I have big plans for spring break.
I had big plans for spring break. Spring break is over! How can this be? I’ve only been trying to write this blog post for two weeks…
DH warned me that I wouldn’t get much of a break anyway; after all, I still had to be the mom to five children, and of course keep up on everything that entails. But still, I had high hopes.
I was so happy to see that I had scheduled not one, but two weeks off, with my symphony concert right in the middle. Apparently I’ve learned from previous years that a week off in the midst of concert prep is a grand idea, and then I still need another week off to recover. I thought I could get my practicing out of the way every morning, leaving the rest of the day free for whatever, but alas, I was still practicing at 9:00 every night that week. It beats 11 p.m., but still.
I didn’t count on flirting with a head cold all week. Luckily it was never quite full-blown, but just enough to wear me down. If moms should not be able to get sick, then for sure pregnant moms should never ever get sick.
Then I had to go into Salt Lake every day that week at least once! Monday was a fluke. I’d gone to the doctor the Friday before and before I could be seen, he had to leave to go deliver a baby. The nurse asked if I’d like to see the midwife in the office. I said that would be fine. Three minutes later she came back saying apologetically, “She just had to go deliver a baby, too!”
It wasn’t a big deal to me as my appointments are only about six minutes long anyway at this point. We measure me, listen to the heartbeat, and the doctor asks if we have any questions. Nope, no questions this week. It’s not like we haven’t done this five times already!
So we made our next appointment for three weeks out, but when we got home the doctor’s office called and said he didn’t want to wait three weeks to see me and could I come back on Monday at 2:00. Sure. What’s another 40-minute drive into St. Mark’s? This appointment took a whole 9 minutes. My doctor is keeping a good eye on me since I’ve had one preemie and we don’t care to repeat that experience! I’ve gained my requisite pound per week, but I am measuring one week behind at this point, and there’s always my “advanced maternal age!” So at least I know he’s looking out for me. And DH and I ran a bunch of errands since we were in Salt Lake again. So there went that afternoon.
That first week of spring break for homeschool was not spring break for anybody else. A had Stansbury High classes two days and Liahona classes online four days. They were both off the second week of our break, but then I still had to take E to Kindermusik classes both weeks because they’re not on spring break until next week, and I still had to teach all my cello students because their spring break isn’t until April!
Originally DH was going to take some days off this week so I could not have to be the parent and spend some quality alone time, but somehow those plans went awry, at least until Wednesday afternoon when he finally got into the doctor for a sinus infection he’s had since about January and was sent home with antibiotics and told to take the next two days off.
Thursday, of course, was my cello day, so having him stay at home really didn’t help me out. But then E and Little A decided spending a day with Daddy beat out on driving to Grandma and Poppa’s house so they, and the dog, stayed home. I’m not sure Daddy got much rest, but it actually was a bit of a break for me not to have to worry about them. And I got to go to the temple with the boys and Grandma and Poppa since I didn’t have little ones to look after.
Today in church the boys got to hear about all their friends’ trips to St. George, and Moab, and Idaho. Maybe one year we’ll get it together enough, or schedules will align enough, to allow us to actually go on a trip of our own. Although right now we’ve got A’s hospital bills we’re trying to pay down anyway. But maybe some year!
A road trip also didn’t sound appealing for this pregnant body at this point in time, but even so I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in the car lately–for my own commitments, and trying to get in those 40 hours of driving time with my teenager! Which hasn’t been good for my stress level, I might add. We’ve ventured into Salt Lake City, on the freeway, on lots of backroads, and in the pouring rain. That was an experience: pouring rain while on the freeway and encountering two major slowdowns for wrecks along the way. But we’re all still alive and unscathed! Let’s hope it continues.
