Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Poor neglected blog.

It's been so long since I've posted I'm sure everyone's given up on me. I've almost given up on myself. Why don't I feel like writing? I don't know. Been busy. Been knitting a little. Been doing laundry as usual. The baby goes to sleep before 8 and stays in bed until 7. I have NO EXCUSES!!!! I'm helping my mom out still, but not THAT much.

Oh, yeah, I guess I've been on Diaper Swappers a lot again. Crabcakes, who isn't nearly as crabby as he was the first three months, is already growing out of his medium cloth diapers and into larges. I tried to buy a lot of one-size diapers, and those are still working. I've sold a couple that are too small. Been going to the post office a lot. I used to HATE going to the post office. Now I'm getting used to it. I always forget to bring a pen, and the postal worker always gives the boys lollypops.

There's an opening at Midnight Oil on the Hyena Cart. I'm thinking about joining the WAHM crowd and putting some of my yarns and knits up for sale. You know, the ones I haven't actually made yet.
I DO have ideas! It's just, the yarn is still wet.

Yeah, so I've let my childbirth education certification lapse. Haven't taught a class in 10 months. Haven't written anything for paid publication in five years. Why shouldn't I try something new? If it doesn't work out, it doesn't. It's $20 start-up for the congo and the knitting pattern, and if I don't sell anything, I'll just use it for my own kids!

The boys dyed their own yarn with Kool-Aid today! They picked out all the colors they wanted at the grocery store, and after lunch I set them up on the kitchen floor with some pyrex bowls and a turkey baster. I would load those photos, but I've already been on the computer too long, and UberDad's trying to sleep on the couch. He has a cold and didn't want to keep me awake with his coughing. Hmm.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


So, we've been busy getting out of the house to enjoy the fall weather the last few weeks. But the big news is about my mother.

She broke her ankle on Sunday. One week before she was supposed to leave for her trip to London -- the trip we've been urging her to take for years. She was going to stay with her best friend from high school, who has lived in London for 17 years. My sisters have each been to visit Sybil. I've been twice. My mom was finally planning a trip for herself.

Sunday morning she was doing her step aerobics video when the step slipped and she crashed down on her ankle, snapping the bone and cracking it vertically as well. The ankle was obviously broken, as her foot pointed in a rather unnatural direction. As much as it hurt, my mother was more angry at the realization that she probably wouldn't be getting on a plane anytime soon.

She spent this afternoon having a plate inserted and her ankle bones reconnected with a dozen screws, and then a cast put on up to her knee. Now she's home on a lot of pain meds. She was feeling a little "loopy" when I left her. I think her ankle, post-surgery, hurts a lot worse than she expected it to. It's going to be some major recovery.

Please pray she heals quickly and can reschedule her trip for the spring! Fortunately, being the worrier that she is, she bought travel insurance!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Feminists for Life

Because you CAN be pro-life AND a feminist. Because women deserve better than abortion. Check out this site.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oregon and ER

Sheesh, you'd think I was too busy to blog. Or maybe had nothing to blog about. But no, not really.

I really was obsessed with moving to Oregon for a couple weeks. Didn't want to blog about it because it's so hard to think about leaving family and friends in my hometown, and I didn't want to upset anybody. Anyhow, I think the obsession was spawned by a few things: postpartum hormones, UberDad's new job, the never-ending hot dry summer weather, and the fact that our good friends The Purple Flowers mentioned it while we were together at our church Family Camp over Labor Day weekend. They like the cooler weather and cycling/vegan-friendly culture of Eugene. We like the weather, too, and just the general progressive, healthy, active community. Plus lots of unschoolers live there!

Anyhow, I made myself stop spending all my free time looking up Eugene-area real estate. Because in those couple of weeks of obsessing I'd neglected to call certain friends, and started to really miss them. Still trying to reconnect, because everyone seems to have gotten really busy this fall. Us included.

Today we went to the county fairgrounds to take advantage of the free admission and special children's events set up during the morning hours for local schoolchildren. We just tell them we're with a homeschooling group and we don't have to pay parking either -- pretty cool! When the boys are old enough, we might actually stay until the rides are open, but for now seeing the farm animals, exhibits, and kids' science area is enough. Saw lots of our old homeschooling friends who we haven't seen in a while, which was nice. And the boys were particularly fascinated by the large black African scorpions that Puffer got to touch.

Oh, and we had our first trip to the hospital emergency room Monday night! I say "we," but it was really UberDad, Grouper and my mom. I stayed home with Puffer and Baby Crabcakes. For some reason, Grouper decided to climb up on our friends' car while lightsaber-sparring with their son, and ended up falling head first off the top of the car onto the hard ground. He was pretty unhappy about the whole thing, though I couldn't find a bump, then he napped a little while the rest of us ate dinner.

When I got him home, he threw up the yogurt he'd had that afternoon, so we decided we better find out if he had a concussion. He was NOT happy about having to leave his warm bath to get dressed and go see a doctor, but he ended up doing just fine. I called my mom to help UberDad get him there and they took turns holding him in the waiting room, and held his hands during the CT-scan. Fortunately, everything was fine, no swelling. They got home around 2, and UberDad woke me up so I could sing Grouper to sleep.

So, all is well now. And Grouper wants a turn on the computer. That would be the other reason I haven't blogged...

Monday, September 11, 2006

It only looks like I'm doing laundry, but really, it's yoga.

This is such a fabulous article, I have post it...

Mamayoga: Yoga for the First Six Weeks of Mothering -- and Beyond

But that's about it for now. Been busy catching up with housework after our lovely weekend at Family Camp in the Sequoias. My friend Kate and her kids are coming to visit tomorrow -- yay! Preoccupied with thoughts of moving to Oregon for fresh air and evergreens...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Exploding heads?

In response to Crunchy Bunch's question about exploding heads...

Don't let the kids watch this until you've approved it. It caught me so off-guard that I jumped and woke up Baby Crabcakes, who was sleeping on my lap.

It's good fodder for discussion of why we don't believe everything we see on TV (or video).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Confessions of gluttony.

Breastfeeding moms are supposed to LOSE weight, not gain it, right? 'Cause I think I gained 8 pounds this week.

Maybe it had something to do with the five pieces of cake I ate to celebrate my mother's birthday on Sunday. I swear, I wasn't just being a pig. She had three different cakes given to her on two different days. I was just trying to help!

Maybe it was the four dozen oatmeal-chocolate chip-pecan cookies I baked for the Not-Back-To-School Party on Wednesday. Turns out the kids were more interested in root beer floats, so I took two dozen cookies home with me. And ate them all Thursday.

Or maybe it was the box of a dozen See's chocolates my mother-in-law sent home with UberDad because she was cleaning out her pantry before she left for a three-month trip to South Dakota. I shared one with my neighbor, one with my mother, and one each with Puffer and Grouper. There are two left. UberDad didn't eat any.

