Monday, December 30, 2013

Oh. My. Goodness.

I really am about to fall flat on my face, but I am waiting on something that I need to do, so I decided to get this up.  This would be a heartfelt plea for prayers!  It has been a very difficult couple days here, and though the really big stuff seems to be over, all the other stuff is still very much 'living in the fast lane'.  Sigh.

So I think I mentioned that everyone was getting sick...again. Supposedly our family can never be too sick.  Though, and this would be a post on its own, there may be a very good reason for it.  The short of it would be that it could be due to a gene mutation, but it would take me way too long to explain.  My sister was recently tested for this mutation because of her skin issues and it came back that she has this mutation.  The good news is that there are some supplements that will help, though they are not an over night fix.  I am sooooo extremely happy for her that she is finally getting to the bottom of her skin issues that she has suffered with for basically all her life!  Again, I'll write more on that later as it is important for others to know about.  BUT in the mean time, we remain sick.

A friend of mine told me that everyone she knew who had the 'cough thing' were going through a remission of sorts.  Mild, just the coughing coming back, sometimes the loss of their voice.  No biggie.  But us?  Why make it easy?  No, we are getting some FULL BLOWN illness that in ways is worse than what we had the first time around!  Flu like symptoms: fever, body aches, very swollen throats, coughing, swollen sinuses or non stop running noses, and a lovely case of pink eye to boot.  Poor Moira's throat.  That is her weak spot, and the swelling is extreme.  I am having to keep her on round the clock Motrin/Tylenol every 3 hours (rotating each one every three hours).  Through the night.  That means little sleep for me.  I am soooo praying I do not get this, I am doing all of my routine I wrote about the other day and so far so good.  Except that I am afraid that the lack of sleep and the huge stress of today may come back to 'bite'.

The big, bad, ugly I mentioned above and stress?  That would have been an appendicitis scare from Isabella.  The poor girl.  Thankfully it turned out to not be appendicitis.  The bad news is that this could keep happening each month, and that is just not going to be possible since her pain levels were totally through the roof.  So with the band-aid of some prescription meds, the new supplement coming in any day now, AND a mandatory, at all costs, she HAS to be put back on the GAPS diet, we are hoping that we will get her through this and she will be able to 'pull the band-aid off' in a few months.

So that big thing is behind us, now I still need to see everyone else through this round of illness.  Flannery is mostly over it, Aubrey had a mild case (though he was sneezing a lot today, and getting red eyes), Moira is really bad off, Saoirse just started coming down with the sore throat and pink eye this evening, Jeremiah is getting slammed with all of the throat swelling and red eyes as of this evening as well, Isabella had the sore throat a few days ago but currently has a low grade fever and tummy yuckiness.  Jed is still in the clear as am I.  Flannery started this first, and that was the day after Christmas, so we are not looking at a quick recovery period. Her voice is still not back completely, and she is still feeling run down (mostly come evening time).

Please pray that no one will have any complications from any of this.  I really can't stand the thought of any more doctors visits!  Not just for the idea of getting them there due to the fact they are that sick to need to see a doctor, but also for what they might possibly come home with!!!!  Pray for the symptoms to ease on my really sick ones.  Pray that I will be able to get rest, and keep my health and strength.  And pray that I will live my days walking in love.  I get very worried when my kids get sick, and the stress takes its toll in non loving ways :-(  This does not help anyone!  

Thank you!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Preparing Physically for Baby

Although that would encompass exercise, I am talking about boosting my immune system and health.  Before I even begin let me premise this post by saying that what follows is what *I* am doing right now for my health.  In no way am I suggesting you do the same, or that what I do will insure health!  Talk to your health care provider about you and your baby's health.

During the last month of pregnancy I try to make sure to do what I can to boost my immune system, and to possibly kill off any of the 'bad guys' before the big day.  During my first pregnancy I tested positive for Beta-strep.  I was told with my second that once you are positive for Beta-strep you will always be positive.  Well, that is not the case as I tested the next 4 pregnancies, and I was negative each time.  But, needless to say, whether you test positive or not will not actually determine if you are actually positive on the big day.  Since I wanted to do what I could to ensure a safe delivery I have used natural remedies to do what I can to stay healthy.

