Friday, September 30, 2022

100 days (5/10)

What a week. Er, 10 days. There isn't a word that means "10 days" like week means 7...but what a...long and stressful 10 days.

During these last 10 days I have been having some digestive issues and also headaches and other health problems that have derailed my life. Hence the mostly-selfies and I am tired. 

I also found out I am pregnant. Which is probably related to the health issues. And/or the main cause of them. Sigh. 

After that emotional roller coaster, I am facing the next 10 days... with a lot to figure out. Oh, and deal with the debilitating nausea that hit like an unwelcome friend soon after the pregnancy awareness. I'll be honest, I have been laying around feeling sick and sorry for myself and moody and irritable and cranky and upset and nauseous and waiting to have a miscarriage (because I have had six) but this week I am 7 weeks and have not miscarried yet. SO. I guess this is happening. 

I don't know how to feel about it yet.

Well. I think its a boy and we don't have a name, but I guess that can wait.

Pray for all the decisions I have to make in a short time!

How are you all? 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

100 days (4/10)

I made it to 40 days! I am getting used to "the dress" and enjoying it throughly. My favorite way to wear it is with my new sweater and now that fall is here I plan to wear it for at least 5 days straight. I am finally starting to realize I need to wear my apron when I cook so "the dress" doesn't need to be washed. I had two times where I had to wash it and was only able to wear it after lunch and that was frustrating! 

I'm almost halfway!!! Wheee. 

No one has noticed that I wear the same thing...Reuben noticed the first 10 no one comments anymore.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Jewelry Handicraft

My kids are so different and these necklaces are proof of this. The top one was made by Becky. She didn't want my help and would get mad when I would suggest a bead or try to assist in any way. She knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to tell me about it. I love her and her quirky wonderful personality. Becky gifted this necklace to her friend Vivian at church. 

I made this green necklace and bracelet to wear as a set. Actually, it is one I made before but back when I was just starting jewelry making and I didn't fill up the whole wire with beads, which was a mistake. So when the kids were making theirs I re-made and fixed mine. I love it so much more now especially since I hid the wire ends so they don't scratch me. 

Reuben made this bottom one. He loved working with me and would ask me what I thought would look best next. He wanted my opinion on everything. He is also so wonderful, kind and thoughtful! He decided to gift this necklace to his music teacher (he picked the charm out just for her!!) and is super excited for violin practice tomorrow. 

Handicrafts are fun, and we are 6 weeks into our homeschooling for his Year Two, and Becky's Pre-K.

Monday, September 12, 2022

a dance I didn't know existed

The saying about when it rains it pours is totally true. And probably part of why adults have anxiety? Things have been rolling along like a proverbial train, homeschooling, child-reading, battling my own sin nature, digging deep in God's word, shoving as much natural medicine knowledge into my head as possible...

Until, yesterday! 

I have found lately that I don't like myself much. I am in an overly critical phase or something. Please tell me its a phase and not the new normal because I don't want to be a judgmental crab apple of a person forever. I have noticed a trend of either oversimplifying people/situations or staring down my nose with a hindsight bias attitude. Neither of which are helpful or kind to whatever crisis a person is currently going through.

Example: a friend of mine texted me she was so tired, she had been up for 9 nights with a sick 9 month old baby. I typed back "my husband and I take turns when this happens so that at least one of us is sleeping". I reread what I had typed and erased it. I wrote instead "I understand, you sound exhausted, praying for you more". Then I offered to bring her hummus and sourdough pita tomorrow. 

In the course of writing the advice portion, I realized that my kids are 4 and 7 and not a breastfeeding 9 month old, and that my "husband and I taking turns" really only works because my kids are older. We were not able to take turns when the kids were little, and I had forgotten that. A breastfeeding baby does not want daddy at 9am. At least, mine didn't.

Also she didn't ask for advice, and giving her that kind of advice in the middle of her sleep-deprived state wasn't helpful. She's a smart human, she's doing all she can. I resolved from now on not to try to "fix" problems but instead help, if I can. 

Is this what 35 is? Am I evolving into a kind and caring creature? 

In the last two days we have learned:

  • my mother in law has covid (she's doing fine)
  • friend with sick baby finally went to the ER and the baby has RSV
  • another friend had a car wreck (she's okay. was scary!)
  • drove to the dentist with my husband (stressful!!) for Reuben
  • ended a week of family stay-cation 
  • church drama
  • family drama 
and more. I could go on--I am amazed at how much Reuben has grown and matured but I keep stepping on his 7-year old toes and forgetting the myriad of things he really can do for himself. And that I need to stop micromanaging him and I need to start letting him make more decisions for himself. I have frustrated him a lot since he turned seven doing things that he had no qualms about me doing/or deciding when he was six. Growing up is hard. Being a mama to someone who is growing up is hard. Navigating communication, tasks, and independence is a dance I didn't know existed. 

But through it all God is good and usually I maintain my trust and calm as I abide in him. 

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Our ladies bible study at church is studying 1 Samual this semester and it has been just what I needed. 

God is good and I hope I can be the mother God would want me to be for Reuben and Rebekah. And the wife for my husband, and a good supportive friend to all those who I am honored to call friends. Here is to 35 and all the insights it offers, even if they are about my personality and it's flaws. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022


Lately I have been a bit lonely. It happens, right? Homeschooling takes my mornings with all the wonderful learning, and then there is chores, cooking, cleaning, and spending what time I can with the kids. This stage in life, for my extroverted self, is a bit lonely. I love my kids, but I miss my friends sometimes. My best friend Mandy has been coming over every other week in the evenings for two hours and it has been the balm for my parched soul! We have been doing the gateway 1 homeopathy coarse by Joette together and I am falling more and more in love with homeopathy. 

But I just don't have time for many playdates anymore. I used to be able to manage 1-2 a week and we haven't been getting any in...I don't think it is good for Reuben. He misses his best friend. He does have friends he sees at church and we do a small nature co-op twice a month but we used to do a co-op weekly and also try and see at least one friend once a week on top of that. And we just came off summer where I did playdates as much as possible. 

We have met another one of our neighbors and she has a daughter the same age as Reuben and they play beautifully together. I need to make more playdates with them, but she and I are both exhausted homeschooling mothers who garden. She has chickens! But we can make it work. We always seem to be free at opposite times, the irony. 

The holidays are coming. And while I love the holidays with my family, I have come to dread what I miss. Growing up we either spent the holidays with my stepfather's large extended family in TN, or with my favorite Aunt in GA. I have wonderful memories of large thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. I have said this before on here, but Reuben does not have any of that and I mourn for him. It is just me, Brian and the kids for most holidays. One Christmas I visited my favorite Aunt in GA and that was SO wonderful! But we can't always drive 8 hours for holidays, and my Aunt usually gets only 2-3 days off work. It's so hard. 

