Showing posts from September, 2009


Yes, that would describe me this morning. Last night, A. and three of her friends had a birthday sleepover for P. at our house. (It was A.'s birthday gift to P.) M. and B. were sleeping over at other friends' houses, so weren't home this morning and J. has been teaching on Saturdays and leaves very early. That left me with 10 children, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, except the baby girls continue to need to eat all night and I was very tired. But this morning, even with the amount of children in the house, I got to sleep until 10 am. A., P. and friends, when they realized how tired I was, went downstairs and made pancakes for themselves and the little boys. They also made sure that got K. dressed. At 10, when G. woke up and was hungry, A. came in and offered to take her, but I was rested enough and fed her instead. When the girls saw I was going to wake up, they bustled off downstairs (and really, no one bustles like A.) for a few minutes. When t…

Growth spurts



I really shouldn't wonder why I have a house full of half-finished projects. It's because I spend a significant portion of my day nursing two adorable babies. And then every couple of weeks (days?) they seem to have a growth spurt and need to eat even more than usual. Other than them just nursing more frequently, I can tell because I, too, become ravenously hungry. I usually enjoy eating, but needing to eat all the time is starting to grow old. I had been drinking Ensure to help boost my calorie intake and I think I need to go back to doing that. I'm pretty sure I'm eating more than my 14 year old son at this point. Which, if you know B., is quite an accomplishment.

Oh yeah...the other thing about growth spurts is that the babies wake up more at night. So I'm hungry and tired. This could all explain my rather blah, unmotivated mood I've had for the past couple of days. But when I stop to think about it, I know that this season is very, very short. Before l…

Preparing for a Renaissance feast or the motherlode of thrift store ugliness

Yesterday was our history co-op's end-of-year Renaissance feast. (It was supposed to be last spring, but various family-things came up for several of us and we had to postpone it.) Our feasts always involve costumes, so last week I hit the thrift store looking for things that could be turned into Renaissance dress. And that's when I found it. Possibly one of the ugliest designs of clothing there could be: the velour jumpsuit. It's only saving grace was the color:

My first thought was to turn it into short Renaissance style pants for B. to wear. It was perfect in that there was already an elastic waist band and the pants were wide enough to look authentic. But, I'm pretty sure you won't be surprised when I tell you my 14 year old son balked at wearing big, silly, velour pants. Another option for this astounding piece of clothing was to just leave it as is and put it up with the play costumes on the third floor. It did have a lot of play value, as A. demonstrates:


The Battle of Antietam

What would you do on a beautiful Friday morning, when you don't have anything else scheduled, after a very productive week? Invite your friends to join you in reenacting the Battle of Antietam from the Civil War, of course. We have been studying the Civil War (I know, I know, we've been studying the Civil War forever...I plan on finishing this fall) and one of the books we are using suggests acting out the Battle of Antietam to give the students a sense of what troops moved where and when. To make it work better, we could have used 10 more people, though we made due with our 22 children. (Well, really it was 19, since one was off at a doctor's appointment and the babies weren't really old enough to participate.) It did make for some slim Confederate troops. At one point one of the 13 year old girls, representing an entire Confederate company, was doing her best to ward off more than a couple of Union troops. And another time, the youngest participants, who were …

3 months old

G. on left and L. on right It is impossible to get a good, smiling picture of both of the girls at the same time. One of them always ends up looking goofy. Anyway, G. and L. are three months old today. They have settled quite a bit and often have periods of happy attentiveness. This is a significant improvement over just needing to eat whenever one of them was awake...or crying because the other one was eating. They are also sleeping better. Their bad nights are now better than even the good nights were when they were first born. I'm not caught up on my sleep yet, but it is getting better. Everyone has been asking me how I manage to homeschool the other children when I have two infants. Frankly, the homeschooling/infant part is easy. I can nurse and correct math, or explain sentence diagramming, or read a book while I'm nursing. What's trickier is the house stuff and infants. It's harder to nurse and sort laundry at the same time. The 3 year old and homescho…

Commando shopping

This morning I decided to go to the Moms of Multiples semi-annual sale. When I was pregnant, I looked into joining this group, but the annual dues are $40. I'm too cheap to pay that just to get into a rummage sale an hour early. I'm sure they do other things as well, but I also don't need playgroups or baby basics lessons at this point in my life. So, I had to wait until 9am with everyone else. I knew it was a popular sale, but I under estimated the desire of pregnant women (I've never seen so many pregnant woman in one place!) to get good deals on baby stuff. Even arriving early, I was still probably at least 100 women back from the door. The standing in line part was fine, though there were a couple dicey episodes between cars in the parking lot. But then it was time to shop. Perhaps I should have titled the post 'Speed shopping'...these women were serious. I saw entire dress racks empty in the space of a half an hour. I was only there to see if I …

Happy Birthday, P.!

P. turned 9 yesterday. She is definitely the quietest member of the family; I often joke that she needs sub-titles so we know what she's thinking. Though recently, she has been more chatty and sociable. It's nice to hear what's going on in her head...because there's a lot there. She is very imaginative and crafty and likes nothing better than to be making things. Enjoy this picture of her I took today. Sometimes getting a picture of this child is more difficult than taking one of an animal in the wild. I love this girl, quirks and all. Happy birthday P.

We celebrated P.'s birthday on Wednesday since yesterday was the annual homeschool day at the Six Flags amusement park near us. We have gone with our close friends the P family and the H-S family for many years now and it has become a tradition with our three families.
Here is the group of our children (plus a couple of parents) from this year. (I should say four families because the past couple of years another mom…

New schedules

Wall schedules with our daily routine

I've been busy the past few days working on new schedules for the school year. This includes new chores for everyone and slightly changing our school schedule from last year. I've decided I'm the eternal optimist. Every year I work on developing a schedule that will transform our lives...the schedule that will create children who are happy and cheerful in doing their chores and who do them everyday without being reminded. Since I am making a new schedule for this year, you'll know that this has yet to happen. But, on the other hand, every year I have new insight into what things will help the year go more smoothly. This year, I'm leaving nothing to chance. Everyone has everything explicitly written out: when chores are to occur, how they are to be done, and what schoolwork should be accomplished. I have also made myself a list of what I need to do and when. I've given up trying to keep everything straight. I either end u…

Owl Babies


L. One of my favorite picture books is Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. The three owl babies in it are so cute with their big eyes, thinking, as they wait for their owl mother to return. I've taken to calling G. and L. my 'owl babies' because they remind me of the pictures in the book. They look like they think a lot, don't they? The babies have also started to sleep more. Going to bed at a reasonable time is still not their forte, but once they are asleep I can count on at least four or five straight hours. After weeks of an hour or two at a time, this feels wonderful. They have been sharing a crib, and often sleep in exactly the same position. (I hope you can see this, for obvious reasons we didn't want to use a flash.):

And sometimes sleepiness is contagious. We call it 'baby dust' around here. Today, L. had an ultrasound on her kidneys. If you remember, in all those ultrasounds I had during the twins' pregnancy, her kidneys were always show…