Monday, December 29, 2008

Choo-Choo!



It never ceases to amaze me what boys will do when allowed free rein...

Half-Naked Dancing Boys...

Can make everything better...

The house is a disaster. We're about to move, so the garage is the cleanest thing. I've had a week of morning sickness, which I'm trying to stay on top of...

I was feeling sorry for myself.

And then this happened:









Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas!!!!

All the best to you and yours as we celebrate the Savior's birth!
May His Spirit be with you now and always!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, fudge!


My first attempts at fudge: traditional chocolate, and chocolate orange...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whoa, Nellie!

I have never had pregnancy symptoms this early. In fact, usually I can't even test this early. On top of that I'm having symptoms with this pregnancy that I've never had before. Like my boobs-- they HURT! As if I had left a newborn nurser for four hours without nursing. OUCH!

My blood sugar is insane. I have to keep snacking or I get the shakes. I've upped my protein to help with that, but it's wild. I didn't snack for an *hour* and I started shaking like a rattler's tail. Craziness!

Of course, if I don't eat constantly, then I start feeling a little nauseous.

And then, the symptom I had with Noah, but not this early-- I'm chronically thirsty and, no matter how much I drink, I am STILL thirsty.

But I look at all of this as a GOOD sign. The baby has to be ok if the symptoms are all before my period was even due, right? (Was due the 16th).

Hubby and I were talking about this in the car the other day-- I asked him why he was stressing, after his initial excitement, and he said he was scared-- because of the miscarriage. I told him that my excitement was a vaneer to keep me from falling apart because I was scared too.

Drew overheard us and asked what was wrong and I told him that we were worried because we wanted this baby so much and we wanted him/her to stay with us so we could love him/her and hold him/her.

He said, "You don't need to be scared. We are alive, and we were babies, and you held us!"

Out of the mouths of beautiful children. I love this boy very much!

Hubby gave me a blessing that night-- and I really do feel reassured. I'm still waiting until I hear the heartbeat before I announce outside of family, but I am allowing myself to hope.

And, meanwhile, it's time to eat again!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

God Laughed

I never wanted to have a baby in August...

and NOW I'm EXPECTING on August 25th!!!!!!!

I just tested positive! Isn't that the GREATEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm SO BAD

So... yeah... I'm BAD.

I was extremely bored.

And, after all, we ate my rooster on Saturday.

So, curiousity killed the cat once again and I checked out the eggs my MIL gave me and SURPRISE! They were fertile! (Little target-shaped white mark on yolk, if you're curious.) Considering that Blue was a bantam type and the hens are all big, these seems like quite an achievement to me.

And, because I've been bored, I have been on the ultra-dangerous backyardchickens.com and, so...

I have dusted one of my two incubators off, warmed it up to 102 degrees (F) as it is a still-air, bator, and thrown in some eggs. Who knows what will happen in the next 21 days?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Speak Now or forever holder.. er .. well, speak later

I'm ordering some chicks, ducks, geese, and turkeys for March. I'm very excited, though I decided NOT to hatch myself this year.

I'll have 10 pullets (future hens for those unfamiliar with the terms), 2 turkeys, 8 ducks, and 6 geese. I'm figuring that we'll have some fatalities (knowing me it will be a miracle if I don't have serious mortality rates.)

For Keepers I'm intending to keep the hens, three ducks (a drake and two ducks), and 3-4 geese (a gander and 2-3 geese based on what I get (straight run) and personalities). Depending, again, on the variety of turkeys I get and the personalities, I may keep those for hatching their own babies the next year. I'm getting them un-sexed (called straight run), so I could end up with two males or two females, and probably of different breeds... so, we'll see about that.

Six months of age seems to be the norm for eating these guys-- so does anyone want me to deep-freeze in a freezer bag and ship? Non-yucky, I promise. (I want to steal the down for some crafts at the very least.)

There's really no rush. I won't get the birds until mid to late March, so they won't be ready until Sept at the earliest-- more like Oct for a Thanksgiving or Christmas treat. Anything you guys don't want we'll probably break down and put in the freezer and have them all year round. I may sell some of the younglings if no one wants anything.

And if any of you (a-hem) have spouses that love this stuff and you don't, you don't have to eat it, but you can feed it to them! 

I will ask shipping expenses from family. Anyone else will pay fair market price. Extended family counts as family. Why not charge more? Because I get a *kick* out of raising these guys! :)

Yeah, as if anyone other than family would read this blog LOL!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We Ate Blue

Need I say more? LOL!

Actually, it was an interesting experience-- and one that I highly recommend.

Why?

Everyone should know where their food comes from.

And, it's strangely not gross. Once my MIL had chopped his head off it was no longer 'him' but something else. We poured scalding water over the body and it was plucked in about 2 minutes flat. (My MIL is SKILLED!!!!)

She then taught me how to clean a chicken and what parts are kept and what gets tossed. I rubbed it down with salt and pepper and baked it.

And it was GOOD! Best chicken I've ever had.

It was fascinating, a learning experience, and I'm proud of myself for being even LESS squeamish than either I or my MIL expected!

And now there isn't the annoying racket every thirty seconds all day and night. It's been surprisingly... peaceful there since we ate him.

LOL.

Christmas Treats!

Today we're making Christmas treats!

Last night Kevin and I made Christmas toffee.

This morning we made homemade marshmallows.

And the boys are currenly decorating the gingerbread men we've been making with creamcheese frosting (red and green) and chocolate chips.

In a few more hours we can cut the marshmallows.

Talk about STICKY! I had to put a combo of cornstarch and confectioners sugar over it to press it down into the pan, because it was sticking to my spoon(and everything else) so badly!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Food Storage Thoughts: Eggs and Fowl

When I think about food storage, more than just cans, lined up on the shelves, fill my mind.

My main concern is renewability.

Cans of food and bottles of treated water are great for the short term, however, there has to be an understanding that they are, by nature, short-sighted.

In my opinion, food storage is also about knowing how to feed ourselves in the long-term, in case of disaster.

I could ramble on and on about that whole idea for hours, but, today, I'll try to keep myself specific.

I'm not sure how many people know that it is legal, in most areas, to have chickens in their suburban backyards. Each state and city has their own Chapters and Ordinences about what is permitted, but, for example, here it is permitted to have up to 24 fowl in a suburban backyard, permitting, of course, that they are cleaned up after.

And, of course, provided none are male. Roosters, specifically, are forbidden. Anyone who has woken up at three in the morning because their rooster is too stupid to tell time can understand why.

I should mention that Home Owner's Associations have the right to forbid their areas from owning fowl, just as they can dictate level of grass, etc. So, check out your HOA guidelines before taking me up on this.

From the food-storage point of view, chickens are a wise investment. Think: eggs, meat, and renewability.

Of course, roosters are forbidden, which makes one aspect of renewability challenging, but, in case of emergency, there is always access to... contraband roosters.

(I should note that I have included two incubators in our food storage-- so fertile eggs from anyone can mean more chicks.)

Chickens pay for themselves pretty quickly-- even with the costs of food and the initial expense-- whether you order from a hatchery, or if you hatch them yourselves. My mother in law has eight chickens. Only four are laying right now (three others are babies and one is... gulp... um... yeah, you guessed it.)  My MIL gets, from four laying hens, four eggs a day.  28 eggs a week.

My MIL gives the chickens their normal feed (from WALMART :)) as well as letting them run around and scratch in her whole yard every day. She throws food scraps to them-- weeds from her garden, veggies that have gone off in the fridge, and, this summer, over-ripe pomegranites.

In return she gets large, brown, fantastic-tasting eggs.

Right now those four eggs a day provide enough eggs for three households-- hers, mine, and my sister in law's.

