Saturday, December 31, 2022

Week 20

Our week of Christmas Vacation was wonderful. No one had covid, no one was sick (well, Becky had the 12 hour stomach bug one night but that was so short and Brian dealt with it...I was lucky he was still up and let this pregnant lady keep sleeping) so I guess that one person was sick...but what a restful amazing vacation!!! The best one we have had in a while. 

Christmas was wonderful, we attended church, visited my parents, saw my mother in law, exchanged gifts and rested. I feel like we had a good balance of rest and family time. All through the week we read books, played video games and board games, cleaned rooms, played with presents and even took turns napping. My husband got me some great gifts (gifts is my love language). I received yarn for sock knitting, a purse, chocolate, and we got a joint gift of FF12 for the switch, which has been really fun to replay. I also got new bed sheets which I told him was not very romantic but I suppose 10 years of marriage makes it acceptable. 

We had the oddest weather (as did most of us in the United States...) The first three days of Christmas vacation it was freezing. Overnight when I woke up to pee (pregnancy...) I saw it was 4f at 2:30am. I put more wood on the fire. Frost grew on the insides of our windows! Then we ended the week with 60f days and summer clothes. And next week looks like wonder weather with each day estimated at 50-60f! When it was freezing cold one door on our car wouldn't work. Seriously. We had to wait until it was above 20f to be able to close it. Crazy! It never gets that cold here...very rare. Was interesting. Maybe it will happen again next year?

When I was reading comments on a YouTube video I saw someone in California was complaining it was in the 30s there. I had to laugh. This is probably what people from Canada and Alaska think of me marveling at the teen temperatures we had!

Pregnancy wise things are going okay. I have started testing my blood sugar to bring in a week of numbers on the 5th. My fasting is "high" (they want it below 95) and it's around 96-98 when I check in the morning. Hopefully this is not a problem. Baby is doing great, I feel lots of movement this week, squirmy squiggles and I am still on the keto diet. And soon we find out what we are having and I will have more ultrasound pictures to share! I think my fasting is "high" for one, I don't sleep through the night, and two, feet-on-the-floor phenomenon is a real thing. It happened last time. 

How was everyones week? I am grateful we didn't lose electricity with the crazy weather. I am grateful for good health, a warm fire, and a husband who pitched in! Here is to the next term of school...our next vacation will include me birthing this baby and all the wonderfulness that is postpartum...

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Week 19...and a half

Today we made Christmas cookies and the kids are so excited about celebrating Christmas in just a few short days. I am a few days shy of halfway to baby. Or, I hope, over halfway! This baby is going to be 'done' before 40 weeks right? I don't know. No one knows. Except God and he hasn't told me.

Anyway. We find out the gender January 5th!! My pregnancy is going well so far; no issues besides vitamin D deficiency that I have supplemented (and I have a ton more energy now too; so I definitely needed it). I am taking fermented cod liver oil.

I wish I could show how how many loud bangs, crying, and "I"m hungry" interruptions happened in the last two paragraphs but alas, I did not take any pictures and everyone is fine. Children are wonderful but also I need 10 minutes alone please.

I ordered a high chair for the baby. It is a bit early for a high chair but it was on sale, matches the one that becky uses (its a grow with me one) and it's probably better to space out the purchasees so it doesn't happen all at once. My list right now for baby is:
  • Dock-A-Tot
  • Baby clothes at least to 6m size in the home and swaddles
  • Baby Wrap for mom and carrier for dad
  • Aquire crib from friend (yay just have to pick it up and assemble)
  • Sids alarm (I plan to not sleep with this baby you can laugh with me later)
  • Baby play mat
  • Loads of non-cloth diapers and wipes
  • Breast Pump
  • High Chair
I don't think there is anything else I honestly need. We got rid of all the baby stuff after my last miscarriage (I needed to...) and I did not think I would ever have another baby. Actually I planned on not having another baby. God decided differently for some Unfathomable Reason. And I am grateful because his ways are better...they are even if I don't understand it.

A friend gave me a baby swing which will be amazing and with that and the baby mat I should be set with "zones" that are only for baby and not for my older kids. 

Anyway, I still am in shock that I am going to give birth to another human...I haven't breastfed anything in 2.5 years and I haven't changed diapers in 2. I really am in for an entire life adjustment. 

My kids play with tons of non baby safe toys that will have to be carefully regulated once the tiny human I am creating learns to crawl. Thinking of getting gates for their room doors.

Lately I have been vacillating between nesting and angst. There are so many things I want to change about my house and while I can make some small changes there is nothing I can do about many things and it makes me want to scream!! I want to move, husband does not want to move, this is a recurring monthly argument that I need to lay to rest. My children are growing up faster than bean spouts in springs (Reuben will be 8 this summer what?!) and I am desperately in need of clothes that will fit a medium sized watermelon in the torso region. There are so many changes happening at once and I am trying to cope and failing but at least I am laughing and praising God though it all. 

