Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

It was a pretty good one at our house, and I hope it was good for yours too!! The kids made out like bandits, with a lot of help from our families! They seemed happy enough, even though they got all clothes from us. They needed it though. Santa brought the toys and our families, as I said. We are enjoying the snow that started to blanket us on Christmas eve. I should say that Jay is enjoying the snow, it makes me want to curl up with a blanket and my knitting and his dad doesn't want to leave the house (alas, he is the breadwinner, poor guy, lol). The chickens seem pretty unhappy too. Although the dog and cats seem to think it's pretty neat. Jay went out and played in it this afternoon and just had a dandy time!!

We are on winter break from school, even me! This means the older kids are with their dad and I have extra time to work on my project for school. It also means house cleaning and knitting. I went a week without and was not a happy camper. I have found the inspiration again to get going on it, especially with only 7weeks until our little one gets here and less than two weeks until my sister's baby shower. I've got lots to get going on. I really want to finish my sweater before Miranda makes her arrival. In other news, I finished Brennan's newborn socks tonight. I got so far and then put them down for too long, lol. I think I'm only going to make one pair of newborn size and then a couple of the next size up. I really need to get his stuff done. Plus I have a swap or two to attend to! Yikes, I keep hoping I haven't taken up too much. That's all for now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Laundry Soap Victory Dance!!

So, today I made the homemade laundry soap. It took roughly 10minutes and I'm pretty happy with it. I already used powder, so stuck with that format. I used @2/3 bar of Fels Naptha, 1.5 C Borax and 1.5 C Washing Soda. I grated the FN and add it to the jar of powders. Mix well, sort of, lol. I had a scoop left over from formula (like three years ago) and it equals roughly a tablespoon. I am using two scoops per load. I really think this is more of a psychological issue, lol. I am just so used to using that full scoop of Tide that using such a small amount reeks havoc on how clean I THINK the clothes are getting. However, after the first load was washed, ahhhhh the smell of clean. lol There is no perfumey smell at all, just a faint scent of the FN and a very clean smell. The clothes are coming out looking great, too!! I have so far had no complaints from the wearers of the garments. I'm pretty darned excited about this! lol I've even noticed some old stains that are now gone. Woohoo! It's funny that if this works out for us it will save me more than a hundred dollars a year and it only requires 10minutes of my time every couple of months. PS, my first batch cost me $2.25!!!(of course, I'm not including the cost of the Borax because I already had it on hand, but I know it wasn't too spendy) I almost filled a good sized pickle jar with this recipe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

And I was doing so good.....

