Sunday, September 29, 2013

Author Visit

Our Barnes and Noble hosted Kate DiCamillo today. I packed a lunch that we ate in the car on the way there after church. When Jan Brett came a few years ago it was on Sunday morning so we were unable to attend. I was happy the signing today was on  Sunday afternoon instead of Sunday morning.
We arrived about 15 minutes early and all the seats were taken. Everyone just stood around and listened that didn't have a seat.
First she answered questions for about 25 minutes. Some of the questions from both adults and children were very good questions.
Then she read the first chapter of her new book, Flora and Ulysses. The first chapter has some cartoons so it was a little difficult for her to read it, but most people had a copy of the book to look at while she read.
Then she signed books. The rule was that she would only sign books, not posters or other items. I was surprised she would sign an unlimited number of books. Some people had several books to sign-we had 4. I had wanted her to sign 2 books but brought 2 extras in case she would sign more. Some were giving books to their child's teachers. We had gone earlier in the week (after piano lessons) and bought her new book. That meant we were in the first group of 10 families that she signed books. It was perfect to listen to her talk and then get our books signed- the Lambs could handle waiting that long. (Shh...when you look at these photos, don't tell my goddaughter what her Christmas present is.) Lamb 1 has a sucker in his mouth from Sunday School in some of these photos.

The Lambs loved reading this book!

The Lambs cooperated very well and we bought them a treat from the cafe after our books were signed. Then I went and told the Barnes and Noble staff thank you for their work in bringing such a big name author as Kate DiCamillo to Idaho. The staff was shocked to hear me say thank you-they said if I only knew how much work went into today. It was organized and advertised well-everyone knew what the rules were and it was organized, not a chaotic line of hundreds of people waiting to get their book signed. She spoke at 1pm and we left at 2pm. Thank you Barnes and Noble and Kate DiCamillo!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Our daily routine now

*Homeschool 3 different levels-especially helping Lamb 2 learn how to read and helping Lamb 3 learn how to write all his letters and numbers-also Lamb 1's school work is more academic now that he is in 4th grade
*Lamb 1 and 2 practice piano daily-Lamb 2 needs help reading the directions from his piano teacher to know what to practice and also needs help reviewing his music note flash cards daily
*Lamb 2 and 3 have different speech therapy homework-both need an adult to help
*Lamb 2 is now attending Occupational Therapy and has exercises to do twice a day
*Lamb 1 is in a book club at the library and the first book was almost 400 pages. In order for him to finish before the first meeting, he needs Ram and I to read parts of it with him. So I read a couple of chapters and then he reads a couple of chapters. I have no idea what the plot of this book is, at this point I'm just reading to him so he isn't overwhelmed. Part of the problem is that he wants to read other books and has a lot of books checked out of the library waiting for him to finish the book club book. We know we need to get started on the next book right away after this book club meeting- taking turns reading chapters again. I think this book club is an excellent opportunity for my shy Lamb so I'm willing to help him so he can succeed.

I'm a little overwhelmed organizing all this. I've also gotten myself into doing the job of the Sunday School Superintendent but not actually being the SSS. I feel like I'm never home and we're just going to church/Sunday School, speech, OT, and piano. I never thought I would wish we were back in the days of all 3 Lambs being under age 4. I never thought I would say changing (and washing) diapers and nursing (and getting up in the middle of the night) was easier than this! I know this is September and we will get used to our new routine as the school year goes on. But that is what scares me-I know as the school year goes on we slack in some areas. We are unable to slack in any of these areas-Lamb 2 must do his exercises daily and the Lamb 2 and 3 need to practice speech daily. This summer when the Lambs took a break from practicing piano, Lamb 2 forgot almost everything he had learned this spring which tells me they need to practice piano daily. Ram tries to help and does help when he is home, but he is working most of the day when the Lambs need help.

So don't be surprised if I scream if you ask me why my Lambs aren't in sports or other activities. I can't handle running to one more activity especially if it involves homework or practice. Right now we have plenty that we NEED to do. There will be time to get involved in more activities as they get older.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I am Baptized into Christ

I turned the page in my calendar and my breath was taken away for a minute when I read the words DUE DATE on today's date. Because of Factor II, if everything would have gone well, DUE DATE means I should be nursing a two week old baby today. My mom should be celebrating her birthday tomorrow with a new grandbaby with a birthday very near her birthday. 

After the first couple of miscarriages I quit putting the words DUE DATE on the calendar. It was just too difficult. But my last few pregnancies have been different-calculating how long to do progesterone and heparin and when I would be induced if I got that far. Also when to get refills on those drugs. So all that was written on my calendar in my purse.

Last week I went to the eye doctor and I had to report I had two miscarriages since my last exam. My vision gets very messed up when I am pregnant, even if I am only pregnant a short time. It takes several months to go back to normal. This week I have to go to my thyroid doctor and report that I had a miscarriage since I saw her last time. My doctor doesn't have the best bedside manner and I am already nervous about this appointment.

Why 8 miscarriages? Why a miscarriage approximately every 6 months? Why didn't we have a happy ending and have a baby after several miscarriages? I've done all the doctors said to do, why didn't it work? Why does going to routine doctor appointments become so difficult? Why do I need to stock up on sympathy cards to mail to my grieving friends that also have had miscarriages?

I don't know if I will ever have the answers to those questions. I do know "that for those who love God all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). I do know that I will only have the 'peace that passes all understanding' if I look to Christ for that peace. I do believe my heavenly Father has the best in mind for me and my family even if it doesn't look that way some times. I do believe that some day I will see my 8 miscarried babies in heaven.  I do know that I am baptized into Christ. That is very comforting to me.

