I had promised change for the year 2011, and it starts first in the form of a new blog.

Being the change compulsory woman that I am (just look at my house to understand), I felt like this new path we are taking also needs a new form.  And since I am having the hardest time finding a form that I truly enjoy on WordPress, I am moving this blog to blogger.  (blogger, you better be good!)

so please follow the winds : http://thefreechild.blogspot.com/2011/01/welcome-bienvenue.html for our continuation!

 

please come and join me there!  I’d be happy to see and hear from you!

I’ll be back in just a little while ;)

 

Can you believe that my little pumpkin is almost 6 months!!!  I am having such a hard time realising how fast he is growing.  I try to enjoy every single moment with him, and not forget to cherish them!

During the holidays, I had (took) the time to read quite a few books.  Some for my personal enjoyement, but some for my family as well.  One of them was a book I had already read before:

which is IMO probably the most useful book explaining the Montessori philosophy  for infants.

There are some parts of the book that I don’t agree with.  Breastfeeding notably, weaning, sleeping arangements for some part.  But it is such a wealth of other information, that I was prepared to overlook those part and read the book again.

Again, it gave me so many ideas to enrich Pumpkin’s environment.  Many things I had already applyied, either because I remembred from the first time I read, or just because I had already did them with Peanut and was hapy with the results.

When we came back from the holidays, I was anxious to get back to work on modifying his environement and make it as friendly as possible for him.

So welcome to a tour of Pumpkin’s room:

2 words I kept in my mind while creating this space: simplicity, and adapted. I wanted his room adapted for him, and keeping it simple just allows that.

So here is the (cute) view when you get in: The floor bed

The first thing I needed to do was to install his floor bed. I couldn’t sleep him in his basinette any longer, so it was getting dangerous. I knew that a floor bed was the next step.

I used a IKEA matress that I bought for my DD. THe mirror is just next to the bed. I was afraid that it would keep him from falling asleep, but au contraire! He falls asleep looking at himself most nights (while I am putting the other 2 to bed). The mirror is currently not hung on the wall, we need to fix something on it, and so that is why the pillows are on each side: to protect DS
ON the bed, there is a beige blanket. It is a double size organic coton blanket folded in 2. When I put DS to bed, I put him in between the 2 layers, much like if it was a sleeping bag. He LOVES to sleep on his tummy (yes I know…but at this point, whatever I’ll do, he will turn anyways!), so this allows him to have the freedom to turn and not be caught in the blankets. (the blanket is tuck under the matress on both sides)

Next , the changing station:

A set of drawers with a dual purpose. With DD, the changing station was on the floor. However, having a back problem this time around, I had to have a changing station that was more back friendly ;)
This dresser is IMO too big for the room. It is pretty useful now as I have to store the cloth diapers, and the middle section is dedicated to that. But once DS1′s wardrobe done (we have just moved recently), we will take the cabinet he is using right now, and move it to this room. The cabinet is a Ikea system that is very child friendly, and a lot smaller. But in the meantime, this will do.
I have added artwork near the chaging station for him to look at. The drawing are from the Wee gallery
Next to his bed, between the bed and the door, there is a little shelving to store toys
there are only a few toys there at a time:
and right beside that is the potty station:
We are ECing with this baby, and so having a potty in the room really makes things easier
I have also added on the floor a lambskin ( no pics sorry)
Since this room is supposed to be an office, it was made with ceramic tiling. Not really perfect for a little one. But with the floor bed, he has a nice place to play, and this addition on the floor makes another spot for him to enjoy while feeling another sensation on his skin.
I am currently working on some new artwork for his room, hopefully they will be ready next week. i’ll post about that later.
Finally MOBILES! Mobiles are a big thing in the infancy period. I have asked DH to fix a plant hook on the ceiling of the room. THis allows me to have a variety of mobiles, even ones that he can pull on like this:
t is a mobile that I have found at Micheal Olaf. It is attached to an elastic, and so when he reaches for the hook, he is able to bring the mobile to his mouth. The elastic is not too elastic though, because otherwise he could get hurt when releasing the mobile. He LOVES this mobile, as it makes sounds when he graps it, so it is rewarding for him.
having fun on the floorbed…
there are a few ressources out there about the environment of the infant.  THese are the ones I used or got inspired from:
- Montessori from the start
-Albums from Montessori research and development
-And of course Finn’s room from Meg at Sew Liberated

As I am navigating in this world of homeschooling, unschooling and the such, I have also stumbled upon what a “rebellious” teacher calls un-education (la déseducation in french).  which is a way of calling the compulsory schooling in which most kids are subjected.  I am growing more and more aware of this, after reading many books by Mr Gatto, Mr Holt and other well known reasercher in this area.

I have stumbled upon a link to 2 ONF videos that really are striking in regards to education and how things are handled in our society.

