Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009 - Halloween

So it's Halloween! This has always been one of my most favorite holidays - it's fun, you get to dress up, and you get candy. Love it! But this year we have a nearly 4yo who gets scared easily and that put a whole new twist on things. He's watched one too many Scooby Doo cartoons and now he's terrified to go to bed with the lights off because there might be a boogy man or a ghost in his room. So we had tentatively decided not to go Trick or Treating becasue we didn't want to add to his fears. I also started thinking that maybe that was God's way of saying we shouldn't do Halloween anymore. I have lots of friends who don't do Halloween and there have been lots of discussions on the CMF boards and on AFR about the evilness of the holiday.

My own personal thoughts have been that you can shine a light for Jesus even during a holiday that Satan is trying to use for himself. So last year we gave out little cards with Bible verses with our candy and this year I had decided to give out little papers with the "Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin" thing on it. But even up till the last minute I was undecided as to what to do. Was I just compromising so I wouldn't make waves with my family and friends or just so my kids wouldn't "miss out"? I mean, I could just buy them candy, right? And we could dress up ANY day, right? Besides, we had alreay defiantely decided not to go downtown because of all the scary costumes. But on the other hand, we went Trick or Treating last year, so my neighbors might think we were weird to be the only house on the street with out lights off and they would notice if our kids didn't come by their houses...

By today, everything Ian had been seeing on TV is Halloween themed and everyone at church and playgroups had been asking him what he's dressing up as, so when the time came, he wanted to go out. Well, of course, we didn't have a costume, so I just grabbed some play clothes...I told Ian he could be a fireman and Zollie could be Spiderman. That went over like a lead balloon...Ian wanted to be Spiderman (of course) and Zollie wanted to wear the fireman jacket. So here is Ian trying to fit his 4yo body into a 18m sized Spiderman costume and Zollie drowning in a 4yo sized fireman coat. It was adorably cute. I got Ian to compromise and wear red sweatpants over his costume so that the neighbors wouldn't see how the thing only came down to his knees. I dressed up like a pirate, and out we went.

We made it to about 4 or 5 houses on our block and then we hit one that had one of those motion sensors on the door that made a ghost thing moan at us, and Ian was done. I regretted even going out. He's in bed now, with the lights on, telling me how "Zollie is scared of the dark."

Bleh.

We just about ran out of candy at our house, as always. I gave out the little flyers with each of my candy pieces and so I felt a little better about participating, but I still have this nagging feeling that we shouldn't do it at all, no matter how fun it is. I still can't decide what the right answer is. When I hear some people talking about how it's evil and the Bible says "flee from evil" and to dwell only on things that are pure and good, it seems like a no brainer. But then I hear other people talking about how it can be a ministry opportunity...I can reach out to the neighborhood kids for Jesus (because they are going to go Trick or Treating anyway) and how we really aren't celebrating evil, just dressing up and getting candy. It's just not clear cut to me. I guess I get another year to ponder and pray and talk with PG about what we should do next time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 - Ian's First Lapbook!

One of our projects in school last week was to make a lapbook. We found a really neat template off of http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ , which is a FANTASTIC website for finding lapbooks to go with just about any topic. I found one that went with the book Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. Here are some pictures of the book once it was all put together!

















Here is the cover.

I made the book by just taking 3 sheets of construction paper and folding them in half and then nesting them sinside each other. Then I punched a couple of holes in the bend and ran string through to bind them together. Easy peasy!
















These are pages 1 and 2. Page 1 had a little trace the line thing where you "help the baby bird find his mama". Page 2 had an accordian book where Ian matched the right number of baby birds with the printed number and a fold open egg with a chick inside.
















Pages 3 and 4 had big B and little b and then baby bird. You could have added white craft feathers to the bird picture, but we didn't have any, so our bird is naked.
















Pages 5 and 6 had pictures of the other animals baby bird thought might be his mommy.
















Pages 7 and 8 are next. Page 7 has a picture of baby bird's home. Ian got to glue the baby bird into the nest. It suggested gluing leaves, sticks or Easter Grass to the nest, but again, that just seemed too messy for me. Page 8 has an envelope and in it are pictures of mama and baby animals. They fit together like puzzel pieces.
















Back cover. It has a layer book with all the animals baby bird thought was his mama. You can go through each and talk about the sounds they make, what their babies are called, etc.

This was a really cute, really fun project! I think we are going to do the one about Fish Out Of Water next!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009

Well I'm DONE! I have officially sent in every single piece of work I needed to send in to get my doula certification. Now I just have to wait for it to get ok'd so I can officially apply for certification and get my card in the mail! YAY!

What a huge weight lifted off my shoulders!

