The kids learn anyway

Yesterday went just how I though it would. The doctor is sending me to a pulmonology Dr. and an endocrinologist for my lungs and throat. I have a multinodular thyroid, which means lots of lumps, with one being bigger than the others. It’s small, 1.9 x 2.2 cm, but solid. We’ll know more after the ultrasound next week. Also, they found a kidney stone that is not obstructing anything right now, but will when it decides to move. I am drinking water as much as I can stand to. I’ve had kidney stones pass three times in my life. Well, more than that as I always have them in there. I have had a lot of ultrasounds and x-rays in my life and they all show little stones sitting in my kidneys. The little ones pass all the time without noticing. Also even the bigger smooth ones can pass without notice, as long as they don’t cause blockage, like a damn. Only three times they were big enough and the surface was jagged enough that I noticed. It was the second worst pain in my life, with natural childbirth, the transition phase, being the worst. All I can think of is crawling through the hall late night to get to a toilet and vomit and writhe around in pain on the bathroom floor. That’s what usually happens. Only once I went to the ER because I was pregnant and though I was losing the baby. It’s the kidney stone, not the other crap that has me worried. I am living in fear of passing that crazy beast. I wondered recently if I had a slipped disc in my back or if my abdominal issues got worse. Now I wonder if the stone had made it’s way up to the lobe’s entrance and that’s what I was feeling? (it was my mom who suggested this actually) It makes sense. Oh, the dr. also ordered blood tests. The nurse who stuck me was in training and the needle ripped out of my arm when she was done filling the vials, it was literally was dragged out of my arm. Blood was everywhere and she was using cotton balls to clean it up. She kept grabbing all these cotton balls sitting right next to the paper towels. I look like I’m on dope again with the giant bloody trail down my vein. Strangely, I did not pass out. The doc asked me to pick a hospital and I couldn’t even name a hospital. We’ve only been here 7 months. He said St. Joeseph’s was a good one so St. Joeseph’s is where I go for the bigger tests now. Apparently there’s some abnormal tissue in the chest region, not related to the nodule on my neck. That’s what the pulmonologist at St. Joe’s is for. And should I get surgery, it’ll be at St. Joes. I’m a little bored with this and ready to move on to getting my abdominal issues fixed. I hate the battery of tests and the waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

So obviously we didn’t have school yesterday. But the kids are getting real-life hands on learning. We are doing lots of reading. We count as high as we can while making lunch. The kids had to figure out how to build an igloo outside in the snow without having it cave in. They had a science lab in the bathtub yesterday as they were building boats out of legos and it took hours to get them to finally float, but they figured it out! They have been learning a lot about body parts and health as mom explains my tests to them. They have been drawing a lot, lots of maps and Phoenician ships. We are doing history out of Story of the World 1 this year so everything is inspired by the Egyptians right now. They did the KONOS ear under the table and made a big mess of my kitchen. Hunter is learning about teen numbers (the concept of teen numbers has always been really hard for the boys to understand at first) as he counts the days until his birthday. We add and subtract those numbers and play with them. A few days this week we worked out of McRuffy’s math curriculum just because we had time and it’s fun. I make sure Ben finishes his math- 2 lessons each night and his spelling, Rod and Staff. He works on the computer and independently so all I need to do is encourage him. Hunter did some Explode the Code this week because it’s simple, straight forward and we get quality homeschool work done quickly. I adore Explode the Code. I used them with Big Bird, we have been using them with Hunter, and I just ordered Little Bird’s first Explode the Code book. Ben is digging Apologia Astronomy so he’s going to work in his science notebook to finish up a lesson he’s been working on- he’ll do a lab and a vocabulary crossword today.

Homeschooling has been very rich and relaxed, but not because I planned it that way. It has been out of necessity. I did make a rule that the kids are only allowed to watch educational dvd’s for a week just to balance out the lack of strict lessons. I really, really enjoyed seeing all of the natural learning going on this week. I was elated when the grandparents asked Hunter a tough math question and he took a few seconds, then answered correctly. They were surprised and I was grateful he answered correctly. I know they respect our homeschool, but grandma was a teacher for 35 years and has her Master’s degree so they are very pro-public school. It worries them that I am taking my time letting Hunter read. It worries them that the kids learn without the socialization that institutional schools, like prisons, provide. So it warms my heart when they show the family that we do actually learn things. Anyway, it’s been a good week. I am extremely tired and having trouble staying awake today. This happens a few days a week. I no longer feel guilt about it because the kids are doing just fine. I never would have known just how naturally they learn had I not been so tired and sick with pain and burning- that how I describe the throat pain, burny. It’s what I told the doc when he asked how it felt today. “Burny.” It’s right out of the dictionary of Jackie.

Have a good day guys. I am tired and headed back to the couch to nap-it-out.




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