Sunday, January 30, 2011

A few more things to add

I didn't have the time this morning to add a few other things that I wanted to share.  We are back from church now, and I have to say it was wonderful being there after not being able to get to church for the past four or five weeks!  It was a blessed time.  Today is a beautiful day, and I am hoping everyone will do their tiding up quickly so that we can go out and enjoy it!  We're trying to stick to the rule of work before play. 

Ok, now for the things to share.  This one is just a news tidbit.....Aubrey has a belly button!  I know most people wouldn't think that as news worthy :-)  With our first three babies they had the alcohol treatment for their umbilical cords.  Each of them didn't get their belly button until they were 5 or 6 six weeks old. Then with the next three we treated their cords with an herb that escapes my memory, but their cords came off within 7 to 10 days old.  That's a big difference.  Well in my haste to get to the hospital I didn't bring the herb with me, so Aubrey's cord got the alcohol treatment.  I wiped it for the first 5 days with the alcohol wipe and decided to just leave it be after that.  So he was a little over three weeks old when he got his belly button.  I'm just glad it happened as soon as it did, as it could have held on for a few more weeks! 

Does anyone need any noise?  I'm sure you are all raising your hands!  Ha, ha!  Well if you are looking for some white noise, I have a great spot for you to go to.  While you're at it you get to choose the color of noise as well.  Who knew that noise had color?  At Simply Noise you get the choice of white, pink or brown noise.  I'm partial to the pink noise.  We found a way to get it wired into our bedroom.  Our noise maker bit the dust after residing in our home for a mere three weeks.  Hopefully we've found a longer term solution.

I also wanted to share a blog post that a friend from church did.  It really spoke to my heart.  I cried.  But that's not too hard to do :-)  I encourage you to read it as well.  I would also encourage you also to check out their Haiti(love) site and to pray about their adoption process, to bring home two children from Haiti.  So far it's been an amazing story of the Lord working in the hearts of those involved.  And in order for these two children to make it here a lot more people's hearts will need to be touched by the Lord.  Please check out Nothing 2 Bring and let me know how it ministered to you.

I think that is all for now. 

Free reading program

Thought I'd pop on here and let you know that there is a free reading program available today and tomorrow only (I sound like a commercial!) at Funnix.  It has been free all month long, but I only found out about it yesterday.  Jeremiah actually spent some time looking into it as he was afraid it could have been a scam or spy ware.  And believe it or not it's been covered by multiple news stations.  This reading program normally goes for almost $250!  So hurry on over and grab it.  I really don't know how good it is, or how it works, but I figured we'd download it and ask questions later :-) 

Alright, off to get ready for church. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adventure

We are all home and well.  Maybe "well" doesn't suite all of us, but most of us!  We were VERY blessed to not only get receive a meal last night, but to get a helping hand.  'K' came over to drop off a dinner meal for us and while she was here the hospital called to say that Jeremiah was ready to be picked up.  'K' had brought her children with her and of course my girls were giddy over having other kids to play with.  I was about to call the girls in when 'K' said that she would be willing to stay here with my kids so that I could go pick up Jeremiah.  The hospital is 45 minutes away, so I was a bit hesitant at first.  But she insisted that it would make things easier for me.  And she couldn't have been more right.  Jeremiah was told that all I was going to have to do was drive up, tell them who I was coming for, and he would be brought out to the van.  Not so, not so.  I took Jonah and Aubrey with me.  My first intentions was to have all the kids with me, and for them to all stay in the van while I ran in to tell them I was there to pick up my husband.  However, what happened was that I took the boys in (as the girls were at home playing with their friends) and was told to head back to the recovery room.  Hmmm, ok.  Off we went.  We found Jeremiah still hooked up to his IV, in hospital garb.  So we were there for about an hour until we were back in the van heading home.  I would have been beside myself if I had brought all the kids with me.  I know they would have done well in the hospital, but I would have been running back out to the parking lot to get them all.  So it all worked out great!  Only one small problem.  Jeremiah left his prescriptions for the pain meds in his truck.....which was sitting at home. 

We got home around 8:15 or so.  We said goodbye to our friends. Then it was time for Jonah and I to eat some dinner.  Jeremiah was too sick from the anesthesia to eat.  I was going to need to run out to get the pain meds for Jeremiah that evening.  But half way through eating my dinner Jonah started to fall apart, asking to go to bed.  So I went to put him to bed.  I had Isa holding the baby.  It took a while for Jonah to settle down.  He kept saying, "ee-oh ow-si."  That last word was "outside".  Hmmm, what could he be talking about being outside?  I couldn't make out that first word.  Finally he said, "ee-ow in van". OH. *pillow* in van!  Jeremiah was given this wee little baby pillow while in the hospital that he gave to Jonah, who instantly fell in love with it.  So I ran out to get him his new pillow.  Finally he was able to drift off into dreamland...but then so did I!!  I was only there for 15 minutes though when Isa came in with a fussy baby.  So I got up and nursed him.  But by golly I was *tired*!. And off to sleep I fell....to be awoken again come one AM by Jeremiah who was in pain, a lot of it.  You guessed it, I was off to the nearest 24/7 pharmacy, which was 30 minutes away.  Thirty minutes is no biggie for us as we are used to having to drive long distances for things.  But I will be honest and say I was anything but happy about this situation.  Until the Lord spoke to me.  He basically said, "Hey, you could either keep fussing, or enjoy the *silent* ride with Me."  Oh, yeah,  that sounds like a better plan to me!  So I started conversing with the Lord.  Driving along the dark roads, with the hum of the van lulling.  By the time I got to the pharmacy I was almost giddy!  The pharmacist was great, no line, quick service!  In ten minutes I was walking out with the meds and contraband (AKA Swedish fish...shhhhh don't tell the kids!).  I was having my own little praise and worship time driving home.  My whole mood had changed from grumbling to thankful.  I was coming up on the last main road before our house, about three miles out, when the van started to chug and choke. OUT OF GAS!! Ughhhhh!!!!  I could either turn right and risk the gas station three miles away was open, or turn left and head towards home.  I decided it was best to turn towards home, lest I be six miles away as opposed to three miles.  I prayed and begged the Lord for me to make it home.  I didn't have any problem with walking the rest of the way, except that the half mile before our house is a bunch of dogs, that will come up and snarl at you.  I've only heard the stories as I have been too afraid to go that way for a walk since then.  No way did I want to meet up with some rowdy dogs in the middle of the night. So I prayed, and prayed. I had a couple of hills to go up, which would make this possibly unlikely that I would reach home.  On one hill the van kicked out.  I got it pulled over, and thankfully it restated.  I am sure I was going less than 10 miles per hour.  But I kept going, chugging and praying.  I was hoping to not get stuck in the middle of the intersection.  Not only did I get past the intersection, but I got past the rowdy dogs, and the van kicked out as soon as I started to pull into my driveway.  So it is currently parked on our lawn!  Thank you Lord!!!  Phew!  I think it took me at least 25 minutes to go those three miles, but I made it home! 

Aubrey wasn't exactly cooperating sleep wise last night.  Ah Murphy's Law ;-)  So that was my adventure.  We have had a slow morning, but it will be getting busy here soon.  I now need to go out in Jeremiah's truck to get gas in a can, so I can get enough in the van to head out later to Jed's speech.  So fun, so fun.

With all of that I leave you with some photos I took this morning.  Aubrey finally was awake long enough for me to take pictures of him awake.  Enjoy!



Aubrey, staring out the living room window. He loves windows!



Oh so cute footsies!



This little man spends a large amount of time with his eyebrows knit.  Is he mad?  Is he trying to figure things out?  Why oh why do you knit your brows little guy?



