Depressed mOM WITH DEPRESSION day in the life

A Day in the Life of a Mom with Depression

6:00 Eyes pop open and brain sizzles. Realize that the two-year-old is still asleep and you don’t have a headache, for the first time in two or three weeks. Try to go back to sleep but your brain is on now and you can’t. Try to get out of bed. Lay there. Your neck and shoulders hurt so much you can barely move your head.

7:00 Get up and find coffee. You are so achey you hobble down the stairs like an 85 year old. You know you’re not sick and that it isn’t from too much exercise. The boys are ready to get on the bus and just want their snuggles and love. You just want to be left alone, but you do give the hugs and kisses. Realize that you have some time completely alone and you take advantage of it and read your Bible. Sneak in a little creative verse drawing.

8:00 Decide to work out for the first time in several days. Can’t get the TV to turn on. Try to watch videos to entertain you on your phone. But it’s just not working and you keep getting distracted and get off the trampoline several times to clean this or pick that up and put that away. Grab another cup of coffee. The little girls are up now. Kevin comes in the house briefly and fixes the TV by unplugging it and plugging it back in. Your foggy brain couldn’t come up with that solution. You hug and kiss him in thanks but he’s in a rush and you feel brushed off.

9:00 You feel like you’re moving through a field of molasses in a swamp. Sometimes it feels like you are a swamp walker all the time.  Everything takes such a colossal effort.  The big girls are up and the boys are back home. You homeschool, and you keep thinking that you’ll do school  with the kids but you also want to see if you can get some more walking in and watch motivational videos which improve your mood.  You can’t get them motivated to do their work when you can’t get motivated yourself.  They get their own breakfasts and watch YouTube while you keep walking on the rebounder. Put on some educational videos at least.

10:00 Check your planner and remember that your daughter’s orchestra concert is tonight. Cry, because doing something in the evening seems like it is way too overwhelming. The husband is telling you someone is going to come over and consult about  the floor you’re hoping to put in, and you know the piano teacher will be here soon so you get dressed and put on some make up. You play with your two-year-old and watch her laugh, but feel apathetic. You wish you could be so carefree.

coffee mom talk depression day in the life depressed mom mental illness

11:00 The kids’ piano teacher arrives and you walk the dog down to the barn to find your son. It’s a beautiful sunny day and you want to stay outside but the wind is too windy and the wind chimes are to chime-y and the sun is too shiny. You go back inside.  Time passes and you don’t even know what you did.

12:00 Now it is lunchtime and you realize you had meant to go down and get hamburger out of the freezer to thaw several times and never actually made it happen. Let the kids make their own sandwiches. Do some reading and Marco Polo with some friends. Want to support them and what they’re going through. It’s very hard because you don’t have any emotional strength for yourself.

1:00 It is time to take oldest to orchestra. You cry because Finnella cries and tries getting in the car. You go and get your nails done so they look pretty because feeling pretty makes you feel better. And they are pretty,  but it doesn’t really help. You’re reading a book about a recovering drug addict who is in jail and it’s hard even feel any empathy with her and you know your problems aren’t even that big but they seem insurmountable.

2:00 You get home and take a picture of your crabapple trees because three of the four of them aren’t blooming and it really bugs you, as in, you think about the not blooming trees on a regular basis. Bugs you like,  it comes up at random times in your mind, “Why aren’t they blooming?! Why do all the other trees look so good!?”  And you want to post to gardening experts about what you should do.

You try to think of solutions for the things that really bother you because you know it’s not normal thinking. But you can’t help it, and actually finding a gardening forum is overwhelming and several days later it’s still not done.day in the life with depression depressed mental health mom mother mental illnessYou see your puppy lying still in the yard. She doesn’t get up when the car drives into the lane. Suddenly you worry that she’s dead, she’s really dead. What would you do if she was dead?? You feel your heart racing and you start sweating, and you’re breathing rapidly and you can’t think of anything else but if she’s dead and so you start to walk over to her and she lifts her head  and runs excitedly over to you. You thank God she’s not dead and you know that it’s crazy to even have thought that she’s dead, and that logically it’s nearly an impossibility but you can’t help it. You snuggle her for a while.

3:00 The kids are all playing out back and you watch them through the deck doors for a while and marvel at their wonderful creativity even know they’re doing some things they’re really not supposed to be doing, like playing with the fire escape ladder. You don’t have the energy to make them take the ladder back upstairs and have a sneaking suspicion that it will be in that tree all summer, but you can’t even care. You are just glad they are leaving you alone.

You have gotten the new patches for the ceiling in the mail so you apply one.

You go out to the yard to try to get some vitamin D.

depression day in the life depressed mom describe mother mum

 

When the kids discover that you’re home, you really can’t handle them climbing around on you so you go sit in the living room and they wander off to play outside some more. When the two-year-old comes to ask you to read to her you do, but you are so exhausted that you just fall asleep. You literally just fall asleep on the couch without meaning to.

5:00 The next thing you know your 13-year-old is telling you that it is time to leave for her orchestra concert and asking if you can please do her hair. You do a  pull through braid, very loose  and beautiful. But she doesn’t think it’s fancy enough and doesn’t think that there is enough time to fix it again and she make up. You feel defeated. No one can understand how hard it was to just make yourself braid that incredible child’s hair.

You actually did remember to have someone get the meat out of the freezer. But now there  is no time to make dinner. The kids have to fend for themselves again. Brielle has offered to stay home with Finnella (2) and Elivette (5) so you let her despite your misgivings because it would be a lot easier to not have to deal with the little girls during the concert.

