May 2016

May couldn’t have been a more perfect month to precede my due date. So many fun milestones to look forward to that helped the month fly by. The first weekend was Mother’s Day. David encouraged our little perfectionist to try and spell the words for my card himself. This was the precious, I’m-keeping-it-forever, result:

Caleb and I holding hands. He even put little sister in my belly❤

A larger version of little sister. Note that he deliberately drew her head down😀

In general, Caleb has just been amazing me with his maturity and love this month:

  • One morning, he spilled a bunch of crumbs in the living room. Pushing down the  annoyance I felt, I told him I’d help him vacuum in a few minutes. His response, “Actually Mommy, I’ll feel better if I vacuum now. I’ll let you know if I need help.” He then proceeded to get out the vacuum and do it all on his own❤
  • Later the same day, I waddled my 37 week pregnant body through the grocery store, when Caleb asked, so sweetly, “Mom, could we please get these special star wars crackers?” They were on a good sale, so I told him we could get 2, one for him to eat today and one to eat when he comes to visit baby sister in the hospital. “Oh thank you mommy. I’m glad I’ll have one for the hospital. That way, if you’re in pain, I will have something to give you to make you feel better.” Clean up in aisle 9…mom’s heart is in a puddle on the floor…

The next weekend, David and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. SEVEN. It seems unbelievable to me that so much time has gone by. One thing I can say for sure is, it’s been a lot easier to deal with all the challenges pregnancy brings through year 6 than it was through year one! I’m thankful that overall this pregnancy has been easier on me than my first and I’ve been able to be more “myself” in so many ways, but a lot has still fallen on him and it’s reminded me all over again what a treasure I married.

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1st Anniversary!

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Babies!

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7th Anniversary!

We are definitely more stylish in our old age😉

Last, but definitely not least, we celebrated the end of our first year of homeschooling. I could (and probably will) write an entire post reflecting on our experience this year, but the short version is- it went better than I ever could have imagined and was such a great fit for our family. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be mommy/teacher to this little guy!

Reading to his Granny and Grandpa over skype <3

Reading to his Granny and Grandpa over skype❤

End of school ice cream celebration!

End of school ice cream celebration!

This month went by so quickly, I can barely believe I’m 39 weeks tomorrow. I’m savoring this last bit of time with baby girl in my belly. Her little kicks, hiccups, and rolls are all so precious to me. I can’t wait to share her with her dad and big brother, but for now, I’m enjoying these special days. The hospital bags are packed, the car seat is installed, the nursery is ready- now we just pray for a safe delivery and wait for her to come.

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April 2016

Knowing how busy March was going to be, my goal was to have our schedule gradually wind down during the month of April, with only the essentials going on in May. All in all, I’d say it worked out pretty well.

Caleb finished his last swim lessons early in the month. We were so proud of him conquering his fear of jumping in! David got to come to his final class and Caleb proudly demonstrated jumping into the 11ft. side over and over again. I didn’t take any pictures, just savored the moment.

We also used “extra” time this month to wrap up the final items left on our “before baby” to-do list. After the nausea cleared up, I wrote a list detailing what I’d like to get done month-by-month. I can’t believe how prepared we are for this baby. This month, I put away freezer meals, scrubbed up baby equipment, washed more baby laundry, cleaned out the upstairs and deep freezers, and packed our hospital bag.

A sweet friend gave me her pre-consignment-sale shopping pass and I was able to get a great deal on clothes we’ll need for little girl’s first year. Seeing all those little outfits made her seem so real! Another friend gave us her infant car seat since ours had expired. When Caleb saw it, he exclaimed, “Oh my! I’ve been hoping to see that soon! I know who that is for. Little sister!” Other than purchasing a few items we still need- we’re ready…and 100% more prepared than we were for Caleb’s arrival, haha.

After all that work, we decided to cancel dinner one night and go to Red Robin for kids night (one of Caleb’s favorite things). As we sat there, it hit me that this is probably one of our last outtings as a family of 3. That is still so surreal to me.