What you don't see in half of the pictures I took is Jonah!  He is all over the baby when Aubrey is near.  Here is a really cute picture of Jonah holding Aubrey's hand.  I wasn't trying to be artistic about the shot, I was trying to hold the camera out far enough to get this photo and had to take several as I am not adept at figuring out where the lens is pointing.



Ah, so cute.  Looking happy now.



Still  happy, but getting sleepy.  We are still not sure who he looks like.  I am thinking he is taking more after Flannery at this point.  His eyes are still pretty puffy, something that Flannery had big time for months!  She had these little slits for eyes because of the puffiness.

That's all I have to share.  Now I need to be off to run around town to get gas and Jed to speech.  Good day all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

prayer request

Today Jeremiah is having his shoulder surgery.  He has to be at the hospital by one, and the surgery isn't scheduled until four this evening.  I am very thankful that someone volunteered to drop him off at the hospital, so I only have to make one trip into town tonight to pick him up.  I know someone should be with him, or at the hospital (always a good thing to do when you need to be in a hospital), but I can't be there, nor can anyone else.  So please pray that all would go smoothly, no complications.  Also please pray that the healing process will go well (for many reasons).  With me still in the healing stage of having a baby, and Jeremiah's shoulder out I am hoping no big lifting situations arise. 

Thank you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a few more pictures

Yes, it seems I am short on words these past few days :-)  Aubrey was sleeping inside (Jeremiah was with him), so I took the boys outside along with my camera and tripod.  I recently got a tripod (gotta love Craigslist), and wanted to try it out.  We can finally get a whole family picture!!!  Not that we've taken one, but it will be coming, soon.....or not so soon, who knows!  So I was out and took a couple of pictures.  Decieded to pull up Photoshop Elements and one of my favorite blogs for a tutorial on converting to black and white.  There is a one 'push' button to convert your photo to black and white, but I believe by doing so with the gradient map gives you a richer picture. 

This is the picture I started with.


This is the black and white from the one 'push' button.


This is the black and white using the gradient map.  Just a bit richer than the photo above.



Silly girls trying to dress up the goat.  I feel sorry for our animals :-)



Black and white using the gradient map.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Just some pictures

A wonderful box of goodies came in from my sister a few days ago.  The girls wasted no time in digging in and making some colorful pencils.  But first they had to barter/argue/discuss who would get which stickers.  No, actually they did not argue.  They were very civil about it all.


Preparing the pencils.


See, they are giddy with stickers, sparkles and rainbows.


Unless you are Flannery, in which case you look a wee bit dazed :-)  Maybe too much rainbow?  Just kidding. There can't be too much rainbow, or sparkles or stickers!


Jonah is forever in the middle of everything :-)  Usually that is a good thing, such as in this case.  Every once in a while it doesn't work out too well.  Like leaving him alone with my homeopathic remedies.  I left the room to grab a bottle and he tore into them!  Ugh. Thankfully they are totally non toxic, so no worries there.


More discussions going on.


This was just too cute to pass up.  That would be Saoirse's doll.  I suppose she figured since she wasn't allowed on the bike she'd find a way to "live through her doll".  Only the older two girls are allowed on the bike.  It's been a great training device to be sure!!


Jeremiah, with child.  Ha!  Well, as he put it, "This will be the closest I get to being pregnant."  When all else fails to calm Aubrey, he goes in the Mobey.  A wonderful, wonderful creation.  It just snuggles that baby right up to you, most womb like I am sure.


Aubrey peeking out.  He always falls asleep when he gets all wrapped up and snug.


For some reason, even though Flannery holds Aubrey often, I didn't have a lot of pictures of them together.  This morning Aubrey was getting a wee bit over tired and was difficult to calm down. Flannery said she could help him.  Hmmmm, well give it a try I suggested.  And not two minutes later, this was the result!  I must have some 'baby whisperers' on my hand :-)


Sweet sisterly love.


Jonah was not to be left out of the photo taking.  So I made sure to snap a few of him too.  He's such a ham.  When I want to try things out on my camera he is always willing to be the model. 

Hope you all have a wonderful day.  Nothing on our agenda today but the usual.  Some school, some chores, some outside time. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Diet Dilema

Ah, that lovely word....'diet'.  Some of you who have been reading for long will probably know that that lovely little word has come up many a time.  I even went back to the past couple of 'new years' posts (well at least for the month of Jan.) to see that we have tried implementing a new diet.  Some might wonder why we keep changing our diet around.  For me, diet has to do with the ongoing way to eat, not some way to lose weight.  We try one thing, then go back, try another, then go back to our regular way of eating.  Granted our normal way of eating is considered "healthy" at least by the Standard American Diet.  But that hasn't stopped some people from calling us the "healthiest sick people" that they know.  Tis true, tis true.  But it's not the diets fault, nor am I being careless or slack in trying to get us to stay healthy.  The truth of the matter is we ARE sick, sick in our core.  And even the healthy foods are not truly healthy for us due to our system's not being able to tolerate them. 

I have been searching for years for the 'right' diet for our family.  How are we supposed to eat, what are we supposed to eat, how should those foods be prepared?  I've learned a lot over the past few years.  As I've learned I've tried to implement the things I've read about.  But there has been this barrier for me.  That barrier has been how to resolve what the Bible says is good food, and what science and my experience with foods has been.  They didn't seem to match up.  I *know* that the Bible wouldn't be wrong.  After all God was the one who made the foods for us that we are to eat, He should know what is good and bad.  But my experience wasn't lining up with that.  Enter the GAPS diet AND a new source I just read about.  We will need to wait to continue until Jeremiah picks himself up off the floor :-)  Ha, ha!  Someone on the GAPS email loop sent a link to an article on "The Science Behind Candida". Oh. My. Goodness.  I'm not even sure where to start. Maybe just give you all the link to read for yourselves. 

This new resource (well new to me) has been yet another piece to the very long standing puzzle that my sister and I have been working on.  We have answers as to why certain things haven't worked for our health.  I learned that 90% of sinus infections are fungal.  Ninety percent!!!  I've been plagued by them most of my life.  The short of it is that the candida can take on three different forms.  The yeast form is not the problem.  It is a small round shaped organism that has resided in our guts since we've been born.  The yeast itself doesn't cause any harm.  However....when it gets out of control, due to antibiotics or steroid use then it becomes out of control.  In order for it to preserve itself from the bodies natural mechanisms to keep it under control it then transforms into its fungal form.  The fungal form is the problem.  The little yeast ball grows a long projection that can then burrow or intertwine itself together to 'invade' our body's tissues.  It will migrate to other areas of our body.  In essence, it starts to wreak havoc with our health.  The scary thing is that this form can not be killed off!  If that were the end of the story I'd be sitting here feeling very defeated and lost.  But thankfully there is a way to change the fungus back into its yeast form, where the body can then gain control of their numbers.  There is a protocol.  It's very similar to GAPS, but a bit different here and there.  So for now I am reading.  And reading.  And....you guessed it, reading.  Why have I been nearly obsessed with this health endeavor.  Because for as long as I can remember, well at least as far back as middle school, deep down I knew that it just wasn't right for our family to be so sick.  Yes we live in a sin filled world, where one of it's byproducts would be sickness.  But God designed our bodies to overcome, battle and fight so many of the germs around us.  Why wasn't our bodies working as they should.  Sickness takes it's toll in many ways.  Whether its time, money, lack of ability to take care of every day tasks, or impeding your call to a bigger God given task.  I don't doubt that God uses illness to teach us things. But I can't believe that sickness should be our way of life.  God is a wonderful designer.  Yes, sin, has messed with His design.  And in the end all of will die.  But between now and then I don't see why most of the population has to suffer with illness to the extent that we do.  So that has led me on this life long search for health.  Piece by piece we've seen a picture come together.  A little here and a little there.  I wish I could say that it was a one day thing, I looked up "health" online and boom---got my answer.  No, no God doesn't work that way :-)  He gives us what we need when we need it.  Although all too often I think I need it sooner!!  Ha, ha.

