Friday, July 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes: The "This Is My First Time" Edition

So there's this fun little Friday thingie called 7 Quick Takes that I've loved reading other people's entries of forever. Well, today I'm jumping in feet first. Not sure if I'm doing it right, but I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

1....2....3.... WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

My sweet little baby is two months old today. Somehow I'm OK with this. She is so perfect and squeezable and soft and smiley and sweet. She's also the first baby to sleep through the night since my firstborn, lo those many eleven years ago. The four in between my two sleepy bookends were all middle-of-the-night partiers. Oh, and just because I called her a bookend doesn't mean she'll always hold that title. You know how we Catholics are...

We went to an outdoor concert last night. Mr. Ordinary sat with the sweet baby an enjoyed the music and a beverage while I played soccer with the others. All the while hoping *fingers crossed* that my kids will grow up with memories of how awesome their mom was because she played soccer with them barefoot in the grass. I also attempted my annual cartwheel due-to-happy-wistful-mommy-endorphine-overload. My wrists do not thank me.

alleged suspect of Quick Take #7
My next album will be kicked off with the sure-to-be-a-smash-hit, entitled Are You Going To Poop Poop For Your Mama? sung to the tune of She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain When She Comes.  I'll leave the inspiration for that one to your imaginations.

Oh my gosh. I can't believe I haven't told you yet, but Mr. Ordinary was baptized at the Easter Vigil this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As you may guess from the number of exclamation points, I'm just a teensy bit elated over this. Seriously, you guys. Dream! Come! True! I'll have to get him on here sometime to share his conversion story. I love a good conversion story. Don't you?

I took the baby and 4.5yo Sunshine to Old Navy this morning where we chatted with another nice little mama while we waited for them to open the doors. (Some people love to shut down the club, I love to open up the Old Navy. Woot woot!!) This nice little mama assumed these two were my only kids and gave me all the advice about age gaps and having a third and other things I already know because, well, I have a billion more kids but they just aren't with me at the moment but keep on talking, nice little mama. I won't rain on your advice giving parade.

I got this and this and a white flowy blouse that I can't find on their website. But trust me. It's super cute!

I have a bit of advice for you, if you don't mind. Don't agree to let your two year old ride his tricycle all the way to and from the park down the street because it will take for-ev-er and you will encourage him to speed up so you can actually make it back to your house this year
and not have to live out the rest of your lives right there on the street, and he may just then scream "I don't want to live on the street!" as you pass in front of your neighbor, Mr. Judgy-Eyes.

You're welcome.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

"Are You Going To Have More?"

I realize I'm all out of order here, with being about to write about my six week check-up before even writing the birth story and all, but bare with me. I'll get the birth story on here at some point. I promise!

Six weeks ago The Ordinary Family welcomed a squishy lump of joy in the form of a baby girl. (Yes! A girl! Sunshine now has a sister! Hooray!) She is wonderful, smells delicious, eats quite often and makes all of so so so so very very very very happy. 

Yep, that's right. We've now earned our sixth badge in the Crazy League of Parenthood Troop! Yeah us! Woot woot!

I had my six week check-up today and got to answer that always oh-so-exciting question. "So, what are you thinking about for birth control?" I used to sweat about this one, imagining they'd be thinking, "Oh, one of those crazy Catholics. Who does she think she is? A Duggar?"

But much like having a slew of strangers take a peek at your hoo-ha, after awhile you just get used to it.

"No birth control. Thanks."

And, thankfully, when this nurse said, "So, do you think you'll have more?" and I answered, "Who knows, maybe!" I was thrilled to hear her say, "Well that's exciting! If anyone can handle it, it's you!"

I've gotten the, "Are you going to have more?" question a few times and I always answer in one of two ways, depending on how genuinely interested the person asking seems to be:

Just making conversation, not too interested:  "Maybe, we'll see."

Genuinely interested: "Well, we're Catholic. We're doing ok financially and they make us pretty happy, so probably." (If I think they can handle it, I like to throw in a little, "We're so fertile!" in there, just for fun. ;) ) #ohnoshedidnt #ohyesIdid #Catholicismdrop

And one thing I ALWAYS do, smile! Yes, the more kids you have, the more your life changes. The more selfless you have to become. The more sleep you lose. The more workload you take on.

But also, the more joy you are filled with! Share it! Let people know that these babies are gifts and much more than diapers and night feedings and potty training and early Saturday morning soccer practices.

They. Are. Joy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Slowing Down And Almost Stopping

It's been forever and yadda yadda yadda...

You've heard all that before. Let's just skip it, okay?

The thing is, I have things to say. Words overflowing from my brain with nowhere to go. So here they shall spill.

I'm due with Baby Number Six in just a few days. For some reason, there is more anxiety this time around than ever ever ever before. I don't know why. There just is.

My body said, "I give up!" about ten weeks ago. I've felt weak. I've felt worn out. I've felt impatient and I've just settled for all of that. I mean, I've tried to count it all joy and all that, but the truth is this time around, I've just needed to crawl in my cave and hibernate.

Being quiet feels good right now. Being home feels good right now. Being with my kids and my husband and just ticking away the days slowly and gently and with the least amount of plans possible feels really good right now.

I'm turning inward. I'm slowing down and almost stopping. I'm breathing and releasing and waiting.