You notice that the spackle on the ceiling is dry so you start to do that, even though it’s nearly time to leave.  You just think you would have enough time while Aviana finishes her make up. She’s annoyed by this idea, because it’s really a foolish move to try and spread spackle smoothly on the ceiling when you have a deadline of walking out the door in a couple of minutes. Your brain just doesn’t do logical sometimes a lot of the time.

6:00 You’ve arrived on time at the concert and save seats for Aviana’s (and your) friends , and the husband and Cadrian (9)who are coming. Denton (7) plays a game on the Kindle and you try to read your book on your Kindle app on the phone. It’s super hard to concentrate because you worry you will miss the people you’re saving seats for. Your legs are aching like crazy and your whole body feels out of control and heavy and fuzzy. You can’t just sit still and enjoy reading.

7:00 The concert is four different orchestras and your daughter gets two recognition certificates. You’re really proud of her, and want to enjoy the remainder of concert, but you also really want to leave. It’s hard to keep in your seat, but it helps to have the boys asking questions and feeling restless too, because helping them behave appropriately and encouraging them, helps you.

9:00 You discover that Kevin has stopped at McDonald’s because he didn’t get supper. You didn’t get supper either. You could have stopped for food too, but chose to get home instead. After getting the boys in bed and talking with Brielle and Aviana, you have some time to talk with Kevin, for the first time in several weeks.

In spite of feeling grumpy towards him, you’re working at flirting with your husband and talking with him about vacation plans and ideas. And everything seems to be going really well when he says some snide things to you. Whether unintentional, or intentional,  you say “You don’t need to make fun of me like that,” when he tries to drive a point home several ways. Then he gets offended and suddenly you’re in a fight, and you’re comparing him to Donald Trump, and he stamps out of the room. Now you’re alone again.

10:00 You apologize for the Donald Trump comment and then sit on the couch scrolling and watching Intervention. You like Intervention because they’re worse off than you are, you know you don’t want to self medicate like they do, and  you do want to learn how to handle your emotions in a healthy way, and learn better coping skills,  and almost all of the episodes are a story of redemption.

1:00 a.m. You take your vitamins and medicine,  go to bed and watch it some more until your eyes are heavy enough and your brain is numb enough to finally sleep. You average between 5 and 6 hours of sleep when the depression is bad. And it’s been bad lately.

 

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Stylish Mom on the Go

I don’t consider myself to be a super-chic mom, but, just like you, I am a busy mom on the go, who likes to look the best I can! I like ideas of how to be frugally fashionable, so I share my photos of my weekly fashion “uniform”. Find out why I love it, and what each outfit is perfect for in the never ending daily of mom life.

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking through gives both of me benefits because I get a small compensation and you benefit by seeing cute things! That makes us friends with benefits. 

outfit stylish mom style on the go spring

Hat: Husband’s

Dress: Casa Lee via Goodwill

This is the perfect outfit to wear to church,  do some errands, (how do I always end up doing errands on Sundays?!), hang out with your two year old while the rest of the family goes to 11 year old’s play,  go out to dinner with some dear friends, stay out too late having too much fun, but feel so relaxed and happy by then end of the night it’s totally worth it.

stylish mom outfit ideas busy active mama real life

Shirt: Banana Republic via Goodwill (similar)

Skirt: Tangerine Trek Skort via Goodwill

Sweater: Wish (similar)

This outfit is perfect for trying to do your best. Forgetting to take your usual outfit photo and doing it in the bathroom before you head off to bed is part of that.

outfit stylish mom style on the go spring

Sweater: Land’s End via handmedown

Tank top: Walmart via thrifted

Shorts: New York and Company via Goodwill

This outfit is perfect for feeling like you’re constantly failing and reassuring yourself that you’re doing your best and trying to listen to your own positive advice. It’s perfect for having a Hard Day.

Sleepshirt: Zulily

This outfit is perfect for sleeping. I actually wore athleisure pants and a tank this day but forgot to take a picture.

outfit stylish mom style on the go spring

Shirt: Stitch Fix

Skirt: Goodwill

Shoes: FitFlops via Amazon

This outfit is perfect for exploring and discovering and resting. It’s also good for running around like a crazy person to fit in a massage. It’s also excellent for being perfectly contradictory.

stylish mom outfit ideas busy active mama real life

Shirt:  Eddie Bauer via Goodwill (similar)

Necklace: Target (similar)

Basic jeggings

Boots: Goodwill (similar)

Two year old: homemade

Trashed kitchen: Two year old (and her siblings) (and likely their mother)

This outfit is perfect for doing so many things including  picking up groceries and organizing bins and going shopping with Thirteen and trying to install “easy to install” tile and really wanting to give up and go to bed but you’ve made plans with your bestie to go out and have some Her time. It’s perfect for having a couple of drinks and a scrumptious dinner and then sitting at her house and feeling wonderfully relaxed for the first time in forever.

outfit ideas stylish mom style on the go spring

This outfit is perfect for putting on after spending the morning exercising and watching YouTube in your pajamas and seriously wanting to stay at home but get talked into heading to the mall and interacting with as few people as possible and then spend the rest of the evening hiding lounging in your room.

Headband: I cut off the bottom of the dress because it was awkwardly long.

Sweater: Wish

Dress: Goodwill

Belt: Amazon

Boots: Goodwill

 

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Day in the Life of a Farmer

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

6:00 Wake up to alarm. Try to sneak out of bedwithout disturbing beautiful wife or two year old who’s snoozing between us. Am largely unsuccessful. Sneaking is not my forté. Grab a cup of coffee to down while putting on my coveralls. It’s 15 degrees on the seventh of April and the cow herd is calving. Dangerous conditions for newborns. The plan is to haul the last month’s accumulation of manure out of the cattle yards and use it to fertilize the fields while the ground is still frozen. It’s a week long job at least with nothing going wrong.