This time around knowing I was up against an imbalance of probiotics in my gut, I have added a few more things than I would normally do.  This is the regimen that I am doing for the next four weeks.  Though for some of the 'top guns' I am doing them for 10 days, then taking off for 7 days, and then starting the 'top guns' again until delivery.  I put all of the remedies in time groups in a booklet as it was a bit overwhelming to remember all that I had to do.  As I have been doing this for a couple of days there are a couple of things I plan on changing up as I decided to spread a couple of things out a bit more, but for what it is worth this is my plan of action I am following:

 My booklet, my regimen.

These are just about all of the needed items that I am using, minus one or two things.  From left to right:  Sinus wash bottle, raw honey, garlic, EPO, Frontier Uterine Toner, cal/mag, (in the tin foil) Pulsatilla homeopathic remedy (not pictured is my homeopathic Arnica), Thieves Oil, (in quart jar) elderberry syrup, ACV, GSE, powdered vitamin C, colloidal silver, echinachea tincture, and oil of oregano.  Also not pictured is peroxide, and my homemade garlic infused coconut oil with GSE and oil of oregano.

Although it is best to treat some things internally, I am trying to treat internally as well as 'topically'.  The more my body has to fight off on site the weaker overall I feel.  So I am trying to currently treat a 'sinus infection' (though I believe it is more just the lack of probiotics, but I am playing it safe) internally and topically.  I am also topically treating for any possible Beta-strep.  For that I am using my homemade garlic infused oil.

My routine:
Early AM (8 or so)
uterine toner
ACV mix ( this includes: ACV with a pinch of baking soda, powdered vit. C, colloidal silver, echinachea drops, elderberry syrup and oil of oregano)
raw garlic in honey
thieves oil on bottom of feet
sinus wash (includes the salt packet and either peroxide, oil of oregano, or GSE)
make sure my female tea is made up and I put in chlorophyll drops
herbal yeast killer (do not have on hand at the moment, but will get some soon)

Late AM (11)
uterine toner
ACV mix

Early PM (2)
uterine toner
ACV mix
raw garlic
sinus wash

PM (5)
uterine toner

Late PM (9)
ACV mix
raw garlic
sinus wash
thieves oil on feet
yeast killer
suppository of homemade garlic infused oil

Throughout the day I try to drink 1 cup of kombucha three times a day, 1 cup of kefir 2 to 3 times a day, and a serving of fermented veggies (or their juices) 3 times a day.  When the first 10 days are done I plan on using kefir or a pill form of probiotic as a suppository.

I am also staying gluten free, and sugar free (save the honey).  I definitely noticed a big difference in swelling if I eat any gluten.  My hands swell up for the next 2 to 3 days after eating gluten.

All of this takes work and time.  I can't say it is very fun :-(  Goodness knows raw garlic is horrid!  Though I chop it up and coat it with honey and swallow it all down in one gulp.  Much better than the past garlic, ACV, and honey mixture I have done.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I would have to take it over the sink because I truly thought that I risked losing the contents of my stomach each time!

I think that is all!  I have been exercising this past week....finally!  With being sick, taking care of sick people, or my cal/mag imbalance I had to take off waaaaayyyyy too long!  I have been doing T-Tapp aerobics, Leslie Sansone aerobics, or going for a walk outside.  I don't have much time to actually get in shape, but I am praying what I can do will be enough.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Baby days

NO BABY yet!!  Still too soon.  And no worries, all internet is off limits to kiddos.  But it was hard for me to reckon with the fact that this baby is number 8 and along with that comes the guilt of time, more specifically the lack there of.  Especially with this pregnancy, where the physical toll of imbalances has continued.  Then there are 7 other kiddos to pay attention to, and the food, clothing, and schooling that goes into all of them :-)  And if that were not enough there was, and still at times if I am being honest, the utter fear of the impending labor.  Yes, I spent the whole pregnancy worried about one single day of this pregnancy!

With all of that I didn't want these last few weeks to slip by "unnoticed", or there be a lack of journaling.  This baby is very much wanted and loved and I feel I have slacked off in rejoicing in this wonderful gift the Lord is giving us.  So, when I have the time,I want to make sure I put up a few things in regards to this pregnancy and what I am doing to prepare for this wee one.  BUT, I will not be on any other blogs, or such...just here in this space.

The past few days have been very full emotionally speaking.  Telling the girls our plans went over well, with all but one.  And the one that it didn't go over well, really did not go over well!  But we expected that.  The good news is that the Lord went ahead of us and had a situation prepared that can only help us in our plans!  It is pretty amazing really.  A story I hope I can share when time is right.