Blue, the... non-hen... is destined for the pot... I think. He's one of the least intelligent creatures on the planet. I've met roosters that aren't stupid-- but he really takes the cake. Good thing he's beautiful :).

My MIL uses the chicken litter for under her citrus trees, so they go into nourishing her plants, as well.

I was just thinking that, even two chickens can make a huge difference in a household. Eggs are expensive. The ones from the supermarket are usually at least a month old and have been shipped from all over, costing who knows how much gas and wasting precious resources.

And, I like to use this as an opportunity to get involved with all my heritage and heirloom livestock.

Here's a great list of endangered/at risk chicken breeds:



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Drew...

Last week my guinea pig died. He'd been sick for a while-- lost all of his hair and got weaker and weaker no matter what we did to help him...

Drew was at Grandma's house when it happened, so she broke the news to him and, apparently, told him that Thunder went to Heaven.

This morning, I was making pancakes for the boys, when I heard Drew playing with his cars in the livingroom. Suddenly, without warning, I heard him demand in a loud shout...

"Heavenly Father! Do you still have Thunder????"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I don't make friends...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I don't make the mistake of blaming anyone but myself for the fact that my interaction with anyone outside of my immediate family is basically null. I enjoy the time I get with my SIL and BIL on my hubby's side-- we tend to go out on Saturday nights together and it is CRAZY! And fun...

But... I'm not likely to get close to people. I never call anyone. I don't go anywhere, as I have the two kids and would have to beg transportation from other people.

But, at the very core of it... I don't think I'm necessarily the kind of person who HAS friends. I'm awkward, strange, and uncomfortable with people over the age of about 4... I'm private and easily mortified about my weaknesses. I can converse with other people, but I find it exhausting and ALWAYS-- this is the core of it all-- ALWAYS I assume that other people just find me... irritating.

But it makes me sad, because I never call my family, or when I do I slam myself about what I said and what I didn't, or if I talk for too long and am annoying, or if they're just being tolerant of me... and, when I do try to contact my family, I'll make some kind of excuse why I *need* their help or opinion, and then I end up wondering if they think I just contact them to use them...

Why this complete lack of confidence? Honestly? I don't even like me, so how can I expect anyone else to? I find myself completely irritating-- my sporatic attention span, my health issues, my obsessiveness, my lack of organization... I keep trying to form myself into something else, but again... I find it exhausting.

Now, this isn't a pity-party. I'm prone to a little too much self examination, and I'm using my blog to think things through.

When I let someone into my heart I never let them go. Honestly. I still worry about friends I had in middle-school, hoping that they're ok and getting mad with myself for things I did/said or didn't do/say. I never forget a friend, and never forget a face. 

I'm not very fun. I'm not good at playing, even with my boys. I like projects, and books, and, so, my boys end up watching way too much TV, because I don't know how to entertain them and keep them busy.

I'm always exhausted. Honestly. I've been wondering if I might have 'adrenal exhaustion'-- my body temp hovers around 97.1, I'm sick all the time, I'm always tired-- BONE tired... keel-over tired, but I can't nap and have a hard time sleeping.

I'm overly-passionate. I get really excited about things, and I share those things and the average person who doesn't get excited about growing your own food and having backyard chickens can get easily overwhelmed. I'm also very... ADD... about my passions. I'm passionate about a LOT of things. 

Basically, you gotta love me, or I'm reeeeeeaaaaaaalllly not your thing :).

I keep telling Hubby that at 27 I should have outgrown some of this stuff-- seriously. I might as well still be my awkward, immature, middle-school self. And what happened to getting rid of acne before the wrinkles set in? I have both :)!

Now, I think I have a pretty good life-- I have the best kids-- both unbelieveably adorable and very smart (too smart!). I have a husband who understands, mostly, about my disorganization and NEVER EVER holds it up to me or criticises me. I just don't have much of an outside of the house and moving around life. I basically have no friends.

And, ever since I left the hospital, the exhaustion has been worse and worse, and, since July, I have suddenly gained 27 lbs, without changing anything about my life.

I'm. Tired.

And then I get that restless feeling like I need something more-- and I start thinking about mini-farms with orchards and gardens and making my own butter and cheese-- and I know I can't go there, because 1) Hubby is still in school 2)Hubby will never EVER consider living anywhere but here and its impractical to do a heritage farm when there's no water.

Thoughts? Solutions? (non-medicine related???? I HATE my anti-depressants). Should I just give up and try to be content????

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ho Hum

Not much has been going on here, which is why we've been on the quiet side. However, we may be looking to get another vehicle this weekend, so I can start being a little less dependant on the mercy of my Hubby for going places :).

I'm excited about the Twilight movie! Can't wait to see it!

Despite our best efforts (giggle) we're still not pregnant. It's a change for us-- having never had to 'try' before, but this is a time of change, and we trust that the Lord's timing is better than our own. 

We have decided to try to find a job after Hubby graduates with his Master's in the spring. We've been in school for more than ten years-- our whole relationship and both of us are ready to be done. And, after all, as I always say, you can always go back to school, but you can't get your time back if it wasn't right...

The boys are fantastic-- Sunny is a monster who wants to fight people all the time. It's my own fault for playing FFIX with him on my lap. It lasted about two months, longer than most games I play, but I think I'm suffering burn out. That's very me, unfortunately...

Drew has been a little tantrum-oriented lately, but I know its because he learned the bahvior from watching Noah cry and then get his parents. Both of them can be handfuls, but I wouldn't trade a millisecond of them for anything, they make me laugh and smile more than anything else ever has. 

This conversation just happened, looking at pics of a friend's new baby:

Sunny: Mama, I want a baby.
M: Mommy wants a baby, too, Sunny. She wants to have a baby in her tummy.
Sunny: (lifting up his shirt to look at his tummy) I want a baby in MY tummy TOO!
M: Boys can't have babies in their tummies, only mommies.
Sunny: Oh... (shrugs) OK! Rolling down the sandhills... rolling down the sand hills... can I get a pony????

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I'm far behind...

.. Because I've spent the last month sick-- literally. Today I feel much better because I only have a double earache and a headache with a mild sore throat...

Drew was in the hospital last weekend. He's fine... they thought appendicitis, but a blessing cured him so he was only in overnight.

Halloween was fun-- Drew squeezed into his lion costume that he wore when he was two. (The last time he was in the hospital). Sunny was a racecar driver.

Mommy and Daddy didn't dress up.

Days like This...

I was sitting on the edge of my bed, reading, while the boys played in the shower. So, how come I never knew that the flooded the whole upstairs master bathroom? Ten gallons of water out of the carpet!

Then, the very next day, how did I not hear them as they emptied three whole liter containers of poster paint in several different rooms? Why was it such a shock to see a blue from head to toe baby???? One hour solid scrubbing with both boys helping... and a ruined livingroom carpet and boy bedroom carpet...

Sigh...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Complications

I've been talking to anyone I can about pregnancy while on a low dosage of Sertraline. The only answer I get from officials (Drs. and nurses) is that it's 'up to me' and the risks 'aren't well known'. One website, officially, says that there is no proven increase in birth defects... while wikipedia disagrees strongly with:

 "The use of sertraline during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with increased odds of the following birth defects:omphalocele (six-fold), anal atresia and limb reduction defects (four-fold), and septal defects (two-fold).[132]" (read article here)

So, understandably, I'm concerned about risk factors of getting pregnant. I'm on 50 mg a day, which is a really low dose, and I'm wondering if I can drop to 25 mg and still keep steady.

The hard thing is that depression/anxiety is very difficult for a developing fetus. It increases the risk of miscarriage significantly, and can effect baby birth weight (anyone remember my 5 lb 14 oz full-term baby?)

