Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We're back!

Hello Friends!!

We're back, recovered, rested and ready to get back into it!  Everyone in my house had the dreaded throw up virus - except me for about 10 days in a row.  I have NO idea how I escaped unscathed but I did!

It was a rough few days but we made it through!  We headed to Maine for a few days of rest and relaxation which was lovely.  This week is consisting of wrapping up some loose ends.

We're finishing up our unit on Mesopotamia, finishing up our lengthy research projects, and working on some independent school work as I'm trying to have the children be able to work by themselves on some things and then there are some household things that we've been working on.

Just before we went to Maine we had our first allergist appointment with Tyler.  He was diagnosed with reactive airway disease when he was a baby and we've always been pretty good at managing his episodes when they come our way.  He's an amazing patient and handles all things hospital and doctor related really well.  He's had a sniffly nose for literally the better part of a year.  It's off and on but mostly on.  I discussed it with his pedi last spring at his annual appt and she prescribed Flonase.  It sort of worked but not really.  We've tried benedryl, Allegra, Zyrtec, saline spray, neti pots, peppermint and lavender oils.  Nothing works.

We finally all got to a point with it where we had to have it checked out by a professional.  It is so distracting to him and to the rest of us.  The poor kid sniffles all the time and when he blows his nose, nothing comes out.  I found a wonderful asthma/allergy Dr near the city and we went.  He had a full exam, history, skin and blood tests.  Ty was awesome.  We confirmed his cat allergy - which we knew as he always got hives when he was near the barn cat in Maine but what we didn't know that we discovered is that Ty is massively allergic to change the way we keep our house allergic, change the way we approach cleaning allergic, no stuffed animals, down comforters, pillows, no stuff in his room kind of allergic.

Now - let me back up.  My darling husband did not marry me for my housekeeping skills - that's for sure.  My house is not dirty but I clean out of necessity.  My kitchen counters, cutting boards, kitchen table, the kitchen floor (most of the time) are all cleaned daily.  I clean my toilets and bathroom counters weekly and try to use sanitizing wipes in the bathroom on a daily basis just to wipe around when I'm in there.  I wipe down phones, remotes and door knobs with sanitizing wipes.  I organize and wipe out and down my fridge just about weekly and I keep the microwave clean.  Sheets get cleaned weekly and sometimes every 10 days.  Beyond that - it's on an as needed basis.  I've ALWAYS wanted to be one of those people who has a beautifully organized cleaning caddy stocked with cloths, sponges, scrub brushes and cleaning solutions and scrubs.  I dream of a day when I have a color coded cleaning schedule, preferably laminated, where things get accomplished and checked off in a timely manner.  But alas, I covet that Pintrest dream from afar!

Anyone who knows me IRL (in real life) knows that I love stuff.  I know, I know it makes me sound shallow and materialistic.  But it's not about that at all.  I just have a love affair with things - I like having what I need when I need it.  I like having what I MIGHT need when I MIGHT need it.  And I want my children to have what they enjoy and enjoy what they have.  I find inspiration in EVERYTHING and I love having my shelves full of books, toys, art supplies, art projects, pictures and games.  It feels cozy and warm to me to have color everywhere.  I don't like empty open spaces.  Minimalism does not speak to me in anyway no matter how hard I try.

Ian and I have lived together for 20 years.  I try to purge when I can but honestly there aren't enough hours in the day to attack my the major hot spots (think attic and basement).  I can manage the kitchen table build up, the playroom floor gets picked up daily, the shelves get put back together most days, the classroom gets cleaned nightly, etc.  I just have a large build up of stuff from many years of memories, bins of kids art work, school papers, clothing, childhood things, meaningful stuff that's hard for me to part with.  

