Monthly Archives: December 2014

Patchouli to Pine Sol My Parenting Journey

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The kids and I about four years ago.

The kids and I about four years ago.


I started out as a totally hippie, granola-munching, tree-hugging mama. I gave birth to my kids at home. I breast fed them for two years. I used Waldorf style toys and books (all wood, silk scarfs for dress up, and lovely fairy stories). I fed them organic vegan meals, which I made while thinking on how special my family was and how much I loved them.

Of course my kids had other ideas.

My son wanted to play with GUNS *gasp* and wear camo and crawl in the dirt and pretend to shoot bad guys.
My daughter wanted Barbies, and make-up, and her own gun and camo to follow her brother around.

I fought it.

They eventually won.

I bought Barbies from the Princess of the World Collection so at least my daughter had a variety of ethnic Barbies to play with.

I bought my son toy guns, camo, and G I Joe dolls but also toy swords and cloaks so he could play Lord of the Rings.
I took them to faerie festivals, folk music festivals, and to see the latest movies.

Then I started working at a group home, where the state licensing board sets the standards and rules. Where I work with kids who need clear firm rules and boundaries. Kids who don’t handle changes in their routine.

Kids who have to deal with public schools and conform to the rules, instead of going to alternative hippie charter schools.

Kids who need a doctors permission for me to give them herbs or vitamins, like I could ever get that. Kids I can give over-the-counter medications, but not homeopathic formulas. Kids can stay home only if they have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting.

Unlike my personal kids who stay home because they are sick, or super tired, or “Mom, I might shank someone if you send me to school today.”

So now my house smells like Pine Sol instead of patchouli.

Clothes are chosen based of cost and conformity instead of expressing one’s personal style this week.
I like what I do. I understand the importance of helping these children mesh with society, learn social skills, and fit in with their peers.

Kids who think that if you can’t behave in a socially appropriate manner you’re not eccentric, or expressing yourself, you’re hindered and awkward, and feel left out.

I understand that being a firm, stable, in-control person in their life is essential. And I’m not saying one parenting style is better than the other. In fact I personally believe a blend is ideal: firm clear boundaries and structure so they feel safe and learn ‘proper’ behavior, within which they are given freedom to explore who they are and their individual style, passions, and skills.

Alica Mckenna-Johnson

My kids six months ago.

What has your parenting journey been like? Are you the kind of parent you thought you would be before you had kids?

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The Panic Before the Holidays

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Caramels waiting to be wrapped.

Caramels waiting to be wrapped.


So after being sick for two weeks, I have a huge list of things I need to get done before the holidays:

shopping for presents, stocking stuffers, and food

wrapping all the things

packaging and mailing boxes

sending cards with a letter and photos of the kids

And I have to make four batches of caramels!

So I did what any reasonable person would do. I wrote down all the little steps so I can see my accomplishments, and I bought four books and read them back to back. Then I decided I’d read them too quickly, so now I’m re-reading them.

How do you deal with holiday stress? Is everything on your list done?

Purveyor Of Wizened Wisdom

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I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.  Hat created by secretlondon

I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.
Hat created by secretlondon

So there I am lying in bed my body racked with fever and doused with Nyquil (okay Walgreen store brand Nyquil) when my dear daughter walks in and begins to complain about … well… pretty much everything.

As she complained I felt a deep connection to something grater. I became a conduit for Wizened Wisdom.

DD: Mom I don’t want to go to martial arts tomorrow morning. Logan said he was working so I was expecting to stay home and really I just don’t feel like going.

Me: She who pokes tigers with sticks must learn to fight the beast.

DD: What the hell was that? Was that an answer? DAD! something is wrong with mom!

Me: I am a purveyor of Wizened Wisdom; you should feel blessed to be in my presence.

DD: (snorts) Whatever. Hey mom I think it’s stupid to go to school on Monday. We have Tuesday off and no one is even going to go to school. It’ll just be me and I’ll be bored and lonely and we won’t even learn anything important.

Me: It is only through adversity that a blade becomes sharp and strong, my little warrior princess.

DD: OMG I can’t even talk to you! DAD! get control of your wife.

DH: You can go clean up now.

DD has let her mom’s friend paint her face for Day of the Dead. It looks amazing but needs to be washed off. I doze off then wake and hear the water running. It sounds like it’s just the sink.

Me: Is Tala washing her face in the sink?

DH: No she’s taking a shower.

Me: Oh, good, because one should not use a brook when the power of a waterfall is needed.

DH: For the love of all that is holy, stop talking and go to sleep.

Me: It is only in silence the truth can be heard.

DH: What does that even mean??

My family didn’t really appreciate my Wizened Wisdom, but I think it’s because they were overwhelmed by the power of my words.

Pouting and Holiday Music

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So I am sick, like bad chest cold, body ache, tired all the time sick. The same thing happened last year at this time. I’m thinking of giving up on Christmas there is just too much to do. Not sure what I should go with instead, any ideas??

Anywho, here is some more holiday music. One of my favorites 🙂

Okay now you can start celebrating winter holidays

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It is Dec 1st so now I am willing to listen to Holiday music, start putting up decorations, plotting our Solstice meal, and start making caramels. So many caramels *whimpers*

So here is one of my favorite funny holiday songs for your enjoyment.