Snapshots of the week

It’s been a fairly quiet week over here. Well… I mean, there’s still plenty that happened and all, I just felt a little on the sluggish side for most of it.

A little run down for your viewing pleasure

~Monday~

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Photo: Apparently telling them “no water” doesn’t mean much.

I had my follow up with an OB doc (I normally see the midwives). All checked out well. And so long as BabyZ. doesn’t come in the next week, we shouldn’t have any surgery-related complications to delivery! Yay!

~Tuesday~

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Photo: Crochet snowflake. Made in the wee hours of the morning due to pregnancy insomnia.

There have been many mornings lately where I haven’t been able to sleep past 5:00 AM (and some days it’s been even earlier, like 4:00 AM). Mostly I think this is due to pregnancy, but I also think some of it this week has been due to the cold I had that settled nicely into my sinuses, which made it nearly impossible to breath laying down. So, I’ve just taken to getting up and doing something. Usually crocheting a snowflake or reading.

Highlight: I was able to wash my hair for the first time in about five days!

~Wednesday~

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Photo: Leaving for the library

Mom graciously agreed to take these little ones to the library story time. Which left me with a full hour of quietness, which was totally lovely. I can’t even remember what I did with that time now, but it was so nice. 🙂

~ Thursday ~

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Photo: Kat helping by carrying the laundry basket for me.

Pretty sure this photo wasn’t from Thursday, but she has been extremely helpful these past few days. I’m not sure who told her that I couldn’t lift things, but she’s pretty quick to jump on my case if I get the laundry basket ready to go.

I am now able to *slowly* get laundry together and into the washer/dryer (before you jump on my case, the eye doctor did give me a 4-5 day window for this, and I’ve made sure it’s outside of that… and I also haven’t been doing it totally on my own. I still won’t pick up the kids though…)

Made it into the office for a few hours. Still need to work out what I’m going to do about the work situation, as I don’t feel I can see well enough to be doing it at the level it needs doing. And I still can’t drive.

~ Friday ~

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Photo: Sunset with crescent moon in Little Compton

We took what’s almost becoming a regular trip down to Little Compton. The kiddos wanted to camp, and somehow that ended up being the place it was going to happen. They got to “camp”, which translates to: Set up sleeping bags under a tarp, get some lanterns/flashlights and read books in the dark. Sleep inside.

This was actually a super relaxing trip. I think because approximately 2 minutes after we arrived the woman who owns the place told me I needed to go to bed because of my cold. She kept shooing me off to bed every opportunity she had. And Grandpa and the kids didn’t seem to get on each others nerves too much; Jared got to take some pretty amazing astronomy photos:

Jareds milky way 08-2014

(This is the Milky Way).

I’m glad he was able to take this photo in particular because seeing the Milky Way is one of my favorite things…. period. And I wasn’t able to make out but a few stars when I went out to look. (We can’t see this in the city.)

~ Saturday ~

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Photo: Beach collage

We took a very short, pretty chilly trip to the “real” beach Saturday before we left. Even though the glare was almost unbearable it was really nice to be able to dip my feet in the cold water and take a short walk on the beach. There’s just something about the beach that makes me feel better. 🙂

~ Sunday ~

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Photo: Superman waiting for his breakfast

I was feeling brave enough to try cooking something in the over this morning. So I made chocolate chip – zucchini muffins. Yum.