Well, my blogging every day in December kinda hit a rough spot, lol. I've been a little busy and a lot of not feeling good and that's about my excuse for it. Let's see if I can catch you Lots and lots of Christmas shopping. The kids have had a tough year as far as behavior goes and we've been telling them all year that they are only getting clothes for Christmas. We stuck to that. However, Santa is bringing them each two toy gifts and a book (plus stocking stuff, of course). We went shopping three days last week, but are finally done!! Now for the wrapping..... which ought to be interesting since they are home from school until Christmas day. I'll have to do it late at night, which is also not easy since my youngest is a night owl and my new medication makes me dopey.
Ahhhh, my new medication. Let's talk about that. I had a horribly, unbearably, itchy rash show up Monday evening. I tried every conventional, and not so conventional, method you could think of or that was suggested to help quell the itching. Yuck yuck. I mean to say that it itches so bad that it actually hurts. I was resulting to taking hot showers because the pain was so much more easy to tolerate than the itching. I saw the OB on Thursday for my normal appt and he took a look and said that it looked like contact dermatitis. I was prescribed a strong antihistamine, which did very little for me. I should clarify. When prescribing the meds, the Dr said I should take it only when I needed it since it was a strong med and nothing is safe during pregnancy. I was taking it once a night when the symptoms were the worst and getting ZERO relief. I called him again on Saturday. He said he was stumped as we talked about me and my families routines and hygiene care. I was then advised to take the meds every 6hrs. I'm pretty sure this is because we do not want to risk secondary infection from the itching (which is so bad I do it in my sleep). He said he would do some research and talk to some other OBs and see what he could come up with. He called me back and told me he was pretty sure I have PUPPS. After looking the info up ( had the most info), I agree. All the symptoms are there, except it started on my legs and is climbing up my body. I have a severe case of it. He also prescribed me a steroid pill but I'm a little hesitant to start it. I might give them a call in the morning (as I sit here squirming and itching even on my meds, ugh). Oh, did I mention that the cure for PUPPS is delivery? Not that it's life or death and I need to deliver now, it's that it won't stop until she is born. I knew she was stubborn, but come on! lol
On other news, we put up our tree!! I'd like to say it was a joyous occasion, but I'd like to say that every year and do not. It's normally very chaotic and frenzied and the kids are usually a little too hectic for the adults to enjoy the moment. Matt thinks it's a race, which is fun, and everyone else always gets ahead of their age limits, lol. However, we made it through and it doesn't look half bad. Here are a few pics of the kids doing their thing. I'm gonna clean up the living room and put down the tree skirt and what little presents are wrapped, then I'll take a better pic to post.
Then there's the fun stuff..... contractions! Not BH, but real contractions. People often make the mistake of thinking that I don't know what they feel like since I've had all csections. WRONG! I go into labor and experience some variation of real contractions with every child. I had some back contractions before 20wks, which was scary. The good news is that I know how to stop them and I was pretty much just stressed and not drinking enough water. It's easy to get caught up in life, ya know? lol Anyhow, these are contractions right up front. Not regular enough to cause too much concern, but every day since Sunday there is a period each day that I have at least 4-10 of them fairly close together. Makes for a cranky and uncomfortable me. I will have to mention this next time I go in.
And the best news.......drum roll, please........February 15th is Dday!! We are scheduled for surgery at 8am. So, I have put myself on restricted duty so that she doesn't come early. I went from wanting her to come early to really praying that she doesn't in a matter of a few days. Funny thing, now that we have the day planned, I really don't want to worry about it being any earlier. I suppose we will adapt whatever happens. lol
Anyhow, that's all for now. I will make sure to post tomorrow as it is laundry soap day!! I have all the supplies for making homemade laundry soap and am dying to try this (plus we are all out of clean clothes!). Also, tomorrow is our church Christmas pageant, so hopefully I will have some cute pics from that. Happy Holidays to all!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Pageant

The kids had their annual Christmas Pageant at school tonight. They were all so cute. Although Logan didn't smile; he said he was nervous. I feel his pain. I always suffered stage fright. Still, we got there early enough for a decent parking spot and a good seat. Those chairs were just horrible, though!! I swear, hubby and I left there in so much pain. I'll tell you, it wasn't easy dragging ourselves out there in 16degree weather, lol. Taking pics while having a 3yo crawl all over you and sitting behind a row of teenagers is NOT easy. lol

Monday, December 14, 2009

I think I've got it!!

I did it! I did it! I finished the newborn sock I was working on. Thank you so much to the girls at Ravelry and a wonderful tutorial on how to make socks, I got the kinks worked out. It's not perfect, but I made it with my own two hands and I am very proud! Other than that, it's been a sick day for me. Contractions started yesterday and while they are irregular and unproductive, they are yucky and uncomfortable nonetheless. I have pretty much just hung out and knit and did homework. I did manage a load of dishes with dinner tonight, so that's something. The nice thing is that I am finally starting to feel better, although very worn out. I'm going to be calling it a night here very, very soon. However, here's a pic of my most recent triumph! Now, on to the next one, lol.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I've never thought it was fair that I have to suffer through contractions and have all csections. Today is one of those days. Just drinking lots of water and trying to take it easy. I felt fine and then I went out to the coup to lock it up and it started. Yuck. With every baby, I have had to deal with contractions and with many of them actual labor. It can be so frustrating. When you labor you get an end result. You get an end result with a csection but it's just not the same. I have been bitter and felt a bit cheated for the better part of the last 11yrs because of all this. I try to make peace with it all the time. All I manage to do is alleviate some of the guilt, which I guess is nice. I plan to just sit and do homework and knit for the rest of the night. Although I can't get out of putting the laundry in the dryer and doing some dishes, ugh. They aren't full blown contractions, nor is there a pattern to them. No need to worry. Just quite a bit of discomfort and a lot of irritation, lol. So, that's my gripe for now, lol.

