I warned you when I started these posts...what works now may not work for long around here. So it goes. Things are changing around here fast. Kain is leaving us. He's been here 5 1/2 years! But he's leaving today to go live with my parents, his grandparents. He's 12 now, so I don't want to say anything that will embarass him later. He's made lots of progress in lots of ways. But we have had some serious behavior problems in the last year that we have not been able to resolve. John and I are burned out...fried crisp. We just can't handle it anymore. I feel like a failure every day, trying to fix something that will not be fixed, that will not even improve no matter what I try, that in fact defies all efforts on my part and just gets worse and worse...my parents have offered to try and we have decided to let them for the sake of our sanity and peace for the rest of the children. He will still be around. My parents don't live too far off, so he will be around to visit. They will need breaks. :) Please pray for them and for Kain. This is his last opportunity, really, to make staying with family work. If he continues for them like he has for us, he will probably end up in some kind of group home. None of us wants that. We are hoping and praying that the change of scenery, the structure of public school (special ed), and being an only child (and thereby the focus of all attention...I've mentioned many times how intensely competitive and needy he is in every way) will be enough to help him start fresh and do well.
So...that changes all those routines I typed up. :) One less child to do school with will open up some pockets of time...in theory anyway. I started biweekly OB visits this month, so that is another time wrench. I have a long list of things I want to get done before baby arrives, and we need to get as much school done as we possibly can too. So we will be very busy. Our day will stay basically the same, with me working on my pre-baby to-do list whenever possible. I won't stress the details of making a new routine too much...things are in flux too much right now. Soon I will start weekly prenatal visits. I'm feeling good right now, but soon that last weeks' funk will set in...I will be way huge and uncomfortable and just trying to lumber through the day. And then of course, we will have a nursing newborn and all the change that that brings. So I'm leaving things as they are and just shifting a little inside the routines we already have. Once we are ready to find a new normal, sometime over the summer I imagine, I will be revisiting all of this to see what might work then. I think the dynamics in our house are going to shift significantly. Up until now, our day and routines have been mostly about the big kids...their activities, their schooling, etc. I had a couple of big kids to help manage a couple of little kids in public, to help keep them entertained during the day while I got things done. Now things have shifted and we will be a house of mostly littles. Kain will be gone. I will have four kids ages 7 and under. Oh my gosh. Did I just type that? Four kids 7 and under! the oldest of which is not really seven years old in many ways yet. One will be a nursing newborn. Maria's life is changing and taking her more and more frequently away from our home, which is as it should be, but it means I am more and more the only person in the house capable of doing...well, anything, really. School will be less of a challenge in some ways. Maria does a lot independently of course, and Jack is still young enough that school goes quickly. But I will have lots of challenges that come with a house full of tiny people. Our routines will center more around naps and meals and nursing, around outside time and picture books and preschool activities. I'm rather looking forward to it. I've often felt like the littles get the dregs of the day, whatever's left after I deal with the big kids' needs. It will be refreshing to focus on my little ones.