Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012

A Google search for "how many toys should a child have" turns up an uncomfortable number of articles, blog entries, and comments about how limiting your kids' toy supply actually helps them get along better and encourages greater obedience. Becoming Minimalist and The Mother Company are just a couple of hits.   

And then there's this gem from Yahoo! Answers: Wowza. Yes, scroll down to the 'winning' answer. I wonder if that mama feels the same now as she claimed to 4 years ago. Heck, I wonder if she felt the same 4  HOURS later when it was time to clean them all up. 

In the last few months, I've boxed away a few types of toys that were of the 'spill and forget' variety. Squinkies, Zoobles, Littlest Pet Shop, Lil Woodzeez... all cute and little and just a pain in the rear to clean up constantly. If they got played with for more than 15 minutes, the chorus of  "know where my ____ is, Mommy?" would start. They were treasures to hide away but now that they've been put away for the last month, they've hardly been sought out at all. 

Why am I rambling about this? Oh yeah... because I've been donating garbage bags full of 'stuff' over the last few months and it still feels like we have too much. Granted, some of those things have been old clothes, shoes, kitchen gadgets that weren't being used, and the like. But a pretty hefty amount of toys have gone out the door, too. The girls sometimes ask for things that are waiting to go to Goodwill but most of the time, they don't seem to notice anything has changed in their playroom. And yet still, they fight over what they do have and try to hide things away in their 'special' drawers or boxes. I hate to discard baby dolls and stuffed animals but when they just get dumped on the floor and wallowed in, they aren't precious anymore, right? Argh. It's astounding but I find myself sometimes surprised by the reality of it all: they won't suffer if they have fewer toys, they won't lose their ability to imagine or create, and (surprise!) I will be less frustrated with 'clean up time' if there is less to wade through. 

Some of this just been bouncing around in my head for the last 4 years (yeah... Izzy was 1 before she had any real amount of toys) and tonight's reading here at Simply Charlotte Mason just gave me a little nudge. I think Sunday may be a toy purging day for us. I hope I'm ready for a few weeks of 'I'm bored!'

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012

Last year, I think I made some sort of pledge to myself to stop going places in schlumpy clothes and even to try not to bum around the house that way. It's not attractive, I don't like the idea of someone coming to the house unexpected and seeing me all sloppy, and it just makes me feel better to dress a bit.

I have seriously fallen off that wagon. I'm actually trying to rationalize taking the girls to ballet class while still in my super-sloppy big t-shirt and sweat pants. Argh. I must need new pants if I just can't stand the idea of putting them on.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 16, 2012

Holy toot, it's been nearly 2 months since I had anything to say. haha. Riiiiiiiiiight...

This school year has started off pretty well. We've had our "I just don't LIKE school" days and our "Yay! I love this!" days. But we're plugging away and I think we're making progress. Math has been a bit of a struggle, as we learn to skip-count by 5s. I find myself to be impatient but I'm realizing that in all the ways that my daughter is like me, struggling with math and learning to read may very well be the biggest. I don't remember really having a hard time with math till Algebra but it's quite possible that I did and just don't remember the early couple of years. However, I remember quite well the frustration involved in learning to read. I must have been 7 or 8 before it truly "clicked" because I can recall trying to read a book to a visiting uncle and being in tears over it. Once it all fell into place, I never took a break and I certainly hope I'm able to help Izzy reach that point with as few tears as possible.

Lily has been a bit of a hellion lately. I know it's the budding independence and desire to be the 'decider' but.. oh. my. goodness. It's been super exhausting keeping up with her shenanigans. I'm humbled by it, quite frankly. I can only imagine how ha Shem feels when we struggle against His plan for us. It must seem as tho we're devoting all our efforts to not growing up. As we celebrated Rosh Hashanah last night and today, I have been reminded that if I want to encourage my children to turn away from their naughty behavior, I have to set the example of making teshuvah myself. In the coming weeks, as I seek to instill better habits in my children, I'm hoping to turn away from impatience, being easily frustrated, and feelings of inadequacy.

We've been incorporating Torah time into our school routine and I feel like that is an important step. This past week's Torah portion was perfectly timed for this:

11. For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away.
12. It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
13. Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
14. Rather,[this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.
The portion goes on to remind us to choose life, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our children.