For now we are preparing for Christmas and really trying to focus on being together as a family.  And in the middle of all of that preparing for the baby's arrival.  But also focusing on everyone's attitudes (which includes the adults as well) as we go along, making sure that love prevails.  I would be lying if I didn't admit that this is very exhausting!  But I know it will be well worth it.

Anyways, enough rambling!  I have a few pictures of our preparations for baby.  Oh, and a real treat?  Some friends of mine are giving me a baby shower!!!  Who would have thought!  I am very excited for the fun of that event!

Preparing to make a garlic infused coconut oil.  As a precautionary against Beta-strep, I use herbal methods to kill anything off that may not be beneficial for the arrival of baby.  I have a list of things I am going to do or take to boost my immune system.  I will share that list in another post.

 Saoirse and Flannery were BIG helpers today.  I mean for real!  Saoirse was helping with the wheat grinding, and as we were running out of places to put things, she took it upon herself to label the different stages of grinding, and the transferring  of goods from one location to another.

Lots of flour mess!  I have had my blender for 9 months now, and it never crossed my mind to run my milled flour through it.  My grinder does not give a fine flour, it has always been on the grainy side.  I suppose after 7 years we have just gotten used to it.  After I attempted to make some oat flour in my food processor, and failing miserably, I got the notion of using my blender.  Magic!  True oat flour.  A few weeks later and the thought finally occurs to me to try the blender with my wheat.

 Hey, here is an 'after' picture of my room :-)  Granted my dresser is still covered, BUT at least it is supposed to covered by these things!  As opposed to the 'junk' that was there before.  Those boxes and the plastic bag are filled with all of our birthing supplies.  I have a small pack of diapers, towels, and receiving blankets.  The blue binder is for any needed homeopathy remedies.  I will have remedy bottles, and my kit out when I go into labor.  But, as I learned in the past, those things can not be left out in advance, or little boys get into them!

The baby car seat all cleaned up, just waiting for the cover to dry to put it all back together.  I left the scale out, a wee little insurance in case there is any doubt in the baby gaining weight those first few weeks.  All the way to the right, you can see a bag of clothing on top of a rubber-maid tub.  The bag has newborn BOY clothing, and the tub has the newborn GIRL clothing in it.  I washed all of the neutral newborn things that will be used from the get go regardless of gender.

 So we finally got around to those remaining bags of food that were in my 'before' picture.  Granted they need to find a more permanent residence, besides our mess of a bathroom.  Our bathroom has been in this transition phase for over a year now.  One day, one day.

 The bathtub is still unusable.  But, that is ok, as I will be using my birth pool for relaxation and pain relief.

 See!  A wide open space in my bedroom!  This is where the birth pool will go when the time comes.

Sorry, pictures did not load properly.  Though I will be able to use the toilet and sink of our bathroom, I will not be able to use the shower.  I will say, having to walk the length of the house immediately post partum to wash up is not a pleasant thought.  But I will be thankful we do have a shower in the house, and that normally I am just spoiled that it is right off my bedroom!

 See, this is the 'bottom' of the shower.  The shower liner was torn out long ago.  Every once in a while I get a huge surprise when I walk into my bathroom and find a cat in there!  They sneak up from under that blanket.  But with those boards, and a few other measures that hasn't happened in a while.

 Another view of our room, with that clean open space.  The two boys sleep on that twin mattress on the floor.  We really need to work on getting them into their own room.  They have a room, they just don't sleep in it!

 Baby clothing all washed!  Believe it or not these were given to me by my sister, when Flannery was on her way!  Except for the hats....I have a bunch of hats that are miscellaneous.

And to conclude our little 'tour' of baby preparations, let us leave off with the still current baby of the family :-)  Aubrey, all conked out for a nap.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another break?

Blog break, that is!  Yes, it seems I've had a few of those this year.  They are good things.  There are times when things just need to get done, or things need to have more attention paid to them than the computer :-)  

I have to say I am a bit bummed at the timing, but life is like that right?  This break will be a bit different.  Sometimes I am able to get on here or there for just a wee minute to do something needed, but this time?  Although all the plans have not been worked out as of yet, I can say there will be no actual computer access here at home.  

