A Mother's Daybook - Last day of September!

Planning and Preparing - AO Year 1. Not because I really need to yet as I still don't plan on starting until at least January/February but because I need to be doing something right now! I mean, something other than sitting here wanting to not be pregnant. And its good. I'm working on all the little details now, finding and printing maps, making a list of read-alouds (because we've read many of the assigned free reads already) and imputing them into our library's list for easy holds, and reading up on the little things. I feel like I've got a good grasp of the basics (at least in theory, I'm sure things will be tested once I try and put them into practice) but there are so many articles on the AO page that I've finding lots of other stuff to read and ponder.

38 Weeks - and most likely the last belly shot you are gonna see.

Feeling - Very big and very very pregnant. And it's not just a feeling. I'm 38 weeks now but at my 37 week appointment I was measuring about 42 weeks and I've gained about 50 lbs. I'm not worried about it health wise because that's pretty typical for me and each time out pops a completely healthy medium sized baby, no worries about gestational diabetes or anything. Plus I manage to lose the weight fairly quickly as well. But it is extremely uncomfortable. And none of my clothes really fit. All those tags on maternity clothes that say to use your normal sizing are obviously meant for the moms who gain 15-20 lbs, not me. I'm trying to keep myself somewhat put together but I think I'm about a week away from giving up and wearing Craig's shirts and shorts around the house.

Enjoying -  The weather. We keep alternating between the perfect fall weather and hot again. But today is fall and I love it. Lucy just saw the first orange leaf on our oak tree out front so we added that to our book of firsts.

Reading - Still working on Kristin Lavransdatter. With about 24 hours and 400 pages to go, the library called to inform me my ILL renewal has been accepted. Whew. So I've got a bit more time but not much. I'm so close though, I'm pretty sure I can do it. I've only got a couple hundred pages left and I really want to finish it. The first book of the trilogy kinda got on my nerves a bit but its been growing on me. So other than bible/devotional readings, I'm having to give up on reading a variety in favor of all Kristin, all the time. (Update: I finished last night. I think I need a few days to think about it before I can write up a review but I feel accomplished right now.)

Eating/Drinking - Whatever I want. My iron levels have finally gone up. I'm still on a high level of supplements to keep them there but I no longer have to plan my meals around iron. Yay for chicken for dinner tonight!


First Semester Thoughts

I had planned on stopping school in October. Now I think I'll keep going until the baby comes. Too much waiting around for the baby won't be good for me and I think the kids will do better on our regular schedule as much as possible. So we aren't really finished with the semester technically speaking, but we've accomplished all I had hoped and our now just reviewing the songs and poems and keeping up with math, piano and reading practice. This is probably really boring to anyone other than me but I wanted to jot down my thoughts on our semester before baby brain completely takes over (oh, who am I kidding. My brain is mush already at this point).

Overall, I'm really happy with how things have been going. We started with a great week or two then hit a bit of resistance from Lucy on certain things. At that point I got panicked...was I doing too much? Was I pushing her? But after praying about it and talking to Craig, we realized it was exactly what I had predicted. She didn't want to let me be the boss. And the next day we had the same type of incident that we had been having in school time while trying to make banana bread together and it confirmed that this was a habit/character issue, not a school one. Just the sign I needed to see we were on the right track not the wrong one. And yep, another week or two of sticking to my plan, and maybe one or two mornings of "since you don't have a heart that is willing to listen and learn right now, you can go play in your room and Jonah and I will continue without you" and we had no more problems on that front. Now my eager learner is back!

