Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Baby in the Family

On November 2nd, 2015 at 1:04 pm we welcomed our newest baby into the family, a little girl. Her brothers are thrilled and constantly want to touch her hands, her face, her little feet. They protect her fiercely and screech at each other for getting too close to her (they've been sick). 



All of my babies, and any future ones, have and will be c-sections. Not by choice but by necessity. It's not fun, recovery is long, and the pain can be intense from the scar healing. 

Thankfully, almost all went very well. We had new insurance this time and we were able to go to the hospital nearest our home only a few miles away rather than driving 20 miles into Sacramento and being in a less than ideal part of town. All the staff were helpful and prompt. They tried their best to accommodate me in my needs and wishes. 

This time I was surprised to find my husband wanting to be in the OR. Last time he went in he was quite traumatized by the whole ordeal. This time I saw his nervous anticipation and he fairly vibrated with giddiness. Even the nurse noticed. He stayed by me till our baby was born and then he protectively hovered overher and even cut the umbilical cord, something I would have told you would never ever happen. 

She was 7 lbs 11 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. She is our second lightest baby. She has a light colored fuzz over her head. The nurse called it strawberry blonde. I'm not sure though. Looks to me like it's just blonde. 



Valiant had reddish fuzz at birth and now it's definitely red, maybe I should call him 'Carrots'.  


I've been home for almost three weeks now. Our little girl has grown and will soon be graduating out of newborn clothes. 

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving. This will be the first time her uncles, aunts, and cousins (on my side) will see her. On Saturday, the same with my husband's family. I'm just praying we all stay as well as we can. 


Monday, July 6, 2015

Our 4th of July

The US has had another birthday. Happy 239th birthday United States of America. Independence was hard fought and won. 

Today, we do not know how long we will still be called independent and freedom loving. Our laws get tighter and stricter every day by request of so many groups. Soon, we'll need permission from the government to do just about anything. Want to have kids? Fill out this form, we'll let you know if you qualify. Want to take a vacation to Disneyland? Fill out this form, we'll see if you've done enough work. 

But, the nanny state is not here yet. We may or may not go that way. Some people like that life and others do not. Our future is uncertain. Until such a time comes we can still celebrate the freedoms we have. 

There are some things I'm going to need to learn how to enjoy again. California fireworks are my current hurdle. 

Exhibit #1


In California, this is called a sparkler. I call it a lame sparkler, better known as a glorified match. We were using them to light other fireworks because they lacked sparkle. 

When I was a kid, we didn't have strict firework laws. We had laws but you still could enjoy getting your hands and arms singed each year by bits of fire and not get in trouble. We would also light real firecrackers and send tin cans shooting up into the sky using water pressure. It was awesome. 

Exhibit #2


This was one of the more exciting fireworks we were able to buy. This was at the height of its display. Thrilling, right?

My kids had a good time though. They know nothing of what we once had. 


I hope to one day enjoy fireworks again. Perhaps we can move to a greener, wetter state. 

Don't you love the smell of gun powder in the evening?




Friday, June 12, 2015

Update on my boys...

My boys get bigger everyday. So sweet, innocent, and cute. They have their bad times but thankfully stricter discipline is keeping them from sulkiness and true sqwabbles. 



Boys are so passionate. They put their hearts into everything and try so hard to do right. Pilot is four and a half. He loves stories being read to him. I tried teaching him to start reading but my behavior was awful. He tried and I got exasperated with his lack of comprehension. I'm giving it a true break until August when school starts. Meanwhile, I read him stories. We finished Peter Pan, that was quite a challenge to read aloud. All references to Captain Hook were full of what we now consider old fashioned terms and language. The boys didn't really notice my difficulty and thankfully didn't ask me to explain some of the archaic language. After that I started to read Treasure Island, per their request, but nixed it after a chapter, due to disinterest. No one wanted to sit next to me or in my lap. They drifted off to other rooms and played with toys. Now we're trying The Magician's Nephew. So far, that one is much more successful. They like the drawings and it's an interesting tale. 



Hero just turned three. He's testing all his boundaries by drawing on furniture in pen, breaking all the chalk into tiny pieces, pushing and shoving babies and toddlers down who get too close, and taking off his diaper at nap time with unfortunate results. Why do they say terrible twos? It should be the threes. By three they are so much taller, agile, and knowledgeable that getting into trouble is so much more exciting. Every day is an adventure. 



Valiant is adorable and he knows it. A sure sign of trouble in the future. His hair is red and it curls in soft waves. His eyes are big, crinkling when he smiles. Then there are the dimples. Ahh. He says, "Dada" a lot. It is the only word he really says. I realize I've been neglectful in vocabulary with him. We are trying to make up for it now by labling everything he shows us. In language, his pediatrician called him "disadvantaged" because he has older brothers. I thought that a very poor choice of words and I hope he doesn't talk like that to other families who have him as a pediatrician. I would call my little boy blessed to have siblings. He has so many people who will be there his entire life. Loneliness will only go so far before it's stopped in it's tracks by family intervention. 