Ok, so after that not so short explanation, where do I stand now on this diet thing?  Like I said, I still have some reading to do.  One way or the other there is going to be hard work involved.  Hard as far as the limitations of what you can eat.  Hard because this will take *time*.  Hard because it will cost us money (well, either way I look at it our health costs us money, whether in doctor fees or food, or supplements).  I would rather spend the money and have health, then spend that same money and be sick.  Because we WILL stay sick if we just keep on continuing with the way we are.  Right now four of us in our family are overweight.  One of us is underweight.  We have rashes, fatigue, stomach pain galore, hyperactivity, failure thrive, intestinal issues, cycle issues, allergies and I am sure another good ten or a dozen other symptoms.  It all comes down to the health of our gut.  And yeast is a big factor into that health, or lack thereof. 

The good news is that people are healing on the above mentioned diets.  That means they make their way to eating the foods that God designed for us.  That also means that to maintain that health one can not go back to eating the Standard American Diet.  But I finally have a peace and a resolve.  It's hard to stick to a diet if you can't reconcile the disparity between your beliefs and what science or experience is telling you.  But now I see that these two diets are designed to heal the gut and make it possible to eat Gods provisions.  Ah, that is a good feeling.  I certainly am not sure if I have it 'right' or not, but for the fist time in a VERY long time I feel like I'm on to something :-)  Between the diet and homeopathy.....well its just a wonderful combination.  Two wonderful ways to heal our bodies, to bring them back into health without side effects, without hurting another system in our body, or disrupting the balance that is needed for each system to work.  A beautiful thing.  Yeah, I know, I'm weird like that.  All I can say is I remember being all of 5 or 6 and watching Nova on TV and being in total awe of the workings of the human body.  Although the one program about the dust mites and little microscopic 'thingies' that live on us almost did me in!!!  I'm not joking, I still remember laying awake at night for DAYS in absolute terror of the thought of these little bugs crawling all over me.  It took me a long time to get over that one!! 

Alrighty, well nothing like a novel eh?  Sorry about that.  I'm just so excited.  Confused and excited.  Ha, ha.  I'm gonna have to see about blending the Candida diet and GAPS diet together.  I'm excited for my children.  Excited that they will not have to face a lot of the dangers that my extended family has faced.  Cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, mental illness, allergies....and the list goes on.  Excited that I can reverse the path that they have been on.  Excited to maybe, just maybe (it does seem like a dream) to not be sick all the time!!!  I hear of those families who maybe get one cold a year.  ONE cold a year.  Yeah, sign me up :-) 

Here are the two links that I've been reading on lately.  I've already shared the links on GAPS, I believe if you click on the link in my sidebar for "GAPS" you'll find that post. 

Science Behind Candida

Dr. McCombs Plan

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Years Resolutions...or not

Ah, the beloved New Year's resolutions deal.  I think I used to try my hand at making some, and not to long afterwards breaking some!  So I haven't made any in years.  But as I alluded to in a recent post we have been without direction for some time.  We've been in crises mode, or recovery mode for some time, and now that we are coming out of that I see that we've just been surviving and not really moving forward.  So I sat down with the girls and we made up a little outline to fill in.  I told them that I really wanted to have things to work towards throughout the year, instead of just dealing with the every day things that life throws at you.  No, you can't avoid those, but we most certainly have been sidetracked by them.  I am here to write out my goals for the year.  I wished I did it sooner, as I currently can not find my journal.  Ugh.  It is always, always disappearing.  I know it will show up sooner or later (it's in the house *somewhere*).  But while most of it is still fresh in my memory, and just in case my journal takes longer to appear, I shall write it all out here.
Edited:  My journal was found!!

BOOKS:
Sacred Marriage (currently reading)
Sacred Parenting
GAPS diet revised addition (it has a new section on failure to thrive)
The Backyard Homestead
Chicken book
Goat book
Raising Godly Tomatoes (currently going through)
books on homeopathy (no titles to put down yet)
Drawing With Children
The Shear Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer
read past issues of Wise Traditions (they are all online!)

PROJECTS:
***GARDENING***  (this is one of the areas I really want us to delve into this year)
Cleaning, painting, reorganizing, and sprucing up the barn
Work on a charity project (baby blankets or hats)
Watch homesteading DVD's
Unplug from all the movies and video games that have been going on around here
photo a week (they have photo a day but that might be too much for me)
teach girls to sew
work on preparedness notebook

IDEAS:
Doing a study on anger with Isabella
Training-obedience and household duties
babysitting course for Isa and Moira
pick back up with ASL
Date night with Jeremiah--make it a regular time together

NEW SKILLS:
Work on homeopathy skills (I would really like to become one as I see it would be very valuable to our family and our community)
Make crockpot soap (I want to use our goat milk-when it comes in, and raw honey)
Get more involved in our areas homesteading group and gardening group to learn new skills

GOALS:
(these were basically health goals)
Come February go dairy and sugar free
Come May go grain free
Work on making working out a daily event, even if for 15 min.
Work on becoming more active as a family

So far I've been making sure to work on these goals.  I've been reading a couple of the books above.  I've also found some good ideas on raising chickens.  Sometimes it seems like there is so much to learn.  It can be overwhelming and unfortunately I usually don't do anything about it, or I take on too much.  So I am hoping with a bit more focus put on a few of these things that I would be more productive in accomplishing some of our goals.  It's one thing to say we want to make our place into a small homestead, it's another to actually go out and do it!  Ha, ha!  Step by step.  Skill by skill.  And all the time involving the children at each stage.  That way they will know how to do these things.  It will be second nature for them. 

We spent some more time outside today.  It's still muddy out.  That makes for more laundry :-)  Oh well.  It has been nice to get out.  Off to round up some lunch.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Outside time

Finally, non freezing temps.  Yeah!  I had tried taking the boys out a day or two ago, but there was still too much ice on the ground.  So we lasted all of 5 minutes before coming in.  But today was a glorious 45 degrees out!  So out we went.  The fresh air felt good.  Although I think I over did it a bit between yesterday and today.  Oh well, that just means I need to hunker down and rest more.  Thankfully the baby is sleeping great.  He does wake every three to four hours, but he eats and goes back to sleep.  We found out the hard way that he can't tolerate soy either.  Thankfully it wasn't a bad episode, but he was clearly not himself. 

I took my camera out with me.  It's nice to have it 'back'.  I finally got my lens.  But then there were smudges on the mirror inside.  I didn't have a lens cleaner and had to wait until I did.  Lens cleaner, check.  But wait, it's still not taking pictures correctly.  Ends up I had the exposure all wrong.  Too long to get into.  But finally I have it back in working order. 


Jonah walked around with that stick the whole time while we were out, breaking up the ice.  He was a bit obsessed about it as he had fallen on the ice the day before.

Jed was really into his hat.



The hide out that the girls had made the previous few days.  Now I know where some of our missing things have gone....inside to make a 'floor'.



Saoirse was going to give us a tour of the inside, but it was hard for me to get in there.  So I just took a picture of her inside :-)


Saoirse and an ax....hmmmm, not a good combo. I made sure she put it down.  She was trying to cut up a stick.  I don't think you need an ax for that!


The girls wanted a group photo in front of their new place.


