Friday, December 30, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

Well, we began our new house search today. This morning we left the girls at home playing with their grandmother and cousins while we went to walk through house #1. House #1 is a 5 bedroom, 3bath 1970's split level. We went with every expectation of the house not living up to our expectations. We wanted in some ways for the house to cry out to us "don't buy me." Honestly, that didn't happen. From the time we walked in the front door and up the stairs to the main living area I could see us living there. I could see our furniture there.

It needs only some cosmetic work. The walls of the main part of the house are pink. Lots of pink in that house. The two bedrooms downstairs are both paneled and would need to be primed and painted if we were not energetic enough to rip the paneling down and hang sheetrock - I am not Dy. The bar downstairs is uggglyyy and will have to be yanked out. But, the big things (roof, water heater, furnace and major appliances) have all been replaced within the last 12 years.

The eat in kitchen could not really be an eat-in kitchen for all five of us. But, can hold a small table that a few of us could eat at. The attached dining room could be used for dinners, when all of us sit down to eat. But the kitchen is large enough for elbow room for two cooks - which is better than we have now.

The yard is huge, and when we have our yearly snow would be the best sledding hill.

The storage is great. Big closets in every room, attic access and a laundry room/storage area as large as our family room right now.

We left thinking that this house is a definite possibility. I could tell from DH's body language that while he was not ready to sign any papers right then, could see us in that house. But, it is also the first house we have walked through. So, we left and told the agent we would talk to him after the holiday.

When we came home DH, himself, found the flier I had printed on another, newer house, that actually had a better location for us. He called the agent and scheduled us for a 4:00 walk through. This house was also 5 bedrooms, but had about 150 less square feet. He took the girs to hit golf balls and go to the park while I worked on some things around the house. Once EM was up from her nap we headed out to drive by another possible house. As soon as I drove into that neighborhood I knew we would not be interested. The neighborhood was very inconvient for DH's commute and it just felt wrong. So I could mark that one off my list.

Then we headed over to house #2 for the walk through. The neighborhood was great. Lots of amenities. The house was on a cul-de-sac and was really nice looking on the outside. The yard was horrible. A huge ditch running through the backyard, no fencing, only some scrub bushes separating the yard from a road (not a neighborhhod street). That lot was supposed to be the same size as our lot now. There was no way unless the next door neighbor put his fence on half of that lot. The interior space in this "huge" house seemed downright small. Not even cozy, but small. I don't think our furniture would fit in either the living or family rooms. The kitchen area, although it was supposed to be much larger than the house #1 seemed cramped and the 'eating area' would only fit a small round table - and then if you didn't plan on accessing the pantry.

The only space in that house that had any size to it was the master bed and bath. And athough I would love to have the bath, the bedroom was wasted space. It had two walk-in closets, one of which was larger enough to serve as a nursery for a baby.

Neither DH or I liked the house from the time we walked in. This one did scream at us "don't buy me!!"

So, what do we do now? Next week we have two different agents coming to our house for a walk through to let us know what they could do for us in selling our home. What projects we need to complete and what we coud just ignore. I guess because of the tremendous growth near us and the stability and success of the local schools; when we told the agents what neighborhood our house was in both were practicaly salivating. If DH and I were convinced we could get X amount and sell the house relatively quicker, then we might speed up our search. But, being convinced is the key word. Both DH and I hate pressure, that will turn us off quicker than anything.

We have to decide whether we want to put the house on the market and hope that we find a house that we really want before this one sells. Or, find a house that we really like, make a contingency offer (if the sellers would even accept one) and hope that our house sells quickly for what we want/need. How does anyone find the happy medium in making that choice?

Off to do some thinking.



Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Head is Thumping

We are going tomorrow morning to walk through the possible house. Tonight, I am ready to buy it sight unseen. Why? Well after today I am thinking that a house in which I could put the children all downstairs and still have an entire house upstairs at my disposal sounds like a wonderful idea.

