Friday, December 14, 2007

Keepers of the home...

This week I came across a blog of someone I have never even met. She is a Christian, she is a mother (I think to 7 children), a homeschooler, and a pastors wife. I was so intrigued by her latest blog. It talks of doing what God made you to do: love your husband and kids, serve God, and be a keeper of the home. It reminded me of my father's most recent message this past sunday. He talked of expectations. Mostly those that we allow others to hold us to, or those we put on ourselves. The woman's blog said that our first priority should be to God and our family. If our house is in constant chaos, there is never anything to eat, no clothes to wear because they are all dirty, then perhaps we are overcommitted and need to reevaluate. Now perhaps you don't agree with her philosophy. I suppose it would depend on what you feel called to do. As someone who feels called to be a stay at home mom, I agree with her remarks for myself. I felt rather convicted by the sad state of affairs here at home. Yes, my situation is a bit different. Part of my job is to also watch 2 other children in my home. I'm also pregnant, which definitely has an effect on my energy level. I also try to make extra money for my family this time of year by selling jams at shows. This year was my most successful yet, and our reward will be next month when we go furniture shopping for new living room furniture. However, in the midst of all this, my house and patience has taken a backseat. I was short on sleep and long on stress, so I snapped more easily at the kids. My floors had berry juice stains on it, and my kitchen table was always covered in jam jars, thawing fruit, etc. Meals were put together in a hurry and laundry began to look like Mt. Everest. I'm so grateful to be back into a more normal swing of things now that my last sale is over with. Its still a little busy with the Christmas season, trying to get Christmas card pictures taken, shopping, Christmas parties, packing for a 10 day trip away, etc. Is there ever not a busy time in life? In the midst of all of this I'm making a true effort to be the wife and mom that God wants me to be,and to put my family first. I'm trying to remember what this season is all about. I'm figuring out that certain things have to be dropped because surprise, surprise...I'm not superwoman! I'm all too aware of my limitations. I want to "be all things to all people"...basically, the perfect wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend. I know that I should strive to be the best I can be, but realize that perfection will never happen. I doubt anyone will be seriously let down by me, but in my head I hear "this isn't how the perfect "so and so" would do things. Yes, my house would look like Martha Stewart lived here, and my patience would never run short, even in the midst of tantrums and whining. I would actually find myself with extra time to myself and have everything done ahead of time, never rushing. However, I'm me. I fall short. Period. All I can do is ask for more strength and wisdom and learn from my mistakes. After all, laundry will always be there for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


They say that smells can trigger more memories and emotions than just about anything else. I believe that. Whenever I smell lasagna cooking, I think of my Nana. She was such a kind lady, and although she was not Italian, her second husband was. She honed her Italian cooking skills to the point that I always thought she was Italian during my growing up years. Her food was that good. That smell always floods me with happy memories.

This morning greeted me with not such happy thoughts. After taking a shower and getting dressed upstairs, I came down the stairs and was greeted by a terribly offensive smell. Before I was even down the flight of stairs, I said to Matt, "Ugh...that smell! Disgusting!!" He said, "What? I don't smell anything!" I said, "Are you kidding me?" He wasn't. Before going any further, I must admit to a strange trait I have. It might be a family thing, as my sister Missy also posesses this strange trait. Neither of my parents or other sibling do, though. You see, we have a very heightened sense of smell, along with a habit of having to smell everything. I will smell things and Matt will stand there clueless, like this AM. Well, after fully coming down the stairs, I rounded the table to find 2 piles of dog vomit on the tile floor. Further searching revealed an unbelievable mess in our living room. My dog had diahrrea in about 8 spots all over the hardwood floor, in addition to the vomit. The last week she has only been eating the cats food. I think she must not like the food I got her (although she has had it in the past). I tied a scarf around my nose to block the smell. For someone who already smells things that others do not, I'm also pregnant which seems to make my stomach very sensitive to those smells. My mouth was watering already, as if I might throw up myself. The scarf mostly helped. I didn't puke, but I coughed and gagged, and my eyes watered, and my nose clogged. After 30 minutes of cleaning up and bleaching the floors, I was finally done. I boiled water and added cinnamon and cloves, and it really helped with the smell. I hope I don't have to deal with that for a long time!!

