Third Trimester Woes

 Our family at church on Christmas Day. You can't really see my bump in this picture, but I'm 30 weeks here.

There comes a point in pregnancy when you switch from "Oh my gosh. I have SO much to do before the baby gets here! I have to wash the curtains! I have to organize everyone's clothes! I have to clean the refrigerator! I have to completely re-organize my entire life!" 


"I'm not doing a dang thing for the next 6 weeks." 

Guess where I'm at?

10 weeks left!!! Ack!
I took this of myself on New Year's Eve, while my husband slept soundly on the couch. 
We were both in bed by 10:30.

I'm just so stinking tired. Some days, I will literally sit on the chair ALL DAY. Because it's all I can do, other than make most meals for everyone. Even then, I'll pull in as much help as possible. "Kids! You can make yourself a bowl of cereal for dinner! Daddy, you're on your own." 

But for reals. Every 4 or 5 days, I have one of these down days, where I can. not. move. I was feeling a bit guilty over it, but I got over that with the help of a pep-talk with a friend. In about 8 weeks, I'll be so busy and I'll be glad I took this time to just sit. That's what I tell myself anyway.

I've also decided to cut back a bit on school. After talking to that same friend, I realized that I am indeed trying to do way too much. It's so hard in our culture to slow the heck down, you know? The guilt of "not doing enough" comes on very quickly and hangs around for a long time. I'm doing my best to be ok with not doing All The Things right now.

All of that said, there are a few things I have to do before the baby comes:

- decide on a name. We've never had this trouble before! We've always known either before I was pregnant or early in the pregnancy what we would name each child. It's getting down to the wire here, people! We have a few ideas, but nothing we're completely sold on yet.

- get a bedroom set up for me and the baby (and Daddy, obvs). We've played musical rooms so many times in this house. It's a 3-ish bedroom--one of the bedrooms is technically the landing. So I'm not *exactly* sure where everyone's going to go yet. My poor husband has moved furniture so often in this house.

- get out baby paraphernalia. I have a few bins of newborn things that I need to get out and wash and get ready.

- get a New Baby School Plan ready. Really, all I want to do is have a basket of books ready and waiting that I can read from while nursing or what have you. But if I'm not intentional, it won't happen.

I'm short of breath just typing out all of this! 

(I actually have a prayer request for all of you out there--would you pray that I don't get any {more} rashes this pregnancy? I had PUPPS and Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis {I think PUPPS brought the other one on} for my first pregnancy, and the progesterone allergy hasn't gone away since. Basically, I had TWO very itchy rashes that completely covered my body for the last trimester of my first pregnancy and one of the itchy rashes - APD - comes back to some degree for each subsequent pregnancy.

I'm getting itchy on my belly and am concerned that PUPPS will come back, or my APD will get worse. :( Please pray against all itchiness! It's awful! :( I know the Lord won't give me anything I can't handle, but I'm still worried.)

So, that's where I'm at. What are you up to these days?

(Please don't misunderstand my pregnancy posts--I realize there are so many women who are unable to get pregnant, and obviously, I'm not trying to be insensitive. Even though I have a few aches and pains, I'm truly grateful for all my babies and children! I thank Jesus daily for the new life growing in me. I can not WAIT to meet her.  And she's completely worth it. :)


Pregnancy Update (Alternate Title: I Feel Old)

My bump/seat - this was taken today, 28wks

Me, at about 20 weeks.

I'm 28 weeks pregnant. I feel like I'm about 38 weeks pregnant. Has anyone else experienced this?!

I've always said, "You're only as young as you feel!" And I truly meant it! I can't stand it when people complain about "being old."

 About 18wks.


Here I am, 36 years old and half-way through my 4th (technically 6th) pregnancy, and man, do I feel old.

My pelvic bone hurts. My feet hurt. BAD. My abdominal muscles ache most of the time.