As it was, they got quite a bit of free time and probably too many electronics this week and I don’t think any of us are really ready to get back to school. But I was able to carve out enough time with my own thoughts and computer to get our last quarter of school a little more organized. Our first quarter went great and then the next four months kind of went by in a blur (thank you, morning sickness) and we kind of muddled along, and here it is almost April and we’re counting down the last ten weeks. And if this baby comes early (which is highly possible) there are still certain things that need to be finished for the older three before they’re free for the summer. It’s now on paper and we’re committed to it.
Somewhere along the way with my organizing, I got a little distracted–you know how it is, you start researching something and that leads to something else and then you find a great blog on homeschooling high school which leads to more ideas, and pretty soon you have 26 tabs open on your computer and overflowing ideas on your child’s senior year (which is not next year!)
What I should have been doing more of is getting caught up on blog posts. Like I said, I had big plans. . . most of which did not happen. I prioritized school planning and mostly got that accomplished. I didn’t do much else for myself, but our symphony concert went well. My practicing paid off. Our conductor said De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite was as challenging as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring last spring, just in different ways, but I remember the stress of that concert, and this year was much better.
So we’ll be back at it in the morning. Some routine back in our days will be nice for a change.
Photo from our temple trip on Thursday.
I began blogging!
I missed the actual date (I knew there was a reason I was supposed to open up wordpress yesterday!) but that seems to be typical of my life.
It’s just hard to take the time to put my thoughts into words lately. I’ve noticed a lot of other blogs I used to read have either stopped altogether, or posts are few and far between, so I don’t think it’s just my problem. It’s sometimes so much quicker and easier to post a few short words on facebook, or a photo on instagram (although I hardly do either of those very often) plus my children are getting older. We don’t seem to do a lot of cutesy projects that I feel compelled to photograph and blog about anymore, and I don’t want to overshare my teenagers’ lives. There’s an element of privacy that I’d like to maintain as they get older and have their own stories to tell.
Plus as they get older, they get busier! and I struggle just to keep up with all their comings and goings. There’s not a lot of free time in my life right now!
But here’s one of the very first pictures I shared on the blog. It could almost be a picture of E and Little A. They are so little!
And today, I kid you not, I was online researching pre-calculus options for the child on the left who only has two years of high school left! Where has the time gone?!
In honor of ten years of blogging, here are ten quick updates on us (that we’ll use to catch up on the month of February in blogging, ok?):
- I was reading through some of my very first posts. Apparently we had mice. Guess what? We have mice again, in this house today. My traps are not working. It’s time for plan B. Whatever that is.
- A is finally serious about getting his driver’s license. 36 more hours of parent/child driving practice to go. Thank goodness for all the country roads in this county. Some day we’ll be ready to join traffic out on the highway. Not the freeway, but maybe the highway. I can only say I am so glad we’re not doing this in downtown Salt Lake City.
- Speaking of SLC, I’m back at orchestra rehearsal. Our conductor keeps our rehearsals to 2.5 hours rather than three, but my back is still killing me by the end of it. I hope I make it through our March concert, and I may rethink my plans to play in April, although I really really want to play Brahms.
- Last Saturday we had the opportunity to hear Gail Halvorsen, “The Candy Bomber,” speak at the Riverton family history center. He’s one of our heroes, and he’s 96, so who knows if that was our one and only chance to hear him. C brought his copy of the Candy Bomber book so he could get an autograph.
- C also got the kilt to wear with the bagpipe band he is practicing with. Words cannot express his excitement! Performances are coming up beginning in May.
- The baby is kicking me quite a bit stronger now. Little A actually got to feel him when she put her hands on my stomach this morning. Then she put my hand on her tummy, so I could feel the baby inside of her!
- I really wanted to put a garden in this spring, but at the prime planting time, I’ll be 8 months pregnant and I’m just not sure how that’s going to work out! But that will be just about when A is finished with his “no bending, lifting, or twisting” restrictions from back surgery, so maybe I can put all the boys to work for me. Of course A’s lost a lot of muscle tone plus weight, which he can’t really afford to lose. Walking home a half mile from a high school activity Saturday night so exhausted him. He’s counting down the days until he can really start exercising again.