Brian has no family, his only brother died. My sister has four kids, two that are significantly older than mine and she doesn't visit because of her trauma. Her younger two kids are living with their father and she hasn't seen them in three years. She is miserable and unhappy most of the time if she does visit it is hard to be around, as she can be combative and angry. I realize that is no excuse not to see someone, and I try to help. But it is hard to be around someone who is depressed, especially on the holidays. Even if they have good reasons. My sister also has three dogs and many cats, and Brian, my husband, is seriously allergic to dogs and cats so if she does bring one (and she is only allowed to bring one) it usually barks and she has to leave. The dogs cannot come inside because of my husband allergies. 

This all sounds like excuses. But it is just life. Life is hard sometimes, in many ways. I love my sister, and I know she loves me, but I struggle to find the line where I can help her, be a friend to her, and also have good boundaries. Sometimes I think I am doing it well, and it all blows up in my face.

A few months ago (2? 3?) I was headed out to the garden to weed around the tomatoes and pick some vegetables when my sister showed up without texting or calling. It was a Saturday, and she sent her kids to our back porch where we were hanging out to show us some newborn puppies that her dog had about four weeks back. They were cute and my kids were enthralled. My sister stayed in the car and I spent a few minutes chatting with her kids and then went on my way towards the garden to do my picking, leaving the cousins to play together.

This is apparently when my sister got out of the car and came up to the porch. She thought I was avoiding her--I wasn't (And I didn't know she thought this until much later when my mom finally told me) but she had her kids tell my husband that they were hungry. I regularly feed them when they come over, I love cooking and her kids love my food which is nice, since my kids usually cry when I cook...(especially Becky!) My husband gave them some yellow squash I had picked from the garden yesterday. If I had been there I would have given them something to eat right that moment. Apparently my sister was upset that she had been given squash when she had her kids tell my husband they were hungry, and she left. I had seen her get out of the car and seen her chat with my husband but was too far away to hear anything, and I thought after I got done weeding/picking I would get a chance to chat with her, but she left so suddenly I did not get too. I didn't think anything of this at the time, I thought oh, she just stopped by quickly to show the puppies.

Apparently she has been angry at me for weeks, one for not feeing her kids and two for ignoring her and going to the garden. I heard all about this from my mother. My mom said her food stamps had run out and she had no food at all, which wasn't what my husband understood from the brief communication. We don't keep a lot of convenience food around, because of our allergies we make most things from scratch. But I didn't know she didn't have any food and that was what she was asking for. I thought, when my husband told me what her kids said, that they were just doing what they always do; asking for food because they were at my house. I was wrong.

She still won't talk to me, I have been trying for weeks. 

My mom bought her groceries. 

This is just one of many interactions and miscommunications with my sister that make life hard. I know I don't understand her. I know her life is really awful and she's struggling. What I don't know is how to help and how to have a relationship with her sometimes. I wonder if she feels the same about me, that I live in another world? I don't know. I would tell her, and I try, that I also have struggles with my health, my kids, communicating with my husband and navigating life. But she always replies "at least I have a husband" or "at least I have my kids". Which is true, I do have those things. But I also have bad days. 

My mom was a single mom and probably understands her better. I try hard not to judge and love, and I hope she tries not to judge me and also love. 

Anyway, this just goes to show a tiny bit of why our extended family dynamics are a bit of a muddle.

No one is promised tomorrow, so let's make the best of today. But I am kind of mad at my sister, can you tell? I shouldn't be, but I wrestle with it regardless. I need to love her as Christ would love her, and she should do the same for me. 

Anyway. After writing this I just feel tired, and perhaps I shouldn't have written all this personal stuff, but here it is. I'm going to eat a bunch of chips and dip and persuade my husband to go on a walk with me. Tomorrow Reuben gets a dental device installed and he is really nervous (it shouldn't hurt and is non-invasive) and I am hopeful it will help him heal and be able to breathe out of his nose. Poor kid. Pray that it works. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

What I Read (August 2022)

The Easter Cat by Meindert DeJong (9/10 stars)

I really loved this book! It's a cute story about a little girl who just wants a cat, but her mother is allergic. Beyond adorable and very well written. DeJong really understands children. 

Marya: A Life by Joyce Carol Oats (1/10 stars)

I'm sorry, but I really did not like this book. It made me uncomfortable and I didn't like the writing style. I also hate books where unhappiness and hardship abound and then they go and end on a cliffhanger and a bad note. This one has both. The whole experience of reading this book was traumatizing. 

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (4/10 stars)

This book was okay. It was a weird 1900s coming of age novel that also ends on a "bad note" but in a more believable sense. I couldn't get a good grasp of the characters while I was reading it, and Rachel bored me. I think St. John is a narcissist. If I could sum up this book in one sentence, I would say "Two very uninteresting people take a very long and roundabout time falling in love; and by the end of the book neither understand love or each other. The End. 

Even Better than Eden (4/10 stars)

This book I had to read for my church bible study. I loved the first half, hated the middle, and was okay by the end. Some of the stuff she draws correlations between was mind-blowing. The book was interesting but left no long lasting impression. 

I will be donating all these books except for The Easter Cat which I have given to Reuben.  May September be less disappointing. 

100 days (3/10)

These last 10 finally got hard! Many times I don't want to wear my dress. I am worried that at the end of the 100 days I won't want to look at it again, hah! But I am keeping on keeping on. I got two days behind because Becky was sick and I didn't post those pictures, but that's okay. 

I am over ONE FORTH of the way done!!! WHOOO. 

30 days in. One month! I have 70 more days to go, all of September and October and part of November. 

Also I only 'did' my hair twice these 10 days but, its something, right? (I was shocked to see when I took these pictures that I do have some gray hairs; but they blend in when my hair dries). Also the kids are done taking pictures of me (they were originally arguing about who got to take my picture) but now they are not interested, so expect more selfies and timer-photos! Hehe. 

Becky has been wearing her dress when it suits her and looking cute as a button. 

Here is to the next 10 days. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

100 Days (2/10)

After taking a photo of myself wearing the same dress 20 times now, I am glad to say I have learned something.

That something is: I don't do enough with my hair. For the next 10 days I am going to try to do a different hairstyle each day. I really need to do something with my hair. At least, that is what these pictures are telling me. Even exhausted homeschooling mothers whose days are full of wonder (and tantrums) can do their hair.

Also, I finished my Jupiter Crop sweater. I wore it twice in the last 10 days (upper right) but the second time I took it off before the picture; its hot here again and pushing 90f (32c). I can't wait to wear this sweater all the time this fall. It has been fun getting the kids or a friend or my husband to take a picture every day; and sometimes I just do the selfie. 

I still love the dress. Here is to the next 10 days! I'm 20% done.

On instagram I shared a picture of me playing the violin instead of me eating pizza, but the violin picture (which I loved) seems to have totally disappeared. My phone must be having a glitch. The sourdough pizza was amazing.

