Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Michaelmas




Just a few quick pictures as I'm supposed to be running off to work this morning.  I hope you had a wonderful feast day!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Still Hurting



Last week I cleaned out my sons clothes.

Not just the regular seasonal clean-out, but THE clean out.  All those things I was saving to be that intelligent, frugal mama are gone.  I went from 5 totes and two piles of our recent out-growns to two and half totes of things I just couldn't see go yet.  This included one tote, the newborn to six month clothes, that I couldn't even face opening.

Instead of thoughtfully organized, cleaned and stored clothes in my closet for "the next time" I have two totes by my door for the consignment store and bags of clothes being sent off for their next round of hand me downs.  They are the pants, shirts and shoes that will NEVER be worn by another Walter baby.  It is not easy to write that, not at all.

It had to be done.  Things don't last in storage for 5+ years; elastic wears out and benevolent stains eventually do their damage.  Those clothes weren't doing anyone any good in those boxes and now they will.  They're going to families who need them, to babies who are actually here and who will actually wear them.  It was both a liberating and draining decision.

So here we are, about a month and a half away from my last D&C and where does that leave me?

In a sort of limbo.  I've made decisions about the medical side of things - "yes" to blood clotting tests, but "no" to genetic tests.  If there's nothing I can do about it, I don't want to know right now.  I still desperately want more children, but the thought of my fourth first trimester in a year and a half physically turns my stomach in flips.  I just can't do it.  Physically and emotionally I'm drained and I need a break.

I'm doing my best to enjoy the happiness I get everyday from my son and not let the ghosts of my babies detract from enjoying what I have.  I'm throwing myself into other activities with abandon, but realizing that I'm probably just distracting myself all the anniversaries I still have to live through before next spring.

I need to get back to where I was last spring before I can try again.  There are practical aspects - finances, sick leave, etc. that have been sapped from so many doctors visits, sudden procedures and even just retail therapy and there are the deeper aspects and I have a feeling those will take longer.  You can never be prepared for something like this happen, but I can prepare myself for our future.  I can use this experience and understand how much more I'm willing to give to this.

I feel like Cathy in the beginning of "The Last Five Years" in her first song, unable to see how she got there and what she did to deserve her heart break.  " ...and where can I turn? Covered with scars I did nothing to earn Maybe there's somewhere a lesson to learn..."  I'm coming up on five years of trying to be a mother - that page will turn right around the last babies due date in March and I don't know what I've done to deserve all of this.  But as Cathy says "...but that wouldn't change the fact, that wouldn't speed time.  Once the foundations cracked and I'm.... still hurting."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Preparing for the Feast

 




Been preparing for Michaelmas over the last few days.  Put the finishing touches on the autumn trees and brought out the pinecone hedgehogs.  Switched out our "Waldorf" picture.  Made a Michaelmas Candle.  I modged-podged cut out tissue paper on a glass pillar candle based on this transparency I love.  I have seen other "dragon candles" out there, but I wanted to make sure that we were focusing on the dragon aspect too much and forgetting that this is a celebration of the angels.

I think if I do this next year the background and angel will need to be a different color to make him stand out, but we know he's there.  Was planning on lighting the candle each night to do a basic St. Michael "novena" - just praying the St. Michael Protection Prayer - to teach Henry, but our first two nights were a bust thanks to a melt down and then an unplanned sleepover at Grandmas.  Oh well, there's always next year.

I think we'll be doing our feast on Saturday since the husBen works Sunday and Monday evenings and I can't wait for the blackberry deserts I only make once a year!  I'm planning on using up some chicken breasts and drumsticks that are in the freezer instead of a whole chicken, so if you have a recommendation for a good spicy drumstick recipe shoot it my way.  My husband loves hot and spicy food and this is a good opportunity for me to make him something (while the rest of us can eat more temperately flavored chicken breasts).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Schoolish: So Far






So for the heck of it I thought I'd try to keep up with our "Schoolish" home education.  We're about to go into our first "break" or a catch up week.  So far it's been very low key and just what we need - just a little structure, but not a lot of stress.  We've accomplished a surprising amount in just a little structured reading on my days off and playtime after work.  Definitely proving that children do not need hours of "schools" to make large strides in our home.

I really feel strongly about Montessori-esque principles at this age.  Namely in setting up and providing materials and then "following the child" - letting their interests and their own pac lead the way.  There are days where we BOB books on end (past what I have out for the week) and we go days without look at them.  Watching him doing puzzles over and over and indulging his first interest in anything related to writing.  After the last year of hating anything having to do with writing or drawing, he's quite the enthusiast this week.

I also feel glad for previous knowledge from Charlotte Mason about quality reading materials - I could probably do a stand alone post about our books.

For now this is what's working - just some accessible materials, lots of books, asking lots of questions as we read and very little structured activities (have I mentioned I'm not actually a fan of doing five billion craft projects a week?  I like making art with or without my kid, but draw the line).

If you need a refresher about the materials we're providing at home take a look at the first School-ish post.