August 28, 2015

Day 5

Tale from the trenches...

I'm not even joking. 

My parents were alone with Sally in the car on the interstate.  As they zipped along, my Dad quipped that he was glad they weren't going the other direction and pointed at the congestion across the median.  Sally asked him, "Why is it so busy?"

"Because it's rush hour," he said.

"Well, what time is it on that side of the road?" she innocently asked.

Really.  That really happened. 

August 27, 2015

Day 4

My husband and eldest have now shared their unbelief with me.  They don't think I can write anything for 100 days.  I had to pause and think, because usually my husband is the grounded one.  They may both be right, what am I thinking? Reality sets in though--after so many years Seth should know me well enough to recognize scoffing would make me work harder.

Maybe that was his point.

Before our wedding, Seth and I wrote letters to our parents and to read during the ceremony.  His was long, eloquent, and written on beautiful paper.  It now hangs in a frame in his parent's house.  I couldn't set my pen to paper.  I kept waiting for words to come, but it seemed like one of the most dreadful writing assignments.  That letter and the 'let's write our own vows' idea, which was also terribly strenous.  We not only wrote them, but memorized them.  I have a picture of myself and my friend sitting in the dressing room at the church chanting my vows.  That day was high pressure!  I did memorize my vows, and I did have something to say to my parents during the ceremony.  It isn't framed hanging on a wall, since I never actually got it on paper.

It went something like this:  Dad, thank you for challenging me and keeping me grounded.  Thank you for telling me that my schemes were harebrained and wouldn't work.  Mom, thank you for tiptoeing behind Dad and whispering that I could do whatever I set my mind to.

It was a touching moment with tears all around.  Shortly after that while lighting the unity candle, it lit then tipped over and started rolling.  That may be all that anyone remembers from our wedding ceremony.

100 days of writing seems harebrained, but I'm planning on proving Seth and Everett wrong.

August 26, 2015

Day 3

One year ago today I pretended to be a doula.  I am not a doula, and after that experience I don't believe I will ever become one.  Or pretend to be one again.

Giving birth is an incredible experience.  It is also intimate and stressful.  Sometimes, labor is long and sometimes it is gruesome.  The ladies that are real doulas, do they live lives outside of their profession? For three days, I lived at the hospital.  I took a break to run and teach at my co-op, but I was so fried after a night of being at the hospital that I put my white board on the wall upside down and began teaching as if nothing was amiss.  It was during this stint away that my friend dubbed me as The Doula to a pushy nurse.  "I want to wait until my doula arrives before I make any decisions about intervention."

Yeah.  She did. 

I arrived an hour later and was addressed by said nurse as The Doula.  "Oh, so glad you are here!  We have been waiting for you since she wanted her doula present for discussion."


For the rest of the long labor, I played the part of The Doula.  Magical words in the world of labor and delivery.  I was scared, so I was called midwifery friend of mine asking for specific labor advice.  None of it helped, because, if you have birthed a child, you know that no two deliveries are the same. I pretended to know what everyone was saying and immediately googled anything that didn't make sense after the professionals left the room.  Then, a whispered conversation would ensue between me and my friends.  The stress of doulaing during labor was nothing compared to doulaing during actual birth. 


I have been in the delivery room exactly two times.  Once for Everett and once for Elijah.  I was, obviously, the one BIRTHING those guys.  So I missed seeing all of the messy business, since I was making the messy business.  The pushing, the leg holding, the coercing and cheering--it's messy and intimate.  It's exhausting.

In the end, it was also delightful.  A privilege and one of the highlights of my entire year.  It also confirmed that I will not become a doula one day, if I decide I want a second job.  I think librarian might be more my speed. 

Today we celebrated one year of life for the sweet little girl who knows me as Doula.  The one and only.

August 25, 2015

Day 2

I drank a soda last night at dinner.  It was a long day and ended with a long homeschool co-op meeting.  Many well meaning parents making many seemingly important announcements, but too often taking too long.  I had to sit on my hands to avoid clapping prematurely just to get a few of them off the stage.  Since I was exhausted, I splurged on some caffeine.  I gave it up a few years ago, and even as I had my first sip, I leaned to my friend and whispered, "This will probably keep me up all night."

I finally fell asleep around 2 am.  I am a glutton for punishment.

Lack of sleep and a terrible sore throat made me a little laid back today.  My excitement last night about getting into real learning has waned.  That's a bad sign, considered the excitement usually lasts at least the first week! 

In the throes of researching Neptune with Elijah and telling Josiah that school really did start and he really does have to sit down and work, all I could think about was a nap.  A nap and maybe some orange juice.

We don't have orange juice, or anything else palatable in the house right now.  See yesterday's post about my Latin exploits and that may clue you into why I haven't had time to grocery shop.  I found some frozen burritos in the garage freezer and slapped them down for lunch today.  Elijah was so excited, "This is like, oh, memories!  You used to buy these all of the time when we were little!" 

