Friday, August 17, 2012

a little good, a little bad

I'm 35 weeks today!  I woke up to use the bathroom at 4:04 a.m. and when I laid back down, I was too uncomfortable to sleep.  So, here I am, blogging at 4:33 in the morning after a bowl of chocolatey Special K.

So, after feeling panicky about schooling the kids this year, and knowing that just having one or more of them attend public school wasn't really an option for us at present (mostly because I knew this would just alter the stress into a new form, rather than eliminate it...and the last thing I'm up for is a NEW stress right now), I got an email from a homeschool/charter school affiliate (called Harmony Ed) that Spud attended last year for one day a week.  We called it Friday School, because his happened to be on Friday, and it was basically a day of "elective" classes for homeschool students.  This took place at a charter school in Springville.  He enjoyed it well enough, probably about as much as he can enjoy most things, truthfully (he's a bit of an over-thinker), but there were a few reasons I had decided to not have him do it this year.  One, I didn't want to drive down to Springville every Friday morning and afternoon.  Two, the program coordinators were not terribly good at communicating and it got frustrating at times.  Three, we could get more financial support for our homeschooling curriculum through MyTechHigh, which he is now old enough for.

But shortly after my blog post about feeling stressed about school this year, David and I were talking about how it really might be better for everyone if we enrolled Spud in school.  Public school was seeming like the only option, which I did not really feel good about.  A couple of days later, I get an email from Harmony Ed announcing a new program at a new location here in town!  Instead of just the elective days, they were offering and had openings for students in a 2-day/week Multi Age Program (MAP) that covers language arts, math, history and Science.  Spud (2nd grade this year) will be the middle grade of his MAP, which I think will be a good fit for him, as he's a sharp kid but not necessarily where he could be in some of the basics, and I think it will be motivating to him to have other kids that are older and younger to gauge his own skills against.  At first he wasn't at all excited about this "new" opportunity, but David took him out on some special time and they were able to have some good conversation on what we hope for him to be able to do, both this year and in the future of his education.

Unfortunately, when we went to the Open House on Wednesday, Noodle was feeling a bit left out as she is NOT going to be participating in the program this year (and she didn't last year, either).  We reminded her that she is going to be doing her Musical Theater class, as well as continuing with her girls club activities, AND playing Junior Jazz starting in January with her best friend.  She is at a stage in her education where a fair bit can be accomplished independently, and I don't think she would be as benefited by attending a program like the one Spud is doing.  It can be difficult to have kids doing different things, though, as they always tend to look at what the other is doing as so much nicer.

And Sprout is the first of my kids to be going to preschool.  It makes me laugh, because it seems really silly for a homeschooling family to outsource preschool of all things, but it is 1) just across the street, 2) very reasonably priced, and 3) a good chance for him to get some "friend time" during the craziness of what will be my life this next year.  As the youngest child by 4 years (for now), he sees Spud and Noodle going off to play with friends and has had a hard time not having the same freedoms.  Happily, he has a good little buddy from church nursery that he gets to play with on occasion, though judging from his talk, he'd like to be playing with him all the time! 

(This post seemed a little too text heavy, so I thought I'd liven it up a bit with some pictures we snapped of the kids at Anita's wedding three weeks ago. Did I mention we have another wedding tomorrow?  Good, crazy times.)

P.S.  It wasn't until linking this to facebook and looking again at the title that I realized I had forgotten to mention the bad.  Well, about 5 weeks ago we were delighted to have found a "mother's helper" who we paid to come every day and help out with things that I'm not really up to getting done lately.  The plan was for her to come at least through the fall and help with cleaning, running kids around, and some cooking.  Last week she broke a toe and is on limited mobility for the next 6-8 weeks.  Kind of leaving me in a lurch.  I need to figure out what we are going to do.  In the meantime, I've reached out to some of the local family for help and received some very generous offers of help, which I am so grateful for.  I still think I'll want to find someone to come in during the week for a while, but haven't had the energy to look around.  So, that's the bad.  

Friday, August 10, 2012


Ow.  Ouch.  Ah.  ::intake of breath:: 

Those words/sounds pass my lips more frequently now than they ever have before. This morning it felt like both babies had decided to nestle down into my pelvis, leaving me wincing a bit at every step.  Wouldn't you know that it was the one day all week that we actually did have to leave the house.  Noodle had her art lesson, and I needed to hit the grocery store.  A couple of Tylenol took the edge off, but walking was still not pleasant. 

I have been trying to do a fair job of documenting this pregnancy and belly growth via not so high quality iPhone self portraits.  I must've taken a half dozen this morning of me smiling, but my smile looked exhausted and unconvincing in all of them.  Rather than have that be the image preserved (and shared with my facebook friends) for 34 weeks of pregnancy, I abandoned the smile and ended up with this:

So, yeah, that probably sums it up pretty well. 

In less pain-related news, I had recently put Tina Fey's book Bossypants on hold at the library, and got notice this morning that it was available.  Yay!  I'm more than halfway through and it has been a fun read.  (Though not for people who are easily offended by swearing and such...if you don't find Saturday Night Live even kind of funny, it's probably not a book you'd enjoy much, either.) 

Also, we found and bought a VAN!  Now I was originally really bummed about having to relinquish driving around our Scion xB since Me Plus Five Kids wouldn't fit.  We went out and test drove new cars over the past month or so, but realized that we weren't really in a position to take on a car payment right now.  We'd already been burned buying a used car that required payments (stupid Mitsubishi Galant), so we opted to look for a used van in our meager price range of "We can pay cash for it now."  It's a 1990 VW Vanagon, and it definitely has its quirks, but it makes me happy to drive it and has some real personality.  Yeah, maybe most people don't care about personality in their cars, but I'm grateful for it.  We figure we will eventually upgrade to a modern van and hope to keep this guy as a "camping van" (the back seat does fold down flat for a bed!), but if we can get 6-12 good months out of this as a primary second vehicle for me & the kids, we'll be feeling pretty great about it  I'll take some pictures soon and post those. 

David's youngest sister got married August 28th.  It was a fun day, and I was grateful that I had as much energy as I did for the day.  Granted, I didn't have to do much besides drive around and sit around, but I'm surprised at how easily exhausted I am by even being out of the house some days.  Here is a picture of our family while waiting around for pictures to start, and one of Anita & her new husband coming out of the temple. 

Poor Anita ended up being in the middle of a kidney infection, so after pictures they stopped at an ER to run tests, so she was pretty miserable and uncomfortable for most of the day.  In spite of all that, her joy at marrying her sweetheart was still visible. 

David's second youngest sister is getting married next weekend.  It's crazy to think that after 11 years (we celebrated our 11th anniversary on July 20th), there are finally other married kids in his family.  Kind of fun to have them "join the party," so to speak. 

Meanwhile, I keep gestating.  My midwife and I have decided we will help things get started at 37 weeks 1 day if they haven't already happened by then.  Anytime after 36 weeks is okay, according to her.  I am weird and prefer birthdays early in the month rather than later, so I'd kind of like them to come September 1 rather than at the end of August (though I might be changing my tune by then).  But we'll see.  David set up the crib over the weekend, and it was kind of bittersweet to think it was our last time.  But I feel really good about ending with a Twin Finale.  Five kids is more than I'd planned on, but it feels like it will be a great thing for our family.  Most of me is excited, though there are still some "Aieeeeeee!" thoughts that like to run amok and stir things up a bit.