Also, in the middle there I am with Julia and her Wool& dress!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

100 Days (1/10)

My friend Julia told me about the Wool& dress challenge where you wear one of their dresses for 100 days and they give you a $100 gift card.

So we both decided to do it! I just reached day 10 and here are my outfit photos. I am wearing the Brooklyn Merino Wool dress in Pacific. I bought a large but I kinda wish I got a medium, because I do not have a large chest and I think a M might have fit better. Oh well. I will make it work! (Been sticking a clip to the inside of the dress or wearing a tank top under it...)

The star of the show this week is Becky. Because we found Becky a matching dress! Its the Wrap Dress from Hanna Anderson. We saw it as we were shopping for some new PJs for Becky as she has outgrown the ones I bought her two years ago. So we got that for her and now we love matching whenever we can!

I am not tired of wearing this wool green dress yet and I love how easy it is to get dressed in the morning and finding different ways to style it.

Most pictures taken by my kids. Can you tell? LOL.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Handicraft 2022

For handicrafts this semester we are doing bookbinding! We are going through Bound. I have never done bookbinding before, and it has been such fun! We picked up a very inexpensive bookbinding kit from amazon and have done 5 of the projects so far.

This is the flip flap tab book. 

Crafts are my favorite part of homeschooling. Well, it's a toss up between that and reading. We read a lot. But crafts are something God buried a deep love of into my heart when he created me, and it is amazing and wonderful to share my love of creating things with my children. 

Hugs and happy homeschooling!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

What I Read (July 2022)

All I read in July. It was a good month for cozy summer reading while my kids destroyed their rooms. Hah! Enjoy the spoiler free reviews below and please suggest me a book to add to my to-read stack if you know of a good one. Hugs!

Ruth Hall (8/10 stars)

I liked many things about Ruth Hall. I loved how she fought for her children in spite of her circumstances. I love how candid she is about how single women are treated and how people treat their own families. Pride is such a sin. I felt it quick to the heart--who in my family do I belittle? I should help those who are struggling more, it is my duty as a Christian, and I have been contemptuous and prideful when I should not, though I hope not near as bad as Ruth's in-laws, brother, or father. Their abandonment of her is wretchedly sad and downright evil.  

Another point I adored throughout the book is reading how Ruth's inlaws treat her, (they abuse and belittle her) especially in marriage. I have inlaws that have been just like that and to see it in print and see how it destroys, helped parts of myself heal. And see things clearly. 

Ruth is a gem. I want to read more by Fanny Fern (Ruth Hall is based on her life), but google tells me she wrote one other book but lots and lots of newspaper articles that were published into books and you can read them for free on Google Books! Her short stories are full of good sense and strong morals. Newspapers today should republish them, they are much needed. 

Words of Radiance (10/10 stars)

After reading The Way of Kings last week I jumped right into Words of Radiance. And it was everything I wanted, at least in arc completion and character development. I like things wrapping up with pretty little bows on top, but that is all I will say on the matter due to spoilers. Dalinar is still my favorite character but I am learning to be less annoyed by Shallan and even Kaladin has a warm spot in my heart. I was really upset about something that happens to Kaladin partway though the book that I thought was seriously unfair, but it all worked out. 

Because we are starting school in August I won't be reading the next book until Christmas, but it's already sitting on my nightstand. I am a bit nervous since obviously I really enjoyed the ending to WoR and honestly, I would be quite happy if the books ended there even if there are a few questions still unanswered. I know there will changes and cliffhangers in the next book.

Also, I bought the mass-market paperback of this book and had to literally cut it in half in order to read it. It was too big to hold and manage otherwise! 

Camilla  (3/10 stars)

This was a loan from a friend and thus I don't have it in my monthly stack above. I didn't like it. It was one of those emotionally introspective books that I would have loved as a sixteen or seventeen year old, but thirty-five-year me thought it insipid and a bit of a bore. Also, I hate it when characters cheat on each other, and when adultery is glamorized. It is distasteful to me; I know people cheat in real life but I find it reprehensible. And Camilla has no idea what she wants or even how to communicate with others, or have any boundaries. Poor kid. If anything, I felt sorry for her almost the entire time I was reading, either sorry or motherly. And I had higher hopes; this book is by the amazing Madeleine L'Engle who I have heard so much about. Camilla was my first read by her. I want to read the A Wrinkle in Time series but I am looking forward to it less after the disappointment of Camilla

Journey Back to Health (10/10 stars)

No person has changed my life more than Kim Fuhrmann of Our Fathers Farm. Because of God's grace and how he used her in my life, I am in remission from Lyme disease. Also the bitterness and anger that was simmering in my heart is gone. I am abiding in Christ. Journey Back to Health is Kim's book, and it was amazing. I cried while reading the first chapter. It is her story, and the story of health. It is deeply personal and revelational and chock-full of recipes. Some things I learned: dry brush, enemas, Kim's story about Africa, Raw Milk...I feel confidant not only in being my families doctor but knowing when I need to see a professional, and I feel no longer buried under the weight of my own ill health. Since I know her well I heard her voice as I read and it was a great comfort to me, like she was in the room speaking to me as a dear friend. I am making strides in regaining my health and it is because of God, and how God is using Kim!

Know and Tell (8/10 stars)

I will have to read this book again. I read all the parts about Form One narration and how to overcome obstacles in beginning narrations, and skimmed the rest of the book. This book was quite foundational for understanding narration and Charlotte Mason! I'm taking off two stars for a layout issue. Every few pages right in the middle of her book or in the middle of a paragraph she inserts examples of narrations. The examples are helpful but not at all laid out correctly. They bisect the book in the most annoying and interruptive manner and I greatly disliked it. 

I will go back and read it when Reuben enters Form Two, and beyond. Right now I don't need to understand how narration helps my student write amazing term papers! Hah.

The Goose Girl (8/10 stars)

This was an audible book--that I saw was available for free when I was searching for books for the kids. It was a nice fairy tale diversion and captivated me. I loved it! I downloaded Enna Burning next. 

The funny thing was, I know I have read these books before but for the life of me couldn't remember a single thing! It has been over 15 years though... ah, life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

I don't know what I am doing half the time

I have been really annoyed with myself today. I redownloaded Instagram, which is fine--if I was a normal person. Unfortunately I am...not. 

Instagram does the following to me:

First I have a 4-8 hour window where I love instagram. I love the photos, I love the funny videos, I catch up on some friends and post about my life. Instagram competes me. I have never been happier. Everything is rosy, golden, and good. 

Until suddenly it's not.

