I think the title really sums up how I've been feeling these days, and not just absent from this blog. I feel as though I'm living in a fog and can't focus on anything. Even if I was up for doing everything that needed to me done, I can't think what all those things should be. It doesn't help that it feels as though every time I sit down, I fall asleep. I have moments of clarity where the fog has lifted, but they are few and far between and usually end up being somewhat depressing because I look around and see how life has fallen apart around here.
So, in honor of my completely scattered state of mind, I will catch everyone up on the doings around here, but in a completely scattered fashion.
Life with four extra children has been going smoothly, in large part to the two 16 year old, first-born girls (M and P16) who now reside here. I'm pretty sure that I could completely disappear and they could keep life running for the rest of them. The two oldest boys (B and P15) have also been very helpful, but they were both gone on a Boy Scout camp out for most of the weekend. In truth all the P's are wonderful children and it's been more fun than anything having them around.
I had another midwife appointment and ultrasound. (A regular one, not a level II, which I declined.) The babies seem to be growing well...probably just over 2 pounds each now. The kidney-thing with Twin A seems to be completely resolved. Twin B still has slightly enlarged kidneys, but still within normal limits. (I love the ultrasound tech in my midwife's office...she is very low key and non-alarmist.) I, however, have to go take the 3-hour fasting glucose test, having had slightly elevated numbers on the regular one hour test. Drat. I'm pretty sure I will probably pass it as I don't have any symptoms for gestational diabetes; it's just a pain to have to go do it. And what's the deal with asking pregnant women to fast for that long? That's what I'm dreading, not the four blood draws.
All of the presentations that I was scheduled to do went well. The most recent was last Monday, talking about 'Meal Preparation and Pantry Storage' at my church's mom's group. I guess I never quite realized I had so much to say about the topic, until I was able to fill up over an hour of time. The first two presentations were at a homeschool conference. They went well, except for the fire alarm going off in the middle of one, so we lost over half the time we were allotted for our presentation. That presentation was on homeschooling large families. There seems to be two very common questions about homeschooling lots of children. The first is how to manage the laundry. Considering the state of my laundry room at this moment, I feel completely unequal to tackling that question. But, the other common question of how to homeschool with little children about is one I feel I can. Perhaps it's at the front of my mind since we added another five year old to the mix, so I'm working with three 5/6 years, plus have K. running around.
So, here are my tips. First, I always work with them first. That way they feel as though they've had my time and are perfectly happy to play while I do other things. Second, I have special bins made for the younger set that only come out at school time. (As a disclaimer, I have to admit to stealing the concept from Renee at Steppin' Heavenward. I just elaborated on her idea.) I have about 20 bins, each containing one activity. For example I have a bin for pattern blocks, for chalk and a slate, for counting, for tracing. You get the idea. All the pieces needed live in the box, plus the instructions for using the box are written on the underside of the lid. That way, if an older child is helping a younger one, they know what to do. Most of the contents came from all of those cool educational toys and manipulatives that I have collected over the years. It occurred to me that I would forget to use them and the children weren't playing with them. Now, because they have become a restricted material, they are suddenly cool. The boys can't wait to see what box they will get to play with each morning, and by having so many, it keeps them fresh. So, one boy plays, while I work with the other. Often K. joins in playing with whichever brother is 'working' on his box.
I took some pictures from this morning so you could see them in action.
TM using the Lacing Box
K. 'helping' D. with the Pattern Blocks.
P5 using the Lincoln Log Box.
D. using the Pattern Blocks Box.