I won’t store seasonal clothes

November 17th, 2014

why I won't store seasonal clothes

When we lived in the house made of tires, we didn’t have a dresser. Martin hung one little bar for clothes, and we kept everything else in plastic bins, either in the bedroom or in storage. Like most houses made of tires, this house had a serious mouse problem. We didn’t want our clothes getting chewed up or pooped on.

I hated the amount of time I had to spend rotating our wardrobes from season to season. It was during the heart of our No New Clothes Challenge when neither of us bought any clothes for two years and slowly eliminated ones we didn’t like, so it’s not as if we had a lot of clothes. We just didn’t have a place where we could put any them.

If you don’t have a place to put your clothes, you don’t enjoy having them.

Then and there, I vowed that we would:

  1. Build a closet big enough to hold all of our clothing, from ski jackets and thermal underwear to flip flops.
  2. Limit the amount of clothes we owned.

Today, our bedroom consists of our bed, Niklas’ crib, a humidifier on the floor, and our closet.

To me, small space living isn’t about rotating clothing and other belongings. It’s about enjoying what you own and really trying to pull out and shed what doesn’t work for you.

And look – a little bunny came to pose with me on this freezing cold day! He’s in the lower right beneath the bush.

My fool-proof journal entry technique

November 14th, 2014

Every Friday, I like to tell you about the newest Gadanke Workshop that went live the Monday before. It’s my chance to remind you to pause, grab your journal, and watch the workshop if you haven’t. It’s also an opportunity to write to you and just tell you a little about what’s going on here and things like why I created the week’s workshop.

This week’s workshop: A fool-proof journal entry technique

fool-proof journal technique - gadanke workshop video series 4 of 52

It’s my secret 5-step formula for writing a quick, in-depth journal entry.

A few things I’m journaling about this week:

Have a great weekend, folks. Let’s keep warm!

Thoughts on raising a bilingual child

November 12th, 2014

thoughts on raising a bilingual child

The moment we laid eyes on our baby boy (who is clearly not such a little baby anymore!), my husband and I each whispered words of love to him. I spoke in English; Martin spoke in German. And just like that, we solidified in our brains how we would each speak to our son.

It’s sort of like how when you’re in the United States, you’ll automatically speak English to people as much as you’re capable. But say you go to Mexico. Your brain will make a switch and probably use whatever Spanish words you know, even if it’s as simple as gracias or uno.

For the same reason, Martin can’t look at me and speak German. His brain has already said English.

All of the reading that we’ve done points to this strategy as being very beneficial. Our son hears one parent speak to him in one language, and the other parent speaks in a different language. This way, he’ll learn to understand both German and English. He’ll also be able to speak both like a native speaker. The English “th” and the German “r” will be no problem, which makes us beyond excited, since those have been pronunciation barriers for both of us.

Incredibly, according to this New York Times article, Niklas is at the age where infants can already detect the differences in languages.

It’s been good for me to hear German, too. Surprisingly, I’m not always sure what Martin is saying!

The boys read an Eric Carle book and a story about Kleiner Eisbär (both from the US Amazon) together after bath time, and then Niklas and I read our own Eric Carle books and Goodnight Moon.

Right now, it’s all about just creating the habit of different languages. So far, so good.