I think I've passed this trait down to my kids. Noah more than Rylee. Last night we were at a church dinner and I asked him if he wanted chicken. He said, "Can I smell it first?" I added a little piece to his plate and lifted it to his nose, fully understanding him. He inhaled, but wasn't quite sure. He asked, "Can I smell it again?" I obliged, and he ended up eating some. My oldest sister was there and laughing her head off at the whole exchange. "Oh man, you passed it on to him?" She laughed. Yes, my son has inherited my weird trait. This is the reason he will not eat cheesy popcorn. It smells to him. I agree it stinks as well. I mean, have you ever truly smelled it? The white cheddar is the worst. I love the taste, but the smell is enough to gag me. I even remember my brother getting frustrated when I was a kid. We were eating dinner, and I didn't start eating until I had smelled my fork. Why, you ask. I don't know, I just do it. He said, "Would you quit smelling everything and just eat, for goodness sake!" So, if we are ever at a party, and you catch me sniffing something (the cup, my shirt, the silverware, etc.), just know its nothing personal and something that I just do. Don't ask me to explain it, because I cannot.

PS-So sorry if you are eating breakfast while reading this. It was not meant to make you gag as well!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Well, it seems as if that is all it has done the last 5 days. Although I absolutely love it, I must admit that now that my husbands job for the last 2 years has involved snow removal, I almost cringe knowing when snow is on the way because it means he will be away from us long hours. He put it over 17 hours of overtime this weekend between snow removal and a lengthy meeting. Monday AM he left for work as usual, and we did not see him until tuesday at 11:00 am. He was only able to get a few short hours of rest, and it made more sense for him to just sleep on the floor of the office in a sleeping bag rather than try to brave the terrible roads and come home. He was home for about 4 hours yesterday before heading back out. He's still out, and its 8:00 am on Wed. He was going to get about a 3 hour break, and once again, it just didn't make sense for him to travel over 20 minutes in 1 direction on little sleep, just to sleep here. I know he must be exhausted as well as his boss and coworkers. They should get a little break for the most part today. At most, it looks like we will get 1 or 2 inches, tops, today. I'm sure they are all breathing a sigh of relief knowing that. Our little area of the county got hit much worse than other parts. We got 8 to 10 inches of snow, although now it has settled and packed down a bit so it looks more like 6. My normal thoughts on snow are that if its going to be really cold, we may as well have snow on the ground. Now, I'm reconsidering that if it means not seeing Matt for long periods of time.

On a sad note, I found out that some aquaintances of ours from our former church, lost their first baby to a stillborn birth. The mom was 8 and a half or nine months along. I don't know a whole lot of details about what possibly went wrong, only that last tuesday they were not able to hear a heartbeat, and started induction. Wed. the baby was born dead. I cannot tell you how much it grieved me to hear such sad news. It was one of those sorrows that you literally feel in the pit of your stomach. It brought back memories of a close family member losing her baby to miscarriage at 5 months. That is how far along I am, it its so hard to think of that. I don't allow my mind to dwell on it because it would cause so much anxiety, which I know is not healthy for anyone. The only things I know are this: God promised to never give us more than we could handle. He also has numbered all of our days. For some of us, we will live to be old, while others are only given shorter times. I don't pretend to know why. Perhaps they only need a short time on earth to accomplish their purpose. It all comes down to when sin was introduced into our hearts thousands of years ago. It set a clock in motion that was never intended to be. We are created as everlasting beings. It was God's intention, I believe, that those "immortal" or "everlasting" lives were meant to be lived out on earth, but sin destroyed that. We are still "immortal" or "everlasting", its just that only a few of those years will be lived out here on earth. The remainder, well...its our choice. It makes me so glad to have peace that I will spend those years forever in heaven. I think of those parents who lost their baby. I hope they are able to see a long way down the road and remember that because they are God's children, and chosen a relationship with Him, that they will spend eternity with their son. He is not lost to them forever.

On a very happy note, our good friends, Claude (Mikey as he has always been known to Matt), and his wife Jewel received good news about their baby girl, Eden, who although she is officially adopted by them from Vietnam, was not granted a Visa like her sister was. Mikey and Jewel had to leave Vietnam with only Jordan, not Eden also, as was the plan. After a few months of writing senators, expensive lawyers, and many tears and prayers on their part, the official investigation into the facts surrounding Eden's abandonment have shown no corruption. Their lawyer is confident that not only will the baby be given her Visa, but that she will be home with her family in time for Christmas. If that isn't the best gift, I don't know what is! We are so excited to meet both of our God-daughters later this month when we go to Indiana for a Christmas visit. Their family will be visiting as well from California...what perfect timing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ultrasound fun!

