Friday, February 22, 2008

Don't bother the baby

Canaan & I are both sick today. We're not terribly sick. Canaan's whiny and grouchy and I'm mostly just tired. I have spent a good part of the morning tending to little mister's needs and yet he cries. Or whines. Well yay . . . he just found a whole bunch of little books all over the living room floor and he is ON A MISSION! He's walking into the living room, picking up one or two, walking back to the kitchen and depositing them into my kitchen drawer. He's made at least 10 trips so far. Hooray for a project for baby!!

Moms of Many Exercise Challenge

Moms of Many Exercise Challenge

How true Becca is when she says that we need to be fit to care for our little blessings, and to prepare our bodies for any future blessings the Lord should bestow. I am guilty of letting my body go in a huge way (pun intended) and I really do need to get crackin'. I certainly don't want to keep gaining more and more weight! Click the button above for more information.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It does all come back around, then.

One day in December I went upstairs to use my tiny little bathroom. There's nothing special about it except that it's Alif's & mine alone, and I guess that alone makes it pretty remarkable to me. This day though, something seemed a little "off". I first noticed that the floor looked a little strange. I looked closer and it actually looked dirty. What in the world, I thought - why would there be dirt all over my floor?
I was perplexed, I'll admit it. Then my eyes wandered up to the counter, where things looked a little . . . irridiscent. Is this sounding familiar at all, mother dear? All of a sudden I had a flashback to when I was about seven and had an irresistable urge to pulverize my Mom's irridiscent blue eyeshadow. And I did. And my poor mother went in to her bathroom and found irridiscent blue powder all over the place. My stomach sank. Say it isn't so. Who would pulverize my makeup?
I opened the medicine cabinet slowly and with a certain level of dread, and my fears were confirmed. Someone had pulverized. Someone had pulverized my pretty blush . . .
and also my own irridiscent blue eyeshadow. My favorite! Oh my!
I didn't even want to open up my Pink Chocolate lipstick. I was already imagining the worst. I did, though, and oh, glory! It was unharmed!
I wonder if someday Caris' (ahem, did that give away the culprit?) own precious blonde daughter will smash HER makeup to bits?

Canaan, 13 months

LOVES playing telephone. Toy phones, real phones, q-tips, his hand, a block - anything can be a phone. He holds it up to his ear, says hello ("eOOOO") and smiles and jabbers on. Then he'll throw it at me and wait in anticipation for me to say, "Hello? Oh HI! Oh ok, would you like to speak to Canaan (he smiles very big now)? Ok, here he is!" and the game starts all over again. If I'm not available he'll walk around happily talking to his telephone friend.

Calls his nurses "mum-mum", which I think is a perfect combination of Mommy and yummy. I realized tonight that it's because I would always say, "Do you want your nursie Mama?"

I love Canaan's kisses and I love when he nurses. He's too cute how he walks swinging one arm in an exaggerated fashion, and how he's just learned to hang on things. I see him hanging on the table, the couch, anything that will hold his chunky self. I love when he says his little words and the way he brings me his Pedipeds and asks me to put them on (by holding them out and saying, "uuuuhhhh? uhhhhh?") I looooove when he wakes between us in the morning and we have time alone with him, just Daddy, baby and me. I love that he's a total charmer and smiles at & talks to people when we're out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

7 1/2 A Medium Ash Blonde

My Mom & I have had a tradition for a few years now of getting our hair done together. Well, Mom's hair looks amazing at every moment with no haircuts or dyes necessary, because she's wearing a wig. I just can't bring myself to go to our hairdresser without my Mom! However, my ugly roots were really starting to show and I figured I'd better do something and fast. I chose a L'Oreal haircolor at Target today and hoped it would work. Meaning, I hoped it would make my hair a nice shade of dark blonde and not something hideous. IT WORKED! I LOVE how it looks, and for under $8, well, hooray! My hair literally feels silkier, smoother and nicer after coloring it. I straightened it with my trusty Chi and it actually looks nice! Hooray for cheap hair color!!

Errands with Kids

I generally really like running errands with my kids. It gives us concentrated time together and it's when they say some funny, sweet, profound things. Two of my kids have accepted Jesus in the car, and Caris came very, very close in the car the other day.

