Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our First Week back, and Changes

So, we completed our first week.  It was quite busy.  Chemistry is a big hit - the kids love it, and they will look forward to it, and so it will be a nice motivator when the kids are not happy about doing work. 

I investigated a school program, and joined up!  Alaska has many homeschoolers, and so they offer some pretty good programs.  I was quite resistant last year, but this year I took some time and looked into one of them.  You can homeschool in Alaska without registering with the local district, and that's what I did last year.  But, my son needs some assessments in reading, writing and math.  I think its dysgraphia (learning disability in writing) but, it might not be, or there may be more.  So, by enrolling, I can get the help we need, perhaps.  I will also get a bunch of money for curriculum, supplies, and a family laptop!  I have wanted to purchase a number of things, but our home school budget it a little stretched right now.  I have nearly everything we need, but now I can go to Amazon, Walmart, etc. and get the things on our wish list.  I can sign the kids up for private swim lessons too! 

My daughter will need to take a standardized test this Spring, but that's ok.  I can do what I want with the results.  She might get frustrated by this, but it will be a good experiment for the future. My son doesn't need to take any standardized tests. 

So, we went to the doctor, and the kids got school physicals.  We dropped off our registration packets, and tomorrow the TB tests will get checked and we pick up the physicals to turn in to the school.  I have already begun spending some money on items.  Rosetta Stone is on my wish list.  I can download chapter books to our kindle programs, and I have ordered a music series - about composers.  The first one is Beethoven Lives Upstairs.  I also ordered a children's typing program. 

We will start learning about New World Explorers this week in Social Studies.  The kids will do many projects and create a Lapbook.  We are reading about David Livingstone - a missionary to Africa, and Math, Reading and Writing are in full swing. 

Baby tore apart my school room, it was like a mini tornado going through, but I've moved some things and its better.  Schooling with a toddler is very educational!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School Tomorrow?!

The war cry has gone out, "Nooooooooo!  No school tomorrow MOM!" 

Yah, my kids are less than excited to start back to school.  I think it will be an adventure.  I will school with a toddler in tow.  He gets into everything!  He is one busy kiddo. 

So, we will start back tomorrow, and I should be getting prepared, but I have zero time and zero energy.  It will just happen, and I'll fix it as we go along. 

My husband is away, I am exhausted every evening and lack the energy to accomplish much.  I am exhausted during the day. 

So, I will put the coffee on, set the alarm, and crack open the books tomorrow.  I have actually set up some stuff for Chemistry, so I'm not totally unprepared. 

My daughter is 9 and a 4th grader.  My son is 7 and a 2nd grader.  That really means absolutely nothing.  We just pick up where we left off.  I get to do that, as their teacher. 

Goals for tomorrow:

1) Get up at 8 AM with the alarm app on iphone, wake baby who will be asleep in bed with me.
2) Fix breakfast for all, drink beloved coffee, put baby in pack n' play and shower
3) Bring whiny and angry children downstairs, as they tell me how much they hate school and miss Summer.  School day plus lunch and baby nap somewhere in there . . . .
4) Introduce Chemistry with neato lab, that my kids will actually love (this is my motivator)
5) Math and Reading
6) Handwriting without Tears
7) Read Aloud a Missionary story (Ida Scudder, missionary in India from 1870-1960)
8) Cook dinner (pizza?)
9) Eat dinner, kids play outside afterwards
10) Bedtime routine- Little Visits with God devotional book and Bible, Prayers, Read a couple Chapters from: Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing
11) Everyone to bed, me too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Camping Trip(s)

Well, we went camping last week.  We were very prepared for our car camping trip.  Except, we were not really prepared.

First, I tried to fit my sleep mat and baby's Peapod sleeping area in the back of the minivan.  Well, they didn't fit.  So, then I tried sleeping on just my mat with the back of the van closed.  I am a bit too tall.  Once I started to load up our gear, there was no way that baby and I could sleep back there anyways. So, we needed a new plan. 

The new plan was to borrow a tent!  We borrowed a 5-6 man tent from the MWR (Morale-Welfare-Recreation?) Its a military service, and they lend out equipment on the base.  I also borrowed a cot, and a few Thermarest sleep mats.  So, we finished packing up and we were ready to go. 

