Thursday, March 31, 2011

Checking in with Myself

You know that way that children have of expressing their needs as if each one is an emergency and must be addressed NOW!? It sends me into a panic. My stress level rises immediately, and I've been known to raise my voice at them or shush them angrily just because I know it's not an emergency and I'm peeved that they stressed me so.

In my better moments, what seems to get me through, without having a tantrum of my own, is to plant my feet firmly on the ground and center myself by focusing on my torso (stomach area... but it moves) and ask, "Is there anything I really need to take care of before responding to my child?" Usually the answer is "no" but just asking helps immensely, because I've given myself the space and opportunity to take care of myself and choose.

Jolene =)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baby Love

We've been having a few warmer days without rain!

Aurora needs to be in my arms constantly, as if the world is going to end in minutes if I am not there... but we managed to get this sweet picture with John. Quick, before she notices what happened!

Jasmijn enjoys her baby sister, is extra clingy to me since Aurora's birth, and is sometimes jealous, but mostly so sweet, hugging and helping.

Joran is such a serious big brother! He loves Aurora so much and loves to hold her. He was soooo proud of himself one day when he carried her around while I was putting on my shoes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some Photos


Joran with the box of Legos he picked out from the wall in their store.

Joran admiring his bat Bionicle creation.

Aurora in the sling

Monday, March 14, 2011

Celebrating Candy!

We picked Daddy up from the office and ended up at the mall candy store. Jasmijn let out a gleeful squeal upon arrival, "Caaandy stoooore!" Delightfully unforgettable!

John, Joran and Jasmijn loaded up. I knew I'd get a few tastes here and there, so I didn't choose any. I'm more of a pastry and chocolate person, anyways.

John's candy was gone before we got home, but Jasmijn and Joran ended up spreading theirs out, counting it, sorting it, designing creatures with it.... I'll be reporting this on Joran's homeschool Student Learning Plan. I think it'll qualify for math and art, at least.

Jolene =)

Personal Style

Why does my daughter have a mind of her own?!
I picked out this oh-so-cute outfit for her to wear, but she adamantly refused!

And then she picked out the little number she has on below...
Admittedly also very cute... and she even sort of coordinates with her brother. But... whine, whine, whine... I want to just dress her up the way I want to dress her up.

I need to buy a baby doll of my own!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I love TV!

The title of this post could be deceptive... and a bit strange if you know me. I don't watch much TV. What I do watch is mostly because I happen to be watching with my husband, children or other friends. On top of that, I didn't have a TV during much of my childhood, what I did get to watch was often controlled (adults get priority, sometimes 30 minutes was the limit "because TV's not good for you," etc...), and there was always some background voice telling me what a bad influence TV was. I think the main reason I didn't watch TV into adulthood was because of those background voices. I felt guilty whenever I sat down to watch, because I felt that I was wasting my time.

But thank goodness I got married and had kids! First my husband's passion and then my children's forced me to change my opinion completely. Now, I appreciate the television for being a window to the whole wide world without actually having to go there. Through TV, I also have access to other people's visions, ideas, imaginations, passions, etc... without having to leave my front door, either. How great is that!

I used to only really appreciate "educational" shows, such as you might find on PBS, but now I even appreciate Spongebob! Have you ever really payed attention to that little guy? What a great value system! He's loyal, hard-working, creative, entrepreneurial, friendly, cheerful, not afraid to show his feelings, honest, uplifting, fully authentic... he doesn't let "reality" get in his way, and employs a real get-er-done attitude. Oh, and he's FUNNY!

I've heard some people say that watching TV is a mindless activity. Some people say that it's not good for us, because our brains are usually in Alpha mode rather than in active Beta mode. I've read a bit of research on this and can understand some concern about how advertisers may be able to affect us when our brains are in a "meditative" Alpha state, but I'm still not convinced on that, because the research isn't reflecting our real lives... not the real life we're living in this house, anyways. What I have seen in myself is that I am thinking a lot while I watch TV, analysing the information that's coming in and asking all kinds of questions that I will later use to do further thinking and exploration on my own. As for my children, I see them watch a little TV and then start asking me questions about what they see and playing out what they've seen, reinventing it, adding to it, creating something new based on an idea from TV.

It's not that we have the TV on all the time in this house. There are still some times when I ask John to turn it off or come in the other room with me when I'm wanting company without the background noise and distraction. He honors that need. Honoring everyone's needs is part of a joyful life.

Which leads me to the fact that my time is up here on this blog as Joran has asked me to do something with him, but just one parting statement...

TV is totally tube-ular!