6:30 Check the cows. Discover a half frozen just born baby calf. Haul him in the calf sled to under the barn so I can get him nursing. His mama is not cooperative and keeps trying to charge me. Stupid cow.

7:30 Still having trouble getting her in the head gate. I’m sick of this cow trying to kill me, when all I’m doing is trying to save her baby. Take a break and go check the rest of the herd. Discover two more babies, just born while I was under the barn with the first ridiculous cow.

Drag them in to under the barn as well. Their mamas follow docilely like they’re supposed to. Get the calves all in the calf warmer—a tiny A frame shed with a heater.

Head up to the house for some frozen colostrum. I’m going to have to tube feed them all.

Put 9 year old in charge of warming up colostrum, the first highly nutritious milk. We always milk cows who have lost a baby or have extra colostrum, to keep on hand. Without those precious first few nursings of colostrum, the calves won’t live no matter what you do. It’s a miracle that newborn human babies who’ve never nursed can survive, as no animal will!

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

8:30 Go back out to barn to check on the situation and see that two of them are starting to stand and be halfway normal. The kids all want to come out and watch, so I let them peer through the window so they won’t disturb the mamas. Milk the two cooperative cows and tube feed their calves with their own mama’s colostrum since they can’t nurse yet.

9:30 Go back up to the house, get the warmed colostrum, tube feed the first calf. I don’t think he’ll make it. This is even more discouraging as just yesterday, I had twins (highly unusual for Gelbvieh cows), both born back feet first, both born dead. They’re supposed to be born front feet first. Besides feeling badly for the animal, we’re losing big money every time we lose a calf, and this is definitely not the year to lose any money on anything.

After feeding the calves, I headed up the breakfast operations while my wife was working out. Cadrian, the nine year old can make popovers on his own, but he still needs a little guidance and a lot of reminders.

10:30 Finally start hauling manure while it’s still frozen. I go into the cattle yards with the tractor, load the manure and the straw we use as bedding material into the loader bucket and dump it into the manure spreader. The ground needs to be frozen while I take it out to the field so I don’t tear up the ground with ruts, which then causes compaction, because I want to plant into it soon.

11:30 Take a break from hauling manure when my best friend comes over to get hay for his goat. We shoot the breeze for a while.

By this time, Jessica is gone to write all day at a local farmer owned coffee shop. I go back up to the house to check on the kids and get them to start lunch. They make frozen vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

12:30 The ground is starting to thaw, so I finally start chores. This involves feeding all the cattle in the cattle yards a special mixture of silage, hay and nutrients, and taking bales of hay out to the cattle in the pastures. I mow and bale hay all summer long so out cattle can be grass fed all winter, and I sell some hay to local horse owners. I keep a close eye on the worst off calf.

1:30 The kids are bounding around outside since it’s warmed up a bit. They want to help and be in the way and see everything. Elivette manages to get some milk to feed the half frozen, now thawed, babies!

A couple more calves are born, in the sunshine, which even though it’s still record lows,  makes a big difference so they were fine. After I got the new ones all ear tagged, I poured hot water over that first calf for quite a while, trying to get him warmed up internally.

2:30 Our pet cow Lolly had her calf! She is the smartest cow we have. She had the calf at the warmest part of the day, in the calf shed I just erected yesterday. Really it was probably dumb luck, but I like to credit it to her intelligence.

day in the life of a farmer
My wife with all her sick headache accouterments.

3:30 Jessica has gotten home but she has a sick headache and can’t go to the party with the family.

I get the kids around and we head off to Aviana’s friend’s and Challenge A director’s home for tacos and a sing-a-long. On the way, I meet up with Brielle’s friend’s dad, because her friend Esther has stayed the night and needs to be returned to her family.

4:30 The kids have a great time while I chat with some of our friends. I have to supervise our kids pretty closely because they’re still so young and impulsive. The family who live here with their two teenagers lead a completely different life than us with our six rambunctious rascals ages 2-13.

Our nine year old especially needs to have some quality friends who are boys. We seem to have a lot of friends with girls. He and the host’s 14 year old son love to wrestle and roughhouse.

7:30 It’s impossible for me to round up six kids. You have to start an hour before you’re ready to leave, and then when you finally find them all, and get them pointed in the right direction, someone wants to chat some more and they all disperse again.

Bedtime is the best time of day for this farmer!

8:00 Get teeth brushed and pajamas on. By lying down with her, I get the two year old to sleep. I love snuggling her and helping her fall asleep. Often I fall asleep with her for a little while, and show her how it’s done. This farmer teaches thegreatest life lessons: Bedtime is the best time of day!

9:00 I head back outside and get the calves nursing for the first time. That’s a huge relief! The first one died. I check the cows again and see another new calf born, which brings our total to 7 for the 7th! That’s almost 10% of our herd calving on one day. I have to go out to the field to bring back the tractor I forgot out there because I drove the tractor pulling the manure spreader back and then got busy with the cows. If I had a fit bit I’m sure it would show that I walked 20 miles today.

10:00 Sit down for a rest while Jessica quizzes me about my day for this blog post. I like that she’s paying attention to me, but I’m almost too tired to think! Snuggling with the puppy in the comfy chair is putting me to sleep.

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Book Review (March Edition)

March Book Reviews

March was a great book month! I read a lot of winners. I rate books on 1-5 stars, but it’s really kind of silly because I never finish books less than three stars, and have trouble even when they are perfectly average. And then when I realized I could use the emojis to make the stars, I thought to myself, as anyone would, “I’m going to rate these books on a scale of 1 to 5 tacos!”

Happy Handmade Home 🌮🌮🌮

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space

I’ve been using A Beautiful Mess’s filters for years, so when I saw they had a book out, I jumped on it. It was easy to read, lots of beautiful photos, much inspiration. If you like home decorating books, check it out! If you don’t like home interior books, this would be a good one to read and change your mind.