The campsite was gorgeous.  We drove down a dirt road in Pasagshak - to Surfer's Beach.  There was a creek, salmon berry patch and we were right near the ocean.  So pretty!  The kids played while we set up camp.  Baby loved it!  Guess what, the tent was extremely difficult to assemble.  It was missing half the guide lines to the rainfly, and you don't camp in Kodiak without a rainfly.  It was also missing all the stakes for the rainfly.  We made due, because my husband is creative. 

That night, we made a campfire, and we roasted marshmallows, to make smores.  Baby only cried a little bit at bedtime.  When I went to bed, I quickly realized that my camping mattress was awful.  There would be no sleep for me.  Oh, and the camp cot was terrible too, and unusable.  It was very narrow, as well.  Baby woke screaming at 2 AM, but of course I was awake anyways, because my entire body was in pain.  It was raining in the morning.  Also, we could not cook anything, because I forgot the propane at home.

So, we made another plan.  We drove home, about 45 minutes away, and I borrowed another tent from the MWR.  This one was a dome tent, and sleeps 3-4 people.  Then, I bought a BIG COT, seriously, this thing was huge, and a brand new Thermarest mattress at the local sporting goods store.  We drove around trying to find various camping areas with the baby screaming.  We settled on White Sands Beach, in Monashka Bay, on the other side of Kodiak. 

It was just as lovely here, at Monashka bay, and the salmon were jumping out of the water.  What a sight!  Even the baby was laughing, it was so cool!  Everybody went fishing, and my husband caught three pinks, which he threw back.  The BIG COT did not fit in the tent, in fact, had we actually fit it inside the tent, no one else would have fit.  But, this tent was easier to put up.  It had all its stakes and guide lines.  Inside it was very cozy, but we all fit.  My sleeping mat was awesome (we all slept well, even the baby), and I was able to cook spaghetti, because I remembered the propane.

In the morning, in true Kodiak fashion, the weather changed from 20% chance of rain, to 100% rain and rain all day.  So, although we were dry (husband put a tarp over our screen room, and it was awesome), my daughter was cold and unhappy.  So, the kids hung out in the car.  Baby feel asleep on daddy, for 1 1/2 hours.  During this time, I loaded the car, and became a drenched rat.  I noted that I needed better rain gear, like an actual rain coat and rain pants.  I don't actually know how I made it a whole year without these things. 

So, we went home.  But, there was still fishing!  And, my husband and son each caught a pink salmon.  Fresh pinks are ok (not the best, most people just throw them back), they are what's in your canned salmon.  We grilled them up anyways.  My son was so proud to have caught his first fish of the season.  It was ok to be home, because, Baby came down with a fever.  He is ok now, but it last 3 days.

So there it is, camping in Kodiak, the Summer of 2012.  Phew!  I will try to get pictures up here, but I need to figure out my new phone.  Sorry!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Upcoming Camping Experience

In a couple weeks, we will take a family camping trip.  This will be my baby's first experience, and I can hardly wait!  I didn't go on the family camping trip last year, as by spring/summer I was quite pregnant.  And, this will be quite different from the past years.

Our Scamp travel trailer is in Kansas, at my in-laws.  We have outgrown it by normal standards, but maybe we haven't by ours.  Recently, we found out that we can add cabinets about the bunk beds and double bed, for around $300.  And, my husband has researched some storage options for under the double bed/table to maximize our space.  We plan to get a generator and a screen door too.  We will either car camp, tent camp or put a mattress on the floor since technically our 13 foot Scamp has beds for four.  But, alas, the Scamp is not in Alaska right now, it is in Kansas.  So, these projects will be in the future.

Here is a Scamp, please ignore the cheezy people!

In the meantime, we could rent a Scamp, but on this trip, we won't.  Instead, we will do a couple test runs of camping, so that next summer, we can car/tent camp through Alaska and Canada on the ALCAN and beyond, to wherever we move to next.  Hopefully, we will be able to travel to Kansas to get our trailer during this time.  Honestly, who knows?  Its fun to think about, but the destination is still unknown.  We move next summer, possibly about this time of year.  We have our choices in mind, but its too early to tell where we will actually end up.

So, back to the upcoming trips.  We will go to a local beach, about 30-40 minutes away.  The baby and I will sleep in the minivan together.  My husband, son and daughter will tent camp nearby.  I don't really like sleeping on the ground, and the tent isn't big enough for all of us.  The plan is to remove the middle seat, move up the backseat and I will sleep in a bedroll in the back.  My baby/almost toddler, in a peapod.  Here's a picture of each:

Cool bed roll, its about 6 inches thick.  No leaky air mattress for me!