The euphoria never lasts more than one day. 24 hours later I wake to feelings of anxiety and stress. I must take pictures to post. I have to have a cute outfit because what if I am in the picture? I quickly become obsessed with getting the perfect shots of my cute children and posting for everyone to see. And as I begin to see what others are posting; my inner pessimist takes over. I start comparing my life to theirs. My carpet isn't that clean. My kid can't draw that well. I can't craft that mug. I can't knit that fast. She has a whole linen wardrobe! Suddenly I am unhappy, stressed and anxious. All over a photo app. And let's not even talk about the ads-- I am very susceptible to ads and have a tendency to impulse buy thinking that the next hot thing will indeed make me happy. And don't get me started by my near hourly need to check the app to see if any new updates have happened followed by 20 minutes of random scrolling and 300 reels later...

So I delete the app. 

I have repeated this process so many times... its frustrating and infuriating. By the way, the same thing happens with Facebook but I permanently deleted my Facebook, but I just can't bring myself to do that with Instagram yet. Why am I caught in this awful cycle? Why can't I have good healthy boundaries with social media? It's annoying. I hate it yet, I repeat it over and over again, sometimes weekly. Sometimes monthly. Sometimes daily. Yes I really have deleted Instagram in the morning and downloaded it again in the evening.

It's embarrassing to admit.    

I want to break the cycle. Maybe I really DO need to permanently delete my instagram or maybe just changing my password will be enough.

You know, the other day we were studying the life of Mahler (a famous musician) and I was reading over some letters he wrote. I was like--what will modern day biographies include? Our Facebook posts? Our text messages? Suddenly I felt very uneasy. What an awful legacy to leave behind, a bunch of random text messages and pictures of my food. I wouldn't want anyone reading my old text messages, but the very thing did happen to a friend of mine who died in late 2019. Her mother got her phone and read all her old Facebook messages. It upset a lot of people as those are private. I wouldn't mind my husband reading my messages, but I cringe a bit. I have vented my anger to friends when he has upset me. That's a bit awkward. I love my husband, he's awesome and he would understand. But my kids? My friends? I don't want them reading my personal correspondence via e-mail or texts! I have talked to many a friend when I have been upset after a long day, things I wouldn't want the world to see. Luckily I am not famous and I can't imagine anyone writing a bibliography about me of all people. 

But, I'm going to be a bit more careful about what I text. Hunter Biden should know. Also, my kids may see these things and I want them to know always they are loved and their autonomy is respected. 

I think I will have to permanently delete my instagram. I still don't want to. 

I don't know what makes me so addicted to social media. I know, it is probably what these apps want. The longer you use them the more money they make from you, right? I don't want to be stuck on some social media app though. When I am old, I won't care how many Facebook games of wordle I played or how any pictures of Susan's dog I looked at. I will care how much time I spent with my kids and all the memories of our lovely school together and life. Those I will reminisce on. And when I'm on instagram I am not growing. I am not playing the violin or reading a book or actually, you know, talking to a real human

I think I need a break from the internet. It was my goal to do our school this year with a long internet break, and I think I am going to do it, today. I'll give up Youtube, Instagram, and most other things until Christmas. 

I won't give up writing here. It is something that helps keep me alive. Writing is almost a fire inside my chest sometimes. I can't explain it, but after a long day writing it all out helps. 

I told a friend the other day that the hardest thing my generation has to deal with is getting off our phones and interacting with the world around us. Millennials are glued to our white screens and gen z is no better. What kind of legacy are we leaving for those who will come after? Kids in middle schools sing viral ticktock videos and babies as young as 18 months know how to work iPads. 

It's crazy. I need to radically change my life and my screen time so my kids have a chance, a chance at a normal life where they don't see their mother consumed by her phone. 

And that's what I was thinking about today as I ate a chocolate bar and felt guilty.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Parenting Alone

I don't mean 'single' parenting, so don't misunderstand me. I have a very hardworking husband who supports our family and we are happily married. I could write a post on the hardships of single parenting: my mother and my sister are both single parents, though my mother is remarried now. I have seen it and lived it; and I do not seek to compare 'parenting alone' to single parenting.

Herein, I am speaking of parenting with little to no breaks. Parenting without extended family nearby to help. I and a host of other women are today parenting with no tribe and minimal community. 

And it is hard.

I don't have family who is around to help for various reasons that are quite complicated to go into in this post. I wish I did. Oh, how I wish I did. Maybe one day I will. It sounds like a dream.

For a long time I wanted to write a blog about how I cope with parenting alone. (I have actually written this post at least three times in my head while falling asleep!)

There are many ways to help alleviate the pressure of being an alone-in-a-bubble parent. Maybe your husband is a truck driver and your parents live out of state. Maybe your husband, like mine, is an engineer whose hours tally up to 10, 12 a day while you wait patiently (er, impatiently) for him to arrive home. No matter what, parenting alone is exhausting. 

We used to do dates by hiring a babysitter twice a month. This was in 2019, before covid. Now we cannot afford it because of the rate increase in the sitter service we used, and also inflation. I can't even afford to buy chocolate right now, seriously! I can't! That fact is also for another blog is through the roof.

But that's not new news, everyone can think of that! Hire a babysitter sometimes, or find a mothers helper... But many people cannot afford it. Or if they can afford it, can't even find someone! Sitters are scarce. 

Here is what I do to try and keep my head above water as a parenting alone parent. 

  1. Alone time with God. And by alone time I mean sometimes my kids are running around screaming and it's only five minutes. But it is important to at least try. It really makes a difference to me if I center myself in some way on Christ. 
  2. Learn easy meals and also make freezer meals. I try to make one freezer meal a week. This summer I tried to make as many as I could. They will come in handy, especially since eating out is not an option with the high prices, and our dietary restrictions. 
  3. Find friends. I know, I know. Your friends are also exhausted moms. But sometimes they can help. Last year my friend Megan from church watched our kids so hubby and I had a two hour date. It was our only date that year and it was amazing. We still have not had one this year and that's okay. It meant a lot to me. I offered to return the favor but Megan has solid help at home and didn't need it, but you can always start a babysitting swap with a friend that you trust! 
The biggest thing you deal with as a 'parenting alone' parent is burn out. I am sure if you have a ton of help you also get burnt out, but parenting in a vacuum of loneliness makes me burn out quicker. There is no mothers helper or grandmother to look out for, coming with crafts and snacks to watch your littles for two or three hours while you go to the dentist or grocery shop. 

I also deal with getting touched out. 

I also deal with needing a break from being needed/wanted. I love my kids, but sometimes I just want to not be the only one with all the answers! For just five minutes! I am sure this one will change as my kids grow and can figure out everything on their own...but for now, I am teaching them that mommy doesn't always have an answer right when they ask a question. Mommy is her own person and also needs space sometimes, and space doesn't mean mommy doesn't love you. It just means mommy needs a few minutes to think. 

I don't have any answers to burn out. It's really hard. Sometimes we have toast with jam for dinner and everyone is cranky, but we all wake up the next day and try again. Sometimes the kitchen doesn't get very clean or the laundry doesn't get put away or we cancel school for the day and just lay outside on the hammocks or read books all day... some of these things help but often they don't. Sometimes I try homeopathy and CBD oil and sometimes I cry. 

