Friday, July 29, 2011

Prayers are good...very good

Prayers for my sanity.  I feel like there is nothing we can do and come out on top.  I know that this feeling is only a feeling, but it's pretty darn real :-)  So the baby came down with a low grade fever yesterday.  He was fussy, but no other noticeable symptoms.  Today his fever got very high, and his right eye was a bit pink.  I really could not handle all of this, so Jeremiah took him to the urgent care.  It appears that he has a throat infection of some sort and a low grade ear infection.  This is concerning only because Flannery has been starting to show signs of 'purging' her underlying problem (presumed to be strep).  The baby will be covered with the antibiotics they prescribed to him.  I will say that if anyone else comes down with an infection this week I am going to give everyone antibiotics!!  Seriously, I think I will cut my losses, use the drugs and regroup later. 

I am discouraged and unsure.  I know that there will be phases in life that are just busier, harder, more work than others, and apparently we are in one of them.  How wonderful it was to have received the newest copy of Above Rubies in the mail this afternoon.  It brought great nuggets of truth from God's word. 

It's getting late, I need to get ready for bed.  I am praying that the baby will have a good nights sleep tonight.  And praying that the rest of us stay well. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's official...

I'm old :-)  Before we get into the last of our July birthdays I need to tell you the good news that Flannery is doing better.  Thankfully for her, and for us!  She is able to touch her finger again, which was once very painful.  For the past two weeks there has only been maybe a few hours between one pain and it popping up somewhere else.  So far it's been a whole day.  So I think we are getting somewhere.  I am very grateful.  However, we now have a feverish and fussy baby.  But of course!  No sense letting more than a day go by with out someone around here sick and ailing :-) 

Below you will see the pictures from Jonah's birthday and mine, along with a few other odd and ends.

Jonah turned the big 3!  He was so excited that it was finally his birthday.  He picked out the cake he wanted, and his sisters were happy to bake it up for him.  I do believe Moira made some doodles on the cake, but then Jonah remembered that he had "ordered" sprinkles on the cake.  So sprinkles it was, and lots of them.  I am pretty sure they used up a tub of them.

Present time is always greatly anticipated!

One of his two new toys.  Granted after all the thinking, meditating and praying I think a lot needs to change in our family.  Toys being one of those.  When I was pregnant with Isabella I had really wanted to only own open ended toys.  Ones where the child did the movements (not battery operated) and had to use their imagination.  There have been many reasons, and even people who have deterred me.  But I really want to get back to that idea.  I have seen in my own children the negative effects of toys that passively entertain.  That isn't the only place we need to change.  I've already seen how the 'workbook' approach to schooling deadens my children's ability to think for themselves.  It's input and output, no thinking.  Which is why we have headed down the Charlotte Mason avenue of home education.  Um, wait, isn't this a post on birthdays?  Wow, talk about getting off topic :-)  We'll talk about home schooling later, as I did want to write separately on that to get my ideas down.  Right now they are on paper, and that's a dangerous place to be in this household.

Hmmm, I have to say that this picture really does not capture how swollen my knee is.  Oh, well.  Suffice it to say, it's swollen.  On Tuesday, the day after taking Flannery out to her appointment, I found my knee very painful upon walking.  We determined that it was probably due to the brace sliding down and putting too much pressure on my knee.  So on Wednesday morning we readjusted it.  The good news is that the pain decreased significantly!  The bad news is that I now have swelling in places that were not swollen before.  Crazy stuff I tell ya.

This is a snap of the sweater I was working on for the baby.  It has since been assembled and is awaiting the ends to be weaved in and some cute buttons to be attached. We tried it on and it is a bit big on him.  That is good since cold weather isn't even a thought at this moment with outside temps hitting 102-104 this week.  I am a bit disappointed that the hood doesn't come far enough forward to have good coverage of his head.  Jeremiah suggested that I put some sort of tie in so that the hood can be cinched up and tied to keep it on.  A very good idea that I may have to try.

I think this was seen in the above knee picture, I got a new brace for my leg.  This one is much nicer than the foam one I had before.  Much more open, and adjustable than the last one.  This makes it more comfortable, for which I am grateful for.