Today there was a song that goes, "la-de-da, la-dee-daa". Caris said, "what does la-dee-da mean?" I told her it's just a fun way to use our voices to praise the Lord and she paused, then said, "Oh, I know what it means, it means Merry Christmas." It took me a minute, but then I realized she was hearing "feliz navidad". LOL

As we walked in to Target Graham asked, "People always say, "are they all yours?" I totally LOL and said, "why do you think they say that?" He said, "because we have so many kids." ROFL BTW I really don't hear that very often, but someone had asked just that morning. It kind of cracks me up because we only have four kids. I mean, if I walked in with 8 then I guess I'd expect to hear that but four? That's not that many kids.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Family Load

"Family load" is an infamous phrase in my family, and not in a good way. As a matter of fact, if my mother reads this blog she is going to call my phone no matter the hour. She may even slip into a mild depression and feel that she has failed as a mother. Laundry is that serious to us.

I have struggled with keeping the laundry washed, folded and most of all, put away. It obviously is a job that just never ends, and with six people in my home, one of whom wears enough clothes each day to suit most men (oops, did that give him away?) for a week, I stand no chance. I've tried pretty much every laundry method I've heard about and still I have the biggest piles of laundry ever, all over my house.

A couple weeks ago I read about a lady who does her family's laundry one person's at a time. She just gathers the hamper from their room, throws it all in and ta-daaa, it's done. My nose crinkled. How could she? Jeans with blouses? Socks with pillowcases? Underwear with . . . well, anything else? No. Not happening.

Meanwhile, my talented, amazing, hard-working husband announced that the time has come! He's officially building me a laundry room to beat all laundry rooms! Ohhh, I have to tell you, this makes me smile. Right now it's about midway finished - the walls are up and drywalled. Yet to come: cabinets, black and white checked floor, shelving for all of my boxes of fabric and holiday items, a counter where I can fold and sew . . . it's going to be absolutely wonderful!!

Only one problem: do I want mountains of laundry in my gorgeous new laundry room? No I do not! Do I want laundry piling up in our bedrooms, bathroom and hallway? Most certainly I do not. Something has to give.

I sauntered casually in to my new laundry room. I looked around and no one was watching. I turned on the washer, cold water . . . added half a scoop of Purex laundry detergent. Ooh, a little rush! I was about to do something terribly naughty. Then reckless abandon: I grabbed a plaid button-up shirt and threw it in. Then another. Then a pair of red socks (I know, Mom, you can hardly bear to read this) and (ohhhhhhh nooooo, *I* can hardly bear it!) a pair of jeans. I fill that washer, all with Alif's clothes. I cannot and will not bring myself to combine his colors with his whites, but the colors are all becoming acquainted in a radical new way. A bit later, I threw all the shirts, socks and soccer shorts into the dryer and hung the jeans. A bit later still, I folded up all of Alif's clothes straight out of the dryer, into ONE PILE! I asked a boy to take them to the closet and woahhhhhhh Nellie, Alif had A BUNCH of clean clothes!

That was it. I was addicted. I've been washing family loads for over a week now. There are certain lines I will not cross - as mentioned, whites and colors never shall mix in my washer. Jeans won't mingle with delicates. New red shirts will have to fly solo. But as for the rest, it's reckless abandon (and folded and put-away laundry) all the way, baby.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Practical Advice from God

We use A Reason for Handwriting and love it. Each week the boys' writing lessons center around a verse. They practice writing letters and words from the verse and at week's end they write the verse on a pretty border sheet in their best writing, color it, and mail it off to someone they love.

This week's verse in Graham's book is, "It is hard to stop a quarrel once it begins, so don't let it start. Proverbs 17:14." All week I've been thinking how nice it is that his verse is something so truly practical for children to learn. The first time we read it Graham said, "does a quarrel live at the bottom of the ocean?" I said no, that a quarrel is an argument. I couldn't figure out what he was referring to. Well, yesterday he asked, "why DOES God not want the quarrel to grow?" I said, "Because, honey, once we start to argue sometimes it just gets bigger and meaner. It's better to just not quarrel at all." He looked truly perplexed, and all of a sudden I realized that he was asking why God does not want the CORAL to grow. ROFL! All week I thought we were doing some really great virtue training and all week Graham was trying to figure out God's gardening tips. (Or would that be husbandry tips? Are coral actually creatures? LOL)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Canaan's Pregnancy Story

Just so I can say that I warned you, this post is totally TMI. It didn't seem like it when I posted it to the due in January 2007 board because well, when you're trying to conceive a baby, nothing feels like TMI. LOL Anyway, it was fun to look back and see this today, the day my baby turned a year old!