When I get really touched out I will put on an audio book in the kids room--they stay in there to listen and I flatten myself into my favorite couch and read a book, knit, or have an anxiety attack. You know, my three favorite hobbies.

I don't know how to fix the being needed all the time.

One of these days, if I am allowed to grow old, I will find a few lonely moms and be an adopted grandmother to their kids. I will. It is on my heart as I look at all the elderly ladies in my church with longing and confusion. They have their own families, but I wish they had some time for me.

The thing I will say: don't be bitter. Don't look at the grass in someone else's yard. Last week my friend was sick and her mother in law took her kids and her mother ran her errands and made food and I was jealous for a whole five minutes. Everyone is blessed in some ways, I am sure I am too. I'm blessed to be on this earth with my two happy children and my amazing husband. I am blessed to be loved by God, and able to eat things I haven't eaten in 8+ years and with a body that can do yoga and move and a beautiful blue sky that is not raining bombs down in a war. I am blessed, and I won't waste it with bitterness or anger pining for things I can't have. It won't help.

the two best blessings God ever gave me

God is good and I will get through it, my kids will grow up and if I'm lucky I'll be alone again and what do you know, I'll probably miss all the crazy little years. 

I'd love any advice on 'parenting alone' if you have it: what should I try to make this easier on myself? What things do you do? 

I'm still here and I am not giving up. But a day to myself does sound quite nice and unachievable. Such is life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

More (small) misadventures

This week we started back into our school routine. It has been going okay. I implemented two new ideas: I am showering at night, and I am making our dinner before lunch. I love having the food cooked for the day and not having much to do in the evening besides read to the kids, garden, and perhaps see a friend. Brian's summer hours have him working late every day and it has been really hard in the evening for me. He's doing 4 tens, and has Friday "off" but having all of his hours squished into four days is quite the adjustment. Especially since he works around 11-12 hours some days, and one time worked from around 8:30am to 9pm! At least he works from home and his amazing loving wonderful wife can bring him lunch and dinner plates. Hah! The life is an engineer is long, but I have learned to be grateful for what I have: a hardworking husband who is pouring his life out for me, and a house and food and a God who loves me. I am getting through it, and learning a lot in the process.

I have also been waking up at 6am and doing my yoga first thing. I have stopped trying to do yoga 5 days a week and am only setting a goal of 3 days a week. I don't want to expect the impossible. 

Monady I woke up with an incredibly sore/stiff upper back, especially on the right side. I took some homeopathics (rhus tox) and arnica 200, used an arnica gel--but it wasn't helping much. I was in serious pain. On our first day of school. I gritted my teeth (okay so I wasn't the most easygoing teacher that day, pain makes me snappy and I had to apologize a lot) and taught, made lunch and dinner...we got through it. I laid down the second half of the day and asked everyone to pray. By nightfall my neck was a lot better. It went from a 9/10 on the pain scale to a 6/10. 10 being my pain threshold, you know, the point before you give up and die or ask for an epidural. 

Anyway. I went to Taproots, a local homeopathic store, and took some symphytum for my back pain. That mixed with the rhus tox seemed to really help. 

Tuesday we went for a bike ride before school and I went for a walk. On our walk we found wild raspberries and also very mature polkweed! We ate some raspberries and I told the kids that polkweed is very poisonous and never to touch it after Reuben picked a berry.   

We finished our school after our bike ride and park playtime, and went to violin practice and picked too many tomatoes and ate amazing homemade enchilada casserole that still makes my mouth water to think about. I ate way too much. YUM. 

Wednesday (today) I planned to take the kids rock climbing downtown but Becky woke up with the stomach bug and threw up everywhere. I gave her A. Alburm in a 200c and she seems fine now after a little nap and some orange juice. I was worried she had the full blown stomach bug. Poor Becky! Hopefully no one else gets sick and we can all resume our regularly scheduled activities tomorrow. Reuben also discovered that he left his violin shoulder rest at violin lessons. Then he proceeded to break a string. Then he cried for 30 minutes. Maybe he is fighting Becky's illness too, or perhaps he is having a bad day. I wasn't mad about the string; but I was seriously annoyed about the missing shoulder rest. UGH. I should have checked. Sigh. 

It's not his fault. Everyone forgets things. It's just so annoying. We will have to go back and pick it up, and now take his violin for a string repair at the violin shop.

It's not even lunch and my attitude and heart are not in the right place! I am praying that I can roll with God's grace and mercy at what life throws at me and see the joy in all the trials, however small the hardships are. 

Here's to tomorrow! I need to go make lunch.   

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Reuben Turns 7

Reuben is one year older! We had an amazing year with our boy and he had a wonderful rock climbing birthday party. I can't wait to see what 7 holds for him and I and all the ways he will grow and be challenged. I love you Reuben. Happy 7! 

You are amazing and I am so glad I get to see you grow up and be your mama.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

an embarrassing miscalulation

Remember Reuben's dentist? We had found him a holistic dentist about an hour away from our home, to help him with his breathing issues. The short story is he can't breathe through his nose! He is a mouth breather, and there are all sorts of health issues associated with mouth breathing...and thus we found a dentist who claims he can help.

The dentist was closed for covid at our last appointment, a turn of events that I blogged about here. This was still an hilarious and awkward adventure, but we DID make it to the appointment. Anyway, as I said the dentist is an hour away, but their main branch is 3.5 hours away near Washington DC. You only visit the main branch for the first appointment for scans, and this is how I drove over 7 hours in one day for a thirty minute appointment, getting stuck in rush hour traffic and enjoying tasty Indian food. 

Anyway. Our dentist is called Bronson Family Dentist. They are a perfect mesh of holistic dentist with mainstream. I love how they are a family dentistry (a father and his daughter and son run the practice together) and I like how they address the whole person. 

So, our dentist appointment is at 4:30 in Mclean, VA, about 7 miles from Washington DC. Three and a half hours from our home without traffic issues. The day of I left around 10am and drove an hour and a half to Charlottesville. We stopped at our favorite Indian restaurant and had delicious authentic Indian food which Reuben and I both love, along with mango drinks. YUM. Two hours left. We used the bathroom, I started an audiobook and we drove. I wanted to get there early to visit Tysons Mall and take Reuben to the lego store--and I am so glad we left early because it took an extra hour to get to Tysons due to traffic. I do not envy anyone their DC commute.

We visited the lego store (its amazing) got bubble tea and cinnamon pretzel bites, and then headed to the appointment. I am completely glossing over the fact that I lost my wallet in this store and was wondering how I was going to illegally drive home with no license or pay for his appointment for about 15 minutes before I realized I left my wallet in the car. Facepalm.

