Picking flowers and unschooling

In our garden, flowers are for picking.  We make sure to leave some for the bees, too, but what fun would it be to have flowers that can’t be picked?

Here is what Mia did with (while I took pictures of) our pick-able flowers the other day:


This was Mia's plan from the beginning. Isn't it lovely?

Watching Mia independently satisfy her curiosity and plan and execute her own projects is thrilling to me.  No parental instruction or judgment (praise, criticism, or otherwise) was involved in this flower bowl project.

I told her I thought the bowlful of flowers was beautiful–a sincere comment that came from my heart.  I consciously avoided saying “Good Job!” or giving her a grade for a job well done. Mia was completely satisfied; her motivation and her reward were purely intrinsic.

And that is why we unschool.  To let her carve her own path.  For herself.

Mia learned all kinds of things doing this project.  Do I have any idea what those things were? Not really.  Not because I am lazy or because I don’t care. But because it doesn’t really matter. Because unschooling is about trust.

Unschooling is trusting that life and learning cannot be separated.  I trust that Mia’s desires and motivations are stepping stones to her ultimate destiny. I trust that she needs to draw for hours every day for weeks on end.  I trust that sometimes she needs to daydream and be lazy instead of help prepare dinner. I trust that as long as I am closely tuned in, give her love, support, and space, that she will learn what she needs to live whatever life she chooses.

I am delighted to be along for the ride.

Lazy gardeners’ rhubarb patch

Our wildly thriving rhubarb patch has been almost untouched for most of the time we’ve owned it.  We are the laziest gardeners I know; we love the food but don’t like the work.

This year I wanted to make the best of this huge patch of free food. It was a fun family adventure.

If any of you readers are interested in some free rhubarb, let me know.  There is plenty to go around.  Just come over and pick it up this week!

a photo of rhubarb sauce over vanilla ice cream would have been more appealing, but this will have to do. It is delicious. Trust me.

Rhubarb Sauce

4 C chopped rhubarb

1 C sugar

1/2 stick butter

Melt butter and sugar over medium heat.  Add rhubarb. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it becomes saucy.  Puree in blender.

I might try making this with Stevia or Xylitol next time.  That way we could eat it freely without the negative effects of sugar.

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. From SouleMama.com

Happy Friday, friends! Wishing you a lovely spring weekend!

My pudgy baby wants to eat!

For about 14 months, Anna has been exclusively breastfed, except for the few nibbles of food here and there.

I would love to know how many hours I have  spent nursing her, how many calories I have expended doing it, and how much milk she has drunk. I think it would blow my freaking mind.

Because this baby has only had my milk (and does not have cow’s milk or formula and hardly any food), I am absolutely astounded by how plump she is! And big! Not to brag, but seriously! Look at her! She just grows and grows and the rolls keep on rolling.  I am starting to wonder whether I produce Half&Half instead of milk.

Nursing her exclusively has made my life pretty easy. I have an easy solution for all of her problems. When she is sad, tired, hungry, or needs to pacify, I nurse her.  I have nursed her during dinner instead of giving her expensive formulas or canned baby foods.  And the greatest benefit, perhaps, has been how healthy she has been.  That has made life pretty easy, too.

So the other day, my life became a bit more complicated. Anna wanted to eat! And eat, and eat, and eat…

And suddenly, I had an irresistible instinct that felt as urgent as nesting at the end of pregnancy: I had to make a bunch of food, and I had to make it NOW!

I made hard-boiled eggs, brown rice, peas, spoonfuls of coconut oil, and thawed blueberries and raspberries.  I smashed it up (but not mixed together) and put it in front of her three times that day.  And she ate it all.

Although I am a bit saddened by her transition into foods (partially because it won’t be AS easy anymore and partially because she is turning into a toddler), it makes me really happy and satisfied to see her eat such wholesome food so eagerly.

devouring every last bit
Evidence of my fatty milk

I can’t get the links to work…

So if you want more information on child-led weaning and breastfeeding, google that.

Also, google Weston Price Foundation for great information on healthy eating and feeding babies and toddlers.

a few of my favorite things

I woke up to a glorious Saturday morning, with nothing planned for the day except whatever we felt like doing, which ended up being…

Mia finding a pole by our good parking spot with 15 free minutes in it

a morning trip to the Mill City Farmer's Market

eating crepes for breakfast

Anna frollicking in front of Mill City Museum

the first breakfast wasn't enough, so we had these, too.

As you can see, we spent roughly $32 on breakfast this morning.  And as much as I love the Mill City Farmer’s Market, I regrettably report that the food we ate deserved maybe one star…or not even.

Anna meeting a friendly "wow-wow"

Finding a local artist who makes something I love: tiny terrariums with tiny plants hanging from old window frames.
I fell in love.
I fell in love.
And I fell in love again. This one came home with me.

an impromptu visit to grandma's garden and the surprise of blooming Azaleas

...and various other lovely blooms

a statue reminding me of a roly-poly little person in my life

and last but not least…

a dry ride in grandpa's new boat

Happy Saturday, friends!