Flannery hanging out on a log.  Thankfully we don't need to worry about chiggers this time of year.  I don't care for winter, but that is one bonus, no bugs.


Next up was some trampoline jumping.  But before they could do that they had to scrape up the ice.  It didn't help that our jumping bean, aka Flannery, couldn't stand still for more than 20 seconds.  So every time Moira and Saoirse grouped up the ice it would go flying in the air due to Flannery's inability to stand still.  Can we say, "frustrating"?


Flannery, the jumping bean.  She's actually sitting still!  Ha, ha!


Moira out with the animals.  You can see the new baby goats off to the left.  The white one is Twilight.  The black one is Midnight.  Oh, we did have one chicken casualty with that horrid chicken illness.  It wasn't directly from the illness, but indirectly as she was to weak and slow to get out from under the goats :-(  Believe it or not we still have two sick chickens (newly sick).  Thankfully we are only having one or two at a time instead of almost half the flock!

How Aubrey spends his days

Being held.



Being held.


Being held.


Being held.


Being...Oh, wait....NOT held.  Rare, rare indeed :-)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Postpartum tips

This post would be for the women folk ;-)

The art of belly binding!  Ah, the things you learn after having multiple children.  ha!  After I had our third I remember standing up for the first time after the birth and feeling like I couldn't breath.  My midwife told me to hold my stomach with my arms and that made an instant difference.  She told us about a belly wrap, for which Jeremiah went to search for one the very next day.  It made a huge difference for breathing when I needed to get up and about the first few days.  But I only wore it for when I got up.  Then I had Saoirse.  After my first three births the after birth bleeding only lasted for a week before changing over to the lochia.  But with number four (Saoirse), it lasted about three weeks.  Then with numbers 5 and  6 my after birth bleeding lasted at least a full 5, almost 6, weeks!!  I figured I was making up for all the lost periods I had missed by being pregnant! This time around my midwife told me the research that had been done on belly binding and how it makes recovery quicker.  Hmmm, ok, I've done that.....but she said I needed to wear it 24/7.  Well, I'm a week postpartum, and the bleeding changed over to lochia a day and a half ago!!  I am sure it helps that I have an easy baby, so I am not 'walking the halls' at 3 AM.  So sleep helps too ;-)  I would definitely recommend getting a belly wrap if you are having your 3rd or more, or if you have weak tummy muscles.

Pain relief.  I have relied on plain ole Ibuprofen for pain relief after a birth.  That has always worked well enough.  This time, after getting home from the hospital I decided to try Arnica in the Q potency.  That stuff is amazing!!  It works better than the Percaset that I took in the hospital and the Ibuprofen.  Much better.  I want to say that I saw an online homeopathic pharmacy that may carry such a high potency, but you may have to get it from a homeopath.  It would be worth it if you've had difficult recoveries.  Our homeopath's wife took it after her c-sections as her only pain relief.  Like I said, amazing.

The wonders of the internet for postpartum:  Food Tidings.  This is new to me, and it is an amazing concept.  I've never coordinated meals for anyone after they've had a baby, but I am sure for all of you who have, you would love a way to make that job easier.  Foodtidings.com is your answer.  You just need to get some basic info from the new parents (address, phone, time they want meals, how often, and likes/dislikes or allergies) and then send out the link to your small group, church, family, etc.  People then sign up for a day and put in the meal they are bringing.  This way when someone else goes to sign up they won't be the 3rd person bringing hamburger casserole :-)

Thinking ahead.  It took me until my fifth to really see the need for this.  I just thought that the postpartum period was one of chaos!  I suppose I would have with our 4th, but we were in the process of moving, and I was wrapped up in boxing up our house.  I think we get so excited thinking about the new baby, and all the gear we will need for our new arrival that we stop there and don't think past that.  I would recommend reading any books on babies (Happiest Baby on the Block, The Baby Whisperer, etc.) before the baby comes.  Plus really think about what tasks that you can do before the baby comes to make your postpartum time easier.  For me that would be decluttering, to cut down on cleaning.  Also it means freezing a bunch of meals ahead of time.  I can not tell you how easy it makes your recovery when all you have to do for dinner is pull a bag out of the freezer and pop its content into a pot and reheat.  No slaving over a stove and no need for fast food (unhealthy and expensive) or convenience foods.  It will save you time and money.  I also decided this time to write up an easy schedule for us to work towards.  It also gives anyone helping you out a structure to work with.  My schedule does not have any times on it, just a list of things that need accomplishing during the day.  I also like to have some activities for the kids to do that are a bit fun.  This time around I didn't and I wish I had.  In the past it's as simple as new coloring books and a few games picked up from yard sales.  If they loose the pieces I don't stress it as we bought it for 50 cents :-)

Getting help.  I would recommend that you find family, friends or others to help you after a baby is born.  You do not need to be superwoman!  You need to rest, it is rejuvenating to take a shower, and it helps keep the house orderly.  If you do not have any older children to help, then look for a mother's helper or an older teen.  Also make sure if you have a child that will need watching while you give birth that you have a backup.  I was so thankful that I had another person to call on when what would have amounted to a need of a few hours turned into a need for 30 hours of care.  At this stage of the game I have older children who can help, but it was very much needed when I only had 2 or 3 or for that matter 4 children besides the baby to care for.  I know the difference between having help and not having help, and trust me when I say...find help :-)  I don't believe we were meant to do this on our own.  Even in scripture, at least in the Old Testament you find that the new mother was not supposed to do any work for 40 days after having a son, and 60 days after having a daughter.  Surly that meant that someone else was doing the work for her.  I don't think that was meant to change, even if our society has. 

Colic.  A word that strikes terror in the heart of new parents!  I would recommend the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" for a look at some great ways to calm a baby.  It is sound advice, and even the neonatologist in the hospital says he does this all the time for new parents knowing how helpful it is!  And he works with a lot of babies :-)  Also, I do believe that foods you eat may be affecting  the baby.  I've had enough experience to know this to be true.  One of the biggest culprits is dairy.  Other common irritants are strong spices, onions, and acidic juices (OJ).  But it could be anything.  For Jed is was dairy, chocolate, and onions.  For all of my other babies it was just dairy.  Take note of what you are eating and keep a mental record of when your baby is crying.  Every baby will vary as to how long a food will affect them, so be persistent.  If you have a baby who spends great lengths of time crying and screaming and the advice in the above book does not help, try to weed out a food irritating your baby.  This time around I also found a  product called, Colic Calm, which can be found at CVS, or online.  It's homeopathic so it is safe for baby.  I''ve tried it after one night Aubrey was cranky and couldn't settle down. It took about 20 minutes or so for it to kick in.  Some people report success immediately, for others it may take about 30 minutes.  But with going no dairy, knowing some of the baby calming techniques and my homeopathic remedy at the ready, this has been our easiest baby yet. 