Into the Water. 🌮🌮🌮🌮

Into the Water: A Novel

I read this for Paper and Glam bookclub. I was halfway through before I even realized this is the same author as Girl on a Train, which I really loved. I’m a huge fan of quality mystery, and turns of the plot, as well as strong leads. This one was a bit confusing because it had so many different people’s points of view telling the story, as well as many different flashbacks, it was intriguing though, and because I was riveted, I still gave it four stars.

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

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Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

This book was filled with all of the Kennedy drama and tragedy, but honestly it was pretty boring. It was mostly a litany of day to day list type writing. I wish the author would have helped me feel more sympathetic and compassionate toward Rosemary, or any of the characters. I wanted to feel their pain, feel for them more deeply, but the matter of fact style of telling the story was completely devoid of emotion.

A Wrinkle in Time 🌮🌮🌮

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

Although it fit the category of “A Childhood Classic You’ve Never Read” for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge, I didn’t really love it. My 13 year old said it’s one of her favorite books, so maybe it’s just very much a children’s book, which is disappointing because there is lots of other so-called children’s lit I love to come back to. I’m not a huge sci-fi or fantasy fan either, so maybe that’s part of it. It was very simplistic, with very little character development. It reminds me of a book I would have written in the 6th grade.

The Woman in the Window 🌮🌮🌮🌮

The Woman in the Window: A Novel

Reminding me frequently of the Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, Woman in the Window was filled with plot twists. I loved that I guessed some of them, but not to the extent they were written. I fell in love with the spirit of the protagonist. I couldn’t put this one down. Highly recommended: I almost gave it 4 ½ stars.

Safe With Me 🌮🌮🌮🌮

Safe With Me: A psychological thriller so tense it will take your breath away

March must have been the month for un-put-downable thrillers. This one had me hopping as well. This one had twists I never saw coming, as well as a hard to love, but still adorable narrator.

Night Road 🌮🌮🌮🌮

Night Road: A Novel

In my opinion, Kristin Hanna can do no wrong. I love how every book of hers is a different time period and about a different topic all together, and still hits me in all the feelings, and makes me cry, teaches me something new, and still has a happy ending. When you have to work through a lot of crud for that happy wrap-up, it makes the end all the sweeter. I do so love a happy ending.

Underground Railroad 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮

The Underground Railroad: A Novel

This is the best book I’ve read all year. I loved all of it—the gritty, hardness of it. The truth of it. The absolute fantastical aspects of it. The spirit of the main character. The heartbreak of it. The beauty of it. Just read it.

Little Fires Everywhere 🌮🌮🌮🌮

Little Fires Everywhere
I will just come right out and say I was completely unsatisfied with the ending, but up until then, everything about this book was stellar. I was riveted the entire time. I loved the backstories by way of explanation of certain characters’ behavior, I loved all the different, yet intertwining plot lines, I genuinely loved the characters. Despite everything still being at loose ends at its conclustion, this was a book I was disappointed to have end.

What were your favorite books in March? I have a never ending TBR (to be read) list; I’ll be happy to add your recommendations!

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Moms Run The World

We moms are like electricity.

I was thinking about this today as I chopped vegetables, intending to put out a veggie tray for the kids to have a healthy snack to graze on every time they passed through the kitchen.  We run everything. Husbands and kids expect us to do all the thinking for them. And for whatever reason, we do.

The other day I was agonizingly finishing up math with my most reluctant learner.  It had been a productive morning, but as is the norm with small people, there was plenty of arguing with each other and push back  to me and interruptions and a lost reading book we just had yesterday, which we still haven’t found, and character training and loudness and touching. I was really ready for a break. The Farmer came in for lunch.  He strode into where we were working,  griping about all the problems he had encountered outside with machinery. It added weight to my inner tension, but I couldn’t really respond, because if I let my attention wander, the math-doer would absolutely follow suit. There were leftovers. He’d be fine.

Suddenly, a small crash and loud faux swearing filled the air, The Farmer emphatically wondering who had left the egg on the stove top and why doesn’t anyone ever clean up around here?! I couldn’t bear it a moment longer and leapt to my feet emphatically answering. Everything else in the kitchen was clean, and I, already at my limit, was furious that he had an accident and was trying to blame everyone else. He didn’t notice that the rest of the room was tidy, just the egg now splattered all over the floor.

Thinking back over the altercation, I realized that I am like the power in the house. We just expect the light switch to turn the lights on when we flip it; we expect the fridge to be cold when we open it; we expect the button to start the microwave when we push it. Our families expect the same thing of us. We only really notice the electricity when the fuse is blown or the storm knocks out the power. We function so well and do our jobs so well as administrators of our homes, that we practically are invisible.

I live in a home built in 1850 and added onto in 1902. The electric in our house is cobbled together, added on in dribs and drabs over the years.  As we have undertaken remodeling projects, we make sure to do the electricity right, and up to code. Even though it worked before, I know that it’s better to completely redo the wiring and connections to make sure our home is as safe as possible.  Despite the fact that I know it’s necessary, and even want to do it, I’ve always railed against this  very expensive, invisible part of our remodeling process.

I’m a little like that with self care too. I want to eat right, want to spend uninterrupted time with God, want to exercise, want to take moments out of the day to read my book or to make my planner pretty. I don’t often make it happen like I ought to.  I know it’s necessary for my mental health and to be fully functional. I know I need to do it to be the best mom I can be.

It’s important to have the electricity of the home be at full capacity.  We moms are the sometimes invisible, usually unappreciated energy sources of our homes. Do what you need to to be at maximum power.

