Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tuesday for school

Well, after Vincent's nap, he calmed down and had a pretty good day for school.  I also found a Kindergarten skill test online at www.tampareads.com/skills/kindergarten/test-html.htm
I don't really like public school “standards” but it's nice to know where most kids need to be before they enter the 1st grade.  Vincent is doing preschool right now, and he already knows about half the stuff on this test.  Now I'm working on some of the other things in addition to what we're already doing.
Vincent has learned “The Pledge of Allegience” per the request of Nick, and we start out every school day with that.  Then we do prayer.  For one of his AWANA activities, Vincent has made his own prayer list, and that's what we pray to start out his school time.  Then we read a chapter or two out of the bible…right now we are reading the Gospel of John and just finished chapter 5.  After bible reading and discussion, we pick a devotion out of his devotional, “Gotta Have God,” which is a devotional for boys ages 2-5.  If he has a lesson to do out of his AWANA book, we will do that after this.
Next, we move on to worksheets I pick out from his book.  We bought a complete kindergarten basic curriculum workbook up at Sam's and he is working his way through that.  Plus he has a thinking skills workbook and a fun maze book (he LOVES mazes and is very good at them) that we got him from Walmart.  Today, he learned how to write his uppercase and lowercase U's and did some activities involving the numbers 13 and 14 (we're working our way up to 20).  Also, since he finished working with 12 yesterday, we dabbled into time a little bit.
Then we do a little break and have a snack, and if he wants, he can do an activity out of his Precious Moments activity book (which is usually more learning anyway).  Then we do our reading and any added activities.  Right now, we're reading out of “Dinosaurs by Design.”  We also have a sticker book that has all kinds of dinosaur stickers with a small blurb about the dinosaur.  We do one per day and then go to enchantedlearning.com to learn a little more about that dinosaur and print out a coloring page for Vincent to color.  Then I hang it on our wall above our desk so that he can look at them and once in a while I will quiz him out of nowhere on what the dinosaurs are called…he's getting really good at remembering the names.  So far, we have learned about the Pterodactylus, the Diplodocus, the Compsognathus and the Brachiosaurus.
I also made reading flashcards for color words and also for number words 1-10 and we are going through that right now.  I am also going through the calendar with him now, too.  Besides the color and number words, he can read about 10 other words without help as well.  He can also spell and write his name and the word apple and ball without any help.
So, now that I've written a novel, can you tell I'm excited we're back into our school routine?
For Kindergarten, we are considering either My Father's World or KONOS.  I would love to hear opinions of those who have used either of these.  Any other suggestions are also welcome!

Sugar highs...or lows?

Oh, my, what a week it has been!  Last Monday, we finally settled back into our homeschooling routine here with Vincent.  He has been doing really well, too, and excited to get back to it.  We started learning more about dinosaurs, as he is really into them right now.  We are reading out of a book called “Dinosaurs by Design” by Duane T. Gish.  It is a really good book, as it takes on a biblical approach to the dinosaurs.
Despite being back to school, Vincent had been acting impossible for the last few days.  Nick and I couldn't figure out what was going on, especially since once he has school work to keep him occupied, he's usually pretty mellow.  Well, today we found out what was going on.  Nick found on the floor a little round pink thing and we weren't sure if it was a piece of candy or some sort of pill or something.  Vincent claimed he found it in his pocket.  I was freaking out looking on drugs.com (they have a very good pill identifier there) to see if I could find this thing on there.  Meanwhile, Nick tried to get out of Vincent where he got it from.  After lying and throwing a bunch of fits (very unlike Vincent), he finally broke down and led Nick to the kitchen closet/pantry.  In there, I have a box with holiday baking supplies, including many different kinds of sprinkles and such.  Well, he had been getting into those and he proceeded to show Nick which ones he had tried and whether or not he liked them .  I could not believe it, but at least we know where this behavior was coming from.  By this point, Vincent had calmed down enough to go take a nap without throwing a fit about it.  And all the sugar (and I'm sure there was tons of red 40 in that stuff as well that was contributing just as much) is hidden out of reach again, at least I hope .  I thought it was last time, too, but apparently, those darn kids keep growing and getting smarter .
So now, Vincent and Andrew are both taking naps at the same time…praise God!  And Nick has gone off to work for the evening, so for the first time in a while, I've had time to get on this…this…oh yeah, it's called a computer!  I've had time to get on the computer and do a little update and catch up on A LOT of email.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Getting back into the swing of things

