Growing Up

by Nissa on 22 November, 2014

in Children,Family Centered Living

littleman1 littleman2 littleman3 littleman4

“Such experience is not just play…. It is work he must do in order to grow up.” - Maria Montessori


One year

by Nissa on 21 November, 2014

in Children,Family Centered Living

On this day, one year ago, I pulled off down our drive after a brief word with a neighbour.  William and I were headed out to do some shopping in preparation for Advent.  As I rounded the corner near the town dump, my phone rang.  It was Brian.

No, I hadn’t forgotten anything.

He was calling to let me know that Joséphine had fallen from a stool while helping in the kitchen, and that she hit her head pretty hard on the floor.


No, I shouldn’t turn around, just go on and get the shopping done.  He’d keep me updated, let me know if anything changed.

It did change.  She was vomiting.  Over and over.

I met him at the emergency room, Cat took William home.  She looked terrible – dazed, limp, pale.  I was in tears, Brian was shaken.

The nurses were excellent.  They took her straight back and gave her some anti-nausea medication, and scheduled a CAT scan.  Only one of us could go in with her.  So Papa went while I paced the hallway.  She emerged several minutes later, being wheeled on her hospital bed and showing of a nifty new pair of star shaped sunglasses.

After what seemed like an interminable wait, they confirmed what we all suspected: concussion.  It used to be something that was brushed off.  No big deal.  Now, we know better.  She was to be kept perfectly still without too much sensorial stimulation for the next two weeks.  We were warned that she may have lasting damage, and that a second injury could be dangerous.  We were told to watch for signs that she was worsening.

Her siblings helped to care for her tenderly, reading her books, feeding her, snuggling her down for naps…




I was a basket case for those two weeks.  Truth be told, where rough play and Joséphine are concerned, I still am.  She still has auditory sensitivity, and is constantly thirsty, and she has resumed afternoon naps for the past year.  We are so grateful that the effects haven’t been more severe.

So grateful.

Please don’t dismiss a bump on the head.  It could be serious.  And it doesn’t have to be a fall – your child could get hit extra hard during a pillow fight, or be struck by a nerf ball.  Watch them carefully and take them in if they show any signs of concussion.


  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • difficulty with coordination or balance (not being able to catch a ball, perform other easy tasks, etc.)
  • blurred vision


  • feeling confused and dazed
  • difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions
  • trouble remembering things, such as what happened right before or after the injury
  • slurred speech or saying things that don’t make sense


  • feeling anxious or irritable for no apparent reason
  • feeling sad or more emotional than usual


  • sleepiness or difficulty falling asleep
  • sleeping more or less than usual



George watching big brother Jack at work.




Sugar and Spice

by Nissa on 19 November, 2014

in Children,Family Centered Living

And all things nice.




It’s getting to be that time of year again. So much knitting to do before the weather turns colder. I was going through some old posts and found this one for instructions for a funny little fuzzy hat that I had made for Sophie when she was a little baby. She’s now a big girl of nine!

It’s a super easy project that even beginners can work up quickly.  The top is closed purse-string style, but you can taper it down by decreasing every few stitches over several rounds first, or work it down to 3-4 stitches and end in a long i-cord and tie that in a knot for an umbilical hat.  The whole thing is worked in the round in stockinette and the edge rolls up. If you knit the hat a little longer – 2 inches or more – you’ll have a neato slouchy style hat if the knitted fabric isn’t too stiff.  Try using a lighter weight base yarn and the same sized needles for a lacier and drapier hat.  No rules.  Just fun.  Did I mention that this is a great project for a new knitter – especially for a child who is working in the round for the first time.  He or she will have a new hat to show off in no time flat.

I’m not sure if you can get the same yarns that I used back then, or even if you’d want to since styles have changed so much since I originally posted.  You can use any bulky weight yarn you like. or have on hand.  You can pair it with something bouclé or fuzzy, or colourful, or glittery…  I would really love to see what you come up with.  Maybe you would consider posting a photograph of what you whip up and link it back here?

Fuzzy Hat baby



You need:

2 balls  any chunky/bulky weight yarn ( I used Lion Brand “Kool Wool” in  ‘grass’)

2 balls  any fancy ‘blender’ yarn – or leave it out ((I usedLion Brand “Fun Fur” in ‘mango’)

Set dpns size 10.5


For baby:: CO 42 stitches, work in stocking stitch for 6″. Cut long tail and draw through all stitches to close. Secure by taking stitches across closure, bring tail inside and run tail through several stitches inside, trim. Viola!


For older child:: CO 54 stitches and work 7″


For adult:: CO 60 stitches and work for 8″


Happy knitting!


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