The noise, ohh the noise that they will make. I make it until 3:00 pm, then my head just starts to thump and thud, pulsating from the inside against my skull. I call for quiet time, and retreat to the den. But that just seems to signal for yet more noise. My girls cannot walk or run quietly, it sounds like a herd of elephants moving through the house when they get going. I beg them to please go outside and play - it is 55-degrees and sunny. I promise them they will enjoy it. K runs and hides from me in her room. MB heads out and returns just five minutes later with a friend. To play at our house. To play Twister. They need someone to spin for them.

I just want to let them play. Let them be loud, and messy and run. I really don't care, except that I hurt and EM is finally asleep. I need a basement. With a lock on my side.

We did have a good morning. Everyone up, bright and happy. We dressed and had breakfast while I put together the "Guess Who" game, that was not a Christmas present - but just appeared in the game cabinet. 45 minutes of punching out little plastic pieces, feeding paper slips through the plastic pieces, and seperating paper game pieces without tearing them. We played for 20 minutes. Then off to a meeting.

Home for lunch, and more game playing. We played more of the Guess Who game, some Don't Break The Ice, an Uno. Finally, a phone call interrupted us, so that I could escape move on to some chores and chasing EM around while the girls settled in to watch the Peter Rabbit/Beatrix Potter CollectionDVD that someone got for Christmas.

Today has been a bust on the whole clean and organize my house front. I manage to put together a drawer system storage thing for my closet only to find out that it was too tall. I can never visualize size correctly in my mind. So, I moved it into the den and am going to use it to organize the extra homeschool - school materials that we own - notebooks, notebook paper, pencils, crayons, etc. I just grabbed an extra plastic storage bin and stuffed all my knitting things into there for now. DH is off for a four-day weekend, so I am hoping to get much more accomplished by Monday.

Next week we begin school again! After almost a month off I am looking forward to it. I am sure that the first couple of weeks will be a struggle, but I am thinking that MB is looking forward to it almost as much as I am. I still don't have a lot planned out yet, and probably won't for the first couple of weeks.

We are signed up for a science class in January at a local museum and we will have our science club on Thursdays. We will get right back into the math workbook and start studying Ancient China. I am going to begin using more sight word/spelling word worksheets this 'semester' in addition to our daily read aloud. MB received a human body model that needs to be constructed and since it is too cold for me to drag three children through the woods to look at bare trees, we are going to move on into studying the human body until March or April. We now have recorders (3) and a beginners music book for recorders, so we will add that to our weekly schedule. MB received a guitar for Christmas and I would like her to spend some time every week practicing the chords and techniques her uncle showed her.

I guess I have more there than I thought I did. How we are going to do it is a whole 'nother ballgame.

Have a great evening I am off to daydream about that dungeon basement and read a mindless romance novel.



A Beautiful Surprise

One of the benefits of cleaning out the clutter from all those hidden deep crevices in our house is finding lost treasures. While pulling some stuff my mom had brought up for me that I had stuffed in a previously unreachable corner of a storage cabinet (who really needs a pair of 7-inch wide black metal crab-shaped candle holders) I found a baggie with a bunch of sticks in it. Pulling it out I wondered why do I have a baggie with a bunch of sticks. Then I thought that maybe it was some more cedar sticks that mom had given me to use for storage. I opened in the bag and dumped the "sticks" out to find this:

A beautiful, hand-carved crech figurine set. Obviously from overseas somewhere - and we have no earthly idea where they are from and who gave them to us. Obviously I never had any idea what they were or I would not have stuffed them away so thoughtlessly. It was a wonderful find - especially this time of year when I could set them right up on the mantle.

And, if anyone does have a need for those crab candle holders, let me know.



Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I am still progressing on the organizing job. There are areas that look really nice, not the office/den that I am in now, but a few areas. Yesterday I finished my part of the master closet. DH still needs to weed through his clothing, but I am down to only using about 2 feet of the rod and a shelf and a-half. I have actual floor space in our walk-in closet. I can actually walk in our closet now. When DH came home last night and opened the closet door he said, "Oh Sh*t!" Which in this case I will take as a compliment. I was so psyched up about the closet that I continued on cleaning off the dresser area. Then I just sat on the bed for several minutes and admired both the closet and dresser. My bookcase area in the bedroom now needs to be added to the list as it looks bad compared to the other areas in the bedroom.

Last night my ankle began to ache an throb again. I took a nice, long hot bath after the children were in bed. And today I am not really planning on doing a lot. It has been my reasses day.

Today I unloaded 5 30-gallon trash bags full of clothes at Goodwill. It was a popular place, as we had to wait for nearly 20-minutes to turn the stuff over. Everyone must be trying to unclutter their houses this week. I wish I could have the time to wander through the store itself, as they look loaded. (of course there my problem may be - I am trying to get rid of the clutter in my own house and coveting the clutter other people have gotten rid of)

Then we headed over to BJs so that I could pick up some misc household and foo stuff. I found a very nice canvas drawer rolling storage thingy to store my hobby (knitting and crossstitch) stuff in the master closet. It looks so much better than the plastic things I was planning to use. I also found a closet system to put in the girls' closet. Their closet system was installed by the old owners and has to be the most poorly designed closet system to be used for childre. basically, except for one rod that I can put their dresses on, I cannot reach any of the other shelves or rods. So everything just ends up in a heap on the floor (Sleeping bags, shoes in storage for the nxt kid, ect.) I will probably tackle their closet tomorrow.

We are getting ready to head over to my sil's house so she can watch the kids for a couple of hours while I go to an appointment I have this afternoon. So, today is really shot for completing anything new. If I just finish up a couple more loads of laundry before I go to bed I will be happy.



Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Organizing and Planning for 2006

Just before Christmas struck us the idea for moving came up again. Both DH and I feel like the walls are coming in at us in this house. This was never meant to be our forever house, or even our long-term house. It was our starter home. Now, three kids later, we are really starting to feel pinched.

Part of the problem is me. I am horrible about getting rid of stuff. I do it, but I never seem to be able to get rid of enough stuff, or organize the stuff we are keeping so that we use space wisely. Homeschooling, and all the accompiant stuff has made it even worse this year.

So, last week during one of my 'let me just look through the on-line listings for what is available' moods I came across a house that is a strong possibility. It this first house that has made my husband sit up and say "call the agent and see when we can walk through it." It is 5 bedrooms/3 baths and has lots of interior and exterior space. And even more amazingly it would be something we can afford right now with only the slightest monthly stretch, if even that. DH has also said that I do not need to get my hopes up. He realizes that we need something larger and is ready to make it happen, but we really need to like (love?) the next house. And if it isn't something he feels 100% about we are not going to do it. But at least we are looking. We are going to hopefully go see the interior (we have already driven by and looked over the neighborhood and yard) on Friday when he is off from work.

Until then, we still have to tackle the clutter and the organizing of what we do have. Especially with the new Christmas and birthday things that we have gotten this month. Friday night as I was sitting and fretting over how messy and cluttered the house looked and how I was out of places to stuff things, I finally did something new. I actually went to my husband and said "help!" So he gave me some ideas and we discussed how we use certain rooms and closets. And then told me that with his four day weekend this coming weekend, he will physically help me sort, organize and dispose of the stuff.

