Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nathanael!

(Sigh). It's been five years since my little Mr. Bubbles was born. Five years! I can't believe it. Where has the time gone? It seems like just a few months ago that I held him for the first time.

My pregnancy with Nathanael was completely different than my pregnancy with Taliesin. First of all, Kelsey and I loved the doctor that I had with Nathanael. He was so laid-back. He did not stress us out thinking something was going to go wrong. He joked a lot. Like when I asked him about a pain that I was having with Nathanael than I never had with Taliesin, he asked me if I had ever seen pictures of old pioneer women. After five or six kids, they're always frowning. He told me that's because each pregnancy gave them new pains.

Nathanael's due date was January 30, 2005. I remember I started having contractions right around midnight on January 27. They kept going all day. I was induced with Taliesin, so I did not know how contractions worked other than what I had read. They kept getting stronger and stronger, but they were not regular. I called the hospital that evening. They told me they might not get any more regular, to come in. I did. Nathanael was born an hour later. The doctor called his weight when he held him - 8 lbs., 15 oz. He was exactly right. And he was 21 inches long. I called him my peach baby because he had the perfect little round face - that looked just like a peach. And he was always hungry. Literally, he would eat every thirty minutes as a baby. LOL I always joke that Taliesin taught me about unschooling. Nathanael taught me about attachment parenting. I always told Nathanael we were like one person - it was Nathanaelmommy/Mommynathanael with no break.

He still has those cute little chubby cheeks that I just love to kiss. And he's still my perfect baby - no matter how many times Kelsey tells me that he's not a baby anymore.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today, we have been studying Martin Luther King, Jr. We have watched his "I Have a Dream" speech online. We have read about slavery and discrimination in Follow the Drinking Gourd and Dr. Seuss' "The Sneetches." And we have even made "What Do You Dream Possible?" artwork. We are having fun learning about this very important figure in U.S. history.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Taliesin

Today, my little sweetheart is seven years old. I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone? Last year, I remember he was sick on his birthday. This year, he is just getting over strep throat. But at least today he can get out a little. Kelsey has taken Taliesin and Nathanael out for a Happy Meal and a new toy. Tonight, Taliesin gets to choose something special to eat and rent a movie he would like to see. Nathanael's birthday is coming up on the 27th, and they have a pizza birthday party on Jan. 23 and an insect birthday party on Jan. 29.

I remember when Taliesin was born seven years ago. Right now, seven years ago, I was in a hospital room being induced. I had preeclampsia. I truly believe a miracle happened during my pregnancy with Taliesin. I was under a lot of stress - a lot. And I developed preeclampsia at 28 weeks. I was in the hospital for a week due to extremely high protein levels and blood pressure, and then the doctor sent me home to be on bedrest with bathroom privileges. (I never considered taking a daily shower a privilege before this, but it did come to mean a lot to me). The doctor told me that he believed the baby would be born early, that he would be born in Wichita, and that he would be put in intensive care. I was given steriods to strengthen his lungs (something that I seriously wonder if could have had an effect on Taliesin to this day with his cold-induced asthma). Each week, I had to return to the hospital for non-stress tests and to be sure my protein level was not too high. The doctor was amazed with each visit. My protein level and blood pressure kept going down. He told me that was not supposed to happen. Preeclampsia does not get better. It stays the same or it gets worse. At 37 weeks gestation, the doctor decided to induce me because the baby could actually be born in Salina and his lungs would be strong enough to function on their own. On the evening of Jan. 13, 2003, Taliesin Cornelius Hastings was born. He weight six pounds, nine ounces and was nineteen inches long. Oh, he was so cute! I am going to have to scan some baby pictures in this week to post on my blog. Everyone commented to me that he was such a beautiful baby. His skin was perfect. His color was good. His head was not misshapen. He was just a beautiful baby. I think he still is. :^) Although he would correct me now and say he is not beautiful and he is not a baby, he is a "gorgeous boy." LOL

So, I just wanted to say "Happy Birthday" to my gorgeous boy, Taliesin.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Long Hair

I guess it's a good thing Nathanael is homeschooled. If he were in certain public schools, he may be forced to sit in a room by himself all day because of his mid back-length mullet. If I were this mom, I would just homeschool this adorable little boy.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fraggles and Journey to the Center of the Earth

