Food and Stuff


I know, I know. I’m supposed to be writing Why, Part 3 (you didn’t know my conversion story had more sequels than The Land Before Time, did you?) but I’m going to take a break from that for a bit and discuss something a bit more unschooly.  (I love that that term is still so new my computer autocorrects it every time.  Get with it, Grammarly!)

There are a few articles circulating around Facebook about how totally awesome it is to be a “mean mom”(their choice of words, not mine).  We’re all somewhat familiar with these and, if you’re reading this, I’m guessing we have a similar reaction: something along the lines of “WHAT? whyyyyyy????” One article I read actually said, “If your child tells you you’re mean, take it as a compliment.”  I really really REALLY don’t get this line of thinking.  I mean, I guess it makes sense in an extreme circumstance, “No, Billy, you can’t go to the Black Mass tonight.”  “Awwww, Mom, why are you so mean!?”  But, honestly, if you’re at that point I think it’s safe to say you’ve already lost the battle.

*I personally think that if you wouldn’t dream of saying or doing something to anybody in the whole wide world other than your child, you probably shouldn’t say or do it to them either.  That’s just my IMO.*

Anyway, I could rant and rant and rant discuss a million points on which I disagree with these so-called “mean moms”, but I’m just going to elaborate on one today, as I feel I have a unique perspective on it.  In case you weren’t able to decipher the obscure title of this post, it’s the Food Issue.


You know what I mean, right?

The “no dessert until veggies are gone,” issue.  The “desserts are only for the weekends,” issue.  The “I don’t care how full you are, finish your hamburger,” issue.

I’m going to tell you something shocking.  I did not grow up in a house with the above rules.  This is going to make my mom wince a bit (Hi, Mom!) but I could have eaten bowls of pebbles all day and that would have been perfectly fine.  I remember days where I ate nothing but an entire box of Count Chocula, and other days of nothing but giant quantities of goldfish crackers.  I never NEVER had Halloween candy taken away before I was through with it, was allowed as many pieces of birthday cake that I desired, at any time of the day that I desired, and drank Diet Coke happily out of a baby bottle until I was waaaaaayyyy past the appropriate bottle-drinking-age (I don’t really get why there is a cut off age for bottles, btw…).


(My BFF)

No, I was not neglected.  No, my parents were not conducting a mini Super Size Me experiment on their unsuspecting children.  No, we were not unschooled.  So how in the world was all this culinary craziness allowed, you ask??  Well, I’ve thought about that and I think the answer is some mash up of a mom who didn’t like to cook, an autistic brother’s obsession with McDonald’s (we literally ate there, and (and this, I think is the real reason, the important reason) parents who were just not that interested in micro-managing their kids.

I have wonderful parents.  My mom and dad are two of my very best friends in the world.  Though they were strict in some ways (rolling eyes at mom equaled instant death), they mainly treated my sister and I like little adults.  I can’t ever remember my parents telling me to go to bed, or looking over my homework (unless I asked), or even to clean my room (my mom, who may be the cleanest person that has ever lived, would just tell me to shut the door so she wouldn’t have to look at the mess).  I do remember, however, long discussions about politics, talking late into the night about nothing and everything, and my dad (an incredibly smart man) asking my opinion over money matters at his business.  I don’t think it ever even occurred to my parents that they were supposed to be pestering us about all those other little things.  They saw as us intelligent, interesting people and treated us as such. (At least, it seemed that way to me.)

Ok, I’m going to conclude this post (which, I promise, was supposed to be brief!) with the inevitable outcome of children who are allowed to eat whatever they want, whenever they want: Morbid Obesity.

Just kidding.  No, really, when I went off to college and was blessed with the unspeakable joy of an in-house cafeteria (“You mean, there’s food here?  Like, real, cooked food?  All the time????”), I noticed most of my peers had NO idea how to eat.  My roommates and I would go off to dinner together, eat a nice meal, and then, a few hours later, they’d go back.  And eat another meal.  And sometimes again after that.  They’d also skip breakfast a lot.  I became the opposite of my parents, pestering them about their eating habits, (“You know it’s not a good idea to eat chicken strips and ranch at 2 am, right???”)  These were girls who’d had home cooked meals all their lives, who felt crushing guilt over each sesame seed that tumbled off their hamburger bun, who’d never been allowed double scoops on their ice cream cones, and who had no idea how to organize their meals on their own.  I, on the other hand, had been in charge of my own meals my whole life.  I knew what I was doing.  As an adult, I lead a very healthy lifestyle, eat healthy foods almost nearly close to all of the time, and the same could be said of my sister and my husband (a fellow childhood fridge forager).

So there you have it.  The experiment has been conducted and the guinea pig came out loving organics and spurning Flaming Hot Cheetos (most of the time).  Fear the unwanted crust of your child’s sandwich no longer!  I guess the moral of this post, as could be the moral of all of unschooling, is: relationship is more important.  Maybe its just me, but I can’t imagine how a relationship wouldn’t be damaged by a lifetime of forced feedings.  I’m not suggesting you go out and buy your kid a lifetime’s supply of Count Chocula (in true hypocrite’s fashion, I would never buy that for my kids), I’m just saying…the “mean moms” are wrong.  Forcing your kids to eat stuff they hate or reserving awesome foods for just some days is a bad move.  Honestly, its stupid.  Don’t do it.  There, my moral:

Don’t do it.

Also, enjoy food.  Food is good.

Also, nobody but lunatics only eat dessert on weekends.  You don’t want your kid to be a lunatic, do you?

