Monday, January 25, 2010

a "trying to avoid burn out" daybook

Outside my window...dark and cold. It's still early.

I am hearing...sounds of Kain puttering. He's getting ready to go to day treatment. Everyone else is still asleep.

I am thinking...I'm feeling rather burned out right now. I can't seem to get anything done that I need to get done and I feel like I'm spinning in circles all day. John has been working a lot in an effort to prepay baby-related expenses and I can't get time to catch up on things around here. I'm starting to feel this "the baby is coming home in 10 weeks and I'm running out of time!" thing. I have three areas of the house I really need to (set on fire) clean and organize and I just can't get in there to do them. I also really, really, really want to repaint the living room before he comes. I've been wanting to do this *forever* and if we don't get it done before having another baby who knows when it will happen? Also. We are out of coffee this morning. Unacceptable crisis.

I am thankful for...not much. Isn't that terrible? Of course, I'm thankful for all kinds of things. I just am too sleepy and irritated to think of anything right this second. How about teenage daughters that will watch little kids while John and I go grocery shopping and have lunch together today? My first stop...for coffee.

I am wearing...pajamas and a bathrobe.

We are currently reading... Kain and I just finished On the Banks of Plum Creek. We should start Farmer Boy, but I don't own that one and didn't think to pick it up at the library yet. So, we will probably start Little Town on the Prairie tonight. Jack and I are reading a book of Peter Rabbit stores. I'm planning on getting the DVD on netflix when we're done. Tess and I are reading,,,oh, all kinds of things we have on our own shelves. She loves Eric Carle just like Jack did at this age.

I am praying...for coffee. No, I'm being silly. I'm praying for my mom. She's having a hard time right now.

Latest on the babies...Tess is a stasher. She has little hidey holes that she will stash all kinds of things in. One of her favorites right now is a cabinet in the entertainment center. It has a childproof latch on it, but she can open it just enough to slip all manner of tiny things inside it. Also, she is a dancing queen. All you have to do is hum a tune and she will start shaking it. Little honey five is 30 weeks along this week and doing just fine. I had a midwife visit last Friday and my hemoglobin was back up, yay!

I'm also thinking a lot about Jack. I helped out in his PSR preschool class yesterday, and it gave me the chance to see him in a structured setting with other kids for the first time since this past summer. Things haven't changed much. He's not a behavior problem or anything, but he's not really engaged either. I noticed four particular, they went around the room asking kids to finish the sentence "At church I like to...." Jack couldn't give an answer. He can't answer questions like that. He would just say, "How about..." over and over, which is his way of answering a question that he doesn't know how to answer. Second, his motor skills are terrible, which we already knew. Many of the boys had pretty poor motor skills. But his were worse. Third, they sat in a circle and did a song with hand rhymes, and he was completely unengaged. I wasn't surprised. I've tried often to do things like this with him, and he just doesn't "get it". He doesn't sing (I don't believe I've ever really heard him sing), and he doesn't participate at all. Fourth, his communication issues can cause all kinds of problems. At one point, they told the kids to come back to their chairs. When Jack went back to his chair, another girl had sat down in his chair and had no intention of moving. Jack just backed up and stood there with tears in his eyes and panic on his face. It was obvious he had no idea what to do when he couldn't do what he was supposed to and he was falling apart fast. I saw what had happened and hustled him into another chair, but I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't been there? We still wait (and wait and wait) for an evaluation appointment for him.

From the kitchen...planning some special days this week. Maria's baptism day is Tuesday and Kain's name day is Thursday, so they get to pick dinner and a dessert on those days. Maria picked meatloaf, couscous, artichokes, and key lime pie. What a combo, huh? Kain picked spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and "chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and coconut on top". He loves coconut. I hated it as a kid, I always thought it tasted like pieces of dead skin.

Around the house...don't ask. just don't.

In the learning room...reading, writing, math, whatever, blah, blah, blah. Look people, I'm just limping along at this point, trying to get as much of the syllabus done as I can before the baby comes. I'm not planning much for Jack and Tess right now except TRYING to get my school closet cleaned out and some workbox/Montessori type lessons set up. That will be my big Before Baby Comes accomplishment in that department. Once we are all back to a post-baby normal, I have fun plans for those two though.

