Why Did They Even Have Kids?

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This post is exactly the type of post I try to avoid. Ranty, emotional, us versus them, choppy sentences…  But I have to get it out.  You’ve been warned, I guess??

Raise your hand if you’ve seen the phrase “Why did they even have kids?” among a group of homeschoolers in reference to public schoolers.

*a millionteen hands raise*

Being new to the homeschool world, I spend a good bit of time as a spectator in online groups, social gatherings, etc.  And if you’ve had any amount of experience in these situations, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

At the end of the public school year, public school teachers get a scathing because, “How dare they be so relieved for time off.  They should probably find a new career if they hate kids that much.”  Public school parents get a similar treatment because, “How dare they be exhausted a week into Summer break.  They don’t even know how to exist with their children.”  And then in the fall, “Look at these parents posting funny pictures of their sweet babies going back to school.  How can they be so happy their children are leaving? Their kids must be so sad their parents hate them.  HOW DARE THEY!

Homeschool Mom…Stop.  Sweet Baby Jesus, please, stop.  I have such a hard time seeing these sentiments from what’s supposed to be “my community.”

I struggle with these topics because even though I firmly believe staying home and family based education is the best choice for my family…  I don’t always love it.

When Grandma hauls the kids to her house for the weekend, I do a giddy jig. #noshame

When they’ve been gone two days and my husband mentions missing them, I laugh and laugh and continue to roll around gleefully on my crumbless sofa.

When my kids ask to play, my innards groan the groaniest groan ever.

I can 110% sympathize with the public school mom who is absolutely exhausted by the change of routine summer break carries.  I can feel the relief of the September mom, finally getting a moment to breathe a quiet breath.  The mom doubting her ability to homeschool because she’s afraid she will literally lose her mind and ruin her relationship with her children?  I get that.

Most of us don’t choose our path based on what’s easy or the most pleasant.  We choose what we choose because it’s what we need to do and what we feel called towards. Motherhood can be utterly soul crushing at times.  That’s the real truth for some of us.  I have ugly cried in the shower more times than I can count because it’s just so hard, and it has diddly squat to do with homeschooling vs public schooling.

I love my children.  With a fierceness.  And so do most of those public school parents.  When we make a lighthearted joke (a disguised plea for just a bit of reassurance and comradery), I’ll tell ya…  It sucks being told we shouldn’t even be parents at all.  How dare we not fart sunshine 24/7?  How dare we take two seconds to express that parenthood, in any form, can be difficult?

How dare we be honest and trust that our children won’t one day hate us for it?

Hop down off your high rise pony and practice what you preach, homeschool mom.  Kindness, understanding, patience.  If you’ve got your business SO together, then you won’t mind offering a helping hand or listening ear instead of an upturned nose and righteous indignation.

/rant

When Life Gives You a #LOLNO

June 5th. Our first intentional, recordable day of homeschool. 

It’s gonna be fabulous, right?!

*Two year old accidentally whacks five year old in the head. WITH A HAMMER.*

Conclusion of Homeschool Day One

Field Trip – Emergency Room

Vocabulary Word – Sutures

Math – How long does it take Dad to travel 30 miles if he drives at 150% times the posted speed limit?

Artistic Expression – Carrie impersonation.

The Homeschooler recovered quickly with no serious injuries.

The Whacker received EXTRA EXTRA lecturing on “What Not to Hammer.”

Mom needs a nap.

Consumerism in the Natural Realm

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This has been on my mind for a while.  I put off blogging about it, but it keeps slapping me in the face every time I browse through message boards and Facebook groups.  Let me start by posing a question.

“I’m looking for a natural facial cleanser and exfoliator.  What would you (the natural community) recommend?”

Seems innocent enough, right?  But then the responses start rolling in.

“I sell *insert MLM company*, and we have the best!  PMing you!”

“You can order *insert $47 3oz cleanser* at this website, and shipping is only $12.”

