Monday, December 27, 2010

the four hour rule

So it appears that there is some unspoken rule that I should not be able to sleep more than four consecutive hours.  This has been proven over and over, more comically seen the other night.  None of the usual things woke me.  Didn't need a run to the restroom, or have any hip pain to wake me, nor did any of the six children come into my room to tell me about some ailment they were suffering from, even the babe inutero was quiet.  I wasn't having a bad dream, and would have continued sleeping past the four hour mark IF I wasn't awoken by a loud bang/scrape/crashing sound coming from our closet.  When did this happen?  At the four hour mark!  Exactly!  What was that sound?  There was a bit of confusion at first, and it was pretty funny what I thought Jeremiah was saying, and what he thought I was saying.  I thought he said there was someone in our closet!  Yikes, I hope not!  He thought the noise was coming from outside.  But then one of the sounds 'clicked' in my brain and I realized I heard the sound of rattling plastic clothes hangers.  So I asked Jeremiah to look again in the closet to see if one of the wire racks had fallen.  It had.  All of Jeremiah's clothing was on the floor.  Looks like we need to add another 'to do' item to the list.  So if it's not one thing, it has proven to be something totally crazy, like falling shelving.  Oh well, four hours is still a long stretch compared to what I had been getting for the past couple of months.  I'll just have to try, try again :-)

The next two days Jeremiah will be home, and I am hoping to finally finish up all my necessary and needed to-do's.  I would really like the rest of my time in waiting to be more restful, just doing basics.  I am getting very antsy about getting these things done.  We had a few things that came up that made me take time away from my to-do list.  For example I had to wash two comforters by hand.  They had both been soiled by sick children with the tummy bug and going through the washing machine did not take care of it all.  So I had to partially fill my bath tub to let them soak (one at a time) with some soap on them, then scrub and then rinse.  Jeremiah carried the wet soaking comforters to the washing machine to be spinned out.  Not a big deal, but it took time, and made other work (like having to clean the tub out). 

I had just looked at my baby count down ticker......11 days!!!  Wow, that's close!!  I need to get going and get these things done.  First stop, breakfast :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Blessing

   I've been blessed in many ways lately and I wanted to hop on here to share them with you.  First I was greatly blessed by a dear friend who took the time to speak truth to me about my sin that I posted about in my last post.  She recommended that I read nothing but Scripture for the next few weeks.  Although I haven't done that completely, I have most certainly dropped a lot of extra reading and increased my time in the Word.  Jeremiah was 'borrowing' my Bible that I had gotten for Mother's day a few years back that I had underlined and made notes in.  What a blessing to have it back to read over my notes and the things I found important.  It has really helped me during this time.  It has really helped me to meditate on the Lord.  It has helped to take my complaining and turn it into thanksgiving. 

   I was also blessed by a great nights sleep.  I believe a big part of what has contributed to my fear of labor is that I have been chronically tired for the past few months.  I've been dreading labor, wondering how I was going to make it through with no energy.  Well what a gift I received the other day.  Although it came from a 'pill' I believe it was from the Lord.  It was only since I started turning over all of my fears to Him that I 'found' some sleep.  I started taking some arnica 30C for some pain that I was having.  I saw some improvement from it, but needed more relief.  I decided to try using arnica 200C (more potent than the 30C) to see if it would help.  It did help, but what I did NOT expect at all was that the night I took it I was able to to sleep in four hour stretches with NO hip pain!!!!  I've been waking every hour to two hours nightly for months now due to the pain in my hips.  I woke up feeling like a new person!!  For the first time this pregnancy I thought, 'hey, I think I can really go through with this labor thing!'.  I have two weeks till my due date and I am praying for a few more nights like that to try to catch up on some much needed rest. 

  Another blessing is that it appears that the baby is finally head down!!!!  It has stayed that way for a week now.  Unfortunately it is posterior, so it still needs some work to do, BUT how thankful I am that it is head down!!!!  A HUGE answer to prayer.  Please continue to pray with me that the baby makes it's full rotation to the front so that I have a quick, uneventful and easy delivery :-) 

  Time to get off to finish a few things for the night.  Blessings!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Big scare with baby!

Phew!  First thing first, everything seems to be ok.  I had a big scare earlier this evening.  As I wrote earlier today I was up half the night.  So I ended up going back to bed around 9 AM and didn't get up till noon.  I had a bit of a snack and then got busy in the kitchen.  During that half hour or so of first starting kitchen work I remember the baby moving around quite a bit.  Well I was busy all day in the kitchen.  Cooking six chickens, four batches of waffles and cleaning.  It was close to six o'clock or so when I was sitting down cutting up chicken.  I had been doing so for a little while and had expected since I wasn't so busy that I would be feeling the baby move around.  But it wasn't.  So I started thinking back to when the last time it was that I felt the baby move.  And I could only remember feeling the baby last around 1 o'clock.  I thought I must be mistaken.  So I took a break and decided to lay down and feel around for the baby.  The baby always seems to hate that.  Maybe I always just get the baby when it is awake, but it usually kicks around when I try to feel for it's position.  So there I was lying on my bed moving this baby around.  No kicking.  I keep probing and giving my belly a few shakes.  Nothing.  At this point I was totally freaking out.  I've never had the baby not respond to my probing.  So I asked Jeremiah to get me some juice (Yes, I TOTALLY broke my no sugar diet as I ended up drinking a quart of lemonade!) and lay on my left side, all the while praying everything was fine.  Jeremiah decided to call the midwife, who told him to have me lay on my left side and drink a lot of juice, and then count how many kicks/movements I felt in 30 minutes.  I was already doing all of that, except counting kicks at that point.  It took a little while, but FINALLY I got movement!  I was so relieved.  I think I counted 18 kicks/movements, which the midwife, and myself I must say, were happy about.  I got up after that to get some dinner.  The baby is still moving, just not a ton.  I would think it would be on a sugar high at this point, but it's more regular movement than disco baby.  For now I think we are fine.  I go to see the midwife tomorrow morning.  When I go to bed is when the baby turns into disco baby.  I'm looking forward to feeling disco baby tonight!! 

I was seriously very freaked out by this experience.  I kept thinking maybe my diet did the baby in, or the belly band I've been wearing non stop cut off the umbilical cord or something like that.  No, the belly band is not tight or anything, my mind was just going wild.  I've never had this happen before, and it really upset me, especially seeing how many negative feelings I've had during this pregnancy.  I think I was just writing this morning about how when I feel the baby move I get mad because I can tell it's not in proper position.  Oh, how I felt so horrid feeling that way tonight!!!!  I was never so happy to feel the baby, I didn't care where I felt it kicking. 

Ok, sorry for carrying on.  I need to go and make up another batch of waffles as the girls ended up eating a whole batch for dinner since I was not going to cook this evening with all that happened.  They just happened to be "my" waffles as I am making my freezer food without milk or cheese as all of our babies have had big time issues with milk.  Oh well, no biggie :-) At least everyone got food.


I suppose the word 'dissapointment' is another one of those words that mask what is really happening, and that would be sin.  Being disappointed means not being thankful for God's provision and His ways.  It means that we thought we deserved something more or better.  I had to think upon those things last night as it was a very disappointing day for me.  In multiple ways.

The one way that threw me over the top was Isabella's meeting she was having the other night.  This past summer she had attended the "Do Hard Things" book study.  She was motivated to step out to do something, she just didn't know what.  Well last month we received the World Vision catalog in the mail.  It is a catalog of items (seeds, animals, water filters, etc.) that you can buy and send to a needy family in a needy country.  She thought it would be great to gather some teens together to raise money for this organization.  We have since decided that we should work with the areas our church is working with so that we would be of one mind, and working with the body we are apart of.  During this time Isabella made up a name for the group and sent out invitations for the first meeting.  I knew that it being so close to Christmas might limit the number of people who would come, but she was much too impatient to wait :-)  What I wasn't counting on was that NO ONE would even RSVP to her invite!!  But she said she talked to some of the people and they said they were going to try to make it.  So we got ready, just in case.  She made up a punch and had chips and dip ready.  NO ONE showed up.  She was extremely upset and I must say so was I.  I was hurting more because she was hurting.  It led to some discussion on friendships and such.  I'm not sure she was very open to it all at the time, I'll have to try again later.  I told her we would try again after the holidays.  What made it worse was that she sent out some twenty or thirty invites.  That's a WHOLE LOT of people that didn't RSVP!!  I mean I could see if she invited two or three, you could imagine you just hit two or three people who forgot, or didn't bother to rsvp, but over twenty?  Disappointing to say the least.

