Truths of Travel Netherlands

With every country we visit, I try to post a Truths of Travel post. Mostly as a country review for those friends that may attempt these trips with small children, also as a raw visual into our daily lives. As a mother traveling with very small children there has to be some awful moments and there are, that’s what this post is really about.

I cannot say enough good things about the Netherlands and Amsterdam specifically. It is an incredible place. As an avid recycling mama, it made my earth lovin’ heart incredibly happy to see a country that separates their recycling so perfectly, who lessens their footprint drastically by cycling or walking EVERYWHERE and who greet foreigners with open arms. No matter how perfect the country there are some differences that make a large difference in our daily lives as westerners. 

  1. I personally require more sunshine. There’s something wonderful about the occasional rainy day indoors to reset, clean, rest, etc. I can’t do that everyday, especially when there’s a country and city to be seen.
  2. The plumbing is odd. Now maybe this was just our airbnb, we were in a much older, yet wonderful house. The pipes vibrate and shake when certain faucets are on. We could hear water running or dripping in the pipes through the walls, etc.
  3. The electrical outlets and wiring. In Europe as a whole, unless built yesterday they are crap, truly just don’t function well.
  4. I slid down the last two stairs in our airbnb and my big toe nail stopped me and tore off entirely. Therefore, I was hobbling and doctoring my toe while walking 5 miles a day.
  5. The coffee there is awful.
  6. everyone wears dark colors, we stuck out like sore thumbs in our red and blue coats.
  7. The canal tour was mediocre at best, I just wasn’t impressed with it at all.

That’s all the negativity I have for the Netherlands. The public transit was WONDERFUL! So Clean, So efficient. The people were down right exceptional. I cannot sing their praises enough. Hidden helpers everywhere and the way they treated my children put me as their mother to shame. They had more patience, more time, more smiles than I could have ever asked for, in regards to their responses to my children and all of their antics.

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In every single museum someone working there would high-five the boys, would ask them questions, would move them to the front, etc. One particular instance in the Van Gogh museum; we had made it through floors 1 and 2 without noticing, but apparently we weren’t allowed to take photos. So on the third floor, Lux is taking photos and a museum guide told him that he couldn’t, that it wasn’t allowed. Lux handed me the camera and I put it away, he didn’t cry or say anything, but the guide felt so bad for discouraging him to take photos; he apologized at least 4 times and then later found us again and came to make sure that Lux was ok. It was so sweet, just pure kindness for people of all ages. 

Some Very Real Parent Moment Fails:

  1. Atlas fell out of bed not once, but TWICE the first night!
  2. I slid down the last two stairs in the airbnb and my big toe nail stopped me, tearing off the whole thing. Not good any time, but especially not good before walking 30k miles sightseeing.
  3. I left a gas stove top on for almost two days because I couldn’t figure out how to get it off.
  4. Lux dropped and broke the gate remote to our airbnb.
  5. I checked the weather up until two days before our flight. Online it said that it would be in the high 40s low 50s for our time in Amsterdam and the temperature being that high I didn’t pack gloves. . .yeah I had to buy gloves for everyone. We call this the stupid tax, as in stupid mistake big pay out.
  6. Rhodes had a melt down in the most people heavy shopping area available. Screaming and crying following me, chewing me out for not letting him pet the horses. . .this was the first time he had mentioned horses. Probably for half an hour, everyone staring, I was mortified, but pressed on. No amount of discussing it was helping. He has done this a few times, always in the most crowded places.
  7. Right after one of these so-called melt downs, we went indoors out of the cold and pulled out our notebooks and had some coffee and hot chocolate. By the time we were ready to leave, Atlas was sitting in the corner chewing on sugar packets. I was fried, I left him be, I couldn’t chase him anymore.

Despite what some of you seem to believe, I am very human, I am full of fault, I struggle to raise these three crazy boys everyday.

Things happen, they happen all the time and they happen everyday with children this small. Some days I feel like I made some weird decision to torture us, but I am confident that the last effects will be wonderful. On we go. 

