8.20.2017

Mother's Daybook - Juice, death and the sun

Listening to - To the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack. I was kinda obsessed with it for a while and now Norah is too. All of Lucy's dress up clothes were a bit big on her and we couldn't get the proper effect from a silkie so I bought her a Belle dress and she's so adorable in it. Wearing it around and dancing. I haven't gotten a good picture yet but I'll keep trying.

Also, listening to - Norah really start expanding her vocabulary. Her speech has been slightly delayed. The delayed thing didn't bother me except there were some concerns about her hearing earlier on and we've gotten answers ranging from "She's totally fine" to "She's definitely got an issue" which was driving me crazy! The most recent feedback we got from testing at a Children's hospital was that her ears together are good and she shouldn't have any speech issue because of what she can hear and we can either continue testing by going back repeatedly (only because you can only get a tot to give you about 10 minutes of info) or just wait until she's old enough to tell us the answers instead of responding to the flashing puppy puppet. We're choosing to wait and at this point, I don't really think there is an issue but it's still really excited to hear her start to talk. Even more so than it already would be. Just this past week or two we've hit the point where you never know what random words she'll add. This weekend it was "Honey, Honey"...as in, "Honey, Honey, how he thrills me" Yep, my baby was singing along to an Abba song. Today it was strawberry. I mean, you probably wouldn't have know it was strawberry but the kids and I did. Plus she was holding a strawberry and that helped.

Watching - Okay, this is a bit bizarre but stick with me. I enjoying watching Darci Isabella's youtube channel. That parts not bizarre, she's a minimalist homeschooler with chickens, of course I'd love her. BUT after her video about her plans for a minimalist wake and funeral, another channel kept showing up in my recommendations. At first I was all like "uhm, thanks but no thanks, youtube, I don't think Ask a Mortician is really the channel for me. But then I finally caved and watched an episode and it's totally fascinating and this particular Mortician, Caitlin, is really funny. Now, this comes with a caveat. I don't watch all her videos (some go to topics I'm just not comfortable with) and I don't agree with all her views, especially in the areas of religion and physician assisted suicide.

But I've really enjoyed some of her historical based ones as well as information on green burials. That's something Craig and I have talked about in the past and its not uncommon for one of us to send the other an article about home burial or family burials. I realizing this post is taking an interesting turn but I've (re)learned in the last month with the passing of one of my best friends that even being in your 30's doesn't mean you shouldn't have a plan. So if I die (hopefully many years from now) and Craig seems to be going all crazy with talks of cardboard coffins and cremation or green/minimally invasive burial practices, you can kinda trust that I'm okay with all that. No embalming necessary here people (unless there's a specific reason and there might be, I've got family all over the country and three kids so I don't know, there might be). We haven't gotten into specifics or anything as of now, but overall, I really like Caitlin's basic philosophy on burials and being involved with your family's death time decisions. Now, moving on to something more fun...

Excited about - The Eclipse! Oh so excited! We're in a great area for it (over two minutes of totality!) and have even rented out the basement on airbnb. Craig's taking the day off and we've got some friends coming it and Craig's already started his on/off live streaming of the events on facebook. Yes, we're dorks. No, we don't care.

Drinking - Juice? Well, I'm starting to. I'm giving juicing a try. Because, despite my earlier topics, I really do want to live a long time :-)  My first batch wasn't the tastiest but I got it down. I had just gotten my hands on a juicer and didn't have any of the tastier additions I've heard suggested like green apples and lemons but at my next grocery store trip, I'll pick those up and give it another shot. But if you have any favorite fresh vegetable juice recipes, please share!

8.08.2017

A Day In the Life

I seem to do these right before big changes. And since we have no idea when we'll get a foster placement, I feel like I'm just waiting for a big change! I know the end of pregnancies aren't completely pleasant for a variety of reasons but at least you do have a basic end date to look forward too. Babies don't stay in forever! So I'm not sure how long this will be our "average" day but for now, it's my life!

