Friday, September 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

A few times a day I allow a child to sit next to me (to read a book to me, etc.), but I'm so uncomfortable and if they move slightly, I'm really uncomfortable. I continually tell them not to wiggle.
Mama, I don't like you being pregnant...I miss your

Monday, September 24, 2007

I've been tagged

By Amy to list 7 random things about myself (I'd better double check my punctuation*/:)'% before Amy reads this.

  1. When I was in 5th grade I let the boys in school talk me into breathing in and out really fast and one of them grabbed me from behind and squeezed my stomach and made me pass out. We got in so much trouble with the nuns that even though I though it was really cool, I never tried it again.
  2. I don't like pink or clothes with bows on it -- even on my babies.
  3. I'm like Jesus, I've never broken a bone.
  4. I was quiet and almost shy as a kid (isn't that ironic!) (or is ironic)! Punctuation around parenthesis always confuses me.
  5. I've always been proud of my freckles (my dad told me they were cute when I was little).
  6. I don't have any stretch marks on my stomach (I even amazed my midwife with this one) -- do you think I'm jinxing myself by saying that before the pregnancy is over?
  7. I met Jesus (as my best friend) in the 4th grade during Confession through the leading of an old priest. I'm so thankful for that priest who took me on his lap while I was crying during confession and led me to Christ!

Baby Check List

I'm seriously sick of putting negative posts on my blog, so this is my attempt at something positive.
This is for my purposes -- don't bother reading it, unless you're REALLY bored.

Done :

Clothes - Thanks to Heather & Jenny, I'm set for even "end of pregnancy" pregnancy clothes.

Baby Clothes - sorted by size, washed & put away (mostly). I have tons of sleepers - that'll get us through until I'm mobile enough to shop. My babies are always swaddled, anyway, so no one knows what they're really wearing, no matter how cute it is.

Receiving blankets - I always go through these, but I have enough to start. - I like the big ones (60"x40") because my babies grow out of the regular ones when they still want to be swaddled. We're big swaddlers around here. (Dave suggested I make some of my own -- does he think this is my 2nd baby or something?? There's no way I have time, or energy, for nicey, nicey projects like that!)

Burp pads - I have a confession to make. I don't know how to burp a baby. NONE of my babies would burp for me. I would beat their backs like I was beating a rug on a line and they'd just bounce with it -- but no burp. Subsequently, they spit up ALOT. I ALWAYS smell like milk (no matter how many times I change my clothes). I comfort myself in the fact that mother's milk doesn't stain as much. Therefore, I need TONS of these. I found 2. Cari & Patrice both offered to give me theirs (Thank you, ladies). Dave suggested I make some -- please see above entry.

Baby Towels, Washcloths, etc - Baby bathtub: check. I bought a couple of towels & several washcloths & found a few from previous babies. Another admission : I found the baby towels in our linen closet. That means that I haven't gone through that closet completely since Ds#4 quit using a baby bathtub (like when he was 4 months old!! He's 5, now.) I still need to get some bath supplies (baby scissors, nail clippers, aspirator, baby wash, brush, etc).

Bumper Pads, Sheets, Waterproof pads - I found them & they all washed up better than I'd hoped for. The room is a cloud theme & the crib bumper pads are light blue with sheep on them. When we move the baby from the cradle to a crib, I'll need to get sheets & waterproof pads for that -- but that isn't usually for 4 months or so.

Baby Mobile - I was thinking musical in baby blue & white; clouds, airplanes, sheep (the crib bumper pads I have), do you think they have masculine looking angels in a mobile and baby blues? [Isn't this topic so much more pleasant than all my pregnancy woes? ] I'm thinking I'll have to wait until I can shop to find this -- nothing quite did the trick online. (Do you know that Target.com has bunches of specific team mascots for baby mobiles?? I must not be in the loop...it just doesn't appeal to me at all.) I had to make a mobile for Dd#1 (I bought & revamped a teddy bear one by making clothes for the bears in the colors I wanted) -- I will have 5 kids by then, though.... but this idea looks seriously interesting... and with satin ribbon & an embroidery hoop, this could be kewl, too!

Baby Monitor - Thanks, Patrice!

Bouncey Seat - Thanks, Amy!

