Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometimes I stare at my house for hours wishing I could knock down certain walls and add on.  I've studied it out so long that I know exactly what to do, just won't ever have the means to do it.  (It's a family room, one bedroom and a bathroom.)  I'm not sure what were going to do having 4 boys who have to share a room, and only one girl in the other.

It seems we are getting more and more cramped all the time as the boys get older.  And with the baby coming, there is literally no wall space left in the house so it comes down to either my treadmill or the baby's crib.  Guess which one will win?

I know my house isn't the worst set up anyone has ever had to deal with.  People have and have had worse.  And I keep reminding myself of that.  We can make it!  But it's frustrating not having anywhere to put a desk for your kids or to put visitors without all of us living on top of each other, sharing the bathrooms.  There's just no place for them.  And since we live so far away, they don't come for a couple hours.  The come for a few days!  And there really aren't any hotels nearby either, which I would hate to do in any case.

I ran into a friend from my homeschool group at a homeschool outing to the pumpkin patch.  She is pregnant and due about the same time as I am with her, sit-down-and-take-a-deep-breath-, tenth baby!  She's my age, but obviously started younger and didn't have so many breaks.  Some people you wish they had never had any kids because they don't care about them or take care of them.  And some people have tons of kids and they are the best parents ever.  She and her husband are some of those.

Anyway, she just moved out of her house up here because it was too small, and they are renting large houses.  She says they really miss the mountains, but it just got to be impossible to keep living the way they were.  My house is almost 1,800 square feet, and hers was a bit bigger, but now she is renting at 4,200 square foot house for less than her previous mortgage!  She says, the dream of owning your own house just isn't working out like it used to.

We have also looked at homes in other areas around Albuquerque, just to see, and find so many larger, newer ones for sale that are for way less than we owe on this one.  The yards are tiny though.  Plus leaving the mountains that we love, and the people that we love would be unbearable.  I really like some things about my house and one of those things is the location!

Just feeling lately like even though my hands are tied with space, I live in a really beautiful place.  Maybe I'm just too happy that they're paving my road or something.  I have great neighbors, and a great church family.  We just had about 40 people from another area added to our congregation and as they read in all the names I just couldn't help crying.  We desperately needed help, and got so blessed with new talented people!

I'm glad we have snow in the winter, and a warm fireplace, and glad that there is some green in the Spring.  There's big skies in the summer, and cool, crisp, smoky air in the Fall.  I'll always miss my California.  I mean, I have yet to see any place more beautiful.  But I am truly blessed to live in these mountains of New Mexico.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Something strange happened here recently.  I got this feeling like it was okay to put Evan in school.  It's that charter school that I had all the boys enrolled in originally for this year, until I felt differently from the spirit, and felt I was supposed to homeschool again.

I had not thought at all about the charter school since we decided against it, but happened to hear randomly that they still had openings for first grade, and just kinda felt like Evan was not getting as much attention at home (his work is done so fast compared to his brothers) and he might enjoy school.  Turns out he got in on the second to last day before they closed admissions.  Did this happen for a reason?  I mean, it's not like he was suffering at home- after he was finished with work he'd play and read to Leia and that is great! But I asked him if he'd like to go to school, and he was okay with trying it.  After all, he said, Dallas went to first grade too!  Good memory Evan!  He has been very happy and brave about it.

I am having mixed feelings though.  All the driving, plus they do so much homework!  Almost 1 1/2 hours for first grade!  I was told it would be 10 minutes.  I just sent a note to his teacher today saying "Wassup?"

Evan is on grade level or ahead in everything they are doing, so I'm not loving all this work.  They use the RIGS program for spelling which teaches the phonetic sounds and symbols, and he has to use the funny lines and numbers over the letters of his spelling words.  Like the number 3 over a "y" means it's the third sound a "y" can make.  The symbols are part of his spelling test.  No matter if he spelled the word right- if it is missing the 4 over they "u" or the "e" is not underlined, then it is marked wrong.  I strongly believe in phonics and we do them at home to a point, so Evan has been picking it up quickly, but this seems a bit over the top.  My kids are great spellers and we never needed all that.

Each night he has 5-15 words he has to write out multiple times, and a test on all of them at the end of the week.  It starts to be not fun, like all his time once he finally gets home is doing school work.  He's so tired he can't do it all, and I have to wake him up early, so it's making this mama a bit angry.   I miss him all day, and then when he's here, I have to make him work.  But he likes school a lot, and in case I'm being a sappy mom, I'll try to hang in there a bit more, and give these programs and this school a chance.