This was also the month the bump started growing at an impressive rate:

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32 Weeks

33 Weeks

33 Weeks

34 Weeks

34 Weeks

36 Weeks

35 Weeks

By the end of the month, David looked over one night and said,

“Your side of the bed looks like one of Caleb’s pillow forts.”

😀

Despite a few aches and pains though, I am feeling so good. It’s been such a blessing to be able to savor and enjoy this time. Even when I’m having trouble sleeping, I just feel so at peace, like I could lie there all night just feeling her little movements and being amazed that this is all happening. I’m sure it helps that the second time around, my expectations for sleep in the 3rd trimester and much more realistic:)

Caleb has also been key to making the time fly for me. He’s always loved history, but this month he took a particular interest in the American Revolution/Early American History time periods:

C: “Do you know what a peace treaty is?”
Me: “Tell me about it.”
C: “It’s where both sides promise not to fight anymore. What do you think would happen if only one side signed it?”
Me: “It doesn’t seem like that would work.”
C: “Right, because if only one side signed, it would be like they retreated!”

C: “Do you know what peace treaty ended the 7 years war?”
Me: “No, tell me.”
C: “The Treaty of Paris!”

I had to google that to double check him. Keeping up with this kid, mentally and physically, is a full time job…and I love it so much❤

Of course, he’s also devoting plenty of brain space to building lego starwars fighters and defending the galaxy😀

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Caleb loves making up Star Wars stories and telling them to his baby sister❤

Flying a ship with his BFF. Behind the blanket is the "cargo hold". They built it all themselves <3

Flying a ship with his BFF. Behind the blanket is the “cargo hold”. They built it all themselves❤

March 2016

I will almost certainly remember March as my very favorite month in this entire pregnancy. It started off with a visit to Florida to attend a friend’s long awaited wedding. Not only was their ceremony a wonderful reminder of Christ’s love for us reflected in the covenant of marriage, it was an unexpected opportunity of seeing many people who had been special to us during our college years and as we were falling in love with one another. So many great memories!

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We also got to use the trip to sneak in some precious time with my parents and some of David’s extended family.

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A couple weeks later, we had more friends come to visit:

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Little girl was finally big enough that Caleb and David could easily feel her kick and squirms and I got to watch them fall just as in love with her as I have these past few months. Caleb especially began seeing me less as his mommy and more as the vehicle for his baby sister, as I learned upon returning home from the grocery store one afternoon:

Caleb: *charging down the stairs* “Where is she?!?” (His customary words for asking what part of my belly is most lumpy at that moment)

Me: *Points indistinctly* “She’s pretty much everywhere these days, buddy.”

Caleb: *gives my belly a multitude of kisses* Then, in his most appealing voice, “Ok little sister, time to come upstairs now…”

He didn’t speak to me the entire time😀 But I am totally fine for being merely a vehicle for his new best friend, at least temporarily:)

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In addition to continuing swimming lessons, we also went roller skating this month. Well, Caleb and David did. The belly and I stayed on the sidelines.

IMG_5009 IMG_5012 IMG_5046And, as if the month hadn’t been full enough already, we celebrated Easter. Making resurrection rolls on Easter morning together has become a tradition. I love how simple it is and how meaningful the visual of the tomb being empty has been for Caleb.

IMG_5943 IMG_5946 IMG_5952 IMG_5953We also had a little egg-hunt fun at our house. I’m reminded yet again how much I absolutely love this age.

IMG_5890 IMG_5894 IMG_5914Definitely a great start to the first month of my last trimester.

February 2016

Already a short month, our February flew by. The first week, I hosted a freezer meal prep party with a few friends. I created a facebook group, posted a link to the recipes, everyone brought their ingredients and I provided some snacks. We all snacked, visited and prepped freezer-to-crockpot meals for about 3 hours. David sweetly washed up cutting boards in between recipes so we could all get done even faster. It was so much fun and I would love to do it again!

After that, David had a 2 week trip for work in the center of the month. Caleb and I spent the first week here staying in our normal routine of homeschooling and co-op.