I don't think I can go into details as of yet, as again, not enough plans in place to feel comfortable doing so....but I will say it has been no mystery that we have one child in particular which has more than the normal childhood issues to deal with.  We are definitely short in the 'time' area regarding this child, so drastic measurements need to be taken right now.  I am praying that when I come back I will have a good report to share.  In the mean time I do ask for any who are willing to pray for our family.  Please pray for wisdom from the Lord, peace, patience and LOVE to abound.  Also pray for our determination to follow through, and to devote the needed time and energy in all the different aspects this journey will hold for us.  This is going to be hard.  Very, very hard on all of us.  

I've known for a LONG time we needed to take drastic measures, but there were always excuses.  Don't get me wrong, it's not like I sat here doing nothing.  But any steps we did take were a drop in the bucket to say the least.  I am very thankful to my sister who has pretty much offered to help us overcome any of the 'obstacles' in our path!!  Please pray for her and her family as well, not for only of her healing journey that continues, but for blessings on top for their love and willingness to sacrifice their resources and time on our behalf!

I will definitely make sure that the new baby's arrival makes it here though!  I will make a way for that event in particular to make it up here. After all, there are many of you who have been praying for this baby and to not share his/her arrival would be cruel :-)  I really do not know what time frame we are talking about here.  In the past I have left that date 'open' as well, but this time is definitely different so not sure of even a ball park figure.  But it is time to do all we can, as parents (we know that God is in control of all!), to change things around.

God bless you all!  Have a wonderful Christmas and I pray you all have wonderful starts to the new year!!

Houston....We have head down!

Granted I don't know how long that may last...the baby being head down that is!  I am just thankful that the baby is actually, AND properly, head down.  Usually if the baby is "head down", it has still been off to the side, or some unusual arrangement.  But for now, it is in proper place.  Though, there is still plenty of room for this kiddo to move and shake!  This baby is following our "mommy's side of the family" stats.  We only have 2 of our 7 kids that take after me. Although with Jonah he seems to be the only one who really seems to be a mix of us.  The other ones?  All daddy's side!  The two that take after me have been on the small side at birth.  Though, as I was just telling my sister, when it comes to Jed, I usually don't count him in any type of pregnancy/birth, or even normal childhood development, when I am comparing my children.  You know how in high school math you learned that when making a graph and you have those far out lying points that don't seem to fit the data?  And to 'fix' that you were to take those out lying points out of the equation?  Yeah, that's how I feel when it comes to comparing anything with children and Jed :-)

Now, having said that, my smallest two were Jedidiah and Moira, both of which take after my side of the family.  Not sure what Jed's "normal" weight would have been, but he was born at 5 and a half pounds.  Moira was born at 6 and a half pounds.  With both of those kiddos I measured 2 to 3 cm's "behind" (fundal height).  With my 7 pounders I regularly measured 1 to 2 cm's behind, and with my 3 eight pounders I measured right on date.  I've been in the dark as far as what I was truly measuring, since every appointment (save yesterday's) the baby has been transverse, which does not give a true, accurate measurement.  But each of those appointments I was measuring 2 cm's behind.  I was still concerned as Aubrey (my 3rd 8 pounder) was measuring 2 cm's behind the whole time he was transverse as well.  When he flipped I started measuring on target.

Soooo, the midwife feels around, that baby had been breech just 2 days before, and declares it is head down!  Then she pulls out the tape measure.....I start trembling (ok, not really, but it does add some drama don't you think?)...and the verdict?......I am measuring 3 cm's behind! Phew!  I seriously was afraid of another 8 pounder!  Not because 8 pounds is huge (and all my 8 pounders weighed in at exactly 8 pounds even), BUT they and my 7 pounders all had BIG heads.  My two littles had normal sized heads.  Normal sized heads are easier to push out, thankyouverymuch!!!!! Ha!

The other great thing about my appointment are the plans we made for my labor.  I've talked to each midwife/doctor about what I usually experience with labor.  But never before have we made any proactive plans!  For example, I am one of those lucky women, who for some reason have very long transitions.  Transition is one of the hardest parts of labor (except for me, which I would say pushing is the worst), and mine last for over an hour.  A few of mine have been 2 hours long!  This means that come pushing time I am already exhausted.  And since all, but one, of my pushing times have been an hour or longer, this makes for one VERY exhausted mama!  As a matter of fact with my last two baby's I could not even pick them up to hold them after delivery!  I had to have my arms propped up with pillows to "hold" my baby because I was so utterly exhausted

So what does all of that mean?  Well, I talked to my midwife about breaking my water when I hit transition, and I am 8 to 9 cm's with the baby's head engaged.  No waiting 2 hours until we finally break the water to get to the pushing stage.  Once my water breaks at that point it is only a matter of 1 to 3 contractions before I have to push.  And speaking of pushing we are also going to be more proactive about positions once I know the baby has come down to the pub*c bone.  With my past few it only took about 3 pushes to get them there, but then they just *stay* there, and stay there, and stay there, while I push my brains out to get them past that bone!!!

