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!). 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Jed's IEP meeting

Today Jedidiah had his annual IEP(individual educational program) meeting with his speech therapist.  Basically we talked about what his goals were that we set out to accomplish on last years IEP, where he is now, and what his new goals would be.  The good news is that he met almost all of his goals!  Yeah!  She showed me the test that she gave to him a week or so ago.  She explained that he basically made mistakes in every single word on the test.  However, they were very consistent mistakes.  So he is definitely showing that he is coming out of the apraxia, because the very nature of apraxia is that one minute they can say a sound and the next minute they can't.  But he is making the same mistakes with each set of sounds in the different words.  That is a good thing.  There has been some great progress made.  But she did make sure to add that although he has come a long way, he still has a long ways to go.  I will look forward to the day I don't have to hear that.  It seems like he's worked so hard, and has truly made big strides, BUT he still has soooo long to go.  Ugh.  Don't get me wrong I am very, very grateful at the huge strides he has made.  It just seems like the 'end' is so far off! 

Alrighty, so then we moved on to his new goals that we are setting for the rest of the school year.  It wasn't a long list like last time, so I am assuming these things may just be harder for children to grasp.  Not sure.  We had basically gone over some of these things in the past few weeks just because the therapist tells me what she plans on working on with him next.  But then we got to the fact that, although this IEP is good for a year, Jed will age out of the program come this July.  Which means we will need to transfer his paper work to the school system, as in an actual school.  Now before I proceed to tell you what she told me and how I felt about it, I want to make it clear that I understand that this could be a touchy topic.  My intent is not to cause a 'stir', nor start a debate about the very nature of public services.  So please feel free to agree or disagree, but this is not intended to be a debate :-)

Ok, so the therapist tells me that come May we will have a meeting (like the one we had last year when Jed aged out of the toddler program to transfer into the preschool program that he is in now) with the local school's therapist and necessary personnel.  Not a problem.  But she told me that since he was going to be homeschooled that they were going to have to file it under different paper work, something called a "personal placement yada yada yada".  Ok, following her so far.  But because Jed will not be enrolled in the school, the school will not be getting any funding for him.  Hmmmm, not sounding too good.  Which means that he will basically get the bare minimum services (it will be up to the director what that will entail).  The therapist's thought would be that could mean that Jed may only get one or two days of speech.......per MONTH.  Per month?  Seriously?  Right now, as far as his level of apraxia has been determined, he really needs three times a WEEK.  That is a serious short coming!  I was not in the least bit amused to say the least!

Now, here is where the debate comes in as I know some people have some hefty views on public programming.  At this point I see it this way:  Although I don't agree with all of it (taxing for public schools, and services), I am PAYING for it.  Ok, not really me, but Jeremiah.  I did at one time though :-)  So our money is going to this funding, but because we don't plan on enrolling Jed into the school he will get crumbs.  Hmmmmm, yeah the system is definitely messed up!  I suppose that is all I will say about that! 

This means that we will have to resort to private speech, which at this point and time our insurance only allows 30 visits per year.  That basically will work out to be one time a week between the school and private therapy.  I suppose it will just be a matter of prayer.  I suppose I should just pray that he won't even need speech come the end of the school year.....that would take care of the matter now wouldn't it :-)

In other news, everyone seems to be on the mend.  This weekend will be the last soccer game of the fall.  We'll have a nice break until the spring season starts.  I'm looking forward to a break at this point.  Not that I do any of the work!  Seriously I don't!  So I'm not really sure why I am looking forward to the break.  I suppose that will mean one less thing that takes up our time.  With the baby coming I know I will be feeling the crunch, and having soccer out of the way will make it a little more easier to deal with.

Monday, November 01, 2010

pictures from the zoo

 I can't seem to get the cursor to go to the top of the page.  Oh well.  Here are a few pictures from our zoo trip.  We were able to see a few new exhibits this time around.  There was one about tracking elephants.  They use a helicopter to track them, and had this helicopter in the display for the kids to climb up on.  The boys were really excited about that.  Unfortunately we didn't get any good pictures of the boys on the helicopter.  Not that this one is very good either, but better than the ones of the boys :-)

 The other two girls in the helicopter.  Saoirse looks very interested don't you think?  She was having fun in there, must have been the timing of the picture. 

 All the girls in an egg shell. Too funny.  They were saying it was a quadruple yoke egg.  It was pretty warm out so I am not sure why Flannery is wearing her hood up.  Silly girl.

 The boys move too fast to get good pictures.  They had an egg that was more enclosed and we kept trying to get them to stick their heads out of the opening, but one of them was always peeking out and the other tucked back inside the egg. 

 The girls and I.  We are actually sitting on one of the pretend eggs.  I thought it was funny seeing as how I am pregnant and all.  I have to say these are the first pictures I've had taken of me during this pregnancy and I am surprised to see I look as big as I feel!!  Not sure if that is a good thing, after all I still have about ten weeks to go.

 The girls on a pretend lion.  They wanted to take another picture up on top of the buffalo, but there was no way that Jeremiah was going to get them up on it.  I think we were just about to hit the summit of the mountainous walk on the zoo trail (seriously it is all up hill more than half of the trail, from the direction we started from).

 Our family photo.  This used to be an exhibit with animals in it, but the zoo has decided to build a new facility.  In the mean time the whole building was nothing but exhibits of flowers.  Their name is escaping me. 

 Jed's highlight, the carousel.  This time around it was one ride only.  Are they trying to rob people with the prices of those tickets???  I mean really people!  It;s insane.

We asked Moira to take a picture of us.  We had just finished resting after the carousel and a snack. 

That's all I have for now.  Thankfully the sick kiddos seem to be doing much better today.  As a matter of fact Flannery is outside jumping on the trampoline as I type.  Jed's fever started to come down before bed time.  Saoirse was saying she felt like she had a cold last night.  And Moira woke up saying she felt a bit funny, water eyes and such.  But nothing has seemed to progress thus far.  So hopefully this will be a quick affair and we'll be done with it. 
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