Catching up...

I am determined to try and keep this blog rolling! I will start by filling in the obvious blank:

More than 3 weeks sooner than expected, Wade Jeffrey Ferdolage decided he was ready for the outside world. He was born at home on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:00am. Wade was 21 1/2 inches long and weighed 7lbs. 4oz.


It's nice to be the queen...

Baby #4 is a boy....We decided to find out the sex of this baby because J was so hopeful that it just *might* be a girl that we figured he'd need some adjustment time if it wasn't. It isn't. As it turns out, that adjustment time was only a few minutes. I went to the ultrasound solo and called him right afterwards with the results. "I guess that we're just meant to raise boys," he said. "Yep," was all I could say in my giddy laughter. I have to admit that I relish the idea of spending many years to come just hanging with all of my guys!!


and baby makes 6...

Yes, 6. We are soon to be a family of 6. Wow. That's gonna take some getting used to! We are expecting our 4th child in early December of this year. Funny, I just realized that this will be the first time we've ever conceived and birthed a child in the span of a single year. That's absolutely meaningless...but it did just occur to me.


gun play isn't always bad :)

My three boys, ages 8, 4 and 2 have gun toys...adequate pause for gasps...and I'm finally okay with that. I started my career in motherhood vehemently opposed to any such propaganda, but have slowly let them in--mainly Nerf guns and those super tiny Lego ones. I used to see the weapons that slowly pervaded our toy bins as a direct failure on my behalf. They were a symbol that I wasn't strong enough...or worse, that I gave up my ideals. Regardless of how they got here, they're here. I have to admit that I have the occasional thoughts of gathering them all up into a big trash bag sometimes. today is not one of thse days, though.

Today, my kids and their neon colored guns made me smile. The older two were fully engaged in an elaborate battle as the wee one ran after them, begging to "pay too". After a few minutes, they both stopped and found one of the smaller pieces in their arsenal for their little bro to play with. He was delighted, but quickly be came disenchanted when his wouldn't "soot". The big brothers came back to his aid and readied the weapon to be fired. The oldest shot it and showed him how it would work. He immediatedly wanted it loaded again, which his 4 year old brother obliged. When he was handed back the gun he was so excited that he squealed with delight. To this obvious display of gratitude his 4 year old brother responded, "Man, H, you are so cute. I just love you!" Then he ran in to tell me how cute his brother was and just how much he loved him. See, guns aren't always so bad ;)


...and then I went for the day

So, we finally decided it was the right choice to send the kiddos to school for a "trial run"....and then I went for the day. They set up a visitation in the Kindergarten class for us and I took J to experience a day in the life of his future. It wasn't bad. It wasn't all that great either.

Ultimately, I was left with a sinking feeling. J was pretty indifferent and I was pretty sure he'd love it and want to go back...so that threw me off. But, the biggest concern I had was that all of the talk to encourage the kids to be "good people" leaves behind the idea that when you don't rise up to those stipulations you become a "bad person". Now...no one was calling the kids bad. There was, however, a lot of "good friends don't xyz" or "we don't ever play bad guys because our friends are not negative", etc. All well-intentioned comments to be sure...I am just not sure that my little guy, having been raised the way he has thus far, wouldn't internalize the flipside to these corrections. The last thing I want is to send him "away" to doubt his integrity.

Perhaps I need to step back and realize that my instinctive parenting style works for us and it's just not conducive to swimming down the main stream. This isn't always the easiest way to go, but I just know when something is not right...sometimes it takes putting it right in my face...but I know.

I am going to bed now...to ponder how I am going to homeschool 2 kids in the fall :)


I think it's kinda funny that I finished my last post tonight, but it posted with the date I started it. It reinforced for me that I really took the time to make this decision!


To go to school or not to go to school...that is the question!

I started this post in January...I think I'm ready to finish it--

Happy 2009! It is a new year, yet I wallow in the same dilemma. I have been considering having the kids go to school quite a bit lately. I am not sure why this is so hard for me, but I have a few guesses. For starters, I have never been opposed to school. In fact I LOVED school and that is a part of who I am. I learned a lot in schools, ones that would be called mediocre at best. I thrived in my school environments...often more so than at home. School did none of the tragic things for me that so many homeschoolers are grappling to escape or avoid. That is not to say that I don't believe that those issues aren't real in today's traditional school setting.

So why did I homeschool? It wasn't because I didn't want my kids in school. It was more because I wanted to homeschool. I even wrestled with not putting T in school initially because it felt like I was withdrawing my support of the public school system--not a message I wanted to send to my kids. When the time came for T to start Kindergarten, I checked out a bunch of schools, put him in the lottery for the great ones (and he got into them!) but something in my gut told me it wasn't the best choice at the time. So, we started homeschooling with the open family commitment that we would do it as long as it was what worked for everybody. I love homeschooling. It is a natural extension of how we parent our kids. It allows me to give them unique experiences and time to dive into some things much deeper than they could in a traditional school.

However, not every aspect of our chosen academic course is working for everyone now...and there are a few more of us than there were when we began this journey :) Mostly, our issues with homeschooling are semantics, not problems with growth in learning or philosophy. I feel like I'm always short-changing someone *just a little* in order to work out the logistics of any given day. T will have a class when H should really be home napping so I keep him up or have him sleep in the car...which means I probably sit somewhere in the car so as not to wake him instead of accomplishing something I would like to which leaves me frustrated and J stuck in the car piddling around while we wait for T's class to end. Or I have T move 3 times while he's trying to write because H wants to dance on his desk......

And that is where I left things in January. Here is what I have running through my brain now--

There are a handful of frustrations in trying to homeschool...and I am sure there will be a handful of frustrations in trying school, but that's what we've decided to do. I put the kids' names into a lottery for the fall, and J got in to Kindergarten!! This was surprising since there were only 6 Kindy spots and about 80 applicants. T is 2nd on the waiting list for 4th grade, so I'm pretty sure he'll get in eventually. J has been insistent for quite a while that he would be going to Kindergarten. That is kinda what got this ball rolling. I think it will be harder for me to send him if Tyler isn't going, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Either way, this will certainly be a new adventure for our family. The school is an open classroom/constructivist model and is pretty much in line with our own educational philosophies and values. One thing I am really excited about is that the school uses a lot of Nonviolent Communication and conflict resolution strategies. I am really looking forward to becoming part of a community that can help me facilitate my kids' learning and provide some unique opportunities to follow through on some of their ideas. But, hey, the worst case scenario is that it doesn't work out and we go back to homeschooling, right? I don't consider that to be too bad at all :)