The Library (and baking)

Monday is our library day. It’s the girls’ favorite day of the week. I finally got a library card, and it’s opened worlds to Ms Action.

She’s been reading the Dear America series, and read about going west on the Oregon Trail. This week, she’s reading The Winter of Red Snow about a girl in the yeast 1777.

Ms Piggy loves getting as many books as I’ll let her and having the hubby and I read them to her ad nauseum.

The baby (who has a rather long tongue and sticks it out frequently, so I’ll call him Mr Giraffe) just likes getting out of the house.

This week I found four of the Billy and Blaze books, so grabbed them to introduce the girls to one of my childhood favorites.

We got a couple Magic School Bus and LeapFrog DVDs, too.

We’re taking a break from heavy academics for the rest of the year (just focusing on the three R’s) so we can focus on character, responsibility, and relationships. So far, we’ve had lots of opportunity to work on NOT ARGUING and getting along. At breakfast the girls were antagonizing each other, so I read them Proverbs 6:16-19 and we talked about how they were having proud looks, a heart devising wicked plans, and sowing discord among brethren. We also went over the first question I  the Westminster Shorter Catechism (What is the chief end of man?). We’re memorizing the first part of the answer (Man’s chief end is to glorify God), and I asked them if their actions were glorifying God or not?

From there, we moved on to getting ready for Thanksgiving. We’re hosting this year, so we started our baking. I  made our mashed potatoes today, pumpkin pie, we made cookies, cranberry sauce, and cheeseballs for an appetizer. We still need to make a spice cake, cinnamon rolls, bread, and the stuffing (we made the cornbread for it, already).

The girls are nearly beside themselves with excitement. πŸ™‚

Ms Piggy’s Dream

“There was a giant spider on your head. Then it roared at baby brother. Then it took this (she picked up my water bottle) then it took this (picked up a jar of coconut oil), then it took this (can of sprite). Then it dumped your tea into the garden and broke your glass. Then we had to buy a new one. But the spider bit everything at the store so there was nothing to buy. Then it broke baby brother so we grew a new one (baby brother). Then baby brother roared at the spider. Then the spider bit this, and this, and this (picking up one of baby brother’s toys each time). Then it bited Ms Actions favorite shoes. Then it bited your blanket. Then it bited baby brothers jumperoo. Then it bited this picture of me. Then it bited baby brothers head, then it bited your head, then it bited daddy’s head. Then it bited the bottom of your water bottle. Then it bited your booby. Actually, two of your boobies. Actually it bited three of your boobies. (I pointed out that I only have two. That’s okay, she said, I had three in her dream). Then the spider bited baby brothers foots. Then it bited Ms Actions clothes – all of them. Then it was a baby brother-spider that bited a real baby brother on the ground. It also bited all the Cheez-Its, then all baby brothers blankets. Then the bottom of the storing basket.”

Obviously, this wasn’t *all* a dream. But, it’s safe to say, she’s not a fan of spiders.

A Short Break from Facebook

I took about a week and a half “off” from Facebook. I can’t remember the last time I was so productive.

I sorted everyone’s fall/winter wardrobes, turned three dresses that don’t fit me correctly into skirts, made and implemented our new schedule (which we’re still working the kinks out of, but still…), rearranged the living room, reorganized the family room and put the tv on a roll-away cart, caught up on some reading, reconnected with the girls, made some detangler spray, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant, and felt so much freer.

I’m back on Facebook, now, but I’m not going to be on nearly as much.

You see, the reason I took this short break was because Facebook was becoming one of those “other gods” that we’re not supposed to put before God.

I’ve had more fun this past week, actually living my own life as opposed to living others’ lives voyeuristically, than I’ve had in quite a while.

So while I won’t be gone from the online world, neither will I be living in it as much. πŸ™‚

Week Three (aka: last week)

This week, we added in Language Lessons for the Very Young, Word of the Week (for vocabulary), and copywork. This year Ms Action’s copywork is all about manners.

In history we learned about Protestant Rebellions. The first section we learned about William the Silent who led the rebellion against Philip. The only way Philip beat William, on a personal level, because the Dutch did get their freedom, was by having him assassinated. The second day we made a model of Leyden with play-doh and mega blocks. We used the play-doh to make a waterway, and the mega blocks were the town, then we pushed the sides of the waterways down and flooded the town so our Styrofoam boats could float in and save the town from the Spanish.

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The third day we learned about Mary, Queen of Scots. Thursday we made a tartan with the Farquharson clan colors, since my hubby is descended from that clan. πŸ™‚
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(Ms Action coloring the tartan to make a skirt for her doll)

After a week of using Queens language lessons, I can say I’m already I’m in love with it. The lessons are short, so Ms Action doesn’t get frustrated and she’s still learning loads.