Taliesin and Nathanael love the old Fraggle Rock shows. They have the first season on DVD. Taliesin has been sick the past few days, so we have been watching a lot of Fraggle Rock. This has inspired him to do some map and rock lapbooks. Nathanael has decided to lapbook on maps, too. The first episode of Fraggle Rock focuses a lot of exploring with maps - when Uncle Traveling Matt leaves to explore outer space (a.k.a. the human world). Gobo Fraggle explores Fraggle Rock often using maps that Uncle Traveling Matt gave him when he left. And, of course, the Fraggles live in a rock.
Last night, we also watched Journey to the Center of the Earth - the newest one with Brandon Frazier. It was pretty good. And Taliesin and Nathanael loved it, of course. Any movie that has volcanoes, rocks and diamonds, and dinosaurs is going to capture their attention. And the movie's short discussion about igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks reinforced what we have been studying with the lapbooks.
I love it when Taliesin and Nathanael get started on their own little unit studies - in ways that just flow together like it was planned, but it wasn't. Such is child-directed learning. :^)


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Force is Strong with You, Young Padawan

We finally got batteries in Taliesin's and Nathanael's force trainer that they got for Christmas. Even with a fever, Padawan Taliesin was able to raise the ball up the tube with just the power of his mind. A Jedi soon will he be.


Thursday, January 7, 2010


I have to admit that I have discovered so much about socialization from having a daycare. As much as I try to encourage kids to be themselves, so many times they just want to be like everyone else. Even Taliesin and Nathanael are not immune. So many times, I catch them picking up on habits that they have never had that they see in other kids. And these are not necessarily bad habits. Just habits that are not their own. Then I see them become frustrated because they are not being themselves. They are trying to be like someone else. What is a homeschooling mom to do?

I guess I will just keep plugging away at encouraging individuality, giving them all the opportunities that I can to use their gifts and talents, and being there for them to encourage them to be themselves when they get tired of trying to be someone else.

All I can honestly ask is why do people worry so much that children will not have access to socialization? It is one thing I could do without!


Monday, January 4, 2010


I believe that we should allow our children as many choices as possible. Many do not agree. Taliesin and Nathanael have never had a bedtime. They have always chosen what they like to eat. They have always chosen their own clothes. They choose what toys they like to play with. They choose to learn in ways that work for them. But what happens when something that they do not have a choice on happens? Are they prepared? What about those things that parents are not willing or able to compromise on? I discovered the answer this weekend.

I mentioned in my "2010" post that we had rung in the new year with cheese curls, flavored water, and the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. After a couple of times of watching this movie and paying close attention to what was actually being said and done; I decided that this was not the type of movie that I wanted Taliesin and Nathanael seeing. There are way too many inappropriate scenes, imho. Now, mind you, I can take a lot from a movie. Some do question the movies that we watch together. For instance, over Thanksgiving, we watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There was some bad language and some - okay, quite a bit of - violence in the movie. But those were things that we could talk through as a family. But, for me, Transformers just went way too far. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I mean. What made taking the movie away that much harder is that Taliesin and Nathanael spent their Buyer's Guide money on this movie. What was I to do? I discussed my concerns with Taliesin and Nathanael. I explained that I do not think there is anything wrong with Transformer toys; but there were a lot of things in the movie that I feel are wrong. They asked me what. We discussed some of the scenes. I told them that I did not want to watch the movie anymore. They understood. We decided to put the movie away until they are older. There were no arguments. There were no disagreements. Taliesin and Nathanael understood. I explained to them that we usually give them a lot of choices. They agreed. I told them that this is one thing I cannot offer a choice on. In fact, they understood so well, that Kelsey and I decided that we would pay for the Transformer movie and that they could have their money back to spend on something else.

Perhaps - just perhaps - it is because Taliesin and Nathanael understand the importance of making good choices that they did not object to this rare moment of me taking something away that they valued. Maybe this just goes to show that when we allow our children to make choices - both good and bad choices - that when something comes along that they are not allowed a choice in, they understand that they usually do have that choice. This must be something that we cannot compromise on.


Friday, January 1, 2010


Hope you have a great New Year!

Today as been fun. We started the morning off by ringing in the new year with flavored water and cheese curls while watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Then we headed off to the movie theater for the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. Came home for noisemakers and poppers. A good way to celebrate 2010.