This morning we had our big ultrasound for this baby. It seems as if this is something I look forward to from the moment I find out I'm pregnant. Even after feeling the baby kick and move within me, reality doesn't truly sink in until you see the baby moving while feeling those little kicks. Its amazing. I never tire of seeing these images. Our little one was quite cooperative during the ultrasound and was awake the whole time. It kicked often and even responded to the technicians gentle pushes to roll over for a better shot...what an agreeable little guy or gal. We specifically asked to not find out the sex of the baby. I asked the technician before we left if she had determined the sex herself, and she said no. She said she specifically tries to spend as little time as possible in that area, other than to rule out abnormalities, when the parents do not want to know the sex. She said she didn't look close enough to figure it out. Matt thought at one point that he might have seen something indicating a boy, but he admitted it was so brief that he was not even sure if what he thought he was looking at was really what he thought it was, so really...we truly don't know. I love that big surprise in the delivery room. Labor and delivery are such hard work that it really is like a reward at the end of a long, hard day. He have picked out a full name for the baby if its a boy, but only a first name if its a girl. I think the middle name is definitely easier to figure out when you have determined the first name. It almost makes me want boy/girl twins so we can use both names right away!

Just last night I told Matt that for whatever reason, this pregnancy seemed a little surreal. Even just today, I glanced down towards my feet as I was about to come down our stairs, and had a jolt of reality when I saw my big tummy. Its almost as if I forgot I was pregnant for a split second. I love how much more real pregnancy feels after an ultrasound. I'm already finding myself itching to hold the baby and breathe in that sweet baby smell. I'm more than halfway there!

My first actual prenatal appointment with my new midwife is on thursday. I'm hoping that she has received my medical records from my former OB's office by then as I sent the request almost two weeks ago. I'm actually really excited about the appointment.

On a mostly unrelated sidenote....the upstairs bathroom that we decided to start remodeling a day or two before Matt's parents came in town in June for his ordination has come much closer to becoming a finished reality. Matt was able to finish laying the ceramic tile this weekend and grouted sunday night. Monday night meant reinstalling the toilet that has not been hooked up for 5 months. As a pregnant person who gets up at least once, if not twice to go to the bathroom during the night, I cannot tell you just how happy I am to have a fully functional bathroom just a few steps away from our bedroom. No more trips up and down the stairs in the dark, hoping I don't step on one of our cats who likes to sleep on the steps. is good! The rest of the project seems small in comparison....paint the walls (already bought the paint), install new faucet (already bought that, too), replace drawer pulls (already bought some to match the new faucet), and put trim up. Honestly, all that can be done in about a day. Then, to make everything flow together, hang my new shower curtain that my oldest sister remade to fit our funky sloped ceiling. I can picture it all now in my mind, and it looks amazing! It will have to wait a week or two since I have another jam sale this weekend. I'm down from 220 jars a few weeks ago, to just 71 jars now. Some varieties I have completely sold out of, so the next few days will be marathon jam sessions once again. I just have to remind myself of the new couch and loveseat all this hard work is getting me!

Well, I'm off to make some hot chocolate for my little family and settle down to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special. I cannot tell you just how many happy memories this brings back from my childhood! Hopefully my kids will feel the same way when they are older...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tis the season....

We had a great Thanksgiving. It was rather low key, but a nice and relaxing time spent with family. We spent about 5 hours at my parents house, along with my oldest sister, her boys, her boyfriend, and his boys. My adult niece was able to stop by the last hour or two, which was nice. She now lives in Niagara Falls, attending college, so we don't get to see eachtother as often as we would like. My mom goes all out for any and all meals that she makes. She baked a great turkey, and Craig, my sister's boyfriend, deep fried one. We also had sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, broccoli/cauliflower cheese bake, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, etc. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but the table was loaded. Then, for dessert she made chocolate pie, dutch apple pie, and two pumpkin pies. YUM! I washed it all down with some hot mulled cider. A complete turkey dinner has to be one of my favorite meals!

The middle of the night found me waking, at 3:00 AM. Yes, that time does come around twice a day. After thawing out my very frozen and icy minivan, I picked my sister up at 4:00. We were bundled up in our gloves and scarves and heavy coats. Its not easy finding a coat that I can actually button around my growing tummy, but I found one. It was so strange to drive the several miles to her house, without ever seeing another car. It was over 10 minutes into our trip before we even saw another vehicle. We made it to Walmart by 4:30 and waited in line with all the other "crazies" who wake up at an ungodly hour to catch the best deals. We were in Walmart by 5:00 and done by 5:30. People seem to really lose their manners when there are deals to be had. That's why it helps to shop with someone else. You can laugh about it instead of getting really ticked off at people's rudeness. The crowds were probably even larger than past years, so hopefully that helps our sluggish economy. We had quite an experience at Kmart. We don't really care for Kmart very much because it seems customer service and sales staff are always lacking big time. Its often worse than Walmart which doesn't always have the best reputation. After waiting in line for 25 minutes, we spent another 25 minutes just trying to get our dozen or so purchases rung out correctly by the cashier. She was a woman in her mid 50's, and really seemed to have no clue about what was on sale or even care if it rang up correctly. Everything we bought was on a significant sale, often a buy one, get one free sale. (That is the point of getting up so early is to get these great sale prices, you know!) The manager ended up coming over about 8 times to fix the cashiers mistakes. In the end, she had to void the whole transaction and ring in everything herself with the correct sale prices. She apologized to us (too bad the cashier didn't) and even said, "Wow....this new total is a big difference from the other total, huh?" Yeah, $45 DOES make a big difference in a total. We apologized several time to the people in line behind us for it taking so long. They were so kind, and even joked, "Hey,you are trail blazing for us!!", which made the situation so much better. Its so nice when other people are understanding. We finally left with our great buys. AFter hitting another 6 stores, we were back at my sisters house by 10:00 AM. My brother in law had kindly offered to have our kids spend the night Thanksgiving night since Matt had to leave the house at the same time I did so he could go salt sidewalks for work. I felt horrible to learn Noah had woken up crying at 4:30 AM, waking the other kids up also. They were all up until 6:00 AM when my brother in law made them go back to bed. That lasted until 8:00 am. Thankfully, he was a good sport about it all. He had even made the bed that!

My purchases yesterday allowed me to get about 1/3 to 1/2 my shopping done, which was wonderful. Hopefully, I can catch some other great sales for the rest of my list. When you have large families on both sides, good deals are a must!

I'm off to try our new 450 thread count sheets that I bought at a huge sale at Target! I truly love this season, even with other people's rudeness and all the commercialism that seems to overwhelm the true meaning of the season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm Thankful

This time of year finds many people counting their blessings. Thanksgiving seems to serve as a reminder of how blessed we truly are. Its sad that we often only pause to think about our blessings once a year. I find that I'm a much happier person overall when I stop complaining and try to find the good in a situation. Being thankful for the little things brings a certain amount of joy into my life. I try so hard to remind myself that this time of diapers, home-schooling, constant playdates and running around, etc is just for a season. One day, hopefully not very soon, my kids will be more independent and not need Mommy's help and constant attention. As frustrating and draining as it can be to be a mom to young children, I have to remember that one day they won't want help getting dressed or asking to be read a story. I want to sit on the floor and play Polly Pocket with Rylee, and cuddle with Noah and read him his favorite story. I'll say "yes" to them when they ask to come with me on errands, even if it means those errands will take twice as long because they are with me. What are you thankful for? These top my list:

*God in my life. The sense of peace that I have from knowing that God has everything in his hands is immeasureable.

*A new family member growing inside of me. I love the little kicks this one gives me.

*For Matt, who is probably the easiest person to get along with...ever...and he's my husband, which just makes my life so much better. He's thoughtful, kind, funny, and such a good daddy and hard worker.

*My kids. Rylee is so smart and thoughtful. She really does like to make us happy. Noah, who just loves to be with us.

*For my siblings. The older I get, my sisters have become more like best friends.

*My parents, who are such an example of Godly integrity, if ever there was one. They teach me so much in just their actions.

*The rest of my family. My adult (or almost adult) niece and nephews are more like buddies with me and Matt. We can hang out and have fun together and truly enjoy eachothers company. The littler ones are so cute with how they like us to play games with them. I love to hear their stories about school or their pets. My inlaws are great people who have always made me feel loved and accepted in their family.

*My house. It may not be perfect, but its home to my family. I'm grateful for vehicles that run and get us where we need to go. My pets who add so much enjoyment to my life.

*Health. It may sound so trite, but I see friends who are dealing with very serious health issues with their children. I'm so thankful for my own health, as well as that of my family.

*Our jobs. We may compain about them from time to time, but where would we be without them?

And last, but not least:
*My friends. They really do make the load of life so much easier to bear.

There are 1000 other things that I could add to this list, but won't for the sake of space. What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Even more news....

I guess my phone call to the hospital ticked off my Dr. even more than I realized. On Wed. I received a letter in the mail that was dated for the previous day (the same day as my appointment with my OB). It was from my OB stating that she had decided to terminate our physician/patient relationship, effective immediately. She said she "hope you can find a physician you trust and are comfortable with". She obviously felt that was not the case with her. Gee...ya think? I am so grateful to be leaving her practice as she has really shown how adolescent her behavior can be.

After receiving the letter I called the hospital. I nicely explained exactly what had happened that day and the day before, all as a result of the hospital breaking confidence and revealing my name, when specifically asked not to. I ended up actually receiving a call from Dr. McNanley, who is the chief of obstetrics at Highland. He is the one who called my OB for permission to release the C section rate. He apologized about what happened and explained he was not made aware by his secretary that I did not want my OB involved. He siad he was highly surprised by my OB's reaction, especially since he found out her c section rate is "right in the middle of the pack" and not high. He spent about 20 minutes on the phone with me, and I felt satisfied with the answers he provided.

