Monday, September 2, 2013

Healing the child within


IThrough just a few unschooling experiences I am seeing how the way my husband and I were raised affects our choices and reactions today. We all know this but I feel more aware now as we make conscious efforts to drastically change the way we interact with our children. Doing better helps heal those pains we live with. The ones we have pushed so far down that we didn't remember they were even there. I struggle with my codependency and general people pleasing that comes from my less than ideal childhood. At 28 years old I am still fighting that idea that we must completely "obey" our parents no matter what. As I said, I like to please and I see how my children like to please. It's natural to want to please the people we love. Unfortunately sometimes even parents make mistakes and make choices that aren't in a child's best interest. Why don't I feel confident enough to speak up when something isn't in my best interest?? This helps me realize yet again why I have taken this journey. I know my children know what they need even better than I do sometimes and I want them to feel confident as children, and someday as adults, to express those needs and desires. 

May we all strive to listen more and stop thinking that our role as parents is to be know-it-all dictators. 


Derek, napping in a raft floating in our pool

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letting go of control

Normally when the girls want to paint nails I cringe. I most definitely never want them to paint my nails (my skin) because of the mess. Last night I let go of my controlling ways and let the girls have at it! They had so much fun and even massaged my legs with coconut oil & hot towels. Today I'm opening a new bank account and rockin' my less than perfect nails, which makes them perfect. :) anyone else learning to just let it go?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Adventures in unschooling

Maya & Chloe voluntarily playing together....without fighting.....amazing!
As I searched for a new school for my children, I couldn't deny the sinking feeling I had. A classical education of traditional school two days a week and homeschooling 3 days just wasn't right. I certainly won't ever send my kids to school 5 days a week again. I may post more about my reasons behind that at another time. 

As I investigated homeschooling online I came across a term I was unfamiliar with: unschooling. This was it! The answer to my prayers and the reason for my bad feeling about school. I knew that the idea did seem radical compared to what I was "taught" about how school should look. I prayed and trusted that if it was right, my husband would be on board-and he was! 

So I bought Sandra Dodd's book and began reading and experimenting. We are just a few days in and I've seen amazing results along with some challenges (mostly on myself & my husband's part). I hope I can share my experience to help others and hopefully get some helpful feedback as well!

Here goes!!!

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/big-book-of-unschooling/id441277658?mt=11

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Calofornia girl in Florida!

After 2 years in Kentucky and one new born baby boy, we have moved to Florida! So long snow! Hello beach! Kentucky taught me that I can live someplace other than my home state. We are happily in Florida now; who knows where we will be in another two years!! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tangled: Every Rapunzel needs this brush!

Have you ever brushed the hair of a screaming child? I admit I have almost chased my daughter with a brush on occasion. The worst experiences ended with both her and me in tears. One summer when my Dad & Stepmom were visiting, I attempted to brush G2's hair and there were tears all around. My Stepmom hugged me and told me tangle free hair is not worth compromising my relationship with my daughter. Did I want her to have many memories of screaming and crying? As we talked I realized it wasn't G2 that was hurt if she went to dinner without combing her hair....it was my ego! I was just worried about what people would think of me as a Mom. Not worried so much about strangers, but there are a few people in my life who relish in any imperfection I have and that fear was making me lose sight of what was important.

There are definitely some things worth fighting over, but I've realized there are so many more things that aren't. Throw a hat on or put that tangled mess in a ponytail and let's go! I know G2 will eventually outgrow her aversion to combing. She won't enter high school with a tangled mess every day, so who cares?!  If she does a pixie cut would be just adorable on her! ;) Still, there are a few times when you want your children to look nice and for that I have the most amazing brush for you to try! Our world has changed since I purchased a "Wet Brush"by Luxor! I have an amazing hair stylist (if you know me you know how picky I am) and he sells these brushes in his shop here in Lexington (http://www.chachaschevychase.com/home.html), but you can get them online too (http://www.mywetbrush.com/)! I picked up one for each of the older G's and will be purchasing my own when I get my hair done tomorrow! You just softly comb through the hair and the brush detangles one layer of hair at a time until the brush can sweep easily from root to end! It's so easy! The first night we tried it it took about 10 minutes to get through G2's mess, but for the first time in a year there wasn't a single tear!!! Depending on where you purchase it, the brush price varies from $10-$15 but I would pay $50! It's amazing! Since the wet brush came into our home I have been brushing G2's hair regularly and she has even requested pig tails and braids before school!

