Saturday, January 24, 2015

Meditation & Mothering ~ January 19 - 25


I completed my 21 day meditation challenge and I only missed one day--because we left early in the morning to buy Jason a car and I didn't get to meditate or do yoga before and there was a lot of hoopla after--anyway, not dwelling on that.

I got in the habit of meditating after yoga.  I really want to keep doing this.

One of the guided meditations I listened to suggested that when you get "monkey brain" you just tell yourself, "I give my brain permission to relax"  I found this really, really helpful.  It was better than just observing the thoughts, which I can't do without actually thinking about them--I guess I am not that evolved or Zen or whatever.  But saying, "I give my brain permission to relax" when I thought about laundry or what I was making for dinner or whatever,  actually made me relax deeper.

The other thing that helped and I found myself even doing this in my car when I was waiting for the girls at an activity was a suggestion that my husband gave me.  I counted as a breathed in and then counted as I breathed out and tried to get my inhale and exhale to be the same length.  It worked really well and gave me something to focus on so I didn't think about anything other than my breath.


One of my friends posted this on Facebook: "Stop Pointing Your Avocado at Me".  

I have often felt judged by and in competition with other mothers.  Sometimes I have to hold myself back from writing posts about it.  I feel judged if I let my kids have junk food or if we don't eat entirely organic or if I don't have my kids in tons of activities or if I eat gluten or dairy or am not a disciple of Weston Price or...or...the list goes on and on... .  I think a lot of my blog writing probably reflects me trying to justify and explain all of this.  I will say that part of it is that I have had moms say things that I think were in direct response to me (When my daughter didn't want to do Pop Warner cheer in first grade, a mom told me it was "social suicide"; another mom told me that "family dinners were out and Monday was for McDonalds, Tuesday was for Taco Bell, etc. " when I didn't have my kids in more activities) and the author does acknowledge that there are moms out there like that, whether they are justifying their own actions or they really believe they have all the answers is irrelevant, but if people make you feel that way, they are toxic and you should leave them alone.  I have had other moms say, "Wow, everyone really is different, my kids like to be on the go, I admire that your kids can stay home and be content to read"--that is a healthier friend, those are the friendships to cultivate.  At the same time, I need to take responsibility for myself and my actions, someone can say things to me, but I don't need to absorb it and react to it.

Reading that post made me question blogging.  As I said, I KNOW that some of my posts were in response to feeling judged for my parenting decisions or even my religious or political beliefs--and some of that was as crazy as the mom in the article thinking the avocado mom was there just to make her feel bad, because NO ONE even KNEW my religious or political beliefs.  I made the decision 18 months or so ago to stop blogging because I honestly do not really fit in in the homeschool blog world--I am not conservative either politically or religiously and I often felt like I didn't fit in in the blog world.  Friends and family kept commenting on how they missed the updates and photos and so I started trying to do periodic updates on what we are doing for them.  Right now, this blog is really just about me updating those people who care a lot about my family and want to know what we are up to.


Last week was very writing intensive.  The girls came home Monday morning from walking the neighbors' dogs and were all excited about ideas they had for writing a play.  They immediately opened a shared Google doc and ideas just flew around our living room as they worked for hours on it.  I was fine with canceling what I had planned for "school for the day", climbing in bed with my book and my laptop to watch Nashville and just letting them be.  

Over the course of the week:
  • Math - Piper and I worked more on reducing fractions and factoring to find common denominators.  Allie finished a chapter on Rational Equations in Algebra and did well on the test.  
  • Chemistry - Jason completed Lesson 4.4 with them in American Chemical Society Middle School chemistry last weekend and 4.5 this past weekend--they also watched Crash Course Chemistry on the Periodic Table, looked over a book on Elements Jason's brother gave us for Christmas, listened to the Periodic Table song on youtube several times and did several experiments.   (We are attempting to make a big effort in Science because it is an area that we have neglected over the years).
  • Writing - The girls both drew/designed very detailed floor plans of a house--their dream house, our house, a novelty house, whatever {this was to be their writing assignment for the week before the play idea popped up, I was fine to let it go, but they wanted to do it; however, they will finish the project next week as we all agreed that time spent writing the play while they were enthusiastic was a good writing lesson}.  The next part of this assignment is to write a detailed essay about the floor plan of the house.  Once they are done with the essays, they will give the essay to either me, my parents or Jason and have us read it and see how similar a floor plan we draw is to their detailed floor plan.  (This is our take on Writing Strands Book 4, Lessons 9 & 10, which is supposed to be about your own house, but we thought it would be fun to create a different house to draw and write about).
  • More Writing - The girls spent a few hours several days working on their play
  • Italian - The girls and I finished Lesson 1 in Rosetta Stone Italian Level 1; Jason doesn't have quite as much time as we do so he still has a few lessons to go.
  • Film Study - We watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"--one of my favorite movies and discussed the theme, plot, camera angles, whether we liked or didn't like it and why.  The girls thought it was "trippy" and it was the first movie they have ever seen where the plot isn't clear and there is a lot of viewer discovery.  Since this was the first film the girls have ever seen where the plot was not clear, they had a hard time trusting what they thought was going on--it was really cool to discuss it and have them say what they thought was happening and tell them, "Yup, that's what was going on" and I could tell that they felt smart that they got it when the plot wasn't obvious and clear.  It was also cool for me because about a third of the way in, I started to think it might be over their heads, so when we discussed it and they understood what was going on, it was like WOW, my kids are growing up!!! There was a lot to think about and discuss not only about plot, but also about moral and ethical dilemmas (memory erasing--may seem like a good idea when you are in pain or mourning, but both of my girls were quick to realize and point out that you would also have to forget all the good stuff that causes that pain and mourning and they wouldn't want that; one of them brought up the old saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".  It ended up being one of the deepest discussions we have ever had and it was really cool to see that they are capable of this.
  • Out of the House - Piper went to pottery and Allie went to e3; they had a friend sleepover mid-week; they walked the neighbors' dogs every day for their dog walking business; we went to the orthodontist on Friday--woo hoo!
  • Writing Club - We hosted another Writing Club on Thursday. 
  • Music - Jason went to guitar lessons on Thursday evening. 
  • Friends - The girls had a friend sleepover mid-week.  They had been wanting to have this friend sleepover for a while because there are certain movies that they wanted to watch with her/she wanted to watch with them, so when her mom had a busy week due to work, I jumped in and said it would be a good time for a sleepover--gotta love homeschool schedules!