Daily I wonder what the next year of homeschooling (Reuben's year 3, Beckys first year of kindergarten) will look like with a tiny human underfoot, and lets not even wonder how I will cook anything much less teach math and read books. 

I need to take at least one bump pick. Maybe a Christmas 20-week photo!! I need to do a week of finger pokes for my midwife who is insisting I still do this even though I am eating keto and the idea of having high blood sugar on keto is a conundrum. Sigh. Hopefully this one week and maybe another around 26 will be enough and I can not spend the whole pregnancy poking myself 4 times a day like I had to with Becky. It would be nice.

God is good and Christmas is going to be wonderful.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Week 17

We just got back from Reuben's dental appointment and it isn't going well. I think he might be too young for what we are trying to do (get him to breathe though his nose). He keeps taking the device out of his mouth so I am basically throwing money away every month for them to put it back in. I think when he is older and more aware of what the device is for and understands the health benefits he can make the choice not to mess with it. But we are still going to try until I have this baby.

On top of all Reuben's dental bills, we are starting to get prenatal bills We got the bills for my first appointment and for the panic-inducing act of having my blood drawn, after insurance, we were billed $300. Then there was a separate bill for the ultrasound and the consultation. 

I had to take a step back and be reminded (with my husband) that it's worth it. And also to remember to pray. God knew I was going to have a baby in 2023 and he also knew that Reuben was going to be born unable to breathe out of his nose. He is in control and I trust him! Yes I want to fix him right now so his health can be improved...I want him to sleep better (he snores terribly) and for his facial bones to grow correctly, (mouth breathers have issues!) but I am not God. I must remember to wait and pray and abide in him. His timing is perfect and this is worth trying even if it leads no where. At least I will know something that doesn't work.

This Christmas is going to be a much smaller Christmas than last year. Last year I bought everything in October/November for Christmas and our budget was comfortable. I was worried Brian was going to lose his job because we did not want the vaccine (do you guys remember that craziness); but he did not end up losing his job thankfully and prayerfully!! But I wanted to make sure we had a Christmas if he did; and thus I shopped early. This year our budget is half of what it was last year. I mean, we don't really need anything. We have each other! But with the medical issues and crazy inflation, and saving for baby stuff, that is what we have. We are really blessed because many people don't have that, and I am still able to buy my wild caught salmon I keep craving from fresh market. And we have been able to fix our cars several times this year... We really do have everything we need. Just different is...different. 

Anyway. We are doing well. I am learning (still) to dwell on the positives instead of the negatives. And I'm 17 weeks and my nausea seems finally to be 90% gone. Hooray! 

Oh and isn't Becky's new haircut (I cut it for her) just adorable?! She loves it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Week 15...and a half

We took two weeks off school--well, one wasn't technically a week off since it was our exam week, but the exam took about 10% of the time school takes so it felt much lighter! 

I always am struck with how we thrive when I drop one of my main three "motherhood" juggling acts. The three are, in no particular order:

  1. Homeschooling
  2. Feeding my Family
  3. Cleaning/Laundry
For example, with limited nausea and no homeschooling, items 2 and 3 can be accomplished in an orderly and efficient manner. Or, for example, when I cut out number 2 and we eat out a lot, items 1 and 3 don't feel anxious and stress-inducing (but everyone has a stomach ache). 

It's a wheel of fortune. I need to get all of these three things done but that is a rare and wondrous occurrence. And if you add in "socializing" my kids, making time for myself, and being a great wife to my amazing husband, I'm surprised I have time to sleep at night. I'm doing the best I can over here with Jesus and grace, and hopefully a lot of laughter. I am reminded of Farmer Boy, which we just finished reading where he talks about how his mother never sits down unless it is at her loom. I am not running a farm but I could do with that sort of lifestyle. I try to make time to sit down to read my bible, and I am sure Angelina (that's Almanzo's mothers name) did as well when her boys were outside, or at school. But the more sitting I do the less that gets done. It's an exact correlation. I need a cloning machine. 

I will say when I added in "Debilitating Pregnancy Nausea" to the list, nothing was getting done and I was miserable. I am so glad that is mostly behind me. I don't miss it. Thank God it was (a little over) first-trimester brief...

We put up our tree (a small one this year, with the piano there is no space for the big one that my neighbor graciously gave us several years ago) and our stockings, all handmade by me, are hung. I will be crocheting a new stocking next year...the holidays are here and my belly is only getting bigger.

Oh, and I did get a call about my bloodwork. I am slightly vitamin D deficient so I have started on a vitamin D supplement and also am eating more salmon and taking fermented cod liver oil. I really don't go out much when it gets below 40, but perhaps I should make myself. They said my levels were 25 and need to be above 30 (they might have said 26, I can't exactly remember) but I will try to do what I can. Maybe this is why I am tired sometimes.

