How do you decide to Home school and still support your family?

My daughter is currently in Kindergarten at a great school.  She is doing good, not above average but keeping up with everyone.  Her class size is 24 kids which seems like a lot.  Lately I have been looking into homeschooling and what you need to be able to do to home school your child.  There are many things that make me contemplate homeschooling from, being able to set your own schedule, not necessarily having a huge summer break, controlling what your kids are exposed to/learn, etc.

The major thing that holds me back though is, how do you afford it?  I have been home with my daughter for 3 years and its been surprisingly easier on our budget then expected but its still not as easy as when I was working.  I’m concerned as I know we have some major expenses coming up that I don’t want to just ignore and so I’m torn.  Do most home school parents find jobs in the evenings?  How do you do it?

Next concern what happens come high school/college time.  I have a 4 year degree in accounting but I don’t know if that means I can teach her well enough to get through High School.

How do I know homeschooling if the right choice?

Pregnant after 35 is it worth the risks?

So my husband and I continuously talk about whether or not to have a second child.  we were blessed 5 years ago with a wonderful little girl and even though I wasn’t sure about it at first I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Since then we have halfheartedly tried for a second child.  Never going over the top with all the extreme methods to conceive.  I am now 35 and to be honest overweight (even though I battle it and exercise daily 🙁 ).  We started seriously talking about the fact that we both wouldn’t mind a second child.  I have read about the risks associated with having a child after 35 especially if you are overweight of course if you are even lucky enough to conceive.  It sounds like everything is stacked against you.  Is it worth risking everything including the child’s life to do it?

Trying to figure out what to do next

Do you ever just feel lost?  Right now everything is changing around me and I’m feeling very lost as to what to do next.  My dad got a job in Oklahoma in July and so has been living down there but my mom has been living up here while trying to sell their house.  All of us knew selling their house would be a challenge as they living in a dying town of 500 people and their house was built in the 1800’s.  We all felt horrible that my mom was playing the visit my dad and then come back up here but yet my family enjoyed that she was still here.  With her being here she still played a major role in my daughters life and in mine.  She was around if we needed a babysitter, if we needed help with anything, or just when there was a concert or something that we wanted her to attend.  Yes we were selfish but with her being the last family of mine to still be in Minnesota I wanted someone here.  I wanted someone here for holidays, for summer outings, for shopping with.  I’m not one who goes out and socializes easily and family has always been extremely important to me so I enjoyed having my parents nearby.  So anyways in December, they got 2 offers on the house, one with an inspection and one without.  They jumped on the one without and are now officially planning on moving January 24th.  I spent my last night visiting their house last weekend.  It was hard.

Now of course this makes me question a few things, we have been talking of moving for a while but have unfortunately been stuck in a house that had been underwater (bought it and then the bubble burst).  Do we move?  My husband is fortunate enough that he can work wherever he wants to but he never moved in his life until he got to college and has definitely never lived outside of Minnesota.  I on the other hand had moved every three years until I was in High School.  To me moving is exciting and expected.  To him moving is scary and doesn’t necessarily need to happen.    Plus then there’s the fact that his family is still here.  Unfortunately with his family we aren’t as close to them.  We don’t see them as often and when we do its usually just a day trip here and there.

Next there is the fact that I’m supposed to be getting a job here this year.  This scares me to no end as I have been staying home with our daughter for the past 3 years.  It doesn’t help that now I look at my family spread all over and I think of all the vacation days that will be spent visiting family versus doing our own thing or spent on a sick child, or school closed now that we don’t have someone who can come up.  I loved staying home with our daughter and am very sad to be thinking about it ending.  I look into Homeschooling her as I thoroughly enjoyed doing her preschool at home but there are so many questions about this that make me worried.

So many questions about things lately and nothing being decided.  I’m one who has to plan things and knows where things are going to go.  Quitting my job to stay home with my daughter was the first thing I did without having a back up.  It scared me but was so worthwhile.

Stay at home to working mom

So for the past 3 years I have been blessed in the fact that I got to stay at home with my daughter.  It was a very tough decision to come to originally as I was working hard at being an accountant and was definitely rising to the top but the question I kept coming back to was at what cost.  I was working probably around 50-55 hours in a 4 day week plus driving 45 minutes each way to work.  By the time I got home at the end of the day after starting at 5 AM I was exhausted and not much good to my family.  On the weekends I would stress about trying to get done those things that had been missed and then start stressing about my upcoming week at work.

To say the least I wasn’t very happy.

Then work started making some changes which pushed me to realize I needed to make some changes in my life.  I did and became the stay at home mom that I am today.  It has been 3 years and I don’t regret much about it.  The biggest fear now is the day that its time to go back to work.

Now that my daughter is in Kindergarten I have decided that I need to start thinking about next steps in my life and probably get a job.  Can I just say this terrifies me on so many levels?

First off I keep thinking that I need to go back into accounting as I was obviously good at it but after being away for 3 years can I still do it?

Second its going to be a huge adjustment on our family in so many ways.  I currently plan all of the meals and home cook most of them, I am hear when our daughter is sick and can’t go to school, I clean the house thoroughly, I research and plan things to do, and I help my parents who are currently having issues selling their house.  If I go back to work how do I balance all of that and a job.

I have time before I have to go back but I’m using some of that time to actually research what is out there.  Ideally would be staying at home and working from home but I’m not sure how to find a legit opportunity.  Stress!:)

Preschool at home- Not for the faint at heart

About a year ago this time, my husband and I decided that instead of sending our daughter to preschool in town that I would teach her from home. It was a very hard decision to come to as that meant all the pressure to have her ready for kindergarten rested on my shoulders. After much thought we decided it was best as that would still enable her to travel like we always do and experience real life learning that she wouldn’t get in a normal preschool setting.

