28 June 2019

A Day in the Life (Summer Break)

I most recently did a "day in the life" post when Cyrus was 6 months old. Previously, I did one back in 2016.

6:30 a.m. I wake up--Cyrus and Angel remain sleeping. A bit unusual, as Cyrus tends to wake up right around 6:30 every day, but I pour myself some cornflakes with chia seeds and milk and have my breakfast and my medicine (first rule of nausea prevention: eat as soon as I wake up!)

After I eat, the boys are still sleeping, so I hop in the shower, get dressed, and then take time to read for a bit until I first hear Cyrus.

7:15 a.m. Cyrus is awake and Angel gets him out of bed, and I get his breakfast plate ready. Boy is usually very ready to eat by the time he wakes up, and as soon as he sees his plate, he climbs into his high chair.

Breakfast this morning was peanut butter and jam mixed on toast, with some kiwi and a cut-up grape tomato. He liked the tomato better than the kiwi. I found a jam with no added sugar or sweeteners, just the fruit, so score!! Pomegranate is probably his favorite fruit but we're all out--it's the end of the week and the fridge is rather bare.

While the guys eat, I get a couple morning chores done, though I'm moving pretty slowly and sucking ice cubes because nausea is not leaving me alone this morning. The gummy vitamins I have now taste much better than the last bottle I had, so, that's nice! I get the laundry taken down from the drying rack, folded, and put away (we only really have enough space for one load of laundry to hang dry at a time, and it takes about a day for thicker items to dry, so I have a pretty solid routine of alternating days for doing laundry one day and taking it down to fold it and put it away the next day). I pack the diaper bag with snacks that Cyrus and I will need for the morning: 2 green apples for me and a cup of milk for Cyrus.

7:45 a.m. Angel gives Cyrus a shower. We don't have a bathtub, so while we did have a little plastic tub that we gave Cyrus baths in when he was an infant, he's been getting showers since he was around 8-9 months old. And we tend to shower him frequently...that's probably a cultural/climate influence, kids tend to shower about twice a day here. A lot of times it's just a quick rinse to cool down and freshen up, and the more thorough scrubbing happens every other shower or so.

Angel dresses Cyrus and then I sit down to read a few books while Angel gets ready.

8:30 a.m. Cyrus and Angel head out to the parking lot to get the car while I walk the other way, to the front of the apartment building. I'm trying to take it a little easier, per doctor's orders, and walking to the front of the building saves me walking down a long flight of steps and going over six speedbumps in the car.

Plus, the guys are taking out the trash, and I wouldn't want to walk with the smelly trash anyway. Angel has Cyrus bring the bag of trash down the hallway. He usually makes Cyrus do his share of the carrying when leaving or going home. 

I always make it to the front of the building before they make it there in the car, and wait for them. I've probably been wearing my flip-flops a little too often lately...somehow the idea of bending down to actually put on real sandals hasn't been appealing.

8:40 a.m. We make it to class! Angel and I are helping out/volunteering at a small class weekday mornings during his summer break, and we officially start at 9. It's technically within walking distance of where we live, but I'm not walking that far currently, and not with carrying Cyrus and bags.

The stairway is not all that inviting...but I make my way slowly upstairs and we get ready to start.

Look who's already here! Sarah can tell you that a little-known advantage of being homeschooled is working hard, being constantly ahead in your school schedule...and STILL getting to do schoolwork all year round. Who needs breaks?

Hardworking kid had already finished Algebra and was working on History when we arrived.

The morning flies by. For penmanship, one student is prompted to write about a Valentine's Day party, but hasn't ever been to one and isn't too sure exactly what Valentine's Day is, anyways. So, I told her about one of my fondest Valentine's Day memories, of a V-Day party I went to in college, and she decided to write about my party in her own words, mentioning the aspects that amused her the most.

Angel called me out of class at one point because he had to show me something.

I'm not at all sure this is the sort of thing he ought to have shown me. Perhaps we need to schedule a reading of "Humpty Dumpty" into our next class. No more sitting on walls!

The morning passes in a flurry of math worksheets, spelling tests, games, and explaining that you need to write "In October" rather than "At October" or "On October" when referring to the entire month. I read "I Can Read with My Eyes Shut" aloud to the younger students. Cyrus tried to eat Play-doh. If he learns by the end of summer that he can play with Play-doh but not eat it, that will be some solid progress. 

12 noon. Angel heads down to the little food shop to grab chicken rice for lunch for my family. Not for me, as I've had a lifelong aversion to chicken rice. Not very convenient, as it's a rather ever-present food combo in these parts. At 5 RM a box, $1.25 US, it's one of the most affordable local fast-food options. Normally, my sister MaryGrace brings a homemade meal along for everyone to eat for lunch, but didn't have time today. 

Angel and Cyrus split a chicken rice meal, and then everyone pitches in to do a little bit end of the week clean-up around the classrooms before we head home. We're out by 12:30.

1 p.m. We're home, and Cyrus is down for his afternoon nap. I make myself some mac'n'cheese and iced tea for lunch and sit down to read a book. 

This book arrived in the mail yesterday, a gift from one of my sisters in America, a sequel to a book we both loved and I'm excited to read it. After I eat, I lay down for a little while to rest (because you're supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, right?), and then wake up to update some accounts (I'm the keeper of the budget in this family).  I forgot to take my mid-day medicine, so I take that.

2:30 p.m. Cyrus wakes up, and Angel takes him out to visit his coworker's house. Angel is supposed to take care of her cats for the next few weeks while she's traveling and needs to get the house keys. I sit down to write this blog and work a bit on some homeschooling articles that are due to be turned in in a few days.