This Peapod is one of those instant tents, and pops open.

My next purchase was a camp kitchen box.  I tried to make one with ideas from Pinterest, but it didn't work out too well.  So we researched this camp kitchen, the Sherpa Camp Table and organizer.  The front zips closed, and the legs stow inside.  The tabletop also stows inside a pouch.  So, essentially you have a box with handles which turns into a standing kitchen, and our propane stove top can sit on top for cooking.
These zipper pouches fit on the shelves.  They hold a lot!    

 Pinterest did have great ideas for a Rubbermaid box and lid to store camping gear, and I have this nearly prepared.  The idea is to leave the stuff inside the box, so its all there when we are ready to go.  Then, there is the potty, hot shower and privacy tent.  We've used this set up before and let me tell you, a hot shower on demand will camping makes all the difference!

This little box - The Zodi Hot Camp Shower is awesome!

We also got a screen tent with a floor.  These babies are hard to find!  But without the floor, its mosquito city.  This is our second try.  The floorless kind usually had more bugs in it than the whole campsite.  What a waste!  This screen room doesn't have a rainfly, so it might not work well in Kodiak.

At 12X12 feet, this will be the biggest thing on our campsite!

 I can't figure out how to add it to my blog, but I've created a camp checklist.  I will not be a crazy lady the night before our camping trip, and I will be organized enough to enjoy myself, instead of dealing with the anxiety of finding things and wishing that I had not forgotten some key items.  And, we are just planning on a couple days.   So, we will set up camp, spray some bug repellent, make a campfire, roast marshmallows, pick some salmon berries  and hopefully catch some salmon!  What fun!  Then, in September, we will do it again, only better! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer School Begins!

Its a couple days after Memorial Day, and most of our lessons are wrapping up.  We've completed handwriting and social studies.  I just switched DS's math program from Saxon 1 to Math U See Alpha.  And, we will continue Math and Reading all through the summer.  The kids are reading aloud to DH and I before bed, as well as listening to a chapter book and the Bible. 

I didn't complete DD's science, so we are doing Science this summer.  We are so excited about this!  I found a couple great books- Squirts and Snails and Skinny Green Tails (Diane Swanson) and Where the Land and Sea Meet (Kirsten Carlson).  Yesterday, we watched a 20 minute video titled, "Life on the Beach Among Friends and Anemones".  So, Science will be about the seashore this summer!  We will read about it, and then go to the beach and do hands on activities. 

Today, we are going to learn about Intertidal Seaweeds.  This will lead us into learning about snails, barnacles, and limpets.  These creatures are primarily found in the Upper Intertidal Zone.  There are three zones:  Upper, Middle and Lower.  Some of the lesson will involve tide pooling.  So, we will watch the tidal schedule and hopefully walk the beach on some days with negative tides (very low tide). 

When we lived in Northern Michigan, we had sandy sunny summer days, but no ocean (obviously!) and honestly, I missed the sea.  I love beach combing and hunting for shells.  I love the salty sea spray.  I love walking the beach.  I have never been the girl who lays out on the beach. 

So, I will share the things that I love with my children.  The best part is, I get to learn things too.  And, I am learning that science does not need to be so formal.  I plan to add on to our lessons as my children's interest directs us, and enjoy the outdoors as we go along (including the rainy days, and we will have many of them!)

My daughter is going to participate in a couple camps this summer.  The first is a half day art class - and the second, Russian Culture class (folk dance and musical instruments).   DD and DS will also go to Vacation Bible School.  My DS doesn't want to take summer classes, so he will wait for soccer in the Fall. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012


So, it was a pretty good night.  Sleep training, that was what I tackled.  And, it wasn't so bad! 

This is not my baby.  I have a baby boy, but this is what he did.  Minus the thumb - he slept standing up.  And, every 15 minutes or so, I'd lay my sleepy, fussy baby down.  He seemed to welcome that, although he really preferred to be held and nurse.  I did nurse at 1:45, 3:45 and 6:45, but not until he was asleep.  At 3:45, he fussed for a whole hour, but we didn't co-sleep.  Tonight, DH will help eliminate the 1:45 AM feeding.  And really, there will only be one left, as he got up for the day at 7 AM.  I will attempt to decrease the time nursing too. 

