Let me be still and listen...

Saturday, January 21, 2012


What a wonderful afternoon with girlfriends, some coffee and a warm fire. The snow is falling outside, and we are sitting inside, enjoying an (almost-) kids-free zone. Hubby had to stay home, because I needed someone to plow the driveway and to start my fire, without smoking up the house...Last time I started my very own first fire, the kids and I had to leave because smoke went anywhere but through the chimney...so this time, with company coming over I needed some assistance;0)

I am very thankful that the girls actually made it, since it was the first bigger snowstorm this and last year, the roads were actually slippery and many had canceled. But the fearless made it up here and I am very grateful for it, because I enjoyed a very fun-filled afternoon. And special thanks to hubby for taking care of the kids, the fire and the driveway;0)

Now, what has any of that to do with the title: unschooling? Very easily explained. The girls and I had a talk about schools, choices and ways of educating our children. Our first-borns are going to join kindergarten or first grade in the fall or next year and we are all facing the rounds of open houses in the public school system. For some (in my mind not-so-)odd reason, I have been exploring the idea of Unschooling. Unschooling is a form of homeschooling, the most unorganized form of homeschooling, the so called "child-led-learning" way.

Well, I am facing a dilemma, because unfortunately my husband and I are not on the same page when it comes to topic of schooling. Now I am trying to figure out for myself, why I feel so strongly about homeschooling and if it is indeed something I should pursue or not, at least theoretically for now. I do not have any homeschooling friends and if i talk to my "regular schooling friends" it's hard to discuss the topic, because they haven't really much explored the idea.

I want to get more in touch with the topic and explore it with my children. Since Princess L is due to start Kindergarten in September, I would love to decide what to do, very soon. We are scheduled for an open house here at the Elementary School in a couple of weeks. At the same time I want to connect with people, who do home school. I also would love to discuss the topic more in detail with hubby, but he is not so interested in joining the conversation, because he is aware that it will be a difficult subject for us, since our positions couldn't be more opposite.

Why, why homeschool? Why not send my children to school and enjoy the "time-off"? Why do I need to worry so much about all of this? I just wonder, about how much we give away, when we send our still so very young, very vulnerable, impressible and gullible, 5 - or 6 year-olds off to school? They will be dropped of in front of the building, they will be taught by people we don't really know, they spent many hours with children of their own age, without a break, time for a breather, by themselves, to reflect, to understand all the emotions and new experiences, to process the new images, rules, words. We pick them up, we expect exited children, we expect grown, educated, well behaved children, who learn and adjust, who fit in. Is that what I want for my children, to fit in? Is it essential to fit in? Could they survive, without fitting in completely? Could they actually be happier, if they didn't fit in? Or would I destroy their chances of a happy life, if I rather homeschooled them?

I am very torn, because I feel so strongly about it all. What is it all about? I am not able to answer that questions right now. I need to keep exploring and maybe praying for an answer? Yes people, I pray. And I will have to do so, in my little corner. Maybe that will show me where to go from here.

Anyway, again, thank you ladies for visiting and spending the afternoon. Thank you for inspiring conversations and lots of laughter. I need much more of that very soon;0) Good night.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

food, food, food

Hi y'all;0) from your favorite German-Bostonian...

What has been on my mind constantly over the past few months is our diet, our dinners and snacks. It has been challenging, to say the least, due to food sensitivities (which I talked about in earlier posts) and varying likes and dislikes throughout the family. On many days I basically make several dishes, or at least one member (and I will not point fingers here;0)) will eat out, opt for a pbj, take-out or rather just snack his way through the pantry instead of even touching what is on the table.

No I am not a fantastic cook, but I like to try different things, "healthy" dishes, whole grain pasta, I make oat meal with nuts and seeds and would love to cut back the meat consumption. I also like to add fresh veggies or frozen, and there I prefer to use a variety as well. On the other hand I do make basic German (my family) dishes, such as Schnitzel, "Geschnetzeltes", Potaotes with Quark, or my mom's special "poor man's dish - Sour eggs", a dish with potatoes, sweet and sour mustard sauce with bacon and soft boiled eggs. Yes, yes I know, only hard boiled eggs on this side of the big pond, but I have grown up and LOVE soft (6 minutes-) boiled eggs. No I don't give them to my children, much against my grand mother's advice;0)

I understand if at least the last one makes many of you feel uneasy and I promise I haven't made it in a long time, I only make it for me and/or the kids, and again, the kids eat the hard boiled version. But the others I have made and except for Schnitzel they are tolerated at most. Restrictions, restrictions.

