Our Farm, Our Creation

toddler TLB tractor loader backhoe farmlife

After the TLB (tractor-loader-backhoe) was done digging Charlie’s grave, it spent most of the day evening out and digging the dam deeper. When we get one of these machines out for grave digging occasions, they are here for the entire day so we put them to use wherever we can. Cesar and I spent a good hour watching the TLB at work. He loves anything big on wheels, so this was like Christmas for him.
It is quite funny sitting there while the men comment on what the TLB is doing, how their eyes glinster at the sight of such a machine, hear them translate what the TLB is doing into manual labour hours. Spending time outside, working on a farm, with the Earth and physical materials definitely gives you a new perspective on what it takes to create something. From building rooms, fencing, growing food, maintaining trees, structuring and maintaining your water systems. When I lived in Belgium I was only ever faced with end-result products that I could buy and enjoy. I never looked or considered how something was created, what the labour involved must have been like.
On this farm, much we have built and created together, and all the things we can do and enjoy today, is substantiated by the process that was put into it. Where every piece of the farm has a history behind it. It’s not just a home, a place where we live – it’s our creation. I’m grateful to all our current farmsies, to those who have stayed and gone with us throughout the years and all those who haven’t yet come to stay with us but supported us from their own homes, all across the world. Thank you – without all of you this place wouldn’t have been possible, so grateful to be able to raise my son here as a result of many people’s +1s around the globe.

#TLB #machine #tractor #digging #grave #toddler #bigonwheels #parenting #farmlife #farmliving #destonians #community #labour #creation #groupeffort #grateful

Different People, Different Expressions

toddler wooden blocks play parenting

Here, Maite built a structure for Cesar to play with his animals. It’s interesting to see the different ideas people implement with the same building materials. Our previous structure had steps and bridges, this one has a yard and gates. Playing with different people, Cesar comes into contact with different possibilities, different expressions from which he can learn, grow, develop and make his own.

#play #building #toddler #blocks #farmlife #farmliving

Constructive Hitting

toddler hitting crushing almonds parenting energy

Cesar crushing almonds for muffins we were making. When he has got a lot of energy, he can get into hitting things to get the excess energy out. He was getting a bit fed up and so I looked at how we could redirect his focus and energy. He would single out an almond in the bag and slide it across, away from all the other almonds, then hit it into pieces. First he was just hitting lots of almonds at once but then he couldn’t really see what his actions were producing. He ended up crushing all the almonds one by one.

#hitting #toddler #baking #nuts #unschooling

From Anger to Integrity | Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

anger and integrity

Anger is one of the emotions I faced a lot within my personal journey, and one I made a priority to deal with. Becoming angry and acting out in anger – would only lead to guilt and regret. Anger, was a real (d)anger.

Let’s look at a simple scenario to place how anger can play out and what we can learn from it.

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Say, you’ve had a long day (as is every day when you are parenting a young baby/toddler) and you’ve finally found a moment to sit down and catch up on your emails. Your baby is crawling around by itself, and you pray to god that he will continue entertaining himself. As you’re clicking and reading away, you realise that your baby found your cell phone and seems quite fascinated by the lights and movements it makes as he swipes on it. You cringe inside yourself, because you know your baby doesn’t have the concept of what a phone is, how easily phones break these days and the type of financial investment they are. You really don’t want him to play with it.

But… on the other hand… you are finally having some sweet time to yourself. If you intervene and remove the phone, baby might get fussy and then it’s bye-bye me time. You weigh your options and decide to take the risk of letting baby play with the phone.

Click, click, click….Scroll, scroll, scroll. You realise how long you’ve been reading your emails and you check up on what your baby’s up to.

Oh My God!!

Did he just SLOBBER all over the phone?? Are those BITEMARKS???

You get up, rip the phone out of baby’s hands and start shouting that he must NOT PLAY WITH THE PHONE!!

Baby started crying the moment you stood up energetically and ripped the phone away. Now he’s REAL FUSSY. You see the devastating look on his face, how he has no idea what just happened. You realise the look on your own face, piercing through his heart. You regret what you did immediately, you soften up and try to comfort him.

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So let’s have a look what we can learn from anger in such scenarios.

First thing I realised, is that whenever I get angry at my son, I am not actually angry at him – I’m angry at myself.

I’m upset with myself without even realising it, and instead of listening to myself and directing myself – I project the issue unto my son as if he is to blame for my experience.

