So I’ve been away for a while. I’m now 17 weeks pregnant. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from Hypermesis Graviderum when pregnant. This has been my worst pregnancy so far. I spent 2 weeks in hospital and had to get a PICC line for TPN which made me worse and was eventually used for my IV meds. I spent October and November bedridden and lost 18lbs. Thankfully I’m now through the worst of it and am slowly recovering. Baby has stayed strong through it all (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks two years ago and so this is always a worry).
However my pregnancy has not only been difficult for me but for my husband and children as well. My husband has been amazing taking on all the responsibilities and taking care of me. The children suffered a lot and many behavior problems came up due to lack of consistency, attention and boundaries and way, way, way too much TV. As I was recovering I began to plan how our life would look when I was well and what we’d do about homeschooling. I felt that the nourishing routines, simple, natural toys, and quiet rhythm and activities of Waldorf was really what our family needed as we healed from this difficult time. Having a mother sick and in hospital is very traumatic for a child. Their world is turned upside down, their mother doesn’t have time for them and needs to be alone, she’s hooked up to wires and nurses come, they don’t understand what’s wrong and it’s scary to see her sick. So I’ve rearranged the playroom (again), we’re not doing any formal school for December and are focusing on creating a rhythm, stories, songs and traditions of Hanukkah. I purged toys and they will be getting more natural, Waldorf inspired gifts for the holidays. I still have a lot to put back in order in my home but my strength is limited so I’m careful not to push myself or I relapse. In the new year I’ll do a video of our new play/school room.
One thing I changed was to put the dollhouse in the basement (I’ll probably sell it) as it was so big and was rarely played with. I put the lovely Plan Toys furniture in a basket and the kids love creating their own house with blocks. It’s so much more imaginative and saves on space. And now the furniture gets more play.
The kids are finally old enough to really enjoy and make holidays fun. Hamentashen Cookies are a staple of Purim celebrations. Here’s my recipe for them.
1 1/2 butter
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups all-pupose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mace or 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp allspice
1 can pie filling
Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt and mace. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll our dough on a floured surface. Cut out circle shapes. Put a dollop of pie filling in the centre of each circle and fold the edges in, overlapping them and pinching to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 mins. Enjoy. Makes about 45 cookies
Our family follows the Hebrew Lunar calendar for religious holiday dates. I wanted to start teaching Pumpkin 1 the Lunar calendar so I put together this.
The pocket chart is this one from Amazon. The pictures below is for that week’s Parsha reading from Chabad.org
I made my own cards to use in it. We start a new month on conjunction but the great things about this calendar is you can set it up any way you want. You can download the cards for your own calendar through the link.
It’s hung with removable Command hooks.
Pumpkin 1 is always asking what phase the moon is in now. We check the moon out the window at bedtime. I’d love to get this one day. It automatically syncs with the moon outside!
I missed Wordless Wednesday yesterday. I was really busy trying to finish making gifts for my Pumpkins for Purim. So I thought I’d share some pictures from our fun today.
I thought, since dressing up is part of the holiday, dying playsilks would be a great tradition. It’s the first time we’ve done it. I bought plain silk scarves from the Dharma Trading Co I went with the 35×35″ Habotai scarves. I always thought playsilks were expensive and why were they any better than just scarves you can buy for cheap. Once I felt the silk though, I understood. It’s just lovely. So smooth and lightweight yet strong, with a wonderful drape. I fell in love with them. We dyed them with food colouring following recipes I came across online. It was really easy and they turned out beautifully. The kids loved them.
Dying the scarves with food coloring.
Then of course you have to make hamantaschen cookies for Purim. We used apple butter for the center.
I also told them the story of Esther. I’m trying to do more story telling instead of reading from books. It was hard for the kids to understand at first (“but where are the pictures?”) but then I found they listen with rapt attention, something they don’t always do for books.
Finally, after dinner I gave my Pumpkins their gifts I had made. A Waldorf bunting doll and wool felt horse for Pumpkin 1 and a wool crochet dog for Pumpkin 2 (his horse is still in process of being made). Gammie and Grandaddy also came for a visit to make everything complete.