I have two containers that sit besides the couch.  One is this basket of yarn.  Currently I am working on a granny square style blanket.  I am having a hard time with this yarn.  It's by Carron.  I love the colors, but hate that the strands separate so easily and get snagged on my hook as it passes along.  I think I would really like to splurge one day on some high quality yarn.  I saw this pattern for a simple sweater that I may try.  For some reason adult sized sweater patterns intimidate me.  Not sure why, it's not like I've even attempted one before.

The other container that sits besides me is a Staples copy paper box (emptied of paper of course).  In it I have all the books I am reading, or looking through.  It also houses some diapers and wipes so I have them at the ready.  And it has some index cards (for notes), a pen and the cream/spray for my knee.  It's been great to have everything at hand, and contained.  Before I just had a pile which would invariably get knocked over and spewn around.

Aubrey was quite content to hang out in his exer-saucer the other night.  He was too cute so I had to take a picture :-)

This is not the best of pictures, but the only one I was able to snap the other night of my Mom and Jeremiah in the kitchen.  It's a long and funny story about the fate of my birthday dinner.  Everyone gets to pick whatever (within reasonable limits) they want for dinner on their birthday.  I have to say that there is something about sitting on a couch all day that deadens your taste buds.  So my Mom said she would make a beef stew for my dinner.  Sounded great to me.  Unfortunately by the time she got home from the store there wasn't enough time to make it. So we went to plan B.  Jeremiah had to go out to get my cake anyways, so he could just pick up some pizzas.  There was a small glitch in that plan which left us trying to come up with a plan C. Plan C had Jeremiah cooking Three Cheese Noodle Casserole!  He did a fabulous job.  We all love this new to us dish.  My Mom has been a God send!  It has been more than helpful to know that someone is over seeing that we are getting fed!  The poor woman has been stuck in the kitchen since her coming!  I'm glad to know it's not just me that can't get out of the kitchen....there is so much work to be done in there!  Phew!

Who can resist giving 'Squishy' kisses?  Not me, and.....

Saoirse couldn't resist as well.  I'm not sure how much 'Squishy' appreciated all the attention.

My birthday sign!  The girls said they didn't have enough time to make me one, so they bought one.  They made sure to pick out the *black* in the sign.  Grrr...:-)

This is where we celebrated my birthday.  If you look back at the rest of our birthday pictures we are mostly around our table celebrating.  A few birthdays have been held outside, but mostly we are at the table.  It got a bit scary when everyone was closing in to see my gifts.  I get very nervous when the kiddos get too close to the couch, too many close calls. 

Jonah really wanted to be in a picture.  He is our busy body.  He can single handily wear me out!  He is go, go, go, go!!!  Into anything and everything.  But just as busy as he is he is also very loving.  He loves to help out with all sorts of things that I am doing.  With me laid up he has been the first to jump up and grab my crutches for me, opening doors for me, etc.  Very cute.  He also loves to cuddle and have his picture taken, so what could be better than doing both at once.

The cake!  I think I've had this cake the last few birthdays.  Kind of a 'death by chocolate'.  We all love it.

Love, love, love the homemade birthday cards.  I always treasure them and keep them.  You have to love the "p"s in the above picture.

See those candles?  Yeah, it's the big one :-)

I received some very wonderful gifts.  One of them being these very fuzzy flip flop slippers.  They matched the pj's that my Mom got me.  She went shopping with the oldest two girls and they had a ball picking things out for me.  Funny thing was that we were talking about purses the day before.  I told my Mom how funny that of all the females in my house, I'm the only one *without* a purse.  And what should I behold in my gift bag?  A beautiful green purse!  Perfect.  I also got a wonderful outfit from Jeremiah's Mom as well.  Moira helped to pick it out when she was visiting her at the beginning of the month. 

It was a full day, and a wonderful celebration!!  It was great to have my Mom here to join in.  Too bad my sister, neices and nephew were not able to stay for another day or two.  Some day, some day we'll have a big birthday bash for all the missed birthday's over the years :-) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The scoop on Flannery

