Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Am i done now?

I read about twenty poems aloud during breakfast, from When We Were Very Youg, and a child's collection of poetry that Had Robert Louis Stevenson (Nat wanted The Land of Counterpane) and some Louisa May Alcott, plus a bit of Shakespeare. I feel like we've done enough, if I can also maybe get Nat to read aloud this afternoon. Thomas appeared to actually be listening to the poetry, which is a big win.

And now to the part of the day where they get all the drawing stuff down and get paper and crayons all over the floor before I've even cleaned up from breakfast.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day in the life

Trying to pull together an overview of a regular day from disjointed bits and pieces. Let's see how it goes.

11pm- Nat is having blood sugar problems, nightmares and night screaming because of being too high. Test him and decide not to give him more insulin because his Lantus should keep him stable overnight.

11:15- Geoff goes to sleep with Nat and try to settle him.

12:30- wake up and go wake Geoff to come back to our bed.

2:30- Go in to the girls and resettle Elizabeth. Back to bed.

5:30- Girls and Geoff are up. I take the girls down, get them juice and cookies, and put on Toy Story to keep them mostly quit until the boys get up. Sit on couch with both toddlers on my lap.

6:00- Geoff comes downstairs and says hello to the girls before leaving at 6:10.

6:30- Put on kettle and try to unload dishwasher. Girls help with it. Rewash a few of the dishes they've helped with.

6:35- Get roped into reading a board book I hate. Five times in a row.

6:40- Try to remember if I put the kettle on.

6:45- Make tea and ignore plaintive screaming to drink from my cup. It's too hot.

6:50- Wonder if I should feed the girls something other than arrowroot biscuits.

7:00-  Hear Nat on the stairs. Say good morning to him and his stuffed frog. Girls have gotten out their cooking toys and Nat settles on the chair to watch the end of Toy Story.

7:15- Try to argue Nat into checking his blood sugar. Fail. Decide breakfast won't be until Thomas wakes up. Read another four board books to the girls. Change their diapers.

Watch everyone putter around while I check blogs and Facebook and try to decide if I should start the laundry now or wait until later.

8:30- Check Nat's blood sugar, try to figure out how many helpings of cereal he wants this morning, get his breakfast and everyone else's breakfast ready. Give Nat his injection, fetch milk, clean up milk, listen to girl tantrum about breakfast. Clean up, get more milk, get juice, eat bite of my granola, find girl at my knees begging for my granola. Give up and feed it to her. Hear strange voice from under the table. It's Nat, reading aloud from a board book. I guess he's done, then?

8:45- Clean up after breakfast and start shouting at the boys to get dressed. They start playing lego. Succeed in getting the dishes into the kitchen and piled before I have to go change a diaper and break up a fight over lego pieces.

9:00- Put on video and hope the girls don't die while I shower. They can open doors and get out of cribs. I just shower fast and hope everyone is still alive when I get out.

9:15- Out of shower and everyone is still alive. Answer Nat about whether Narnia is a real place by telling him I am going to Narnia when I die. Get into thorny conversation about how he doesn't ever want to die because there might not be Minecraft in Heaven.

9:30- Notice Miriam has a huge scratch on her face. Worry about how she got it while I was showering. Hug Thomas, who is part lap-cat and always wants to be hugged. Worry some more. Break up fight. Tell Thomas his drawing is very blue and it's a nice TARDIS.

10:00- Start dinner while the kids draw. Put on a story (internet audio book) while I cook and despair at the thought of four loads of laundry that need to be sorted, folded, and put away. Think about how I need to organize the entire pantry. Don't try. Call the bank on my parents' behalf, get phone call about children's appointments.

11:00- Dinner is made and in the fridge. Good. Laundry started in the machine but not sorted or folded because toddler help with laundry makes me want to die. Resolve to look over Nat's glucose monitor records and email his nurse about a sudden morning insulin resistance.

11:30- Wonder why I don't put all the children in boarding school. Look at the paper and crayons all over the floor and think about how I mopped it yesterday. Try not to die.

11:45- Start lunch, while putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. Answer objections about how no one wants that for lunch. Nat stomps off. He doesn't want leftovers, peanut butter on bread, or cheese on crackers. He wants something impossible. Ignore him.

12:00 Remind Nat to wash his hands and do his blood sugar check. Calculate his dose while getting everyone milk, bread, butter, crackers, cucumber, juice, cold noodles (for Thomas), lefotvers (for me, which I eat standing up for a while).

12:05- Sit down to eat after giving Nat his injection. Girls both climb on my lap and start to eat my lunch. Give up. Leave them to it and go get a piece of bread in the kitchen.

Okay. It has taken me two days to get this far. I'll continue it sometime when I have more energy, like maybe in a week.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seven Quick Takes- could be long

1. The creme fraiche didn't work. I think I didn't add enough yogurt and mix it enough. I'm going to try it again, and I'm going to try making high-fat yogurt in the crockpot, too. Sometime this coming week, I hope. Nat is adamant that yogurt is something you BUY, just like bread is something you MAKE but SHOULD buy, because sandwich bread is better. Poor suffering lamb.

2. Nat had his clinic on Monday, and Geoff's dad and stepmom came in to help wrangle the kids. It went very well- Nat's doing great overall, and his blood sugar is pretty under control. Or more realisitically, when it isn't, we know why, which is a relief. Geoff's Dad had Angry Birds on his iPhone. This helped ensure Nat's general cooperation and relative good behaviour.