And soon the little one will be here. And we can start things up again, start doing and going and planning and venturing again.

But until then? I'll be right here, letting God's plan unfold, completely out of my control, just the way He wants it to be.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sarah's day in a life (with a 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2-year-old)

When I was first researching homeschooling, I spent hours upon hours just trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do each day. Nothing helped more than blog posts about what someone's typical homeschooling day was really like. There were so many styles and variations and choices.

And, at the end of it all, I realized, I can do whatever I want. There is no right or wrong as long as you have the goal of helping your chil(ren) to live, learn, and grow in mind.

I adore the "day in a life" posts over at Simple Homeschool, so I thought I'd give you a glimpse into a typical day for us.

Please keep in mind that I have a 10-, 8-, 6-, 4- and 2-year-old. My day could look insanely different from or remarkably similar to yours.

7:00 The 2-year-old climbs out of his crib, toddles down the hall and into bed with me. For the next half hour or so, I am poked in the eye, squeezed on the cheeks and generally climbed all over as he so sweetly coaxes me out of my warm nest to go downstairs and get this day started already!

7:30 The two of us wander downstairs, me sleepy-eyed and him full of energy and not quite able to understand why I'm shushing his million decibel voice while everyone else is still snug in their beds. I get him set with a yogurt then set about making my coffee.

8:00 I can hear the three big boys awake in their room, playing with Legos of course. Sunshine, my 4-year-old lone lady, hops down the steps full of bubbling energy and telling me how much she has missed me throughout the night and couldn't wait to kiss me this morning. She kisses her baby brother and joins him for some yogurt. I fry myself two eggs and top them with some hummus to scarf down while I check in with the world of email, facebook and the blogosphere.

8:30 I call the big boys (10, 8, & 6) down from Lego play, that could really last all day if I let it, to have some breakfast and get our day started. They ask for bread with jelly and apple slices. I pour milk for them and then pass out their multivitamins. I remember my coffee, which has gotten cold. Oh well. Down the hatch.

9:00 I send the oldest four off for their usual morning routine of, "Make your beds, get dressed and brush your teeth." If I feel like I need a little more time, I ask them to clean up their rooms as well. But this morning I'm in a hurry to get school underway, so I give them a twenty minute time slot to complete their usual tasks. I dress the 2-year-old and glance at our chore chart on the refrigerator to remind the 10-year-old that it's his turn to clear the table after breakfast.

The rest of our morning is a blur. Each of the three big boys know what they need to do for school. They take turns on the desktop and laptop completing their Teaching Textbooks lessons for the day, IXL games, and the 10-year-old works with me on his Classical Conversations Essentials work. In between turns on the computer, they get comfy on the couch, at the kitchen table or sprawled on the floor to do a page or two from their Handwriting Without Tears workbooks and to copy that week's Classical Conversations Foundations memory work onto these nifty worksheets.

My boys are very independent workers/learners and need little help from me other than they occasional reminder to say focused. While they work I usually do a few things around the house that need doing, like wash dishes, fold laundry or sweep a pound or two of dog hair off of the floor. Ah, the joys of having a huge indoor German Shepherd.

The 2- and 4-year-olds spend their mornings playing together. They are as close as big sister and little brother can possibly be and enjoy building with blocks, playing restaurant and "camping" in the pop-up tent and tunnel that occupy our dining room instead of a table and chairs.

Around 11:00, everyone is dismissed to the basement playroom to go nuts for awhile until I can get lunch on the table... or, you know, sit on the couch for thirty minutes of quiet reading and then worry about lunch. Today we have Nutella on tortillas, peach slices and glasses of cherry kefir. These "Nut-tillas" (a name I just came up with right this very second) are a new creation (we were out of bread) and the kids are thrilled with them.

After lunch, I head up to put the 2-year-old down for a nap while instructing the others to do their after lunch chores like clearing the table, cleaning up the school and family rooms, and emptying the dishwasher before getting back to any unfinished schoolwork.

The afternoon is a semi-quiet whirlwind of wrapping up work, independent reading and playing for the kids and calling Mr. Ordinary to see how his day is going (and to hear another adult voice), figuring out what we'll have for dinner, basic straightening up, and fiddling around on facebook for me.

Before I know it, the little man is up from his nap. I pick an educational show from Netflix for the kids to watch and Mr. Ordinary walks in the door. He's practically tackled with kisses and hugs. Oh, and the kids say hi, too. ;) The kids are free to pick silly shows like Phineas and Ferb or Ninjago to watch while Mr. Ordinary and I head upstairs for our daily "Parent Meeting." We lock the door and lay down in our quiet room to discuss our days and unwind a bit before he heads off to walk to the dog. (Here's a glimpse into one of my favorite parent meetings ever.)

This evening involves a fire in the fireplace, some chicken and quinoa for dinner, and some card games before it's time for the little to get ready for bed.

8:00 Mr. Ordinary tucks everyone in, after an impromptu wrestling session in the boys' room of course, and then joins me on the couch where we watch some TV, eat some ice cream and he rubs my feet. We eventually turn in around 10:30.

I hope you enojoyed a sneak peek into our lives! I'd love to answer any questions you have and to hear about your days. Hop on into the comments and leave me a note. :)