Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recycling (sort of) Crayons

This was one of those projects that I have been meaning to do but just haven't gotten to it.  Wallah!  Melting crayons...recycling crayons...making an unnecessary it what you will.  My children started out interested.  That is, until I sat down with a bucket of crayons and started peeling wrappers off the crayon nubs.  They went back to watching Toy Story 2.  They came back.  They always do.  ...As soon as I opened the oven and put the crayons in.  I turned on the interior light and they stood there and watched for a good 2 minutes...until they saw that nothing was happening.  I put the crayons in at 200 degrees.  I checked on them every ten minutes or so...
I was hypothesizing that they'd be done within fifteen minutes.  Boy, was I wrong.  Here they are at fifteen minutes...

And here they are after 45 minutes!  They finally melted...phew.  They were really very pretty with all the different shades swirling around one another.  All in their monochromatic loveliness.  *sigh*
And here is the finished product.  The only silicone mold I had was hearts.  My oldest is weirded out that they're hearts. He wants skulls, of course.   I think they're pretty.  They've already been bitten, tossed across the room and slammed into the table.  They're still beautiful. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Other Life

Not only am I a homeschooling stay-at-home mom, I am now a doula.  I don't know if I qualify as a SAHM now.  Oh, I also got a seasonal job at a local apple orchard.  How fun!  I will be pointing you in the direction of the best pie-apples there are, and yelling at you for climbing trees and sneaking apples in your backpack...Yeah, I see YOU!

I had a hard time deciding whether or not to create a website for my doula business.  Instead, I decided to blog.  It's more informative than it is a leisure sort of blog.  At least it is right now.  It's still in the works and I'm posting 3-8 posts a day.  Whew!  It's hard work.  There's so much information out there and I want to make sure I get it all, or at least a good representation of what is out there. 

Since I'll be a doula to those in my geographical area, I decided to entitle my business/blog so.  The content relates to my locale as well. 

Having birth become a business is a little strange for me.  My children have been great during this transition from SAHM to business woman...?  I wouldn't call myself that just yet.  Although, I do have a vision...

I watched a homebirth video a few weeks back.  The kids came and wanted to see what I was watching.  I let them.  Eli asked if that's how he came out of my belly.  Then he said, "Didn't that hurt?"  You betcha, kid. 
My children are not scarred for life.  They are fine.  And they really know how babies come out.  They had visions of a doctor taking babies out of their mommy's belly button.  I'm thinking it was along the same lines as Casper the Friendly Ghost going through a keyhole. 

If you get a chance, check out the new blog, leave a comment and follow me.  I didn't say stalk me...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where Our Food Comes From

We buy our meat from a meat CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. 
Chestnut Farm in Hardwick, MA is such a beautiful farm.  They are not organic, but they are as organic as they can be without being officially certified as such.  They state on their website, which I thought was very interesting, is that being certified organic simply means that the feed for the animals is organic.  It has nothing to do with their living conditions.  It really makes me rethink buying certain things that say organic on them.  I'm glad I buy from the CSA. 

Once a month we make the trip out to the farm.  The kids don't like the long ride, but once we get there they don't want to leave.  We have seen 3-day-old piglets squealing for a spot next to their mama.  We have watched a grown mama pig in distress being assisted by the farmers.  My boys have sprayed down the pigs to keep them cool.  They have held turkeys and chickens.  We see the cows that will be turned into our Summertime burgers.  The cows have acres and acres of pasture to graze and roam on. 
The farm also raises goats, sheep and chickens.  They have Thanksgiving turkeys on deck for, um, Thanksgiving.  I have to say that Chestnut Farm's hot dogs are the best things I've ever had.  No lie.  I just received a package of bacon and I'm really, really excited to try it.  I have not had their bacon yet. 

The boys love visiting the farm and seeing all the animals.  I love that they know where their food comes from.  "See that cow, that'll be dinner next month."  When we go to the grocery store they'll say, "So, that's pork...that comes from a pig.  They kill the pig and cut the pork chop out."  You betcha. 

I am so conditioned to nicely cut, boneless pieces of meat on a Styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap.  It's still hard for me to eat chicken that looks like it came from an animal.  I'm trying.  My boys, however, have no problem gnawing the meat off a rib. 

Our chickens have not started laying eggs yet, but they should be doing so soon.  We lost another chicken...down to six from nine.  One was played with a little too much, one was taken by something and the last was hit by a car...yes, I've already made several "why did the chicken cross the road" jokes. 

Right now we get our milk and eggs from a local farmer.  We started drinking raw milk.  There are risks with raw milk, just like there is with pasteurized milk.  We are able to reap the benefits of bluish-green Auraucana eggs.  They are large and beautifully delicious.  The local farm is delightful with their little orange kitten who sits in the middle of the road waiting to greet all that come to visit.  The cows, chickens and conditions are completely visible to those who come by.  The "store" is one of trust.  It's always open.  One walks in, helps herself to milk, eggs, butter and/or honey and puts the money into a slot in a lock-box on the wall.  On your honor.  I love it.  My boys get to see that people are trusting.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I went ahead and bought a notebook specific for a child to journal in.  I grapple with buying "schooly" things, but I've decided to stop being so critical of myself.  So, I introduced the journal to Eli and said, "This is a journal.  At the end of each day we'll sit down and you can draw and write about what happened."  He was pretty excited about it.  Some kids really don't respond well to things like this, especially being so young.  He was thrilled.  This validated the decision.  I wanted Eli to journal for a few reasons.  The first being to expand his drawing/imaginative skills.  He does a lot of drawing with the husband.  He draws swords, guns, blood, monsters, vampires, etc.  I wanted him to know that there are other things to draw and that he can draw them.  I, in a bit of selfishness, also wanted to see my little boy draw things that are not a mirror image of what his father draws. 
The second reason being that I wanted him to practice his letters and spelling.  He keeps asking me when we're going to do "school work".  Here you go, kid. 
Lastly, journaling can help to reduce stress.  I started journaling in the 7th or 8th grade.  I kept a journal for many years.  I have since stopped...but I suppose blogging is my new journal.  Journaling is therapeutic.  You can revisit your day or your emotions with a calmer mind, both while writing and then later on...days, months or years, even.  Journaling can help kids with focusing issues.  Writing down one's thoughts is typically thought of as a girl's activity - the diary.  I would like my boys to know that it's okay to have feelings and to deal with them in a positive, proactive way. 

Amazon has this really cute journal for kids, although, a homemade journal created with construction paper would work just as nicely, if not better.