The question is, where is the balance. Obviously, the higher the intake of Sertraline, the higher the risk factors. So, where is that balance between risks? The two main factors that keep coming up in my head are:

1) I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to my baby
2) I need to be able to function on some level

Functionality is actually a really serious concern. There's no doubt that I function better, daily, on the higher dosages of Sertraline. I ended up on 50 mg again because it also makes me incredibly nauseous, and, on occasion, increases my number of bad nights with insomnia. It also makes my "gut sick". (I'll leave it at that). Those are all common side effects.

Past the first trimester, the concern is that a baby, upon birth, would go through withdrawal from the drug. Withdrawal from Sertraline is horrible and includes, dizziness, exhaustion, nausea, and fainting. In babies this turns into high muscle-tone, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty eating.

I would appreciate thoughts/stories/insights/opinions.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Four Golden Comets

Delaware

Russian Orloff

Patridge Plymouth Rock

Buff Chantecler

Blue Hamburg


The chickens at my MIL's house have started laying eggs. They're fantastic! The younger chickens are finally old enough that we can tell what they are... and my blue Hamburg is a ROOSTER. Eep! No crowing yet, but I saw the beginning of spurs on his legs and his tail is slightly curly....

I just realized that I have no pics up with Sunny's face actually visible. I will rectify that ASAP.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blech!

Y'know, I've never been able to get a positive test early. I wonder if that's because I drink so much water?

So, no positive tests, but I'm about 90% sure that I *am* pregnant.

Some of those symptoms those of you who know my pregnancies well might recognize:

1)Crazy, hectic dreams, containing hundreds of CATS
2) 24/7 "nausea"-- I put that in quotes because it's always there and can suddenly roar to the surface and end up with dry heaves. Thankfully I have not been vomiting... yet.
3)Food Adversion-- I made this incredible meal last night-- pork butt roast, stuffed with brie, wrapped with apples and bacon, and then rolled in pistachios. I couldn't touch it. I took one smell and started gagging. I ate the sweet potatoes instead :).
4)Tired. I'm low-energy anyway, but now I'm kinda a lay-a-bed. Not really, with these kids, but I would if I could :).
5)THIRSTY-- I'm always a really thirsty person, but I have this new water bottle, it's 1 Liter, and I know I'm drinking about five of those a day. And. I'm. Still. Dying. Of. Thirst.
6)I had to reintroduce gluten to my diet. I had a hunch that my body was missing something when I started having horrendous bi-polar moments of irrational *rage*.
7)What was I talking about again? Who am I? What's this post about?
8)Just that sixth sense of having "something" lingering around me, interestingly enough I feel like there's both a male and female baby-feeling... proof we're not done???? (I know, a little 'wooh-wooh' for Keith, too)

But no positive tests yet. My AF is due thursday or friday, so I should be able to test positive soon... 

I'm just hoping this all doesn't mean I'm crazy.

There was an incident at church (Something I should have done in my calling, and could have been a disaster, but thankfully wasn't) that really rattled me, private email if you really need details, but it sent me for a loop. I've been really struggling with my depression since. I found out last thursday and today is the first day I haven't just been wanting to disappear. It's been horrendous.

Sunny is doing great with his potty-training. 

I seriously need tips on how to get organized. I will NOT get offended. I will share anything you share with me and show you how I try to utilize it. We've been getting containers with lids from Walmart, as a lady at church said that organization requires lids. We have way too much stuff... so here are things we really need help with.

1)Boy's toys-- they have TONS
2)Boy's clothes-- I've been thinking of putting all but ten outfits away at a time? They have two dressers (big) FULL.
3)My crafts/sewing/projects. Lots of fabric, clothes for ripping up, and supplies. How do I get all that organized? There's so much *stuff*

I think those are the worst problems. I can't believe how much stuff the boys have, especially considering we never buy things!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Music Time Looks Like:




Drew

Drew is at the age where he likes to tell jokes, but he doesn't really 'get it'. Except chicken jokes. He understands those. Here's some of the ones he told me yesterday.

Why did the horse cross the road?
Because his rider was chicken.

Why did the bucket cross the road?
Because it was full of chicken.

Goofy.

OK, it's TOO EARLY!

No one can say they feel pregnant four, five, and six days past ovulation! So why is it that I feel pregnant! Let me share:

1)One quirk about being on Zoloft is that it means that I basically can't cry. I went from biggest cry-baby ever to not being able to cry, even when I want to. On day "four" post-assumed-ovulation I couldn't stop crying. Hubby thought it was weird :).

2)Seasonal changes are very hard on me-- especially considering my insomnia. I have had horrendous insomnia this past weekend. I ended up reading in bed for hours just to try to get my brain out of the whole 'obsessive thought' pattern. It worked, but, jeepers, I hate insomnia. Then for days "five" and "six" post-ovulation-- insomnia? What's that? I hit the covers and I'm OUT. That never happens with me! Ever! (except when I'm pregnant.)

3)Hyper-sensitive sense of smell. Ex. Smelling banana peels from across the room.

4)THIRSTY! Mantra: can't drink 12 bottles of water a day. can't drink 12 bottles of water a day.

5)Hot flashes. Before I tested positive with Drew I would get really hot in the evenings. It was winter and I would take an ice-cold shower, then go outside to get cool, and it just wouldn't work. This happened to me, in a lesser manner, last night. I didn't think much of being hot until I turned on the fan and Hubby thought it was weird.

(Yes, he thinks I'm weird.)

6)RAOG-- Random Acts of Gagging. Need I say more?

So, what do you think? Psychosomatic symptoms???

I can't test until the 21st at the earliest. Pooh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting Ready for Fall?

I suggest you hop over to Two Left Hands. Isn't it all just too cute???

Drew
Active
Bossy
Charismatic
Driven
Energetic
Friend
Goofy
Honest
Interested
Jump!
Kind
Lovey
MONKEY!
Naughty

Organized

Persistant
QUESTIONS!
Rambunctious!
SINGING
Tennis
un-selfish
Vastly knowledgeable
Water-bug
X-ample
YELL
Zany (dude)



Sunny

Smiling
Hopping
Dancing Singing

WIGGLY PARTY!

Mommy's boy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hello-- this is me :)

So, my computer died-- it croaked... well, it's mostly dead, but we had to replace it. Ick. It meant waiting until student loans were in, but, thankfully, Wally-mart equals majorly cheap computer which is all so fine with me.

I'm working hard on my etsy stuff-- need a new camera.

And I'm starting up with Shaklee again. I really feal like this is something I need to do. I love the new product Vivix-- it's a cell-rejuvinator and it really seems to help balance me. I'm using it to keep healthy while we work on... well, baby number three :).

For those that already do use vitamins and Shaklee stuff, or know people who do or would, please please please send them my way. I'm not going to be an overbearing nuisance-- I refuse to, but I want to work from home and get this up and running. I'm just grateful to have there be a company I believe in. Have you seen the 'napkin presentation'? Delicious!

Gluten-free is going well. I'm eating a LOT of fruit. LOTS. Like, most of my diet.

Poor tummy.

LOL!

Sunny is making me nuts! He's so verbal it's ridiculous, especially since he's still about the size of a nine-month-old. People that see him in public and here him talk get this weird look on their faces like 'ALIEN CHILD!!! RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!'

He has a hilarious sense of humor-- and likes to announce everything. "Mom! Mom! Fishy underwear-- and NO diaper-- Pants OK-- but NO DIAPER! Are these fish, Mom? Huh? Fish?"