But this incident followed on the tails of another incident that made my heart ache for Isabella.  We were at a get together recently.  I noticed she wasn't talking to anyone.  I asked her why, and she said it's because she has no friends.  Ouch.  At the end of the get together I saw her talking with a couple of girls.  I was hoping that she was getting to know them.  Well, apparently it was just another time to showcase just how 'different' we are from most people.  One of the girls had some electronic/techie device.  She never saw one before and asked her what it was.  Well all three girls were in shock that she didn't know what it was, I mean, everyone knows what this thing is.  I don't know what it was as she couldn't remember the name of it now.  So she just told them that we don't have a lot of electronic/techie stuff at our house.  To which I think they thought that was sad or horrible.  I don't really remember how it all went now, but it really just made our 'differences' stand out all the more.  Isabella is having a hard time with all of it.  I can't say I blame her, but it is hard to see her being pulled by the world.  She doesn't like standing out from the crowd.  It is hard to get her to see that we have her best interests at heart.  I've been praying for just one or two really good friends for her (one's that share our convictions). 

Other disappointments for the day were that my battle with the nastie buggies of pregnancy is not over.  Ugh!  I am sooooo not happy with that.  The time is ticking.  I'm on day seven now of the no carb diet.  It is going well as could be, but it is still hard.  I had no energy yesterday evening and I really don't have time not to have energy at this point of the game.  I have things I need to get done.  My room is still a mess, I still have to sterilize the bags of towels and stuff, plus I still have some more things I want to cook up to put in the freezer.  I am about to get behind in having food on hand for my no carb diet as well.  I have to cook some chickens up today or I will be in trouble.  Plus the baby, well the baby is STILL NOT cooperating and getting into position.  When the baby kicks, instead of enjoying these last few weeks of kicks I am just getting more and more angry and fearful because the kicks are hitting me where they are not supposed to due to the baby's malposition.  Argh. 

And lastly....the dreaded tummy bug.  Both Moira and Saoirse were up with it last night.  I got no sleep.  Ok, maybe ten and fifteen minutes here and there.  When they finally did get to sleep I was up with my tossing and turning, which was made worse by Saoirse being at the end of our bed. Plus Jonah woke up twice and then there are the bathroom trips that I needed to make.  Let's just say that we will not be going to church today.  Not that I could anyways as Moira and Saoirse are still sick.  Moira is on the getting better end of things, but Saoirse is still needing to throw up.  Moira is just very dehydrated and weak.  But thankfully she is over the throwing up.  I have mentioned before that Moira is the last person you want to get the tummy bug.  Although she has gotten better over the years it is still torture for everyone around her when she is sick to her stomach.  She used to scream, literally scream, in pain whenever she got a tummy bug.  It was so bad you thought she needed to go to the hospital!  She doesn't scream anymore, but it is still pretty dramatic.  Now I am praying the boys don't get it.  If that happens that would mean puke everywhere!!  I really can't handle that right now.  Not to mention it would be very bad if I got it! 

Well I'm sorry for the depressing post.  But sometimes life doesn't go smoothly.  I am praying for better days.  I had just walked through my room and it is overwhelming all that needs to be done.  Not to mention the extra laundry and sanitizing of buckets that needs to happen.  Yuck. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

not much to say

I just wanted to pop in and say that I am glad that the brain fog has lifted :-)  Day 4 of no sugar/carbs.  I have to say the hardest part has been the crashing I was doing.  Jeremiah and I were very blessed by the girls this morning as they brought us breakfast in bed!  So even before I got up, I ate.  Ah, no crashing.  I just have to make sure to eat asap upon waking to make my days go smoother.  Jeremiah was working from home today as we had another slew of winter weather.  Thankfully all should be melted by tomorrow. 

Since it was a winter wonderland schools were closed, which means no speech therapy for Jed. I have to say I was relieved.  This break couldn't come soon enough.  I was very pleased that the girls got a head start on their chores this morning.  I am assuming they did so in order to get outside as quickly as possible :-)  Either way, that meant I didn't have to worry about it getting done before I started my cooking.  I was able to make two batches of waffles.  That doesn't sound like much, but waffles take forever to cook!  But I was able to do other things in between taking them off the griddle and pouring more batter in.  I made up four batches of pumpkin muffins and two batches of granola.  Later I was able to get two and a half batches of egg burritos made.  On top of all that I was able to get all the schooling done (except spelling), washed a few loads of laundry and managed to keep people fed. Phew!  A good work day!

Tomorrow will not be so productive as I have two appointments to go to.  Plus later in the evening I have a Bible study to go to.  But I am hoping to get a few things done.  Although our new freezer is now completely filled!  And there isn't a whole lot of room in our other freezers.  So there isn't a whole lot more I can make.  I want to make at least another batch of pizzas as they are a real hit for lunches after I have a baby.  The girls are really looking forward to them.  The funny thing is that it's my normal pizza recipe, just made into personal sized pizzas.  Silly girls :-)  Plus I want to make some more waffles.  And if I can find the room I may make some bread dough.  Although bread dough can be so finicky, I may just forgo it. 

I read a good article today, which someone else was linking to.  I thought I would pass it along.  I like her take on the 'preparedness' and 'survival' movement.  I've often reminded myself (when things don't seem to be going too well) that I am only doing what so many others before me have done.  They lived this way everyday, all day.  For us, we are doing it bit by bit as we learn as we go.  It is a shame that a lot of these 'survivalist' skills which were so normal just a few decades ago, have failed to be passed on.  So it feels like we are in a constant state of learning.  Once I start getting the hang of one thing, there's another to take it's spot for me to fumble over :-)  Hopefully this will just mean it will be more of second nature to our children. 

Alrighty, off to bed.  Long day ahead of me.  Tomorrow I get to see if the baby is head down.  I think it was for about thirty minutes today!  Ha.  Come on baby, I need more that that :-) 

Here is the link:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jed's x-ray results

So we finally received the results of Jed's x-rays.  The good news is that his wrist is not broken.  Which I had assumed as much as he started using his arm again after we had the 'popping' incident.  But it's good to know for sure.  The bad news is that the bone aging showed he is a 2 yr. 8 mo. old child instead of a 4 yr. 5 mo. old child.  Actually I am labelling it 'bad news' not so much because of the results, but for what we didn't find out.  I mean, we could have saved a lot of money as I *already* know that he is the size of a 2 year old.  Of course I could be missing the point of the x-ray.  I was hoping to find out if his growth plates showed that of a 2 year old, or that of a 4 year old.  I was assuming we would get more information out of that than knowing his bone age is that of a two year old.  I was assuming if his growth plates were that of a 2 yo. then he had the capability to catch up to his "proper" size some day.  Again, I might be missing the point.

So along with the results came a letter from our doctor asking us if we would like to order blood work for checking his growth hormone level. I want to say first and foremost that I am very pleased our doctor has been so willing to look into and try whatever we have suggested.  But I have to say I sat there banging my head against the wall.  Jed has had his hormone levels tested some three times already.  This is what has been so frustrating in all of this because ALL of Jedidiah's testing (except for his spinal tap that he had to see if he had increased cranial pressure) have come back NORMAL.  This is why we have chosen to look into alternative methods/ideas. 

Jed's homeopathic doctor was sure he would catch up, but he told us it would take about four years.  We were two years into the process when we had to stop.  Sigh.  My sister and I have done enough reading on nutrition that we know he could be helped by the GAPS diet.  Again, for the next couple of months that is being put on hold because it is very 'intense' and trying to manage that diet with all that is going on to get ready for a new baby is too much for me to handle.  Sigh.  I am thinking I had a really, really bad night last night due to the no carbs.  I should have known better as my sister has been through this before.  But there I was, a TOTAL basket case over all of this.  I think I got to the point that I wanted off this roller coaster, but I can't :-)  And so I cried.....a LOT.  I feel better this morning, thankfully.  But I know we need to start making some changes as soon as possible for Jed's sake.

