How To Train Your Six Year Old

I’ve had a six year old for over a month! I keep meaning to write about this milestone and his birthday celebrations. I never wrote about his 5th birthday, and don’t want the same to happen here. In brief, he had a friend party, his first movie theatre experience, a park hang with Grandpa, and Build-A-Bear and Rainforest Cafe with myself and Gramma. He’s been very into dragons and Vikings. Time for pictures!

Viking hat prototype! I used a few patterns/tutorials and might make a post of what I did. And yes, we know Vikings didn’t really wear hats with horns.

Gramma was in charge of making the light fury and toothless decorations.

I made Viking hats for all the kids instead of goodie bags.

Homemade party decorations! He glued the paper together, colored the dragons, and colored in the letters.

Light fury and toothless made from foam sheet scraps and pressed between a laminating sheet.

Simple healthy food is how we roll. I try not to use disposable things, but I couldn’t figure out a better way to do it.

He wanted rice crispy treats instead of a cake. I accidentally bought the not gluten free kind so I couldn’t have any. He insisted on candles, but no singing.

Playing with one of his gifts after the party.

I made this toothless shirt!

Toothless shirt, pirate pants, and Viking hat while watching previews in the lobby of the movie theatre.

Hugging his brand new light fury stuffed animal.

Rainforest Cafe and birthday pictures.

This is his birthday crown my mom and I made him when he was one. He would not let me take a picture of him so I set him up to take his own selfies.

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Poofy Organics and Poofy CBD sale

Earth day sale coming up! Poofy main site can be found here and this is my CBD affiliate link. Let me know if you are interested or have any questions. I am no long a Poofy Guide, but will gladly help or direct to a friend. I will announce the codes the day of the sales.

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MicroBlog Monday: Get Outside!

It is spring here in Michigan, which means we just had snow and freezing rain after two weeks of gorgeous weather. Ha!

I’ve been making a point to get us outside as much as possible, which sometimes means loitering around the places we are going to, like the art museum or library. But I’ve also managed lots of hikes and walks and park trips. I am trying to get us exploring new places as I get bored going to the same ones.

I also have the goal of getting us in a canoe this year and going camping again. Hopefully our first bike ride of the year will be soon!

Loitering outside the art museum in his new birthday shirt.

Loitering outside the library.

Our favorite local playground.

Exploring a county park I had no idea existed. It wad quite muddy and was close to dinner so we didn’t get very far.

Swing break before heading back. We walked a path in the town we used to live in that we used to bike. We paused for sword fights, tree inspections, and Pooh sticks.

Visited an old favorite after swim lessons. Had lunch under the pavilion and got birthday presents from Grandpa.

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Take a Hint

Since Wallace was an infant, I’ve had to stand my ground when strangers touch him. I tried to be kind, but sometimes they just didn’t get it. It’s as if people feel entitled to touch, comment on, and intrude upon babies just because they can’t talk and are small and cute. I once had a woman working the meet department at the grocery store touch his foot. Another time, a cashier at the store touched his face. I called her out on it and she tried to say she didn’t. Sometimes I just wanted to scream at people but I tried to keep my cool and be respectful even when they weren’t.

When it came to friends and relatives, I always felt obligated to facilitate them being able to hold and interact with Wallace. He was a very attached and high needs baby and toddler. If I let someone else hold him, or they got to him without permission, he had this warning sound, before he would start to cry, that sounded like a laugh. People would think that meant he liked whatever they were doing, but he didnt. I had to jump in and rescue him before it escalated to a full on cry as the calming down process was long and arduous. This meant that pretty much myself and my dad were the only ones to successfully hold him for over a year.

As a young child, people still seem to think they have a right to touch him, but they also think he must interact with them and answer their questions. If he doesn’t jump through their hoops with a smile on his face, they label him “shy” or tired and probably judge me for his lack of socialization with a stranger. Or, better yet, they begin to lecture me or him on stranger danger. Ironic.

Usually, Wallace does not choose to respond to people, even ones he does know, like our chiropractors or his friends’ parents. Sometimes he will resort to gibberish, point at me, or shoot me wide eyed looks begging for help. It takes a long time for adults to gain his trust to the point he will converse with them.

Wallace also thinks it’s stupid when adults always ask him the same questions: what’s your name, how old are you, do you go to school. Really, is that all people can think of?! Isn’t that a bit invasive and one sided for a first conversation? He and I have discussed this phenomenon and that he does not have to reply, can talk to them if he wants, can make up answers, can ask me to speak on his behalf, or can even ask his own questions.