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Farm Fresh Family Update

Brielle and Finnella looking for books on CD

I haven’t blogged for six months! I have lots of good reasons/excuses, depending on how you look at it. But I miss it and I enjoy it and I am doing it for me, so I’m back! It’s hard to let go of expectations–like how blogging has kind of turned into article writing, and I don’t always (ever) have the brain space for an actual article, so I felt like I couldn’t compete. But with whom am I competing? And why!?

I’m learning a lot about myself and being a better self.
The Farmer: He’s busy with the farm as always. He’s got more cows than ever, and more feed lot cattle too. He’s putting up a lot of forage (hay, rye) for the winter and to hopefully sell. He’s working on spraying now. He does his best to take children with him whenever he can and to be home for dinner, or at least bedtime. As any working parent knows, it’s a challenge to be pulled in a lot of different directions, and with farming, you can’t leave your woes behind at the office, it’s always there. Staring you in the face. Glaring at you.
The Farm Fresh Mama: I’ve got my hands in a lot of different pots. I’ve gotten back into serving my community as a doula and love holding space for mamas so they can see their own power. It’s a beautiful, celestial calling.

I have more than doubled the garden this year. I’m doing Square Food Gardening and trying something new, Straw Bale Gardening. I don’t think my peas are going to make it, and will have to start over with them, but everything else looks good. I’ve gotten a new hobby of “planning”, which is writing my to do list and decorating it, and writing down what we did in quick bullet points in a composition notebook. It’s a fun segue between scrapbooking and keeping track of what I need to do on the backs of kids’ drawings. Writing “water garden” in my planner helps it actually get done. Funny how that works.

Finnella on Memorial Day

I’m doing something new with the boys for school, called Easy Peasy Homeschool. The woman who put it together did a curriculum for ALL THE GRADES, of activities to do with links added. It’s amazing she did this and I am so thankful. It eliminates the problem of never being able to find the book I need. It doesn’t matter how organized I am, there is always a missing book! They like being able to play games and be on the computer. 

I love homeschooling and seeing their successes and the delight for learning gleam.
Aviana: This child is almost as tall as I am and it blows my mind. She weighed as much as a bag of sugar when I brought her home from the hospital and now she’s looking me in my eye. IN MY EYE! She earned Memory Master again this year. I am proud of how she puts her mind to something and attains it. She’s going to be a seventh grader. She plays piano and earned a spot in a special recital for students who have been given a Superior rating three years in a row at festival. She took up violin this year too and we are putting her in orchestra at the junior high. I’m feeling nervous about that, almost like sending a child off to kindergarten!
Brielle: She’s as precocious and adorable as ever. She achieved Memory Master in Classical Conversations this year, as a nine year old. That is a big deal! She plans to do it the next two years and try for National Memory Master, which would put us on a cruise (and makes her my favorite)! I love how much she can do when she puts her mind to it! 
Cadrian; My sweet boy has grown so much this year! He is reading better than ever, helps me garden, and is our chief breakfast maker. He specializes in Toad in a Hole and oatmeal. He is amazingly thoughtful and kind to me (which is why he’s my favorite), and absolutely likes to stir the pot when it involves his siblings. 
Denton: He is learning right along side Cadrian and often feels shuffled in the middle. He’s sensitive and tough at the same time, the tough being a cover up for the sensitive. I wish people could see the sweet and sensitive easier, because it’s so easy to start off going toe to toe with him. I’m so thankful I discovered what Gentle Parenting really means before he ever got spanked (because he’s my favorite). It’s hard enough to figure out how to help him reach his full potential with the respectful parenting tools I DO have in my arsenal. He’s as bright as a brass button and full of his own ideas. 
Elivette: She is talkative and adorable and loves to say “Pwetty Pwincess Pwease”. She sports dresses all the time and often a tiara. She is smart as a whip and as thoughtful as you please. She has an amazing memory and astounds me with what she comes up with. Her three year old year has been so completely different than the older girls’ (probably because she’s my favorite). I can’t help but wonder how much my parenting shift has had to do with it. She 
Finnella (my favorite) has turned one! She has been taking some steps here and there. She loves being outside and in point of fact is sitting right next to me on the couch literally screaming at me because I am not taking her outside. I stood up with her just now and she stopped screaming. I took her outside and put her in the swing and she smiled. She knows what she wants and doggedly goes after it.She likes her swing in the tree the best, but will happily crawl around where ever we are. She doesn’t like the feel of the sidewalk or grass so crawls on one knee and one foot. She waves, babbles like crazy, and lets you know her needs, but doesn’t sign anything yet. 
One more thing that I wanted to mention is how vital my mama tribe has become. I have always had friends, but in the past couple of years, I have been given the gift of people who understand my heart and my very soul in a way I haven’t experienced. It has helped me become more like the person I’ve always wanted to be.

D, F, E, B, A and C and me on a hike at Starved Rock State Park
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A Day in the Life

I’m always curious about the average person’s daily life. I found an amazing video on Netflix titled Life in a Day. It is a documentary of snippets of people’s lives all over the world. It’s a bit of time capsule. It was beautiful.

It inspired me to make one of my own.

I have done this before in written form, with pictures, but never with video. It took me quite a bit longer to put the thing together than I thought it would, especially because I got sick for several days right after I shot it. I stayed up late last night and now it’s finally done.

I invite you to take twenty minutes out of your day to share part of mine. 🙂

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We’ve been busy

July is usually pretty busy for us, but this July has been even more so.

We had three weeks of swimming lessons. We had Kevin, Cadrian and Aviana’s birthdays. I was on call for a couple of births, one of which was a totally and completely amazing. I went to a city a few hours away with three of the children for a training for a new phase of our home school journey. I’ve read a few books. We painted our “new” family room. We got a puppy. I wrote a song, recruited a friend to sing it, and am in the process of making a video.