Not only has Jed's growing issues been brought up again, but we have some new issues that have surfaced.  I am quite certain it is plain ole' sin.  However, due to how suddenly Jed took a 180 I have to ask myself if something more below the surface isn't playing a role.  I am sure, if you have been reading here for a while, have heard me tell you how amazed Jed's speech therapist has been at his progress.  Every single session she was coming out telling me how wonderful he's been doing.  Well, ever since that weekend we painted, that hasn't been the case.  Now every session I hear about how 'obstinante' he's being, how he isn't cooperating, and as of yesterday: she feels that therapy is at a stand still.  Ugh!  He's not been good during Sunday school either.  I've been making it more of a point to make sure I get him to obey while he is here at home.  I know I am not perfect, but I would think we would have seen some improvement by now.  I suppose I am just going to have to take things up a notch, really focusing on that immediate, first time obedience.  Because it is so hard for me to get up if I'm sitting down I plan on getting the older girls involved to help me out.  So all of this will be addressed, but again, I can't help to think that something else is adding to this.  The past week all Jed wants to eat is jelly sandwiches.  Plus he drinks juice.  Can we say, sugar?  Again, it's a recent change.  However, most of my kids at some point decide they only want to eat a few foods, and Jed might just be finally hitting that stage.  See why I have been banging my head against the wall?  It's all so confusing and frustrating. 

Well that's enough being confused and frustrated, I have work to do :-)  I needed some more food supplies to continue with my freezer meals.  Jeremiah went out last night for me to do the shopping.  I was in no shape to do it myself.  So a quick clean of the kitchen and another cooking fest will be on it's way.  No speech, or other outside activities to interfere with the cooking fest.  I'm almost excited.  Almost :-) 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sugar Woes

Sugar, carbs, startches, etc.  They can cause problems.  Especially when one is pregnant with hormones raging :-)  It has become apparent that it is time to dive into eating no sugar and no carbs for the next few weeks.  It is proving hard to do.  Not due to cravings, thankfully.  Although I am thinking it might be easier than the brain fog, the falling on my face crashes and the yucky, weird feelings I am having.  I'm only on day two.  Well, really day one and a half as I realized yesterday a couple of things I had did have an ever so small amount of sugar/carbs in them.  However, even with those little slips I could not believe the change I saw come that very night.  One may see this as too much information, so skip if you don't like medical issues :-)

For the past few months I have had to wake multiple times a night to use the restroom.  This is completely normal when you have a baby laying on your bladder.  However, what wasn't normal was the fact that only two hours had passed since the last time I visited the ladies room and it felt like my bladder was going to explode!  That my friends would be IC (interstitial cystitis--or some such spelling).  I was very pleasantly surprised to find upon rising last night that my bladder did NOT feel like it was going to explode.  Wow!  Just after one day of watching those carbs!  I'm looking forward to see how the next few days go.  With less than four weeks till my due date I really want to be ready for this birth.....and I am not just talking about birth supplies.  Being in shape isn't going to happen.  I still REALLY need to get to walking.  I feel like that is a very important piece of being ready.  I am still praying for peace, which hasn't arrived as of yet.  I'm still hoping for a head down, anterior baby BEFORE labor starts as well.  But I am making some progress in the freezer meal department.  And I do feel better that I should be free and clear of the wee little nasties that are plaguing me come the end of this week.  I am hoping that this fog and total loss of energy will not interfere with the cooking that still needs to be done. 

This week there is a lot on our plate.  With Jed's speech, two Bible studies, an appointment with the midwife and with the chiropractor, well that makes it difficult to start some of these big cooking projects, knowing I have to cut it short.  I really hate having to find the energy to start cooking only to have to stop because we have to leave the house.  I have to clean up, and restart everything when I get back.  Not fun.  No where to go now for the rest of the day so I need to start working as I have some energy from eating.  The funny thing was my midwife told me to make sure I was getting enough calories when I did the no carb thing.  Ha!  That will not prove to be a problem.  I'm going to have the opposite problem.  I have to keep eating to keep myself from falling over!  So much for protein lasting longer!!! 

Alrighty, off to make up some pizza dough. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby update

Just thought I'd write up about my appointment yesterday.  This poor baby doesn't even have a journal!  Granted some of my others do, and there are like five pages written in them, but still, at least they have one :-)  It will have to settle on reading my posts when it is older.

Yesterday marked the 36 week mark.  It is now officially safe for the baby to come at any time now.  Not that I am quite ready for that to happen, but if it were, it would be a safe time.  I had gotten everything ready that I could.  I still have to sterilize the towels, wash cloths and receiving blankets.  Other than that everything is ready to be set up as it needs to be when I go into labor. 

My blood pressure was good, I was a bit nervous about that as it was a bit off last time.  Nothing bad, but I worry (I'm am quite sure, unnecessarily so) about those sorts of things.  My midwife had a couple of things for me.  One was half a bag of the herbs I JUST opened that very morning.  Ha, ha.  I always have left overs as well and told her she'd have to pass them on, and that when I'm done she'll have more to pass on.  Then she had a small bag of baby girl clothing.  All the babies born last month were boys, and one woman was passing on some girl clothing.  I took it with a bit of hesitation....I mean after all we *are*  having a boy.  (just in case some do not know, I really don't know what I am having)  So it came time to figure out where the baby was.  Let's just say this is a bad, bad baby :-)  It was transverse.  However, this time it's back is up high in the uterus, as opposed to lying low cradled by my hip bones.  I suppose this is a bit of an improvement as the head is at least facing the right direction.  So this just means to keep up with the chiropractor, I need to get walking to encourage the baby's head to settle in the hips and to bind my belly as soon as I feel the baby has gotten into a good position.  I was told this baby still has plenty of room to move around, so no fear that it will be stuck where it is.  Then is was heart tone listening time. The midwife first finds the heart tones with the fetascope.  This just helps to confirm our findings of the baby's position.  So she's listening, gets the heart rate and says, "Well, I guess you won't be needing those baby girl clothes."  See, even the midwife is on my side :-)  The heart rate was 124, a boy heart rate.  Now granted I know that it's not certain that the heart rate means girl or boy, at least according to scientific findings.  Science, smience, I mean come on people, who needs cold hard facts when you have old wives tales.  (I'm joking)

So all is well, just waiting for the baby to realize it still has a job to do, a very important one I might add!

Other than that we had a quite evening.  Jeremiah took the girls out to see the new Narnia movie.  The boys and I stayed home.  I was feeling very, very exhausted.  So the boys just played while I watched them.  Then I remembered there was a movie I wanted to watch. SHOCK!!!  It was more of a documentary.  There is no talking (well, not that you would understand).  The movie is, Babies.  It follows four different babies, in four different countries.  OH MY!!  I was having issues with some of it :-)  Like calves stepping over the nine month old baby in Mongolia.  Yikes!!  Or the baby in Africa who is getting its head shaved with a knife.  Shudder.  It was a very interesting.  It kept the boys engaged, and when I told the girls about it they all wanted to watch it as well. 

I was able to talk to a different homeopathic doctor yesterday to ask him some questions about  how he practices.  It was quite interesting to say the least.  The midwife's assistant told me about him.  So I thought I would check into what he does.  I was pleased with his more reasonable rates.  Plus he only believes in giving only one remedy at a time.  Jed was on six remedies at a time.  I told him how Jed was getting more sensitive to his remedies, to where I had to go to the dosage cup method.  From his point of view he felt that meant he needed a different remedy.  He is very well aware of how our other homeopathic doctor practices as he actually was tutoring under him at one point.  It is neat to see the differences.  Right now there are no plans to pick up with constitutional care, but I wanted to have talked to him before any acute things come up.  Plus, when I was at the doctors the other day with Jed, our family doctor asked if we were open to growth hormones for Jed.  YIKES!!  Seriously the thought scares me.  I would really like to address the underlying issues.  Jed has been tested for his growth hormone levels and his thyroid, all of which have been normal thus far.  So if a diet change doesn't address it, which I believe it could have a big impact on, then I think we'll have to start up with the constitutional care.  Not to mention I've heard of some kids getting improvement with the GAPS diet, but still needed to do some chelating from mercury (what we believe is affecting Jed's brain).

Well off to get kiddos ready for the parade and the tea party. Only the girls and I will be attending the tea party.  It should prove to be fun. 

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A blessing on our trip

When we went out to eat the other day, during our trip to see Grandpa, we were blessed by an earthly angel.  We were almost done with our meal.  We were eating a very early dinner, as we had no lunch.  We ate at our favorite place, Golden Corral.  We had a whole 'room' to ourselves.  So after eating we didn't feel too bad about letting the boys wander around the room we were in.  They had both been so good, sitting still (for the most part) while we visited Grandpa.  There were windows on the dividing wall between the room we were in and the rest of the restaurant.  We noticed Jonah laughing, and when we looked he was playing peek a boo with a patron on the other side of the window.  It was very cute to watch.  Both he and she were really enjoying themselves.  A little while later it was time to leave.  We were just about to walk away from our table when the lady that Jonah was playing peek a boo with came up to us. 