“I will only ever use *insert product claiming nonGMO, certified organic, soy-free, vegan, sustainably sourced, cruelty free label*”

“Have you tried blahblahnaturals on Amazon?  Target has so-and-so brand.  Earth Fare also carries the blerbidyblerb brand.”

The same responses get doled out for body care products, hygiene items, household cleansers, and almost anything else.  And nine times out of ten, these suggestions are quite pricey.

My beef with this particular outlook is that it seems to totally circumvent the whole point of trying to live more naturally.  I understand the convenience factor.  I understand that it’s sometimes easier to just go out and buy what you need rather than make it at home. But the consumerism in the natural community is getting to a near overwhelming level of unnecessary… Maybe even to an exploitative degree.

This brand obsession is what makes people believe they can’t afford to live naturally.  They ask for suggestions on replacing their $3 Johnson’s Baby Wash, and they get rushed with brand names sold hundreds of miles away at double, triple, or even ten times the cost of their original item.

The pressure to not “use poison on your family!” is so blindly powerful that many of us succumb to the fear and start throwing dollars and sense to the wind.  My baby NEEDS this special soap-free soap!!

You know what you can use to wash your kid AND yourself?

Water.

Need a facial cleanser?

Try the oil in your spice cabinet.

Exfoliator?

A wash rag.

Clean with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Bulk shea butter for moisturizing.  Shampoo your hair less frequently.  Grow your own food.  Upcycle your old clothes into cloth diapers, menstrual pads, family cloth, kitchen rags.  Learn to love your face without makeup.  Nourish your body with food, exercise, water, and sun. Rid yourself of excess stuff and get with the multipurpose life.

I’ll continue to buy a couple of my favorite products.  But my goal is to decrease my dependence on brand names. Let’s face it.  A good chunk of the costs involved with these big, natural brands is not the value of the item itself.  Often times, we’re just paying these companies to do the research and thinking for us and then have them hand us a simple, safe product.


What are your thoughts on consumerism in the natural community?

Girl Talk (that means vagina stuff) 

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Forewarning. This post will include words like vagina, vulva, moist, and discharge. 

If that squicks you out, you can back out now, OR you can put on your big girl (cotton) panties and keep on keepin on. 

This is a less than enchanting, slightly embarrassing post. But I also feel a need to share what I’ve experienced and learned just in case there’s another beautiful, itchy queen out there experiencing the same issues. Those issues being horrid happenings in the nether regions accompanied by raging desperation for relief.

We’re gonna talk about yeast infections.

YEAST INFECTIONS.

(bolded just in case anyone sitting nearby doesn’t have a clear view of the topic at hand)

First things first. Yeast infections are incredibly common. If you end up with one, please know you’re not alone. Your sisters are with you. Your provider has seen it before. The receptionist has heard it all. The CVS cashier will have a far more awkward transaction within the hour, I assure you.

What are the symptoms?

Burn, itch, discharge, swelling, redness, rash.  Severe cases can lead to excessive swelling, extreme pain/discomfort, or splitting, peeling skin.

Lovely, yah?

It’s important to note that the symptoms of a yeast infection can mirror those of other issues like bacterial vaginosis or STDs/STIs.  If you’re not sure whether it’s yeast, grab yourself an OTC test (some tests may not test for ALL types of candida) or see your provider for confirmation.

What causes it?

Sex (any type of sex, with or without a yeasty partner), menstrual products, cleansers, vaginal sprays, underwear fabrics, friction, hormones, medications, pregnancy, diabetes, diet, booze, poor hygiene, douching, a full moon on a Tuesday.

Basically anything.

What should you do?

You can go to the doctor and receive a pill or suppository. They may not prescribe anything, but rather advise you on which OTC products to buy from your local pharmacy.

OR you can attack that thing (the infection, not your vagina) with a slew of natural remedies that honestly, legitimately, really work.

The most important step after confirmation is to start your chosen treatment method immediately.  Many various types of bacteria live inside your body at any given moment, but an imbalance can lead to infections or other complications. The longer it’s left untreated, the greater the imbalance.  The greater the imbalance, the more gnarly the manifestation.