We also were able to attend Mass which was so nice. (Last week just didn’t work.) It felt so right. Almost like, I didn’t think it was *that* much of a big deal to miss last week because of not feeling well, but then walking in and sitting down today made me realize that is really *is* that much of a big deal to attend, and I was grateful. Even if still a little stuffy nosed and only able to see about 2 feet (both of which are improvements!).

~~~~~

Kiddos have been begging for a book so I think I’ll go take care of that before it gets any later.

Linking up with Simple Things Sunday

My absolute least favorite household chore…

…otherwise known as “doing the dishes”. This has hands down always been my least favorite chore, even growing up. I’d rather clean the bathroom used by the two little + one big boy than wash dishes.

Dishes in our house have to be done, or *should* be done three times a day. We have five people eating three meals here (daily), and that just leads to mountains of dishes. We also don’t have a dishwasher (boo), and we also don’t have tons of counter space. All of which add up to needs to do dishes more often than once every two days.

What my face normally looks like when I must do dishes
What my face normally looks like when I must do dishes

I do occasionally hold out hope that if I don’t do the dishes someone else will, but more often than not that plan backfires when no one does the dishes all weekend, then come Sunday night there aren’t any more clean plates and, guess what? I still have to do the dishes but now they’re days old with crusted on food.

Some things I’ve discovered along the way:

~~ I’ve found if I just do them after meals, then it takes much less time and energy. I read somewhere once that spending time worrying about/fretting/dreading doing a particular chore takes up a lot more time than actually doing a particular chore. There is also the added bonus that if you wash the breakfast dishes without waiting until lunch time than you have much less dishes to wash (the same goes for lunch and dinner dishes). Yes, you may have to “do” the dishes more often, but it seems to be less? That being said though, I’m pretty lazy bout the “doing them” part. {side note: this is especially helpful for after dinner/before putting the kids to bed, because that way once the kids are in bed I know I can come downstairs and “be done” with the chores for the evening}

~~ If I do get behind on doing the dishes, then setting a timer to “work until 8:00” or “work for 15 min” is super helpful. Then I play mind games with myself where in I say I can stop once the timer reaches the end. Usually what happens is I’ll *almost* finish the work by the end of the timer, but I won’t want to leave just the counters unwiped (or whatever), so I’ll just take a few more minutes and finish the little bit remaining.

~~ Have the kids help. Yes, my oldest is not quite 5 (and the next is not quite 4) but they love “helping” (contrary to the photo above – I think I just caught her by surprise). And sometimes they even do a passably decent job. I mean a few cereal bowls washed right away along with a  few cups and spoons is pretty easy to wash, and not that dirty to begin with so there isn’t a ton of scrubbing.

kat and dishes

~~ Leave the sink full of soapy wash water right before meals that way once the meal is done it’s super convenient to just wash up the plate, fork and cup rather than leave them and wait for everything to be done. Jared started this, and I really actually like it! {Note: this works a lot better if the kitchen is already mostly clean, otherwise there might not be an empty sink to put wash water in.}

~~ Skip rinsing the suds off. I heard this tip from one of my aunts years ago and didn’t start implementing it until just recently. I honestly haven’t noticed any difference. It saves a step too so if you’re wanting to save a few minutes just wash and put in the drainer.

OK. My time limit is up.

I’m doing a little better in my recovery (from this event). I can move around without getting totally winded. Still can’t see well enough to cook or do laundry (or dishes really). But I can see a bit better. My eye has been super irritated which hasn’t been fun, but it felt a teensy bit better this AM, maybe it was just my imagination, but I’ll take it.

Baby Z. has done really well through all this. My follow up with the OB on Monday went great. I shouldn’t have any complications (related to this) when I deliver. I guess the good thing is I still have about 8-9 weeks left so that’s a good long time to heal. 🙂

~Ruth Anne

Linking up with Charity @ The Wounded Dove

TheWoundedDove

Simple things Sunday: gratitude

{same disclosure as the last post: if I don’t catch a typo, it’s probably because my sight is still a bit iffy}

When I first heard the news about my eye on Thursday (catch the whole saga here), one of the things that I was concerned about was the possibility of actually seeing again. Or at least seeing well enough to continue taking pictures. I love taking pictures. It’s one of the ways I relax. But it’s also how I memory keep. I love being able to look back on photos of the kids and see how they were then and how they’ve changed now. I realized I wasn’t quite ready to let that sight go. I had always thought that if I had to choose between my sight and my hearing, I’d choose to keep my hearing. But now I’m pretty sure that’s changed.

I spent a few minutes this afternoon snapping a few photos of some fruit that was on the table.

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Nothing horribly fancy, just some patters/color that I found interesting. And I was grateful to be able to see that. Again note, I took the pictures and did the editing with only partial clarity in my sight, so if these are a little off, then…. oh well, I guess I’ll have to see them later when my sight gets back to whatever it gets back to.