Hi! I recognize some of you already, and shh! I haven't told most of the online community yet. LOL Here's my basic timeline:
April 1-4 regular period
April 28 TINY pink spotting, one wipe's worth
May 17-24 very light, mostly brown but some red, and definitely more than spotting, "period"
May 28 Thought I'd go ahead and start temping again and was really surprised to have a definitely post-o temp!
May 29 Another high temp. Tested and got a positive - 3x.
May 30 Another positive test
Today 2 more positive tests

So - lots of positive tests, temps high, but not really symptoms I could *definitely* say are due to pregnancy. I go in to see my OB tomorrow afternoon, and we'll see exactly what's going on then. In the meantime, any thoughts? I have 2 boys, ages 6 and 8, and a daughter who's 3. Oh - I weaned my daughter at the end of April.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Caris!
Love, Clifford the Big Red Dog


Well, the doctor (NP actually) said my uterus is enlarged & soft, indicative of an early pregnancy. She sent me for bloodwork which will tell them my hcg levels and date the pregnancy, and I have an ultrasound on the 16th. I'm a little frustrated to not have a more definitive answer, but I guess tomorrow we'll know more. I just wanna be able to blab!!


Great news! I had my u/s this morning and boy is that baby tiny, but s/he's there!! Everything looks absolutely great! We could see the heart beating -what a beautiful sight! Of course I broke into happy and relieved tears the second she said, "there's your tiny baby!" Wow!! So - I'm 6 weeks along and due January 31, 2007! Praise the Lord!!

Has anyone had spotting after a transvaginal u/s? I had mine done at 8:30 this morning (almost 12 hours ago) and (watch out, tmi) after a bm this afternoon I had a bit of pink spotting. Next time I peed, a lesser amount of pink spotting, and this last time, an even smaller amount but two tiny clots also. This pregnancy is BY FAR my most stressful!!!


Ok, I spotted twice after that stupid transvaginal u/s, and tiny amounts in between, but it has stopped! THANK GOD! This pregnancy has been so emotional so far. What a roller coaster! Praying for a VERY uneventful and peaceful pregnancy from here on out!


In all of my other pregnancies, nausea has been my main symptom, with other little things here & there. This time I don't have much nausea, thank God, but I am so tired I can barely stand it. Granted, I'll take exhaustion over nausea any day, but wow, this is insane. Yesterday I slept from 1-5 in the afternoon and still felt awful all evening. Then I slept from about 11-7. Felt fine most of the morning until 12 or so, and now I am just POOPED!!! WOW!

I had my first visit with my ob today (had an u/s before, and saw the NP, but this was my first visit with the actual dr). My bp was good, lost 7 pounds in the last 2 weeks (no surprise with all the nausea). He'll listen for the heartbeat next visit in 4 weeks. Nothing big, just a normal 8-week visit. :-)

We are meeting with a midwife on Monday to discuss a home birth. I really want to do it, my husband really doesn't. I don't know if he can be convinced or not. If not then I will hire our Bradley teacher as my doula for the hospital. Really good book recommendation that ALL expecting mothers should read, just to at least be educated: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.

I am having such a discouraged day today, I just want to cry! I keep reminding myself that my morning sickness is nowhere NEAR as bad as it was with my youngest, and I am so thankful for that. But then there's a BIG part of me that is just so blue. I have three children, and this is SUMMER, and there's so much I'd like to be doing with them, but instead I am laying around feeling sick, or laying around even when I feel ok because if I do too much (like Oh No, I might want to fold some laundry!) then I pay for it later. I think a big part of my problem today is that I only slept 3 hours last night, and that's just not good. Maybe after a nice afternoon nap I'll feel a little better. Moan, moan, moan!!