All summer I've been wearing the same pair of drawstring khaki shorts because nothing else fit yet. At eight weeks postpartum, I realized I'd actually lost all my pregnancy weight! (Though I started my pregnancy 15 pounds over what I need to be to wear most of my clothing.) Hooray! I could finally wear a different pair of shorts!

Then yesterday I noticed those shorts had gotten significantly TIGHTER. And the one skirt that fits me didn't look so great anymore. *Sigh* And I was planning to bake UberDad a pie for his birthday today.

My eating habits this week could also explain why I've been so tired and unfocused the last couple days. Looks like I'll have to detox before Family Camp next weekend, or the altitude might do me in.

It's going to be a busy week. This afternoon we get to visit with a dear friend we haven't seen in a year at a birthday picnic for UberDad. Monday I need to go grocery shopping. Tuesday we're going to my friend Emily's for a playdate. Wednesday we meet some homeschooling friends to try the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment and play in the water park around the corner. Then I've got to do laundry, clean the house, go to Target and finish packing before a birthday party Friday night. We leave Saturday morning for the Sequioas.

Oh, and I really wanted to knit Baby Crabcakes a hat before taking him for his first trip to mountains. We'll see how that goes. I might need some chocolate to keep up my energy...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I would blog more if I weren't so busy parenting.

I've had exactly 1,093 thoughts I wanted to blog this week, but I haven't been able to focus on any one of them long enough to do what it takes to post. By the time I've convinced the male members of my household that YES, even MOMMY deserves a turn on the computer, I've either forgotten what I wanted to write, or the baby's awake and hungry again.

The teeny tiny corner of my brain my creativity occupies is quickly shriveling up, as IQ points are leached out to produce the richest hindmilk available to a baby this side of the neighborhood park. I hope Baby Crabcakes appreciates my sacrifice. His mother could be a much more popular blogger if she didn't spend so much time in his favorite horizontal nursing position. It's hard to blog from the bed. Maybe I should ask for a laptop for Christmas.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

God is good. All the time. Even on Grocery Day.

I had my very first trip to the grocery store as the mother of three today. It was the excursion I'd been dreading all summer. (Would Baby Crabcakes cry the whole way there? What if he needed to nurse halfway through the store? What if I had to plop down on the sticky floor with a screaming baby while his brothers ran up and down the aisle hitting each other with those balloons on sticks they sell in the floral section? What if the baby pooped all over me while I was bagging my groceries? What I lose my mind? Would they kick me out? Would someone try to steal my fashionable diaper bag?!?)

As usual, God's grace was more than sufficient for my worries. So sufficient that I found myself tearing up as I said a prayer of thanks on the way home -- because NO ONE CRIED during the ENTIRE THREE-HOUR TRIP. It was a miracle. It truly was. The discount grocery store is 20 minutes from home in the middle of the day. Baby Crabcakes has never been happy in the car longer than 10.

Fortunately, his mother isn't completely stupid. Our first stop was Starb**ks, about halfway there. Grouper wanted to return the "Power Rangers" DVD he rented last week and get "Bionicle" next. Blockbuster is right next door to Starb**ks, but it wasn't open yet, so we decided to get a snack first. I know there are mothers who like to use treats as a reward for proper grocery store behavior on the way home. I'm of the "preventive treat" persuasion. Get the treat first, then when they ask for goodies in the store, you can remind them that they already got something. Since their blood sugar's already up, they don't complain. Besides, I really needed that iced soy mocha.

We settled in among the men reading newspapers and working on laptops to wait for the video store to open. Puffer and Grouper nibbled their tiny cafe scones, I got my chocolate fix, and Baby Crabcakes quietly nursed to sleep (Miracle #1!). Then I tightened up the sling, and we headed for our first official errand. Miracle #2: Blockbuster didn't have any of the "Bionicle" movies, but Grouper didn't make a peep. Just decided to get "Batman" instead. (Hallelujah!)

Miracle #3: Crabcakes stayed asleep being moved from sling to carseat.

We drove the rest of the way to the grocery store, and I remembered that we were out of cat food. The pet store is right next door, so we headed in there first. Pet stores are super-cool free entertainment for kids, in case you haven't been to one. We looked at all the fancy expensive birds, the geckos and snakes, the tarantulas and hermit crabs, mice and guinea pigs. Really, why pay zoo admission fees?

Did I mention that the budget's a little tight this month? We really tried to prepare for a month without a paycheck, but having a baby can get expensive. I had exactly $100 in cash when I left home. Spent $7+ at Starb**ks, $17+ at Petco, and had $74 plus change left for groceries. Miracle #4: We got everything we needed, including chocolate chips, for $74.09.

And a store employee even bagged my groceries!

Miracle #6: Baby Crabcakes didn't poop or cry until after I'd unloaded the groceries and put the cold stuff away.

I don't expect every Grocery Day to be so full of blessings. But I'll try to stay hopeful.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You asked for it. I'm up on my soapbox.

Well now, THIS is an interesting comment:

"Your husband is willing to earn a salary from public schools but not to send his own kids to them. Interesting. Are you afraid that children of color or of poverty might infect your son? He can't stay in that little cocoon forever, you know. Someday he'll have to deal with all sorts of people."

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sorry I can't reply to you directly, since you've chosen to hide yourself even as I bare intimate details about my own family. Your brief comment contains many inaccurate assumptions, but I will respond as thoroughly as I have time for. I figure you're not the only reader who's curious about our decision.

I do realize that it seems a bit contradictory that my husband will be working for the public school system even though we don't plan to send our children into it. However, our choice to keep our children home has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the color or economic levels of children who do attend school.

Some families choose the homeschooling path in an effort to protect their children from the influence of people whose values they disagree with. I believe they have that right, perhaps even that responsibility. But those values are not necessarily related to poverty or color. They don't have to be. There are homeschooling families of color, believe it or not. Some homeschooling families even qualify for public assistance -- they've given up a second salary and free child care, after all. And not all homeschooling parents have college degrees. They don't have to. CHILDREN KNOW HOW TO LEARN!

As far as our little "cocoon" goes, we actually live in a rather diverse neighborhood. That was something we liked about it before we moved here eight years ago. We have shared our block with Latino families, Black families, Asian-American singles, and elders. Our children are under no illusion that all people look the same or live the same. They have friends with divorced parents, working mothers, stay-at-home dads. Their friends live in small houses, larger houses, and apartments. They are conservative Christians, politically-liberal Christians, and pagan.

In fact, if we lived in many other neighborhoods in our city, sending them to public school would do absolutely NOTHING toward enriching their world with a diversity of people, because the children at each school come from the same neighborhood of the same suburban socio-economic class. There's not much cross-town bussing around here.

School can be its own "cocoon." The current school system is not about supporting or creating diversity. It's not about opening up a world of possibilities to each child. There may be teachers and administrators who would like it to be that way. But the budget limitations and state mandates prevent it in most cases.

Instead, school applies one educational agenda to nearly all students. Just like the rest of mainstream American culture, it is full of practices and ideas that encourage negativist win-lose thinking. It was designed to control the masses with bells, grades, and other forms of behaviorism which interrupt creative thought, but ensure a particular social order that will continue to uphold the failing economic system we call capitalism.