I always think that my blog posts are boring without pics. I hope not a lot of people share my feelings on this, lol. On the up side, Jay is being super sweet today. He spent two days with Grandpa and I figured he'd be all mad when I went to pick him up for church this morning. Instead he was all huggy and lovey. He made me carry him into the church and up the stairs (huff, puff, huff). Then he wanted to go back downstairs for the children's church. However, he wanted me to go with him (at least he walked this time). Then, despite the teachers' best efforts, he only wanted to observe. He laid in my lap and rubbed my belly. Then he laid on my belly where his sister kicked him in the side of the head a few times. He didn't seem to mind. He's been a little more than rambunctious since we've been home but awfully attached to me. We are on our second round of Madagascar 2. One more time and I might actually be able to recite some of it, lol.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not much...

Not much going on today. Jay spent last night and Grandpa's house and that left me with the older three. While the morning was just as taxing as most time spent with the older kids is, they weren't too bad. They left in the early afternoon to go to their dad's house for the weekend (or what was left of it). That just left me with hubby sleeping. I knitted. That's it; no homework, minimal chores, just knitting. I have zero energy today and decided that with no kiddos I would spend the day relaxing. I finished up the back of my beautiful sweater, put in the other arm hole, and am now working on the left front side. My other conquest for the day is socks! Baby socks to be exact. I've been doing a lot of firsts with my crafts lately and this is no exception. I am learning that while you can learn to read a knit pattern, reading sock patterns is a whole other ballgame. I think I have successfully drove the designer nuts with my questions. lol Now, of course, I am stumped again. I am awaiting words of wisdom from my RTH girls on Ravelry. The designer suggested that I look up info on Google. I wish I could just type in what I needed and POP! there's the answer. It never works that way and as I said I am very exhausted and can barely make sense of anything. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. On the up side, I did get to take my first Vitamin E bath this pregnancy. I forgot how much I loved those and am thinking they need to become a permanent part of my life. lol I feel so soft and so much less itchy now.

Here's the progress on my ity bity sock. Hard to believe that I am going to have a little one that will fit into one of these in less than 10wks. Yikes!

Friday, December 11, 2009

They're here!!!!

It seems like every afternoon I am struggling to think of something interesting to post here and before the night is over.....boom!! Something interesting comes up. lol Today I was so excited when I went to go see my FIL. I was backing out of the drive and noticed that over in our cluster of mailboxes was a package sticking out of someone's box. Oh how I hoped it was mine!! I have been on pins and needles since I ordered my very first batch of prefolds and covers from Baby Cotton Bottoms. There it was!! My diapers are here! I cannot believe how excited I have been about this.

