As of tomorrow I only have six weeks until my due date. Charlotte was 3 weeks early which has me thinking I could see this little one in a couple weeks- yikes! I do not feel ready. I'm still in unpacking mode and trying to establish a schedule- and trying to do school! Well, the other 4 were late so I guess it's more likely that this one will be too. Maybe. You never can tell.
I am feeling exhausted from all of the box hauling, unpacking, sorting, arranging and rearranging. I am ridiculously short of breath. By the time I get dinner dishes done I have no energy left for anything or anyone. This baby is my most active and takes my breath away with his wild behavior. Of course, that's a really fun reminder that he's strong and healthy, but it's also a bit uncomfortable at times. When I finally sit down at night I have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. It's really hard to believe that he will be doubling in size before birth- I feel huge already!
The house is feeling more orderly, but we still have a ways to go. Our library shelves are in and filled. After enjoying the pretty space for a whole day, I had to move a whole bunch of stuff out of one side of the room so the electrician can install a phone jack tomorrow. Now my desk is buried. Kind of feels like one step forward, two steps back. It's hard for me to continue to be patient with the progress. I really want to have that room DONE so I can plan a "regular" school week- and so I can focus on my next project which is getting clothes washed and space ready for the baby.
I seriously do not know where the past hour and a half went. The whirwind of time sweeps up my days and leaves me breathless. The kicking squirming baby inside definitely contributes to the breathlessness, but really....we picked up the mess from our paper mosaic map of the ancients tribes of rome, i cleaned up a mess from someone who waited a bit too long to get to the potty, reminded someone how to begin the next load of wash, started lunch, read Brave Cloelia to the 4 youngest, helped 2 of them squeeze out sentences for their worksheet about the story (which was like torture since they haven't really written anything in over a week), instructed someone on how to check lunch, answered the door to receive a delivery which was apparently very confusing for the deliverer who had to consult the higher authorities at the store, answered texts from Pete about when in the world AT and T is going to come back to finish installing our phone and internet (Monday! grrrrr...), try to eat lunch, kids are done eating FAST, asking me a MILLION questions this whole time. And my. brain. is. tired.
So, each day that we are home we have rest time. No questions asked, it is a REQUIRED part of our day for ALL ages. I don't get to actually sleep, but I have one whole hour to not answer any questions and it is lovely. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you think your kids won't like it, oh well. They will get used to it and everyone will CRAVE it. For one hour each afternooon my children are required to take whatever reading they need to last an hour and go to their own bed. Non readers look at picture books- and often fall asleep for a bit. I get to drink tea or read or knit or just stare out the window. Afterwards the whirlwind continues, but I'm a bit more ready for it.
Life is a bit messy right now. Unorganization usually drives me CRAZY. I am, so far, keeping my sanity intact because
a. I am SOOOO happy to be in this house.
b. I know that once Pete gets the library painted and our Ikea shelves assembled a majority of the boxes on the main level can be unpacked and the contents will have a home.
c. We have a basement to put the things I really can't stand to look at (bunk bed that needs to be worked on, bins of oodles of clothes waiting for the next kid in line to wear them.
d. The kitchen is functioning and organized.
Yesterday I decided that in the midst of the mess we ARE going to do a week of school. Thus, Peter reading The Story of the Romans, lounging on the couch, surrounded by the mess. Life goes on...
We closed on our new house Friday, which was very exciting, but with that excitement comes a seemingly unendless amount of work. We are partially moved into our new home which is such a blessing. By partially, I mean we have mattresses to sleep on, the kitchen is in order, we have our bathroom things, and we have our dining room table. So we can function. We also have some of the toys and a whole lot of odds and ends. We have movers getting the rest of the furniture here on Wednesday and then on Saturday we are hiring some kids from our church youth group to help us with the rest. Today I took a trip over to the rental with the kids, had the four oldest practice the piano, and we loaded up the van. I am really thankful for my kids' ability to work hard right now. Peter, Kate, Maddie, and Teshome have worked like adults through this process! I am also very thankful for help from our parents and our friends with childcare, packing, cleaning, sorting, making food for our first day in the house so I didn't have to cook, and so much more! We are very blessed. Now it's time for lunch and a nap.