To all of those who are dealing or have dealt with morning sickness (all day), how are you feeding your families? We manage fine for breakfast, lunch and snacks, but dinner has been fast food for 3 solid weeks. Yesterday I remembered the crock pot, and made a delicious chicken dinner in the crockpot when I was feeling ok in the morning. Today I started chile verde in it. A friend also suggested frozen foods from the grocery store (like the Stouffers Lasagnas), which I never buy but would be a lot healthier and cheaper than fast food. Dh doesn't really have the opportunity to cook because he works and then comes home to take the boys to their sporting events, which happen almost every night (next week baseball ends, thank God!) So pass on your great tips!

Ok so this isn't THAT exciting but my constant struggle right now is finding a drink that satisfies my thirst but doesn't taste awful or leave a bad taste in my mouth. Iced tea! Iced tea is doing the trick!!
But what I'm *really* excited about is that we did it! We ditched the OB and signed on with the midwife! We are officially planning a home birth! I can't believe it! My first appointment with her is July 24th. Hooray, hooray, HOORAY! I dreaded calling my OB's office to cancel my appointments but they were cheerful and nice about it. Hooray again!

I called my insurance this morning because I wasn't clear on how our coverage worked with maternity. I had one BIG surprise when I called. I thought I had to pay 30% of everything. Well, I do - AFTER our $5,000 deductible. And let's not forget, I deliver at the end of January, so that's actually TWO $5,000 deductibles. HOLY COW! If we go with the midwife our total fee is $1900. If we don't, it looks like I will definitely have to go on Medi-Cal for pregnancy only, because I love this baby but $10,000? WOW.

Well, I thought we'd made a final decision to go with the midwife/homebirth, but then I agreed to go meet this doctor that my doula recommends. I figure that I need a gyn at least, so I may as well meet him. Well, he did a full annual-type exam AND an u/s right there in the exam room! Baby looked great, moving all around and a nice heartbeat. The doctor IS very kind and . . . how to say - non-condescending, which I really like. The office is like a day spa. Very nice. Now my decision is harder. :-P

Well, I thought I might have misheard the doctor at my last visit, but I didn't. He's going to do my main u/s at my next visit on August 16th. I'll only be 16 weeks, but they use the u/s machine with 3D & all so I hope we can tell the gender. If not I'll pay to have another one done around 20 weeks.

I guess whoever scheduled my ultrasound was confused, and I don't have it on the 16th after all. I thought 16 weeks seemed awfully early for the routine ultrasound! I guess it'll probably be like a month later than I thought. :-P

I saw my doctor today for my 15-week checkup. Everything was great! Heartbeat was loud & strong, blood pressure good, lost 4 pounds, everything's just right on track. We scheduled my ultrasound for 8/28. YAY!

Unabashed Mommy Rambling

One of Graham's best friends is Ellie. They're kind of more like siblings than friends, actually. Anyway, one day Ellie was visiting and admired the lava lamp Graham got as a Christmas gift. That was a couple weeks ago and ever since Graham's been asking me to take him to Target so he could buy her one. He had $12 left on a Target gift card, and last week he got $20 for recycling cans and bottles. Finally last night I took him to Target - just he & I. He even agreed to hold hands. He bought her a cool sparkly lava lamp that he said she would really like. This morning he asked when we can give it to her and he said, "I know that when Ellie gets a gift she laughs a lot and says 'awesome'!" I told him that God loves a cheerful giver and that I love how generous he is. He's like this on a regular basis. Very heart-warming!

Alif came home for a minute while the kids & I were doing schoolwork this morning, and asked Graham if he was feeling better. Apparently I slept through the 4 am puke-fest! Ack! Alif said he heard noise downstairs so he came down and Graham had thrown up, and Malachi was getting him some water. How nice is that? By the way, Graham's fine but next time we have a little Superbowl junk-food fest I will need to monitor the junk intake a little more closely. :-X

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Canaan, 52 weeks

FIFTY TWO WEEKS! My BABY will be ONE tomorrow! Oh me, oh my!
~Walks most of the time. I love how he walks as though he has boards strapped to the outsides of each leg.
~Says, "ow" (usually when he hits my face - nice.) and "num-num!" (when he's eating or would like to eat/nurse)
~He was yelling and playing a lot when I put him down for a nap today and when I went in he was wearing only his shirt and one sock. The other sock, pants and diaper were all flung to the floor.