Yesterday I met with Mary Maher, who is my friend, Carole's midwife. I immediately clicked with her. I love her, love her, love her!!!! I feel so happy to be seeing her now. She met with me for over 45 minutes and was so kind and knowledgeable. I'm really excited to continue the rest of my pregnancy with her and see how this delivery compares to the others.

Things happen for a reason, and although it can be frustrating to be in the middle of all the drama while it is unfolding, usually the end result is a good one. My prayer was answered. I prayed that if Mary was the person I was supposed to switch to, that we would immediately "click" and I would feel very right about switching to her. That is exactly what happened, and for that I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Continued "busy-ness"

So sorry that it has been over a week since my last post. I can honestly say that I have been very busy, as usual. Last week saw me finishing making jam for the upcoming sale last saturday. I made just over 220 jars. My awesome husband even stayed up with me late friday night, until 3:00 AM to finish decorating the jars for the sale. I was back up at 6:30 to get him and the kids out of bed to help me get all the jam and table, etc into the school where the sale was. He even came back at the end of the sale to help me tear down. It was a huge success, and I sold almost an additional $100 worth of jam more than any other sale I have ever done. I'm hoping my goal of a new couch and loveseat are becoming more of a reality. As soon as the sale was over, we ran to my brother's house for my nephews 7th birthday party. It was fun. I was so tired by the time we got home, I was asleep by 9:15.

sunday was grocery shopping and relaxing. Monday was "catch up" day for my house. I had not done laundry in almost a week, dirty dishes filling the sink, and my tile floor had definitely seen better days. It was such a relief to get my house back in order.

Last week I started giving some serious thought to some idea that had been rattling around in my head for almost a year. I was considering leaving my OB/GYN in mid pregnancy to start seeing a midwife. Although I had two good labor and deliveries with my OB, I felt like she was very quick to jump start my labors. I had both kids naturally, which was my choice, and I loved it. I want so much to have this baby naturally, and hopefully without pitocin like the other two labors. My best chance of having that desired birth was with a midwife. My oldest sister, Cindy, had her 3 children with a midwife and the deliveries were great. I talked to my friend, Carole, who gave me a lot of info about midwives, as well as the name of her midwife, who she really likes. I have an appointment to see that midwife tomorrow. In the meantime, I called Highland Hospital last friday to request my current OB's C section vs. vaginal delivery rate. I was told they would be in touch with me this week to get those numbers to me. Only my first name and phone number were given. Although I had told them I didn't want my Dr. involved unless absolutely necessary, to protect our Dr./patient relationship, that is exactly what happened. I had a routine monthly OB appointment with my Dr. yesterday. At the end of my exam, she asks me outright if I contacted the hospital about her C section rate. She then continued to ask me why I wouldn't ask her that question, and basically gave me a big lecture about how this raised eyebrows at the hospital about her, which she did not appreciate. She said the door was open for any patient to leave if they did not like her practice, and in the future she would appreciate me taking any questions I have to her, not anyone else. I explained I thought I was doing the responsible thing by seeing if there was any merit to this rumor of a high C section rate, and I thought the hospital was the best place to go to inquire about it. I also told her I didn't want to make our relationship akward (too late!). To make a long story short, I felt humiliated even though I did nothing wrong. I never apologized, because I didn't do anything wrong. In fact, I did what I feel was the responsible thing for both my health as well as my baby's health. She made me decision to see a midwife soooo much easier. As long as things go well tomorrow, I'll be transferring my care to a midwife. It was frustrating what happened, but I'm also grateful because it took away my guilt at leaving her practice.

On the other side of this issue was the fact that I feel the hospital really handled this inappropriately. They may have even broken HIPPA laws regarding patient confidentiality. I will probably call to find out why this happened, but be very nice about it, not accusing. I'll let you know what I hear and how tomorrow's appointment go.

On a positive note, our little one's heart rate was 144 yesterday. He or she doesn't really care for the jeans I seem to wear. They have no "belly panel", so they sit low under your belly. Every time I wear either of these two jeans, the baby kicks at the waistband repeatedly. Its pretty humorous. He or she is active and gives me gentle kicks. So far they have not reached the intensity that was normal for big brother and big sister. It could be because I'm not real far along, or just that this baby has a different personality. I have the papers to schedule my ultrasound anytime in the next two weeks, but am waiting to schedule that until after tomorrow's appointment.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lots of stuff....

