Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gray Hairs

With the birth of my third child, I have with great trepidation, stepped into a new phase of life. That phase of life where you start looking for gray hairs. And I'm told that "looking for" soon turns into "counting."

I know there's lots of people who have gray hair and no kids so I know it's not just the kids that brings that saintly dusting to one's head. But, I believe we all age in different ways and for me there's something about that third kid that just makes me feel old and well settled on the road to aging. Kinda like a downhill-from-here-on-out feeling.

Periodically through out my day, I check the mirror to look for those proverbial gray hairs. Like the other night when one of my dear children tried to "help" by cleaning up a mess and used a generous portion of the roll of toilet paper. The toilet was freshly heaped with a plush pile of white Charmin when I walked in on the scene. What bothered me the most wasn't the wasted toilet paper; rather, it was that the said child was attempting to push the heap down into the seeping water. Oh, the germs.

Then, that same dear child happened on another gray-hair-experience for his mother. While fixing supper one evening, I looked outside to see the child dangling a live puppy from a leash while he (the child) glibly sat up at the top of a slide. The squeals and yelps from the dog matched the squeals of delight coming from the giggling boy. I think he thought the dog was having as much fun as he was.

(Before you think my child is a mass murderer of innocent animals, I happened to see him affectionately petting and bonding with the puppy both before and after the leash dangling incident. So, at this point I'm not sending him for counseling.)

And then there was the time my two able bodied children found some cleaner in our garage and used it to "dust" the side walk. I'm sure cleaners aren't toxic for cement walkways but they sure aren't the most environmentally friendly components for two "hands-on-in-the-mouth" toddlers.

(We checked their breaths and could detect no foul play there. Whew.)

You will be alarmed to know that the charming little girl that lives with us, also holds gray hair potential for this mother. About a week or two before I had my third child, I was spending some quality time with this dear child and only little girl -- kind of a mother/daughter bonding time. We were outside working on flowers and just enjoying the day. Suddenly without warning, my thoughtful and considerate daughter, took off down the side walk like a race horse. Hoping to catch up to her before she reached the street, I took off behind her like a big fat cow.

With the birth of the third child, I no longer am a big fat cow. Instead, my sweet little bundle is evolving me into a creature of nocturnal existence. If I sleep in the day, he is sure to not interrupt me. But, move the clock twelve hours and he makes every attempt to keep my sleep short, not sweet and definitely hardly worth the point I make to try to sleep. Just last night, he was awake more than he was asleep. And just so you know, he only got up once.

So, by observing disturbing incidences (like the almost-strangled dog), pushing myself to extremes (running full speed at 9 months pregnant), stomaching disgusting images (little boy hands immersed in toilet water) and living life "normally" on short hours of sleep, I am expecting those gray hairs any day now.

It scares me though: since I have not found gray hairs yet, I wonder what incident it will take to actually get them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How (Not) To Hold A Guinea Pig

"I'm telling you Landon, this is how you calm the guinea pig down. Works everytime."

Poor guinea pig...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Warning: Girly Post

Actually, this is probably more of a "motherly" post considering the topic on my mind effects mothers more than it effects the general population of girls. And, considering the obvious fact that any girl that has become a mother, has 9.99 times out of 10 dealt with this topic, I'm confident to say I'm not alone.

But, to you people that are neither girls or mothers, this post may not be quite up your alley. So, just thought I'd warn you ahead of time.

Introduction aside, I knew something wasn't right when I had a better than text book labor, extraordinarily wonderful birth and then ended up with the cutest baby boy in the world. Wouldn't you know that fate caught up with me and landed me a pretty nasty catch.

101.8 fever. Chills. Pounding headache. Horrible aches. Awful pain in chest.

Do the math. Yes, I have a breast infection.

Not sure how I got started down this road, other than I think I made a wrong turn when I quit nursing and began pumping exclusively. The reason I did that was because of sores and a baby that wouldn't latch on right. And when I started pumping, I got the bright idea that if I pumped less often, my milk supply would even out to what my one single baby actually needed and would quit producing the amount normally needed for triplets.

It all was working out really good until the infection set in. Now I'm on antibiotics and violating every rule of thumb I normally follow when I'm nursing a baby.

In the meantime, I still am enjoying my darling baby boy to the hilt and loving every minute I get to cuddle and kiss him. He's a perfect baby and seems to adjust well to each change that comes his way. And that's a good thing considering all the adjustments he's had recently.