Also, cooking needs to be easy and quick, I am not going to look up the ingredients and preparation shouldn't take more then 20-30 minutes and not require more then two counter tops...

The reason for my intro is that I have found a website/blog which has helped me lately to introduce "new" ideas to the table and are being "liked" by almost all members...Well princess L is an exception here since her likes exclude anything that is not Mac and Cheese, PBJ's,  cookies, chocolate or candy.

As you can imagine the discussions we have on a daily basis about dinner choices or veggies. She does eat fruit, otherwise I would be more worried then I already am. And here I found that if I include her in the cooking and preparation process, she may even try one or the other ingredient.

But back to my new discovery: It's called ( and I love the name;0)): Moms Who Think

They have an 8 week list of easy family dinners, and so far we have tried the pesto chicken over angel hair pasta, the meatloaf, the bubble pizza and honey brown sugar pork chops...

The meatloaf didn't turn out that great, I must have done something wrong, I used turkey instead of beef, maybe that was the mistake. But the other meals were generally yummy and easy to prepare.

So if you need some inspiration, have a look here.

That was it from me for today. JJunior has been clinging to my leg begging for attention, I better give him some;0) Love and peace to all of you.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year

Yeeaah, I am back;0) The new year has started and we all have had to already fill out some forms with the new year number 2012...I hope you guys remembered;0) For us here in our new home things are VERY SLOWLY getting settled. Two rooms still have many boxes with a couple of them still even unopened. Some new furniture is needed here and there, which I believe will be the case for a while. Money obviously is not as easy to come by when you just bought a house.

Hubby's and my tastes also could not be more different from each other, so can you imagine us all 4 heading to the store, J Junior taking of as soon as his feet hit the ground and us trying to maneuver through huge halls filled with all kind of furniture, decor, customers and very eager shopping assistants.  Now try to discuss styles, possibilities and preferences...Ha! Well, we need to do a lot more prep work ahead of time...We do have a lot of that and over the next years we will make it nice here, I am sure.Maybe I will even be able to show of some decorating project throughout the process. So far I haven't touched a thing...it's been boxes, laundry, dinners, playgroups and doctor visits.

The holidays went very well, we were actually in Colorado this year. It was beautiful and we DID have a white Christmas. Which we wouldn't have had here on the East Coast. It was so wonderful to be with family and our hosts, my sister- and brother-in-law really put such a great effort into trying to make us feel well. I am very grateful for such a special time. We had a blast and I hope to repeat that soon again.

Everything else though has been very slow for me, the move, Thanksgiving, princess L's birthday and our trip were all such a great adventure and exiting to go through, but it also took a toll on us. We are exhausted and in great need of a break. On top of things I seem to be having a greater difficulty then I ever had with a move. I had mentioned it in an earlier post, but at the time, I believed those issues were merely related to the fact that I was packing and taking care of the kids and the household at the same time. Now that we are here, I am realizing that there is actually more to it. What it is, I am still not hundred percent sure of, probably a combination of issues.

On one hand I am missing the things we got used to over the past years, stores, parks, people, walks, although I never liked them as much, since it wasn't very pretty where we lived. I also started to wonder, if this is what I want my children to grow up in...It is a very different life from what I lived back in Germany. We walked everywhere, we took buses, trains, we biked. Here we don't leave the house without a car. There is just nothing else to walk to. So you may wonder, didn't I know that before we bought the house...of course I did. But throughout my life I seem to think through possible problems very differently until I actually live through them. As my friend has reminded me, I just have to give it some time. There are worse things then feeling homesick. I make an effort at night, when I go to bed, to say thank you for the good things in my life. We are lucky, we have a beautiful family, lovely healthy children and that's all that counts.

I am sure you guys will hear more of my whining, so I will relieve you for today;0) Have a wonderful weekend. Much love and sleep to all of you. Namaste, Romy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Two more weeks. We have officially started packing our lives into boxes. It's is amazing how things can get us, make us, how they can move us and hold us.

We are all quite emotional here at the moment, to the point that hubby and I decided to just honker down and get it done. Just move and keep going. No looking to the left or right, we just have to get it done. 

Memories and feelings are dug up, unwrapped, packed back into different boxes or hopefully thrown out and let go.