Second thing I realised, is that when I get angry, it’s already too late. Why is that? Anger in itself, is a statement of ‘this is unacceptable’ – a boundary or line has been crossed. In the example above, we can see that the boundary or line was crossed the moment we decided to forgo our own common sense. The common sense being: I don’t want, and can’t afford to get my phone ruined – baby should not have access to my phone.  Instead, we decided to *hope* that by some miracle the phone would be alright (which who knows, could have happened – but you don’t have any control over that) and so gave away our power to direct the situation from the get to and leave the outcome up to ‘fate’.

Then, when fate turns against us – now we get emotionally charged and angry at our baby. But why? Didn’t we make the decision to not intervene? Didn’t we leave the outcome up to chance? And now suddenly the baby has to pay for it?

This brings me to the solution of dealing with anger, which is Integrity.

What does integrity mean? Integrity means to live and uphold your principles. As within, so without.
Furthermore, integrity is linked to wholeness through its root in the word ‘intact’. Within being whole with yourself, you are living and standing undivided. Yet, the moment you uphold principles within yourself but not live/act upon them – you stand divided within yourself and so ‘cross your own boundary’. You get angry, at yourself.

Within this I realised, that the essence of anger is essentially hypocrisy, something I didn’t like seeing or realising – but cut straight to the point, and allowed me to see my adult tantrums for what they were.

So whenever I get angry or get the slightest irritation or frustration boil up inside me – I stop – and I ask myself: where am I not being true to myself? Where did I make a decision to ‘slack’ and not live up to my principles, and my utmost potential that I know I can live by? Where, and how could I have done something differently? Where am I being divided, split inside myself?

Through working and developing your own personal integrity, we can avoid these situation where we burst out and have an outcome we regret. These rash emotions and feelings which rise up, they are not here to be ‘acted out’ – they are part of our biofeedback system, pointing at a message we have yet to embrace.

Whenever you get angry, remind yourself of the word Integrity. There are two sides of the same coin, we just need the courage the flip the coin over and hear the message we require to learn.

My Little Helper

lavender crafts diy parenting toddler leilazamoramoreno

Cesar showcasing some of the lavender we trimmed. I would trim and he would put it in his little pull trolley.
This lavender we are going to try and then use for bath salts and lavender sachets. I am grateful for the financial stability in my life, where I was able to shift my main occupation which was computer based, to one where I can move around, be outside, work with my hands and have my baby/toddler walk with me / by me so he can have an equally fulfilling day of moving, doing and exploring. I don’t have to sacrifice ‘working’ to be able to spend time with my child, and neither does he have to be sacrificed in order to keep a particular job going. Imagine he level of happiness in this world when provisions like this are made through a guaranteed living income!

#livingincomeguaranteed #LIG #makeithappen #parenting #work #job #financialfreedom #financialsecurity #maternityleave #craft #fun #diy #continuumconcept #desteni #eqafe

They grow up so fast

toddler dishes parenthood leilazamoramorenoFor a long time I haven’t been cooking or baking much for myself because my attention would be diverted to Cesar, or I would be successful in cooking / baking – but not getting to the dishes which means someone else has to do them. But.. what’s happening in this picture now? ?? That’s Cesar playing with and putting away the last of the dishes I made dirty from making crunchies. And him being so into it that I had time to make and drink a cappuccino. With babies and toddlers growing up so fast and going through different phases one after the other, you have to constantly shift and change your lifestyle to cater for the ongoing development. It’s been an interesting road in having to constantly shift and adjust how and where I spend my time, never knowing for how long things will be this way, always having to be open and flexible. For the most part it’s been rough, very rough. Parenting a new life takes you to the depths of your physical abilities and rattles the core of your mind. I’ve learnt so much, more than I could have imagined. But I’m also totally ready to drink cappuccino and have Cesar help me out with dishes. Imagine the possibilities. ….

#parenting #toddler #baby #development #motherhood #dishes #change #desteni #eqafe #flexibility

When you’re being challenged

toddler playing challenge leilazamoramoreno

The other day we were busy blowing bubbles outside (surprise!) and Cesar was indicating that he wanted to be the one managing and holding the bubble container and bubble blower, so that my only job was to blow bubbles.

He wasn’t paying much attention to how he was holding the container with all the liquid and would once in a while spill some and eventually pour out the entire content.

I would fill it up and try my best to explain to him how to hold the container so it won’t spill/go empty.

