Friday, January 31, 2014


(I wrote this on Saturday, but I am just now posting.  Obviously, lots of life has happened since writing this...)

I am so focused on wanting to blog about Evie because right now at our house she is what we are all obsessed with, but in the mean time, life is going on and things are happening that don't directly involve her. 
(a sick John and Evie in a super tacky outfit because she had spit up and been changed so many times that this is all we were left with.  On this day they both wanted mom.  Only mom would do.)

She is, of course, always indirectly involved in every single thing.  I had forgotten how much a nursing baby controls my life.  Today I went to the grocery store, and I had a rather long list.  I am back into couponing full swing, plus I am trying to shop for two weeks at a time versus one (other than the "fresh" things that I need to buy each week--milk, produce, etc.).  Anyway, I nursed Evie, and sprinted out the door, the clock ticking before I even left the driveway.  And I felt panicky because I was gone for two hours.  She, miraculously slept almost the whole time I was gone, but that is the exception.  She is attached to me, and it slows things down a bit.  a lot.  I love nursing my babies; I really do, and I am pretty hard core committed to doing whatever needs to be done to make it happen (after our unfortunate nursing experience with Ada, not taking for granted the fact that Evie is a good nurser.  it doesn't always work out that way), but there is also quite the sense of freedom when I am done nursing (freedom mixed with sadness).  So there is this adjustment going on right now as I am reminded of how very attached to me a baby is that first year (year and half, let's get real).  Some days I wish I could find a place to hide.  But, also, I love every second of it.  So many emotions.
 (Her cheeks.  I can't get over her cheeks)

So, other than the fact that Evie is so very attached to me right now and so much does revolve around her, life does march on as always. 
(My John.  He seems so big to me these days!  A week away from 4!!)

There is first grade.  I think we are finally in a rhythm, a routine, a this is how we do school in our family versus how I thought it would look.  I have heard so many times, been warned by so many articles and veteran homeschooling mamas, "don't try to make school at home look like school at school."  It's not the same.  Yet, yet, I did have this pretty little picture in my head.  Us all waking up at 7ish, doing our morning chores (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha), eating breakfast and getting dressed, and then all sitting down to begin our school day.  It was such an orderly picture in my mind.  It turns out, that's not how homeschool works for us.  I have been fighting that for a while.  Instead of just going with what does work for us, I kept trying to make it look like the picture.  But, oddly enough, the birth of Evie is sort of what forced me into a routine that is finally working.  We just fit it in.  We do school all of the time.  I mean, we start in the mornings, first thing, some times we have already eaten breakfast, some times we haven't.  Ada might already be in dress up clothes--a princess dress or ballet leotard or maybe just her pajamas.  And I most certainly am still in pajamas, mascara still under my eyes, but we just jump in.  We quickly review our memory work for the week.  We do that first thing because it was always the thing that I let slide.  I start there because I know that I will get the phonics and the math done, so I start with the hardest thing to swallow.  I don't know why memory work has been that thing for us, but now we just jump in, pajamas, unbrushed hair, and all.  Then, if miraculously, Evie is still sleeping or back down for a morning nap, I quickly go over all that Ada can do on her own without me--her math facts, her copy work, her math worksheet, etc. etc, and then I sit her down to work on it, while I run get in the shower.  If she finishes, she gets to have a break--whatever she feels like doing.  Most likely, she will bring things for me to check while I am drying my hair, and almost daily she has to redo something.  Ada, it turns out, is not a perfectionist.  She is not careful and meticulous--it's just not who she is.  So...that usually means she has to redo copy work.  Look at a math problem again.  That sort of thing.  And there are always interruptions.  Evie wakes up.  She wants to eat (always).  John needs me.  Laundry needs to be switched out or the kitchen cleaned.  So, usually by the time I have showered and dried my hair, it's lunch time.  I used to freak out if the majority of our school wasn't done by lunch time.  I have let that go, and it's working so. much. better.  So, while I cook lunch, we will usually do Ada's spelling list.  She might just spell the words out loud, or even sit on the counter and write them on the white board.  The point is, we do them.  And then we use the time we are eating lunch to read our timeline cards, go a little bit more in depth with something.  The point is, I steal little moments to get it all done.  It is not at all orderly or organized or anything.  The only set things are memory work first thing to make sure it gets done and independent work while I shower and get ready for the day.  Everything else we fit it in.  There are times that means we are finally finishing up phonics right before dinner, and I am finally okay with that.  I am sure, like everything else in life, that every year, every month, every week even, I will learn more and adjust more and figure out more about how to do school.  I also find myself more than ever, saying, "Lord, show me what to do."  I mean, I say this about everything.  Show me what to do about the grocery budget this week--Evie's naps--Ada and John's messy room--and first grade.  Show me what to do about first grade.  And he does.  He directs my steps. 
(she sits in a booster for school, because it puts her at the right height for neat handwriting--fyi)

And he gives me glimpses of the big picture.  Last week we were going over the timeline cards for the week--we were reciting, "Slave Trade in Africa," and then, "The Spanish Inquisition," and Ada wanted to know more about those things.  So, (we love our timeline cards), we spent some time reading the back of the cards.  I briefly, so inadequately, talked to Ada about slavery, so we talked about sin.  And Ada, on her own, noticed that so many of the timeline cards have to do with sin.  There is so much sin.  And there I sat, talking to my six year old about how history shows us man's condition.  We kept turning the cards over to read, and Ada would say, "more sin."  And I saw a seed planted, a brief moment of understanding in her face...we are so very fallen.  History shows it.  And we desperately need a savior.  And as frazzled as our days can be, I am so thankful that I am learning side by side with Ada, and that the learning isn't separate, instead, it bleeds into all aspects of our life.  It's a gift.

In the mean time, little John isn't so little.  He turns four in less than two weeks!!!  And I am not even close to being prepared for that.  Through several conversations, I realize that he is expecting a party--oops.  I planned on a party next year.  You know, when he's five and I don't have a newborn.  So, I asked him who he wanted to invite, and luckily, our immediate family was on the guest list, and he even mentioned a friend's dog, so...I do think I have one more year before things get serious ;)  But don't worry, our sweet and funny boy will be celebrated, but in a non-stressful manner.  A themed cake, pizza, a few balloons, and I think that will be one four year old who feels very birthdayed. 

Oh my word, this blog post is swiftly turning into a book. 

The point?  We are adjusting to life in a very frazzled, unorganized, but getting-the-job-done way.


Jessica said...

I love how Ada so wisely noticed the sin in the timeline cards...she is a smart girl that one...I'm always impressed to see how her mind works. Great post friend.

Katherine said...

You just don't know how much your blog encourages me. I think you're an amazing mom!