I kinda planned on putting the three of them there next year- the older boys will be all caught up on their math, and I feel like it will be a good time.  With Evan already in the school, S and D are pretty much guaranteed a spot, whereas if not, we'd rely on a drawing for open spaces.  So Evan is like the pioneer.  The one who goes before and opens the way for others.

And what's up with me, always choosing to put one kid in school during a pregnant/new baby year?  Boy I'm so smart.  As if homeschooling isn't enough, now I get to drive and worry about another school, just like when Dallas was in first grade and I had Leia and was homeschooling Sam and Evan.  All I can say, is that I'm trying the best I can to do what is right for each one of my children, and pray every night that it will work out.  Even if 'working out', means I give it until Christmas break and then take him out. 

The school does have amazing teachers and it is an education I believe in, if not so much the spelling. Pretty much everyone from church goes there, and a huge amount of friends from my homeschool group, and tons of families we know from soccer, and that's nice.  And all the other mom's (I mean ALL of them) talk about the amazing things their kids are learning in the older grades, and how school has never been like this for them before.  Their kids come home excited to talk about what they've learned.  They read the Declaration of Independence, and the Iliad and the Odyssey, and recite poetry and are really challenged in math.  And they have teachers who haven't all been in the "system".  The are fresh out of Hillsdale college, many of them, and fluent in Greek and Latin and are bright and enthusiastic.  They picked terrific teachers, and I am loving that!

It does have a dirt yard- nothing special, but it's just starting, and it will grow.   On the first two days I took Evan and stayed with him for the flag ceremony which they do every morning along with a song and recitation by a student, and just cried.  I don't know if it was taking my baby to school, or seeing all the kids pledge allegiance to the flag and sing, but it got to me.  I'm such a sap. 

Evan's last full homeschool day's work.  After he wrote and spelled numbers I asked him to write three sentences about what he would do at his new school.  He will eat at his desk, play at the park, and learn Latin.  All true, except there's no park.
Now I've got to go make my other two work at least as hard as Evan.  They did just finish a half a year of math last week, and are on track to finish years worth by Christmas!  And, Sam it seems is as smart as Dallas in a lot of things, and Dallas is doing terrific piano!  I am very proud of them all!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One year older and wiser too?

Got one picture and then my camera died.
On Sunday night last week, Pat got all excited and said, "It's my birthday week!"
Then the week turned out very disappointing, filled with soccer practices, scouts, three doctor appointments, tests (Pat's taking a college course), soccer games, and Pat being out of town for two days.  In other words, we have never had a spare moment to celebrate.  I even had his dinner all planned, and then he had to cancel on us.

He did make his favorite dessert, pumpkin pie, and took a pumpkin and a french silk pie into work to share with his coworkers.  And Tien took him out for breakfast, and Jason took him out for lunch.  (Two friends from work.)  I still haven't been able to have a date with Pat!!!!  Maybe I should become his coworker.  If I could ever pass basic algebra I'd be on my way...................  okay, that'll never happen.

I did send him off to work with a note taped on his back (he had no clue of course), that said, "I believe in aliens.  Wink if you do too."  I heard that Tien took it off of him at breakfast, the kind friend that he is, darnit.  But I laughed really hard when Pat told me he had gone around his office asking who had done it, being sure that his wife wouldn't have.

The only other thing Pat would like me to put here about his birthday to be remembered for all time, is that on his birthday, I MADE HIM come to the church with me for scouts rather than letting him go to sleep.  I wasn't trying to be mean, I just wanted to spend time with him!  I thought it was sad that on his birthday I was just seeing him for the first time really at 7pm and we were supposed to go our separate ways again!  It backfired on me though since he just went to sleep on the couch at church and I just talked with friends the whole time.  Inconceivable!  Oh yeah, and it's the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride.  Hasn't this been an awesome post?

We did get Pat gifts he really liked, and I can imagine this is us on a date.
So Pat really wanted this thing called an MP3 player.  It's this new device that lets you put more than 1000 songs on it for your listening pleasure and it is smaller than a cassette tape!  You may think, where in the world did I find this new amazing product?  Well, I'll share my secret.  (I got it at Walmart for $25.00!!)  I'm only sharing this with you dedicated, loyal, readers of my blog.  Let's keep it between us!  And don't feel bad if you are feeling jealous of our hip, up to the minute lifestyle.  You too can keep up with the Jones's for that much money!  Stay tuned for our upcoming post: how to own a flip phone like ours, and share it between two people!