I wish I had this brush as a child & even now my own hair is incredibly tangled at times and I can't live without the wet brush now! Works on wet or dry hair! How fun are the colors too?! Try this brush and let me know what you think!!!
-Mrs. G
G2 showing off the new Wet brushes

Brushing her own hair with no complaints!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

California vs. Kentucky part I

There's no debating that this move has been and will continue to be challenging for me. Other than the 9 months I lived with my Dad in Utah when I was 9, I've never lived outside of Southern California. Ever. This also means I own just three pairs of close-toed shoes. Over the past 3months as I've slowly expanded wardrobe (I am the proud owner of 4 pairs of rain boots), I started noticing some of the diferences between these two states. I've decided I will try to document the aftershocks of moving my family across the country. Yes, I will use an earthquake analogy because I have lived through several so I can. How fierce is that? If you don't get my sense of humor yet, I suggest you stop reading now. :)

1. Weather: California has the absolute best weather in the country. Don't try to fight me on this one. All of you who say they like to "experience all the seasons" are talking out of k├╣pcha (that's a Native American word, but I'm sure you can figure it out). Waking up to sunshine almost every day is glorious. You would never prefer waking up to gray skies and torrential down pour or scraping frost off your windshield before work. Puh-lease, rent a cabin in Big Bear if you're jonesing to see the snow then go back home to the warm sunshine. The rain was coming down so hard today I was convinced I would see little dents on the hood of my car! Curiously, after taking G2 to gymnastics and picking up G1 from school it was 55 degrees and sunny. I had to peel off my layers. Yes, this was all in one day. I must say I do love it when I stop, stand still and can see the clouds moving across the sky. Literally watching a storm pass is pretty neat. 

2. People: This is a tough one for me to admit, but after I held up traffic 3 separate times today by looking at my smart phone/kids/strangers I realized that nobody honked at me, I say that's a Kentucky win. I totally got an anxious feeling when I realized the light was green and I was still stopped. At home if you didn't get off that line immediately somebody was laying on their horn. There are evil awful and extremely kind people everywhere. I will say that many people chat me up when I'm out and about and because there is less rush, there's more time to talk. Ok, the people are nice. I'm still adjusting because I think being so trusting is strange, but I will agree with Mr. G who has always talked about how friendly other states are. You win (so glad he doesn't read this). I've spent time in both Utah and Missouri and people are equally as friendly there for what it's worth.

3. Driving: Sorry Kentucky, but you can't drive. There is just one "freeway" here and it's not even a freeway. A freeway is defined as "an express highway with no intersections". New Circle Road or KY 4, is exactly that...a circle. If you miss your exit or get lost, just keep going because eventually you will end up where you started. Also, if you stay on long enough you will suddenly be on a regular street with intersections, businesses, and cross streets. Definitely not the 5, 15, 210, or 101. One might think that without the 405 freeway, gridlock and 6 lane highways, there might be less accidents. WRONG! I have seen an accident almost every single day for the last 3 months. I'm convinced people can't drive here because they just don't need to drive well. In Southern California defensive driving is vital to your survival! Either learn to drive-and drive well-or get off the road because you'll be dead! Here there is little to no motivation here. Just mosey on by sippin' your Ale-8-One. 

4. Cost of living: This is a tricky one. I haven't even touched on my home owning woes, but don't worry I'll get there eventually. Quick summary: Mr G & I bought at the height of the market and almost immediately after moving in, that growing bubble burst and the value of our home dropped vastly. We were sick about it and our family was out growing our starter home (G2!) so we decided to buy again. We thought the market had fallen far enough and would either settle or start rising once again. Moved in to newer, larger home and felt we got a deal! Then the prices kept dropping so now we were paying off 2 houses completely underwater. I know Kentucky has seen changes in the real estate market and job availability, but nothing quite compares to the severity California experienced. This is refreshing, but also means we can't really "snag" a home here for super cheap like we could in California (it's relative, really). It is comforting to know things are more stable here and I do look forward to buying again someday. Renting after owning for 7 years isn't much fun other than not owing property taxes. Other than home owning, things are reasonably priced here. Some things I find are comparable or similarly priced. I have no idea how one particular estheticians who specializes in waxing can charge $65 for a brazilian bikini wax and survive! The famous "Pink Cheeks" in Hollywood doesn't even charge that, but there are also many things that are cheaper here. We have eaten out a lot lately and almost every time we get the bill, Mr. G is grinning. We play a little game where he asks me what I think it costs or what it would have costed in CA compared to what we really owe. Dinner for this family of 5 G's isn't always cheap and it's fun to be able to go out now and again with all the G-girls. Of course there are nice or trendy places that charge more, but for the most part it's affordable in my opinion. I think the most we've paid for a meal was at the "Table 310" restaurant in downtown Lexington. Again, I'm sure many here might not agree that things are cheap, but coming from SoCal I disagree. So this is a win for Kentucky.  