Hopefully within the next week, I'll be getting back on my feet again and settled back into a more pleasant routine of recovery. I was determined after I had Alex that there would be no medical set backs this time, no out-of-the-ordinary experiences and no emergency runs to the doctor. After Landon's birth, I had severe gall bladder problems and after Janae's birth, she spiked a fever for no reason and we rushed her to the ER. Plus, she had major nursing problems and would seriously choke several times during a feeding. There were always surprises after their births and I was taking the precautions necessary to avoid those set backs this time.

But, wouldn't you know it... I got a whole new set of circumstances just to prove that verse in Proverbs: Man makes his plans but the Lord directs his steps.

Looking forward to better days!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

alex daniel

Alex Daniel

born: 6:48pm, Friday, June 15, 2007

8 lbs. 9 oz.

20 1/2" long

head: 14"

chest: 14"

Labor Log Sequel

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and warm congratulations. The labor and birth went very well; I couldn't have designed the birth better than it went. The Lord was very good in answering specific prayers and desires I was even "afraid" to pray for.

I never thought I could say this about child birth but Alex's birth was actually fun. It was an exhilarating experience -- the pregnancy was by far worse than the birth. His birth was very peaceful and relaxing, I would actually do it again just for the fun of it. Toby thinks I'm crazy for saying that but really, it's true.

So, a big thank you to you all for your prayers and words of encouragement.

For those of you who can't wait for pictures, go to Britt's blog until I can get a better selection of pictures on here of the baby. She seems to be doing a pretty good job at keeping the blogosphere updated with Alex's pictures.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Labor Log No More!

Just got the call from a happy daddy. Alex Daniel has arrived. Mommy and baby are doing extremely well, and I'm hearing tales of a wonderful delivery, lots of hair, and somewhere between 7 and 8 pounds. Sweet, sweet, sweet! I'm tickled pinker than pink. This is the best birthday present EVER! Oh man, gotta go collect my wits. Thank you for your prayers!

Labor Log 11

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

Dilated to 7. Labor is intense and baby's position is posterior. Please keep praying!

Labor Log 10

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

As of about 5 minutes ago, Courtney had her water broke. Yup, no backing out of it now. Let's have this baby!!!

Pray, pray, pray!

Labor Log 9

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

Phone call checking in from Barnes & Noble just moments ago.

We're having contractions!!! [uh, make that we--as in Courtney.]

Labor picked up pretty heavy at around 2 PM. The midwife is hailing them to the hospital. Pray all goes well! Due to the position of the baby's head they may have to try petocin, which isn't what Courtney wanted. Please pray the baby gets settled right and labor increases even more without petocin.

Labor Log 8

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

Well folks, it's third labor syndrome. Labor stopped. I just talked to Courtney and she's pretty disappointed. It seems the baby's head is tipped which is making it difficult for labor to take off. Please pray for him to get in the right position and for things to start happening quick!

I'll keep you posted.

Labor Log 7

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

The aunty Beemoo broadcasts from the home front with a live report.

It's official. She's in labor!!

They left at around 8:30. Stats are: dilated to 5, baby is 80% effaced, doc says go have breakfast and take a walk in the park. She's pleased with how things are progressing. Stay tuned.

Labor Log 6

Scroll down to read the first installment of Labor Log.

Still waiting to see if it's real or not. As soon as I lay down in bed, everything intensifies and I worry that I'm not going to make it to the hospital before transition.

But, when I get up, it doesn't seem quite as bad. Maybe it is though... I just can't tell.

Our van is so not equipped to have a baby in so hopefully we decide at the right time when we should go in.

Contractions? 3-6 minutes apart, all are pretty hard, some are longer than others. I'm not in the panic-get-to-the-hospital mode yet but wonder if I should be...

A Birthday Today

We interrupt this series with an important announcement: Beemoo is 22!

Go ahead and confuse her about her age and tell her she's really gotta switch those numbers around.

Sure love you Britt and admire your strength, strong character and the sweet spirit you have. Thanks for all you are to me in a sister: my best friend.

We love our Beemoo!

Labor Log 5

To begin this log at the right place, scroll down to Labor Log 1 and read up from there.

I slept for a couple hours but then woke up having contractions. They started just before 4 am and increased in intensity and frequency to every 3 minutes or so.

Before deciding if this is it or not, I took a shower. They say that can usually make or break your labor.