It's an emotional process and it's not an easy one I must admit. I counted and I realized that in my 35 years I have moved 26 times. This will be move number 27. I moved between cities, countries, continents and different political systems. But for some reason this one seems to be the hardest. It's only 35 minutes away within the same state...


little things and pleasures

Just wanted to share some fun things we sometimes come up with here;0) Princess L loves her dolls, there is lots of pretend play and I adore the things she just makes up herself. Currently she celebrates one baby doll or teddy birthday after another and I secretly watch her set it all up by herself, talking to herself and the dolls, discussing arrangements and preparing the event...big smiles.
Check out that bibs on every party guest;0)

 And of course they need to be fed...The birthday bear gets a cupcake with candle...
 And isn't that the most delicately decorated Panda Lady? My hearts just melts when I see something like that.

The other day Princes L asked me for a wrap-baby-doll- carrier, just like the Moby. I am sure most of you are familiar with what I am talking about. If not, have a look here: Moby Wrap

I used it for Baby J  last year and liked it for the most part. It's a little much fabric to deal with at times, when you are out and about, but I do like how comfortable and snugly it is and that the babies weight was evenly distributed all over my back.

Back to my request. Now I would love to tell you, that I went into my craft and sewing room/corner/area and just made a carrier for her...Well it would have taken too long and an almost 5-year old doesn't have the patience to wait for mommy to figure out how to turn on the sewing machine, let alone coming up with a pattern, a fabric and a final product. So I did this:

I used a scarf and wrapped it around moby style and it worked. I was actually impressed myself about how simple it was and how it just did it. We put it to the test and everything was snugly tight and little Princess L was able to go about her chores with baby in tow...until she started running and jumping around on the couch. She was a little surprised that baby became so lose and complaint. Well, what do you say?;0)

The toilet paper on the floor came from J Junior taking about a roll... I will tell you more about that a little later;0) Have a wonderful day.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

I can't believe it is already over. One of my and my daughter's most favorite holiday. We had a blast, we decorated, we carved and dreamed of witches, ghosts, monsters and all the spooky things you can imagine. We visited Salem, had apple cider and doughnuts. We had some friends over on Halloween, we played games and went Trick-or Treating. We were very lucky, because some towns here on the East Costs were without power due to the snowstorm that brought down a lot of trees. Next year we will celebrate Halloween in our new house.

So this year my husband and I were a little teary-eyed because we have spent 6 years in our apartment. It's very small and definitely not big enough to invite all our friends at the same time. But we did have both our children here and we are quite attached to the neighborhood. Also being close to Boston is just one major plus we will miss very much. But you have to make compromises, we had looked for more then a year. And the prices here are just unbelievable. Crazy what people have to pay to be able to live a decent life.

Anyway, before I go any further (the moving boxes are waiting to be filled with our life), here are some pictures from our Halloween decorations.

I am most proud of my witch. I love her boots;0) And yes I drew everything by hand. Nothing copied.

Princess L also wanted to draw bats and ghosts;0) Aren't they beautiful? They even have fangs. She was sad that they weren't "as nice as mine" and I had to convince her that she did an amazing job. And she did!

And of course we had to face paint. 

 And the other side....

And I go painted too. Lovely;0)

 The Tunnel of Doom was Princes L's idea. She saw it in Fancy Nancy's Halloween book. It leads to the kitchen;0)

Our costumes were fairly easy this year. My daughter insisted that she wanted to be an angel and we bought a costume,which looked more like a fairy, because it lid up and that's what sold it to her. I made some wings for baby J and drew a picture of Cupit on a white T-shirt. I went as a cloud (which unfortunately i do not have a picture of) and my husband was lightning...

Isn't he striking?;0)

Namaste, Romy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

this week...

I read an article yesterday. I cried, but I kept reading. I usually try to avoid anything involving ill children, because I start sobbing the minute they start sharing their story. The picture I saw, reminded me very strongly of my own little boy. But I had to read it. Somehow I just realized in that moment, that I cannot continue to close my eyes, just because we are "the lucky ones". How do we know, if we are anyways.

We have to watch, we have to listen and we have to remind ourselves every single day, that life is so precious, unpredictable, and at many times it seems so very unfair. We have to be grateful for every moment with our families. Try not to sweat the small stuff. It all sounds so cliche, but that's what it comes down to. Be thankful.

I try to talk about being thankful at the dinner table, I try to remember to count at least five little things I am grateful for in addition to having my family around, before I go to sleep.

And yesterday and for many days in the future I will also be thankful for this letter of the Dragon Mom. I was amazed by her strength, by her beautiful writing and her love, which she shares with us. I will keep her and her family in my heart for the rest of my life. I will send her love many times I look into my sons eyes. I will cry many more tears for her and every other parent losing their child. I will hug my kids a little longer, smell their skin, listen to their laughs, hold their little hands. I will breath in more consciously, knowing that all this is a privilege. A treat. Life is a treat.

Notes from a Dragon Mom