Monday, August 29, 2011

Tell All On Baby #5

Yes, I am now 23 weeks pregnant with #5 and it seemed like the appropriate time to do a tell-all exclusive. There are questions I know you all have (because I've been asked them by friends and strangers alike) and since I aim to please on my blog, here you go!

Q: Yikes! 5 kids! Was this planned?

A: Sort of. When I was pregnant with #4 I said that I wanted a 5th if 4 was a girl. You see, I thought it was important for the only girl to have someone to force her to not to be the ONLY GIRL, THE YOUNGEST and SIGNIFICANTLY YOUNGER than the 3rd. All those things (in my mind) could lead to her being quite spoiled. This has been proven to be true. This spring, Noah finally said that he was ok with having a 5th. Sometime. A couple weeks later I realized I was pregnant :)

Q: Why did it take you so long to tell people that you were pregnant?

A: We have never told people about our pregnancies very early. It seems a little awkward to be all like "Hello! I am pregnant!" Besides that, it is sort of fun to see people whispering about you and taking double takes when they notice your expanding waist line. However, in this case it was very late and I was really showing. The extreme lateness can be blamed on Noah who did not tell his parents until I was arond 16 weeks. I finally had to tell him that if he didn't tell them, that I was putting it on facebook. Why didn't he tell them? Good question. I am pretty sure though that it had something with him walking around looking shell shocked and trying to come to grips with reality himself.

Q: Did it bother you that everyone thought you were just getting fat?

A: YES! I was getting pretty irritated because instead of people thinking I was pregnant, they thought I was getting fat. WHEN HAVE I EVER JUST RANDOMLY GOTTEN FAT?! Besides that I HAD NEVER said that I was not having any more kids. My dear friends Molly and Renae made me feel better by saying that they had suspected I was pregnant because, "when have you ever just gotten fat? And besides that, you looked pregnant, not overweight". That helped my self-esteem.

Q: How is Noah doing now?

A: Noah is doing well. He freaked out for awhile, and mostly about vehicles. Now he is back to his laid back, take-it-in-stride self and I am the one awake at night thinking about vehicles, bedrooms and dealing with a carseat and the most unbalanced 18 month old in the history of the world. He even told his boss about the baby. We had planned a really fun scenerio about me coming into his office 9 months pregnant...and well, we had several more planned, but in the end we didn't use any of them.

Q: Is Berean really the most unbalanced 18 month old in the world?

A: Probably not, although sometimes it seems like she is. I took her swimming the other day and I couldn't even walk next to her, because my disturbing the water in her immediate area was enough to unbalance her. I think it is partially due to her small size, and partially due to her elevated baby toes. They told me she would compensate for the toes, but I don't know if she really has yet. Or prehaps she just really needs to work her core.

Q: Are you going to find out the sex of the baby?

A: nope! We never have, and we are not going to start now. Deke and Roman want a girl, Linc wants a boy. I doubt that Berean wants either. I have a great boy name, but it would be nice for Berean to have a sister. We will be happy either way, I am sure.

Q: What is the boy name?

A: As if I would tell.

Q: When are you due?

A: Christmas Day. And no, this was not planned to avoid working the holiday. I am 23 weeks currently.

Q: How are you feeling?

A: Not that great. No nausea or anything, but for being only in my 2nd trimester- I sure feel like I am in my third. The midwife lady told me that it would probably be a harder pregnancy, since it is my 5th- and so far I agree. Some of it may be due to the fact that they will be less than 2 years apart. It was SO MUCH EASIER to have the longer break that I did between Lincoln and Berean. I just think my body was still tired going into this one.

Speaking of tired...I am tired now....

Maybe I will finish this another time, and who knows...maybe I won't...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Impending Doom

I get asked all the time "How do you do it? You have 4 kids, you are pregnant. You are working, you are homeschooling."

And my honest answer is: I have good help. I have a supportive husband and extremely helpful extended family.

But, my other honest thought is: I have no idea.

Right now I have a feeling of impending doom. It is a feeling brought on by school starting again. Not only is school starting, but a rigorous fall schedule of juggling MD appointments, work, classes, therapy, school, church, exercise. Not to mention my own personal time and time just chillin' with my peeps.

On paper, it all fits. But in reality, will it work?

I didn't pencil in extra time for melt downs and temper tantrums.

I didn't schedule cleaning up spills and rescuing people from the tops of things.

I didn't schedule phone calls from friends, and extra time in the yard.

I would like an addition to our house, but when would I manage that?

Right now I am feeling overwhelmed.

And I know that once we start school and get into a rhythm that things will work out.

