Practically Hippie » where mainstream meets green

Life – an update

The past six weeks have been a complete blur and I’ve barely had a chance to come up for air. So much has happened and so much is going on that I thought I’d give a little update on life as we know it right now while things calm down for a bit.

The big move

We’ve been in our new house for about five weeks now, and we are loving it. When we moved into our last house, we had already spent a month on renovations and I had been planning and shopping for six months to ensure everything was perfectly decorated and finished very soon after we moved in.

Moving into our current house was completely different because it was such a whirlwind between house hunting and closing and moving and we only had a few chances to see the house before moving in.

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Our new living room

On moving day when I finally got a change to be in the house and get a good look at it, I realized that the whole interior of the house needed to be painted and all of the carpets needed to be replaced. The first few weeks were crazy with getting some of this major work done and trying to get the necessities unpacked.

We are down to the last few boxes and are mostly settled in now. We still need to get our home office set up so that Brian can work from home and I have a place to store homeschool curriculum and files. We’re also hoping to get two faux shiplap walls finished in the next couple of weeks.

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We have plans for additional renovations in the spring, including a major bathroom remodel and building our garden, but I need us to get to a comfortable stopping point before baby #3 joins us in a few weeks.

We’re having a baby!

I am almost 34 weeks pregnant and it was about two weeks ago that I had a nightmare about nursing pads and realized that we’re actually having a baby soon! Because of the complications I had with my last delivery, the plan has been for me to deliver between 34 and 37 weeks. So we are on the verge of being a family of five, but still completely unprepared.

Experience tells me that babies don’t need much so I’m taking a minimalist’s approach in regard to baby gear and baby care items. We have a pack n play for baby to sleep in, a rock in play to hold baby around the house, hand me down baby clothes, a car seat and stroller frame, a selection of baby carriers for babywearing, some diapers, a few muslin blankets, burp cloths and that’s about it!

My first two babies were so different when it came to their preferences on things like the swing, bouncer, bottles, pacifiers, etc. so I’m just going to wait and see what we need instead of buying things we won’t use.

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Photo courtesy of Photography by Amy

This week’s plans include getting the baby’s bed set up and car seat installed as well as packing our hospital bags. My sister flies in from California one week from today and my next doctor appointment is Nov. 15. I’m hoping everything will look good at that appointment and we’ll have a baby by the end of next week- eek!

Everything about this pregnancy has been completely normal and boring. It’s only been in the last few week’s that I’ve experienced the unpleasant side effects that come with being very pregnant- heartburn, back aches, insomnia and carpel tunnel.

I’ve had carpel tunnel with each of my pregnancies, but this time has been especially bad. I’ve had trouble cooking and cleaning because my hands are so weak and in pain and also haven’t been able to type at all, which is why this blog has been neglected. I’m hoping this all goes away soon after delivery because it is annoying!

My doctor is planning for a smooth and uncomplicated surgery, but we’re prepared for complications if they should arise. I’ll have a classical, vertical incision which is much less common because it is harder to recover from, but will be the safest for me. Other than that, everything about my Cesarean should be pretty standard.

At 35+ weeks, we’re planing for a healthy baby with no issues that we can take home with us. After my last baby spent two weeks in the NICU, we’re prepared for that possibility too. I can’t wait to snuggle this new baby and make her a part of our family!

Homeschool

I’m a planner, and I love it when my plans all work out. My plans for homeschool kindergarten that we started this summer have not worked out at all! I honestly didn’t expect everything to go exactly as planned, and I’m glad we even had a plan so we had direction, but I’m finding that I’m a much more relaxed homeschooler than I anticipated.

Gabriella is 5 and Preston is 2, and what I have learned most from seasoned homeschool moms and my own children is that what they most need right now is time to play and the opportunity to explore the outdoors. We have let go of our structured math, reading, writing and spelling lessons and traded that time for more time together reading quality books and enjoying our 6.5 acres of land.