Tatunka!  Tatunka!  DH was to go buffalo hunting today.  He got up at 3:45 AM and drove with the guys, hauling 4 wheelers.  The river was too high and they couldn't cross it.  One guy's truck got stuck.  Its actually American Bison.  No Bison meat for my freezer.  Too bad. 

Today, we will go to the Crab Festival.  The kids and I went on Thursday, and they enjoyed the rides.  It was so much nicer than the festival we went to in our Northern MI town, not the Cherry Festival - I enjoyed that, but the hometown festival that shall remain nameless.  I always found it dirty and gross.  I hated taking the kids to it.  Very redneck, which I am not.  The Crab festival is lots of fun and there is some nice stuff planned for the weekend. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Changes in May

So, this seems to be the month to make changes and tighten up the loose ends.  I am not filled with joy right now.  But, maybe in June I will be filled with thanksgiving again.

1) Gave Scotty away.  This was over two weeks ago.  Why?  He growled at the baby.  He is re-homed and most likely happy.  I cried buckets.  End of story.

2) Instituted the 2 hour grounding in the boring guest room for being aggressive towards siblings.  This arrangement was designed after DD head butted DS in a public awards ceremony.  (Autism sucks, I am not going into the details here).  15 minutes of screaming and 2 hours of grounding has made a world of difference.  No aggressive behavior for one week and counting. 

3) DH has returned to grad school online.  So, we see even less of him.  He gets very little sleep, between full time CG work and school.  This will go on for over a year or so.  Hooray!  (sarcasm)

4) Thinking that DS is dealing with ADHD or a learning disability or both.  I ordered a new Math curriculum and it should arrive today, assuming that the FedEx plane made it to the island today (its rainy and foggy).  He cannot sit still, he cannot focus on math and writing at the same time.  He falls out of his chair, climbs on the desk, lays all over me etc.  Writing is really really getting bad.  During breaks, the poor kid is bouncing off the walls.  I made him cry the other day (not proud of it) because, as he has told me, "Mom, I guess its ok if you are mean to us".  That's right, I am a grouchy mean mom, and I have no patience. 

5) Baby boot camp starts today.  I really don't need any advice from the non-cry it out camp.  Because, I am heart-broken and co-slept for the last time with my little one last night.  I have tried all the alternatives and read lots of baby books.  This will be painful and exhausting for all of us, but it will work and baby will not be scarred for life.  I made my other two CIO.  I hate it.  But, DH is ready to start sleeping on the couch and tells me that I'm a zombie.  True, I haven't started to eat human flesh, but since I am "Mean Mommy" perhaps I should be listening to my BF and DH a little closer.  ((Sigh))  DD was 4 months old, and DS was 14 months old.  Since my baby is 10 months, I guess this is the right time. 

June will be better, I think. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rounding the Bend

So, today is the one year anniversary of my move to Kodiak. I have been here exactly one year today, and last year at this very moment, I was driving my rental car into town to purchase some food and to see where I lived. My luggage was late, because I had gotten an earlier flight from Anchorage. It was due to arrive at 10:50 PM. I was in a fog, because I had just flown all day long. I was 30 weeks pregnant, and I was all alone. My family had begun to drive across the lower 48 on that very same day. You need to think about my shopping trip this way - I was an exhausted pregnant lady who was driving around feeling as though it were actually 2 AM, after a full day of travel, because I had just experienced a 4 hour time change. And, even weirder, the sun had not set. I know this, because the sunset is just peeking over the treeline, and I can see it out my window. It is just after 10 PM. It won't get dark for a while.

 We have one year left. Well, a year and a bit. We probably won't move this early, but later in the summer, next year. I don't know where we will move to. I don't have "the list" yet, and DH hasn't spoken to the detailer. We like the Pacific Northwest. Technically, we are already in the Pacific Northwest, but I meant in the lower 48. I really like the idea of moving to North Bend, Oregon. Or, maybe we will move back to Michigan. That would be ok, but not much of an adventure. Cause we've been there, and done that. We could move near my brother in Southern CA. It would be so nice to be close to family. It would be so awful, because there are a lot of people, highways and crazies in Southern California. We could move some place icky, like New Orleans or Miami. I'm not interested in going to those places. We could move some place dull like Elizabeth City, NC or Mobile, AL. But, we will probably end up in one of those places (NC or AL) eventually, so why go there so soon. But, we will move. We will move, because that is what we do.