Now, I know four days, with 3 children, is not going to be nearly enough so I started on it yesterday. So far I have:
Cleaned out the closet in EMs room, which was being used as general storage.
Rearranged furniture in both EM's room and the big girls' room
Made EM a play area in her room
Moved all misc toys back into MB's and K's room from the Family Room
Moved board books from the family room cabinet to EM's room
Reorganized board games in new cabinet space
Bought and placed new area rug in Family Room to replace old one (a puppy casualty)
Bought and put together new storage cubes to use in family room to store educational toys
Began sorting my clothes in the master bedroom closet

What we still have to do:
Reorganize all book storage throughout the house - move my books into Den to allow for homeschool stuff in FR
Reorganize art & craft storage and other homeschool materials
Make room in master closet to store my craft/hobby supplies
Move mine and dh's music collection from family room into den
Reorganize the girls' closet, maybe set up new closet organizing system
Reorganize the family room cabinets that hold board games and coloring supplies
Generally clean and find an appropriate home for everything!!

If we can figure out the best way to store all the cr*p we own, then half our battle will be done. I still think we will have to move. MB and K sharing a room just isn't working out. K is such an introvert I don't think she is comfortable sharing with anyone, and she is also 3 and drives MB nuts. MB is entering the phase of wanting some more privacy and places to put her very own special collections without sisters messing with them. So if anyone has some ideas of how to meet the needs of these children while they are still having to share a room, please let me know.

The movie is over,and I promised hot chocolate.



Sunday, December 25, 2005

Best Christmas Yet!!

I am awed and amazed at how wonderful today was. I have been really, really dreading Christmas since Halloween. Nothing like living in today, huh. My mood for the past few months has left a lot to be desired and I just was not really prepared for the whole holiday season.

Yet, over the last week or so I have slowly felt myself coming back to life again. And today, with my expectations set fairly low, wow!!

MB is six now, and she totally gets the whole Christmas thing. I thought last year with her was good, but this year it just wasn't about getting anymore. She wanted to buy presents for everyone, she wanted to be included in the wrapping of presents, she waited patiently for others to open their presents and then played along with her sisters showing them how to use their new toys.

This Christmas was also the first, in our entire married life that DH and I either did not have family staying with us or had traveled to family. It really made a difference. No need to entertain anybody other than ourselves, no need to referee, no need to get dressed before 1:00 pm.

Our day started off a little after 7 am, when I heard EM jumping in her crib, chattering and throwing her stuffies out. As I walked down the hall to get her I heard a crinkling sound from the big girls' room. And when I came out to the family room K was asleep on the sofa (she migrates there every single night) and MBs stocking was missing from the fireplace. Shortly MB came out, somewhat sheepishly, to tell me she had woken up and just had to see what Santa had left her. Then she saw the note that Santa had left for her. She began jumping up and down. She was so excited over that note, more so than any of her toys and candy at that point. She woke up K and we were off to the races.

We spent sometime with the Santa stuff before we moved on to the family gifts. DH and I have realized this year, that except for one or two specific items and clothing, that it doesn't really matter whose name is on the gift or whose pile Santa leaves it in, the girls all see it as community property. Both K and MB, in conversations to grandparents, explained to them all the things that we got. Not I, but we. I love that. The girls really do not mind sharing anything in the broad sense. We struggle with the immediate sharing (I am playing with this toy right now and don't want to share it at this moment) but rarely is anything mine. Of course, I think I may stop the whole struggling next year of sitting down and trying to determine who should get what toy, and instead just throw everything in a big pile and let them determine who gets what.

This afternoon, when it became apparent that the girls were ready for further entertainment we packed up and headed over the in-laws for the dinner and the evening. We took a few chosen gifts to show, and that the girls were not quite ready to part with. Of course they received yet more. And we spent the evening playing with those. With two grandparents, two aunts and one really playful uncle the girls were in heaven. MB learned some guitar basics from her musical uncle, K showed off her "very own" leapster and EM was just really cute.

While we were opening presents EM raced around and grabbed whatever bows she could find and stuck them on her head. Yes - she stuck them on her head. Then she would laugh and clap. We were rolling. Who needs presents at this point. That was just wonderful.

K had already received a pair of hot pink cowboy boots that she fell in love with immediately. From my SIL and BIL she also received a red cowboy hat and a wooden stick horse. Her evening was spent riding that horse through the house shouting Hee-Hawand Gid-up.