Well, Nick got called in to his part time job this morning, which, while I am sad to have him gone, is really a blessing as the hours there are scarce during the winter.  Nick has really been blessed with hours there since Andrew was born and he took some paid time off from his full time job as we sure could use the money right now.  The Lord always provides .
So, with the call, we were up and at 'em early this morning and after feeding and cuddling with Andrew for awhile and doing a quick email check, it was off to the kitchen to get it clean!  I cleaned the fridge and got all the dishes done.  I got everything picked up and put where it belongs, so now I have some counter space.  The only thing I have to do now is get a bunch of canning jars out of my cabinet so I can make room for bottles, as they are taking over one side of my counter.  Andrew has been having problems latching on, so I am pumping breastmilk and feeding him through bottles for the time being.  At every feeding, though, we try the breast first and sometimes he does get it!  But sometimes he gets sooooooo frustrated, and I don't want him to get too upset about it, so we go to the bottle.  I know he will get it eventually…I have a friend who went through the same thing and all of a sudden at around 3 weeks old, her little one latched on like she had been doing it the whole time
Anyway, as time, energy and Andrew allows, I am going to be working on getting this house picked up, one room at a time.  I'm not going to worry so much about deep cleaning yet, but I just want to get things picked up and to find a home for all this stuff laying around from Christmas and the baby.  The other big thing really, now that the dishes are done, is getting laundry done…it's mostly clean, but I have a huge pile on my dining room table that needs to be folded and put away.  I think once I get that done, the picking up part won't be so bad.
I also really want to make some banana bread.  It seems like it's been forever since I baked, and we have some bananas in the basket that are just about perfect for banana bread right now.  Plus, Nick will be home close to dinner time, so I want to find a good meal to make for dinner.  This should be fairly easy since when I cleaned the fridge, I found a lot of good basics in there, plus our freezer and pantry are stocked pretty good.  The hard part will be making a decision .
Well, I best go get busy!  I hope you all have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Announcing...