She is originally from England, her husband from Ireland.  She had been a pediatric nurse, and she told us how she would much rather spend her time with children than adults :-)  She pointed to my tummy and said, "Oh, the lucky number!!".  I have to say I have not had any negative comments about this pregnancy, but this lovely lady was SO happy for us that it really ministered to my soul.  She was just loving our children, and was so pleased and happy that we were so blessed to have all these wonderful children.  I have never experienced anything like that, and it was such a blessing.  I've shared a little bit about how this pregnancy has been so hard for me, and it's not just the physical stuff.  I had recently gone through a hard week.  I know that my emotions were a bit hot wired, but knowing that sometimes takes a while to catch up to the heart.  So I had a few dark days thinking that this poor baby was 'not wanted'.  It IS WANTED, but I was *feeling* like it wasn't.  I know God does not make mistakes, but I was seriously doubting that a few days ago.  It seems silly now, but that is how I was feeling.  Anyways, this lady was like an angel sent from above.  I have never met anyone so happy with life than she was.  I left the restaurant feeling refreshed in my soul.  Such a blessing, on such a hard day.

I have been much more at peace with the pregnancy these last few days.  I still have a ways to go, but I'm praying that my prayers will be answered for the peace I need for this birth.  Tomorrow I have my 36 week appointment.  The midwife is coming here.  It is traditional to make the 36 week appt at the birthing mother's home.  That way the midwife knows the route, and gets to know the house a bit more.  I am supposed to be all set up in my bedroom for the birth.  Do notice the words, "supposed to be".  It just seems like it's so early to get things ready.  I have always been totally ready by the 36th week.  Not this time.  I have most of my room cleaned up.  But there is still a bit more to do.  Plus I need to lay out all of the supplies on my sewing table.  I have all the supplies, I just need to gather them up.  I am supposed to have a certain number of towels, wash cloths, and receiving blankets all bagged up and sterilized.  I do have them all washed, and I have the bags.  I just don't have those items IN the bags and sterilized.  I am sure I will have most of it done by tomorrow evening.  I've never gone earlier than seven days early (on my own, we induced Jed 10 days early).  So I just don't feel this need that I have to have everything ready by tomorrow.  I suppose there is always a first for everything!!!  Ha!  Well in the event that I went into labor tomorrow I at least have everything on hand :-) 

Off to put a couple of boys to bed, and to clean up a bit more.

Saying Goodbye

Tuesday night, well actually Wednesday early, early morning, Jeremiah got home.  He went to visit Tim, his step father.  I wrote about 10 months or so ago about finding out that Tim had cancer.  Doctors only gave him 100 days to live.  Thankfully for him, he surpassed that.  Due to his suppressed immune system, and the fact that we never can tell if we are on the verge of getting sick, we hadn't seen him since last Christmas.  The girls really missed seeing Nana and Grandpa.  A bit over a week ago Tim started not feeling well.  He was admitted to the hospital.  They were not able to find out what was wrong.  But soon it became apparent that he was getting progressively worse.  On Tuesday they only gave Tim one to seven days to live. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, we all went to see Tim, for the last time.  We prepared the girls for what to expect.  We told them that he was very sick, and would look very sick.  We told them that they had to be on their BEST behavior as he was feeling so horrible.  Plus we told them that this was the last time we would see him.  They were so very excited to finally be able to see their beloved grandfather (Grandpa tutu head, as he is known by the girls).  I was so very proud of them for being so VERY, very good.  When the doctor came in to check vitals you could have heard a pin drop.  They were totally silent!  Moira brought her sketch book to show grandpa her work.  They each brought a picture, plus a memory of grandpa that they shared with him.  Although we stayed for a couple of hours, most of that time Tim was going in and out of sleep.  We decided to go out to eat, then come back after he had rested to say our goodbyes. 

What a hard time that was, at least from my perspective.  Just knowing that *this was it*.  We went back to the hospital after eating.  Jeremiah's mom had to wake Tim up.  We knew we would have to be quick.  We each took our turn to say goodbye.  It was very hard to do.  The girls all broke down crying, which made Nana cry.  They wanted to 'be strong' for Grandpa's sake.  But I feel it was a good thing for him to know that we loved him so much that we were crying.  I don't know, maybe it would have been better to not cry in front of him.  This is the first time I have been so close to death.  Not sure of what we should or should not say, or do, or.......When I talked to Tim, he told us to take care of each other.  I told him I would see him again, and he gave me the ok sign. 

We went out into the hall and waited for Jeremiah.  We were all crying and a thoughtful nurse came by to give us a box of tissues.  In the van, on the way home, the three younger girls asked quite a few questions, but very soon quieted down.  Isabella had a really hard time with all of this.  She was thinking it would have been easier to not have seen him (I think it was more about protecting her heart than anything).  We talked to her about how that was not true.  After our talk she was thankful that she had the opportunity to see him one last time. 

And thankful we were, we got the call this evening that Tim passed away earlier today. We were so blessed to have Tim in our lives, and he will be missed greatly. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Some prayers needed

First and foremost, please pray for my father in law.  We've known this day would be all too soon in coming, but it appears that he will be passing on very soon.  Please pray for a peaceful passing and peace for all involved.  The girls are devestated to think that they will not be able to see their grandfather before he passes on.  They haven't been able to see him since he was diagnosed with cancer some 9 months ago. 

The second prayer request:  Jedidiah and Jonah were playing on our swivel chair last night.  Jed fell off and landed on his left arm.  He was crying about it hurting.  Which is not unusual.  He quickly stopped crying and went on to play (although not on the chair as I told him to do something quiet).  Jed has a high pain thresh hold.  We noticed for the next 15 minutes he was favoring it.  We decided that should he continue to favor it at the end of an hour we would take him in to a doctors.  Well, not thirty minutes later he fell asleep on the couch (he woke up very early that day).  He slept through the night, and woke as normal this morning.  There was no mention, or reason to think anything more was wrong with his arm.  No swelling, or bruising.  Well this afternoon at speech therapy he tripped on the rug in the therapy room and caught himself with his arms.  His therapist told me he cried just a bit and favored it for a few minutes, but then was using it as normal.  Well, I thought, if it was still sore for the other night that would make sense.  At this point I was trying to make sure I was watching him to see how he was using it.  I can't say I noticed a difference, but he wasn't being really active.  This evening Mr. Jonah pushed Jed down and he fell, catching himself with his arms.  This time he has been favoring it for the past couple of hours.  Just not using it much.  Jeremiah's gone to see Tim (my father in law) and this isn't exactly an emergency.  Taking six kids to the ER?  Um, no thank you.  Jed hasn't been crying or anything, but it is just evident that this does need to be taken a look at.  I plan on calling our family doctor tomorrow.  Please pray that all works out well.  Between having to take the whole crew to get him x-rays (should the doctor think he needs them), and having to explain why we "waited so long" for him to be seen.  We have a good relationship with our doctor, so I am not too concerned about that type of questioning from him.  But should we have to see any one else, just that there be understanding.  And pray for our health to stand strong.  I try to avoid the doctors at this time of year due to all the sick people there!!  I don't need six sick children :-)

Thank you all!  I'll let you know how it all pans out.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


First I need to say a big Happy Birthday to my nephew!  I have been totally slack in getting anything of substance up for his b-day.  So sorry Remmington!  I keep doing the next thing, and before I know it it's bed time!  A bad aunt, I am!  Try, try again.

Today started at 7 AM.  I have been going, going, going all day long.  I got a ton done, but I can only hope I didn't overdo myself, leaving me incapable of accomplishing the basics for tomorrow.  Let's see if I can recap my day.

I really, REALLY needed to jump into making up my freezer meals.  The ground beef I bought was marked down to a great price, and although the expiration date is still a week away, it's been in our fridge for the past 4 or 5 days.  I needed to either get it in the freezer, or cook it.  I really despise having to deal with defrosting meat.  So I knew that cooking was my only other option.  Yesterday I chopped a whole bag of onions, which I am so thankful for as all I had to do was scoop out a cup to put into my recipe.  I cooked up 8 chicken roasters.  Two in my stand alone roaster, the other six in the oven (two at a time).  After the first two were done in the roaster I used it to start some chicken broth.  I was VERY thankful that Flannery and Saoirse thought it great fun to debone the chicken!  Seriously it was a big help.  After the first four chickens were done, I made them into chopped, breaded pieces for chicken salad.  The other three are going to be used in chicken soup.  I can't put that together until tomorrow since the broth needs to simmer all night long.  The last chicken, we ate for dinner :-)

Around two o'clock I asked Moira to take the boys outside before it started to rain.  The forecast for today was rain this afternoon, changing to some snow tonight, but no accumulation.  Um, yeah, they got that wrong!   Just as the kids were going out it started to snow.  I figured it wouldn't last long.  Well, a handful of hours later, and THREE inches on the ground later, it finally stopped!  The kids were loving it outside.  Unfortunately they came in and out 50 gazillion times for extra clothing.  By the end of it all I had a pile of wet clothing and a bunch of muddy water all over the floor.  The girls all took a bath to warm up and afterwards I had them vacuum and mop the floors.  I had already took some paper towels to mop up the puddles.  While the girls were taking a bath Jonah decided to 'help' me with putting together some meat loaves.  He thought that the meat loaf was a lot like the bread dough he likes to play with.  Let's just say I needed to haul him off to the bath tub after I put the meat loaves in the freezer. 

