Sunday, June 29, 2008

homeschool paperwork

On a whim I checked the State of Tennessee's website to find out when I need to declare my intent to homeschool Dana. Turns out I'm supposed to do it by Aug 1st. A friend of mine suggested that I should not register with the state, but that I should sign up with an umbrella school instead. I don't know anything about this. Any wisdom?

Also, they require 180 days a year of school and 4 hours a day of instruction! This is ridiculous when you consider how little time it takes to homeschool a kid through kindergarten. It only takes us 90 minutes a day, sometimes less, to complete his sit down work and the whole curriculum is only 26 weeks long (130 days). I suppose that doesn't account for field trips, playing outside, reading with Mommy, helping in the kitchen, or catching Catawba worms with Daddy (more on that later). Still, I'm a little worried about how to document all of this. Homeschooling people, speak up and let me know what has helped you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

checking in

You probably won't hear much from me this summer, as we're immersed in the usual summer schedule... VBS at our church, visits from family, a few short trips away from home, and plenty of time in the kiddie pool, with popsicle in hand.

Matt and I just returned from taking our youth group to RYM, a great Christian camp in Laguna Beach, FL. We left our kids with my brave parents, which made it possible to give all of our attention to the youth group, a rare opportunity. We were both overwhelmed with the relationships that were strengthened and the spiritual growth that we saw in the youth. It was very encouraging and very much worth all of the deadlines and prep work it took to get us there.

Baby Monahan is looking good so far. My awful nausea ended a few weeks ago and aside from swollen ankles and some anemia, I feel fine. Even the heartburn that I always deal with is giving me a break this time. Praise God for that. My heartburn is usually pretty terrible, so even if I get it later, I'm enjoying it's absence now. ;)

The kids are all healthy and enjoying a visit from our nephew Sam. He's about a year older than Dana and has red hair too. They're quite the posse when we're out and about. I need to get a few things at the store this afternoon, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

now for a lighter post...

I refuse to turn my oven on in this heat, so I'm looking for more recipes that don't take much time to make and don't heat up the whole house... What do you make for dinner when it's hot outside??? Will you share a recipe with me?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Clara Joy

I've struggled with how to blog about this for days. I typed up a brutally truthful version of this a few days ago, but thought better of it.

Clara almost killed herself on Saturday and it was entirely my fault. There. I said it. I could blame it on any number of things, but I left my chewable prenatals out where she could reach them and her little Houdini-fingers had no trouble opening the bottle. By the time I got to her, there were 43 tablets missing. She had a mouthful and she fed a good amount to the dog. After some breathless waiting for the poison control person to calculate what would have been a lethal dose, I was told she would be fine. She might suffer from some scary GI symptoms, but most likely she wouldn't get the internal bleeding. Gasp. 56 tablets would have been the lethal dose. Did I mention that this is my second call to poison control in two months? She also tried to down an entire bottle of tylenol w/ codeine recently, which resulted in a very scary trip to the ER.

At church, she escapes me frequently and I find her in any number of ridiculous predicaments... covered in tempera paint, hiding in the Sunday school supply closet, for example. No matter where we are, the temper tantrums are constant and time-outs are frequent.

I feel very inadequate, both publicly and inwardly. Oftentimes, when I share this with friends, I hear, "and you want another one?!" and if it isn't spoken it's written all over their face. My prayer is that God would use my need for grace in parenting Clara, for his glory, and that I wouldn't lose sight of the privilege it is to raise my sweet girl. She is still so very much my baby and it tears at my heart to have to be in a constant battle of the wills with her. I also worry that the combination of her excellent ability to find trouble, and my weaknesses as a parent will get her really hurt. It's hard to swallow.

For now, I'm being hyper vigilant about medicines and vitamins being in their proper place, and reevaluating my priorities... ie. computer time. Do I need to sit at the computer more than once a day? Do I make enough time with just her? If I do everything right, assuming that's even possible, will I be less in need of God's grace to parent her? Somewhere there's a balance to be struck. I hope we find it, for her sake and ours.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

be my resource

from my to do list in the last post...
"...research/buy/make(?) sling
...learn about pros and cons of baby wearing, a very controversial subject, depending on who you talk to"

Do you have a favorite sling? Do you have an opinion on baby wearing? I'm in a dilemma, because I'm normally a fan of structured babywise parenting, but am worried about the baby being vulnerable to our dog and three other kids, namely Clara Joy ;). So far the cons of baby wearing appear to be increased separation anxiety, more frequent nursing (also a pro when you have milk production issues like I do), and less personal space... all biggies.

The pros are less fussiness, more bonding, hopefully better milk supply, and safety from siblings and the family dog.

disclaimer: the cons listed are entirely from the paranoid perspective of a mom who's never tried babywearing.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Goals, reachable and unreachable, before the baby comes

...finish painting details on exterior of the house
...sidewalk finished
...bookshelf in living room
...picnic table on deck, built and treated' rooms settled and reorganized
...Clara into big girl bed... done
...Clara potty trained... mostly done
...research/buy newborn size cloth diapers, to get us through until the motherease ones will fit under his clothes
...research/buy/make(?) sling
...learn about pros and cons of baby wearing, a very controversial subject, depending on who you talk to
...sort through what little baby boy clothes I have and take inventory of what I need
...get ahead on homeschool and preorder Dana's first grade curriculum
...set up ballet lessons for Janie for the Fall
...sign Dana up for soccer in the Fall
...make baby quilt for little Monahan, since I'm out of my old blankies
...get away with Matt for a few days... on our anniversary, July 3rd