Every so often, I realize that I am very blessed in my life. I love that my family has a balance where I am able to pursue work that is meaningful to me and to be engaged with my children in their learning and play.
This last week, I've been busy with a project I've been working on. The midwife who attended Elizabeth's birth and I worked with as her student during my pregnancy is on the board of directors for the state midwifery association. She is working on a committee to reform the licensing laws in Washington to make it easier for the state to evaluate people's applications to become licensed. I've been working closely with her to develop the new paperwork. On June 5th, she invited me to go to the state capitol to present to the council that reports to the licensing board. Its been a dream of mine to work as an adviser on public policy issues so I've been really excited about and enjoying the opportunity.
I also got the registration forms for kindergarten for Willem. He and I both are leaning towards homeschooling but the elementary school is right down the street. I want to at least do what it takes to give him the opportunity if he wants it. I'm happy to continue his learning at home and we've been having a lot of fun with it. This morning he asked me, "What is the number before infinity called?" I'm impressed by that question!
In spite of considering kindergarten at the nearby public school, I did order the appropriate homeschool curriculum for Willem from Oak Meadow. I've been enjoying reading their books on learning and teaching theory and I am already better parent for it.
I was finally able to get the kindergarten forms because, Peter finally came home with the news that he will be staying for another year to finish his PhD. He had applied to a university for a job opening there but did not get it. We are not surprised but once he's finished with school, he will look so much more attractive to them. Right now, he has his name on 4 publications but by the end of the next school year, his name should be on 10 or 11 and he'll be Peter W. Alderks, Ph.D. He is also applying to another school in California but he expects that the result with be the same as with the first school.
I'm just happy to know where we will be living this next year. I am very tempted to get a dog since the children want one very much and we have a perfect yard for one. We also have the perfect yard for a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch but I'll compromise on a dog. The children are also very much wanting a large trampoline and a playground set for the background. I've heard that they resell in this area quite quickly and for between 1/2 and 3/4 of the original purchase price, so I will admit that I am considering it.
Its been very hard for me wanting to live life to the fullest and create an enjoyable childhood for my children and to also know that nothing we do right now is permanent. I've decided that it is better to live like we are going to be staying here and move when its time to move and say goodbye to all we've built up and created here than it is to constantly feel like everything about our life is temporary. So part of me want to say, yes! Let's get a dog, a trampoline and a playground set, plant our garden, build a coop and raise chickens! The other part of me says that its too expensive, we won't get our money's worth and it will be such a hassle to move or sell or say goodbye to those things.
The baby is doing well though we are still struggling with her latch. Its either tight and uncomfortable for me or its more comfortable and she slips off frequently, swallowing a lot of air which is resulting in a good deal of spitting up and crying. Its not as stressful as the early days with my first child since I understand what is happening and am working with it. Every couple of weeks, we see a craniosacral therapist to help her open her mouth for a deeper latch and to promote proper growth of her jaw and face. We also see our pediatric chiropractor weekly. I'm looking forward to having some resolution with this, and I hope it doesn't involve a labial frenectomy to release her upper lip. We've been doing all the therapy in order to avoid that. I keep telling myself that if she is still spitting up and frequently gassy when she's 3 1/2 months old, I will seriously consider the frenectomy. I'm praying we can avoid it. Other than all that, I've been having a lot of fun with my play sessions with the baby. She's working on social smiles and is overall a pretty easy baby (either that or I'm getting better at this new mom thing).
So there you are, that is what is going on with us. We are well and happy for the most part. Peter and I are truly blessed to have each other. Our children bring us so much joy and appreciation for life and we have a great deal of fun teaching them. I can't say I grew up with a particularly happy childhood so I'm honest when I say that the last year has been the happiest of my life. I'm really looking forward to continue to build on the work of the last year to make the coming year (thinking along the academic calendar) even better.