Happy Thanksgiving! We are having a quiet home thanksgiving. I am making ribs, mac and cheese and a pie and not stressing myself out. It will be a fun relaxing day of staying home and playing board games with the kiddos. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

100 days (10/10)

 I made it! 100 days, one dress, a pregnancy 'surprise' and 7 weeks of nausea. Woah! 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Week 14

Well, my first doctors appointment was quite a day. 

I got to see the little bean! He's cute. I think it is a boy, but we won't find out until the gender scan on December 22. A Christmas surprise!! My husband wanted to wait a week to schedule the gender scan but the doctor said it is important to get it done as close to week 20 as possible. If we waited until January it would save us a lot of money because insurance always rolls over on the first of the year. 

I originally had my mom to watch the kids, but she ended up not being able to. So I asked a friend but her son woke up with pink eye so we didn't drop our kids off. SO. Both of the kids came with me. They were well behaved but bored, especially since my appointment took over two hours. Yes you heard that right! Crazy. My husband did have the day off, however I cannot do blood work without him. Leaving the kids with him and going by myself was not an option I could mentally handle. I am terrified of blood work. So we took the kids with us. I was nervous about brining my whole family but actually a lot of other women had their kids or their husband with them, so I felt less awkward. 

Well, the first thing that happened when we walked in...we were asked to put on masks. Except the kids were not required (thank goodness because my son cannot wear a mask). It's freaking 2022 people, I haven't worn a face diaper since 2020 so I was NOT pleased. I asked on the phone about covid policies and was told everything was back to normal but I guess normal includes masks. I hate masks. I'm pregnant and it's already hard to breathe and I was so nervous about blood work. I told them no. They said I couldn't go back unless I wore one. I asked my husband to leave and he looked at me like I was insane. They then said they had face shields, so I put one of those on and felt ridiculous. No one else in the waiting room was wearing a mask or a shield and yet we had been told to wear one! About five minutes later (as I was filling out paperwork) a nurse came in and made everyone put on masks. 

I hate masks. I will not wear one during labor. Hopefully they don't require it. My husband is not bothered by masks and wore them at work until recently when the policy changed. But neither of us wear them out at all! I had no clue doctors offices still required them. So much for covid being over.

I was then asked a bunch of what I considered very invasive questions about my sex life, my past miscarriages and how I was feeling. While I struggled to get through those with my dignity intact, my kids climbed all over the chairs and played with another little boy who was in the waiting room. I answered half of the questions and gave up from sheer mental exhaustion. Isn't it enough that I was here?! Sheesh.

We did weight first, then the ultrasound where the nurse asked to do it vaginally. I politely declined. We didn't know exactly how far along I was, but I was plenty far!!! She could see perfectly. She was very nice and wonderful and gave me lots of pictures. And she remembered me from 5 years ago which I am not sure is a good thing. I must have made some type of impression. I didn't remember her but maybe it was the mask. It's hard to see faces behind the masks.

After that we sat in the waiting room again, then I peed in a cup (and my kids both had to use the bathroom at this point) then we sat in the waiting room some more. After awhile we were put in a space for speaking to the doctor who noticed I was nervous. She asked me at least 3 times if I was on any medications seeming not to believe me when I said no, only a prenatal and probably like 6 others holistic things but no antidepressants or anxiety medications. She could tell I was nervous so I told her about the blood work. Which I will say I had asked to do first. 

Talking to the doctor went well. I was annoyed they didn't know any of my past history since I had given birth twice with them before, and I wasn't expecting to have to tell them about my gestational diabetes. Ugh. But they either are too busy or just don't read that stuff, so I told them.  I will have to test before my December 22 appointment for one week. I didn't tell them I was keto (but I did mention I did it last time and would do it again) but they can probably tell from the blood work.

Exit doctor. We went back to the waiting room.

Blood work time, where I scared both my children while sobbing helplessly in my husbands arms. Then I had a panic attack for about two hours. My loving and very patient husband took me home, made lunch and dinner and took care of me. I felt better by that evening. I absolutely HATE bloodwork. Every time I am made to do it I tell myself never again! Luckily unless something is wrong there is only the finger poke to check my iron levels so, I will console myself with that. I have another appointment in two weeks to talk about my labs and whatever else they do at these things. Then the ultrasound. 

I wanted a home birth.

But, I tell myself, I am so lucky to be having a baby! Another miracle that my unhealthy body is somehow keeping alive. It's a miracle. I pinch myself every day.

Also my nausea is almost gone!! That too has been a huge huge blessing.