I'm also getting ready to embark on another wonderful journey....... homemade laundry detergent! Borax is a main ingredient and readily available at your local grocer or WallyWorld. I already have it on hand, although I cannot recall why, lol. Washing soda is another main ingredient. CANNOT FIND IT ANYWHERE! I was going to purchase it online but wasn't thrilled with the shipping costs. So, I tried Ace Hardware online. They had it for less with free shipping to my local store (yes my local store is 65miles away, but it is down the street from my Dr office which I am now going to every two weeks, so). Now there was the detergent bar. Also, could not be found anywhere near me. I know that some people use Ivory soap, but I worry that it won't get the job done and we all have such sensitive skin that we couldn't use it for anything else. Which leads to the thought that if we are all too sensitive to wash with Ivory, how will it affect our clothing? So, Ivory is out! Since it is overwhelming to try to figure out what needs to be in a bar of soap to have it effective, I am sticking with the recommended brand of Fels Naptha. I know that a lot of people just use whatever soap they have on hand, but I worry that it won't get the job done. I have boys, lots of boys. They are filthy, not that their sister is any cleaner. I worry about stains and grime and all the other nonsense. So, the decision has been made to stick with Fels Naptha. That was also spendy online (either you had to buy in bulk, major bulk, or they got you with the shipping). The whole point of this detergent experiment is to save money, so having to fork out a bunch of money for shipping just isn't an option. Also, I'm not interested in buying in huge quantities since this is an experiment and I must be prepared for the unfortunate event that it should not work out for our family. I called my 'local' Ace Hardware and explained my dilemma. The woman explained to me that they were a small store, but that she would be more than happy to call some of the larger stores to locate the Fels Naptha for me. She said that she could probably have a couple of bars sent to their store if she could locate some. She is going to call me by 10am tomorrow morning! I was so taken by her customer service skills. I am so happy that she is willing to go the extra mile. They really are my go-to for hard to find household and hardware needs, so here's a plug for them! lol So, hopefully next weekend I will be making my first batch of detergent. I'm going to go with the powder version since it is less work and I already use powder form store bought detergent. I'll let you know how it ends up. PS, I will also be using these on my cloth dipes so here is to hoping that it works out for us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Babies really ARE delivered by storks!!

Today's drama has been an ongoing deal. There are no stores that carry maternity clothes within 1.5hrs of me (unless I speed, then it's more like an hour). This includes Walmart. Now, you can buy maternity clothes at, but I had significant changes in my weight within a year of becoming pregnant and am just never sure what size I wear. Plus, when you outgrow your pants, you sort of need some new ones......NOW (especially when it is in the single digits outside with a killer wind chill factor). So, we tried our fourth WallyWorld today. They told me that none of the Walmarts sell maternity clothes. I felt it pertinent to bring to their attention that they have a HUGE baby and kid section. Where do they think the babies come from? Is it more likely that they come from pregnant women (you know, the ones who are buying the massive diapers and baby products) or that they are falling from the sky? One of the associates there thought that was pretty funny. A woman at church told me it is because most pregnant women want to wear those tight shirts or let their bellies hang out. I thought, not if they are on their fifth kid and their bellies look like well worn road maps! C'est la vie, I suppose.
So, in utter defeat and desperation, I caved. I needed pants now!! Not in a week when I finally go to the larger town for my next Dr's appointment. I decided that comfy wasted sweats would work, thank you Hanes! Much to all of our surprise, I still fit into a medium!! I almost did a happy dance in the fitting room, but if you've ever seen a large pregnant woman dance you would know that I didn't to the benefit of those around me. They also had these soft, soft flannel shirts for women, um er girls I guess. I grabbed the biggest size I could find, XL, and brought her home. It is peasant fitting at the top and then ties at the bottom. I think I have a little room to grow, but not too much. The nice thing is that it feels wonderfully soft on my sensitive and stretched skin. Also, it has potential as a nursing top (you know, since no one sells those either).

I do love living in podunk, but there are definite some disadvantages. I had to include a pic of me and the youngest because he was having a really sweet moment. He came to have a pic with me for hubby and told me that I look perfect. Sometimes kids know just what to say.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Over Doing It

I would say not much to report today, but the 'to report' is that I seriously over did it yesterday and had the worst pain in my back today. I did ignore it and clean house this morning to prepare to Jay's teacher. He had a great time, as usual. They did lots of Christmas crafts and read 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear'. He just loves learning and having all of that individual attention lavished on him. She said he is a teacher's dream because he seems to just soak up everything that he learns. I agree, but I am totally biased. lol

We went out today for lunch and did some shopping. Which made my back even worse and brought on the wonderful contractions. Oh, how I won't miss this. I wish it was all bliss, but pregnancy is rarely this beautiful thing that they display it as in Hollywood. I'm still very grateful for the kids and that they are healthy although not too often happy with me. I'm just saying that I think my body is more than telling me this is enough (and my dad would be the first one jumping up and down in agreeance, lol).