Car Seat - Thanks, Kerri!

Diaper Bag - While I was writing this, I was looking around online for a link to remind myself what I wanted, I found it. So I asked Amy to stop by Target (her favorite store) and pick it up for me. So I can put this in the done category! I liked this one, too, but it's a little smaller and better for when he's not an infant. I know where to find it, now!

Nursing Clothes, sleeper - I haven't managed to find much of this. I did buy a nursing bra (shhh, don't tell anyone I'm blogging about undergarments -- Dave would be sooo embarrassed). I really intensely dislike nursing bras. Undoing those snaps while a kid is screaming is NOT inconspicuous nursing. Alternatively, trying to re-hook yourself while not letting the baby roll off your lap when it really does take 2 hands and the baby is ready to spit up because he nursed too long (see the burp pads confession above) is NOT inconspicuous nursing. Amy recommended Glamour Mom's tank, but the snaps scare me off. I like (what I really like is not nursing in public, but that's not really an option if I'm going to have a clue what my other kids are doing in the doctor's office or anywhere else. I also REFUSE to be relegated to the bathroom stall)... I like bras with lots of elastic so I can just yank & go.
Anyway...I don't like nursing nightgowns with the slits from the neckline down on either side -- I end up hanging out at night. We've already discussed snaps & hooks. I've been wondering if these pajamas would do the trick. There's not much else out there....thus, why I haven't gotten anything. Dave says I'm picky. I just counter that HE should have to nurse the baby exclusively for 4-6 months and see if he's less opinionated by the end of that.

6 foot gate - this is wishful thinking and nothing I'll need until the kid can move, around 8 months my babies scootch & 10 months for crawling -- so I'll have time in the spring to garage sale for this. Gates keep my babies alive and I know it. Dave HATES gates - they interfere with his late-night-I-don't-want-to-turn-on-the-light-scrounging-for-snacks. He's inevitably limping the next morning (a tell-tale sign).

Day 4

This is officially Day 4 (or night 4 as the case may be) of almost constant Braxton Hicks. It's almost comical (and yet...) that everytime my stomach gets hard as a rock I'm totally nauseous at the same time. The last 4 days have been...what's the positive way to say this...MISERABLE. I've felt like I had the DT's (not that I exactly know what those feel like) just crawling out of my own skin -- restless and anxious barely begin to scratch the surface. If I could run away from my body, I would. Sunday (yesterday according to my body's clock) I had accompanying...bathroom issues...to boot. I had to quit wearing my Medieval Torture Apparatus. Usually when I take it off, I'm in pain, but I was so miserable that I didn't notice.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the end. Not because these are all pre-labor symptoms (remember that my body can "pretend" to go into labor and have huge pre-labor symptoms for weeks -or more), but because one of my greatest priorities on earth as has been officially stymied. I made a valiant attempt to make it through Mass yesterday morning .... and failed. The kids brought me breakfast in bed and I laid in bed directing the traffic of the kids getting ready until almost 15 minutes before we walked out the door to preserve my energy. It wasn't enough. Half-way through I had to leave and go lay in the van with the air-conditioning on until Dave & the kids were done and could take me home. If I can't make it through the most important thing in my week, the one thing that I'm willing to expend my entire energy for the day to do, I'm not sure I'll be able to make it through anything outside my house. It's at this point that I'll have to rely on the kindness of strangers (well, actually really good friends) to get me through.

oh...and another thing. We're having fly issues. We've had fruit flies since AUGUST that I've been trying to battle, but just when I think we've got them licked, 2 days go by and we have them again. The going rate is $0.25 per house fly the kids kill and yesterday they earned $3.00. Where are they all coming from?? Dave informed me last night the the garbage can in our attached garage was "covered" in them. So we have pestilence as well as plague (can pregnancy be considered plague?) ...this is some sort of test...and I think I'm failing.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I like e-bay and all and use it often, particularly for books. But this was SUCH a good read that I couldn't help myself but tell you all about it.

