Our cumulative social calendar was so busy this week! Last weekend, the girls attended a birthday tea party and then our family enjoyed Sunday dinner with another family. Mary attended a middle schoolers' practice for the Catholic Quiz Bowl and I hosted the high-school team on another night, serving a hamburger and hot dogs dinner for the teens. We had voice lesson, violin lesson, and hockey. One evening, I attended virtually my cancer parents' support group, where we all cried much because one of our members lost her precious son that very morning. I took Thomas to a day of appointments at the hospital and then took Joseph to the orthopedist because he is still in significant pain from a neck injury six months ago. Now we're going to add Physical Therapy to our schedule!
Definitely can't do it all . . . my homeschooling the younger boys (who are not at all independent) took a big hit this week. My diet and exercise program is currently laughable (yet again), despite my daily best efforts. Still trying (and failing) to meet my Lenten goals.
The puppies entered a photo contest with our orthodontist's office . . .
. . . and Nicky learned how to guide (drag) Tilly around the kitchen by her leash, much to her consternation!
David (4-1/2) has suddenly and finally learned how to start drawing! Before this, all he drew were "windstorms," which were wild, circular scribbles on the page. This week, he is drawing detailed scenes, such as the Titanic hitting an iceberg or the below farm.
I had taught my first couple of kids to read by this age of 4-1/2, they could write, they could sit and listen to me read chapters of classical literature. After a lot of life's twists and turns and six kids later, little David hasn't had any preschool with me at all, been taught none of his letters, certainly not to read, and since I only ever read him picture books, he can't sit still and listen for more than five minutes. Thank goodness our goal as Catholics is to get them to heaven, not to Harvard, but I still have hopes for David's Kindergarten year upcoming.
Interior Decorating . . . After visiting a lovely family for dinner last Sunday, I was so inspired by their intentionally and beautifully designed minimalist home. I felt such peace in her home without so many details cluttering my vision. This week, I took to simplifying the little boys' room with a vengeance. We got rid of bunkbeds, removed bookshelves, and made it more open and airy. I'm also turning one room of the house entirely into a library and I made Margaret a new schooling area in the house that I think will work better.
Costume Designer Gig on the Side . . . I'm also one week out from needing to have finalized TEN COSTUMES for THREE children to wear at TWO events next Saturday. We've made numerous trips to Goodwill and the local, nicer consignment store and now I have to find time to hem, tuck, and sew in darts. I'm starting to think that I'm going to have to pull an all nighter sometime this week!
Medical Advocate . . . Medically speaking, I spent time this week doing needful reading and writing letters to the doctors. I spoke to the older the kids about how education does not go to waste and it can always find a way to benefit others: I'm finding and reading medical journal articles to try to solve Thomas's problems using whatever degree of medical knowledge I've accumulated plus common sense, then write what are essentially college-level papers that one hopes doctors won't laugh at, using formal medical citations to support my suggestions.
In my "free time."
Also this week, I finally picked up the phone and called one of the hospital pharmacies and explained Thomas's situation, asking if I could consult with the pharmacist myself. Doctors are simply too busy to research at this level for just one patient. I was told absolutely yes, and that the pharmacist will do research for us and that he has access to many more resources than laypeople like myself. The head pharmacist is "super excited" to sit down and talk with me about some of Thomas's pharmacological conundrums, so I'll be heading over there next week.
I also took one day for some appointments at the children's hospital, including Thomas's annual echocardiogram. Thanks be to God, his heart remains healthy so far.
Fun Times . . . Our Friday ended with the older kids attending a dance--they've been going almost monthly!--and my taking the little boys to a restaurant for dinner before watching the 1974 Benji.
This coming weekend is giving me anxious heart palpitations (I'm not kidding) because amongst our family we have two social events to attend, and I'm hosting on Saturday and Sunday, plus I have approximately a zillion chores.