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It’s probably silly, but one of the things I was most worried about when it came to homeschooling was Caleb missing out on moments like this. Love that we still get to celebrate Valentines with his Co-op “class”.

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This year is North American artists at Co-Op. This is 5 year old Jackson Pollock😀

The next week, we packed up his books and headed across the state to visit friends in NJ. They made our visit so special and fun. It felt like the shortest 2 week trip ever!

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Movie Night!

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First time on a hockey rink. He loooved it!

When we got back, we savored our first weekend together as a family by tackling Baby sister’s room together! I finally threw out many of the things that had been to painful for me to clean out during our infertility years (almost used up tube of Desitin anyone?), cleaned out things of Caleb’s that had migrated in there, and began washing up baby laundry. Caleb took one look at the first load and said, “Mommy, why are all her clothes pink?” Hahahaha.

A generous gift from our NJ friends- all the NB-3 month clothes we could need!

A generous gift from our NJ friends- all the NB-3 month clothes we could need!

Caleb started swimming lessons, which was a fun addition to our homeschool routine and gave him some much needed exercise during the last of the chilly months.

February was my last month in the 2nd trimester and I finished it off by passing my gestational diabetes test- a little too well, in fact, as my blood sugar ended up dipping too low rather than too high- something I’ve had to be careful about this pregnancy. Thankfully though, I squeaked by as “not anemic” this time around and overall felt better than in my first pregnancy. So thankful for the Lord’s mercies!

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January 2016

We rang in the new year while visiting David’s family. So many great memories!

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The boys put on an impromptu musical for us :D

The boys put on an impromptu musical for us😀

I’m glad I had such a wonderful trip to distract me, because the day after we got back was our anatomy scan. Both David and I couldn’t wait to find out if Caleb would have a brother or a sister. I’d felt boy from the beginning and David had just as strongly felt girl. The morning of the scan, David felt a kick for the first time. Everything started feeling so real…and then when we learned we were having a girl and saw her precious profile for the first time…tears!

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January was also the first month Caleb was able to feel his little sister kick. I feel like I could see his bond with her grow each day. It was this month that he made up a little song for her that he still spontaneously sings her every so often:

“Oh little siiister, I lo-ooo-ooo-ve you.

I hope you grow healthy and stroooong.”

Here’s an excerpt from my journal on Jan. 24th:

Caleb woke up so full of love for me and his baby sister. When I came out, he started hugging me and kissing my belly over and over and telling me how much he loves me and loves little sister. It makes my heart so full.

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I always love the start of a new year. I didn’t make any resolutions, but I was looking forward to using my newfound energy and lack of nausea to get back into a routine, both with homeschool and housekeeping. As we drove back from visiting family, I jotted down a loose daily schedule for both Caleb and I. Mine included a daily block of time to tackle basic things like dishes, wiping down counters and laundry as well as weekly time to lesson plan. His included daily chore time in addition to homeschooling and rest time. Just adding a little bit more structure to our day and week, instead of trying to fit things in here and there, has made a HUGE difference (and is still working as of March!). I know it will all go out the window for a while after baby comes- and that’s ok, but I love that we have something to tweak and go back to.

After we finished homeschooling one day Caleb randomly said, “Mommy, can you please click the banner so I can learn more?” I was totally lost.
“What banner buddy?”
“I don’t know!”
“Well, where did you see it?”
“I didn’t see it. They told us to click it. I think they said on WordFM.org”.

@_@ They are *always* listening…and remembering!

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And of course, I can’t end the post without an honorable mention to “Snowmageddon” where we got our entire winters worth of snow in one storm.

And of course, I can't end the post without an honorable mention to "Snowmageddon" where we got our entire winters worth of snow in one storm.

December 2015

As I’m sure everyone can relate to, December was a blur of busy wonderfulness. I was so thankful to be in the 2nd trimester and have energy to be a part of it all (with some naps…haha). We decorated the tree, read the story of Jesus’ birth as we set up the nativity, went caroling, made ornaments, read books and drank hot cocoa.