My little boy is 10 months old now. He started waving and saying "Hiiiii" it doesn't really sound like hi, but that is what he is trying to say. He also said "Daddy" today, as he reached for Dad. He says "Woof", "Dog", "Mama", and other stuff. He crawls everywhere, pulls himself up, and makes lots of messes everywhere. He bites my nipples, he grabs everyone's faces, he pinches arms and pulls hair. He is a big ball of crazy fun right now! We love him!

 My daughter is identifying herself with Lucy VanPelt, from Peanuts. She loves my old peanuts comic books. I have a few dozen. They are old and falling apart. But, I asked her, "Who do you think you are like in these peanuts comics?" Without hesitation, she told me "Lucy". And, its kinda true. She is a bully to her little brother (not the baby brother). It is really hard to deal with! But, I am working on it. She is so sweet and also so crabby. She love chapter books and comics. It was hard to explain that in comics when you see "Sigh" in a bubble over the cartoon's head, they don't actually verbally say "SIGH", but actually just sigh. So, my girl walks around when she is frustrated saying, "SIGH" to everyone. LOL!

My middle son is a lego superstar. He has built so many Lego star wars models. He is really great at this. He hates writing and its becoming a problem. Its not that he doesn't try. Writing sucks the life out of him. I need to investigate typing programs. I already started having him dictate answers for his math worksheets, else we could do math for hours. He just moved into his baby brother's room. I think he loves this. He has never liked to sleep alone, and always wanted a roommate.

 I am preparing for next fall - and making new plans on curriculum. But, we are still hard a work finishing up the current year. Lately, we've read some great stories about missionaries. My son told me that when he grows up, he wants to be a missionary. I love that he wants to tell others about Jesus! How awesome is that?! Currently, I am reading "And the Word Came with Power" about Joanne Shetler who translated God's Word into the Balangaos language in the Philippines. She taught God's Word to a village of head hunters! It is a great story.

 Next year, we will learn American History. I plan to work on this for two years, and have the kids make lap books. We also are going to read some Living Books, and I have founds some wonderful curriculum that doesn't have the liberal slant, as much of the history books I read in public school had. And, most of all, it won't be boring. There is nothing fun about reading a dull text book about history. I didn't enjoy history in school, but the last couple years my daughter and I learned some cool stuff together, and read some fantastic biographies and interesting books about ancient civilization.

Science didn't go very well this year. We used Human anatomy, by Apologia, and it was too difficult. I will revisit science this summer, either learning about the ocean/sea shore or birds. Maybe both. This is the year that I need to see puffins. We are in Alaska, after all!

 Well, this is the start of year two in AK. Its going well so far, and I look forward to the many blessings God has in store for me and my family throughout this new year.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My House Just Vomited All Over Itself

Yah, its a mess. In the past, I have written some goals about using the flylady's system to organize this place, but basically, I just get her many emails each day and delete each one without reading them. Somewhere, I read about "Blessing others with your messy house. I am trying to relax and still welcome friends inside, even though its cluttered. The idea of blessing others with your messy house, is that if you welcome your friends inside without it being perfect, they will feel blessed, because their home is not perfect either. Instead of her thinking, "Wow, I wish my house was this nice, how does she do it, and why can't I keep my house like that?" she will think, "Wow, my house really isn't so bad, is it. This place is a dump! There are three bags of trash in the kitchen. That dirty laundry mountain is taller than me!"

Only, I don't do well with my home cluttered and messy. That is the issue. I am compelled to clean it up, instead of doing necessary things. And, what are the necessary things? My priorities get muddled, and I become lost in lists and schedules that I cannot complete. I will clean, instead of doing school. I will do dishes, instead of food shopping. I will pick up Legos instead of doing laundry. I will take out the paper plates, and not do the dishes, because now I must wash diapers. I forgot to wash the baby's diapers and well, they stink, and the baby needs to wear diapers! The wash in the washer needs to be re-run because its sat there wet for two days, and has a funky odor. It all gets messed up in my brain. I don't remember to delegate chores to the kids, because its all too overwhelming.

I tried to hire a 12 year old as a mother's helper. But, she made the volleyball team, and canceled on me twice. It never happened. So, I am just pushing on alone as I am accustomed to doing.

