In Montessori there is this concept called normalization.  Words that come to mind in describing a child that is normalized are:

  • Calm
  • Focused
  • Intentional
  • Deep concentration for extended periods
  • Purposeful
  • Self- Aware
  • Community
Miss Princess working on the Geometric Cabinet

This quote from the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association explains normalization this way:

“Dr. Montessori observed that when children are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they blossom. After a period of intense concentration, and working with materials that fully engage their interest, children appear to be refreshed and contented. Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. She called this process “normalization” and cited it as “the most important single result of our whole work”.”

Needless to say words like ‘calm”, “focused”, and “self-aware” are not usually used in reference to kids with ADHD, sensory issues, autism, etc.  When Mr Rockstar was attending a Montessori preschool we had many conversations over the years about normalization and whether he was or wasn’t achieving this zen state.  He never seemed to achieve normalization for more than a few days before it would fall apart.  Also, it never seemed to happen at home.  Once I started Montessori Homeschooling I longed for this chimera but it seemed hopelessly unattainable.

Well guess what!!!   Continue reading Normalized

The Day the IPad went on Vacation

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.01.47 PMSummer vacation, moving, unpacking, settling in, etc have all added up to me letting Mr Rockstar have WAY too much IPad time in the last month or so.  It is just so tempting to let him have it since nothing calms him down like the IPad and it is about the only time I can leave him alone without having to check in on him every 3-5 minutes.  However, it has officially has spiraled out of control.   Continue reading The Day the IPad went on Vacation

When Bad News is Good News

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Mr Rockstar just finished his second week at the Children’s Autism Center (CAC) summer Bridge program.  So far it has been amazing.  There is part of me that always starts to doubt that there is anything “different” about Mr Rockstar.  Maybe it is all in my head.  Most of the people around us don’t seem to notice.  All of my friends tell me he seems perfectly normal.  I start to doubt myself and think maybe he is just a stong-willed kid and I am a failure as a mom.

But the therapists at CAC aren’t questioning his diagnosis.  Actually they have had two pretty severe bouts Continue reading When Bad News is Good News

Learning Limitations

We finally sold our house, bought a house, moved everything and have been slowly digging out of the boxes.  In the meantime life goes on.  Today we were supposed to go strawberry picking with a local moms group.  But it rained all day yesterday and it is only 55F today and still quite wet.  Given Mr Rockstar’s tendency to complete meltdowns when he gets unexpectedly wet, strawberry picking on a wet day would be like trying to navigate a mine field.   Continue reading Learning Limitations



A few weeks ago I was feeling so exhausted and discouraged.  Every day I thought “Today is the day I get all the homeschooling books on my list read and all the homeschool material made and develop my master plan!” but somehow the morning would get away from me with us having done very little school work and with me not having accomplished any of my reading goals.  Then afternoon would hit and I would be so exhausted I felt like I would be sick if I didn’t lie down for 10 minutes to rest.  Next thing I knew the day was over and I felt like a failure.

It finally hit me that I was putting myself at the bottom of my priority list.  I was surviving on Dr Pepper and brownies for energy and staying up late to try and get a little “me” time.  It may seem silly but I realized “how can I take care of these kids if I am not even taking care of myself?”.   Continue reading Priorities

Better but still not easy

While in some ways Mr Rockstar has been much better the past 6 months, we still have our rough days.  Today was our third time attending the Classical Conversations homeschool group.

The first week at CC was soooo hard.  It took a couple hours before Mr Rockstar would get off my lap and then later during game time he didn’t really understand the rules and when he was “out” (from playing musical chairs) he hit me in the jaw while I was trying to calm him down and get him to understand he just had to wait a few minutes before he could play again.

The second week at CC was much better.  Mr Rockstar was a little nervous at first but then he warmed up and he didn’t have any major meltdowns.  He really loved all the songs and seemed to be making some friends.  Given that his interactions at home had also been pretty good, there was part of me that started to forget his struggles.

Today, he reminded me that life will always be an ongoing struggle.   Continue reading Better but still not easy

Social Anxiety

It’s official.  I hate moving.  Before having kids moving was hard because I am an introvert.  But now that I have kids moving is 10x as hard.  It is not just my own social anxiety I have to deal with but also my kids.  While I am trying to force myself out of my comfort zone to talk to new people and open up to build relationships, Mr Rockstar is vacillating between Continue reading Social Anxiety

Two Minivans Across the Country

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What if you lost everything?  Well almost everything… in everything you couldn’t fit into your cars?  It has been 2 months since we moved and since then we have been living in a rented house with only what would fit in our two cars and about $160 worth of furniture off craigslist, Goodwill, and freebies from family and our neighbors trash.

I think what has shocked me the most Continue reading Two Minivans Across the Country

Frugal February: Pantry Inventory

Frugal February: Pantry Inventory


8 years ago we started a tradition of Frugal February.  It was before we had any kids and I always was stumped on what to get my husband for his birthday.  Hubby is very frugal and hates to shop.  Also, things like the pantry being full bothered him.  I came up with the idea of gifting him “Frugal February” for his birthday.  A month of trying to live on the minimum of expenses.  He liked it so much we have continued to do it every year since.

Every year our goals are somewhat different.   Continue reading Frugal February: Pantry Inventory