Subject wise, things are going great as well:
  • We all loved the "riches" selections and the kids are often singing/saying them during their play - or nap times. Or reciting them to anyone who will listen. I'm having to hold myself off from starting the new ones because I'm pretty sure they will love those too but I don't want to introduce them and then take a big break right away. Tea time and picture study is still one of our favorite times of the week - although as the weeks go on, my special snacks are getting lamer and lamer. Last week it was yogurt - but yogurt in little cups! That's special, right?
  • With reading, Lucy just took off after a bit. She read through the Treadwell Primer in about a month and we are now working our way through the First Reader a bit more slowly but still steadily. Because of that, I've dropped the Memoria Press Phonics book for the most part. She still does a page when we do school on a blanket outside because she wants "something for my pencil to write" and that's not a good place for handwriting/copywork but its basically filler and that's okay with me.
  • Math was going well and then we hit a hard spot for her. It was one specific concept she was stuck at. Since I was diligent at stopping us at 15-20 minutes, it was taking us three days (or a whole week of school) to get through one lesson. Again, I panicked. But she was still enjoying it so we pressed on, going slowly and alternating MEP and a game I invented that dealt with the topic (inequalities when one part was unknown) and suddenly it clicked and since she's been finishing a whole lesson in less than a 20 minute period and asking for more (but accepting when I say no :-) 
  • Piano is her new love. She always ends practice by asking me if she is as good as Mozart yet. I tell her she's doing great but she needs a bit more time to get to be that good. And we are finally at the point where she can practice a bit more independently! I still need to be in the room in case she has questions but I can now sit with Jonah nearby and play quietly instead of being right next to her which helps make practicing a lot more fun for all involved. 
  • Art lessons. We haven't done one every week because we've had a lot of birthdays and things that needed cards so we subbed in card making art time instead and because letting them draw pictures on cards is a lot less work for me right now. But she has really enjoyed what we did. The one lesson about artists drawing what they see in nature was such a hit she spent over two hours going around our house and yard drawing things all on her own.
  • Field Trips, adventure days and nature time - My biggest concern about starting more formal studies was making sure we still got outside a lot and had time to go to the many great playgrounds and nature centers in our area. We did a pretty good job with this, especially earlier on. We spent morning hiking and exploring new nature centers, playing at the creek in our old favorite spots and even made it to an apple orchard. We are about 60 hours to my goal of 500 hours outside for the year and right now the limiting factor is our many appointments - weekly chiro and midwife - and not really school related at all. In fact, just today we spent three hours at the park. I brought along some school since Lucy is my "I'm bored, there is nothing to do" child. Instead of talking at her too much about the fact that she had a bike and a scooter and three separate playgrounds to choose from and being bored there is ridiculous, a lecture I've given before that never really seems to sink it, everytime she came over, we'd do a different thing, then I'd send her off again. It worked really well. 
  • Jonah - He takes his "preschool" more seriously than I thought he would but his favorite part is table time with poems and songs so I don't mind him join in at all. He also loves picture study, playing with Lucy's math manipulatives and the weekly printable I try and have ready for him (put the apples in order from smallest to largest or match the pictures of the animals with the houses they live in). He really only wants to feel like he has some real school too and is happy to do the same thing all week. 
To sum up, I don't think things could really have gone any better. The hardest part was trusting myself and my plan. Even though I came into this knowing I based my decisions off of what I thought Lucy needed right now, I was still breaking the CM rules of starting formal education (slightly) before age 6, so every time we hit any little glitch, I would worry I was doing something wrong. But what I'm learning is that this is all normal and we're doing great. Now I just have to keep doing it for the next 18 years!


Grand Plans and Impromptu Handicrafts

Lucy is my idea kid. She'll see something and come up with these grand plans. I hate always having to rein her in but at the same time, we can't build a chateau in our backyard, kwim? (I've solved that one but telling her that when she's a grown up, maybe she could buy some land and build one for herself)

Last week she saw some kids painting birdhouses at a park and spent the whole drive home telling me how she wanted to build one. I thought she would forget about it but after her quiet time, she drew up these elaborate plans to show Craig how she wanted him to help. The supplies are on the left  (wood or cardboard, paint, glue, sandpaper, a small knife, etc) and the rest is not just the final picture but views from each side with arrows showing how it will be put together. 

And this time, we went with it. Well, Craig did. The two of them spent the next day getting it all put together and then she painted it. I admit I was a bit skeptical when they first started, mostly worried that it wasn't going to turn out how she envisioned and the resulting bad attitude might mean we all would pay. But it actually turned out pretty cute. I mean, it's no chateau but if I was a pretend cardboard bird, I'd be happy living in it. 


Happy Birthday Little Man

Dear Jonah,

Yesterday you turned 3! Your baby days have come to an end. And even your time as the "baby of our family" are about to end. It makes me a bit sad but I think you're ready. You just seem so much older lately. You weaned about 6 week ago, you've been falling asleep by yourself in your own bed for a while now but just recently started napping solo as well. And you've gotten so much more outgoing. You still take a little while to warm up to people but the list of people you are willing to have conversations with is growing very fast. Several people at church have been amazed this past month when you just walk up and talk to them.

And, like the rest of us in the L family, you do love to talk. You also talk very fast so people other than me, dad and Lucy can't always understand you but they can certainly tell you are enthusiastic about whatever topic you are on! I love hearing big words come out of such a little boy but mostly I love hearing your thoughts on things.

You are all boy and normally covered in bruises, bumps and scrapes. Sticking things into plugs, trying to ride your bike along our backyard's rock wall, working hard to figure out handstands despite falling on your nose 75% of the time, sometimes I wonder how you are still alive. You spend the majority of your time moving - jumping and hanging and riding and building. I'm sure we'd have a much harder time getting lots of hours outside if you weren't around. It can be a battle to get you to stand still long enough to brush your teeth or put on pants. Actually, we've just settled for pants being optional at home.

And the potty talk! I didn't know it started so soon but despite having growing up with two brothers, I can still say raising a boy has been a new experience for me. But I wouldn't change it. I love the energy and humor you and your boyness bring to our house.

