Monday, October 25, 2010

Here’s a Random Peek

Here I sit with burning eyes, runny nose, sore throat and a fever, completely unable to fall asleep.  A lot has been going on lately regarding my “other occupation,” for which I have been very excited, and as a result of which, my brain has not wanted to turn off at bedtime.  I hope to share about it more within the next few weeks.  Wonderful, exciting news.

Case told me Sunday morning that I’d better take it easy, since today, he had several very important meetings at work and would not be able to stay home if I needed him.  I told him I was pretty used to the SAHM not-being-able-to-call-in-sick position, and I wasn’t too worried about it, but as he had this cold a couple weeks ago, he figured it would get pretty bad and wondered if we should call someone to help me with the kids.

He reiterated just how important the meetings were and that he absolutely would not be able to miss them, caveating to say that I’d pretty much have to be hospitalized . . . but I stopped him short: “Do you really want to say that?” I asked.  He only thought a split second and said no, he really didn’t, since last time (and the only other time, by the way) he had laid things out in such emphatic terms, I nearly ended up giving birth alone.  We had a good laugh thinking what it could look like if I took him literally today: “Only if blood is squirting out at least 3 feet, and you’re driving into ABQ with an appendage hanging by a thread, then you can call me and I’ll meet you at the hospital,” he teased, snickering.

I’m going to just do the bare minimum today and see if we can’t make it until Casey comes home late this evening.  Sigh.  This insomnia isn’t going to make the day any easier.

Other than an annoying cold that has made its rounds (I’m the last to succumb, which is typical), all is well here.  Homeschooling continues, albeit nothing like that first week.  As Sonlight admonishes, I have tweaked things to what works for me, and what works for the family, and homeschooling now blends its way nicely into our day.  The greatest challenge still lies in the discipline department, especially in regard to a 2-yr-old who, to quote a Proverb, “runs rapidly to evil.”  (Okay, so maybe it’s just the cupboard with the granola bars or my bathroom drawer with the toothpaste, lip balm and Vick’s vapo-rub, or the diaper bag with the wipes and Butt Paste, or my purse with the mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.)  Sometimes I wonder: where is the compliant child that is supposed to come along at some point in a family?  Oh well.  It’s actually a blessing that none of them are too compliant, ‘cause I know I’d get lazy and let a lot of non-behavior stuff go and just raise some Pharisees. (At least that’s what I tell myself.)

Perhaps Ian is the compliant child.  Though I would never place any bets, seeing that in my experience, the more compliant the infant, the more challenging the child.

But he is a sweetie.  Honestly, I can’t think of a time when I’ve felt “bothered” by him.  He’s even brought an enjoyment to things I’ve never actually loved, like breastfeeding.  And if ever there was a baby who could be scheduled, he’s the one.  (But I don’t.)  Nearly every moment of the day, he is the opposite of high-need.  At bedtime, I can (sometimes) even put him in his bed, wide-awake, and he will coo and finally fall asleep at some point with nary a fuss.  To anyone who wonders, “What?!  Isn’t that how babies are?” the answer is no.  They are not like that.  If it seems normal, then count yourself very blessed to not know any differently.

Ian’s giggling now, and he rolled over back-to-front last week, despite not yet having rolled the easier direction.  He hasn’t repeated it, so I’m likely to think it was just a fluke.  But he does try to roll any time he’s laid down.  Tonight, while I was trying to nurse him, he played a game with Casey, where he picked his head up and giggled at Case, then buried his face in my shirt.  Over and over.  I can’t help but think he is absolutely the most precious baby ever.

Ruby and Claire are doing well.  They have gotten to liking school again now that we’ve made necessary adjustments.   After completing the Kindergarten readers (27 tiny books with about 6-8 pages and less than 10 short-vowel words on a page) Ruby is on to the next level reader (bigger book with 8-10 short-vowel sentences on the beginning pages).  It’s the reader I had started her out on, since it was below her skill level, but too many sentences on a page really discouraged her, even if the words were easy.  It was a good lesson for me.

Claire is plugging along on the K readers, though she usually wants to read about a page every other day or less, and that may only be because there’s a Skittle involved.  It’s funny how children fluctuate, because about a year ago, she was getting blending concepts very quickly, but now she’s distracted and finds blending difficult.  I’m not pushing her to read.  I just ask every day, and sometimes she’ll take me up on it, sometimes she won’t.  Both of them pretty much do all the other “school” stuff together, and we all enjoy that.  Even Haley is getting to where she will sit down for part of a story (if it’s reading her books, she’ll  easily sit on my lap for a good 1/2 hour as I read book after book to her).

The girls have made friends with some neighbors that moved in during the summer, and it has been great to have some playmates for them.  They are really sweet kids—I feel spoiled to have these particular children living so close.  And there are plenty of them: 8 in one house.  Two families.  The circumstances are sad: one set of 5 children is being cared for by an aunt and a grandfather, due to their parents being drug addicts.  Two of the children have never lived with their parents, and were addicted to meth at birth.  My heart breaks for them.  I am amazed at how sweet they are for what they’ve been through.  The girls will play or talk with them at least once a day.  It’s also nice because Ruby’s “best friend” was the little boy that lived there, who is about a year older than she, and he wasn’t really into playing with girls, so she’d have her feelings hurt sometimes.  (Ironic thing: his nickname is Max, so “Ruby and Max” were playmates this past year.)  These are Max’s cousins, all but one are girls, and there is almost always someone who wants to climb the wall and come play with them.  For now, this is how it works best.  Even though my girls will beg me to let them go to their yard, it’s usually more than I can do to hang over the wall to supervise their every move.  Much better to keep an eye on them in our own yard.

We are hoping to visit the pumpkin patch on Friday, but a cold front has suddenly appeared, and we haven’t gotten out our fall/winter stuff yet, so we’ll see if we can make it before the nearby “farm” closes.