Friday, November 18, 2011

4 week update

Well, we are in the 4th week of the experiment, and so I thought an update might be in order.  I've actually been doing pretty good keeping up with it.  I'll just start off confessing, again, all of my shortcomings.  I ran out of apricots a while back and so I thought I'd try dates.  I don't love them.  So while I have choked down a few I'm coming up short there.  Why, you ask did I just not buy some more apricots?  To be truthful, I don't know exactly.  I *think* I have a disease that was either caused by or encouraged by my short-lived career as an inventory manager, but I have food-inventory-management issues.  For some reason, until the dates have been consumed, I cannot bring myself to buy apricots because then there would be two opened cans of dried fruit in my refrigerator.  I know it's neurotic.  Point being in all of this that I skimped on the dried fruit.  Ok.  The spinach I have managed to stay up on, for the most part, believe it or not.  My husband is totally burned out on spinach salad, and I am quickly reaching that point. There have been a couple of days that I just had salad and not spinach salad, but those were only a few. The coffee I've been doing really well on, although I did have to make an exception on Wednesdays. I was unfortunately falling asleep in the middle of the BSF lecture.  I could almost make it, but then the last 15 minutes was like college all over again. I'd come home with a whole page of illegible notes that looked like I had written them while drunk because I was mostly asleep, but still trying to write.  So I started having coffee on Wednesday mornings.  An aside (as if there weren't already enough of those):  I love Starbucks.  I think I first started to love them several winters ago over a Peppermint Latte.  I had tried to resist because I don't like jumping on bandwagons, but I caved that winter.  Our relationship has progressed over the years through the Mocha, Caramel Macchiatos and Salted Hot Chocolate.  More recently the Salted Caramel Mocha and now the Peppermint Mocha.  I love you all.  end aside.  Ok, so those were the dietary things - the unfortunate things that I did not foresee occuring during this experiment were : 1) A trip to the dentist.  Why oh why does the hygenist have to practically rip the flesh off of my gums while cleaning my teeth?  2) I ran out of my toothpaste.  I used a SLS free substitute for a few days, but it was not the same.  3) I got sick.  I think because I was just run down, not a true bug or anything, but I didn't feel like eating much for about 2 days and ran a fever until I finally just went to sleep and rested for a little bit.  

All of that to say, that I do in fact have sores in my mouth.  Hang on let me go count them.... I think there are only 3 or 4 and only one of them is on my tongue.  So it's actually not so bad right now.  And I think this experiment has convinced me that my diet has something to do with it.  SO, I have to have coffee.  That's all there is to it.  If I don't have coffee I have days like yesterday, which I won't get into in detail right now, but it was full of excitement, cleaning of my children's bodily functions, and culminating in a very unfortunate haircut that my daughter decided to give herself after which I completely overreacted.  I need the coffee.  So I am seriously considering going to a Homeopath.  I believe they know what they are doing and that the treatments work, and I'm hoping they can offer some relief.  My husband tells me I've been drinking the Kool-aid.  Maybe I should just drink Kool-aid instead of coffee. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Falling Off the Wagon

I had a cup of coffee today.  And.  I.  loved. it.   Don't judge me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Science Experiment, the actual experiment

Ok, so the part you've all been waiting for.

Well after doing my preliminary research on Saturday, I decided to immediately cut out coffee.  I couldn't pull the caffeine plug all at once though and so I switched to tea until yesterday, when I realized that black tea is just as bad as coffee.  I also promptly ordered some ph test strips so that I could try to determine how acidic I am.  Well these weren't coming in until Wednesday, and I had to go grocery shopping before then because we were out of food.  So as I wandered the aisles (because I went shopping without a list, which I do not advise), I kept thinking ooohhh, that's got a low pral value, etc. etc.  I ended up buying 3 bags of spinach, apricots, prunes, and chocolate covered plum bites impulsively.  I also decided that I was going to try to eat spinach and some dried fruit every day.  I don't particularly like dried fruit, but the kids like apricots and I can make the babies eat the prunes, so that's what I went for.  I am afraid to try a date for some reason, but my mother and another friend both love them, so I'm working up the nerve.  At any rate, I grocery shopped emotionally.

So I spent the next couple of days reading on some more foods and just kept getting lots of conflicting info but I finally came to some conclusions as far as what I myself am going to do.  I couldn't do anything too radical, because I am after all still nursing twins.  I have to eat a whole lot to be able to do this (nurse, that is).  I'm unfortunately not one of those people who can nurse and not eat much and just have pound after pound fall off.  I have to eat and eat and eat or I won't produce milk, and well, the weight just sort of takes it's sweet time coming off.  This is an aside here, but I remember when my cousin nursed her twins and almost whittled away down to nothing.  She had to safety pin all of her pants to even keep them up.  Somehow, I had visions of grandeur that this would be me.  It was not.  So, all of that to say, I can't cut out anything too radical in my experiment.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my test strips to come in, trying to decide what dietary changes I'm going to make, and thoroughly enjoying my chocolate covered plums.  I went so far as to ask hubby to look up the pral value for chocolate, which he graciously did.  Then I asked him to look it up for plums.  I was so excited to discover that the plums are more negative than the chocolate is positive, so I'm satisfied that the net is negative.  I even went so far as to pick the chocolate off of a few plums to try and determine the chocolate to plum ratio.  I was pleasantly surprised that it seems to be almost equal.  Finally after reading numerous lists and wondering what waffeolo cereal is because it's one of the worst offenders, I decide to go for the big numbers - dried fruit and spinach (since it's the only leafy green that I really enjoy eating).  I'm going to eat spinach daily, and add a serving of dried fruit.  And maybe another serving covered in chocolate.  I'm also cutting out coffee and tea daily. I only have one soda a week - it's a little guilty pleasure.  I haven't decided if I'm giving that up yet.  I'm also cutting back on my milk consumption.  I realized that I probably drink between 4 and 5 cups (8 oz) of milk daily.  This is excessive.  I drink two at breakfast, two with dinner, and usually at least one more during the day.  All of the reading I've been doing (before this even, when I got fixated on sheeps milk a few weeks ago), suggests that all of the real nutrition in milk is in the cream of non pasteurized and non homogenized milk.  So I'm also going to start getting 2% milk from my local farmer people and drinking a little of that every week.  Incidentally, I'm cutting down to 3 cups a day. I also am going to measure out my water for the day in a little sports bottle - I need to drink 2 full ones.  Because I know I don't drink enough water.  Finally, I'm going to try to cut my portion size down for meats at all meals, and if I feel like I need to eat more make it up with veggies (except corn).

So, satisfied that I am changing the daily pral values of my diet sufficiently, the ph strips came in and I started testing.  I combined a bunch of different suggestions into my own, which is what I do with most things I do in life.  One suggestion was that you test for 5 days, then average it.  I am going to do this.  The other was that you test in the morning and at night, because the morning one will tell you what your body's baseline is, and the evening one should tell you how what you've eaten that day affects your numbers.  So I'm doing that, too.  Then another place said that any dietary changes needed to be made for 6 weeks in order to affect your baseline, and then retest.  So I think I'm going to do that.  I really only want to do it for 5 weeks, because unfortunately for me Thanksgiving falls on day one of week six.  Now, for the past 8 years, we have spent Thanksgiving day with my in-laws, and then the day after Thanksgiving at my Uncle's house with my cousins and more recently parents and siblings.  This means I enjoy two straight days of pure gluttony because there is just no other word to describe it.  My m-i-l normally smokes or brines her turkey, my Uncle fries his.  They are both wonderful.  And I love stuffing, and sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes, and the cheesy corn that one of my cousins makes.... and the desserts.  You get the picture.  I'm not sure how that's going to affect my experiment.  So I am wondering if 5 weeks will be enough?  I guess even if I stop at the 5 week mark, I'd have to test over Thanksgiving, so either way, Thanksgiving is going to be a most inconvenient wrench in my experiment here because I might have to show some restraint. Well, I'll just cross that bridge when I get to it.