There, I've said it. Now I'm REALLY going to get some hate mail. But no, I'm not a communist. No more than Jesus was, anyway.

I haven't addressed why UberDad is entering the public school system to work as a teacher. It was not his career goal. As a child, he did not dream about being a school teacher -- though he humiliated at least one by knowing more chemistry than she did. Maybe God has seen fit to humble him by putting him in her shoes! In any case, it turns out he's pretty darn good at relating to kids and sharing his love for math and science with them. Teen-agers love him.

Obviously, not everyone can homeschool. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in this country, and we all know the minimum wage is not a living wage. But don't the children of those who must work outside the home deserve a teacher who sees the possibility of a better future for all children? Is it so hard to believe that someone would try to be a light in the darkness?

Only those who recognize the limitations of a system can enter it and affect change. But that doesn't mean they have to drag their children along -- not when the opportunity to explore and learn in freedom is available to them on the outside.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Last minute vacation, then it's back to school. Or not.

UberDad, Puffer and Grouper returned last night from a two-day vacation together. They went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the beach, and Legoland. The aquarium is a favorite spot, and they always love the beach, but Legoland was new. They enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as just playing in the ocean and the sand. Next year I think we'll save our money and just camp at the beach for a week.

Baby Crabcakes and I stayed home to bond over baby smiles and enjoy a quiet house. We originally planned to take the trip as a family, but since he's never lasted more than 10 minutes in the car without crying his eyes out, that idea was nixed.

Outside of the car, he's mellowed a lot in the last two weeks. He wakes up happy and full of giggles and smiles. He's figured out that nursing will make him feel better when he's hungry, and he's much more patient with me. His stomach issues seem to have settled down now that I've removed all dairy from my diet. It was definitely worth the effort.

UberDad starts his new teaching job next week, and class starts the week after. We're beginning to get the schooling questions about Puffer, who would be entering kindergarten in 10 days if his parents weren't such rebels. Though he's not the slightest bit interested either. Our homeschooling group used to have a "Not Back to School" pancake and pool party on the day the local public schools began, but the host had to cancel when the group got too large. I'm trying to decide if we should comemmorate the non-event or just ignore it.

But I'll have to write more on that subject later.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

End of the Babymoon

Baby Crabcakes is six weeks old today! Time has started to speed up. The rough moments don't seem so endless, and I'm treasuring the sweet ones because I know how short this time really is. He's napping more solidly during the day, at least part of the time, so I get a chance to catch my breath and do more than pee and eat before he needs me again. He's been a good sleeper at night the last couple weeks, which has really helped. I've been fairly rested even when I can't get anything else done.

I don't have a baby book for him yet, so I'm going to try to record more mundane details here than anyone else is really interested in.

Week One: Nursed, napped, changed diapers, enjoyed food from friends. Two outings to doctors on day 3. Slept all day 4. Went to favorite coffee house with mom and sister on day 5. Colic started that afternoon. Canceled plans to have friends over -- even though they were bringing dinner.

Week Two: "WHY is he crying? Why won't he just NURSE?" Paced the hardwood floors until my feet and arms ached. Sent UberDad to library to pick up "The Happiest Baby." Started swaddling. Realized he was outgrowing his newborn diapers already. Spent every free moment on Diaper Swappers.

Week Three: Walked or rocked my swaddled and slung newborn every waking moment. Watched a lot of "Bringing Home Baby" on TLC. Hid in my bedroom in between. Tried not to yell at Puffer and Grouper for being noisy. Tried not to bitch at UberDad about the house. Wrote postpartum poetry in my head while rocking baby to stay sane.

Week Four: First visit to a friend's house. Felt almost human. First trip to church. Came home exhausted. Shopped online for cute diapers as therapy.

Week Five: Friends brought me more food, washed my dishes, kept me company. Baby crabcakes cried through most of the visits. Mom brought over the baby swing that had been in storage. IT'S A MIRACLE -- HE LIKES IT!

Week Six: Started finding a routine. Played board games with the boys while baby napped in the swing. Watched a movie with UberDad. Picked up my knitting again, a few minutes at a time. Caught up on laundry. THEN... I finally got my first real, honest-to-goodness, happy-to-see-you BABYSMILE!!! Baby crabcakes recognizes his Mommy! And he actually LIKES me!!

So, there you have it. We can't remember life without him. Puffer and Grouper are totally in love with their baby brother, wanting to hug and kiss him all day long, whether he likes it or not.

I had my six-week postpartum doctor visit yesterday, so I guess I can officially go back to work now... (Can you hear the sarcasm?) I'm not even ready for UberDad to go back to work! He has three more weeks before school starts. He's still doing all the cooking, all the errands, and he braves the 100-degree weather to hang diapers on the line every other day. I am so spoiled. And I wouldn't have it any other way. ;)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Checking in.

I'm sitting here in my robe leaking milk all over the floor. Been walking my colicky baby all morning, and he's finally asleep. I should be taking a shower or doing the dishes, or washing the pile of sour breastmilk-encrusted nightgowns taking over the corner of my bedroom... but so rarely do I have both hands to type with.

I really did forget how much work a newborn can be. Grouper's first couple months are a total blur. Maybe because I was still so busy with Puffer being only 18 months old, I don't remember Grouper being colicky at all. Somehow I got it in my head that only first-borns are colicky. And I thought I was in my pjs 24/7 and didn't go anywhere but my mom's house for six weeks with Puffer because I was a first time mom. Um, no. Number three is equally as challenging. So, I'm getting hours worth of working out each day swinging this kid around to keep him happy. And in between I crash on the couch to watch reality tv shows about postpartum moms and beg UberDad to bring me food. And sometimes I even pay attention to my other children. ;)

So, that's life at my house for now. And now I'll attempt to wash the milk off my legs before my youngest wakes up again.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Postpartum mom is sleepy...

All three... count them, THREE, of my children are asleep -- and I should be, too. But I didn't want to let another day go by without saying thank you for all the notes of congrats. Also, new photos have been posted to Flickr. Enjoy! I'm going to bed...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Must have been the moon...

He's here! Our newest little fish was born at home yesterday morning, June 10, 2006, at 4:09 a.m. He weighed in at 10 pounds, 10 ounces, and is 21 inches long. He's an expert nurser, has the sweetest cry, and is adored by his two big brothers. They were both close by to greet him immediately after his birth.

We spent yesterday attempting to recover from a night without sleep. This morning UberDad is taking Puffer and Grouper to church, and I'm headed to the shower while Baby Fish sleeps in his Nana's arms.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Maybe tonight's full moon will do it...

Last night I called my mom over after the boys were asleep so UberDad and I could take a walk while it was cool outside, and maybe get labor moving. With my labors with both Puffer and Grouper, I had to do a lot of walking to move from the latent stage of labor to active labor. My mom and I had already walked in the morning, and it helped, a little.