On a related note, we had a doula meeting last night. There were 6 of us there, in various stages of training. How awesome that there are that many doulas in Greenville now! We're going to open a chapter of the Birth Connection and I've started a Yahoo! Group for us...Eastern Carolina Birth Connection, or ECBC. Very excited! Hope we get lots of members so we can start networking and learning from each other and helping garner clients for each other.

~~~

Now on to homeschooling. Co-op has been going really well, except that Ian cries for the first 5 minutes when I leave him. But he always comes out saying how much fun he had. School at home is going REALLY well. We've done a lot of phonics work and he can READ now! It's so exciting! He can pick up a little book and read it to me with minimal help. It's just amazing...he doesn't turn 4 for another month+ and he's already reading little beginner books with me. *insert teary eye'd emote here*

We've also been working on Rod and Staff preschool books. They have books A-F and we've taken A-C first, then we'll move on to D-F. I hear they are coming out with the next 6 as well, so that should take us through Kindy and then we can pick up Story of the World for 1st.

He's also learning to count in Spanish, which is so cute. And we are working on ASL as well.

~~~

As far as just life in general...as we get closer and closer to Zollie's birthday, my emotional state is taking a downhill turn. On October 14th we'll celebrate 2 years of Zollie's life and 2 months that Anna has been gone. It's hard. Just typing it I'm tearing up. I went to a cloth diaper party this week and it was really difficult being around all those pregnant women and new babies. They were so sweet, and I'm so happy for them, but I should have a big belly by now and it's not fair that I don't.

PG's in Winston Salem today with his Nana helping her move. Memaw is home from the hospital, but she fell down the stairs last week. My poor step-dad lost his uncle, his good friend, and his dog all within 2 weeks.

Live has just been rough around here recently.

But we're making it...we're getting by. We're trusting that God has a plan for all of this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009

It's been a while since I've blogged...I think I'm getting to the point where I don't *need* to as much anymore. I guess that means that I'm "moving on" or "working through my grief" or something. Or maybe I've just been busy, or just didn't feel quite up to pouring my heart out again.

I've noticed that I'm not thinking about her constantly anymore. Daily, yes, but not constantly like those first few weeks. School has started back, so two days a week I'm teaching, two more I'm preparing lessons. I'm trying to do homeschool with Ian on a semi-regular basis. We are working on letter sounds and numbers. He's starting to learn his numbers 1-10 in Spanish, and to practice writing letters and counting objects. He's doing really great! His 2's look like 2's.

The most intersting thing that has happened to me lately is that I've learned how to "coupon". My friend Mimi - a fellow LLL Leader - took me to Harris Teeter for the first day of "tripple coupon week" and showed me how to do it. I got about $58 in groceries for just over $16. I'm absolutely hooked. I'm working on getting an organized notebook to keep all my coupons in and all that jazz. PG thinks it's great. I got paid for babysitting Bailey today, so I've got a little extra money now. Maybe I can go again tomorrow (last day of tripples week) and get a few more things.

Saturday we went to Chapel Hill for the ECU game. Cris and Leann went with us. It was a terrible game. ECU looked more like a bunch of guys out playing football together than a team. They absolutely deserved to lose playing the way they did. I honestly don't feel bad about missing the game next week now. We're going to New Bern for a couple of days. PG has a psych conference to go to, so I'm going to take the boys and spend a couple of days with Crystal and her kids. We'll probably get in a few hours of D&D while we are there.

People are still asking me how I'm doing, which is nice. I would rather them ask than to ignore that anything happened. It's hard to see my pregnant friends, though. I've got two who are due within a month of when I should be, so I'll spend the next few months watching their bellies grow, and probably being their doula. I'm so happy for them, and so sad for myself. Is that selfish? I actually thought I might be pregnant again this past week. I was nausious and having an upset stomach. I tested, but it was negative. I didn't know whether to feel sad or relieved.

I found this poem on another blog. She lost her baby to SIDS, and someone had posted this in one of the comments. I don't know the author, but I think it sums me up pretty well:

My Mom Is A Survivor

My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night
when all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others...
a smile of disguise!
But through Heaven's door I see
tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it is her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that angels
protect me forevermore.

I know that doesn't help her...
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her...
and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says...
no matter what she feels.
My surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009

Today is a Praise day. Looking back over the weekend, God has been providing for us at every turn.

First, a praise that Memaw seems to be doing ok. She's moving fluid better now, so her breathing is easier and her swelling is going down. Her kidneys seem to have peaked out and are on the mend now as well.

A praise for my cousin Rebecca as well. I don't think I've written about her yet...if I have, I appologize for repeating myself. She's in her 30s, a little older than me, and has two sons ages 4 and 7 I believe. She was really sick over the summer and now is in ICU with double pneumonia and sepsis and I don't think anyone is expecting her to ever wake up from the induced com she's in. But last I heard, she "wasn't any worse" which at this point is good news.

So we decided we definately really wanted to go to Crystal's house Sunday night, so we scrounged around and found a whole $11, which was enough to get gas for there and back, but no money for food. We changed clothes after church, packed a bag, and headed out. First stop - gas station of course. Then we swung by the hospital and PG used his cafeteria card to buy some drinks and snack food to take with us. Then we went by McAllister's (Leann gave us a $10 gift card just last week because she doesn't like to eat there). What a blessing! Free lunch!