After Jonah's bath I started cooking the beef for the taco meat.  My pan can only handle so much meat, so I had to do batches.  When that was done it was time for dinner.  Then I decided to catch up on the dishes before I started anything else.  I started to put together the recipe for the beef stroganoff.  I got half done.  We can not find our wine bottle opener, so I decided to wait till tomorrow until I finish the stroganoff (my recipe calls for red wine).  Bummer.  But I have half done, which is better than none.  So tomorrow I just need to make up the other half, and make up a large batch of pasta sauce.  Then I will be done with most of the meat dishes.  I think after that I need to use some of the pasta sauce for two lasagnas, and I need to cook a couple more chicken roasters to make the enchiladas.  But I got a LOT done today and I am very thankful for that. 

In between all of this cooking I did seven loads of laundry.  We even managed to fold and put it away!!! 

I went to the chiropractors yesterday to get adjusted, and to have her do the Webster technique on me.  The Webster tech. is supposed to help loosen up the sacrum, giving the baby the room it needs to get in the proper position.  I will say that the baby was doing a whole lot of moving around afterwards.  It appears that it *may* be turned head down.  But I don't think it is staying that way all day long.  It is so hard to tell!!  I am still trying to do the exercises, and wearing the belly band to help get this baby to go where it's supposed to go.  Only five weeks left.  Obviously plenty of time for it to turn, but by now most babies are head down.  I would just feel a lot more comfortable about the upcoming labor if it would be in it's proper position.  I've had enough apprehensions about the pregnancy and labor, and this just isn't helping!

I started taking double the amount of my vitamins.  I was only taking half the dosage, so now I am taking the full dosage.  I did this in hopes that my muscle cramping would improve.  Nope.  So we bought a liquid calcium/magnesium supplement.  I took that yesterday, and for the first time since the beginning of this pregnancy, I wasn't having the cramping I have been having.  However, it must have been a fluke as today I had some major cramps in my shin, leg and arm.  Ugh.  I am sooooooo seriously done with this!!!  I can't win.  I will continue with the supplements as I am sure it will take more than a day to catch up if I am deficient.  I guess that is what is so frustrating....I don't know why my muscles keep cramping up, and no one else knows either.  Labor is hard enough, I certainly do NOT need to be having major muscle cramping through the whole of it. 

I need to tackle my bedroom.  My 36 week appointment is coming up on Friday, and I am supposed to have all the birth supplies ready and waiting.  Part of that is having my room not be a maze!  I had just cleaned it two weeks ago and you would never know!  I have things in there like, two huge plastic boxes of Christmas decorations (we can't put up our tree until we get new lights), about six pails of wheat and oats (the girls were supposed to put them in my closet), and some of the things that were on top of our cabinets in the kitchen that we needed to move out to paint.  So it's not messy because of the normal stuff.  I did get my birth kit in the other day, and today Jeremiah picked up a new hose and plastic tarp (for the birth pool).  I think the only thing I need to get is a homeopathic remedy that is supposed to help prep the uterus during the last three weeks of the pregnancy.  I think my uterus needs all the help it can get :-)  So now I just need to get everything set up in my room. 

Alrighty, it's time for bed! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

a few second scare, and a horrid red "O"

First my little scare.  My midwife was here on Friday for my 34th week check up.  After some chatting, talking about my herbal status, and taking my blood pressure it was time to check for the position of the baby and fundal height.  It was pretty hard to figure out the position of the baby.  But "something" was engaged.  We were hopeful for it to be the head.  So she checked the heart tones and then pulled out the measuring tape.  She checked, rechecked, moved things around, and checked again.  Hmmmm, this is not normal I thought.  So she says to me, "Well you didn't look 34 weeks and now I was just checking to see if I measured wrong, but you are only measuring 32 weeks."  That's when for about two seconds I FREAKED out.  The phrase, "failure to thrive" probably repeated itself more than I can think imaginable in two seconds!  But she rechecks the baby's position and sees that whatever was engaged, had unengaged.  It took a few minutes to really figure out where this baby was.  It was in its beloved transverse position, totally posterior (so all we could feel were knobby points of the knees, elbows, etc.).  That explains why there was no apparent fundal growth.  PHEW!  But now I have the 'worry' of a transverse baby.  Babies don't come out that way :-)  So it looks like I'll be doing a lot of exercises to encourage the baby to turn.  She tried to assure me that most babies know to get into position when the time comes, in anticipation of labor.  And if not, then my labor will be putzy, all the while I am doing more exercises to get the baby to turn.  Not my idea of fun.  Actually sounds like a nightmare to me!!  So I'm doing what I can physically and spiritually (praying and leaving it in God's hands).

Now for our red 'O'.  Moira had taken a shower this morning, and comes out wrapped in a towel, to the kitchen where I was making breakfast.  She asks me to take a look at a bump she has.  She's pointing to some VERY, very, small little itty bitty teeny tiny bump.  Um, that little thing?  It's a skin tag or some such thing, no big deal, I tell her.  She looks perplexed and says, "Really?"  Now this is not like Moira.  If it were Flannery, I wouldn't be surprised, but Moira is not one to have me look as some small minuscule little anomaly.  So she tells me that maybe it's on the other side of her neck.  Hmmm, it can't be big if she can't even remember where it is!  I'm tending to eggs when she reports that she found it.  I go over to look, and lo and behold we have a very unwelcome red ring!  My first thought was Lyme's Disease.  But the ring was raised, and there were little prickles in the middle.  Plus tick season is over around here.  Not to say some very mean evil little beastie didn't stick around to bite her, but they haven't had a tick on them all summer and fall, so it's unlikely a tick bite.  So that leaves the evil nasty of ringworm.  Ah, gotta love it.  NOT!  Saoirse had it when she was one year old.  She got it from our dog. It didn't react to the OTC meds, nor from the prescription meds.  It only got worse.  So I pulled out our tea tree oil, and that did the trick.  So that is what we are doing for Moira.  Where she got it from, I don't know yet.  It can be on any of our animals or in the ground.  So tomorrow or sometime soon we will need to go out back and check over our animals, because if any one of them has it we will need to treat it, lest it be passed on.  And as an f.y.i., ringworm has nothing to do with worms, it's a fungal rash. Depending on where this rash resides will determine what it is called.  On the foot, it's athlete's foot for example.  Regardless of what it is called we need to treat it lest it makes it's rounds through the household.  Not something I would want to happen!  If you get it on your scalp it actually makes your hair fall out where the rash is present. Not a pretty thing I am sure! 

Here are some pictures taken over the last few days.  There are more pictures I was trying to download, but Blogger has locked up my computer three times now, and I am beyond my patience level.  I'll have to try again another day.

This was our Thanksgiving centerpiece.  You'll see these stars again soon.

Jonah playing hide and seek in one of the clothing bins.  This was after we had packed all the bags and boxes.  I know this because you can actually see carpeting in the photo!

This is a  bad photo of Moira's Thanksgiving turkey name plates.  She went outside in the afternoon to gather feathers.  Then traced her hand to make 8 turkeys.  Then glued on the feathers, and made some eyes, etc. Then put our names on each one.  We had them by our plates during our meal.  It was a really cute idea.

See, I told you, you would see the stars again.  Here they are now decorating the family room and dining room.  There are 25 of them, so we can count down to Christmas.

This is Jonah's blanket I have been working on.  I wrote about it a long while ago.  The pattern is from the Attic 24 blog, it's the Granny Stripe.  I am half way done.  I ran out of yarn, so until I can get some more, it will remain in it's half finished format. 

We went to the new to us park as a family the other day.  Unfortunately we found out it is for the residents of the community only.  When I first went there one of the girls was holding open the gate for me as I was trying to usher in two little boys and an armload of food.  So I never saw the sign on the outside of the gate saying we weren't allowed.  Oh well.  While there we found out about another park that is open to the public that we will try some other time.  We were not about to leave as getting there was an adventure filled with almost running out of gas!