The shower is over but I'm waiting -- either for a trip to the hospital or for bed.

Labor Log 4

Start at Labor Log 1 if this is your first time reading the Labor Log posts. Scroll down.

39 weeks and 2 days. Oh, it's midnight now, make that 39 weeks and 3 days. Either way, we're ready.

Right now, the Castor oil has a very distinct effect but over all, it's not been bad at all. The blend of 2 TBLS. Castor oil to a small amount of root beer (enough to mix in but no more than the equivalent of one fast swallow. And I mean ONE fast swallow), was a much better elixir than the usual orange juice prescribed with the Castor oil.

From now on, I will recommend root beer instead of orange juice to my friends and neighbors.

It's been two hours since my first dose. A few contractions but nothing really bothersome yet. The contractions aren't "supposed" to start until later this night (early morning) so I'm not looking for them yet.

Between the last two doses, I showered, wrote in the baby book, gave Britt her birthday gifts and card and barked out a request for a quick load of laundry washed. Toby is in bed reading, waiting and worrying.

I should get off here and try to sleep if I can.

Updates should follow but there is no guarantee as to what and when. Labor is a very mysterious thing. Unpredictable too.

Labor Log 3

If this is the first Labor Log post you've seen, scroll down to Labor Log 1 before continuing.

11:50 pm -- One hour after second dose of Castor oil.

Still smiling.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Labor Log 2

If you haven't read the first Labor Log post, scroll down before reading this post.

Second dose of Castor oil taken at 10:45 pm, 45 minutes after first dose.

The Castor oil isn't working yet -- which is a good thing or else it would be a really long night.

She's still smiling.

Labor Log 1

I decided to do a labor log.

If you do not know what a labor log is, it's a log someone keeps for their labor. If it becomes difficult for me to keep this log, I hope to relay the labor information to someone more capable of keeping this log than I may eventually become.

Technically my labor has not started yet. But, I have taken necessary measures to begin it's process and hopefully eventual progress.

Here is the first turn of events:

Don't I look happy?

I'm embarking on a special potion of Castor oil and root beer. 3 complete doses should do the trick in getting this baby born/closer to birth.

Watch for the next 2 pictures and see if that smile turns green.

First dose taken at 10:00 pm.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Resale Isn't Always A Good Deal

Landon has needed a bike. And I've been looking for one for a long time. You know, one of those second hand deals that you just can't pass up.

I priced the new bikes for his size and they were priced at $30. Too much in my opinion.

But, then I got pregnant or moved or did both or something happened and I forgot how much a new bike costs. Suddenly, that $30 jumped to like $40 or something higher. Not a good thing when you're on the hunt for a bargain: you have to know what a bargain is BEFORE you see the item.

So, when a good relative of mine was garage sale-ing recently, I told her to keep on the look out for a bike. Something nice but still cheap.

And voila! she found one for $20.

Now, I knew $20 was too much so thanks to the convenience of cell phones, I suggested offering $15. The seller agreed to $15.

For some reason I thought that was a good deal. I wish I would've look up bike values on blue book or something. I would've known for sure then what was a good deal.

$15 for a bike IS a good deal but not for a little 12" bike without training wheels. $15 will get you the bike, sure but when you need training wheels in order to use the bike, $15 is a lot of money to only get you part way. I found all this out after the fact though.

Especially when you go to Walmart and find that the training wheels they carry are $15.

And we all know (even when we're pregnant) that 15 + 15 makes 30 so you come to the grand total of... $30.

If you really want to make yourself feel ripped off, just walk around the corner from the training wheels and there you'll find the 12", shiny, new bikes they carry. Don't look at the tag though unless you want to feel sick. $30 will glare you right in the face and laugh as you walk away wishing you would've done your home work better. (or at least remembered the homework you did do.)

We're making do with a set of free training wheels that were found at another garage sale but the challenge to stay balanced is a bit more of an issue. Maybe that'll get the need for training wheels in the past for my growing boy.

Which might be a good thing considering that he treats his bike as if it did NOT have training wheels...

After Landon finished his first attempt at riding his bike, he got off the new bike and promptly knocked it over.

"Landon," I said with alarm, "Don't knock your bike over like that!"

And just as if he had already thought all this through, he said softly, "But that's what peoples do with their bikes, Mom." And he proceeded to show me how to lay the bike down after you get off it.

Hmmm. $30 is definitely too much to spend on something that's just going to be knocked over every time it's done giving rides.

