Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pookie's Stitches...

I have never broken a bone. I never had to go to the hospital or gotten stitches, until I was an adult. Watching my little baby go through it was NOT fun. Actually, to be fair, letting my DH watch her go through it was not fun. I had to watch all the lead up to getting the stitches; I knew I would break down if I had to watch them put them in. So, here is the story from my perspective, with some insight from my DH, as well.

I was up washing the dishes that never seem to get done, and I had a thought, “I should play with the girls.” Then I thought, “No, I have not finished the dishes once this week! We only have 15 minutes until we have to leave to pick Little Man up, it would be silly not to finish them now." About five minutes later, I heard the thump and the cry. My baby had fallen off the arm of a chair face first into the floor (…talk about Mommy Guilt!) One look and I thought, “She needs stitches!” I frantically im-ed my DH and had him go to pick up Little Man while the rest of us went to the ER.

I think I was 7 the last time I had to go to an Emergency Room. I don’t remember it. However, I knew, from others’ stories that you wait a long time. So, I wanted to get there ASAP to make sure that we got in line. Pookie had calmed down on the way to the ER, only occasionally saying, “Ow,” as if remembering she had a boo-boo. We got to the ER at 11:09 and they did not see us until 12:30 (not that bad of a wait on paper…but torture for me!) I knew that if she needed stitches, the worst was still ahead. She, however, was running around like a crazy baby, happy as anything –not really complaining at all. When DH got there, he said, "That doesn't look that bad!" I had to agree - with the swelling going down it didn't look as bad. I thought we might dodge the bullet. When they washed out the wound, however, we could again see how deep the cut was and the doctor confirmed that her lip would have to be sewn up.

While they gave my DH some anesthetic to put in the wound, I took my stuff and the older two while he stayed with her. Truthfully, I don’t know which place was worse. I stood outside the door straining to hear, biting my thumb and trying not to cry. My DH said, “If she was scared, she didn’t really show it, though she was probably a little nervous. More like, ‘I wonder what’s gonna happen next?’” Pookie whimpered a little during the first stitch, but no crying. By the time they finished the first stitch, though, she was pretty sure she didn’t want to be there. So, during the break between the two stitches, the nurses tried to distract her with talk about stickers, so when he was getting ready to do stitch 2, she was asking for a sticker. The second stitch was worse because she could feel it a little, so she started to cry; but he worked quickly, so it was over fast. As soon as they let her get up, she stopped crying and was able to go with my DH and was a happy camper again.

This little girl amazes me. She cried a little, but stayed still. Once it was over, she bounced right back. On that first day, she would point at her lip and say, “My boo-boo” but it really hasn’t slowed her down at all. I have not been quite so resilient. Every time she jumps around, or spins until she is so dizzy she falls over, or whatever other crazy activities she decides are fun that day, I am on edge. I have been especially sensitive to Princess being reckless in her play with Pookie. Even leaving her in the nursery at church on Sunday was nerve-wracking. I tend to be a little protective as it is, so anytime my babies get hurt I am on high alert. I am so grateful that she is so calm and easy going about it. I think that is God's grace to me! She will still show me where it is if I ask her, but she doesn't really seem to notice it other than that. The real test will be on Thursday when they come out. Ahhh…to think it is not really over, yet!

Here are some pictures of my brave little girl with her emerging black and blue face. The bruising is getting worse, but her lip is looking better! Gotta look on the bright side. =0)

Day One: Chocolate Ice Cream for Lunch!

Day One, after lunch.

Day Two: Playing with Mommy's iPod.

Day 3: Pookie's solution to her bruising problem.

Day 3: Bruising is getting worse...

...but Pookie is as cute as ever!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschooling...

I am getting really excited for my next year of homeschooling. I think this is a good sign. We are still a little behind for this year, so I have felt a little stressed the last few weeks. But, the relative pain of getting back into the routine of school is overshadowed by how much the kids have learned! My overall goal for the year was to see what homeschooling would be like and whether I thought this was something that would “work” for us. Boy has it! I was not expecting to cover as much information as we have. We have had a great year. I think I have learned as much as the kids have. As I look to the future, there are a few things I think I am going to try to remember.