On the needles, another baby sweater! The picture doesn't do the color justice. It's a really pretty green called Sweet Pea. The pattern is wonderful as it's knitted top down with very little seaming at all. It just needs about another inch on the bottom, the sleeves added, and the roll neck. The pattern is available here
. I've made it 3 or 4 times now and I love the way it comes together.
This week I've been reading Alexander the Great by John Gunther to the children. This is for our last week of Unit 3 of our Tapestry of Grace
I had fun Tuesday and Wednesday doing this sweet little project with my sweet little girls. They spend a lot of time trying to keep up with the big kids and it was nice to have a project just for them. I try not to think of all the fun little crafty things I did with my 2 oldest when they were little because it just leaves me with a lot of guilt over all the things I DON'T do with the littler people. BUT there are advantages to being in the younger set, right? They never have a problem finding someone to help with their shoes, read them a story, play a game with them...okay, I feel better now. If you want to try the project, here's the website (although it's so simple I don't know that you need it)- artprojectsforkids.org
On Wednesdays, Ginny, at Small Things
(a beautiful blog that I enjoy), does something called Yarn Along. Readers link up and share what they are knitting and reading. Since those are my two very favorite things to do, I wanted to join in the fun.
I have been knitting goodies for the baby. Monday night I took this off the needles-
I just need to add the buttons on the side and the top and it will be ready. The pattern is free on Ravelry
and it's called "Pebble."
I'm reading The Greek Treasure which is the story of Henry and Sophia Schliemann and their daunting work of uncovering the ruins of ancient Troy. It is a great book, but it's taking me awhile to get through because I just read a few pages each night before I fall asleep- I'm too busy knitting in my "spare" moments during the day! I have enjoyed reading something from the land that the kids are learning about in history. If I hadn't been teaching them lately about ancient Greece, many of the places and customs mentioned in the book just wouldn't have the same meaning for me.
Monday evening, as soon as I got the vest off my needles, I cast on for a pullover for the baby. I worked on it obsessively yesterday while the children played in the snow for FOUR AND A HALF hours!! They made forts for a snowball fight they plan to have today. And we now have a nice snow lady greeting anyone who comes up our driveway.
Well, this morning I ripped out all of my progress on the pullover because there was a mistake right in the front that just screamed at me every time I looked at it. So today I'll start it over and maybe I'll have it ready to share next week.
10 1/2 weeks.
That's the amount of time I have before my due date. All of my babies were late except for Charlotte who decided to come 3 weeks early and totally mess up my "routine." I was thrilled to have her early, but also shocked and not exactly prepared. In fact, I had to send a dear friend to Target with a list while I was still in the hospital because I didn't even have some of the necessities yet.
So, I have 10 1/2 weeks, more or less, to be ready for this blessed event. I am so excited to meet my tiny little man. I am so excited to dress him in the cute little orange and blue things I've been collecting and the things I've been knitting for him. I am so excited that I get to experience having a baby BOY again after all these years of girl babies. I am so excited to wear him in my sleepy wrap and keep him to myself.
But in the midst of all of that excitement, I'm feeling a bit of stress too. I have 10 1/2 weeks to complete 9 1/2 weeks of our Tapestry of Grace curriculum. I REALLY want to finish it before baby comes so I can feel right taking a true BREAK from teaching. The kids will still have work to do each day that they can mostly do without my help, but our bulky, wonderful, intense school days will be done. But in that time our house will be ready (2-3 weeks from now) so we'll have to take some time off from school to move. I want to be NESTING.... not UN-NESTING!!
Inspired by one of my favorite blogs
, I decided to join in their "Day in the Life" series. So here it is, Wednesday, January 30th-
5:25 Kate wakes me up because her ear hurts and she wants some Tylenol. I take care of her and go back to bed.
5:45 am I hear Pete's alarm and since I can't sleep and he's making the coffee I decide to just get up. I spend some with coffee and the Word- always the best start to a day!
6:30 I get bread dough going and make the granola bars I've been promising the kids- since I told them I'm not buying them anymore.
6:50 Finish my coffee, eat some of my favorite black cherry greek yogurt (wondering if I really should because I think it may be dairy that irritates my system??), and enjoy the calm before the storm.
7am a parade of girls emerges from their room, excited about eating the granola bars, but first a cuddle on the couch. I read the littles a story (not my favorite book, but they do love it) and encourage Kate to start the laundry- it's her day to do the girls' clothes.
7:30 I find Teshome doing his independent school work before our school day even "officially" begins. He wants to be done so he can play.
7:40 The kids eat breakfast and I go take my shower.
8:10 I have my second breakfast
8:40 I leave the four oldest home alone (for the first time!!) to run a few quick errands. While I'm gone they do their "rotations." This is when they spend 30 minutes on each of 4 different things- piano, devotions, chores, and xtramath
9:45 Home from errands, I put the bread in the oven and spend some time doing reading and phonics with Ella and Charlotte.
10:30 The kids have a snack, I take the bread out of the oven and make a batch of my FAVORITE salsa
10:45 The 4 youngest listen to our monthly memory work playlist (math, geography, history, catechism set to music) while they color.
I have a snack- chips and salsa, of course! Peter and Kate do their independent work.
11am Meeting with Maddie and Teshome- this is when we do spelling, grammar, writing (since it's Wednesday), their Tapestry of Grace
map of the week, and anything else I need to help them with.
Peter and Kate do independent work, Ella and Charlotte play.
11:40 Peter and Kate make lunch for the kids so I can keep working with Maddie and Teshome.
12:10 Kids eat lunch. I tackle the dishes that have piled up so far today
12:20 I help Teshome with a story he had trouble with in his Beyond the Code book (he ate REALLY fast today!)
12:30 I eat lunch, work on the dishes again and call a friend.
1:15 Meeting with Peter and Kate. This is when we do grammar, writing (since it's Wednesday), their Tapestry of Grace
map of the week, history/ literature discussion (depending on the day of the week), and just basically check in on all of their assignments.
Ella and Charlotte do xtramath and the other 2 play. A certain someone always needs help in the bathroom during this time- and there are sometimes squabbles to settle, but overall it's time to focus on my 2 oldest.
2:30 I finish with Peter and Kate and gather everyone around the table to color while they listen to me read aloud from some of this week's history assignment.
3pm Snack time for the kids.
3:15 Rest time for all of us. The kids go to their rooms to read quietly for an hour and my brain gets a much needed break from answering questions. It's a LOVELY hour! I knit, have a cup of tea and some chocolate.
4:15 I decide to keep knitting. I don't have to make supper tonight because we're heading to church in an hour for a youth group fundraiser supper.
7:15 We're home from the soup supper. Pete leaves to do a piano move with a cousin (we gave the cousin ours and we are taking Pete's parents') while I send the kids to get ready for bed and finish the dishes I had left to soak.
7:30 I read to the littles while the other 4 play then I knit (yes, when I have a project going I can be a bit obsessed.)
8:15 I put the kids to bed and call my mom to chat for a bit
9pm I hit the couch to chill with some Haagen Dazs and some yarn and some conversation with my husband.
10pm (ish) I hit the hay. It's been a good day- and by good, I mean exhausting.
When the bananas on your counter start to get a little more ripe than you'd like for eating, but you aren't in the mood to make banana bread, try this unique "dessert" from The Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson. I made them for a snack a couple of weeks ago and may just make them again this week as we have an over abundance of ripening bananas.
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 cups of oil for frying (could use less if you have a small pan and do several batches)
2 Tbsp honey
Combine the bananas, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a pot to 325 degrees. Working in batches, add the banana mixture, a heaping tablespoon at a time (I used my Pampered Chef large scoop which made it really easy to get uniform
sizes and have less mess), and fry until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes), turning once. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Dip in honey and enjoy!
Someday maybe I will have a fabulous camera and take pictures of the food I would love to share with you. For now, a recipe will have to suffice. Seriously, make these tasty little banana treats and you will not be disappointed.