Friday, October 14, 2016

My homeschool dilemma

I've been struggling with homeschool lately.  Everyone tells me that it ebbs and flows.  I know that I am in good company.  Being pregnant, I don't have as much energy as I normally would.  My productive hours have always been in the morning and those hours are taken up by homeschool.  The boys have more work to do this year.  I was waking up at 6:30 to exercise but I've found that as the pregnancy progresses that waking up that early gets harder and harder.  Instead, I find myself rolling out of bed around 7:30.  Kids are still showering, cleaning the bonus room and their bedroom, and we still have breakfast to finish.  So, our mornings are getting started later.  By 2, we are often still working at it and I am exhausted.  There are dishes to do, laundry, errands, etc.  

I have found myself becoming increasingly annoyed and frustrated.  My house is suffering, my visiting teaching is suffering.  Piper gets less of me.  I daily struggle to figure out when to exercise.  I feel like when homeschool is over I am so tired that the rest of the day is a waste.  I force myself to do something productive and I find myself feeling resentful.  

Last week Mike was gone and it made things a little more tricky for me.  One morning, after getting in the shower and having someone knock on my door three times, I finally lost my temper and called all the boys to me.  I stood there in my towel yelling at them to "Back off!  Give me some space.  What can I possibly do for you while I'm in the shower?  Surely you can give me 15 minutes of peace to shower?"  

I know that there is a time and a season for everything and I know that I can't do everything and I have to evaluate what things to let go of.  But I think this is a common theme on this blog, which means that I am not good at this.  I also realize that this isn't all my problem.  The boys are old enough that if they are needing my attention that frequently, I'm not teaching them how to be proactive enough and they need to learn more autonomy.  There are times when I need to make myself available for their questions but I need to help them realize that other times they need to take care of themselves so that I can do what I need to do.  

With all this said, I realized that I needed a recharge.  I packed a lunch and the boys packed their school bags and we drove North to Big Ridge Park where we did our work away from our electronics and other distractions.  We played at the park, did our work under the shade of a big tree, and the boys and Piper waded in the muddy water of Norris Lake.  I can't say that it completely recharged me but at least I took myself away from the things that stress me out at home.  

This week is Fall break for the public schools and friends have been out of school so I have backed off on homeschool.  We have still done most of our work but it's been a lazy week where we do work and play with friends and do some art.  It has helped me feel less stressed about things.  Next week is back to real school days and I hope I won't let myself get frustrated again but I think that is probably too much to expect from me right now.  :)

Friday, October 07, 2016

Things that change and things that don't

It's been about two years since I've updated the pictures on our gallery wall.  I thought I should put some current pictures of the kids up.  It is always sad for me to put in new, fresh pictures of each kid and leave Laila's the same.  Her picture will never change.  One day I'll have pictures of big teenagers on the wall and wedged in the middle will be a picture of a dark haired infant.  It's strange, and sad.  

I know that she is growing and changing too, just not where we get to witness the changes and I don't want to miss the chance to watch the others grow.  I'm just thankful I have pictures of her and some pictures I don't want to change--the picture we took in front of the temple right before she died, the picture of us kissing her cheeks on her blessing day, and the picture of Mike holding her.  Those will stay as reminders that she shared precious months with us.  I'm thankful for that.  

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Time needs to slow down

The end of this pregnancy is quickly coming and I am getting anxious.  This pregnancy has gone by really quickly and I can't believe we are almost done.  I am not typically one of those women who can't wait for the baby to arrive, which is funny since they always come early.  I know what comes next and so I cam usually happy to let the baby cook and stay put.

We went on a date a couple of weeks ago and looked for baby stuff (I got rid of everything but some clothes) and we left without purchasing anything.  It made Mike excited for the arrival of our baby but just made me feel overwhelmed.  I guess I can't really erase from my memory the past experiences.  My experiences leave me worried about repeating all this again.  It doesn't really matter if the difficulty of my newborns is just my perception or reality.  It is my reality and therefore, makes me very nervous about her coming soon.

I can say that when I set the past experiences aside, I actually feel somewhat peaceful about the future.  When I start thinking about the crying, the crappy nursing (not all have been crappy nursers!), the awful sleeping patterns, etc, I just try to remind myself that I'm older and wiser and I'm a much different mom now and that things will be different this time.  The baby might not be any different than the others but at least I can be different.

This time I have older children and our schedules and life is so much different than it was 4 years ago.  It will make life both hard and easy, I think.  I'm excited for the help that the boys will be able to be to me this time around.  I've already discussed with the boys how much crying they all did and told them that I will expect them to hold this baby when I need help and that the baby will cry and they are not to come rush to get me.  She will cry for me, she will cry for them, and that's ok.  If I need a shower and the baby is fed and changed and she starts crying, that's ok.  It's going to be an interesting dynamic and experience this time around.

