Monday, July 22, 2013

A New Adventure

I have a lot of trouble keeping up with the blog. I am probably just not a very good blogger. Thankfully, this is mostly a record for my children anyways.

Things have been going decently over here. We are still doing some very very light school as we got behind in January. Most days consist of working through the math books that aren't finished yet. Every once in a while I will add in some reading as well, but because of summer and wanting to get a break in for myself, it is very easy to finish math and just be done for the day so that we can get in the pool or go play with friends or catch up on some much needed house cleaning.

The kids are having a pretty good summer. We get in our small pool often. I would like to see us on the bike path that we live near a bit more, but my bike trailer hasn't made it here to the new house yet and I don't really want to leave Simon home all alone with mom and dad in case he decides to climb out of his crib. He is a busy one and keeps us all on our toes for sure. I do not want to put them through that! LOL. He is "All boy". He does however have a baby doll that he likes to carry around. It was Sophie's but when Simon took such a strong liking to it, Sophie decided to give it to him. I encourage the play because I am using it to teach him how to be gentle with babies. He is so sweet with the doll. He holds it and strokes its face and kisses it and shares his pacifier with it. He loves babies and points and giggles whenever one comes on tv or he sees one in the store. I can hardly wait to see him with his baby brother or sister.

Dad continues to have good days and bad days, but for the most part, the days are steady at least. Dad tries to get outside for a walk a couple of times per day and he naps a lot. I think he is doing as well as he possibly can be doing for someone in the later stages of Parkinson's disease. The hardest part for sure is that it comes with Dementia, and while his is mostly well controlled with medication, there are some days that are harder than others. And the days that he realizes he is having a hard time are the hardest ones for him I think. Dementia is cruel.

I am now 15 and a half weeks pregnant and have just begun to feel the little butterfly wiggling around in there. I feel like the baby is a girl, but I also felt that way very strongly about Simon, and Simon is definitely a boy! The first trimester was tough on me as usual, with plenty of nausea and exhaustion and just not feeling like doing a whole lot of anything, but my energy is making a comeback now and for the most part I feel okay. We have to decided to not find out if this baby is a boy or a girl before he or she is born. It is going to be a long 25 weeks!  We have also decided to not share our name choices this time. I think that will be fun. We aren't even telling the kids, because we know our secret will not be a secret for very long if we do that. Rebecca thinks that if its a girl, we ought to name her "Elliott". I have not ever been much for gender neutral names for my own children, but I thought it was cute that she thought of that name on her own. Sophie thinks "Rosa" for a girl. She names her stuffed animals "Rosa" too. Andrew likes Joey for a boy and Matthew doesn't really have an opinion. Neither does Simon.  At least I don't think so. He doesn't talk yet though. LOL.

The biggest news of the day is that we have decided to send our children to school in the fall. Matthew, Andrew, Rebecca, and Sophie will be attending a small charter school in our community. It was a difficult decision with many factors involved, but the biggest one being that with my extra responsibilities, I am finding it increasingly difficult to sit down and teach academics every day. While I still have the time to homeschool (I am home everyday and dad doesn't need much daily care), I was finding that I just didn't have the mental strength to do it anymore. Homeschooling is certainly not easy. It takes a great deal of discipline and fortitude, and I was finding most days that it just wasn't in me. And I am not one to simplify and take it easy. That works for many homeschoolers when they run into rough seasons, but I know it wouldn't work for me. As it was, since moving here, we have simplified and gone down to basics, and even that was becoming too much for me.

The best decision for the upcoming school year is to send them. It is not a decision that I have made for the rest of their school career, and if things go wrong there, I won't hesitate to bring them back home, but for now I am looking forward to a release of pressure in this area of academics. I am looking forward to a hopefully more clean house. I am looking forward to one on one time with Simon and hours of holding a newborn without the pressure of knowing that school wasn't completed that day. While I believe it is the best decision for us, it was not an easy decision at all. I have wanted to homeschool my children pretty much since having children. Much of my identity was wrapped up in being a Homeschooling mom. I have loved spending every day with my kids.. lazy pancake breakfasts in the middle of the week. Comfy clothes all winter.. AVOIDING the cold of winter almost completely..  Just talking and being together with them every day.  Our daily "tea time" in the colder months.  This won't be an easy transition for me at all. I know I will miss them greatly. Probably more than I realize even now.  It is going to be so hard to not change my mind. I am committing until Christmas anyways.

So there's the update. I think I might have to change the name of my blog now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Big Changes and Great Expectations

Well hello there. It has been months since my last entry. I am afraid I am not very good at this blogging thing, but even so, I am not ready to give up. A lot has gone on since my last entry at the end of October, so here are some updates.

A few years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. They began treatment, and life went on almost as normal for a long time. But as is always the case with Parkinson's disease, things began to go downhill and daily life was beginning to be more challenging for my parents. Then, this past December, things really went downhill. Dad got sick. Really sick. He was in and out of hospitals and rehab centers for about two months straight and on a couple of occasions I was convinced that he would not be around much longer. While in the hospital, he seemed to develop dementia, which sometimes comes with Parkinsonism. He also mostly lost the ability to walk. Things were not looking good. He would need a lot of care once he came home, so our family made some big changes.

In the middle of January, our family packed up and moved in with my mom and dad. They have a pretty big house, so we were able to create a little apartment for them with their own living room and bedroom and full bathroom. The doors are open a lot, but they also are free to close them to get away from the kids noise whenever they need.

There were a lot of adjustments at first for everyone involved, but sure enough we are figuring out our dance and how to combine these two households, and dad is a lot better than he was when he was in the hospital and rehab center. Dementia still visits us, but it is not to the degree that it was in the hospital. The Parkinsons has also improved since coming home. He is walking without a walker and doing things for himself that he had lost the ability to do  (like make his own coffee or toast). Last week he even got outside to do some minor yard work. He has always had beautiful flower beds in the front and back and he wants to keep those up. It makes me smile to see him working outside. How far he has come. Those scary days in the hospital are behind us for now.

Homeschooling has been going alright. It took a good long while to get back into a groove. We took a lot of time off in January and February because it was just too much to adjust and try and keep schedule. When we started back up, we did basics only and are pretty much still on basics with a few readings per week (instead of per day) added in.  I will slowly add in more over time. Because we took so much time off during the winter months, we will definitely be schooling throughout the summer.  Right now we are working on catching up on the 3 R's so that we will be at grade level in the fall.

Great Expectations! It looks as though we will be having a new baby this winter.  It was unexpected yet not surprising (as usual).  Of course, I will feel better once I have gotten to that magical 12 week mark where it is socially acceptable to let the news out, but we have told pretty much our entire inner circle. Whats a few more people going to hurt? I am hoping and believing for some wonderful brightness in the middle of the darkest month of the year.