- I had planned to put hearts all over the kids’ doors for Valentine’s Day, but after cutting out five, I was tired of the idea, so I wrote much smaller and gave them all a short note with reasons I love them and left chocolates outside their bedroom doors for a surprise when they woke up. They were surprised, and I was surprised I remembered in time. In time being 11 p.m. on February 13.
- Valentine’s Day usually goes right by me as DH’s birthday is the 15th and we generally celebrate all things that day instead. So he was extra surprised to get a heart letter from me on Valentine’s as well.
- Speaking of birthdays, DH turned 50! Or as we calculated it, “You’ll be 68 when this next child leaves for college!” (More on this in a separate blog post.)
Thanks for reading and commenting all these many years; here’s to ten more!
The world’s largest family history gathering and don’t they look so thrilled to be here! D was incredibly tired as he and C had gone snowshoeing with their Young Men’s leaders in the morning before meeting us at Rootstech, but otherwise we were excited to be there this year.
I have participated in some way in every year of Rootstech, except for 2014 when Little A was a two-week-old baby. I think that was the year they first had Family Discovery Day on the closing Saturday, but it was geared more towards youth groups. I like the new emphasis on coming as a family instead, and I’ve brought the three older boys every year since. Those Saturday sessions are all streamed online, but there’s just something about being there in the Salt Palace with thousands of other families and genealogy enthusiasts that is just the boost we need.
A and I went early to check out the expo hall, but it was so huge and there were so many people that we didn’t spend a whole lot of time there. We did find and say hi to two friends who were working at various booths. My step counter app still says I walked nearly a mile and a half that day, and that was with DH dropping us off and picking us up right at the door. I’m sure other years when I’ve attended all three days, I’ve walked much farther, but just that one afternoon has worn out this pregnant lady. I’m still recovering, three days later!
We watched all of the morning keynote speakers online at home Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but it was nice to come in person Saturday afternoon. We really enjoyed President and Sister Nelson speak, along with Sheri Dew, Vai Sikahema, and Reno Mahe. There were some amazing stories and tender feelings shared. All of their sessions are now online at lds.org. We need to rewatch Pres. Nelson’s as C and D missed it (and I’m pretty sure I took a short nap towards the end!) We also enjoyed Hank Smith’s presentation (the boys know him from Liahona’s Youth Conference every fall) and they are now huge fans of Jason Hewlett, a local comedian, who was the emcee for the closing event with two a cappella groups from BYU. They especially loved his “Daddy Dinosaur” routine. We laughed lots!
I don’t have any great notes to share; it was just so wonderful to listen to talks about families from a gospel perspective and to have reaffirmed the great importance of searching out our family members both here, and that have gone before us. And there was cake! There was a big emphasis on food and family this year.
Ancestry had this cool map with stickers that you could place where your ancestors came from. In retrospect they probably shouldn’t have been standing right in front of the map, but just picture New England and Western Europe completely covered in little ancestry stickers. Even the blown-up Europe off to the side of C’s head was pretty full. Many people came from Britain! So we added another sticker to Norway and Newfoundland (which only had one other!)
Now I need to take some time and check out the regular Rootstech classes that were streamed every day and are now online.
What better time than February to do a “reading goals for the year” post? I hardly read anything in January anyway.
I remember years when I had such big goals for reading books: a book a week, or the 888 challenge. Those were the days. I think it was baby #5 that kind of killed that. Now that I look back, 2014 was the last year I actually kept track of books read, and I finished 26, so not bad. Most of them were with the boys though, either for school or our book club. Somewhere along the way I forgot how to read for myself.
2015 was terrible as that was the year we dejunked, moved half our life into storage, remodelled and sold the little downtown house, and moved. Last year my big goal was to read The Iliad and The Odyssey with A and C, and I am so thrilled that we did it! It was a huge accomplishment for all three of us. I then spent the rest of the year reading fluff!
