too much

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This post is going to have a lot of complaining in it. There isn’t any other way to say it. I haven’t written much because I feel as though all I have as of late are a series of complaints, but then again this blog wasn’t designed to share just the pretty in my life. It’s for the ugly as well.
Our trip to Dallas was a whirlwind, and we had a great time. But we were tired. The kids were tired. Gabe and I were tired. We needed a vacation after our vacation. But life resumes as usual and just as I was starting to feel like I was catching up and things were going back to normal, the plague hit.
Eddie came down with it first. Then Sam, and yesterday Gabe and Caleb finally caught the bug. So far, I am the only heathy one in the house. It starts with a runny nose and fever and seems to progress into a cough and to put it delicately…stomach issues.

This is also the week where I am trying to prepare the house for my absence. I am attending my sister’s wedding shower six hours away in Western Washington and I will be gone all weekend. This is the first time I’ve ever been away from my husband and kids…ever. So naturally, there is a lot of prep work to be done: cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, etc.. In other words, this was not the time to be dealing with three sick children. And to top it off, God only knows why, but I agreed to host the preschool co-op here on Friday, which has doubled in size.

I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I just want to sleep. Our neighbor dropped off ten pounds of pears on our back porch yesterday. She didn’t want them and said they would just rot at the base of the tree unless we took them. Despite knowing that I wouldn’t have time to do anything with them, I couldn’t bear to let them go to waste. This evening I started to peel the pears and wash the jars, because even though I knew I couldn’t possibly fit anything more on my plate right now, I decided I was going to spend the remainder of my night canning. Gabe walked into the kitchen and found me peeling pears, near tears with a sick, wailing two year old at my feet. “Just stop,” he said. “If we’ve allowed thousands of pounds of apples to rot on our property we can afford to let someone else’s pears go to waste. You don’t have time for this. You don’t need to do this.” He was right.  I need to let go. I can’t do it all. Now they sit on our back porch in the rain. Gabe will take some to work with him. The kids will eat some, and I will make some pear sauce for the co-op on Friday, Whatever we don’t eat will be thrown in the compost. I should be okay with it, but I’m not. Then again, I don’t have any other choice.

My knitting hasn’t progressed much. I have been designing a sock pattern in my head but the farthest I’ve gone is making some notes on a piece of paper and knitting half a swatch. I’m still working on a pair of self striping socks for Gabe, and the ease of it is oddly comforting right now. Mindless.  It’s what I need.

little things

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Last Monday I posted about the importance of finding happiness and joy in the little things in life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. I shared a few things that brought me joy over the weekend and received such positive responses from you readers that I decided to make it a regular occurrence. Every Monday I will share something(s) that made me happy over the weekend, no matter how small or insignificant. A freshly wound skein of yarn, a particularly fragrant flower in my garden or a pudgy toddler hand with dirt under the nails clasped within my own. These are the “little things” that make life beautiful.

Her: Three months ago, she was my baby. Always on my hip, a cuddly barnacle in my daily life. Now she is a walking, talking individual entity and I just can’t deal. Her vocabulary increases by the minute and her sense of humor and enthusiasm for life and all things Sam related make this house a happier place. Yesterday she insisted on dressing herself and this is what she chose. I have to say, while it certainly wasn’t what I would have chosen for her (pink top with purple spandex shorts? Please.) I was quite flattered that she chose to wear the socks I knit her a few weeks ago, and insisted that they made her feel “like a pin-sess.” (She meant princess.)

Oh. And that hair. I heart it.

Food for the soul: We don’t eat pork in our house (on account of the whole being Jewish thing) which often stumps guests when they are tasked with bringing over an appetizer for dinner. Most people don’t realize how many appetizers have pork in them until they have to omit it. Bacon-wrapped something or other? Nope. Cocktail weinies? Sorry. Potato skins? I don’t think so. On Saturday we had friends come over and they had the ingenious idea to make jalapeño poppers (which typically have bacon in them) and instead used smoked salmon. They. Were. Amazing.

In the garden: Despite my lack of attention, our garden seems to be thriving, and we have had artichokes and tiny pole bean blossoms pop up in the last week. We have had steamed artichokes every night for the past few nights and hopefully in the next two weeks we will have fresh green beans for dinner.

If anyone else wants to share their weekend with us, please do so. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Maybe a particularly delicious dinner or a new yarn purchase. Whatever it may be, if it brought you joy, it’s worth sharing.  Provide a link to your blog or just a quick blurb in the comments below. Whatever you prefer.

Have a good Monday, friends.

 

“doing school”

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Last week was our first week of “doing school.” Sam is four and I thought it was time to incorporate a (very) loose preschool program into our schedule. We are still members of our Friday co-op, and while our membership has doubled in size these past six months, many of the children Sam’s age will be attending private preschool this fall, and the younger children (ages 2-3 years) will begin participating in our co-op as opposed to just playing on the floor during “lessons” like last year. Because the majority of the children are younger, the lessons will be tailored to their level, which means that it won’t be nearly challenging enough for Sam, thus the reason for our own program “on the side,” so to speak.
Our lesson is twenty minutes, three days a week. Twenty minutes is about all the undivided attention Sam can give me, and that’s on a good day. I use the Starfall website, which is $35 a year and worth every penny. We play an interactive game based on the letter or number of the day, and then do a few worksheets from our Brain Quest Pre-K workbooks that I purchased from Costco. So far, he is doing well. He likes the interactive games and while he certainly doesn’t know all his numbers and letters (not that I expected him to), I was surprised to discover that he knows all his colors, most shapes and is able to quickly figure out other basic pre-k skills like matching, sorting, and phonics.

I have read that having expectations for a four year old, especially when it’s the first year of homeschooling for both the mother and the child is unreasonable; that it leads to nothing but disappointment and frustration.  I am trying with all my might to keep this advice in the forefront of my mind, but I find myself starting to worry:

What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m a terrible teacher? What if he won’t listen to me, and then he never learns his letters, and then he never learns to read, and then he can’t find a job because he’s illiterate and he ends up spending the majority of his adult life in my basement smoking weed and playing video games all day because he’s a worthless member of society and it’s ALL MY FAULT?!

You get the idea.

It’s only been two weeks, and he’s doing well. Great, actually. I know there will be hard days, days that will affirm these fears. But I’ll try to keep telling myself to worry about those days when they come, and not before. When I decided to homeschool, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest path for our family but I did believe and still do, that this is the best path for our family.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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