It's been a while.
Our family has been simply living day by day, relying on God to keep us going. I'm not sure if I haven't had the time to post or simply too tired when I get the time.
The big update is that Baby Girl is doing great! She is up to 15 lbs 7 oz. Her feeding tube is out more than in, and she is making great strides in her physical development and milestones.
In caring for Baby Girl, I've also seen a great deal of growth in Big Girl! She has learned so much and stepped up so much in helping to care for her sister. Know that I do not put this on her at all. There have been times where I've put Baby Girl down for a nap, gone to work with one of the boys on school, and Big Girl has heard her cry, checked on her, changed her diaper, and brought her to me for a bottle. None of this has been asked of her. She just does it herself.
Big Boy and Baby Boy adore their sister and help out in their own ways. I do admit that it has strained their relationship some. Baby Boy hasn't really had the same opportunity to be Mommy's big helper to his younger sibling like the older one's have because of Baby Girl's additional needs. He acts out by starting fights with Big Boy. I hate that they feeling so out of place right now.
To help combat the tension between the boys and help Big Girl remember that she is a kid and not Mommy's partner during the day, we have backed off school to just the basics for the last quarter. That means nothing but math and reading. With the time that used to go to other subjects in school, we've pulled out board games, read, cuddled on the couch watching movies, and overall just focusing on enjoying each other. I figure the science, social studies, art, and music can be learned later. I feel like what's important right now is to just be a family and build relationships in the face of medical difficulties.
Coming up on the final quarter of our official school year, the kids are getting through their basic schoolwork at a quicker pace. We've been able to do more reconnecting while getting Baby Girl's needs met without many hiccups. To help get back on a more academic track, we've added a couple of episodes of "How the States Got Their Shapes" on Netflix 3-4 times per week. The kids have really enjoyed the show, and it has sparked some great discussions at the dinner table! Big Girl even decided to take on a state report over our home state and now takes notes during episodes.
All in all, these past few months have been more lessons in life than academic lessons, but I think every homeschool goes through this at some point. I think it's what makes many homeschool kids truly well-round individuals and ready to take on just about anything when academics have formally stopped.