At any rate, I'm on day 3 of my testing. This was initially just a little frustrating because I couldn't find any consistent opinion on where these numbers should be coming in.  Regardless, I think my urine (which I also tested, and of course the kids had to get in on it, so I tested theirs, too) is normal.  My saliva may or may not be normal.  I *think* my baseline for my saliva is around a 6.75 which is either slightly acidic or on the low end of normal.  My strips came in Wednesday night, so I tested then, and then twice yesterday, and twice today.  Yesterday morning and today I had a 6.75 reading.  Wednesday night I also had a 6.75 reading.  Last night I had a 7.25, and tonight I had a 7.25.  At this point, the only conclusion I've drawn is that Zaxby's is probably not helping the acidity in my body at all.

So, I'll be interested to see how this turns out.  After I do my initial testing, there should be a long enough span  of time to where I would normally have a break out.  I am ending one right now - the remains of one of the whoppers are still in there, but almost gone.  So, if this works, I'll just plan on skipping out on dental school and just writing my dissertation.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Science Experiment Part 2 - The Research

So, to continue my previous post, I have been a faithful student at the University of Google for some time now.  I really ramped up my hours while I was in the hospital, and have tried to maintain my full time status since.  So while researching acidic foods I made all sorts of important discoveries.

One has to do with the ph content of foods and your own body.  Well, I am not a scientist at all and so I'm not going to try to explain in detail what I don't fully understand. Not to mention there are a host of inconsistent articles out there on the topic.  However, here is what seems to be simple and consistent:  The ph scale goes from 0 to 14, 7 being neutral.  Values greater than 7 are base (alkaline) and less than 7 are acidic. Your body and its fluids all have a reading.  The foods you eat are considered one or the other based on what your body does with the food after consumption.  Being acidic is bad in a whole lot of ways.  It can cause mouth ulcers, kidney problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer to name a few.

The inconsistencies come when trying to determine what the normal ph reading should be (you are generally testing urine and saliva), and the values of foods. I also stumbled across something called a PRAL value for food which is some number that's supposed to tell you the alkaline or acid load of a food.  It gets a little confusing here because using these numbers, the lower number is alkaline and the higher number is acid.

And then there is this one website called quackwatch which basically discards the whole theory.

SO, you could really spend all day on the internet looking up this sort of thing and you just have to draw the line somewhere.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go brush my teeth.  I'll tell you about the actual experiment in Part 3.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Science Experiment - Part 1, Back Story

So many things happen during the course of my day that I think would make wonderful blog entries, but since I don't even have time to brush my teeth most days, you guys are just going to have to miss out on most of these little gems.  However, this was one thing I had to document for posterity.  It may take me a few days to write it, but the public must know about this.

So, back story:   Most of you who know me very well, and some of you who don't know me well at all but just happened to catch me on a day when I was telling my life story know that I get these nasty ulcers in my mouth from time to time.  I've had them my entire life - as long as I can remember anyway.  My mom gets them, my brother and sister also get them, and alas, my kids get them.  I think given all of that it must be hereditary to some degree, but I get them worse than anyone else I know.  I have asked every dentist and doctor about it for years because I suffer with these things.  I mean suffer.  I have dubbed them my "thorn in the flesh".  Most people who get them get one, maybe two or three at a time, and they are fairly small.  When I have an outbreak, I will get at least 5, usually around 10 or so, but at time upwards of 20 in my mouth at the same time.  Some of them are the size of my thumb nail, and at least half of them are all over my tongue making it near impossible for me to talk or eat without being in excruciating pain.  If I've ever been rude to you, there's a good chance that it's because I was at the time afflicted with these things.  I normally just clench my jaw for about 3 weeks because that's typically how long it takes for them to run their course.  Sometimes I'll have a week or two off before I get another outbreak.  They make me very tired, and irritable to say the least.

I have stopped eating tomatoes for the most part, because I thought the acid in the tomato was causing some of the outbreaks.  Then I did a little research myself and found that SLS, which is found in almost all toothpastes can irritate, so I buy this expensive toothpaste online called squiggle, which hasn't reduced the outbreaks, but at least when I have the sores it doesn't feel like I'm scraping the inside of my mouth with razor blades when I brush my teeth.  So I keep using it.  Then a few years back I got my wisdom teeth out.  The doctor prescribed me a steroid afterwards, which I guess is routine, and every sore in my mouth went away almost overnight.  Unfortunately, I cannot convince anyone to prescribe me a steroid just whenever I feel like it.  I went to see a doctor who did give me a special mouth rinse that has some steroid in it, but you can't get it at a pharmacy.  It's some concoction that I have to get from a lab that mixes chemicals and medicines for animals.  This costs about $50 a bottle, and although it helps, it doesn't prevent the sores.  It makes them go away in about a week rather than 3 weeks. Oh, and the bottle lasts a couple months.

Ok, so it's taken me three paragraphs and two days just to tell the back story, but it's important to understand the monster that is being dealt with here. So my dad was here last week and he just happens to mention that he  has cut back on his coffee consumption to 3 cups per day because coffee is acidic and he has acid reflux. Never in my life had I heard or considered that coffee was acidic.  I love coffee.  Things start to click... I seem to have a mild reprieve when I'm pregnant, don't drink coffee when I'm pregnant (don't worry, I get my caffeine elsewhere I just lose the taste for coffee for some reason ).  So I think to myself, I need to look up which foods are acidic because I clearly don't know.  End back story.

By the way, I know some of you are wondering how I have time to write this if I don't have time to brush my teeth.  Let me just assure everyone that on the days I type, I also have time to brush my teeth.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Never stop learning

I learned so many new things last week that I've already started forgetting them.  Nothing completely earth shattering, but interesting nonetheless so I thought I'd share my newly acquired useless information with others.  Some of you might need one of these little trinkets in Trivial Pursuit one day.

1)  Sheep's milk is more nutritious than either cow's or goat's.  It is not widely consumed because sheep produce less milk that either cows or goats, and because the solids (therefore, fat) is roughly double the other types of milk. But this means that so are the other nutrients because they are found in the fat.  I actually learned a whole lot about sheep and their milk, but I'll stop there for now otherwise this will turn into a blog about sheep.

2) Grass fed animals are healthier for you to eat than grain fed (even if the grain is organic) because all of the cancer fighting thingys are found in grass fed meat, not in grain fed.  

3) A Quetzal is a South American bird.  Let me tell you I cannot wait to get a "Q" and a "Z" at the same time in Scrabble, or Words with Friends.  I was so excited to learn this word thinking I might finally have an advantage over the 3 people that seem to continuously amaze me with their vocabulary.  You know who you are.  

4) When finishing a butcher block, if you are going to use it as a cutting board then you would oil it.  If you are not going to cut on it, merely use it as countertop space, then a urethane finish would be just fine (as long as it's still food safe - like a salad bowl finish).  Good luck finding one.  

5) When you do oil the previously mentioned butcher block, wear gloves.  Otherwise your hands will stick together similar to the effect that glue might have on ones skin.  It's pretty hard to get off, too. 