My biggest hope is that I don't have postpartum depression this time around.  It just makes everything worse.  I did not have it with Laila and even though she was still a fussy baby who hated to sleep and was in pain when she ate (from reflux), I wasn't nearly as affected by it because mentally I could handle her fussiness much better.

Today, Elder Nelson's talk actually brought me peace thinking about the baby coming.  He talked about joy and having a bigger perspective about our circumstances.  As I listened I felt the truth of what he was saying and I can say that I love my kids so much and they bring me so much joy.  I know this baby will too.  I've never questioned that and if I can focus on the joy that I will get from this baby, I can look forward with peace and not dwell on the other stuff.

That said, I love to feel this baby move inside me.  She is a mover, just like Piper was.  She moves and twists and kicks and the kids all laugh and poke my belly to make her move more and she usually gives them exactly what she wants, which brings more laughs.  She seems to really like music because she always moves when music is played.  The boys always talk to my belly and say, "zombies!" or "money!" and joke that if they say it enough that maybe her first word will be either one of those.  Piper just kisses my belly a billion times a day and talks about how much she wants her baby sister to come.  The excitement of everyone really makes me so happy.  She will certainly be loved.

To end this long post, I'll just leave an update as to my current status in pregnancy.  I'm doing fine.  I'm dealing with common pregnancy issues like painful hips and difficulty moving.  I'll get terrible headaches for a week and then be fine for a week or two.  The nausea isn't gone but it's really not that bad right now.  I feel a little sick in the morning and if I eat something too sweet or don't eat for long periods of time.  I have had some heartburn but it's not all the time.  Braxton Hicks are much better this time around.  I'm used to feeling a lot of action by now and I do have Braxton Hicks but not like I am used to.  I drink a lot more water now than I used to so I wonder if that is a large part of the difference.  I'll have a day or two where I have a lot and then a few days of not too many.

The only other real pregnancy issue for me right now is some leg pain.  It was pretty bad for a few days.  I decided to get it checked out and they were worried that it was a bit swollen and throbbing and tingly so I had to go to radiology and get an ultrasound for a possible blood clot.  The results came back with no blood clot thankfully, so I'm assuming it's just a varicose vein that I have that has never caused me any problems previously.  The frustrating thing about the experience was that I had all four kids with me at the hospital and I really thought it wasn't going to be anything so I assumed it would be a quick appointment and was totally unprepared to stay at the hospital during lunch time with the four kids.  They did a great job and were so good and patient though.

The doctor said that if the pain continued I needed to come back in a few days later to have the ultrasound repeated.  The next morning my leg hurt a little bit but by the end of the day the pain was gone and the next two days I felt no pain at all.  It started to come back today so I'm not sure what is going on but I'm not terribly worried and assume it's just swelling and the varicose vein. I have an appointment in a week and I'll talk to the doctor about it some more then unless it gets worse.

I'm almost to appointments every two weeks, which is just crazy to me.  It's coming so soon!  In the meantime, I'm trying to just enjoy the kids and the fall and my walks until I can't anymore.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

13 years!

It's our anniversary tomorrow.  We celebrate 13 years of marriage.  I think this story sums up how my marriage is:  This morning I came home from walking two miles to find Mike on the couch.  He had finished doing his push ups and sit-ups to discover that standing up straight was hurting his back (he regularly has back issues).  He said he was going out to mow the lawn and promised to follow my advice of taking some ibuprofen first.  I told him that if he started mowing and discovered that his back was hurting too much he had to promise he would stop and come get me to finish mowing.  We continued to get in an "argument" over who was in the better position to mow the lawn.  I argued that his back was hurt.  He argued that I was six months pregnant.

There are all kinds of marriages and all kinds of trials that people go through and in our 13 years of marriage we have experienced various trials but a contentious marriage is not a trial that I have had to deal with.  We do not do everything in our marriage perfectly.  Sometimes we say things to each other that are hurtful.  Sometimes we don't always understand each other's perspective or reason for feeling the way we do.  Sometimes we have real arguments about real things that matter.  For the most part though, our marriage is contentious free.  We argue about who is in the better position to serve the other person.  My marriage is a blessing that I thank God for daily.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Family pictures 2016

On a whim I decided that I wanted to take some family pictures.  I didn't want to pack up the tripod so I didn't get any pictures of all of us together but a friend offered to take those for us so I think we might make one more trip out to take a few of all of us.  I wanted it to be as painless as possible so I didn't go buy outfits or take very many of the boys.  They don't really like their picture taken and they were anxious to go play with their friends so I just took a few of them.  It was fast, under an hour and I was really happy with what I got.  I don't like to have my picture taken when I am pregnant but I'm trying to change that mindset and want to capture my life with the family at all seasons of life, not just when I am happy with the way I look.  So, I got in the pictures too and I'm happy I did.