MB got board and party games!! We played Twister (which if one is recovering from a sprain this is a game to be avoided) and Pictionary Jr.

The biggest hit of the evening was something that my mom had actually given K. A magnetic Mandala board and pieces. Everyone at the in-laws sat down at one point or another to try to copy some of the patterns. It is quiet and relaxing. MB has fallen in love with it.

We came home around 7:30 with sleepy and happy children. It id not take us long to pack them off. EM only drank half of her evening bottle, before deciding that she would rather sleep. Then K decided that she needed to cuddle with daddy and promptly fell asleep laying on top of him. MB and I cuddled in the reading chair and read until she asked me to stop so that she could go to bed.

Everything is quiet. The house seems very happy tonight, messy and very happy. Tomorrow, we drag Christmas for another day. We will go back to the in-laws to do Christmas with another SIL, BIL and nephews. Five children, ages 11-to-1 will be running through the house and playing. It will be chaotic and great to watch.



Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Christmas To All

I don't know why when I sit down at the computer recently I just can't think of anything inspired to write. We are still waiting on the girls to fall asleep. Every now and then MB cries out "I am asleep, is Santa here yet?" So since we wait I decided to hop on the computer for a little while.

Earlier this evening MB and Katie got together and wrote notes to Santa which they stuck in their stockings. Now I just need to remember to write them back.

I spent my Christmas Eve doing all those things that I have been procrastinating on. Went shopping this morning. First with MB as she suddenly decided yesterday that she had to buy gifts for her sisters. I think it is wonderful - but I just wish she had decided this a little sooner. We went to the dollar store and found several little somthings for the girls. After that I dropped her back off at home and headed to Target to buy all the things I had not been able to get to because of my ankle. This included EM's birthday present (a new forward-facing car seat) and stocking stuffers. Amazingly the store was really not that crowded. The grocery side was very busy, but every where else in the store was nice.

I came home to an afternoon of wrapping and finishing the photo montage I did for the in-laws. DH took the big girls to church for the children's service. We were all going to go together, but EM has a Christmas cold and finally went down for her nap shortly before it was time to go.

We had a very quiet evening, pizza for dinner and plenty of old, old christmas cartoons on the tv. With my girls it is a better idea to keep the evening as low key as possible, otherwise we would never get them to sleep.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow. MB (6) and K (3) are going to be so much fun together this Christmas. I think we have done a fairly good job of limiting the amount of gifts this year so that we don't go through the whole overload thing we had last year. Because we ended up doing all the extended family gifts with our gifts - we ended up having to unwrap in three sessions. This year we have been able to spread it out much more. Yeah!!

I hope that everyone out there has a wonderful day tomorrow.



Thursday, December 22, 2005


This week I am doing so much better. I believe the SJW is starting to kick in and for some reason life just doesn't seem like such a struggle. Last weekend I stayed very busy and even started a few organizing jobs around the house.

My clumsiness kicked in Sunday evening and I ended up spraining my ankle badly on a curb trying to load my car.

So for EMs first birthday I was on crutches. I have just had to laugh about it, because if I don't I would probably just get more stressed out. My mom came up for a few days to help out with the girls since I could not do a lot with them on crutches. Today, I can limp around without crutches so mom has headed home to get Christmas ready for my sister and neice.

EM turned the big "1" on Monday.

It is so hard to believe that my baby is a whole year old now. She is such a character who loves to make us laugh. I was so worried about having a third child - but she just fit right into the family.

The rose that is on the table in the picture above was cut off our rose bush Monday morning. The weather has been so cold and nasty around here, but when DH went outside Monday morning he found this single rose bud on the bush. It is EMs birthday rose.

So besides laying around and healing my ankle, we have been busy. Having someone else around who insists on doing all the household things (although this too has been difficult, given my control freak nature), has allowed me to just spend time with the girls. Playing games and reading with them. The things that I can do while sitting on the couch. It has been nice to just be able to devote some time to them. And, my anxiety about being with them, that I have experienced over the last couple of months has gone. I am so loving that.