So, what have I done today? Well, it is currently 11 degrees and we are all hunkered down - although hubby has to go get Jay from Dad's house here in a minute; poor guy. We bought a new book for each one of the kiddos for Christmas today at Pamida. It was cool because we decided to do this after we found a wonderful book about Medieval battles that we thought would be perfect for Matt (and a great book to start our home school stash). He digs history which is super nice because Kevin does too and I'm not so into it. This means that I can give them time together and Kevin can teach that subject, giving me a little break. We are also discussing getting Matt an acoustic guitar and having Dad give him guitar lessons as part of his music studies. Ok, enough about homeschooling...... for now.

I have also sat around and knit and relaxed. Mainly because we are going to do some Christmas shopping tomorrow and I really needed to rest up for it. Kevin is trying to talk me into getting one of those buggies that you ride in while at the WallyWorld tomorrow. I know I should, but I just feel so silly. You know, like I am mocking someone who is really disabled (although I can't handle walking around for more than 15minutes before the pain starts). Thanks Dad! Now I'm overly respectful, lol. Anyhow, about the knitting. I am making myself a Rayne Wrap Sweater to use during maternity and nursing time, and well beyond I hope. I made it bigger than the pattern calls for to cover my ever expanding belly. I would say that I am roughly almost 2/5 of the way done. It knits up quick, but I feel like my time is limited. I'm using Vanna's Choice in a beautiful Sage Green. That's all for today. I leave you with this goodie!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chicken Coup and Other Nonsense

Well, I finally got out there and started the winterizing of the coup. Took me long enough, I know, but we are expecting temps in the negative numbers with the wind chill tonight and a high of 19 degrees tomorrow; so really it's just in time. I have a few things to finish up on tomorrow. I did get it cleaned out really well and sealed with foam sealer. I also purchased a bale of straw and put that down and added a nesting box (here's to hoping they actually use it). I also put a heat lamp in there and am getting ready to plug it in here in a few. They seemed pretty happy with it. I also tried to nail some wood slats down so that they would have a harder time dumping their feed at every meal! lol I do love my girls and am hoping I did enough to protect them. The oldest kiddo recently broke one of the doors, but I haven't fixed it yet (it's on tomorrow's list). Here they are in their comfy new accommodations! It must be love because my pregnant body is making me pay dearly. lol
On another happy note, at least for me, I ordered two Thirstie's Duo Diaper Covers and 24 Prefolds today from Baby Cotton Bottoms!! I have never cloth diapered before so I am so very excited to give it a whirl with this kiddo. It's silly, but I dream about diapers. It's been an interesting day on the home front! Now, I must be off. The house looks like a tornado hit it and Jay's teacher will be here at 10:30am to play with him. It's going to be an extra long night!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Days Out

Why is it that every time I have to go out for the day it requires hours of out time making me feel like I've wasted my day? Oh well, I guess it's a question for the ages. It's probably something I'll never understand; you know a time space continuum problem. lol Anyhow, I planned to tend to the coup today, but was out with dad for roughly 3.5hrs. I did get a heat bulb and straw for the coup. I plan to go out there nice and early tomorrow morning to get this done. Plan is the appropriate word. However, I did manage to get the dog bathed and her bedding washed. She loves being in with the kids. That's sort of a lot when you consider that I still managed to do quite a bit of homework, dinner and a few other chores. Nothing creative to report today, other than a little bit of knitting. There's always tomorrow, lol.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Snow!!