But you're also my little boy. You still like to snuggle. You want your loveys (pirate blankey, baby cow, simba and sometimes green baby or horsey too) next to you in bed at night.When you get up in the morning, pirate blankey has to come to my bed, sometimes you join it and snuggle with me and sometimes you just want to leave it with me to be watched over while you play. And if I'm not feeling well, you'll bring it and cover me up so I feel better. You love our cat and are so gentle with her. You love "baby" things. Baby pretty much just means small. So we have baby cows and baby dolls but also baby rocks and baby sticks and when you say baby you scrunch up your shoulders and say "oh, so cute!" and I often end up with pockets filled with rocks and sticks at the end of a walk or hike. You're very excited about being a big brother - at least for now. You love pushing the stroller around the house and yard but we never know what we'll find inside. It could be a baby or stuffed animal, it could be a pile of cars. You've recently discovered the joys of trucks and cars and things that go. You have quite a long list of things that are scary, especially books like Where the Wild Things Are or St. George and the Dragon but you love them anyway. You'll grab one of those books, looks at me, pretend to shiver and say "I don't know if I like it, it's so scary! Read it to me please!" and it gets me laughing every time. Or we'll watch the Gruffalo and you insist on sitting on my lap and sometimes covering up your face, but you always peek through your fingers anyway.

You love your sister and playing with her. You've also started to stand up for yourself a bit more instead of just letting her dictating how the games/pretending will go - but you're still pretty flexible. Right now you are wearing a princess dress because she "really needed another princess for her party" but the princess she got is apparently a princess-knight who carries a sword and fights the dragons. I think watching the two of you play together is one of my favorite things. And you stick right with her, even at school time. If she's doing math, you want to as well so I'd better come up with a question or two for you. If she's memorizing poems or bible verses, you can too. And you're pretty good at keeping up. Just a few nights ago when you were supposed to be falling asleep, we heard you repeat Psalm 100 over and over and over again and it is not uncommon for you to be singing the Star Spangled Banner while you ride your bike around the backyard.

So you are clever but I already know I'm gonna have to watch out for you and your tricks. A good example of this is how you started wanting to sleep on top of your comforter with just your blankie as a covering. At first I thought it was because you were getting hot at night. But it wasn't long before I realized that you had figured out that when you sleep on top of your comforter, your morning chore of making your bed is much easier! And when I asked you about it, you not only confirmed it but seemed so proud of your discovery. What a little guy you are. But you're my little guy and I love you to pieces!


Jonah's Birthday Interview

Jonah's birthday interview!

What is your favorite color? Orange and Yellow

What is your favorite toy? Train

What is your favorite game? Zingo

What is your favorite song? I don't know. I'll sing it for you. Abide with me, falls the even high (Abide with Me is our hymn this semester)

What is your favorite animal? Cow

What is your favorite book? Where the Wild Things Are

What do you like to snuggle with at night? Baby Cow

What is your favorite movie? Mickey Mouse, the new one (Three Musketeers)

What is your favorite thing to eat? Wormies! (His term for Spaghetti)

Where is your favorite place to go? Where the Wild Things Are Place (referring to this library exhibit)

What is your favorite outfit? Puppy Jammies!

What do you like to learn about? Reading, like when you read to me

What have you learned in the last year? Counting and riding my bike

What is hard for you? I don't know....write puppies and cows and things (he means draw). When I'm three I will learn to do that.

What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Play games

What do you like about Mommy? Loving me

What do you like about Daddy? Playing games with daddy

What do you like about Lucy? Playing with you-cee

What do you like about yourself? Like me!

What do you want to be when you grow up? A puppy!


In the nick of time

Jonah turns 3 tomorrow. Since he is getting plenty of toys from family, I wanted to make him some clothes. Actually, I would have made him the clothes anyway but since his birthday is this month, I figured I'd make them into a present. Of course, that gave me an even more imminent deadline than the new baby's coming one.

But I made it! I finished up the last sweatshirt I planned last night. That particular sweatshirt isn't in this picture because I tweaked a few things on the pattern and wanted to test fit it on him and it ended up being peed on. Life with a boy :-)

And technically, I realized I had just enough green for short sleeves so there is green and black raglan tee cut out but I need to go buy matching thread to finish that up. But what I had planned is done and that's what counts.

In addition to the green/black shirt I will be adding, I'll be on the lookout for some other basic type prints to be added to this set - black and white stripes or stars or things like that. I still have a bit of pirate fabric and lots of the black. And I actually have a black and white stripe maternity maxi skirt that I think might be turned into a couple tee shirts once I no longer have use for it. Kid sewing - it's an addiction!

He's getting:

  • 4 pairs of pants - all based on the cuffed waist harem pattern but I experimented a bit. For the red pair I slimmed the legs a bit, lengthened and just hemmed, they can be worn down or rolled up once or twice. The green ones I added length the the pants and shortened the cuffs and I think that is my favorite for "older" boys. One of the grey pairs is standard and the other is a bit slimmer. That one wasn't so much an experiment as it was an accidental snip of the fabric on the legs. But it works either way. I gave him one pair of the grey pants last week and he's already worn them several times. I love the look. Not too crazy harem-ish but roomy and flexible for climbing and bike riding. 

