Thursday, August 13, 2015

I don't know what Kindergarten will look like...

It has been awhile but I am needing a little outlet for now, so I am back. We are about to start a high schooler and a kindergartner in our home. I have a set plan for my 9th grader. She is excited. We are "outsourcing" a lot of her learning this year to our local co-op.

Kindergarten, somehow, seems like a larger undertaking to me than high school. How can that be? I guess it is because of the person I am kindergartenering (yes, I know that is not a word). I have four kids, and they all have very different personalities. Denton is my kindergartner. If he were to go to public school, I have NO doubt they would try to slap a label on his forehead day one. He is perfectly capable of intense focus, when it suits him. He can sit and watch a nature show, that would bore the pants off of most people, for hours. He can sit and look at a nature book for as long as I let him. At a zoo, you might think he can read because he can immediately identify almost any animal. I am not talking lions, tigers, and bears. I am talking koati, lemur, and blue tongued skink. He is smart, sensitive, and funny. He can also be very physically intense.

I guess I could compare him to a cat. One minute, he could be lounging quietly, the next he is scaling the couch and taking a flying leap towards his passing sister. I don't really KNOW what he needs. I am researching and studying and working to help him. When he is in a time of physical intensity, you can see it on his face that he can't help himself. You can yell, scream, command, but he really doesn't seem like he can stop himself. He NEEDS to move.

So, I don't know what kindergarten will look like in our home for this child. We tried a little "typical" kindergarten last year. Work books, reading lessons, etc. They didn't go over too well. I thought maybe he wasn't mature enough. I mean, I am sure he wasn't. I don't think much has changed. I am not saying he isn't mature. In a lot of ways, his maturity astounds you. He is very intellectual. I have done a lot of research, and I am just not sure "school at home" is what my little guy needs. We really want more than that for him, too.  Here are a few articles I have found interesting.

The Unhurried Homeschooler

An Interesting Article on Unschooling

This isn't the exact link, but it is the same idea.

How School Fails Boys

So, pray for my guy, pray for us. And if you have any experience with a dude like this, maybe leave some advice?

That is all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Have you seen me lately?

Summer time is here. There are some things to know about summer. 1) It is hot, and lately super humid. My favorite thing is walking outside and instantly being covered in sweat! 2) There are a LOT of bugs! 3) I dunno... that's all I had.

Anywho, summer is upon us and there is a cacophony of summer activities screaming our name everyday. If we wanted to go somewhere, we have a choice of at least two things on almost every day of the week. For instance, on Tuesday of this week we decided to forgo swimming (me + scared of the water 2 year old + not scared of the water 4 year old + tiny baby + Reghanne at camp = um no) to go to the Mommy and Me music class at the Red Oak Library. FUN! NEW! YAY! We got loaded up, we were totally running late. We skidded into the parking lot on two wheels (not really) at 10:31 and ran in the door to find... NO ONE! We tugged on the, locked, doors of the library... nada. A lady came out of some secret passage and said,"Ma'am, we don't open until 11." I said, with disdain and annoyance,"WELL, then WHY does this calendar RIGHT HERE say Mommy and Me 10:30-11:30??? HMMMMM" and then she said, "That is on Monday, ma'am... today is Tuesday."


Seriously??? Cue the boys crying because Mom is a moron. Cue Mom's feeble attempt at fixing this whole thing by taking them to the park next door even though the humidity is like 100% and I am sweating buckets.

So we came home, Michael laid on the couch and cried for his paci, I picked him up to find he was boiling lava hot with a 102 degree fever. So glad we all shared my water at the park. WINNING!

This isn't even counting the fact that last week, I nearly forgot Scarlett at the church when dropping Denton off at VBS. Not to worry, she was in good hands, those hands just didn't lactate! You can mail my mother of the year award to the following address...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

When life is like a commercial... Another TMI story...

Have you seen the commercial where the little boy tells his Mommy he went potty and she is super excited until she realizes it is in the bathtub and not the toilet? Well, a similar incident happened at our house this morning. Michael has gotten in to the habit of taking his diaper off because he finds it hilarious to chase his brother and sister around saying, "Wanna see my butt???". So, today while I was nursing, he took his diaper off. I sent him to go get a new one so I could put it on him when I finished nursing. He came out a few seconds later, out of his ROOM no less, and said,"Hey Mom, I pooped." I was like,"Whaaaa???" He said, "Yeah, I pooped actually." (Actually is his new favorite word, he says it after nearly every sentence.) So, Denton went to inspect. The minute he walked in to his room he screamed, "EWWWW!!!!" How exciting for me. I put the baby down and went in to survey the damage, and sure enough, there was a logging trail, right there on the carpet. Good stuff... I will spare you the picture I took and texted to Clint... he wasn't in the house and I felt he shouldn't miss out.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two mysteries, one week.