We had our first snow of the season tonight! The kids are pretty excited about it although, much to their dismay, I have explained that there will not be enough snow to cancel school tomorrow. It wasn't supposed to snow until Tuesday, which is how I could reason that the coup could be sealed tomorrow. Oh well, I guess we know what I will be doing in the morning. lol

I had another very tired day and wasn't able to do as much as I wanted. I really need to find a way to get more sleep. It's not the kids that keep me up, it's the anxiety. It's very unexplained as I'm not upset about anything in particular. Actually, things are moving a long pretty nicely. I have a lot to do, but it's been that way for most of my adult life! I also have this restless leg deal going on. Hubby says I watch too many commercials, lol, but it's true. I get this almost pain in my legs where I have to stretch them or move them and sometimes I have to get up and move around the house to feel better. Oh well, only ten more weeks to go!

In other news, I have been sewing, well sort of. I

am working on Christmas quilts for kiddos and hubby and a maternity jean skirt for me. I had taken the needle off of my sewing machine because it had broken. Stupidly I had put it in a jar with the package of needles until I figured out which size needle I needed to put on the machine. I went to reneedle it last night and low and behold, the deal to hold the needle on was gone!! And the kids strike again! We are working on personal space, but so far no one is grasping it. Here is a pick of my feeble attempt to hand sew the sides of the skirt. I guess it could be worse and I never really learned the proper way to hand sew so I'm a little impressed with myself. lol I'll keep working on it and let you know how it goes. Other than that, we had a fairly lazy Sunday with lots of TV, lol. I cut fabric, sewed and knitted. I also managed to squeeze in a load of dishes!! That's ok, tomorrow is Monday and I have plenty to do then. If only my life understood that I'm pregnant and I don't have the energy for everything. I'm just hoping to get everything organized and ready for winter and the baby in the next month or so. This way I can just sew and knit!! See ya tomorrow!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On the Re Path to Frugality

You know, I used to be very frugal and very good at it, well sort of. I have decided that our life needs to be on this route again. On the horizon: handmade christmas quilts for our family, handmade curtains for all the windows, cloth diapers that it looks like I will be making the majority of the stash, homemade baby food and embarking on the journey that is homemade laundry soap and hanging laundry to dry (again). We are also starting our long road into homeschooling. We will be starting with the youngest, 3yo, and next year will be doing the oldest as well, 11yo. We are waiting until next year to start on the oldest because we want plenty of time to research and plan and because with our impending surgery and birth, we want time to adjust.
Blogging is something I am trying to get. I wanted to be ambitious and do it every day, but it looks like that is just NEVER going to happen. Besides, I don't think I have enough positive things to say every day, lol. Instead, I would like to try this once a week. I'm going to be learning to do lots of new things and would like to share them, or at least document them for my own prosperity.
On to productivity!! OK, I wanted to have a good day with the kids but seeing how they only allowed me 4hrs of sleep and my very pregnant self needs more than that to feel human, it's off to a very rocky start. Other than regular chores, which don't even need to be mentioned, lol, we are going outside! Yes, I realize that it is 27 degrees out there, but I am hoping that it warms up just a bit. Then I figure if we do two spurts of 30-45minutes today that we can accomplish quite a bit. We are going to weed at least one of the garden boxes and clean and seal the coup. I've been talking about winterizing the coup for weeks now, but it's getting VERY cold now and it cannot be put off any longer. I do love my girls, after all. We will use the whatnot from the cleaning of the coup as fertilizer for the garden boxes (which is why we will be weeding). I also need to learn how to store chicken poo for fertilizer as we are wanting to put in at least four more small garden boxes this year; one for each kiddo. Other than that, it's homework for me and Matt, some knitting and more cutting of the fabric for quilts. I also want to make a maternity skirt out of a pair of Kevin's old jeans, but that's because I am getting SO big that none of the maternity clothes I just bought fit anymore. Ugh.
I think that's more than ambitious for today. Heck that's ambitious for the weekend. I'll check back later in the week.