Go to www.ebay.com and enter 130144061675 into the eBay search menu bar. Have your cup of coffee ready -- THIS WOMAN IS LIVING MY LIFE!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

More complaining

I am mad. I couldn't get to sleep until 1:30am due to hot flashes and tonight I've been anxious and soooooo restless - and the baby is doing acrobatics (it may be him just sharing my whacked out hormones). I've been awake for what feels like hours (actually 1hr 15min) and I'm tired and I've had a tough night. I want to be DONE but in objective reality I've got 5 weeks to go and I usually go 1 1/2 - 2 weeks past my due date (so it could be closer to 7 weeks!). I want to be DONE. ....I also want to wait on God's perfect timing -- except that I want to be DONE.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Real Cheese vs. Processed Cheese

A good friend and I are having an e-mail flurry on such a small subject. It seems ridiculous that these small items can fill our lives, and yet, having someone to share the small discoveries and discussions with are what make wonderful friends (and my husband doesn't care a hoot about these kind of topics, he'd just like dinner once in a while).

My friend :
I found this article and thought it was very interesting. I'm always trying to learn more about nutrition and eating healthy, for me and my family.

This article talks about nutrition labels and real foods (ie, cheese) vs. processed foods. It was about a year ago that I learned that Kraft cheese slices are "CHEESE PRODUCT" not real cheese! And that it's hard to find cheese slices that are REAL cheese, as most are listed as "CHEESE PRODUCT". Not to mention, the powdered cheese in the boxed mac and cheese! Once again, you just have to read the small print and/or ingredients.
What I think is most interesting is that you didn't know that. Have you ever tasted Kraft singles? The price difference between real cheese & fake cheese is huge, too (real cheese is generally alot more expensive). One of my pet peeves about cheese is how often I'm slicing, grating, crumbling & cubing (it's cheaper in blocks) and how much work it is to melt to a smooth consistency. Even though it's a hassle, we
eat TONS of cheese, and almost all of it is real.
My friend:
I've never bought chs in a block. Sounds like too much work. I do buy the huge pkgs of slices at Sams, though. And I probably didn't know about the Kraft singles b/c growing up my mom didn't buy them. But what she did buy was lots of Velveeta. Funny thing is I thought that was real chs! It wasn't until I got married and was cooking for Ken that he brought it to my attention that it was fake. Then my dilemma was how was I going to make homemade mac and chs with real chs? I still use velveeta sometimes, just b/c it makes a great mac and chs. But I mostly use the slices from Sams. Maybe I should try the block. Is that what you do for M & C? What kind of chs do you use?

The article was so interesting to me b/c of the issue about labels. I think it is so misleading to put the words "real cheese" on something when it's clearly yellow powder. AND people believe it!!! I have switched to only buying the shredded chs made with 2% milk just b/c of my past cholesterol problems. After getting my numbers down without medication, it's really important to me to keep them down. I do the same with most dairy. I buy the lower fat stuff. It does cost more, but I feel like it's a good investment in my/my family's heart/arteries in the long run. If I'm prone to high chol. then maybe my kids will be someday too. Who knows.
To make Mac & Ch, I buy dried powder cheese from Schmucker's Greenhouse - Amish powdered cheese HAS to be healthier -- It's my one concession to buying bricks of real cheese.
My friend :
Are you serious? Or are you joking? Powered cheese? Never heard of it. And if you are serious, is it really healthier? How can that be? I'm guessing you're being sarcastic but in an email, without hearing your voice, I can't tell :)
I'm serious. I don't know how they make it (possibly grate, dry, grate
& dry it? here's one product description), but since the Amish make much of their own food (and I don't think they'd repackage & sell something at their store that they didn't make) I only assume it's healthier than all the chemicals that are added to the stuff they sell in grocery stores. It looks and tastes just like the mac
& cheese powder (or the stuff you sprinkle on popcorn) only in approximately
quart packages.