We started our study of Jesus’ parables with the story of the lost coin. While I read the story, the girls colored a picture of the woman looking for her coin. A few days later we did a secret message puzzle. I hid “coins” (paper circles) in a container with rice and the girls had to find them. On one side was a number and on the other a letter to find our message. (Telling us Jesus is joyful whenever someone finds him)

Ms Piggy has been enjoying school immensely. Our letter of the week was “B” and our number was 2. We cut out two hands and glued them to our number two page. I also drew a big “B” and Ms Piggy got to use her dot markers and go over the n. She may have gotten carried away πŸ™‚

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Wednesday Ms Piggy learned about floating and sinking. We read about Noah then did a float-or-sink experiment. Ms Piggy had loads of fun seeing what each item did.
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Thursday, since we did school outside, I drew a big letter “B” with sidewalk chalk, then Ms Piggy put pieces of chalk all along the b saying “buh-buh” each time she placed a piece.
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We finished off the week by going to the zoo on Saturday, then meeting some friends for lunch and agreeing to take their dog. So now we have a gorgeous Burmese mountain dog/Labrador mix πŸ™‚
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The Beginning of a New School Year

We started school up last week. We’re easing back into school, instead of jumping in full-force. I’m hoping it helps Ms Action with the transition. Ms Piggy is excited, she’s been wanting to do “real school” for around a year, now.

Last week we started our character study. We’re using the Big Book of Virtues and reading selections from one section/virtue a month. This month is self-discipline, something we all need to work on. This week we added in history (we’re using Story of the World Volume 3) and a Bible study from Queens Homeschooling about the Proverbs 31 woman.

Next week we’ll add in a study about the Parables of Jesus and all our language arts (all from Queens Homeschool). The week after that, we’ll be adding in the rest of our subjects – science (Queens Homeschooling), art study and music study, Spanish (Power-Glide), typing, and reading (Heart of Dakota). Ms Action isn’t sure how excited she is, but I’m pretty excited.

However, no one’s excitement matches Ms Piggy’s. I got her a preschool program from Heart of Dakota called “Little Hands to Heaven” and, four days in, she’s loving it. She’s been learning the short “a” sound, and the number one. It only takes around thirty minutes a day, and she gets so sad when we’re done.

Little Man mostly nurses and sleeps, though he does love hanging out on his play mat. He’s rolling over front-to-back and back-to-front and also managing to get off his play mat. This afternoon he spent a good 40+ minutes outside, looking at the trees and sky. Outdoors is definitely his favorite spot. :-).

Ms Action is currently interested in Irish dance, so I’m looking into signing her up for that. I don’t want to get involved in too many extra-curriculars and lose sight of the school part, but I want to make sure the kids have a social life, too. We found a great little church not too far from the house, and several homeschooling families attend there. I’ve found a homeschooling group here, too. So between all that, we should be set. We’re not doing Girl Scouts anymore, because of lots of reasons. I’m looking into American Heritage Girls, or maybe AWANA. We’ll see.

I’m pretty excited to start school back up and see where this year takes us πŸ™‚

The Birth of Our Son

Guess what? We have a new baby! (and my hubby got my laptop to *sort of* work lol).

Monday, April 27th, labor started around 3am-ish. I stayed in bed for as long as I could, then got up and told my hubby we should probably blow up the birthing pool. Ms Piggy woke up, too, and decided to help daddy.

Around 6am I called the midwife and we decided to see how things progressed before she came over. My contractions weren’t coming any closer together, though they were fairly intense. Ms Piggy enjoyed helping the contractions along by nursing, as she said “I’m helping our baby get out of your tummy!”

Contractions were pretty inconsistent, sometimes they would be 2 minutes apart for a good 60 seconds, then they’d disappear altogether for 20 minutes. The midwife and her assistant came to the house around 10 (all times are approximate, I never really looked at the clock). Things kept stalling, so the midwives and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to try to kick things into gear.

No luck. After walking two miles (and having at least ten contractions), things stalled out again as soon as we quit walking. So they had me go up and down the stairs ad nauseum while the hubby took the girls to a park right down the road so I could focus on labor.

Still no luck. At one point, while I was at the bottom of the stairs, I sort of disappeared. I went into the family room, sat in the middle of the floor in a lotus position and just prayed. I was feeling almost the lowest I’ve ever felt. My body wasn’t working the way it had before. By this point, I’d been in labor almost as long as I had with Ms Action (a surprisingly short – for a first labor – ten hours). I massaged my belly, struggled to find my center Β and calm, and started talking to baby. I reminded him we needed to work together, that I couldn’t force this on my own, that we were a team.

I felt a lot better after that. I went back up the stairs (to questions of where I’d disappeared to) and shortly after the midwives went for lunch and I managed to do something I’ve never done while in labor – I ate. Most amazingly, considering all the morning sickness I’ve suffered, I kept it down.