After Christmas I am going to get together with another HS mom who I have really clicked with. We are going to work together in helping me kind of plan our next three months of school. Honoring who are children are in their personalities while also teaching and leading them. I know, real commonsense things - but it will be nice to sit and go over things with her because she sees my girls a lot and sees them from a different perspective.

I am starting to look forward to a New Year. A change and a new start on things.

I will leave you today with a picture of EM that I took a couple of weeks ago.



Friday, December 16, 2005


I said that I would be back on Monday and here it is Friday. I have been having a pretty tough week and have spent very little time on the computer. We are on winter vacation, so no real organized learning is going on right now - which is a good thing since my mood has been so very dim.
This week, after more than 6 weeks of fretting I decided to try St. John Wort. Hopefully in the next week or so my mood will stabilize a little.

MB's birthday was on Tuesday - she is 6. I can't believe how big and grown-up she is becoming. Unfortunately, Tuesday was the pits for me. But, we managed to pull together a family party. MB and I made her cake and she wanted to decorate it all by herself. My in-laws came over for the party. So, thankfully, it was nice and relaxed.

She received a pair of in-line skates and then we had a couple of freezing cold and rainy days - so she has been skating in the house. Driving me to insanity. Today it was sunny and warmer so I have made her play outside.

I am sitting here trying to get into the holiday spirit. I need to clean my house and on my list for today I am supposed to wrap four presents - but it just isn't happening.

This post is just too moody, so I will end it here. I will check back in soon.



Saturday, December 10, 2005

Waiting on the Plane

I have been really bad about getting on-line this week. It has been a tough week on a lot of fronts. The main one being that we have been without hubby and daddy this week. But, I have been so very blessed with people helping me with the girls and providing warm, dry places where we can go play and hang out so the days (and nights) don't seem so long.

The girls have been really great. They have had their moments, but not nearly as ba as I had imagined it before. Now, we will know what to expect in January when hubby has to do this again.

Hubby should be home tonight. He had plane problems and issues with getting other flights so they are actually coming home 24 hours later than planned. And, to finish off the week I had to take MB to the doctor today to find out that she has strep.

I cannot believe all the relief I feel over just surviving this week. I did not realize I was dreading it as much as I was.

School is done for the year, unless MB asks for us to work on something (like she did at the docs today). We have reviewed and I feel really good about what we have accomplished, especially considering the Fall that we (I) have had.

We will be spending the day tomorrow with DH. So, I will be back on Monday.



Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Really Late Night

I have an admission to make; it is almost midnight and I still hear my girls going strong in the bedroom. I am finding out that I am really bad about bedtime when I don't have a husband around that *makes* me want to put them to bed. Having them up with me helps hold off the loneliness of being the only adult in the house at night. But, I am going to pay for this!!

Other than a minor anxiety attack in the grocery store today, I have had a good day. My MIL came over about 10 am (2 hours earlier than I expected) and sent me out of the house for the day with orders to do my Christmas shopping without children. I am done with the presents for the girls, but still had a few things left to get for some grown-ups.

So, I headed for the meeting that I had been packing up the girls to go with me to. That was nice to sit in that meeting without constant vigilance on where each of the girls are at any particular time. Then off for some shopping. Did not find any presents there, but did buy a few books for me ;) At the rest of the stores I had more luck. So, except for some bird seed, a shirt I have to order for my dad and a few gift cards - I am done!! Happy Dance

I got home in time to take the girls down the street to a neighbor's house for a tea (hot chocolate), after-school party. They played while we moms chatted. The neat thing about this is that the kids hosting it are boys (5 and 7). But they all had a blast!

Then a quiet, right, evening at the house.

Ahh, shhhh - quiet. I think it is time I sneak into bed and spend a few minutes reading and journaling before I fall asleep.