  • Two raglan tees. The red and black raglan tee I altered to be 3/4 length but I stuck with the pattern for the black and pirate. I've also made him another raglan that matches on of the baby's outfits and either the grey or red pants. Which of course means he will try and wear it with the green pants
  • raglan scooba hoodie is the free pattern. I did the optional arm seam detailing and it was a stretch for my abilities so it looks a but more handmade that it would without it but I'm trying to improve my skills so I'm glad I tried it and Jonah won't care. 
  • A hoodless hoodie (black and grey, not shown because of aforementioned pee incident) was made from the same free pattern but I made my own neckline. I'm not totally happy with the result but again, Jonah really liked it.
  • The slouchy beanie is my only non brindille and twig pattern piece. I used this free pattern and it looks huge but actually fits both him and Lucy well. He tried it on and said he liked it but would only wear it when it snows. Maybe I can at least convince him to wear it for a picture. 

The grey and pirate fabrics are french terry and I think french terry is my new favorite thing ever. It's just so soft I want to roll around in it. Jonah loves it too. The one pair of pants and the sweatshirt he's tried on have been big hits. The calls them "my softy clothes, because they are so soft I love them so." I just adore the pirate fabric. Its a very close match to the blanket he sleeps with and luckily it was a remnant so it wasn't ridiculously expensive and just long enough to make the shirts. I still have enough for another 2T or 3T shirt or, if we have another boy, maybe a matching baby shirt/hoodie or two.

The red and green are cotton/spandex jersey knit. And the black is 100 cotton% jersey knit from target sheets (a very inexpensive way to get knit fabric, especially if you are just looking for a basic solid color!).

Now I need a nap.


And now we wait...

I've reached the last month of this pregnancy. You know, the one that seems to last 100 years. I've never delivered a baby before my due date so I'm thinking I've still got a while to go but I do like to have everything ready by week 37 just in case and that's only a few days away. Last weekend, we set up the co-sleeper and assembled some baby items. Jonah saw me and started running around yelling "the baby is coming! the baby is coming!" and I had to inform him that he was jumping the gun just a bit.

I'm with him on being excited though. And not just excited not to be pregnant. This has definitely been my hardest pregnancy. I should be really desperate for it to end and it some ways I am but I also feel like God may be preparing me for it to be the last. I could be wrong but I'm trying to mentally and emotionally be ready if this is it. So as much as I'd like to be able to walk without waddling or wear some article of clothing that does not have a stain or hole in it*, I'm much more anxious to meet my baby than be done being pregnant...now if you ask me that again in 3 weeks, I may have a different answer.

I'm also dealing with quite a bit of anxiety, over my health, the baby's healthy, and the birth. That's new for me. I guess it's somewhat understandable given the rockier road we've taken to get here but its still throwing me for a loop. But I've been talking to Craig and my midwife about it and spending quite a bit of time praying about it which helps. And, well, anxiety or not, I can't stay pregnant forever.

So for now, I'm trying to savor this time. My calendar is pretty much clear of extra stuff except for weekly midwife and chiropractic appointments. I've do have a few playdates scheduled, hoping to get some quality girl talk in with friends before we sequester ourselves away during the cold and flu season. But tiny clothes are washed and put away, the diapers stacked, the freezer full of meals (24 dinners and a handful of snack type foods! I don't think that's nearly what I've had before but its much more than I really thought I'd be able to do so I'm happy!), the birth supplies sitting in the corner of the room awaiting the birth story that has yet to happen. We had our home visit with the midwife yesterday and things are all looking good. My iron is starting to go up and while I'm still on a crazy amount of supplements just to make sure it stays that way, I don't really have to worry about it anymore which is a huge relief. Baby is head down, growing right along, and judging from the kicks to my ribs, quite strong. So now we all just have to wait.

*Seriously, I'm down to almost nothing but am way to cheap to buy something with only a month to go. I did have one white shirt that was unstained and without holes -  and then I spilled chloryphyll down the front. Chloryphyll is like a grass stain on steroids so I pretreated the heck out of it but am not holding out hope.


A Day in the Life

I wanted to get one of these done before baby comes and everything changes again. I'm not sure it turned out to be a typical day but its pretty close.

4:45 - Craig leaves for work. I can't go back to sleep. After about 15 minutes I stop trying and just grab my phone and read a book on the kindle app. Jonah's in bed with me already so I can't risk turning the light on.

6:00 - Try to sleep again. Fail again.

6:45 - Lucy joins us.

7:00 - We actually get out of bed. I start my bible reading while kids play. Normally the kids go to sleep in their bunks at the same time and talk but last night Lucy had her first american heritage girl meeting and Jonah was asleep when she got home so they greet each other with a hug and excitedly tell each other what happened while they were apart. Wish I had grabbed a picture.

7:15 - I finish reading my bible and skip my devotional type book (currently - Sacred Marriage) because I've been awake for too long with no food. So on to Eggs and Toast. Jonah dawdles so Lucy and I have eaten and done our table chores and she has even finished morning tasks (make bed, get dressed, brush hair and teeth) and is playing while he is still sitting at the table talking to himself.