I am glad I left early for the appointment because I could not find the office. It turns out the office is in the bottom of a set of high rise apartments. It looks like apartments, not offices. Just the offices are on the ground floor (there were a ton of little offices of many businesses. I had to ask where to find Bronson Family Dentist squeezed in the corner on the left) But, small town me was confused. This type of set up does not exist where I live. Anyway, to find them I had to call them, but I was put on hold. So while I waited I frantically texted my friend Emily who also goes to this dentist and she helped me out! I got there 10 minutes early.

I thought it would be the office building on the right, but its
the apartments on the left!

I was immediately handed a bunch of paperwork. Now, I must mention that they sent all the files and everything they wanted to do for Reuben via an encrypted email. I could not open the email and told them this. They tried to resend the email and I still could not open it. This email included the pricing and all the information on the procedure for Reuben. I asked the receptionist the price and she informed me that the base price for scans, impressions and consultation was around $800, and that they expected a downpayment for the device as well that day. She didn't say how much the downpayment would be, but since I assumed it would be some type of payment plan I didn't think it would be much. Before I left I had checked with my husband and told him I assumed it wouldn't be more than 1k, but since I wasn't totally sure I budged 2k just to be safe and give myself wiggle room.

You can laugh with me later.

Anyway, I was the last patient of the day. The receptionist was kind but seemed tired (I would be too after a long day of work) and I am Chatty McChatterson so...I am sure I didn't help. Reuben and I were hot and tired from being in the car forever and I bemoaned our long 4ish hour drive only to have her tell me that people travel from all over the world to visit this dentist and that she and the three dentists who work in the office personally drive from DC to Charlottesville at least once a week. I then responded well, they probably don't have small children with them. To which she said actually Mrs Bronson and Mr. Bronson (brother and sister) both have kids. Mr. Bronson has three year old twins at home. And Mrs. Bronson regularly brings her 4 month old to the office since she is still breastfeeding.

I can't win, people. All I was looking for was some sympathy. Seriously! 

I didn't know what to say to all that, but luckily it was our turn so we went back, was told about The Plan to widen the top of Reuben's mouth. It sounds good! They told me it should take around two years and my heart was full of dreams of Reuben's breathing and snoring issues resolving and some other behavior issues that I think are linked to mouth breathing... I was so excited! We had a scan (you can see one of the many screens below) and the doctor pointed out that Reuben has one side of his nose almost completely full, and his adenoids and tonsils are huge. He recommended Reuben be put on a no sugar, gluten and dairy free diet. I don't know what to think about that yet--I am tabling that in the back of my mind to pick apart later. Reuben had impressions of his teeth taken for them to build the device with, and then we left to go check out. 

The wonderful receptionist (who previously had zero sympathy to give to our four hour drive) was on the phone as we waited to check out. I played three games of "can you stand on one food longer then mommy" and "how many times can you jump up and down" as quietly as possible while we waited to check out. Then we went to the bathroom because I didn't want to forget THAT step since we had a 3.5 hour drive back (hah it took almost 5 hours DC traffic is awful) and when we walked back I saw she had the number $4,285 on the little payment screen. I looked at it in confusion. That was the last persons payment, obviously. I sat there wondering what that person had done to their teeth to pay such an exorbitant amount as I waited for the receptionist to be finished with her phone call.

It was our payment.

At first I thought it was a joke. Then while I was trying not to have a panic attack I was trying to figure out how to pay. It turns out that the device for Reuben is around 6k. The 4,285 constituted a downpayment. I had no idea how much money we actually had in our HSA account, I had only asked my husband if it had at least 2k. How could I have said yes to a device that costs 6k without knowing it? Why was this not explained to me? What was I going to do? Also, by this point it was 5:20, twenty minutes after the dentist was supposed to close and there I was standing there in utter shock staring at the screen.

I stammered something crazy as she explained that the rest of the payment would be due at our next appointment when the device is installed. She must have seen my deer in the headlights look because she went though the prices step by step while I tried to breathe.

I handed her the HSA card and thankfully we DID have enough to cover that payment but I have never been more nervous in my life! WHAT a miscommunication! I should have asked how much the device was or she should have told me! I guess since this dentist does this sort of thing all the time they must think people know?! Or maybe in DC dropping 4k on dentistry is normal??! She knew I had missed all the emails! 

I left trying not to cry and wondering how we are going to pay the reminder of the payment in six weeks at our next appointment. I had planned to use the leftover money if it was less then 2k to get myself new glasses since it has been 2 years since my last eye appointment. Well, that wasn't going to happen. I didn't even know if we had enough money in the HSA account for me to go to the chiropractor. 

Well. I loaded Reuben into the car and had to call my husband and tell him I just spent $4,285. I thought he would be mad, but he actually handled it far better than I did. He reminded me that if this works and Reuben can breathe it will be so worth it, and he's right! I was just having a lot of sticker shock and anxiety. What a crazy surprise. 

Then we drove home. I will spare you that rendition.

Luckily, we put the max amount allowed in our HSA account so we should have enough to cover the last payment at the next appointment. I checked this morning as soon as I woke up. And we have enough to go to the chiropractor at least one more time.

I have learned my lesson to ask more detailed questions.

I cannot believe it was that expensive. 

I think I am still in shock. 

And now it is Tuesday and somehow I am supposed to resume normalcy! 

Oh, they said if Reuben breaks his device it is around 2k to get him a new one.

He's seven. And he inherited his mothers clumsiness. 

Also there is absolutely no way we can afford any replacements.

Pray! I know I will be.

What a crazy day.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

the post I shouldn't write about my mother in law

I've been in some kind of funk lately. There is a lot going on; my husband is working long hours (he's doing four 10s, so he gets Friday off which is awesome but I'm doing bedtime all by myself four days a week). I did not receive a series of texts from my mother inviting me to lunch causing her and I much confusion. I have to start homeschooling again and I don't know how I am going to fit it in. How did I fit that in? 

I have felt lonely. Probably everyone struggles with loneliness at some point in their life, we are ghosts in a shell to steal that term, and humans are fickle and selfish. Loneliness can be selfish too. All my friends are busy moms! I'm a busy mom! It's HARD. I am alone most of the day, alone with my children which can be a special kind of endurance exercise. Just as there are amazing moments of reading books, seeing them wonder and explore nature, there are also days full of tantrums (I have my own kind of tantrum lets be honest here I am not solely blaming the toddler) and sickness, days with stress and over-the-top feelings and just days where I am done by 8am but its raining so we are all stuck inside. I wouldn't trade this for the world, but that doesn't mean I love it 24/7. I mean, I chose this! I chose to be a stay at home mom. My husband and I chose these roles for ourselves and it is good. But is is also hard, like I said above.

I have talked about my mother in law here a lot on my blog early in my marriage. I didn't understand her. I tried to please her in every way I could. I still don't understand her! I have tried to be courteous but also stand up for myself. I have tried to be firm on my boundaries but also be a person she could be human around. After 7 or so years of trying to please her, I decided to quit. I stopped letting her come over. I stopped letting her come between me and my children and between me and my husband. I wish I had prayed more (I did pray some) and I do have regrets, but I honestly tried as hard as I could to be someone who she could love. 

