Friday, November 22, 2013

We Play the Days Away

Just Before all this cancer stuff started happening, I had been in the process of sort of re-organizing my parenting style and the quality interaction I had with my children on a daily basis.  I've always been a creative person but I often found myself parking Ania in front of the tv maybe a little too much. Netflix has great children's shows but it's dangerous. Ania can be quite the little "tube head"- she would sit in front of the tv for hours if I let her. Kellen on the other hand, is a doer. He has NO interest in TV yet and likes to tinker around with objects and try to figure out how things work ( less than a year old and already showing signs of an engineer like his great grandfather, Papa, & Uncle Gary!). So since I had a little doer and a little tube head on my hands, I had to start working a little harder at keeping them not only busy, but engaged- in fun, educational and unforgettable ways!
Getting back to nature
I've always been a fan of blogger Play At Home Mom ~ there are some amazing ideas and just the sentiment of the name is awesome! I'd much rather think of myself as a "Play" at home mom than a "stay" at home mom too :) I also had started exploring Waldorf education prior to Ania's diagnosis. There are formal Waldorf schools but I'd been making an attempt to incorporate Waldorf ideas into our home. For example, this past fall the kids and I enjoyed several nature walks (yes there is plenty of nature even in a city like Chicago!) collecting natural treasures like sticks, leaves and acorns for our nature table. We've also tried to spend one day a week making bread- from scratch so it took a long time to knead and wait for it to rise! 
Kellen at our nature table
Bread making is so fun!!

I've also been weeding through our toy collection and simplifying it. When our living room was filled with all sorts of loud, brightly colored, flashy toys, I found it uninspiring. I think the kids did too- Ania and Kellen would not really play with anything- just kind of throw it around. It was cluttery and just made me want to escape my own home! I'm making a conscious effort to have simple toys that bring out creative play! Simple things like a doll house, blocks & art supplies go so much further and it's great to see what they create! Music is also fabulous! We listen to a Pandora station filled with kids music throughout the day. It's great for keeping them focused on a craft or for sparking an impromptu dance party. Kellen and Ania both have smooth dance moves ;)
A budding artist...and her brother :)
Bust a move
"Ania & Grandma" Portrait
I don't expect miracles out of myself- if I can have Ania or Kellen do some imaginative/creative play for at least an hour a day- I consider it a success. Today was a really full day with cookie cutter sugar cookie baking and creating a pirate ship from a cardboard box. Again not every day is so successful. I would consider today an "A" - most days are "C" at best!
Decorating her ship
Showing little bro "X" marks the spot
ARRRRR! Pirate Ania with cardboard eye patch (kind of ironic considering her eye cancer haha!), a hook, sword, & little satchel of "pixie dust" around her neck.  Can you tell she is way into Peter Pan right now?

So while we are learning a great life lesson through Ania's cancer diagnosis, we are certainly not letting that stop us from learning how fun life can really be if you take time to PLAY

God Bless, 


  1. I love this! So many great ideas. I now need to make a pirate ship. :)
    -Melissa E

  2. Bless you too Erica. You are an inspiration to this old grammi D!