Wednesday, January 2, 2013


As one year slid into the next, I found myself low-energy and rather uninspired.  I was not at my best and brightest as a learning facilitator, parent, or person in general.  It was good timing for it, as far as feeling down goes, because the girls had lots of new presents from other family members to keep them busy, and their Papa had the whole week off of work.

I have found myself here before, and realized  that if I don't fight it and beat myself up for it, that my energy and patience and joyfulness will come back around in time.  Honoring the down time for what it is, a conservation of energy, a precedent to renewal, a gathering of strength (or patience, or health, or inspiration), can make those guilty feelings dissolve, those feelings of 'I'm being lazy, not good enough, etc.' 
science experiment kits
red cabbage powder as pH indicator

wooden butterfly wall decoration

Even though we've mostly been great homebodies since our visit to Minnesota, we had a lovely lunch out on New Year's Eve complete with a roasted veggie and tofu sandwich on flatbread, eggplant korma, a fruit plate, gluten-free pizza, a soy-sorbet shake, and flan.

There was plenty of Netflix and Wii and sister-snuggles, taking turns on the indoor swing, and an entire round of 99 Bottles of Beer Milk on the Wall with giggles and jumping around in circles on the mini-trampoline.  They got through the entire song.  "Take one down, pass it around, zero bottles of milk on the wall!!!"

There were snow ball fights and sledding.  In other words, they kept themselves busy while I did pretty much the minimum of upkeep (feeding, clothing, bathing, and soothing).

I cooked a bit, knit a lot while sitting in front of the woodstove (or Netflix), read some, and relaxed.
starting a thrummed mitten, inspired by a post over at The Sitting Tree

Today, with my energy on a decided upswing, the girls declared themselves tired of the TV and Wii, and wanted to play school, one-room-schoolhouse style.
We got out our blackboard.  Camille wrote words with the short e sound and we talked about the different letter combinations that can make that sound.  Sylvia wrote the alphabet up to U, and Ayla drew circles.  We kept it simple.  Then it was time for recess and lunch, which lasted much longer than lessons!

After a lunch of summer sausage, cheese, nut and rice crackers, navy beans cooked in chicken broth, and sliced pineapple, the girls shared more activities, tried to all climb into one sleeping bag, attempted manicures, etc., while I started new batches of kombucha and kimchi.

Ayla's new knit hat

thrummed mittens, awaiting a thumb
The inside of these mitts is pure warmth.  Little bits of wool roving are knit into the stitches and their ends fill the mitten with fleecy goodness.

Just as the girls were showing signs of feeling the lack, after several days without lots of active attention, I was back to myself, feeling renewed and ready for 2013.  I encourage my children to take the time they need for privacy, for cocooning, for activity, for engagement, for learning and living in their own individual way, and when it comes around, I can do the same for myself.  I do try to be pretty sparing with this sort of thing, as they won't always be 2, 5, and 9, but the need for self-care is important at 35, too.  Yes?

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