Andrew Lloyd is finally here!  He was born Tuesday December 27 at 4:54 pm.  He weighed 9 lbs 7 oz and was 22 inches long!  I was able to have a successful vbac, so I am very happy about that.  Here's the story…
At 9:30 pm Monday night, I went to the bathroom and noticed that the discharge I have had for the past few weeks was tinged with blood.  I was excited as I knew labor would be starting soon, although I imagined it would still be a few days.  Around 10 pm I started having contractions…AGAIN.  They felt exactly like the ones I had been having for weeks, so I didn't think much of them.   I took a bath and started getting ready for bed.  I kept having regular contractions through the bath.  Hmm, that was interesting.  I told Nick I thought I felt them in my back, too, so he told me to start timing them.  I started at around 11 pm and right away, they were only coming at 5 minutes apart, sometimes 4 or 3 minutes apart.  After an hour, I called the hospital.  Since I had already been there twice, she asked if I felt comfortable waiting an hour and see if they started to fade.  I said I would.  I continued to time them until 1 am, and they continued at 5 minutes, going down to 4 or 3 more and more, so we left Vincent sleeping at home with my SIL and we went to the hospital.  It didn't take them long to determine that I was, in fact, in labor this time and they admitted me after about an hour of monitoring contractions.
Since my SIL had to work in the morning, Nick arranged for his dad to pick Vincent up and then he would drop him off at my parents' house around noon, since he had to work as well.  That way, Nick could spend the night in the hospital with me .
The contractions I had during the remainder of the night pretty much kept me awake, so I didn't sleep much.  I wanted to hold off asking for an epidural for as long as possible.  At around 5:30 am I told myself to wait until 6, then it was wait until 7, etc.  I think I finally asked for one around 9 am Tuesday morning.  The nurse said first she had to flush an entire bag of fluid thorugh me, and then I wondered why I waited so long LOL.  Finally, though, the anesthesiologist (sp?) came in and inserted the catheter and administered the epidural.  It worked until the first time they checked my dilation after I got the epidural, then I started feeling contractions again.  I was dilated to about a 5-6, so things were progressing.  After a few “refills” into my epidural (can't remember what they called them, it started with a “b”), the nurse called the anesthesiologist back and it was a different one this time.  He re-did the catheter as he suspected the first one wasn't in right, and that took care of things for quite awhile.  I had a couple more “refills” and by the time I got to 9 cm, they weren't working anymore and they didn't want to give me anymore.
One of the times they came to check me, they decided to break my water to help things along.  I labored for quite a while after this, so I developed a fever, which I was told was most likely an infection that developed from my water breaking so long before delivery.  They gave me Tylenol for the fever and would start me on antibiotics after the delivery.
Suddenly, I kept feeling a lot of pressure with each contraction as if I were going to have a bowel movement.  The nurse checked me and said I was just shy of 10 cm and went and got another nurse, whom she called “magic fingers” LOL.  She said she was good at getting that last “lip” to dilate to a full 10 so that I could just start pushing, since the contractions were otherwise agonizing to just sit through.  So “magic fingers” came in and those two nurses had me start pushing.  I was remembering how I pushed for 2 hours with Vincent with no progress, so I was getting discouraged rather quickly.  Even though I knew they couldn't really tell me, I kept asking how long this would take LOL.  I kept telling them and Nick to just knock me out.  I was fully expecting this to turn into a repeat c-section, and by that time, I was just ready to let it happen.  But Nick and the nurses would not let me give up…they were all very encouraging during the pushing stage.  That's one thing I really liked about this hospital…Even though because of the gestational diabetes I couldn't have a midwife anymore, the whole staff that I came into contact with really had a midwife kind of attitude about things.
When it seemed to get close to Andrew's appearing, another nurse and 3 female doctors showed up on the scene, all with the same kind of encouraging attitude.  Meanwhile, I was still expecting this to end in a c-section.  They had me keep pushing, which really felt way better than just sitting through the contractions.  I did notice my body was doing a lot more work for me than I remembered with Vincent.  It seems once I started, I really didn't have to make much of an effort to push.  I overheard one of the doctors tell another that I already had a small tear and I whined a little about that, but kept going, thinking it wasn't so bad if I couldn't even feel it.  Of course, when he crowned, I freaked out with the burning and such.  With all the people around me, they got me under control fairly quickly and I pressed on.  Before I knew it, his head was out, a little more pressure for his shoulders, and then a gush and great relief as Andrew and the rest of the water came out.  I started crying and said I can't believe I actually did it!  I still can't…in the back of my mind the whole time, I guess I really thought things would end with another c-section, and now, I have my first successful vbac under my belt!
Andrew had also gotten a slight fever and was having trouble breathing, so after they let me hold him for a minute, they rushed him over to NICU while I was being stitched up, since I tore even more, but nothing more than normal, according to the doctor.
I could tell right away, recovery was going to be MUCH better than after the c-section.  After all was settled down, they wanted me to sleep for a couple of hours before they moved me over to my new room.  Meanwhile, Nick would go get Vincent back to my SIL and make all the phone calls.  I could not sleep very well though…I was devastated that Andrew was in NICU and that Vincent couldn't meet his little brother right away, and rooming in was out of the question.  After I was moved to the room I would spend the rest of the hospital stay in and hooked up to antibiotics, Nick came shortly afterward and we headed right over to NICU.  It broke my heart as he was in an incubator and hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IV's.  That first night we didn't get to hold him anymore, but at least we could touch him and talk to him.  They had him on antibiotics for his fever as well as a solution to monitor how his blood sugar was doing since I had gestational diabetes.  It really broke my heart when they had to prick his little heels to get his blood sugar .  The next day we could hold him and I could nurse him finally.  But, because of the concern with his blood sugar levels, we did have to supplement with formula to make sure he was getting enough into his system without the iv solution.
I got released on Thursday afternoon and we suffered further heartbreak when we learned Andrew had to spend Thursday night so they could do some final monitoring on him once they took him off the iv and antibiotics.  The good thing is, Nick was able to spend the night with him in what they called a “bonding room” they had in the NICU.  He just had to make sure to bring him back to the nurse for vitals and to feed him every 3 hours.  I really wanted to be the one to spend the night, but Nick and I both knew I wasn't really up to it at that point…I literally got taken off my iv right before I was discharged and was still pretty sore and exhausted.  Nick said I should get a good night of rest in bed at HOME before the baby came home.  So I tried to rest as much as I could knowing my hubby and new baby were not home yet where they belonged.  There were a couple of premies in NICU (Andrew was a giant compared to the rest of the patients there) and I couldn't even imagine what the parents go through when they have to leave their babies there for WEEKS, let alone one night.
Anyway, he's home now, and we're all adjusting to life with a new baby.  The first couple of nights were rough, but Andrew's only been up 2 times a night for the past few nights, so it's already getting better.  Although, I've had a case of the “baby blues” or as Nick calls it, “the hormone dump.”  That's one thing I had with Vincent that I completely forgot about.  Out of the blue without any trigger whatsoever I will just start crying.  This is really where I remember how lucky I am to have the dear husband that God has blessed me with .  As long as he's not occupied with Andrew (or at work), he takes the time to come over and just hold me until the moment has passed.  He has been so great throughout all this transistion…I could just brag on him all day .
Anyway, this is getting super long, so I will close for now.