Our alternative practitioner (a.p.) had an opening yesterday afternoon that she offered to us.  I took her up on it, even though my sister was in town.  My sister was so kind to stay home with all my kiddos (minus Flannery and Isabella).  My mom drove us to the appointment.  I know our a.p. is really booked up, and she confirmed saying that her next appointment openings are in September!  Phew!  So I am glad we jumped in when we did.  Poor Flannery has been a basket case about these "splinters".  Come to find out that my sister and the a.p. were wrong as to the cause of the pain.  Remember that my sister thought it was the red dye (granted I am sure that the sugar and the dye were only contributing to the problem, just not the source of it).  And the a.p. was thinking it could be Lymes disease.  It ended up being strep!  Yikes.  We had strep a few months back.  All the kids, but Flannery, really did well with the remedies I chose for them.  For some reason getting the right remedy for Flannery is very, very hard to do (for me that is, I am sure our homeopathic doc would have no problem).  All the other kids responded right away, and if not I got the right remedy soon after for them to be on their way to health.  With Flannery it was more the case that she would feel better, then worse, start to feel better, then worse.  Repeat.  Finally she stayed better.  However, it looks like her body did not master the strep, and it ended up in her nervous system. 

We now have a remedy from our a.p. for her to take along with some recommendations for other supplements.  The poor thing has a raging sinus infection as well!  She must be like me, and doesn't have pain with her infection.  It does hurt to push on her sinuses, but just sitting there she doesn't have pain.  She certainly hasn't told me about any pain or sinus related symptoms, again very much like me. I get these raging infections but I don't find out until it has gone really far!  So I am glad we were able to catch that as well.  I am just so thankful to get have gotten her in there.  She was having the pricking pains again yesterday after the appointment, but now that she *knows* that it has nothing to do with a splinter she was able to deal with it.  I am confident that she will be feeling better soon.  We do have to pick up a few things though to be able to get everything she needs to fight this. 

Just in case there are those out there that are shocked that I didn't get my kids antibiotics for their strep.....I wouldn't change a thing.  I truly feel that it is in the best interest for my children that we approach their health care in the most natural way as possible.  I feel that God made medicinal plants for our use, and we should utilize those first.  Again, we make this a case by case situation.  Clearly Moira, when she had appendicitis, was not a candidate for us to use natural remedies.  We did though use natural means to help her heal after the surgery and antibiotics.  Now that we know that Flannery's body did not kick the strep we have other natural remedies to try.  A great combination, for those in need of some antibiotic like meds, but not wanting or able to get to the doctors you can try this:  In a size "00" empty capsule put 15 drops of grape seed extract oil, and 9 drops of oil of oregano.  Take *immediately*.  You need to have full strength oregano and that stuff will eat through the capsule within about 30 seconds or so.  So take quickly.  Then take a dose of colloidal silver.  Do that three times a day for 10 to 14 days.  Oh, wait, let me clarify that this is not medical advise, or diagnosis.....This is just what we plan on doing for Flannery.  We also have the remedy from the a.p. and a couple of other things to do for Flannery's illnesses. 

My sister goes back home today.  She'll be here to drop off my mom.  Hopefully we will get a wee bit of time in before they take off.  They have a long, long drive before them.  All the kids have been having a great time together.  We really need to see them more often.  It's funny, or maybe not, that I just realized I don't think that I've thought to pray for a way to see them more often!  I need to do that! 

In other news, totally unrelated to this post....I've gotten a bunch of books out of the library on sewing, crochet and knitting.  There are quite a few patterns I want to copy.  I am hoping that will be possible from where I am sitting :-)  The crochet/knitting patterns will be easy enough to do so.  I can just photo copy or hand copy them.  The sewing patterns are another story.  These are books that come with paper patterns.  I have some material meant for copying patterns that I can use.  But sewing patterns are large, and it may have to wait for another week or two for me to be able to stand at the table to copy them.  Thankfully I can keep the books for 3 weeks.  So hopefully I'll be able to do so before they need to be returned.  Although I am sure Isabella would do a good job at copying the patterns.  Hmmmm...."Oh, Isabella...."   :-)

Off to start my know, with more sitting, and leg propping....

Monday, July 25, 2011

What we have been up to...

The bottom line is.....not much :-)  Ok, I guess that applies to just me.  The girls have had to take over the things I do.  Jeremiah has been here to lend a hand and direct.  My mom is coming in today to stay with us to help.  My sister is dropping her off, so we get to visit with her for the day!  Yeah!

I still can't be up for long.  Thankfully a lot of the swelling has gone down, making it possible to stay up longer.  It's been a week now and I am eager to get back into the swing of things.  However it is still too painful to do so.  Oy.  And so I wait.  In the meantime I've been reading, playing small games with the boys, hold the baby, and even made a crocheted hoodie for the baby.  It came out really cute.  I'll have to get pictures of it soon.  It still needs some buttons and the string ends to be weaved in. 