The next few hours fly by as I catch up on a few chores around the house, and feed Cyrus a snack.

5 p.m. We head over to my parents' apartment. No parents are actually home, but my sister has made way too much spinach sauce with pasta for the amount of people around to eat dinner (old habits die hard when most of your siblings have moved out of the home).

She invites us to stay for dinner, which is a good plan, because I had yet to come up with a serviceable dinner plan (end of the week, mostly empty fridge). We still only manage to make a small dent in the spinach sauce, though, because Angel opts to eat leftovers instead, and Cyrus only eats a few bites. He's not a big fan of anything spicy (Angel has attempted feeding him kimchi and wasabi, with less-than-stellar results), and the spinach sauce is pretty spicy. 

5:30 p.m. Angel and Cyrus head out to the pool for a swim

Pools are pretty common in apartment complexes, here, which makes sense with the climate. Angel's working on building pre-swimming skills for Cyrus, I'm hoping that he will be able to learn to swim early...with living so close to a pool I'd rather him develop the skills sooner rather than later.

6:15 p.m. The guys come home and shower, and Cyrus plays with his megablocks while Angel and I try to squeeze in a quick few rounds of Quiddler and Boggle.

This is more like next-level word game playing, though, as Cyrus is a little bit too interested in Mom and Dad's thrilling activities (way more exciting than megablocks!) and tries to climb up to join us at the table. I won Quiddler, but Angel actually tied with me in one round of Boggle, a feat I attribute to the fact that Cyrus was trying to sit on my lap while I was scribbling words down at a slower-than-usual pace.

7:00 p.m. Angel takes Cyrus out for a walk to the front of the apartment building to hang out on the balcony and see the view as the sun starts to go down. Cyrus loves to be on that balcony and simply stare at the world below him, and this has become a bit of an evening tradition. When he comes home, I have his cup of milk ready, and we sit on the couch and he drinks his milk while I read a storybook: "Dios te Bendiga y Buenas Noches."

7:30 p.m. Cyrus in bed. He's come a long way with bedtimes. At the beginning of the year, he was still nursing to sleep, and that changed to being rocked to sleep, and then, once I was no longer allowed to carry him, he's gone to sleep lying in his crib, but for a while I or Angel would always lay down on the twin bed in his room while he was falling asleep. Now, more often than not, he goes to sleep alone in his room, but this night, he's a little extra fussy and cries when left alone. So I go in and lie down and instantly he's quiet and ready to fall asleep. I stay about 10 minutes and then leave to get myself ready for bed.

8:00 p.m. Angel has prepared himself a goodnight snack of mango topped with lemon juice and salt, and peanut butter with toast. We watch an episode of Shark Tank and The Crown  together before lights out and falling asleep. At the last minute I remember to take my evening medicine and get a cup of water--pregnancy makes me ridiculously thirsty in the night. 


So there's one normal day right now--taking life at an extra-slow pace given this pregnancy, and enjoying having Angel around all day for summer break!
21 June 2019

Baby Update: 18 Weeks

Apparently I still haven't really figured out how to stand for such photos without looking awkward

Weight: +5 lbs.

Symptoms: I feel like this pregnancy has been overall a bit rougher as far as symptoms....nausea is still sticking around, though frequency of vomiting has lessened immensely. I'm not a headache person but have been having headaches pretty frequently. 

Eating: My old favorites from last time: green apples, grapefruit, cucumbers, cornflakes. Rice + meat + veggies is about my most abhorred meal at this time (super convenient when you live in Southeast Asia and that is a pretty solid default meal). Sucking (not chewing!) on ice cubes helps a lot with nausea. 

Gender: We don't know. We found out at 17+ weeks with Cyrus, but this time, Angel kinda thought one way, the doctor kinda thought another, but basically she said the baby wasn't gonna let us find out this time around. Maybe next time, maybe not. Now I'm wondering if we'll be surprised on the day baby is born! And now we do have to seriously start thinking about names. So far most name conversations have just devolved into giggles as we start attaching our last name to the names of various favorite characters from movies or television. 

Preparations: Perks of already having a one year old? You already have all the baby stuff. Boom.

Emotions: Some news that we got at the doctor's this week has me concerned. We were told that a small part of the placenta has detached, which makes the need for an early delivery a possibility if the condition worsens and starts causing the baby's or mom's life to be at risk--not something you want to hear at only 18 weeks along. Of course...we come home and google it to find out more and I don't exactly recommend googling placental abruption while pregnant if you don't want to be worried.

It also leaves me feeling confused--this is supposedly a relatively rare phenomenon, and risk factors include drug use, alcohol, and being an older mom. So there's a certain level of frustration that wants to point at the article and say, "See, this couldn't possibly be a problem because I don't fit this profile at all! And besides, this condition only occurs in 1% of pregnancies, so it's not something to worry about at all!" And yet logic tells me that's not how risk factors and statistics work.

So the doctor's advice for now is to not lift anything heavy (including Cyrus--no lifting him at all), and take it easy, don't do anything with risks of being bumped around. So, to live in this modern world where everyone swears up and down "Oh yeah, you should definitely exercise while pregnant, it's so healthy for you and baby, and makes recovery so much easier!" and people safely run and bike and lift weights while pregnant...and you're told that picking up your one year old to put him in his crib can put your own life and the life of your other baby at frustrating.

Yesterday I was reading a Bible story to the kids...about David and the Psalms and it quoted Psalm 23. And that line comes to me "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

That's what I'm holding to right now. I feel like lately I have seen many people I care about walking through some sort of valley of the shadow of death...and my prayer is consistently that they will not feel abandoned and alone as they face the toughest parts of living in this world.