We had an incident yesterday at the bank where a woman sat down right next to him and started asking him invasive questions. When he did not answer, she started tickling him. I intervened and said he didn’t like it and that he was moving away from her. I also tried to get him to come stand by me. She did not get the hint. She did not understand that he has rights to his body just like she does. And I’m trying to deal with this all while interacting with the bank employee to get the paperwork I needed.

When we got in the car, I was pretty agitated. We talked about how he didn’t like what the lady did, how he wanted her to sit farther away, and what his various options were. I explained again he can use his voice to tell someone to stop or leave him alone. I also explained that if a grown up walked up to another grown up and started touching their body, it could be assault and they could call the police. I was able to turn make the conversation a little lighter be explaining that he could ask someone how old they are if they have asked him. It might be funny because grown ups don’t always want to say their age either.

I wish people would take a hint and read body language, listen to kids and treat them with the respect they deserve, and stop touching people without asking.

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It’s the Little Things

I successfully bought bras and underpants yesterday! With my child in tow, so that’s extra amazing in my book.

I’m very basic when it comes to these items and I hate clothes shopping in general. I have worn cotton underwear by one brand for as long as I remember. The last pack of them I bought were so low quality that they wore out within a few months. I am still wearing ones I bought before I became a mom 6 years ago, because they have outlasted them! I stuck with the same brand this time, but these look way better quality. I let Wallace choose the color/pattern combo as it doesn’t matter much to me. I have been contemplating learning to sew our own underwear, but don’t know how to find the right fabric.

As for bras, we’ve always had a love-hate relationship. I’m really small around, but used to be quite large for my frame. Finding bras that fit was an annual struggle I tried to avoid, doubly so since becoming a parent. Since birthing and breastfeeding, I haven’t been able to tolerate structured bras, even without underwires. I wore my stretchy nursing bras for months after weaning and switched to some old sports bras when I realized it. I bought a set of cheap cotton sports bras over a year ago, which took some getting used to. They have worked but have the razor back style so show at the neck of most of my shirts. Yesterday, I found similar ones that aren’t razor back. Problem is, I’m so short that the straps are too long and I will need to sew them. Maybe one day I will attempt to make bras, too. It would be much easier than having to modify what I buy.

I’ve had a migraine since yesterday morning, but wanted to ramble and write. Next post will be birthday extravaganza!

Posted in background, body talk, breastfeeding, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 2 Comments

Writing Because I Can

Sometimes I am drawn to this space, especially when scaling back on my social media usage. While other times I am overwhelmed by the possibility of filling this vast white box. I crave the therapeutic effects of writing/blogging and remind myself exactly why I started it in the first place, nearly eight years ago. It’s my safe space to vent, reflect, plot, and connect. I have no pretenses or agenda other than to record my thoughts and experiences and ruminate on things that affect me.

I have been dealing with a lot of health issues this last year and it can be daunting enough to just meet the requirements of daily life, let alone having fun and planning for bigger things. I miss having the energy and zest for life that I once had. That’s not to say I am depressed or suicidal, I just struggle with meeting my high expectations.

At this point, I have admitted that I need to see a doctor and get some tests and referrals. Until I have solid evidence and a plan, I feel like talking too much about it is tantamount to saying He Who Must Not Be Named’s name. It’s on my list of things to do today, making that first doctor’s appointment, but so is making 8 Viking hats and getting my child to eat two vegetables a day and do a reading lesson.

Meanwhile, I still have my hands in so many projects and activities. I am into my 4th year of selling books on Amazon, I home school an almost six year old, I teach yoga once a week, I’ve attended two births as a doula, I have tons of requirements to finish up for my doula certification, I am taking Financial Peace University and trying to get finances in better shape, I work at a church nursery every Sunday, and I somehow would like to keep a social life and meeting new people.

We just got home from a play, a puppet musical about trilobites. Yes, I guess that’s a thing and it was well done albeit hard for little kids to follow. Wallace wouldn’t take a picture with the group before or with me, but I snuck one anyway. Tomorrow, he will try the next age group up of classes at the nature preserve. Thursday, begins his second six week session of swim lessons (he’s foregoing gym this round). And, Sunday is his birthday party. It’s a big week!

Posted in background, body talk, homeschooling, Parenting, pictures, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 2 Comments

Help Iris

This is the story of a friend of a friend, a real life person being strung around by the US government. She is married and a mother. She has a life here in Michigan. Please read her story and help if you can.

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