We are wondering what is wrong with Flannery.  She's been having lots of issues with 'splinters'.  She has this pin prick sensation on her hands and feet.  She thinks it's a splinter, but nothing is really there.  So far we have two possibilities.  The first my sister came up with. I was telling her that Flannery gets this way (although to a much lesser degree) each summer.  The past two weeks have been horrid for her.  I realized that with all the birthday parties and the Fourth we have been eating lots of junk.  So I figured it may have something to do with our sugar load.  However my sister thinks it may be due to food coloring, red 40 in particular.  I realized that Flannery has indeed been consuming lots of food with that as an ingredient.  So now I have to be very careful in what she is eating.  Because we normally eat from scratch we don't have to worry too much about food coloring.  But right now, with me not being able to cook, I have to watch out for it.  The other idea came from our alternative practitioner. She thought it could be Lymes disease.  That would be really yucky!  It will be easy to see if it's the dye as long as I can keep her dye free for the week.  If that doesn't resolve it then I will have to take her in to be tested.  I definitely will go with the altern. prac. first as Lymes requires multiple rounds of antibiotics if you are treating conventionally.  I'm all for antibiotics if they are needed, like when Moira had appendicitis.  But since this is not an emergency I would rather give other things a try first.

I have reason to believe that antibiotics messed Flannery up when she was little.  She had a bout of failure to thrive after she antibiotics for the first time.  After that she was obsessed with only eating sugary things, and milk products.  And I do mean obsessed!  It was very hard to get some higher calorie, nutrient dense foods into her.  But once I did she filled out again.  I had no problem with getting her to eat yogurt for the good bacteria.  I think I put some extra probiotics into her yogurt.  She really doesn't need any more issues to add to her life right now :-)  Not that she needs Lymes either!  I know that Lymes can be very serious if left untreated.  But I feel confident that we can treat it alternatively. 

That's all for now.  I need to get ready for the day....ya know for sitting on the couch.  Ha, ha! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good news on the broken knee

Having a broken patella, is not good news, but at least it's not as bad as it could be, so that is the good news.  I saw the orthopedic doctor today.  Got another x-ray taken.  And I could clearly see the break, from the side view.  Turns out that the bone is broken in two.  The very good news is that the bones stayed put, which will save me from having surgery!  Phew!  However, I am not out of the woods just yet, as it still has the potential to move.  When the pain goes away I will be able to actually walk, with the knee brace on, *without* crutches!  Crazy stuff I tell ya.  I will be in the brace for six weeks.  If at my 4 week check up there is sufficient healing, then I will start to ever so slowly bend the knee. 

I can't write much more since my laptop is not working, and I can't get comfortable in a chair, or standing.

Blessings to all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The view from here

This is the view that *I* have from where I sit:

  You see, we just can't seem to get enough of the wonderful hospitals around here!  I missed out at being with Moira so much I thought I needed my own turn to see how it all works :-)

Yeah, pretty cool huh?  NOT!!  That my friends is a photo of an immobilized knee.  A broken knee cap to be particular.  I am to make sure that I keep my leg *straight* at all times.  Emphasis comes from from the nurse practitioner that I saw. 

I really don't feel like typing out the whole story in detail, but here are the key points:

We were in Target looking for shoes for Flannery, we were moving on from there and Jonah went to run ahead of me.

I tripped, with the baby in my arms. 

I did all I could to try to keep the baby from hitting the floor.

I fell on my left knee.

Baby still got a bonk on the head.  But he is fine, we had him checked out at the hospital as well.

My patella has a crack that runs from one side straight to the other.  I risk it snapping in half should I bend my knee. 

Lots and lots of fun......that is a joke :-)

All of our summer plans, what ever they might be, are now totally changed!  Lickety split just like that.

The end.

Birthday bash

So another birthday bash down, and we all survived! Ha!  It's been a wild couple of days, trying to get everything ready.  We had a bunch of cleaning to do.  We finally got it all done the day before, and a we needed to just do a quick clean the day of.  Well, except for a sweep of the outside.  The guests were looking forward to being shown how we milk our goats.  All of them got a turn to try milking.  It's funny how something we find so normal, and ho hum, is very exciting to someone else :-) 

For future birthdays I will know to never, ever plan a birthday party on pay day, when we have to go out and buy everthing that morning for a party later that afternoon. Ugh. It all worked out in the end, and I think everyone had a great time, I just don't want to rush everything again.