7:45 - Jonah's done and I help him with his table chore and morning tasks and send them outside. I get dressed, finally let the poor impatient chickens out of their run and check on the kids/put on bike helmets. It's sprinkling a bit so I tell them if it starts to really rain they can come inside but she replies "It's okay, we'll just grab our umbrellas and say "tut, tut, it looks like rain." I go back inside, start laundry, prep my bullet journal for the day and make sure I have a dinner plan. I do! I start the marinade now so I don't have to think about it later. I run out of sesame oil so I mentally add that to my growing pre-baby stock up at Trader Joe's list. Then I add make Trader Joe's list to my bullet journal because mental lists aren't really working for me these days. I also take my first iron cocktail of the day -floradix, hemoplex, and yellow wort mixed with orange juice. It's supposed to have chlorophyll in it too but I left that out on the counter tonight so I'll have to swing by the health food store today and pick up more.

8:00 - The kids have checked on my 3x already so I finished up the marinade, pour myself a big cup of pregnancy tea and go outside to see what they are up to. Apparently, they are trying to collect dew like they learned about in our kids nature magazine It's not really working until they discover that the dome is covered in drops of "dew" that looks suspiciously like rain drops to me but I'm not going to mention that.

They fill up several cups before Jonah starts adding water from the sandbox puddles and I spoil the fun by telling them they can't drink that. 

While they play, I make that Trader Joe's list, send some text messages and then do a bit of reading. I'd normally choose to read my library book now but it's an ILL (Kristin Lavransdatter) and the amount of water out here makes me nervous so kindle it is. 

9:15 - Jonah is soaked and covered in sand so we head inside where we do school amidst some chaos. The order is something like this - piano practice, Jonah's tantrum because he is still cold, wet and dirty and wants me to help him get changed but refuses to let me touch him or the clothes, table time with bible verses, a countdown to Jonah's birthday (9 days to go!),  the start spangled banner, a impromptu talk about why some lines are repeated which leads to Lucy asking about "that poem with the funny word." After several minutes I realize she is talking about Jabberwocky so instead of our normally poetry time we listen to Benedict Cumberbatch recite it (I pick the version with the jaberwocky drawing, not the one of shirtless Benedict). He's much better at the pronunciation than me and it works well since I need a brief break to go throw up. 

I'm back and feeling okay-ish so its on to some copywork 

and math

10:00 - We'd normally do an art lesson today but a certain aunt has an upcoming birthday so we make cards for her instead. I should take videos of the card making process since the process is so much cuter than the result. Jonah is saying "I lu-v you aunt-y-St-eph. Ha-ppy Bir-th-day as he makes lines on the paper. The lines you see at the end just don't show the thoughts that went into it. 

The card making merges into regular drawing time so I leave to switch the laundry, make a few phone calls and then reward myself for making the phone calls by doing some sewing at the other end of the table. With about one inch of a teeny tiny neckline left to sew before the shirt is finished, my machine goes crazy. I know I don't have the patience to troubleshoot bobbin issues unless its naptime and quiet but I try unthreaded everything and threaded it again which is basically the sewing machine equivalent of the IT crowd "have you tried turning it off and on again" and miraculously, it works! I finish up the outfit which I would show you because its adorable but its gendered so it might end up as a gift depending on what our baby happens to be.

11:00 Lunch time. I heat up leftovers (with red meat!) and help the kids make their pb&honey sandwiches while trying to keep Jonah clean enough that we don't need to put on outfit #3 before noon. Jonah declares it to be "the best sandwich I have ever eat. I can hardly believe it." That seems impressive until you realize that the apples slices I gave him elicited a similar response "These are so good I can hardly eat them!" They were hand picked by us at a field trip earlier this week and are pretty tasty but I really think he's just going through an enthusiastic period. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I should unload them but my back decides that much bending would not be a good idea.

11:30 - Things are going downhill. Free play started out as two kids playing nicely but has become "he's thinking about touching my castle" and other such lovely kind sentiments.

12:00 - I declare it naptime fifteen minutes early. We read stories and Jonah proceeds to not nap in bed next to me until he finally gives up about 12:45 and sleeps. I'm reading a book but fall asleep with about half a chapter to go.

1:15 - Lucy's up. She only has to rest until her classic music cd ends and its but she's typically very good at playing quietly by herself after that so I let her play by herself and go back to sleep.

2:15 - Jonah and I get up. I take Iron cocktail #2 while they have a snack. I tell them it has to be a quick one because we need to leave soon and offer choices like apples, bananas, applesauce packets and granola bars. They choose plain bread which is very weird (store bought! I'd understand if it was homemade) but fine with me.

2:45 We leave to meet Craig at his carpool drop off spot. He takes kids to the park while I go get my semi-annual hair cut. I get at least 5 inches taken off since I figure I'm going to loose a lot after the baby comes so it would be easier to deal with shorter pieces all over my bathroom. I try to take a selfie for you all but fail miserable. So I'm sorry, you'll just have to believe me. It's shorter than it was.