After the midwives got back, we re-evaluated. Since nothing seemed to be happening, the midwives left and told me to call if anything changed. I sent the hubby out for McDonald’s (horrible food, I know, but McD’s makes me think of my grandma and I needed comfort just then) and the girls and I watched some Veggie Tales and had dinner. And I had zero contractions.

We did bedtime as usual. Ms Piggy’s nursing brought on a couple uncomfortable contractions, but nothing started back up. I read to Ms Action and tucked her in, then watched some shows on Netflix.

Then I went to sleep sometime around 10-10:30. By 11:30 I was awake with very painful contractions. Within an hour I had to vocalize to get through them. And somehow, I thought it wasn’t labor, just another case of really horrible diarrhea. Another hour passed and I could no longer stay in bed and try to fall asleep between contractions. By 1:30 I finally acknowledged it was labor, but didn’t call the midwife yet for fear that as soon as I did, I would stall out again. I didn’t wake the hubby for Β the same reason. I’d felt like the proverbial “watched pot that never boils” earlier and, despite the horrible hip pains, found it rather peaceful to be doing it all on my own, with just the Baby for company. I did promise myself I’d call the midwife at 2 if I had x-amount of contractions. I had them, and then some, but kind of lost track of time.

All of a sudden, I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It was 2:30-2:40 and I *finally* called the midwife. I was on the phone with her for just a couple minutes but managed to have two contractions.From there I woke my hubby and told him he needed to fill the pool ASAP. I went back to bed then because Ms Piggy was stirring. I tried to calm her and get her back to sleep, but another contraction hit and that woke her fully. She thought it was morning because lights were on. Then she was excited when I told her that no, it wasn’t, but the baby was coming. She decided helping daddy fill the pool was more exciting than helping mommy have contractions and ran off.

I trailed behind and stood in the kitchen, watching them fill the pool and feeling more and more pressure on my perineum. Then my water broke and I knew, if I didn’t get horizontal, the baby was going to just fall out. I yelled (at least, it felt like yelling) to hubby to get some chux pads onto the couch and help me get over there. I kept asking him if he saw the head yet.

I laid there on the couch, fighting the urge to push because Β – dammit – I wanted to get into the as-yet-not-completely filled pool. And, the midwife was still twenty minutes away. But, Baby had his own plan and there was no keeping him in. As I was pushing, I felt the dreaded “ring of fire” and remembered something I’d read a few days earlier – don’t push through that feeling, because it’s your body telling you it’s not.quite.ready for baby to come through. I think that was one of my loudest vocalizations – fighting the urge to push. But, I successfully resisted, then the baby just glided out. Ms Action was standing there and hubby pointed and said, “Look, it’s the baby’s head!” Ms Action asked me, “Is that my baby?” I moaned out a yes, then had the strangest sensation as the baby’s body just slid out of me. I don’t know how to describe the feeling apart from it sort of felt like he “blobbed” out. It was 2:57am on April 28th, 24 hours after labor had officially started.

And, naturally, he didn’t seem to be breathing (which in retrospect wasn’t actually a huge deal. He was still attached to the placenta, which was attached to me, and still providing everything he needed – including oxygen. Duh! But in the moment, that ability to remember sort of flew out the window). I pulled him up to me and suctioned his mouth and nose with my own mouth, then my hubby, who was on the phone with the midwife, said to turn him upside down and rub his back, as per the midwife’s instructions. I laid him against my chest upside down and rubbed his back and all that combined helped him start breathing.

A few minutes – that felt a lot longer than it was – and I birthed the placenta. Hubby had the fun job of putting it into the bowl we’d set aside for it.

The midwife arrived and checked us both over and we were both doing great. Remember that thing I said about not pushing through the “ring of fire”? Yeah, it worked. For the first time, I didn’t have to get stitches!

Hubby had woken Ms Action by now so she could meet her new baby brother. Both girls were so incredibly excited and bonded immediately with him.

He’s been nursing like a champ and four days later is back up to birth weight. He and Ms Piggy have had several tandem sessions and both big sisters are incredibly proud of their little brother and love him to bits. I’m healing amazingly well (no stitches really does speed things up) and *hopefully* we’ll be able to find our new normal soon.

The unplanned unassisted birth was one of the most empowering and amazing experiences of my life. Baby and I worked together to get him earthside, and it was incredible!

I’m Still Here…

I promise I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. My laptop blue screened so I won’t be able to update for a while, until I can replace it :(. But, I will be back!

Nesting

I’m officially in the nesting stage of pregnancy (also known as somewhere around 30 weeks. Gah! I can’t believe I less than 10 weeks until I meet this tiny human!).