First, the Sonlight curriculum we are using is there to provide a general flow for the year. It is not LAW, it is a guide. They tell you this, of course, but I think I am getting used to what to include and what to skip. I say that now, but I know that “what to include” will likely look completely different next year. That is okay, though. We have the flexibility to make those decisions as we go. We can see what is working and what is not and use it to our best advantage.

Second, children need to be able to work with distractions, so I don’t need Pookie to be quiet in the corner during school time! At the beginning of this year, I definitely made sure that Pookie had her own area to play in, both by herself and with big brother. I wanted to make sure that Princess had enough time to work without any other activity in the room. This is not so easy to do anymore. Pookie is growing and is the type of personality that wants to be where the action is. When Little Man is home, that is fine. She can follow him around and play with him. However, when he is at Preschool, that does not happen. I have come to realize, though, that these built-in distractions are actually good for Princess. She is going to have distractions in education – home or otherwise. So, it is good for her to get acclimated to that now.

Third - Planning is ESSENTIAL! This year, I would plan each week what work we were going to do. Then, as I got used to it, I would plan three weeks ahead. This coming year, I think I am going to plan much more ahead than that. The things that I was able to plan enabled us to continue doing some of our schooling while we were traveling. (We took 4 road trips from January to April!) However, there were many things that we could have worked in that would have made our catching up time now much easier. I think it also would have helped on the days when we got done early. We could have done some of the more fun activities on those days. (What a great reward that would have been for being hard working!)

Finally, of the BEST things I did this year was to make as many things as possible printable.
  • I made a copy of the Instructor's Guide (IG) pages that I would write on so that I could write as many notes as I wanted without having to erase anything to use it again or to sell it later.
  • I purchased a series of handwriting fonts that allows me to make handwriting practice pages, so I can just print what I need when I need it instead of having to use the ones from the IG.
  • I came up with a weekly schedule of the times we actually do school activities so I can see where each subject fits in our day. I put the schedule into Excel and am able to see what from the IG is going to reasonably fit into the time we have. This has been especially good for the “catching up” time, since we are WAY ahead in reading, but need to catch up on reading in other subjects. It allows me to move History/Geography and Science into places we would have been reading stories. The great thing about that right now is that the kids love reading all of it, so they don’t care. *smile*

When I found that we were behind after all the travel we ended up doing, I was a little overwhelmed. However, as I got back into the habit of planning, I realized we were not as far behind as I thought. Then I realized that it really didn’t matter anyway. When I look at our learning journey as a marathon, instead of a sprint, I realize that it doesn’t matter whether we “finish” our school year in May or August – we will be doing some sort of learning activity anyway. The funny thing is this: we get more done when I worry less about the time line because we are all having fun together. Our box of books for next year is on its way…I can’t wait to read the first one. I bet we will start this summer, and I bet it will be because the kids asked to get into the books!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blogging Guidelines

I have found putting an entry in here to be rather difficult. It is not for a lack of things to say…I am pretty verbose in my life - just ask anyone that knows me. Rather, it is because I am really afraid of having this written record of my opinions and stories. I am very opinionated by nature, and am usually very passionate about my views. There are some views and convictions I will never change and will never apologize for. However, there are also many times that I have put my convictions ahead of caring for people. This has happened more times than I care to admit, and I wish that I had been more sensitive in how I communicate so that I can express my views without attacking people who disagree with me.

There is also the matter of the kids. Many mommies who blog write everything their children do. I do want to share stories about them, and there are some funny ones. However, as I sat to write the first few stories, I realized that they did not share the things I love about my kids. I want to write about them, but I also want to honor them. There are some things that I don’t think I will ever share because it would not honor who they are. They have struggles, as all of us do, but those are not the things that people need to know about them. That goes for my husband, too. I think that far too often we take those closest to us for granted and complain about the little things they do without realizing how often we do the very same things. If there are struggles that need to be written about, they should be mine.

So, what to write about…I am starting to get a groove for that. I want to write what I am passionate about, but remain humble. I want to write about my family, and honor them in the process. I want to write about my struggles, so that others may be encouraged in their own. I am really thankful for these guidelines, and I believe God gave them to me for direction and protection. When I think of them, I am really glad I have not entered anything, yet. I feel this is really the best first entry I could have. I look forward to the journey that my life is taking me on. I hope to share it in an honest way. This is me…