Hopefully this week will be just as educational.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, most of you would be surprised to know that my husband makes up these bizarre songs to sing to the kids all the time.  They are truly original, and we joke that he's going to make a cd one day.  Even though it's a joke, quite honestly when you listen to some of these kids songs, he probably could make one and it would sell trillions.  They're catchy, and they get stuck in your head.  At any rate, I thought for the longest time, that a particular "rap", if you will, was his own creation.  It was not until recently that I realized that it was an actual song from the 80's.  "Song" and even "rap" are used in the loosest possible sense here.  My kids love it. And since they will never perform when I ask them to... I just couldn't resist.

The original, in case you have no idea (like myself) what you missed out on in the 80's.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Farmers Market

We've had a busy last few days and there is so much I have an opinion on that I just can't decide which to talk about.  So I'll just start rambling and see where this goes.  At any rate, school just started back for Russ on Thursday, which means it started for us on Thursday, and which means I am by myself with all 5 kids all day for the first time since the beginning of summer.  I did remember that I have done this before (for a couple weeks before school was out) and so I got less concerned.  I also have been praying a lot about it lately, and the Lord has answered those prayers in that the last few days have actually been great. The kids are excited about doing school, we've had some pretty positive days, and I think we're all going to be just fine.  I even almost took all 5 kids grocery shopping.  Maybe next week.

Well I was going to go off on a highly opinionated topic having to do with why I have so many kids and how much I enjoy being at home with them.  Slightly related to what are people thinking when they say some of the crazy things that come out of their mouth, but instead, I'm just going to write about today.

We went to the Farmers Market today, mainly to let the kids play in the fountain, but also to check out the produce that is down there.  For those of you who live in town if you do not have the opportunity to do this, you can also purchase items from the same local farmers online.  I really wish we could go down there more often, because it's such a cute little market and lots of fun things going on there.


We spent most of the morning at the fountain, while 3 kids played, and 2 kids hung out in the stroller.  Russ chatted with a former student, and visited lots of the food vendors on our behalf, and  I met another mom of twins and visited with her, and took pictures, and watched a young man make some pottery.  I  am always fascinated by the whole pottery making process. 

We always get homemade lemonade and usually try some of the ethic foods that are cooked there.  Today we had filipino street food, i.e. pork and beef kabobs.  They were very tasty - the kids ate most of it.

We topped it off today with some homemade peach ice cream.  I don't even like peach ice cream, but this was tasty.  If this is any indication of the rest of the school year, I think it's going to be a good one!

Friday, August 12, 2011

True Confessions

So, I sometimes feel like I do a lot of confessing on this blog, granted most of it trivial.  At any rate, I have a new confession.  It's sort of a long story.  I have to preface it by saying that I admire and am slightly envious of the Pioneer Woman.  People, I don't even remember who at this point, had told me about her many years ago, and that I needed to go visit her blog.  Well this was back in the day when we had no internet service, so I didn't rush out to the local library to check her out.  I truthfully didn't even keep it in the back of my mind.  But so many people kept telling me about her, and then my mom bought me her cookbook (autographed, no less), which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I became an instant fan (and eventually visited her website).  Well, I just happen to have a friend who is friends with a friend of Mrs. Drummond. So in some respects, we practically know each other. Now, right after I became a fan, I was in awe of this woman (I mean, who can really do all of that stuff anyway). Well, my friend tells me, bursting my Pioneer Woman bubble, that she (she being the PW) has a nanny and two housekeepers.  Or two nannies and a housekeeper.  There were 3 people that helped her out regularly at any rate.  So I instantly felt justified and less inept having this piece of information.  The confession in this whole story is that she also fell a couple of notches in my esteem of her.  This was back when I had only 2 kids. I have been humbled since this day.  I now have someone clean my house.  If this did not happen I cannot imagine the utter filth that we would be living in.  I can barely get our laundry done most of the time.

I was reflecting on this quite a bit today because my only daughter turns 4 this weekend.  I wanted to surprise her with a cake from the movie "Tangled" because when some friends from church lent us their copy of the movie, she watched it daily for a few weeks (that's why it took us so long to return it).  She and Colin practically have the whole thing memorized, and some days will play "Tangled" in which they quote the movie verbatum almost in it's entirety.  So I started looking on the internet for "Tangled" cakes and found lots of food blogs with excellent photography, which is another passion that I share with the PW and probably what I envy her for the most (except for maybe that she lives on a ranch, which has been a secret dream of mine since childhood), in that she has fabulous lenses and an incredible photo-editing software.  Well, I took some pictures, and since the ideas were not originally my own, but my cake was just a modification of what I saw others do, I felt like I should give credit where credit was due.  Starting with my mother - if she had not been here making lunch for my older three children, and holding one of the two babies when needed for about 6 hours today (so I again was reminded that I was an idiot for ever thinking ill of PW for having a nanny, or two or however many she has), not to mention consulting on the entire project, it would never have happened.  I love my mother, she knows almost everything there is to know about something crafty (I love her for other reasons, too).  And then there's the supermom, and this other lady whose cake ideas I tried to copy for the most part.

Ok, so here's the cake!
We couldn't find pecan rolls at the grocery store, oddly, but found these mini french crullers, which actually worked awesome and (I think) looked better.  We also used two pyrex bowls, a medium and small one.  The medium one was the base, and then the small one was the top.  Plus we cut the little "hump" off of the medium one and put it on top of the small one to make the top of the tower. I did do a platform, like one of the ladies suggested, and I hot glued the dowel to the cake base because I didn't want another disaster, like last year.

 I had a grass/hair icing tip that was so easy to use....
 And the leaf tip for the vine...
 Plus a waffle cone from Brewsters for the roof, a couple of chex for the windows, and a broken pretzel for the little thingy that she throws her hair over.  The hair was the only non-edible thing, it was just braided yarn.
 Oh yeah, and a little flower tip with pearl non pareils that my mom had...
 Voila - Rapunzel's tower!
 I was so proud of it.  Most of you don't know about last year's cake disaster.  It was probably the worst cake I have ever, ever made in my entire life.  It was horrible.  It was really just embarassing.  Ansley could have made a better cake for herself.  Here is a picture.
What you can't see is that the dowels are not doing their job in an already ridiculously ugly cake, and so the entire back of the cake is falling off, and I had to prop it up with cardboard, and some heavy candles.  You can sort of see the back of the cardboard behind one of the turrets.  This was a low moment in my cake decorating history.  Hopefully I've redeemed myself (a little maybe?).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Prayers & School

Approximately 3 weeks from now, school will start - for Russ obviously, and for me and the kiddos.  I remember when I was growing up how I always looked forward to school starting towards the end of summer.  I loved school, mostly.  So as the time is getting closer for Colin to start kindergarten I have started to get really excited.  I started getting some things together while I was in the hospital, and now that there is less than a month to go, I'm getting down to the details, like which day we're going to talk about the letter 'm' and which books we're going to read to go along with our European history segment and where I can go to buy an inflatable globe.  

