First week of school

Lots going on around here...I started home schooling so I'm extra spent and a little crazy in the head. Trying to get everything around here on a regular disciplined schedule, (insert "yeah right" face) I exercised twice this week with a workout video. (Insert "it was lots of fun" face.) The first time it was pregnancy yoga. Yoga schmoga, but I figure maybe it will make me a little stronger when labor comes around. I have struggled all week with the image of the video instructor in my mind. She was pregnant too, but could not have been any skinnier or wearing tighter pants. Saying things like, "Look down at your toes...I know it's getting harder and harder to see them" and "If you're feeling light headed at all, please stop and rest." As I've thought about this woman, even though I'm sure she's a nice person, I just want to punch her right in the gut. And I'm pregnant too, so I'd know how to make it hurt real good.

The little ones try to participate with me and say things like, "Isn't that hurting your baby?" as I bend over to face the dog. Yes, kids. But not physically. I'm just scarring her emotionally from the womb as I deep breathe her into inner core strength at a ridiculously young age.

I also did a stupid thing and perused some blog (I never look at blogs much) written by a home school mom who likes art and interior decor and such. This was extremely depressing for me. How do these people have time for constant home rearranging and blogging about it? They must have lots of money and hours with a babysitter. Right? Please don't tell me the children sit quietly in a corner all day reading classical literature and emerge every three to four hours for a high-fiber organic snack. Because this almost makes me want to vomit. But nothing can really make me want to do that. It did inspire me to a little more creativity so it was worth it I guess.

Anyway, my first week of home school in reality was full of crying and fun and amazement and frustration and wide eyes and love. And I'm tired. And I stopped when I felt light headed. And I didn't ignore anyone to refurnish a piece of furniture ("on a budget" which from what I saw meant "with lots of money") and write an elaborate blog about it. I fed, clothed, loved, disciplined, and tried to educate these little munchkins. And as always, they ended up educating me.


A perfect fifth

Today I had my big huge ultrasound where they check out everything on the baby in detail. She (confirmed a girl!) looks great and I ended up having to bring Libby, Cash, and Penelope with me. They did great and all earned an ice cream treat when we got home. I was so proud of them for sitting reasonably still and also proud of my little one for cooperating and being in all the right positions to get everything measured and checked out. I feel so blessed to have seen all the right spinal connections, facial bones, 20 digits, heart stuff, etc. She waved at us really great...holding up those five fingers--she knows her place! The kids each got a copy of that picture. Penelope was looking at the picture on the way home and I heard her say, "I'm going to be so proud!" Me too, Penelope!


2, 4, 6, 8

It's summer again and so the ages of my kids have lined up to be 2 years apart. I dreamed of this 3 1/2 month stint of time when I was pregnant with Penelope and realized that at this point, summer of 2010, I could use the cheer "Two, Four, Six, Eight, who do we appreciate?" and be talking about my kids and their ages. It has happened. When you're me, these things make you feel happy. Now I'm messing it all up with a child who will be three years behind next summer instead of only two. How dare I! Just kidding. I'm grateful for the extra space.

Last summer I did a 1, 3, 5, 7 catch up on everyone...so here's this year's...

2- Penelope
Penelope (whom I call Pip and Nel Nel as well as Penelope) is growing into a beautiful girl and has left babyhood with all the grace and poise of a normal toddler. Translation: Sometimes she poops her pants and gets food all over herself even though she's not a "baby" anymore. Yet she also does so many grown up kid things like bargaining how many books we read and dressing herself in uncoordinated outfits. (She gets that one from Jimmy.) She has her finger on the pulse of the house just as much as I do and covers her ears when someone close to her is too loud. This is what I want to do, and really, I'm not sure why I don't just do what she does. When Cash whines or screams really loud just cover my ears and stare at him blankly. It seems to work for Penelope. There really isn't enough keyboard in the world to describe her wonderful and precious antics. Some of my favorites are when she bosses us all around. Things like, "Jackson, play with me!!" or "No, not that one, I need my bow blanket!" I also get personal enjoyment when she is not wearing underwear. I mean, how many more months will her booty be so darn cute and she even has a little bit of a tan line! I just can't resist it. Am I a weird mom if I like to stare at my daughter and her naked rear? It is just too much. Okay. I have three more kids. Must move on. I love you Penelope!

4- Cash $
I place the dollar sign because this is pretty much how Cash and Jackson and Libby have come to write his name. I use abbreviations in dry erase marker on the kitchen counter tile and have the kids place their cup for the day there. Jackson- Jax Libby- Lib Cash- $ and Penelope- Pip. So Cash has come to expect a $ after his name. It's pretty funny. Cash is quite a handful these days but makes up for it in spades by telling me multiple times a day things like, "I love you mommy and I want to love you forever." Or I might ask him to do something and he'll say, "Yes, Mommy, I will do it because I love you." I'm not making this up. He has become quite the lover. A few months ago he told me he was going to give me "a prince kiss" and so I leaned over for it only to have him grab my face and turn his head to the side, place his lips on mine and hold them there for quite a few seconds. The head turned to the side just about did me in. He also tells me that I "fell from the sky" for daddy. As if I was a dream from heaven. Yes, Cash, let's spread that one around! He really is a sweetheart. He always wants to help me cook and he is a really hard worker. If I give him a shop vac and stick him in the van he won't stop until he gets every last piece of dirt. I have to pry it out of his hands. Love the hard worker in you, Cash.

6- Libby
Oh, God bless the child who is so much like yourself. I feel like I have an ally in Libby. We want the world to work in a certain way and when it doesn't we get frustrated. I feel her pain when circumstances thwart her plans. Welcome to my life, Libby. I am always telling her we have to be flexible. But I feel her pain when things she is pretending or working on get undone. She takes it in stride, though. She constantly amazes me with her productivity. The amount of drawings and writings she has made make me jealous. If only I could be so productive creatively. I would be growing by leaps and bounds artistically! And Libby is. Her writing and drawing are always bringing Jimmy and I to each other quietly saying, "Did you see this?" And we are so proud of her. She is quiet but always listening and processing it all. She does wonderful things like work puzzles with Penelope or Cash or reads to them. Often I call out her name because I haven't seen her in a while. I just want to make sure she's still on the premises. She is, usually sitting at the school table drawing or pretending with toys. She is getting big! Quite a little girl. You are special, my sweet Elizabeth June!

8- Jackson
Jackson is extraordinary. This week was my birthday and he asked very quietly if he could take me out, stating that he was paying. He took me to see a movie, and then afterward quietly asked me if I was hungry. It was SO heart warming for me! What a little dater! I would go on a date with him any time. We saw "Ramona and Beezus" and he brought his copy (which used to be mine) of the book into the movie in case we needed to refer to it. As we left we bought big 25¢ gumballs and I did my best to chew it but only made it to the parking lot. He kept at it and enjoyed it for a while, acting silly with his mouth so full. I think God gave me a really smart mom who knows young kids and used to always say, "I think it's important to answer a child's questions honestly and fully" because He knew I was going to have a kid like Jackson. He is constantly saying, "Mom, I have a question." and I have started responding, "Of course you do." I will forever and ever and ever answer your questions, Jackson. This is my job and I love it and I love you!

That's it. I wanted to add pictures but I'm too tired! I'll add some soon. 2, 4, 6, 8, I really really really appreciate my kids. I sometimes feel like I'm living in a dream world where the blessings just don't stop. It is amazing and unbelievable at times. All I ever wanted was a house full of kids. I wasn't fully aware that it would translate to a house full of crazy, but hey, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...it's getting late...