Reviving the comatose blog

Yeah, okay. My last post was December 11, 2015. It’s been 20 months since I’ve written. In that time, we transferred 2 embryos, found that 1 had implanted, gave birth to that one baby boy, did school, graduated Hubby with his PhD, got to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, got the Lego business running at a higher level, and started Year 1 for Little Man’s schooling. It’s true, the days are long, but the years are short.

In the past few months I’ve found that I want to start writing again, but starting writing after not writing for so long is hard. What will people think? What explanation should I give for not writing? Can I keep it up this time or will I flake out again at some point?

And when you don’t know exactly what to write about, you write shorts. Yes?

Year 1

This is how we label the year of school a child is in when using a Charlotte Mason method of education. I’m using Amblesideonline.com, and I’ve been delving deep in Mason’s philosophy of education. We started back on July 5, as it was just too hot to be outside much. I plan a longish break come mid-Sept so we can do lots more outside than the minimal 30 minutes in the morning.

Mr Wigglesworth

IMG_0631

Oh, my, this last year has gone so fast! He is now 11 months, and has gone from an awkward army crawl to pulling up, without doing any classical crawling in between. He’s working on lots of words and is all over the place.

PhD

IMG_2705

graduation!

Finally! We got Hubby graduated. It was 8 years to finish a 5 year program, but he had successfully defended the dissertation in March of 2016 (which was only 7 years). The department head was able to be generous and let him stay on that extra time which allowed us to do the small business thing….

Younger and Son LLC is up and running!

IMG_0460

Me playing with Lego Printing

Mostly…. We’ve got some work to do on the website and blog before it is uploaded, but we have many ideas brewing and hope to bring them to the wider public soon. We are creating Lego Mosaics, Busy Bags, Printing kits…. oh, it’s so exciting!

CM Biology

I am teaching a high school biology class this next school year at the co-op we participate in. As I’ve been delving into the CM (Charlotte Mason) philosophies so deeply, I so very much want to do this class as CM as possible. I have plans! I have ideas! I want to write about it so others can do the same, particularly for all those homeschool moms who are fearful of dissection. So, we will see how this pans out.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

IMG_0078

I cannot leave this out. We had such a wonderful time, and it was the first time to take Mr Wigglesworth camping. The night was so cold (mid 30s), and we were not fully prepared for camping with a baby over a cold night. He didn’t want to sleep with me in the sleeping bag, which is what we had planned. So, it was the car seat to the rescue. Luckily, we had brought a blanket to go under us and a comforter to go over us, so we could put that over him and there he stayed warm enough, even if he did wake every hour or two to nurse.

The dunes were a ton of fun, and it was great to get out camping again.

Any fun things going on for you right now? I’d love to hear about it!

Hope in the Grief

From FB, by Hubby:
When you announce that you’re pregnant, some people respond simply with “congrats”. Others ask more and pretty quickly the question comes up when the due date is. When you let them know that the date is still eight months away, roughly half of people (in our experience) say something to the tune of “wow, you’re telling people really early.”
Here’s why we told people about Kiddo really early. 1) We want people to share in our excitement, to be able to share our excitement and happiness. 2) If we were to lose Kiddo, we don’t want to have to go around pretending everything is okay when we’ve just suffered a death in the immediate family. If we need to grieve a death, our friends and family can grieve with us. Suck it up folks, grieving together is part of relationship.
Sadly, we are at that second place. We went in to the doctor Tuesday morning, found Kiddo easily on ultrasound, but there was no heartbeat. Such early deaths are not uncommon, but the loss is still devastating. Even if you’re not aware of who, you almost certainly known many others who have been through this same loss.
While it may seem inappropriate, don’t feel afraid to “like” this post. It lets us know that you’ve read the news. Moreover, we do not grieve as others do who have no hope, therefore our bottom line remains one of joy, even when happiness has fled.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I was terrified of a miscarriage. I was pretty good at stuffing that terror for everyday life, but every now and then, I would feel my stomach tighten at the suggestion or thought. This time, I was/am still afraid of miscarriage. But it’s not terror. It’s softer and gentler. I’m not sure what all has affected this, perhaps the confidence that comes with carrying one child to term? Perhaps, it’s a confidence in the timing of God’s work in my life? I hope it is the second, but I honestly don’t know. There is work being done in my heart, though.