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Date Night- Handel's Messiah

Date Night- Handel’s Messiah

On top of the usual festivities, David had to leave town for a work trip, during which time I was rear-ended at a stop light. I was able to stay fairly calm at the scene because I was focused on reassuring the driver who had hit us that I was ok and I knew God had a plan for this baby, and, no matter what, it was ok. On the phone with the OB 30 minutes later everything caught up to me and tears fell down my face. Caleb was still in the car with me at that point and just kept telling me, “I love you mommy.” He prayed that night that God would heal our baby. We were so grateful the next day to hear our little one’s heart beat and know all was well.

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After we realized she was ok, I was hoping to get a sneak peek of gender since she was 15 weeks along. No such luck. She kept her little bottom toward me the entire time. The OB tried to get a measurement for me, but “She’s moving too much.” Haha. That’s how we make them- wigglers😉

Ironically, even before the accident, we had been planning to replace my car. I was still driving my first car, and with 220K miles on it, it had minor issues on the last 2 trips to FL and we were ready for something a little more reliable. It was hard saying good bye to the car that took me to my first job, was our wedding get away car (despite having a missing mirror at the time, lol), brought our son home from the hospital and drove us back and forth on the 1000 mile trip to FL innumerable times, but it was time. It’s now blessing a young man who is working his way through college, just as the finances for it were given to me by an elderly neighbor who I miss dearly. I love my new mom-mobile and am so thankful for it, but I’ll never forget my first car❤.

Best picture I could find of it without extensive searching. Note the missing mirror- bless it's heart. Memories <3

Best picture I could find of it without extensive searching. Note the missing mirror- bless it’s heart. Memories❤

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First camping trip! Needless to say, I don’t think we’d have room to camp with a 2nd child in the back seat😉

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Trunk space was getting a bit tight too:)

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Suburu Outback- station wagon meets small SUV. Great gas mileage, tons of truck space and ample legroom for a little boy who is going to be a big boy long before his mommy is ready!

Other random anecdotes from our month:

Caleb: “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a slide going down the to basement and a ladder coming up?!?
Me: “It would be fun, but a lot harder to do laundry, don’t you think?”
Caleb: “Yeah, it would be better if we were like sailors and got to sleep in our clothes. Then we wouldn’t have any laundry!”

Bahahahaha

I served tortellini for dinner one night. Apparently it had been a while. Caleb acted like they were the most incredible thing he’d ever seen and kept asking me, “Have you *ever* had these before?!?! They are like cheese *magnets*! The cheese just sticks to them and doesn’t fall off!” Hahahaha. Guess I have a new busy night meal😀

At the very end of the month, although we still weren’t feeling kicks on the outside yet (though I was starting to feel flutters on the inside pretty reliably by 17 weeks), little girl curled herself into a tight ball in my lower abdomen and Caleb was able to feel her. As he told his Daddy, “I just touched the baby! First, I touched one side of mommy’s tummy- all squishy, no baby! Then I touched the other side- hard and lumpy- baby!”

He's slightly obsessed with the belly ;) Loving it!

He’s slightly obsessed with the belly😉 Loving it! (17 weeks)

November 2015

November holds a special place in my heart because it was the first month I started to let myself dream about this baby joining our family. This is an except from my journal, the day before my 12 week appointment:

Today everything has been reminding me we’re expecting a baby. My jeans are getting harder to button. The tiny slide I thought we’d be getting rid of soon now has an imaginary 14 month old clambering up it. I’ve started to wonder what he or she will be like. Similar to Caleb? Or completely opposite?

I make sure to dream these things before each appointment because I know it might be my last chance to dream them without the sting of loss. I trust God with whatever his plans are for our family and don’t take forgranted what a gift it has been to be able to dream these things at all, when I thought I never would again.

Caleb came with me to that appointment, and we sat and listening in awe as we heard the baby’s heart beat for the first time. That night, I went home and wrote our Christmas letter and shared the news I’d longed to give for so many years of Christmas letters.