In all, we know every labor is different, and unpredictable.  But, for the first time this pregnancy I am feeling more at peace about the birth.  Having a plan of action, knowing we are going to do all we can *first* to make this go smoothly, I feel so much better!!!  The thought of just going on and on and on with transition, or with pushing, pushing, pushing for hours truly has made for one fearful pregnancy.  I actually feel I can enjoy the remaining (5 or less!!!) weeks of this pregnancy!  Sad that it took me this long to remedy that.  I feel bad about not really relishing this pregnancy (especially knowing that this may be our last....the clock is working against me now a days :-)).  But I do plan on trying to really just enjoy these last few weeks.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Just some randomness

Ahhhh, finally (though I am afraid to say it too loudly), we are just about back to normal.  I say "about" because Jeremiah is *still* battling this cough/cold thing he's had for a month now!  Isabella had a little wee bit of eye weeping this morning, that cleared quickly.  BUT, finally, everyone (including Aubrey) is fever free, and running around like normal :-)

The boys were really needing to run off some energy today.  Big time!  I took them outside, but unlike the pictures you see below (taken a few days ago), it was freezing outside today.  It took me more time to get them dressed than it did for them to be 'done' playing outside.  Jonah asked if we could make some hot cocoa since they were freezing.  I did, but thought to myself...hmmmm, me thinks they need a few accessories to make their winter outside playtime last longer!  Five minutes was not enough to burn off their pent up energy. It seems that we are missing gloves, and the hats I had made them a few years ago do not fit the older two.  Jonah does have his rainbow hat that still fits.  So I think some glove making and hat making are in order.  Mittens for little ones do not take a lot of yarn, so I can use what I have.  My only problem is that I've made one pair in my life (last year) and they fit horribly!  So I'm kind of afraid to tackle another pattern.  I've been searching and searching.  If any of you have the 'perfect' mitten pattern for children, do let me know!

We were able to get some schooling done these past few days.  Yay!  But that means that 'spring' cleaning will go much, much more slowly.  I did get to pulling out my birth supplies to check my stash and compare it to what my midwife wants me to have on hand.  I thought I would have pretty much everything, since we never went through with our last homebirth.  But, over the past 3 years we've plucked a few things out of the box to use.  Thankfully my midwife said that everyone gives her their left over supplies, and to just let her know what I need, as she probably already has it!  I can't believe that I only have two weeks left to pull all my supplies together.  I am supposed to have everything at the ready by 36 weeks.  Yikes!  It really doesn't seem possible that this time has come!

I am totally behind in meal prepping for after baby arrives.  As in, I have *NOTHING* ready at the moment.  My plan is to buy breakfast ingredients with tomorrows shopping day, then dinner ingredients the next two shopping days (though that leaves me cooking up until the baby comes!).  But I don't have an alternative at the moment :-)  Unless any of you has invented a time machine for me to back up a few weeks!  Ha, ha!

I think I will share my meal ideas in a separate post.  This one is getting long enough.

My seed catalogs that I've signed up for have started to arrive!  I don't know why, but I get so excited about seed catalogs!  I think it has to do with all of the potential fresh, new seeds have.  All the possibilities of growing our own food.  Never mind that we haven't been very successful gardeners!  But maybe next year?  Which reminds me, we have some serious gardening projects to work on over the winter.  By golly we'll have a newborn when the time comes to start some of our indoor plantings!!  I better have a plan in place before babe arrives.

Speaking again of babe.....s/he is still without a name.  I do believe we need to get on the ball with that.  This is most certainly the longest we've gone without having a name.  The previous longest time was finding a name at 7 months with Moira.  But I am almost 9 we better get a clue!

Ok, enough rambling.  Let me leave you with some pictures of our creek time a few days ago:

 A favorite of most of the kiddos, finding rocks.  I am usually deemed guardian of the rocks, as each child does not want another child to take any of their new found treasures.

