Earlier this month, Isaac and I ran to the library to get some books on the subjects we were going to cover in the next few weeks. I like to take just one or two of the older boys along on errands while the girls are at home taking their naps, and the other boys are reading or doing another quiet activity, with my husband watching them while doing paperwork from home.
Even though I only had Isaac with me, we probably got about 60 or 70 books out - with six kids at home, even if we are only covering a few subjects, the books pile up fast by the time I get something in all the various age groups, and at their reading levels. Just to give you an idea, I take the empty double stroller into the library just so I will have something to lug all those books in.
Saturdays tend to be major kitchen days for me. On any given day, I spend between 4 and 6 hours in there cooking, doing dishes, and feeding the kids. But on Saturdays, that might turn into upwards of 8 hours, as I do extra food prep, try to use stray stuff that has accumulated throughout the week, and pre-cook for Sunday lunch. Today was one of those days.
After falling asleep just before 9 PM last night, I woke on my own around 5:45 am today. I can count on one hand the nights I get to sleep uninterrrupted each year since having kids. Well, last night was one of those blissful nights. My husband had offered to spend the night in the guest bed with Becky, who had been waking me every half hour all week long to wipe her nose during the night. As a result, I got to sleep with zero interruptions for the full nine hours - yay!!!
YESSSS, birthday season is over for the next 7 months!!!
Okay, so maybe not the ideal first thought to have upon celebrating the last of the birthdays for this past string of birthdays, but it really IS tiring, especially since they are all clustered around the winter holidays, too. All six kids celebrate their birthdays between late September and mid-February, and when the madness is over, it's a bit of a relief.
Being ever concerned that the two kids at the end of the birthday train - Isaac and Miriam - might get the short end of the stick if my burnout were to show, their birthdays usually end up being the bigger ones.
Well, the last few days have been an entirely different sort of experience. Let me begin by backing up.
Three years ago almost to the day, Isaac for the first time ever started wheezing one night after having had a cough for a couple of days. It being in the evening, I took him to a pediatric urgent care, where they diagnosed him as having illness-induced asthma. However, it was very mild, so after one breathing treatment right there, he was sent home with an inhaler so use for the next few days until he was completely over his symptoms.
Given that this episode was a very mild and entirely isolated incident, we did not really think of Isaac as being "asthmatic". The rest of the year, he is healthy as a horse and never gets sick. But, like clockwork, he would develop what I thought was a cold every single year around this time. I remember it distinctly because it is always the week before his birthday.
Anna is 14 months old today. Just two nights ago, she reached a milestone that is hugely important to me - going to sleep on her own. I know all moms have different beliefs about sleep patterns for babies, and whatever works for you is great.
Me - I can't handle the "cry it out" method. If the child is too young to understand what I expect of them, i.e. "lie still and go to sleep", I just cannot justify leaving them to cry themselves to sleep. Sure, they will learn what those words mean simply by experience, but I just don't have the stomach for it.
Teaching, that is. I know sometimes I sound like I hate teachers, but the truth is my problem is mostly with a system that thinks it takes a village (and billions of tax dollars) to raise a child rather than the parents. Most teachers no doubt think they are following a noble calling by raising other people's kids.
Me? You couldn't possibly pay me enough to take a job like that. I teach our children at home because I love them, and because I want to keep them safe from perverts like this one. But teaching and raising other people's children - forget about it!
Wow, so much reproductive energy flowing through our home! Yesterday, Isaac (who is in charge of caring for our flock of backyard chickens) discovered that one of our hens had gone broody. She had found an almost inaccessible (to us) spot between the waterfall on our pool and the massive cactus behind it, where she kept laying her eggs and sitting on them in hopes of hatching them. We don't have a rooster, so these eggs would never hatch because they are not fertilized. Issac could see there were eggs under her, but not how many. Because of the cactus, he was unable to get to the hen and take her off her nest, and she was not budging an inch. With some long barbecue tongs, he was able to fish 9 eggs out from under her, but he thought there might be a couple more left that he could not reach.