4:40 I'm home but kids are not. I open up some fabric mail. So lovely! I can't wait to get started on some fall clothes for Jonah. I hide it away before he can spot it.

4:45 Still no kids/Craig so I grab some pregnancy tea and dark chocolate covered coconut which I've been eating daily to help with my iron. And because its tasty. I grab a parenting magazine. I find these things to be so ridiculous (I wouldn't say an immersion blender is a "hidden hazard" that I need to be warned to keep away from my small child, aren't the dangers of exposed sharp spinning blades pretty obvious?) but I've been getting it free for some reason so I read it and laugh. 

4:47 - Kids are home. I pop the last chocolate in my mouth before they notice it and demand some. Instead they ask for cheerios and milk. I think about how I should be starting dinner but realize this will buy me about 15 minutes so I, surprisingly, say yes. 

5:00 I start dinner - beef and veggie chinese noodles. Lucy's playing nicely while Jonah is sitting at the table getting into trouble. How can he get into trouble just sitting there? He's got talent. First he finds a dry erase marker and marks all over our plastic cover. I erase it. He takes the cover off and smooshes it all up. I move his chair away from the table while I put it back so he sits and screams "put me back" while I ignore him. They he starts crying because daddy isn't playing a game with him even though daddy said he would play if Jonah got one out. Fun toddler times. I stick with the ignoring method because I'm pretty sure he just needs dinner and delaying will only make things worse. 

Since the meat is already marinaded, its a pretty easy meal so we all sit down and eat a few minutes later and its a hit since even with the cereal snack, they both have seconds and Jonah even eats some meat (he's not big on meat at all so I'm very happy!). With food in his belly, Jonah's mood is remarkable better. I, on the other hand, get so tired at the table that I have to lie down before everyone else is finished eating.  

Jonah gets his game with daddy while Lucy practices piano (her own decision!) and then writes some math questions on Jonah's dry erase board for him. She's "teaching" him how to write his numbers and says she's starting with 0 and 1 because "he really only knows how to make circles and lines so those are the ones he can do."

I'm lying on the couch thinking about the dishes that are not done and the laundry in the basket at my feet. Craig brought it up from the basement for me and I should fold it but instead I take a bath. Daily warm baths are one of my pregnancy vices. I rarely justify them when I'm not pregnant but my back can't live without them these days. 

7:00 - I get out and discover Craig has gotten the kid's jammies on and they are listening to counting songs on youtube. I'm still feeling really tired and lazy but muster up enough energy to prep bible felt pieces for tonight's bible time, help the kids pick up the living room and read bedtime stories while Craig puts the chickens to bed. 

7:15 - Craig does bible time and finishes bedtime stuff with the kids. I tuck Lucy in once and Jonah in three times (I need my hug! I need my blanket straight! I need to potty!)

8:00 - It's quiet which means they have both fallen asleep. I've been wanting to watch the Harry Potter movies again for a while. I don't think I've seen the last few since I watched them in the theater so I decide to start with #5 and watch one a weekend. By the time I finish, we should have a baby. We get half way through it before I start to fall asleep. Then I realize I've forgotten my iron. I go to take it and realize I also forgot to stop at the health food store and get chlorophyll. Oops. Add that to tomorrow's to-do list. Then I have to keep myself awake for another 30 minutes to take my next medicine. I make it. Goodnight!


A Mother's Daybook - September 7th

Planning and Preparing - Tot school. I originally said I was just going to let Jonah play but it turns out, he won't. Not while Lucy and I do school; he sits next to me and asks me to do things with him. So far, I've held him off by writing letters or shapes on his dry erase board and asking for him to circle only the letter J, or color the squares blue or other things like that but I can't think up that much on the fly. So I'm pulling out the Joyful Learning stuff Lucy and I did two years ago. I won't use all the activities, just the ones we liked last time along with a few printables to keep him occupied next to me. And I pick my own books because hers are a bit twaddley for me and I have enough favorite books and authors that I can easily come up with my own. But I think we'll all enjoy it.

Since apple picking with some friends was on the agenda for this week already, we did an apple theme. We made some apple suncatchers and a big batch of green apple playdough, sang the Johnny appleseed song approximately 20 times and are reading our way through some apple pictures books. Jonah did a little apple sort where he put apples in order from biggest to smallest while Lucy had her 10-15 minutes of table work to do. It worked well.

Suncatchers made from coffee filters. I used this to build off of our "Artists Look" art lesson from the week before. I asked them what color an apple was and they both dutifully replied "red!" but then we got one and actually looked and they noticed some lighter green areas and some yellow and even some tiny brown dots. Then we got out our markers and used red, yellow and green markers for the crafty part. I love having their seasonal art in my windows. It's what I call preschool chic.  