? am - Jonah joins us in bed. I realize how glad I am that this is a fairly uncommon occurance.

4:45 - Norah joins us in bed. But it's about time for Craig to get up. Craig is obviously much bigger than Norah but somehow I end up feeling more crowded when the two change spots. But both super snuggle so I can't resent it too much.

6:45 - Time to get up. I'd like another 15 minutes or so and quite frequently I can convince the kids to go play duplos in the living room while the sleepier ones of us (normally Jonah and I) stay put a bit more but Norah climbs out of bed and brings me a diaper, waking Jonah up so 6:45 it is. It could be earlier so I can't complain too much.

Kid's declare they will do all their morning chores before breakfast! (they have to have them done after breakfast before we go outside, but if they want to do them before breakfast, that's fine). They lose motivation after getting dressed and start to play. I make oatmeal.  I'm so happy the kids were playing and I was able to make it myself today. We are going through the Kids Cook Real Food Course and it is wonderful but the kids insist on helping 90% of breakfasts now. We're pretty close to them being mostly independent with our two typical breakfasts (oatmeal and fruit; scrambled eggs and toast) so I anticipate in 3-6 months, my breakfast role will be much easier but for now, I'm supervising three people and its a bit chaotic. So when they are having so much fun that I can sneak it and do it myself once a week, I appreciate the calm.

Lucy is working on her AHG Family Helper Badge so she has been promoted from sweeping floors to unloading and loading dishwasher. The first week and a half, she was super excited. The shininess of a new task is wearing off but after I finish the oatmeal (yes, I deliberately waited until it was done so she couldn't help. I'm awful - but honest), I remind her if we do all this now, after breakfast she'll just have to add a few bowls and be done. She's puts on a brave face and gets it done. I feel a teensy bit bad because it was supposed to be a 2 week only thing but she's proved to be quite good at this tasks so I've officially moved Jonah to sweeping the table for his breakfast chore and Norah gets his task of wiping the tables (with a good check by me afterwards so we aren't schooling on a tabletop of maple syrup residue!).

7:30 - Breakfast of Oatmeal and fresh peaches. I love summer food. I feel like I could live on our local farmer's market store peaches and melon when they are in season. Must remind Craig to get more for our camping trip tomorrow.

7:45 -  While I was cooking, Norah was exploring. Someone must have left the baby lock on the board game cabinet open. I normally leave Norah messes until our regularly scheduled pick-up times or I'd spend all my day following her around picking up after her but this one is right where Jonah needs to sweep so...well begun is half done! And it didn't take too long. While I'm picking up, kid's are getting ready for the day. Even Norah has her task.


That's chickens if you can't tell. It means she's going out to feed the chickens her leftover oatmeal. She takes her jobs very seriously.

8:00 - Chores are done and kid's are playing nicely inside while I start laundry. This is when I hate to disrupt non-fighting kids but it's time to go outside. Hopefully the playing nicely part will transfer too. Kids play while I workout. I was doing really well last winter but had a bit of a thryoid crash that I think was due to the cardio. So I stopped for quite a while and now I'm starting again with just weight lifting and no cardio beyond walking/hiking. Hopefully my body cooperates but so far, so good. I love my view.


Of course, I often have company. Sometimes it looks like this.



Sometimes they are even closer. But crunches with chickens sitting out your knees or a Norah on my stomach just increases the efficiency of my workout time right?

8:45 - Oh, the whining. We normally play outside until at least 9, often 9:30 but for some reason, everyone is cranky today so we head inside again. I put on some Getty Kids music and they all play magna-tiles while I take a shower.

Norah telling me she's hungry and the other two agree that a snack is needed. They all had two bowls of oatmeal but I didn't put eggs in it this time so maybe some protein will do us all good. Yogurt for everyone.



9:00 - Mom has a few minutes of school prep. Everything we do is pretty much open and go but I do love having 5 minutes to think before we start.

