Thursday, June 6, 2013


Our newest little addition:

I'm exhausted, but it was all worth it. And I finally had my unmedicated birth! I have only good things to say about all of that.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day, a day I've hated for years and years. I've had such a difficult and painful relationship with my mother, a mother who betrayed me in the worst way as a child. I've been able to move on and forgive, but there's no repairing the damage. So, Mother's Day was always the day I skipped church and avoided the cheesy platitudes around me.

Today, though, my heart is full. I'm a mother to two little boys, and one more little soul on the way. Deciding to have this baby was a difficult one for us, and it almost didn't happen. It's sort of a setback in some ways, and a financial burden of unknown consequences.

But as I watched my boys today, as we spent the day without their dad who has duty aboard his submarine for the next 24 hours, as I felt this child kick and grow within me, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude that we'd decided to take this chance once more.

I never really thought I'd do this whole stay-at-home mother gig. My own mother had done so, and I don't think it made her particularly happy at all. I was terrified of repeating her mistakes, or finding myself unable to give my children what they needed most. I feared that since I lacked a good role model, I had no ability to be a good mother at all.

However, I married a sailor, and when we decided to have kids, I fell into this role because it was the only one that made any real sense. It's been a real challenge, but I'm so grateful for the last eight years of watching my children grow. I ache to hold this last little one, and know that we did the right thing by taking the chance to add another to our family.

Most of all, I'm so happy to discover I am not doomed to repeat the mistakes of my own mother, that there is a way to grow out of it and be someone completely different. Today was a good Mother's Day, a day that wasn't full of flowers or fancy presents, but was full of love from my little boys.

I am a lot of things, and I know that when the kids leave the house, I will find other things to fill my time, other ways to give, but I know that nothing I will ever do will ever be as powerful or have the greatest potential to change the future as what I do at home as a mother. I know this because I am acutely aware of what happens when your own mother isn't there when you need her, when she wounds instead of heals. There are some scars that never go away.

Friday, May 3, 2013

So. I've been gone from here for months. And they were eventful months, but I'm not going to try to catch up, nor do I even want to write about most of it. Suffice it to say, I'm glad to be on the other side for the most part.

The thing I'm NOT on the other side of, though, is this pregnancy. I'm 35 weeks, and hoping it won't go on for any more than four more weeks. I've been contracting off and on since about 28 weeks, so maybe I'll get lucky. Or, maybe not. Cervix check next week for some more concrete information. All I know is that I can't sleep any more, my feet are swelling (sigh - didn't have that problem with the last two pregnancies), and this bowling ball in my stomach makes it really hard to do anything requiring  bending.

All that to say, I'm excited to hold this baby in my arms. Scared, yes, but excited. It's been over five years since we had a newborn in the house. Our life is very different - all babyproofing is about three houses back from the one we live in now. We can take the kids to movies and ride almost all the rides at Disney World. No one wears diapers during the day, and can hold it when they REALLY need to go.  I don't know how this is going to go, but I think we'll figure it out somehow.

As for homeschooling - we've got to test this month. I can't put it off anymore. The results are due August 1st, and with this baby due, I want it out of the way and in the mail before I have to deal with another kid around. I found a place that has both paper and online testing, so I think we'll do it on the computer. Most of the testing Wyatt did in the Bahamas was on a computer, so I'm thinking that will be the easiest solution for all concerned (I wasn't looking forward to teaching him how to fill in the bubble).

Also, when this is out of the way, I can feel okay about quitting school for awhile. The plan is to take about a month off, then keep up a lighter schedule of math, spelling, and reading through the rest of the summer. Then we'll get back on track with a fuller schedule than we had this past year as we figured out what the heck we were doing.

Unless, of course, we end up moving again. Which might happen. I'd like to shake my fist at the Navy right now. Not that they care what I think, of course.

On the plus side, I think I've FINALLY worked out all child care options if the baby doesn't show up in the week I have in-house help. It's really rough to move and then find out your pregnant. So many details to work out with so little information and help. We'll figure this out, though. One day at a time.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Education - How's it Faring

This whole homeschooling thing has been really up and down. The first few months were pretty rough - I didn't know what I was doing, struggled to find the right rhythm, and match what we did to how Wyatt learned. I also worried about keeping him on track, especially since it's pretty hard to find any decent list of what is normally expected of the typical second grader (and every state seems to vary, so this makes it harder, since we won't be staying here for more than a couple years).

Fast forward to today, and things are a whole lot more pleasant around here. I'm in the middle of deciding on a very different approach to spelling because all the traditional approaches I've used with Wyatt (and were used on him in school) have proven to a big waste of time, it's been absolutely exciting to research it and find something that makes a huge amount of sense to me as a person whose B.A. is in English (and most of those classes were in the teaching track). We should be starting that program next month, although we're already working on phonemes he still struggles to recognize despite being a very good reader.

Our other subjects are also coming along. I've got a math program that's clicking with both him and myself (huge plus!), and we've finally worked in some science and the occasional civics lesson. And, he's doing a cursive program he likes, so yay for that.

Despite how well the curriculum progress is coming, though, I've still been plagued by this nagging sense that I have no real way of knowing how well he's doing. Oscar's reading is exploding, but since he's technically not old enough for kindergarten (though he could totally handle it now), I'm not fretting about him. I know that teaching him to read, plus what he's picking up through Wyatt's work, is more than enough for a preschooler. Wyatt, though, that's harder to determine.

Yesterday, I had my 20 week ultrasound, and we took both boys with us to it. They were completely fascinated, and had a million questions for the tech. Wyatt was picking out the spine and had comments on the blood flow and how he understood that to work. Oscar at one point read the word, "Foot" when she typed it on the screen to highlight the view of the baby's foot. She looked at him, asked him how old he was, then looked at us in surprise when he told her he was five. She then asked where they went to school, as she'd never had kids come in with so much interest and so many questions. I told her we were homeschooling them, and she said, "Ah, that's why!"

I honestly have no idea what her background is with homeschooling so can't comment on just why she answered that way, but the whole exchange gave me a feeling that we were on the right track with them, something I have yet to feel in this whole process. I have worried a LOT about how they will come across to others. Homeschooling is tough mainly because you take on responsibility for ALL their education. Even if you are outsourcing some of it (and I just signed them up for a LEGO STEM class, so we are definitely going to do some of that!), there is still no passing it off on a bad school system or whatever.

So, I know we're on the right track. Still lots of work ahead, but I feel better about this decision. I still couldn't tell you if we'll do it more than a couple years, but I do think we made the right choice to do it for now.