Along with this excitement though, especially the last week, has come a little bit of fear.  I admit it, I'm afraid.  But not of school.  Russ has been home with me for the last couple of months, and I am afraid for being the only adult in our house.  I'm not sure we're all going to make it out alive.  To elaborate, I'll tell you about yesterday.  I have to tell the whole story, because at the beginning, before the whole thing starts going downhill,  I sound like a responsible parent.  Yesterday afternoon me and the 5 kiddos were all in our carpet room (so named b/c it is the only room in the house with carpet). The 3 older ones were playing puzzles on the floor, and I had the babies laying on the floor and was talking to them.  I rarely put these kids on the floor.  There is just way too much activity, and if someone else ever puts them on the floor, my blood pressure goes up noticeably.  They will probably never learn to walk or crawl or anything because they are never, ever on the floor.  Except for yesterday.  So things were actually relatively calm, and then my oldest wanted to Skype.  We don't let our kids talk on the cell phone because it probably causes brain tumors, so the solution was to let them Skype. The computer is back in my bedroom, though, so I have to leave the room to set it up and so forth.  Well, Graham had gotten fussy, so I was holding him, and sweet Bennett was still on the floor.  The way this story should have ended is that I put him in a swing or something and the kids Skyped and we all lived happily ever after.  However, it has a different ending.  I asked Colin to stay in the room with Bennett to make sure that Silas didn't come near him.  We almost pulled it off, but Colin left his post for a brief moment and when Bennett started crying and we all ran back into the room, Silas evidently was sitting on him.  Colin saw it first and Silas heard us coming, so by the time I got there I didn't see anything.  So I undressed him, made sure he could still move his legs and no ribs were broken (Silas weighs 28 pounds!) And then I still called the doctor, because I wanted to make sure there was no internal bleeding.  Bennett meanwhile is talking as usual and stopped crying the minute Silas got off of him.  We did go to the doctor just to be sure and everything is fine.  And in case you are wondering both babies are sleeping now and perfectly safe in their crib.  In fact I haven't let Silas touch either one of them since and probably won't ever again. What am I going to do with this kid?  

So, while yesterday is not a typical day by any means, it's scenarios like that that have had me just a little nervous about Russ going back to school.  Until last night, when I was reminded that when he goes to school he prays for us multiple times during the day.  Since he has been home, I'm not sure he's been sending those prayers up.  So maybe he needs to go back to school so he can start saying those prayers again, and in the meantime, I am soliciting any and all willing to pray for us.  Daily.  Three or Four times, please.  And please, don't stop when school starts.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Identity Crisis

For most people who have children I think it is pretty normal, for the mother anyway, to have some sort of identity crisis after your first kid is born.  That is probably part of what makes having kids so hard at first - you're either still trying to figure out who you are or have defined yourself pretty well, and then you give life to another human and have to totally forget who you've just discovered yourself to be so that you can focus on the infant life in front of you.  Sometimes you end up losing yourself and sometimes it just takes a while to redefine yourself and then you come out someone totally different on the other side of it.  It's awesome.  Since the babies are my 4th and 5th, I fortunately am not having an identity crisis this time around.  I don't have time for that.  However, Silas has decided to have one in my place.  At least he's getting it out of his system early in life.  It first started at the beginning of this month, fitting since he turned two just a few days ago.  We were at my parents house and they had taken the 3 older kids over to the river, which happened to be at a friend's house. She is going on about how cute Silas is and says to him:  "What's your name?"  to which he replies "Colin."  My mother relayed this to me and we had a nice laugh.  The following day he was looking at himself in a mirror and my mom asks him "Who is that?" to which he replies, "Colin."  So at this point, I'm thinking, this kid doesn't even know his name.  So I start asking him on a regular basis what his name is and he normally says either "Colin" or "5" which is how old Colin is.  So we start practicing.  "Your name is Silas.  What's your name?  Silas."  To which he would reply "Silas Colin" After a week of practicing, now when I ask him he usually replies:  "I don't know" or "Green" or something silly.  I think he's at the point now where he's trying to get a laugh. This morning, we were trying to get him to do something, I can't even remember at this point what it was, but it was something that he likes to do and that Ansley also likes to do.   So my mom (who was visiting us)  just remarked that he was like sissy.  His reply : "Like Colin."  I think its kinda sweet that he loves his older brother so much.  Colin doesn't seem to be irritated by it, yet; although when Silas was praying a few nights ago and said "Dear God. [Thank you for] Colin, and Colin, and Colin, and Colin, and Colin, and Colin..... " (until after about the fifteenth Colin when I cut him off and said "Amen.") Colin was getting a little annoyed because he wasn't praying for anything else, but I think that was more of a firstborn-you-have-to-pray-the-right-way irritation and not an irritation with his fan club. Anyway, I've been trying to figure out if we should be concerned about him, but I think I've just decided that he'll figure it out eventually.  Either that or steal Colin's identity.  

Friday, May 20, 2011


One of my favorite things about summer is the fruit.  I love berries, and peaches, but really only fresh and they taste the best, like everything else, in their season.  I was thinking about that this morning, while I ate one of my favorite breakfasts, pictured below.

I cannot take any credit for this idea, I first enjoyed it at a cousin-in-law's house about 4 years ago and it has been a summer highlight ever since.  Mary B's has fabulous frozen biscuits, slice up some South Carolina peaches (they're better than Georgia ones) and/or hand-picked strawberries, add some whipped cream (cream-top as Ansley says), ground cinnamon, and voila.  It's so delicious. 
So I'm enjoying my breakfast this morning and actually thinking while I eat.  I actually have time for this now on occasion since both boys are nursing.  You see, up until this week, my schedule has been: Feed Graham + Pump + Feed Bennett = 2 hours + 1 hour "break" and then start over.  The break usually involved making something for the other kids to eat, or me to eat, or just managing Silas which is a full-time job alone.  Now it is: Feed Babies: 30 minutes. So I actually have a small amount of time to finish a thought every now and then.  And some days I even have time to write them down.  
Alright, back to my thought:  The train started like this (I didn't promise it was a deep thought):  I love strawberries.  I especially love the hand-picked fresh ones.  I'd like to go pick some strawberries.  I cannot go pick strawberries because I have 5 kids 5 and under and as I have already suggested, Silas + strawberry patch = disaster.  We'll go pick strawberries one day, and it will be fun.  But until then, I am going to enjoy the season of life that I'm in. 

I am going to enjoy my thoughtful 5 year old (he can be very sweet when he's not knocking birds from their nest),

who, yesterday made his sister the last package of cream of wheat and put chocolate chips in it for her (she was also very excited about this because he evidently makes it a little more chocolatey than I do).  He made himself a bowl of Kix (I'm sleeping at this point), poured Silas and me a bowl of Kix, and had the recycling by the door ready to go out.
My sweet 3 year old, who loves her baby brothers and crawls in bed with me every morning so she can "sleep" next to them.
 My high maintenance almost 2 year old,

who is potty training, loves the babies, idolizes his older brother, and provides comic relief during the day to help me stay sane,
and my two precious babies

 that coo and laugh and snuggle and won't be this little for very long.  I will enjoy this season and not rush into the next one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Birds

So, yesterday Colin & Ansley came running in the house super excited yelling "Mommy! Mommy! We found a baby bird!"  So I went to look for a basket to put it in.  By the time I got back they had found a second baby bird and were just about beside themselves.  So they filled the basket with pinestraw and started the hunt for bugs. 

Fortunately, Silas was sleeping, otherwise our story would end here with two dead birds.  Well, I was not exactly sure what to do with these guys.  They reminded me a little of Graham and Bennett, all chirpy crying with their mouths open,

 so I felt like I had to help look for bugs because the search wasn't going so well.  After looking forever it seems, we found one cricket that we cut in half and they had to share.  This was not going to be easy.  Plus, we couldn't bring them in the house and if we left them outside a cat would have got them.  So they spent the night in the laundry room, and then this morning I sat down with the kids to pitch my idea of trying to get them back in the nest.  I had to ask some more specific questions about the location where they found them, did they see a nest, etc.  and this interrogation led to a surprise ending:  Evidently "found" in my five year old's vocabulary is equivalent to "knocked out of the bush because I want a pet bird."  So upon this discovery we had a lecture on how God gave Adam the animals to take care of, not to steal them away from their mommies.  At any rate, the birds now have the ritz-carlton of bird's nests,

we can see them from the kid's bathroom window, and the mommy bird is still feeding them, thank goodness.

As R. pointed out last night, I think I have enough mouths to feed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Birth Announcement

 This is the birth announcement I hope to be sending out soon, seeing as how the babies are over 3 months old now.  Oh well, it's been a busy 3 months.  I keep thinking of all kinds of things to write about, but I just haven't found the time to get on here and do it.  Maybe soon.  Seeing as how I can't remember to bring diapers or wipes or something totally important, don't hold your breath.  So far I've had to either use a spare t-shirt folded up as best I could to use as a temporary diaper, or once I used one of Silas' diapers (size 5) on Bennett (Newborn) so it fastened around his armpits and I probably could have fastened it around his neck if his arms hadn't gotten in the way.  I have to remind myself to eat and drink because I spend the rest of the day feeding 5 children.  Heaven help us when I start cooking again.  Actually I have cooked a couple of times.  "Cooked" is a loose term.  The fanciest thing I've done so far has been a roast in the crock pot.  It took all of 5 minutes to throw a piece of meat, carrots, potatoes and some seasoning in.  I didn't even go to the store to buy the stuff - someone dropped it off.   We've been heavily relying on the grill. But next week is when the meals stop coming so I'll have to start figuring something out.  3 months of meals was more than I could have ever hoped for so thank  you again to everyone who contributed!  Anyway, I have to feed my other 3 kids lunch, so I'll try to remember all of my revelations about child rearing until a later day.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sleep Deprived

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that this is my current state.  I sat down a couple of nights ago and calculated how much sleep I was actually getting at night.  It's somewhere around 5 - 5 1/2 hours on a good night.  This explains why I could pass for the walking dead most of the morning.  I am not and never have been a person who could survive on little sleep.  I remember one time when I was in college, working full time waiting tables and going to school full time, that some friends came over and I was so dead asleep that they posed me into all sort of different pictures with them, sitting up, and I have no memory of it.  Well I'm not quite to that point yet, but almost.  I was thinking about that this morning because I got up around 6 ish to feed the babies.  Well this takes about an hour to feed, burp, change their diapers, etc.  Then I normally pump, but since it was Sunday morning, I had to get the kids ready for church.  So Ansley had come in to watch around 7 when I was wrapping up, and she was just talking my ear off.  She of course wanted to hold one of the babies, so I let her do that, and then Silas wanted to hold one, so he did that, and then it was time for breakfast.  By the time the kids ate and were dressed it was 8:15 or so.  I had not eaten, pumped, or obviously done anything with myself since I was staying home.  It was then that it hit me:  When I start going back to church, I'm going to have to wake up at like 5 in the morning.  The sad part is, that when this happens I guarantee I'll sleep through most of the service. After everyone left this morning, I finally ate and sat down to pump.  I fell asleep pumping.  This is not the first time this has happened, but fortunately, all the other times this happened someone has been here and noticed and made enough noise to awake me, but no one was here this morning.  So I pumped for like 45 minutes.  The only reason I woke up when I did was that Graham decided it was time to eat again and started crying. 

Having said that, I knew a while back that I would not be getting anything done around the house for a while after they both got home.  So I've just been making a list.  It's getting pretty long, but I feel better knowing that it's written down somewhere so I don't have to carry it around in my brain anymore.  One of the things on my list is to finish up thank you notes.  There is a separate list of people I need to write, and it's also getting pretty long.  If you have given me a gift or brought food or flowers or done anything thoughtful and have not gotten a note from me, your name is on this list. I am grateful.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gray Hair

So, for about the last 6 months or maybe longer, I've been growing out my gray hair.  I had, for a number of years now, been plucking them.  I don't have that many, but they are all in the front and sort of irritate me, so I normally just plucked them as I saw them.  They have a different texture, they're a little wiry, and pick up the light in ways that I just wish the rest of my hair did. I always ask my hairdresser to check the rest of my head to tell me how bad it's getting, because I am trying to put off getting highlights as long as I possibly can, mostly because of the expense and the maintenance involved once you start something like that.  Well at one visit last year, she told me a story about a lady who plucked her gray hairs and also got highlights, and the gray ones never got highlighted because they were too short to color since she plucked.  So I've been growing them out now for some time so that when I decide to take the plunge, I won't have this issue.  Well I've also been growing out the rest of my hair because I'm lazy and don't want to have to fix it, and so when I pull my hair back in a pony tail is generally when I notice the mass quantities of grays that are kept hidden when I wear my hair down.  Needless to say, I've been noticing them a lot lately.  Normally I would just notice them and go on with my life, but evidently since the extra 25lbs I'm still carrying around has made me feel like I have a double chin and jowls, my subconscious has been bothered by all of this more than I realized and I dreamt last night about gray hair.  In this marvelous dream, R. was pointing out all of my gray hairs.  He was picking through the hair on my head and pointing out that I had a lot in the back and they were really just everywhere and getting out of control, and then he lifted up one side of my hair to point out this huge patch of gray hair that was all growing in together.  Just in case you are wondering, he would never, ever do this. Most of the time when I start whining about it he says something along the lines of "I love your gray hair."  Or something like that.  So I'm not sure where this dream came from, but I think I'm going to have to pluck at least one of these hairs because it is staring me in the face every time I look in the mirror. 

On a totally different subject, the house is back to normal.  The front porch has been cleared, the mattresses are gone from the middle of the house, and our attic and storage shed have never been more organized than they are right now.  So I no longer have that to stress me out.  Graham is just about the perfect baby.  He eats every 4 hours just like they taught him to do in the hospital, sometimes I wake him up but most of the time he wakes up right one schedule, eats and goes right back to bed.  I'm still pumping because he's not nursing very well, so even when he nurses I pump after I feed him, and I usually prop him up on the Boppy while I do that just in case I haven't burped him well enough, and so sometimes he'll look around for a bit but then he just drifts off.  Noise doesn't bother him at all, thank goodness, so he's just out in his bassinet in the middle of the house sleeping all day. I am still pretty exhausted from going up to the hospital every night, and if I ever do have a day where I feel really good I try to run errands, and then feel awful the next day.  Today is the next day in case you were wondering.  But my mom is here, so I'm still able to nap pretty well.  She'll be here for another week, which is great because Bennett is supposed to come home on Monday, and I'll have my postpartum visit and then have a few more days to try to get stuff done before she leaves.  But I figure once we're not going to the hospital every day I'll have a little more energy, although I'm sure it will be redirected toward the babies.  There's no way they're going to both sleep this well for very long. 

Oh yeah, and I saw more gypsies at the hospital. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have sat down a number of times to update this since I last posted, and well, you can see how well I've done.  There were not too many changes in the boys for what seemed like a while, so I was really trying to get the house in order.  It had changed somewhat since my hospitalization and needed some attention.  Unfortunately, I was prohibited from doing much due to my surgery, so I mainly stared at the place and tried to give some direction to my sweet mother, who not only listened but actually did a lot of the work.  I also had a couple of wonderful friends come over to help with rearranging furniture and the like so that we could get things ready for the boys.  All of that said, the place is coming together. 

We do have a couple of mattresses still in the middle of the house waiting for us to clean out our storage room to put them in (hopefully done this weekend).  And there is some furniture sitting on the front porch that we no longer have room for in the house, but aren't sure we have room for it in the storage room either.  At one point I was starting to feel like I was living out a Sanford and Son episode, but my antidepressant has kicked in nicely and I'm starting to be ok with it.  If it's still there in a few weeks I'm just going to have a yard sale.  Which leads me to this - I love Craig's list.  I have been selling all of our personal possessions on this site and it is wonderful.  Well not all of our possessions, but some of them.  Ok, two to be exact, but hey I would sell a whole lot more if I could.  One of the items I sold was our tv stand.  We had a bookshelf built in to our living room and so we didn't have room for our monstrous old tv and the tv stand that it was on.  So I sold the TV stand on Craig's list and donated the TV to some man who collects junk that people leave on the side of the road for the garbage man to pick up.  Anyway, the lady who bought the TV stand, we'll call her Alice, was from Massachusetts, and was very sweet.  The lady she brought with her, whose name I'm not going to change, Ann, must have been from a very rude part of the country, because she was just that.  When they came to collect the tv stand, they had to first move the tv off of it.  It was old, and very, very heavy.  So when I told them they could put it on the floor, Ann says "I'm not going all the way to the floor with this thing, here we'll put it right here." And promptly puts it on a toy box in my living room.  The TV was not really sturdy on this piece of furniture, and so Alice, the one who was actually paying for the furniture says "We can't put that here, it's going to fall over on the kids!"  So Ann starts rearranging my whole living room to prop the TV up with other pieces of furniture, and when she is satisfied, says "There, that won't fall over now, but you'll need to keep your kids out of here until someone can move it to the floor."  Gee thanks, Ann.  Why did I not say something?  I have no idea.  I think my jaw must have been on the floor, either that or I had stopped breathing because I could not get more than a word out of my mouth at a time.  When they started moving the TV stand, Ann's next suggestion was to just put it on the rug in the entry way and use the rug to scoot it to their Mercedes SUV.  Alice exclaims "Ann!  We can't do that!", to which Ann says, "You don't know how to move furniture" and then Alice says back "You don't know how to take care of other people's stuff!" All the while giving me an apologetic look.  If it wasn't for Alice and the fact that she was the one paying for the furniture I might have clocked Ann at that point, because I was starting to come out of it.  Anyway, needless to say they did not use my rug to move the TV stand, and I got my money and everything is fine now.

I've also been cleaning out closets and come to a number of conclusions about the mass quantities of stuff that we've been able to accumulate and how ridiculous it is, but I'll spare you all of that because later today, something very exciting is going to happen - Graham is coming home!  I'm so excited and the two older kids are beside themselves.  Silas doesn't have a clue, but he knows something is happening and keeps walking around saying "Graham" over and over again.  He's going to be in for a surprise I think.  Bennett is still a few weeks out - but he's growing and so they'll probably let him come home by the time he puts on another pound.  So it won't be long before we're all home.  Now the real fun begins!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I finally saw some.  Most people I know cannot believe that I have lived in Augusta for 5 years and never seen a gypsy.  Well, I guess the "correct" term is Irish Traveler. I have driven through Murphy Village numerous times and seen their weird mansions with all of the huge windows totally covered up, but I had never seen an actual living person until today.  I was fascinated and wanted to stare.  I saw them at the hospital, since that is the only place I'm going these days.  I had actually been looking for them for the last 6 weeks or so, because I heard about how they take over the waiting room when one of them is having a baby.  Another patient and one of the nurses, and then a friend all described them the same way, and they were all right.  When I saw one, I knew what I was looking at. 

I first saw three middle aged women with the same exact hair-do. It was sort of poofy, and didn't move at all.  It looked very unnatural, like a bad wig.  I haven't seen a 'do this bad in a while, so that alone was cause for me to (try not to) stare, and then I saw the waiting room.  There wasn't an empty seat in the house.  All of the benches around the well baby nursery were taken, and the NICU waiting room was also full, and every chair on the 3rd floor of the hospital was occupied.  About half of these people had the same bad hair-do.  The younger girls - like my age :),  had their hair in curls.  Lots of curls.  It was almost pretty, except that it too, looked totally unnatural and wig-like.  I have no idea how they get their hair to do this.  It was big and curly and that's the only way I know how to describe it.  Everyone was made-up.  Very made up.  I didn't see any little kids, which I was sort of disappointed by, because I've heard that they dress up their 2 year olds the same way.    There also were no men, at least none that I could see.  There were about 5 teenage boys, who looked like quintuplets.  All wearing white vests and a pink shirt underneath.  Actually everyone was wearing pink, evidently when one of them has a baby they all show up in pink or blue depending on the gender of the child.  Most of them had a flattened face.  Some think that this is from years of inbreeding, and I heard from a somewhat reputable source that a lot of their babies have health problems due to this (the inbreeding, not the flat face).  At any rate, they all looked the same.  I have heard that there are only 3 last names among the 1500+ people that live in their community.  There are the blond and brunette ones that have quite a bit of money and flash, and then another group that isn't rich and who live in trailers. When I was leaving, there were two who got in the elevator with me, a young brunette and her mother.  The young girl was talking very fast - which was another thing that I had heard about them.  They talk fast and have an accent so you can't understand what they are saying.  My sister and I happen to have the gift of speaking fast, so fast that my dad on occasion has accused us of speaking a different language.  I had no problem understanding what this girl was saying, but I can honestly say that I have never, ever, since moving to the south, heard someone talk this quickly.  I smiled at them, which for those of you who know me is something that I don't get accused of doing too often, and they actually did smile back, sort of.  Which contradicted what I had heard about them being rude to anyone who was not part of their group.  Not totally rude anyway.  We weren't BFF or anything by the time we got out of the elevator, but I thought exchanging smiles was nice.  That is the whole story of my first gypsy encounter.  For some reason I am totally fascinated with these people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


After 6 long weeks in the hospital, I am home.  The kids were so sweet on Monday - they had put balloons all over the house and made me "Welcome home mommy" signs. They hung them everywhere and they were SO excited.  I missed them so much.  Even though I was seeing them every day, it seems like they've grown up on me.  They all look older, and listening to them talk they sound older.  It's amazing how much difference
6 weeks makes when they're this little.  They've been snuggling with me on the couch and in my bed, and have been so sweet and concerned about me.  Except Silas - he's actually sick.  I feel so bad for him, he looks pitiful.  Mom has been carrying him around for 2 days.  He doesn't really want me - he wants her, which I would expect after the last few weeks.  It's probably better anyway, because I don't want to get the little ones sick, but it's sort of hard having your baby not want you when he's sick.

Which leads me to this next observation - being home is sort of surreal.  When I left I was pregnant, I came home not pregnant, but not with babies, and even though I was gone for so long, looking back on it, it went by pretty fast.  So I can't figure out which part feels like the dream - where I was in the hospital, or now.  It all seems sort of jumbled.  It's also weird, because the house is a little .... different... some furniture was rearranged, so things that need to go someplace are just sort of laying all over the house.  No one was sure where to put them, and to be honest, I don't even know what to do with it.  But normally living this way would be sure to drive me crazy in a short amount of time and right now, it's just adding to the surreality of this situation.  Surprisingly, at least for now, I don't feel stressed out about it.  Which that might be adding to the weirdness, too.   The only thing I've even attempted to "fix" since I got home was that I let Ansley know that she was going to stop wearing her headbands out in public, and she would be getting her hair fixed again.  I know that is completely superficial, and of all the things going on at the bottom of the list.  I have made fun of myself for this already, I guess it's the only thing in disarray I can do anything about right now, and so I'm on it.  Like white on rice. 