My girlfriend offered to help me. She has 4 kids. She suggested that she'd watch my three and I could food shop alone. But, she mentioned, "Well, maybe when you are out, you could buy me some more toilet paper? The two year old has unrolled every roll and wound it around various things in the house, or plugged the toilet with it. No, wait, we shouldn't give him more TP to play with, I think I'll just use tissues. And, well, is it ok if your kids watch a video for a little while? My two year old mixed all the clean and dirty laundry together, and I'm having the other kids sort it out- dirty from clean." You see! I'm not alone in this problem. And, wow! I felt so much better about my house after talking to my friend. God used her loving willingness to invite my children over into her filthy house to bless me real good!

She did help me. I didn't get much done. The baby was asleep for a little while. My husband who is deployed all month, had a rare chance to talk to me on the phone. We enjoyed that peaceful time. I also offered something rather foolish. I told my friend that I'd go through her bags of discards - she is moving in two months, and take what we wanted, and bring the rest to the local thrift. She lives across the street from me. If she tries to take things to the thrift herself, her children desperately re-claim it for their own. And, useless stuff too- like an extra fry pan, empty bottles, or used coloring book.

So, now these bags arrive on my porch. We sort through them. The baby has "new to us" clothes and this is awesome. There is stuff that just goes in our dumpster. There is stuff that goes to the thrift. Then a new needy family came on the radar. So, I am giving stuff to her too. I am adding my own hand-me-downs. There are boxes for my SIL who is having a baby this Spring. Cause, I constantly purge my own stuff, as my baby outgrows it.

But, back to the mess. My neighbor is shedding her mess, by feeding my mess. And, I am helping others grow their own messes. Its a viscous cycle.

My MIL tells me that if my home is a bit messy and cluttered then I am spending my time on important things. My children and my family. I am. I am doing this Mom! My husband has been away for 3 weeks now. I am nurturing and loving our children. My baby no longer will sleep at night in the crib. We snuggle together at night, while he nurses every hour or so and my poor back is breaking from trying not to move and wake the baby. I get about an hour to myself alone. The hour that he sleeps in the crib alone once the other kids are to bed for the night. I do the school lessons. I endure the sibling rivalry. I take everyone to the doctor when they need it. I cook the meals. I don't have time to go into the meltdowns that are becoming more frequent in our household. That's a whole different post that I should write about autism.

I think I'm a little bit insane to be a married solo parent, military wife, isolated in AK, raising a new baby at 40, raising a child with autism, and homeschooling. But for the next while, please realize this: If you come to my home- I will bless you with my messy house. I am busy loving my family, and I would enjoy sharing that love with you too! And, if you live thousands of miles away, I hope that my blog entry will make you feel relaxed and calm about your own home.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby Wearing Group

Today, Tristan and I joined some ladies for a baby wearing meeting. It is a group of ladies who wear their babies in wraps. I was the oldest woman there, and the only one with more than one child (since I have three). My baby arrived sleepy and I wasn't sure if I wanted to pick him up and play dolly with him. But, the other babies were toddler, so he fought his nap.

I did not "wear" my other two kids. Sure, we put them in an outward facing carrier for walks - and later in a framed backpack when they were bigger. But, this is quite different. Baby wearing is interacting with your infant/toddler, keeping he/she close to you as you go about your day. These kids aren't "stuck" in the wrap all day long, but its a tool to keep them smiling, instead of using the playpen.

I do use some other "tools". I use an exersaucer and a jumperoo. They are safe places for my baby to hang out while I am nearby. But, I also use this really long blanket to wrap my little one, and carry him around while I go about my day. DH also wears the baby. In fact, baby is taking a nap in the woven wrap right now! I went out shopping with my daughter, and came home to a sleeping little one, so content, near his daddy's heart!

These women know a lot about baby wearing. One of them, must have had over 25 different styles. I could not imagine that- I have one. My first thought was how versatile it is. I can wear my baby on my hip, front or back. I learned today how to wear him on my hip. It was really really easy. I cannot throw my child over my shoulder and wear him on my back - yet. But, one day, I will.

There is this awesome wrap called a Mei-Tai. I am in love! I borrowed one of the mei-tai carriers to try, and I WANT ONE! It was so easy to use, and I can see myself using it to wear my child on my back. Here is an example:

Friday, January 13, 2012


I am working on a bunch of plans, in my head. I'm not sure what I will tackle first, but organization is what I have in mind:

1) Chore list- there is an app called irewardchart, and my friend is using it with her family. I own an ipod, but it must be updated, as it was my DH's. I have never added any apps, and always forget the charge the thing. Anyways, its an awesome app, where the kids earn points toward rewards (bowling, candy, lego starwars on the PS2 etc.) and the points are for helping me around the house. They already know how to help me, but I am terribly disorganized in enlisting their help. So, yeah, the rewards app might be awesome.

