Friday, January 31, 2014

The (Littlest) Dude

My son, The Littlest Dude (not to be confused with Jeff Bridges in a bathrobe), is almost two.
The Dude Abides

He's adorable and adventurous and curious and determined and pretty much perfect in every single way. Like your kid, my kid is the most wonderul thing in the whole world and all other kids fall short of his high-set bar. Like your kid, he is the smartest, cutest, most amazing person the world has ever been lucky enough to have as an inhabitant. He. Is. Awesome.

Unlike your kid, though, (or maybe like your kid, i know I don't corner the market on this) my kid is what they call "spririted". What this means in a nutshell, is that he runs amok. Amok. Amok. Amok. He refuses to do lots of stuff or refuses to NOT do lots of stuff. He reallly, really, really, likes some stuff and really, really, really hates other, seemingly inocuous stuff.

My kid is hardcore.

If my kid were a metal band, he'd be Lamb of God.

 Or, maybe something Norwegian.

He's a badass. He has no fear (except roosters) and he loves loves loves to play Surprise Trust Fall.
I'm not exaggerating. I know what you're thinking. "Come on, Kristi, he's two. Of course he's (insert toddler descriptive adverb)." And you're right, all toddlers are stubborn and opinionated, but take a typical toddler and imagine him at his most intense. Now imagine him at his most intense ALL THE TIME. 

Parents, let me get an amen if you feel me.

I'm not trying to get you to say "Aw, poor you" or "get over yourself, Kristi, parenting is hard. No shit.",  or anything like that. This is just an introduction. A primer. I'm setting the scene for future posts about The Littlest Dude. He has antics and I plan to write about them at every opportunity. Brace  yourself, Internet, The Littlest Dude cometh.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And Then it Snowed

It snowed in the south this week.

This is not Atlanta, fyi

The amount of snow that fell caused all my jaded northern family and friends to scoff and smirk and pat us on our collective southern heads. It also caused life for many, many of my southern family and friends to grind to a complete halt. My sister was lucky that it only took her five hours to get home from work Tuesday. Many other Atliens were stranded overnight on cold, icy highways or had to clamor for hotel rooms while abandoning their cars on stretches of frozen interstate.

Atlanta rallied though. The people came out and helped one another and made lots of folks believe in the goodness and kindness of strangers. It's heartwarming and it reminds us that not everyone is a dick. I like to be reminded that not everyone is a dick because all too often it seems that people go out of their way to prove the opposite.

So, way to go ATL. Way to not be dicks!! *hi5*

In preparation for the big snow of aught-fourteen, I think I may have stumbled on a new tradition. I roasted a turkey. I didn't go buy all the bread (incidentally I was legitimately out of bread yesterday and went to buy some. I got the LAST LOAF. There was ONE loaf of bread in the ENTIRE grocery store) or stockpile bottled water or milk. I roasted it a turkey and it was DELICIOUS. What could be more cozy on a snowy day than a hot turkey sandwich (besides hot chocolate, which we also had)?

Also, the littlest dude got to experience snow for the first time. He was unimpressed until his daddy created a hobo* sled from a broiler pan and some old rope. Then shit got real.

All in all, my family and friends were incredibly lucky and made it through the big snow in one piece and in a relatively timely manner. And to my northerners, you can now take back winter, you win, yes, yours is worse. We just had to get in on the action a little before our 65 degree weekend.

* i've annexed the word "hobo" and use it to describe things many people call "upcycled" or "repurposed" or something else equally trendy or douchey. You will see "hobo" in reference to my son's play yard (the hobo playground), his leggings made from his daddy's socks (hobo babylegs), his mason jar cup (hobo straw cup), and various other creations. I'm considering a trademark so if you're thinking of douchifying my word, back off ;)

Thursday, January 23, 2014


You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N.
One of my favorite quotes and one that resonates with me every single day. You'll be my bff if you know where it's from.

Things are plodding along here while we (im)patiently wait on news on our house. It seems every week we must hurryhurryhurryhurry only to w a i t w a i t w a i t for the next round of hurryhurryhurryhurry. In the lulls, when I'm not looking for long lost documents and the Arc of the Covenant for the mortgage company, I've been thinking a lot about the littlest dude's education.

He's very young, not yet two, and I'm not interested in starting anything academic for quite some time. However, I am researching ways to integrate education and learning into his everyday life through play and adventure and, you know, l-i-v-i-n. I've found the Waldorf theory resonates most strongly with me and the ideals and dreams I have for our home and our life, not just with our homeschool life. But, (and there is always a but), I'm so incredibly disorganized and undisciplined in my own life that first I have to fix me and adopt a rhythm to my own day before I can even imagine integrating those principals into the little dude's life.

It's very important to me that he have a wonderful, vibrant, exciting childhood and not be pulled from activity to activity. While for some, that is the way to go, it just isn't for us. I like home. I want to be home. I want our home to be a place we all enjoy being and want to be and I want our lives to be home-centric. I want him to have the opportunity run and climb and build and create and explore in an environment in which he feels safe and comfortable. Waldorf is a very home-centric methodology and is very close to what I believe natural learning should be.

I'll be writing a series of posts for the Columbia SC Mom's Blog over the next few months outlining several different homeschool and educational theories and I'm sure that will bleed over into this blog. If you have questions about a particular method or use a method you are in love with, let me know so we can talk about it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rainbows and Unicorns

I love this time of year. I know that's not a very popular sentiment regarding the deep, dark winter of January and February, but to me, it's full of anticipation and excitement. The days are getting longer and the promise of spring is right around the corner. I love planning my garden and thinking about what I'm going to plant.

This year is a bit more exciting than previous years as we (continue to) wait to hear about our new house. We keep talking about gardens and orchards and animals. We are dreaming and planning the kind of simple life we've been hoping for for so many years. Things are happening this year, good things, and it's kind of weird! I don't like to get too optimistic or hopeful about things, but this year just feels good so far. In November, I was chosen as a contributing blogger for the soon-to-be-launched City Moms Blog for my newly adopted town (even though we won't technically be IN the city). The littlest dude is flourishing and growing and loving life. And, the biggest dude is in a job he enjoys.

Right now, in this moment, things are good.

This is how I feel right now. Cheese and all.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Times They Are A'Changin...

Things are changing for us. Again. Another chapter in our saga, another leg in our journey, another twist in our road; but hopefully this one will be the end of this particular volume in our life story. We are (fingers crossed) going to be settling down (knock wood) in our forever home (says a silent prayer) very soon. Long story short, we've moved 8 times since 2009. My son, the littlest dude, who is not yet two years old, has lived in 4 houses in his little life. We have been transients and gypsies (without the thieving or ostentatious dresses). We've packed and unpacked our boxes and our lives too many times and my soul  is weary and searching for roots.

Our town and our lives here feel good. It feels long term. It feels like it could be full and rich and warm. The home we are hoping for feels right. I can see us there. We fit. I dream of my son climbing trees there and digging holes and splashing in the creek. I dream of me, planting my garden and hanging my laundry on the line, making things and building a home. I dream of my husband building and creating and planting and growing.

I DO see a future here, although nothing is set in stone. We have been given very few assurances that it will work out and all signs are pointing to it falling apart. But we are hopeful. And if it doesn't work, if it does fall apart, well...things fall apart. And when they do, well, it sucks. But, and this has been a hard learned lesson for me, you pick up the pieces and build something out of them. Something. And usually it's something pretty cool. You (and forgive me for using this word) repurpose the pieces of your dream and make something else. You upcycle your life (ahhh!! buzzwords!!)