So, around 10 p.m., we headed out into the privacy of the darkness. The sky was clear, and the moon was high, bright and nearly full. Supposedly more babies are born when the moon is full. I was definitely having stronger contractions during the walk. But then we were home again, and getting sleepy, so we went to bed. And so far, once I go to bed, my body chooses sleep over labor.

Yesterday my neighbor took my boys and her kids to a big park where they got to watch peacocks do their mating dances. They had a blast. UberDad went grocery shopping, and I hung out with my mom, whose vacation ends Sunday. She baked my favorite cookies for me in the afternoon, and I'm trying to make them last in case we need late night energy food to share with my midwife and her assistant.

Oh! I forgot to share that UberDad got the job! He'll be teaching math at a local high school just a few miles from home. He found out the morning right after his interview, which was awesome. Thanks for your prayers! He's now officially home on vacation for the rest of the summer! YAY!!! Now, we just need the newest member of our family to arrive...

Monday, June 05, 2006

No, this is not the post you've been waiting for...

Yes, we're at 41 weeks and STILL counting. But I'm cool with it. Really I am.

My sister arrived from Tuscon on Thursday, and heads back home tomorrow evening. She's a Shiatsu practitioner, so she's worked on me a few times using acupressure to see if we can get labor going. When she first came, she felt some resistance. Though I thought I was ready -- have all the stuff, housework's caught up -- I still felt nervous about having enough privacy at home, considering the open door/yard policy that's usually in effect around here, and I wasn't sure what to do about it. Why it seemed so hard to explain to our friends and neighbors that I needed some alone time, I don't know.

So, Saturday I posted this note on the front door:

"Please forgive us for not answering the door today! We're taking a Pre-Labor Family Holiday. Feel free to leave us love messages on our voice mail or via e-mail. We'll be in touch again after the baby arrives. Thank you! And have a great day!"

I spent most of the day doing laundry, piddling, and napping. UberDad took the boys to run a couple errands, and then to the water toys at the park around the block. I got the house to myself for awhile, and managed to relax a lot more. After dinner, my sisters came over to do some more acupressure, but we didn't get very far before Grouper needed Mommy back.

On Sunday UberDad decided to go shooting, since he'd stayed home the previous weekend and nothing happened. The boys and I hung out with my parents and sister, and then we all went out to lunch when UberDad got home. Grouper and I took a really long nap in the afternoon. It was a restful, peaceful day. But I was still getting nothing that qualified as labor contractions.

So, today UberDad went to work. He has a job interview this afternoon which we're hoping will bring good news about next fall. He's ready to be back in the classroom full time. While he's enjoyed serving homeschooling families at the charter school, it's been mostly paperwork. So, there's another prayer request. New job, new baby. SOME kind of news would be great.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Yep, I'm still pregnant.

But I promise to post as soon as I'm not!! Thankfully, I don't have far to go from my bedroom to the computer after Baby Fish arrives. :) Unless I do as I've threatened and go to a motel for my "home" birth!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The pre-labor dance.

I have to admit it. I'm getting anxious for this baby to come. Me, whose always scoffed when women start complaining at the end of pregnancy. "A baby's a lot easier to take care of on the inside than on the outside!" I always say.

But I don't remember feeling this tired at the end of my first two pregnancies. I know Grouper didn't drop this early, so I wasn't feeling the pressure and prodromal labor symptoms. But maybe it's too long ago to remember accurately. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

My friend Carla took the boys' Sunday School class for me this morning. I was really hoping last night would be IT. And I did have a few contractions that woke me up periodically. But nothing that stuck. I didn't even start thinking about doing anything to get things going with Grouper until after my due date. And yet tonight, with 8 days to go, I suggested we take a family walk -- because walking always helps my contractions get stronger. Nevermind the high winds blowing up dust everywhere outside or the dark clouds above.

So, we did. After I made dinner, and went grocery shopping.

I guess I figure I've been too sedentary lately. Lots of naps, lots of knitting. I finished my first diaper soaker on Thursday! Then yesterday I dyed another skein, using coffee this time. I named the colorway it produced "caramel cappuccino." And I started another soaker. It's not that I have nothing to do if Baby Fish does wait another week or two.

Nonetheless, in the car on the way back from the store, I was bouncing him to the beat of my pre-labor theme song... "Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight. Get down tonight."

'Cause if you hadn't heard -- what gets them in, can get them out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ready... or not.

We're two weeks away from my due date. After wigging out a bit last week over everything I had left to do, I'm much closer to ready. I did 13 loads of laundry this weekend. Baby clothes sizes 0 to 9 months, diapers and blankets are washed, sorted, and put away. Towels and sheets for the birth are bagged up and ready to go. Infant car seat is installed between the boys' boosters. The birth kit still hasn't arrived, but I picked up a back-up from my friend Kelley yesterday. I even soaked all my plants really well this morning in case of a couple days of neglect.

Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning I had a few hours of early labor contractions about 10 minutes apart. But I wasn't quite ready. Needed to go grocery shopping yesterday, and had to take the couch cushion cover Grouper puked on to the dry cleaners. Plus, the house was still in some amount of chaos, and I was just plain tired. But I got a second wind after dinner and spent enough time straightening up before bed to feel a little more prepared for a night of labor. Instead I got a solid night's sleep -- no complaining there!

Today the boys played outside with friends for most of the day. I snuck in a nap this afternoon. And then sent them to Target with UberDad for more laundry detergent and new clothespins. While they were out I vacuumed, swept, and got to do my yoga video for the first time in two months!

I am ready for this baby to come whenever he wants. Unfortunately, UberDad's not. He has a job interview scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and his final credential exam is all day Saturday. I was kind of hoping to get out of teaching Sunday school this weekend. But Baby Fish might have to gestate for another week after all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Have you seen that Sears commercial where the little boy is sitting quietly with his face in his hands, and after a few seconds you see he's perched on the toilet, and then he straightens up and calls out, "MOMMY! I'm DONE!!"

That commercial cracks me up every time. The reality of motherhood. Twice a day. Every day.

This morning I woke up to an unusually hot Grouper curled up next to me. I turned over slowly -- because I can't move any faster than slowly -- and crawled backwards down the middle of the bed to go find the thermometer. I realized he'd been hot and not sleeping well since he'd climbed in bed with me sometime in the night. Sunday seems to be a popular day for fevers. Mother's Day is apparently not exempt.

When Grouper is sick, he doesn't talk. He just looks sad and curls up into the fetal position under my arm if it's available or on the couch with his blanket. I knew he really wasn't feeling well when he didn't want the blueberry pancakes UberDad made for breakfast. We were watching the sign language program on PBS together when he suddenly sat up and puked. I caught most of it with his blanket, then carried him into the bathroom to finish up and fill the bathtub. Meanwhile, UberDad was put in charge of finding out how to get puke off the dry-clean-only fabric on our couch.

After a long soak in the tub, Grouper seemed to be feeling better. He was back to his cheerful, chatty self -- ready to put on some clothes, his cape and his lightsaber. But after getting dressed and eating half a banana, his energy was spent. He soon fell asleep in costume, on a towel , on the couch.

