About me

Me & My Family


I started this blog with nothing but 2 kids, a computer, and a dream -of a self-cleaning house, brilliant well-rounded children, and a husband that never needs “reminders”.  Dreams #1 and #3 look hopeless, so I am focusing my efforts on #2.

I have 2 boys.  At the time I am writing this (June 2011), the oldest, “Br”, is 3 3/4 years old, and the youngest, “Bl”, is 15 months old. Like probably anyone else taking time to read a blog on children’s activities, I realized my children’s time was getting away from me.  Being a recovering science geek, I know how important it is to stimulate the developing mind to create all those important neural pathways required for their later brilliance and artistic genius.

But I didn’t feel like I was doing enough.  That’s where this blog comes in: the collective “you” out there create an external pressure to innovate and adapt “stuff to stimulate my kids”.  I hope you will use our examples to stimulate your own children.  Knowing I am not only responsible for the appropriate stimulation of my own children’s minds, but potentially THE WHOLE WORLD !!! (obvious hyperbole) will hopefully keep me from getting distracted from my mission.*  Basically, you are my “gym buddy”-the reason I can’t skip on my workout because someone is waiting for me- for doing activities with the kiddos.  So, please comment.  It’s helpful to know you’re “waiting”.  :)

(We”ll gloss over the fact that currently I am not working out…)

A little more of the specifics about me, so you’ll at least have forewarning about where some of my biases lay:

I grew up rather “hippie-ish”.  The homesteading type, not the drugs/Grateful Dead/tie-dye type.  Okay, there was a little bit of tie-dye.  I refer to myself now as a “closet hippie”, at the level where I mostly pester my husband.  My husband is not at all hippie, but he is tolerant and easy-going.

Related to the hippie-ness, I would generally be classified as having a “Natural Parenting” philosophy.  More “Dr. Sears” than “Dr. Ferber”.  Not perfectly- some things we’re probably “too natural”, others we’re probably “not natural enough”.  See above notation about husband…

I work part-time outside of the home, as an “analyst for the State”.  I often think it would be great to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom if we could afford it- I’d have all those extra hours to get things done! (HAH!!) Other times I think having no time away from the kids or external validation would be too hard.  My sweet (and “sweet!” :)  ) husband, and father of my 2 children, is a high school teacher.

*I apparently have ADD.  My best friend (an elementary school teacher) periodically points it out to me. After I graduated college, my mom said in passing they had tried to medicate me for ADD in kindergarten.  I guess I learned reasonable scholastic coping mechanisms, as I was pretty successful in school.  Because of this, I do think about how “labeling” a child can affect their development and self-perception.  I don’t do nearly as well keeping on task at house work…

I have a bias towards “Montessori” education, but little knowledge (that, I am working on!).  I attended a Montessori preschool, although I don’t remember much specifics. :) I am sure my academic success was due to a good foundation- which I attribute to a patient mother that answered lots of “why?” questions, &  that preschool.  I appreciate the emphasis on innate curiosity & fostering independent thinking. Plus, experts say the hands on stuff helps with ADD (and lots of other issues as well).  In case my kids inherit my proclivities, I want to do whatever I can to focus that energy in a positive way!

I really like ellipses.  I’ll try to keep that under control….  :)

I tend to be long-winded.  I’ll try to keep that under control as well. To that end, this is the end.  :)  Thanks for stopping by!

Me & My Family

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5 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hi Gwen. Wonderful post on the pipe building activity, so glad it was a hit with your kids! I really liked the detail & tips. That’s the kind of feedback we need from parents doing these activities at home.

    Great narrative about how the activity progressed and included many elements. I really want to stress that to parents more. It’s hard sometimes to find time to do a great number of activities. Extending and expanding each one at the time you’re doing it & the kids are really into it is the way to go. Almost any activity can be extended to include language, sensory experience, muscle skills, etc. You explained that beautifully.

    You made my day!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and even more for your fabulous ideas!
      The boys enjoyed it so much, I actually made one up for the preschool Brady goes to while I’m at work. I pulled it out to show the teacher, and one of the little girls spotted it and wanted to “play it”. Luckily, I’d made cards like you had in the book with an arrow showing which direction to turn to tighten, but the girl loved the activity, especially “testing” it by putting the rocks, etc, through it at the end! There was another boy that was very upset he had to go home before he could have his chance. I’d planned on taking it back home to do some finishing touches, but I ended up leaving it at the school that night so that sad little boy could do it at school the next day. :)

  2. I came across your website from John Bowman’s Google+ circle! I have a 2yr old little girl and love getting new ideas! Thank you for sharing and I love having walking buddies :)

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