Linking up with Tristan over at Our Busy Homeschool:
I have not a single picture of the day to share . . . only words . . . and even those are hard to come by these days with my energy almost completely focused within on the pregnancy we hope will last until January of next year.
I woke first, as is my goal every day. If I even get a few minutes of absolute quiet I am better prepared for the day ahead. I2 had joined me in bed sometime in the night, but he'd gone reasonably easily back to sleep; I am thankful.
Fighting the nausea that is hard when I first wake, I prepared a bowl of raspberries and cold cereal for me to eat while I read my scriptures. I'm in the book of Alma right now. I copied a verse into my journal and helped I2 get his favorite morning treat of graham crackers and milk.
I heard the shower running and knew I didn't need to wake E14--she remembered about having to be up and out the door by 8:00 am for her physical exam this morning. The other kids began waking, getting dressed, and doing their morning chores.
I got on the computer and found via email that our church congregation (ward) is hosting a funeral this weekend. I signed up to bring watermelon, but it someone beat me to it. I was shuttled over to a veggie tray; that's fine, too. After replying to our adoption homestudy worker about a question she answered for me and sending her another question, I got up from the computer and got myself and I2 dressed for the day.
I gave out directions to the 5 kids who were staying home for making and cleaning up breakfast, and then I2, E14 and I left for our very first visit to our new doctor's office. In truth, I was sick with wondering how the visit would go. Would this doctor (actually it is a nurse practitioner) tolerate my parenting practices or would I have to endure lectures about how I am endangering my kids' lives? Would she sign the adoption physical forms saying we are in good health or would she claim we are a danger to the community? Putting my fears together with my physical nausea left me shaking with the effort it took to arrive at the office.
E14 was seen first--and on her own as she'd asked me. She felt quite old enough to not be accompanied by her mother during a physical exam. I2 and I played in the children's waiting area. The nurse practitioner came out to ask me several questions about E14's immunizations, and to my relief she took it in stride that I asked for one and refused another based on my lack of personal research. I began to breathe a little easier.
I2 was next. He suddenly got afraid. He stamped his little foot and yelled, "No want to!" when I said it was his turn. He allowed himself to be convinced, and that's how the whole appointment went--he'd refuse and then I'd cajole/distract him enough to get the exam done. I give the nurse practitioner much credit for standing back and allowing him time to adjust to each new requirement. She was kind to him and contributed herself to some of the distracting. The questioning of parenting practices was far easier than I've experienced in other doctor's offices, and she didn't even bat an eyelash when I said I2 hadn't had any immunizations yet, but that I wanted him to start with polio and only polio. I stated clearly that we'd do one series at a time and take however long it took to get him through. She said, "Okay. Let me check to see if we have polio on its own--lots of times they're combined."
I almost cried with relief.
She came back with a dose of IPV and did not make me sign 4 different forms stating that I understood I was risking my child's life and under no circumstances was I to blame the doctor's office for my maverick and foolish choices. In fact she smiled and told us all to have a good day.
If I hadn't been nauseous I'd have jumped for joy.
While we were gone Daddy came home from work, ate, showered, and went to bed for the day. We came home to find S11 cleaning the kitchen and kids clamoring for snacks. I passed out cheese sticks, ate one myself, and crashed on the couch.
Kids did their own thing while I was conscious but only semi-coherent.
I heard the piano being played;
The little guys got Twister down from the games shelf;
M12 told me she had Personal Progress goals to work on;
S11 kept working on that kitchen--I tried to make sure I thanked her for her service;
I thought E14 and J10 were reading.
Lunchtime came. I was still incapable of standing upright. S11 came and said, "How can I help, Mom?"
She set out leftover bagel sandwiches from our picnic the day before and leftover quesadillas from dinner a couple of nights ago. She filled the water pitcher, set out plates and cups, and called everyone to the table. The kids gathered and prayed and ate . . . all while I continued to lie on the couch.
I was counting my blessings the whole time!
A lull in the rain lured a few kids outside to explore a little. Otherwise they scattered again to their own pursuits.
Eventually I forced myself upright because I needed to get E14 and M12 to the store to buy a birthday present for a friend. We also needed dishwasher detergent, diapers, and something that we could have for dinner that wouldn't make me gag too much. I'd promised to cut up the other half of a watermelon for a snack, too. But first I had to call the doctor's office to make appointments for the other 7 of us to get our physicals. It took nearly 45 minutes, but the woman on the phone was unfailingly cheerful and polite to me, and she got all 7 appointments fit into 4 days next week. That office is going to get to know us very well!