 

What’s happening in the Classroom Amsterdam Edition

As many of you have seen on facebook, the Bradbury boys have been to their share of museums lately. What you may not see is how it is being tied into lessons. Lessons that sometimes last days. We have also brought our remaining thematic books for the school year with us and in between living lessons, museums and monuments we are still reading and learning from those books as well. 

Our first stop was the Van Gogh Museum, I have four favorite painters, two of them are from the Netherlands. Yay! The Van Gogh Museum itself was nothing to write home about, but for a young child to be able to see artwork with vivid brush strokes that give a sense of its creation, it was a good place to start. When we are “unschooling” through tourism we always go back to our in home classroom and revisit it. For my boys that typically looks like this;

“What do you remember from the Van Gogh Museum?”

Lux: “I remember. . .

  1. Self-portraits
  2. Wheat fields
  3. his tombstone
  4. Orange Hair
  5. France
  6. Netherlands
  7. Brush Strokes
  8. Letters (from his brother Theo)
  9. Vincent
  10. Clumbs of paint (texturing)

From Lux’s list he rattled off we now have our vocabulary words for that 48 hours. Both boys then write them. Lux writes them himself, Rhodes sometimes writes them himself and sometimes traces my handwriting just depending on his mood. If a geographical location was mentioned in the list we discuss its proximity with a map. Any questions that arise are answered with research, sometimes videos, articles, etc. After this portion of it we then do a drawing or craft. Because our craft supplies are non-existent at this point, we tried to draw a portrait of Van Gogh. 

This same exact process was followed after the Rembrandt museum as well, except there we got to help make an etching and essentially took a class on how to etch. That in and of itself was an incredible experience and it very much made the lesson richer. The museum also catered to the needs of its youngest visitors very well. Each child had a (FREE) hand held audio tour device and they were able to get so much more from that museum because of it.

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After visiting two art based museums our oldest ‘Lux’ is now very into looking at art books and photography. He has so many questions and is surrounded by people with answers. Such a lovely spot to be. 

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We also do what I refer to as ‘Daily Maintenance’ school work. A page or five of letter recognition for Rhodes. Spelling and writing for Lux. Lux is reading small books now so a book is usually thrown into the mix and we finish with math. Lux typically does a page of long addition and subtraction and Rhodes is working on writing and recognizing his numbers 1-20. On our thematic books; we are almost finished with the Beatrix Potter collection, which I will loudly admit, my boys weren’t even remotely interested in it, so there. Not all things that I would like for them to enjoy and find inspiration in take root. They can barely make it through a Peter Rabbit story, they just do not care for it, but because mom drug it a million miles we are finishing it. Not a single lesson will proceed from this series of books though. I can’t win them all folks!

Being in Amsterdam has triggered many questions about electricity and public transportation, but most recently about how windmills work. We discussed it briefly today as this was our lunch time view;

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But I am working on a little science lesson over the windmills for tomorrow. Tomorrow we will also see many more and different types as we make our way to the Kuekenhof Flower Festival.

Keep learning friends and if this week was rough in your corner of the world please know you are not alone. There will be a truths of traveling post to follow that will reassure you that we are human and have our struggles.

Halo from Holland

The Bradburys +1 (Great Grandma), have been in Amsterdam Holland Netherlands for the last five days. It was a dousy of a ride over, but we made it, slept, ate, regrouped. We flew out of Baltimore and though we had to spend the weekend getting there it was incredibly enjoyable. We were able to spend a lot of quality time with our dear friend Casey and meet our old neighbors for lunch along the way, which brought a ridiculous amount of joy. It also complicated things a bit; Rhodes. . . my Rho Rho. He grabbed the wrong shoes from the play area where we met our friends for lunch. They were the exact same color, shoe, brand and only one size difference in his defense, but of course he would take the shoes of an autistic child that couldn’t live without them. It also happened to be a child that our friend knew so we were trackable with his shoes and arrangements were made to get them back to him, but that meant I had to go find Rhodes’ new shoes because I had no way of getting his back to us. Actually, they didn’t even take them from the restaurant; her child left barefoot. So after trying a few places during daylight hours, I left Grandma in the hotel room and ran into a Dick’s Sporting Goods, 13 minutes before it closed, found a  pair of shoes, asked for a size 13 and ran to the register before they closed. Not moving mountains, it was ok, but definitely an added stress that I wish I could have avoided. 

