Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A day in our life...

There is no typical day in our home.  We do not follow a strict schedule.  Today was actually one of those non-typical typically random days in our home.  We actually were home the whole day together without having an activity to attend. 

This year we seem to be out all the time despite my efforts to keep our weeks simple.  Each week the boys attend swimming lessons and gym play time at the YMCA (that’s two different afternoons out), we also get together with friends for an outdoor playgroup that we only manage to make one of the two dates each week.  I often get together with my family each week or every other week.  Add to that outings, errands, play dates, church group activities and appointments that come up less often and we could be out every day of the week.  I have found that my boys do best when we have only one thing scheduled out of the house each day.

loose parts provocation with pictures of nature mandalas for inspiration
Today the family we were supposed to meet up with all had the flu (I do hope they are feeling better soon).  TJ was so excited to find out that we didn’t have to go anywhere unless we wanted!!  I really think we need more days like this, so don’t be offended if we turn down an invite.

I decided to write down everything we did today for you.  Any other day of the week would be sort of similar to this except that half the day is taken up by getting ready to leave, driving, doing an activity and settling in at home again.

 I woke up to take out the garbage and recycling.  Then I stayed outside a little longer to mediate and pray.  It was not so cold outside so I enjoyed the silence of the morning. 


Mommy's nature patterns

My oldest TJ (turning 7 in May) and I had breakfast, chatted and cuddled.  We talked about how things are going, our days, what he’s interested in.

Younger brother MJ (turning 5 in June) woke up for breakfast.  They watched the rest of the movie they had started the night before while I got daddy’s coffee going and some office work done (I do all the paper work for our family business).
I had an urge to set up a creative provocation/activity for us that I’d seen on Pintrest.  I really wanted to try it for myself and to see if the boys wanted to join in. TJ and I made some lovely nature patterns.


MJ made his own version of a Lego photo we found online
MJ got out the Lego.  He had asked TJ to look at his helicopter to copy but TJ wasn’t really wanting that.  I suggested that I could set up the ipad with pictures.  MJ happily looked at pictures of Lego helicopters on the ipad.  He even used some of our pieces to make a similar scene to what he’d been looking at..  TJ got in on the action too and made a landing pad with Lego for his helicopter.

While the boys played I made some snacks.  We ate and chatted about what we wanted to do with our day.
MJ looking at helicopters to copy and TJ's landing pad
TJ suggested the garden centre to get dirt for the snapdragon seeds .  He also began counting his money to see if he had enough to buy some flowers.  At the garden centre we looked at all the flowers and plants.  We talked about what plants would last longer and their prices.  MJ found two small houseplants on sale that he’d like. TJ really wanted trailing ivy.  He tried to figure out ways we could hang it in our house and to let everyone know it was his.  The tiny plant on sale would take a long time to get to the size TJ was expecting.  I figured why not get the larger hanging basket if we spilt the cost.

Back at home we found the perfect spots for all the new plants.  We also planted the snapdragons into pots.  MJ wanted to cut his dirt and see the seeds so I mentioned an experiment we could do.  We put three different types of seeds into Ziploc bags with wet paper towels.  Then taped them to the windows.  TJ made some predictions and was excited to realize we had made mini green houses.  Let’s see what happens.


MJ wasn’t as into setting up the experiment.  He went to investigate the concoction he had made the day before.  MJ added a few more ingredients, then, set one on the fireplace and one in the fridge.



Our new house plants
I am becoming more relaxed with meals.  As the boys are getting older they can help me make meals and choose foods that they’d actually prefer to eat.  I still help out and make some suggestions that would better suite their food intolerances.

 Over lunch we talked about some friends that would be visiting over the March break.  That led to questions about how long until their baby was due.  I got down the calendar, abacus, and notebook.  We figured out ways to count the days to everyone’s birthdays and baby due dates.  TJ is awesome and great at skip counting.


Next we made a list of all the things we still wanted to do today.  First TJ chose something for us all to do (at this age the boys really like doing things together with me instead of being alone for the most part).  Dance party time!!  We watched fun Youtube videos, danced, jumped on the mini trampoline and had lots of fun.
Planting snapdragons and plant growing experiment
Next up MJ wanted to play Playmobil, so we all set up farms.  We played together until mommy got tired of sitting on the floor.  The boys kept going while I went to say hi to Daddy who was doing office work.

By then I noticed that the boys had lots of energy to spend and we’d been inside most of the day.  I suggested that we all head out to play.  TJ drove he tractor (we have taken off the mowing deck to our lawn tractor and added snow chains for the winter)  TJ is quickly learning how to maneuver the tractor and to pull over for the neighbours’ cars.  Luckily we are on a private laneway and have a large yard for him.  MJ had a blast digging in the muddy sandbox.  There is no point washing his outer wear, just let it dry and go back out tomorrow.

Back inside we settled some arguments and cuddled.  Then had hot chocolate and a snack.

The boys each chose a few books for me to read while we snuggled on the couch.  Today’s books were robots, under the ocean, and poetry.
One of MJ's concoctions...
We’ve (okay mostly just me) have been purging a lot recently.  I’m loving how uncluttered everything is becoming, and how freeing it feels to let go.  I took some time with each boy to go through the shelves in their bedrooms.  They did a great job of deciding what to keep, toss, donate and store away.  The room looks much better.

Opps we lost track of time and forgot to make dinner.  Daddy suggested pancakes and made them.  TJ helped daddy flip the pancakes while MJ and I played with their toy golf set.

After dinner the boys played with some newly discovered toys from their bedroom selves.  TJ had a shower while MJ climbed all over daddy.

Dance party and small world farm play
Every evening the boys watch some TV and have a snack as part of their routine.  Tonight they watched the Disney earth movie about bears.  With teeth brushed and PJ’s on the boys wanted to read stories (most nights I tell a story while they are settled into bed).  TJ was excited to read to daddy so he chose a Biscuit book.  MJ chose a tractor book and made up a story to tell me as he looked at the pictures.

The boys are settled into bed just looking at books, or playing quietly with their toys.  One of us usually stay in the room for a while.  Daddy is having a rest/nap while I’m tying.  After they fall asleep I’ll probably do some sewing or watch TV.

So there you have it, a random day of our life.  No set curriculum or schedule just my boys insatiable curiosity, spending valuable time together as a family and allowing the boys to truly get as much out of childhood as they can. 

TJ on the tractor and MJ enjoying the muddy sandbox
Just a side note for those wondering about ‘learning’ and academics: Did you notice the math in making patterns, counting dates, looking at calendars, counting money and paying for items?  Also the countless times we looked at the clock together during the day.  And there was science in gardening; setting up experiments, making concoctions.  We also read a variety of genres from poetry, fiction and non-fiction.  The boys each read/told stories to us.  Most days some writing occurs too.  These are just a few of the things we did today.  How about the discussions that took place, artistic expressions, critical decision making skills and communication, physical activity and interpersonal skills.  Even real life socialization with talking to the staff at the garden centre.  We also get together with other kids basically every day of the week for different activities. 

WOW!!  It seems like we did so very much today, but really it was a nice relaxing day for us to just do as we pleased and live life.  Don’t get me wrong we also very much enjoy the outside of the home activities we do each week and we have chosen ones that suit our family best at this time.  Those flow nicely with our days too (if only I could get us out the door a little more smoothly).


Thanks for dropping by, I hope you’ll share what you’ve been up to as well.



By the time this post was originally posted, we spent some time as a family at my ultrasound appointment.  What a wonderful opportunity for the boys to see the baby and all the details on the screen.  We are super excited to be adding another BOY to our family at the end of July.


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How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party