We got to Crystal's house at about 3 and poor Ian and Zollie had JUST fallen asleep. Well, Ian was immediately awake and ready to play with Alek and Mikhala, and Zollie was off to the races as well (after some serious oohing and ahhing over baby Natilee - he was quite taken with her. He would sit *right* next to her and touch her hair and face, and if you took her away he pitched a fit!). Crystal and I went to Target to get some milk, and while there she got some coffees for us. For the record, Starbucks makes a delicious Caramel Macchiato.

After we got back, Zollie went into whiney mode, so I nursed him to sleep and we put him down for a nap and got down to the serious buisness of playing D&D. Then we took a break for a FANTASTIC supper of bbq pork roast, green beans and roasted potatos. Crystal outdid herself. Then back to D&D, with a break for bath time for the kids (we found it is in fact possible to fit 4 kids happily into a tub, and surprisingly enough, no one's penis got grabbed by anyone else LOL). We got the kids in bed (Ian got to sleep on the top bunk, he was stoked) and then played till about 2am, at which point all the adults crashed.

We woke up Monday morning to the smells of breakfast. Crystal and Dennis were so sweet to let PG and I sleep in while all the kids played. She made wassles (Ian's word for waffles) and BACON, and everyone Loooooves bacon. Then we got another few hours of D&D in while the kids played and then hit the road home.

We had such a good time, and to make it even better, Monday was Labor Day, and Chic-fil-a had a special where if you wore your sports team logo clothing you got a free chicken sandwich. So we hit the one in New Bern for lunch and picked up 4 sandwiches, and then swung through Greenville on the way home for 4 more for supper. Again, God provided for us!

The stress hit at about 7:30 last night, though, when I found out I was sitterless for this morning while I taught. So PG made a call to his grandmother who (praise God again!) was able to come watch the boys for me this morning. Class went really well...we continued talking about plant parts and germination, and both classes started germinating wheat berries. Thursday the younger girls will move on to properties of Matter while the older girls hit Heredity. After I got home, we did lunch and then ALL three of us took a nap! Yay! PG got home at about 3, and Ian did some schoolwork with me while PG rested and changed clothes, then we all walked down to the park for a few minutes before we got ran off by an approaching storm. Back home we did supper and then PG took Zollie for a bath while I headed out to the HOME meeting.

So all in all, it's been a really great weekend. I got a lot of distraction, which I needed, and a lot of normality back, though things will never really be normal again. I'm looking forward to the HOME activities this year and especially co-op for Ian! He's going to love it!

Well, it's after midnight, so I should head to bed. We've got a homeschool park day tomorrow afternoon, and tomorrow morning I need to go by and pay for my HOME membership and co-op fee. I hope tomorrow goes as well as this weekend did.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5, 2009

Finally, some good news! The nephrologist says that Memaw's kidney issues seem to have peaked out and should be getting better from this point on. The stint procedure is on permanant hold until things get back to "normal" (there's that word again). Her BP is still fluxuating between a rather good 130/70 to a less good but not quite scary high 160/80. A big problem right now, though, is that she's retaining a LOT of fluids. She's up to 147lbs...this is a woman who is about 5"1 and usually weighs about 110 soaking wet. Mom says her hands look like they are about to pop open they are so tight. She must be miserable.

Today was a pretty good day for me. ECU had its opening home game today against ASU and we pulled out a win during the last few seconds after having led 27-7 at halftime. For some reason I guess the guys figgured they had it in the bag and that they didn't need to show up for the second half. If it weren't for our D, we would have lost, no question. PG's mom had taken the boys for the day so we could go have some adult time at the game. His dad and sister went with us. It was hot...about 89 by the end of the game...and we forgot to put sunscreen on our arms so we are all burned up. Thank goodness that we have 2 Aloe plants at the house.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to church and then head up to Crystal's house to hang out, play D&D into the wee morning hours, spend the night, and some of the day Monday. Then come home and chill out at home and rest up for a 3 day week for PG. He's got Friday off so he can go up to WVU with is dad for the ball game next Saturday.

The boys were so funny today. They had the bean bag chair in the living room floor and they would climb up on the couch and jump off onto the bean bag. Zollie just thought it was the funniest thing...he was laughing and laughing. He's got the best belly laugh. I love hearing it. Then they pushed it into the middle of the floor and would chase each other around it until one of them would trip (or get dizzy) and fall down and then the other would jump on him and they would wrestle around and laugh some more. They really do love each other so much, even if they beat the snot out of each other all the time. Ian was talking ugly to me earlier so I made him sit in time out and sweet little Zollie sat right there by his brother the whole time, just waiting for him to be able to get up so they could play some more. He really thinks Ian hung the moon. They are so precious to me.