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I’m grateful to God that He created such beauty in this world. I’m glad that he’s given me a camera with which to capture it. I’m also grateful that God invented doctors to fix troublesome spots in our body. Although I did ask for a miracle of healing before I went in for the surgery (I didn’t get it), I’m not disappointed in Him. It just means I have some more things I have to learn, whatever they may be. And that’s OK.

For now, I’m heading to bed. A day of doctors phone calls and possibly appointments follows tomorrow.

~Ruth Anne

Linking up with Simple Things Sunday and Texture Tuesday

A craziness of a weekend

Good Sunday morning to everyone. Let me apologize in advance if there are typos in this post that I don’t catch. I’m having just a little bit of trouble seeing straight.

First off thank you all so much for prayers. It really has meant a lot to me.

So, a little time line of what happened (I’ll try to be not graphic, I’m sure you could look any of the terms up on google if you’d like a better idea):

Wednesday evening we went to my parents for dinner and a change of scenery. While eating I kept noticing flashes of light across the top left of my vision in my right eye (towards the upper part of the nose). I figured it was just because I was tired. So I pretty much just brushed it off. Went home finished up my evening and went to bed.

Thursday morning it hadn’t gone away (I was hoping/thinking it would just go away while I slept). Called the eye doctor and he squeezed me in for 2:00PM. Decided I could see well enough to drive to work (it was really only my periphery that I couldn’t see our of). In hindsight that probably wasn’t the best idea, but it’s what I did. After a few hours on the computer I basically couldn’t see out of half my eye. At this point I was starting to think that something really wasn’t exactly right, but at the same time didn’t think it was serious.

Jared drove me to the doctors (thankfully I didn’t try to drive myself). After I was dilated the doc took a look and the first thing he said was “dammit”. Just exactly what you want to hear any doctor say… He then explained that my retina was detached (but “don’t worry, the prognosis is good based on where and how it’s detached….”) By this point it was basically all I could do not to go into full blown panic mode.

I got set up with a retinal specialist that afternoon. We headed there and he took about a two minute look into my eye and started yelling to his assistant to “contact Miriam, and get the forms…., push them for an hour and a half”…. (Miriam is one of the hospitals around here). I knew then I would have to be having surgery. Pregnancy and Surgery are just one of those things that don’t mix. So I basically didn’t hear or comprehend anything else he said for the rest of the visit. Except for “no eating or drinking past midnight”.

Apparently there is lattice work that holds the retina in place, and mine (on account of  my extreme near sightedness), was deteriorated which caused the retina to detach.

Friday morning we waited for the call for the surgery, finally we were told it might would be at noon. Then we were told it would definitely be at 3:30 PM. Keep in mind I haven’t eaten or drank anything since 10:00PM the night before, when I went to bed.

So we packed up and went to the hospital. I was still basically freaking out about the surgery, but trying to be as calm as possible on the outside. In the prep room, the first person I saw was a very good OB doctor friend of the family’s and at that point I think I found the peace that I needed to make it through the rest.

The procedure they did was called I think a scleral buckle (yeah, google that if you want more info). On account of the pregnancy, I had a few minutes of extremely light sedation while they put the local anesthetic around my eye and then I was very much awake for the remainder of the surgery. I didn’t feel pain, but I could feel “stuff”. I don’t think I’ve squeezed a rosary so tight before. And I do hope the nurse who held my hand for the entire time didn’t end up too badly bruised. The fact I could feel Baby Z. moving helped ease fears that something would happen to him.

Recovery went fine. I did have a few more contractions than the OB liked, but they settled down and she OK’d me to go home with promises that I would lay down and not do anything (except for drink, drink, drink) for the rest of the evening and that I would call if they picked up at all. I went home with a very sexy eye patch:

hospital eye patchThe bulkiness of the hospital jonnie is due to the fact that this particular one can be heated. Much better than the super thin paper ones of before. I didn’t need it to be heated since I wasn’t cold, for once.

The kids spent that night at my parents, but I got to see them the next morning (Saturday). We had a little fun taking eye patch pictures

Kat and mommy

Karl and mommy

John wasn’t too sure about it all, and he didn’t want a patch, so I don’t have one with him.

I got the patch off Saturday AM. All things considered my eye doesn’t look that bad (especially if any of you remember what I looked like after my eye surgeries ten years ago – sorry no photos available on the internet that I know of, and those are pretty gruesome, so I think I’ll leave it that way).

It’s a little swollen, but think more like if you got a big bee sting on your eyelid how swollen it would be, it’s probably like that. I have only a little bruise about an inch under my eye. I can open the eye a bit more today, but I can barely see out of it still. I guess there’s probably going to be a few weeks until I can see out of it properly. I was also told that it could be a few months before my sight stabilizes in that eye, which will end up changing my prescription.

I have no idea where this will leave me in terms of either working or driving for the next few weeks. And of course because I’ve just had a surgery, I can’t actually DO anything. As a pregnant woman this is something I initially loved hearing, but when I realized that I couldn’t physically DO anything (like even fold a basket of laundry) without getting winded, it lost a bit of it’s novelty. Even reading is hard. I can do it one-eyed, but only for a little while since it gets tiring. It is nice to be able to say “I need a nap” right after breakfast and then go take an hour nap at 9:00AM (that MIGHT be what every pregnant woman needs, but most likely rarely gets). But I am finally getting a little stir-crazy since I can’t barely do anything except sit on the couch.

Anyways, I guess I’ll be learning a lot of patience in the next few weeks. Jared’s been great though; doing the dishes, washing clothes, and keeping up with the kids. We do still have to figure out how he’s going to go to work and me be home… but, we’ll figure it out. We always do. Please continue to pray for us all.

And that’s enough rambling for the moment. No promises on when I’ll get back on here to keep writing, not that I’ve been terribly regular about writing. 😉

~Ruth Anne

Back to School or Not Back to School

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Kiddos 2014

 

Since everyone is getting into the “Back to School” spirit, I thought I’d go ahead and share a few thoughts on what our plans/goals are for the time period known as the next “school year”.

Since I ditched our oh-so-official “preschool” back in February, I’ve been pretty slow to do anything school-related.

I have in the past three or four weeks picked up the Seton preschool books that Katherine received from my mother-in-law and we’ve been very slowly working our way one or two pages at a time through the books. It generally works out to about three days a week. We’ve also very slowly been working our way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

And that is the full extent of our preschool at the moment. (Well, other than the mountains of books we read.)

Katherine 2014
Katherine 2014
K1
Katherine 2013

As far as moving on to Kindergarten, I’m pretty much stuck firmly into a “I don’t know when we’re going to start that” place. The main reason being that legally, according to the laws of our state, a child doesn’t have to be enrolled in First Grade until they are age 6 by September 1st. And as far as I know, Kindergarten isn’t mandatory. Katherine’s birthday doesn’t fall until the end of September, which means legally I don’t have to have her enrolled anywhere until the 2016-2017 school year (two entire calender years from now).

But when I think about that in my mind, I feel like that may be just a little too long to wait to do anything official. But then I read things that say kids should just play for the first seven years of their life and not do anything official……. And oh, I get stuck going ’round and ’round in my head.

The other reason I’m not sure we’re going to start Kindergarten right now, this September is that Baby Z. is due to arrive at the end of October and the thought of even attempting to homeschool with a newborn sounds completely daunting, and basically when we’d start up again, we’d most likely end up starting over… which defeats the purpose of starting in September.

{See, haven’t you always been just dying to know exactly how my mind works?!??!?!?!!?!}

John 2014
Johnny 2014
J1
Johnny 2013

Anyways…. What I see working for us is as follows:

Begin Kindergarten (with Katherine) in January sometime; after the baby’s here, we’re all settled into a routine and all those end of the year holidays have passed.

Religion – I’m thinking about using the Seton Religion program (if you scroll to the bottom it’s there). Also, keeping on doing the normal religion learning we do everyday. The prayers, Bible Readings, learning about Saints, keeping feast days, things like that.

Reading – Keeping on working on the reading thing. If that means using the 100 Easy Lessons then, we’ll keep doing that. (If we’re done with that, I don’t actually have a plan in place, but I guess I’ve got a little time to work something out.)

History – A Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I checked it out from the library a few weeks back and enjoyed the timeline, layout, etc… I didn’t look at the activity book that goes with it, so I may try to get a hold of that before I make a firm decision. I know this book is intended for “1st Graders” but I’ve heard suggestions of taking two years to go through it if beginning in Kinder so I think we may try it.

Math – I’m pretty sure I want to use the Saxon program, so we’d being with Math K. I enjoyed Saxon when I was in school… but then again, I was almost a math major in college, so I may just be weird like that 🙂

Other than those few things I don’t know what else I would consider “essential” at this point. Maybe keep working on writing (forming letters, numbers, words, etc…). We’ll probably keep up with our random art stuff that we do, but that’s stuff we do all the time anyways, not really anything out of the ordinary. I guess we could call it “school” and have one more subject, but it feels less stressful if I just call it “art time” and let them have at it.

I think I’d also just like to let them keep exploring their own interests… You know, checking out books from the library they want, building with LEGOs, doing whatever outdoor playing/nature stuff we end up doing, things like that.

For Johnny:

I think maybe I’ll get a few preschool workbooks for him (like Katherine has now), and let him do those. At the moment he really enjoys coloring while we do “school”, so something for him to do along with us is probably a good idea. And depending on how it feels I *might* start the 100 Easy Lessons with him. But that’ll just have to be a bridge we cross when we get there.

Karl 2014
Karl 2014
No, I do not have a troublemaker on my hands. Nope. Not me...
Karl 2013

For Karl:

Definitely no workbooks for him. I would however like to have him learn the letters and numbers. He can sing the alphabet song and count up to about 13 (in order), but he has no clue what any of the letters or numbers look like, so I think that’s what we’ll work on with him.

I think that’s probably enough rambling about school for the next six months or so 🙂

Do these kids look like they could sit in a classroom?!?
Last year’s “first day of school” photo (for comparison). Click the picture to be taken to that post!

Linking up with Charity at The Wounded Dove for this weeks edition of #GoodEnoughMom.