Ok so with all that said, something's got to give.  So after we came home from Maine, Ian and Kendall started attacking Ty's room while I was out running errands.  It still needs work but it's VASTLY improved from what it was and his sniffles have decreased significantly.  We removed his down comforter and pillows and have replaced them with some older ones that we washed in a sanitizing wash.  We'll eventually get new ones for him but for now he's using those.  Ty is a stuffed animal addict.  Well - both Kendall and Tyler are but now with Ty's allergy we have to run all of his animals through a sanitizing clothes wash and keep them in closed bins.  He has his teddy bear that he carries with him everywhere that can stay with him but must be washed weekly along with his blanket - both in extra hot sanitizing washes.  We have to get zipped mattress and pillow covers, we need a HEPA filter for both his room and the downstairs floor of the house.  We have to remove his rug and replace with one that can be washed weekly.  His room needs to be sparce so we're going to redesign the room with Ikea furniture where he can keep his things; books, art supplies, legos, cars, toys, etc. either in drawers or behind cabinets.  This will systematically start happening throughout the rest of the house.  And I'm trying to go baby step at a time because for me  It's not hard to part with the stuff - if it will make Tyler better I'll give everything I own away.  It's hard because it's difficult to know where to start and there simply are not enough hours in the day.  So one step at a time. This morning while the kids were working I attacked our living room.  I dusted and washed the walls, surfaces, molding, vacuumed and cleaned the carpet (which will be thrown out soon) and the couch.  I took out an old dust covered lamp that is simply too big and too hard to clean and put in an smaller, easier one to clean.  It looks good and it's easier to clean in there now.  I think that's the key, making everything easier to clean so that it gets done more often.  Anyway, big changes around here, not easy but necessary.  I'm looking forward to the transformation and hoping we all survive it!

From here forward I'll give you a photo montage of what's been going on here.  Then starting next week I'll be back to daily blogging about our homeschool adventures.

such a good patient!!
such a good sister!  cleaning and organizing her brother's desk drawers!
focused art time while Ty recoups
reading and resting
doing art together
beep beep
now THIS is winter running!
down for the count
looking pale but on the mend
who's next?!
my boys!!
everyone's finally healthy!
puppet show - notice the audience?!  way too cute...
working on perfecting my Tadig
new learning palette cards!
so fun!

Daddy's turn!  =(  Good thing Nurse Katie is on duty!
daddy got it minimally - thankfully!
working on our ABC of Mesopotamia - they came out so cool!
math time

Mesopotamia ABC's
on our way to Art History class at the Library!
way too cute
hangin at the library 
learning about Cubism
they had so much fun!
snuggle and reading time
We learned about The Striding Lion which is a wall relief made of glazed fired bricks.  It comes from Babylon dating to around 600 BCE.  (before common era)  
spelling test
Her hair is all twisted and held with bobby pins.  I do this and wear it around the house and when I'm ready to go out I take it down and voila!  Awesome curls - and no heat damage from the curling iron.  

We've renamed him HRH!!  
ya - that's how we roll around here
blurry but looking cheeky anyways!
sigh...sooooo cute...
allergist time
skin test
tick tock
so cute
breathing test
he's OBSESSED with school buses 
too adorable
fun for hours!  this kid did not get out of pajamas the entire weekend!
hanging out
first time playing in the snow
best big sister ever
also obsessed with drawing
all red from the FREEZING weather - it amazes me how long kids can stay outside for in the winter!
tiny mommy with a dishtowel over her shoulder
so handsome!!!
mmmmmmmmmmmm Krista's....
yes folks, he's eating jelly packets and crackers...breakfast of champions
having a tea party in the secret hideout!  I love that they're 10 and 8 and they still have tea parties...swoon...
Lego building!
on our way home - Katie insists on sitting ON Kendall...always!
snuggled in the way back!
ughhhhhhh...this is the part about travelling that I can't stand...
sitting patiently while his favorite bear, Timmy, gets a tub!!
he's licking the glass...anyone who's a Ferris Bueller fan knows the rest of that quote!  
early morning hike!
fort fun!
so beautiful!
it doesn't take much to entertain them...  =)
an awesomely huge fungus!
finishing up!
making GF chocolate chip banana bread
super yum!
again with the bus! 
this morning - 1/21/15 - winter sunrise
my Greatgrandmother's baked apple recipe
reading for hours
and people think I'M obsessed with yoga pants??  these are Ty's dance pants - literally the only pants he owns because it's all he will wear!  I love that he's comfy!
huge helper!
Lego time
Ty's vase from pottery today!!


Janis said...

Fabulous post. Feel like I know your family from all the wonderful photos. I miss those days of homeschooling. My kids are all grown now...homeschooled them all the way through. :)

Best wishes as you make life and home changes for your son's better health. It will pay off.
<3 J

jwoolbright at gmail dot com

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