Two days ago, Michael fed Scarlett something. He originally told me she was "crying for corn." I was in the next room making dinner, I asked him what he said, turned to wash my hands and she started screaming. I ran in and found his hand half way down her throat and he said she "slallowed a quarter." I actually did panic some. I texted my mom and Clint, they both asked if she was breathing...

Small rabbit trail.... if my baby were not breathing, I wouldn't be texting, come on.

Okay, back to the point. She was fine. She nursed and calmed down quickly. I searched the floor and found no sign of money. Michael calls all money a quarter. I didn't feel like she could have swallowed a quarter or any money. Michael was insistent that he had fed her something and she had "slallowed" whatever it was... We decided to just watch her. Surely showing up to the ER with two kids over the course of three days flags you and puts you on some sort of list.

Fast forward two days, I was changing my dear Scarlett' s diaper and... tmi alert.... a popcorn kernel fell out of her butt.

To add to a fun week of concussions and swallowing foreign objects... I walked in to my laundry room at 6:30 this morning to find my two gerbils had sprung themselves from jail. I was not thrilled, nor was Clint when I woke him up before seven on his day off. Luckily, we quickly discovered that they had both escaped the cage and had immediately fallen in to the open washer and become trapped.... HA!!!! Idiots....

Monday, May 5, 2014

Brain injuries and Bunny Rabbits

Accidents happen in a matter of seconds, unexpected, and unpleasant. We had one such accident on Saturday. Our sweet Michael was sitting on the top bleacher in the dugout with his blastball team. It was a picturesque scene. All the little uniformed kiddos, lined up in a row, chewing bubble gum and chatting, waiting for the other team to show up. Daddy was standing in front of him talking to another mom, and I was standing behind the dugout to take advantage of the shade for my sleepy girl, Scarlett.

I guess in a child's mind, Daddy is ALWAYS ready to catch them, and on a whim, Michael stood up on that 3 foot high bleacher and jumped to his Daddy without a word of warning. He slammed into him and fell to the ground, catching the base of his head right on the edge of the bottom bleacher. It was loud, it was scary, it was similar to a lot of other times he has fallen and hurt himself. Expect when Daddy picked him up his head was to the side and his body was rigid, then in an instant he was crying, dirt smudged all over his handsome little face.

We tried the usual stuff, snacks, juice, water, to cheer him up. I wiped the dirt off his face and sat down with him in my lap. His head was sweaty, his face turned grey and his lips went white. Then his head fell back and his eyes closed, that was when we knew this wasn't like the other times. We yelled a half hearted apology to our team and took off for the car. I sat with him in my lap for the short trip to the hospital, shaking him and engaging him so he would stay awake.

We were at the hospital for less than two hours but every second felt like a week. When they put the cervical collar over his face and he didn't flinch, I knew something must be terribly wrong. He went in for his CT scan and Daddy held his hand while I waited with the other kids in the hall. He told Daddy he was scared, we were all scared. Denton told me he was afraid his baby brother was going to die. I assured him he was fine, he just needed to get checked.

Our brave boy
After the CT, the real Michael started coming back. He started to talk, he noticed the baby crying in the next room, he began to get angry about the collar, and he wanted a SNACK! What a joy to hear him cry and be grumpy! The scan was clear for head and neck, the figured he had a mild concussion, was maybe knocked out, and had been in shock. We met my mom for lunch at Taco Casa and by the time we left, he was attempting to jump off the top of the booth (lesson well learned! HA!)

That day, every time I looked at him I thought I would cry. I can't imagine my life without this maniac. Last night he ran around the house to find Daddy, and he came back in seconds screaming and terrified. I grabbed him and asked what was wrong. Through his tears and panic he said "THERE WAS A BUNNY WABBIT OVER DER!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh, I told him bunnies were nice, he said "There are SCAWY!!!" Keep away from my baby boy, you wascaly wabbits!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Babies, Bodily Fluids, and Easter... in a nutsell

Scarlett and her Great grandma... LOVE!
What a crazy month! My little Scarlett is almost six weeks old already, how did that happen???