I have varicose veins, people! TMI? Too bad. If I have to deal with it, so do you if you want to be my friend. And who knew they hurt this bad?!

I cry at the drop of a hat, and if you know me in real life, you know I am not a crier. 

Why didn't any of you tell me? Ok, maybe a few of you did.. but why didn't I listen?!?  

I'll tell you why.

Because even though pregnancy has never been my favorite thing--I'm not one of those women--and a lot of places hurt that I never knew could hurt and I've gained more weight than EVER with this pregnancy...

And even though I know there are many, many more sleepless nights ahead, and hormone changes, and body changes...

I know that at the glorious, wonderful end...

I will hold a brand new, precious, beautiful, unique, perfect-in-my-eyes baby and every single ache, pain, tear and annoyance will be more than worth it.

I cannot wait to meet this little person growing inside of me. It's always a miracle, isn't it? The more children I have, the more I realize what little miracles every child is. I know that this baby girl inside me will bring a new and refreshing dynamic to this family, just like each of our other children has. I can't imagine our lives without any of them. And after she is born, I won't be able to imagine life without her.

So, yes, pregnancy stinks out loud.

But after all is said and done, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. 


Narrating CM Peoria, Part 1

Hello there! I was privileged to attend CM Peoria Gathering this last weekend and boy! did I learn a lot! It was really inspiring and insightful and I thought I would share the things I learned. A narration, if you will. :)

Nicole Williams, Dr. Carroll Smith from CMI (I wanted to bring him home with me! What a kind, humble and wise man!), the TBG Community (I wasn't able to atttend the immersion, unfortunately), and Dr. Jen Spencer were all there... just to name a few of the great minds! What an incredible blessing it was. It was a last minute decision for me to go (thank you, Husband!) and I'm so glad I did!

The first talk I'd like to narrate is "Scheduling" by Nicole Williams. *swoon* I love me a schedule! (ENFJ here, with an emphasis on the "J"!)


One of the most important things I learned from this talk was respecting everyone's time in the family. To quote Nicole,

"We aren't the only person affected by the rhythm of our school day." 

"The rhythm of our day should incorporate 'Atmosphere, Discipline and Life.'"

This means, that just because *I* love a schedule (and I do!), there may not be children (or a husband) who appreciates it as much as I do. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't have one, however, but I'll get to that. I can't just schedule out our whole day and, like a drill sergeant require everyone to adhere to it. I have one daughter in particular, who appreciates un-structured time.

Nicole talked about her mom and how scheduled she liked to be; she said even her family vacations were completely scheduled. Her mom just didn't function well without one. (I'll interject here and say that knowing your personality type would be very beneficial! What kind of person are you?)

Nicole's sister, on the other hand, can't stand to schedule anything to this day; Nicole said she falls right in the middle. She doesn't actually love having a strict schedule. Which is ironic, because I'd guess that's one of the most popular series' on her blog! :)

BUT! She said that in order to successfully "do" a Charlotte Mason education, a schedule is necessary. At least for the morning studies. The afternoons, then, were left to Masterly Inactivity, or no scheduled activities. But there are still things we are to do in the afternoons.

Bottom line, if we want to get the subjects all of the great feast in that a Charlotte Mason education requires (and we do!), we must have a schedule for "school" time, and stick to it!

This means that if we have math scheduled at 10am, and at 10:05 our 3 year old needs us (potty emergency!) and we aren't able to return to school until 10:30, we are to move on to the next subject scheduled at 10:30. Sounds crazy, right? You might be thinking, I'll never get anything done! But au contraire!

To quote Nicole from her blog

When you are done with your 30 minutes of math you leave it behind and focus on dictation, for instance, but if you are late starting dictation, then you begin feeling stressed. You will either have to shorten your time for dictation, or you will have to be late to the next thing on your list.  It’s better to just move on to the next item and leave the last item behind. It will be there tomorrow, or next week, or whenever if shows up on your schedule again.