But right now I don't know how it will go, how they will adjust.

All day long now they play and run and swing and play some more.

And I wash dishes.

But pretty soon we will be doing school, and when will I wash dishes?

Is Berean going to scream all day because she is not the center of attention?

Will we find hours in between Lincoln's therapy for school?

Will I ever run again?

How will I get these people to go to sleep at night?

Should we send the older boys downstairs to split them up?

I don't know. And today I feel overwhelmed.

Tomorrow may be different.

I guess we will see.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, my friend Tonya left a comment asking me about which homeschool curriculum I have been using/planning to use. I missed the question originally, and then it has taken me forever to post this.

So, Tonya, sorry it is so late, but here is my answer:

I have found a few things I love, but I have not found any complete curriculum that I am completely sold on.

Let me start out by saying that I am very frugal and I hate the thought of spending a ton of money on a curriculum (and let's just say that some of the ones out there are very spendy). I could justify the expense by saying that I will be homeschooling 5 children,so I will be able to use it 5 times and possibly resell it later. And that is true, and maybe if I found something that I LOVED and thought would work for 5 different kids, I would maybe go for that. So far, that hasn't been the case.

Our homeschool co-0p is actually a "school" that is open 2 days a week with an a la carte menu. The teachers are paid and although it is spendy, we feel that it is worth it for the boys to have exposure to different teachers, other students and a different environment for that one morning a week. Also, once my volunteer hours are over, I will have time to grocery shop :)

Deacon is going to be in 2nd grade, Roman in 1st and Lincoln in preschool. Lincoln will go to preschool once a week at the public school for speech, and once a week at the co-op. He will also have private speech therapy 1-2 times a week.

Here is our plan for this year:

PE: (this is my favorite subject to plan for :) D and R are both going to take Taekwando at our local homeschool "school". They are also going to do a 2 day a week "gym and swim"kind of thing at our YMCA. In the winter they will play Upward basketball at church. We may sign them up for swimming/flag football etc during the year.

ART: The boys will have art once a week at our homeschool co-op and then will also have some projects on "Grandma" day once a week. In addition, I signed D and R up for a nature photography class for fall at a park nearby (living in a big city has advantages!).

MUSIC: Deacon will sing in Kid's choir again at church. I will give them a basic review of music and we will listen to some different kinds of music during the year. We may or may not eventually do music lessons for our kids. I would like to say we would, but they are quite expensive, and with 5 kids it may happen only for the kids who care. At this point I can't see paying for something only to have them whine and complain about it.

BIBLE: The kids will be working through their Awana books again this year, and I am planning to use a "walk through the Old Testament" book that I have to offer a Biblical Framework. We also will probably build off of the Jelly Telly "What's In the Bible with Buck Denver" DVD series.

MATH: Roman will be starting Singapore Math 1a, Lincoln will be doing Singapore Kindergarten and Deacon will be using Math Expressions 2nd grade curriculum. Deacon's curriculum comes free from our school district (I know, it is a big MACHE no-no, but seriously??! The curriculum is free and I like it. I pay taxes too, you know). I do like Singapore math, but I don't live or die by it.

SCIENCE: This year we are going to use Alpha Omega LIFEPACs for science- 1st grade for Roman and 2nd grade for Deacon. Let me start off by saying that this was a difficult decision. I feel that these LIFEPACs are incredibly easy and simplistic (although I could be proved wrong as we get into it) but what I like about them is that they are intended for the kids to be able to read and they have to write in the book! My boys need as much reading and writing practice as they can get, and I like how LIFEPAC sneaks it into their subjects. This material is also grade level appropriate and I can clearly see that it will easily cover what they need to know for the standardized test that they need to take in the Spring.

However, I could not let it end there. D and R will be doing earth science one day a week at our co-0p, and so as a family we are going to supplement our science by using Apologia's Astronomy textbook. I LOVE THIS SERIES! It is intended to last a 1/2 year to a year and you hit the subject super hard and in depth, instead of moving around from topic to topic. here is the link in case you are interested in looking at this text.

HISTORY/GEOGRAPHY: This is by far my favorite subject and has been the biggest disappointment to me as a homeschool parent. I feel that it is very difficult to find good hardcore history curriculum for the younger grades. Then I realized that no one seems to teach it in the younger grades. They discuss communities, flags, famous buildings and other super-basic knowledge. This annoys me.

We are going to useLIFE PAC (this link brings you to the 5 subject set- we only bought 3 of the subjects) for grade level expectation history learning. The kids will learn that they are special and about communities. It makes me gag, but it incorporates a lot of reading and writing and it will teach to the standardized test and make sure I am not missing anything vital (such as what a community in Japan looks like).

