Yesterday was terrible, and lasted 24 (conscious) hours. Highlights:
-I went to the college FOUR TIMES, speaking to multiple people each time, and STILL don't have everything I need to sorted out. I went to advisement twice, testing once, financial aid three times and registration twice. I took them our tax returns from 2010 and 2009, Grant's W2 and 1099 from this year, and so many forms printed off their website. I was told that I did, didn't, did and didn't have to take the CPT, that the emails I'd received actually said the wrong things, I mean - WTF?!
-As I was running back and forth in and out of my house, my sister was good enough to be here hanging around with my kids. I really appreciate this, as I live only about a mile from the college and so it was quick to keep coming back to print/dig through the fire safe/etc but would have been ridiculous to tote all the kids in and out of the van for each time. BUT, she noticed right away that my hernia was sticking out way more than usual, and was way more noticeable in general, and kept saying I need to get it checked out, need to go to the doctor, etc. I of course realize this is nothing wrong on her part. It's just hard for me to hear, and I knew she was right.
-One of our chickens randomly died of unknown causes. It was Belina, the buff orpington and my favorite. Ananda found her and was grossed out but ok, Aaron and Isaac were fine with it, but Jake (the owner) was very sad for a few minutes and Elise was HYSTERICAL when Grant was removing the body because, we found, she just had no idea what death really meant :/ Her brothers and sisters "die" in video games. So we had to have this horrible talk about the permanency of death, and how it happens to everyone, that made her cry hard. And made me cry. FYI, I have been reading that apparently buff orpingtons sometimes have trouble with heat? It's not summer here yet and she made it through last year but Belina was always noticeably warmer to the touch than all the other chickens, so, who knows...makes me think we shouldn't get more orps like I was kind of planning to, to replace her with.
-I went to the hospital with Grant. We spent about 10 hours there, re-hashing our thoroughly hashed marital strife when we weren't playing hangman, trying not to fall asleep in front of the tv, or worried sick. I had a CT scan and they do think I need to get this business fixed asap, and it is worse, but that it is not an emergency thus far and there is no current blockage or tissue necrosis. Great, but terrible, basically. Also, I got a lovely lecture from the doctor about how I could lose weight by eating smaller portion sizes, or eating more often so I don't feel hungry. Wow, thank you doctor. O_O
Basically it was not fun, or even ok. We got home at like 6 am and I had to take a shower to get all the hospital tape glue and potential MRSA off of me, whilst trying to forget the lovely way my mouth fills with a metallic taste everytime I have an IV flushed (3 times, last night) and the way it makes my previous epidural site go crazy and trigger me into a tightly tense, cold, withdrawn mess.
Today, I woke up at 2 in the afternoon, feeling way more relaxed than I consciously had in what felt like forever.
The weather was perfect. My children were happy to see me. I took just Ananda and Aaron and we returned Annie's library books, ordered a new one she wants from Spellbound Books, and went out to Knaus Berry where Aaron bought cinnamon rolls for the family. Then we went in the back to investigate their U-Pic, since it's something we've never done. I think I'll be taking the little kids, soon. Lots of good conversation while driving :)
Back at the ranch, I escorted the little kids around the block on their various wheels (trike, bike, scooter) and cuddled Elise and explained why she can't nurse today ("Mommy's blood is fully of radioactive contrast fluid today, sweetie"...that's not really what I said). Talked phonics with Isaac.
Grant was miserably depressed and had a headache. I felt guilty for feeling happy. He encouraged me not to, blah blah blah...
Later in the evening, after some grocery shopping just-us-and-Elise, the two of us went and saw "Limitless" and it was pretty good. ALSO, we went on the way and got chinese takeout and drinks and snacks from a CVS, and my (homemade, sugar skull, bottomless pit of a) purse is so big that we put ALL of that in there, and consumed it during the movie.
I am kind of freaking about how my emotional eating might actually kill me sometime soon and how I don't know how to stop it and how it's a downward spiral that makes me
eat a lot. Grant and my problems also make me
On the plus side, Memo...I am tired of taking the time to call him "my old artist friend, the one who does tattoos now"...Memo has sketches done already, for illustrations for my childrens' book, and is telling me I have to wait to see the cover for last, and in general his interest and enthusiasm are contagious and make me feel really excited about the whole thing :)
I'm also hopeful about school, and income a few years down the line, and supplemental income we'll have in the meantime just from financial aid while I'm attending...but I am also seriously bitterly suspicious that just when I get my stuff all worked out and settled in so I can start in good standing...I will be re-hospitalized for who knows how long and screw up my whole record and attendance again and go from "getting off academic probation from the last time the shit hit the fan" to "seriously even more complicated to ever try to go back".
I'm very up in the air about school for the kids, too. I know Elise is going to be going to preschool in the mornings in the fall, because she's insanely excited and got in and can go free and it's super close and well recommended and I think it will be good for her speech. It's just 9-12 am and is mostly playing with other kids, i.e. her favorite activity on earth. Ananda and Aaron will be taking a writing and a science class, respectively, offered via PATH enrichment over a 6 week period, starting in May. Other than that? BAH.
