So I was told the boys shouldn't go back to school after holiday break because its just too risky with P's airway surgery 6 weeks after the start of the new year! RSV, flu, strep, colds, germs in general etc. Totally makes sense. Totally not my forte to be indoors ALL DAY and ALL EVENING for 43 consecutive days with my 2 active 5 year olds. Not in my control so I decided to make the best of it and went into full planning mode. After a minor pity party for how much I wish these weren't our circumstances, I committed to being ALL IN! Homeschool it was. I just seriously chuckle at this because I am the mom who sings on the way to dropping off the boys at school. They LOVE it, are super social, have created special bonds with little friends, and I LOVE my time too. I just didn't realize how 'non-present' I truly was till i had them home all day and made this mental shift and I am BEYOND grateful for this precious time. My motto is 'must be present to win' and boy is that the truth! I think God is winking at me daily for the little things that I am experiencing that I shutter to think about missing out on. While I long to get the boys out and about and get back to a normal lifestyle and routine, I also see things I would have totally missed so I choose to see this silver lining and gift thanks! I thought teaching your kids in a home setting was SO different than how you can make it work for your family. Hats off to all of you wonderfully committed homeschooling mama's who are doing it ALL year....not just for 43 days. I respect you beyond words!
We have a corner of the living room for school work. We are only there an hour or 2 each morning after breakfast with intentional focus but its been so awesome. I have realized they learn so much by 'doing' and 'participating' in activities with me - not just sitting at a table with work sheets. **Let me just say that i received from Preston's preschool teacher a HUGE packet of worksheets and activities and that has been a saving grace. Thank you Abby!**
We are incredibly blessed by Abby who went after home bound speech services for Preston so he gets Miss Emily 2x a week for 30min in our home and what a difference this has been. Preston has already regressed a little on speech so this is beyond helpful for him more than i realized. We have done tons of science experiments that boys got from their Aunt Kim this Christmas and of course baking! PJ days have been much needed and we even managed to break a record with a 2 hour bath that happened last week. It was the most fun the boys have had a LONG time. I also managed to finish a phenomenal book while they splashed and my sis dropped by for a visit. Making the most of these days! I also see a big difference when TV is their afternoon treat and Pandora plays all day instead. Its a crazy peace or sense of calm that we all thrive on now. The boys have been asking for more music which makes me happy. Preston has gone from asking for a show on Netflix 3,456x a day to about 1,000x. Progress is what we are striving for, not perfection! LOL
Thank goodness for FaceTime! We have done several FaceTime dates with several friends to keep in touch and let the boys see their friends. They are so social and really miss being at school and seeing their buddies! Plus I miss my mama friends! :) Its been good for our souls to connect and see our friends!
I have realized living in the 'grey' area is the hardest part. Its a daily mental game to prep for the kind of trip we are about to embark on. What has shaken me up the most is not knowing when we will return. If I'm being honest, I would prefer to leave tomorrow to get all of this over with. I have so much planned before we leave purposely to keep my mind busy with other things. I have been having my mom and dad (pending they are healthy of course) come and help with the boys so i have relief to get out and get stuff done. What a huge help this has been! The boys love it of course! Everyone is more popular that me :)
What I have realized is this has prompted a huge extension to my spiritual journey that has been on going for the past few years. Knowing this was coming since October, i have dug deep within myself and started paying attention to what is going on around me more than ever. I know God is waking me up a bit! I have no doubt Preston is going thru this to help someone else....i hope alot of people actually. He tells us confidently "I am not scared about going to Cincinnati for my surgery!" While I thought I was needing to comfort him all this time, he is actually the one calming my nerves. Wow! I know there is so much I am being taught in this season of my life. I am working on shutting up and listening as much as I can. Amazing how much I hear when i am still. Plain and simple.
One thing I wanted to share, in hopes to help others, is a book called Miracle Morning i read. It was recommended by my friend Erin and boy was she right about this book. Its transforming. Its all about waking up early to ground yourself for the day. I know, you instantly just thought "wake up earlier than i already do? Lorna is nuts!" I thought the same thing. The best part about this is I also happened to read a devotion from my mom's bible about giving God your first fruits. For me, its been waking up at 5am to have quiet time and pray for everyone on my list and just be still (and give God my 'first fruits'), workout, and get myself ready for the day. This has been transformational. I am actually at my very best for the boys from 7am-3:30pm when Tim walks in the door. The list goes on and on about what this has done for me. I just feel that someone needed to hear that. Some mornings i pop right up and others are a struggle. A few I have laid there knowing i need to get up and then i fall back asleep and i feel like crud the ENTIRE rest of the day. Sluggish and unfulfilled. Crazy!
Okay, now for my AWESOME story that still gives me chills. Quick back story- I went to high school with the most heart felt, sincere, and personable friend and her name is Amanda. She and I weren't really friends in high school but we are now b/c our boys went to the same preschool the 1st 1/2 of this school year. She and I reconnected and turns out her little girl has a trache. When she learned that Preston also had one, we both met for coffee while the boys were in school and become fast friends, shared our stories and the rest is history. Its like God knew we were meant to meet. She was the 1st shoulder I literally cried on the morning after finding out Preston has to have his airway surgery all over again and I would be the one taking him on my own. She just gets so much of this journey! WELL, the best part is when she texted me a little bit before Christmas with some news. She knew we were gonna have to stay in a hotel for an unknown amount of time while on the waiting list till a room opens up at the Ronald McDonald House. What she didn't know was how much this cost was weighing on my mind. Well, turns out as she was addressing Christmas cards, it dawned on her that her dear friend from college lives close to Cincinnati Childrens. Reached out to her for us and they are MORE THAN HAPPY to have us stay. They have a fully finished basement with a room and bathroom. It actually is more for my dad since i will be inpatient with Preston for 14 days (praying we get the call that a room is available at RMH during this time). Regardless, it means we have ZERO hotel costs and a warm, family friendly home to have our belongings and my dad stay during this trip till we move into RMH. WHAT A GIFT!!!!!!!!!!!