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Our first flight was from Baltimore to Iceland. It was rough, putting it lightly. We had some seating issues with a very angry woman. The seats and leg room were exceptionally limited. Very very small, no complimentary drinks, snacks, food, etc. Luckily the kids slept 2/3 of that flight or it would have been much worse, but of course I wasn’t able to sleep at all. Holding a baby in an airplane seat for that long is no light matter. 

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Our second flight was much more enjoyable, a much larger plane, more leg room, better seats, better neighbors and my kids didn’t sleep at all so neither did I. I did pay to eat food on that flight because we were starving and didn’t have time during our layover for food. We enjoyed the company of an Icelandic Grandmother on the second flight. She told us all about her farm in Iceland, how rural they were, what the country was like, her grandchildren and of course Rhodes asked her a thousand questions about her farm animals.

Before we left the states we did a brief study about sheep shearing and wool yarn production. She was able to walk us through that process again and tell us about shearing her own sheep and goats for wool, how she learned to use the spinning wheel and then taught herself to knit. She let us feel a head cover that she made. The band was made from the wool of her sheep and the flower additions were made from wool of her goats. The goat wool feels like cashmere. I had no idea that goat wool felt that way, it was incredible. She gave me her email and I gave her ours. She extended an invitation to visit her farm on our travels and I hope someday that we do. It is these types of stranger to friendship interactions that make travel so wonderful. It typically isn’t where you stayed, the tourist things you did, but the conversation you have with the baker, with the woman on the plane, with the school children. If you’re traveling to see “things” then you’re missing most of the experience.  

Grandma was not seated with us on any of the flights so it wasn’t until we landed in Amsterdam that I actually felt the aid of a second set of adult hands, but it was just in time because we were hurting for some sleep.

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My Grandma, the boys’ Great Grandmother, has joined us for the first three weeks of this trip. My bold sense of adventure definitely stems from her line of crazy. We enjoy the same aspects of travel, we are content to chat for hours, or not speak at all. We have perfected the art of people watching, tuning out the volume and book reading. We are both frugal and need to be so. We are upfront about our wants and find humor in the same things. It is going swimmingly well so far as I knew it would. 

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We were shown great kindness again while trying to get a taxi. There was a huge line for a taxi and an airport worker moved us beyond the front of the line and got us a vehicle and put us into it. He said “She’s carrying a baby, let them through.” Surprisingly, despite the ages of our children, I get very little special treatment while traveling, but when we do I try to be gracious and accept. I know, all too soon, that I will be traveling with smelly middle schoolers that don’t trigger as much sympathy. Given the shock of the 0 celcius temperature and frigid North Sea wind we were thrilled to skip the line.

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Our little house here in Holland has been superb though the picture is misleading. The portion that we are living in is actually just that first front window and the owners live in the other half. I imagine it is very spacious by Amsterdam standards, Lux thinks it’s teeny tiny, but it just puts a spotlight on the American want for space. It is big enough, everyone is sleeping off the floor, washer (no dryer), small oven, table and one toilet. Despite my minimal packing efforts, we have filled the space with bodies, luggage and school supplies.

We have gone to a few touristy areas, been to a few “must see museums,” but we are also living here. Slow traveling. Going grocery shopping, taking out the trash, cooking with few utensils, getting to know the newspaper seller on the corner, washing our laundry, learning the rhythm of the local flow. We have many days that lack agenda intentionally. We wake when we want, there’s no rush. We school when the opportunity arises or when it seems like the next logical step in our day.

We are living to learn and learning to live.

 

The Plan

We are in our final days here in North Carolina and lots of last minute preparation is taking place. Some annoying things like returning the internet modem, putting mail on hold, packing the cough syrup and some deep, painful, serious things like saying farewell for now to life long friends, soaking in the giggles of their children because they will be much more grown the next time I see them. Taking all of the last photos because they may not be here when we get back and someday we may need to show our tweens that they were siblings once, military siblings. 

