July 11, 2018

Anxious Organizing

I have a problem.
I love to organize and set a schedule and get everything looking like it will work perfectly.

Okay, so I don't love organizing everything. I actually struggle to keep the house looking presentable. But school schedules and supplies and checklists? Oh yeah, all day long baby!

I guess I think that if I can get it all laid out "perfectly," whatever that is, then the whole year will run smoothly and we'll never miss a lesson and never get sick and never argue. And yeah, that always works. Ha!
Still, the drive to do it every year kicks in and I can't resist it. I mean, it certainly can't hurt to get organized... can it?

The curriculum I use it very open and go, so I don't actually need to do any of this, but I just can't help myself. 

This year I am trying a "loop schedule" for our electives. The core classes will be every day. The electives will cycle through. This is a new concept to me, and it's so simple and "duh" that after 5 years of homeschooling, I feel dumb to not have thought of it on my own.. but I actually got it from a book.

A fabulous book!!! It's called, "Teaching From Rest" by Sarah Mackenzie.

Basically you just do the next thing next. I used to say Subject A is always on Mondays, B on Tuesdays, C on Wednesdays, etc. But without fail, one of those days would have constant interruptions and one of those subjects would get so far behind that we'd give up on it before the end of the year... or worse, try to force our way through and get it done, but be so burned out that we hated even looking at the subject ever again. 

With a loop schedule, it's like you put them in a pile, and they aren't assigned to a day, they're assigned to go in order. So if you do Subject A on Monday, but Tuesday is a pukefest, and Wednesday you still want to Clorox every surface, then on Thursday (or whenever you finally feel back up to it) you just pick up the next subject, in this case Subject B. Just do the next thing next. So simple and brilliant! 

I have 2 loops for each child. One that is much more formal education, real curriculum like Science and History. And the second loop is for more fun type subjects, or shorter subjects like handwriting and logic puzzles. 

And now I'm trying to figure out a way to track it and keep track of it so that I don't get all mixed up and crazy. Not the individual lessons, but "which subject are we on again?" Oy. I almost need to write them on the whiteboard every week and erase as we go. LOL. And I might just do that.

Anyway, what do you do to get organized and set before starting school for the year? 
How do you find that peace that you are really "ready" already?

July 2, 2018

Filling Your Bucket

So first of all, I think I'm back? 
I'm not all the way sure yet, but I'm feeling the urge to write here more frequently so maybe. But I do think that I will be more focused on homeschooling than I will be on infertility... although I reserve the right to talk about both of them... or something else entirely. Just whatever pops into my brain.

Those of you who knew me before as an infertility blogger... hello! 😃 I now have 3 miraculous children!!! All of them were complete miracles and I am so grateful! I am still really hoping to maybe somehow have more... but I'm now 42, and have been fighting infertility and loss for way too long... so I guess... well I mean Sarah had Isaac in her 90's so there could be hope still.

I think that I homeschool now partially because of how difficult it was to get my children. I can't even imagine handing them over for 8 hours a day to someone else to teach them and raise them. I am basically Hermione, minus the hair, so we do quite a lot of schooling and my expectations for them are high. But I love it so much! It has been the biggest blessing for my family.

To have my children home.
To be their primary influence.
To be "in charge" of everything from the curriculum we choose to the days we take off.
To have our relationships blossom with the extra care we are able to give them.
I love everything about it.

Well, almost everything. I've been homeschooling for 5 years now. And I'm hitting a burn out. It's a little scary. I've never burned out before. It's summer vacation, so it's good timing, but I am a little worried how I'll get the old fire back in time to start up in the fall. Right now, even thinking about doing lesson plans has me wanting to crawl back in bed and hide. Which is dumb because the curriculum I use is AMAZING and is totally open and go, so I don't even have to make up lesson plans anymore. 

I think I just have nothing left in my own bucket. You know the saying about how you can't give water to anyone else if your own bucket is empty... something like that anyway. Well, I'm just not sure how to fill mine anymore. Everything that I love to do involves my family. I do love to do homeschool. It's quite a passion and on its own used to fill my bucket just by doing it. So I'm wondering if I need to find something that's "just for me" to fill myself up? Or is that just a mirage? I would like to be able to pee by myself again at some point. 