Aaand a bunch of other stuff..

I’ve missed blogging. My goal for August is to plan better and post at least once a week.
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My Day (in status updates)

Passion really is better than coffee.

It’s a DRINK! Get your mind out of the gutter.

Only one out of five screaming and neck clinging when I dropped them off at Grandma’s. We’re getting better.

Hey! I’m not late!

Getting fillings isn’t so bad when you can watch The Princess Bride.

Never had a leg wax in someone’s living room. I’ll go back. And next time I’ll stop at the ATM first.


Six avocados. Five pounds of freshly sliced meats. Four cucumbers. Three cauliflower heads. Two tubs of spinach. And one healthier mama. (Hopefully).

Picked up my sister-in-law at the doctor. Slightly jealous that she always looks amazing, despite spending the weekend in the hospital, and the week flat on her back with an agonizing spinal headache. Glad she’s feeling better.

“I’m gonna go mow.” Yes, I really said that. And I really did that.

Mowing’s stupid.

We have too much yard.

Still mowing.

Somebody needs some sheep!

Chatting–with MIL.

Oops! Time to leave again. Kuk Sool. Construction. Not even late. I totally rule.

“Mama! I want to climb that light pole!” This about sums up the energy level at Goodwill.

And your aisle’s entertainment will be provided by sword fights with wrapping paper. Stop laughing, fellow customers, you’re just encouraging them!

Goodwill Good Deals: For Kevin: Tommy Bahama silk shirt, Banana Republic shorts, J. Crew jeans and a couple pairs of shorts for work
                                  For me: VS Pink capris, questionably authentic Gucci handbag, and UGGS
                                  For Aviana: a couple of Gap swimsuits, and Iowa State tanktop and a pair of sandals                                   For Denton: a pair of Merrells
                                  For Elivette: a cute Carter’s outfit
                                  For Brielle: four black tops to wear under her Kuk Sool uniform, which is the whole reason why we went there in the first place
                                 For Cadrian: NOTHING–and he’s the one who really needs shoes ( I have a theory that five year old boys wear out all the clothes, so there are never any for me to buy)

Waving  excitedly to all the people in the grocery store parking lot while 9 yo runs in for the almond milk I forgot earlier. Yes. That was us.

We love singing along to the Best of Broadway CD all the way home! (although, I question the truth of The Best)

Make your children’s day and stop by the lake a mile from your house to pee and strut about to “If I were a rich man”.

Kevin doing bedtime = priceless

Nursing runny nosed toddlers is possibly the grodiest thing ever.

Cutting husband’s hair and it’s not the day of the wedding we’re going to…again with the “I totally rule”.

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A Day in the Life

6 a.m. Kevin’s alarm goes off. He has to go out and load cattle he’s selling today. Last calf finally born in the night. 107 lb bull calf. Helped it get nursing.

6:15: Hear 20 month old Elivette. She’s at the top of the stairs crying instead of just coming down to our room like usual. I pick her up and she immediately stops. I love that feeling when it happens, as if I’m the answer for which she’s been searching.

6:45 Take her back to bed. Nurse her both sides. Miraculously she’s fallen back asleep. I can’t even remember the last time that happened.

7:05 Lie there drowsily snuggling. Cadrian, 5, comes in; happy, talkative, and thankfully, whispering! He says he didn’t fall asleep for a long long time because his new clock kept him awake with all its loud ticking. We snuggle and chat for a while.

7:30 Think I hear Denton, 3, stirring and I don’t want him to wake the baby. Throw on  fleece cupcake pants, and a plaid fleece lined flannel (both purple of course). Start to make shakes. Denton comes in, toting his giant car seat box. I pick him up and start his good morning song, but he immediately sees C going for “his” box and starts screaming. The girls, Aviana, 9, and Brielle, 7, are up. Hug and kiss and good morning song them. Can’t find  lid to one of the shake cups. Start to feel annoyed until I remember the poor of East End (London, I just finished reading the Call the Midwife trilogy) and choose to be grateful instead.

Good morning, good morning to you
Good morning, good morning to you
I love you so much, I’ll eat you right up (nibble ears and nose)
I love you, I love you, I do!

8:00 D & C are fighting over the box. B & A are shouting because B got dressed right away and A is furious that it is 44*F and raining and it’s May 1 and supposed to be spring and she had planned to wear a tank top. I calmly tell people that if anyone is shouting, they can shout outside all they want, and I don’t even care what they are wearing at the moment. If they shout, they are out.

        Fix B’s hair in a “Lacy Braid” which my friend taught me last night. Our amazing neighbor, Cindee calls to confirm she’s picking the girls up for their tutoring session at 8:30. She tells me she messaged me on Facebook, but I didn’t get on FB last night! She takes them to her house once a week to work on science experiments or long term messy projects that would get destroyed or messed with by the littles here. C and D start in again, maybe about the rocket this time. Put C outside. He comes in when he’s done shouting, which is almost immediately.

        Fix A’s hair in a “Five Plait”. I wish I could figure out how to do a French Five Plait, but my fingers get confused. I go in the boys’ room to see how the fabric I got to make a bed skirt for Cadrian will work and pick up quite a bit while I’m in there. A has calmed down about the weather and decided to wear her CuddleDuds under her outfit.

 8:30        Give those who want it bananas and peanut butter. Do some geography songs and reading with Brielle and Cindee arrives. Remind A to take their books and she worries they’ll leave without her. Decide to check messages and to let Melissa know I’m not going to get my hair cut today. Comment on a few posts. Clean up the bananas and peanut butter.