Drew is-- well-- Drew. He's bossy, assertive, and very shy in public. He's sensitive to everything I say, and yet we've been having to work on him yelling at me and being mean to me a lot. He has a tendency to tell me that I'm always wrong. We have no idea where that's coming from, but it's making us NUTS.

Sunny loves to do whatever Drew is doing-- so, if Drew lies down on the bed and pretends to sleep, so does Sunny, if he pretends to cry, so does Sunny... it's hilarious.

My Hunny is having a killer semester and struggling with a job he hates, which is only so obvious after being at an internship all summer. We've been under a lot of stress with the beginning of school and our student loans coming in late, but everything is starting to calm down.

I will get caught up with everyone. I promise!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dialogue with Sunny

Sunny was running around naked. As always.

Mommy: Uh! OH! Naked boy! Sunny, don't pee on me!
S: No, I don't!
M: Where *does* pee go?
S: (pointing) On the floor!


(Note: a few minute later, after much discussion, he realized it belongs in the potty ('like poop?') and has been displaying his skills-- he has now pooped in the potty 6 times! Each time his idea! WOW! Big boy!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gusty

Gusty is doing "massage" and "cost-country" and "show jumping"

Gusty is making me nuts.

Because all day long I have had Gusty, and not Drew.

And Gusty has to tell me about every gallop every moment of 'horse care'. Gusty makes piles of my clean clothes and jumps over them. He tells his brother not to call him 'Drew', but 'Gusty'.

Sunny has been renamed 'Peanut the Pony'

Heaven knows I deserve this!

Etsy Seller of the Day

OK, I think this seller is amazing. The store is called Random Acts of Green.

I've been very interested in cloth diapers for a long time. I've started making them more times than I can count, and I have about 20 half-made ones in my garage somewhere, because I get tired of messing with my sewing machine after awhile. Why do I bother? Because most cloth diapers are just not AFFORDABLE for me (I realize that to other people $10+ a diaper is no big deal, but I'm all for the under $6/diaper, personally.

This shop is a dream come true. And how can you not love a shop based on being Green?

Cute, affordable, eco-friendly, cloth diapers! Woohoo!

Remembering Fairyland

My inspiration for the butcher-paper paradise was from a fond memory-- visiting my sister and family in Germany.

Bluebell was a fairy who lived in a castle in fairyland. There was a forest with trees and fruit (NOT apples) and bats in a swamp-- the fruit would make people fall asleep and the bats would kiss the fairies and they would get lost in the swamp until someone came and rescued them.

Considering I have problems with memory, it's amazing that this is so vividly clear to me.

I can remember a bunk bed and night light, with a mattress for us on the floor, the glass door separating the bedrooms from the main room, playing with play-dough-- the bathroom with the bath tub-- the walks outside of the buildings, the park... going on a walk and tiny flakes of snow falling on us...

My favorite memory of that visit, though, is my beautiful sister racing up to us from outside of the airport in a gorgeous pants-suit and grinning, bending down to sweep us into her arms and give us hugs and kisses. She was SO HAPPY just to see us! I can still SEE it.

Here's to soft pretzels with mustard and cities paved in stone-- here's to Austrian hotels with red carpets and porcelain dolls...

Here's to family and memories that never grow dim with time...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Twenty Minutes Awake...

...Juice in a bottle
Kitchen all cleaned
Sunny has cereal
Playroom picked up
Vacuuming baby...
Cuddly boy...


Yeah, I can tell
When my husband prays for me in the morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poodah-heads

On Sunday my boys somehow got into my contact case and shaved some deodorant into it, then topping it off with contact fluid and creating a slime. When I discovered it, I scrubbed it out, but, despite my efforts, my last pair of contacts were still ruined the next morning.

I'm wearing my glasses :p

My hubby thinks my glasses are hot.

He must like nerds.

Seriously!

I won't be getting new contacts until the student loans come in, so I guess the hubby will be happy ;)

Dreaming...

A wonderful lady from our ward brought us some Butcher paper for the boys to draw on when she visited (for three hours!) with me on Sunday. It was so nice to talk to an adult, and one that is going through a lot of the issues I am, with driving and anxiety etc, and she is succeeding, which makes it so great to talk to her-- it gives me so much hope for the future!

So, yesterday, the boys and I decided to draw our dream-house. We drew a big white house with a front porch-- fruit trees, a pond, a garden, a chicken coop, horses (Drew's was Red, Sunny's was 'Jeff' which, yes, is a color) We put a dog and four cats (Drew wanted ten, but I drew the line at four). It was really fun! Drew put his bed in the pasture and it looked like the dog was eating a pumpkin in the garden. We had one sheep and one goat in with the horses. We drew grass and roses and all-around had a fun time making our 'dream' house. Drew was talking about how he wants a pony, not a horse, because he's short and how Sunny needs a pony too. We made sure Daddy's horse was a palomino paint, and Drew named Daddy's horse 'Fun', so Daddy would 'love him'.

What's your dream house? What would it look like?

Sick Tummies

My boys probably wish they were always sick.

Mommy let them have 'drumsticks' for breakfast this morning. And juice.

Little ice-cream faces are beautiful.

Drew likes the ice-cream part and Sunny likes the chocolate.

It's a perfect world.

Monday, August 25, 2008

MMMM....

So, I'm back in the non-gluten world, and have immediately had to start working on my diet. For example-- my boys love to have pancakes for breakfast, but I , of course, don't eat them...

So, yesterday I made sushi... vegetarian sushi.

I cooked two cups of brown rice, without rinsing it before or after. Added in about 4 tblspns of rice wine vinegar, 2 tblspns sugar, 2 tblspns Mirin, and mixed that all together. I then put the mixture on a sheet of Nori (a package is about $1.25 at the supermarket and is enough for LOTS of sushi-rolls) For filling I put in seasoned mushrooms (in soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and rice wine vinegar), slices of yam (cooked), and avocado. Then, because I don't have a sushi-roller, I took some papers that were stapled together and used THAT to shape my rolls.

Yum. Even Drew has given it a try. Hubby won't. Ever.

But it means I have something to eat. I have them stored in the fridge.

I also made my mom's recipe of oyster stew (simple-- onions, butter, milk, oysters) which fills me up really fast, considering its mostly broth :))

The best thing about giving up gluten is that I eat so much better. I've been eating pears and nectarines all day, and, on day four without gluten this time around, I already feel healthier all around.

Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pre-Pre-natal

Yeah, you heard me. Baby number 3 is in the planning stages and we're a month away from... ignition? Take off? Trying? That all just sounds WRONG!

So, anyone who sees this is challenged: 5 must-dos for getting ready to be pregnant. Especially nutrition (I'm planning on a gluten-free pregnancy), supplements that are must-haves, and a GREAT regime for pre-pre-natal fitness so I can go into this STRONG.

I'm already looking into nausea-aids for morning sickness and pre-natal workouts. We're getting a replacement pool key so I can start swimming the boys, just as soon as the student loans come in.

And, yeah, you guys will know if I'm pregnant before I officially announce-- because I don't plan on really announcing I'm pregnant until I hear a heart beat.

Other news: I will NOT be going to the Birth Center this time. They changed management and the drive is too far. I'll be going to NW.

Remember-- you read this! So, you are now obligated to give me 5 TIPS!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bless his little Heart

Sunny told me he had to poop.

So he pooped in his potty.

GOOD JOB!!! BIG BOY!!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Few Words

Strawberry cake...

Rolling fondant...

3D Cars pan...

Gum paste Wiggles...

All with my BOY!

Four years of perfection, my darling Drew! I love you so much! You are, as you always say 'my best friend'. You are so smart, so fun, and so energetic. I love it when you sing and dance and jump on the couch... all at the same time. I love it when you read stories to your brother and pretend to be afraid of him.

