Loving summer living

Summer vacation, stay at home mom for 12 weeks. 

Kids thrive in structure. 

Our structure, which I have written about previously, has recently evolved to allow for Witchlette’s ideas and preferences. 

Monday continues to be Make it Monday and it’s everyone’s favorite day. A day of baking!

Tuesday is still Touring Tuesday, where we go to a local kids museum to which we have memberships. 

Wednesday is went from Wonder Wednesday where we planned, and failed, to go to library story time. We now, per Witchlette’s request, have Watch It Wednesday. The movie theatre has $1 tickets, with parents getting in for free. On weeks when the movie is not worth a dollar, we’ll pop corn at home and watch some Netflix. 

Thursday is Thinking Thursday. We read a book and make a craft related to the book. Thoughtful Thursday, where we give back to the community, is slowly becoming a regular thing. It feels disingenuous only doing it over the summer and is hard to arrange with toddler schedules. 

Friday is still Free Play Friday, which is going to involve park time, in-home playing, and just general unscheduled time. I couldn’t handle day after day of unstructured time, but once a week is good for their development, especially when Witchlette complains she is board. 

I’m greatly looking forward to the summer time with my loves!


A wrap

Tomorrow the alarm will sound. I will rise and prep for the day. First day of the 16-17 school year. Teacher work days for the whole week, but still a full work week

This summer has been great. Refreshing. Rejuvenating. In more than just I’m an educator and I need a summer vacation, but as a chance to get to know my son. Witchling had the bad habit of not napping when he was younger. He would be so exhausted, he would fall asleep in the car on the way home and sleep until dinner, play for a short time, then go to bed. I think part of my problems were that I didn’t know him other than to feed him. This summer, especially on days when Witchlette would sleep and Witchling would be awake, we got time together just the two of us. And what a blast!

He is also older and is blossoming so very much. He has tempted his first steps, has quite a few words in his little vocabulary bank, and is just so bubbly and happy. 

And I do believe he’s going to follow in his sister’s footsteps with his enjoyment of Magick Circle. Today, while buckled into the baby wearer on my back, he craned himself so he could see all that was happening at the altar space. I had to turn to the side to allow him a full view. 

As an aside- the ritual leader called Odin to the Circle and boy did he deliver. I personally have always been tentative to work directly with Allfather as he is not someone with whom you commune on a whim. After he was invited to the Circle, a rather large murder of crows (yes, murder, look it up) descended to the area outside of the garden. Some were large enough they appeared to actually be ravens. One of them left a gift for me behind my car- a new feather for my altar. I’m considering beginning a working relationship with Allfather. Was a great way to end the summer. 

While I cannot say I am happy to be returning to work, simply because it means I am no longer with my kids all day every day, I also know that this way will be more beneficial to them (and to me) in the end. On Thursday, I was speak with a neighbor who is a SAHM with an almost 4yo and a 7yo. Her oldest started school and she was lamenting how unfair it is that this forced institution takes her kids away from her. It can be a huge change for kids who just stay home with mom to start kindergarten and be away for the whole day (I’ve seen children who also thrive and families who make it work). It’s going to be a big deal for Witchlette and huge for Witchling who has gotten himself into a sleeping through the night napping 2 hours a day groove. We all get a break from real life and we all get time to be together. But 24/7 just us can be exhausting on relationships. I want my kids to be secure in their relationships outside of the immediate family. I want them to be fully functional people. I want them to thrive. And I don’t know how to do that without having them rely on someone else for a few hours a day. 

Besides, if I was a permanent SAHM, I’d have to also be responsible for the other classically woman jobs: cooking and cleaning. And I am a shitty housekeeper. 

Cheers to Summer 2016. It was a blast!

192 work days until Summer 2017…

Gratitude month: day 6

For the rest of my maternity leave, I am keeping Witchlette home every Friday and enjoying my time with both of my babes. 

As today was a really nice fall day, we spent the morning at the park. Witchlette got to swing, play in the sandpit, and have a snack of raisins. Witchling hung out in my wearer snug as a bug. 

After raisins, we went for a lovely walk. 

 We then met Hubby for lunch and headed home for our nap. After naps, we will spend the afternoon doing free play- art, toys, books- whatever strikes her fancy. 

While my time as a SAHM is limited to this maternity leave, winter, spring, and summer breaks it is time I am relishing in. I am grateful for the time with my babies, for the proximity of Hubbys job and flexibility to get lunch, and for autumn days like today. 

Summer Routine

Free play with a toddler is draining. Mentally draining. I’m all up for pretend play- take our figures, cars, buildings and make a little world. Have everyone interact. Make a little story. 

But Witchlette isn’t there yet. She’s getting much closer, but she’s not there yet. And I adamantly refuse to have her know my face only around the corners of my screen. I may pick up my phone to text Hubby or snap a quick photo, but typically, the phone is on the table and sits around until nap time. Facebook app has been uninstalled to make this more possible. Take away the bate and the fish won’t bite. 

So, free play. Can’t do it on a daily basis. Her attention is still in small increments and her imagination is still developing. To have a fulfilling summer, we have a schedule. Each morning between breakfast and nap has an activity. Each afternoon has some reading time (Witchlette’s favorite activity) and free play while I work on dinner. 

Make it Monday

-We bake. Last week we made rice crispy treats and waffles. This week, we made Witchlette’s birthday cupcakes (her 2nd birthday was yesterday!) Next week, more waffles and cookies. 

Take a Tour Tuesday

-Last week and today we went to a children’s museum in Durham where I have a membership. Next week, we’ll be going to the State museum then lunch with Hubby who works near by. 

Wonder Wednesday 

-Toddler story time at the library followed by choosing some books 

Thrifty Thursday*

-A craft based on a book. Last week we made an ABC “sunshine” with a paper plate and clothes pins while reading Dr. Seuss’s ABCs. This week we’re going to make salt fire works, since our town’s celebration will be that night. We’ll read a Captain America book to go with it. Next week is egg carton caterpillars and pipe cleaner/tissue paper butterflies with Hungry Hungry Caterpillar.  

*This may become Thoughtful Thursday as she becomes older and more aware of her surrounding community. These activities will move to Wonder Wednesday as she will age out of library story time.  

Free-spirit Friday

-If it’s not oppressingly hot, we will take some sand toys, bubbles, and chalk to a park and play outside. All of the local playgrounds have sand pits and many have swings. Almost all of them are based in a park with a great deal of woodlands and a green way. If it’s too warm to go to a park, we will hit the community pool before lunch. 

Yesterday, Witchlette helped to make her birthday cupcakes. This is a big reason why I don’t want a play kitchen for her. Not only do we not have the room for it, it’s inauthentic. She helps us cook and bake with real food and real developmentally appropriate kitchen tools. 

Any way, we made two batches of “just for two” cupcakes. One chocolate and one vanilla. Witchlette helped level the flour, and poured in the salt and baking powder. She also helped mix. For topping, we made cookies and cream whipped topping. 

Hubby calls is “Baking with Thor”

Finished product