Monday, December 05, 2005

There is just so much grace floating around me right now. I am being very blessed.

I cannot remember Saturday - I have no idea what I did or what the girls did.

Sunday I took MB and EM with me to our new church. DH took K to our old church. Have I ever mentioned that DH does not like change. Except for the fact that we were meeting in a different place, with a different name it felt like normal. It was wonderful being around my church family and friends. We are there and we are together and that is wonderful.

After church, we spent the next few hours just being with daddy and helping him pack. At some point my anxiety began to build. I started making calls, trying to find a babysitter so that I could make a meeting. I still had not found anybody when it was time to leave for the airport, but when I got pack I kept calling. Finally I reached the mother of our teen/afternoon babysitter. This wonderful mother, with no idea what-so-ever of what I needed a babysitter for, said that even though her daughter was out she would come over and keep the girls for me. I felt like someone had given my heart a hug. Shortly after that my MIL called back and said she would come over. But, still the neighbor mother was just so great to offer that.

I made the meeting, and it was just what I needed. God blessed me there, last night. By the time I came home, except for the migraine that was building from the earlier anxiety, I was almost entirely anxiety free. It totally left me able to be nice and 'with' the girls. I let them stay up late and watch the movie they had started with grandmommy. They were surprisingly easy to put to bed and by 11:00 the house was quiet. Too quiet.

This morning continued to be peaceful and easier than I had anticipated. Except for an argument over who I was going to sit with and cuddle - since they refused to sit on the same sofa (the answer was neither since they were arguing), we had an easy, lazy morning.

This week is our last week before a holiday break. So, we are reviewing sight words and history that we have covered over the last couple of months. Since we are in the middle of a science unit we will just keep going with that. Our math program does continuous review, so we are good there. After today I am feeling good about the amount of material that MB is retaining. So, we will keep doing our thing until the end of the week, and for the next three weeks play it by ear. If they start acting crazy and needing some structure, or actually asking for work I will throw some their way. Otherwise, mommy is taking the time off to prepare for holidays, birthdays and general craziness.

Sis-in-law is coming over tonight to sit with the girls while I go out to my meeting. Then, MIL is coming back Tuesday afternoon so I can do some shopping. Honestly, I feel as though I am getting more 'alone' time than I normally do. But, I will just consider this my pre-christmas gift.

Off to cook dinner for all.



Friday, December 02, 2005


This week I have felt as if I have been trudging through mud, physically and emotionally. I find it absolutely amazing that most days things are getting accomplished. Not everything, and not all things well. But we are making it out and about, school is still cruising along in autopilot right now, and the house is liveable. Some things are becoming more enjoyable, while other areas I am just trying to ignore right now.

I am becoming more able to be with and touch my girls again - which for some really, really strange and odd reason would cause me to have anxiety attacks a couple of weeks ago. I still have not figured that one out -- and it really freaked me out, realizing what was causing the anxiety attacks. Since the attacks have disappeared for right now, I am taking advantage and spending as much time, individually, with each girl cuddling and doing things that they want to do. In a way the attacks did cause me to reflect upon what a precious time it is in their lives, one I do not want to miss.

I have to focus on being in the 'here and now' which really makes me in what is actually going on right at the moment with the girls. Before, I would often multi-task with them. My mind would be on the one-hundred tasks I needed to do in running the household, while I would be building a block house or reading a fairy tale. But, I don't even have the mental energy for that anymore, so I just really focus on what is right before me.

These two things, though the result of a very difficult time, have resulted in very nice benefits. I can't believe some of the small things I was missing out on by not fully concentrating on the girls when I was with them. Growth in maturity and abilities of all of them.

MB is really growing into her own. And, in general, I am so proud of the little girl she is becoming. Most of the moodiness and temper that we struggled with just a couple of months ago has gone away. She is helpful and in general agreeable. She is not so ready with an argument, although more than ready to negotiate about anything. The help she provides to her two sisters and myself cannot be measured.