 Everyone made it down to hang out at the creek.  Jed was brave this time around and climbed out on the tree branch.  He had troubles getting down, but I convinced him he could do it.

 Flannery trying to catch a crayfish. She failed to catch this one.

 Aubrey thought he would try his hand at catching a crayfish.  Nope, no go.

 Jonah was able to get on the swing by himself.  He was pretty pleased with himself.

Saoirse learned that it is not appropriate to bring paper items down to the creek.  Here is her journal airing out.

 I wish I could say Moira was trying to catch a crayfish, but she is 'fishing' for broken glass.  Yes, mason jars, kids and a creek with rocks do not mix.  Enough said :-)  BTW we had plastic options, but there were too many glass options as well lying around (thanks to the girls who were building a fort down there and supplying it with *MY* things.  Ah, so that is where that bowl went, oh, I see now where that container has gone to.....).

 That would be my pregnant belly :-)  Look you can still see my feet....mostly!

 Jed fishing.

Aubrey doing what he does best (besides being destructive)....being cute!  Hard to believe he won't be the baby for much longer.  Not that an almost 3 year old is a baby....but I still call him that!  I fear for our last child's mental well being.....I am afraid I may call them "baby" all their live long days :-)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mr. Spotty, beam me up :-)

Here is our little Mr. Spotty.  Thankfully he is doing better overall today than yesterday.  I totally get his immune system has taken a huge hit from being bombarded by 4 illnesses in two weeks (cold, bladder infection, what I believe is fifth's disease, and the flu), but having his third round of fevers in 10 days, was a bit much for him (or me!) to handle.  Not to mention that this second fever started out low, but got up to 103.7 last night.  On top of that he was itchy all over.  I kept totally on top of pain/fever meds every three hours, and benadryl every 4 hours all night last night.  No need to set an alarm as the poor boy had totally fitful sleep!!  He finally fell asleep around 4:30 and woke up at 8 AM.  Ugh.

So here is our spotty guy. The lighting makes today's pictures look like he is better.  His cheeks are not as red as yesterday, but the spots all over are the same intensity, they just kind of molded together more.

 This was yesterday.

 Yesterday as well.  Excuse his messy face, I snapped this while he was eating.  Today his cheeks are not as red, and there is no redness on his forehead like above.

 Really bad picture of his rash all over, but you the best of his cheeks.

 The middle of his trunk is just as spotty as near his neck and belly, but it is all washed out.

 Mr. Spotty legs.  The rash covers everything except his scalp and palms and soles.  The first day it appears like the rash is raised, but it really wasn't.

You can sort of see the "lacy-ness" of the rash on his forearm.  Though right around his elbow and knees all the spots have come together into one red area.

I suppose time will tell.  As far as I know the other two boys have not had fifth's disease.  I do not believe that Flannery and Saoirse have either.  The only other known child to have had this was Isabella.  Moira was not only exposed to the little boy that passed it on to Isabella, but she had exposure to Isabella the whole time as well, but she never came down with symptoms.  The thing is some 20% of people who come down with fifth's disease are symptom free!

But, I also know that there are some 100+ viruses that come with rashes.  Yup, ask me how I know!  Isabella was our queen of fevers and rashes!  As a first time mom I took her in for every one of them until our doctor had a little talk with me about fevers and rashes :-)  Nice guy, he could have made a killing off of Isabella alone had I kept bringing her in for every fever and rash :-)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Are You Serious?

Ok, to say I'm about to go bonkers would be an understatement.  If I wasn't living it, I would think it crazy!  It has been a little over 3 solid weeks of illness.  And not just one, or even two illnesses, we are talking a possible 5th one today!  What. In. The. World!

We started with what I am calling, "the cold".  The normal run of the mill yuckiness, with a cough.  Then we had Aubrey's burn, which he happened to be coming down with the cold on that same day.  Then days later he spikes a high fever, where I suspect a bladder infection. By now I am pretty sure he did indeed have a bladder infection, after speaking with my sister, who believes he may have been holding in his urine for fear of pain (due to where his burn was).  A round of antibiotics makes a *huge* wonderful difference, and I get my little boy back....but not before Flannery shows up with a fever.  She and Jeremiah are the first to come down with what we believe is the Influenza B virus.  Friends of ours, who we have been hanging out with a lot recently,. came down with all the same symptoms, within days of us. They were tested, and they had Influenza B.  So it is safe to say we have that as well.  Thankfully Influenza B is the mild version of the flu, though I would hazard to say not as far as the whopping headache it comes with.