While Grouper was in the bathtub, my mom came over with a Mother's Day gift for me -- an Oi Oi diaper bag in a cute swirly brown/blue/green/yellow pattern. It's totally washable and big enough for cloth diapers! I'd decided my felted bag was going to work for knitting projects, but not as a diaper bag/purse. Thanks, Mom! We're going to take my grandmother out for lunch later. It's her birthday. Hopefully she'll be in a good mood. She was really mean when my mom visited her on Friday, and my mom deserves to have a nice day.

As for me, I just hope Grouper feels better quickly. In the meantime, I'm going to knit, read my new cookbook by Giada that UberDad and the boys gave me this morning, and avoid doing any dishes.

Hope you have a beautiful Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

37 weeks and counting.

There's nothing like a deadline to motivate me to go shopping!

Yesterday was the official beginning of my 38th week of pregnancy. Today I had a doctor's appointment, even though I just saw my midwife on Friday, and everything's fine. The boys and I waited for nearly an hour and a half before we finally got called in. They were amazingly patient, but getting miserable by the end of the wait.

Baby Fish kindly put his head in place just in time for the doctor to check him today. Last visit he was still breech, and the doctor mentioned the possibility of doing an external version. No, thanks. Fortunately, in the last two days baby's been wiggling into position, and is at -1 station, for those of you interested in the technicalities of labor. I'm also dilated to just under one centimeter, and 70 percent effaced. Woohoo! This means nothing in terms of when he'll arrive, of course, but the doctor was pleased to note that we've begun the process.

I've gained 31 pounds total this pregnancy. So, of course, we went out and had Coldstone ice cream tonight after hitting Babies R Us and Target for an infant car seat, diaper pail, nursing stool, changing pad, and thank you notes. A few of my dearest friends threw us a baby shower on Sunday. I could hardly sleep that night. Gift bags holding baby toiletries, cloth diapers, books, blankets, and the most adorable baby clothes covered my dining room table, and all I wanted to do was admire and sort and wash and organize everything. I'm going to be doing a lot of laundry in the next week!

But today I just wanted to get the rest of the necessities purchased. If he decides to come early, we don't even have our birth kit yet! Ordered that today, finally. Also ordered miscellaneous diaper laundering accessories. So, according to shipping calculations, he can come any time after next Tuesday. No sooner than two weeks before my due date!

Obviously I'm counting on my history of reasonably accurate due dates. Puffer was born one day before his, Grouper only four days after his. So, an arrival date of sometime between May 29 and June 3 would just fine with Baby Fish's mommy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Catching up.

It's hot. Not middle-of-summer hot. Just hot enough that you want to use the A/C but can't yet justify it. Hot because I'm 8 months pregnant and ACTUALLY huge, not just feeling that way. Hot because my firstborn has had a fever spiking and leaving again for nearly three days, and he wants me to sit by him on the couch all day. He's shivering, I'm sweating.

So, no, the third little fish has not arrived yet. I've just been so busy that blogging has fallen to the bottom of the list. My apologies if anyone has been checking frequently only to find the Easter post still up top. We celebrated Puffer's fifth birthday last weekend. Maybe that's why he's sick -- getting ready for another growth spurt. In case you were wondering, he is the sweetest five-year-old you'll ever meet, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mother. :) Though he hates being sick.

And I think he's also sick of Grouper's Star Wars addiction. I think we've watched Episode I close to 10 times this week. Grouper now has four light sabers, three of them purchased with his allowance over the last two months. Maybe we're giving him too much money...

On Puffer's birthday, UberDad set a national rifle shooting record. In heavy rain. He was soaked but proud when he arrived home. Check him out here, and scroll down to Highpower Prone.

Between the rain, and the ensuing heat, I managed to finish all my planting for the season. Now I just have to water every day until the baby arrives and hope everything survives my neglect after that. I picked lettuce and cilantro fresh for our tacos tonight -- yum!

I also finished knitting my bag finally! Still have to sew the straps on so I can actually use it. And I dyed my first batch of yarn, and have started my first soaker for the baby! Here's a photo of the yarn.

My friends Megan and Jerry and their two boys came to visit on Friday and Saturday. They moved back to Seattle from the Bay area last summer, so we hadn't seen them since last April. Their boys are 3 and 5, and it's always so fun to see how they've grown and watch all the boys together! They were on their way up north after three days in Disneyland. Turns out the most popular toys at our house were the ones we got in Disneyland in October -- Jedi guns and light sabers, of course.

Besides socializing, knitting and watching Star Wars nonstop this week, I've finally gotten started on organizing my bedroom in preparation for Baby Fish. I packed up all the winter maternity clothes I don't need, and dug up some warm weather ones. UberDad got the second dresser from my parents' house so I can put postpartum stuff in there, and fill my other dresser with baby things. Mostly diapers. I have a TON of diapers, both from my old stash and on loan from friends I've converted over the last five years. Though that's not keeping me from spending too much time online looking for more! I bought two adorable WAHM-made soakers on eBay. I'll have to post diaper stash photos on Flickr.

But first, I have to figure out what to make for dinner this week that doesn't require use of the oven.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!

Happy Easter!!! May your day be filled with joy as we celebrate our Lord's gift of Life!

We attempted to make Resurrection cookies last night. Read the Easter story and made the batter together, which the boys enjoyed. Unfortunately I don't think I had the beater on high enough, so the eggs didn't meringue. The cookies were flat this morning instead of puffy and hollow. We'll try again next year...

The boys have dug into their "Easter buckets" already this morning. Now they're watching the Veggie Tales Easter Carol. Instead of baskets I got them new sand pails from the dollar store, stuffed with new bathing trunks and swim goggles. I found chocolate crosses at the dollar store, too! And my neighbor gave me the following poem to explain the meaning of all the colors of jelly beans -- so I tucked in a copy with a bag of beans and read it to the boys as they looked through their bucket.

"Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for His sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the Grace He gave.
Purple is for His hours of sorrow.
Pink is for a new tomorrow.

A bag of jelly beans,
So colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, is a promise,
And an Easter treat."

Church starts a little later today, so we'll have plenty of time for breakfast with my parents. Then we'll go to their house this afternoon for an egg hunt and barbecue with the extended family.

UberDad goes back to work tomorrow after a week of vacation. It's been so nice having him home. We took the boys to see "Ice Age: the Meltdown," and they loved it. We still have lots to do to prepare the house for the new baby, but the backyard looks a lot better. I have to get some more photos up on flickr after today's celebration.

Wishing you have a beautiful and blessed Easter!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Nesting again.

Okay, I admit it. I'm using my re-gained computer time to obsess about getting ready for this baby. Mostly it's about cloth diapers again. Wool soakers to be precise. Wool soakers knitted from organic yarn to be more precise. My diaper/knitting bag is about halfway finished, but I just can't wait to start my first soaker for this kid! I was up until 11 last night trying to decide which yarn to buy and who to buy it from. And then I couldn't get my Paypal account to work, so I was on the phone with them this morning. Finally, I got my undyed Peace Fleece yarn ordered from Nada of Wooly Wonders! I hope it arrives soon so I can get it dyed right away. Only seven weeks to go!