Recovery-wise I guess I'm doing well.  I ended up getting a spinal headache, which was terrible.  It didn't start until Sunday night, so they were hesitant to call it a spinal one, and so I went home with it, and then it got better and then worse again, and finally last night I was starting to feel nauseated and so I self-diagnosed myself, and called the doctor back and we went in and got a blood patch.  So now I feel great, but in order to ensure that I don't require a second patch, the anesthesiologist suggested I lay flat for two or three days as much as possible.  So that's what I'm doing.  I also feel like someone hit me across the back with a 2X4 where they did the patch, so now I'm taking my pain meds for that and not the incision.  By the weekend all should be well. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

C-sections and such

Well, as I'm sure you're all aware by now, the babies were born yesterday via c-section.  They are doing great and so far I am just fine, but after only 24 hours, I think I prefer delivering babies the way the Lord intended.  I know it wasn't possible in this case, and I am totally grateful for the technology that allowed us all to come through this - without it we might not have had such a good outcome for the boys.  I'm just saying being cut open hasn't been the most fun thing I've ever done. 

The surgery itself went fine.  Needles don't bother me much as long as I'm not watching, so the spinal block went just dandy and being numb was fine.  It was very weird feeling all of the pulling and tugging though.  I'm not sure even how to describe the sensation.  For whatever reason, it took the nurse a while to get R.  - they wanted him to wait until after the anesthesia part was finished before he came in, and so by the time he started walking in my doctor had already started cutting.  So R. gets there, sits down next to my head, and I ask him "Can you see anything yet?"  and he says, "I just saw all of your intestines."  I got to thinking later, this isn't a part of your spouse's body that you probably ever plan on viewing.  Thank goodness he doesn't have a weak stomach.  Right about the time they got the babies out, I started feeling ever so slightly nauseated from all of the pressure around my actual stomach (not the stomach region mind you, the organ itself).  So I let them know and they stick something in my IV.  Then I started having the most incredible heartburn I've ever had in my entire life.  So I tell them this, and they put something else in my IV.  Then they show me the babies, I got to kiss little Graham on the top of his head, and they took them to the NICU.  I think it was at this point that I fell asleep, and I woke up sometime later in the recovery area. The feeling hadn't quite returned fully to my lower half, yet.  But it was mostly there.  I could move, sort of.  So they wheeled me on the bed through the NICU so I could see the boys. 

Then they brought me to my room.  Fortunately, they had me on some good pain medicine, and really as long as I'm lying down or reclined, I feel just fine.  It's the whole moving around thing that's giving me problems.  I mean, they actually made me walk around today.  So, after showering, sitting in an actual chair to eat my breakfast, pumping, and then walking back to my room from the NICU at a snails pace, I think I used more energy in a couple of hours than I have in the last 6 weeks sitting in that hospital bed. 

I was going to try to make it through this on extra strength ibuprofen, but then someone (my friend from upstairs who had her baby a few weeks ago) reminded me that your uterus contracts when you are breastfeeding, and that this time, my uterus has been sliced open and stitched back up.  So, I gave in already and took a percocet.  I hate narcotics.  They make me loopy.  But I only took one, and I haven't felt like I'm having an out of body experience yet, so, so far so good!  I've heard the 3rd day is the worst.  So I'm wondering, is that tomorrow, or Monday? 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back in my old room

Well today and yesterday were better days.  I got moved today back to my old room, and the light at the end of the tunnel has been defined a little more clearly - I think I actually see it now!  Obviously the longer the better for the babies, but they can't really seem to figure out what is going on, and I think to be on the safe side, they are pulling the plug at 34 weeks.  This is only 2 weeks and 3 days from now.  I don't have a "scheduled time" yet for the OR, but I'm pretty sure it's happening week after next, provided we don't take a turn for the worse and have to go sooner. 

Plus my sister came out to see me today and we had lunch together and talked for a couple hours, and it was great.  I'm glad we only live 3 hours away from each other - closer would be even better.  Maybe one day we can become Amish and homeschool our kids and grow vegetables together. 

I also am looking forward to seeing my husband tonight - I didn't get to see him yesterday because he spent the whole day working very hard at rearranging the bedrooms and assembling some bunkbeds with the help of some wonderful friends.  I can't wait to see it! He said it's going to be like extreme home makeover when I get home.  I haven't seen the kids since Sunday, because that little room that they had me in was not a very room for kids to visit, so I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. Needless to say my mood is much better, and I have a renewed determination to stay sane for the remainder of this hospital stay!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Wall

Well, I think I hit it.  I'm not sure the snowstorm helped - I didn't see my husband or kids for 2 days.  But I didn't really realize the effects of this until later in the week.  I think it started after not seeing the kids for a few days.  Silas looked like he had grown up overnight, and I started missing them more than ever.  This happened the same day that the wi-fi went down at the hospital.  The security certificate expired, or something like that.  So I went a couple of days without internet.  I knit a couple more hats (a giraffe, and then a bigger strawberry for my sweet little girl), and read another book,  Where the River Ends, by Charles Martin.  It was a good book, but sad, and considering my depressed mood probably not the best choice.  Then we had an issue with my oldest and stitches and a haircut (which wasn't very pleasant), followed by 3 days of high dopplers on the little guy.  Also, there is one nurse who sort of gets on my nerves a little bit, but I've been able to cope so far.  Well I had her 2 days in a row.   Then today they moved me to a new room again.  This time, I had to switch floors, because I was the only patient in the unit upstairs, so they had to consolidate or something.  What stinks is the rooms down here are tiny compared to my room upstairs, and so I couldn't bring all of my stuff - plus I might only be here a few days before they reopen the unit, and I had accumulated a bunch of stuff, so it wouldn't all fit down here.  So I had to sent half of the stuff home, and move most of the rest of it with me.  There are still some cards and pictures that the kids drew for me hanging upstairs.  But I'm on an IV again because of the bad dopplers, which means I have to have help showering because they have to waterproof my IV before I can get in, and someone has to help me feed it through all of my clothes.  So basically a whole lot of minor things have happened in the last few days that have all added up to one bad mood.  I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow, but I figure, after over 5 weeks here, I'm allowed a bad day, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day

The past couple of days not much has been going on around here.  Much of this is due to the "severe weather" that has come our way.  Monday only about half the hospital, it seems, came to work.  They had to rustle some people up to bring food to the rooms, doctors offices closed, patients that were here to be induced had to wait another day.  Among the people who were here it was a hot topic of conversation.  For me, not much has been different.  I did get to see the snow on the roof , parking deck, and HVAC equipment that I have a view of from my room, but if it weren't for all the hoopla surrounding the storm, I wouldn't have known otherwise. They actually asked the day-shift nurses to spend the night last night so that they wouldn't have to drive on the roads this morning.  So most of the patient rooms up here were full of nurses (housekeeping was thrilled with this).  Two of the nurses that I am getting to know pretty well (there are 7 regular nurses up here on the 4th floor that I'm getting to know, and then everyone else is a 3rd floor nurse that rotates in for a shift once a month or so), had to work today, so they spent the night.  After they had gotten settled they came in and played Scrabble with me for a little while, and we ate chocolate. 