Well, after being fever free for a couple of days Aubrey comes down with a low grade fever, with increase of runny nose.  Jonah comes down with a low grade the same day, but along with his other siblings (before and after him) he has the whopping headache.  Aubrey has no headache.  I was, at the time, naively being thankful that he was escaping the headache part.  Yeah, you know where this is going right?  Finally, the last of the girls come down with the flu, which means they had to miss their ball.  Not fun stuff.  So come Sunday, besides the two older girls feeling fatigued, we are all well. FINALLY, I oh so briefly think.

I knew that I still had the possibility of the flu, as I have yet to come down with it. But, as for all the rest of the family, we were finally free of illness.  Yup, that lasted but 6 hours, until Aubrey started complaining that he felt cold, and his head hurt.  WHAT!?!  Low grade fever, whopping headache= flu.  But, but, I thought he just had that a few days ago?  What in the world?

Well, what in the world I believe happens to be....drum roll please....fifth's disease, or slap cheek syndrome.  It's a common childhood illness which presents itself with very, very red cheeks and an over all body rash.   Yup, that is how Aubrey woke up this morning, covered in a rash.  I did suspect a reaction to his antibiotic, except that it isn't penicillin (though that doesn't mean much, but the likely hood is lessened), and that explains the low grade fever with increase runny nose the 4 days before.  Go Aubrey, you get the flu and fifth's disease.  Insert rolling eyes!!!

And,...and, if that wasn't bad enough, Isabella woke up with a very swollen eye that is weeping non stop, and feels like she's been kicked by a horse (her words, who would have guessed? :-)), and feeling weak all over.  You. Can't. Be. Serious.  I am thinking there is some sick cosmic joke being played on us or something!  We've been 'really' sick in the past, where it seems we get over one thing and we come down with something else.  But we aren't even getting over what we have before we are getting the 'something' else part!  Can I cry now?

My only consolation, and it is a LONG shot....we are getting all of the sickness out of the way BEFORE baby comes.  And, no, don't tell me otherwise.  Let me live in my little dream world on that one :-)

I do ask any who are willing to pray for our family.  One special prayer, on top of the above is that I've been tested, in the past, for fifth's disease, and supposedly I haven't had it yet in my life.  I do say supposedly because you can test positive to something, but still come down with it, or test negative to a germ, and have an immunity to it.  Don't ask, I'm just relating what I've read.  Anyways, with being so far along in my pregnancy I don't think there will be any harm, BUT the potential is there that if I get the fifth's disease that the growing baby can come down with this anemia, or blood problem in utero.  That would entail multiple ultrasounds to keep an eye on the baby.  But, at present I will be 34 weeks on Wednesday, so I don't know the likely hood of that happening, and if it did, with being so close to the end if it would make a difference.  But obviously I want the baby to be well and safe, so do pray.

We were supposed to hope back into all of our regularly scheduled 'programs' today (school, chores, horses).  I think some school for some children will be in order, but not for all.  I have to say Isabella has to be pretty bad off to not go to horses, and she has missed 4 days so far!

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Well, let's see if this works!  My attempts to publish this post have come up against brick wall after brick wall!

With all the boys on the up and up, it was time to get them outside.  We went out a couple of days ago to get some fresh air, but they all wanted to go back in within a few minutes :-(  You know they are really sick when they don't want to be outside!  It was a warm day, in the low 60's.  Though, get this....over the next two days it is going to reach the upper 70's, the following day will go down into the mid 50's and *then* the day after that it will be in the  upper 30's!  Twenty degree temp changes daily for the next five days!

Although it was warm out, this was what the sky looked like.  Talk about dreary.  I have to say, since moving here, some 20 years ago!!!, this has been the cloudiest year I can remember.  Brings back bad memories of living in the North :-)  Granted the city we lived in up North was in the top 10 cloudiest cities of the US.

I decided to take my camera out with me and 'play'.  Thankfully there are free programs, like PicMonkey to help with picture taking on dreary days (can we say, 'edit'?/)!  Flannery was in the hay playing with the cats.  She actually trains the cats to do tricks!  Seriously!  Our very own cat trainer.

Saoirse loving on her kitty, Bells.  Each girl has their own cat now, though I remind them all the time, it is only for a season.  At least that is the case for our male cats.  At about 12 to 18 months they move on.  Vader, our 'oldest' male cat, hasn't been around in weeks now.  So they love on them when they get the chance.