That's all on my mind right now.  If I think of any other helpful tips I'll make sure to pass them along.  Do you have any tips?  Please send them my way.  I'll make sure to post them for all to benefit from.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How we are fairing

I really can't believe how smoothly things have gone on around here.  I've read in many a baby book that babies sleep from 20 to 22 hours a day, but never experienced that with any of my children.  Although Jedidiah did come close, but he still had his crying fits until I could figure out all the foods that I was eating that was bothering his tummy.  But Aubrey is totally sleeping a lot.  He was awake for 1.5 hours this morning, but then since then he will wake up to eat every three hours, nurse, then go back to sleep.  All I can think of is that going no dairy from day one is really helping.  Either that or something is wrong with him!  His jaundice seems to be getting a bit better, as far as I can tell.  I am hoping for some sun to come out so that I can keep him in the light to help break down the biliruben further.  Aubrey is a lot like Jed, quiet, quiet, quiet.  Thankfully he doesn't seem to have any sensitivities, unless you count an aversion to wipes that have not been warmed up :-)  But his active time is nursing, and after that if he;s not asleep he just quietly looks around him.  Then he goes off to sleep.  So far sleeping mostly in someones arms.  Although I've been able to put him down on the couch for a bit (before one of the girls comes around to hold him!).  If I try to put him in our bed to sleep he wakes up.  I think that could be for two reasons.  The first being our room is pretty cold.  The other, even though we have a noise maker, it isn't the same *noise* that is out here in the rest of the house!  He seems to do well with running, banging, screaming, talking, etc. than a static noise maker.  He will sleep well if he is snuggled up to me at night.  And to top it all off he seems to be the only one willing to take a paci.  He was getting fussy when it was time to fall asleep, and would fall asleep if I nursed him.  I do believe in teaching babies to fall asleep on their own, just not when they are a few days old :-)  But I didn't want him to keep nursing to sleep as I knew his tummy was full and he's had signs of reflux.  So I tried a paci today when it was time for him to be sleepy.  He took it!!  NONE of my babies would take one, at all!!!  Ever!  Pretty crazy! 

As for me, I've been recovering very well.  I've been keeping my feet up and resting as I can.  But I have to say that it was getting pretty boring :-)  So I told the girls we would start back with school.  We started yesterday.  We are not doing a full load, but we are doing some things.  Along with math, and some science today I had the girls work on making up some goals to accomplish this year.  It is so easy to get side tracked by all the daily things that need to be done, and then when we have the time to do something else we all sit around in a daze, wondering what we should do.  We usually end up wasting that time.  So I thought if we had some goals to work on we would be prepared during those times to work towards things we would like to be doing.  I made up my own goals as well.  Today I sat down with the girls individually to go over their lists to see what supplies they might need to accomplish their goals.  I had five headings for them to fill out.  They were: Books, Projects, Ideas, New Skills and Goals.  That way they had some idea of where to go with all of this.  I'll have to post mine sometime.  I'm looking forward to making some progress with some things that have been hit or miss for me. 

Along with resting I've been doing some things for me.  Wow, that sounds kind of selfish.  I've been doing some reading.  I was going to work on Jonah's blanket, but I couldn't find my crochet hook!  Thankfully Jeremiah was able to pick one up when he ran to the store.  So hopefully I can start back on that.  I am getting close to being done.  I think I have three more color rows to do and then I am going to put a two color border around the whole blanket.  Besides that I've taken the time to "move" a little bit.  I had "lost" my ankles and feet with the IV fluids I was given.  I thought doing the primary back stretch and the lymph pumping of a few T-Tapp moves would get some of that fluid moving.  It takes me just about three minutes, of moving really slowly, but it does make me feel better.  I also decided to do some dry skin brushing.  Not sure what prompted me to even think of that, but I did and decided to give it a try.  Wow, it's really relaxing!  After all that I get in the shower.  Ah, just some time to myself.  I remember not being able to find the time to get a shower in when Isabella was a newborn.  It was just she and I.  Jeremiah would come home from work to find me still in PJ's.  Now, with a seventh child, I'm taking a shower daily!  Funny how that works.  See, all you out there who find having two children hard to do, you really just have to have a few more before it gets easier :-)  Having two children is VERY hard!!!  Much harder than having seven.  Well, ok, I suppose it's a different kind of hard.  And I suppose this post might look different if Aubrey was another Flannery or Jonah :-)  No one minds holding Aubrey because he's so quiet.  No one wanted to hold Jonah for more than a minute or two because of all his crying!  It really does make a HUGE difference to not be the only one taking care of Aubrey.  Isabella and Moira love to change his diapers and change his clothing.  All the girls start putting in their bid to hold him next.  This leaves me the time to shower, to read and relax.  That doesn't  happen when  you have a newborn and a two year old!!!  Not unless you have a live in nanny.  I'm thinking most of you don't.

Ok, it's dinner time.  Then we are taking down our Christmas tree.  I'm looking forward to that if for no other reason than our poor tree looks quite pathetic with half it's branches all smooshed up.  I've not had the determination to straighten them out.  So they've been smooshed for a while now.  Oh, and before I go I just HAD to say something about a news article title I saw when I was logging into the computer.  It read something like this:  Winter storm that shut down the South turns north.  Is this title meant to 'warn' people, or scare them?  Does the writer of this article know just how LITTLE snow we need to shut us down?  I laughed when I saw this.  Way, way too funny!!  So all you northerners, watch out, the BIG one is coming.  Now, granted I realize that the areas around us did indeed get a lot of snow, but I still laughed when I read that, as if it was a scary thing :-)

Friday, January 07, 2011

A couple of pictures of the new one

Ok, finally got the pictures off the camera.  We thought we lost them as we couldn't get them onto the computer, and when we thought we finally did we could see where the computer decided to put them!  Things are going well.  I am feeling really great.  We had to take Aubrey in for a well baby visit as per the hospital (one of the many 'only' ways that we were allowed to leave).  He has a clean bill of health.  I really had no plans on taking him or anyone else out of the house for the next couple of weeks, but oh well.  We'll stick to home for now on. 

When we were looking for some baby pictures of the other boys to compare with Aubrey it was a wee bit sad when I realized the settings.  But it was seriously just a wee bit of "oh, bummer".  When I got home I was wondering how I would feel as I walked into my bedroom with all the homebirth supplies set up......unbelievably I felt relieved and knew that I had made the right choice.  I really can't explain it, but I am at total peace with our decision.  And for that I truly thank the Lord.  I finally got my peace that I've been praying for!  And I am thankful, even if it came later than I had anticipated, but always in His right timing. 

Ok, now for a little look at Mr. Aubrey.  Only a couple of pictures thus far.  We didn't take any the first day.  A few the second day, then the batteries in the camera went dead.  I did receive my new lens in the mail, but it was left on our porch and built up some condensation.  Plus my new camera's battery was dead as well.  So for now we have like four pictures of the new little man.


Here he is!!!!  Such a cutie.  Too bad he later scratched up his little face with his nails!!  It's healing now.


We put him in the sun to help with his jaundice.  All my babies get it, and he's no exception.  The only problem we had was that the hospital wouldn't let him go home if his biliruben was at a certain level.  We didn't want to take any chances, so we had him sunbathing.


Jonah is a great big brother!  He loves, loves, loves to hold the baby!!  I was able to totally pin down the both boys' reactions to Aubrey.  When Jonah first saw the baby he said, "Baby tummy?" just as I was expecting.  And Jed, upon seeing then new baby ran out of the room and got on the computer, just as I expected.  Jonah is always asking to hold him, and can't get enough of his new baby.

Moira joining in for the photo.  All the girls are ga ga goo goo over Aubrey.  They are starting to tell each otehr how many minutes each one of them gets.  They make sure to let you know if someone went over their time limit.  It's really neat to see how much more adept at holding a baby that Isabella and Moira are showing.  Isabella even buckled Aubrey up in his car seat today.  And both girls changed a poopy diaper, on their request.  Amazing how just a week or so ago a certain older girl insisted that she didn't know how to change poopy diapers when I had asked her to change Jonah.  Hmmmm.  I suppose she did herself in now :-) 

That's it for now.  Isabella is holding the baby.  We've all eaten, the girls are watching a movie, while the boys and Flannery are running around.  I guess I'll be off to relax :-)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Finally!!! A Baby!!!!