Our family is expanding again. Currently, I'm 18 1/2 weeks along. My husband is adamant about not knowing what we are having. He feels like he's cheating himself out of a time honored experience by finding out early through ultrasound, while I feel unprepared as to what hand-me-downs to ask for from generous family members. What to do? My husband doesn't think I'll be able to keep it a secret from him if I do find out. He may be right. I don't like secrets or surprises. I'd be full to bursting with wanting to share. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St Patrick's Day and Updates.


Yesterday was St Patrick's Day. My boys had fun dressing up in green. Valiant wore a cute little onesie that looked like a suit and it was commented on everywhere we went that day. I've been having a hard time with Valiant at the grocery store. He's at the stage where he's always trying to leave. Sitting in a grocery cart is not of interest and he is constantly twisting and turning under the seat buckle. Usually, he manages to turn around and sqwat while facing the wrong way. He tries to stand but fortunately he listens when I tell him to get down. I'll take sqwatting over standing as he rides in the cart. 

Hero is into full sentences now and it's so interesting to listen to his sentence combinations. He and Pilot do everything together. What's funny is how much older Hero acts when he's around Pilot, but also how much more mature Pilot is when he's away from Hero. 

Pilot is taking martial arts now at the school I received a black belt from in 2008. He loves going and it's great to see him interacting with other kids and his 6'5" teacher. The man is so big but so gentle with the kids. They love him. 

I'm also signing up Pilot with a local charter homeschool for the fall so he can do transitional kindergarten. I'm feeling like I need a few years practice with help before school starts to count. Hopefully, in two years, I'll have more of an idea of how I want to homeschool and what works for each of our boys. 

On Sunday, my Nana passed away. She was 93. We have been expecting it for a while now but it's still hard to go through. Nana taught me how to knit, and I'll always remember her frozen chocolate chip cookies and her delicious Yorkshire pudding (of which I have not had since the last time she made it). 

And a little news, we're expanding our family again. The next little baby will be due in November and we are so thrilled. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Homeschooling

For years I have thought about homeschooling my family. I was a public school educated child for almost my whole life. Only one quarter of my Freshman year of high school was any different. I was allowed to do independent study, and it changed my whole outlook on education. Suddenly, I was master of my own course. I could pick how fast I wanted to learn the material and I was to be responsible for my own reporting of what I learned. I realized, I was really bad at self discipline. It would have been so much easier for me if I had been home schooled from the start. I would have learned self discipline in a much different way. I also would have not picked up such horrible habits of cheating and lying. I know my mom could catch me in every lie I told. I would never have succeeded in deceiving her as I did with my teachers.

I learned a lot in those few months and my return to public school the next year. I realized that my education did not count the same way from independent study to public school. I had a teacher who gave me an F because I didn't inform him of my progress in my math class in independent study. It dragged my whole grade down for the year to a D, which later had other effects with the military and college. I raced ahead in some areas and drifted through on others. I was amazed at how many credits I was able to accumulate in so little time.

It would have been nice to continue that way but really it would have been better if I had started homeschooling in Kindergarten. But I did not (through no fault of my parents) and I can now use some perspective with my own children.

Getting a taste for public school is intoxicating when kids are very young. I had both good times and bad times. The good times were that I liked my teachers and they taught me interesting things. When I was included in games on the playground I put my whole heart into it. The bad times were that I was lonely. I was not good at relating to the other kids and I didn't understand them at all. I couldn't read them or get their intentions as the other kids did so I was often ignored and left to play by myself. I kept trying but it was rare that others wanted to play with me. The other drawback was that our curriculum kept changing and as soon as I learned how they wanted me to learn they would change it and I would have all these new rules I didn't understand. Flipping from phonics to see-n-say was really hard. I wanted to phonetically spell stuff out but was told not to do that. Spelling wasn't considered important after 3rd grade and I was surprised I was doing "baby stuff" when I went to a country school for 6th grade. That was a skill that got me into a lot of trouble later on. I had to learn how to spell when I was 19 because I realized that my poor spelling could have gotten me dishonorably discharged from the military. How embarrassing.

The allure of learning new things and making friends is very basic. We love these things when we are young. The competition, the epiphanies, the rewards are all very stimulating. I know that if my boys delve into the public school life, they will love a lot of it. It would be very hard to pull them back into the realm of home and learning there. I want them to love to learn.

There is an unfortunate side to public school. There is the typical stuff like bullies (you can't legislate that away), cheating, lying, sex, drugs, alcohol, negative peer influence, poor teachers (I never met my 7th grade teacher as we had substitute teachers the whole year), cliques, gangs, and way too much sugar. Then there is the less obvious stuff like classroom pacing, curriculum modifications, class material you don't want them to learn yet, gaps in education, hidden messages, subversive language, everything PC (down to the textbooks you learn from), lack of information on important subjects (morals, religion, etc), and on and on. Too much for me to articulate here.

Every time I contemplate the options available to our children I see no other choice than that of homeschooling. There are so many pros with homeschooling. There are so many cons with public school. I feel like allowing my children to step into the world of public schooling is like a real life Pied Piper of Hamlin. I shudder at the thought.