 I realized rather quickly something was wrong Tuesday morning. I remember that with Little Man, we heard that heartbeat before the doctor found him on the ultrasound. This time, it was just quiet. I remember seeing a spot of flutter in the picture of Little Man in that first ultrasound; it was his little heart beating away. This time, there was no spot of flutter. Our doctor very gently confirmed what I was thinking, and asked a second doctor to come and look over his shoulder to confirm that what he was seeing was actually correct. Doctor estimated that growth stopped at about 7 weeks, about one week before this. He said to expect a miscarriage sometime in the next few weeks and we discussed our various options.

 I felt this crushing sadness in those moments just after. I wanted to weep loudly and deeply, but, of course, we were still in the doctor’s office. (Don’t worry, I have wept loudly and deeply since.) At first it was a huge, but very general since of grief. As the day wore on, the grief became more well defined. It is my own loss that I’m grieving. I’m not grieving for Kiddo’s state, as I know he is now in the arms of God and, I think, in the arms of his grandmother, my mom. As I grieve our loss, I remember what my hope is based in. It’s not in my children, nor even in myself, but in the work of Christ in me and the eternal life he grants when we accept his work on the cross on our behalf. This hope prompts me to “put on my eternity colored glasses” (as sweet Janene said, who went to God’s arms years and years ago). As David said, in 2 Samuel 12:23 (later half of the verse), “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” It feels instinctual to grieve that “I never got know my child!”, but this isn’t true. Because of my confidence in Christ’s work on the cross, I know I will meet this child someday. I can morn with hope.

 Sometimes, we hope that the doctor is just wrong and there are times when that is the case. As I’ve grieved, I’ve reflected back over the past week and I’ve recognized how pregnancy symptoms faded and disappeared. From the start, my hips hurt, and that was my primary socially acceptable complaint. But in the past week, my hips stopped hurting. I wasn’t experiencing the egg roll cravings. My digestive tract seemed to be fairly normal without the help from ‘clearlax’. (sorry to get graphic, but feeling the need to really lay out the evidence). We don’t think that this is a goof on the part of the doctor.

 And, as of Thursday afternoon, I haven’t had a miscarriage yet.

 There are 9, possibly 10, instances where God raises someone from the dead. Elijah raises one boy, Elisha raises two people (one after he was dead himself!), Jesus raises the widow’s son, the little girl, and Lazarus; Jesus himself was raised from the dead; Peter raises Tabitha, Paul raises Eutycus and it’s possible that Paul was himself raised after being stoned and left for dead. This is not a miracle God performs all that often, but it feels appropriate to pray for that now. I don’t believe I can just tell God, claim it and he will do it. I don’t think God works that way. And I know that he desires to see me trust him, submit to him, and rest in his work. I am praying that God will resurrect this child from the dead and give him back to us, but I know that he is not about satisfying my own desires, but something much greater.

 

What will God do? I don’t know if he will return this child, bless us with another pregnancy, or bless us with children in other ways (adoption anyone?). I do know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. That good might be about making me more Christ-like. That good might be showing someone else his power, his grace, his comfort, his love or some other aspect of his character. I might never see, in this life, what that good is; though I’ll get to see it when I reach glory. I will weep again over this loss, I’m sure, but I will not weep without hope.

Special Post: 50/50 day

As of today, Peanut has spent 1/2 his life in-utero and 1/2 his life ex-utero.

And he will be 9 months on Saturday.

How time flies!

(I’m on the wrong computer, otherwise, I’d have a picture.)

Love ya, Little Guy, love ya tons and tons!

Things others might have known…

…but I’m only just figuring out.

  • You can’t wipe down dry wall. Why would anyone use anything but washable paint?
  • Dish soap is an awesome degreaser.
  • Baby toys should be marked if they are dishwasher safe (yes, I know that batteries mean “no”)
  • Door knobs loosen over time and use.
  • Door jams and knobs get nasty, even in a house of only adults.
  • Switch plates do, too.