We found it by accident. They had it in these really thin clear plastic bags that they wrote on with permanent marker and had it low on a shelf. Ds2 at 2 years old poked a hole in one as we passed by with his finger, so we felt obligated to buy it. (The next time we went to that store they had it in thicker clear plastic bags.) I didn't know what I'd do with it besides sprinkle it on popcorn, but since we only have micro-popcorn, it doesn't taste right with the fake butter in micro-popcorn. So I just guessed at the proportions and made mac & ch with it -- the kids went crazy -- they loved it. So that's how we make our mac & cheese -- with whatever noodles we have on hand & Amish powdered cheese.
I think this sounds like a field trip BEGGING to be scheduled -- alas, not this year. Maybe next year with baby in tow...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kids "Helping" Accident #547

DD#2 bleached out the recycle bin, put the lid on and said she put the bleach away. 6 hours later I tried to pull a towel out from its spot under the bathroom sink. It was just the outline of a towel with a huge hole in the center. After crouching under the sink, I found she'd put the bleach under there, instead of away in the cabinet above the dryer and laid the bleach on its side. I leaked through a stack of towels that she had to sort through and toss. Then she had to wash out the cabinet to make sure there wasn't bleach soaking into the wood. She was AMAZED that when I had said "be careful with the bleach and PUT IT AWAY" that just putting it in the wrong place and laying it on its side would wreak such destruction....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tired boy

Last Friday the kids were tired from going to the park on Thursday. They all finished their work quickly Thursday morning so they could go. Between school, play, mosquitoes, allergies, baths and chores, it must have taken alot out of them. Friday, Dd#2 and I fought all day, Ds#4 wanted to cuddle all day (ouch, honey, you're laying on your baby brother), Dd#1 complained of being tired, and Ds#3 didn't complain...he just couldn't quite make it through school. He fell asleep in his desk laying on his spelling book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Medieval Torture Apparatus

I got my Medieval Torture Apparatus in the mail and put it on right away. I'm amazed at the difference it's made. I still have a lot of difficulty getting around (reduced mobility, it takes a big effort to walk and stand), but I'm not in pain all the time like I was. THANK YOU, JESUS!

Here are the answers to some of the questions I've been getting :
  • If this thing were made of black leather straps rather than white elastic, it would look like a weird pregnancy S&M thing.
  • No, I won't embarrass Dave by taking my picture in it and posting it on my blog -- even OVER my clothes! (My husband would be mortified.)
  • The cheapest place I found it was Amazon for $71 + $10 s&h.
  • Thank you Laura, my midwife, and Janis, her nurse for recommending it. I've had this condition for the last 4 pregnancies (it just got worse with each one) and they are the first to diagnose anything more than "pregnancy hurts."
  • After having it on for 5 hours the first day, I sat for several hours. I braced myself for the effort and pain of having to stand. I exerted the tremendous effort to stand and steadied myself for the wave of pain and the following wave of nausea from the pain that was to follow. Standing was an effort...but no pain. I was just ... standing. I was AMAZED and THRILLED!! No pain, no nausea -- just effort.
  • It takes a few hours of having it on in the morning before I notice a difference.
  • It has reduced the constant sensation of needing to go to the bathroom. I only have that sensation when I really need to go.

$100 + difficulty getting it on + absurdity of the contraption = a small price to pay for this much pain reduction.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Matt Kelty defense, continued

This is the 2nd video that I recommended to my mom. Amy inspired me by posting a hilarious youtube video on her blog. I wasn't sure how to do it before now. This video is 2 minutes 46 seconds.

Kelty defense

My mom just called me and was interested in finding more information about Matt Kelty's defense of himself. There are 2 videos that I highly recommended to her (this one is 5 minutes 17 seconds). The other way to get information is to log onto http://www.mattkelty.com and sign up to get the e-mail newsletter (there's a link on the left-hand side bar and another in the middle of the page). It has new videos of Matt's position on things, as they become available, plus other information.

Things that go bump in the night

Ds#4 pulled out his first tooth last night (after lights out, I must add). Dave's comment was "your baby isn't a baby anymore" -- he just wanted to rub it in... he does look seriously cute with that little hole in his mouth.

Dd#2 was soooo excited about it all, that she ran upstairs after racing down with the boys to show us, and went catapulting into Ds#4's lower bunk. In the dark, she missed the pillow and hit the corner of the corner post -- with her head. Now, Dd#2 crying after bedtime hours due to being rowdy/naughty is not at all unusual. As a matter of fact, it's a common occurance. As many times as we've disciplined her, reminded her, rewarded good behavior -- she's just going to be one of those kids. Unfortunately, her body is the big looser in all these disobedience senarios. Dave and I are convinced that God scheduled a VERY competant guardian angel for her from the beginning knowing that this angel would get a promotion for a hard life-time of work. We're not even sure HOW the angel keeps her alive - but VERY thankful that God is stronger than even this girl's desire for thrills. It took from 9:20 to 12:30am to help her feel better so that she could go to sleep. We comforted her for 3 hours with examples of what could have happened to her that would have been so much worse than what happened.