Life with a newborn is always interesting, but it gets a little more so with each addition. It is a juggling act keeping up with the very different needs of four human beings at wildly different stages in life. We have the almost teenager who is going through big changes, the content four year old (who would have ever thought that a four year old would be the easiest child?), the enraged two year old, and the new baby.

I have discovered that Scarlett has two main likes, being fed and being held. If I do those two things almost constantly, she is pretty happy. She does supply a large amount of things to clean. She likes to spit up just around the time that one of us is wearing a clean shirt OR I just happened to forget the burp rag. She also prefers to poop in a clean diaper that has only been on her for less than 10 seconds, sometimes she poops before I even get the second tab fastened. She is a beautiful sleeper at night though. She is currently sleeping longer than my boys! She is a great snuggler, too. She has dropped a few smiles in the last few days and been awake more. Her tiny personality will soon emerge.

She lives a rough life!

Other notable occurrences over the last month, the once a week barfest.... I can't explain this oddity. Let me just begin with the fact that I am TERRIFIED of barfing. When someone in my house barfs, I go in to a mental tale spin. I panic.... How many times will they barf? Where will they barf? WHO WILL BARF NEXT??? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH So, on my birthday, Denton walks into my room and vomits lasagna (TMI) on my carpet. Happy birthday Mom!!! We missed the birthday party that night, but he was fine the rest of the day. This was on Sunday, so now I am counting the days for the incubation period. Any time anyone acts even remotely weird I scream, "ARE YOU GOING TO THROW UP!!!????" at them. I chase them around, doing the basketball REJECTED slap every time they have someone else's cup in their hand. BOOM REJECTED!!! Nothing happens. YAY!

Then, on the next Sunday.... Michael walks into the kitchen and throws up on the floor while I am making dinner. AHHHHH!!!! Cue the hyperventilation and pouring apple cider vinegar down everyone's gullets (this is the newest sure fire avoid the stomach bug cure I read about on the last vomit). Now, back to a week of psychotic hand washing, reject slapping, giving hour long lectures any time someone shares ANYTHING with ANYONE!.... nothing happened. 

This time, I actually gave up the panicking a little sooner. We all spent a lovely day at the zoo that Thursday. It was very warm, water cost a fortune, we shared two bottles of water. It was a glorious day!! 

See the smiles!
We came home and had pizza, yummy! Everyone was HUNGRY, especially Reghanne, she ate A LOT (can you see where I am going here?) Everyone was tired and cranky, Reghanne was sent to bed early. Then a couple of hours later, her door slams open and she runs into the bathroom and doesn't shut the door. I look at Clint quizzically and say "What's that about?" then I get my answer.... She has thrown up... pizza.... on the floor... hheeee whoooo hee whoooo (this is the sound of panic) WE SHARED WATER TODAY!!!! I am almost in tears. Anyways, nothing happened. And that is, HOPEFULLY, the end of this strange tale.

We have also had FIVE baby lambs since Scarlett was born. Two of which I watched being born, which was amazing and hard. I felt bad for my mama sheep. We cheered them on! They were champs! 

How cute is this guy??
Scarlett had a couple of notable firsts this month. Her first Ranger's game. We went for Daddy's birthday and we even stole our Bubby and took her along. It was a super fun day!
Rockin' a hair bow!
She also had her first Easter and her first "bluebonnet picture". Easter was so fun, we had all the cousins over. We hunted, played, dyed, and ate!
Flower child.

They tried but it was misty and Lauren wasn't having it!

Worst bluebonnet picture ever!

Reghanne is hard at work trying to make beautiful eggs, while Michael dyed them ALL blue!

Daddy got to spend time with the kiddos!

And here are a few pictures, just because.

I said aloof, not a doof! 
Blue snow cones rock!
I wanna soak up the sun!

Well, I guess that is all for now. :D

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scarlett's Birth Story

I have really been putting off writing this birth story. It has almost been two weeks now, and somehow, that seems like a lifetime. I almost can't imagine life without her, and I almost can't imagine going through the labor. How does that happen? How does something that is so very, very real and so very, very memorable turn into something that you almost can't believe you did in just two short weeks?