Yep, Peanut is starting to sit. If you put him in a sitting position, and give him a reason to sit, he will sit for a few minutes before falling over.  He’s getting up on all fours and rocking a bit, but that only lasts a few seconds before he flops back down. He is also army-crawling to grab something he wants, but not far. He’s going mobile!

Diaper Bag Make-over

So, I have a nifty single strap backpack that a formula company gave to the hospital to give to me — hope that makes sense! Its a great diaper bag — not too big, but big enough, easy to carry, and cool looking. But lately its been so full I can hardly zip it!

I’ve also found that its hard to find things when everything is stuffed into the one compartment. So, a make-over needed. In fact, as I emptied the diaper bag I found a pocket diaper without an insert, 2 onsies, 3 pairs of socks, a long sleeve shirt and a pair pants, plus 4 sposie diapers. How did I do this?

I considered the various bags in my closet, but none seemed just right. So I stayed with the same bag.

Then, I collected the few drawstring bags I have around the house. I used some twill tape to write on and stitched those onto the drawstring bags. I labeled a bag for clothes, clean diapers and dirty diapers.

Yes, its a big girly for a little boy, but I’m the one the diaper bag is really for.

Here’s what I finished with —

From left to right… the black backpack, a container for sposies, a changing mat, a bag for clean clothes, a container with coconut oil, wipes container, bag for clean clothies, 2 wet bags (dirty diapers and clothes), a nursing cover and burp clothes.

Now, hopefully, even the non-mamas who use the diaper bag can find what they need. Last time Peanut was at the nursery at church, his onsie and pants got wet, but they couldn’t find the clean onsies in the bag, so he had only a shirt and pants (and it was chilly outside, poor boy). No biggy, but when there were 2 onsies on the bag….

And Peanut has decided he wants to help…

But the kitty was thwarting him…

Pretty, Funny, Happy, Real

My pictures are totally  not in order, so bear with me, I’ll get to each topsc.
{Real}

We’d decided to keep the backseat open when driving at Christmas. We did great, until we saw the various cousins on New Year’s day.  Then the backseat filled up with the various hand-me downs and such. But it all worked out; we got home safe and sound and it was just as easy to nurse Peanut in the front seat, as the back seat. It just meant Peanut was outside a few more times than otherwise.



 {Funny} 
I’d realized that knitting in the dark would be difficult, so I took along some wool yarn to make dryer balls. I love them!
{Pretty}
I have journaled a fair bit in the past, but left off when I got married. I had someone to share my thoughts with, I didn’t need paper! More recently, I’m feeling the desire to record my thoughts, even though I have someone to share them with (Hubby); I also want to write out my prayers, I find it easier to stay on track. So, to make the writing even more enjoyable, I covered the composition book with some cute paper. I’d started with fabric, but it was too slick, so I used paper in the end. But I still think the fabric is pretty. I’d started to take pictures of the process, but was running out of time (nap time for Peanut) so the pictures stopped. I’m enjoying my new journal!

{Happy}

I made a cake for a triple baby shower. I had fun doing this, and its one of the first layered cakes I’ve done. The shower was a “Three Kings” theme, since it was three baby boys we were celebrating.

And, today the prize I won from Prince Lionheart arrived! Exciting times!

round button chicken

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Its been a fun, and laid-back week — so nice!

I have the hardest time with [Pretty], its not a word I use just a whole lot… I’m more inclined to think towards [Beautiful]… So  here’s my —

[Beautiful]

Wiggly, aka Peanut, got to meet his great-grandparents this Christmas.  How fun was that! He is great-grandchild #14 for my grandparents and great-grandchild #9 for Hubby’s grandmother.  So many little blessings! 
[Happy]

If that isn’t one of the happiest little boys, I don’t know what happy is.
[Funny]
Wiggly is really enjoying the bouncy seat that Grandma and Grampa acquired for our time with them. The seat also has lights and sounds, but we turned those off. After the first few days, we figured out that the lights were creating a crazy, over-stimulated Wiggly that wasn’t sleeping during the day and was very fussy. 
Its also getting significantly more difficult to get a non-blury picture of Wiggly (thus the nick-name change), so I tried the “sports” setting on the new camera. Its a grainy picture, as if I was using high speed film, but Wiggly isn’t all that blury!
[Real]

I actually packed up and brought my cloth diapers to the in-laws, figuring if used them, great, if not, great.  Well, I used them and, thus, did some diaper laundry.  Let me now declare that Hubby’s parent’s have an AMAZING and TOTALLY AWESOME washer.  They have a ‘sanitary’ setting that must be specially made for striping cloth diapers. (I figure it really isn’t, but I can pretend.)