P.S. Dave was quite appauled that I even wanted to take her picture like this and even more shocked that she let me! He was abstaining from memorializing this painful moment in time.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I love a parade

Really, I'm not all that crazy about parades, but it's a good song. Dave and the kids marched in a parade this weekend in support of Matt Kelty. Dave's been working on an e-mail newsletter to send to people who are interested in finding more about Matt's campaign (click on the "Newsletter" on the left-side bar). The YouTube videos are pretty cool, too. I'm always thrilled when other people are as impressed with my husband as I am! (and I just sit on the side watching & waving and trying to get my camera to work so I can blog about it).

Friday, September 07, 2007

What do you need for a homeschool schoolroom?

A place to write - this can be a kitchen table, a kids play table or a desk. It is really preferable that this place "fits" the child -meaning that the chair isn't too big to fit in so that the child's legs dangle in the air -also meaning that the child isn't croching their back to get their body over the paper because the space is too small for them.
A place for books - I find that my teacher books take up as much, if not more, room than the kids books. A book shelf, multiple magazine racks, a desk that opens for books are all helpful tools. I've even known people who used rolling carts to keep their books on so that they're accessible while they're doing school, but out of the way when they're not. I've heard of families that store each child's books in bookbags in the closet. You still have to find a place for parent books.
A place for supplies - this is something that every homeschool mom I know battles for and salivates over. My craft supplies are always overflowing the space I have for them no matter how organized I attempt to be. I buy my kids each a pencil box to store their supplies. Some are more responsible with their own supplies than others.
Wall space - THIS IS NOT NECCESSARY and yet oh, so desirable. Wall space is great for a time line, posters or to display a child's work. This is also something that homeschool moms dream of at night.
Good lighting - a well placed lamp can take care of this. We've tried overhead spotlights (too much shadows over the paper they're working on, florescent (made me feel like I was in an institution rather than my home) and have settled on lamps.

My children do the majority of their school on the couch or on the floor. I try to insist on them writing at a table and they find ways to write neater while laying on the floor. It doesn't take a dedicated space (although for some families that is ideal), but really utilizing the space you have with your school needs in mind.

One of my favorite questions was "What does your ideal schoolroom look like?" Dreaming is so much fun!!!!!!


Last week I took the kids to SuperShot. I was behind on the boys' immunization schedule due to a dilemma. A few years ago, I found out that some of the immunizations came from aborted fetal cells. They grew the viruses in aborted fetal cell tissue. The idea of injecting that into my living children's bloodstream sickened me. They didn't have to use aborted bodies. Many immunizations are grown in chicken or something like that. There are variations throughout the world that have the same immunizations but were grown in something less controversial. Maybe they wanted to push the envelope of science. Maybe they wanted to validate a reason for abortions. You can read the story here (I liked the "Prove It" article on the left sidebar) and on that same website is a link of immunizations that are ethical and those that aren't. I printed off the table of ethical vaccines and made the trip to the local clinic.

The 2 nurses at the desk said that "No" the immunizations weren't derived from aborted fetus. I hurt standing there (I'm a little -er lot pregnant) and I didn't want to argue. This was specifically why I was behind in the boys' immunizations - the idea of arguing with someone I respected who was there to help the community makes my stomach turn. So we disagreed politely a few times back and forth and I kindly, but firmly insisted that I didn't want the immunizations listed on my sheet that were considered unethical. She said she'd contact the head nurse who could explain it to me better (because obviously, I was wrong and wasn't understanding her -it couldn't be that I understood perfectly and disagreed with her). She contritely came back saying I was right and I just needed to sign the form saying I was refusing those particular shots.

