Sunday, January 31, 2016

Meal Plan

M: bagels, fruit (B), chicken azteca over rice, veggies (D)
T: oatmeal (B), spaghetti and salad (D)
W: eggs (B), stuffed pepper soup (D)
T: cereal, fruit (B), beef stroganoff (D)
F: eggs, toast (B), potato soup (D)
S: pumpkin bread (B), pizza (D)
S: donuts (B), taco salad (D)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Update

So Charlie is finally starting to make some noises other than crying and smiling every so often. This seems to indicate that she is starting to be able to hear something since babies who cannot hear do not in general talk back to you.  This does NOT mean that we actually know anything definitively regarding her hearing. Granted, we aren't too terribly worried either way. Either she can hear normally or she can't. If she can't, we all learn sign language and she maybe gets hearing aids. Nothing worth getting upset about so we truly aren't worried. I would say Charlie's biggest issues right now are that she truly does not like the tape on her face and tries to remove it as often as she can and the annoying feeling she gets every time she spits up. Due to that wonderfully huge whole in the palette, when she spits up, stuff comes out of her nose. Seriously one of the most uncomfortable feelings. But she is doing well. No, I'm not sure when her surgeries will be scheduled and I'm really rather refusing to worked up about it. Please don't get worked up for me because it does no good for anyone. Truly her issues are minor and will be mostly fixed before her first birthday. So why worry about it.

Four kids are off on a retreat this year. Admittedly, we were not too happy to send them on this one because the parental gut just does not get the right feeling from the adults supervising the group but we are hoping the kids are having fun. It is one of those "mandatory" things for the confirmation program and even though I realize it truly cannot be forced upon us, I did not feel like fighting it right now. Depending on how the weekend went, we might fight any further overnight retreats because they really are not all the same.

Seamus absolutely loves his little sister. We have been very lucky to never experience sibling jealousy with a new baby. I will admit that I wonder how much of it now is often created by the parents and other caregivers worrying about it happening and talking to the older kid about not being jealous but who knows. All I know is we have not experienced it ourselves.

Seven of the kids attended a trial fencing class this week. Not because we intend to allow them to join fencing because, well, the budget is only so big. But because we thought they would like to see what Kieran has been doing. Everyone seemed to enjoy the classes. Robert insisted on defending Ellie's honor after another boy stabbed her and "killed" her. The game they were playing required you to go into a death scene if you got stabbed so she did. The Robert had to check to make sure she was ok before he took off after the boy who got her to avenge her.  Alan says it was adorable.

Gabe got his first library card this week. This is a big deal around here and our library tends to make a big deal out of the first time a kid gets a library card. He is very thrilled.

That is our week. Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Empty Jar

You see that empty canning jar? Yes, the picture is awful but it's not the point. That jar. My favorite Christmas gift this year.

Why? It was simple and a reminder. A reminder I needed.

You see the paper taped to the jar? That paper has a note from one of the children. The note says:
To Mom and Dad: A jar of nothing for the people who have it all.
Ok, it is quite possible the child behind this gift was just looking for something simple, easy, and free. But I see something else.

I see a reminder that even with all of the chaos, the medical bills, the car repairs, the kids who are behind in school, the laundry that won't stop, the appliances that keep breaking, the darn freeloading chickens who won't lay eggs right now. In the midst of all of that chaos, when I've been oh so sick for weeks, going on months. When the baby isn't quite gaining enough weight to keep everyone happy, when we are still struggling to find a parish where the entire family feels at home and we are struggling with our faith. In the midst of all of that. We do have it all. And that is just what I needed to hear.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Meal Plan

M: cereal (B), creamy salsa chicken (D)
T: bagels (B), fettuccine alfredo, salad (D)
W: oatmeal (B), chicken soup (D)
T: eggs and cinnamon raisin toast (B), sloppy joes (D)
F: breakfast casserole (B), spinach tortellini soup (D)

Weekly Update

Not much of this week has gone as planned. But life is like that at times. Alan had intended to take the 5 older kids to the March for Life. After seeing the forecast, we opted to have them stay home. Not because we were worried about them getting there but because we were worried about them getting home. Seeing all the vehicles that are now stranded in the storm, I'm glad we made that call. It has also given me time to just rest and hopefully recover. I took Charlotte to the doctor on Wednesday and was told that she was fine but I was rather sick and needed to go see a doctor. So I do so the next day and spend most of the appointment fending off questions over the baby. What a pain. So rather than really worry about me, the doctor took the pediatrician's word that I have bronchitis. Really not too surprising I guess since I have been sick since Charlotte's last week in the NICU.

Liam has been released from physical therapy which means one less appointment on my schedule. Hopefully we will get a date for his surgery the next time we see the orthopedist. I am looking forward to being done with the appointments with this particular doctor because his bedside manner stinks. For a guy who deal with children almost all day, you'd think he would have a clue how to talk to them.

Three of the older boys are off winter camping this weekend. I don't understand wanting to do so every year but they seem to enjoy it.

So such is our life at the moment.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Meal Plan

I have decided that my children are slightly weird. The parents in the house are getting just a tad tired of pizza every Saturday night. The children are absolutely miserable. We even had bbq ribs for dinner last night and tonight there were multiple children suggesting pizza for dinner since we skipped it on Saturday. Robert first asked for pizza. Then he said "I have an suggestion. How about something pizza-ish?" He even tried playing the "We can use our Book-it coupons" hand. He still lost but you have to admire the effort.