Actually, I’ve gotten into a series by Charles Todd (a mother/son duo) about Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge in the years following WWI. I’ve enjoyed many of them, but the writing is uneven. Some will be fabulous, then the next few are quite tedious to get through. I finished up the last five or so in November and December when I didn’t feel like doing much of anything else, and the mysteries seem to be getting more complex and enjoyable. A new one comes out this summer, so I’ll see if the trend continues. They write another series about Bess Crawford, a nurse during WWI, but the last few have been so outrageously unbelievable that I don’t think I’ll continue to read those. I think that sums up my reading for 2016 besides our book club books (which are hit and miss sometimes. I should do a post about my favorites sometime)
Now that I’ve come out of the fog of morning sickness, I’ve felt a growing desire to do more with my brain, plus a growing stack of books next to my bed, so I figured why not try a list again this year. It’s a goal to work towards even if the titles are somewhat random.
- The War That Saved My Life–We read this for book club in January, which then got cancelled because of illness. It was interesting but just ok. I didn’t love it, despite the rave reviews. I’m still wondering why if they were evacuating children from London at the beginning of WWII, these two were sent to Kent, which puts them even closer to the coastline and the Germans. If you want to read about evacuees, I’d highly recommend The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe instead.
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind–I just finished this today for book club and it was excellent!
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn–We finished listening to this last week. It started out as a read aloud, but I finally gave up as it was so tedious trying to wrap my mouth around Mark Twain’s dialogue with all the different accents spelled out. We listened to Elijah Wood read it instead, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I don’t think I’ve ever read all the way through the unabridged novel before.
- The Freedom Factor—A and C read this over Christmas and I finally finished it last week. It’s about a young senator’s aide who gets thrown into an alternate USA where the Constitution was never ratified. It was entertaining, and some of the issues of liberty and freedoms and government’s role are the very same ones we’re considering today. I had to laugh though when he had to go to his upstairs neighbor to borrow an encyclopedia. (It was written in 1987.) I take google for granted these days.
Those are the ones I’ve read so far. Here’s what is on my bedside stack.
- Women in the New Testament–-a new Christmas book
- Remember–-a book from last Christmas that I still haven’t gotten to
- Miracle at Philadelphia–A, C, and I are all reading it this month for history
- The Well-Educated Mind–I’ve read it before, but this new edition has a new section on science books, plus the whole book is always great motivation for why (and how) a mother should read.
- Our Lost Constitution–by Senator Mike Lee
- Teaching from Rest–-for homeschool inspiration
- The Story of Science–There’s a read-along challenge on the 52 books in 52 weeks blog for this starting next month I think.
- The History of the Ancient World–I meant to start this at the beginning of the school year, but better late than never, I suppose. I have a schedule figured out (with note taking and timeline writing) so I can finish it and move on to the History of the Medieval World next fall when D and E start medieval history.
- Symphony for the City of the Dead–about Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad (which I am highly fascinated by)
- Fahrenheit 451 (with the boys)
- The Boys in the Boat (our next book on tape)(on phone actually; everything’s digital these days)
- Murder on the Orient Express (book club in March)
- Lincoln’s Grave Robbers (book club in April)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People (DH’s suggestion for the boys)(and me)
I still need to pick a few books for A’s literature this year (we’ve been doing short stories), and then in the fall we’re going to do some classic British Literature together that is yet to be decided. I’m looking forward to it.
What are you reading this year?
Or I’d have 17 months to go. Some days this pregnancy feels that slow moving, but look at me: I’m on the downhill slide! For a while there, I thought I’d never make it to the halfway point, which true to form, was finally when I started feeling more like myself again instead of death warmed over.
I still have a tenuous relationship with food though, but I’m feeling a little more adventurous. I even had applesauce tonight! Fruits and veggies, at least raw ones, are on my no-no list, as they were in my last two pregnancies. And can I just say that is the most depressing thing ever!! I’m dying for a nice juicy piece of . . . something, but I’m still afraid of what it will make me feel like. I hate eating the wrong thing for lunch, and well, there goes Tuesday, because I will spend the rest of the day sitting on the couch or my bed feeling like crud and not wanting to do anything.