9:00   E wakes! Nurse her. She’s so happy and hungry. Put off changing her a few minutes. Kevin walks in and makes eggs and ham for himself and disappears. I make eggs for the boys and Elivette. E and D eat 2 and Cadrian eats 4 (our chickens are young and the eggs are not jumbo). D doesn’t like the egg I made for him so I give him a different one and don’t even feel irritated. That’s kind of new and worth mentioning.

9:30 Gather 50+ library books and videos that are due today and tomorrow (sometimes I go though a “put-everything-that-looks-good-on-hold binge) Change laundry. Put my hand in honey B spilled yesterday on the half wall in the bathroom which no one cleaned up. Still don’t clean it up or I’ll get completely side tracked from the laundry. Goals for today: Get MY clothes put away. Get the winter jammas and clean clothes put away.
         Get E dressed. Get  a second cup of coffee. Get counting animals down for D.

10:00  Get dressed–long sleeve lilac sweater, black sweater vest cardi, jeans. Make bed. Start hanging up my clothes. Kevin wants to make bean soup with the leftover ham bone but needs help with the beans. E has dumped the counting animals all over. No clothes are actually hung up yet.

            Get my clothes hung up and put away. I have a bad habit of just throwing my clothes on the floor when I’m done for the day. I don’t wash my jeans or sweaters every time I wear them, so that’s part of why, but it’s also just because I’m tired and want in my jams. I will tell you this: If Kevin did what I do, I’d be mighty peeved. It’s that bad.

             Put my shoes back on the rack. Twice. Thanks Elivette.
             Put my stack of yoga pants back on the shelf. Thanks boys.
             Be thankful they didn’t pull down the closet shelves when all three of them decided to climb them at the same time.

10:30 Switch laundry. Check beans. Carry in my three pairs of shoes that have mysteriously migrated to the family closet. Bring in jammas, and two baskets of clothes to be folded and the bin for the jamms. It would be easier to sort and fold the clothes IN the family closet but it drives me crazy to have the chiddlers underfoot in such a tiny space and I can’t imagine the destruction which would happen in the house if I stayed out there to do it .
          AND my center closet door just fell out! (we have three bifold doors with mirrors, very heavy) Thankful Elivette was behind it, not in front of it!

11:00 Fold and sort clothes. Boys are playing with magnets, quietly-ish nearby. Cindee brings girls back who are WOUND UP. Try to discuss where to go from here and how long we want to continue our arrangement, but my brain has no ideas. Feel overwhelmed by the sudden mess and noise. The boys have now stripped to the waist and are wrestling. Cut up an apple for E. Finish the folding and go out to the laundry room again.

11:30 Clean up the honey. Pick up several toys and various detritus the baby or someone has strewn about. Among other things: a muffin tin, a cheese slicer, a metal tray, a magnetic letter Q, a headband, three socks and several pieces of apple. Put the pajama bin away, stepping over several articles of clothing in the process. Feel befuddled and annoyed this room ends up like this every day. (They take after me 🙁 )
           Put a load of rags in. Get another load of kid clothes out of the dryer. Decide I’m done and leave it on the floor.

           Orchestrate “pick up time” which is an exhausting and constant process. Everyone wants to negotiate their jobs and I just want the stuff picked up! Find several more counting animals. Keep 3 or 4 of them semi-focused and on task.

12:00 Start lunch. Mac and cheese and frozen mixed vegetables.Kevin calls suggesting I put Elivette down for an early nap since he wants to go to Menards later. Since she slept until 9, I don’t see that happening. Aviana wants to tell me why she is made. Cadrian wants to tell me why he is mad. Everyone is hyper and talking at once. I keep patient, telling them they are interrupting each other and listen as best I can. Inwardly though I feel anxious and irritable.

12:30 Tell C & D to sit down and wait quietly. They do fairly well. Ask B to get milk and C to help E with her bib, while I’m dishing up mackey. Suddenly I see B helping E and No-one getting milk. So irritating. Mention it calmly that no one would have to wait if she would have just done the job I’d given her.
           I love how E holds out her little hands expectantly at the beginning of a meal to hold hands and pray. Today we sing “Johnny Appleseed”, which reminds me to be grateful for even the rain.

Oh, the Lord is good to me,

and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me,
the things I need,
the sun and the rain
and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me.
Tell the children I need to get E down for her nap and to please clear the table and put their plates in the dishwasher. 
1: 00 Nurse E. Take her up to bed. Read boys Rain Drop Plop and Because Your Daddy Loves You. Put them in their Quiet Time areas after they choose where they’ll be. C is on my bed with a book and D is in his room. Several reminders of “It’s quiet time rest time, remember your question and ask me after it’s over” later, I have a bit of silent time. I snuggle up on the couch under my down comforter and rest with my eyes closed for a while. I hear Aviana singing Broadway songs to Denton.
1:30 Head to my studio for a bit. Finish making 2 I-Spy Bags, read a bit of Moon Time, send a few messages. Cut out fabric for several more bags.
2:00 Aunt Mary (another amazing neighbor) picks the girls up to take them to ice cream. We are so blessed to have so many people willing to give of their time to invest in our family. As soon as they’ve gone, D immediately begins hunting for me. He finally searches me out so I give him the job of counting out 10 trinkets for each I-Spy bag. 
2:30 He is so so excited to have such an exciting job that he jabbers like a strung-out magpie. Then Kevin comes up and installs a motion light in the homeschool closet. I next give D the job of cleaning the vinyl and quickly realize I’m done. 
        K is reading a book about the heart to C. He can’t find the other books because the boys’ room has devolved into a disaster zone. They clean up without complaint and find the books. 
3:00 Kevin goes back to work and I show C some videos of gliders and hang gliders. He promptly goes off to build one. I let Denton watch youtube with me and watch part of a boring vlog of a teen mom–her Day In The Life (DITL). Everyone wants to be famous. So ridiculous and sad. Watch a video on how to wash fleece. I have had a fleece in the garage for a couple of years and am finally going to use it to stuff “rocks” for our new play area I’m designing. Check eBay, my rocks should be here soon. I feel a connection with the woman in the video so look up her website. Maybe it’s just because we both have five children; other than that we don’t really seem to have a lot in common.

