Over the weekend, we had a Dylan's Halloween Birthday party. Dylan turned 8 the 1st of October but with his late September illness we decided to wait until things settled down at home before we threw him a party- a decision I feel was the best. I can't believe how great the party turned out, I think if Dylan wants, we will have a Halloween birthday party for him every year!
I made all kinds of treats and goodies. Old fashioned popcorn balls, cinnamon sugar popcorn (I bought a 24 bag container of popcorn, I had to use it all up!), tootsie pop ghosts and cake mix cookies. A wonderful friend of mine brought monster cupcakes and they were a hit! There was candy corn and candy bags... it was a diabetics nightmare.
We played a game where if you guessed how many candy corn were in a container that we purchased, you won the container with the candy inside. That turned out to be a pretty fun thing.
My favorite, and arguably, probably everybody's favorite, was when we played a game where we tied doughnuts to our clothes line and the participants had to race to eat them with no hands! That was the best laugh! I didn't realize how difficult it was, probably too difficult for the younger crew, but they enjoyed jerking theirs off the line and having at it! The older school aged kids gave it their best, and did pretty well if I do say so!
Here are some picture highlights.. there were many other kodak moments, but I was very much in the moment so this is all I got!
My popcorn balls. Aren't they pretty?
getting everything set up
The kids lining up. Also being told by their parents that they could eat the doughnut but not with their hands. Confusion ensued momentarily, but with humor.
Ready, Set,... Go!
Laken was the winner!
The cake was awesome. Because I didn't make it.
Thomas the train!
Thank you to everybody that came and helped. It was so much fun!
Wednesdays are the toughest days of the week for us. Home health comes and does Dylan's treatment and he hasn't always been compliant. This week and last week however, I have allowed him to watch Netflix on my Kindle while he gets his medicine and he has been delightful. As long as that novelty doesn't wear off, I think we've found our happy place. 8 more weeks to go.
Homeschool wasn't a success today. Like most things in life, there are good days and bad days. There are certain factors that contribute to good days, such as doing our school work before lunch. There are certain factors that can make it a bad day, such as doing it after lunch, after a child has begun watching television, if we do homeschool together or individually or even if the sun is shining. I'm learning to take a deep breath and pick back up where we left off tomorrow... even though my completely controlling personality wants everything to be just so. Sometimes if I take a step back and let them actually learn instead of be taught, if I watch them closely, they are learning it. Maybe they aren't pencil and paper learners. Perhaps wildboy life is a little more hands on.
I've got my eye on a curriculum that I think will fit Dylan perfectly. Stevenson Learning Skills is a reading curriculum that is directed at children that are "differently-abled" at learning. I think, when it comes to Dylan, I've got a big ole case of dyslexia on my hands. I've read a lot of great reviews about this curriculum so I think I wanna give it a try.
Too bad Thomas the Train doesn't make Homeschool curriculum.
(obviously I didn't edit this picture. Or clean my room.)
I keep telling myself that if I can just make it at least 11 more weeks, I'll have Wesley out of me and in my arms and everything will go back to normal (or as normal as life can be with a newborn). I'm no stranger to pregnancy, but this one has been a little different.
I have Candida, and it's made being pregnant challenging. The link I provided will inform you of what Candida is and how it's treated and all the questions you might have. Rather than go into great detail of my journey with it (which I have in a post saved to my drafts and I have decided not to post it unless you guys want me to, but it's a doozy) I'll just provide you with the resource to read about it.
I have eating challenges that I have to deal with this time and it makes me sad sometimes. I don't eat wheat or sugar so I can't indulge in a lot of the thing pregnant women tend to indulge in like ice cream or cinnamon rolls. I miss them dearly, but honestly my body is better without those foods. I am a lot more clear headed, I never get headaches or any aches and pains, really, and my tummy is happy. Plus I've dropped a dress size while pregnant, which is something I never thought possible. The pants I'm wearing in this picture? They aren't even maternity pants. But they're a size to big so they fit.
Hopefully, the next 11 weeks will fly by due to the holiday season. That's usually how this time of year goes any other time.
Needless to say, life has completely turned itself upside down and inside out since I last posted here.