These last four years have been incredible! You are the greatest boy!

I love you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WWYD

We were driving home late last night, after watching the Olympics at my MIL's house. Just as we were turning into our neighborhood I saw a bunny on the road-- hit by a car, injured, but not dead.

I begged my hunny to turn the car around and he did, reluctantly. He told me to just 'nudge it off the road'. Instead, I picked it up and brought it home. (So me, right?)

He's a beautiful little desert bunny-- with a small head, and huge, beautiful ears. He's hurt, and I don't know if he'll survive, but he's still alive this morning. I just couldn't leave him there, terrified, to die in the road if there was anything I could do about it.

And, at least, if he does die, it will be in a beautiful grassy backyard, instead on on the street.

Poor little Peter. (Yes, I named him Peter rabbit-- sorry, bro!)

On another note altogether: Drew finally lost that tooth he smashed all those months ago. He looks crazy-cute with that gap!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thinking...

I'm sick more often than I am healthy.

Yes, I'm sick again. ICK!

How am I ever going to get anything done if I'm eternally feverish?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm Magic

My SIL has a magic belly.

*I* have a magic mole.

Two of them actually.

With weaning Sunny, he suddenly grew very attached to these two moles-- he holds them when he's trying to fall asleep, and even tries to kiss and rub his nose on one of them, which, weird to begin with, is even weirder as it is in my ARMPIT! Strange child!

The other mole is on my ribs and has had so much loving attention that it's going away.

Trust Sunny to love something about me that I loathe. Seriously!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I hate adrenaline

I hate adrenaline.

Today our large, low-slung dresser, TV, and DVD player collapsed on top of both of my boys. The TV narrowly missed landing on both of them. One side of the dresser crushed Sunny. Neither one of them was hurt-- thank HEAVEN! The only casualties are the dresser and DVD player-- which is smashed.

I am so grateful they're safe. Now, several hours later, I'm just trying to burn that dratted adrenaline out of my system... shake shake shake!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Drew

"I am going to run far away and you can't get me. I'm going to go up to Heaven and go be with Jesus... so THERE!"

four hours

My camera was working for four hours.

Then Sunny fell with it and it no longer is working.

At least I got a few pictures before its untimely demise.

Too bad the card isn't working now, either.


Song Lyrics and other Misc. Fun

Drew: "Sunny is a poodah-head from our imagination..."

Drew: "...with parents kind of dear..."

Drew: "If your happy and you know it smack his BUTT!"

Both: "Where's Jeff? Is he pooping outside?"

Drew: (Sweetest baby voice ever) "I'm going to get you! You wanna get SMACKED?"

Drew: Why are you talking?
M: We're talking about when to have another baby
Drew: And what does DAD say? Huh?

Sunny: Mama, what happened?
M: You hit me
Sunny: Oh.... poor Mommy. I'll kiss it! (kisses) There! All better!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back and Breathing...

Well, last Tuesday evening I went to Urgent Care, then was shuttled over to the ER, due to a fever, mid-right abdominal pain, nausea, and a general 'icky' feeling. I spent six hours in the ER without any pain medication and a fever of 102+, as they didn't want to mask symptoms. They were really efficient and got a lot of tests done. I spent the next few days lying in bed with an IV and occasional morphine and a very high white blood cell count. Having never had morphine previous to this, I thought it was weird-- it took the edge off, but didn't knock me out like it did when my hubby had it six months or so ago.

I had a reaction to the first (penicillin based) medication they put me on, which swelled my throat up and made it excruciatingly sore. The next medications they put me on (which I'm still on) make everything taste like metallic grapefruit peels... not very tasty. Anything remotely salty overwhelms my taste buds.

I got out of the hospital late afternoon Friday, thanks to the dedication of a nurse who really took me seriously when I said I wanted to go home. They never figured out anything, though they know there was an infection, due to the elevated white blood cell counts. On the last day my IV had gone bad, so I had a very swollen 'popeye' left arm, and my veins weren't cooperating, so I ended up with my next IV painfully in the back of my right hand.

Since then I've been slowly recovering. I have very little energy and next to no stamina. I find myself just sitting and staring, as even reading tires me out. I don't ache much anymore, and I have found that all my senses are a little skewed for some reason-- my sense of taste, of course, and my sense of smell is hyper-sensitive... but my pain-sense is at a different level. Because of all the tests I've had and the antibiotics I'm on, I've had to wean Sunny all of a sudden. I'm very engorged, but can't really feel anything unless there's direct contact-- like Sunny jumping into me.

Eating is very difficult, as I have absolutely no appetite.

For the first time, I loathe having stairs in my house. It's tiring having to move up and down them.

I'm really grateful for all the love and attention I was given-- MIL watched the boys for me, two of my Brothers in law made visits and gave me a blessing, sister-in-law came and sat with me to chat in the evenings, sister sent me books and let the boys come play... Mom called and fretted herself into a mess over me... ladies from church visited, fed my family, and cleaned my house... nurses went above and beyond the call of duty... and, of course, my hunny really looked out for me. Thank you to everyone!

It's been hard, but I'm still fighting. I've been given some grief over the fact that I've been home so long and am still doing so poorly... but I'm doing the best I can with what I have. I guess I heal slowly, or maybe its because we never were able to solve the problem, and are still just treating general infection. Who knows. I just would like to have some energy. My poor boys wear me out.

For those more curious-- I was tested for appendicitis, ovarian cysts/infection etc. all things uterine, gall bladder, intestine, strep (due to my history), and stomach... all the symptoms were pointing towards the appendix, but my CT scan came out clear. I had 1 CT scan, 2 pelvic exams, 1 probe ultrasound (not fun, lots of photos of my insides, I hear), countless urine and blood tests.

I'm very grateful I didn't have to have surgery. I'm terrified of anesthetics and the loss of control I'd have over myself and was very resistant to surgery.


Monday, July 21, 2008

coveting... baby style

I'm sitting at the computer, nursing Sunny, when a little hand creeps under my shirt...

Me: Sunny... what are you doing?

Sunny: (Still nursing, grins) I want that one, too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Don't you just love those skeletons that rattle in the closet?

Clatter clatter

right when you think they've gone to dust...

rattle rattle

clack clack

Creeping ever closer....

When...

When is enough enough?

What is the breaking point?

What if one person is more commited than the other?

When is it better to part than stay together?

How can a broken home be right for children?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MIA due to Flu

We'll be back. We have the stomach flu... Drew has been puking his guts out the last two days... poor dude!

Friday, July 11, 2008

This is something I'm feeling very passionate about right now. Living where I do, there's a huge problem in the local shelters every time the school year ends... read my article about it, please?

http://www.helium.com/items/1109187-college-pets

Let's Play!

Tell me one story(true) that proves that you are related to me, by relating how crazy you are.

Sing "We are family... prove that you are crazy like me!"

LOL!

I DROVE

I know, seriously, right?

I drove my MILs truck from La Canada and River all the way to her house. Drew sang songs in the back seat to keep me from getting too uptight. And, hey, I survived! I did it because she needed me too-- WHEW! First drive in AGES!

I've been busy. One hour a morning on the timer gets the house clean... I've been writing articles on Helium... and the ever pervasive HOUSE HUNT. Which may be drawing to a close with one of two finishes possible based on a lot of nitty gritty.

Seriously... is it worth the trouble?

Why the sudden panic to get housing? Well, our rent end in Febraury and... My Hubby is going to his PH.D now, so we'll be here at LEAST another three years... So, yeah... I hate wasting money and rent just goes away-- I'd rather have a mortgage...