I stripped all the diapers, cleaned all the baby clothes I have (those movers lost most of what we had been saving, so I’m having to replace them all bit by bit. While new stuff is fun, I miss the special pieces I had been saving. But, what can I do? So, this baby’s having mostly new stuff.). I didn’t have a dresser for the baby, so in order to have one, I went through all the kids toys to clear out one of the plastic drawer thingies we had been storing toys in.

Now, the girls’ toys are divided in half, since they have way too many as it is. I’m going to rotate the toys on a bi-weekly basis.

Ms Piggy and I scrubbed the toy drawers so they’d be nice and clean for Baby. That led to cleaning the bathroom thoroughly.

I’m also using all my nesting energy to implement a new (to us) chore system. I’m in the planning stage, and this weekend we’re going to do a big clean-up so we can start the new system with a (mostly) clean house. The girls are anything but excited about the new chore system, mainly because me enforcing chores has been rather spotty. But, I know all that needs to end and I’m really doing the girls a disservice by not teaching them all the things they need to know about chores.

The bassinet is all ready to go, with fresh clean sheets and the blanket I cross-stitched. Ms Piggy likes to look at it and occasionally wants to get in. We have the swing set up, the stroller, car seat, and carriers all ready. I have almost everything I need for the birth (I just need a couple more things, and we’ll be all ready).

Beautiful, Busy Day

Today, the weather was beautiful. Absolutely amazingly beautiful.

The girls played outside, the hubby cleaned the car (it’s just been too cold, ya know?), and I pulled out the double stroller to clean it up. Ms Piggy was very excited to see that she will have a place to sit, and the new baby has a place to lay down. She was also excited, a few weeks ago, when I pulled out both the MobyWrap and the Onya carrier and told her she would get to ride in the carrier on my back while the baby rides in the wrap on my front.Β  Ms Piggy is actually very excited to share things with the new baby. Well, for now, anyway. We’ll see what happens once the “new brand baby” (as Ms Piggy says it) gets here.

I also put together the baby swing. Parts had gotten lost in the move, so the hubby bought replacement parts, and I wanted to make sure that the movers didn’t irreparably damage the swing, so I plugged it in, and, yes! it worked!

Then I noticed one other part of the swing missing (the toy tray) so I went out to the garage to attempt to look for it. It’s not easy, maneuvering in tight spots when your pregnant belly is so large I describe it as having swallowed a planet (bonus points if you know what show that’s from. Extra points if you can name the episode πŸ™‚ ). Anyway, I never found the toy tray. But, I found all the pictures I’d thought were gone forever!!!

I called Ms Piggy and Ms Action inside (Ms Action was too busy playing with friends, so it was just Ms Piggy and me), and we went through photos! Ms Piggy was super excited, because she thought we had pretty much no pictures of her. I don’t think I stopped smiling for over an hour, and I know I squealed when I found them.

And on top of the excitement from finding the pictures, pregnancy hormones kicked in when I turned the swing on. I remember Ms Piggy swinging in that swing, and hearing the music, watching it sway, it made me tear up a little. I’ve been dreading this birth, a little, but now I’m starting to get excited. I mean, I’ve always been excited to meet this tiny little human, but I’ve really dreaded the whole getting him/her earthside. Between looking at the photos of Ms Piggy’s birth, finding the photos of Ms Action as a baby, and setting up the swing and cleaning the stroller, yeah, I’m ready. Only 11 more weeks!

Our First Nature Walk of the Year

Today it was a rather balmy 52 degrees, so after Ms Piggy did her patching (she worked on her sticker mural again) and Ms Action did her school (she’s starting to work more independently!), we put on shoes and jackets and went outside.

Ms Piggy started off on her little balance bike, but after about ten minutes, she wanted to “walk like mommy.” Ms Action, who rode her bike for the entire walk,Β was a bit frustrated, because that meant we had to go back home to drop Ms Piggy’s bike off and get the stroller. Fortunately, we were less than 100 yards from the house.

After that, we went a different direction. The girls collected pine cones, branches with green pine needles still attached, sticks, and those childhood favorite – gumballs.

Ms Action wanted us to walk for at least 21 minutes (weird amount, I know) so she was very happy when I told her we’d made it to 40 minutes, and most of that was active time. We probably went around a mile or so (rough guess, so don’t quote me on it πŸ™‚ ).

When we got home, we made some lunch, then the girls drew pictures of all their finds from our walk/ride. We also spent some time talking about how this break from television has been really good for us. I reminded Ms Action that if she had been watching TV, we wouldn’t have gone on a walk, we wouldn’t have made a dollhouse, or any of the other random crafts she’s done, and she wouldn’t have read any of her Kaya book she got for Christmas. I told her (to much argument) that I think we’re going to go TV-free during the week to focus more on just being. She wasn’t too thrilled, but I think it would be a good change. We all, unfortunately, watch way too much TV. And, the girls are getting along better without TV, and Ms Action seems to be sleeping better. All around win!

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