3. We've had a lot of outside time, which is a huge relief. We've been in back yard every day, and out to a playground.
Nat failed to traumatize any of the kids we met, and there were a number of exciting games of chase. The girls discovered that they are now too big to both go in one swing, and were sad. I think they're recovering emotionally because they've found out again that throwing sand is one of the greatest joys in life. We're going to work on that.

4. Geoff's gone all Sunday. I'm trying to figure out if I can take all the children anywhere for Palm Sunday and survive. All of the kids simultaneously trying to run away or screaming + me will probably equal nervous breakdown. I am still thinking about it. 

5. I'd like to do a day in the life sort of post, but I am getting almost no computer time- during the day either I am interrupted every twenty seconds or the boys are on the computer. Nat and Thomas dominate computer time the whole of post-lunch-till-dinner, and it's really hard to find time to post. All the children are in the back yard right now, while I write this, and I have gotten up no less than thirty times in the twenty minutes it's taken, to get cookies and arbitrate and reassure Miriam that outside is okay and help children with boots. I have a lot of things I'm working through- I have an underlying grief about my parents' condition that is in the background of my awareness all the time, and I am simultaneously working on managing everyone else (diabetes! Girls need fattening! Must pay more attention to trying to get Thomas educated! The laundry never stops! Why is Nat screaming this time?!), and while I feel like stealing off somewhere and thinking and being quiet, I have almost no opportunity to do it.

6. I looked over my educational goals for this year and was very surprised to find we've achieved most of them. It feels like this year has been a total wash in terms of constant illness and houseboundness and general disaster, but both the guys are actually ahead of where I wanted them. Okay, Thomas doesn't know all his letters yet, but he's not even in JK, and we're working on it, plus now he can count and do colours, and Nat is educationally ahead or where I wanted him by summer. This inspires a strong desire to start panning for next year. I assume we're homeschooling them next year because, well, we haven't registered them for public school or boarding school or anything. So maybe I'll start looking for fun things to do, and plan this New School Year to start in the summer? I don't think we'll cease our rigourous academics (five minutes a day! Plus reading aloud!) since it isn't a strain for anyone.

6. I took down Elizabeth and Miriam's cribs today. This is why:

That's Elizabeth sleeping in the glider. That was yesterday morning. This morning she was sleeping in it face-down with her legs off at a ninety-degree angle. They have graduated to big girl mattresses on the floor and the pathetic hope that they will stay in them. Pray for us.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Creme Fraiche

I just read that I could make creme fraiche by puttign a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt into whipping cream and leaving it out on the counter for 12-24 hours. I'll let you know how the experiment has gone tomorrow. I'm hoping for a 35% milk fat type yogurt to feed Miriam....

Friday, April 04, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Migraines and diabetes

1. Thomas has been having (we think) migraines (three times this week), and Nat has been increasingly fighting all of the rigmarole that goes with having diabetes. He's sneaking food, refusing to do his blood sugar tests, and having little tantrums about injections. Plus bigger tantrums because his blood sugar has been high due to food-sneaking. I understand the rebellion, but I am having trouble dealing with it. I'm grateful he has his diabetes clinic on Monday. And if Thomas's head doesn't improve he'll get his own doctor's visit next week, too.

2. It's been warm enough to turn the kids out in the yard a couple of times this week. Sweet relief. I am frantically planning a whole spring/summer/fall spent outside, where the kidlets can run.

3. Nat and I finished The Magician's Nephew this week, and Nat voted to re-read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before starting The Horse and His Boy. I'm still not sure whether it should be Horse or Prince Caspian next. My feeling is that Shasta and Aravis should wait, and we should keep going to the Pevensies' next adventure.

4. World's cutest little Vikings

5. While the girls napped this afternoon I pulled out the non-washable finger paints. THE NON WASHABLE FINGER PAINTS.  I think I deserve a medal and also a drink. We've done two whole crafts this week, both really messy. I think someone should maybe canonize me. We'll ignore that I'm not dead, because the next craft will probably finish me off. They mixed all the colours. They get very Abstract Impressionist with painting.

Notice how all the colours have added up to brown? 
6. I haven't been doing writing practice with Nat, but he's been doing a decent amount of writing on his own. He's spent the past two days making this elaborate multi-piece-of-paper drawing of a machine which will take us to Narnia, and has been painstakingly writing The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe on it several times. He writes emails to Geoff every couple of days, usually about Doctor Who or Minecraft. Thomas mostly does drawing and plays with Lego while Nat writes. Thomas is my least bookish, most free-form child. I think he'd be perfectly happy being dropped off in a forest every day to wander around and climb rocks. I'm trying to figure out a way to motivate him academically, but I have to keep reminding myself to calm down- he's only four.

7. I have just today felt a sudden sense of urgency about planning for next year. I don't know what's causing it- maybe spring?- but I think I will maybe do some reviewing of accomplishments for this year, and tentatively feel out new areas for over the summer and next fall. I don't think we're going to take 'time off', because really, I don't think anyone around here is being overstrained academically, unless five minutes of reading aloud is torture.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


The horror of the twins' waking at four-forty-five is somewhat ameliorated by knowing that they are in the kitchen right now, equipped with damp rags, scrubbing the floor and the dishwasher. For fun.

 I am sitting here with tea trying to wake up enough to think about what chores actually need to be done, and whether there's anything in the house to eat for breakfast.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

We did a craft and I survived

Nat has been completely desperate to make sculptures with marshmallows and toothpicks. I did it. We all survived, and my parents dropped by and helped ride herd on my sugar-crazed children. Thankfully Nat doesn't like marshmallows.