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Before we set off on the first leg of this adventure; I wanted to share with everyone our tentative plan. Below I’ve mapped out our route through August. You will be able to follow us here on the blog, facebook and instagram as well, but here is what exists of “the plan.”

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Current Countries List:

Netherlands

Germany

Denmark

Greece

Croatia?? Maybe??

Italy

I will be working along the way in Greece and Italy. I have just accepted a position as the Archaeologist in Residence at Kalikalos in the Pelion region of Greece for the month of June.

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I will also be working in Tuscany, Italy for a month performing an archaeological survey and organic preservation analysis of the Ristonchi Castle. The castle is the end of my current plan. 

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We hope that you follow along, comment, put in photo requests or any location recommendations that you might have and most of all we hope you feel the urge for adventure from watching ours. Stay tuned. . .things are about to get more interesting.

The Lasts for awhile: Closing up the House and saying goodbyes

We have spent our last two weeks stateside celebrating birthdays, doing last plays with friends and closing up our house. 

Many people have asked if we are keeping our house on base and the answer is ‘yes’ we are this trip for a few reasons;

  1. When we started planning, the trip was supposed to be much shorter (oops).
  2. We had our hearts set on getting pregnant before Greg deployed and then would need our house immediately after the trip for a birth, but we are not pregnant at this time.
  3. Despite the mold and bugs we really love our house.
  4. We are hopeful for summer 2019 orders and don’t want the pain of having to find new housing for 7 months.
  5. Despite our rent being outrageous once we pay to move ourselves, sell vehicles, pay for storage we wouldn’t make enough money for the headache.

So, instead  of moving out of the house we find ourselves preparing it for silence. Lots of cleaning is going on, lots of imaginative recipe making from random things on shelves and deep in freezers and lots of purging of unnecessary crud.

Also on the to-do list, teeth cleanings and hair cuts; neither of these things will be happening abroad.

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Also happening here; turning over the garden and planting pumpkins and gourds for our return, or for our neighbors to enjoy if the plants happen to survive the summer. 

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Unlikely they’ll survive no maintenance at all and a long hot summer, but IF THEY DO Oh what fun the photos will be from our neighbors later this year! 

The next two days will be celebrating our beautiful middle son, Rhodes as he turns four and after that we will be closing up this house. T – one week.

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What’s Happening in the Classroom?

There are a whole slew of things happening right now in our classroom! We are hitting the books hard this month and finishing up many loose ends before our next world classroom adventure. 

One method of schooling that we love and utilize weekly, is the thematic book theory. Every week (sometimes every other week) we start a new book. These books are comprised of all different kinds, genres, authors, publishers and award winners and not. The way it works for us;

On Mondays we start a new book, I introduce it to the boys and we read it aloud. We then make a list of things that we want to learn more about that were mentioned in the book.

On Tuesday evenings I lesson plan for the list that the boys helped me create. 

On Wednesdays we begin introducing lessons inspired by the book and chosen by the boys.

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This week we read ‘Eliza and the Dragonfly and what a wonderful, lesson plan filled book this has been! It’s about a little girl, Eliza, who spends  a lot of time with her Entomologist aunt. They find a dragonfly Nymph that they name Horace and they watch his life cycle unfold.

Because I let the boys dictate what they want to learn sometimes we get stranger ideas for lesson plans than what I would have chosen. For example their list for Eliza and the Dragonfly looks like this;

  • Why Dragonflies are different colors?
  • What is an Entomologist (I’m excited about this one)
  • What is Metamorphosis?
  • Life cycle of the dragonfly (mom’s obvious addition to the list)
  • Making dragonfly crafts
  • Dragon flies eat mosquitoes so do they like human blood? If so then why? What is in blood that they like so much? *blah why couldn’t we just paint dragonflies?*
  • Making an underwater telescope to attempt to view Nymph/Dragonfly Larva in their first habitat. The boys wanted me to buy one they saw in a catalog, but we are going to attempt to make our own with a plastic bottle and plastic wrap first. Little do they know that there were already getting one for Ayyam-i-ha so you will see our experiments with both homemade and purchased.