5. Death and funerals: This is really more of an anecdote. For the first week I saw police cars escorting a train of cars obviously driving from a funeral to a burial site DAILY. It started to creep me out. Seemed like a lot of people were dying every single day and when I stopped to think about it, I couldn't remember the last time I saw a funeral precession back home, aside from the few funerals of family members I had personally attended over the past 20 years. Did people just come to Kentucky to die? Was it like the limbo-life of LOST where you didn't realize what was happening until the final episode and then you were still lost? ;) One afternoon Mr. G & I were driving and he pointed out A FUNERAL HOME within 1 mile from our home. DUH! Ok, so the reason I saw them so often is because I lived so close to a funeral home. Phew! :) I saw a funeral procession again today which is why that story is fresh in my mind, but interestingly I haven't seen one lately. Maybe a lot of people died from shock when they heard I was moving to Kentucky. Or maybe they offed themselves, like all exceptional people I know I have some Ashley-haters too. ;)

Since I am new here and enjoy learning about my new surroundings, I have a question. Is Lexington, KY considered the south? Is it the midwest? I see and hear much debate about this. Mr. G tells me it's the south, but it's definitely not the deep south. So if anyone has any opinons on this I would love to hear it.
Also, I would love to hear from you and am curious to know what you'd like to hear about from me! So be sure to visit me on Facebook here: Me & The G's. With a career in social media under my belt, I am always online. See you soon!

-Mrs. G

G1 & G2 on a visit to KY in January 2011. Never imagined we would be residents a year later!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Penny's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yummy!
I have been craving oatmeal cookies for some time now, but even more enticing...I want to make a girly headband holder out of the tall cylinder oats container!! So I'll post about THAT tomorrow. Tonight here is a recipe for some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that can be whipped up with things you probably have in your pantry right now.

In elementary and high school, I was blessed with some really fantastic friendships! I hope my 3 daughters find the kind of relationships I was blessed with some day. Anyway, one of my best friends, Lindsay had a mother equally as wonderful as this is her recipe. I remember on one occasion Lindsay and I had a huge ziploc bag of these cookies and munched almost all of them as we hung out in her room. Oh, how I would love to be able to eat 15 cookies guilt free nowadays!! ;)
Lindsay & I in May 2006

G1, Lindsay & her Mom, Penny

So here goes...a trip down memory lane...and hopefully a scrumptious cookie for you to munch! I didn't get many pictures today. A little G snuck in and wanted to help. Taking pics while I add ingredients is one thing...but photographing the G's pouring things leads to more flour on the countertop than in the mixing bowl. :-)

Cream 2 sticks butter with 1 Cup brown sugar & 1/2 Cup white sugar

 Add 2 eggs

Here is G2! She came inside after sledding with Mr. G and wanted to help! Isn't she cute?! Patiently waiting to stick her fingers in the bowl to get a taste!

 Add your vanilla extract like so, then add your dry ingredients. 3C oats, 1&1/2C flour and 1 tsp. baking soda. Don't forget 1&1/2 C of chocolate chips!

Don't these already look yummy? I smushed mine down a little bit before baking


These little stackers would be so good with a scoop of ice cream in between them, don't you think?

Perfect with a glass of milk!



Best part was when G1 told me my cookies were still good even if they had "healthy" oatmeal in them! Hope you enjoy these! I think they are perfect for a cold winter day and that's exactly what today was.
Thanks Penny for sending me your recipe today! These were just what I was craving!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my fun & functional headband holder!!! Ooo...also Mr. G starts his new job tomorrow so if we have a good day (no school tomorrow which always leads to surprises in my schedule) I really want to make him a special treat for when he comes home! Maybe 2 posts tomorrow...

-Mrs. G

Penny's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients:
2 sticks butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Cups oats
1&1/2 Cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1&1/2Cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Cream butter and sugars
Add eggs & vanilla
Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
Add chocolate chips
Bake Tablespoon sized scoops of cookie dough at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. ENJOY!!!!