The first one is a tale of a young kid that is being overdosed by his parent.  No, we are not talking drugs, but activity!  He is clearly going through a time-deficit disorder, a syndrom that need to be invented if it is not already!  SO many kids are in this situation, and as a matter of fact, a lot of adults too! A good reminder to take some time to do nothing, to just live and breathe!

The second one really reminds me of my own school years, where creativity, and stepping out of the box was clearly NOT something that was really hoped for (dare I say discouraged…), and conformism was the clear (and yet untold) objective…

These video have been made by french people, and may contain french words, but there are only a few words said, so don’t be bothered by the language.  You’ll get the point nontheless ;)

Enjoy!

Overdose

E

Well, first off, from my family to yours, merry belate Christmas, and happy (belate) new year!

 

May this year be a one filled with love, happiness and joy (and can I add for my own self sleep? –  thanks to this little bundle of love…:)

We have been very busy during the holiday season, and so I decided to really focus on my family during this time.

Transitions and special occasions are always a little hard on my oldest son, and in those times, he always requires more mama time ;)  (bless him!)

When I was a kid, I used to really love Christmas, but not so much new year’s.  I never really quite understood why, probably because there wasn’t as many traditions attached to it compared to our Christmas celebrations.  But in the last few years, I have started to appreciate more this day, as I see it with new eyes.  We still don’t have many traditions attached to it, but I now see it as a new beginning, a fresh and clean slate for the upcoming year.  A time to pause and congratulate myself for the good things, and ponder over the not-so-good ones.  And this year, this cleansing process, this assesment of 2010 was necessary.  I really want to make (again) some more changes around here, I am ready to go onto another level of personal growth.  I needed to really take the time to analyse what changes I want to establish which one to priorize and how to make all this happen.

2010 has been a year of research.  A year of learning: new things, new philosophies, and also learning about me, my family and about llife in general.

2011 will be a year of appliying this, of making it happen, making the changes I am  longing for.  And I am excited.  SO many possibilities seems available to me, it feels great.

So what is in store for me (us) this year?

Returning to work part time in september after having spent a whole year with my last born son (my last year of the kind sadly :(  )

and maybe officially homeschooling my then-6-year-old son, whom I am doubting more then ever will start school at our local public school

Dealing with 3 soon to me mobile kids…that should by itself be a challenge!

and implementing those changes that I feel my family is ready for.  Going to another level of APing, of sustainability, to keep on working with my oldest son (more about that in another post), continuying on making our house our home, changing our ways of doing of speaking of thinking in so many situations.

So it should be an exciting year.  I hope you’ll stay along to share all of this with me!

goodbye 2010, hello 2011!

when you just feel like not getting up in the morning because the night has been just too short

when you feel like you could stay in the shower for one hour and a half because that is the next best thing to being to bed (that is until there is no more hot water in the tank…)

when you just feel like curling in your living room all day in a rocking chair, knitting in hand, and not have to worry about anything else

when you would much rather just get hooked in a good book instead of having to put coat and boots to go shoveling the latest 15 cm of snow (!!!)

Where the only thing that would brighten this day is this:

still fuming right off the stove

yummmmmmmm

Today is a day  like this

don’t tell ;)

 

Receipe to a day like this

Whole milk

thick cream (10 or 15%)

vanilla bean split lenghtwise

cinammon stick

Chili infused dark chocolate

Dark 80% or more chocolate

honey to taste

Put cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in a saucepan.

Cover with milk and some cream (to make it thick, so go to taste.)

heat on low.

When about to boil, add chocolate by small pieces so they will melt, and stir

Add as much chocolate you want, I usually add 3/4 of a chocolate pack

Serve while hot on a day like this.

and enjoy!

 

Of course, having just about finished to unpacked most of the boxes, we have not yet had the time to prepare for Christmas.  Well, at least, not as usual.  And since we are already December 7th, we don’t have much more time to do the usual activities that we do around Christmastime.

But

We finally managed to FIND our Christmas boxes, and go through a few things.  And after digging through, the kids found this town set we have, but have not used in the past few years.  They obviously thought this was the greatest discovery ever.

So for the remainer of the crazy day we had yesterday (our first snowstorm of the year, and a good one!) we all enjoyed a much neede peaceful moment while  they happily played with this little town, creating tons of Christmas stories and of course, selling and buying their houses to one another!

and guess what mama was able to do while all those transaction took place?

My guess is this had instantly become a new Christmas tradition for years to come

Welcome to our house!

As we are welcoming december, we are finishing to open boxes and make this new house our home.  It has been a very exciting project, not to say the least.  Moving at a month’s notice with 3 young children, is definetly a challenge.  But here we finally are, just in time to celebrate our first Christmas here.