The boys are doing well-- Drew is clever and thinks everyone else is a little slow, and Sunny is fearless and terrifying, though very very clingy. I was all jumping into the weaning thing when I realized I didn't want to... so I quit. Hubby isn't the happiest about that-- he has this strange issue with nursing past two... he thinks I might as well be nursing adults... whatever.

Still no problems being back on gluten and soy... I've had one flair up since then, it was for about an hour and it was definitely hormonal... other than that, I'm pretty crazy, but that's the norm for me. Summer is insomnia season... but at least I get a lot of thinking done, right?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Waking up to...

"Mom! I'm ready! I got out all the 'gredients! Let's make CAKE!"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Drew

Daddy had just climbed over the wall to return all the toys that had been thrown out of the backyard. Immediately Drew started throwing a football, trying to get it back over the wall.

Daddy: Drew, don't do that.

Mommy: Drew, if you throw that over the wall, I'm going to throw it away. Understand?

Drew: I understand... but, how are you going to get it?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tiny Bunny and Tubby Bunny

Yesterday I made Sunny a little tiny bunny out of an old hoodie. Drew helped me and we put on buttons for eyes and the nose, plus one on his chest... Sunny liked it so much that Drew asked if I could make one for him 'someday'.

I just completed 'Tubby Bunny'. It's far from perfect, the head is too small for a huge chunky body-- but he's cute, I made him-- and Drew LOVES him. He says that Tubby Bunny ONLY talks to him-- he's currently building him 'furniture' out of his blocks.

It's so nice to see a simple, homemade toy, being so appreciated by the child who has everything.

I'll take pics as soon as I get my camera fixed :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gluten

So, after five months completely gluten free I decided to (prayerfully) slowly reintroduce gluten into my diet.

(It was actually an agonizing process. I was overwhelmed, and in tears, because of the realization of how limited my life and the things I truly love to do have been because of my allergies. I spent some precious time on my knees, bawling my eyes out...)

So, I feel that it has been an answer to my prayers that I have been slowly adding gluten to my diet for the last two weeks and I have not had a flare up with my joints. I did have a reaction to the tomato sauce on my homemade wheat pizza the other day, but that was just a little itchy eczema under my jawline, and I pretty much am used to that (I never cut out tomato).

I feel very blessed with this. I have learned a lot about health and my body by having to be gluten free for these past five months. I used to obsess constantly about my weight, and now I don't. It's just not important. I don't need to be skinny. I need to be healthy. I may be the chunky one among my sisters, but it's more important to have the energy and proper diet to cope with life.

I have fallen in love with good foods-- this summer I am essentially living off of apples (granny smith, the only kind I like) and avocado... these foods give me energy and keep me cool in the extreme heat, so I find them very enjoyable.

I've learned to listen to my body-- If I am craving something sweet I usually have the craving until I eat an apple... if my legs are aching I need more potassium and I need more calcium... if I don't crave dairy products, it's because my body doesn't need them.

I would still love to grow the majority of what we eat, but I know I have to do things step by step. Once we have a house of our own I can really get into my gardens... and I have my chicks for eggs (they're so pretty!) I wonder if I can sneak a mini-goat into our backyard if we have no HOA? LOL!

I'm so grateful for the learning experience this has all been for me...It's been life changing in so many ways...

I said NO TV

I said no TV.

Sunny pitched a fit.

I said it was broken.

Drew said he could fix it.

I said no Wiggles.

Drew said he could fix it...

Sunny is watching Wiggles.

*Sigh* I'm such a pushover.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why Communication is Important...

Finally the Realtor for the house got back to our Realtor-- and-- guess what? They had already accepted an offer! Wonderful-- why couldn't he have told us last Thursday when we started calling him ten times a day????

Back to Square One... we'll have to keep looking. We're doing a pre-approval with a different bank, so hopefully that will have better numbers and we'll be able to get into something.

Sigh.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Offer's In...

Well, we did all the paperwork last night and our offer went in this morning. Keep your prayers sounding for us-- we really want this to work out for us! We're separating the 'needs' from the 'luxuries' as far as fixing up goes.

If all goes well we'll be closing Aug. 1st...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Foremost on the Forecast full of Forethought

"Fore!"

Ok, couldn't resist that one...

I'm thinking a lot today, because this evening our Realtor is coming over and we're working out what we're going to offer on this fixer-upper we've been looking at. We have a pre-approval (lower than we expected, but works for us for this house). The house is in a great neighborhood, has good square footage, a beautiful backyard... even a separate playroom area (a added-on enclosed porch off of the dining area.)

But it needs work-- aka-- there is a BIG hole in the floor in the master bath, it needs a/c put it, it needs all new floors, it has no appliances, it needs a new shower/tub and toilet in the master bathroom, oh, and it has no doors or windows right now-- just boards... We're going to offer low (its bank owned) and hope that the offer we can do will be accepted. It would close in and around August 15th (?) and we've budgeted in paying double rent while we repair that and we still have our lease here.

Parts of it are really exciting-- having a home of our OWN-- that's the biggie. But looking at all that paperwork makes me jittery. It's a good time to buy here right now-- NOT to sell, and it IS a fixer-upper, which is the only way we can afford it. It would put us in the ward we were in before this house, so with my MIL, and that's no bad thing... I have a lot of fun with her, and she'd be someone to go to RS now that my only friend here has moved away to Penn.

I've been doing all my homework-- comparing flooring companies-- figuring that we'll probably put in laminate wood everywhere but in the bedrooms... and then throw down rugs. If we had a bigger budget I'd do Bamboo floors, but it runs, at best, at about $5 a square foot and is usually about twice that, so flooring this almost 1700 sq ft house would be a challenge.

That hole in the floor worries me-- do I need a permit to fix it? I don't want to hire a contractor if we can do it ourselves-- after all MIL built the house my Hunny grew up in... so, really...

And then, there is a LIBRARY in the house-- not kidding! It's off of the dining room, a very small office-like room that is perfect for our books! YAY! (We have so many books, it's a real problem for us, actually.)

I hate unknowns-- I want to know right NOW if we're getting this house or not-- and then I have to wait until closing to start working on it-- makes me rather restless and edgy.

But I can see it in my head-- what I want to do with the house... and the counters are exactly like the orange ones in the house I grew up in, and the cabinets are the same too-- and I felt like I was coming home...

Any advice, oh mighty house owners? Anyone want to help us fix it up? :)
<br><b><a href="http://www.greatestjournal.com/quiz.bml?Q=16354"><font size=+1>You Are Pocahantas!</font></a></b><br><center><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/newbandi/Pocahantas.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com"><p><b>Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.</b></center><br><b><a href="http://www.greatestjournal.com/quiz.bml?Q=16354">Which Disney Princess Are You?</a></b>

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another one...

5 Things You Can Find Inside My Bag:

I don't have a bag. Seriously.

5 Favorite Things Inside The Room I'm In:

1. Two half-naked boys creating chaos
2. My beautiful cherry-wood hope chest
3. Computer
4. Work chart on the walls
5. The cushions hubby and I recovered together.

5 Things I've Always Wanted To Do:

1. Publish a book.
2. Paint a HUGE oil painting.
3. Keep my house at a state of reasonable cleanliness permanently.
4. Sing on my own CD.
5. Ride horses in Ireland (and bring them home :))

5 Things I'm Currently Into:

1. heritage farming
2. quilting
3. working on 'into the deep'
4. Finding a house to live in
5. THE BOYS-- all three of them!

4 people I Plan To Tag:

Jenn
Manda
Mom
Dad
Hubby

Haha-- those last three would NEVER! :)

Meme-- from Martie

45 Things About Me


Do you like blue cheese? It depends what it's with. I like it crumbled in a good salad-- or in mashed potatoes-- but not alone.

Do you own a gun? nope

What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I've never had a Sonic drink...

Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? I hate all Dr. appointments. I get nervous just thinking about being with any DR. Honestly.

What do you think of hot dogs? Only when I'm desperate.

Favorite Christmas movie? Holiday Inn? I like the Muppet Christmas Carol :).

What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water. I pretty much only ever drink water.

Can you do push ups? Um... maybe one? I'm not great with them-- good with crunches, though.

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding band-- which is too big for me to wear, unless I'm pregnant :).

Favorite hobby? Do you have a month? Reading, drawing, weaving, quilting, needle-felting, snuggling babies...

Do you have A.D.D.? What were you asking? Probably, but not diagnosed.

What’s one trait you hate about yourself? I'm obsessive and bipolar-- I also get sick all the time.

Middle name? My mum's maiden name.

Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: Of course the day that Hubby forgets his phone is the day I really need him. I wish I could nap. I wonder if I can take my tonsils out myself... with a shish-kabob skewer, maybe? (yes, I'm that strange, sorry!)

Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Nothing, but I wanted to buy a puppy.

Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water.

Current worry? Surviving today.

Current hate right now? um... being sick? I don't tend to hate on anything but myself, and I don't allow that, currently.

Favorite place to be? Cool, damp, water, trees, preferably ocean nearby-- surrounded by gardens and fruit trees-- ahhh! Paradise!

How did you bring in the New Year? Telling Hubby I wanted to go home and go to bed.

Where would you like to go? Ireland.

Do you own slippers? Not really-- I have an old set (maybe half of it?) from years ago, but I don't like things touching my feet, so... no...

What song makes you happy? 'You have Stolen my heart' Taylor Swift's 'Invisible' ... um... and sad songs make me happy-- honestly... I like 'Apologize' and 'Should have said 'No'' and lots of Carrie Underwood-- anything U2 will make my day.


What year would you go back in time to? Unless I had something to give to that time, I'd leave things alone.

Can you whistle? Yes

Favorite color? Dark greens and Blues and grays...

Would
you be a pirate? Kill people and never bathe and get scurvy and lose my teeth just for worthless pieces of metal? Um... NO.

What songs do you sing in the shower? None lately. I mostly get to shower at about 3am and the baby sleeps in our room. Plus... I just don't sing much anymore.

Favorite girl’s name. Ruth, Miriam, Hannah, Chiara...

Favorite boy’s name? Kayson, Keith, Landon... I dunno...

What’s in your pocket right now? PJ pants don't have pockets.

Last
thing that made you laugh? Sunny running really fast with naked buns.

Last thing that made you cry? A nightmare I had.

Worst injury you’ve ever had? Concussion-- big old bruise on the back of my head from coming off a horse. I was loopy for weeks.

Do you love where you live? I don't want to live in this state in general, but I'm making allowances. I like this house, but I want one that I'm allowed to actually do something with-- so that's neither here nor there.

How many TVs do you have in your house? Two.

How many dogs do you have? None right now, darn it!

What is your favorite book(s)? Passage by Connie Willis, Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsoliver, I have a ton that I love, but I think those are probably the top two right now.

What
is your favorite candy? I don't like candy. I like chocolate-- at the right time and the right darkness for the moment. For the record WHITE CHOCOLATE IS NOT CHOCOLATE! :)

Favorite Sports Team(s)? Boston Red Sox-- I tend to like less 'team sports'-- equestrian (of course), track and field, gymnastics, skiing... I used to never watch sports, but I do now-- oh and BIG TIME we've been watching Nascar-- so kinda into that.

Your favorite meal? Anything I can't have! LOL-- I guess Pad Thai

What were you doing 12 AM last night? Just about asleep.

What
was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? That I love it when Drew creeps into my bed in the morning and that I have the most beautiful boys in the world and I wanted to kiss their fingers. Drew's fingers are so beautiful... I love waking up time with the boys. (BUT then they're AWAKE! LOL!)

Do you have any odd habits? I don't know-- what constitutes odd? I have an obsessive personality. I check pet ads on craigslist about 80 times a day... for an example...

How many siblings do you have? five

Ick... Sick... AGAIN (still?)

By last night I was REALLY sick and considering going to Urgent Care, but I *hate* the wait, and decided to just deal with it as much as I could. Today I'm regretting that decision and... guess who forgot his cell phone this morning? I have no way to reach my Hubby.

I don't know what's going on with me-- ear infection, very sore throat, every muscle in my body is just aching... and I've been very nauseous, which makes it really hard for me to try to force some food down. I'm doing what I can from home-- but Tylenol can only do so much (it seems completely ineffective at this point, actually).

Maybe I should just take the plunge at get my tonsils taken out? I've never been 'out out' in my life-- even my wisdom teeth being taken out was just a case of mild Novocaine. I'm terrified of anesthesia-- I'm so worried about losing control over what's happening to me, even for a moment in time.

However-- this is my second strep infection since November and I do have 20% of my hearing GONE permanently from a strep infection I had several years back... I'd rather not lose any more.

But being sick doesn't mean the boys are going to be nice to me-- quite the contrary. I made them pizza for breakfast (thinking-- breakfast and lunch). They acted all excited, then didn't want it. I made scrambled eggs at Sunny's request-- same story. And every time I lie down someone starts shouting 'WAKE UP, JEFF!'

(If you don't get the reference you have not been indoctrinated into the spider's web that is the Wiggles)

We're going tomorrow to look at another house-- wish us luck-- we can actually afford this one. It needs some work, but not huge amounts, so-- yeah-- pray for us! Anyone want to live in it from Sept through January for reasonable rent??? (1750 sq ft. three bed two bath with A/C...) Anyone? Anyone?


Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Morning

I missed church yesterday, as Drew was home sick and I stayed with him and Sunny while Daddy went to sacrament meeting. Right before Daddy left, though, Drew had a real bang-up. He was jumping on the bed and managed to hit Daddy's knee squarely with his mouth. It was BAD-- three chipped teeth and one wiggly tooth. He was really stressed out about it (Drew is a worrier-- wonder where he got that?) This morning the tooth is still wiggly, and I have to keep telling Drew not to play with it with his tongue.

We went looking at possible houses to buy on Saturday, then got our 'pre-qualification' for our mortgage loan, which was not what we expected because of student loans. Now we're looking into a fixer-upper as our only possibility of getting into our own home in the next year and a half at least. That means, come February, we'll probably be homeless. Ick.

The fixer-upper has potential, so I'm not wigging-out yet for that.

I was sick all last week (still am) and the house just completely fell apart, so I've spent the last three hours working on the house straight (this is my first break), and I'm about to pass out-- seriously. I've been vomiting and my throat is killing me, but I couldn't take the mess anymore. (Every little thing that's out of place feels like a physical slap in my face and it was VERY messy.)

We've been weaning Sunny from his day feedings-- it's been really challenging, but has been working out great the last two days-- he'll nurse all night (he still sleeps with us) but isn't crawling all over me begging to nurse 24/7 now... which he was doing and was getting OLD.

So, Monday Monday... here we go.

Oh-- my MIL got the COOLEST dog ever-- he's a Great Pyrenees/St. Bernard-- named Bear-- he's HUGE and very sweet. Gimli dug a hole through our gate, so he had to move back to Mils. Naught old thing! Bear is easier on the other dogs than Bobo was, so Gimli is doing great-- gaining weight and looking younger all the time.

Um... I think that's everything :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Idea of Self

Who are you? How do you define yourself? Are you true to you or do you yield to stronger voices and personalities-- or are you the stronger voice.

While admittedly I'm rather bi-polar, I find this to be THE question.

If we are defined by our actions then I am not who I want to be at all...