I finished knitting my monkey hat that I've been working on for a while.  I actually made 3 little hats, all because of the monkey hat.  The monkey hat is crocheted, not knitted and I don't know how to crochet.  So I kept trying to find some knitting patterns that resembled the cute monkey hat I wanted to knit.  The first pattern I tried was cute, but I sort of had to make some stuff up, and in the end, I didn't feel like it had the look I wanted, so I made it a bear hat instead, and it made a cute bear hat.  With the monkey hat still in mind, I tried a couple of other patterns, and them promptly took them out.  It was at this point that I decided to learn how to just crochet and make the monkey hat the way I wanted.  So I tried for several days to teach myself how to crochet.  This didn't go so well, so I took the monkey hat out a few more times, and made a strawberry hat.  I finally decided that I was not meant to crochet, and went back to trying to knit the monkey hat.  I took it out a couple more times, and then the last time, even though I wasn't incredibly happy with it, I just knit it and was going to go with whatever I got because I felt like I couldn't move on with my life until I got the stinking monkey hat done.  So it's done.  It's not as cute as I had wanted, but it's finished, and I've put the knitting down for a few days to sort of collect myself. 

While on my knitting break (since Sunday), I have been reading.  I read a short little book that was ok that someone had loaned me.  It was a fast read, but not something I probably would normally have picked up.  I'll just say, it was Christian-romantic-fiction.  I'm not much into romantic fiction.  I do like period stories, like Jane Austen, however, and this one sort of had that feel.  It wasn't a modern-romantic-fiction.  Anyway, it was ok, a quick read and something to do. 

Then I spent a day researching home school curriculum and trying to figure out what in the world I'm gonna do with the kids in the fall.  I made a LOT of progress on this, and actually feel like I'm starting to get my head wrapped around it all.  I still need to make out a schedule and a few things like that, but I at least feel good about the subject matter that we will be covering and how to go about doing it.  I started getting really excited about it, actually. 

Then I read The Help.  This was a good book.  It only took me about a day to read it.  I thought when I first picked it up, that I might actually be the last person in the world to read it, but then a couple nurses came in and asked about it, so I am not the last (in case you were wondering).  I think I need to rest my eyes tomorrow though.  They are starting to look a little bloodshot. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Well, I bought the blue stocking.  I know everyone was in suspense over it. 

Thursday we were all measured, and even though B is still little we got a good report.  A is approximately 3lbs 5 oz, and B is 1lb 14 oz.  I have gained 42 lbs.  Even though B is still growing and seems to be doing well, they don't want me trying bedrest at home until he is at least 2 lbs.  So they're going to remeasure in 2 weeks instead of waiting a month like they normally do.  I'll be 32 weeks then anyhow, so in a much better place developmentally as far the babies are concerned. 

After the visit I had started trying to mentally prepare myself for making it almost to term (at least past 34 weeks) and then being able to take A home from the hospital with me and B still having to stay here for a while because of his malnourished state for basically the entire pregnancy, well since the placenta took over his nourishment anyway. So I have had some very mixed feelings the past few days.  Part of me is frustrated with myself for stressing out over it.  I had been doing really well the past month over realizing that God is in control, and whatever outcome we had here we were going to be able to deal with, and just really accepting the situation and having peace of mind over it.  I felt like that was starting to waiver a little bit.  So after praying about it, I feel like God used my doctor to sort of put my mind at rest.  When I was talking to her today she said that since B has been fighting so hard to survive in a sort of compromised situation, that he will probably do better than A.  She said that all of the 'extra' work he's doing to just survive produces his own set of steriods basically that give him an advantage that A probably won't have.  I know it's not a guarantee, and anything could still happen, and we will still deal with whatever happens, but I truly felt it was an answer to prayer for my peace of mind, and God letting me know He was still here, and still in control. 

I've also had some other thoughts, some of them generated by Crazy Love, which I have finished and thought was a great thought provoking book, that has totally motivated me to do some things diffferently.  One of them had to do with my perspective on life.  I realized that most if not all of the reason that I have geen doing ok with this hospital stay is that I know it's temporary.  It's going to end, pretty soon in the big scheme of things, and even though I'm not certain of the outcome at this point and don't know when the stay will end, I have it to look forward to.  This is constantly in the back of my mind.  When I'm reading, knitting, eating, talking on the phone, having vital signs taken, that knowledge sets the tone for my stay here.  I was pretty ashamed to realize the same was not true of my viewpoint of life on this earth.  I, sadly, do not constantly have the end in mind while I go about my daily routine at home.  When I'm making breakfast, checking off my to-do list, laundry, etc.  I'm not thinking about the end.  I'm not thinking about life with God after this life is over.  It is not a constant thought in the back of my head.  Life is temporary, and I know that.  I actually know how this story is going to end, so there is no uncertainty, except for the "when".  Yet I so easily get caught up in the here and now.  So I plan on changing this.  I'm starting with prayer.  I know that just as the Lord has been faithful during this hospital stay, He will continue it when I am at home, and if I seek His help in this then He can make it happen. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Settling In

Today makes exactly 3 weeks since my re-admittance to the hospital.   If you count my first stay, I've been here 3 weeks and 3 days.  I've gotten used to the nurses, the schedules.  Right now I am the longest standing patient up here.  Believe it or not, I am not going crazy yet.  I finally started reading one of the MANY books I have here, Crazy Love.  I've been trying to read this book for around a year now, if not more.  I will get about 2 chapters into it, and then have to put it down for one reason or another, and so when I pick it up next, I feel like I need to start at the beginning because it's been a while, and so I should really have the beginning memorized by this point.  But I have made it into chapter 6 now, and it is very thought provoking.  Very.  It is helping me re-evaluate my life and what to change about it when I get out of here. Well, when the babies are born, rather.  Because there is now a chance that I may get to go home and finish out my bed rest there.  Basically, I'm trying to figure out how to start some new routines and habits to help all of us be a lot more Christ centered in our daily life.  Maybe he's got some tips for that in second half of the book. 

I have finished updating Ansley's and Silas's baby books.  I still have to do Silas's photo album, but I haven't ordered those pictures yet because I have 2 little pictures that are still on my camera that I want to print off, and I can't seem to get them on this computer, so I may have to wait until I get home.  I'm caught up on my Thank you notes, and we've almost made a decision on which bunk beds to purchase, and baby names. Almost.  I've also been shopping for another Christmas stocking - I normally wait until after Christmas to buy the stockings from PB kids, because then they're only $10 each and have free shipping.  But this year it sort of backfired, and they evidently had stellar sales, and there was only one option for me and I needed two.  So I've been shopping on ebay and cannot believe that people are trying to sell these stockings, already monogrammed no less, for $50.  What is this world coming to?  I finally found some reasonable ones, but I would basically be paying original full price plus shipping, and I hate doing that.  Well, truthfully, here's the dilemma.  The stocking that I REALLY want, I would have to do that.  My second choice I think I could get for $15 plus shipping, and my third choice I could probably get for $15 total.  Right now, all the boys have blue stockings and Ansley has a red one.  If I hang them all in order, I could do blue-red-blue-red-blue, and would have to then get Baby A a red stocking, which my first choice is.  If I go with second or third choice, it would mean all boys had blue stockings, which would be fine.  But when they're hanging all nice and cute next to each other it would be blue-red-blue-blue-blue.  I promise I am not a paranoid schitzophrenic nor do I have OCD, at least not a serious case of it.  What should I do?

Ok, well after that last paragraph you may think I have started to go crazy in here, plus it totally doesn't fit in with my desired new train of thought on materialism. 

Anyway, I had to change rooms last night because there was a leak in my ceiling from something on the floor above me, so now I'm in a new big room.  R. rearranged the furniture in here and I have a different view, but otherwise, it's the same room pretty much.  Tomorrow is the big weigh in for the babies.  They're going to do measurements!  It's been over 3 weeks, so I'm pretty excited to see what they think they weigh.  I might even weigh myself just for kicks.