I’m more adventurous at dinner because I can usually sleep through anything so if I feel sick, I can just go to bed. I know if I eat fruit first and follow it up with lots of protein and potatoes (I can’t get enough potatoes!) I’ll usually come out okay. It’s kind of awful that this is a time in life when I can really eat as much of anything as I want, but it has to go down and stay down, and nothing really tastes that good to me. I just want to eat!
At least it is staying down and I haven’t lost weight. I remember at 20 weeks with my first pregnancy, I had only gained a pound. Actually that was a net gain. I had gained eight pounds, after first losing seven from throwing up so much. With C, I couldn’t seem to gain enough weight no matter what. I had only gained one pound by 20 weeks with no weight loss attached. My doctor told me I could eat anything, anything at all. So a friend brought me all of her leftover Halloween candy to help out. I don’t know that it did.
Then with D, I had gained 12 pounds by the midpoint. Of course then he came 7 weeks early, but even at 4lbs. 4 oz., he was larger than we were expecting. Thankfully, the last two pregnancies and this one are more normal. I gain about 3 pounds every 4 weeks, which for me is just perfect.
That was a lot of typing about food. . . what can I say, the major thought in my brain every morning is: What can I find to eat today???
Everything else is progressing fine, really normal and boring, just like we want it, due to my “advanced maternal age.” One or the other of us makes an “old” joke almost every doctor’s appointment. I do have to get my blood sucked out every month because a weird antibody showed up in my initial blood screen. It’s a rare one that could cross over into baby’s bloodstream and cause problems if baby had the associated antigen, but then last month the screen came back negative, so I only have to test once more for that, and hopefully it will remain negative. I have no idea why I even had that antibody, but it was measuring at the lowest possible level anyway, so it wasn’t really a worry.
I have 19 weeks give or take; I’ve only hit my due date once and while we’re hoping to not have a repeat 33-weeker, this kid could very well come early. I’m feeling so much better than I have since October. As my doctor says, it’s the second trimester so this is really as good as it gets, so I’m trying to appreciate it before the soreness and fatigue start setting in in about six more weeks. I’ve been feeling baby move for about 4 weeks already and I’m already having Braxton-Hicks contractions. Those are fun! But normal for me. Morning sickness quits, contractions start.
I’ll admit having morning sickness while homeschooling has been a real challenge that I haven’t dealt with before except for a few weeks in May (with both E and Little A) as we were winding down the school year when it didn’t really matter. School has been kind of hit or miss the past three months with morning sickness plus surgery and recovery for A, then the holidays, but we have a decent routine going at the moment and are hanging on awaiting the return of warmer weather, or at least days when we can go outside without the air hurting our faces!
And hopefully the next four months will go by faster than the previous three, and soon we’ll have a new baby!
I haven’t said that in a long while!
And now I know why I’ve bowed out of playing the previous four concerts with my orchestra. It was only two rehearsals and a concert, but it was rough. Granted, those were all in the same week, but still. I was completely worn out by the end of it Saturday night, and then I had to come home and be the mom again because DH was working.
Little A had fallen asleep at dinner that night and stayed asleep for a couple of hours before waking up recharged and ready to go. If I’d known she would sleep so long, I would have told A to wake her up sooner, but I had to leave right after dinner and she’s nearly impossible to wake up anyway when she crashes like that. I came home ready to fall into bed, but had to deal with the toddler who was still going at 11:45!***
It was good to play again though; I’ve hardly touched my cello since October except for playing with my few students every week in their lessons. I’ve really missed it, even when morning sickness had me in the fetal position and in no condition to be sitting up playing a cello on stage. That is mostly gone (another post in the making) so I thought I’d try to play this one concert. Plus it was a good way to break in the new strings I bought in September and finally put on my cello this month.
