Wednesday, 18 February 2015

the end of an era?

Well, as three of my 100+ "friends" noticed, I recently quit Facebook. I figured I had enough other ways to waste time online. :D Really, it had got so frustrating, trying to see what people actually had to say. On the final straw day, I had a news feed that consisted of the most recent hour, and then a jump to 2 or 3 days previous. And anyway, even if I could somehow convince the algorithm that I want to see every single thing that every one of my friends originally write, but none of the shared "photos" (most of which are simply text saved as jpeg to make it more sharable) or comments that they make on non-friends' posts, it still wouldn't do me any good because people don't share useful information anyway. And if I try to enter into an actual discussion, or provide an alternative point of view, they just delete or block or unfriend me.  So there.

In other news, the children keep getting older and cuter. And I get more forgetful and Bob gets more tired and painful.

Today I drove my 15 pack, rear-wheel drive, diesel powered van uphill on ice. In the dark. It took a little longer than it should have, but at no point did it go backwards.

Taryn is 16, still no license (but soon!) and is going to the Mennonite youth group. She went through (is still in?) a Bill Gaither music video watching stage, and decided to get more serious about her music. We've started her on piano lessons, and she is even going through the 4th grade English book with Naysha in case she decides to follow Bill's advice and go to college. Well, it's a start.

Naysha is sad because she is only 12 and Taryn is growing away again. But she is beginning to take on the world in her own way. She is studious, hardworking, and dedicated to the task at hand. She's started teaching Elijah his letters and thinks teaching is a possible career choice.

Riah is as himself as ever. He's grown a lot, and has been eating constantly so that we fear another spurt. His heart won't take many more growth spurts before requiring surgery.

Cedwryck has matured a lot since losing Gena dog last year. He's also focused on getting a puppy. He and Naysha watch dog training videos, measure the prospective  yard, and read and watch videos on breed characteristics.

Ella may be softening a bit.

William has learned his alphabet, but made no headway with reading. He still knows his times tables to 12 and is working on division, having mastered carrying and borrowing. A few nights ago as they were settling in to bed, Elijah asked William the time, then an addition problem. Then he told me, "William is my calculator." He still likes puzzles, too, but like most smart people, doesn't like to have to work at things.

Elijah is starting to grow up. At 5, he still has many traits of a 3-year old. He is very affectionate and tender-hearted. He is making an effort at schoolwork, but when Bob tried to get him to write the number 2, he would make it perfect 10 times, and then just make some completely random mark on the paper and declare he couldn't do it! So I sent him to puzzles and blocks for a few days. He is great friends with Daniel, and anybody else who will play with him. He cannot think what to do by himself.

Daniel is still Mister Personality. He wakes up every night and goes to the girls' room, and announces happily the next morning that he slept with Naysha. He insists on being sung to every night, selecting his favorites from our hymn book. He's developed tremendously with his language, but still needs work with some pronunciations (says t for c most of the time, though he has no trouble with c in general) and assigns gender-specific pronouns willy-nilly. He also doesn't quite get past tense, and will say "I did throw" instead of "I threw" and "I am" instead of "I will." He often sounds like an ESL speaker.

Ruth is a joy. She rarely fusses, and is affectionate, vocal, and mobile. She has said "mama" distinctly several times, and sings to herself (or along with others) frequently.

I have quit ice cream in a desperate attempt to lose some weight. I won't do anything crazy while breastfeeding, but am looking into severe diets for afterwards. My size has gone from inconvenient to downright embarrassing. But I still feel alive and in touch and healthy mentally and emotionally. Well, the mind does slip some when given only 5 hours of sleep per night, but I manage to wake up happy and hopeful rather than otherwise.

So now we are all caught up, maybe I can get on with blogging.


Wil said...

As you know, I share your frustration with Facebook. How hard would it be to have a setting: "I just want to see what my contacts write -- not what they 'share', and not other people's stuff on which they comment"? I've only stayed there because (1) most of the family won't pay attention to my blog like you and Mom have, and (2) the City of Killeen responds very quickly to questions/concerns via social media.

Taryn has a wonderful sense for music. The only real downside to learning piano is how ridiculously expensive a good piano can be.

Naysha: Is she still interested in photography? If she does teach, I know her experience in helping with the younger siblings will come in very handy, both in terms of patience and the experience of thinking how younger people think.

I really enjoyed spending time with Azariah and Cedwryck this past Christmas (working on The Trail). Both have such a joy for life -- expressed in different ways -- and for learning.

Ella: "softening"?

William's math/puzzle solving abilities are a wonder to behold. So much of the world is easier with a firm grasp of math. His letters/reading progress sounds a lot like Rebecca, which is frustrating sometimes. I think we're fortunate R was born in October, past the cutoff for starting school, so she'll get to wait 11 months longer than some of her peers.

Elijah/Daniel: Benjamin enjoyed playing with both of them during our recent visit. It really helped him to start playing with R more and better.

Ruth: such intensity, when I met her!

You: ice cream, ugh. It's hard to quit it. I "rewarded" myself recently for having gone four weeks without it, and now I wish I hadn't. I'll try to keep from it for a while.

"...only 5 hours of sleep per night..." -- that certainly has something to do with it. I noticed with myself that willpower fades to near 0% when I've missed too much sleep. Now that the kids are giving us (finally) mostly uninterrupted nights, both M and I are doing better in that department. When you get back to a solid sleeping schedule, you'll notice the difference right off.

(This will sound like an order, but I mean it as a suggestion...) Don't do it because of "embarrassment". While it can be a powerful tool for correction, I still think it's a poor motive. I know you are strong enough do the right thing when it comes to your health. I wouldn't want to see you become a fitness nut or a binge dieter. Those things can take over your life just as much as anything else.

And certainly don't do it because of societal pressure -- not that I've ever thought of you as bending to peer pressure. :-)

MamaOlive said...

I think your reply was as long as my post! lol.
Finally back on the pc, so you get an answer.
Piano- we are blessed to have a pretty decent Baldwin from Bob's grandma, so everything is gravy.

Naysha kinda lost interest in photography; I think Taryn takes more pictures than Naysha does. And yes, she is getting lots of hands-on training for the teaching idea.

Ella. It's hard to explain, which is why I didn't try. She's a lot like I was at her age - a big chip on her shoulder, assuming everyone is against her, which makes her abrasive, which makes people treat her harshly, etc. Loving her is like hugging a hedgehog. But lately she's been coming to me more, willing to speak and listen without whining or being so grumpy, and even sat on my lap a few times. :)

Thanks for the encouragement on the weight. I'm just tired of it. A person my age shouldn't have trouble getting up out of a chair. I'd like to be able to go into a regular store and buy a blouse, knowing it will button all the way down. I know it will be a long, slow process, and I never lose weight right after having a baby, so I'm reducing sugar and trying to get mentally ready for bigger changes.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this blog about the children. I have something to tell you about the Health and Wellness class I've been in but a personal e-mail will be better to explain it. Janice