To supplement we will use two more texts,Mystery of History and Exploring American History. The former will give us a summary of history from Creation to the Resurrection (I am very excited about this book!) and the later will go through basic American History and highlight the presidents. We will also work on cementing our knowledge of continents, oceans, states, big countries and memorizing our Presidents. We will do these two texts 2-3 days a week and it will be mostly me just reading to them- no real projects or tests or anything. My boys (especially Deacon) learn really well by listening.

LANGUAGE ARTS: I left this for last because this is the subject that I like the absolute least. If I could pick one subject to leave for someone else to teach the boys, this would be it. The boys will be taking a writing class at co-op and we will be using the LIFE PAC grade 1 and 2 language arts curriculum, a phonics book and 2nd grade reading books obtained through our school district. Deacon is not a strong reader yet, so I will be pushing him as I also teach Roman and Lincoln. This will be a subject that we work on as a group and separately.

Well, that is my plan. I know that it is pretty intense, but we won't do everything every day. My goal is to be a fun and engaging teacher so that they catch my enthusiasm. That, of course, will be difficult on the days that my house is a mess, Berean is needy and I just want to take a nap- but I will do my best! In a couple months I will update you on what is working,and what has been thrown to the wayside!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yeah,it's kinda like that

People I work with ask me what it's like living with all these young children. Well, yeah, it's kinda like this:

Copyright 2011 Baby Blues Partnership. Dist. by King Features Syndicate.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Still Laughing

Noah told the boys that it was time to clean their room. They were supposed to do it last night, but had begged for mercy and a deferment until today.
Here is how the conversation went (I will leave out most of the screaming and wailing noises):
N- "guys, go clean your room"
(screaming and wailing)
D- "all of it?"
N- "your room is like 80 square feet. Yes, all of it"
D- "and it is like AN INCH DEEP!"
and off they went (with much gnashing of teeth).
Deacon showed me his new pokemon card, Piplip.
I mentioned how much Piplip looked like a Penguin.
Deacon replied, "Piplip is a version of a penguin." A lot of the Pokemons are versions of animals"
I love that kids vocabulary.
Berean was throwing toys in the bathtub. Before she threw each one she said, "watch!"
Wonder where she got that?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Little Model

We only have one child that is always willing to get his picture taken

He likes to pose, he likes to smile

He doesn't even mind if we snap a picture when he is not quite ready

Or if he is being propped up on a rock by Uncle James

Isn't that sweet?

Even though he is the 3rd, I think he may be our most well photographed child (at least the one with the most decent looking pictures).

He knows how to overcome middle child syndrome- with a smile and a pose.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Once Again, We're Back

We just got back from a camping trip to the North Shore.

There were a lot of positives and very few negatives:

*no bugs. seriously awesome.
*beautiful blue skies
*Berean did not come (we love her, but 17 month olds + camping = too much work). Thanks for watching her, Mom and Dad!
*in laws did 99% of the cooking. I flipped two pancakes, and I think Noah flipped 3. Thanks Chris and Debbie!
*the boys had a ton of fun and I brought home great quotes of the day, like:

-D "cliff jumping is illegal? I just thought it was fun!"
-L "Get your 'oooohhhs' ready, there is a tunnel coming up!"
-R "I miss Berean. We had to leave her behind, and I kind of like behind".
-D "c'mon Dude, I need some fast bucks here!"

-port-a-potties (don't look down!)
-minor back injury
-multiple near heart attacks as boys did what boys do
-being pregnant definitely hinders my mobility and agility. I could feel it much more acutely there than when I am at home doing my "normal" routine.

We had a full evening of commitments upon our return, and now I am off to bed before the house is put back together...oh well...

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Two Weeks

Yep, I am going to implement potty training part 1 in 2 weeks. Berean is still really young, but I can see it going well. I can also see her not getting it at all.

But we are going to try.

And if it doesn't work, I will try again later.

Getting her trained before the next baby arrives seems like it would be good for morale :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Men in My Life

I am in the midst of writing some longer posts about pregnancy and homeschool curriculum (exciting, right?) but I am not sure exactly when I will get them done. Right now I am in the midst of a long stretch at work, and well, we have summer to finish up strong!

