Thursday, September 24, 2009

Way to Go, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I ran in my first 5K this weekend. And, much to my surprise, I won my age category! I am NOT a fast runner, and I was not the only woman running, so this was a surprise!

2. I have been on a strange cleaning kick this week. I have washed curtains, de-cluttered and organized a linen closet and washed down the kitchen ceiling fan.

3. My boys have been transformed into little Indians. Since our trip to Jamestown Settlement, J has been wanting an Indian "outfit". Well, after a few cuts of fabric, he and K have makeshift Indian "shirts". A neighbor gave us an old tepee frame, so I dug it out and put a sheet over it, so they have a tepee. For the last several days, they have been running around, pretending to be Indians. They have been shooting at anything that moves and making enough noise to be heard for blocks. I wonder what the neighbors are thinking!

What are your small successes? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Saint in the Making

Today the boys and I were in the car. We were driving along and K, my three year old, proclaims "I saw Jesus in his car!" I laughed a little and told K it was probably not Jesus.
J then says, "Well, K, Jesus often appeared to the saints while they were alive. It could have been Jesus."
St. K?
We will see . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Beauty of Homeschooling

I thought it would be good to follow up my last post, which expressed my frustrations of teaching my son to read, with a positive one about homeschooling.

I am hoping that all homeschooling moms wonder what they are doing and question the decision to homeschool . . . I do. I worry about that too, because I only started homeschooling last year and my son is only a first grader!

In the first few weeks of this year, I have had a "crisis of faith" so to speak concerning homeshooling. I am a scheduler and one of the reasons I chose the curriculum I did because everything is laid out . . . you can choose a four or five day school week and it tells you what to do each day all the way from week one to week thirty-six. But, if we do not stay on track, I find myself getting stressed. I think about the fact that we are behind and I wonder how we will catch up.

Last week a providential meeting occurred that helped to change my attitude a bit. I took the boys on a field trip to the Science Museum. While there, I started talking to a homeschooling mom with 5 boys. She mentioned that while the homeschooling days are going on at the museum, she brings her boys most of the days for the three weeks. At first, I thought that that was really nice. Then, I started to get anxious . . . what does she do for the rest of the subjects, gosh, she must get behind! Then, it stopped. I stopped. No, that is the beauty of homeshooling. Making your own schedule. Working at your child's pace. Spending all the time you want on one subject for a time and then focusing on another.

I am sure God meant for me to meet that woman. She does not know it, but simply telling me what she is doing right now, in her homeschool, has greatly affected mine. I needed that gentle reminder. I needed to relax. We have only had a few days of school since that day, but I have noticed a shift in my focus. I have changed our daily school schedule so that our morning naturally flows into school. J begins his work while I am finishing the morning dishes. I give him so much more freedom to work on his own. He reads better and relies on himself more when I am not sitting next to him. He works faster too! I do not worry if we are behind of my own, self-imposed schedule. That is the beauty of homeschooling.

I hope that this attitude continues. And if I need a gentle reminder during the year (I am sure I will), I know God will place another angel in my path at just the right time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why does the English language have to be so confusing?

We are done with school today and the boys are watching Word World. They love it. Today, World World is all about the sound that two o's make together as in school or roof. (Duck, Monkey and Dog are building a roof so they do not get wet in the rain). Anyways, they just finished singing a catchy song to teach the "oo" sound.

My first thought was, yeah that is great, until my son has to read LOOK or BOOK. Since J is in first grade, we are tackling more and more words, word sounds and vowel combinations. We have left cat, hat, set, and met behind and are coming to the complexity of the English language. I find it so hard to teach. We were reading The Cat in the Hat last week and J came across the word LOOK (which he pronounced as LUKE). I told him that sometimes "oo" does not make the same sound as it does as in school or roof. Sometimes there are irregular words in the English language (He still has a hard time remembering that WAS is WAS and not WAZ). I just want to tell him that the English language is utterly confusing to read because it does not always follow its own rule. That even though I know it now, it is confusing to explain.

I am finding that I would rather teach science, math, history and any other subject than reading!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coming to Terms

It usually only happens about once a year. For about a week, once a year, I once again try to come to terms that with the fact I will never have a baby the "normal way". I have had three c-sections, and now, I really have no choice in the matter. If I have any more children, I will have another c-section. And, over six years after I had my first c-section, I still mourn the loss of not being able to have a child naturally.

It usually only happens when I hear of someone who just had a baby who had a natural delivery without any complications or when I have a friend who had to have a c-section. This past week, my friend Sam had to have a c-section. After a few emails abut her being in labor and having some complications, I was up most of that night praying for her. "Lord, please help there to be no serious complications. Lord, please do let this end in a c-section if necessary." But it did. So, c-sections have been in the forefront of my mind since Monday. Then on Wednesday I received a letter from a priest friend of mine who wrote to me to ask a question about c-sections. My immediate thought was, oh, great I cannot get away from it right now.

Lately, though, I am reminded almost daily. I have had some minor complications from my last c-section and I have begun to run longer distances (yes, there is a connection . . . see the next sentence!). After I am done with a long run, I have incision pain which I had never had before. As I stretch out and the pain begins, I think about the birth of my children.

I will be honest, the topic makes me want to cry. I get sad when I think about the fact that I will never be able to experience having a baby naturally. That I will have to have surgery every time. I am not sure if this is normal. I have been a part of some c-section support forums and it just did to seem to fit. Many women are out and out angry and will do anything to have a natural birth (even putting their own self and baby at risk). Other people seem perfectly OK with the fact that they have had c-sections. And I even know of a few that prefer a c-section to natural birth. Maybe I am just an anomaly. I do not know.