In the one small outdoor accomplishment was to get out and clean up the little flower beds out front around our little dogwood trees. I found bulbs coming up already! Crocuses, and probably daffodils too. I'm a little worried about the daffodils. It's not unusual for us to see some pretty nasty weather in February.

Plans for the rest of the is BUSY. Shopping and lunch with John, therapy for Kain, dance class for Maria. The rest of the week should be pretty sane..PSR on Wednesday, therapy for Kain on Thursday. Friday we are traveling to Maria's feis (Irish dance competition) in Branson, MO. Kain's birthday is next week, so we are combining it with a stay here!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a note to future generations

From Kain...

"I'm going to tell my children not to sell my coloring pages. Even if they are worth a lot of money. I want them to save them to give to my grandchildren."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An unseasonably warm daybook

Outside my window...sunny, and highs in the upper 50's today. The sun won't hold out though...we are supposed to get rain.

I am hearing...birds at the feeders since before dawn. Word World on the tv.

I am thinking...the tv has been on too much lately. I've been kind of letting Jack have free reign because the schoolroom is still under organization. I've *got* to finish it this week and get him back on a better routine.

I am thankful buses. Kain started taking one today. This saves an hour out of my day that I was spending driving him to and from day treatment. He's not happy about it. But it's only for a few months.

I am flowered pajamas. :)

We are currently reading...I am rereading Story of the World Volume 3 before I hand it over to Kain. He's reading the series during reading and rest time, at least the reading and rest times that he is here and not at day treatment. I'm still reading On the Banks of Plum Creek aloud to Kain. We'll probably finish it this week. Jack and I are still reading Frog and Toad and whatever else strikes his fancy. Tessie's current favorites are Goodnight Moon and The Very Quiet Cricket. She brings me books all the time to read and says, "A booh? A booh?" Maria is reading...sheesh, what did I give her to read? I don't even remember now. Sigh. Oh yeah! She's reading Regina Doman's series right now...she got these for Christmas. And she loves them! Which is rare. She usually doesn't like anything that I pick for her. For history, she's working out of the spine this week, The Old World and America, so no cool history readings right now.

I am praying...for various friends', both "real life" and online, and their intentions.

Latest on the babies...Tessie and Jack are starting to play together and that is so fun to see. Yesterday we sat around tossing a ball back and forth between the three of us and Tess was just cracking up...she thinks Jack is so very funny. Little honey five is getting BIG. I am having a bit of a harder time getting around now that he has moved higher up and further out. Braxton-Hicks contractions are in full force now. I spent the first few days after they started worrying a little that I might be trying to go into labor. They seem to get stronger with each baby!

From the kitchen...freezer meals...putting up Shepherd's Pie and stir fry this week. I highly recommend putting up meals this way. It's been very painless to just double up a recipe and have one to eat/one to freeze. I've been mostly using these recipes for ideas. We also made pumpkin bars over the weekend from freezer pumpkin, and oh my goodness, they were yummy.

Around the house...still working on that schoolroom! I'm starting a new laundry system as well. I needed to try something different to get rid of the backlog. So yesterday and today involve a lot of massive laundry-folding parties so that I can get caught up and start over.

In the learning room...not a lot for the little kids this week I'm afraid. Just bringing out things to keep them happy while I continue to try and organize our stuff. It WILL HAPPEN this week! Among Maria's plans, Latin quiz, classification of living things, memorizing that durned speech from Henry's slow in coming, but she's getting there. We are still slacking in the liturgical year department just due to a total lack of planning on my part. I vow to recharge those batteries for Lent.

In the garden- Oh, the garden...I have no excuse. The weather is better. It is still very soggy though. Friday is supposed to be dry and beautiful, but we will be gone most of the day. :(

Plans for the rest of the week...well, I'm late in posting my daybook again and the week is half over! I have a meeting with Kain's therapist at the day treatment at 11 this morning (yikes!), and PSR at church tonight. Kain's OT tomorrow, along with a library trip. Midwife appointment on Friday...those are every two weeks now. I may throw in a trip to the park, it's going to be too nice to just come home and do schoolwork!