Today we did get to hang out together and watched conference and worked on genealogy.  And he made himself a really nice birthday dinner (pictured at the top).  My birthday dinner expired.  In fact, he was just overheard saying, "At least somebody loves me", and I said, "Who? You?", and he said yes.  He cracks me up. 

These were cards from Dallas.  He bought a ton of candy and gave it to dad for his work stash.  Something I don't agree with since it's so bad for him, but Pat was really happy.  Perhaps that's why Dallas wrote this accompanying note: (Happy Bad-day)
We all talked about Pat at dinner, about his life growing up, and about our favorite things about him.  Dallas said his favorite thing is how dad pushes him on swings and tickles him.  Sam is glad dad lets him play video games.  Evan likes it "when dad throws us up in the air".   Leia said something really neat, but nobody understood.  I know she enjoys playing Candyland with dad.  My favorite thing about dad is he loves the Lord and is a hard worker and loves us.  He has had to pick up a lot of the chores around the house for me, and doesn't ever complain about it.

Sam and Evan cut and tied this blanket for Dad. 
Then we asked dad what his favorite day in his life was.  The boys were sure it had something to do with swimming.  But Pat smiled at me and said, "January (pause)... What was the day the we got married?"
"THE 12TH!", I said.  "Oh yeah, my favorite day was January the 11th.  My last day of freedom!" 
Me at 18 weeks.  Photo by Sam.
Now I'm done feeling sorry for him.  I am carrying his child and I have to put up with him and that's plenty!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Funny

Me: Dallas, I'll pay you 10 imaginary dollars if you'll find the remote for me.

Dallas: I'll pay YOU 1000 imaginary dollars if you'll do the dishes.

(I laughed so hard.  He wasn't being mean.  Just funny.  I love that we can joke together.)

This is my kitchen, except that no two dishes match.
And it's true- since I've been pregnant we have a almost constantly messy kitchen.   Pat tries to keep up, and Dallas helps, but with all I have to do and he has to do, no one has energy at the end of the day for that.  It sucks. We've switched to paper products to cut down on some of the mess.  Also, I think I've been deficient in iron, and very very tired because of it.  I already feel better since I've started supplementing my prenatal vitamins with more iron.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Names-and everything's okay!

What do you do when you are having an ultrasound, and for the first 10 minutes, they don't say anything, and you don't see a heartbeat?
You stay silent because the tears are already rolling out of your eyes.

What do you do when you finally get the courage to ask, "Is it alive?"  And the ultrasound tech FREAKS out that you didn't know that, and assures you over and over again that everything is great! (She had saved the heart to look at last and me not ever seeing it, thought it was like last time when they were trying to break the news to me after they'd taken all the measurements.  "No!", she said, "Everything is fine!  I'm having to chase this baby all over it's so wiggly!"  So what do you do?
Cry.  And cry a lot.

What do you do when they ask if you want to know what you're having?
Get really surprised and excited, because you'd forgotten all about that!  Yes!  I want to know!

What do you and your husband say when asked for your predictions?
A GIRL!  Definitely a girl.

What does the ultrasound lady say?
A BOY! (Actually she said, "Really?  Well this girl has a penis!"  But I didn't think that was very delicately put.)

How do you feel?
Extremely happy!!!!!

What do you do when you've already picked out the name for your baby and it's a girl name??
(I didn't even tell Pat, because he refuses to listen until I'm 9 months pregnant, but the name that I wanted with all my heart was Alannah and we'd call her Lana for short.) So what do you do?
Try to wrap your head around the word BOY and when the song "Moves like Jagger" comes on, you say, what about naming him Jagger?

So there it is folks.  The only other boy name I've suggested is Guy, but Pat thinks it's dumb and says, "And why don't you make his middle name Boy?!", to which I reply, "I can't.  I already had a cat named Boy when we were growing up."  We used to stand on the front porch yelling "Boy!"
We also had a cat named Girl, but that's another story.  I'd like to do a little better than that for my children.

Today is a happy day.

Here's my baby history- since I had to go over it so much today.
First- girl, Trisomy 18, Stillborn, died during delivery, 41 weeks-Named Laura
Fifth-Miscarriage first trimester
Sixth- Miscarriage first trimester
Seventh-Miscarriage 18 weeks.  Boy-Delivered at hospital-Named Ben Anthony
Eighth-girl-Leia Nora
Ninth-Miscarriage first trimester
Tenth-Miscarriage first trimester
Eleventh-Boy- Coming soon!

I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that it's a boy!!!!!!!!!!