Saturday, August 31, 2013


The Proper Mormon Woman (TM) eschews high fashion and luxuries. When tempted by a $100 haircut in a fancy salon, she chooses to clip her own hair, for modesty and thrift adorn all her actions.

Or something like that.

I look hot. And you all are jealous of the awesome 'do that I just cut myself.

I've never cut my own hair before and it feels awesome to do it myself. Hair used to be this complicated thing. I've been cutting McKay's for years, but women's hair? That's way too complicated! It's not, though. All you have to do is cut off the parts that you don't want anymore. Also, try not to cut your fingers (I failed that part).

I hope it still looks good once it dries.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nth Day of Not School

So today Oakland schools start and all my friends are posting "First Day of School" photos and are nervous about their kindergarteners starting school today.

And I'm totally nervous for my "kindergartner" to not start school.

Part of it is that our charter school hasn't assigned us our teacher yet. Our charter doesn't start until after Labor Day, so they are taking their good ol' time. Problem is, classes that we'd like to use the charter funds for are already open for registration and I can't sign up for them until I know how the money works. Also, we are in violin lesson limbo since the fall schedule (starting in 2 weeks) isn't available yet. I have no idea what life is going to look like.

Margaret has wanted to do "schooly" things, so I made up a card system for her. I put some cards in a folder and she can choose which ones she does each day. I put different ones in every day, so she has different options. There are cards that are in every day: violin practice and me reading to her. There are cards that are in some days but not all: handwriting, for example. When she's done with a card she moves it from the left side of the folder to the right side to signify that she's done. All of it takes less than half an hour (except for me reading to them- that takes longer depending on the books they choose) and then we have the rest of the day to do whatever.

Is this system still going to work a month from now? I don't know. But hey, it's something to ease her into the "school year."

Ooh, one thing I'm looking forward to today is checking out the local 4-H group, which has an open house later. 4-H is usually for 8+, but some groups take 5+, with the 5 year olds as "Cloverbuds." This group accepts 5+, but before we jump in it, I want to see what options they have for the younger crowd. We'll find out if I want to start living through my children this year or if I'm going to wait a few years. I really wish I had gotten a chance to do 4-H. My kids will do all the things I wish I had done! (That's a bit facetious, but kind of true.)

Anyway, I'm nervous that she's missing out on the American experience of school and that's important somehow. But no choice is forever, we can always do school if it doesn't work out. And the homeschool options here are amazing: from lego engineering to AP Chemistry classes. It'll work out. Kids are resilient and I can't mess this up too badly.

If things work out and we have the money for the classes we want for her, this semester she'll be doing violin, lego engineering, a writing class, 4-H, and another music class. She really likes music. And now I'm worried we'll over schedule her. Goodness, it's just kindergarten. And of course we'll have the usual park days for the unschool group.

Here's a picture from yesterday while waiting for a bus. She made her necklace.

Happy nth day of no school, but sort of school. Happy life?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One year of carfree-ness

I recently realized that it's been over a year since we've owned a car. Go us!

Here I am trying out a Madsen about a month before Linda was born:

For a few weeks of our carfree time, we were borrowing a vehicle and very recently we borrowed a minivan from a friend who was going out of town and didn't want to pay to leave their car at the airport for 10 days. Having the vehicle was useful, but being in traffic at Petaluma made me exclaim, "Now this is why we don't have a car!"

Is it saving us money? I don't know. The Zipcar adds up, especially with 3+ hour church every week. We need to use it less and bike more. Even with having the Madsen since March, we still have not outfitted it with the BionX. We've been having issues securing a welder for the battery. Maybe I'll just do that myself. I mean, how hard can brazing on a bike frame be? Really? Ok, probably not going to do that. But we need to get on it.

Yesterday I biked 8.3 miles with the kids. Tonight I have to go grocery shopping (I'm going to do that kid-free). Most of our errands are biking. I'm loving that. My legs feel strong and biking makes me happy.

Yesterday I was thinking about how a year ago, I was pregnant and biking 2 kids in a trailer while on a one speed. What the heck was I thinking? Well, I was thinking, "This is biking, how hard can it be?" I wonder if after I get the assist on, if I'll look back and think, "90 pounds of kids without an assist? What was I thinking?" Really, I'm thinking, "It's biking, how hard can it be?"

We've had a couple of flat tires in this past year. And I think the de-railer needs adjusting on the Madsen. I'd really love to decorate the bike more, get a sound system, and add some glowing bits.

Sound system-wise I'm thinking Boombotix. We probably only "need" the basic one, but how great would it be to have the subwoofer? Gotta compete with the bassed-out cars here in Oakland, you know.

Anyway, we did a year! Let's do another!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teach Me How To Breastfeed Music Video

This was made by my local Alameda County Breastfeeding Coalition and Oakland Parks and Rec. Best thing ever. I didn't post anything for World Breastfeeding Week this year, so maybe this'll make up for it.

Enjoy! Dance! Learn to breastfeed!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Photo Essay of our Adventures

Lots of things have been going on. So here're a few pictures to prove we've been doing things and not sitting at home on our butts.

Motorama at Pixar:

Margaret in an airplane:

Isaac with ice cream:

Shoulder ride:

Coloring on a car:

From a kite-flying picnic with friends. McKay holding Linda and a baby friend.

Kite Flying!

Dressed up for church. Linda is a Dalek.

Linda eats corn on the cob.

At Fairyland:

 Just petting a snake at the library:

Painting Flower pots at the library:

Berkeley Kite Festival:

I took an improv class this summer and here I am in one of the skits in our final show.

Isaac building a tower at the library:

Linda and a baby friend!