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. Ahhhh...life 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 morning....wow!

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....

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