Our Perfectly Imperfect Tony Awards Party

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I don’t do hospitality well.

I could give all sorts of reasons. With 6 children, the house is always a bit of a mess. And as a single mom (in early childhood education, no less, and currently on disability!) I don’t really have the finances to fancy things up.And I’m not good at keeping things neat anyway. I’m not a very good cook. I don’t have a great sense of home decor and I’m not terribly crafty. I don’t feel like I’m very good at being a hostess. I have trouble keeping things tidy, most because it’s just not very important to me. And I’m an unrepentant introvert, which means I don’t really have a strong motivation to do any of those things.

Matilda the Musical Poster

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Matilda the Musical Poster
Posts are probably going to be a little slow coming up here, but we have been continuing with our Summer of Musicals. We’re finishing up with Hamilton on the 4th of July. I’m currently trying to find out how we can watch 1776, but according to Can I Stream It? it’s only available through services I don’t have, so we might just be watching youtube clips. There’s enough on youtube that I plan on 1776 being our musical this coming week, and after that I think we’ll do Newsies.

As I’ve shared before, I’ve been off work on short-term disability since March due to break-through seizures. I can’t tell if my epilepsy is resistant to medication or if I’m just having the most horrible, inconvenient side effects possible before we can tell if the meds would be helpful, but either way, I’m kind of screwed. I’ve been seeing a plethora of doctors and specialists– neurologists, psychiatrists (a lot of the medications used to treat seizure disorders are also used to treat psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder), my family doc to help coordinate it all, etc, etc, etc and now the children are home from school, so I’m trying to juggle their summer schedule and keep their lives as normal-ish as possible.

Revolting Children

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revolting children

We are revolting children…
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs
Using revolting rhymes.
We’ll be revolting children,
‘Til our revolting’s done,
And we’ll have the Trunchbull bolting.
We’re revolting!



Stuck in traffic, trying to get Katie to choir rehearsal while competing with the rest of the city of Pittsburgh who were on their way to the Pen’s Stanley Cup victory parade, we had an interesting chat about the meaning of Matilda’s “Revolting Children.”

Sometimes You Have to Be a Little Bit Naughty


Matilda Schubert Theatre

If you know me even a little bit through my blog, my Facebook page, or in real life, you know how important Matilda the Musical has been to me. I saw it on Broadway on my my first solo trip in twenty years (you can see it too, but hurry because it closes January 1, 2017!), and it was amazingly magical. We were lucky enough to have the touring company come here to the ‘Burgh, and I got to take Katie Grace to see it for her birthday AND went again with a friend. It might be coming to your city as well! You can check out the tour site here. All the children love the music and sing it pretty regularly, and we enjoy comparing and contrasting the Broadway and West End cast recordings. You know, as you do. So, it made a lot of sense that our very first musical of the summer was Matilda the Musical.

Summer 2016

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Summer 2016

So, I’m still home. I’m facing the reality that life as I knew it might be a bygone thing, and I’m learning to find my peace with it. My therapist– and let’s face it, when you’re going through this sort of life upheaval, it’s really to your benefit to have a therapist– suggested, when I told her how much I miss writing and blogging that I channel that energy into writing about life with epilepsy instead. I thought about it, but then decided I really didn’t want to. I don’t like living with epilepsy and I certainly don’t want to write about it. Instead, I’ve decided to go back to blogging and writing about my passion– play-based early childhood education. At first, I wondered if I really could. I’m not homeschooling. I’m not teaching. I’ll have my children for the summer, but then they’re back to school. Can I really still blog about these things, or would I be a fraud?

Update on Me!

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Seasons of Joy AnnetteYou may have noticed that things have sort of dried up here for a bit. That’s because we’ve reached the part of the show where I give an update on me, and I don’t really want to give an update on me.

Provocations: What are they?

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For a long time, I have praised the merits of taking a few moments to create small-scale play set-ups for your child to discover in the morning or when they come home from school. But it wasn’t until I began my work in a Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool program that I found a word for what these are– provocations.

What is a provocation? Well, at its most basic level, a provocation provokes further learning. A provocation sets up a child for inquiry or learning. The best provocations– indeed, in Reggio philosophies, all provocations– begin by exploring the questions, wonderings, and interests of the children. As you observe how your child interacts with the materials and provocation, you can document learning and further questions, creating a spiral of provocations that continues for as long as your child shows interest.

Spring Seasons of Joy


Spring Seasons of JoyI don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but the Spring issue of Seasons of Joy is one of my absolute favorites. I wrote it when I was pregnant with Daniel, and was so full of love and hope of new birth that my joy overflowed into the pages.

You can get lots of hints and clues about Spring Seasons of Joy here. Flower Fairy Circle Time is a magical experience, and there are lots of ideas for crafts and handwork to grace your Spring Nature Table.