Our week in pictures...(sigh) Still no camera cable. Should I give up and just buy another? Apparently having a spare would not be a bad idea. Oooh! I just thought of a place to check! Well, in the meantime, let's see what gems I can dig up...

Here's one of my favorite pics ever of Jack. It cracks me up every time, those huge eyes and big bald head. And I loved those pajamas. Hey! The new baby will get to wear them! He was 6 months old here.

Maria and Jack...Maria was 8, Jack was, oh, probably 3 or 4 months? They were cooing back and forth in this picture...proof that, by golly, he DID make good eye contact as a baby, regardless of what he does now.

Jack's baptism picture...isn't he sweet! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maddy Curtis on American Idol

If you didn't watch last night, check it out here! What a great family!

January 13th- a late and wheezy daybook

Outside my window...warmer and sunny. Snow is sloooooowly melting. Ya'll Yankees might be used to such nonsense, but it is really unusual for us to have snow on the ground for longer than a day or so.

I am hearing...the end of Word World, and Jack talking in my ear. He's standing on the seat of my chair.

I am thinking...that I forgot to send library movies with John to work today. (sigh)

I am thankful for...teenage daughters that can pitch in a be a cheerful help on rough days. All three asthmatics in the house are hacking away, leftovers from last week's virus. Mine is the worst right now.

I am yoga pants and a long sleeve black shirt, slipper socks.

We are currently reading...Maria is reading "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" and "Famous Men of Greece" for history. Kain and I are reading aloud from "On the Banks of Plum Creek". I don't know what he's reading on his own right now, which means it's probably comic books. Jack is loving his new DK Music book. And I'm getting ready to dig out our collection of Frog and Toad stories.

I am praying...for Haitians left homeless and injured from yesterday's earthquake.

Latest on the babies...Tess says "Me!" all the time, which basically means, "I want that!" She also says, "Take a bass?" which means "take a bath?" For baby in the belly...I had a midwife appointment last Friday, and I was very anemic and also dehydrated. So, I'm loading up on supplements this week in an attempt to get my iron level up. We're 28 weeks this week...the last trimester!

From the kitchen...Southwestern Quiche for dinner tonight. I'm making one and freezing one. Yesterday I made and froze a batch of chili and some cornbread. I'm hoping to do this two or three times a week until I get a good collection of meals for easy eating after the baby arrives.

Around the house...mess. And Christmas decorations halfway taken down. I did get some more work done on the schoolroom, it's coming along, but I still have to finish the closet and that's a big job.

In the learning room...we are back to school this week. It's taken us three days to get one day of work done. This is my fault, not Maria's. I feel lousy. I'm better, but my asthma is terrible right now. If I wasn't pregnant, I would have gone in for a steroid shot by now. I'm ok, I'm getting enough air, but I'm coughing constantly and it's very tiring. I'm trying to take it easy and slow down and remember that I'm breathing for two. This week I put together a bean box for Tess to play in. I also picked up some moon sand and wikki sticks for Jack to play with. Ironically, Kain and Maria are far more interested in them than he is. I mean, they are actually fighting over it. They both stormed off yesterday in hormonal rages over wikki sticks. Over WIKKI STICKS people.

In the garden..Oh, the garden. How I miss it! I'm hoping once all the SNOW melts I can get back out there and do some yard cleaning up, hacking down overgrown messes in the flowerbeds so that we are ready for spring. We've had some nice afternoons and I hope that continues. Maria made some suet feed and so we've been keeping our birds fat and warm.

Plans for the rest of the week...the week is half over! Everything is starting back up again this week. Maria had dance class on Monday and PSR tonight. Tomorrow we will take Kain to therapy and meet some friends at a local pizza place to play. Friday we have tickets to see a production Frog and Toad at a local theatre!

