I think my family is finished with me recuperating. Knut put so much on hold the weeks before Bjorn’s birth, to make sure I was okay. I had trouble walking after his birth, until I finally got in with my chiropractor, and moving my left leg (something was pinched those last few weeks!) is now easy. Our church generously sent out meals all of last week. Tomorrow Bjorn will be 2 weeks old, and I think my so-called maternity leave is over. Well, I still have some help. Knut’s mom has still been helping when she can with getting the kids to their activities. I’ve been so grateful for all the chauffeuring duties she has taken over for me lately. I don’t feel ready to take care of 6 kids and their varying needs quite yet, but like all things motherhood related: ready or not, here it comes.
I spent a lot of last weekend organizing all of the school things. I picked which books we would use earlier this summer, and they have just been scattered about the dining room table. Books the kids picked off the shelf and read for fun were just stacked haphazardly in the general school shelf area. The school supply cabinets were one of those stuff-really-carefully-and shut-and-lock-the-door-really-fast-so-stuff-doesn’t-fall-out areas. As messy as it gets, organizing it all gives me a special thrill at the end of every summer.
It gives me this big rush that fuels my heart and reminds me: I can do this!
We will be starting school August 1st this year. Last year we didn’t start until October, (after canning/gardening season ended) and that didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I’m playing around with start dates each year, to figure out what I like best. Since we didn’t do much for a garden this year because of Bjorn’s birth, I’m starting in August because I don’t have a massive amount of canning to do right now as I typically do. Understanding that having a newborn in the house will make our days somewhat unpredictable, I’m wanting a good cushy buffer to our school days. I figure if we start a month earlier than usual, I will have more days available during the school year that I can declare a “free day” so I can just rest. I see many “free days” in our future.
I’ve also jumped on the “bullet journal” train, and have organized all the kids’ school things in a bullet journal for the year, and plan on tracking all of their things that way. I’m having way too much fun with rainbow colored pens and Washi tape. Tread Pinterest on this idea at your own risk.
My parents will be here for a week in August too, to meet our new baby. I’m hoping that we can do some school when they are here, just so my they can see what we do for school. However, I don’t plan of full days, and actually have it planned as vacation days on my school calendar that I made up. So if we get things done, great. If we don’t, oh well. At least my kids will be in a sane, routines-in-their-days state once my parents get here. At least, that’s my theory.
Bjorn is proving to be my most laid back baby ever, which as made this recovery pretty easy overall. He loves sleeping, doesn’t care about the noise, is a great eater. I’m usually the one waking him up at night to eat after 4 or 5 hours because I’m overflowing with milk, and he’s just sleeping soundly. I’m turning into one of those pushy mothers who tells her kids, “Eat! You must eat!” He’s snuggly, adorable, and easy going. I see his face getting rounder by the day now. He’s exactly what you would hope a 6th child would be. I’m feeling utterly spoiled by him. I can’t take my eyes off of him, and neither can the kids. He has many adoring fans.
Since Bjorn was born, Ingrid has felt that now is the time she wants to be potty trained. Of course, since that’s exactly (not) what I want to be doing as I’m recovering from birth. We’ve been trying to get her with the program for over a year now. She’s been digging in her heals about the whole idea, and I haven’t had the energy to fight her on it. Now that she’s officially a big sister, she told us she shouldn’t wear diapers anymore, and potty training has been getting some real traction. She’s not totally there yet, but having her on board with the idea has made it so much easier.
I wish I could take more of a leave. I wish I didn’t have to remind people in my house that I’m still actually recovering even though I’m up and walking around now. I wish my children would just play nicely and not destroy things or fight, and not need to be potty trained, and fed multiple times a day. I wish I had more energy, and that I had better control over my moods and hormones right now. I wish Knut had unlimited time off, and wouldn’t get antsy or fidgety and have all these ideas for projects, building, and socializing out in the world as much as possible before harvest descends upon him, and he’s locked into work non-stop for months.
But this is life, and while it’s imperfect, I love it.