What defines me? My messy house? My scattered and flighty mind? The fact that I capitulate to my hunny constantly?

What would I do if I could do anything? My big dream? My heritage farm... and my books being published... Every advantage for my boys... and an attentive, supportive, loving, partner in my husband...

I'm not trying to sound dissatisfied-- I think I have a hard time feeling that my bliss is even a consideration at all-- I feel more practical about not being able to afford anything... so I end up here with a question of self... who am I?

I am Anne Elliot!


Take the Quiz here!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

News Flashes

* Bobo lives in Sells now where he is being spoiled by a girl appropriately named 'Grace'

* Gimli lives here with us. He's 12 and probably will not be with us much longer

* Drew gave the talk in primary on Sunday and blew everyone away-- esp. as he normally doesn't talk in public. He did so great! Mom and Dad cried.

* Drew is reading more every day-- we have created a game where he picks out words to create sentences.

* Sunny is spoiled, cute, and ridiculously short. Most people think he's a walking talking 9 month old baby and it freaks them out, because he talks very well and very clearly... 'Extuse me, pease, do you like my soos?'

* I'm currently researching houses so we can move in Jan/Feb.

* I'm teaching myself guitar

* I got the boys cheap tiny violins and will be teaching them how to play as soon as they arrive. Drew's is a 1/4 size, Sunny's is a 1/10 size.

* Hubby's internship is finally starting to pick up a little. Is it a good sign when things are slow at the Federal court?

* We're planning on going away for a weekend soon to get our never-had almost-honey-moon.

* We're planning on weaning Sunny (but he says 'No! The boo-boos are MINE! I like them! THAT one!')

* Sunny is addicted to the Wiggles

* My best (read: only) friend is moving to Pennsylvania and I'm royally bummed out

* I have a banana tree

Day One

My guitar from ebay ($.01 plus $32.00 shipping LOL) arrived this morning via UPS. We went to the library, so I didn't get much of a chance to play with it until after Noah's nap-- and then most of it was trying to tune it. It hasn't been holding it's tuning long (new string issue?)

BUT I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm on about.com for their guitar section and I know three chords and can play 'leaving on an airplane' after one hour of messing around.

Yay!

But now I have blisters on my finger tips. Hello! Who else does that? I'm truly unique.

My MIL says I'm a wimp.

:p

It was fun to sing and play and I cracked up when I realized that my voice was automatically leaning towards the celtic side of folk in sound. Go figure!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memory all Day Weekend

We had a blast on Saturday, driving up to Queen Creek with my SIL and her family to pick apricots and peaches at a U-Pick orchard. It was wonderful. I loved seeing my little ones picking fruit right off the trees, and riding on straw bales behind a tractor. It was a tiring day, but well worth it-- more about it later.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thinking...

It's really hard to lose all your dreams and ambitions all at once... and it's really dumb to lose them because of guinea pig food.

The boys got into the guinea pig food and scattered it on the floor. No biggie, right?

Wrong, it's based on alfalfa. I'm on day three of vomiting, very severe joint pain, and all over severe pain. Alfalfa is my worst allergy-- I actually blacked out from this! I'm scared that it's the one allergy I have that could actually kill me.

So, how am I ever going to own any livestock?

I can't. No horses. No goats. Nothing.

And what if I want another baby and this happens? I obviously can't be the mom I need to be for my boys if I'm puking and my joints have me literally crippled. Am I ever going to be able to have another baby?

So, what am I supposed to learn from this? What is the lesson? How can these allergies make me stronger when I'm already so weak?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Conscience of FOOD

I do get tired of people talking about being vegetarians because of the cruel way in which animals were KILLED so we can eat them. That's not really the issue. The way they die is much more humane than the way they live. We pump them full of feed that hurts them, we fill them with hormones so their bodies behave unnaturally, and even have bred into them the inability to reproduce. To me, their LIVES are the crime, not their deaths.

So, I don't believe that eating meat means that we are compromising our spiritual relationship with the earth-- if we know where it came from and can condone its experience.

It's not just spirituality-- it's health. Everything we put into those animals is put into us and becomes a part of us. Want growth hormones? Here's a nice glass of milk!

Animals can live happy and productive lives in a more natural environment, without being filled with improper diets and drugs to manipulate them for the table. The food from such animals is much healthier-- and it really doesn't take that much.

I'm the first to admit that my family eats a lot of meat in a year. I figured my amounts by the week, and rounded (up) to how much meat my family consumes annually. That was my first step. I figure we eat around 200 poultry (chicken and ground turkey mostly) 300 lbs of beef and 200 lbs of other meat. I know, it sounds like a lot-- but thats about 150 chickens, 50 turkeys, half a steer, and half or so of an oinker...

Eating chickens cost about 13 cents each when you buy them as chicks from a hatchery. In twelve-fourteen weeks they eat, poop, drink an incredible amount of water, and are ready for slaughter. A crossbreed-- these birds cannot survive much longer than that on their own... or you can go for meat bird that CAN live and reproduce and wait 16 weeks to be ready to eat them. As long as they are protected from wild animals and have ready access to food water, and grass, you don't really have to worry that much about them-- happier lives already.

One young steer costs, around here, about $50-$150 at weaning-- they cost between $100-$300 at slaughter age (under a year). The neat thing is-- they graze.

Squealers (pigs) love leftovers. They're omnivores. They also forage well.

Eggs from grass fed, free range chickens have more Omega-3 fatty acids in them-- they have less cholesterol in them than the ones from the grocery store...

But who want to raise all this themselves, right?

Luckily there are animal shares available all over the place. Organic, free range animals should be bought directly from where they were raised when possibly, so you can guarantee that they really are organic and not just 'by the letter' organic.

I do intend to do this myself. I also intend to use animals more suited to my area-- miniature cattle that eat less and still produce well, pygmy and miniature goats for dairy. Heritage plants that breed true so you can use the seeds the next year would be in my garden.

I would like to build a straw bale house-- using locally grown straw-- have my own well-- have solar panels-- rely as little on the outside world for food as possible.

But not everyone wants these things. But I think education about this sort of life is important-- does agriculture have to guzzle gas? What about Shire Draft horses pulling a plow? What about getting ones hands dirty?

Where does your food come from? Has it consumed more gas energy than you get from eating it?

What's available locally, do you even know?

I hope to open my doors at my heritage farm to allow tours and schools-- to show people how to make yogurt and butter and cheese the old way, how to garden and preserve and store food, how to live with what we have-- and live well. Teach how to spin, to weave, to make beautiful fabric by hand-- using local plants to dye the material.

I'm not talking about taking my kids back to the stone age. I want to have everything we have now-- but live better food-wise for my calories going into the earth and coming out again as beautiful, healthy, food, that I know everything about.

Eating without returning anything but wrappers to the earth makes me feel strangely-- I feel that I should be putting something of myself into everything I eat. The small harvest from my current garden (in flower pots on my front step) are so much more satisfying to me than anything we buy.

I think my interest in this topic is strengthened by my food sensitivities. I can't afford to put something in me that is going to hurt me. My diet is so limites already-- without wheat-- without legumes-- very little dairy (just cheese, really, and that sparingly), citris and tomatoes on occassion... I have to be very careful about what I put into my body. It would be nice to pretend I don't have the food issues, but I do, and I intend to live well anyway-- better than well-- I intend to live healthier and better than those who don't have my health issues.

Yes, animals die to feed us, so do plants-- everyone of us will eventually die-- we will return to the earth and become part of the molecular build up of our planet. What's unnatural is our lack of involvement with our food-- not that we eat it at all.

Who will plant the wheat?
Who will harvest the grain?
Who will grind the wheat to make flour?
Who will make the bread?
Now, who will help me eat?