It's a Boy!
Aubrey Shepherd
Born at 6:22 PM January 5th
Weighing in at 8 pounds
He's a long one at 21 3/4 inches

For those who want the whole scoop:

Our midwife came over around 1:30 to check me.  We let her know that we were thinking of going to the hospital and that we wanted to first see where I was, knowing that the ER wouldn't admit me until I was at least 4 cm dilated.  Low and behold I was 6 to 7 cm dilated, just a wee bit off from hitting transition.  I seriously was doubting I could handle anymore of this labor, as it had picked up and I was having strong contractions every 4 minutes for two hours at that point.  My blood pressure was high, my pulse fast and thready, so clearly I wasn't handling it the best.  The baby's heart tones were fine.  But then she checked for his positioning.  After three long attempts at getting him to turn during this labor he was STILL posterior.  As soon as I heard that I *knew* I needed to go to the hospital.  With the way the labor was already going, and knowing it was following a typical posterior labor, I knew I had a lot more work ahead of me.  So off we went.  I did start having some transition contractions in the van.  Not fun. But the Lord was merciful, and gave me a longer time between the contractions, and several that were very easy.

I was very concerned that checking in would take a long time.  Oh, my, was I wrong.  As soon as they saw me, one lady quickly motioned for me to come over to her and asked how far along I was.  I told her 6 cm, and I never saw a wheel chair come up so quick!!  We were whisked off to labor and delivery.  It took them a few minutes up there to check me, and get some info.  I was able to get into a room and had my IV put in all within 15 minutes!  It was funny because the nurse asked me to sit down before she put the pain meds into my IV.  I told her I could only handle the contractions (which were now coming every 2 minutes) if I was standing and could I please wait to sit until the meds took effect.  Ha!  She told me they would hit me within 3 to 5 SECONDS, and that I would be feeling dizzy at first, which is why I needed to be sitting.  I was seriously doubting it could act that quick, as I've never experienced anything like this.  But she was right on!  Five seconds later, I was in la-la land :-)  The next contraction hit about 30 seconds later and I felt just a tinge of pain.  After that no pain, just the huge pressure feeling.  Oh, it was amazing.  I was sooooo tired, and to be able to get a break like that was such a blessing.  I was able to put my head back and just relax.  I think it was an hour or so later that I asked about being checked as I know that "normally" transition lasts an hour for me.  Imagine my surprise when I found out I was still only 8 cm dilated, which is what I was when I got to the hospital.  The doctor came in a few minutes later and broke my water.  About three contractions later I had to push.  And push I did, and push and push and push!  For almost two hours!!!  That posterior position AND the fact that he had the biggest head of all our kids really packed a double whammy.  Even with the rest I got from the meds, I was totally exhausted by the end, begging them to just get the suction machine and get him out.  But they insisted that I could do it.  And I did, I'm not sure how because it seemed totally impossible at the time.  But during one of those pushing contractions he finally, finally, finally budged free.  It was quick after that.  They did whisk him off to suction him as he had meconium.  Thankfully they did not have to do the deep suctioning as he cried immediately after coming out.  I think his APGARs were an 8 and 9.  So he was a kickin and a screamin :-)  I, myself, had my eyes closed and trying to finally breath, and restrain myself from pounding on Jeremiah.  Seriously it was so painful I was hitting him!!!  Not that I was thinking about what I was doing, I wasn't exactly in my right state of mind with the pain.  Thankfully he totally understood and told me I could pound on him all I wanted.  It was after he said that that I realized I was hitting him!  Ha, ha!

They finally got Aubrey suctioned and handed him over to us.  Oh, he is sooooo beautiful!  The one good thing my kids have going for them as far as newborn looks go is that their heads don't get all mashed up and molded.  Bad for me, good for them.  We got a bit cleaned up and they transferred us to another room.  All of the nurses, doctors and staff have been wonderful!  I mean, seriously I feel very blessed by our experience here.  We had a wee bit of a concern as one of the doctors came in to tell us that we would have to stay another day as they needed to have blood work back before we could take off. They had to take labs on Aubrey and myself for beta strep.  And we were told that they need to wait at least 44 hours after to go home.  On top of that there was a chance that there may not be a room open for me to stay.  I would stay somewhere, one way or the other as I refuse to leave my baby, but that certainly wasn't something we were hoping that we would have to be face with.  A little while later a couple of chaplains came in to see if they could do anything for us.  We asked for prayer about the situation.  Then a couple of hours later another doctor came in. And I have never met a more wonderful doctor yet (well, actually I think our family doctor matches exclusive level ;-)).  At first I was a bit freaked out as he was a neonatalologist, and said something about talking to us about the beta strep protocol.  I was wondering if they got the blood work back and something bad had come up.  Ends up he was there to tell us what the protocol states, things like 96% of babies would exhibit sepsis in the first 24 hours if they were to get sick.  He said he knew we had other children waiting for us to get home and that we were clearly seasoned parents and he felt confident that we knew what we needed to look out for in a sick baby.  He said that it was pretty common sense, and that the 48 rule was for those that didn't know these things.  He didn't feel that we needed to be lumped in and be made to stay longer because of that rule.  How amazing is that?!  He then stuck around talking to us about all sorts of interesting things (immunizations, cell phone usage, diet).  He even asked US if he was taking up our time!!??  So we should be going home tonight!!!  Yeah.

I know I was getting so angry with God the other day.  But now I can see how He had been preparing me for all that has happened.  And He was so gracious to have blessed us by it all!!!  I had felt from the beginning that this was going to be a totally different, and hard.  I kept having people talk to me about "just in case" scenarios (revolving around going to the hospital), which is not normal.  I have to admit that had someone told me I was going to have to go to the hospital with one of our other four homebirth babies, I would have freaked out.  Um, can we say "idol"?  We can make an idol of anything or anyone.  In this case I believe homebirth was an idol for me.  But the Lord was good enough to soften that for me, and prepare me for it.  Don't get me wrong, I was still having some difficulty with it, but more on the level of I felt like I was a failure.  On top of what the Lord was preparing in me, He also gave my sister the need to pray for us at a certain time the other night.  Now nothing at that time happened.  And at first I was a bit confused about it, as absolutely nothing even came up during that time (I had recently started pushing).  But I felt that it was more about Him showing me that we had made the right decision to come here.  It had more to do with what could have happened at that time with me at home.  I mean with the blood pressure reading I had, and my pulse....something bad could have happened during that time.

So far our experience here has been wonderful.  And we have been blessed with wonderful friends to come along side of us to help us out in our time of need.  It's not an easy position to fill, Babysitter needed for 6 children :-) Everything has really fallen into place.  Little Aubrey has been very good.  I know that newborns can be sleepy the first few days and then show you their 'real' selves. I am hoping he will be just as good!  He's been sleeping great and feeding well.

It is almost time for another feeding.  So I will be off to get a few things taken care of and rest until he wakes up. When we get home I'll have to post a few pictures of Aubrey.