Morning sickness was still in full swing most of the month, but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel as I began to have a few good hours each day. It made traveling down to Florida to see my parents a lot easier than the trip to Hawaii had been. I was crossing my fingers I’d feel well enough to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. As it turned out, the day before was the last time I actually got sick, although I continued to feel really nauseous in the evenings until 23 weeks, but this is the last time I’m going to write about it, promise😉

Snuggled up watching the Macy's Parade, soaking in the fact I kept breakfast down ;)

Snuggled up watching the Macy’s Parade, soaking in the fact I kept breakfast down😉

I remember from my pregnancy with Caleb that the weeks between morning sickness and waiting to feel baby move were hard ones for me. God graciously allowed me to start feeling the little tiny swishes from this little one just days after I stopped getting sick. I couldn’t believe I could feel her so early and looked forward to the quiet moments before getting out of bed in the morning that I could feel her tiny movements.

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12 Weeks

We had a wonderful visit with my parents and even got to see my Uncle Rick and Aunt Susan, as well as visit with family friends in Alabama. It was so wonderful to be able to share our good news with those who hadn’t heard yet.

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And of course, in the midst of all the baby excitement, there was lots of “life as normal”. We raked leaves, David went on a work trip, we homeschooled, we had funny dinner table conversations:

Let’s all say something we’re thankful for.

Mommy: “I’m thankful for the little baby growing inside of me and that Caleb is working so hard to learn how to read so he can read to baby.”
Daddy: “I’m thankful for my big helper, for mommy and for the new baby.”
Caleb: “I’m thankful for Legos! I can BUILD them. DESTROY them. And BUILD them AGAIN!”

Just keeping it real😉

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October 2015

*Disclaimer: I seriously considered writing, “I threw up. The end.” for this month’s post and leaving it at that. If reading about things along those lines makes you feel ill, please just skip this post.

Nausea was my first clue this precious life was growing and by 6 weeks I was getting sick each morning and evening, sometimes (often?) multiple times. The homeschool calendar, my personal planner and journal all end the same day- October 7th. That’s when the morning sickness switch flipped. Everything resumed 11/2 as I began to feel the light and the end of the tunnel. I was still getting sick each day, but I could function in between again. Needless to say, I was *really* glad we’d started homeschooling in June!

At just 5 weeks, 6 days I was called into get an ultrasound because having endometriosis increases my risk of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. We’d brought Caleb with us, after much discussion and prayer, deciding that he deserved to be able to celebrate or grieve with us. Caleb has a fairly uncomplicated view of death and this played into our decision as well. In his mind it’s as simple as, “God created us to live forever, but since sin and death entered the world, we get sick, our bodies die, but our souls live forever.” While he misses the person who has died and has to process through that loss, he seems to innately understand the eternal nature of human souls.

Not only did we get to see our little bean was where she belonged, we got to see her itty bitty heart beating away. I cried. Caleb exclaimed, “Awwww, it’s soooo cute.” Which was hilarious because, it’s a speck, but a very very loved speck.

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In the midst of all this, David had his work trip to Hawaii. The tickets had already been purchased and were non-refundable so, medicated with a B6/unisom cocktail and covered in much prayer, Caleb and I boarded the plane. By God’s grace, I managed to get through all the air time without incident, but I did get sick in every airport we stopped in, both ways.

I was also extremely sick the entire time we were there, so while I was still able to enjoy certain aspects of Hawaii, talking about it still makes me feel a bit queasy. If it hadn’t been for the wife of one of David’s coworkers who was willing to stick with me, despite my green color and slow pace, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture further than a block from my hotel room. I was so dehydrated that my heart felt like it was constantly pounding and I was dizzy often.

As it was though, with Teresa’s help, Caleb and I were able to go to an army museum, the aquarium, over to the air force base to visit with his cousins, and do a historic tour. I also took Caleb swimming every day, either in the pool or in the lagoon (he did not like the waves and adamantly refused to go in the ocean and in my condition, I wasn’t going to coax him to do otherwise).

As a family, we spent time exploring the island including turtle beach and a beautiful waterfall/gardens area, went to 2 luau’s (which unfortunately involved eating, but I did enjoy the shows!), drove to Diamond Head, watched fireworks and payed our respects at Pearl Harbor. Even as sick as I was, it was an unforgettable trip and I’m so glad I went.