See more [Pretty] [Happy] [Funny] [Real] at
round button chicken

Fun pictures — a bit of history

Well, it might count as history… its only the past few months. But check out these pics…

June 2011

October 2011

November 2011 (or is this December 2011?)

I was browsing old pictures and saw that first one from June, and though… wow! Peanut is so small! Can I still give him the nick name “Peanut”… or does he need a new nickname? Peanut is a fair bit heavier than Hank, now, too.

Thought this was fun and I will totally keep up the Peanut vs Hank pictures.

BTW, Peanut *loves* Hank, but Hank doesn’t like Peanut. Peanut will grab at Hank, and make loud noises. As Hank is about 1/2 chicken, he finds that very… scary. Luckily, even with Peanut learns to crawl and walk, Hank is still faster and can get to high places (like the top of the TV cabinet).

Feeling Successful

This morning, I feel successful… as a mother.

We’ve been working on making day time naps independent of nursing, since last Tuesday. At first, it was hard, but by the 2nd day it was much easier for him to go to sleep, and the 3rd day was a breeze. Saturday and Sunday had some rough spots, but then Monday was a piece of pie! (so says Hubby)

Yesterday, I put him down and listened to him babble to himself for a few minutes then drift off. Wow, I though, this has been *way* easier than I ever thought it would be. Did he sense my determination? Was it just the right time? If only I could see his thoughts, understand Peanut’s mind (and body); ah, well. I’m still very thankful.

This morning wasn’t so easy, though. He shows signs of sleepiness, we head to change the diaper, bundle up (its chilly these days) and settle down. The settling down didn’t happen, though. After going in once to comfort (but not pick up, though he was on his front, and he doesn’t like that), I realized at about 20 minutes in, Peanut really isn’t happy about something. So, I head in, pick him up to see if he will burp, hold him. Try some gripe water (he loves the stuff), comfort some more. Rock a moment. Give some ‘feel less crappy medicine’ (tylenol) Figure out that he is okay, he’s unhappy about something, but nothing crazy. He’s calmer, though still at that ‘grasp, cry, wail, gasp, cry, wail’ stage. I knew that I could just get him up, or try again on the nap. And at this point, he’s so far gone emotionally that he *really* needs a nap now. So, I laid him back down and 5 to 10 minutes later, he is asleep.

Ah, success. I feel like I really did the right thing. Such a nice feeling.

I’ve gotten a fair number of Christmas decorations up. That feels really good, too!

The tree is up on a small table to keep both Hank and Peanut out of it. Not that its keep Hank out, he had one ball on the floor earlier. I rescued it, though.

we used this train as a count down to Christmas for many years while I was growing up. In fact, I don’t remember not using it. This year, I decided to count up. I found some advent cards (they just split the Christmas story into 24 parts) from Happy Home Fairy, and have been hanging them with a small ornament each day — or 2 in a day if I forgot the day before.
As Hubby is finishing a semester about this time each year, and he doesn’t have strong feelings about what we do, its really up to me what family traditions we have. I’m thinking hard about this, as I don’t want anything burdensome, it must be easily transported (in-laws, overseas, etc), and it must have significance. I also tend to be non-decisive person, so this could be a long process.

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Goodness, been weeks since I’ve done one of these! Bad, Rachael, Bad. But then, my life is rather rote these days. Enjoyable, but mundane.

[Pretty]

These were utterly delicious! Its the dough recipe from LittleHomeInTheCountry, stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. I made pizza the same night, but we kept each going for one of these “pizza rolls” as I called them.
[Happy]

Peanut loves to eat. I knew this as he is a nursing machine, but he seems to love the solids even more. In general, he has liked almost everything I’ve offered him. I’m so thankful that his nutrition is primarily still from nursing, so I can just offer him this and that, and not worry about if he’s getting enough of this or that.
[Funny]
I never imagined that figuring out orientation while making slippers would be such work. It required all the spacial thinking I could muster, and I still ended up goofing. At first, I ended up with 2 left shoes, and then I had a right and a left, but in different colors. After redoing the uppers twice, I finally was able to make a second set so that I now have two sets, one in each color. 
[Real]

Laundry is not done till its folded and put away, so my mother and flylady say. I’m trying to keep to spending 15 minutes each day just picking up and putting away, and that includes laundry. For such a little guy, Peanut sure has increased the amount of laundry that I do.