Moira learned a valuable lesson on budgeting. She had a birthday budget to buy all her food and games and she was quite surprised how far (or not) that it got her. Thankfully we worked things out to make it all work, but one game she had hoped to do. But really, after it was all said and done, I don't think she missed it. We had time for the guests to arrive and hang out for a bit. We played a version of pin the tail on the doneky....we called it, pin the pallet on the artist. Then we had a splendid time of painting. Painting with a twist. It was a game to see who could do the best painting (color by number), but painting with no hands :-) Yup, they had to put the paint brush in their mouth, hands behind their back and do the painting. Isabella and Molly were the judges. Both of these girls did an awesome job managing the games, and food. Seriously there is a huge difference between the birthday parties of our five year olds, compared to this birthday party!! Huge, huge differences!! I put all plans in Moira's hands, with our final approval. She had to prioritize the goods, to fit her budget. I did have to marshal everyone the days before with the cleaning, but the day of Isabella made up a list of everything that was left, needing to be done. That girl is queen of lists!!! They got it all done, and put together. Saoirse even helped make the cakes.

After the painting, we headed out for some piniata fun. Then we came inside for presents, food, cake and a movie. And the night ended with a pillow fight. A short pillow fight. The first time someone swiped at our overhead light (which has met it's end twice now) I called it quits. I couldn't imagine trying to manage 12 girls and a floor full of broken glass.

Here are some of the pictures of the fun that everyone had:

Looks like party time!

Isabella put up the streamers.  She did a great job.

Here is the pin the pallet on the artist.

Jonah was wondering why these crazy girls were painting with their mouths!  He was smart enough to paint the proper way :-)

They didn't have a time limit, but we told them to go quickly, but to fill the whole picture in.

During the painting I realized we should have taped the pictures in place.  Oh, well, that just added to the challenge.

Our two judges and helpers for the party.  These girls did a fantastic job of keeping everyone where they needed to be.

Hey, wait a minute, what are you judges up to?

What's this?  Painting with your finger?

These silly judges had a trick up their sleeve.  They took that finger painting and tried to pass it off that Jonah did it and that he had one the painting contest.  No one bought it though.  Nice try.

My wee boogie looking on at the fun.

Saoirse taking her turn at the pinata.

Moira lighting her own candles.  She had two cakes.  One vanilla, one strawberry.  She had the number one candle on one cake and the number two candle on the other cake.

Singing the beloved birthday song.

Pillow fight breaks out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

retro sleeping baby

There is something completely timeless about a sleeping baby.  I took a few snaps of our little guy when he went down for his nap.  Too cute.

Some forgotten birthday pictures

Here are a few birthday pictures from Jed's official birthday dinner/cake, and Moira's official birthday dinner (cake to come on her party day).  For some reason all the pictures look really grainy and blurry when I uploaded them to Blogger.  I'm not sure why it does that!  Crazy I tell ya!

Jed's smile always amazes me.  He's had such a huge smile since the time he was a wee little one :-)

For the record Jed asked for strawberry cake, which by default happens to be pink.  He even wanted 'strawberry' sprinkles!  So he got one very pink cake!  Isabella added a bit more pizazz with some whipped topping.

Sisters sharing in the celebration.

Moira is not pictured as she was spending the week with her Nana.

We didn't have any candles so a lighter had to do.  I had a terrible time trying to get it to light, and then we had a terrible time trying to get a picture of Jed 'blowing' it out!  Ha, ha!  Jed must have blown out that 'candle' 15 times!

Just a cutie pie picture that was on my camera card.

And another one.

Moira with her birthday dinner in hand.  She and I made some chicken alfredo.

I had a few other helpers when it came time to serve up the birthday dinner.  Moira didn't want anyone else to help with the dinner making, but she was fine with everyone helping to serve it up.  Flannery is cutting up the beloved cranberry sauce.

All Jonah wanted for dinner was the cranberry sauce.  Not to mention Jed ate his up first and wanted seconds, and thirds...

We're a crazy bunch I tell ya.

We were in desperate need of some new bowls and plates.  Walmart had some very colorful plates that I grabbed last month.  This month they were marked down so I bought some more plates and bowls this time around.  So now our meal time is a rainbow of a time!

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