It is, in fact, freeing! So you didn't get to math today. You'll probably get to it tomorrow. It's not throwing the rest of your day (and week!) off by trying to "catch up." 

I've actually been trying to do this for the last month or so (after listening to the DE Podcast and re-reading Nicole's blog series), and I have to say, it's working pretty well. Our afternoons are more free. The clock is dictating our school day, not Mama. It takes so much pressure off.

Basically, there is a time for everything and we need to respect that time. In "real life" we can't always go back and have a re-do. We must keep moving forward and it's a good lesson for our children. :)

Important things I learned:
- Each family's timetable/schedule will look different. Some might have to start math right away, some might have to do it during naptime. Outside of Mason's principles, there is no Right Way to schedule.
- There needs to be a schedule posted where everyone can see it.  (Nicole said this was the first rule Mason had in regards to scheduling! Fascinating!)
- The schedule may (will?) need to change often, depending on life and babies and what not. Nicole said that she's had to change her schedule twice in one Term once! So, take heart, Mamas!  You're not the only one! :D

Things that I'm changing after attending her talk:
- Instead of having an hour long Circle Time, I'm going to incorporate those "cookies", as Nicole kept calling them, into the rest of our day. *That* is a Mason principle--we need those "cookie" subjects interspersed throughout our days to give our kids' brains a break. Makes total sense, right?
- I'm going to move our Quiet Time from 1-2:30 to 3-4:30, so those few hours right after lunch can be spent playing, doing handicrafts, nature journaling, drawing, etc. Read about afternoon activities here on Nicole's blog.

Here's the Delectable Education podcast on scheduling and here is Nicole's scheduling series. 

And here are our new schedules; maybe you'll get some ideas! They aren't perfected yet. I'm still in trial and error mode, but I tried to spread out the "cookies" in our day as best I could. :)


- The subjects in BOLD are those we all do together.

- For the Afternoon Activites, I do have certain things we do on certain days, because I am needed for those things (drawing, Shakespeare). The rest of the activities can be done when the child wants to.

- We are going to use the videos by Children of the Open Air for our Solfa lessons.

- I'm trying to read up on Swedish Drill, because I think that would be a nice addition to our day. Especially for my wiggle-worm children! Here's the series on Brandy's blog regarding Swedish Drill.

Now, just to keep it real here, this schedule is my goal, it's certain very possible that we're not going to get to all the Afternoon Activities every day. I'm completely fine with that. If there's one thing I've learned in my very short time of homeschooling (and have to keep re-learning!) it's that I need to remain flexible!

I'm so thankful for all of the people out there dedicated to getting more of Mason's philosophies and principles out there (to all us little people)! The more I learn about CM, the more I'm convinced that it's the best way for our family to educate. <3

Do you have any thoughts on scheduling?


Nature Walk September 2016

I've mentioned this before on my blog, but we live near some really beautiful hiking trails and state parks. About a month ago (takes me forever to post here!) we took the kids on one of these beautiful trails. :) It's about 20min from our house.

 Buddies :)

 I really love these kids. 
See the cool root system behind them? :)

 SO many fabulous mushrooms!!!

 I can not believe how athletic this girl is! Doesn't get it from me or her father! She can literally climb a pole. Or at least a tree that is very pole-like. :o)
 I tried so hard with my phone, to get a good picture of this plant. I had no idea what it was--just thought it was pretty! And such a bright, cheery orange!

We're reading "Fall Is Here" during our Circle Time right now, and in that book, weeks after our hike, we learned that the above orange flower is called a Touch Me Not (or Jewelweed) and according to the book, if you touch Jewelweed, it will actually shoot out its seeds! So cool! #connections

We've been meaning to go back to the trail and see if it works. :)

Do you love her outfit or what?! :)

 Love that man. <3 #nexttimeheshouldcarryme

We only have a few more nice days coming here in good ole' Wisco. This Mama HATES the cold. I'm hoping we can make the most of them!