I think we can make do with the free training wheels that don't fit right until it's time to graduate to kick stands. Especially since kickstands don't equal the value of the entire bike.

Or do they? I can't remember what they cost.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Good Men and Good Bargains

Living in a 1930-ish house with a big open front porch, makes me think of one thing: wicker furniture.

Two houses ago, we were also living in a 1930-ish house and unfortunately, never got to actually put wicker on that front porch. So, I decided recently that this house would be different.

I was looking everywhere for this special furniture. Newspaper, craigslist, garage sales, etc. I wanted a small set (since the porch isn't huge) but it had to be in the right price range. I just didn't know where that range was though. Wicker is expensive and I didn't want to be expensive but I did want the wicker still. The lower the price range, the better. I knew brand new probably wouldn't be much of a deal so I took on the challenge of finding a good deal second hand.

The day we moved to this house, a yard sale in town advertised the perfect set. Not too big; not too little. I never did find out the price though: I had enough furniture to move that day, I wasn't looking for anymore to put in my van.

So, the wicker set was put off. Again.

And then I found out through the neighborhood gossip line that the particular resident of that home where the wicker furniture set had sold, was the guy that locked his wife up in her own house. I was really glad I didn't buy his wicker -- who knows what curses would've come upon my already snake infested yard.

While driving around this past weekend, we stumbled on a junky yard sale full of stuffed animals and fake wood furniture sitting in an overgrown yard. For some reason I got out. I never go to garage sales like that.

And then I saw it: a run down, over used set of wicker furniture spread haphazardly around the shabby yard. No price tag was on it so I wondered if it was even for sale.

The seller said she'd give it to me for $10. Can't get much lower in a price range than $10, I thought.

It was a small table, magazine rack and 2 cozy chairs. And all but the magazine holder were in great need of paint. Looking back, I probably could've offered her $5 for the entire set because she was moving out of state that evening and what didn't fit in her car wasn't going with her. But $10 to me still sounded good. So I gave it to her.

We squeezed the almost rotting furniture in the new vacuumed van and bemoaned all the white paint flecks peppering the once clean carpet. I shrugged my shoulders and slammed the hatch, knowing that another visit to the vacuum hose down the street would fix the problem. It was a small price to pay for wicker furniture anyway.

I called Toby on my way home and bragged about my good deal. He didn't seem to relate to my joys but I just chalked it up to the fact that he wasn't the one that had been looking for wicker furniture for the past 27 months. Nor had I ever told him how badly I wanted such furniture.

You see, Toby has this thing where when he hears that I want/need something, he'll get it for me the first time he sees it. He always has a good reason why what he got was a good deal, the perfect time to get it, etc. He's just too nice though and I did NOT want him doing that with this furniture. I wanted the pleasure of finding a good bargain. Of rescuing something that was neglected. Of proving beauty can come from ashes. I wanted the challenge of tranforming something of no worth into something of value. And I wanted a bargain. So, I never told him my dream.

I got home but left the furniture in the van. I was worried about one thing: what would my husband say? Even though I already told him about it, I still worried about what he'd say.

Being 9 months pregnant and having my hands full of a ton of important things right now and definitely not needing some unnecessary project to tackle, I knew he'd be thinking a little bit more on the logical side than I was. "You just don't have time for extra stuff, Dear," would be the tone in his reproving voice.

Later that afternoon, he helped me move the stuff from the van. When we got to the prized find of the day, I was surprised at his reaction. I knew he wouldn't be excited but I didn't think he'd take it this hard either. We began an important practice of communication: he told me what he thought and I didn't have to wonder what he was thinking.

"What are you doing with this junk, honey?" he asked with concern as he picked up a chair only to have it drop out old dirt and paint. "What were you thinking?" he asked me, his brow definitely depicting curiosity but also tinged with a where-am-I-going-to-store-this-rotting-trash look on his face.

I guess he doesn't like it, I concluded.

"I can't believe you'd spend $10 on junky pieces of furniture like this," he said as he casually inspected what used to be a nice chair. "This is junk," he said with finality in his voice and turned and hauled the furniture up on the porch.

Wow. I knew what he was thinking.

My heart sank. He could totally not see the future of these beautiful chairs. He could not feel the reason in my creative heart for why I rescued them. Still, I was wishing I had offered $5 instead of giving her $10.