I also happened to be babysitting three extra kids this morning. One went home before lunch, so we're down to four kids in the house. No biggie. Fed them, did the dishes, started laundry. Think I'll go knit now.

Friday, April 07, 2006

No time to blog.

Where, or where, did the Mommy blogger go? Or where, or where could she beeeee?

Let's see... Every time I sit down to the computer, I'm accosted by my Bionicle-obsessed son who needs to use it for instructions to make yet another creation from the hundreds of Bionicle parts spread out on his bedroom floor. "DON'T TOUCH THE COMPUTER!!!" he hollers from the other room between dashes to find the next piece he needs.

And then there's the issue of not having recovered from the time change. And how my back aches when I sit too long in a chair. And how I might get five minutes to READ my e-mail but not to REPLY to anyone before the phone rings, or someone stops by, or it's time to make dinner.

And today, the sun is finally out, the ground isn't quite as sopping wet as it was yesterday, and I have gardening to do!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Apparently I'm nesting.

Yesterday, as I attempted to take a break by crashing on the couch with Giada, I wondered WHY I was so worn out and cranky. Dumb question.

I haven't napped since Sunday, and that was after entertaining eight children during Sunday School. I also managed to plant half a dozen perennials and completely clean out the fridge over the weekend.

Monday I went grocery shopping and worked on the diaper bag I'm knitting. It rained all day Tuesday, so we had a leisurely day inside. I did laundry, moved summer clothes into the boys' new dresser, baked four dozen cookies and made a big pot of soup to take to our friends whose baby boy was born Sunday night. Yesterday I did a quick cleaning of the house before my friend Emily and kids came over to scrapbook. When they left, I did some more cleanup, then dragged the boys to Home Depot to buy plants before it started raining again. Still had that credit to use, and I wanted to get veggies in the ground while it was still soft. I knew I wouldn't be able to shop AND plant during the same stretch of sunshine.

We skipped the park today and hung out in our backyard for nearly five hours with our gardening buddies. Mark and I worked on our respective vegetable patches while the kids played on the swingset, in the mud, on the trampoline, and in the nude. It was sunny and beautiful right up until 2:30 or so. Now it looks like it's going to rain again.

I forgot how much work it is to start a new planting bed. I pulled up all the weeds intertwined with the sweet peas and dug up the grass next to the swingset, worked the soil, and finally got to plant. I got the basil, cilantro, Italian parsley, lettuce and Roma tomato in the ground. I'll have to get to the rest of the tomatoes, bell pepper and onions on Saturday. Plus the ferns and cyclamen I got for under the tree.

Right now I'm waiting for the boys to be done in the bathtub so I can finally shower. Tonight I get to eat free food at a Pampered Chef party! Yay!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's not just my mind.

The third trimester of this pregnancy apparently is bringing out not only my Inner Ditz, but also my Inner Clutz.

Have you seen that Tide commercial about the woman in the last months of pregnancy who has only one shirt that fits and keeps dripping food down her front? That's me. I even have that pink shirt.

This morning, in an attempt to feel like a grown up, I was seated on the leather sofa of a sophisticated downtown coffee house eating a slice of frittata. Two-thirds into the process, I attempted to cut the crust with my fork, and slid the entire thing off the plate, down my lap and all over the couch. Bits of egg and potato covered my shirt and one pant leg, and fell into the crevice between the cushions. I felt oh-so-chic as the barista tossed me a towel to mop myself up with.

As if that wasn't enough for one day... a few hours later I missed the bottom step of my porch, twisted my ankle, and ever so gracefully toppled onto my hands and knees. I'm fine now, thank you. No permanent damage done -- except to my self-image, perhaps.

I'm at 30.5 weeks now, and I suppose an updated photo of my front-heavy body is due. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pregnancy brain.

As much as I hate to contribute to the stereotype that motherhood fries one's brain, there have been way too many incidents lately that prove that my own brain is definitely on the fritz.

In the last two weeks, I have locked myself out of the house twice, locked my keys in the car and nearly burned Mac & Cheese. But today I outdid all that and more. After gardening for a couple hours this morning, I changed out of my dirty overalls, and left them on the laundry room floor. Came back after my shower to put a load of laundry in, and threw the overalls in the washing machine.

Fifteen minutes later, I started wondering what I'd done with my cell phone. Where did I last have it? Oh, yes, in my pocket while I was gardening. In the pocket of my overalls. THE OVERALLS I JUST PUT IN THE WASH.

If anyone knows of a great deal on cell phones, please let me know. In the meantime, don't expect any calls from me. All my phone numbers went out with the dirty laundry water.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Sugar-- I mean, Patrick's Day

I haven't wanted to do anything but eat, sleep, eat, knit, eat, knit, eat, sleep or eat this week. I've been watching a lot of Food Network, especially Everyday Italian. I love Giada! Which reminds me, I forgot to buy Nutella at the grocery store today. BUMMER.

I didn't manage to plan anything for St. Patty's Day, but it all worked out anyhow. Our nutty neighborhood leprechaun left bags of chocolate coins in the boys' car seats this morning, so they were nicely hyped up on sugar by the time we got to the store. The grocery store didn't have any shamrock cookies left, so we got cupcakes with shamrock sprinkles instead. After I put away the cold stuff, my mom took us out to lunch. As if the coins, cupcakes and the chocolate pudding that came with their kids' meals weren't enough, we followed lunch with a trip to a fancy dessert and gift shop. Once again, the shamrock cookies were sold out. So Puffer got a little bag of Sour Patch Kids and Grouper picked out a few chocolate pansies. My mom and I ate chocolate-covered strawberries.

By the time we were ready to leave, a lightening storm had started up and it was pouring rain outside. We crept into the fabric store next door so I could lust after adorable brightly-colored one-of-a-kind baby bedding. Must. Learn. To. Sew.

When the sun peeked out between the dark clouds later this afternoon, I sent the boys outside to look for rainbows. Sure enough, a full-sized rainbow could be seen from our backyard, stretching across the dark-grey sky. The boys were so excited that they hardly noticed they were being drizzled with rain. They tried to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I think the leprechaun beat them to it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

And now, to make you laugh...

You know how people write ROTFLOL when something's really funny, but you're never quite sure if it's just figurative or if they're really on the floor? Try NOT to laugh that hard at this entry of Very Mom's.

Thimerosal update

Now I'm even gladder I refused the Rhogam shot last week. My blood type is O-negative, which means I have "RH-negative" stamped in big red letters all over my prenatal files. If this baby had a postivie blood type, it could cause problems, primarily for the next one. Both my other boys are negative like me. The shot that RH-negative women usually get at 28 week gestation uses thimerosal as a preservative. (It's also not vegan.) This is also a big reason we avoid vaccines.

So, here's the news...