Score one for me by accident.  I bought those nasty things for Everett since he's been avoiding food and I'm experimenting on what might tempt him.  Easy + delicious + healthy = impossible  I'm at the place where I don't care if it's healthy I just want him to eat.  If I walked into the kitchen and he was pouring the chocolate syrup directly from the bottle into his throat, I might flinch but I also might applaud. 

My dreams of a yummy lunch and reading a great book aloud were thwarted by a poor decision 12 hours ago and a nasty virus.  Starting school is always high on the 'need to make this super amazing' list so the threat of mom guilt lurks.  Frozen burritos feel like a fail, but who knew the kids thought it was great.  A memory for lunch. 

My mom guilt was gone and I even gave myself permission to get a guilt-free nap. I woke up to a little chaos, along the lines of Josiah chasing Ella with her prosthetic leg.  Go figure. 

August 24, 2015

Day 1

It seems fitting that my first day of blogging would begin on the first day of school.

And that my husband would come screaming down the hallway in his underwear while pumping his fist in the air, "I got him!  I got him!" A rather unusual wake up call.  I was still groggy after a night of strange dreams, no doubt because of the frantic school preparations that went on last night.  His excitement was a little irritating.  Then it dawned on me.  The mouse.

Three months ago our freezer broke.  We have a massive, rather expensive and rather new, fridge.  We bought it in the dent and ding section of the appliance store and then bought the warranty.  Seth's mantra has become, "They don't make them like they used to."  Hence, my two sets of 30 year old washers and dryers in the basement.  I have a back up in case one fails, because we definitely wouldn't want to buy a new one.  No way.  Even though I really miss my beautiful front loader.  Really.

This repair guy has been coming every three weeks all summer trying to fix our freezer.  Our last visit revealed a little visitor behind our fridge.  I was appalled and a little embarrassed.  Seth was downright mad.  The repairman, who has become a familiar face around here, suggested sending one of the cats behind the fridge.  Those stinkers showed no interest in the mouse, they probably thought it was another one of the pets.  They enjoy bringing already dead rodents into the house, but evidently they don't feel like taking care of one in the house.  Irritating.  Seth declared war on this mouse and the hulking fridge has been sitting in the middle of the kitchen waiting for the mouse to take the bait.  Tricky little guy, he taunted Seth for a few days by eating the peanut butter from the trap.  Thus, his excitement this morning, he finally outsmarted the rodent.
I was exceptionally nervous this morning because I am teaching Everett's class at our Classical Conversations campus.  I can't determine whether my nervousness is because Everett is in my class, or because I haven't ever covered the material we will be learning.  It could be that I just fried my brain by cramming one year of Latin into the past two weeks.  When I started my school preparations, I didn't realize how long it would take for me to do lessons 1-6.  I also didn't know that first year Latin students spend their first year on ONLY lessons 1-6.  When it dawned on me, in class this morning, that I just completed a year of Latin in two weeks, I sagged in relief.  I'm not an idiot, that was truly an accomplishment!  Alas, I'm starting off in an already burned out state.

Armed with my purple gel pen and my new power shirt, gifted to me by my sister, I loaded up the van with learning materials and students.  This is the first year we didn't pose next to the Black Eyed Susans wearing new school clothes for our first day of school pictures.  Instead, we frantically threw lunch boxes, children, and backpacks into the car and sped off.   The day was truly a blur of books and discussion for me. 

I think it went well.  That is the best we can hope for, right?

August 23, 2015

100 Days of Something

My brilliant, amazing, super-writer friend just published a book.  She declares she isn't a super hero, but she's lying.  Only super heroes are able to accomplish what she did.  She wrote a real book!  I was and still remain impressed. 

Her book, The Raw Homeschool Mom, chronicles her life as a homeschooling mom for 100 days.  I love those 100 day things.  Julie and Julia?  Loved it!  100 days of anything, sign me up, I'm gonna read it and appreciate your determination in writing about something for 100 long days.

So, I feel challenged.  The last time I blogged was April.  Nearly five months have passed since I sat down and wrote.  The guilt from that realization and chatting with my amazing writer friend have pushed me to ponder my own 100 days.  100 days  It won't be eloquent because I'm not a writer.  It probably won't be very interesting either.  I just keep thinking these days are slipping away.  One day I will look up and it won't be Everett doing Chemistry with me, it will be Josiah.  Everett, who sat down and read my blog posts from years ago, quipped that I "used to be funny" and our house "used to be crazy".  I think he doesn't realize that, though we are all getting older, our stories haven't changed all that much.

So, here we go:  100 days of life in our house.  Homeschooling.  Adoption.  Transracial family issues. Prosthetic legs, kinky hair, and running shoes.  Who knows what's going to happen, but I'm going to write about it.