Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thoughts on Homeschool

We started homeschool just after Labor Day this year.  And I have learned some things since starting.  Here are just a few:

  1. Homeschool is a lot less stress for our family.  Getting kids up and ready for school and getting them there on time was stressful for me.  Also, the pressure of friends, teachers, and schedules were stressful for my children.  Doing things at our own pace has relieved a lot of stress for everyone in our family.
  2. Homeschool has brought my children closer together.  My children are together all day, everyday.  They usually don't have other playmates besides their siblings.  This has strengthened all of their relationships.  Even my 7 yr old will happily play with my 3 yr old.  I'm not saying they play perfectly together all the time, I'm just saying it's much better.
  3. Some homeschool days are better than others.  We have had some recent trials in our family.  Usually I've been pretty good about making sure that every subject is taught and given as much attention as is needed.  This past week has been different.  Instead of stressing about whether or not we are having art or science, I've made sure that we have covered just the basics (reading, math, writing, and Spanish because my kids beg for it).  I have no guilt just completing the minimum when circumstances require it.  We are a family first and when we are experiencing difficult things together than other things can drop off until we're ready to resume- and that's OK.
  4. I like my children so much more now that we're homeschooling.  By the end of last school year we were struggling to like each other.  I used to think that the less time I spent with my children, the more I'd like them.  (Don't judge.  Like I said we were all struggling, especially me.)  Homeschool has helped me realize that my children have so much good to offer in their own individual way.  I think homeschool has also helped my children to realize that mom is not perfect, and mom make mistakes too.  We have been able to see each other at our best and our worst, but the thing that makes it ok is that we are all sincerely trying to do our best.
I've had some interesting conversations with people since we've started this journey.  The comment I get the most is, "Wow, you're brave.  I don't think I could ever teach my own children."  I usually reply, "I'm no braver than you.  You'd do it too if you felt like it was what your children needed at the time."  I don't believe I'm doing anything noble or extraordinary.  I only believe that I am doing what I felt was right for my family this school year.  I also believe that you would do the same for your children if you had the same experiences, promptings, and feelings about homeschooling that I've had.  That's just part of being a parent.  You would kill tigers for your children if you felt it would help your children achieve their goals.  So would I.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's a girl and other news...

Here I am.  I've made it to just past the midway mark.  I'm 21 weeks today!  Last week I had my fetal survey ultrasound.  The baby looked healthy and we found out we are having a girl. Yay!!!  I'm very excited for Eliza to have a sister.  I love having sisters and sisters in law.

Like I've mentioned in previous posts this pregnancy has been a challenge.  Physical challenges can have just as much affect on the body as they do the mind.  I am trying my hardest to stay positive and as physically active as possible. 

Besides having difficulty walking and being on my feet too much, I'm doing pretty well.  The baby is growing larger and I can feel her moving around much more.  My heart burn hasn't been too bad lately, for which I am grateful.  I still have difficulty sleeping nightly, but it's nothing that taking a Unisom can't help.  I haven't really had any swelling, except for the swelling I noticed when I got home from girls camp.

Speaking of girls camp, I had a great time.  Our ward is blessed with really great Young Women.  Everyone was so helpful and kind to each other.  I loved the feeling of sisterhood among the leaders and the girls.  We had some bad wind for a day or two and lots of mosquitoes, but other than that we had a great time.  South eastern Utah is a beautiful area and we were able to enjoy Arches National Park and rafting down the Colorado River.

In other news, Sam and I have decided that we will be homeschooling our children this fall.  This is kind of a big deal for our family and is a decision we have not taken lightly.  We have prayed and given this a great deal of thought, and have realized this is the best choice for our family right now.  I don't really want to go into details because of the privacy of my children.  But I will say that both of our boys were struggling in some areas at school and we feel that homeschooling them is the best solution for the time being. 

I know that the topic of homeschool is sometimes a controversial topic.  Some people really believe in it, and some people really believe in public school.  I can't really say which I'm "for", because I haven't tried homeschool yet.  All I know is that I'm "for" my children.  I completely believe that each family has to choose for themselves what works best for the parents and children alike.  That's why we are choosing to give homeschool a try.  Public school was really working for me.  It was nice to be able to send my boys off each morning and have alone time with Eliza and get things done at home.  On the other hand, my boys were floundering and having a difficult time thriving and progressing in certain areas.  That was a red flag for Sam and me.  So, we're giving homeschool a try.  We intend to re-evaluate at the end of the school year to see if they should go back to school or continue on at home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

California on my mind

This morning I woke up longing for home.  Home, meaning CA where my family is.  It's a strange feeling.  It has a melancholy to it.  It kicks up the dust of old memories and I watch as they float down around me. Summertime, especially makes these feelings come alive.  

Summertime is my favorite time of year.  July 4 is my favorite holiday by far. I have such fond memories as a child sitting on Arrow Highway watching fireworks being let off across the street at the Pomona Fairgrounds with my cousins.  Or sitting on 17th Street as my sis-in-laws dance amidst strobe flashing fire works.  Or sitting on a hill in Boys Republic watching all the fireworks in the surrounding valleys while making up verses to songs and be terrified of snakes. Or watching the Dodgers play in Chavez Ravine and after the game coming down on the field for the fireworks. This is summer to me.

I had a thought this morning that frightened me. While I was young and newly married I never, ever expected we would move outside of CA.  This July we will be married for 14 years.  We moved to Idaho just after having Ben. We had been married 7 years.  This August marks the point in which we have lived outside of CA as long as we lived in it as a married couple. Some how this breaks my heart a little.

It breaks my heart that my kids don't know the beach, or the LA county fair, or June gloom, or Granny's stach of cookies and candy, or the Chino High band review, or the 10 freeway.

What is the deal with CA? Why does it still have such a pull on me? Why do I always want to drive down every summer with reckless abandon and forget responsibilities? Why can't I find a decent fish taco in UT?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Today I am 17 weeks pregnant.  
It seems unreal that I'm only 17 weeks along.  Physically I feel like I'm twice that far.  I keep getting asked what the baby's gender is.  In fact, people have been asking me that for the last 6 weeks.  I just nod my head and say I don't know.  Then they assume that I don't want to know the gender before delivery.  Sometimes I think it would just be easier to wear a sign saying "no, I may look like I'm that far along, but I'm not."  
When people ask me when my due date is they're shocked that I still have so far to go.  I think instead of telling people that I'm due in November, I'll just tell them "after the summer".

Here's the update from yesterday's doctor appointment:
I've gained 2 pounds total.
The baby's heart beat sounds great.
My blood pressure is really good.
My lower back gets very tired and sore if I have to be on my feet for long.
My new support brace/belt is helping with my back.
I will be starting physical therapy soon to try and strengthen my back.
My fetal survey ultrasound is scheduled for 6/25.

I'd like to take a poll.  What do you think the gender is?  Leave you thoughts in the comments.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I am definitely excited that school ends officially on Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to lazy warm mornings, swimming pools, and plenty of watermelon.  But one thing I'll miss is being alone with my buddy.  Eliza and I go and do just about everything in the mornings while the boys are at school.  I've never really had that experience with the boys because they were so close in age that they came as a pair.  And by the time Ben went to kindergarten Eliza was part of our family.  It's been fun this school year to have Eliza as my little buddy to "help" me with errands, chores, and appointments.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Happy birthday to my little girl Eliza.  3 years old never looked so cute.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I can't believe these kids are coming up on birthdays!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A couple of months ago I found out I was pregnant.  I am very happy to be expecting another baby.  Amidst my happiness I have been worried about some possible complications.

At the beginning of the year I noticed a bulge forming in my abdomen.  I was losing weight and working out, so I kind of ignored it and just added some more ab routines to my workout schedule.  Although I kept losing weight and getting smaller in every other place, my waistline was not shrinking and the bulge was becoming more prominent.  By the end of February I found out I was pregnant.  But I also knew there was something wrong going on with my abs.  I went to the my primary care doctor.  He agreed that the bulge was weird and sent me for an ultrasound.  When he called to give me the results he told me that there was a large split between my abdominal muscles allowing my bowels and organs to bulge out.  

I have since visited my OB/GYN and he has confirmed that I have a severe case of diastasis recti.  Fortunately there is no risk to me or the baby.  The only bad things so far: 1. I look much further along in my pregnancy than I really am.  2.  I have absolutely no ab muscles to help support me, making standing or walking for any length of time tiring and painful.

Tomorrow I will be 13 weeks along.  I'm definitely not feeling as sick any more.  And I'm starting to have a bit more energy.  Yay!  

So we'll see how this pregnancy goes.  Here's hoping November 11th will come quickly and without too much pain.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Last week was spring break.  We had really great weather and house guests, two of my favorite things.  We went to the zoo with my sister and parents.  It was great.  Here are some pics from the day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some may not agree with this post, and I'm ok with that.  The Easter bunny did not visit our house this year.  We dyed eggs yesterday and will have a small hunt with them.  I did not buy an Easter gift and tons of candy for each of my kids.  I think this holiday has gotten way out of hand.  I think the focus has shifted way off course.  
We will be watching a video about Jesus on, watching Music and the Spoken Word, and generally try to focus on the true meaning of Easter, Jesus Christ.  I'm not trying to toot my horn.  I'm hoping that others feel the same way I do and we can start a revolution.  Who's with me?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ben the artist

Ben loves to draw and paint.  He's always asking for paper to create new things.  He especially likes to draw out swords, color them in, then cut them out.  (Should I be worried that he likes to make weapons out of paper?)  Today since Granny was here, he tried his hand at painting.  Granny drew Iron Man on the canvas board and Ben painted it in.  The results speak for them self.
I'm so proud!