"There is nothing worth comparing 
To this lifelong comfort sure! 
Open eyed my grave is staring 
Even there I'll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising,
Still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ;
I'm a child of paradise!" (LSB 740:5)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life is not fair

My mom has been trying to eat healthier (working her way towards Paleo!) and also trying to get more exercise (walking almost daily). On Monday night she took a walk after dark. She tripped over an uneven sidewalk and fell. My dad took her to the ER and we were all surprised that she didn't break her arm or hip. She needed stitches on her chin and she did fracture her jaw bone. Life is not fair that she gets hurt while exercising!

Today she finally was able to see the oral surgeon because he wanted the swelling to go down before he saw her. She took her September calendar with her expecting needing to schedule surgery or wiring her mouth closed around my parents other doctor appointments. She was shocked that she didn't need surgery or wires and the doctor doesn't want to see her again for 3 weeks. Since she didn't expect that she wasn't prepared with the October calendar.

She should get the stitches out on Monday and all she has to do is eat soft foods for the next few weeks. She won't be able to eat all Paleo if she has to remain on a soft food diet. When she is recovered there will be dentist appointments to see if her bite changed. The doctor did recommend jaw movement, just not too much. So tonight she surprised me and called me and we talked for a while.

This could have been a lot worse and we thank God that there were people around to help her when it happened-both to help her and contact my dad. A nurse helped her and recommended she immediately get to the ER. My parents may have waited if the nurse hadn't insisted she go immediately.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1812 Overture

When we heard the 1812 Overture on Friday night, it brought back college memories for me.

I don't even remember what class it was for, I assume it was for Music for Elementary Teachers class. I had to study a musical piece and write a short paper about it, and my piece was the 1812 Overture. I don't remember if I chose 1812 Overture or if it was assigned.

I'm so old that this was before YouTube or Ipods and our college library didn't own a CD of the 1812 Overture. I didn't have a car yet and didn't want to spend the money to buy a CD. (Plus this was before and it would have been a pain to find a store that sold it.) We could borrow books from other libraries, but I don't think we could borrow CDs. So I had to go down to the media center in the basement and borrow a record and borrow a record player. I had to sit down there and listen to the record, I wasn't allowed to take the record player out of the media center. So I listened to the 1812 Overture on a record probably about 25 times until I had the piece analyzed and was ready to write my paper.

A few years ago I ran across that paper as I was cleaning out. It was both sides of a paper, small print, single spaced. I analyzed the piece, talked about the history and the music. I asked questions to the (imaginary) students after each section. I don't remember but I assume I got a good grade on that paper. (I remember the few papers where I did not get a good grade!)

I often think of how easy college was for me compared to my parents because I had a computer instead of a typewriter. But memories like this make me realize how much easier college will be for the Lambs as compared to me. Or will it? Does the Internet make it more difficult for them to write papers without plagiarizing? Does the Internet make too much information to sift through as compared to my making do with what I could easily find at the library? One thing is the CUW library is much nicer than when I went there.

But all I could think of on Friday night was, how much better it is to hear the 1812 Overture performed LIVE instead of on a record.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Americana Concert

We bought tickets for the Boise Philharmonic Americana Concert on Friday night. This was the second annual outdoor concert season. When we bought tickets we thought this would be our second outdoor concert of this summer. The wildfire canceled the concert we were supposed to go to with Ram's parents so this ended up being the first.
We ate a small supper and then took snacks with us for a picnic. We arrived about 7:30 for the 8pm concert. We took deviled eggs, watermelon, cantaloupe, cheese and salami and gluten free crackers, Paleo brownies, and root beer for the Lambs. We sat on the lawn.
The concert advertised the Star Spangled Banner, Lincoln Portrait, and 1812 Overture. We were in for a treat of much more American music! Lamb 1 enjoyed the Light Cavalry Overture and asked the next day for help to find it on YouTube. The baritone and narrator was Derrick Parker, a very talented African American, which made the Lincoln Portrait even more meaningful.
They had an Armed Forces Salute and our family cheered loud for Army (Uncle Eric), Navy (Aunt Hannah and Great Grandpa M.), and Air Force (Grandpa M.). As we were leaving a lady asked Lamb 2 if he cheered for the Marines. He said, "No, I cheered for the Army for my Uncle Eric." As they called out each of the 5 branches of the military, military or veterans of that branch were supposed to stand up. As they started many of them stood up slowly and you could tell they didn't want to be recognized. But after a few branches, when they called out "Marines", a man sitting near us stood up proudly at attention for the entire Marine segment.
I was glad for my teaching first and second grade days because I remembered all the verses of America the Beautiful to sing along. I also recognized that we have our work cut out in homeschool this year to learn The Star Spangled Banner and some other American songs I think the Lambs should have memorized.
Lamb 3 especially enjoyed marching to the Sousa marches. Because it was outside and we were near the back of our section he was allowed to do that. Lamb 2 was tired and Ram had to work to keep Lamb 2 from getting loud during the concert. Finally they both laid on the blanket and counted stars and that worked well. Ram also had several trips to the bathroom with the Lambs after they had root beer. During the intermission a lady that sat near us came over and complimented our Lambs on their excellent behavior during the first half.
It was nice weather. I took a sweater as it usually gets chilly in the evenings, but I didn't really need it. I did put it on during the intermission to try to avoid mosquito bites. It wasn't super hot though.
We all decided we would like to go again next year. It was sold out so we'll have to plan ahead. We had considered going to a different concert this season, but we were so glad that we chose the Americana concert.