We walked down to the little beach access in our neighborhood and put our homemade underwater telescopes to work. We used paper towel rolls, plastic wrap and electrical tape. The boys thought that the telescopes worked pretty well, but of course got soggy.

Then I brought out the big Guns

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I confess, the underwater telescope is pretty cool. So cool in fact that it is now packed to head to Europe for the next 8 months, which was definitely not part of the original packing list. We will be using it to explore every beach we can find. This telescope is super light weight and comes with an awesome activity book, a built in thermometer to test water temperature, l.e.d. lights and a ruler to measure specimen. Any little scientists’ dream actually. 

Full disclosure, if you purchase through the telescope photo link above I make a few pennies, but I am only reviewing things we actually love and enjoy. Our unit on Eliza and the Dragonfly turned out just as I had hoped. It would be a wonderful addition to your home library and/or classroom. Even if science is not your child’s forte there are a million indoor science activities and art projects to do with inspiration from this book.

Enjoy! Please tell us how you like it and what you chose to do with it in your classroom!

Easy Playdoh Recipe

A quick and easy playdoh recipe to get your kids involved in the kitchen!

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2 cups of Flour

1 cup of salt

4 Teaspoons of Cream of Tartar

2 Cups of Water

Combine all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat through on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

Then toss it in your stand or hand mixer and mix in :

1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil

Essential oils of your choice

and your favorite color

Let your kiddos do the measuring and dumping of ingredients and put all that childhood energy to work kneading in colors and oils if you like.

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2018/2019 Planning

Although most of the world schooling families you will encounter are unschoolers, the Bradburys are not per say. We unschool certain subjects for certain seasons depending upon location and resources, but we are primarily a home schooling family. With that being said, I have been gathering our curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year. Because the boys and I will be out of country for most of the year I’ve spent the last few weeks compiling and reading all of the things we would like to utilize in our home and classroom. 

In our classroom, our main source of curriculum comes from the Global Village School, with a vast online classroom and a brick and mortar in California. We only pay for the curriculum list right now, but we love it. It is a curriculum based on thematic learning. All of the recommended books are books that you can find on amazon and in your library, it is up to you as the parent to make the books intentional in the classroom. What I mean by this is outside of classroom context the book ‘When the bees fly home’ is just a story book, but inside the classroom you are making bees wax figurines, trying out candle making, learning about the hive and the life cycles of bees, planting bee friendly flowers, building bee houses, etc. You, as the teacher/parent, transform the book from a bedtime story to a tool.

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Some of our curriculum supplementation comes in the form of familiar names; Charlotte Mason, Steiner and Waldorf. This school year we spent a lot of time with the Charlotte Mason concepts and in building good habits. The issue I have found with any one curriculum is that they are all lacking one concept that the other has. The Global Village School is the closest I have ever gotten to perfection for our family, but it lacks the structure of habit. Charlotte Mason gives me the habits and structure, but lacks the ideas. Waldorf and Steiner give me the forest school and ideas, but lack the discipline for us, Waldorf gives us the handi-crafts. So I USE THEM ALL! I don’t use them all everyday, but I do draw inspiration and ideas from them all as supplementation to our base curriculum. None of them give us foreign language so I immerse us and add Greek, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch when we are beginning to immerse in those places. I offer the boys the opportunity to use the little language skills they have, I offer them opportunities to count the money, to pay the cab fare, to purchase the groceries, to read the map. Living with intention offers a much more in-depth experience in our travels and in our classroom, this aspect of our family is very much “unschooled.” Below I have included a few links to a couple of these resources (disclosure I make a few cents if you purchase through the amazon link). If you have any questions, need ideas for crafts/projects/units please reach out via email. Also, if you’d like to discuss curriculum in general please don’t hesitate to contact me, it took me quite awhile to find a conglomeration that worked well for us so don’t be discouraged!