Our van is making weird clunking noises and is having trouble shifting. Ominous noises that make the money in our bank account quake with the fear that it will soon be pulled out to go hang with the mechanic. We have an appointment for Monday, but I called my dad yesterday to see if I could borrow his "spare" van a little early for driving into work. He told me that I could but that it didn't have much gas in it, etc. I said I would fill it up, after all I was the one borrowing it. When Noah and I arrived to pick it up I was informed that my dad had gone and gotten it washed and filled it with gas. I love my dad!

Noah and I got into an argument last night at Chipotle. It was the kind of argument where Noah actually said to me, "we are not going to get anywhere with this unless you approach it with SOME degree of rationality". I was trying to explain my position, and was having trouble expressing what I was thinking. He stopped me, told me "I already know your position" and then proceeded to sum up exactly what my position was. I guess that is what being married to a person for 11 years does :) Now, I am not saying that I like arguments- but it felt good. We used to argue and debate all the time, but we don't very much anymore. We have grown to agree more and more and don't often find ourselves on different sides of an issue. It was kind of fun to once again have an animated discussion. I love that boy.

I got up from sleeping today to find my whole family gone. I knew they had been gone awhile, because they are quite loud and I hadn't heard them all afternoon. I could not figure out where they would have gone for that length of time. Finally, I called my parents. Sure enough, Noah had left the girl there for her nap and taken the boys to the beach! Did not expect that. I am still waiting to find out if he found all of the swim trunks, the wrist bands, goggles and towels, or if they just kind of used what they could find. Have I mentioned that I love that boy?

My little boys are SO EXCITED about their pokemon cards and just life in general right now. They play hard, and they look forward to everything. Even though they can be very wearing with their constant "what are we doing next?", "where are we going", "how can I earn more money" questions, we are still loving summer and I am not looking forward to the start of school. I gave them all buzz cuts this week and they are so cute :)

And now a word about Berean. She is adorable and sweet (although she can screech) and is doted on by all. Yep, she is spoiled. Despite that, she is pretty good-natured and we have all been enjoying teaching her new things. Oh, and she likes long naps. We like that too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Catch Up

Sorry the posts have been few and far between- part of it is due to the fact the our computer is still non-functional, so I have to post from my laptop. I like my laptop, but it is not very comfortable for typing long posts. Noah hooked this one up to our big monitor a few days ago, though, and that makes it much more tolerable.

Besides that, however, no excuses. We are just enjoying summer and I am using my "free" time to work or to take 2 hour naps in 2 minute intervals. Maybe you also know that kind of nap? sleep 2 min..."Mama, can we have a snack?"...sleep 2 min... "Mama, can you open our popsicles"...sleep 2 min..."guys?! I hear a beep, make sure the freezer is shut!"sleep 2 min... "Mom, can we take a bath?"... sleep 2 min... "Mama, Roman is throwing things..."

Well, maybe you get the picture.

The naps are due to the fact that I am not sleeping well at night. My mom reminded me that I had sleep trouble with some of my other pregnancies, and I think that she is remembering that correctly. Also, every pay period I have a 7 day stretch off of work, and I always sleep worse then because I am not "tired" enough.

So I take 2 hour naps, (when Berean is sleeping) in 2 minute segments.

2 weeks ago I told Noah that I needed a couple of days to myself. I needed to be alone, to clean the house and plan for the fall. Noah graciously offered to take the kids to visit his grandparents, and even roped his parents into going along to help. Thank you Gpa Jim, Gma Ruth, Chris, Debbie and Noah for letting me have a couple of days off!

I was informed that Gma Ruth is "nicer than you, Mom, because she let us have dessert without finishing our vegetables".

Friday night of my "off" weekend I went to the Y and then met my friend, my mom and my sister at Feed My Starving Children, an organization that uses volunteers to pack food for starving children.

Saturday I cleaned all day long. I washed bedding, windows, blinds, vaccumed, mopped, cleaned carpets, scrubbed cabinets, went through everything in my kitchen, weeded out toys, and scrubbed bathtubs and toilets. I spent time cleaning up the garage and basement (although those two areas require more of Noah's input). It was wonderful. No, I didn't get everything done- but it was a good start.

Sunday I had to be in children's chuch, since it was my volunteer week, but after that I went to the church picnic alone and actually got to talk to people without constant interruptions. The fam arrived home in the late afternoon, just in time for a birthday party with friends and some downtime before bed.

The last couple of days I have just been finishing things up around here (it is never-ending) and the boys and I have been taking it easy.

It is very sad to think that there is just one more month before school starts, but I guess that is the way of life!

Monday, August 1, 2011

No Romans Were Hurt in the Making of This Film

*Roman also gave us permission to post this. He thinks it is uproariously funny. Also, congrats to Lincoln on successfully mastering the monkey bars!