A quick review of the current events:
I'm 7 months pregnant with my 4th son.
I'm homeschooling Hayden. Seriously. And I love every minute of it.
Dylan got sick again. 2.5 years of wellness ended late September when Dylan began to slightly slur his words.
Dylan spent a week in the hospital and now receives weekly steroid infusions through a chemo port. It's the hardest part of the week. We are both normally in tears at some point.
I'm homeschooling Dylan. Seriously. And I love every minute of it. (he does too!)
We have switched from a 50/50 diet of processed vs. homemade food to an 80/20 diet of processed vs. homemade food. The 80% is homemade, gluten free, organic as much as possible food. I have to cook 3 times a day now which is a lot more than I would like, but it makes me feel good that my family is eating a diet that nourishes and heals their bodies. So that keeps me going.
So as you have read, things are a lot different here. I don't sew and create as much because I simply don't have as much time for that. I can't let housework go too much, because if I leave yesterday's messes for today, today is a lot harder. But sometimes in the afternoon I find a little crafting time while all the wildboys are out in the yard playing, and it really feeds my soul. I'm going to be finding a bit more time for it in the coming months as the holidays are nearing!
Dylan. Dylan has been sick with ADEM 6 times in the last 4 years. He almost completely recovers every time and we are extremely fortunate for that. He has residual weakness in his hands which makes things like buttoning his pants, opening the van door and tying shoes a lot harder for him but other than that he is fine. He does also have some cognitive delays which he had before he got sick so it is hard to say that the ADEM impacted it.
I decided to homeschool Dylan along with Hayden because I feel like Dylan would benefit from some major life changes. We had all thought that Dylan would never get sick again, that maybe he grew out of it because it had been so long since the last episode. It just shows that his little body is still so hindered by whatever is causing it. Whether it be heavy metal overload (things such as lead and mercury) or food intolerances or some rare genetic disease or maybe stress and environmental triggers. Whatever it may be, I need to lessen that for him to the best of my ability.
While homeschooling, Dylan will not be at as much risk for catching "common" childhood illnesses that can trigger brain inflammation. Also, I can give Dylan the one on one focus I believe that he needs. He can work at his own pace instead of the pace the public school system has provided. (for the record, I am not against public schooling for all kids, just mine.)
How is Dylan doing with homeschool? Great!! He is reading (seriously, reading!) short stories and learning to skip count and we are in our second week of our telling time unit. So far, they can tell you what time it is as long as it's on the hour, a quarter past the hour or half past the hour, lol. We just learned to count by 5's so 5 minute intervals of time will come soon, after we learn a quarter til the hour. That is certainly not all they have learned, just what we are working on this week. I do a bit of unschooling as well, if there is a particular topic of interest we will learn about it in a unit form, or as close to a unit that I can make of it. It's all about focusing on their interests as much as 1st grade curriculum.
I really enjoy homeschooling my kids. It's a lot of responsibility. That paired with cooking 3 meals a day, potty training Jude (omg he's 2.5 years old, where has time gone?) and keeping the house clean, life is just much more involved now. And honestly, I like it better this way. There is no sitting back watching mindless television for me anymore ( Wife Swap, Weather Channel and any reality television show on MTV, I miss you dearly) I'm researching food information, home remedies and recipes.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the information I pump into my brain. My husband asked me on Saturday why I don't want to learn how to play Magic: The Gathering, the card game that he is enjoying playing with his friends as of recent. I just burst into tears. The look on his face was a bit like a deer caught in headlight, Ha. I just can't handle anymore things right now. I can't put anything else in my brain unless it is extremely interesting. I can't play Magic and not cook supper or tend the the boys, or either I can, and I need to just relax and let things happen. Messes will be there upon my return, homeschool will figure itself out, and I am 7 months pregnant, I need to give myself a break.... I just can't at the expense of what I feel is right for my kids. But there's a balance, it's just not my strong suit.
If you have read all the way down this far, hey, thanks. I needed to dump my brain out a bit before I jump in the shower and head to walmart. I need to remember to buy the ingredients for homemade fabric softener... let's hope I don't forget.