Do this.

  • Cut out sugars. Yeast feeds on sugars, so ex-nay that crotch poison ASAP.
  • Nourish your body with the things it needs to restore balance and fight off infection. Good, candida balancing foods, sunshine, water, a rested but exercised mind and body. Candida overgrowth can happen in the intestines, so plan your healing on a broad scale.
  • Keep the area clean and dry. Yeast thrives in moist places. Rinse yourself with warm water every time you use the restroom. (A peri bottle is excellent!) Pat thoroughly dry. You could even use a hair dryer on a low, cool setting.
  • Give it some room.  Go commando when possible and stick to appropriately fitted cotton underwear.  If it makes you feel sexy or makes your butt look awesome, it’s probably not the best option for the time being.
  • Give the bad bacteria a run for its money. Use PLAIN yogurt (as in one ingredient) topically. Topically? Yes, topically. Rinse and reapply often to the vulva, getting between the labia and inserting into the vagina if you can. The yogurt contains probiotics which help to neutralize and balance the baddies. It’s also very soothing for the irritation. (Get the Greek version and carry a few fresh panty liners. You’ll thank me.)
  • Take a quality, refrigerated probiotic.  I take two a day when I’m having symptoms, one in the morning and one at night. Probiotics have majorly affected my life in the best ways. Get some.
  • Go full blast if necessary. Inserting garlic cloves (with a knotted string threaded through for easy removal), grapefruit seed extract supplements, apple cider vinegar baths, and diluted tea tree oil are all popular options.
  • If you choose to go with an OTC suppository, choose the longest treatment available.  Usually a seven day kit.  The one day kits will SET YOU ABLAZE, and the three day kits may not supply the area with medication over enough time to fully cure the infection.  (pro tip – These suppositories can have side effects similar to that of the infection itself.  You might notice your symptoms worsen a bit before they improve.)

Be diligent with your regimen!  Even with OTC suppositories or prescription medications, it can take a good 7-14 days for most infections to completely heal.  If your symptoms noticeably worsen without any eventual improvement, get yourself to your preferred provider for expert assistance.

How can you prevent it?

  • For the love of genitals, PLEASE don’t use “products” on your lady bits. Special feminine washes, SPRAY FRESHENERS… It’s a reproductive organ, not an old sofa.
  • Be serious with your food intake.  Some foods can exacerbate candida overgrowth while others help your body maintain it’s natural, ideal flora.  Yogurts, fermented foods, vitamin rich meals…  Your body is a masterpiece.  Treat it kindly.
  • Stay in tune.  Sometimes after a little panky hanky, I realize that maaayyybe I could have used a little more lubricant of some sort. Or maaayyybe I should have asked my husband to shave.  (I’M JUST BEING HONEST WITH Y’ALL.  Don’t side eye me too hard, ok?) Sometimes I feel a little off during ovulation or just before my period arrives.  These are the times to pop a probiotic, have some sauerkraut, and skip the frappuccino.
  • Wear vulva friendly clothes.  Breathable, dry fabrics.  Not too tight.  Nothing that rubs the wrong way. Always, always, always bring a change of pants when going to the beach or pool.
  • Cross your fingers, jump on one foot, sing Hey, Diddle Diddle thrice, and hope you never have to endure the flames of such evils ever again.

Care to share your own harrowing experiences and preferred treatment options?

Ain’t Y’all Precious

Did the title make anybody’s grammar senses twitch?

I’m sorry.

I’m not sorry.

But guess what?!  I’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award.  Three times!

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By the awesome Emily at Holden Down the Fort, a stay at home, southern, Christian momma.  I feel like we would be friends.  We could sit around shucking corn and talking about cloth diapers and birthing positions.

By the sweet Megan Joy from Simply Megan Joy, a Jesus lover with beautiful old fashioned charm and an artsy flair.  Your blog is so dreamy and delicate and just perfectly lovely!