This morning, my 3 yr old was talking to my husband about being born. He said"I was in Mommy's tummy. She went to the hospital and got cut open and I was born."

So many things go through my mind when I think about my c-sections:

I wish I were more educated when I had my first. I think I may have been able to avoid being induced and ultimately avoided having, at least my first, c-section.

Why does my body not work the way it is supposed to? Women are supposed to be able to have children without having surgery . . . what is wrong with my body?

Can I do it again?

What are you trying to teach me, Lord?

About two years ago, someone mentioned to me that I should really watch the documentary The Business of Being Born. My husband warned me not to. He had not seen it, but knew what it would do to me. I watched it anyways. The documentary is about what is happening to birth in America. It really focuses on home births and births with midwives. It is beautifully done. I highly recommend it to those who are pregnant for the first time, or those who have had normal hospital births. But, if you have only had c-sections, DO NOT WATCH IT. I cried. Watching women, unmedicated, giving birth in their own homes, made me so sad. They were able to experience something I would never be able to. They were able to hold their babies immediately. I, strapped down to an operating table, only get took look at my babies quickly before the nurses take them to another room. I was depressed for days.

During times like this week, I really try to focus on the fact that I have been able to have three wonderful children. I have been blessed with three healthy, wonderful boys. And, for the most part, there have been no major complications from the c-sections. I try to remember a friend of mine that is struggling with infertility. I am sure she would go through a c-section any day if it meant she were able to have her own child. Even with all of these things, on days like this, it is still hard not to get sad.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This

Today, while I was on a forum I belong to, I read a post that a dad wrote about a special time he had with his 2 and a half year old daughter. The point of the post was that the time goes by so quickly and to cherish each day we have with our kids while they are young. I admit, I needed that gentle reminder.

So often I fall prey to the "I can't waits".

I cannot wait until the boys take their naps and have quiet play time.

I cannot wait until A gets a little older and does not scream to be held so much.

I cannot wait until J is old enough to do more of his school work on his own.

I cannot wait until all of the boys are old enough to help REALLY clean the house.

I cannot wait until they stop making a mess all over the house.

I cannot wait until they are old enough to get their own milk, their own food, their own snacks, all the time.

But, today, I was reminded how precious this time really is. I will miss this time. I will miss the little voices asking me for food, for milk. I will miss little bodies crawling into my lap to be held. I will miss seeing them sleep like little angels. I think there is even a part of me that will miss the mess of toys, miss sitting next to J and teaching him step by step as he complains that he hates school, miss the crying baby pulling at my pant legs.

I am NOT a country music fan at all, but I heard this song by Trace Atkins a while ago. It is called Your Gonna Miss This. I think I first heard it on one of those days when I could not wait for the boys to get older, and I cried. It is good to be reminded how precious these days really are.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - September 14, 2009


Outside my window...

It is a beautiful sunny day. I love these, late summer, early fall days!

I am thinking...

About yesterday's Gospel reading: "Pick up your cross and follow Me." I am contemplating my own crosses and those of others. Maybe it will turn into a blog post.

I am thankful for...

For my amazing husband. He is so good to me!

I am wearing...

Black yoga pant, gray 3/4 sleeve shirt, flip flops

I am remembering...

Our great vacation to Williamsburg last week! Too bad I do not have any pictures from it . . . our camera broke!!

I am creating...

Order to our days again. I am so ready to be back into a normal routine again.

I am going...

To take the boys on a field trip this week.

I am reading...

Running with the Giants

I am hoping...

That K will finish up with potty training soon! He is a tough one!

On my mind...

I am realizing that I really do not have the time I thought I would have to blog. And I am OK with that. I love doing giveaways and product reviews, writing about family life, but school and life often pull me away. Trying to figure out a good balance and to figure out what is reasonable for me.

From the learning rooms...

Just getting back into a rhythm. One week of school, then a week off, now back on again! I think it will take us a good week to get used to our routine.

From the kitchen...

My kids favorite for dinner: baked chicken, rice and today, steamed beets from my mom's garden!

Around the house...

Laundry being done, school books to put away, boys playing quietly (something must be up!) . . .

One of my favorite things . . .

The smell of line-dried clothes . . . it is so fresh!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Just getting back into our routine, a trip to the science center, running a 5K this weekend.

From my picture journal...

No photos . . . this will have to wait till I have a camera that actually works!

To see other day books, or share your own, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Way to go, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. We started school this week.

2. I cleaned the laundry room out. I am sure no one in my family has noticed, but I swept the floor, threw out the junk, wiped the pipes and window and organized our laundry baskets. Boy, that room looks nice!

3. I saved us $300 a year on our car insurance. We really have not looked over our policy since we got it 5 years ago. One of our cars is now 12 years old and has well over 100,000 miles on it. We still had comprehensive insurance and collision on it! We dropped that coverage on the RAV4 and that saves us $300 a year. I just hope it does not get stolen today!

What are your successes? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: ALL BOY

So, yes, while other one year olds are playing with blocks, my dear little one is "sword fighting" with his older brother. And, he also is quite good with a gun too . . . he even makes the shooting sound while brandishing it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Winner is . . .

The Winner of the $25 Gift Certificate to Lilly Ellen Designs is #21:


Congratulations! Look for an email from me!