2) Flylady - she is the queen of organization. Seriously, this woman is awesome, and I have used her program before, but need to return to it. It is a very efficient way of keeping your home organized without spending your entire weekend cleaning. Its a less is more theory. Less stuff, not less cleanliness.

3) Baby schedule- Hahahaha, I am laughing at myself. I sort of have a schedule, but I nurse the baby on demand, so its a very flexible schedule. Now, I have added a couple meals in the high chair, he takes about 3 naps a day, and usually goes to bed around 8 PM. Except for the nights that he doesn't, so he takes a late nap (often 4th nap) and stays up till 10 PM. And, then he wakes late, around 8:30 AM, instead of 7:30 AM. So, it gets all messed up. But, the real issue is nighttime sleep.

4) Nighttime sleep- perhaps I'm ready to do some sleep training? Baby wakes up a lot. Like 5-6 times per night. It is honestly hard to function on this kind of sleep, but I am not planning to Ferberize the baby (cry it out in intervals), well, not yet anyways. It worked with my oldest. I don't recall what worked with my middle one- but, I still like the sweet 3 AM smiles, so I'm not sure that I'm ready for this task yet.

5) Home school schedule- ultimately, this would require me to be using the system, and have the baby on a schedule, because every day is really different. Some days we finish school at 2PM, and some days its 4 PM. Some days we have appointments, and the whole day is screwed up. It would be better for us to have a routine. I have tried to create a routine for the past 4 years. Maybe, this will be the year?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not here much!

I really like writing down my thoughts in this blog, but I am not here too much anymore. I suppose that is a natural consequence to having a third child. I actually do get over here occasionally to write, but I rarely finish my thoughts, as there is little privacy during any part of the day or night.

So, here is an update on my current life:

DH is learning to survive in Arctic weather. Seriously, he is outside in -27 degree weather for the next 2-3 days. Somewhere outdoors in the wilderness, he is setting a snare, and attempting to catch and eat a bunny. He will build a shelter and big big fires. I sort of know where he is, but that's for me to know and for you to . . . . oh don't worry about it. Does it really make a difference to you?

My daughter is currently obsessed with Geography Songs. She and her brother have been learning the countries around the world through song. Its really fun! It is actually not so fun anymore. Why? Because she and her brother play this CD over and over for fun, ALL DAY LONG. When they are not playing the CD, they are singing the songs as they go about their daily activities. Don't get me wrong it is wonderful that they know all these continents, oceans, countries, islands . . . . She has made some great strides in reading, and now reads "in her mind" on her own time. Her current favorite is "Calvin and Hobbs" which are her Daddy's comic books. Don't you judge me- yes, comic books. They aren't "chapter books". But, that is better than reading the free baby magazines that I received in the mail.

My son is kinda in the whiney stage, but I am told that this is what sometimes happens to the middle child. I am trying to be firm but patient, and give lots of extra hugs and love. He really likes this game we got for Christmas- Pictureka. The cards are very funny. He really really likes to play games of all types. He spends lots of time with his dad playing board games, when they are together. Risk is a new favorite. After all- who wouldn't want to rule the whole world?

My little guy is 5 1/2 months old. He is sitting up great and likes to eat baby food. I have been mostly successful in making my own food, and he likes some of it. He doesn't like formula at all, so we haven't done a lot with cereal (I can't blame him, that stuff is nasty). But, he loves squash and sweet potatoes. He wants to hold everything. He wants the dog's face, the cell phone, the pretty picture on the blanket, my lips, the table cloth, and opps, he wanted my plate and cup which is now all over the floor and my lap. He babbles like crazy and he still doesn't really sleep at night. But, how I love to get up 5-8 times a night with him! LOL

Me- well, I have my vitamin D and my SAD lamp. The days are gradually getting longer, and Summer will be here before I know it. I am in full swing with school. We took a week off for Christmas, which was heavenly (it cuts my workload in half). The house is messy, but I cleaned the toilet bowls yesterday- so there is that. : )

Gotta go and sing about the West Indies now- although the East Indies is much much funnier, don't you think?