So, there is it. A glimpse into a week with Rachael.

round button chicken

unbelievable timing

Kids have crazy timing, I’m sure any parent will agree. It was Friday afternoon a week ago that I realized Peanut must  be feeling pretty crappy for some reason, and, luckily, was able to get a late afternoon appointment with the pediatrician. Yep, it was an ear infection.

He finished the round of antibiotic on Tuesday morning, but then Wednesday morning started grabbing his ears, crying and had a low-grade fever. Drat, we thought. Is this a resistant strain? When he started the antibiotic, he improved quite visibly within a day — as expected. And here we were suspecting another or continued ear infection… right before Thanksgiving. I was able to chat briefly with the pediatrician Wednesday afternoon, who said waiting till Friday or Saturday didn’t make me a horrible parent. Kids survived just fine many an ear infection for many a year before doctors and antibiotics, he said. Just keep an eye on him and if his fever spikes or he stops eating, then be worried.

Thursday was actually a good day. Plenty of people around to entertain the extroverted Peanut, including Granddad, Grandmom, Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. And Daddy was home and not working, so that was 6 adults to 2 children. A good ratio, really.

Then it’s Friday. Oh, a cranky-cranky day was Friday. Peanut is grabbing both ears, and crying, and being miserable. Until, that is, that Grandad and Grandmom take him and play. Oh, tickles and laughs can make anyone feel better, yes? Low-grade fever continues, and I am feeling quite confident that its a double-wammy ear infection. An hour after he goes down for bed, he is up to nurse (not normal). I finally put him into the swing to sleep, and later into the bouncy. I administer the wonderful and amazing off-brand Tylenol faithfully, and Peanut is able to sleep through the night.

This morning, Saturday, I find 2 new teeth. (sorry, no picture, Peanut is quite adamant that we don’t mess with is mouth right now)

Yep — teeth. 2 of them. at once. and evidence of 2 more ready to erupt. no wonder Peanut was cranky. He’s gone from being Peanut 2 tooth, to Peanut 4 tooth over night and well on his to way to being Peanut 6 tooth. I think he likes being an even-number tooth kid.

So now, I wonder. The pediatrician is willing to take a look this afternoon at the ears to be sure about an ear infection. But all the symptoms are also explained by the teeth cutting through. Am I a horrible mother to say “we see the pediatrician on Tuesday anyways…” and put off the ear check? No, I don’t think that’s true, but it does nag me.

And how is that Peanut knows the weekend or the holiday is upon us, and that is the time to get sick or demonstrate miserableness that his mother feels compelled to figure out the source of?

He also launched himself from the bumpo this morning, which means that is out as a seating option. And he is quite mobile, even if not crawling yet.  Oh, my baby is growing up!

A Day in My Life, by Peanut

Hi everybody. Mommy is drinking her coffee, and I’ve got the laptop, so I’m going to write a post today!

Mommy told me the other day that not everyone has the same kind of day that I have. I thought, “WHAT!!! Not everyone is just like me?” I found myself wanting to tell everyone what my day is like, so they can tell me how their day is different from mine.

I’ve been told the day actually starts at midnight, but I’m not usually awake till 4 or 5 am. But that is only for a meal to tide me over till breakfast at 7 am. Honestly, I like to eat, and I will eat any chance Mommy gives me.

Once I’m dressed, I like to play. Oh, yes, I love to play. I roll around, push up with my arms, grab stuff to chew on, feel the different textures, and generally have a blast. I got Mommy to take some pictures to give you an idea of my play time, since its so much fun, and pictures are so much better than words!

Can you see me kicking my legs? I love to kick.

Roll, roll, roll. Grab toy, stuff toy in mouth!
I will even gather all my toys about me, just to make sure I can grab the one I want, when I want it.