I had been having some prodromal labor for a couple of weeks. I had even had about 9 hours of continuous contractions on this rare and random March day that was filled with ice and sleet. I am glad she didn't come then. I was worried about my midwives driving in that weather. So, on March 11, we went for our 40 week appointment. That morning I ran errands, returned a faucet, bought chickens and dog food, and headed to see Roxanne. I told Roxanne that I was done sitting around waiting to go in to labor, it would happen and I had too much to do. She checked me and said I was about a 2 and had effaced some, so it was sure to happen at some point and all those contractions I had been having were not for nothing.

I went home that afternoon and hung out with the big kids outside. It was such a beautiful day! I had a book club meeting that night, so I made an early dinner for the Daddy and big kids and we ate. Just about the time I was supposed to leave for my meeting, I felt exhausted and not great. I had been feeling really great all day, but this feeling was just overwhelming and I decided to stay home and go to bed early.

I sat up in bed around 1 AM trying to figure out what had woken me. A few minutes later, I got my answer... ouch! Immediately I thought, "Great... another night of contractions. I am never going to get any sleep." So, I laid back down and tried to just go back to sleep. Then another contraction, laying down was not cutting it... this actually hurt pretty bad. I was really having to breathe through them. I wrote down the first contraction at 1:24 and got out of bed to try to let Clint sleep. No reason to make everyone suffer. I went to the living room and sat on the birth ball. They were coming roughly every 10 or so minutes and they were not pulling any punches. I was hurting. Sitting in the dark, just wondering if I should wake someone up. I kept making deals with myself, "Okay, if it goes on for an hour, I will wake him." "If they get closer together, I will wake him." I was excited though because I thought it was the 13th. The 13th is "our lucky day". We like everything to be on the 13th for easy remembering. I looked at my phone and realized it was the 12th, I decided I was fine with the 12th because I certainly didn't want to be in labor for 24 hours! ha ha ha (warning: foreshadowing)  I decided to walk, because that had actually stopped them on that icy night before.The walking actually made them get to about 4 minutes apart, so I sat down again. After every contraction, I had to use the restroom. I was so tired, and really lonely. Sitting in the dark, breathing through these contractions. I went to the laundry room and watched our new little day old chicks, sleeping and snuggled under their infrared bulb. That was actually kind of calming and warm. I decided as long as they were somewhat far apart, I'd let everyone sleep.

Around 4 ish, I decided to try to lie down again. They were still pretty regular, but I knew if I was going to labor that day, I needed some rest. I laid down and almost sort of slept for about 30 minutes before I was hit with another hard contraction. At 5, Clint's alarm went off. THANK GOODNESS! I had been waiting for hours to have someone to commiserate with me! I told him, I don't think you can go to work today, I might be in labor, I have been up since 1:30 am. He was not really thrilled that I hadn't told him. He asked me how close they were and I said ten minutes, but he thought I said two! I think he said something like "Heather NICOLE!" and I was like, "NO, NO TEN minutes!" ha... He said "Is it the 13th?" I told him I'd had that thought too, but it was the 12th, which was fine with me. He joked that maybe she wouldn't be born until the 13th and I let him know, I didn't think that was cute.

At his insistence, I called Roxanne, I let her know what was up and Clint went and made me coffee and breakfast: bacon, eggs, grits... YUM! I also called Mom and her and Roxanne both said they'd get ready and head over. They came and we sat around and chatted. I walked, the kids got up. They were happy to see Ms. Roxanne was there and knew what that meant! Finally, baby sister day!

I was anxious and tired of just walking in circles, so I made Roxanne and my Mom some breakfast. It was a really nice distraction, and it kept me moving. The more I moved, the closer they got, and I was tired. I kept resting on the birth ball or a chair off and on. Clint told me the more I moved, the faster she'd come. I just really wanted to lie down!! But it was no use, it hurt too much. At some point, I had Roxanne check me to make sure it was really labor. I was a 5 and 80% so that made me feel better. (some of this is foggy, I probably should of written this sooner). My Mom asked me to help her plan our dinner menu, as we all figured I would have Scarlett and we'd have dinner. Cue the fireworks and happy smiles. The end! ha ha ha

We decided on meatloaf, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and the kids and my mom baked a strawberry birthday cake, complete with HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCARLETT 3/12/14. ha ha ha