Grandeur and Guanajuato

 

The kids and I have been in Guanajuato (GTO) Mexico for 16 days now and tomorrow we will hopefully be catching a bus to Mexico City to begin our journey back to North Carolina. Guanajuato far surpassed any expectations that I could have dreamt of. We love it here. The boys want to stay forever. We have made some lifelong friends and likely would make more out of the locals if we stayed.

This Mexico trip was a foot in the water to try out a longer abroad stay and learn some new things from fellow world schoolers. The world schooling summit itself left a lot to be desired. Honestly, I will probably not attend it again unless it’s ridiculously close to me. I did however learn about another summit that is ran by someone I highly admire that I would really like to attend in the future, but the summit that brought us to GTO did three things;

1) introduced me to some incredible people

2) opened my eyes to some new ways of living and very new ideas

3) brought me to a city that I may otherwise have never ventured to

That is all I am giving the summit credit for the rest was GTO in it’s entirety and the most incredible population of people I’ve ever met. Everything about the people here screams happiness. They ALL smile at you. They ALL talk to and touch your children. They ALL engage you in conversation despite neither of you speaking the other’s language. The love of children here is so loud and cherished here that it blows me away every single time.

When we were climbing out of the mine, I was wearing atlas on my back, and a man said to me “you’re climbing out with the greatest riches of all, solid gold in the weight of children.”

The people are so genuine. They truly try their very best to help you. They greet you. They acknowledge and speak to you and your children with ease. There is so much the American society could learn from the Mexican people, especially in regards to how it views it’s children.

There were lots of lessons learned this trip. Some small ones like letting kids sleep. Some larger ones like the dire need for a kitchen and the need for a lighter weight backpack, but if I were to write you a guide to Guanajuato it would look like this;

1) Valenciana is over looked and it was one of our favorite places. GO.

2) Eat foods that you don’t recognize and ask waiters and chefs for recommendations if you aren’t sure.

3) Walk the streets and alleys and stairwells for endless hours with no particular destination in mind.

4) Bring things that make the altitude more comfortable for you (i.e. lotion, chapstick, conditioner).

5) Tour the mines, as many as you can they are all different.

6) Ride the funicular to El Pipila just because it’s fun.

7) If you can catch music in the gardens GO.

8) Eat Mexican bbq.

9) The Diego Rivera museum is over rated, but the children’s library inside is superb and tutu gelato down the street is divine.

10) Go to the Mercado hildalgo and take in the views from the second floor.

11) The mummy museum is very touristy, but an absolute must see.

12) If you can walk you should. There are so many shops, people, alleys that you miss entirely from inside the taxi.

13) Speak to everyone who makes eye contact with you, which will be almost everyone.

14) Eat street food and eat in restaurants that look questionable they tend to be the best.

15) If your mango juice is served in a resealed reused old coca-cola bottle it will be a thousand times better than what you can find at the store. Drink it. Better yet when you see juice in reused bottles, order extra.

16) When you see other American looking people wandering around, say hello, ask how they are enjoying GTO. You can go days here without hearing English and on the days that the language barrier is excessively present you will carry that familiar vernacular with you and enjoy it.

17) Alley of the kiss, though small and uneventful, is the most precious spot. GO. Kiss each other, kiss your children and if you’re at a loss for a set of lips there are plenty of locals within a close proximity willing to help a sister out. Say yes and go.

See a more rural side of Mexico if you can. There is so much beauty and adventure to be had here. So many phenomenal people to learn from. Ask questions, play the game of soccer, ride the donkey, do whatever it is you won’t regret it.

Our return to Mexico is still to be determined, but it will happen. It will be for much longer so we have a better chance of learning Spanish. It will be in a house near friends. It will involve Spanish speaking school. It will involve immense volunteering with regional women. The biggest lesson I learned on this trip by far was to NEVER BUY A ROUND TRIP TICKET. If time is not a factor for you then do not put a time restraint on your exploration. I am kicking myself for giving us such a short deadline to get back to Mexico City when we would rather be with friends south of here watching the monarchs migrate.

