We're busy bees.Tuesday
(the 13th): Got up at 8:30 and had everyone else up by 9, as part of our new Earlier Scheduling. Breakfast and over to the new house to meet with people, bleary-eyed. Found out our home inspector has very little roofing knowledge and that, no, actually it is not a $1500 roof repair that we need, but a $15,000 brand new roof. This was confirmed by a handyman with no personal bias and an unrelated roofer who my mother in law trusts. As it is, "a Category 3 storm would rip it right off" and there are multiple code violations. This is also the day we realized the great, new looking stainless steel fridge...doesn't work. We started using our new Abeka english curricula and I was really, really happy with that - Elise sat happily in her little feeding chair while we worked, A and A were into it, seemed effective to me. Felt incredibly burnt out by the end of the longer day. Sick to death of trying to figure out what's for dinner.Wednesday
: Grant back at work for a few days. Got up at 8 and got them up at 8:30 (see how this is getting earlier as time passes?) We did more Abeka schoolwork - this time with Elise driving us crazy and Isaac whining a lot, but still, I was really happy with the schooltime. The materials are great. We did some shopping at Target for the new house's cleaning supplies and bathroom outfitting and things, which was a little bit fun but tempered by Target's system being down for over an hour and checkout consequently taking most of the afternoon. I got my own belated Mother's Day presents: A "Gryson for Target" purse, a green paisley tote bag I've been using for diapers and snacks ever since, sunglasses and a hat since I've finally given in and surrendured, in this heat, and two shirts for myself. Capped sleeves, almost but not quite puff sleaves...really not something I ever thought I would do, but here I am. Big kids went to AWANA while Isaac continued to recover from appendectomy. Dinner was kind of a bust because Isaac, Jake and Elise fell asleep between dropping A and A off and getting to the grocery store, and I was not at all in the mood to wake them all up and drag them in...Bedtime reading has been great and eagerly anticipated as we're almost to the end of HP#3. Cried my eyes out to G in bed (where he was going to sleep, but I was getting up to go watch Jake and Elise until I could make them sleep) about how I'm having an identity crisis and don't know who I am anymore. He was comforting but also surprised me by acting like my identity crisis is old news to him and I've been having it for awhile, and that it's way bigger than capped sleeves and an obsession with handbags. Then we had passionate, emotionally connected loving, but just barely before it was time to haul myself back into the grind because there was entirely too much shrieking going on in the living room...Thursday
: Got up at 7:30, had them up at 8. Jake helps me wake up Elise every day, and then they freaking CUDDLE and LAUGH for a while...I die. He's so protective of her, and careful of her, they wrestle all over the place and she pulls his hair and pokes his eyes and claws at him, and he just squints or moves her hands or whatever, and does everything in ways that don't hurt her. I'm so proud of him lately. How they sleep:
Excuse the uncovered pillow, it was a bad laundry day a couple of weeks ago after we were de-lousing and there was a case shortage that actually prompted a shopping trip.
Still enjoying renewed closeness with Isaac after the whole appendix thing.
We had awesome schooltime, Thursday, A and A were asking for it and everything. It felt like a lot of balls in the air and of course I was all fuzzy headed from lack of sleep, but I also felt super productive and satisfied with all the cleaning, meals, waking up, educating, everything. Isaac even did some Handwriting Without Tears, and Jake colored. *Great* PATH meeting. Ananda hung out with her new "secret club" again, Aaron was up a tree or riding scooters with boys that are starting to be real friends, and Isaac played slow, invalid soccer with a really nice teenage guy. His favorite thing is having an older person faun over him, so this made his afternoon. I really, really like a couple of the other moms at this (new to me) park group and am glad we started going to it. It's actually a social outlet for me, too, not just a thing for the kids. Unfortunately in the evening I had to remove the dressing on his "tummy" (NOT my belly, my TUMMY, Mom), which was...an ordeal.Friday
Up at 7:30 and them up at 8, again. I felt incredibly vindicated when Ananda told me she doesn't know what the big deal with reading was, and how she reads great, while we were doing school. I WAS SO DEAD ON ABOUT HER JUST NEEDING TO GET HER CONFIDENCE BACK, and this is the perfect system for that, between the copious, thorough and methodical review, and the slow advancement forward. "Spiraling", I think they call it. Barely missed a flooring person at the new house due to our cordless phone dying, my cell phone being lost, and general frustration about times - it was a lot of hectic planning all for nothing, and caused the kids to get the snack they were supposed to have here over there and make a huge ass mess (no dining table, no feeding seats, just strawberries and nutella as promised...) Only Laura and Brian showing up over there to keep me company and provide adult conversation kept me from losing my mind. We went to Game Night at Spellbound in the evening. After an initial good time for the first half hour, it got reeeeeeeeeally stressful as Jake and Elise were just into absolutely everything. I had no stroller with me and ended up leaving the big kids in the store and imposing timeouts for Jake in the van with Elise on my hip. No good, it was awful, and bedtime was later than I wanted it to be. Realized that I really will LOSE MY MIND if I don't have some hours to myself at night to break up the neverending mothering during the days, it makes a big difference for me. I didn't just suddenly go insane, I lost my coping skill when I started going down with the babies. Saturday