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Our new homeschool room

We’re still loosely following the Build Your Own Library curriculum to help us travel the world through books and activities. So far, we’ve enjoyed learning about North America, South America, Europe and we’re currently learning about Africa.

I’m combining our world geography studies with lots of seasonally inspired activities from A Year of Playing Skillfully that my youngest can participate in too, and we’ve also done a few unit studies from a nature-based curriculum called A Child’s World which has been a lovely way to find purpose in our time spent outside.

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The biggest change in our homeschool is that Gabriella is going to a real school, too! Right before we moved, I came across a flyer that a local nature school had a last-minute opening. The school is a nature-based preschool inspired by the principles of a Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia education and after the first visit I knew it was going to be a great fit for us.

Gabriella goes to nature school twice a week from 9am to 2pm which gives me time to run errands and work on unpacking and settling into our house without feeling guilty that I should be “doing school” with her.

Collection of local items for our fall nature pal exchange

Collection of local items for our fall nature pal exchange

This nature school is unlike anything I have ever seen. There are no worksheets, no crafts, no unreasonable expectations. The children spend at least 50 percent of the day outside, rain or shine. The other part of the day is spent in a beautiful open-air classroom where they have the freedom to explore in their own way and choose activities that interest them.

Each day includes a one-hour nature hike and one hour of playground time on the school’s non-traditional playground. You won’t find swings or slides at this playground- just piles of mulch and mud and dirt and plenty of tools to dig in, create and play.

Out for a nature hike on our property

Out for a nature hike on our property

The measure of a day well spent at nature school is how much sand is in Gabriella’s boots when I pick her up. In general, all of the children look completely filthy and wild by the end of a school day, which I love!

The plan is to keep Gabriella enrolled through the end of the school year in May so that I can work through the transition to having three kids. For next fall, I’m considering sending Preston so that I’ll have more time to work one-on-one with Gabriella for first grade. At the point we’re taking it one day at a time though.

Other exciting things

Along with all of the big things in our life, we’ve got lots of little things going on too. Brian was promoted recently and started a new role that has been demanding, but exciting at the same time. I’m so proud of him and thankful for all the work he does to support our family!

Gabriella’s food allergies have been improving so much lately that we’re taking her to a new allergist next week for an evaluation and follow up testing. I’m hopeful that she has grown out of a lot of her allergies and we don’t have to be so careful about the ones that used to cause her the most trouble.

We had our first movie night at our new house and had Brian’s siblings and all the cousins visit for the weekend. It was wonderful to be able to entertain again! That is what I missed the most about living in our downsized house and what I’m looking forward to at this new house.

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Preston took things a little slower than his sister when it came to crawling, walking and talking, but boy has he caught up! At his 2 year well check, I was pretty concerned with his speech as he only had five words at that point. Our pediatrician is amazing and thought he was still within the realm of normal development and just might need a little more time. Here we are less than six months later and the boy will not stop talking! It almost happened overnight, but he just started repeating everything and then speaking in sentences. It’s so nice to be able to communicate with him better, though I do find myself wishing for some peace and quiet sometimes now!

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We are getting close to our next big vacation happening in February- we are going to Disney World! We’ll be traveling with six adults and six kids including two infants. It should be an interesting trip for sure! We’re working with a travel agent recommended by some friends and I can’t recommend her enough. I’m a seasoned Disney pro who has been going to Disney my entire life, but I don’t think I’ll ever travel there again without her help. We’ve got our hotels and flights booked, dining reservations set and are looking forward to making our Fastpass selections soon. Can’t wait!

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Well, I think that’s about it! Life is busier than I’d like right now, but we’re finding time to soak in the slow moments too. Every once in a while, we get a glimpse of what country life is all about and it makes me so happy that we made the decision to make such a big change. For now, we’ll take it one day at a time and create happy moments where we can and lean on each other during the likely stressful season we are about to encounter as we transition to a family of five living in the country. These are the days of our lives…I’m so thankful for them.

Thank you so much for following along on our family’s journey! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest updates.

 

 

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