March 25, 2014

this week

I shouldn't be surprised it's been a month since I've been here, but I am. I think just because time is moving at lightning fast speed these days. This week I am:

hoping ::: that each snowfall is our last snowfall. we had a May snow a few years ago and I am hoping against hope that that doesn't repeat this year. maybe last night's skiff will be IT!

enjoying ::: baby kicks - especially ones that you can feel and see from the outside. I think both kids have felt it, but I'm not sure about Guthrie. she's really excited to feel it so every time i breathe she thinks it's the baby.

attempting ::: to delay my urgent nesting desires. or at least settle down the urgency of them. it's really hard though. floors, walls, not the kind of nesting i can easily tackle on my own. and sorting  kids' clothes for consignment is just not as satisfying.

reading ::: The Cuckoo's Calling. not my usual, but i'm enjoying it. it's the book J.K. Rowling wrote under a pen name, but it's so obviously her. when we get ready to talk about adjectives in grammar i will print out a selection because there is an asinine amount in each sentence. that said, it's keeping my attention for the 5 minutes i read before i pass out of my kindle.

trying ::: not to wish away my days. we have a lot of fun things planned in the next few months - and not just the baby! - and it's always hard for me not to just count down. to be present for the right now.

appreciating ::: our current schedule - and that our lifestyle allows it. guthrie is going through a major growth spurt (she's already almost to my shoulder so...) and has been sleeping rather late. this is the 3rd morning in a row she's not been up before 9:00. it's obvious her body needs it and i'm just glad we have the schedule that allows it. we all know how unpleasant it can be to have a kid going to through a growth spurt who isn't getting enough to eat or sleep. very unpleasant.

laughing ::: due to the super late sleep yesterday i chose to forgo our usual monday - thursday school schedule in favor of a tuesday - friday one. which worked well until we did a bunch of math at the dinner table. i know, it happens to everyone, but i wear my mama hat all the time, but i notice more and more that i'm pulling on my teacher hat more frequently than i used to. not like it's a problem, but sometimes it's hard to switch gears!

attempting ::: to get back to my old early morning routine of walking the dog and having a few moments of quiet before the maelstrom. it's been difficult though when i'm so wakeful at night, or just not sleeping. i usually don't even remember turning off my alarm. it's a tough choice - forgo the extra half hour (or hour!) sleep that my body so clearly needs in this season or forgo the opportunity for a half hour of self care that helps our days to go more smoothly.

ready ::: to get going on my day. everyone is awake, i've had a couple cups of coffee and we've got some more column math to introduce & tackle. luckily it's someone's favorite subject!

happy tuesday!

February 25, 2014

summer baby

Yesterday we went to our 3rd prenatal appointment. I've passed the halfway point, I think. Give or take a week. Which meant our first ultrasound!

So ultrasounds since Guthrie have really gotten quite a bit more intense at the University. Like 30 minutes intense. With Laithe up until the last month our dr did his own ultrasounds and he knew what he wanted to see, he knew which boxes he wanted checked. With an ultrasound tech they have to check all the boxes, all the time. Which all of that is to say that while I expected the cramping and soreness last night I was still a little grumpy about it.

But also it was 30 minutes we could spend looking at our baby. Assuming we knew what we were looking at - she was pretty good about pointing out things - kidneys! toes! aortic blah blah blah!

Everything looks perfect and "within the realm of normal" and I released, partially, the breath that I've been holding for the past few months.

There are a few things different about this baby. Well, not this baby, it's just a baby. I'm different this time around though. Stepping into middle age with all of our peers has really opened our eyes to all that can go wrong when you do that thing where you put your heart wholly into someone else and grow it from nothing into a person who will then go out into the world. All those people I wrote about a year and a half ago are still friends and loved ones and we've had the privilege to bear witness to their journeys. Though I would hesitate to say they're all doing well, I would suggest that they're all doing more than surviving many days. And that is a wonderful thing. A baby born on hospice 2 years later is thriving, a sweet chubby cheeked rainbow baby has celebrated his first birthday, a 'no evidence of disease' diagnosis came when just a matter of months ago that disease was everywhere.  We are so thankful.

And I don't mean to be morbid or to suggest that there is no joy or excitement here. There is so much excitement and so many giggles as my children yell at my stomach as though I were harboring a really hard of hearing senior citizen. For whom English is not a first language. It's just that there's a depth that these past few years have caused us to cultivate. Maybe more of an understanding that this is the human experience. All of this. The good and the bad and the terrible and the beautiful.

So, yes, I let out part of the breath I had been holding. Knowing I had been holding it and being fine with that. I am no Buddhist when it comes to my kids!


We scheduled appointments up through my 32nd week and it seems so far away, but these past months have gone so quickly I know it will fly by.