Here is where it gets jumbly. I will have the hubby provide some edits after he has read it. I took a shower, which really helped, but eventually the hot water runs out. I got checked again. I was an 8 and fully effaced. That was so great to hear on my part, at an 8 with Michael, I was holding him within the hour. I figured we were on the downward slope at this point. I think the intern midwives came while I was in the shower. I remember telling Clint that everyone wasn't even here yet and he said "Yeah they are, they are all four here, in the living room." Dinner time came... and went... I felt yucky, and hungry, and bad... so, I just ate a small plate to fight starvation and keep my strength, but not too much, I didn't want to be sick. We were all in my room, watching old sitcoms: Sanford and Sons, All in the Family, etc. I was laughing between contractions. Those shows always entertain me, I just love them! I kept feeling like I was SO CLOSE, almost to transition. I'd get uncontrollable shakes and then nothing would happen. The contractions would even sort of stop. Then they would come really fast and hard again. I remember sitting on the toilet through some, that helped. I started getting upset and frustrated. She checked me and said I was really close. I just needed to relax. It was hard though, I was frustrated and so dead, dog tired! I had never been so tired. I started to get scared that something was wrong. I was scared that I wouldn't have the strength to finish.

I decided on a shower. That would help me relax. So, I got in. Clint paced. Roxanne had told me to try squatting and bearing down through some contractions to finish dilation, so I did that...

When I got out I felt sort of renewed! My contractions kind of stopped. I sat down in a chair in my towel. She suggested I eat... I had an apple and sent to Clint to get a cheese stick. When he returned and handed it to me, I just burst in to tears. I just couldn't do it. I felt like I was failing. It hurt. I was tired. In my head, I just wanted to go to the hospital or something. I don't really know. I knew I'd likely not make it to the hospital without having her, I just wanted to be anywhere else. Like the act of leaving this place would somehow alleviate the pain. I was a mess. Roxanne was right there, every second. Assuring me. Clint was there. I just couldn't do it! Clint told me to get up and move some more, that it would get her there. I just couldn't!! The 12th came and went... it really was the 13th... Clint prayed with me, that God would help me and we'd finish and we'd be healthy and everything would be safe. Roxanne gave me some witches brew to cure all ails.

I calmed down, and stood up and here they came again. Harder and faster than ever. The other midwives came in and I knew I was in transition because I sounded like some sort of cross between a wild animal and the exorcist. I kept asking if it was time to push, it wasn't. This went on for awhile. Hard contractions. Me asking if it was time to push. Me telling Clint mean stuff, weird stuff, in whispers. I don't want to divulge too much here. I said I was tired and laid down on my pillows. I almost fell asleep. I told Clint I was going to pass out, like asleep... he thought I meant pass out for real. The next contraction hit and I said OHHHH NO SHE IS COMING OUT OR SOMETHING! and I jumped up really fast. It was FINALLY time to push... and it hurt. So, I kept standing up like I was going to run away or something. I would have, if I could have, if it would help at all. They kept telling me to press down into the contractions, I think I kept telling them no because that hurt. I asked them why I didn't do "shit the normal way, in the hospital with drugs!!!" (haha just kidding, I didn't really want that... well...) My water broke. Then I felt her little head!

They told me she had a lot of hair. Then, they said to stop pushing... fine by me! Her hand was by her head! There is the problem. She had to be re-situated some. She wasn't even completely born and she started to cry! Then finally, she was here! 1:34 AM... almost exactly 24 hours after my first contraction. So pink and beautiful.

See how pink! She matches the towel!
 I collapsed on the bed. My mom and Reghanne came in. The midwife team was in high gear. But I was in slow motion. Eventually, I sat up on the bed. She nursed. Clint woke the boys up and brought them in one at a time. Denton was sleepy and happy to see his sister. Michael never managed to get his eyes open! Poor guy! Then they checked her all out. She was perfect, of course! Some wonderful person ran us a nice warm bath and Scarlett and I got in and floated around a bit while we talked to Daddy in the dark. It was so relaxing and wonderful!

I got out, and my bed was made! The laundry was started. No sign that a baby had just been born here. Roxanne gave me the rundown of do's and don'ts... then they quietly slipped out and we all went to sleep. You can't beat a home birth!!! And you can't beat Roxanne, Clavel, Laurie, and Jeanne. You really can't... they are the best group of ladies ever and I couldn't have done any part of any of that without them. They loved on my hubby, my kiddos, and my Mom too. They treated us all like family, and we are so very grateful they were with us on this big day!

I have pictures to add... someday when I find my camera cord thing.