The best thing that I can leave you with is to follow your inspiration and spend your time doing all things with Intention, Attention and no Tension (stolen from my new friend Zoelle). There is so much joy in simply being in a place.

Learning Lessons

This is the not so positive post. No matter how wonderful a location is, no matter how much fun you are having, there are times when the cons are loud. In an attempt to be transparent and honest with you all I’m writing this post, which should be entitled “the things that really pissed me off.”

1) Despite the beauty of this city, and it is truly gorgeous, if I were to point the camera at the side walk and not at the steeples you would see a tremendous amount of trash and animal feces that we were dodging constantly. Kids do not dodge poop well.

2) I am so thankful that in a moment of genius I packed reusable grocery bags. Though a small thing, the grocery bags here hold almost no weight without ripping open and that’s when you’re lucky enough to get one with handles.

3) The lack of vegetables. In the Mexican people’s defense, if you put salsa on all of your food you are subsequently getting your vegetables, but they do not serve vegetables. I am desperate for some veggies.

4) Three year olds. Many of you have heard me say at some point that Rhodes introduced me to my least favorite age. Three has been a very real struggle for Rhodes and I. Insert picture.

5) it’s been as cold as an ice cube fart. It is seriously cold. For some reason bad weather follows me. Everytime this family goes anywhere we get “it hasn’t been like this in 30 years.” I checked the weather vigorously up until i handed greg our heavy coats in raleigh assured that the temps in mexico would be above 70 degrees the whole visit. Today has been our first day of sunshine in quite a few days.

6) Mexican time, I knew going into this trip that we would experience a lack of urgency to accomplish things once we got here. Not by myself, but by locals. It is just part of some cultures, Mexico is definitely one. I have gone back and forth a thousand times with the laundry mat lady. Her door says she’s open 8am to 8pm but I can never catch her in there prior to 1030am, during lunch 11ish to 2 so I’m not sure when she works. Anyway the same goes for the expats here, all the Americans that live here have adopted this characteristic and my on time meant that I was alone in the building with my kids waiting for the presenter to show.

A little blurb about this photo of lux and the fountain, in regards to Mexico time, the huge Sunday market was supposed to open at 9am, we got there at 1015 and almost none of the vendors were open. So we wandered around trying to find things we hadn’t seen, taking pictures for the sake of pictures.

7) the kids and the summit conference. That experience has gone better than expected, but of course I’m still pulled in 4 directions tending to their needs while trying to listen to speakers. Luxor was committed to kid camp, he didn’t want to stop to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, etc. Rhodes was going back and forth between being inside with me and outside at kid camp. Atlas was with me inside where the speakers were, but much happier to be outside. They have set up a small kids area inside, but that doesn’t stop the baby from dumping people’s coffee, eating the random food he finds, freaking out when he forgets where he put me, etc. I take the most of the conference in when atlas is asleep on me or nursing. Today I’m missing most of the conference because i chased Atlas around all morning missing most of the first few sessions and this afternoon lux fell asleep during lunch thus missing two afternoon sessions. There’s a lot of give in take going on. I’m trying hard to make it to my top two or three speakers a day and choosing not to care if we don’t. This conference is different than most; the speakers are other world schoolers so if there’s something I’m dying to know that I didn’t get to hear then I’ll just email them. The world keeps spinning.

exhausted and have a baby constantly hanging on me. It isn’t pretty, but it’s my reality.

8) not all world schooling families are friendly. My neighbors in the hotel are less than pleasant. She seems to not remember her children younger than age 12 so they are doing their best to drive me insane, but my control over the volume of a 5, 3 and 1 year old is minimal at best. So her constant complaining isn’t helping me achieve this measure.

9) this is the last booger of a thing that is a bit overwhelming right now, we are over eating quesadillas. The food is delicious, but a person can only eat tortillas for so many meals. Two weeks is apparently our mark. We are desperately regretting staying in a hotel versus an airbnb. The kitchen would be such a blessing right now.

I hope you all found some humor in this and not just negativity. This was my attempt to let you all in on a raw real life post. The positive rainbow farts and butterflies are in another post. Stay tuned.