the great catchup.

October 1st, 2013

It’s been awhile so I thought I’d update you on the past few months. So here is a list with pictures of our recent days.

July. Within days of updating this blog in July, I began having residual trouble from keto. The epileptic episodes had ceased but then my body began fighting every single thing I ate. I was nauseated and having stomach pain daily. That was super frustrating. My doctor advised me to go off of keto and so I did. I haven’t had any other trouble since the end of July. I eat normal food and feel fine now.

The rest of July was all about exploring in the sunshine, playdates, long walks, falling in love with asparagus, super hot weather, blowing bubbles, painting, boiling water, forest excursions, and swooning as Drew began curling up to read all by himself.

Dipping his toes. #latergram

A hot and sweaty lil' sleeper. Flipped over, wiped drooled, giggled sleepily, and back off to dreamland.

Play date with Jocelyn and Jared!

After a bike ride to catch fireflies, we had story-time while mama hid in the kitchen and nibbled strawberries.

The captain of the "twelve seas."

Swinging together and talking about animal crackers.

August. Most of August was about preparing to leave for a trip to South Carolina, being in South Carolina, and then crashing when we came back.







We had a lovely visit with my parents, extended family, and a few friends. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see everyone we wanted to (I really wanted to see Kerry).

September. Every single time I come home after a trip, I go through post-vacation blues. I really thought I was fine the two weeks after we came back from SC but I was wrong. I would have been happy to just hide under a blanket for the entire month but apparently that isn’t socially acceptable. Or, do-able.

Instead, we just had a gentle month of not-much-happening. There were trips to the park and library but they were fewer and far between and so we mostly just relaxed. We launched a family & friends server to play modded (Feed the Beast) Minecraft and for a solid month, ten of us played & Skyped late into the evenings.

This time of the year brings me such coziness and bliss.

Riding country roads on a crisp Autumn night.

Reading before he sleeps.

from Sept '13

from Sept '13

from Sept '13

post-pillow fight glow and ketosis.

July 12th, 2013

Post-pillow fight glow

It’s been forever, I know. I’m just hopping in after a lovely pillow fight to say that June and July were a swirl of confusion.

I spent a lot of time with doctors trying to figure out why my body and brain have started to go completely whacko. My doctor thinks I’m suffering with mild epileptic seizures.

We are treating it with a ketogenic diet at this point. I’m still scheduled to have more tests this month and I may get more answers then.

The bottom line is that when I eat certain foods, it triggers something inside my brain and I can’t do very simple math (97-3) or remember important things like who the Vice President is. When I have these episodes, I also have trouble talking, remembering things, or communicating at all. As you can imagine, it’s very frustrating.

I’ve been eating this particular way for almost three weeks (I’ve slipped in and out of ketosis by accident as I’ve discovered which foods are okay) and I’ve only had one episode during that time. Before the diet change, I was having the episodes almost daily.


So, I just can’t get into a writing habit here at the moment. It may pick up once we start schooling again in the Fall but we’ll see.

spring days and learning.

May 9th, 2013

Not surprisingly, the days are going by quickly. If anything, homeschooling isn’t boring!

Like a monkeyCollecting rocksBeing terribly sweet and kind before a Monster Water Gun Battle.UntitledUntitledSanding

Thoughts over the last few weeks:

  1. I am spending way more time with Drew than I previously was. And I am loving every second of it.
  2. Thrifting/exploring shops with a six-year-old who is nervous about germs and dust is challenging. I feel as though I need to apologize to everyone as I’m leaving for my child’s shrieking about how unclean people are.

learning at home, week one.

April 20th, 2013

Let me start by saying I’m not planning on turning Octolilly into just a homeschooling blog but since that is our New Big Thing at the moment, I’m probably going to write about it for a while.

As I referenced in my last post, we are spending from now until mid-June in a relaxing easing-out-of-school approach. My main goal is to see what he knows, what he loves, and what is looks like he needs to work on.

UntitledUntitledUntitled"my book about me"drew's self-portraitUntitledFangirling over Col. Chris Hadfield LIVE.Training during library week.with friends at the park

Our first week has been full of: playing with the Chemistry set he received on his birthday, completing mathsheets, working on My Book about Me (from Aunt Cassidy quite awhile ago), drawing in his My First Writing Prompts Journal [you can see his entries in this homeschool album], watching the elementary school experiments that Col. Chris Hadfield did aboard the ISS, carrying a globe to the park and talking about the different friends we have who live around the world, playing games on his laptop (Minecraft and Plants vs. Zombies are his favorite at the moment – MC explores creativity and engineering and Plants vs. Zombies is all about timing and strategy), spending time at the library, and meeting new friends!

On Wednesday, I met with Drew’s kindergarten teacher for the last time and we had almost an hour of wonderful discussion while Drew had a tangible goodbye playdate to the classroom he’s known.

Drew's sweet goodbye to his teacher. She was VERY encouraging and excited about our foray into homeschooling.

I quickly realized I didn’t need to feel nervous talking about homeschooling with his teacher when she paused and said, “I got really emotional when you first told me and my husband and I spent some time this weekend talking about how nice it would have been to have this chance with our children.” We spread Drew’s busy work out on the desk and I looked at progress reports and statistics. Even though it doesn’t matter in the big picture of things, it did help to see his progress report stating that he already knew the things “required” by June. It was more confirmation that he was getting bored in class.

This doesn’t really mean I have a supergeniusbrainyboy on my hands. I think it’s more that everyone learns at different paces and in different ways and so the average pace (which is all a teacher can do, really) of Kindergarten was frustrating him immensely.

We got an invitation to a birthday party of one of his friends from school so that will be his big hoorah with his classmates the first week of May and then from there, we’ll figure which of them he’d like to stay in touch with and plan playdates. That is really the only “con” of pulling him out in April. He had to say goodbye now instead of in June. But all the pro’s obviously outweighed that.

One of the best changes we’ve noticed this week is how different Drew’s attitude is. He was becoming a rather obnoxious boy in the evenings. I mean, REALLY obnoxious. He was tired, bored, and visibly irritated at the end of each day. Over Christmas break, we noticed a HUGE difference in his behavior. When we were around older kids or some of our friends on the weekend – he would rise to the challenge and be very gentle and loving with other people. The same thing happened over Spring Break – he went from incredibly obnoxious and rude to really sweet. And this week? He’s been waking naturally each morning and has been happy to learn and play and explore.

Of course, it could also have something to do with eating healthier snacks during the day now. Oddly, all the Kindergarten classes at his school had daily snacks like red jello, Oreos, and rice crispie treats. I sent in healthy alternatives when I could but I still think it’s weird that they gave food like that to 5 and 6 year olds every day. And then expected them to sit still.

I consider this first week to be a success! And so does Drew. I think. I’ll go ask.


He crawled out from his ginormous tent in the living room and said, “I like having LEGOs for choice time and I love having watermelon and I like this new tent and I really love math. The end. BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

P.S. I have a new Flickr set called “our homeschool adventure.”

off on a new adventure.

April 16th, 2013

This may be a bit of a surprise but we are now officially a home-schooling family.

I’m planning on using Oakmeadow (supplementing with Right Start math and Reading Eggs) when Drew begins first grade in the fall. But at the moment, we’re in the midst of a very relaxing un-schooling approach while we ease out of the routine of public school.

The two weirdest (most awesome) moments thus far:


1) Shouting math problems over walkie-talkies in the forest.

2) Watching Drew put on a play about matter: a water balloon who is an evil old liquid lady fighting two balloons filled with gas.