While I would be explaining this to him, there was a tension within myself as I knew that we only have ‘so much bubble liquid’ where I tried to make bubbles with other soaps we had and it didn’t work – so I knew that ‘this was it’ and there would be no more liquid for making bubbles if he kept pouring it out and insisting on having it refilled. So here I was coming from a fear of how he would act/react once we get to the inevitable situation where there is no more bubble liquid and so I was trying to prevent it by trying to get him to not spill/pour it out. When I noticed that I was coming from a fear I once again explained to him that we can keep going like this but that at one point there will be no more liquid to refill the container and then that will be it.

So we continue filling and pouring and filling until I added the last bit and showed him that there was ‘no more’. After which he right away threw it out all over the ground, asking for more. Then I told him, look, this is the moment I’ve been telling you about where we just can’t fill it up anymore

And then he gave me this face of like “okay”. Put the bubble container down and went off to playing with something else.  LOL

I was so scared of what would happen, but he just ‘got it’ and moved on. While everything leading up to that moment and me trying to explain and ‘reason’ with him — he was just not interested in taking my word for it and was intent on playing this refill and pour out action out to the end. And I’m actually quite happy that he did , because he should not have to take my word for it and should test things out to come to his own conclusions.

#bubbles #toddler #testing #parenting #motherhood

Brainwashing through Books

books reading toddler leilazamoramoreno

It’s Cesar ‘s birthday soon and we went to buy him some books on his grandmother’s behalf. Finding and picking out books is each time quite a lengthy process because so many of the books out there are simply not the type we want to expose him too. Almost every book we pick up is trying to ‘teach’ the child something – and within how the words are placed,are trying to entice an emotional reaction within the child to have him or her adopt this lesson. One book for instance was all about toilet training. It shows how the boy can take off his own pants and do everything on his own with lots and lots of praise and each time emphasising how he is SUCH A BIG BOY!!!! Now if you’re a child who is not yet doing all these things are maybe you are doing these things – what type of influence does this sort of #praise have? You are a BIG BOY when you are able to pee in the toilet by yourself, but if you are not then obviously your are only small boy. When praise is used like this, it seems like a positive approach, but it’s really just a form of polite shaming. A lot of these books use pretty words and pictures but at their core are only trying to demean the child to control and conform him to some type of behaviour. It’s really sad.
#inneedofsomecommonsense
#toddler #baby #books #manipulation #emotional #control #behave #parenting #motherhood #mother #positiveparenting #continuumconcept #eqafe #desteni

Workplay

toddler father laundry leilazamoramoreno

Here’s my boy team taking off laundry as it looks like a storm may be passing through. Cesar loves being in charge of the peg bag and handing out or putting back the pegs. If he sees someone going off to hang some laundry he will spot the peg bag and come running making sputtering sounds signaling to “wait for me!!”
Cesar has helped me to reconsider what I think is ‘work’ and what is ‘play’. He enjoys dancing just as much as helping with dishes. In the end – they are not much different. It’s you moving your limbs around. Yet somehow the one type of moving your limbs around is ‘more fun’ than others. Who decided that? In the end it’s all the same = you moving your body. Doing dishes can be just as fun as dancing if you put awareness in your body and are present with every touch and splash. It can have the same therapeutic qualities and give you a grounding workout to the likes of tao chi. When simple physical tasks are considered work, we really have to ask ourselves : are we in our body or stuck in our heads?


#toddler #workisfun #continuumconcept #laundry #family #awareness #parenting #zenkids #eqafe #desteni #makethebest

Bathtime = Funtime!

toddler bath happy leilazamoramoreno

 Cesar being super excited about his bath. I very rarely take a shower or bath on my own. Cesar enjoys showers and baths so much, it seems to be kind of pointless to exclude him when we can have fun together. In the beginning it was a bit more difficult when his mobility was limited, but now I wash him and he washes me. He hand me my shampoo bottle, my brush. He operates the shower head for me and pours water over my back in the gentlest way – and then we take turns. He also brings me toilet paper and will flush the toilet for me. He gets me a new roll of toilet paper in my hour of need as someone forgot to replace the roll. While for some it may seem inconceivable to have your child around you pretty much all the time since birth and participate in all the things you do – they learn so much and it becomes such an enjoyable relationship and experience for the both, making life so much lighter and easy going.

#bathtime #baby #toddler #children #farmlife #family #parenting #motherhood #mother #positiveparenting #continuumconcept #eqafe #desteni