Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Homeschool Files: Winged Things

It's that magical time of year again where the smell of school supplies overwhelms the senses and puts a smile on my face. I love school supplies, office gadgets and stationary. It's an instant stress buster for me. Perhaps I love them still since I don't have to purchase supplies from a list. I get to choose what we need. This year's exotic purchases were a notebook, graph paper and a 3 ring binder. We had everything else we needed from our previous years.

Our notebook is at the ready for little hands to practice in. The graph paper helps T-Bird hone in his crazy I'll write them anywhere math problems.

Me: Show me where you worked problem 12, T.
T: Umm....Right there in the middle of the page next to number 3.
Me: Ack!
But this post is not about notebooks or anything sit down schooly. {New word alert}
Nope, this is about our first field trip of the year. Woo-hoo! And best of all, Daddy was able to join us this time!!
On National Aviation Day, we went with some fellow homeschoolers to our local air museum. It was visually stimulating to the kids, as you might imagine. Brett and I need to go back on our own just so we can read all the different accounts and such. Fascinating stuff.
Eye candy for the kids:

Me: T, would you like to be in that kind of plane?
T: YA!
Me: Great.
Yep, looks like just the kind of contraption a mother would like her son to be inside.

Okay, Brett and T-Bird definitely have similar body postures.

This is reason 1,235 that I love my husband. He has such a wealth of knowledge--a little of this and a little of that. Brett just happens to be passionate about history and military information. Handy for this day.

Funny, funny. 3 year old pilots, anyone??!

People from all over the world have come to this museum...even from this little island ever so far away. Bizarre.

Soooooooo hhhhhotttttttt!
Run to the coolness of air conditioning!

Where a good day becomes great:
Something you should know about this little family is that we often take the back way home. A slower road, lonely highway is much more appealing than the busy-ness of the thoroughfare. You should also know that our truck is equipped for outdoor greatness at any time. Tackle, fishing poles, cooler, chairs, life preservers, buckets, nets, magnifying glasses, binoculars...Which makes a pull-over on the way home all the more enjoyable.
This pull-over started with Brett asking, "Do you want to stop by the lake and let the boys throw rocks for a while?" This should be interpreted as, "Honey, I smell water and would really like to drop my hook in for a little while."
Who will move first?

Trying really hard to be still.

Hoot asked permission to "let him go." Sweet boy, he really did stand there for what seemed like forever.

Moths and butterflies were all around. It was so neat to have them encircle us and just land and hang out for moments at a time. We could see so much of their details, even a close up look at its proboscis. Which lead to a review in pollinators and the different types of pollinators for different types of flowers. Just wonderful!
What you may not see is tens and tens of butterflies and moths on the ground. We would walk through and they would just fly up all around. On the ground, they just look like rocks.

Caterpillars were all around.

Jumpy frog....

That my kid really wanted to catch....
This butterfly seemed to lead our every move. It finally landed and let me snap a picture.

What a beautiful field trip of a day!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Calico Critters It Is

Here I sit at 23 weeks pregnant, and I wonder how did we get here? A little over 10 weeks ago, I was really starting to wonder if I would make it through this pregnancy at all. I've always had a pretty good case of morning sickness with every pregnancy, but this one---well, it was so different. I was so dizzy that I couldn't even drive, Brett became the mother for a while, and I held down the couch for a good month or so while wearing ever so stylish motion sickness bands.
And weird things would make me nauseous--like the color of my sheets. They are a dark brown and I love them. Yet the sight of them was vomitous. Yes, vomitous. (I think I made that word up) Which is why I didn't sleep in my own bed. I was craving crisp white sheets...??!!...No, I didn't go out and buy new sheets, mostly because I couldn't drive myself to the store. But we'll pretend that it was because I'm not impulsive. No, not impulsive at all. That's why I threw away our plunger because it grossed me out at around 9 weeks pregnant...and two days later Hoot used a whole role of toilet paper for his tiny bum. Guess what bathroom tool I needed...Yes, I don't give in to impulsive behavior. I am always level headed.

I can tell you that when I found out that I was pregnant, I didn't immediately hope for a girl like I had with the previous babies. My first thought was a prayer of protection over my growing baby. When we found out that we were pregnant with our fourth baby I prayed protection and for a girl. I wonder sometimes if my gender side of the prayer was stronger than the protection side. I know I couldn't have prevented that miscarriage, but it has shaped quite a bit of my thoughts and personal growth over the last 2 years. With this baby I just wanted a baby in 9 months. Does that make sense? Sure a girl would be icing on the top, but I didn't 'have to have' her.

My mom's first reaction was, "This is our baby girl!" I remember shushing her and saying something like, "And if it's not, he'll be awesome like the other three." Brett also seemed to be convinced that we were having a girl as well. Which annoyed me because I was trying to stay emotionally detached. Seriously, I was not going to get wrapped up in that again.

I can tell you that I had been praying in the months preceding our pregnancy that if God gave us another child that she be a healthy baby girl. I would plead with God to hear my voice and to answer my heart's desire. After our miscarriage, I was so thankful to have my boys that I tried to convince myself that it would be okay if I never had my baby girl. And it worked for about a year and then it came back stronger and stronger.

So, before Brett and I were ever together I would pray for our time together to be blessed and if a baby were to come about that we would conceive a girl. No, we were not trying. But considering that we conceived a baby with less than a 1% chance of doing so with Hoot...I always pray about babies.