Everyone needs some chicken goodness every now and then, don't they?  I've been trying to get a good picture of our Black Australorps (above).  They have this beautiful green sheen on their feathers when the light hits just right.  You can get a glimpse of that on the above chicken's back and tail feathers.

Saoirse made up this fishing pole like cat toy.  She was just saying to me, "Look, mom, I'm 'cat'-fishing!"

Just your run of the mill picture of dead tomato vines.  I liked the way they looked.  Though I do believe they are well overdue of being pulled!!

For years I have heard/read about how children seem to grow (physically/ mentally/ emotionally) after an illness.  I never discounted that, but I've never actually experienced it...until this week.  For some reason Jonah just looks *different* after overcoming this latest illness.

One of the girls' handmade bird feeders.  They set up Moira's camera on a nearby branch to take close up videos of the wild birds eating.

No, he isn't mad in this picture.  He was in the process of 'wrangling' that small tree!  This particular wee tree is a favorite of the kids to wrangle down, climb on, and ride like a horse.  They can bounce up and down on it.  I suppose there are benefits to not having a pre-made swing set at hand!

These two were being pals.  They spent a lot of time finding treasures and asking me to take pictures of them and their treasures.  At one point they hopped up on the 'green electrical box' and asked for me to take a picture of them together.

The cutest part was that they insisted on holding hands the whole picture taking time.

Jed caught on to what his brothers were doing (showing off their treasures), and wanted in on the action.  The funny thing was that the other two boys happened to just be playing and as they came across their treasures, then they would ask for a picture.  But Jed asked me, "Mom, can you take a picture of .......(he is looking around all over the ground)....(spies a pile of leaves)...take a picture of me holding leaves?"

This is a beloved hammer in our house.  It is a toy hammer....made of metal! Which most certainly has been regulated to an outside toy only!!!  Oy.  Just as I was about to round up the boys to head inside, Aubrey ran inside.  My thoughts were, 'oh, good, one less boy to round up'.  Except he came running back out with his hammer.  He had remembered it was inside, and that he can only play with it outside.  So, outside we stayed for a wee bit longer :-)

When I got inside I thought it funny that I had taken a bunch of chicken pictures (yes, you're welcome, that I only shared one :-)), to see our *whopping* two day egg haul.  Insert big, huge, rolling eyes!!!  We have 30+ chickens, all of laying age, even in the winter we should be getting at the very least a dozen eggs EACH day.  Something is very, very wrong here.  Granted 95 % of them went through molting, which can take up to 4 to 6 months to complete!!!  But they started molting right at the beginning of summer.  We only have one 'bald' chicken at this time.  So where, oh where, are all the eggs?  I think a HUGE major chicken coop cleaning, and chicken lock down is in order.  The last time we did our lock up I think too many were still molting.  I don't know what their excuse is now :-)  As a side note, some eggs come in clean, and some, not so clean.  That is life, especially life when too many of us are too sick to put new straw down in the coop!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Getting Ready for the Ball

Although most of us are ill, there are still plans and preparations for the up and coming ball!  Jeremiah and the two older girls had taken a (homeschool) ballroom dancing class this fall.  And in a matter of days is the Christmas Ball.  To say that the girls (Moira in particular) are excited is an understatement.  We still need to find gloves for them this week, but that is all that is needed before the big day.  And I have to say I really wish I had know about thrift stores back when I was a teen...the money that could have been saved on prom dresses!!!  Both Isabella and Moira got their gowns at the local thrift store, as it seems to be a good place to hand off bridesmaid dresses :-)  And they were cheap!  Like $6 dollars!

We'll have an 'official' photo shoot come the day of the ball, but here is a sneak peak.  Moira wanted to figure out, before the ball, what to do with her hair.  So she watched a bunch of youtube tutorials and we ended up deciding on something very simple.  Here she is!

 She wants to add some ribbons in her hair, and we weren't sure which color to go with.  Here is the gold.

 Here is the red.

 Here are both :-P  I think she wants to go with the gold.

 Her gown, very beautiful.  I have to do a bit of modifications to both girls' dresses.  They have a dress code, and as such their dresses need to be brought up to specs.  Thankfully they will be minor adjustments.

We even did her makeup, so she could get the full effect.  I may just be biased, but I think she looks wonderfully beautiful!  :-)

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