: Got up early despite later bedtimes, cursed these weeks that Grant has 4 12 hour shifts instead of 3. Was thrilled when Ananda asked to please, please do schoolwork today too? I got an email from my friend Jess, who lives down in Marathon, saying she unexpectedly got the whole weekend off from work and would love to come up here and hang out -! So we drove on down there and grabbed her. The ride up was fun, talking and laughing and catching up, and we stopped at a state park to let the kids run around and eat and play for awhile to break up the drive (it's about 2 hours each way). Then in the evening my sister called and said she was really, actually, definitely, no backing out singing at Open Mic Night, so we hit it over to Spellbound again...Grant met us there, done with work for another few days, and, well, she sang. It was dead, which was dissapointing, but honestly - I was blown away. I didn't know my sister could sing. I've never really heard her sing before. I was very afraid the honest critique she expected from me would be soul crushing :x I spent the first half of the first song looking into my lap so I wouldn't make her laugh or make her uncomfortable, thinking it was gonna suck to tell her that the vocal track was still on her cd and nobody could hear HER at all...but then I realized it was her I was hearing, when I looked up for the first time, which was WEIRD. That "real singer" sounding singing, was her. It was also fun to tell her, after she was done with her two songs, that she was being broadcast on the big speakers out front of the place and Grant could still hear her when he got to our van half a block away to change Elise.
I told her she had to buy Brian a book they sell called "Hands are not for Hitting" before she could bring him back to my house ;) and we laughed at Frank and Grant commiserating about the "I got up early for work and now my stir crazy wife is dragging me around town blues". Jess found some good used books for practically nothing and called my sister's voice "velvety". Sunday
was JAMP PACKED craziness: We were all up between 8 and 8:30 again, and G and I double-teamed a waffles, eggs and turkey bacon breakfast. I swept and swiffered, did the dishes and scrubbed the bathroom while he vaccumed and sorted/put away what has to have been at least 6 loads of laundry. He took Elise and spent a long time at Lowe's, asking questions, calling me to confer, and having me look up online reviews of products, while I cooked. I made (packaged) tortellini with some organic red sauce, totally from scratch brown and wild rice with wehani, cooked in broth and loaded with mushrooms and salt and a little butter, two loaves of banana bread and a pitcher of iced tea, and we took it all over to Kristin's house for Darien and Naja's joint potluck birthday pool party. G ended up staying here with Jake and Elise, who were napping, and Jess and I took Ananda, Aaron and Isaac over there. Highlights include:
-the snow cone machine
-laughing hysterically with Kristin about our kids' most recent antics
-feeling awkward because Jess didn't really feel a part of things, being childless and not knowing people - she didn't complain and said it was ok, but you know, once the person you brought to a social event is reading a book off in a corner it makes you feel bad
-Isaac being the star of the show with his little marked up belly in his swimming trunks...nobody could believe we just had ANOTHER hospital thing. Least of all me.
-Isaac nearly DROWNING when after an hour playing on the steps with A and A swimming nearby, he drifted off and I suddenly heard Aaron screaming, Mom! Isaac! Mom! Isaac!
Turning to look at him - not ten feet from where I was standing, mind you - the top of his head was at the surface of the water and his arms were working uselessly. So I dove into the pool fully dressed and fished him out, and he was hysterical because I grabbed him without considering his sore tummy :/ It wasn't until I was adjusting my dripping shirt and getting him a candy necklace to soothe his troubles that I realized the whole party had gone silent and then breathed a sigh of relief as they saw he was alright. I dried gradually over the next couple of hours :p
-He also managed to fall into her bathtub and bruise his arm while going to pee (?)
-the food I made was awesome, as was a lot of the other food.
-my finished belly cast looks good
-a total stranger held me by the arm and told me how great it is that Elise is doing so well and we're getting a house, because she reads the blog every day
-Kristin's very cool under-the-sea mural'd bathroom inspired us for the kids' bathroom. Annie is psyched.
We left there and all met up with Grant, Jake and Elise at Lowe's. There was some big sale ending yesterday that we've been watching, but forgot the deadline for. We ordered our dishwasher and double oven :D - both KitchenAid stainless steel - and our cooktop, and he bought a grill and his woodworking tools, as well as browsing flooring and countertop options, and fridges, and microwaves...I left A and A with him and took the younger 3 home with us.
Gave Jake and Elise an adorable bath. They are so, so good together, I melt. And the fat clean naked squish, oh my.