And also by Jessica at Inspire the Mom, a Godly momma into the hippie ways of life.  I love your practical DIYs and words of inspiration.  Your blog title is spot on!

Thank you so much!

It’s so awesome to know that people not only read your blog, but actually maybe kinda little bit enjoy it!


How was this blog born?

Lowcountry Hippie is the result of years of failed blogging attempts.  LiveJournal, anybody?  XANGA?!  I’ve been all over the place and blogged all sorts of blogs.  I was inconsistent, haphazard, and generally a hot mess.  After not blogging at all for a couple years, I felt the urge creeping back into my fingertips.  Being a more confident mother and having a more definite picture of who I am as a person and who I strive to be…I created this blog!

A place to share what I’ve learned throughout my motherhood stint so far.  A place to encourage others in their walk towards a greener, healthier life.  A place to let out all my “crunchy” ideas without being overtly judged as a crazy person.

New bloggers, here’s my (amateur) advice.

Know your blog’s purpose.  I’ve had far too many blogs go to waste because I used them as a personal diary instead of a blog.  There IS a difference.  Journaling online is a great thing, but it can severely limit your readersphere.  However, allow yourself a broad theme.  A blog about cloth diapers sounds *amazing,* but it doesn’t leave you any room to talk about that awesome new kitchen project you’re working on.

Nextly, let your topics come to you naturally and spend some time mulling them over.  Keep a list of possible posts and write out a rough draft or two.  Ponder it, read about it, discuss it.  Let it develop into a fully rounded post rather than forcing a few paragraphs based on a small bit of information.

I’m nominating these blogs!

For those nominated, here are the rules for this award.  Keep the love going!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select (up to 15) other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.

Our Oily Homestead

A blog about (but not limited to!) chickens, oils, and yummy stuff.

Savvy Schooling

Tons of interesting homeschool posts with some extra encouragements thrown in.

The Young Mummy Confessions

All the raw thoughts we think as mommas put into words.

MOMtessori Life

Amazing Montessori themed activities and inspiration for the littles.

Grace & Motherhood

Motherhood, Christian womanhood, and recipes.

Happy blogging!

Stop! It’s Planner Time. 

Homeschooling is yet another excuse reason to browse Michaels and eyeball the pretty planners and pens and craft kits. Gimme it ALLLLL, please and thank you.

I managed to exercise some restraint today, and I left with only what I needed. YAAYbooo!

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A 12 month Happy Planner box set and a pack of lined/graph filler pages. (The planners are on sale this week, and you can use coupons on the accessories!)

“Don’t you already have a Happy Planner?”

I do! This new one will serve as our homeschool idea holder and record keeper. I decided to stick with this brand because I really, truly love the setup and quality.

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My original planner going strong six months in!

My original planner still looks brand new despite being flipped through several times a day and shoved into my purse regularly. It’s a tough little cookie.

The 12 month planner is perfect for our homeschool needs. I can customize the dates and begin my planner with June 2017 and end with May 2018. We plan to school year round to allow ample time for breaks when necessary and eliminate the end of year cram panic that would undoubtedly consume us.

The extra folder inserts (that I purchased months ago) will hold our association paperwork, receipts, and any other information I want to keep handy. The lined and graph pages work for reading logs, attendance charts, curricula and resource notes, contact information, co-op plans, etc. Disk style binding is the way to go!

Here’s how I plan to utilize our planner for daily use.

We’ve chosen to go with unit studies, so the note column along the left edge of the weekly pages will list our theme along with any books that correspond. 

Each day of the week has three vertical boxes. The top box will record lessons and subjects we incorporated into our weekly theme. The middle boxes will contain our Bible study topics, memory verses, service opportunities, and mini prayer journal. The bottom boxes will include our outings, friend dates, group meetings, or special projects.

Here are a few more snaps for anyone curious about this particular planner!

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A bold watercolor look.  “Best year ever!”