Thank you to all who have prayed!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

update at 6 AM

No baby.  But I've been up all night with contractions that are not getting closer together.  All night.  I had to do the knees-chest postition twice, with no noticeable change with the baby's position.  I am so tired.  I can't lay down, because then the contractions are really painful.  I tried in a sitting up position, OUCH.  The only way that these can be managed is by standing.  That would be a Jonah flashback.  But at least I was making progress throughout the night with Jonah's labor.  I'm still stuck with contractions anywhere from 7 to 12 minutes apart.  It's not looking to good in going with our homebirth plan at this point.  My midwife said it is typical for this type of labor pattern to stall out when the sun comes up, and restart the next evening or night.  I am supposed to rest as much as possible if that happens.  So for now I wait to see what happens when the sun comes up.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Update at 1 o'clock pm

So the update?  Nothing, nada, zilch.  I got the pool set up and cleaned.  Making sure to charge some camera batteries.  Put 'up' my kefir and kombucha, as I won't be making them any time soon :-)  I tried to lay down for a little while. Unfortunately I had oatmeal for breakfast, not exactly high protein.  Not to mention I had some brown sugar, apples and bananas in it.  So low and behold my heart rate was high.  Relaxing was pretty impossible.  Not to mention that the girls were NOT being helpful.  There have only been a few times that I have been really, really disappointed with them.  This would have been one of those times.  Talk about seriously falling short.  I explained to them that I really needed their help today, making sure to upkeep their assigned rooms, and helping to watch the boys when I needed to lie down.  They tried their very best to not do their work as I had instructed.  Then afterwards, which took a couple of hours instead of only needing to have taken 15 minutes. I let them play with a new toy that they got today.  I was hoping it would keep them occupied for a while.  Silly me!  After it became apparent that they needed to take this toy to THEIR room so that Mr. Jonah wouldn't ruin it, I told them to go to their room, and I went off to finish washing the pool.  Does anyone want to guess where they went with it?  They took it to the BOYS room!!!  The BOYS room!!!  I mean really, how smart was that?  Then Jonah got into my room, even though I told the girls to keep him out, and he swallowed half a bottle of a homeopathic remedy.  Thankfully it's harmless, but still!  Not to mention that the girls have been totally self serving.  I mean, it's BAD!!!  I am seriously thinking of sending them away for the next few days.  Unfortunately I have nowhere to send them.  And to top it all off our rebellious child is totally acting up and REFUSES to see that it is HERSELF at fault.  I almost had to call Jeremiah home to deal with her.  People, this is insane!!!  My children are NOT perfect, but by golly they usually do rise to the occasion when the stakes are high.  I am afraid I totally lost it on Isabella.  I mean this is really gone far enough.  I am in tears now, just thinking about it all. 

Off to try to calm down.  We have to leave shortly for the chiropractors.  My next appointment isn't until Thursday, but I'm afraid to wait to see if anything happens before then.  My friend Melody was here earlier and she said, "Oh, you'll probably have the baby sometime tonight."  Um, yeah, that's what I'm afraid of!  Right now, if we had a maternity rider on our insurance I would seriously be going in, getting an epidural, sleeping through all of this, wake up to find a baby needing pushing out.  No kids, no pain, no more drama (yes, I'm not totally bonkers, I realize that getting an epidural puts me at risk for all sorts of other drama, it just seems like the easier road right now).  But thus, we are not meant to take the easier road.  And so I have to trudge on, through the muck and pain.  And, no I'm not having any pain right now, still no contractions, not even braxton hicks, but you know what I mean.

Well that's the reality of our current situation.  Not pretty, but I am praying we will all be able to stop, meditate, and take a step in the right direction.  I'm not sure what happened with today.  It started with anticipating this could be the day and an hour later all chaos broke loose.

Could this be the day?

Ah, nothing like a little saga for today.  So it seems that "something" is up as far as this baby/labor is concerned.  Yesterday I was having some strong braxton hicks.  Strong enough I didn't want Jonah to keep pushing on my tummy as he tried sitting in my non existent lap.  But clearly just braxton hicks.  So early this morning I had a few (3 or 4) braxton hicks with the really pinching sensation....not a lovely feeling to be sure.  And when I got up I had a bit of 'show'.  Hmmmm, interesting.  Out of six babies, that has meant I was in labor.  I got up and started breakfast.  It's been about an hour now since I've been up and not one contraction since.  Ahhhh, yes, I am definitely not going to count on any of my past experience with this labor, as that has been the case for this whole pregnancy.  And so we go about our day as usual.  Jeremiah went off to work, the girls are doing their chores and school, and I made breakfast and plan on continuing as usual. Until something else happens.  Like actual contractions :-)  So it could be today, or tomorrow or next week.  Hey, no need to go through this all alone, right?  Hee, hee.  I'll pull you all in, along with me, wondering, waiting....oh the agony of not knowing!!!  :-) 

I'll check in later with an update, if I'm able. 

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ain't that somthin'

I just had to share this, if not just for myself and this crazy journey to health for Jed (and the rest of us for that matter).  So I was just writing about how we have seen a positive improvement with Jed the last few days.  I wanted to add a few things to that list.  We recently got home from Jed's speech therapy.  Anyone who has been reading here regularly know that for the past month or more we've only gotten negative reports from Jed's therapist.  After months and months of positive reports after EVERY session.  So I was a little nervous to see what would happen today, especially since Jed has a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  Well out came Jed all happy and a big smile on the therapist's face.  She looked at me in surprise and said, "Wow!  He did GREAT  today!  He was saying everything I asked him to, and we were able to read this whole book!"  I told her that she probably wouldn't believe me if I told her what the change had been.  She did look surprised, but said, "Hey, if you find that turning off the wireless works, well by all means keep it up." 

We got into the van and to my surprise after I asked Jed to turn around in his seat so that I could buckle him up, he said, "Wait, show girls."  The girls were sitting behind him.  He proceeded to tell the girls "to look", and went on through the pages showing them all the items on the pages!!!  For over a month now he would actually scream if I tried to ask him what he made, or to show us something.  I seriously thought I was going to cry, it was so wonderful to see him showing off his book. 

Along with that I had to give the boys a bath before we left for speech.  Before the painting and wireless being turned on Jed loved bath time.  Sitting, splashing, pretending to swim, etc.  Well since the painting he would scream 'no' when I told him it was bath time.  Then he would cry and fuss as I got him in the tub.  He would only stand there, maybe putting his hands under the running water.  But he wouldn't sit and play.  He used to have a lot of sensory issues, water being one of them.  Well today I told him it was bath time and he ran to the tub and actually tried to get in before he was fully undressed!!!  Then he proceeded to sit, splash and pretend to swim in the water!!!! 

Scientific or not, there is a direct correlation between Jed's issues and toxins and wireless technology.  To see my boy come 'back to life' is no small matter, and no small coincidence between turning off our wireless.  Oh, and one more thing (yes, there have been MANY changes from Jed's normal) Jed is now back to eating a wide variety of foods these past four days.  I mentioned a week or so ago that all he wanted to eat was jelly sandwiches.  He would eat five or six a day!  He might have taken a bite here or there of something else, but this was not like Jed.  Now, he's back to eating whatever the rest of us our having.  All of these positive changes are nothing more than amazing to me. 

Ok, lunch break is over :-) 