He set the dusty, rough, grayish, once white chairs and table on the clean porch floor. I had to prove they were somewhat still nice so I arranged them attractively. Quickly the chairs were in place and the table tucked between them.

"See!" I pointed out, "We can have it just like this," I said as I put the final touch on the beautiful rotting pieces of junk. Clumps of dirt and paint dusted the floor, definitely not helping me make a good impression on my husband.

"Whatever," he said as he headed in the house. Obviously, I was going to have to do more to prove to myself and my dear husband that this was a good buy. I think by now he was wishing I would've just saved the $10 and put it towards a good set for $100.

A dozen cans of spray paint and a bristle brush waited to be used on these slowly fading pieces of beauty. I had to rescue them soon. If not for there sake, definitely for mine: Toby had to know I hadn't totally lost my mind.

I brushed the chairs and table down and realized that they really weren't as bad as they looked, once you shook the dirt loose and brushed off the gazillion paint flecks. Isn't weathered and rugged a unique style anyway? This set of furniture definitely fit that description.

A very talented angel of mercy painstakingly spray painted everything after I finished brushing the loose paint off. Since I couldn't inhale all those fumes for the sake of my baby, Britt offered to do the job. We were both sweetly surprised when extra help arrived and sprayed an entire can on one chair. Yes, Toby came around and showed that maybe there was a little faith left in his line of vision for these fading chairs.

In about an hour, the entire set was completed. And it was beautiful.

We rearranged them back on the porch, propping flower pots and blooming plants around the cheery wicker.

For $10, Toby agrees that it was a definite bargain. And I'm glad. I really do like wicker furniture and I'm glad he does too.



Monday, June 11, 2007

Finders Keepers

Early one morning, I checked on my sleeping little girl. Living in a new house had presented some serious adjustment issues to Janae with both her bed and her new room. More than once she had gotten up and wandered around in the dark during the night. Not a good thing when you're two and like to have free time alone to do your own thing.

Not only that but there is something in this house that secretly takes our belongings. We are missing many important items right now. Things like sandals that were always being worn, a wire Kitchen Aid mixer beater and an important roll of contact paper that was just right there a day ago. Not to mention several other things as well. I feel like I have to hold on to everything today so I don't lose it tomorrow.

So, I try to keep good track of the kids all the time. Wouldn't want them to be taken too; I don't have time to look for anymore missing stuff.

Bright and early, I looked in her room and this is what I found:

My heart sank. Now I'd have to spend the better part of the morning looking for a missing child thanks to a house that secretly sneaks my belongings.

But hope was sparked when I could hear a deep and restful breathing sound coming from the vicinity of the bed. I know my daughter is an angel (at times) so I blinked a few times in the early morning dew just to make sure she wasn't on the bed and I had just missed seeing her. She really wasn't there -- body, soul or spirit.

So I began my search. And there she was: under the bed.

I covered her up, grateful she was not only found but was still restfully sleeping. To follow the proverbial law, "finders keepers, losers weepers," I was glad I could legally say that she's still mine.

But, why would you escape the warmth and comfort of a snug little bed and lay on hard, grey carpet? Only Janae.

Is The Baby Here Now?

Well, he's here but just not, like, here here.

To say he's not here seems strange: I feel his every move. How could I feel his every move if he wasn't here?

He's getting bigger, stronger, heavier and enjoys teasing me with contractions. But, I know this isn't forever.

He's enjoying the ride though. I can tell. "You can't get me!" I can almost hear, "Take this!" and whammo, another false labor sign.

Or, he'll bounce for several minutes between my ribs and pelvis enjoying the rhythm of his hiccups.

And the clock ticks from 11 pm to 12 am and on to 1 am while he practices aerobics.

So, for those of you wondering if the baby has been born yet, no he hasn't. But to me, he's already here.

Now just to get him born so the rest of the world can see that he's been "here" for the last 9 months.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Posterior, Anterior, Gemme Owda Here

I've heard it all...

Sleep on left side.

Don't squat.

Lay flat and bring knees to chest.

Crawl on hands and knees for half hour or so.

Scrub kitchen floor.

No reclining.

Lie in bed on left side, almost laying on stomach with pillow between knees.

Talk to baby.

Visualize baby moving to Anterior position. (!)


Don't cross your legs.

Keep pelvis open to encourage Baby's head to engage.

Go to the chiropractor.

Nothing is guaranteed though.