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Inside the cover.

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Monthly dashboard and pretty tabbed pages.

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A blank monthly view.  You fill in all dates yourself.

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It comes with all the dates you need for a full year and quite a few extra pretties.

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12 month vs 18 month.


Homeschoolers, do you use a planner?

What’s your favorite?

 

 

What Kind of Homeschoolers Are We?

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I’ve referenced homeschooling in several previous posts, but I want to really lay out my thoughts and intentions.  As a whole and how I hope to implement it within our family.

I never imagined I’d be a homeschool mom.  Growing up, we were all the typical “outsiders” of the homecshool community.  You know…

“Homeschoolers are so weird!”

“I bet they have NO friends.”

“Do you even math, brah?”

And then I moved hours away from my tiny, wholesome hometown to a slightly less tiny, somewhat less wholesome cityville.  The teachers I grew up with were my neighbors.  Those teachers taught my cousins, even my parents.  Those teachers came to visit when you missed school because you were sick.  Those teachers knew you when you arrived to class because they had been to your baby shower.

What a blessing we had.

Moving to a new place, having my own babies, and not knowing anyone in the school system really shook me.  Send my fairy waif of a baby girl to a giant school house with 400 strangers? And STAIRS?

How ’bout…no.

I became a stay at home mom as soon as my first child was born, and homeschooling went from something foreign and slightly creepy to a super swell option that we would 110% figure out.

But now that it’s time to implement and really get started, I’m realizing that I’m still a bit of an outsider here.  Literally every homeschool family I personally know uses full boxed curricula.  Nearly half use a video version where the kids’ teachers are on VHS tape. The mention of unit studies, interest based study topics, forgoing grade systems, or library resources gets me a big ol’ side eye from them all.

A friend of mine told me she was worried about her children falling behind.  Her words being, “If they’re not ahead, they’re behind.”  My view is that there is no behind in homeschooling as long as there is some sort of progress and the kids are happy.

So, here I am.  Branching out even further from my bubble and soaking up all the wisdom and experience I can from mom bloggers across the world, Facebook groups, and Youtube channels.  Just weeks from the official start of our homeschool journey with no curriculum in sight.  And I feel totally fine about it.

I’ve decided our motto will be “Home learning, not home schooling.”

No pressure, just encouragement.  No requirements, just goals.

My hippie level keeps rising.


What kind of homeschooler are you?

Are You Busy Yet? 

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Summer is almost here! And so comes the busy-ness.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately and what I will be getting into over the next few months!

My husband and I organized and catered a luncheon for a Christian lady’s conference. One girl. One oven. 500 cookies. And sooooo. much. chicken. But we nailed it and with two little kids in tow! Serving can be hard, but so rewarding.

I also finally chose our homeschool accountability association. It’s called At Home in the Lowcountry. Perfect, right? With a discounted membership fee coming up, we will be all set to legally homeschool this year for… Wait for it… $20!!

I’ve found two local co-ops for the upcoming school year, both of which are local. (A rare find!) I’m also volunteering to be an activity helper for one group. (Free membership AND mom friends? Yes, please.)  Socialization, here we come!

Aaaand I’m going to take a concealed carry permit test soon. (I have no idea how my readers feel about this topic, but I’d love to answer any questions you might have!) Between hunting, home defense, and the fun of target shooting, I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet (ahahahahahaa) and take the next step in gun ownership responsibility and firearms education.

My essential oil collection is expanding! I’ve found some new favorites, found some that are quite “ehh,” and I’ve tried some new brands. I hope to write up a post soon to share experiences and ideas!

VBS is on the horizon. A week of herding human turtles into classrooms, shaking glitter off my shirts, and innumerable “WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER YOU PEE”s. Every year, I’m exhausted beyond measure at the end, but I keep going back. Dependable or just insane? Who knows. But there’s free spaghetti, so it can’t be all that bad, right?

And I turn 30 this year.


What awesome activities and new adventures do you have coming up?