. Let's just say he liked "the brown one.") We, set out to get a carseat yesterday. I know - no hurry or anything, right? I sent him to Target with my list of the top three - he came home with the Baby Trend.

I took it back. It was hard as a rock inside. Very little padding, especially on the sides and not much in the back around the head either. Also, the logo is stitched right where the baby's head goes and it's itchy. I know I'm totally neurotic, but it works for me. So then it was between the Graco Safeseat and The Chicco Keyfit 30.

Personally, I thought the Graco was slightly more padded than the Baby Trend, but not much - and it totally depended on the fabric you got. The Keyfit felt awesome, so soft and padded, great infant insert - not at all crazy about the colours, but if I was in this parenting thing for looks, I wouldn't be driving a mini van. ;) ;)

So we got the Keyfit - the fire station guys had never seen one before, when I had them install it. Neither had kids, but both loved the thing in an instant. It has a way to adjust the base so the carseat is level - without adding that foam thing they usually have to add. It has its own belts to attach to the seatbelt and a super safe and easy way to tighten it. They called it the Cadillace. LOL! Anyway - for anyone in the market, I thought I'd give you my review.



Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've been tagged

by my wonderful friend over at has tagged me with this "meme." What does "meme" mean, exactly? Someone hook a girl up with an answer to this one, please. Anyway:

Starlight, star bright. I wish I may:

1. Stumble across some wonderful, chocolatey snack that makes you super organized, a wonderful cook and love to clean.

2. Sell that awesome recipe to Hershey so I can hire someone to cook, clean and organize my life - because I can't imagine, even if it came in the form of a chocolate delight, I would enjoy cooking, cleaning or organizing. So, I'll sell to Hershey, move somewhere warm, get Bean that dog she wants so badly, have acres of land, covered with huge magnolia trees, crepe myrtles, and a pond ringed with weeping willows. We'll have breakfast on the front porch and watch horses running in the pastures. I'll finally be able to have my sheep and chickens and spend all day playing with and homeschooling the girls. *sigh*

I wish I might:

1. Aspire to that beautiful dream, with or without the bankroll from Hersheys.

2. Remember that dust and laundry are the same every day, but childhood changes on a dime and is gone in a heartbeat.

3. Raise my two - soon to be three - girls to be strong Christians, strong women, strong dreamers and strong spirits.

Amazing women - may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you read this blog and want to share this on your own, then I would love to read your thoughts!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The latest

Bean and I (and Love Bug, of course) went to our local Classical Conversations open house. I was really looking forward to it. I'd been looking into some classical ed stuff in the couple of weeks leading up to it and let me just say, if I had set out to go as far in the other direction from Waldorf, Classical Ed would be it. LOL!

The open house was impressive and the Mamas and children were all so very nice and welcoming. They opened with prayer, then the pledge of allegiance to the Bible - which I love! Then they said The Pledge of Allegience to the flag. Then they went to their "classes." We sat in on the six year old class, where Bean would be in the fall. I missed about 30 min total of this because my wonderful husband was on his way home early to get Love Bug and was stuck in traffic. An 18 month old is not a fun addition to a class of six year olds trying to learn, but we managed until he got there.

I did get to see the kids sing their history song. All their "memory work" is set to music, which is neat. The song they were singing that day was to help them remember who led the Allied Forces in WW1. Huh. Of course, I'm thinking, Does my five year old need to know who led the Allied forces during WW1? It was very hard for me to wrap my Waldorf brain around, to be honest. They describe it like a peg board - kids work on the same curriculum from 4 years old to 6th grade, each year digging deeper into it, becoming more familiar with it. So the basic familiarity as in "Churchill - I remember that name from such-n-such a song . . . " lays the foundation for further learning later on. So all these kids did was learn the song - and they loved it. They all begged to sing it again and again. They all had snack together, which was brough by one family - which I think is nice.

Next, was on to art - where they looked at a few examples of work by the impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, who focused on texture. Then the kids were presented with several different cups of paint, some with glitter inside, some with sand, some with flour and some plain, so they could experience painting with different textures. Then it was back to the classroom to sing their conjugated Latin verb song and skip count - which is where they count by 2's, 3's, 4's etc - these kids were learning up to 8's - but they needed help at that level. They rolled a ball from one kid to the next, taking turns saying the next number in the sequence. Finally, it was back to the gym for a neat science experiment about force (force = mass x acceleration) where they rolled marbles down ramps into styrofoam cups and watched how much farther the cup moved depending on the degree of slant to the ramp.