I cut up the watermelon, and E14 showed me a dead baby bird she'd found on our compost pile. She and the littles dug a grave for it, then came in for their snack.
"Wash your hands with lots of soap! Wash all the way up to your elbows!" I commanded before allowing them to eat.
I told the older girls to get ready to go shop with me, but then the watermelon in my stomach wreaked havoc and I spent the next couple of hours running to the bathroom. In between sick sessions I worked on adoption paperwork. The stack of forms is fully half an inch thick.
At 3:35 it was "now or never" for getting to the store and back before dinner had to be on the table. E14 and M12 had been waiting patiently and jumped right to their feet. Suddenly I2 said, "I go wif you!" His shoes were missing, but some flip flops were close at hand, so we grabbed those and left.
I sent E14 and M12 over to jewelry and make up to find a present while I steered I2 and the cart over to groceries. I decided that hot dogs, french fries, and fresh veggies with dip would make the kids happy. We threw stuff in our cart, figured that putting together a formal veggie tray for the funeral would be too expensive at this store (Aldi is always cheaper), and then grabbed diapering supplies we needed. I scooped up the big girls on our way to check out--they'd stayed perfectly within their budget and had found cute stuff on clearance for their friend.
When I got home I realized that I'd forgotten dishwasher detergent.
I also found out that J10 had been using her tablet to play Tiny Castles almost all day--with no timer set and not out in a common room. Both rules are inflexible in our house. I had to confiscate the tablet. She handed it over without fussing. I feel terrible for being so unaware of her.
S11 stepped right up to help with dinner.
She's been an absolute angel today . . . cleaning, babysitting, helping at every turn . . . and I know it's because she really wants to watch the Harry Potter video she checked out from the library. I have strict rules about ages and times that those movies can be watched, and it's hard for the kids to get the chance to watch them. The idea of staying up with my 3 big girls is overwhelming because I'm so tired, but there's no way I can let such consistent and cheerful help go unrewarded.
J10 felt badly for breaking the rules, so she joined S11 and me in the kitchen. We tidied up, put the fries in the oven, set the table, and fried the hot dogs because I couldn't cope with the grill on my own. I woke Daddy, and we talked for a few minutes, just the two of us.
I managed to stay upright through dinner, scriptures, and family prayer. But I crashed again, and the kids cleaned up the kitchen. There was some fussing about having to do it, but really, they are marvelous, and I found myself counting my blessings again.
After dinner and clean up Daddy left for work and the kids headed outside. I stayed on the couch. I could hear them calling and laughing together.
In an hour or so, a few kids came crashing into the house and I called, "Bathtime!" Before I could struggle to an upright position, and without even being asked, E14 and M12 took care of bathing the littles.
I got up to read to I2 in the big blue rocking chair. He was so tired. I checked his leg for signs of tenderness at the polio injection site, but found only smooth, healthy skin. I paused to pray my gratitude. I sang for a moment, and he was asleep in my arms. He's so big! Only 2 1/2 and he weighs just shy of 40 pounds and stands well over 3 feet tall. But he's still my baby. He still curls up in my lap and feels like a baby. I rocked him quietly for a few more moments, relishing the peace and comfort of being his mother.
Then I was sick again.
I finally came out to the living room to find all 6 girls waiting patiently for me.
I read 2 chapters of Zooman Sam.
I tucked in the little girls.
A7 said as I kissed her good night, "Mom, I'm reading in Mosiah now!" (She's going to read The Book of Mormon on her own before she turns 8!)
H4 said as I kissed her good night, "Mom, I hope our baby lives." (The last 4 have not.)
I told the oldest 3 to start their movie.
They squealed with delight.
I went downstairs to help J10 choose something to read and to tuck her in. "Are you okay on your own down here?" I asked. She smiled and said she was fine. I hate leaving her out of the older girls' privileges, but she's not 11 yet, and I know that even at 11 the movies will probably still be too scary for her. She's a sensitive soul, and I don't want to desensitize her. I kissed her good night and headed upstairs to the older girls.
I had to find something to eat. I found a half a cup of leftover whipped cream from Family Night on Sunday night, so I poured a cup of raspberries into the bowl and ate raspberries and cream. It was delicious, and I did not get sick from it.
The older girls were completely engrossed in their movie. I lasted for an hour. I locked up the house, kissed them all goodnight, and told them to turn off the lights and open I2's bedroom door when they were done. They vaguely agreed, so focused were they on the screen.
I fell into bed.
I think I brushed my teeth first.
I read 2 chapters of He Knows Your Heart.
Then I fell asleep.