All this to prevent back labor... yes, my darling bouncing baby boy is posterior. And that's the reason our baby's stop and go labor has prolonged this pregnancy. He's just not in the right position.

Even though I'm not in full blown back labor, a simple relaxing time in bed can be excruciatingly painful. But since the recliner is off limits now too, the only place left to sleep is standing up.

It feels like someone is playing Duplo blocks with my spine. And then when he gets done doing that, he attempts to kick the tower over a time or too and then bobs his head around, pushing into places that just might give if he pushes harder. So he pushes harder.

But nothing gives. Except for nerves shooting pain like a firework.

They say to keep the pelvis open and unconfined so I propped three plush pillows between my knees last night. It felt like I was doing splits laying down. That didn't help either.

The midwife explained it as being "bone on bone." The baby's back is against my back. Every move he makes irritates my spinal nerves. In other words, this is getting on my nerves.

This all may sound like quite the malady (which I really think it is) but, I COULD go into labor with him in this position and everything COULD be fine -- back labor may not even happen. It's so weird how mysterious and unknown the end of pregnancy is.

Since I have a history of back labor (with Landon's delivery), my midwife is concerned this will be an issue this time as well. Janae didn't cause any back labor. Maybe your boys will just be this way, was her comment to me last night. But, it's interesting because Landon was always in the perfect position for labor until I actually went into labor. Then he turned posterior and I endured an entire labor all in my back.

So, like I said earlier, nothing is guaranteed.

The only thing for sure is that eventually this baby will come, one way or another. I just hope it's soon AND easy.

Yeah right! :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New House Pictures

Front of house.

Don't let the inviting front yard fool you: the rocked flower bed in front of the porch where the iris plants are host a healthy and fecundate family of snakes. Lots of snakes.

The grass in our front yard is the nicest grass we've ever had but we always wear shoes, thanks to the consistent presence of snakes. There's nothing so chilling as walking through plush grass bare foot only to feel something slide between your foot and the earth.

Did I mention you can look for a snake at any given time and 9 times out of 10, you'll find one? And yes, I still scream when I see one.

Although they are a nuisance, the snakes seem to go well with the Northern Wisconsin Rock front flare of the front of the house. Kinda gives it the "up north cabin" feel you get when you're camping: cabins and snakes. Rocks on houses in Nebraska are a rarity so I feel blessed that of all people to get to live in The Rock House of Nebraska, I do.

I could do without the snakes though.

Our Address etched in stone.

Now that you have our address, please don't send us junk mail. Thank you.

Looking into the house from the front door.

This is the entire half of the house. The other half accommodates three bedrooms, three tiny closets and one bathroom. (not pictured. Our cleaning lady/photographer was only contracted for this half of the house. The rest of the pictures coming at a later date.) This half holds our entry, living room, "office, " dining room, kitchen and basement stair way. We plan to move the office down stairs some day when we get the basement finished. The upstairs "attic" also has refinishing possibilities someday down the road even farther than the finished basement. There's also the possibility of extending the kitchen into something a little bigger but that's somewhere down the road too. It all depends on which roads you take, but owning your own home gives you so many possibilities! If only it provided the check book to match then possibilities could become realities.

The Living Room.

The furniture makes it look bigger than it really is. In real life, the furniture actually makes the living room smaller. On pictures though, it has an opposite effect. Oh, and yes, we do plan to do curtains someday.

The Galley Kitchen.

What you see is what you get. Not a lot of counter space but you should see how much stuff fits nicely in the cupboards. I love being organized! I was going to go with a different theme for the kitchen but decided against it. I stuck with my previous apple theme that I have purchased mostly from second hand stores and garage sales or on major Michael's clearance sales. I hate getting rid of good deals like that.

The "country kitchen" arrow was a $0.70 deal from TJ Maxx. I really do love a good deal.

This is the Other Side of the kitchen, not seen in the first picture.

With no counter by the stove, it does make it a little bit more challenging when preparing meals. But, having the glass top makes the parts of the stove that aren't hot, seem more like a counter. I've been surprised at how much easier this kitchen is to work in than I first thought it would be.

My Kitchen Window.

It takes a lot to smudge that window.

My China Cabinet.

No, not all my china fits but at least some stuff could get out of it's box.

Our Dining Room Buffet.