9:10 - Table Time (prayer, bible memory, songs and poem recitation) then I read a couple picture books to the littles while Lucy does handwriting. We switch and Lucy reads a few  more books to Norah while I do a few minutes of Jonah school. Well, that is what is supposed to happen and normally, it does but Norah is still cranky and wants to look at books by herself so Lucy works on folding laundry but then Norah gets mad that Lucy isn't paying attention to her. Lucy is telling me that this doesn't make sense. Welcome to the toddler life big sister! We push through.

Lucy and I read and narrate the Burgess Animal Book. We're finally passed the rodent section! If you've done AO Y2, you probably know how happy I am! We do really like that book but I'm over rodents right now. We update our tree and add the shrew stickers while Norah draws on my leg. Eventually I realize what she's doing and stop her. We do French then we move to the living room to read The Wind in the Willows and finally Norah starts playing by herself. Except now she's found a pen and starts drawing on the playtable. I take away her pen. She finds another. Where are they coming from! I take that one away and give her a slightly firm "Pens are for paper"! She melts down. We skip phonics for now so...

11:00 - Lunch! - and a dose of ibuprofen for still cranky Norah. When I ask her if she has a hurt, she points to her mouth. I hate molars. Another mini-meltdown when she asks for a drink but says no to milk and water. As those are the only options, we are at an impasse. It does not end well.

11:30 -  Normally we'd do a short piano practice and a longer free play time but Lucy has been waiting all week for her special one on one with mom cooking practice time. Making muffins without mom touching a thing! We're just prepping the dry ingredients for now and will finish up when Norah (hopefully!) naps. Except for my needing to catch a mis-read cinnamon amount, she does really well. And she lets Norah help her stir the mix so for a few minutes, Norah is happy too.

12:00 - Kids play with magnatiles while I take a few minutes to update this and breath. Breathing is nice. Just kidding. I forgot to restart laundry. We're going camping tomorrow so I'm really trying to get it all done before we leave.

12:05 - Norah is clearly done with the morning. We normally start naptime routine at 12:15 with a quick pick-up and a chapter book (right now it's More Stories from Grandma's Attic) but I tell kids we have to skip that (I hear yays for the first part, boos for the second) and start their audiobook (Burgess's Uncle Billy Possum). They can play legos quietly until it stops automatically in about an hour. Norah normally gets a bit of just mommy time now with picture book or two, nurse, snuggle then I leave her with books until she falls asleep. We skip the books and she doesn't finish nursing before she's out.



12:20 - Me time! Actually, God time.  First up is bible study. Since we didn't do a clean-up, I have to shove aside a puzzle and a belle dress to find some room on the floor but it's quiet so it doesn't bother me.



Then I grab my vitamins, a peach and a bottle of water and decide not to start with the school supply sorting I had planned but to squander 10 minutes on my phone. Eventually I decide to can muster up the energy to actually do it. I normally love organization but in this case the problem isn't a lack of organization, its too much stuff in the armoire and I can't fix that problem for two months (when a portion of it will be leaving) so temporary shuffling and stuffing is required. It's driving me crazy. At least there is a specific deadline. And I've decided I need a real desk. We aren't really a "homeschool room" type of family but I think I am a real desk sort of teacher. Not sure if that will go in the basement as part of the remodel or if I want to replace the armoire. None of that is happening until basement is done. But stuff to ponder! (Aren't you excited Craig! Another project!)

1:10 - Lucy and Jonah are up. Lucy finishes up her muffins while Jonah and I hang around providing emotional support.

2:00 - Math time while muffins bake. She's been struggling with crossing the tens this week. It's a new concept so that's to be expected but the shutting down and getting mad at me is not okay. Today was much better though! I like math and she likes math but when you have a bad math day, it just seem to take a bigger toll than a bad any-other-subject day.