Thimerosal Update: The CDC's Scarlet Letter

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Healthy vegan pancake recipe

We were reading one of our favorite unschooling books a few days ago -- "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" -- and Grouper asked if I'd make some for a snack. So, I found this recipe online. They might not be as good as the ones Brad made for our Pankcake Supper, but they might be healthier. If you don't have soymilk, cow's milk works, too, but they won't be quite as pretty, and obviously won't be vegan. If you add chocolate chips, just make sure to cook them long enough so they won't be mushy. Puffer didn't like them with chocolate chips -- too sweet. But the blueberry ones I made this morning were a hit!

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soymilk
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe mashed banana

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or thawed)
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix in mashed banana. Leave batter a little lumpy. Heat pan for one minute on high, spray with oil, then turn to medium. Drop two tablespoons of batter per pancake. Watch for tiny bubbles to pop up and make holes in the pancake. Flip. Both sides should brown slightly.

Source: (with adjustments)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Broke, but happy.

Apparently there's a learning curve for bill paying with a monthly instead of bi-monthly paycheck. Apparently it's six months long. Somehow I managed to forget completely about the mortgage and overpay three credit cards instead. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to buy groceries with my Home Depot card. This month's diet: rose petals and pansies. If you know of other edible plants available at your local home and garden center, please let me know.

BUT! AND! (Anyone used to read Words of the Tyrtle?) We had a good day yesterday! Monster Mama finally got enough sleep and stayed in her cage ALL DAY! I don't know if it was the stress of grief, the weather, the 7-month prenatal hormone surge, or the alignment of the planets, but the previous few days I'd been completely unbearable. And, of course, the boys followed suit. Despite the terrible, horrible, no good mood, I tried to do something fun with them every day. We baked cookies, took a walk when it stopped raining, made new playdough, read stories, and kept peaceful or fun music on all day. Whether those things helped, I'm not sure. But we did survive.

Wednesday evening our favorite stuff-picking-up charity called to say they'd be in our neighborhood the next day. So yesterday morning I dug through the closets for stuff that's been cluttering up our lives. By the time we left for the park, I'd dumped two bags of adult clothes, three bags of kids' shoes, one bag of stuffed animals, a HUGE bag of extraneous linens and things, and a small bag of books on the front steps. When we got home a couple hours later, there was nothing but a lovely blue receipt left on the porch. Now I just have to do a little arranging to make room for the boys' new dresser and all the baby stuff about to re-enter our lives.

Speaking of babies, I'm still waiting to hear if my friend's gone into labor again yet. I took her family a big pot of soup last night so she could continue to rest. Although how a mom is supposed to rest all day while keeping a one-year-old and four-year-old happy, I can't tell you. She brought them to the park instead.

As I've been writing, Puffer and Grouper have been taking turns bringing me a K'Nex head filled with various tiny toys and asking me to guess what's in the mouth. My latest guess was "a million dollars." Grouper gave me a funny look and said, "WE don't have a million dollars, Mommy!"

Apparently it's obvious even to my three-year-old!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Meeting our children's needs

Childhood is Now by Pam Leo

"My experience with children is that when their needs are met and nothing is hurting them, they are a joy to be with. I've learned that children do not always have the language to tell us what is hurting them or what they need so they communicate their needs through 'needy' behavior. When children are not a joy to be with, their behavior is usually an expression of unmet need. Just as a baby's cry is a communication designed to bother us and move us to action to meet the baby's needs, the needy behaviors of children are designed to bother us and move us to action to meet the child's needs."

I just ordered Pam Leo's new book "Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear" along with "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. I have high hopes for them both.

I finished "You Can Have a Family Where Everybody Wins: Christian Perspectives on Parent Effectiveness Training" by Earl H. Gaulke, which was WONDERFUL. Now I'm reading "Grace Based Parenting" by Tim Kimmel, which has been a slow start. Hopefully I'll get time to review all these books before their influence has completely left my hormonally-imbalanced brain.

Now I'm off to bed finally, since I've been complaining of exhaustion all evening, despite my afternoon nap.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rainy Monday

We got caught in the rain this afternoon, after a quick trip out to exchange library books and CDs. We missed storytime because Puffer just wasn't interested in getting dressed on time, and trying to rush was making me grumpy. So, I piddled around instead, getting laundry folded and dishes unloaded, and picking up stuff. The boys were happily building Bionicles and playing on the computer until I finally insisted we get our errand done before lunch.

After lunch we got through a library book about trees before my mom stopped by to visit. By this time it was pouring outside, and my mood suggested it was a good day for baking cookies. So that's we did, while listening to the rain and a CD of opera for kids from the library. I also wanted to have something yummy to take with us tomorrow when we go see my friend whose on bedrest. She's not due for a few more weeks and went into premature labor a few days ago, so we're taking over lunch to her and her girls after my doctor's appointment.

I realized this afternoon that I haven't been napping this week, and it's starting to show. Too much going on. I laid down and fell asleep in minutes. The boys played nicely together and I got to sleep for an entire hour! Yay! Meanwhile I got a message that Knitting Night at the Purple Flowers' is cancelled due to illness. So, Carla and son will be coming over for sandwiches instead. I finally started on my first circular knitting project, the bag that will either be for diapers or knitting. But Grouper's also been begging me to knit him a scarf, so I might have to work on that instead tonight.

The ground is going to be soggy tomorrow. I didn't garden this weekend because the garden center was closed due to rain Friday night. Wimps. Saturday went too quickly. Sunday we took the boys to see The Pink Panther in the afternoon. I'm working up the courage to call the boys' Sunday School teacher. When we pulled up to church yesterday, he suddenly cried, "I don't want to go to my class! They tried to give me a time out when I got hungry last time! I asked for a snack, and it wasn't snack time, and they tried to give me a time out!"

ARRGGHHH. I could write a post just about that, but I'll refrain for now. Fortunately, our dear friends who do the toddler class drove up at that moment, and the boys happily went with them instead. But I was a mess.

Well, it appears that Grouper has fallen asleep on my lap to the sound of the falling rain, the theme of Spongebob Squarepants, and my noisy typing. I guess I'll go lay him down and start dinner.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Life goes on.

I suppose after my little outburst some explanation is due.

I found out Tuesday that my friend's husband committed suicide. We used to go to their house with other homeschooling friends every week, but that stopped last summer for various reasons. She went back to work part-time in the fall, her older sons went back to school, etc. We e-mailed once or twice right after that, but haven't since, even though I'd thought of her a hundred times and started messages. We weren't super close, because that takes one-on-one time, and I suppose there were a lot of things I didn't really know about them. And, I suppose she could have reached out to me as easily as I to her.

Anyhow, the news was a pretty big shock. He was a very devoted, attentive, gentle father. They have six kids at home, the younger four are adopted and under age 5. It's hard enough to imagine losing your spouse, but to think of your young children losing their Daddy is unbearable. I don't really know what the problems were that led to this tragedy, but apparently there were several. There must have been. These things don't happen in a vacuum.