From my latest pictures...oh, if only I could post new pictures. How about a couple of oldies? Here are some of the oldest I have on this computer!

A toothless Maria...7 years old! She has makeup and a leotard on because she was in a production of the Nutcracker that year.

A rare photo of me, with a newborn Jack, looking very tired and with no make-up. You know. Like now.

Jack...reading. :) How bald is he?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

heard today...

by me- "Jack! Go find your pajama pants and stop tying yourself up with the dental floss!"

Sorry no pics. :( My camera cable is missing again. (sigh) I had a post all written and pictures taken of our new workbox system too. It's really irritating.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

post-Christmas update

Oh my goodness. We are hit again! Since my last post, John fell ill...we couldn't really decide if he had the same thing the rest of us had or something new. Then yesterday Jack became sick. He woke up ok, if a bit cranky...then around noon someone said, "Hey, where's Jack?" And we all stopped...and listened...complete silence. Never a good sign, especially since Jack used to sneak out the front door on a regular basis not too long ago. Well, he didn't escape this time. I found him asleep in Kain's bed, one of his new books at his side. I immediately knew what the thermometer confirmed...fever. Jack never falls asleep during the daytime anymore unless he is sick. His temp was 103, and a couple of hours later it was 105. Flu swab was negative. Not a whole lot of other symptoms, just high fever, lots of sleepiness, and a bit of crankiness.

In the meantime, public schools have been cancelled all week due to weather. Which means Kain has been home from day treatment all week. Not fun. I mean, we weren't sending him there because things were going great at home, know what I mean? It's been a *long* week, people. And we've been stuck at home so long that even the otherwise-friendly natives are getting restless.

We are part-time back to school this week...mostly just math. I'm working hard on getting my school room cleaned up and organized, or at least I was until Jack got sick. I'm even making Kain do math. And for this I am SO, SO MEAN and also IT'S NOT FAIR. Whatevah. I can't tell that they are doing a lot of school work at this place, you know? They do some very basic math, and the teacher said she reads aloud out of a science or history book each day, I think that's about it. Not that I can complain much. If I had a classroom full of kids like Kain...and actually, the most of the other kids seem to have far more severe issues than Kain. And far more severe learning problems too. She said that Kain was one of two kids in her class that could even read very well at all. So, I guess I should count my blessings. (sigh)

Anywho, everything has been cancelled all week, between the weather and our cooties. We are *sorely* in need of getting back to normal around here. Tomorrow we are taking down the Christmas stuff, especially our very very sad looking tree...Tess has been really hard on it. The ornaments all ended up migrating to the top 2/3rds of the tree, but that didn't really solve the problem...Tess figured out that if she grabbed a branch and gave it a good shake, she could get some ornaments to fall down! haha! Clever girl!

We will leave the nativity up until Candlemas. This is new for us. I've heard that's what they do at the Vatican. So, if it's good enough for Papa Ben, it's good enough for us. Plus, I love my nativity, and I'm glad for an excuse to leave it up!

Update on the babies...Baby in the Belly is doing well, I assume. I haven't been to the midwife in two months! She is only in her office near us one day a week, Friday, and every week has had it's issues lately...especially since Christmas and New Year's were on Friday. But baby is kicking and moving lots and is obviously growing least it's obvious to those who can see me in real life. (sigh again)

Baby Tess is such a hoot. She's so much fun, she really is. She's very sweet and chatters like a monkey. Some of it we actually understand. She has added lots of new words and phrases. She got a baby doll and a doll stroller from my parents and grandmother for Christmas, and those were such a hit! It's too cute to see her toddling around with her "beebee" on her shoulder. Oh, won't she have fun when the new baby comes! The differences between her and Jack at this age are staggering, and reassuring that she won't have his autistic symptoms. On that end, we continue to wait (and wait, and wait) for Jack's appointment to be evaluated. We still don't know anything new there, only that the differences between Jack and other kids his age become more and more glaring as he gets older. But goodness, I do love that boy. He is so gentle and sweet, and he does love his Momma.

Ok, I'm off to throw lunch at people, and I hope to be back later today with pictures.