Craigslist rocks! I found this on just days before we moved. This old piece of furniture by itself wasn't exactly the prettiest thing but it sure can hold a lot of pretties. We topped it with an antique mirror that's been in Toby's family for years. I've guarded and protected it's foggy glass since I first found this heavy wooden framed mirror in a dark corner but never have I had "use" for it. I really do like foggy mirrors, actually. I think they look so old and quaint -- and the fog helps hide a few blemishes like extra pregnancy weight. To spruce up the outdated features of the buffet and make it look like a real antique, I laid an antique beige dresser scarf (Goodwill deal) on it's top and we added a few vintage and antique looking treasures on it and around it.

In the far distance of this picture, you can see a Pot Rack.

My parents bought us this for our last anniversary but since we knew it wouldn't fit in the kitchen anywhere, I hung it out in the dining room and dolled it up a bit with red berries and a red lantern. Kinda gives the whole room a neat effect. Some day I hope to use it for a real pot rack but for now, it's unique. And being used.

And there you have it, the first half of our new house. We love it here and are so thankful for how God has blessed us with this house.

For those of you that have commented on how the "N" page in your address book is getting worn from being erased and whited out so many times, we plan to stay here for quite awhile. At least a year anyway. No really, this is home to us and the community, Church friends close by and family connection we have here has been an overwhelming confirmation that Milford will be home for a long time.

Come see us! Don't worry about the snakes; we'll scare them away before you get here.

(All photo contributions were made in full by Beemoo's Photography. All cleaning and photo props are compliments of Beemoo's Nanny Services. To find out more about this amazing person, visit this site.)

Somebody Has A Birthday Today

He's the last person I see at the end of the day and he owns the first smile that greets me in the morning.

He's the guy who insists on keeping a large clumsy weather radio on our quaint little bed stand.

He's the person who crowds my side of the bed on the nights I'm not crowding his.

He's the man who comes home at the end of a hard work day and no matter how dirty his face may be, I know that no amount of dirt will ever allow me to not want to kiss him.

He works endlessly for our family.

He tries his hardest even at the easiest things in life.

He keeps the business running, bearing the responsibility of the income of 3 young families and one aspiring young man.

He can't take a vacation without a care in the world.

He has written notes on probably every page of his Bible.

He is his little boy's favorite person.

He takes time to go the park even on busy nights.

He remembers his mom not just on Mother's Day.

He worries way too much but it shows how much he cares about people and important things.

He is not afraid to do the right thing even if he's the only one doing it.

He is the first and only man to tell me that he loved me.

He is the man I married.

And he is entering the 33rd year of his life today.

I love you Toby and hope your day is a special one!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Landon Lines

Who's Doing The Favor?
I asked Landon to fix something for me and after he agreed, he thanked me for asking him. Then he complimented me as he went right to the task and said, "You're being patient!"

A New Twist To Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(sang to the orginal tune only add a few extra notes)
"Row, row, row, row, row, row your boat in the street, barely, barely, barely, barely, barely, barely be careful in the street."

Landon's Three Favorite Songs
"Weeping and Praising God" (Walking and Leaping and Praising God)
"The B-I-B-Thee" (The B-i-b-l-e)
"Try to Obey" (Trust and Obey)

What's Your Name?
Wishing to know the name of the friendly hostess that had prepared Sunday dinner for our family, Landon didn't know how else to ask her name without just getting to the point.

"Are you Grandma?" he asked the sweet, grey haired lady with lots of grandchildren shortly after lunch.

"Yes, I'm a grandma," she answered him with a smile.

"And is that Grandpa?" he asked, pointing into the other room where her husband sat.

"Yes, that's Grandpa," she responded to him.

Pleased with her answer, Landon went on to ask another question, "Hey Grandma..."

Contractions 101

If you type "birth stories" in Google, you can read how so many little babies come into the world. Some in the hospital, some at home, some in water and some on a stool. Any way, shape or form, babies come into the world.

A typical beginning in each story starts like this... "I was going about my day and suddenly I heard a pop. My water gushed all over the floor and the contractions started, coming every 5 minutes. I knew it was time for the baby to come."

Duh. Yeah, I'd know it was time too.

I don't know if I'm missing That Pop or not but I do know I go about my day everyday and listen for That Pop. I've heard a lot of "pops" but the water never gushes. The contractions do start, go for at least an hour and come every 5 minutes. But, the baby never comes.

And I know it's time too. My baby wants to be here, I just know that.