So please share. I need ideas. 
What do you do to recharge your batteries? What's your best self care strategy? 
What do you do to fill your bucket?

February 24, 2015

Well That Was Strange

I have basically stopped using this blog, and removed almost all of my old posts... but they were still saved in memory of the blog. A few of them I like to refer back to periodically, but it was a pain sifting through all the other unpublished junk to find them. So I just decided to re-publish them.

I thought they'd magically reappear in the correct order, and still have the original dates on them. LOL. I guess not! So they're all up front, out of order, and way out of date.

I don't think I'm blogging again yet, but I wanted to have them out there where I could find them more easily. Huh. Weird to see them like that.

Anyway, don't be confused. These are all old posts, the most recent being almost 3 years old... and spanning back to about 6 years ago.

Answers and Encouragement

So this post will depart a bit from my usual. Feel free to read it, or not. I'm really just documenting it because this is the closest thing I have to a journal, and I don't want to forget. Might be totally boring for anyone else. And that's okay. :)

Life has been really really difficult for the last few years. Really difficult. You all know some of it, what with miscarriage, dad's cancer and death, etc. But there are a few, very large and painful problems which I don't feel free to share with people... and especially not on the freaking internet for the whole crappin world. Haha. But I think we're all that way, right? Some things are just too private. Anyway, I am NOT saying that I haven't been blessed... because I have been blessed tremendously... more than I expected or deserved to be. But that doesn't mean that my challenges aren't still... well challenging. And things have been getting worse, or at least coming to a head. (What a mental picture, eh? I think of a giant white head getting ready to pop all over my life.) I'm trying my very best to compartmentalize my life... to be happy for the happy things, and sad for the sad things... and not to let them spill over into all aspects of my life... because then I'd have to poke out my eyes and run screaming from the room. haha. I don't know if this is the BEST way to deal with problems, but it's a good coping skill for me now and keeps me sane and strong enough to keep going. It does have a big down side of shutting me down emotionally, because I just can't stand to face all of it all the time. But I figure that one day I'll just have a large nervous breakdown to make up for it, right? ;)

Anyway, lately I have been just plain old tired and discouraged and overwhelmed. Add to that pregnancy hormones, and the bed rest... which equals solitary confinement... and it's just not good. I've been trying to understand, and I've been praying a lot. Maybe this is just what life is going to be like from now on? Maybe I should just stop wanting/expecting things to change? Is this just my life now? Doing my best to work at these challenges but it's like trying to move a mountain with one of those little plastic spoons that you get with fast food. I can keep digging and working, but it doesn't really make much difference.

Last night was a bad night. I was so discouraged and overwhelmed and just plain old tired... more than tired... I was weary... physically emotionally and spiritually... just weary. I tried to pray about it, but I couldn't manaage much more than to just say "I'm too tired to do this anymore. I'm just so tired." I didn't even ask for anything or thank for anything... I just said I was tired and got into bed, expecting things to just remain as they were/are. But God doesn't give us challenges for us to change the challenge... He gives us challenges to change OURSELVES. My challenges remain this morning, but I am a different person facing them... and I hope it lasts.

I crawled into bed last night and opened a little book by Marjorie Hinckley, who is just the sweetest, most positive and uplifting lady ever. At first the things she said made me feel even more isolated. Her cheerfulness and unquenchable postivity seemed to have no place in my dark life last night. But then she made a few points that struck me... they struck me HARD. First she reminded me that "all have not every gift given unto them" and that I needed to stop comparing myself, my strengths weaknesses and gifts, with others... even with hers, as I shamefully coveted her cheerfulness. God knows who we are and He doesn't need or want me to be anyone but who I am... the BEST me I can be, but still just me... not someone else.

Next, and more profound for me, she talked about Esther. I love Esther, but then, who doesn't? She said that in our lives and challenges, instead of saying "is this what my life is going to be?" we should instead remember Mordecai's question... "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" ... The thought that the challenges I'm facing might be an assignment from God made me stop in my tracks.... She continues, "Perhaps what you are doing, whatever it is or however humble your offering, could be something that no one else could do." I think I read that line about 50 times, not kidding. I just cried and read it over and over. "However humble your offering" and my offering right now is very weak and humble, but it's enough. Just like bringing only a few loaves and fishes to feed a multitude, God will make my offering be enough... though my little plastic teaspoon isn't nearly enough to move this great mountain, yet God has promised that mountains WILL BE moved, so I keep digging.... IF this is an assignment from God, then a way WILL BE found to accomplish it. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." "Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." And "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