Move, move, move. Oh, look, something new to kick!

Roll, back. Eat bear.

Mommy! Look at me pushing up!

Wa-ha-ha. This is fun.

Sometimes, Mommy will get Hank to come and play where I can see him. I love Hank, but I don’t think he likes me. I’m not sure why, though.  (Mommy note: Hank doesn’t like Peanut so much because of the loud noises Peanut makes and his tendency to grab Hank’s fur if Hank gets too close.)
The kitty is so much fun to watch. I always stop to watch him if he is around.

Of course, I stop to eat regularly. And if Mommy makes me, I’ll take a nap. But I don’t like naps, at least not when the sun is up. I can’t imagine what Mommy is doing while I nap, so I don’t know why she makes me take naps.

Just recently, Mommy has started giving me food other than milk. I like getting to eat stuff, but sometimes it tastes funny and it’s so different from milk. But I love the spoon. Spoons are fun to chew on.

This week, I’ve had to take this nasty tasting pink stuff. I’m not sure why, but Mommy gives it to me three times each day! I spit it out if I can, but she is getting crafty at making me swallow it. Why would she ever give me such nasty stuff?

Finally, after a fun day of playing, eating, and diaper changes, its time for bed. I don’t mind going to bed. The sun is gone, and its dark out, so I figure now is the time to sleep. Some nights I get to take a bath, then Mommy puts me in my jammies. On cool nights, I get to wear my dinosaur jammies, that have a hood, spines down the back and a tail!

My monkey, sea horse and turtle sleep with me. I like to chew on monkey and sea horse will light up and play music. Sometimes, Mommy will turn on the turtle and I get to look at stars that the turtle shines on the ceiling and walls.

Sometimes we read a book, but most often I’m so tired by that time, I just want to go to sleep. Daddy says I’m turning into a pumpkin when I get so tired, but I just don’t like to sleep when the sun is up. So, pumpkin it is.

I sleep and sleep, with 1 or 2 breaks for a snack. And then my day starts over!

In a week…

We ordered a new wireless router on Sunday evening. The current one died Monday morning. What timing!

Peanut is feeling better from his ear infection (antibiotics are amazing). I start feeling crappy on Tuesday. Either a cold or allergies. Either way, its miserable.

Peanut will sit long enough to get a picture!

He in the process of pushing/falling backwards. 

I think he’s having fun!

And even though Peanut isn’t crawling (not that he isn’t trying), he still gets around. Check out these time elapsed photos (I didn’t move anything between, I promise).

When I first put him down to play. I offered tiger, elephant, book and bumblebee. He chose bumblebee.

You notice where gorilla started out. He’s wearing the blue hat in the above picture.

Now notice that gorilla has moved again.

As of this evening, the red bear has lost his sweater, and zebra is missing a few tail hairs. I know this because I found them on Peanut.

It is so much fun watching him grow and develop. I’m so excited to see him crawl and yet I’m dreading it. Gone will be the days when I can set him down and know he will be in about the same spot when I come back!

PS. I’d said I’d donate half my net profits from Saturday to COTA for Leah Grace. I netted about $100, so that $50 more to be matched!

Timing is everything

After re-examining the history of Peanut’s diagnosis of food-induced proctocolitis with the pediatrician, we decided to go for a milk challenge. This means I eat/ingest something dairy, and we see what happens. So, Monday night I had a quesedilla (I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to spell this, and all the checker’s can’t figure out what I’m trying to write).

Unfortunately, we didn’t take into account that Peanut received 4 immunizations Monday as well, which make him cranky, and after a busy weekend with grandparents, a baby dedication, and the Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in town for lunch on Sunday, he’s one tuckered out little boy.  All of this has conspired to create several fussy days and we aren’t sure the exact cause of said fussiness.  Even now, Peanut is in his crib, crying, after nursing for an hour, and refusing to go to sleep. It makes me think of way-back-when we were calling it colic. Is it the cheese from Monday  night? Is it the immunizations? Is it just being overly tired from the busy weekend?

Ah, well, this too will pass. The effects of the immunizations will wear off, the dairy will pass out of my system and he will get rested up from the busy few days. I just hope, beyond hope, that its not the cheese’s fault.