Every night when I go to bed, I lay there not counting sheep but rather contractions. They wake me up at night and I toss and turn and try to ignore the clock as contractions continue their consistent torment. I wake up in the morning not to sunlight and vim and vigor for a new day but rather, a steady flow of contractions 5 minutes apart. I get up and get ready for my day, hear a pop somewhere and... have a normal day.

I know they say contractions mean you're in labor but whoever the They People are, must've had an unreliable source of information. The only sign I can look for now is one that comes down from heaven and says, "Now is the part of the show where you go to the hospital."

The other day I was about ready to chalk these contractions up to one big practical joke, telling myself that unless they get longer and harder and closer together, I would just ignore them. Then I relaxed in my chair, ready to enjoy my normal day at last. Suddenly, the contractions picked up 4 minutes apart and just under 2 minutes long.

"Oh my..." I excitedly mused.

It continued in that pattern for quite awhile and I was thinking about calling my midwife before I hit transition.

And then they stopped when I got out of the chair to get the phone.

"So much for transition," I inwardly moaned and went about my day in a normal way.

After you read about birth stories, you can also type "labor signs" in your Google. Then get a big piece of paper and a pen with lots of ink and start writing.

At the end of your list, be sure to note that all those signs point to the fact that your baby will be born some time within the next 4-6 weeks. Remember though, you ARE in labor.

You can feel special going to the grocery store, sitting in church and greeting your neighbor at the mail box all while being in labor. And no body knows it but you and your Google search engine.

Not very many people have the opportunity to mingle with society while being in labor but I bet you didn't know that the little back ache you have means you're in labor. Also, the frequent trips to the bathroom mean that as well. And if you have any tightening feeling in your abdominal area, or large amounts of pressure in your lower pelvis, you are definitely qualified to excel to the "active slow labor" category of your pregnant peers.

If you don't think you're pregnant and still having these labor signs listed on Google, contact your health care provider. You may have a serious problem.

As you check out a gallon of milk at the grocery store, you can pat yourself on the back and think lowly of those people that get epidurals because obviously they're weak and sensitive and not strong enough to handle labor naturally like you are.

And then you can go home and make cereal for supper and be proud that even when you're in labor, you can still cook.

If you're like me, you can time contractions the whole meal through and then throughout the evening as you tuck your children in bed and put an end to another pregnant day.

No matter the frequency and intensity of the contractions, don't get too excited though: it won't be a tiny baby you'll bring to bed in your arms that night. Rather, it'll be the promise of another night hosting contractions and cuddling the clock as you pointlessly time "labor" pains.

Quote Of The Day

The last thing the midwife said to me before she walked out of the room at my latest appointment was:

"Remember, babies are easier to take care of on the inside than they are on the outside."

I well remember the truth of that statement considering I've had a new baby twice. But still, I want this third baby to be born soon.

So, I'm using reverse psychology on myself. Since I want this baby so bad and all I have is "false" labor, I decided that I just want to stay pregnant really, really bad. That way, my body will kick into the "Oh, let's make sure she doesn't get what she wants" mode and voila! I can go into real labor.

And since babies ARE easier to take care of on the inside, I'll set my mind to concentrate on the truth of what the midwife said. I agree entirely with her: THEY ARE EASIER INSIDE.

Now you can hear me chanting mantras of, "Please dear baby, stay right where you are, so cute and snugly but I never have to wonder if you're diaper is wet or if you need to eat."

But don't tell... I still really want that baby on the outside now.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I've packed and repacked the diaper bag twice. I returned the first diaper bag and bought the second one. If the baby doesn't come soon, we may start on a third diaper bag.

I've bought one bag of diapers, opened it and set them out, ready to use. Then, I went to another store and purchased another bag. If the baby doesn't come soon, I might need to get another bag of diapers.

I've counted, washed and folded all my receiving blankets. I've recounted the blankets, re stacked them and went to the store and bought 2 more. If the baby doesn't come soon, I might need to get more blankets.

I've bought baby soap and set it in the bathroom, arranging it more than once on a variety of shelves. I happened to find another bar of soap in a hidden bin and put that soap in an easily accessible location as well. If the baby doesn't come soon, I may have to try that soap out on a different shelf.

I've set up the changing table 4 times. At least 4 times. If the baby doesn't come soon, I might set it up again a different way.

I've washed and folded my hospital clothes, arranging them fashionably on the baby's bed. A few days later, I subtracted a few items and added a couple others. If the baby doesn't come soon, I might end up with a whole different hospital wardrobe.

Nesting. It's not just for the birds.