Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rain, Tolkien and a little dark days of motherhood.

It has been pouring rain for three stinkin' days, and I've gone so mad inside the house that apparently I'm now quoting The Lord of the Rings trilogy - movies not the books.

Having never actually read the entire LOTR trilogy I feel like the most inadequate homeschooled child on the planet. My parents made the mistake of not beginning to homeschool until I was six years in, and well-adjusted to conventional education.  So, sorry overachievers, while you were reading LOTR at six years old, I was chatting with my second-best friend on the monkey-bars about who would one day date whom when we reached the ripe old age of ten.

This summer, I've decided to remedy that feeling of inadequacy beginning with The Fellowship of the Ring and seeing where we get from there.  I haven't gotten very far.  I'm still in the Shire.  However, I am in love with the ornate detail of Tolkien's world, so it's been far from torturous.  I fell in love with Tolkien for real last semester when I was finishing up my children's literature course. I had to read The Hobbit, which I had already read at age 14, but there was so much I missed! All these years of pretending to know what the H these homeschoolers were talking about in order to fit in (because there's still peer pressure in the world of homeschoolers) and I'm finally there at 27. I probably won't start dressing as a Hobbit or learn Elvish though.

I shouldn't make fun of homeschoolers.
I have a hard time picturing myself a homeschool mom, and have been fairly vocal about why I don't want to homeschool my kids - but because I did actually have a great experience being homeschooled, and know its amazing benefits for family life, I do consider it something I'd do should the need arise.

My biggest reason for not wanting to dive in to homeschooling is that I'm... (trying to get my resistant fingers to type this)... lazy.  There you go.

I have tremendous respect for homeschooling parents. It is a full time job.  I just can't at this moment picture it being my full-time job.  Maybe I still have delusions visions of being a journalist with a "real job" when my children are in school.  I am also optimistic about the idea of Catholic schools in our city - and want to give them a fair shot.

Wow. A real job? What is that? Where did that thought even come from?

Now here's some insight into my personal troubles and the darkness of my motherhood experience since I finished my degree:

While I've been all "Oh yay! I finally get to be the stay-at-home mom I want to be and finally do all those Pinterest things I didn't have time to do while I was studying my butt off," the true dark days of motherhood have hit me in the face.  Some of my dear ones have written this "mood" off as pregnancy hormones and morning sickness, but I'm beginning to wonder if there such a thing as pre-partum depression.

Somehow I just can't see watching my toddler try to lick whipped cream and pancake syrup off of his toes at breakfast as anything other than frivolous entertainment.  Discipline? The daily headache in trying to make my kids be less "instinct-and-emotion" and more "thought-and-regard-for-others".  Facilitating toddler activities? Coming up with simple things to keep them occupied for 10 minutes without killing each other so that I can switch one of my mountains of dirty laundry for a clean one.  Making dinner? A mostly-futile attempt at finding the perfect balance of healthy and palatable for both adults and picky little mouths.  Truly, I don't care if they don't eat it - but it's the verbal protest and whining of hunger that I just can't stand.

All the while, I keep telling myself that right now, I only have two kids. Soon, I'll have three. Someday that number could be five or six! My life is comparatively more tame than for others, but hey, I'm honest - it's hard.  My therapy for all these mean, weary days, has been reading blogs like this from Momastery; and about real moms like Christy, doing real things with more kids; and admittedly, watching old movies during the kids naps (complete with popcorn).  I suppose I should get out of the house more (or, while I can still hold hands with all my mobile children at once to cross the street), but  I'll tackle that one when it stops raining.

For now, there is a tent to build in the living room so that we can have a picnic without getting wet, then some curling up with Tolkien while the babes snooze.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Little miracle

I've been quiet lately in the blogging world, and for good reason.
I've been busy growing another little person! Another amazing miracle!  It's crazy to think about Patrick and Carter, and their little personalities, expressions, and antics, and think that a completely new and different person will be added to the bunch in just over six months.

The pregnancy so far has been very similar to my first.  Nausea that doesn't go away, many aversions to many foods and the overwhelming tiredness that is fairly constant.  With Carter, I had none of this.  I felt a bit tired - but mostly awesome throughout.  I thought maybe I was just too busy with Patrick to worry about being sick.  I thought maybe I'd morphed into one of those superhuman preggo-moms who seem to glow and glide their way through pregnancy.  Well that thought came back to bite me.

I'm 12 weeks along, so the first trimester is basically over.  The nausea is beginning to subside - though tonight, our dinner was grilled cheese and tomato soup, because I couldn't stomach the thought of cooking the chicken that still sits in the fridge.  In fact, its presence there deters me from opening the fridge altogether.  I actually looked away and felt around the cheese drawer when the time came, and actually thinking about it right now makes me a little queasy.

I'm kind of on the wait-and-see train when it comes to letting people know about pregnancies.  I always tell friends who let us know before 12 weeks that it's wonderful to let people know, and if the worst happens, then they'll have that support and prayers needed to get through a miscarriage.  However, my mom lost a baby when I was 7, almost immediately after I told my classmates. It sounds silly, but the trauma from that has made me weary of letting my baby news out until I hear the heart beating.  As a little girl, I'd been filled with so much hope and anticipation, only to be let down. Fortunately, my mom got pregnant with my sister soon after, and the day before I turned 8, she was born.  She is an old soul with a deep heart and lots of passion. I often think about how she wouldn't have been born if we'd had our other sibling - and that would have been a great loss.

With each of my pregnancies, I've had a sense of wonder stemming from this happy realization - that my world would be a much different place without my sister, and that my world would be a much different place without each of my little boys.  This new little one is already a unique little soul.  I'm going to type that again, because I love it so much and I want my sincere belief in it to sink in.

This new little one is already a unique little soul.

All through my pregnancy, the mystery has built up.  Boy, or girl? What will he/she look like? Will he/she nurse well? Sleep well? Be larger than Carter's whopping 10 lbs, 14 oz.?  Will he/she be outgoing and friendly instantly like Patrick, or a little more cautious like Carter? Will he or she be emotionally scarred because they are going to be born close to Christmas and New Years?

Our due date is December 24.  Given that both Patrick and Carter were 10 days late, I'm totally not expecting a Christmas baby.  We are going to stay home for Christmas though - you know, just in case my body is tired of being pregnant around then, and the babe is starting to feel squashed.  Joseph said the ideal date is really December 31 anyway, because then we can claim him or her on our income tax for the entire previous year, but not have to actually deal with diapers and the like for that time.  I pointed out that some months previous, I'd be busy "dealing" with this baby - you know, kicking me in the ribs and stepping on my bladder, but he was still pretty thrilled about the prospect of a tax break.  He really is a dear, sweet man. And hey, there's got to be at least one perk for the dad who has to live with the somewhat-demanding pregnant lady for nine months.

Joseph has been really wonderful, though I do resent it slightly when he has a beer or some scotch in the evening.  I believe with my last pregnancy he said, "Hey, I'm drinking for two." Not a welcome comment my friends. He felt some major hostility at that moment in time.  Like I said, he really is a dear, sweet man.  He's really kept me, the kids and the house afloat during this yucky-nausea time - plus his company, which is our sole source of income.  Daddy-pressure can be pretty crazy. A little more love thrown his way probably couldn't hurt.

I'm beginning to ramble, and lose my train of thought, which is a sure sign that bedtime has arrived.
More news on how the new miracle is progressing to come!