Once he was home, Jess and I went up to Wild Oats alone for his natural soda and non-refined sugar cookies, where I also found some great silvery lime green nail polish, and then hit it up to Barnes and Noble. This was a little before 10pm. I ended up buying the latest Elle, a really inspiring Crochet magazine, and the new Mothering, which has Ani Difranco on the cover with her daughter :D Also bought Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own
, because I've never gotten around to reading it, and I like keeping things like that around since we're homeschooling. I'm reading a LOT lately - in the bathroom, at the hospital, while I nurse people to sleep. Jess got her dad drumming and other specialty magazines for Father's Day, that aren't available down in the Keys.
And then we were home, reading HP to A and A again, laying with Annie for awhile because she was feeling down, getting Jake to sleep with Elise crawling on him, eating an amazing spinach salad full of warm chicken cooked in lots of olive oil with seasoned salt, in one big bowl Grant and I were sharing...
And today, Monday
: Waking up felt kind of...easy. Ananda and I planned her birthday cake and used my new nail polish on our fingers and toes, and then we woke up everyone else. Grant met with flooring people, and roofing people who say we DON'T need a new roof and that's ridiculous and the home inspector was right O_o I don't know what to think, obviously it would be great to save the money, how does one make this sort of call? I took all the kids up to Target with Jess, who really wanted to shop before she left as there is nothing like that down where she lives. She tried on clothes and picked through racks while I got a bunch of things I've been planning on getting -
-a handheld vac for the van, which is entirely too full of crumbs and/or sand all of the time
-a 4 cup glass measuring cup, since our old plastic one with the markings rubbed mostly away finally melted in the dishwasher
-springform pans for Ananda's special birthday cake
-divided trays for when I'm serving the kids buffet-style finger food lunches
-giant hair claw, since mine busted yesterday
-mini-loaf pans because that rocks
I nursed Elise and then Jake in the van, then G got in it and Jess, Ananda and I took the Prius to take Jess home. The ride down was hard...she's going through a lot of trouble with her bipolar meds, and just where she's at in her life, that make her pretty sensitive and emotional and I couldn't shake the feeling that it's become a little more of a gap between us, that I have a bunch of kids and a husband and she just feels alone in the world sometimes :/ It's seriously NEVER felt like an issue before, not since day 1 when I told her I was pregnant, back in 12th grade. But usually when she visits or I visit, it's a lot less "involved" with the whole family...me staying up late for many hours with her to watch movies and eat food, or going out alone with her. This was more like, what my sister gets. Me talking and trying to pay attention, but as I cook, sweep, bathe, change, etc - as long as you don't mind me not looking at you and 15 million interruptions, it's all good ;) I almost feel as though she maybe didn't realize the reality of what my day-to-day life actually is, and is alienated now, but I could be projecting that. We hugged and I'm sure we'll continue to write, I guess I just wish I could do more for her, and see her more often.
Ananda and I had a great time on the way back up. We stopped at the Dolphin Research Center together, and then had lunch and walked down to the ocean for a few minutes. I feel like she's practically in my lap sitting in the back of the Prius, it's so different than having her in the 3rd row of the van.
After catching up with G and tandem nursing my thrilled-to-see-me littlest ones, he took A and A to the batting cages, where they presumably are now?
Bedtimes have moved back from around 2 am to 11:30, so far, for Jake and Elise, and from around 12:30 to around 11, for the other 3. The babies are slower going because they make it up with naps during the day no matter what I do, especially with lots of van time. But we're getting there...I'd really like to get all five of them down by 10:30 tonight so I can start waking them up at 7:30 tomorrow morning...that is my goal time, that will make things like zoo camp, VBS and preschool seem far easier when they come around, and will hopefully make a 10 o'clock bedtime possible?
We've been doing GREAT with chores, Ananda tidies up the bathroom and puts away the clean dishes and Aaron clears anything that might be on the dining table, opens the blinds and takes out accumulated recycling, each morning. In the afternoon we have a general cleanup of common areas, mostly clutter, that includes Isaac and Jake, and then in the evening, Aaron closes blinds and takes out the next load of accumulated recycling, and Ananda clears the dining table (which is usually a formidable task in the evening...) I've fallen into a routine of cleaning up their room every morning while I'm in there waking them up and we're talking about plans for the day, that usually includes sending everyone out on their way with a pile of something - clothes, water cups, things to be thrown away, books that go in my room...
I got enough socializing, shopping and "out of the house" over the weekend, along with G helping so much, that my malaise of last week is mostly gone. I feel good again about just being here with my little family and and doing our thing.
Moving into this house feels a million years away. The people today who said we just need roof repair
, said they can START in 3 weeks :/ And we're waiting for that to be done to do other things, and...argh. It is just like extremely late pregnancy, when every day that actually brings you closer just makes you FEEL like you're further than ever before. ( a couple of mediocre pics of Isaac in the hospital, that I never had time to post )