The next day I called the pediatrician. The ethical version of most of those vaccines are the ones that are separate, not combination vaccines in the same shot. The pediatrician had them on hand (or I would have had to contact and order them from http://www.cogforlife.org/ and have them shipped to my doctor). Apparently, I'm not the only parent in town with this dilemma. So, 2 days after the first set of shots, and a painful 250 dollars later, the boys were finished up with all the shots I would allow them to have.

It was an emotional hassle dealing with people who think I'm crazy to have this as a priority in my life. It was a physical hassle taking the kids 2 different places to get shots and calling the pediatrician. It was physically painful (for both the boys and myself) to get this done. It was a financial strain to spend that money on shots we could have gotten for free if I would have just lowered my standards.

I'm so glad it's done and that I went through all the hassle I did. Two nurses are more informed than they had been. My doctor has a continued reason to stock the ethical version of the vaccines. (I don't really see a positive side to the $250...) My children are immunized to the best of my ability and I'm secure in the knowledge that I'm protecting them while not participating in any way, shape, or form in the culture of death.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Room Re-do

Dd#2 has been longing for the last year to have her sister move back in with her. She does not like sleeping alone. I offered to allow her to move in with her brothers, who she ends up cuddling either in their room or hers at least half the time, but she didn't want to. With trying to decide where to put the new baby, Dd#2 has decided to move in with her brothers, who have the largest bedroom. Dave, who is in charge of all bedtime rituals in our house, isn't so sure this will work. So, last night the 3 kids slept together to prove how quitetly they could go to sleep. This morning they worked on cleaning the boys' room and reorganizing it for beauty and function in hopes that Dd#2 will be allowed to move in. I thought it was adorable of them to work so hard to get to spend more time together (because it's not like they spend every waking moment together -- er, wait, they do.)
I was too tired this morning to climb back up the stairs to see their work, so Dd#2 took the digital camera up for me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Quote of the Day

Dd#1 and I were analyzing sentences. I asked her
"Is this word a direct object?"

It's the nice word. The happy word. It's "You look nice, today."

It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about....


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Party Central

The kids decided to have a party today...at 4:30am. I don't know who woke up whom, but I know I WAS asleep when I heard the party going on. After a whispered lecture (Dave was still sleeping) and sending them to bed, then I was awake and couldn't sleep. So I got up and went to 6:15am Mass and got home before Dave even got out of bed at 7am. Good morning, Jesus! I always physically feel wiped after morning Mass, but I figure I sure do need the graces. We've gotten a little school done (the kids were up when I got home) and I'm off to bed for a morning nap. I'm sort of thinking this weird schedule my body and my kids are keeping (against my will) won't get better after the baby's born....

Monday, September 03, 2007

Quote of the Day

Our library's annual poetry contest is coming up. If you recall, last year each of the kids wrote poems and I didn't submit them in time ("bad mama, bad mama"). So, when the kids got the flyer in the mail, they wanted to jump on it. They spent part of their Saturday afternoon writing poems. After a flourish of coming in with their poems completed and recitals by many of the kids, Ds#3 sat before his audience.

I need a little help with mine... (long pause as he examins his paper).
All I have so far is ...


Astronomy Game

I've been looking for a way to deepen and extend our Astronomy lessons. We're using Apologia's Astronomy and it's working wonderful for the 4th, 2nd & K -- but Dd#1, 6th grade, has already absorbed most of the information from her independant reading. So, I as we progress through each chapter, I'm making montessori cards for her (and the others) to extend the lesson. She colored 6 cards of a sun and then using a diagram I found online, sketched in corona, core, convection zone, etc. I copied the cards so she has duplicates and she can match the picture with the label and match the label with the definition. I think it'll help!

Heaven Sent

Over the weekend, a wonderful servant of Christ offered to do my shopping for me. I usually buy for the month, so it's a huge job. When I said 'no', this servant of Christ threatened to come beat me up if I didn't allow her to help me. ...ok

After working 9 hours as a nurse, she came and picked up my list. Then at 10:30pm, after 5 hours of shopping, she came back with $530 worth of groceries for our family. She helped cut up the meats and get the perishables taken care of and the kids just had to help put away the pantry items. Then she left so she could go to work in the morning!

It was SUCH a HUGE job and I appreciate all her efforts! It feels so good to have that DONE!

THANK YOU, Jesus, for willing servants -- please bless them.