We are choosing to have this baby at a hospital an hour away. It's complicated, but it seems to be the best choice for our family. Because of the conservative nature of the physician-ruled birth community here there are no options for a mom with 2 prior c-sections other than a repeat scheduled c-section. Even if said mom arrived at the hospital in labor. An hour away we have a couple limited options.

A home birth is not an option for us at this point. There needs to be physician management of my blood pressure medication. And we/I am not willing to change our lifestyle in order to pay for a home birth. Our two choices would be either I go back to work to pay for it or we go into debt for a few thousand dollars. We have phenomenal insurance. Like phenomenal enough that depending on when the baby is born we may not have to pay anything other than our insurance premiums. Which is one reason it is worth it to us to have to pay for gas for the drive. If I go back to work we change our homeschooling lifestyle and I would not have that for our two present children who benefit greatly from it. Even if they do whine and moan about school! haha! And I'm not willing to put our family into that much debt right now. So I am at peace with our decision.

The discussion with the dr. yesterday gave us some parameters that we both felt ok about. I also was able to set some parameters that the dr. was ok with. It was a discussion I left feeling as though I had not at all been bullied or talked down to. That my voice had been heard and my requests taken seriously.  To say it was really great would be a total understatement.

We also commiserated, both being in our 3rd pregnancies, that this time around is so much harder. Like SO MUCH HARDER. I don't know what it is, but I struggle with feeling guilty that I'm not enjoying this as much as I did the other two.

So, here's to warmer weather, clearer sinuses (antibiotic 2 totally ineffective), a wiggly baby, less exhaustion, moments of peace and stillness, and a bit of enjoyment for my current season. I'm not greedy - it doesn't have to be the best thing ever, but it'd be nice to not dislike where I'm at!

And in case you didn't see it --- here is a picture of sweet, upside down baby #3. We cannot wait for you to get here!

February 9, 2014

winter rhythm

Maybe it's an ok thing that we're having the coldest/snowiest winter in memory and that I can't seem to get well - 2nd round of antibiotics (I've never had a round of antibiotics not work. ever. i don't feel good about this) because it's made the transition to our winter rhythm pretty easy. Sleeping in a little later, slower to get breakfast on the table, reading seems to take the place of our previously lengthy outside time. I'm discovering that this weather is just as draining for me as those long weeks of 100 degrees with 100% humidity. So, I'm continually trying to embrace this slow time in our year before the busy out breath of spring and summer come. Most days no one is eager to leave our circle time quilt or the coziness of the couch and so we read one more chapter or sing one more song or count to 100 by 2s while everyone jumps. Well, I don't jump. I drink coffee and count with them. Priorities people.

I do feel like I am slowly, slowly getting my footing with homeschooling. That this season feels familiar is a total gift. I'm not paying any extra attention to my semi-fleeting, semi-regular thoughts of oh. my. gosh. it would be so much easier to send them to public school every morning. So much easier to go to a job where I know what I need to do every day and no one wipes their boogers on the couch for the 8th time in an hour. I mean hopefully. Because I know this is a season and that everyone wants to quit homeschooling in February. Because even the slow season comes with its distinct challenges. I am taking this opportunity to carve out and recognize the few small breaks I get during the day. The 20 minutes that the kids disappear while I get lunch on the table that I can put a podcast on and escape a bit into some grown up learning. A successful rest time. Being ok with 10 minutes, or even 5 minutes of knitting while everyone is busy with projects at the art table. When those breaks are present, and I have the wherewithal to recognize them, I do know that we are doing the exact right thing for our family.

Somewhere, in the back of my brain, there's a nagging voice telling me I'm almost at the halfway point in my pregnancy. While there's not really anything to do except make a couple purchases, set up a couple areas, and some laundry, I know that we also need to prepare our hearts to expand again. To mentally prepare for the changes we know will come this summer. I'm forming a plan for our homeschool year with a newborn and trying to remember how those first days and months go. Thanking my lucky stars that this will be a summer child and that we will hopefully have months of easy outside time to help with the transition.

There's a lot on the internet about the different stages of homeschooling. Much of it I draw comfort from because except for a few families we are exactly like everyone else. I mean the days look different, but the emotions and frustrations and joys are seemingly universal. These early years are an intense investment towards later self-directed learning where my facilitation will not take the form of what feels like constant hand-holding. I'm sure I'll miss it, but I have many years of hand-holding ahead of me. I try to picture the future and can't envision what our days will look like in 5 years with a 5, 9 and 12 year old. At minimum. Goodness.

So, yes, I'm focusing on the present. The foot of snow outside. The days too cold to do much of anything outdoors. The extra time to read The Long Winter and Mr. Popper's Penguins (next on our list). The extra cups of tea and warm milk with honey. That is certainly good enough for now.


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