Every January we accompany piano concerto competition winners from the area. It’s a quick concert with five days prep, but I’ve played it so many times that it’s usually one of the easier (and fun) concerts for me. They tend to play the same concertos year after year, so it’s not too strenuous. (As long as they don’t play Tchaikovsky; those cello parts are wicked with only a few days prep time!) There were only six this year and I practically have the Grieg piano concerto memorized, I think I’ve now played all the Rachmaninov and Beethoven concerti, Mozart is always sightreadable, and even the Saint-Saens #2, which was new to the orchestra, wasn’t very difficult, plus I played it in college. Overall, not a lot of practice time was needed on my end, but still, being gone three nights last week was more than I’ve managed in months! And I’m still recovering, but I did get caught up on all the laundry yesterday. Of course it was last week’s laundry, but I’ll celebrate the small victories! (and tackle this week’s laundry tomorrow.)
I think our sleep issues were due to Little A being up late Friday night while I was at dress rehearsal. Then we had to get up early to go to our stake family history day on Saturday, and by Saturday night, Little A just couldn’t keep her eyes open. Luckily she made up for it Sunday night. She fell asleep at 7:15 and stayed asleep for the rest of the night. I was so grateful! Just one evening now and then without the toddler to deal with is heavenly! Because she never stops moving . . . or talking . . .
***This reminded me of New Year’s Eve when she did the same thing. She took a 3-hour nap that evening and woke up at 8:00 and was still going very strong at midnight. The rest of us were wondering whose dumb idea it was to stay up until midnight anyway; we were all this close to falling asleep on the couch around 11:45, all except for A who went to a New Year’s Eve youth dance and thankfully found some friends who could give him a ride home. But then at midnight we could see three different sets of fireworks going off across the golf course and that just made Little A even more excited to be up. Then she was mad because I refused to stay up even longer and read bedtime stories (because it’s after midnight, child!) and finally agreed to fall asleep, but only in my bed, at which point I turned off all alarms and crashed with her.
I’ve never been so glad to switch to 1 p.m. church in my life.
“I not three!!”
Fine, you can be 2.12.
We’ve been talking up this birthday for weeks and telling Little A how awesome it would be to turn three. She wasn’t having it. She sure understands cake and presents though. Every time we asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, her answer was, “Cake and presents.”
Grandma and Poppa had a stack of presents for her when we went down on Thursday. She knew immediately they were for her.
Her actual birthday was Saturday and we woke up to snow.
It didn’t phase her though. She was thrilled to get to eat Frosted Flakes when it wasn’t Sunday. Daddy had to work in the morning and I was really tired, so we took it slow. She watched some movies with E while I baked her cake.
We still had to go shopping for her last present when DH came home. She wanted to open presents the minute we walked back in the door, but we convinced her to let us wrap them first. She had quite the stack (we may have gone overboard), and she was excited with whatever she saw first.
I made the mistake of telling her that her baking set was food grade and she could make real food in it, and now I have to keep my canisters hidden in the cupboard because she wants to put real sugar and real salt in her mixing bowls.
She does love to cook . . . and lick the chocolate frosting beaters.
She was enthralled with the new scooter E got for his birthday, but decided she’d rather have a trike. It’s snowing again today, but someday we’ll be able to ride all the new toys outside.
She can’t quite figure out the pedals, so it’s probably a good thing we got the one with the parent handle. When she moves up to a bigger trike or bike in a few years, we can pass this one down to her brother. (We’re forward thinkers and got the one that’s adjustable from 9 months-5 years!)
Also notice her new slippers. We’d forgotten she specifically asked for slippers until the last minute, so we’d like to thank Walmart for having at least something without a Frozen theme. I’m not one to buy pink princessy sparkly slippers, but she swears they’re birthday cakes, not crowns, anyway.
We sure do love this sweet little girl . . . even if she refuses to be three.