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Other than that, highlights from this month consisted of Caleb praying, almost nightly that God would, “heal Mommy’s strong smell.” (I’m pretty sure he meant the fact that everything smelled awful to me, but we can’t be sure😉 ) and asking me, often, if I was in the 2nd trimester yet so that, “you’ll feel better and can play with me again.”

It was a rough month, but worth every bit of it.

 

September 2015

As those who read our Christmas letter know, September was a big month for us, but for most of the month I was completely unaware. After my diagnosis’ the month before, I was mostly focused on getting closure on having more biological children and parenting the one I already have well. Caleb and I had some beautiful moments this month that I wrote down:

  • Earlier in the month, we had one of those particularly long grocery trips where Caleb had whined for several different things and did not accept no graciously. I explained to him for what seemed like the 100th time how money is a limited resource and we have to choose where to spend it. I had to stop by and pick up a can of paint on the way home, as I was standing there, Caleb pulled all the money he’s been saving out of his wallet and told me to use it to buy paint. I reminded him that is his lego money and he told me, “I know, but paint is more important than legos, isn’t it?”
  • At his well child visit he told the pediatrician, “My favorite food is pickles. The sour kind!” He then preceded to ask (and receive) one for breakfast the next morning. He also told me later that week, “My favorite foods are meatballs, giant raisins (aka- dates), and shrimp.” He’s an eclectic eater for sure! (Apparently he was having cravings on my behalf, haha).
  • One of my goals for our home is for our house to be a place where everyone can receive grace. I fail at this so often, but this month had a win that really stands out in my mind. Caleb and I were making brownies together and he got a little too enthusiastic with the spoon and a large chunk of mix ended up on the floor. I felt frustration well up immediately (how many times have I reminded him…!) and I know he saw it on my face. I choked it down and said, “It’s ok, we all make mistakes, we can just clean it up.” Not only did he jump down and help me clean, he took the vacuum into the next room and vacuumed it and then grabbed a sponge and spot cleaned some dirt on the floor. I was blown away how my one small act of mercy, started a grace cycle that completely blessed me. Let me be this mother (and wife!) more often!

So, picking up where the Christmas letter leaves off, we had a wonderful time in Florida celebrating the marriage of David’s middle brother and our new sister-in-law before returning home and getting the surprise of our lives.

Pregnancy after infertility is definitely a whole different thing. Rather than waiting and seeing how things would go, I had David take a picture right away (knowing there was 0 difference in my belly at just 4 weeks). But I was pregnant. Today. And I might never be again, so I wanted to capture that moment forever.

Caleb has no idea yet, but emotionally I desperately needed to know I got at least one picture with my *two* children.

Caleb has no idea yet, but emotionally I desperately needed to know I got at least one picture with my *two* children.

I also started a journal immediately- again so different from the wait and see attitude I thought I’d have. I just wanted to celebrate *this* baby, *this* moment in our lives for as long as it lasted. Everything took on twice the normal meaning- knowing I was reading a book with 2 children, going to the park with 2 children, experiencing this joy I thought we’d never experience again. And yet, despite all that joy, after 2 years of infertility and knowing my PCOS diagnosis, it was hard to believe this baby would grow into a happy healthy pregnancy.

September 27th, 2015

Today was a hard day. I woke up with a cold, which dulled my sense of super-smell and my nausea was gone most of the day. In light of those things, I’m concerned what my HCG levels tomorrow will show.

Whatever happens, I can see God’s goodness in bringing this child into our family. Before, I felt crushed by the weight of not being able to conceive again I didn’t even realize I had become so absorbed in my own pain, I was missing God’s goodness in my life and my role to give that goodness to others in so many ways. The joy this child has created has given me space to see that more clearly.

I want to choose thankfulness and joy. I want to live like I really believe “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed.”