A long night

Actually last night was a good night, it was the night before that was long.  It started with me having a few braxton hicks contraction (bhc), that I realized were close together.  I decided to get up as sometimes a change in position will stop them.  It was time for the boys to get to bed anyways.  After getting them ready I headed to the kitchen to take my vitamins/herbs/homeopathy.  I decided to skip out on my herbs as I realized the bhc were coming every five minutes.  I also noticed my heart racing a bit.  I had to think back to what I last ate to see if I had too much sugar (sugar makes my heart race nowadays).  I couldn't quite remember, but didn't give it too much thought.  I put the boys to bed and decided that I would just get ready for bed as well.  But I noticed I still had the bhc.  So I figured I'd take a nice hot shower to see if I couldn't stall them out.  They were not painful in the least, but they were keeping me awake wondering what was going on :-)  The shower did nothing to stop them.  I laid down to find out that my heart was beating even faster than before.  Not only that but now the bhc were every three minutes apart.  Ugh.  I have been praying/begging God to not have an all night long labor, so I wasn't very happy with my present situation.  Not to mention that these were clearly bhc.  Maybe they were there to help turn the baby, but if so it didn't work.  I absolutely can not get to sleep with my heart racing.  And by racing, it was clocking in at 130 bpm lying still!  So I tried a remedy.  Nope.  Tried another.  Nope.  Got up and took a bath to see if that would help the baby turn and maybe stop these bhc.  Nope.  I got up and crawled around on hands and knees seeing if that would help the baby turn.  Nope.  Eventually, by about 5:30 or 6 Am I got online to look for some other ideas for getting my heart rate to come down.  Ah, yes, how could I forget....magnesium.  Not that I thought I had a shortage as I am taking an extra supplement of the stuff!  But I had a spray and thought I'd give it a try.  Thirty minutes later my heart finally calmed down!!!  Not only that but the contractions stopped as well.  So they clearly were going hand in hand.  Of course no sooner than I lie down than the boys woke up!  Thankfully it was a Sunday and Jeremiah was home, so he got up with the boys so that I could get some sleep.  I slept for about an hour and a half.  Then I needed to get some breakfast.  We decided to go out to eat.  We took separate vehicles because Jeremiah and a couple of the girls needed to go pick up our baby Nigerian Dwarf goats.  I headed home with the three youngest.  I sat them down with a cartoon and took a nap on the couch.  Ah sleep!  I was having a few, although not consistent, bhc last night before bed.  I was a bit nervous about that as I still only had a total of about 4 hours max of sleep for that whole day.  I took some magnesium, and a couple of Advil (for hip pain...I'm waiting on some more Arnica to come in) and prayed for the best.  I was blessed by a great nights sleep!!  I am so thankful for that.  Hopefully I can catch a nap today.  I am really trying to keep up on my sleep so that I will hopefully have the energy for this labor.  A couple of nights sleep will do me good.  Although it's hard to erase a few months of
sleep deprivation. 

Jed starts back to speech therapy today.  He's had that big nose dive backwards that we have been dealing with for the past month or so.  I will say that we turned off the wireless about four or five days ago (it had been on due to some work at home Jeremiah had done) and there has been improvement with Jed.  He's eating more and talking more!  It's been noticeable only because he really wasn't talking with us.  He might answer us with a yes/no, but not engaging in any conversation.  Nor was he even saying hi/bye.  But for the past few days he's been talking to us about things, and saying hi/bye.  He is still not back to where he was, but it was nice to see him actually improving as opposed to declining.  This just means we need to be careful with our wireless and that he still needs to go back on homeopathy.  Those two things were clearly contributing to Jedidiah's improvements of the past.  I am just so happy to see some of my boy coming back!  It truly felt like we were 'losing' him.  He was just closing himself up into his own little world, one of which we didn't belong.  It was sad to see him disappear like that. 

Well off to work.  I have a few things on my list of things to do today.  Small things, but it would be helpful to get them done before the baby comes.  One of which is to lay out our homeschool day for Jeremiah to follow after the baby is born.  Not a hard thing to do, but tedious.  I am hoping to take some pictures soon of the new baby goats.  They are cuties!  Speaking of pictures I am awaiting my new camera lens to come in.  I've been stuck with a telescopic lens for months now, and I am so excited to get my 50mm back!!  I am hoping it comes before the baby comes.  But if not we have our family camera to take some photos of baby.  I can't wait to see who this baby looks like!  That's always a fun 'game'.  The girls all love figuring out who the baby looks like.  They are all hoping it looks like them :-) 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a blessed ringing in of the new year.  I had gone to be at 9:30, with good intentions of catching up on some sleep.  I was awoken at 12:02 AM to some children yelling "Happy New Years!" on the porch.  I figured that Jeremiah's clock was off by two minutes.  Ends up that the kids were off by two minutes.  Jeremiah tried getting online to watch the ball drop, but there were computer difficulties, and they missed the new year by two minutes!!!  The girls told me the next day how disappointed they were to have missed the ball dropping.  They'll have to wait a whole year to see it again. 

We spent our afternoon shopping as a family.  It took about two hours, and I was totally worn out.  I didn't want the last of the year to be with me conking out on the couch for the whole evening.  So I prayed really, really hard that the baby would not come last night so that I could stay up and put together our snacky dinner.  Thankfully it was easy and I had help.  It took us a long while to put all the groceries away.  I have run out of room to store everything.  So it looks a little chaotic, even though I tried to make sure to organize it as I would normally.  After that I set to making our dessert, the no bake cheese cake I've made a couple of times now. Yummy!  Then Jeremiah and Saoirse worked together to making up the pigs in a blanket.  Flannery joined them half way through.  I also put together a layered bean dip to have with our lime chips.  We sat down to eat and watch a movie.  Moira had wanted to play some games, but I had to put Jonah to bed early as he was falling to pieces over trivial things.  I got up to cut up the pie, then went back to bed.  I think they just continued watching another movie. 

I think I have everything ready, except to clean out the birthing pool, for the birth.  Please do pray for me if you think of it as I am still wrestling with fear.  I have really been praying and reading over some scriptures I had printed out for some past pregnancies.  I have been begging God for peace and for this fear to leave me.  I may feel better for a few hours or so, but usually by evening (with the huge fear of having to labor during the night) I start getting fearful all over again.  It really is odd.  I remember being nervous when I went into labor with Moira as I was dreading a repeat of Isabella's hard birth.  But her labor went very smoothly and was one of my easiest.  There are a few parts of labor that I really, really dread and for some reason I am having a hard time embracing this up coming labor. I just keep giving to the Lord, and try to meditate on His goodness.  With only six days till my due date, this baby could come at any time.  I am looking forward to meeting this wee one.  I can't wait to hold him/her in my arms. 

Here are a few pictures I have to share:


Jonah helping me this morning transferring our oats to plastic buckets.  I had one bag left over from our last bulk order that we didn't have buckets for. I didn't want it to be ruined so we bought some buckets the other day while shopping.  I am glad I put them in the freezer when I did, as there is not one single iota of space for anything small, let alone a 50 pound bag of oats to fit in there.  I left our grains in our freezer for a few days to kill off any possible buggies.  We lost 150 pounds of grain a couple of months ago due to some bugs.  Not pleasant.

The pictures loaded in the opposite order I had wanted.  So here is everyone digging in to our New Years Eve dinner.  Jonah is forever pulling up a chair to 'help'.  He really can help sometimes, and other times not so much :-) 


A happy boy.  Food is on its way!  I don't know if he's ever had pigs in a blanket.  He only ate the crescent roll off of the hot dog. 


Jeremiah and Saoirse putting together our dinner.



Saoirse being a ham. 



Our snow we had last week.  You can see our garden fencing sagging from the weight. Our trampoline was weighed down as well.  The girls had to de-ice the animals' water buckets.  Since the hose was frozen they had to carry water from the house to the barn.  Not exactly fun.  But they managed.


Jonah checking out this white stuff.  The boys had a lot of fun in it.  Although they weren't sure what they should be doing.  The girls had gone out back to play.  I didn't want the boys out there for long as they don't have proper winter wear so I kept them up on the porch.  They didn't stay out for long before they wanted to come in!  The girls on the other hand.....with multiple trips in to put on more layers, a lot of water on the floor later, I had to call them in as I feared they would get frost bite or something.  They were totally fine.  But I'll tell ya, I was mighty glad to see that snow go away.  It stuck for days, almost a week. I was getting tired of all the wet clothing! I've had laundry up to my ears :-) 



Jed checking out the snow.  See, he's wearing one of his sister's pink gloves.  We did pick up boy gloves  a couple of days later.  They are so small that they get lost easily. I need to tie string to them and leave them in their jackets next time!  You can see how much snow we got if you look behind Jed.  The snow you see up on the porch railing is how deep it was on the ground.


I think it's time to come in!  Too much snow down the boots for this guy :-)
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