Let me tell you a couple of things that have happened:
A and A conquered their biggest worry-me hurdles on their own. She writes willingly now, and he socializes constantly. They really reassured me that homeschoolers allowed to do their own thing generally progress just fine, and that if you don't turn everything into a battle or force it, kids will move forward because they want to, which is so much better. I am scared to lose that with school. I was thinking of how if Annie had been in school all day, busy with school things, and being forced to write a lot of stuff she didn't want to, she (likely) never would have come up with a whole big long story in her head, or had the (time/energy)resources or desire to painstakingly record it all...likewise if Aaron had been surrounded by other kids, possibly getting picked on, at his most awkward, I am not sure he would have found his way so happily into a crowd by now.
Also, Ananda is pouring over astronomy books and websites constantly lately, anytime she isn't reading pretty advanced fiction (like the Lord of the Rings trilogy). She tells me things I didn't know constantly. She searches out constellations and is asking for a telescope. She's saying she wants to be a chef and/or an astronomer. I just love it. This is another one of those things, those "child-led learning" things that come from kids not having their natural love of learning destroyed by a lot of worksheets, waiting and moving onto the next subject when they're really into something they aren't anywhere near done with yet.
The various crises in Japan have really sparked Aaron's interest. We spent almost 2 hours straight the other night watching videos, drawing diagrams and pouring over articles together, until my brain was nearly dripping out of my ears - but he kept pace with me every step of the way, and now both of us understand atomic structure, molecular structure, fusion, fission, how a nuclear bomb detonates and what happens afterward, how nuclear power is generated, half lives, radioactive decay, radiation sickness, and so much more. This has continued to be built on every day, and has led into study of things like Chernobyl, Turkey Point (our local nuclear power plant), coal burning plants, alternative energy - it just never ends. I love learning like this.
I really believe that in one evening he learned more than most kids do in all of elementary school science, and that it will stick better because he was really into it, having a one on one conversation and struggling to understand with his whole focus the entire time.
I don't want to lose, or limit this. Grant and I are talking a lot about him supporting and helping with me going to school while keeping them home (something he is fully on board for - Grant REALLY wants them homeschooled, I am the one who wanted to send them because I wanted to have that huge chunk of independence in my own life...which I still kind of do. Grappling, like I said). I'm still waiting to see whether they got into the charter school, but more and more I am just grossed out by the whole issue and kind of amazed by how well they do just as they are. even when we "aren't doing much" they are CONSTANTLY learning.
I am also tossing around "just giving it a semester", "just giving it a year", and sending the little kids but keeping the big ones home. I still think the cultural experience of attending school is valuable. Just not sure if it's any more so than the greatness that is never having been to school. Still think structure and schedules can be important. *shrug* I found out if they got in at the end of next month, it could all be a moot point I suppose.
Slightly off-topic: Ananda and Aaron had another epic sleepover up at Cybele's, and LOVED IT and came home ultra-excited and can't wait to go back next weekend. Cybele has a house on a big canal (full of manatees) up in the Gables, with a pool and canoes docked there, and a dog and cat, and a vegetarian daughter for Annie and a juggling son for Aaron. They went and met like 10 other PATH kids to see Rango the first day, and did some charitable ice cream event on Sunday, and generally just have a blast.
We decided, at the end of a neverendingly long decision process, to re-home Chrysanthemum and keep 2 kittens in her stead. We just don't have the resources to own so many cats, at least not with any level of responsibility, and 1. we are much more emotionally attached to the kittens, as well as 2. a pure bread, $500 maine coon is much easier to find a home for than a mixed breed, "run of the mill" cat. I submitted her case to a maine coon rescue organization and sure enough, she was wanted by someone within 2 days.
I felt way more sad than I expected to when I dropped her off. And now I am unduly irritated by how the new owner (in emails I keep getting copied on) has already re-named her "Isabella" and is calling her Bella. Grumblegrumble...
We are tentatively planning for me to get my stomach fixed in 5-ish months. That's when Grant's new job will be offering him health insurance. There's no guarantee we can get all or even some of my junk covered, but we can't try until we have coverage in place. I'm also going to be looking at the college schedule and all that. We can get a loan or something if we have to...but I think having a date in mind for when go-time is will help me to lose weight. As it's been not knowing has made it seem so open ended and like I can get around to buckling down in a vague and hazy future that'll eventually arrive.
...or having a date will cause me to raid the fridge late at night out of terror of going back into major surgery. We'll see, won't we?
I have counseling again on Friday. I think Grant is going back Thursday.
Aaron: Mom, if we knew the things to make little firecrackers, would you make them with me?
Aaron: First I thought about tiny nuclear bombs but then I realized, no way, that's just too powerful.
Also: Ananda recently made these Nutella Cheesecake Gooey Cakebars
. They are something to behold.
And, I never got around to posting this here, but man I love it. We all piled in this little photobooth at the bowling alley :D
In total contrast, look at these two beautiful children totally peaceful:
And in total contrast to how identical they look, look at this old shot...6 years ago, I suppose:
Crazy stuff. I will never quite grasp how that happened
Anyway, back to recent shots - when we were in Lakeland Elise picked out a "princess kit" she wanted, and she REALLY, REALLY LOVED IT.
Somebody traded some arcade tickets for this. It's like this concept was designed with Jake in mind, I think...
He was in his carseat and Grant was pretending to not know who he was or where Jake actually went, and Jake said, "Dad, it's just me in a disguise!" It was really funny.
TOO TIRED TO CONTINUE ENTRY.