And that's all the updates there are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

100 Days (9/10)

10 more days! I have fallen in love with the dress weird since I spent like 30 days hating it in the middle of this challenge. I think it was the constant pregnancy nausea and the fatigue and the "same dress" and the keto many ways I was challenged at once. But now that it is almost over and my nausea is slightly better I am able to feel less confined by wearing the same dress for most of the day! 

Wheeeee. 10 more days! 

I think I will give birth in this dress. It seems a fitting end to it. I really honestly don't want to wear it again after wearing it for 100 days. Hah! It did hold up well, only the top got a little loose for some reason. It isn't a big deal, I either safety pin it or wear a shirt under it. 

Also, the elastic is getting a little tight on my 13 week pregnancy bump. My doctors appointment is this Friday and I am nervous and excited all at once... ahhhh!

Now to get dressed and start homeschooling.

Monday, October 31, 2022

100 days (8/10)

80 days, one dress. Nausea and 12 weeks of pregnancy! Huzzah, so many milestones.

I'm exhausted. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

100 Days (7/10)

Another 10 days have passed, and I am almost done. 70 days of the same dress! I kinda like it again. It's funny how I fall in and out of love with it. But this week I am more excited to style it and have simplicity in my life. 

I am so glad I picked a dress that will be both pregnancy friendly and breastfeeding accessible. 

30 more days!

Monday, October 24, 2022

11 weeks!

Today I am 11 weeks pregnant. Almost through the first trimester, how exciting!! Today my nausea is awful, which is weird because for the last four days it was getting better (a little) and I was hopeful it was going to go away soon. Today it's been a very intense friend. I also did something to my neck and it hurts. But we are going to try to have as normal as a day as I can. 

I vacillate between "trying to do all the things" and collapsing in my armchair. I am trying not to disassociate from my children and, though we did take three weeks off school I plan to start trying some school today. I miss it and the kids miss the routine. 

A baby means I am new mama. My body is growing a human! I am adjusting. It is okay to rest and my house does not need to be perfect every day. My kids will be okay.

All things I need to hear. I can't wait until I have my first appointment and get to see the little bean. It is on November 11th and I am hopeful for good news. 

I'm tired of the keto diet but I know it is good for my body and my baby. I will not let gestational diabetes take me over. 

It's only a season. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

100 days (6/10)

The end is in sight. Honestly, so many of the clothes I wanted to wear this fall won't fit over my burrito baby anyway, so I have fallen in love with the dress again. These 11 pictures are from 10 different days. Happy fall! 

 I'm wearing the Brooklyn Merino Wool Dress in the color Pacific

Monday, October 10, 2022

Everything is Hard

Today I am nine weeks pregnant! This is more pregnant than 5 of my miscarriages, and I am feeling more confident that this is a baby I will get to meet and hold in my arms. Which is great!

But this is also my forth week of debilitating nausea. I know I am lucky. I am not throwing up, I am able to eat food. But wow, did I forget a whole lot about pregnancy. Also, I hate feeling nauseous all the time. It is hampering my life. I can't do anything. None of my pants fit and I have to eat every 2 hours or the nausea really overwhelms me. 

The kids are great, at 7 and 4 they can do a lot themselves. I am bothered by how much I cannot do.

I have been waking up and making breakfast and lunch first thing in the morning. That way if I am really bad off at 11, everyone has food. Dinner is touch and go. Sometimes I cook, sometimes my husband cooks. Sometimes it's toast with jam that Reuben makes. 

Homeschooling has derailed and I am frantically canceling all our plans. But I am trying to see the hope at the end of the tunnel; my nausea will end. Whether it is at 10 or at 23 weeks remains to be seen, but it does have an end and I cling to that. I remember (vaguely) that with Reuben my nausea lasted 6-8 weeks and with Becky it was about the whole time I was pregnant with a brief hiatus in the third trimester. I did blog through all this and I'll probably go back and read it all just to refresh myself. Certainly my pregnancy with Becky was much harder, as I had a very active 2.5 year old to watch and no fenced in backyard. But this one is hard too.

Anyway, our first doctors appointment is November 11th. I'm shocked that I couldn't get in earlier, but they are super booked. I hope that waiting this long will mean I am less nauseous but I am not holding my breath. 

I am also feeling a lot older. I am 35 now and I feel too old to be doing this with my body! I know people have babies much older, but I just feel so out of it and like my body is confused most of the time. I already had to go on the keto diet and I am doing well (I have gestational diabetes) with it. I am sticking to full GAPS for the most part but keeping it low carb, under 70g carbs a day.

My only food aversion is bread. How weird is that? Can't stand it, don't want to make it, the thought of hot bread out of the oven slathered with butter was one of my favorite things and now it makes me want to run gagging out of the room. Oh well. I can easily live without bread, I can't even have it on the keto diet so its great that I don't want it? 

But really guys, this is really hard.

I'm trying to share my meals over on my instagram if you want to follow along. And care about that kind of thing? 

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.