Sunday, June 17, 2012

"WWOOFER" to the rescue....!!!!

And, what is a WWOOFER you ask? One of the canine species? Or perhaps one that trains canines? NOOOOOO! Nothing do do with dogs at all, other than our WWOOFER happens to have a very cute puppy of his own.
W.W.O.O.F. stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.
The people who take part in this organization travel around to various farms, sometimes multiple in a year, sometimes only one a year, and work and exchange for housing, meals, and education on what it takes to create and grow an organic garden or farm.

So, insert Matt, our very own WWOOFER. He prefers to just explain it is a work/trade dealio...much easier. He works 5 hours a day, and we give him his own room, meals, and the experience of it all. Matt is great. From the midwest, used to work for apple, (you mean I have my own apple tech guy for all my crazy Igadget questions???!!!!) and is totally motivated to be on our beautiful property and land.
And....well.....we probably wouldn't have had a garden without Matt. Seriously.....with the two kiddies, myself working full time, and Alex doing the same, our beautiful organic greatly producing garden would have been kersplat! Not to mention the dire need of our fence keeping the bears out, the road getting rougher by the day, and all the other odds and ends that go into creating a somewhat smoothly running property such as this one.
Yes, sometimes I do lust for the simple surburbia that most of my fellow Americans coexist in, simply because running this household/farm/ranch is TWO (at least) full time jobs in itself!
But, Matt is coming to rescue us. He came from a good friend's farm, had been there for quite awhile, (they have quite a few WWOOFER's regularly) and was ready for a change. We snatched him up for our very own WWOOFER experience.
Other than cooking a bit more food each day, (something I need to get used to anyhow due to my two growing boys!) we really have not noticed any more burden. And the quantity of food Matt is helping us grow is going to be far and away more than what he eats. And great food for our family and kiddos!!!

artichokes abound, and new young melons, squash, corn, tomatoes and peppers...and our lovely bean teepee pole!
young summer garden, peppers and tomatoes

So, win think!!!???
For more information on WWOOFER's go here....
(Even good for a family vacation....great story about a family with young kids who went to Costa Rica and worked on an organic farm....and, this story about one example of a person who decided to try WWOOFing out...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Brotherly Love....


....really, seriously...LOVE. Or at least moments of love, because having a one and three year old in the house, plus or minus my eldest boys unique temperament, makes you thoroughly enjoy these moments of love.
And what does love mean, actually.....???????
It means..... (from a Mama's the glass is half full perspective....)
***They really can't wait to see each other, if they have been separated. It is SO cute to see Talin....or Forrest....when I pick up the other from daycare. They wave to each other, (yep, even Talin!) and give the hugest smiles.....the BEST!!!
***Games...yes games...!!! In the pool they were playing the most thrilling game of throw the cup. Before you stop reading due to boredom, please keep reading out of cuteness! One would yell in the cup in the kiddie pool and then throw it to the other to do the same. Talin was all about it. Forrest would even be kind enough to empty the water out of the cup to avoid a sputtering 1 year old on the T side of things...what a good big brother F can be!!!
***Sharing...yes, it can happen at this age! Especially when you have a super duper amazing pirate chart on your side!!!(See previous post :-)
But really now....even without the beloved pirate chart, both my little boys were swapping back and forth cell phones just 2 hours ago. Yes, cell phones, techy guys they are, on this backwoods Ranch they live on. Talin, (and F for the matter,) is obsessed with my iphone. We dug up my old blackberry flip phone as a second and between the two they are happy campers :-)
***Their pact to break up each others naps...especially if Forrest is napping and Talin is awake. He, rather firmly and stubbornly marches himself over to Forrest's door, (okay, crawls himself over.....;-) and insists he wake up....insert bang bang bang, "laaaaa....waaaaa....shreeeeechhhhhh.....bababababababababababaaaaaaaaaaaa"
***And my favorite....our walks. With Talin on my back, and Forrest in the BOB stroller, both of them hoot, (literally, owl's hoots...if we're lucky one calls back!!!) and holler, with the other echoing. It is SO cool. Mainly to hear little T baby respond to his big brothers verbal cues. 

I never had a brother. So to see these two connect and really enjoy each other is a joy. And also promise of good times to come :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thank goodness for baby sisters....

Megan is amazing. At 24 she has more skill, intuition, and patience with Forrest than I think I will ever have as his Mom! We are so lucky to have her helping us with these crazy toddler years.
Mr. F, as many of you gather, is quite the challenging kid. His activity and energy levels are SO high and very overwhelming, which by itself isn't abnormal for a 3 year old. However, his aggression, continued lack of verbal language, and the bad juju that go along with all of this can be downright maddening at times. We're chasing it on all fronts, hearing check, speech therapy, gluten/wheat free diet trial, and enter Aunt Megan, the super duper Forrest Whisperer :-)
Using behavioral modification, ( that she otherwise uses on a daily basis as a behavioral analyst in Santa Barbara,) she has given Forrest his best day at daycare ever. I think I actually teared up when I heard he had gone the entire day without getting in timeout. This truly, has never happened, minus one day he was sick and feeling crummy.
We have started using timers for Forrest for everything, a picture board plan of his evening, (often his more challenging times), and the now beloved pirate chart.
This chart is Forrest's reward system. He moves one step closer to the pirate boat with his little pirate each 5 minute block, (or 10, or 15) he can play well with himself or his brother, or just when he completes a non-preferred task, (getting dressed, diaper changes, etc). He LOVES the timer...we're currently using our iphone/ipod barking dog timer which is great for him, but planning on buying him his own kiddie timer. A reward is earned when he makes it to the top, with the trick being for him to keep making it to the top often enough to keep him motivated, but not so often that it's too easy.
So far, our 'treats" (99 cent race cars, popcorn and a movie of his choice, and currently he is working towards a glow in the dark moon for his room :-) keep him plenty motivated on most days.
We're still having bad days, but not like they had been. This is SO nice, I can't even communicate how wonderful it is to actually see a change for the better in our little cute but very frustrating 3 year old.
So thank you sister, for what you have initiated in our home, (sorry those sea monkeys didn't make it!!!), but mainly for the awesome connection you and Forrest have, (despite him calling you Aunt Nat most times....:-)
He loves his Aunt Megan and asks to talk to you most days since you left. You have a gift and thank you so much for sharing....