Do I regret it? No. Is it easy? No. I am a person who considers this my job on top of the normal day to day such as budgeting, grocery shopping, household cleaning, etc. I sit down every week and try and figure out themes for the week, the letter of the week and activities, counting activities, shape activities among others. I gather most of my information from Pinterest and other websites. I spend a good chunk of time on the weekend researching, planning, printing, laminating, and cutting things out. There are times when I think why didn’t I pay someone else to do this? But then I see my daughter excited about a theme or an activity or proudly telling someone she does preschool at home and I have my reasons. She has learned so much in her time and I can proudly say I did that!

Now don’t get me wrong it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. She (and I if I’m honest) have those days where we don’t want to learn. Where I’m forcing her to sit and do something (such as practice writing right now) and it ends up in her melting down, but overall I would not change anything.

Every week we pick a theme and aim for 3-4 hours of preschool 4 days out of the week. We attend storytime at our library about every other week, do play dates, and are able to spend a week out of town without worrying about what she might be missing in school. I read somewhere that 75% of a child’s emotional well being is learned by the time they are 5. Do I want that taught by someone else or me?

Thanksgiving Turkey Shirts

A while back I was looking through pinterest, for ideas, when I stumbled upon this link: http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2011/11/turkey-shirt.html.  I thought these shirts were adorable and decided since Thanksgiving was coming to attempt these (I’m not a great sewer, but I’m learning).  I decided to make one for my nephew Iestyn and one for my daughter, Lily.

I started out by trying to find brown shirts.  Do you know how hard it is to find plain brown shirts for a 9 month old and a 3 year old?  I finally found them at Wal-mart just plain brown turtlenecks for $3.88 not a bad deal.  I then basically followed the instructions on the link above with a few changes for my daughter, she had to have a purple feather as its her favorite color and the turkey needed a bow to identify itself as a girl:).  Total supplies cost under $20 for the two shirts together and it only took me less then 2 hours to complete both.  I have included my finalized shirts below.  Lily will be wearing hers on Thanksgiving with a purple tutu and Iestyn many miles away will also be wearing his.  I highly recommend this as it was so simple and the results are adorable.

Hyundai Car dealerships-Like Car not the dealer

So after much searching around several years ago to determine what brand new car I wanted to buy I bought a 2002 Hyundai Sonata.  I have like the car allot.  It had all the features at the time I was looking for and it was a reasonable price.  I have to say though I have decided I will never buy another Hyundai again.  The reason behind it is not due to the car again its due to the service centers.  After buying my car and moving I realized there are not alot of Hyundai service areas around.  Mind you I can get the oil changes and what not done whereever but whenever I needed something fixed by a the dealer it was a pain trying to get my car there.  Every service center I have taken it too has treated me because I’m a woman like I don’t know anything.  They have also had horrible service hours which are most car dealerships not just hyundai and that is more because we have to drive 45 mintues to get to the dealer.

The final straw though came on Saturday, we scheduled an appointment online to deal with a recall situation on my car.  We had tried the phone but always got put on hold forever.  In our online scheduling we asked how long the service would take.  My husband was told the oil change would take 40 minutes and the recall would take a couple of hours to a few days.  Mind you they got back to him about this the night before we were scheduled to take it in and at that point we had already waited several weeks to be able to get in.

My husband took my car in an they told him as he dropped it off there was no way it would be done until at least Monday.  Why they didn’t tell us that right away I don’t know.  So my husband asked if they had a loaner or even a rental vehicle.  They said that we had to schedule that out 3 weeks in advance.  They offered to let us reschedule but that would have meant waiting several weeks again.  Since this wasn’t the first bad experience but like the 5 or 6th I have to say even though I’m thinking of looking for a new car it won’t be a Hyundai!!!

Baby Clothes Sizes

We had a baby in August that was 6 pounds 13 ounces and had bought a variety of clothes for her.  Some we bought in newborn size, some in 0-3 months.  Newborn sizes state they fit babies 5-8 pounds and 0-3 month fit 8-12 pounds.  Some of the newborn outfits fit perfectly on her and some she drowned in.  I don’t understand how they can be so different but I suppose its like adult clothes.  She is now 6 weeks old and almost 9 pounds.  She fits in most newborn clothes now (a few are still too big) but definitely doesn’t fit into 0-3 month clothes.

I never know what size to buy her and its not like you are going to take her into a dressing room and try clothes on her.  I’m lucky to get into a store and out without her screaming.  The other thing I have noticed is that certain brands run bigger then others but yet I can’t even rely on that as certain outfits in a brand will fit and others won’t.  Its just amazing the differences.

New Addition: Lily Grace

Nine months came and went and on August 19th my husband and I welcomed a little girl, Lily Grace into our household.  She was 6 pounds 13 ounces, and 21 inches long.  Her arrival was much anticipated by grandparents on both sides and her aunts and uncles who are all thrilled.

Pregnancy and old broken ankle equal very swollen ankle

So I broke my ankle now about four years ago and chose to left the metal in as my doctor stated that it would make it stronger.  I don’t regret that as I haven’t had any issues with it.  Every summer though my ankle swells a bit and I wonder if it has something to do with the metal (foreign objects) in my ankle.  This year on top of it being summer I’m pregnant, nine months as of now and for the past several weeks (since about July) my ankle that I broke several years ago gets so swollen I wish I could stick a pin in it to let the liquid/air out of it:).  I now wear compression socks at night to try and keep it down during the day.  My doctor says that its normal as my other ankle somewhat swells up also.  Its just part of the fun of pregnancy in combination with old injuries I guess but let me tell you I don’t care for my cankle look too much!