So if this is what my assignment in life is, then I'd better get to it and stop complaining. If God is telling me to do something, then He will provide a way for me to do it, even if it's one teaspoon at a time... it will still get done. I'm not all that different this morning, but I do feel a sense of purpose again. I was going through the motions of working through things, but was too discouraged to believe that it would make any difference. Now I feel like MY efforts might be too small to notice, but they are the small and simple things, the few loaves and fishes, which are my necessary contribution, my little offering out of which God will make a mighty miracle. Some day, it will be enough.

Thoughts on Infertility... and Trials

I've been thinking a lot about infertility the last few weeks. It probably seems strange to think about it during pregnancy. I guess it's because I'll turn 35 on Saturday and that's an ominous age for fertility. I really want more children, but will be grateful for whatever the Lord sees fit to give me.

I remember when I got pregnant with our first miracle baby, S. I thought I had "beaten" infertility. I guess I thought that once my womb had opened up and successfully delivered a baby, that was the end of all my troubles. *little laugh* That was as far ahead as I could see, just up to delivery.

So now that he is a couple WEEKS shy of being 4 years old, and I am a few DAYS shy of being 35... and I am FINALLY pregnant with my second child... I am grateful and humbled and overwhelmed. But I also have no delusion that this is the end of my infertility road. I want more children, so I will continue to struggle with infertility until the Lord directs my heart in another direction... or until the doctor forcibly removes my girly parts. Haha.

I have a good friend who also struggles with IF (infertility)... actually I have several, but I'm just talking about one here.... she already has 2 children, but she worked long and hard to get them... and she desperately wants more.... and of course the road of infertility is long and hard REGARDLESS of whether or not you've had any children previously. *I realize that's almost taboo to say inside of IF culture... it seems that most IFers feel how I did when I was pregnant with my first child... once you've had a child then you're out of the club. Which I understand, because I was once there and remember how I felt and thought... but which also leaves you more alone and without a support net as you struggle on for several more years.* Anyway, I can relate so much to my friend and can see myself *back* in her shoes in just another year. I see her often and ALWAYS my heart breaks for her silent sorrows. A sorrow that I still share, even though I'm pregnant right now. Next year I'll be back to trying again, temping, 2ww-ing, hoping for the ever illusive BFP.

I have another friend who has no problems with IF. She said to me the other day, "I wish I could give you some of my fertililty." *so cute* But I know that the Lord knows just who He wants each of us to be. He tries us with those things that will stretch us *individually* in just the right way to make us into who He wants us to be. I know there are MANY valuable lessons I've learned through my IF journey. Life is never the same after IF..... IF changes you for life... but so do many other things.

Everyone has hard struggles, and that's how it's supposed to be. I'm glad that IF has changed me, otherwise the struggle would've been in vain. God INTENDED for me to be changed by IF. God knows what I need in order to grow into the ME that He desires. IF is just another form of the refiners fire. And I am eternally grateful that He gave me not only IF, and not only children, but also other women... Sisters... who also have to endure the same challenges so that we have someone to lean on who understands. And I think that's part of the lesson too. He wants us to give, to receive, and to strengthen one another. None of us can make it alone. Sisters, we need each other.

Afterall, God is not only just refining us as individuals, but as a FAMILY. He expects us to turn to one another, and to cling to one another during our refining fire... it is ONLY in that way that He will be able to forge us together... to make us ONE... to make us into His Family. The strongest marriages, the strongest friendships, the strongest families... are NOT those who have few problems ... they are the ones who have braved the heat of the fire and clung together... they are Welded together by the power of God. If I have learned anything through this last year of miscarriage, caring for a dying parent, and holding his hand as he passed into the arms of God... I have learned that we NEED eachother..... Don't be afraid to reach out..... to comfort or to BE comforted. God wants it this way.

I am grateful for each of you who has strengthened and bouyed me up on this long journey. I wish to be able to do the same for you. Know that I think of you and pray for you. Whether you are struggling with IF or not... each of us has challenges. Job stress, family illness, death, financial woes, marital problems..... they are the fire. I pray for you, and would like to give you a glass of cool water.

