Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do you hear that sound? Ssshhh. Listen closely. Yup, that's the sound of my heartbreaking. I remember breaking up with a boyfriend in high school and I thought *that* was heartbreak. Nope. Heartbreak is letting your kids grow up even though you want to swaddle them in a blanket and rock them to sleep at night, even if they are 8 years old.

Lainy Ann got her very own cell phone today. This summer we had experienced with a pre-paid phone and that went pretty well. She only uses it when we drop her off at lessons. She can't call her friends on the phone and she can't give out the number. When the phone is not in use it belongs in the communal cell phone area. We discovered buying her a new phone and paying the monthly on it would actually be cheaper than re-loading her pre-paid phone every few months. So, she is the proud owner of the $10 phone that had a full keyboard. It technically can do internet too, but don't tell her that. Maybe, some day, when she has 2 numbers in her age we *might* allow her to email from her phone. Maybe. But right now she can call and text a handful of trusted adults. Those same people that I put on the emergency list at school. She of course is ecstatic. As soon as we got home from the store she went and changed clothes so she would have a pocket for her phone. She has been chattering on and on about how to be responsible with it and has already been texting mom and dad. If this will keep up communication and teach her proper phone etiquette for her teen years, then its all worth it.

Connor also decided to break my heart today. He asked to stay home along while I dropped Lainy Ann off at soccer practice. I wanted to say no, but then I remembered that Lainy Ann was 7 years when she started staying home by herself for short periods of time. Even Lainy Ann advocated for him and said that he should be able to do (I am in trouble when they are both teens). So we went through the rules, I quizzed him and since it was a quick drop off and Caskey was going to meet me at the field I let him stay home. he should be home alone for 30 minutes at the most.

I Did It!

I don't like making New Year's Resolutions, instead I prefer to call them goals. One of my goals this year was to learn a new craft and I wasn't sure what that was going to be. Each quilt I have made has gotten more and more complicated and I really enjoy challenging myself. But this time I decided to make a dress for Eleanor. I really love the classic styled dresses and there just aren't enough out there to choose from. I figured if I could learn to make a simple dress I could change the look of it with different fabrics and embellishments.

I chose a Simplicity Pattern and some pretty heart fabric, perfect for Valentines' Day. I vowed to read all the directions multiple times and follow them to a T. Something I don't always do with quilting, which is part of the appeal for me. If it said to press a seam, I pressed a seam. I also pinned fabric before sewing, something I don't normally do. Even with all the reading and following directions I had to rip out and redo seams multiple times. I had to take the directions to my mother and ask her to interpret them for me. It was a long and hard process from just cutting the fabric all the way to the end. I know the back still isn't done correctly, but since it hangs okay and she is usually laying on the back of the dress I called it good.

Honestly, I would have given up on the dress long ago, probably after the 4th time I tried sewing the peter pan collar. But I figured it was a good lesson for the kids on not giving up and sticking with a project even though its hard. On that note I think I will be making another dress of the same pattern. I am hoping this time it won't be so difficult and I can use that as an opportunity to teach the kids about practice making it perfect. I even have a color scheme and notions already picked out in my head. I am hoping this second go at it won't be so daunting.


 

The 1%

This is the 1%.  This is

At least 50% of the time the children are screaming, crying, fighting, bargaining, whining, ignoring, and destroying.

Another 30% of the time they are sleeping.

At least 19% of the time they are at school, presumably being wonderful and smart for someone else.  But I don't get to witness those wonderful moments.

But 1% of the time they are wonderful and sweet
- when the 3 year old does the sign of the cross mostly right at church without anyone's prompting.
- when the 7 year old says "Mom, I'm sorry you aren't feeling well."
- when the nearly 9 year old helps the baby walk down the stairs.
- when the 5 year old unveils his puppy-dog eyes and asks for a squishy hug.

I photograph and blog about the 1% because time will take the other 99% away and all I will be left with is that 1%.  That 1% is what ensures our species will live on.

10 years

10 years later.  My life isn't even the same.  We have a whole new set of friends, many of whom don't even realize the impact Jacob and Paul have had on our lives.  The kids don't like to miss school; tests, friends, homework.  Last year we celebrated without daddy, work duty called.  This year will be the same.

In fact, I have meetings accidentally scheduled on that day.  For so many years we would do nothing on September 22nd.  But this year, I forgot.  I didn't plan.  No family day, no donation to the NICU.  Nothing.

And I'm miserable over it.  When?!  When does it get better?  Someone once described the grief like ocean waves.  Its the most accurate description I can think of.  I'm drowning.  Seas have been calm for months, even a full year.  No scary countdown.  But today, the wave washed over me.

Why did I think that 10 years later I wouldn't be going through my same grief rituals; sensitive, shopping for nothing, and distracting myself.  Ignoring the ache in my heart.  I can't believe I forgot.  I didn't forget Jacob and Paul, but I forgot the grief.  How do you forget grief that you have lived with for 10 years?

So on the 10 year anniversary of their death, on the day that forever changed our family landscape.  We won't celebrate.  I will take the kids to school like any other day.  I will keep my distance from those who don't understand.  My family won't be together celebrating.

I know we have to move on.  But it hurts.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

First Lost Tooth v.4

Its hard finding firsts or new things when the 4th and 5th child are growing up.  Chances are that one of the older kids have already broken that mold and had that experience.  But once again I am proved wrong.

Alexander finally had a loose tooth.  But he was afraid of actually losing it.  He brushed gently.  He wouldn't wiggle it.  He altered his diet.  But one morning he woke up and it was lost.  He couldn't find it anywhere.  Tears.  Worry.

We found the tiny little tooth in his bed.  It had fallen out in the middle of the night.  The Toothfairy brought him $5 which so happens to be the same cost as a new yo-yo that he had been wanting for about a month.



A Stranger -- with good news

It has happened a handful of times over the years; someone will stop at my house, park their car, come to my front door and berate my parenting.  I'm usually so shocked that I don't reply as snarkily as I would like.  But I hold my own and tell them that they are wrong and thank you for their opinion.

So when a stranger deliberately stopped his car in front of my home on Tuesday I steeled myself against the news he would bring.  My 2 young boys (8 and 6) were riding bikes in the street with a neighbor boy and supervision.  I had 16 other children in my home working on robotics - which bring 14 parents (and their cars) to my house is a short period of time).  On Monday I had a different set of 10 kids at my house for a scout meeting.  I'm just a little concerned I will be getting a land use complaint sooner or later.   

The man said, "I have been meaning to stop and tell you something".  This could easily go two-ways; you're a good parent or you're a bad parent.  He spent a lot of time leading up to his comment; "parenting these days", "I've seen your boys bickering in the street", "learning to work together".  I was still apprehensive. 

But then he said that he was pleased to see I was allowing them to learn and work things out for themselves.  They would make mistakes and they would learn.  They would be better for it.  He told me that he knows how hard it is to parent in today's world and he thinks I am doing a great job and I am making a difference.

I didn't choose the way I parent to please other people.  I feel that raising children (mine and about 3 dozen others) in a way that they can be self-reliant and good members of society is a benefit to the children but also to all of society.  I came to scouting by accident, but we have started to live by the morals of scouting - because raising good kids benefits us all.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Posters for the Computer Science Classroom

Decorate your classroom or home with STEM friendly posters that teach and inspire.

Find the original image here:


Find original image here:

http://wikibon.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/evolution-of-programming.html 

The Evolution of Programming [Infographic]
Via: ServicesANGLE

http://csedweek.org/resource_kit/posters 

Find original image here:


Find original image here:


Find original image here: