Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yes, I'm Nesting.

But does nesting apply to blogging?  What is this - the 6th entry tonight?
The nesting started with clearing out the card table full of boxes photographs that's been in the corner of our bedroom for two years - yes, TWO YEARS - with the intent that I would sort the photos before Zadie arrived.  We see how that went.  But I found some to share with you all!
So that's gone.  The photos are in a tote in the attic closet.  That type of project is for someday when I don't have children of the leg-climbing age.  And it's amazing how big our bedroom looks now.....
But in general, I'm trying to stay on top of the housework.  Two and a half weeks left!  Oh my goodness.  I have been keeping the kitchen pretty good this week.  Laundry is almost caught up (minus the baby items I have yet to dig out).  But I still haven't quite found the motivation to pull all the chairs out from the table and sweep every day.  It needs it 3 times a day.  How long til the boys can do that?
I have, however, taught them to do this:
 It's pretty nice to sit on the couch and merely dictate the entire cleaning of the living room.

And then there's this one from September:
Welcome to Rachel's sweat shop.  
There were 10 gallons of plums to pit.  They wanted to help!

We still haven't decided on names.  I had some that I liked, but they weren't doing anything for Paul.  We sat on the couch last night and talked about it.  We may have a boy's name!  We'll see.  As always, it's subject to change when it involves me. :)   Or when it involves Jacob.  His latest suggestions have been "Noodle" and "Muffler."
I had my first end-of-term "invasive" check up this week.  Not close in that area.  Although that can change quickly, as anyone knows.  I don't really feel that close, so I'm thinking my due date is right.  I did, however, get the new phone extensions for Paul's work, just in case I have to call him home from work.  As it stands now, he starts vacation two days before my due date.  That's been fine for the other 3, but I'm half expecting this one to do something completely unexpected.
Well, I really should get to bed.  Blogging is such a time suck!  But, unlike Facebook, at least there's something for you all to enjoy for my time spent on here. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Wonderful Zadie of Oz

My sister-in-law found the "ruby slippers" when Zadie was tiny.  So I had to have a Dorothy dress to go with them!  My sister made this dress for her younger daughter, and I was thrilled that both the shoes and the dress fit at the same time!
So of course, we had to take professional pictures......
With the "Cowardly Lion."

Classic Zadie face.

My personal favorite.

Back to this one.... Does anyone else see a bit of Eichenberger here?  Like JC or Carlsie's baby pictures?

Photos by my sister, Lurenda Walter.

Homeschooling Brilliance: Teaching the Alphabet

Sometimes I have moments of sheer genius.
Actually, I should probably give credit to a friend from church, who forwarded me an email about how to encourage a reluctant learner.  The email was meant for me in dealing with Nathan, but one idea, playing games, actually got applied to Jacob.
Nathan and Jacob have different learning styles.  Nathan is pretty factual, but Jacob enjoys the creative side.  Nathan seemed to pick up on the alphabet pretty easy, whereas Jacob was getting confused with all the different letters I was presenting him.  (We're on week 6 of school, and the letter "K" if that gives you an idea of how quickly this curriculum introduces them.)  Then again, I had a lot more time to focus on making sure Nathan got to go over it several times and several ways each day.
Our curriculum, Answers for Preschoolers, comes with flashcards templates.  I already had them made from going through it with Nathan.  When we had about 5 letters, I played a type of memory game, where I turned them all face down and asked Jacob to find random letters.  He loved it.  Then I realized I could copy off the back of the templates and play memory for real.  This was okay to do when you had 5 letters.  However, full-size flashcards when you have 10 pairs takes up a bit of table space.  So we kind of quit playing that game, and started playing Go Fish with the flashcards.

This is supposed to be the front and back of a single flashcard, but I copied them separately onto the card stock, so we have "pairs" for each letter.

 Then I got the genius idea to make memory cards.  Actually, it was quite simple - even for me! - to set it up on Excel.  I expanded the cell height and width, formatted it to print the grid lines, and then typed out a capital and lowercase letter of each.  Print it out on card stock, cut them out on the lines, and - voila!

There is a slight problem, as d, b, p, and q all look very similar if you don't know which side is up or down. I had to put lines under the letters to distinguish.  Also a problem I didn't think about was that in this font, some letters (like a and g) aren't manuscript style, and he gets confused. 

Jacob loves playing games, and he went from obvious guessing on the flashcards, to confidently calling out the names of letters as he turns them over or draws them.  (I make him tell me the letters in his hand during Go Fish. If Nathan plays with us, I make him tell me the sounds the letters make.)  Using the games is great motivator to get him to the table, or to get him to finish his workbook quickly.  And I enjoy him being excited about doing school and learning!

Blast From the Past

Aren't they cute?  
(I forgot to check the date on the back.... I'm guessing around 1990?)

I've always thought Jacob looks like me.  Or more accurately, like my Dad.  But then I ran across this picture.  Paul's smile looks exactly like Jacob's!

Blast From the Past

What a dog.

Blast From the Past

Paul's Grandpa Rhodes, around 1943.

I never really thought Paul looked like his Grandpa, until I saw this picture as I was..... well, let's just say I'm nesting.
First off - the hair.  Not that Paul has ever worn his like this, but - that's a lot of hair.  And now I know where Paul got his from.  But also his forehead and his eyes look like Paul's, and maybe his chin (it's been a while since I've seen Paul's chin without the goatee).
Anyhow.  Very proud of both of his Grandpas' service to our country in World War II.  (All four of our grandfathers were in the army, even though mine served after the war.)

This may be the only facial-hair-free picture I have of my husband.  
(That's Nathan, Thanksgiving 2007.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Weeks Left!

So.  It's next month.  Today, I passed the 35 week mark.  I can't believe the new baby is going to be here so soon!
I definitely am feeling close.  I'm having pre-contractions.  The baby is loving my ribs and any other bones it can press into or kick.  I think we have another opinionated baby.... This one loves shoving all the way over to my left side and hanging there until I press it over or lay on my right side until it slides down.
I have probably reached the point where I should be shaving every time I'm in the shower.  Or at the very least, weekly.  Yeah... I'm pretty sure it's been a month.  The fact that I wear the compression stockings, which are so heavy you can't even see the hair through them, and so tight that it doesn't poke out, are the main reason.  Then there's complete lack of motivation.  Really, what is the point at this point?  Other than pride, and let's face it, I pretty much have none left, after spending all summer in shorts and stockings.
I am so ready to meet this baby!  Not necessarily ready to get the pregnancy over with, as I'm not THAT uncomfortable - I'd rather give them a few more weeks to "bake" and have the healthiest baby possible.  I can take a few more weeks.  I just want to know if we have another brother or another sister!
Five weeks still kind of sounds like I have some time.  But I should maybe at least locate the tiny outfits for the hospital and get them washed.  And maybe start thinking about what I'll need to welcome a new baby home....
Oh well.  I've still got 5 weeks, right?  Ha.  This will be the baby that comes early.  Nathan was overdue.  Jacob came the night before his due date, and Zadie came the morning of.  So this one will be two weeks early.  All three of the others were fast labors - 5 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours.  This one will be 40.
Because that's how it works, right?

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm a Good Mom.... I'm a Good Mom.....

If you could only have heard the cacophony of sobbing coming from upstairs, you would think someone had died.
In reality, what happened was fighting and arguing and complaining over an XBox Kinect game.
We haven't played any games on the Kinect all summer.  It's November, and with the time change, it's dark by 6.  No more playing outside after supper.  So I thought I'd break out the Fruit Ninja and let the boys have an evening of fun, since Paul is working nights.
Yeah, well.  That worked for about 10 minutes.  Then they started fighting over who got the red side.  Then they started arguing about playing this game or putting in the other game (Kinect Sports - which I'd already said we wouldn't be playing tonight).  Nathan had an epic meltdown when I said no, so I made him stand outside.  Meanwhile, I tried to get Jacob back in to Fruit Ninja, but for some reason the sensor wouldn't read me.  As I tried to figure it out, he flipped out on me.  So I decided we'd had enough XBox, and turned it off.
Cue the chorus.
Nathan had come back in and was still hollering, Jacob was sobbing and whining, and Zadie joined in just because she could, I think.
In the midst of this, the dog had followed Nathan inside and was scavenging for food, so I kicked him outside and fed him.  He snapped at one of our orphan kittens that was too curious about his food, and killed it.
I didn't even bother telling the kids about the kitten.  They started fighting about something else, while still sobbing, so I sent them to brush their teeth.  They figured out I was sending them to bed.  At 6:30.
Oh. My.  Gosh.
I would have laughed if it was someone else's kids.  It was so dramatic you would think it was fake.  When I finally got them upstairs, I get this from Nathan, "I don't like this place.  I'm going to live with another Mom."  I said, "Good luck with that."  (So mature.)
I prayed with them, gave them both kisses, and came downstairs.  They were asleep within 20 minutes.
I know that I did the right thing, and I maintained a cool head the whole time, not spanking them all the way up the stairs like I could, and maybe should, have.  But still.  It would have been so much easier to put the other game in, or pacify them with a movie.  Instead, I sent them to bed upset, and let them think I'm the meanest person ever.
I'm a good Mom, right?