Which brings us to the ultrasound at 17 weeks. I had prayed that if we were not having a girl that God give me a dream just as he had previously with the boys, but I had been having girl dreams. I even dreamed how much she weighed, very detailed dreams. {I'm not sure how much stock I put in that since I've also dreamed about riding on the hood of the pizza delivery guy's car in Little Rock before}

As we arrived at our appointment, there was such a calm among the family. We had the same ultra-sound tech as we had in the past. She refers to all babies as he until she finds out otherwise. It didn't bother me this time. The boys were so, so excited to see the baby in my belly. T immediately put in a request for his own sonogram machine so he could 'look at his insides' whenever he wanted.

On the screen, the baby looks so big and Hoot was thrilled and said, "I will hold it in a minute." As if the baby were to come out at anytime. Brett and I later discussed and realized we both had this same thought, It's okay if we have a boy. Our boys are awesome. We do boys well. And that's when the tech said, I think I know what you are having. It's a girl. Me with tears: You think I could have a girl??!!

So there we were excited and out of our comfort zone. You would think that we would shout it from the roof tops. But I found myself in a quiet and processing the newness of it all. A girl.

Then when we finally told people, some of our friends and family said the dreaded words, Are you sure? Oh, come on!! Really??
You should also understand that I had looked up gender identification photos online as soon as we got home to compare. A call to my cousin in Little Rock who is a sonogram tech led to us traveling to LR for a second ultra-sound. AND it's a GIRL! For real! With a perfect girl sign and view to see her umbilical cord as well. There are no extra pieces.
Praising the Lord for answering my prayer and heart's desire.

Special shout out to those who have journeyed with me through the years and have also prayed for us to have a daughter and believing that we one day would. Thanks to those who listened to me sort through my thoughts in that first trimester. I have the best support and friends.
So here she is:

She's beautiful and loves to relax. She even gave us a wave then propped her leg up and touched her finger to her chin. Such a silly, sweet girl already.
We are so blessed and so thankful.........and in a new world. A good world. A world full of possibilities and finally----Calico Critters!!!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Writing Motherhood: Entry 1

I started a little exercise over the past year--I have been keeping Motherhood Journals. I'm not good at journaling, especially chronologically or even daily. I have beaten myself up for years because I don't record every stinkin' milestone that my kiddos have achieved. No, there is no time, date, place, smell for all of that. And then one day I realized, that's okay. I'm not that mom....I'm me. And I'm pretty good at it. My Writing Motherhood entries come from just a thought or even a picture, it may be today or 3 years ago, or perhaps it's my childhood view of motherhood. Regardless, I'm taking time to write almost daily on my time line on my thoughts. It's a good thing. I thought I'd start sharing an entry a week. Perhaps that's too structured in itself...We shall see. So, without further ado, typos, fragment sentences, in and out of tenses and all--here is a look into my Writing Motherhood. It's like reading my mind: be warned.

Sorting boxes of junk in the garage. Geez, it's hot! Why am I sorting the garage during the dog days of summer??!! Sort, sort, sort. Trash, trash, trash....What?...Treasure. How did this get out here? It's T-Bird's photo flip book of pictures from his birth. How many times have I flipped through this? I know and remember every detail of that time.

How I wanted to meet that kid! Brett and I were both so excited to meet him. We were so full of joy we even goofed around in the parking lot--maybe that wasn't joy--maybe we were and are just weird. Teasing and posing for pictures. We were going to get a baby that day! The world was about to become an amazing place.

Golly, I was tiny. I'm wearing a stinkin' medium sized regular t-shirt at 41 weeks pregnant. Oh, to go back 8 years...I'll not think of that now. Ya, I'll pull a Scarlet O'Hara, I'll think of it tomorrow.

Jack Johnson's Brushfire Fairytales playing in the background.

In that moment, we became a family.

Brett looks so handsome. I love the way he wears his watch. A watch certainly makes a man more attractive. The way he holds the baby and looks at him.
Haha, this is before he could grow full on facial hair. Now, he's a burly, hairy guy. Hahahaha, not really, but it's definitely humorous to me.

Brett just fell in love with a tiny bundle.

The nurse enters with my baby boy. "He's hungry, Momma." Without even thinking of how to do it, I held my baby to my breast and the little wolverine latched on perfectly. We did it! Truly a hungry baby. He snorted and shook his head back and forth--quite ravenous. I had to giggle.
And there I was, a nursing momma!!

Flip. Photo. Flip. Ya, I remember those days. And then the photo that cracked me up. Looked at it a hundred times, yet today it strikes me as the most intriguing. How young I was. How uncertain yet entirely certain all at once.

Except for this! How do you put clothes on a baby??!!!

Oh my! Help!!
I'm trying little baby.
Okay, this and that goes here...maybe--My you are a squiggly wiggly thing!

Okay, there! Got it! Yes, the baby is now wearing socks! I did it!!

Now to put this thing on him. Okay, but I don't want to move his head too much...and these arms keep moving....What am I going to do??? Laugh and laugh again.

Good one. Thanks for snapping that picture, Mom.

Oh, wait...Momma, can you dress my baby??

And like a good Momma/Nanna. She did. She dressed my baby in his going home outfit.

The beginning...
What a beautiful beginning.
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