Bean really liked it. She wanted to go back next week when they would all meet again, and was disappointed when she learned we just visited that one time. I asked her what her favourite part was, thinking of course - it would have to be the painting. She's been in Waldorf surroundings literally all her life. So, it must be the nifty art project. Nope. The skip counting.
Huh. OK.

It was SO different than any Waldorf thing I had ever done or anything I had planned on doing with her or had ever done with her. However, what we've been doing isn't working. It's not meeting her needs. I actually got into a brief discussion re: Waldorf Education with one of the mothers there, when asked about our homeschooling background. She said it would have been really great for her oldest child, who was very artistic and didn't actually start reading until that year (he was in 3rd grade.) This made me feel so much better - if a child can make it all the way to 3rd grade in that program without reading, then I feel better about it maybe not being so academically aggressive.

Bottom line - I'm simmering. Bean loved it - has asked to go back. The people were so so nice, so were the children. I love the fact that it is a Christian curriculum. I like that it can be as large a part of your homeschool curriculum as you want it to be. So, I'm thinking about it. I'm adding more academics to our schedule slowly, slowly and Bean is loving it. So, I have no set course, but I have a direction and that is enough for now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

not much else to say but . . .

How 'bout them Giants!!!!!!

What a great game!!!! I love it I love it I love it. How can anyone NOT like football?? I like so many players on the Giants team but even more than that - I really like Tom Coughlin. He was our old coach at the Jaguars and I liked him then and I am so happy for him and the team tonight.

WOO HOO!!!!!!

Then there's this:

The effect this man had on the Giants players is astounding. He rode to the stadium tonight in the team bus. When asked about Lt. Col. Gadson and what he has meant to the team during interviews that aired tonight, every Giants player interviewed stated that he had a monumental effect on the team and if they win, Lt. Col. Gadson would have to get a Superbowl ring of his own. Two players even said that, if he didn't, they were going to give him theirs. What an inspirational story. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE THIS GAME!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A bit of an update

Well, I have been looking into curriculum. If anyone has any advice to offer - I would appreciate it.

Sonlight - I just wasn't thrilled about this one.

Abeka - Nope. I didn't like the idea of sending Bean's work in for them to grade or the fact that the Bible portion of this curriculum is delivered via dvd by Mrs Bear. Finally, my Grandmother - whose opinion in regards to everything that has to do with children I treat as if Moses brought it down from the mountian - doesn't like it. She is a pioneer in the field of early childhood education. She speaks all over the country. She is simply amazing. I could start a whole blog on this subject alone. She said that it is almost all workbooks and that's not what kids need at all.

I also attended a meeting for a curriculum called Classical Conversations. Classical Education with a Christian focus. I'm going to attend an open house to see this in action. I feel I need to explore every option.

At home this week, I drug out the math workbook. Bean was thrilled. I thoought we could do a page or two. We did six pages and she would have kept going except I suggested we take a break and make brownies. Brownies? Math what? Workbook who? That's my girl!

We "did homeschool" every day this week. We read a Bible lesson out of this amazing book:
Egermeier's Bible Story Book, A Complete Narration from Genesis to Revelation for Young and Old. (My Grandmother's suggestion and, of course, it's awesome.) We have the 1939 printing and it is a treasure. Anyway, we read a story and I have found awesome printables online to go with them. We read the Creation story, she coloured a picture for what God created on each of the 6 days and then one for resting on the 7th day. Gotta love free, online resources! The next day we read the story again and looked at her beautiful colouring pages. Then she made a title page for her series, writing "God Made the World." She was so proud. The last day she drew her own Creation picture. We worked on numbers and she picks things up SO quickly. We read lots of books and played. One morning she asked why there was water on the inside of the windows. (Love Bug has a cold and we use a vaporizer for her at night.) So we discussed the whole water to steam and back to water thing. She wanted to know more. So I did a quick online search and found (again, love those printables!) colouring pages for the water cycle. She was so eager to discuss them and colour them for me. She wrote out another title page "The Water Cycle." It really spoke to her heart.

Now, her behaviour for me during the day. It's been awesome. She is getting over a cold and gets tired and cranky in the afternoons - yet refuses to sleep when I send her to her room to rest - however, out mornings have been wonderful. As soon as I put Love Bug down for a nap, Bean wants to do homeschool. Her manners are so wonderful, she is more patient with her sister. She is a happier kid!

I am still convinced I can marry her need for more academics with my love of Waldorf. I think the "head, heart and hands," philosophy is crucial - now more than ever, so she doesn't get too much into her head. We'll keep water colour painting and beeswax modelling. She loves to fingerknit and draw and explore outside and bake. Carefully, I can see how this will work and be a beautiful thing and will still meet her where she is.

Thanks to everyone who commented. I very much appreciate the support! I'll keep you posted!