But I have always felt guilty over shutting her out. I didn't know what to do; it was a last resort decision my husband and I made. What else could we do? We do see her at church since she attends the same church as us. I see her more than I do my own mother (who works) even with cutting her out of our lives due to...a list of things I could make! She has disrespected ourselves and our children and always tried to undermine our parenting and our pasts. She and her husband did not attend our wedding and even after marriage asked my husband to divorce me. She became only interested in my children when I birthed them, and always seeks to make herself the center of attention. She lies, and slanders my name to her family, and is always giving me unsolicited advice. She contradicts my parenting in front of my children. It is baffling. 

Since those times, almost three years have passed. I have had a lot of time to think. And ponder and try to understand. I do understand a lot better now. I hope I can take what I have learned and be a good mother in law if my children ever marry, due to what I have seen and learned. I don't feel guilty for cutting off mother in law visitation anymore. I now realize she is a bitter, sad person who has chosen this path. I can't change her, but I can choose who I allow and don't allow around my children.

I think Ruth says it best in Ruth Hall "your grandmother is an unhappy, miserable old woman. She has punished herself worse than anybody else could punish her. She is more miserable than ever now...she might have made us all love her and help to make her old age cheerful but now unless she repents, she will live miserably and die forsaken for nobody can love her with such a temper."

For a long time I struggled to forgive my mother in law for all the pain and contention she brought to my marriage, instead of joy, love, honor and trust. I forgive her. She chose not to have dinner with us. She has chosen not to watch my children so my husband and I can have a date. She chose bitterness, strife, envy, anger and resentment as bridal gifts for me, and I will only return them with love and peace.

The thing I have been laughing about the most is something she said recently in bible study. She said her own mother (who is 94 and still alive) stayed with her for 6 weeks when she had her first child (who is now my husband) and she cried when her mother left because she didn't know how she was going to do it on her own.

It stuck deep. I would have given anything to have her there to help me when I was struggling so much during the first 6 weeks of postpartum when I had Reuben. My own mother was working, and my younger sister had just had a baby as well, and my mother was busy helping my sister when she could between work (my sister is a single mom). My husband had only one week off when I gave birth. I had no idea what I was doing and I really needed help. 

I don't think my mother in law even brought us a meal. She came over once and was so upset that I was breastfeeding, she said it was too sexual and gross. I cried when she left. All I was trying to do was feed my baby in the privacy of my own home, exhausted and sore from birth. I'm sure she didn't know what her words meant, but maybe she did. Maybe it was bitter words from her heart because she was not able to breastfeed, even though I have never shamed her. 

She never asks how I am doing. I have asked her out to coffee several times, desiring to get to know her better, and she has declined each time. 

The circumstances don't matter. I want freedom from this.

Every six months or so she makes me feel sorry for her so I try to do something...and it always backfires. Never again. I am free. And so is she.

Friday, July 1, 2022

What I Read (June 2022)

I read a lot this month! Every evening I would climb into bed and read until I was too tired. It was great, refreshing and wonderful (and yes I stayed up too late...) I also read in the afternoons some, but my kids would bother me often. Enjoy these spoiler free reviews!

Tree by Leaf (6/10 stars)

This was as book I picked up in our local book shop just by reading the blurb on the back and looking at the amazing cover art. It is an historical fiction, written after the First World War, and follows Clothide's coming of age. The writing style is amazing and the narration is fluid. What did I like? The setting, the nature scenes and the real issues that pre-world-war-two peoples might have dealt with. I liked the story, it is well done and kept me turning pages as fast as I could! I enjoyed the nuances; the fact that people were not always as Clothide thought they were. She grew, she learned. 

What did I not like? The voice, for one. I won't give spoilers, but it ruined a perfectly good novel for me. It was wholly unnecessary! The mother. I couldn't get a firm understanding or grasp on Clothide's mother. Perhaps I wasn't meant too, but her mother didn't behave rationally and it bothered me. She was one way in one situation and a few moments later, another way! I felt the continuity of her character was maligned. 

But it was a good book. I want to check out more by this author.

The Way of Kings (8/10 stars)

Yes, I finally read it. I honestly don't know what to think. Sometimes I love the book, other times I am annoyed at how many characters and how much depth there is to this novel. SO MUCH DEPTH. This book, rather than "events" is more characterized by people. Take Shallan, for example.  I think about Shallan a lot, especially with how this first novel ended! AlsoI don't like her. Maybe I will later, but she just seems part manipulative and part snooty, part naive and part helpless and ALL annoying. If I have to hear her internal dialogue one more time about why she will/or won't steal a certain fabrial I will roll my eyes. Shallan, you are unimaginative and dull, but I'll keep reading. I like Jasnah better...

On to Kaladin. The classic wounded boy. I rooted for him (because who can't root for an underdog!) and I hope more of his story is revealed, and the mysteries about who he is and what he can do is answered. I want to know!! I like him, and I like how he helps others. I like how he cares. But he wasn't my favorite character, even though I did like him a lot more than Shallown. 

My favorite character is Dalinar. He's strong, but also sensitive (and what is up with Shshsh??!) he has amazing sons, is clever and most of all, he's moral. I like a good moral backbone in a character and Dalinar doesn't disappoint. Also I am 35 so I relate more to an over-the-hill man than teenage Shallan and her angsty inner sqabbles over theft and falsehoods, or Kaladin's Job-like experience. (maybe Kaladin is more like Joseph than Job, but you get what I mean) 

SO. Book, good. I have already ordered the next two books from thrift books and we shall see how long it takes me to read it. By the end of Way of Kings I couldn't put it down and for 12 or so hours my family was ignored and meals were something prepackaged. Oh well. We all survived and I read the book. 

Also, what/who is Whit? I am intrigued. 

I can't wait to read more. Hope Brandon Sanderson publishes another book before I get done with all four...

The Story of Doctor Dolittle (5/10)

This is something I read to the kids, as it is on Reuben's Year 2 free read list for Ambleside Online. It was weird. And nothing like the movie I saw in the 90s? The kids seemed to like it okay, and it was MUCH BETTER than Mary Poppins. My kids have never seen the movie, so they had no idea. I love how he was an actual doctor who decided to become an animal doctor because he loved animals too much. I liked his little laminations about money. The animals themselves were annoying and too varied and the situations not realistic. Reuben says he loved it, so this is just my review...he's asleep right now. Maybe I will ask him what he really thought tomorrow and write up that. Hmmm. All I really remember is one time we were all sitting for a tea party and Becky and Reuben had a whole discussion about how the Pushme-Pullu uses the bathroom. LOL. Because he doesn't have a bottom. How does the Pushme-Pullu potty? Becky said probably out of his nose, which sounds messy and uncomfortable. 