Today was a busy day, I guess you would say. Yesterday, I realized our youngest cat, Chelsea, had not come home all weekend, which was very unusual for her. I thought of her on sunday, but assumed I just had not been the one to let her in and she was just hiding out somewhere here in the house. I searched down the road a bit, around our yard, and talked with both neighbors. My neighbor across the street had seen a white cat (she's half white) a few nights ago, hopping around holding up a paw as if it was injured. Long story short, about 45 minutes after looking for her, Chelsea came home. She laid on the couch after a little while, and I sat beside her. She kept meowing when I would pet her back, as if she was in pain. After several hours, she got up and acted very stiff. She seemed to be tender on one front leg. I was very concerned that she had possibly been hit by a car. She just was not herself. First thing this morning, I called my vet and got a 10:30 appointment. I felt better about the situation as she felt good enough to climb the stairs last night and even hop on our bed and purr the night away. I took that as a good sign but felt it was probably still a good idea to have her checked over. After a thorough examination, during which our happy kitty purred the whole time, it was determined that she has a fractured rib. The vet told me that cats front legs are not held in place by a socket or joint of any kind, just muscles. The muscles that control the leg that seemed to be tender runs over her rib cage. Her leg was not hurt at all, it just hurt her to extend that leg fully. She's on pain meds for a week, and we cannot pick her up or hold her. Even petting should be limited to her head as its still a possibility of her puncturing her lung with the fractured rib. The vet thought that since she already seemed very improved since last night, that we should likely see a quick and full recovery. I was so happy to hear that. When asked what he thought could have caused this injury, he didn't think it was a cat fight. It was definitely blunt force trauma of some sort. He didn't think she was hit by a car or he would have seen more injuries most likely. He said the injury was consistent with something like her being kicked by a horse or something similar. We don't have horses on this end of the street, so we really have no idea what happened.

My poor mom had to rush from taking my great aunt to the hospital for some testing all the way out here to watch the kids so I could take the cat in. I'm so thankful she is around and willing to help like that. The kids all love spending time with Nana.

Noah had only one major accident today. He was so good about going on the potty when I asked him to, and even went poopy on it. We were really proud.

After watching the kids all day, then sending them home for the evening, it was time to vote. I really believe strongly in voting and feel that a person has no right to complain about government if they don't even take the time to vote. They lose that right. This year, even I considered not voting in this election. Our town government officials were actually running unopposed this year, and there were only 2 other offices, I believe that I could have even voted for. Nonetheless, I still went out. Its setting a good example for the kids, and I feel like its the right thing to do.

Then, it was dinner time. That was easy since I had made soup in the crock pot this AM and bread in my bread maker this afternoon. That made clean up easy and allowed me to get right to work making more jam. I hope to finish making the jam tomorrow, which will leave me thursday evening to decorate the jars and get everything ready for saturday. I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I'm really relieved that my kitty is doing better and quite happy with Noah's consistancy on the potty thus far.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Noah "one liners"

You can tell that Noah is in the midst of potty training with the one liners he has come up with. I honestly don't know where he gets this stuff, as I don't remember ever having said any of them.

Noah: "Don't drink pee...its yucky!"

Noah: "Don't eat poop...its gross!"

Noah: "Don't pee on the wall!" (said as he was pointing to his bedroom wall)

I just don't even know what to say to that, other than laugh, and say, "You're right, Noah!"

Thursday, November 1, 2007


After several frustrating days of many accidents and only mild success in the potty training arena, I think we may have turned a corner last night. I made a big deal of having Noah show Daddy how he pee's into his little potty chair by standing in front of it. This is his preferred way of going. He ended up using the potty successfully about 4 or 5 times in 2 hours time last night. I think some candy and gum were great incentives for him to go. Although we don't take the kids out to trick or treat, my parents and sister sent some candy home last night with Matt. It was quite a bit, and we were grateful. Daddy told Noah that he could not have any of it unless he used the potty. Well, within a few minutes he was cheering for himself because he had gone. At this point, I don't care if my child eats a pound of candy per day for the next few days, I just want him in the habit of going potty in his potty chair. The candy was a Godsend!

This morning we awoke to no power. It was not just our house or even our street, but several towns were affected. The local school district had to start 2 hours late because they didn't have power at the school. Sometimes its fun to have a little change to our normal routine. I'm grateful that Matt woke up at 6:25 and noticed the clock wasn't working. He was able to take a shower by candlelight and eat breakfast by candlelight before leaving for work on time. About ten minutes after he left the power came on, and I was able to enjoy the morning news. While I don't necessarily crave change, I sometimes do like to change things up a bit. Matt used to laugh at me so much because I really enjoy changing the furniture around in rooms. Its been harder to do in this house, just because of our layout, but I still love trying out new things like that.

As I type, Noah had his first success of the morning....YES!!!! Boy, does that feel good.

