This week is the beginning of our 6th week of school. We will do a total of 11 weeks before our baby break, which will last from the last week of November until the second week of January. Today, conveniently, is Columbus Day, and while we do not always take the day off on all school-observed holidays, today that sounded like a good idea. The kids know that we still have to get five days worth of work done this week, so we will either have to work double one day, or work on Saturday.
Today, we will finish up reading some of last week's library books. For a special Columbus Day activity after breakfast, the kids were all coloring pictures of him arriving in the New World. Right now, they are all riding their bikes outdoors because the weather is so beautiful, while I am watching the girls playing in the front yard. If we have time later, we will also make some "ships" from walnut shell halves, modeling clay, and masts and sails made from toothpicks and fabric scraps.There are also a couple of errands to be run, and some grocery shopping. We have free passes to the Desert Botanical Garden that we have to use either today or tomorrow, and with the weather being so beautiful, I'm thinking a picnic dinner there tonight sounds wonderful. Lots of fun stuff to do. Thankfully, my fourth and final load of laundry for today is running, and there is not much other housework to get done.
This week will be busy, as usual. There is a ladies' activity at our church this Friday night that I still have a lot of work to get ready for, but I know it's going to be fun! I am also trying to get some extra organizing done before the arrival of the baby. Not so much of the house, because we did that over the summer, but more stuff like making rotating meal lists, master grocery lists, and such. With an ever-growing family, there is a constant need to keep things running smoothly, a goal I never quite seem to attain. Then there are the gifts to finish making for Becky's birthday next week. I can't believe she is going to be 2! Thankfully, my energy levels are high, now that the weather is cooling down. By that, I mean that daytime temperatures now are in the 80s and 90s, which is really quite nice around here.
The pregnancy is going well. The baby is getting very big and strong. By now I am pretty convinced that this is, in fact, a girl, and not a boy like I had thought earlier on. At this point, I would be shocked if it's not a girl. We still do not have any names picked out, but we don't mind waiting until right around or even after the birth. I really need to start on the final preparations for the birth, such as cooking a couple weeks' worth of meals ahead of time and freezing them, pulling out the baby clothes and washing them, and getting my birth kit ready.
Cloth diapering is interesting, and definitely a learning experience. A couple of weeks into it, all the diapers started smelling like ammonia immediately after the baby went in them. Apparently, this is a common problem, which could be caused by hard water, too much or too little detergent, too harsh or not strong enough detergent, or some other buildup in the diapers. Some websites suggested using vinegar to soak and rinse, while others said that would actually make the problem worse depending on how hard our water is (very hard). Some sites suggested using RLR, dawn, calgon, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I spent about 4 days soaking, washing, and rinsing, rinsing, rinsing, then drying, folding, and trying the diapers again and again, until I had pretty much exhausted all of the above suggestions, and various combinations of them. As it stands, the diapers no longer smell, as long as I change the baby at least every 2-3 hours. Overnight, I put her in a disposable diaper. I also use disposables if we go anywhere in the car that is more than 1 hour away, or if I am just out around town (church, errands, etc.) but she has not yet gone #2 that day. I do NOT want to have to deal with that mess away from home, or haul a soiled cloth diaper back home to have to deal with hours later.
Anyway, so much to do, so little time! Hope you all have a great week with your family.