Setting this house up has been a very cleansing process for me.  It allowed me to get rid of old stuff, of clutter, of old habits (or at least trying to ) and embrace a new way, new look, new feel in our home.  We were longing, in our other house, to have a very simple, unclutted home.  I felt like we never managed to, I don’t know why.  Maybe we were not ready to part with everything we needed to let go in order to really acheive what we were hoping for.  But this new energy we had (needed…) to move really made us look beyond stuff, and helped us realized what we wanted.  A minimalist type of house.  As of today, we have less then 10 boxes to unpack, and only one room to finish up.  But as I look around, I can see this is an unfinished project.  We still have to infuse US in here.  Not just placing our stuff in convinient places, but really make it ours by making, creating, arranging, and living in it, and that is long term project :)

So let the tour begin

Today, I show you my new baby boy’s room.  Why this room first?  Because  I was not able to prepare while being pregnant, since our old house didn’t have enough room to allow him one, so guess which room I felt like settling first.  I guess I had some nesting hormones still raging inside me.

I set this room up with our goal of minimalism and simplicity in mind.

Now keep in mind, it really *IS* at it’s simpliest expression right now.  There are nothing on the walls *yet*, and have very few things since Pumpkin is still sleeping with us.  But with a little time, I should be able to complete all the projects I have for this room.

the colors of the wall are really hard to catch properly, and since there is almost a snow storm outside (sigh) I don’t have much light to work with.  We used Benjamin Moore Natura paint, which is a low VOC paint in a blue grayish color.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out on the walls, but I love it.  It is a very relaxing color.

Although this house is not really old, it was built at the begining of 2000, and has a modern look to it, we used many of our vintage piece of furnishing, and I really love the effect of the new contrasting with the old.  I feel like it give a little bit of life to this house that has not seen that many years yet.

And of course, we kept some of rituals too!

this has protected each of my babes while they were newborns.

but also added new ones:

I love this mobile, this fresh and crisp white color against the blue of the wall.  I love how it moves, and most of all how it makes Pumkin coos everytime he sees it.

I still have to add the wall art (something I am about to make), add some linen to the window, and add a basket of carefully chosen toys for him to play with.  Unfortunatly, he will not longer be able to use his bassinet really soon as he is way too god at turning over already (!!!) and so a floor bed is about to take the spot under the butterflies.

Happy St- Nic’s day!

AnD we finally have internet access! :)

After a very busy and crazy month of november, we are finally at our new house, in the process of making it our new home.

Stay tune for a tour soon!

 

I am realising, in my short carreer as a mom, how imitation is something (most of the time) good.  Necessary, Useful in fact.  Having read a lot about Montessori and Waldorf, I have come to see imitation as a important part of being a parent.  A tool in the toolbox that should not be forgotten, but used and repeated until it becomes an automatism, for you and for the kids.  Looking back, it amazes me how many tasks or transition I am able to perform now with my child without having to go through the battles that I used to.(Brushing teeth anyone?)How many things have my kids picked up simply by looking at us.  I have been grateful for this lesson that I have learned quite early when I became a mom, but that I didn’t use enough as first, not knowing it’s real power.

 

But I have come to realize in the last few days how imitation is even stronger then that.  Imitation works in a way more deeper level, one that will touch my children’s lives for a long time, and that will even shape who they are and what they believe, even at the ages of my own children, that are preschooler.  Imitation shapes beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.  And if anything, although I always thoughts values were something that was learned later in life, I think now that they are absorbed while they are little.  When they got older, they get to a point where they can change their values if they feel like they don’t mean anything to them, but the first set of values are the one they internalize.  How beautiful and yet so scary is that??

That means that everything we say and do, becomes the groundwork of what my children will be, will feel or how they  will see things.  They will build the rest on that basis, the one they are living in right now and just swallowing in.  If we never get to have dinner as a family, and we are always eating on the go, my kids will see this as being “normal” and will find strange to have friend that love to attend dinner with their  family.  We are currently teaching them what will be their “normality”

 

I have become more aware of this as I saw my 3yo stroll along with her baby on her back last week.  Since I am fairly busy in trying to get ready for this big move, I have been BabyWearing a lot lately. She saw me, day after day, gettingPumpkin on my back, and start to work in the house.   And the first thing I know, she wants to do just the same.  I am pround to be teaching those values to my kids.  Glad that this is a normality for them, just like breastfeeding will be.  Just like attachement parenting will be.  I am happy to have this 3rd LO of ours, so that my 2 oldest are really experiencing and seeing how we think child rearing should look like.  And I can see they are taking it in.  When I see my oldest caring for his baby brother the way we do, I see how powerful imitation really is, and how it is shaping him to act with little babies, and also with others.  I feel proud to see my children taking in these values, ones that I didn’t grow up with, but that I am trying to make mine through work, reading, and time.  And yet, it reminds me how each of my words, each of my action, state of mind are important when I am with them.  They might be really little still, but they are fully aware of so many things that we think go unnoticed.

food for thought!

have a great nov. 1st!

 

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