I am going to attempt for the next month to try to plan including lunches and snacks and see how well we are able to stick to that. Obviously if the fridge starts to overflow, a leftover night will be thrown in. I think the hardest things for us to plan are lunches and snacks because the middle of the day gets crazy and the kids are rather locust like in regard to snacks some days. I am working on getting them to understand that I really don't mind if you are eating fruit, popcorn or string cheese but I do get a tad annoyed when the special snacks disappear in under 12 hours because that just rather boarders on gluttony. And irks me. Anyway, rambling again. So here goes.

S: cinnamon rolls (B), FFY (L), tator tot casserole (D)
M: bagels with cream cheese or fruit butter (B), corn dog muffins, fruit (L), apple BBQ pork chops, scalloped potatoes, apple sauce (D)
T: eggs and toast (B), ramen, veggies (L), chicken divan, salad (D)
W: English muffins, bacon, oj (B), taco cheddar biscuits, fruit (L), spaghetti with meat sauce, salad (D)
T: scones, yogurt (B), leftovers (L), spicy chicken soup, cheddar muffins (D)
F: oatmeal (B), pbj (L), tuna melts (D) for those at home, packable food/snacks for those heading to the March for Life
S: cereal (B), FFY (L), pizza (D)

Snacks: string cheese, gogurt, popcorn, pumpkin bread, fruit, carrots, crackers

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Baby, Baby, Baby

So today started with a trip to the plastic surgeon. A rather uneventful trip. All we can say is that the little one is not big enough yet to discuss scheduling the first surgery. This is rather a bummer because we really would like to get it over with and we are sort of working against a bit of a deadline. But since her surgery is not the life and death sort of operation, it is best to put it off until she is bigger and can handle the realities of anesthesia better.

Later in the day Kieran had fencing class. Abby and Gabe went along with me again to get school work done in the relative quiet and almost one-one-one time. The fencing club recently relocated so they are still busy with all sorts of last minute details such as testing the various alarms. While we were there, the fire alarm was tested. It went off for quite some time and was really rather loud and obnoxious. It bothered everyone but Charlie Girl who slept right through it. Also a bummer. Round three of her hearing testing is scheduled for late February. Hopefully we'll learn more at that point.

Otherwise, life is as normal. Just keep trucking folks.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Meal Plan

M: breakfast casserole (B), pasta and salad (D)
T: leftover pancakes and/or bagels (B), drunken honey bbq chicken (D)
W: oatmeal (B), slow cooker sweet fire chicken (D)
T: eggs and pumpkin bread from the freezer (B), pork roast, potatoes (D)
F: cereal (B), mac and cheese (D)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Day in the Life

So I took two younger kids with me to fencing today. We had an hour and a half to focus on their school work. What a reminder on how much easier this whole homeschooling thing was with fewer kids to worry about schooling. This is likely to become a regular part of our schedule now. I have two blocks of time every week when I am waiting for older children at their activities. Two and a half hours a week. Between Abby, Gabe, and Robert, I see being able to get quite a bit more accomplished in such a short period of almost one-on-one time each week.

Something amazing also happens when you leave your oldest children at home and take one of the middle ones to be the oldest helper. It's wonderful to watch them truly step up and grow into a larger amount of responsibility. And those older kids frankly deserve a stinking break every once in a while.

A day in the life of this homeschooling Mom. Living and learning with the crew.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Meal Plan

I don't want to get back into the swing of things but I suppose we must. With riding lessons, fencing, karate, and scouts starting back up this week and 3 appointments already on the schedule, life will get back to normal. And there is school. Yup, must make that a priority as well. That has been a huge challenge this year with all the appointments and visitors. Hoping to improve upon that.

So back to actually cooking food. I so don't want to but I must. A necessity for both the budget and everyone's health.

M: yogurt, granola (B), chili, cornbread (D)
T: eggs, pumpkin bread from the freezer (B), cheesy chicken bacon tator tot casserole (D)
W: oatmeal (B), beef teriyaki over rice (D)
T: breakfast casserole (B), cheesy chicken and rice. (D)
F: cereal (B), potato soup, dinner rolls (D)

This is the beginning of two months when I will attempt to pay much more attention to using the food in the house more effectively and sticking to meal plans. I am hoping to get the freezers organized again after having everything thrown all over creation when the freezer was being repaired and then the fridge broke. In other words, I am in desperate need of a proper inventory so we don't leave good food languishing buried somewhere. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Life in the New Year

It's a new year so what are the plans? I have lots of goals running through my head but it seems like 2016 will begin much the way 2015 ended. More car repairs. I am both frustrated and thankful. Frustrated because I'm tired of car repairs. Thankful because the van died after I pulled into a parking lot rather than when I was on the road. Alan hopes to fix it tomorrow. I'm praying he is able to because, well, that would be easy.

Other than that, it is time to tackle some reorganization plans, stick to that elusive budget a tad better, get back to more cooking and baking myself, figure out why the darn oven won't heat properly, and let go of plans that we were unable to get to this week.

I do believe my immune system is rather shot at the moment. Must work on fixing that. I am planning to start running in the next few weeks. Yes, that treadmill was an awesome investment. I'm just tired of walking. Yes, it has helped me in the past 18 months or so but walking on a treadmill is so, so, so boring. Have I said boring? Because gracious, just walking is boring.

Anyway, just hoping everyone has a wonderful new year.