Fortress of Ice (3/10 stars)

(Includes minor spoilers for Fortress in the Eye of Time

I have read Fortress in the Eye of Time at least three times in my life, but I have never read the sequels. Last month (May) I re-read FitEOT and the three sequels. (I give those books at least a 7/10 stars!) I love Tristan and Cefwyn. They remind me of David and Jonathan. BFFs. That whole series was spellbinding, and I had high hopes for this last installment that is set 16 years after Fortress of Dragons. It was okay...(think "meh") and I feel like it was start of a new arc, one that Cherryh subsequently abandoned for some reason. There must be more!! We never learn what happens to the shadows in the Quinaltine! We never learn what happens to the witches!! We never see the boys grow up. And Tristan, ever amazing Tristan, is flat and one dimensional in this novel. I feel like the author didn't know what to do with him, and should have left him largely out of the book! It was a good book though. Was it the end of the arc? No, it raised more questions than it answered! Why does Nervis and Cefwyn have only two children after sixteen years together?  I would think they would have more, or the book would address why they do not. Miscarriages? Something is missing from their story and it is left completely unexplained. Anyway, I finished the book slightly annoyed there were no more left to read and with a lot of questions I thought would be answered...

The Wheel on the School (9/10 stars)

Another DeJong book! I love him! Such prose, such understanding of children, such simplicity yet so much emotion. I absolutely have loved every DeJong I have read so far. This was my second but we also read Good Luck Duck this month. I just didn't include that one here because it's basically a picture book where this is a chapter book (And I read Good Luck Duck to the kids but this one I read just for myself, though I will add it to the read pile for the kiddos!) This guy is a master storyteller and his tales are timeless and vibrant. (the first book I read of his was called Along Came the Dog and I gave it 10/10 stars. EVERYONE loved it. Me, the kids, everyone. I now want a little red hen.)

What are you guys reading? Today marks the beginning of July and a new month of books. And a vacation weekend to start me off strong! Happy 4th of JULY friends!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

a lot of things went wrong

This week is vacation week. Brian has the whole week off! We have a birthday party, VBS, dentist appointments and a trip to Washington DC (the dentist in in DC) all scheduled for this week! Not to mention our usual CSA pickups and milk pickup and violin this week is chock-full of everything.

we were all tired by this point

And it started off with the unexpected.

We had been looking for a piano for awhile because I want to start Becky in piano lessons when she turns 5 in January. Well, my violin teacher's sister (that's a mouthful) said that a local church was practically giving away their pianos (they are $100 each) and we got one! We bought the piano Monday and if it all works out we will have it in our house on Thursday. We are going to try to move it in our truck and I am letting Brian handle that with two of his friends and one of my friends adult son. I hope it goes well. I know very little about pianos and even less about moving a piano. It is a Console piano and both Becky and I are excited. I hope it doesn't fall out of the truck and we can get it into our house unscathed. Ahhhh!

SO. Monday was a whirlwind of going to look at the piano. We saw four out of the six they had left before wisely deciding to buy the last piano on the ground floor. Stairs I don't think we can do. We got home from the Big Piano Surprise Purchase to figure out where to PUT the piano. We reshuffled the living room and made a mess. After the stress of that (how are we still married) I put the living room back in order. Halfway through I got a phone call. Reuben's dentist appointment was canceled due to the doctors having covid. WHAT? 

Let me back up a bit. SO I found this amazing holistic dentist who says they can help my son breathe through his nose with NO surgery or braces. Reuben cannot breathe though his nose at all. This has been an ongoing problem since he was born that I have tried to get everyone to look at to no avail. Well, I finally found this dentist and it looks promising. We had a consultation in their secondary office which is about an hour away from our home. The problem is the main office is 3.5 hours away near DC. SO the reason we were going to DC and the reason we booked a hotel and were going to visit museums there was...we would already be there for Reuben's dentist appointment. 

And now it was canceled because the doctor tested positive for covid. SIGH. I realize it is not his fault and his practice is doing the best it can, but it was a serious issue for us! We were supposed to leave Tuesday for DC, see some museums, and stay in a hotel overnight for the 10:30am appointment on Wednesday. The call came one day before we left!!! There was no time to cancel the hotel, so we went anyway, knowing we are going to have to do this all over again whenever I reschedule the appointment. Which I have to wait to do until I can sit down with my husband and find out when he can take another day off.

Washington DC traffic is horrible. I definitely cannot drive there. I mean, I guess I could...but I don't want too! Crazy people zooming all over!!! We borrowed a stroller and saw the Natural History Museum and the Museum of American History. (my children broke a piece off the stroller tray and I had to very embarrassingly tell my friend, I am sorry my kids broke this) It was interesting, fun, and tiring. We walked for hours and I am shocked at how much bottle water costs (we did bring some of our own but ran out...) Also, the free parking at DC is gone. There used to be free parking (as of 6 years ago, the last time we went and I remember the spots in the 90s when I was a kid!) but there isn't free parking anymore, or if there is we couldn't find it. The food at the museums is extremely overpriced. I was disappointed in how "woke" our history is becoming, but I guess that is politically correct these days? 

[side rant: What will they change about the 90s and early 2000's one hundred years from now? Will they revile us for all the human trafficking that goes on? For abortion? I wonder what it will be; as we look back on the 17, 18, and early 1900s and judge them with a heavy amount of hindsight bias and presumptuous pride. We are no different in our sins, if anything we are more lazy, more gluttonous and more promiscuous than they. At least in the 1700s most people could live off the land; we are chained to our endless entertainments of television and ticktock as we grow ever fatter on our couches. Sheech. I shudder to think what they would say if they could see us for a change.] 

So anyway, we saw DC, we spent too much money on food, and we made it to our hotel! And then even though we were all exhausted we walked to a HUGE mall for dinner and bought the most amazing Indian food. Everyone ate it and we all crashed in the hotel room, dreaming up things to do tomorrow since Reuben's appointment was canceled. 

We woke up to one of my children peeing the bed. And also we didn't sleep well (who does in a hotel?) so we decided to just clean up and head home. Pee child had to wear a siblings clothes because Mommy did not plan for a pee apocalypse and packed light. No one has accidents anymore in our house and hasn't for months! Let my life be a warning for you: always plan for the pee apocalypse. Always.  

And now we are home and the mini-whirlwind vacation is over and we all had a shower and tomorrow is another busy day where we hope to get the piano into our house in one piece! Hopefully. Send prayers. And then we attend a birthday party and this crazy week will be over.

I don't think I am a vacation person. I get excited when I plan them, but when I'm on "vacation" its just a stress and anxiety inducing trip away from home. Am I doing something wrong or am I just a homebody? The thought of going on another vacation does not sound thrilling to me. I just want to knit stuff, drink tea, and read books; that's enough excitement for this middle aged mother!

How is your week going?