Until next time.


We Loveth Spring

(Don’t be put off by my mastery of ye olde English, I happen to be a Shakespearean actor.)

Isn’t it strange how siblings can come from the same parents, be raised in the same surroundings, with the same values, and yet develop such startlingly different personalities?  My eldest (see how I used eldest rather than the uncivilised oldest? Shakespeare, friends, Shakespeare) is a shrunk down, girled up Steve Irwin.  Really, she’s our little naturalist.  She actually forages.  I told her off hand once that dandelions are edible and she now eats them like potato chips.  Same with hibiscus flowers and wild strawberries.  The look on people’s faces never ceases to amuse me when she grabs a handful of flowers and chows them down.

jo flo

(Does anybody have some ketchup?)

(Yes, I know, these are daffodils- not edible)

Now, obviously, I’ve always enjoyed Spring, I haven’t given completely over to the dark side, but enjoying it with a True Nature Lover is such a joy.  She just notices everything, which of course, makes me notice them as well.

“Mommy, the cherry blossoms are blooming!”

“I heard a Blue Jay this morning!  He sounded like he was laughing at me!”

Running to me with her hands cupped around something small and mysterious, “Mommy, a ladybug!” or “Look, an earthworm!” or, even better “The first baby lizard!”

Though not quite as savage as their sister, my younger daughters are fairly wild themselves.  She is a good influence.  And this is just another reason I love homeschooling/unschooling so very much.  I have a hard time believing they would be as immersed in the natural world if they were in school all day.  They simply wouldn’t have the time!  And, as we rugged public-school vets know all t0o well, shouting out in rapturous joy at each new blooming flower or writhing worm just isn’t, well, cool.

For all the other parents of budding naturalists out there:


Journey North is a website for Citizen Scientists (also not cool: proudly proclaiming, “I’m a Citizen Scientist!” to all your friends. Side note: why isn’t it cool to be interested in things? I don’t get it…) to report any seasonal changes they’ve observed.  So far, we’ve reported robin sightings, robin flocks, earthworms, frogs singing, blue jays, geese, and ladybugs. We’re anxiously awaiting our first hummingbird sighting as well as Monarch butterflies.  An additional plus from giving these guys (who, in my rebel opinion, are very, very cool) your email address is they send you updates they’ve received from other (ultra, mega, sunglasses-inside cool) Citizen Scientists across the country.  For example, we know that ruby-throated hummingbirds have been spotted south of us and so should be here soon.

Ok, well, as I’ve been typing this post single handed as my 1-year-old alternately open mouth kisses my face and screams into my now very wet shoulder, I think I’ll be signing off now.  I hope this was helpful to someone out there and how how how does one smoothly end a post?  Not like this.  Until next time.


New Things

These guys arrived the other day! Are they or are they not the ca-hustest things you’ve ever seen?   They’re Waldorf Math Gnomes: King Equals and his four serfs; Plus, Minus, Divides, and Times.  My girls are absolutely, ridiculously, over-ze-top in love with them, though, personally, I’m a little suspicious of their religious leanings.



(I just found them like this…) Actual time spent using them for mathematical purposes versus marrying them to each other is undisclosed.

Also, this!


Okay, Colloidal Silver is not new.  Uses of it can be traced back to Hippocrates.  But it’s new to me.  Zoe has had a terrible case of pink eye (the first case ever among our kids which just happened to befall us five days after I mentioned this fact to my husband.  Seriously, why?)  I tried every home remedy Dr. Google prescribes but nothing was able to save my sweet baby from the angry beast below.


(They love when I take pictures of them while they’re crying, btw.)

I was ready to hang up my Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman bonnet and actually take her to a real, licensed doctor (oh, the horror!) but decided to make one last ditch effort and buy the colloidal silver a friend of mine had recommended.  I am happy to report after one day’s application, she is almost completely healed! This morning was the first in many that she didn’t wake up with her eye glued shut looking like a slightly (a little more than slightly?) creepy Lalaloopsy doll.  I won’t say the pink eye is 100% cured quite yet, she’s still pretty goopy (you’re loving all these beautiful images I’m conjuring up, right?), but its much, much improved.

Okay, last but not least:


Yes, that’s right.  I’m an Oil Lady now.  Please enter your credit card info right below…No, just kidding.  I’m not selling anything.  But I am officially dabbing/rubbing/spraying/diffusing oils on every surface, human and otherwise, that I come in contact with.  I think my favorite use of them are the homemade cleaning sprays I have made.

Recipes? So glad you asked:

~Mulitpurpose (including glass) Spray: Half vodka (yes, vodka), half water, 10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops lavender oil.  Seriously this, is thee best!  It smells amazing, cuts through everything (including olive oil and mold), leaves no streaks (even on my granite counters which everything left streaks on), and, best of all, doesn’t emit the scent of poison (see: Windex)

-Disinfectant Spray: Straight vodka, with about 25 drops On Guard oil (doTerra’s immunity blend).  I use it on toilet seats, clothing stains, the rim of my HE washer (am I the only one who cannot scrub the mildew off this thing?), and basically anything that my children touch, ie everything.

Vodka, who knew, right?  It makes so much sense, though! No smell, no stickiness, safe to ingest, antiseptic, and, as it tastes like death, there’s really no other earthly use for it.

Alright, friends, another riveting post completed.  Until next time.

P.S. Just in case you’re interested, I found the Waldorf gnomes on Etsy and the colloidal silver at (where else?) Whole Foods.