In my spare time (notice the sarcasm?), I make jam. I've had a fair amount of success selling it. I usually participate in a couple of craft shows near the holidays, and both my sisters have been amazing at offering to sell it at their work. They each bring in the same amount I make at a craft show! Anyways, my first of 3 sales this year takes place a week from saturday. As of yesterday AM, I had zero jars of jam made! Yes, it was a little frightening. I started making some last night and was only able to make 18 jars because I was much lower on pectin than I thought I was. The next 8 days will find me making an additional 300 plus jars of jam, then decorating the jars with fabric and a handwritten tag, and a sticker on the bottom. Yes, its a lot of work, but its still profitable to me. This year, Lord willing, I hope to make enough to buy new living room furniture in January. It will be the first time ever that we have had a new couch and loveseat. I'm getting excited, but I also don't want to count my chickens before my eggs hatch.

Last, but not least, we have a man coming out tonight to give us an estimate on new windows. Ours must be at least 50 years old, I would guess. They are single layer glass, with individual panes for each little square of the window. They have been falling out and breaking, etc. We were originally going to wait until our next tax return, but a local company is offering 25% off right now, with 0% interest for a year. If the estimate is good, we'll take advantage of the sale, and pay off the windows with our tax return. It will give us new windows through the coldest months of the year, as well. We'll see how it goes tonight....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My Saturday

My Saturday, that was supposed to find me at home alllll day, actually found me in SuperWalmart with Noah. I ran out of cat food friday night, so I had no option but to run out. Because we live in a tiny town, which only has a couple of tiny stores, my options were limited unless I went to Wegmans or the SuperWalmart. Yes, I could have picked up a small bag of cat food at one of those tiny stores, but it probably would not have been my 3 cats normal brand, thus causing vomit. I don't like cleaning up vomit. Not cat, not human, not get it. It was worth the extra drive to get a huge bag of their normal brand of food just to not have to clean up kitty vomit. Whenever I go to SuperWalmart, I try to plan ahead. I don't like to have to shop numerous times per week because I simply forgot to pick up an item or two needed for a recipe. It worked out well in that Matt called me while I was still shopping to have me pick him up a new circular saw. His had bit the dust, and without a new one, our bathroom project was on hold. Hoping to make some progress in the bathroom, I was more than happy to oblige.

It was a productive day. I didn't do the one thing that I thought I would...put Noah in underpants and sit him on his potty. But, I did get so much cleaning and other things done around the house. My house was almost sparkling this morning, which really just started my day off right. I don't know if that is pathetic that the state of my house can alter my mood, or if it just means I should try all that much harder to keep it clean so I'm less stressed. Regardless, I felt like cleaning even more, which I'm off to do now.

The neighbor children, Peter and Emma, who are 5 and 6, respectively, will probably come play with Rylee and Noah later, which just delights my kids. Peter and Emma are really good kids, so it isn't a bother to invite them over. The best part is that I don't have to drive to pick them up!

As we speak my hardworking, sweet hubby is picking up a new drill bit so he can continue work on our bathroom. It seems like projects easily take at least 4 times longer than you plan on them taking, but at least I'm seeing some progress. Because of the small size of the room, he's been working alone so far. While I have helped in all aspects of laying tile (in our kitchen and other bathroom), I'm grateful this project has mostly been a one man job. Maybe when we lay tile I'll pitch in and help.

Noah, tired from a trip to Walmart with Mommy, fell asleep on my shoulder last night around 7:15. He stayed that way for over an hour and a half before I asked Matt to take him to bed for me. I loved every second of it. While Noah is a very cuddly little guy, he usually doesn't let me hold and cuddle him for that long, so it was such a treat. It makes me all the more anxious to meet this new baby I'm carrying. Newborns just love to held and snuggled. I'm already looking forward to kissing those chubby cheeks my kids seem to be born with. Five more months!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Potty training and comparisons

Last night I commented to Matt that potty training was exhausting. I literally felt tethered to the potty chair. I was afraid to leave the room for more than a minute. My house, which has been undergoing a good cleaning this week, at least up until yesterday, was a wreck last night. This morning found us at homeschooling group lessons. This is a seasonal event where on fridays, we can sign our children up for age appropriate classes. They (our kids) are out of the house socializing, doing fun science (or other) experiments, and I get to mingle with other homeschool parents. Because of this, Noah was in a diaper all morning. When we returned home, it was time for lunch, then nap. Tonight we will spend 4 to 5 hours running the coffeehouse at our church. We bring our kids along. They think its great fun and beg to come. They especially like the shakes and smoothies we make for them. Once again, Noah will be in a diaper. The good news is that I have plans to be home allllllll day tomorrow....I LOVE that! Nothing is more frustrating than having a saturday filled with obligations, especially boring ones. Tomorrow, Matt and I hope to do the bulk of our bathroom renovations that we started back in June. That story, my friends, is a whole other post! That means that Noah can be in underpants and back to training again.