Isabella was playing with the boys on the swings.  They were loving it!

She would do an under duck and then look around for the boy she just pushed.  In this case it was Jonah.  Here she is calling out Jonah's name.  Pretending she doesn't know where he went.

\Here she is after she has "found" the lost boy :-)  The boys got a kick out of this game and asked for her to play it again and again.

Flannery had just found some 'treasure' in the sand pit and was all discouraged knowing she didn't have a pocket to keep it in. I caught her in her despair.  Not five seconds later she came over to ask if I had a pocket, and upon finding out that I did she looked pretty much like the below picture!

Yeah, Mom has pockets!  Too funny.

That's it for now.  Until I can work up enough patience to deal with Blogger and uploading photos :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010


Trust me guys, you don't want to read this!  Now, if you have a wife that is looking for a natural way to ward off beta strep, by all means send her my way.  But under no circumstance should any male reader continue with this post.  Don't say I didn't warn you if you decide to disregard my warning.

Before I start let me first get all the gibberish formalities out of the way.  I am in no way a doctor, nor pretending to be one.  I am not giving medical advice.  I am only sharing with you what I do in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  Take it for what it's worth :-)

So the end is near!  The end of this pregnancy that is.  I have racked my brain as to how I wanted to do things this time around as it pertains to beta strep.  I've followed the same routine the past few pregnancies, but had a few different thoughts with this one.  So I decided to change things up a bit.  I am still going with the garlic/ACV/honey concoction and the herbal suppositories.  However, instead of starting these the last two weeks of the pregnancy I've decided to start them a bit before the 34th week.  You are supposed to take the concoction and do the suppositories for ten days.  That will take me to the 35th week.  I've decided to start earlier because I realized this time around that the garlic and herbs can not distinguish between the bad guys and the good guys! 

So for the remaining 5 weeks or so (I am hoping it will be LESS than 5 weeks) I will be 'injecting' yogurt or kefir into the birth canal.  How to do this?  I went out and bought the cheap 7 pack of yeast infection medication.  Make sure to get the one with the cream.  That way you can use the nifty tubes to 'inject' the good bacteria to where it needs to go.  Make sure you have a pad on as it doesn't stay in place!  But it will coat the walls, and that is what I am aiming for. 

On top of that I am going low carb for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Sugars don't do a body good!  I also plan on upping my probiotics as well. 

A word on the garlic/ACV/honey concoction.  Last time around I couldn't bring myself to use the whole half cup of raw honey that the recipe called for.  So I only used 1/4 of a cup.  It was BAD!  I mean, I seriously had to psyche myself up to take the nasty stuff.  Twice a day....for ten days!!  I would DREAD garlic time!  Don't just take my word for it, you can ask Jeremiah what his experience was.  It went sort of like this:  Jeremiah started to come down with something.  I told him he should try my garlic stuff as that stuff seriously has to be able to kill anything it comes in contact with.  I told him it was "strong".  I told him to ONLY take 1 tsp of it.  He decided to go for a whole tablespoon instead.  Hey, I warned him.  Let's just say he just about lost the contents of his stomach upon consuming! Yeah, it's that bad.  So this time around I decided to use the whole amount of honey.  I also armed myself with some juice to chase it down with.  WOW, what a difference that other 1/4 cup of honey does!  Don't skimp on the honey is all I have to say.  Now I don't dread taking my garlic stuff.  Phew! 

I believe that I got my concoctions off the internet, but I have them written down with some other herbal remedy ideas from a book I got out of the library.  So for now, until I can locate them online I won't post the recipes.  I just don't have the energy to look it all up right now.  I'll get back to you all as soon as I can on the matter.

As a background, I tested beta strep positive with my first pregnancy.  I had the IV antibiotics.  With my second pregnancy they told me "once beta strep positive, always beta strep positive".   I found out later that what they told me was not true.  With my third, well I had her at home, and IV antibiotics are not an option :-)  I did for my peace of mind take the test though.  It was negative.  Same with Saoirse.  However, with Jed, I had learned that even though you are negative at 36 weeks, doesn't mean you are at 40.  But I did take the test, it was neg.  But with each of these home births I did some variation of my garlic remedy/ suppository routine.  With Jonah I opted out of the test, and just did the remedies.  And so it will be with this baby.  Everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their baby.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

clothes, clothes, and more clothes

I think if I have to deal with one more piece of clothing I might snap.  Ha!  So it started a few months ago.  We were talking about how we needed to bring down the winter clothing.  Between getting busy with other things and the temps still in the 70's it just got put on the back burner.  Until today.  I have been making up some lists of things I needed to do to prepare for the baby.  I was looking over my list that the midwife gave me, and low and behold I only have two weeks to get all the birthing supplies ready and waiting!  Whoa!  Were did the time go?  So I thought it time to go up and get the newborn clothing to get it washed and waiting.  The BOY baby clothing :-)  Anyways, it came to my attention that we had also planned on going through ALL of the clothing to get it put into labeled bags.  We determined that if this baby proves to be a boy that we would be getting rid of all our girl clothing (seeming as the baby girl clothing is over 13 years old!).  So Isabella, Moira and I pulled down all of the clothing, with the exception of a couple of boxes that I knew were labeled correctly.  If my friends Melody and Kim had seen my living room, they may have passed out!  Don't worry guys, it's all back in order now.  I had clothing on every square inch of the living room and couches!  It took me hours to sort through each and every single piece of clothing.  I sat in one spot while I had each girl take turns helping me to put the article in question under the proper paper label (I taped size labels on the couches and along the wall).  I bagged them up and then Jeremiah carried them all upstairs.  Now I have my living room back, a lot of laundry to wash, and a HUGE task checked off my list of things to do!  Yee haw! 

I wish I took pictures as it was a sight to behold. Maybe next time?  We had a simple dinner, corn bread and baked beans.  Then we all got to work to pick up so that we wouldn't have any chores to do tomorrow.  We will be taking it easy, making a pie, and then our regular chicken dinner.  Not too many extras this year. 

Well I'm off to relax!  Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A surprise for the girls

Surprises can be a lot of fun, and a headache all rolled into one!  The headache part comes when four girls want to ask you one thousand questions each as they try to figure out what the surprise is.  Oy!  We had been on the look out for a couple of small 'things' to add to our farm.  Unfortunately the price tag on these small things is quite high.  So it came as a shock to Jeremiah as he was perusing Craigslist to find these small things at a MUCH cheaper price.  He called right away, just to make sure there wasn't any strings attached, or something was defective.  The add was as it said it was, and we were delighted to have come across this find.  So we thought it would be fun to keep it a secret from the girls, and let them see these small things for themselves when we got there.  It was a good hour ride, or more to get there to check out these small things.  They were getting close to guessing, as they thought it had to do with animals.  The funny things was that when we pulled up to the person's house, the first thing you saw were llamas!  No, we were not there for the llamas.  I told the girls that when they saw 'them' they would *know*.  It didn't take too long after getting out of the van, as we were led across the yard for them to lay eyes on the small things.  Nigerian dwarf goats!!  Baby ones at that!  Can we say, "cute"?  Oh my!  There were eight babies, but only two of them were females, which was what we were looking for.  One was mostly white, longer hair, with a few black spots and blue eyes.  The other was mostly black with a few white spots and brown eyes.  They are only about 3 weeks old at the moment.  We won't be able to take them home until around Christmas.  The girls really wanted one of their own, but we are not in the market for male goats.  They will just have to share the two. 

From my reading, Nigerian goats eat less then our Alpine/Nubian mix but give just about the same amount of milk!  Plus they have a higher fat content, which makes their milk better suited for cheeses.  Not that I've tried my hand at cheese yet.  We were hoping to be able to freeze half our milk supply with our current goats so that we would have raw milk over the winter.  No such  luck!  I have ONE gallon of milk in the freezer, and the goats are dried up!  That will last half of a day.  The good thing about Nigerians is that they can breed any time of the year, as opposed to our Alpines, which only have a breeding season of Sept.-Nov., or possibly into Dec.  Which means each fall they will start to dry up, leaving us milkless over the winter.  With the Nigerians we can time their breeding so that they kid in the fall, leaving us a milk supply all winter long.  This means we won't be taking up all our freezer space with a supply of milk for the winter.  We are hoping that the freezer space will be used for beef from half a cow. 