3:30 E wakes up. Nurses. Get a snack for C, D, and E. Graham crackers and natural fruit leather. Set it out and go find E. She is standing on the stoop in her brother’s fireman boots “calling” Duke (Duuuuu! Duuuuu!) Watch the adorable for a minute. Go back into the kitchen to discover D stole everyone’s fruit strips and he’s hiding in the corner. C only got 1/2 of one and doesn’t have a fit. No yelling (pats self on back). C is too busy looking for a mile high place from which to throw his “glider” to really care.
 
4:00       Change E and she messes around sitting on the potty. She loves to sit on the potty, but it has yet to see any action. Think about doing yoga but get distracted by something. Do some preschool pages with D. It seems like he’s on par with Cadrian. He can recognize his numbers and knows how many of something is represented by that number.

4:30   Time to leave for Kuk Sool Won and the new Menard’s. Round up everyone’s shoes and socks and all the library books and adjust the car seats again. Realize I forgot the closet drawing for our new walk-in.

5:00 Stop in our small town for K’s cattle check and to return the books. Pretty cool we can load the cattle at 7 and have a check by 5.   The boys each vie for returning books in the drive through which means they take turns crowding me and stabbing me in the neck with their elbow. Jet to Kuk Sool. Aviana is telling the boys a Tommy and Timmy story. She has such a gift for storytelling.
     
  I tease Brielle by telling her to ask her Kuk Sool Master what happens to kids if they don’t give him a check on the first of the month. He’s also a fire chief and they just had a pancake breakfast so I was telling her to ask him if they had any leftover pancakes. She was pink cheeked and grinning; I love to hear her laugh. She has such a contagious joy.

5:30 Aviana is reading the highway signs joking that we’re going to DesMoines and starts singing a silly song about it. She wants to know if we can just leave Brielle at Kuk Sool and drive to Omaha. Denton often tells me he wants to “sell Cadreen to Jonafon”. Maybe reading them the story of Joseph and his brothers was a bad idea 🙂 Silly kids.

They were a bit berserk at Menard’s. They need to have a giant store to run around in and climb the walls of when the weather is rotten. Too bad there were other customers. As it was though, everyone was grinning at them. Even though I feel like I need to rein them in all the time, they are adorable and funny!

We looked at closet inserts and organizers but didn’t make any decisions. It’s so expensive! It seems crazy to spend that kind of money on storage space. On one hand, I love the idea of it and on the other, it feels so wasteful. People in third world countries–heck, even 1950’s East Enders would love to live in my new walk-in closet.

We ended up buying stain for the trim, a heating duct, paint brushes and M & Ms. We were there under an hour (but it seemed longer since we circled the store twice) and ran into friends of ours. I love living in a city this size. It seems like I run into someone I know whenever I go somewhere.

6:30 We picked up Brielle, who noticed the M & Ms straight off. They weren’t as good as I remember. We ate at Culver’s for supper. Another decadent indulgence. Just being able to go out to eat occasionally seems like such a gift.

The boys were still in overdrive. Denton ate 1/2 his burger and some fries and as we were pulling out of the parking lot announces, “I’m hungry.” Brielle didn’t like her burger so ate some of my pot roast. Elivette would only eat fries.  LeSigh.

7:00  It was nice to be able to chat with Kevin in the van. The kids were only semi-quiet, but we could hear each other, so that was a bonus.
        A few minutes from Culver’s, still in town, but on the edge, Denton declared his need to pee. We pulled over of course. He ran on his short sturdy little legs down the ditch, up the hill on the other side and behind a bush. Cadrian couldn’t resist that invitation so he had to go too.
         They took so long I thought they might have gone down the hill on the other side, but no, just looking for pine cones. Denton rolled down the hill, and then staggered dizzy like a drunken sailor. I got the giggles.

7:30 Kevin and I got to everyone to bed pretty efficiently. I watched the kids like a prison warden in the family closet to make sure no clothes ended up all over the floor. Kevin brushed teeth. I did jammas and stories and nursed and good night songs and shushings and prayers. We love Richard Scarry’s Going Places. It has cute –short– stories; perfect for harried evenings.

  8:00       Denton had to get up and pee again.
 I heard him say to C “That’s just my breathe”
                                 “What?”
                                 “My breathe! The stuff tumming out of my mouf!”    
Nurse babe. She’s so funny about pretending to sleep.
Pray with girls. Sing them the good night song.

It’s time to rest your sleepy little head.
It’s time to snuggle in you cozy bed.
It’s time to say good night.
The sun has gone to bed and so must you.
Know you’re loved, all the whole night through
It’s time to say good night.
The stars will shine until the morning light.
God will keep you in His care all night.
It’s time to say good night.
It’s time to rest from such a busy day.
Tomorrow, we will have more time to play.
It’s time to say good night. (3xs)

Cadrian takes issue with that last line because he thinks it sounds like we’ll have more time to play than today. I maintain it only means we’ll have time to play again. 
As Aviana sagely notes, It does no good to argue with a five year old.

8:30  All is quiet. I mess around on FB and read more about Namaste Farms and read a few articles on gentle parenting. Chat with a few friends.

9:00 Kevin brings me in some ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and I start typing all this up.

As I’m typing I realize I took ONE picture today. ONE.

Last year when I did this I made a photo book out of it–it turned out beautifully. It’s pretty hard to make a photo book with one photo.

I’m not going to be annoyed with myself. It is what it is. It’s a day in my life.

         

   

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