I Remember Me

It's been a rough year or so. I've almost lost myself completely. I've been told that I've "lost the sparkle" in my eye and other such things. But I *think* I'm on my way back up. I'm starting to recognize myself again. Starting to laugh again. Able to smile more again. And I've started using sarcasm again, although it's been so long since I've done it no one knows how to take it. Haha. I'm getting back to the me that I know. I won't lie, I'm not quite there yet, but there are some hopeful signs. :)

Most notably, this pregnancy. I have been terrified and tight fisted over it; just sure I would have another miscarriage if I decided to relax and enjoy it. As if somehow my suffering and worrying would *help* my pregnancy? CRAZY! In the last week or so... about the time I got all that fabric... I have been able to let go of that craziness. I am pregnant now. I think it's gonna happen. And even if it doesn't, refusing to feel my joy right now won't take away the pain of losing it later. What's the old saying? "Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles, it robs today of its joy." Or something like that. So POO ON YOU! to infertility and miscarriage! I am pregnant now, and I am going to revel in it and be ecstatic and giddy, and feel like a "normal" pregnant lady! This pregnancy is a gift from God, and I am going to enjoy every second of it.

And I'm going to opt for the repeat C-section. Two things really influenced me. First when I told my husband about it, I got all weepy and said something like "what's wrong with me? I can't get pregnant, then I can't stay pregnant, and when it's time to labor I can't get the thing out?" He said "You know, back in the day they had a name for women like you." I braced for the worst, just sure that some awful word like "sterile" was going to escape his lips. But he surprised me when he simply said "Dead." Haha. He said that I should be grateful there's modern medicine to help me get my children here... you know without me dying. Haha. Such a simple answer, but true. And the other reason is that I found out that if you opt for trying a vaginal delivery after c-section, they generally won't let you have an epidural. WHAT!!! Deciding to not have an epidural during labor is tantamount to deciding against novicaine during a root canal. Sure you "could" do it and prove you're tough, but WTH? *disclaimer, if your labor is only a couple of hours then it's probably not so bad, but my 28 hours of labor was a special kind of hell until I got that blessed blessed needle.*

Also, I've been invited to 2 seperate girls nights out this week! Honestly this past year has been a bit of a blur, so I may have been invited to others and have totally spaced them or just felt too emotionally frail to parade my crying arse through the world. But I am actually excited to go to these! It's so strange to actually WANT the company of other people. The first one is a dinner with a bunch of friends from high school. That should be a rip roaring good time of laughter and food. :) The second is a bunch of girls from church... most of whom I don't know because they are new... or at least are new in the past year and I haven't been able to get to know anyone. I guess with all the trauma, I just buckled down and did the basics to survive. I didn't have any extra energy or emotion for anyone or anything. I was vaguely aware of all these beautiful young girls moving in around me and thought it was nice in an abstract way. But I'm amazed that one of them actually thought of me to invite me. I think I've spoken to her one time.... for 2 seconds. Excited to get to know some new people and start living life again.... though I will be honest and say that it also scares the crap out of me. What if I'm not really ready, and someone asks me something about dad or the pregnancy and I start freakin crying in the middle of scrabble or something? Or what if I go and start to feel out of place with people who can laugh freely, and withdraw and don't know how to talk to "normal" people anymore? *sigh* Pushing those gnawing doubts out of my mind, I am very excited to start putting myself out there and trying again. Taking it slow, but still starting out. :)

And just a little update. Zofran FOR SURE gives me migraines. Bad migraines. I've been down all weekend with a monster migraine, and am not quite over it yet. So I'm done with that. But I think I'll try the Phenergen they gave me. It's supposed to make me tired, but that's better than puking. Although, no matter what I do, I almost always puke when I brush my teeth. It's the grossest thing ever. So bad that I've started only brushing my teeth in the morning. I know, gross. But have you ever had minty fresh puke breath? It's not much better. And I hate needing to clear my throat because puke got all caught in my vocal cords. GROSS. So I brush in the morning and then chew gum if I have to be in public. Hopefully it hides all signs of vomit and bad breath. If not, don't tell me, just don't stand so close. :)
Well, it was a long hard road, but it's over. Dad passed away last night surrounded by his family. He took his last breath at about 9:15pm on Wednesday night. Funeral set for next Wednesday.