Talking of freezer space, I need to be filling up our freezer with meals for when the baby comes.  I will start the cooking process next week sometime.  I can start with grain items, since I have a new load of grains that we just got in a couple of weeks ago.  I just made up a list of freezer meal ideas, pretty much the same ones I used last time around when I was due with Jonah.  This is not the time to try a bunch of new recipes.  Nothing like a new baby, the chaos that comes with that, and a dinner that nobody likes.  So I'll stick to the tried and true.  This also means we will be starting the GAPS diet later than I had hoped to, but this will insure that my sanity stays intact.  Or at least that it would have a higher likelihood of doing so :-) 

I will be at trying to go low carb for the next six weeks or so, as I am afraid this baby seems to be on the big side.  We've been eating a TON of carbs, most of which have not been soaked.  I am in the process of sprouting some wheat so that I can add some sprouted tortillas to my menu.  Sprouting grain is supposed to leave the grains acting as a vegetable as opposed to a carb/startch.  Something along those lines. So I spent some of our driving time yesterday making up my freezer meal plan and a menu for low carb eating. 

Today and tomorrow we will be doing our usual, school/speech/ cleaning.  We will be having Thanksgiving here, with just the eight of us.  I don't think we've ever not had anyone to celebrate with, but this year that will be the case, and probably Christmas as well.  The girls are looking forward to Friday when we will pull out the Christmas tree.  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a new house!

Ok, not really a new house, but new to us it seems.  Our main rooms got a wonderful makeover!  The festivities began around Wednesday.  Lots of cleaning and washing going on.  I knew with new paint on the walls that our white trim and white doors would 'pop' out.  And in the state that they were in, that would not have been a good thing.  So the girls and I got to work scrubbing.  Then one Thursday and Friday I taped up the rooms that were going to be painted, with the exception of a few spots that this pregnant belly would not allow me to access :-)  Jeremiah puttied all the holes and dents in the walls, slathered Kilz on all our lovely cave drawings, and took off all the outlet plates. He also moved all the furniture to the middle of the room.  By Friday night we were ready for some cutting in work.  I worked on cutting in the living room and family room (they are both the same color). That went smoothly and since I was on a roll I put up the first coat of paint in the living room.  The following day we had a member from our small group come at 7:30 AM to help us finish the rest.  A couple of hours later two more men came to help paint the walls.  They tackled the hardest room, which we thought was going to be the easiest, the kitchen.  I went in and did a first round in the girls' bathroom.  At some point Jeremiah called me out to take a look as the guys were done with the kitchen.  Let's just say it was more beautiful than I imagined it would be and I actually cried when I saw the finished work! 

We finished our work on Sunday by removing the tape and putting the furniture back in place.  Even though I thoroughly cleaned the house right before the painting party it was a wreck come Sunday.  I would have left it for another day to tackle, but we were being blessed by some friends who were coming the following day to steam clean our carpets!  So Sunday night and Monday morning was a flurry of pick up and vacuuming.  My two friends came late morning to tackle our floors.  Kim worked on scrubbing, and I do mean *scrubbing* my kitchen and the girls' bathroom floors.  Melody worked on cleaning the carpets.  When I left she had already done one pass of the boy's carpet and the family room.  I seriously did not think there was any hope of them getting any where near cleaned.  I was greatly surprised when we arrived home later that day to very clean carpets!  She had to do a lot of elbow grease, but the carpets look wonderful.  Plus just when they were walking out the door (they only had 5 minutes before they HAD to leave), Melody asks Kim what she would do differently with our living room set up.  It appears I wasn't the only one bothered by our living room arraignment.  Ha, ha.  Kim threw out an idea and Melody announced that they were going to make it happen.  Kim thought she had lost her mind!  But they rearranged our living room furniture.  So when we walked in, it seriously felt like I had the wrong house :-)  Everything looks WONDERFUL!  Each day someone here is making a comment about how different everything looks. 

The children are having to get used to eating all their food at the table.  When we first moved in this house Jed was only six weeks old.  With a newborn and a whole house to unpack we were not diligent to keep the children and their food at the table.  Unfortunately soon after we had the stress of Jed's medical issues, and it just went down hill from there.  But all food is off limits to the rest of the house now, so that we can keep the carpet clean.

When the carpets were getting clean I took the kiddos to Jed's speech, a new to us park, and the library.  It was a full afternoon!  The great thing about the park was that it was all fenced in.  With all the work that I did over the weekend the thought of having to keep track of six children at a park boarded by woods was just not sitting well with me.  So I drove a little extra to a park I had heard about months ago.  It was so nice to not have to worry where everyone was every moment.

Tuesday found us finishing some cleaning and then having to deal with a very sick chicken.  The chickens have had this AWFUL illness.  The first one that came down with it was laboring to breathe for five days!!  Poor thing.  A few others started to fall ill, and I knew I had to do something quick.  We tried a couple of antibiotics that did nothing to help.  As a matter of fact more chickens became ill even though we had the whole flock on the medicine.  So I decided that I needed to find a homeopathic remedy to see if we could get them relief.  I really did not have a lot of time to devote to it, so I made up a remedy with multiple medicines in it.  Not sure if that was what helped but all the chickens, save one, were able to breathe fine in 6 to 12 hours after the remedy.  And that's saying a lot since the first chicken suffered for five days.  However it did not prevent some of them from getting swollen eyes.  But we persevered with the remedy and within a day or two their eyes were much improved.  We do unfortunately have one chicken who is sooooo very sick though.  I went online to see what could be done.  Not knowing exactly what they have I had to go based on symptoms.  I came down to two things it could be, one a bacterial infection, one a viral.  I went out to get the injectable antibiotic.  First time I had to give a shot to anything!!  They said if it was the bacterial illness we would see improvement in 24 hours.  Um, that didn't happen.  Sigh.  Thankfully this very sick chicken only had the breathing problem for a few hours.  However both of her eyes swelled up HUGE!  Not only that but her throat swelled up such that she can not close her beak.  Poor thing.  She was really weak this morning with not having enough food or water.  So I told Isabella, it's her chicken, that if she wanted to give this chicken a chance we were going to have to dropper feed it every fifteen minutes.  We made up a solution of egg yolk and water and went out there every fifteen minutes to feed her.  We did that for the first hour and a half.  Then went to every thirty minutes as she was taking in more solution.  At one point I got the idea to give her some ibuprofen to see if it would help with the swelling.  I have no idea if it is safe to give to chickens, but at this point, well, I was willing to take our chances.  We held off a feeding to give the medicine some time to work.  Isabella went out at the next feeding and said her throat was a little better and although her eyes are still very swollen, one of them has gone down enough that the chicken could open it up a bit.  And with that feeding she took in the most food yet (still not a ton, but I think the steady supply will help better than one full tummy's worth).  At this point it is looking more hopeful.  If she wasn't eating then I would know she was just getting ready to die.  But with her continuing to eat I feel she at least has a chance right now.  One other chicken was nearly as sick as she was, and we thought she was going to die, but she if fine now, out and about acting like a chicken :-) She lost a lot of weight, but I am sure that will come back on in time. 

The funny thing is I was telling my friend Melody about all of this and she said that it would have been a totally different scenario at her house, with mostly all boys.  She said it would have gone something like this:  "Hmmm, see those sick chickens.....what do ya think, get the gun?"  Ha, ha!  Well, with a house full of girls we have a whole lot of nurturing instincts that prevent that conversation from happening at this point.  This will just mean that come this weekend we will have to spend a LOT of time disinfecting the barn and barnyard area.  Not looking forward to that.  But regardless if the chickens had died or lived we would have had to do it, so as to try to prevent this from spreading.   The bad news is that it is possible our chickens that got sick will be carriers of this disease.  So any future birds we bring in, or even for the chickens that somehow escaped the illness, may end up coming down with it if is carried.  I am hoping that doesn't happen. 

Ok, lunch time is over, and now it's time to get back to work.  We've had a much more normal day as far as getting schooling and cleaning done.  Hopefully we'll be able to get to the rest of our studies so that we can go outside before it gets dark out. 

Here are a few pictures of our new to us house :-) They did not come out very well at all.  We have horrid lighting in here.  I also took some pictures of the new living room layout.  I wish I had before/afters to give you, but I was having issues with windows explorer and don't want to deal with photos any more!

Look at that CLEAN floor!!  Looks like new!  We do still have some stains here and there, but even those have been reduced in their intensity.

Our kitchen!  I LOVE this color.  It really helps to bring out our cabinets.  With a light flooring and all the woodwork being maple, including our table we really needed something on the darker side to bring them out. 

This is a poor picture, I was trying to get the two colors of both rooms for the full effect.  Didn't really work.  In one of the pictures of the living room, down below, you will see more of the true color of the above wall (both the living and family room are the same color).