I was thinking this morning, as I sat looking around at the other homeschool parents. I was thinking about how I have a really bad habit of comparing myself to others. I think its mostly bad for me, in that I often come out feeling like I'm holding the short end of the stick. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it our personality? Is it insecurity? I think probably a little of both. Most of my comparisons tend to be with others in similar situations as myself. "She has two kids, just like I do, and her house is sooooo clean you could eat of the floor." I have to remind myself that not everything is at is seems on the surface. Some of my friends have help sometimes with a professional cleaner. That is actually what I do every other weekend for a family, thereby subtracting those precious hours from my house and family. I also have friends who have decided that in this season of their life that they are not able to really volunteer or commit to anything more than sunday AM attendance at their church. Being that we attend a smaller church, which forces everyone to wear a variety of "hats" so to speak, I work plenty at church. It also makes a difference that the head pastor is my father, and that one of the associate pastors is my husband. Do you ever feel as if your time is not truly your own? Well, it really isn' belongs to God but he gives us choices to make in how we spend it.

Do you do this to yourself? I know I cannot be the only one. I know its not how God judges me. I know he isn't holding me up to the measuring stick of everyone else. I think the only way I can stop this is to make a true effort to recognize it when I do it, and put a stop to it. I have to remember that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". If God feels that way about me, even knowing I have sticky orange juice spills on my tile floor and crumbs stuck in the folds of my sofa slipcovers, then who am I to question him?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Potty training

Well, I think Murphy's Law also extends to potty training as well. After deciding yesterday that today was the day to really work with Noah on potty training, I started him off first thing on the potty chair. I had him sit on it for quite a while, and nothing was happening. Wanting to be a considerate mommy and give his poor buns a rest (and also remembering Rylee walking around with a huge red ring around her butt from sitting on the potty too long when she was training), I put him in his underpants and shirt. No jeans. Within about 5 minutes he had an accident. Thank God for hardwood floors that clean easily. Well, we have had two accidents now this AM. He did manage to go potty once while sitting on his potty chair, however his....ummm...."pee-pee"...wasn't pointed in the downward direction and it actually made a puddle at his feet instead of the potty chair container. I was still proud of him.

I decided to have Brock join Noah as well today in this potty training adventure. For those who don't know, Brock is my nephew. He is 28 days younger than Noah and I watch him full time. My sister has really done a great job training him already. He did manage to have 2 accidents as well, but has gone 4 times on the potty chair so far. He manages to aim perfectly. Any chance you can help Noah out with that, Brock?

I have to say that the two of them look absolutely adorable sitting side by side on their potty's in the living room. If I were mean I would snap a picture. Alas, our digital camera bit the dust and the new one should arrive in another week or 10 days.

Noah was actually pretty scared to even sit on the potty chair at first. Forget the big toilet. Even with the potty seat over the regular seat, it still really freaks him out. I finally broke it down for him....

"Noah, when the new baby comes, its going to need diapers to wear, so you need to be a big boy and start going potty in the potty chair!"

Being the sweet and generous child that he is, Noah stated, "baby can go potty in my potty chair!" This was his way of saying, "let me keep the diapers, you can use my potty chair for the baby!"

I had to explain the baby will be too young and too small to use his potty. After bribing him with juice and reading his favorite book, he agreed to give it a try. Within a few minutes he was actually enjoying himself. I think he felt he had his very own personal chair in front of the TV to watch Clifford from.

Right now he's using his rear to scoot the potty seat around with him so he can still play with his toy motorcycle all over the living room. It almost reminds me of how dogs sometimes scoot their rear along carpets.

Well, I told you this would be exciting. I know you have to agree, and are actually on the edge of your seat waiting for my next update. I promise not to keep you hanging too long : )

Here we go...

Well, after being thoroughly amused and entranced by reading several friends blogs, I thought maybe I would give my own a try. Do I have an abundance of time on my hands and no things to fill it with? HARDLY! In fact, time was a major consideration when deciding whether or not to do my own blog. It basically came down to this: I am HORRIBLE at keeping a journal or diary, or even updating my kids Baby Books. I am a much faster typer than writer, and I enjoy spending time on the computer. Even if nobody but little 'ole me reads this thing, then I will at least have accomplished journaling some of my thoughts and progress of my children. I will feel better about that alone. Also, what a great way to keep in touch with those I don't always get to speak to regularly. At first, I thought my own blog was a little "self serving". Really, what things of interest do I have to speak about? But, I don't ever feel that way reading other's blogs, so why should I feel that way about my own? Besides, I am not forcing anyone to read this. So, if you ever find yourself with a few extra minutes of time on your hands and find yourself very, very bored....ummm....look me up!

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