It's probably time for a family update. We're doing well here, although we're all sniffling and blowing our noses. We can't decide if it's allergies or a mild cold. I was leaning toward allergies until Baby G started doing it, too.
I've weaned 2 yo L. Her 3rd birthday is this month, and I've never nursed this long before. She had her last nursing ten days ago! Now, she's not exactly happy about that fact, and still asks me almost daily for "milky". But we aren't going back! We are reading her to sleep now. She is usually so tired that she is asleep by the end of a Dr. Seuss book. Not always, but usually. And she is drinking cow's milk in a cup during the day when she asks for "milky". I'm surprised because most of mine didn't transition to drinking cow's milk when they weaned.
We'd been working on getting her to sleep in her bottom bunk in the girls' room since Christmas. We've been doing fairly well with that. Some nights she wakes up and comes to us around 3 am, but other nights she sleeps straight through. Unfortunately, her bed rail was bent by a sibling a couple months ago and had to be thrown out. We weren't sure if her 3 am wakings were inspired by falling out of bed or not. Last night we bought her a new bedrail and she slept until 6:30 am. The next step in this process is to get her to go to bed without reading her to sleep first, and being able to take her back to bed if she wakes in the night. We don't mind. By the time she turns four, she'll be potty trained and going to bed with her siblings without all the extra steps. We've been down this road before.
Baby G is doing well, getting chubby. He's so alert, always noticing what is around him. His head just swivels to take it all in at times. He loves to watch his siblings and will lean out around me to see them. He's also getting grabby ... watch out for your cups, your eyeglasses, the keyboard, your plate of food! His legs are just as fat as they can be now, which surprises me since he was such a skinny newborn. He cut two teeth already, and was the earliest of the 7 kids to do that. His brown hair all fell out and now he's a mostly bald blonde with sparkling blue eyes. He's 5.5 months old, and he loves his pacifier. The first two girls loved theirs, but the four middle children all switched to their fingers around 2 or 3 months old. Baby G seems to be following in the oldest girls' footsteps instead. We'll figure out how to take the pacifier away later. I'm not very worried about it. He CAN roll, but isn't usually interested in doing so. I'm thinking he won't be crawling at 6 months as some of his siblings have done. That may be the dog's fault. I'm nervous about putting him on the floor when the dog is inside. She has a bad habit of pawing at us for attention. But that's only a problem if we are sitting right beside Baby G when he's on the floor. I need to put him down there when she's outside or napping, though. He needs time to roll and crawl and play with toys ... even if he doesn't think he does.
We had a birthday party for 8 yo J on Saturday. We had to postpone it a week due to illness, but it was a blast. We had 10 boys come, for a total of 12 boys. Unfortunately, we got some snow overnight, and it was a cold day. So, our outdoor activities were chilly ones, and so much mud was tracked in, it was hilarious!! I hadn't expected that. (For awhile, I was trying to wipe it up, but then I realized it was pointless. So I let them enjoy themselves, quit worrying about the mud, and just mopped the floors after they left. It was worth it!)
We had 4-wheeler rides, and an outdoor treasure hunt with two teams (each had their own set of clues to follow). In between the outdoor activities, we drank mud with rocks (cocoa with marshmallows) and ate dirt cake with worms. It was lots of fun, and several of the parents stayed to chat for awhile. Steve was fun to watch with the boys. That was a new side of him I don't see often (him with a whole group of boys).
On our way to our 4H meeting on Sunday, we stopped to look at baby chicks at Orscheln's. It's Chick Days! We're going to buy chickens this year ... I think. We're trying to figure out the cost of building a chicken tractor (transportable coop), and the timing of when we can move the chicks outside. We don't want to get them too early. When the chickens are out, it will be time to get guinea keets again. "Last Man Standing" is lonely and needs some new guinea friends. We want to get Buff Orpington chicks and also Americauna (for the colored eggs). We looked at the Buff Orpingtons at the store, but we might have to mail order the Americaunas.
Homeschool is going well. We're 2/3 of the way through our curriculum reviews, settling in with our last set of products. The very last products are shipping this week. I still have 13 reviews to write, possibly 14. It's been an interesting project. I'm so glad I applied and was chosen. Testing new products out was fun and insightful. I've learned things about myself and our curriculum choices through this. It's made me re-think some things, but has also caused me to feel more strongly about other things. I'll write more about that when the project is finished. I've enjoyed the writing process, and the flurry of mail at times. We'll miss the packages!
I'm starting to make plans for our next school year. We're only halfway through this school year, though. We won't be getting much of a summer break. Last year, we had to run right up to July because of the moving break in the Fall of 2007. We took a 3-4 week summer break and started up early because of the baby coming in the Fall of 2008. We had our baby break, and then we had to take a 2 week funeral break when Steve's Dad died. We'll be doing school right up into July again this year. Hopefully next school year can be a normal one. I'm starting to look for used curriculum and make decisions based on some of the things we've learned this year with the reviews. I'm still not sure what changes we'll be making, but we're talking it over and looking ahead.
In two months, the children have to give their "project talks" at our 4H meeting, so we have to buckle down and start our projects. I am confused about the project notebooks, and worried because they seem to be so crucial, and I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm finding it hard to know what questions to ask, and everyone seems to assume I already know what I need to know. There's a meeting at the end of the month that should help me figure it out, though. I think they need to have a "project notebooks for dummies" booklet to hand out to new families, so we aren't blundering along trying to figure it out ourselves. I need to talk to a couple families at church about their projects and project notebooks. They aren't in my 4H group, so I'll need to call them and set up a time to get together with them instead.
Our Persian Mama is due to have kittens "at any moment". I'm at the point that any time I walk into the kitchen I look for her and check her out. She's usually in her cat carrier/nursery, which means I bend down, pet her and see what's going on. I'm watching her at the food bowl ... still eating, so I guess she's not in labor yet. Which reminds me, I haven't seen her eating yet today.
Well, the kids are up and waiting for school ... so I'd better go. I hope everyone has a blessed week!
Trusting in Him,