Pondering - How awesome it is to watch kid's learning. We tend to go through playdough playing spurts and I love watching the big jumps that occur after we've taken a break. Last month I had to roll our areas for Jonah so he could use the cookie cutters over and over again while Lucy made simple sculptures. Then they didn't want to play with it for a couples week (or maybe I  slightly discouraged it because I was so tired of having to sit there and help Jonah) but this week, we got it out again and Lucy's started making really intricate things like flying dragons with teeth and Jonah's taken off by himself and much more elaborate pretending - trays of cookies, a jar filled with worms, etc. It's so much fun watching them grow! (Especially when I can now sit back and watch).

Reading - My last classic for the classic challenge. I certainly didn't leave an easy one for the one. I knew Kristin Lavransdatter was long but this thing is over 1000 pages! And it's on ILL so I don't have a ton of time. Which is good because the baby is coming whether I finish it or not so I'd better get a move on. So far, it's a bit annoying. Well written but annoying. I just don't like watching people make bad decisions. But then, no bad decisions would probably lead to a boring plot line so I suppose I'd better just adjust my expectations.

Watching - Too much children's programming. Craig just got back from a 10 day trip and I was so tired (see below) by mid-afternoon each day that I defaulted to shows or movies. We tried watching Snow White but Jonah thought it was too scary (although he loved the songs and now goes around singing "Hi Ho Hi Ho, we go off to work" - and yes, I've tried correcting him) so it was mostly octonauts which isn't even of the quality I would like. I don't feel bad about that because we were in survival mode but once Craig returned and our regular screen-free life resumed, I was a bit worried about the fall out. The first day was rough with them asking all evening. But today Jonah asked and before I even answered, Lucy said "no, it's not a special occasion" and then informed me that "some people tend to watch tv but we are people that tend to play instead" and it made me laugh. Yes, let's be people that tend to play.

Eating/Drinking - All the things with Iron. Still struggling with my iron levels. In fact, they seem to have gone down in the last week. I've got a more accurate test coming up and have added even more iron supplements and iron rich food to my diet and am praying that helps. But I basically feel like all I'm doing all day long is eating or drinking Iron. If you want to join me in praying, I'd appreciate it. I'm trying not to be discouraged but honestly, I feel like its just been one battle after another with this pregnancy. But the end is near! And parenting just gets easier once they come out, right? Haha, I've got a toddler. I know the truth. But still, I wouldn't trade it.


Wild Things

One of Jonah's favorite books is Where the Wild Things Are. He says its scary as he picks it up but still asks for it again and again. It's probably our favorite book we don't own but as the library has multiple copies, that doesn't stop us from having it in our house about once a month and if he was having any sort of birthday party (he's not, just us four, cake and presents) I'd probably do a Wild Thing theme. So when we heard our city was having a Maurice Sendak exhibit, we knew we had to check it out.

We had never been to the big fancy library in the city but it was worth the trip.

We went through the official exhibit upstairs where we explored Max's room and his boat.

Then while Craig and the kids did some interactive art, I was able to actually look at and read the exhibit. It was really fascination to see his original art work, including some art from his teen years. He was struggling with public speaking so his teacher let him earn his grade by making a pictorial essay on Macbeth in pictures instead of giving a speech. My first thought when I saw it was - narration! I'm kicking myself now that I didn't take a photo of the pictures but I wasn't sure if we were supposed to....should have taken first and asked later I guess. Or at least asked ;-)

We then headed downstairs to the children's area to meet the real Wild Things. And by "real" I mean, people in these homemade sorta Wild Thing look-alike creepy costumes. There was more than one toddler freaking out/crying as well as multiple parents taking pictures with and even hugging the Wild Things in an attempt to show their children they weren't scary.

Craig included. But Jonah was not convinced. 

This is not a very flattering pictures of me but I can't help but include it because Jonah's face is awesome. The Wild Thing wanna-bes had just left the area and he kept asking "Are they gone? Are they not coming back?" and once he was convinced it was safe....

Then he could play!

They also had a green screen where you could put yourself into the forest. The kids were a little confused at first but I think the results are cute, despite Jonah's lack of a bottom half.

Overall, I think it was a hit. They both got temporary tattoos of a Wild Thing and Jonah told pretty much everyone he ran into at church about the trip as he showed it off. I'm not sure they could understand much of it other than "Wild Things! Scary!" but it definitely made an impression.


The Baby's Uniform

My friend Elaine and I were talking recently about trying out the concept of a uniform for her (homeschooled) girls just to keep her life simple. I realized Lucy basically has that - Hanna Anderson dresses with white shorts underneath in the summer/leggings underneath in the winter. She has a few other random articles of clothing she wears every once in a while but 90% of the time she is wearing play clothes, it's that "uniform". And I love it. As long as I make sure all her shorts/leggings match all her outfits, she looks presentable with little input from me (that's why I went with white, yes, they stain but nobody really sees them, they are just so she can play like a little girl without showing everyone what her favorite princess was when she got dressed that morning)

Jonah's wardrobe is a bit of a mess because he's  been in 18 month clothing for such an incredible long time but he is finally almost ready to move to 24 month stuff.  I'd like to simplify him a bit as he definitely rocks the little ragamuffin look right now which goes to show the uniform idea works when I use it.