As difficult as it might seem to be home all day, homeschooling, during this season of my life, it has become my light right now. It actually gives me a reason each morning to crawl out of bed, to cook and eat meals, to try and find fun things to do each and every day. It is hard for me to say, but without the girls I honestly do not know where I would be right now in this depression. Because of them, I cannot let go and just drop into the abyss. I have to put one foot in front of the other and as Dorie from Finding Nemo puts it "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

So, in an attempt to make myself feel better about this week, let's look at what we have managed to do.


Finished cleaning house, made brownies and set-up craft project for afternoon co-op. Due to illness, only one other family came. It was okay, because I think that one other family was all I could do this month.

Had an actual, non-family member, babysitter in the evening so that I could attend my first therapist appointment this time around. MB and K, love this girl. So, we will probably start using her on a regular basis for appointments and to just get a break. She lives in the neighborhood, on our street and her mother is at home. She also has a younger sister who, not ready to babysit on her own, would make a really good mother's helper. We will just have to see how much sanity breaks our wallet will be able to afford.


Attended science co-op in the morning. The first class in a month because of travel and sickness in the group. MB loved it and loved seeing her friends again. Then straight to gymnastics. I love gymnastics class. It is much larger than it was when we first started in September, but the mothers and father are really neat people and I do enjoy spending an hour each week with them.

After gymnastics we came home and all 3 girls collapsed. MB, did not actually go to sleep, but did lay motionless on the sofa for nearly two hours. I had planned on going straight into schoolwork when we got home, but I reconsidered after seeing how tired everyone was. So we took a two hour break. We got a couple pages of math and Dolche done before the neighborhood friends came to play.


The one morning that we really could have slept in this week, everyone woke up early. We made pancakes together and did some laundry. Then knocked out math and a couple history worksheets we still needed to complete. Then packed up and went to a meeting. The girls are getting used to being at the meetings. EM loves to charm everyone and is constantly trying to get the other two babies to play with her. K is in heaven with all the other 3/4 yr olds there. MB, does not like it the most because everyone is younger than her on most days. But, she is adjusting. She alternates between working Word Find puzzles, coloring and entertaining EM.

After the meeting we came home for lunch and a quick movie. EM went down for her nap, so MB and I played some card games from our Rightstart math program and K watched her movie. After five games I had reached my game playing limit, so we moved back to schoolwork. MB read me half of a Rookie Reader Science Reader on migration, then I read from One Small Square - Woods. We answered the science questions and discussed the project we are going to try to do tomorrow.

We finished up the week with a new activity I have been trying. On Fridays, MB has to pick something from history, science or a story we have read and draw a picture of it then write one or two lines. We generally spend some time reviewing the week together and let MB decide what she wants to do. Then she draws the picture and writes the sentences. I am trying to gently remind her to try and sound out words she is unsure of, but still help enough that she doesn't become frustrated and give up on writing again.

Tonight she finished reading the first chapter of a new early reader book. She is up to 12 completed books on the reading wall. At least half of these are actually early chapter or multi-story books. Once she reads 20 books we will take her and a friend out for pizza.

It is the end of the week, and I am flat exhausted by trying to hold it all together for the week. I am looking forward to a couple of days of dual parenting. I will get away to a very cool meeting tomorrow morning, before everyone wakes up, and then maybe escape for a little while later in the day. Still have some shopping to do for my extended family.

DH leaves Sunday evening for a week-long business trip. He never has to travel so I am totally unused to the experience of single parenting. I have mixed feelings about it. I am scared and a little anxious about being ON duty, by myself, for a week. Trying to figure out how to get my breaks in there. But, I have to say that I am kind of looking forward to letting things loose for a week. Mac 'n' Cheese and chicken nuggets for dinner - Sure, everyone curled up and reading in bed at 10:30 - Okay!! So, I guess we will see how it goes.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.