2:20 - Math is done. Muffins are done. Kid's are playing while I'm finishing getting ready for the day and loading car up. Norah wakes up (smiling!) just in time for us all to go pick up our milk from the farmer meet-up we have and then swing by pharmacy. We get the older lady who doesn't offer lollipops not the younger one who does. It's the little joys in life! (That makes me sound cranky but she often only gives us 2 lollipops so I have a very unhappy rear-facing tot watching her brother and sister eat candy in front of her or if she does give me three, then Norah is waving a sticky lollipop around the car. It's a lose-lose situation as far as I'm concerned!)


The classic mini-van mom selfie. I feel like I should really be holding 
a starbucks in my hand but I don't drink coffee. 


3:15 - Tea time. Muffins are a success and Jonah compliments Lucy with a "I think we should call you the best cooker ever!" We study some Whistler but all agree that "He's not our favorite."  Which sounds okay until you realize that is what the kids are allowed to say about a food when what they really mean is "This is gross. I don't want to eat this." I think we might skip our last two prints of his and move on to another artist. We gave him a good shot but its time. I read Missionary Stories with the Millers and then we practice Solfa. Thursday is normally our longest day but even so, I feel like school is taking way too long but I had to turn down kid's request for more Solfa so I guess they don't.

4:00 - Kids are off finally off playing outside and I start beans in the instant pot for tomorrow. It's my first time trying to convert a recipe by myself but luckily we aren't planning on eating it today so I have some buffer time if it all goes wrong. Then I take Norah outside to play because she's been banging on the door and holding her shoes since they left her behind. It's tough being the baby.

4:15 - Daddy's home! I head back inside to start tonight's dinner while Craig watches kids. In between dinner steps, I switch laundry again. Almost there, I can do it! I also complete the hours log for the last few days. This is the first year I legally have to record hours and its not hard but I'm still getting in the habit. But after one month, we are well on our way so I'm not worried about reaching the 1000 hours we need. It helps that they do about 2 hours of audiobooks a day and at least another hour of reading aloud with Craig and I. Since I'm a book snob, I have no issues counting that as literature time. Kid's come in intermittently to ask what's for dinner. And then to ask again because they forgot what I said 5 minutes ago. And then Jonah wants to show me how he got himself "so very terrible dirty you won't even believe it!"





5:30 - Dinner's over. It was a hit.


I am enjoying Lucy's family helper week. She normally a pretty good helper but is going above and beyond today. We loaded dishes together and she ran them then folded more laundry and got Jonah and Norah to help her put it away. All while I'm resting on the couch! Norah can't help but see a resting mommy as a jungle gym though so she climbs and gives her famous super intense face hugs. 



6:45 - Bedtime routine! We actually get to the 10 minute tidy this time and then kids read some pictures book with me, family bible time, chapter book with daddy and we tuck everyone in. We're transitioning Norah to the kid's room but night # 2 goes about the same as night #1. She thinks its a great idea until it's time to actually lay down. Then she grabs her blankie and dolly and literally runs over to my room. The funny part is that it's not like I stay with here there. No, I tuck her in and leave her with some books to look at and she falls asleep on my bed. Then I move her. So you'd think she could do the same thing on her bed. Maybe next week. But I really enjoy being at the point where I can actually just tuck all my kids into bed and leave them. I think Norah is my first to be at that stage before the age of two. And I still get to snuggle and nurse her at night before I leave so it feels like a magical age.

I then finish up the (not quite) baked beans. Recipe worked but I used a bit too much water so I just turned on saute with lid off for a while to reduce it. Meanwhile I finish planning our camping meals (the night before! I know, crazy, but it was a last minute trip!) while Craig does the packing of tents and sleeping bags. I switch laundry again and it's all done! Hurray! I had hoped to pack clothes today but it will be fast in the morning.

8:30 - I'm blogging on the couch with Craig. Then I'll get ready for bed, transfer Norah over and read a bit in bed. I'm finished term two of Ambleside Online Year 7 last night so now on to term three! Then after I do a bit of hard reading, I'll probably switch over to Wives and Daughters if I can stay awake. I'm normally asleep by 10 and I'm not sure how much sleep I'll get tomorrow in the tent so I won't be pushing that tonight.