But what about the baby? If I could choose a baby uniform, what would it be? Hands down - kimono shirts and baby pants in fun colors and patterns. Except I must be the only mom on the planet who thinks that way, or at least baby clothing companies think I am, because those are really hard things to find! Everything is onesies and I really don't like onesies! And pastel pink for girls and navy blue for boys. It's not that I mind some pink or blue. Every single one of those H.A. dresses I mentioned of Lucy's has at least some pink it because she loves pink. But I don't love pink and I get about 18 months to dress my baby before they start to have their own opinions so I want to make the most of that time and my first choices would not be pastel pink or all navy blue.

So when another friend made me jealous with all her pictures of home sewn baby clothes, I thought I would try and make what I wanted. It helped that I had a semi-excuse in that I had gotten rid of about half of the newborn/0-3 mon stuff I pulled out of storage. Even after washing/oxyclean/sun drying, a good portion was so stained that it wasn't worth keeping (I don't mind a small stain here or there but when you are hitting 50% yellow, its not worth it) and the other half was gerber stuff which I just hate (the agony of changing your crying newborn in the middle of the night only to discover that the zipper is sticking and you have to repeat that process with a different outfit would probably have that particular sleeper leaving a bad taste in your mouth too). We have to buy so little for this kid since we've got it all already that I feel a splurge on clothing is acceptable. Life is too short to dress your baby in clothes you hate.

So, despite not having done much sewing with knits, I summed up my courage, bought some patterns and a bunch of fabric and got to work. Craig's been gone on a business trip for the last 10 days (but he's coming home tonight so don't try to rob us!) which gave me some free time in the evenings. Not a lot because being solo parenting wiped me out and I needed to be in bed by 9:00ish every night to survive, but some. And some is more than none. 

And I'm very happy with the results. For the newborn size, I made 3 pairs of footed pants. These are just slightly bigger than a pair of carters pants I love so I think they will fit very well even over cloth. And my dad sent a new pack of white kimonos as part of his baby gift.  Adding this to that carter pants/kimono outfit I mentioned plus 4 long sleeve white onesies, 2 short sleeve onesies and 3 sleeps sacks we already had and I think we're good for the first couple weeks. I also kept one gerber onesie. It's not particularly cute but it was the first piece of clothing we put on Lucy and I'm pretty sure I've got a picture of Jonah wearing it was well so it's not going anywhere, possible forever :-) Still a minimalist wardrobe but we'll be doing laundry every day anyway so it should be plenty.

Once we get into 0-3 month sizes, I have a couple yellow ducky sleepers (again, I don't hate yellow duckies but is that really the only thing a clothing company can think of that isn't specific to a boy or girl? - what about almost any other animal? balloons? stripes? polka dots?) and some gendered items washed and ready to come out once I know whether I need the pink or blue bag but again, its mostly onesies. So I made 4 pairs of these adorable harem pants and I found some amazing colorful kimono tees on sale at target.com (which are sadly gone now, glad I picked up a bunch in 0-3 and 3-6 month sizes!). The harem pants are even cuter on a baby than this shows. Once my own personal model is born, I'll be sure to share some pictures :-)

I also had to make the kids matching pajamas. They are so excited about matching the baby that they have both insisted on wearing these quite thick, long sleeved pajamas to bed every night this week even when it hasn't really been seasonally appropriate.

In all, I spent about $110 for the patterns, (almost all organic) fabric and notions and got 9 bottoms and 3 tops (the two pajama tees plus another raglan tee out of the elephant pattern as a birthday present for Jonah) out of it. I still have enough fabric to make one more pair of pants in the fabric that matches the big kids but I'm going to wait and see which style of pants I like more and make them in the 3-6 month size so the matching can last all winter. So at about roughly $8 per item, it really wasn't that much of a splurge in the end. And the patterns are pdfs so I can use them again and again - and I will!

And now I can say that I love sewing kids clothes. The Brindille and Twig patterns make it really quick and easy. I know I could have found some free patterns online but these walked me through all the steps and since I was spending money on good fabric, I wanted to know the pattern would work. Knit really isn't that scary. In fact, I've found it to be quite forgiving as I'm not always the most patient and precise sewer, ahem.

I'm already looking for some fun fabric to make Jonah a couple outfits for this fall since the idea of him wearing pants that are long enough but don't fall off his waist when he tries to run is very appealing (For his pajamas, I used the 18mon size waistband, 2T pants, 3T length and they fit well - now you can see why I have trouble with store pants).

*The three patterns I used are the footie leggings, the cuffed harem pants and the raglan tees, all from Brindille and Twig. That link is my referral link and if you are a first time customer and use it, you can get 15% off your first purchase. She also has a free hoodie pattern available when you sign up for her email list if you want to see how easy she makes it for you.