 

August 2015

Knowing we had a lot of travel coming up this year, we started homeschooling in June (mostly focusing on phonics and reading) and slowly added different pieces of our curriculum in until, by August when everyone else started we were “officially” homeschooling:)

For those interested, here’s a brief outline of our day. We do many different activities connected to these “bones” of a schedule to try and keep his brain working in unique ways:

Calendar/Seasons/Months/Weather

Number of the Day

Sentence of the Day

Clock

Catechism

Memory Verse

Phonics

Easy Readers/Read Alouds

Handwriting

Math

He also does an art class most weeks (while mommy squeezes in a many errands as she can into 2 hours), as well as co-op activities which include art, music, PE and science experiments. For history, we love Story of the World, which he listens to during his quiet time almost every day while he builds incredible lego inventions to show off to me when he’s all done:)

So, how does he like it?

Since we started, Caleb has told me several times how much he liked preschool. I can tell he misses it. I’ve been affirming what a special time it was, but I was curious…which would he choose if he could? When I asked him, his response warmed my heart:

“I would want to homeschool! I love homeschooling.

Me: “What about it?”

“I get to do things I didn’t get to do in preschool. Like I’m learning to tell time now and I have my own little clock whose hands I can move myself. And, Daddy gets to be the volunteer! He never got to be the volunteer at preschool!”

Perks of letting daddy take over an assignment during an afternoon session😀

So far, every time someone has asked Caleb what he likes best about school and he says, “Math!!!” no one has acted surprised or commented on how they don’t like math. Math was hard for me, so I know how hard it is to keep those comments to yourself. So just a huge thank you to all my friends who have encouraged my little math-lover over the past two weeks!

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Adventures is Classical Education (our history curriculum):

C: “St. Nicholas was alive in the Byzantine Empire. So that means he’s really alive right?”
Me: “Well, the Byzantine Empire was a long time ago. So he was really alive, yes, but he’s not any more.”
C: “Did he die in September 11th?
Me: “No, the Byzantine Empire was much much longer ago.”
C: “So, now my question for you is- are his bones still in the ground?”
Me: “I would guess so…” @_@

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As much as I enjoy running errands when Caleb is in art, I also love having him with me. At 5, he is such a big helper. He is beginning to understand price and value and will say things like, “If grapes are on sale this week, may we please get some?”❤ He also loooves helping me in the self check out lane and can scan and bag most items. I love how much learning just happens “along the way”.

And of course, another cool thing is when I realize he knows something that I didn’t even teach him directly. The other day, I was asked to give my phone number when I checked in to a doctors appointment and Caleb chimed in and recited the whole thing! Apparently, he’s been with me enough times, it’s committed to memory. I’d assumed I’d be teaching it to him this year. Guess I can check that off my list!

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Obviously, most of our month centered around the new adventure of homeschooling, but I also had to carve some time out of my schedule to get some testing done. Some odd symptoms that were becoming increasingly frequent made David and I decide we wanted more than a “it’s probably endometriosis” diagnosis. However, I really wanted to avoid jumping straight to surgery, the gold standard of endo diagnosis.

After researching my options, I decided to have a battery of tests done all at once to rule out other, potentially more serious conditions, and under certain circumstances, confirm my endo diagnosis. If a patient has endometrial cysts on the ovaries, these can be seen on ultrasound by a skilled technician, during a small window of the cycle. These cysts are correlated with more severe endo, so I wasn’t sure if I was hoping for them to be found or not.

At the end of August, we got our results from the ultrasound and blood work. Two endometrial cysts, one on each ovary, and PCOS, also affecting both ovaries. The endometriosis was expected, although it confirmed our suspicions that mine is likely not a “mild” case, but the PCOS was a total surprise, as I don’t have many of the other symptoms that correlate to it.

Both conditions make it very difficult to get pregnant and many women affected by both need assistive reproductive technology to have children. PCOS also makes it more difficult to carry children to term, so in the event I did get pregnant, my chances of loss were statistically much higher. It was hard to hear, but as I tucked Caleb in that night, I knew I already had my miracle baby. I’d gotten to be a mother for 5 wonderful years, against all odds. How could I complain?

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