Our magnetic wall!!  So cool!!  It really could have used a third coat, but we didn't have enough to do that. So we'll only be able to use small magnets, and only hang up single sheets of paper. 

I'm in the living room now, standing in front of the door.  This wall had one of our couches on it and it really made the flow of traffic not work smoothly as the couch stuck too far out into the pathway from the door into the kitchen.  It works much better to have the book shelf there.

I'm still standing by the door, although more at the end of the staircase taking this picture.  The color of the paint looks more like it does in real life.  That door you see is our bedroom door. 

Panning to the right a bit we see the rest of the living room.  I wish I could get the whole room into view, as these pictures don't seem to do the room justice.  It's a really nice change though, you'll have to trust me :-)

Oh, I forgot to mention that I had an appointment with my midwife on Friday (it was one busy weekend!).  Everything looks good.  The baby happened to be transverse!  Never had one do that on me.  But I was only 32 weeks pregnant, so plenty of time to get the baby to move.  Let's hope he cooperates.  Talking of 'he' we got to listen to the baby's heart beat.  I thought that this time we would get a better picture of it being a boy or girl (not that it's 100% accurate) and wouldn't ya know it was 140.  I thought that was definitely a boy's heart rate.  But my midwife said that at this stage of the pregnancy it could actually go either way with that number.  What?  I am quite sure she is mistaken :-)  Ha, ha.  Well only around seven or so weeks to go now!!! 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Scratch that

Well it's been one of those days.  I have been praying more, and I know with that it usually means unusual happenings around here.  That's just the way it goes.  But even though I know that, it still makes it hard when the unusual stuff starts to happen. 

We won't be able to start the diet.  I am really bumming about that for a few reasons.  If we start it next month I may not have enough time to get a handle of how it all works and end up giving it up once the baby comes.  I don't want that to happen.  Starting is VERY hard, having to start *again* is even harder still.  We won't be able to start due to some monetary issues.  But, that being the case, we can still go dairy free and I can at least soak all of our grains.  Although it won't have the same effect, it will be better than nothing.  I already know the girls have big issues with milk products, so this will help some.  And I know that I have issues with gluten.  So again, it is better than nothing.  What I need to do now is turn my focus to what I can do and be *thankful*.  I KNOW that God is at work here and He will see to it to what needs to be done.  I just tend to let MY plans get in the way :-)

It appears that we may be losing one of our chickens.  We have been very blessed to have had healthy chickens (with the exception of any babies that arrive ill).  We introduced four new birds to the flock, but they were sick.  Not sure if they passed it on, or just a coincidence, but one of our older birds is very, very sick.  I got her some antibiotics today (that will come with it's own story) but I am afraid it may be too late for her.  I am praying that the others don't get it as well.  If we have to medicate the whole flock we won't be able to consume their eggs until they are medication free.  Again, something I just need to turn over to the Lord.  I certainly can't do anything more at this point.

So in our quest for the above said antibiotics I loaded everyone in the van.  We went to TSC and lo and behold they had just sold their last pack this past Friday.  But of course.  The closest store around would be where Jed has speech therapy.  I knew we couldn't wait till then.  I called my good friend Melody to see if she had any antibiotics on hand.  Thankfully she did.  She also had some pants for Isa to try on.  So the plan was to go there, Isa try on pants while I get the medicine and then get home to do all the things I planned on doing this morning.  I left the other girls with the instructions to wait in the van and to NOT let the boys out of their car seats.  I told them if Melody's boys came out they could get out, right there at the van, to talk with them.  Isabella came to the door and said something about being locked out.  What?  She asked me if I had my keys.  No, I left them in the van.  She tells me that we are locked out of the van and that the boys are still in there.  I reminded her that the back door is always open (Isabella has this 'thing' about it remaining unlocked), to which she replied that the girls were playing tricks on her and wouldn't let her into the van.  The problem was that they all got out and for some reason either locked the door behind them, or it did so on its own (which has happened before).  What that meant was that the boys, still in their car seats, were locked in the van.  Um, let's just say I didn't handle that with the utmost grace.  So we set about to see if we could get a door unlocked.  I called Jeremiah to let him know what was going on.  One of the window locks was unlocked on the back window.  Unfortunately it wasn't the one closest to the lock.  So we pried open the window a bit, stuck a screw driver in to lift up the other window lock.  And much to our surprise, the WHOLE window shattered!!!  Gave us all a scare.  Not a few minutes later Jeremiah called to say that his manager said he could leave early to give me his key to get in the van.  Um, yeah, I won't be needing you to do that....we have the door unlocked.  And it just so happens we have a broken window to go along with it!  Sigh.  So we spent the next while cleaning up all the broken glass.  My friend Melody taped up the window for me.  Nothing like an adventurous morning. 

I wish that was the end of our hectic day.  Almost, but not quite.  Jeremiah came home not feeling well.  Oy!  Hopefully a wee bit of natural medicine and some good sleep will have him all better by morning.

The boys have been really at each other today.  Lots and lots of screaming.  Just before I got on here they were having it out again.  I am sooooooo ready for them to go to bed. I look up and to my dismay it is only 7 PM which leaves me with two hours more of their fighting.  I know that doesn't sound very nice, but I'm just worn out.  Sometimes they are up late playing nicely and sometimes bedtime can't come soon enough. 

I think that is it for now.  I pray it is all for now! 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Diet Decision has been made

Not that you knew there was a decision in the making to begin with :-)  So here is how it played out.  As some of you who have read here long enough know, we have various ailments, allergies or are just plain sick....a lot.  At least that is what my sister says :-)  I'm just teasing her!  Ok, so with all of that, most recently with Saoirse having stomach pain for over a week, it was coming time to do something about it.  The other factor playing into this was Jeremiah's health insurance meeting.  Depending on how healthy you are will depend on what level they put you in.  Certain levels have the advantage of paying less on health insurance.  It just so happens that we are at risk of losing the lower paying level.  We've known this for a while now, but between me not having the energy and just not being able to settle in on which diet to follow I've held off doing anything.  But my energy levels, although not like they used to be, have been pretty consistent as of late.  The girls' soccer season just ended this weekend, and the baby won't be here for the next eight or nine weeks.  This will give us some time to jump into a healing diet before our lives get a wee bit busier. 

It was a toss up between two diets, the Maker's Diet or the GAPS diet (which you have all heard me 'talk' about).  I figured if we are going to have to deal with detoxing issues either way that we might as well go 'all the way' and get the most healing in as we can.  There really isn't going to be a *best* time to do this.  There will always be something that we will have to miss or give up or deal with.  The beginning of GAPS is very, very restrictive, but for a short time.  My hope is that we will be through the introduction stages before the baby comes, or at least close to it.  I can't be on the intro diet, but I can jump right into the full GAPS diet.  Once everyone is on full GAPS we will remain there for the next year or so, just depending on how quickly our guts heal. 

I have some prep work (to say the very least) to get us up and started.  The first being to write out the plan and to try to prep some of the food.  I already talked to the girls and Jeremiah about it, what to expect.  No one is really happy about it, but most are looking forward to getting healthy.  Flannery said, "I can't live without bread!" Isabella said, "Count me OUT!  I'm not doing that!"  So not everyone is looking forward to it.  We assured them that the rewards would far outweigh the difficulties we will face at first.  I had, in the past, thought about doing the full Gaps and working our way back to the intro.  But it really seems like there isn't going to be an easier time than now to just jump in with both feet.  I am praying that we will have the strength to carry through with it, the perseverance when things get tough.  I am worried about the possible detoxing that everyone (but me) may experience.  There are some ways to help with those, but you can't get rid of all of it. 

We don't have a start date at this time.  Although I do believe I would like to make sure to start by the end of the week.  I just want to make sure I have my head on straight and a full plan of action.  That plan needs to encompass figuring out how to get Jeremiah's breakfast and lunches made each day for him to take to work.  And I need to make sure we have all the right amounts of food on hand, and get a bunch of it made up ahead of time.  It will help to stay a few steps ahead.  I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it once we start :-)  I also plan on having the older two girls write on their blogs about it, their experience-whether good or bad.  I am hoping that over time they will see the benefits for themselves, in their own words.  Although I know just how much of an improvement in their health was made when we eliminated milk products from their diet last year.  So I am sure they will see that, plus more. 

Alrighty, off to make up my list and plan of action.  Well maybe....I'm just starting to feel better this evening and I may just relax to seal the healing process (I got sick with sinus, ear stuff, oh fun, fun, fun!). 
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