Monday, February 20

Organizing Life

The last two weeks I've been slowly starting to feel better! YAY!  I'm still not quite up to par, especially in the mornings and late at night, but hey, if I can have most of the day that's a pretty good start :).

Now that I'm feeling better, I'm looking around going YIKES! LOL!  So many things I haven't done because I haven't had the energy or the time, but now need to be done!  We've got a big project starting in the next few weeks, and we need to prepare the house for that to start.  Right as that project is finishing, it will be SUMMERTIME!  With summer means summertime activities, and for us it means starting up school activities at home too!  On the tail end of summer will come the birth of our 9th child :).  And when I write it that way, instead of being 22 weeks before the baby will be here (2 weeks early... scheduled c-section by necessity...), it feels like it will be more like 8!  And of course after that is another 8 weeks of recovery that I have to think about beforehand.  I know there's plenty more time, but I've realized that I need to get life a little more organized or I'll be going nuts pretty soon :)!

First off... our first project!  We are very excited to be able to add a bedroom and a handicap bathroom on to our home!  In actuality, we will be renovating an existing bedroom and changing it in to the handicap bathroom as well as a hallway, and the new construction will consist of a bedroom and a 'study' (no closet).  We currently have 3 bedrooms that the kids share, and this will give us a 4th.  It will also give both Wesley (and us!!) and Emma much more usability of the bathroom with a little more independence.  Right now, Emma cannot get on or off of a toilet on her own.  The new bathroom will have rails and our existing step to use for getting on and off the toilet.  Showering Wesley can sometimes be a sport, and as he grows it will be even more of a blessing to have a roll-in shower with a very open design.  We will be looking for a toileting system that can hold Wesley up on the toilet as well, since he can neither sit nor support himself on the toilet with his hands.  We hope he may be able to have some degree of toilet training once that's even an option.

The thing I'm thinking Wesley will appreciate the most is a SINK that we can roll his wheelchair up to!  Wesley has never been able to wash his hands in a sink unless he's being 'dangled' over it!  We hope he will be able to access the sink from his wheelchair and actually WASH them for himself!  I realize that sounds minor and petty, but in his world of dependence, every little bit of 'normalcy' and independence is a HUGE step forward!  Construction begins early March and should be completed by mid-late May.  We've been working through this concept for months now, and are so thankful it's all coming together now!

To prepare for the construction, we'll be losing a bedroom until it's complete, and we'll be losing a bathroom for some of the time (they will tie in to the plumbing in our existing bathroom so will have to tear it up, all the walls and flooring).  Some of the kids will have a 'temporary' bedroom in our play room.  Should be simple, right?  Not exactly... We don't have any blinds in our playroom, and it's got HUGE floor to ceiling windows!  In addition, we will have to disassemble two bunk beds (one is going to a different bedroom, the other relocating to the playroom), and a crib (toddler bed) to move them to the new locations.  Not exactly a quick endeavor... but one that will be well worth it in the end!!

As the construction winds down, our summer planning will all be coming to a head!  We've always "homeschooled" the kids during the summer after determining that the summer program at school (we did it once...) wasn't exactly going to help the kids since it was often new teachers, new classrooms, and possibly even a new school...  This year we'll be doing more formal homeschooling (as formal as you can get in the summer and with 8 kids!) during June and July.  More like what I do with Brianna on a regular basis... but x7 or 8!  Kristopher doesn't need it nearly as much as the other kids, but inevitably we'll be doing activities for him as well :).

Throughout the summer months we'll also be prepping for our new little one to join us, and therefore prepping for the 8 weeks of recovery time after the c-section.  It will be a little more interesting this time around since we now are blessed with a little man that happens to be completely immobile and total-care.  It will mean more planning and more resourcefulness required on my part.  I'm up for the challenge... :)

As August dawns, there are, of course, more things already in the works during my recovery time and for the months after as well... but for now I'm focusing on the construction and the summer!  And the whole "spring cleaning" idea that really is necessary right now :).

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