I'm going to the funeral tomorrow. Talked to some friends who knew him today at the park. I finally made it back to park day, after not being sure I wanted to keep going at all, and we had a nice time. Some of the older boys welcomed Puffer into their circle, and they sat by the swings telling scary stories. Grouper found a little girl who'd brought her doll and stroller, and they played house together.

While we were out, my sister gave me my Christmas present -- a little belated, but much appreciated. She cleaned my house! Or, at least, most of it. The boys' room looks much better! After attempting to pick up 2,000 tiny K'nex pieces, I finally left the rest and told her to sweep them up and toss them. The tub I have for them wasn't big enough for them all anyhow.

So, now I can concentrate on the garden some more this weekend. And I'll get the rest of the clothes organized as soon as we get the dresser moved over from my mom's house. There's always more to do...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Why do I have to be so F***ING self-absorbed that someone has to die before I'm finally motivated to reach out to a dear friend?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What age do YOU act?

You Are 12 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

25 weeks gestation

25 weeks gestation
Originally uploaded by The G-Ps.
I realized I haven't posted a preggo picture in a while... er, ever? This is from about two weeks ago. I'm still playing with Flickr, can you tell?


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Why I Have No Time to Blog

But am doing it anyway...

I'm in Project Mode and the house is in Chaos Mode. UberDad spent all day yesterday helping my parents move my grandmother's stuff out of her apartment, and unloaded it all today -- some in storage, some at my parents' house, a couple things to our house, namely, bookshelves and an end table. So, I've been emptying boxes, filling shelves, and ignoring the mess that's been accumulating in the rest of the house over the weekend. (While UberDad was hauling furniture, I was on my knees weeding the lawn by hand. Not to get competitive or anything.)

I've also been playing with Flickr, and cooking a Vegan Sausage Breakfast Casserole for tonight's Vegand.o.m. Lenten Pankcake Supper -- which reminds me, that needs to go in the oven!

Finally -- room for all my books! Now, if only I could decide whether I should paint them first or not.

Now that we've got bookshelves, the boxes that have cluttered up the boys' room for six months can finally be unpacked.

Maternity clothes to sort! Too many sizes, not enough drawers. Fortunately, my mom's giving me my aunt's dresser soon.

Just when I think I've gotten the playroom organized, the kids have to go and play in it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oh, yeah, and I'm six months pregnant and tired.

I've been feeling overwhelmed and grouchy the last couple days, which might explain why I haven't written any real posts. My mom says UTIs can mess with your brain. Then there's the whole pregnancy hormone thing. Apparently I just got a surge. Why else did I go from perfectly content to completely stressed out in a matter of hours on Monday?

This morning I was thinking about everything that's been going on around me for close friends and family this month. UberDad is doing post-graduate work on top of working, and is studying for exams that will determine if he gets his contract renewed next year. My sister's struggling between following her dream to dance professionally and wanting to be with the love of her life. Another friend just ended a 2-1/2 year relationship with a man she thought she'd marry, started a new job, and had to switch day care. My friend Sarah has been dealing with the progression of her MS, and is getting an MRI this morning. Another friend's sister had a relapse of her rare disease, and has to move back home to be cared for. My neighbors are trying to deal with an aging father/-in-law who calls long distance to complain about the facility he's in every day.

And then there's my grandmother, who went on an eating strike over the weekend, and when my mom showed up with her latte on Monday, told her she was no longer her daughter. My grandmother's been harrassing the director, who told my mom the facility will do everything they can to keep her there, but her problem is not just Alzheimer's, if it is at all considering the breadth of her memory (she remembered the phone number of her bank and called it), however convoluted. She most likely has developed paranoid-schizophrenia, but everyone hesitates to give that diagnosis because there's nothing you can do about it. She won't take medication, and assisted living facilities really are not designed to deal with that issue. If she tries to get out, they'll have to call the police.

Obviously, there's a lot to be praying for. But, instead of remembering all this, I get overwhelmed by a messy playroom, maternity clothes taking over every surface and corner of my bedroom, living room walls that have been missing their pictures for seven months, trees that need trimming and empty flower beds begging to be planted -- not to mention prenatal care bills that need to be paid and have no budget for them.

Yesterday I worked on the clothes issue, so that helped. Some guy came by Monday wanting to trim our tree in the front for cheap, and UberDad hired him. Now I just hope he comes back to carry away all the branches covering our yard and blocking our porch. The mail carrier's not going to put up with that for long.

For now, though, my children are happily occupied by the Purple Flowers kids, whom I'm watching while their mother gets her MRI. I made vegan applesauce muffins yesterday, so at least we'll be well-nourished! And Friday we get to leave town to go visit my friend Kate and family to celebrate her kids' first and fourth birthdays. I think we're ready for a little escape.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Something to think about

My friend Heather reminds us of this important truth in her latest post:

"But sin is being out of line with God himself, not with any one interpretation or opinion of what God wants. We must admit that we cannot discern the will of God for all people, in all circumstances, for all time."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My kids won't be taking tests anyway -- but...

Thank you, Slate, for relieving my Parenting magazine-induced guilt with this article about the flaws in research that claims television turns kids' brains to mush -- and the actual evidence that shows the opposite.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Looking for Jesus in all the right places -- and not finding Him.

This article really speaks to how I've been feeling about our parish lately. I've got a post about the emergent church in the works, but this is a pretty good start.

"Several years ago God dropped me into the middle of the Bible belt, where there are more churches than coffee shops, or pizza joints, or the both of them together and then some. Sunday morning service is part of the culture. To most God has become tradition, there is no personal relationship, and therefore no spiritual growth or reproduction.

Somewhere along the way God was made predictable, and therefore safe. He is not relevant to daily life other than in a superficial way. There are some incredible churches and some amazing people and this is not solely a "Bible belt" problem; it's simply amplified there.

There is a bumper sticker that illustrates this best. I know it was created with good intentions, but it frustrated me every time I saw it. It says "Take your kids to Sunday school this Sunday, they need and deserve it". They don't need Sunday school…they need Jesus. They may learn about Him in Sunday school, but the premise is wrong. If you want to lose a generation, raise them to know the names of God, but never experience the interpretation. Loving, Intimate, Majestic, Holy, Consuming Fire…"

Mommy has an owie in her pee-pee hole.

Remind me never to be seduced into doing something I "should" again just for a Starbucks latte.

After a lovely visit with my friend Kelley yesterday morning, my mom came by to see if the boys and I wanted to go with her to visit my grandmother. She said we'd get coffee to take with us, since my grandmother says the coffee where she lives is terrible. Having no self-control when it comes to free lattes, I took the bait -- despite the fact that it was almost my naptime, and I should know better than to skip my naptime.

The visit lasted longer than I expected it to, and was going just fine, except that my maternity jeans were digging into my belly and my back was starting to ache. I ordered new jeans last week, and they finally came on Tuesday -- but they won't stay up, so I have to send them back. The drive home took way too long. I was exhausted, my pants hurt, and Baby Fish kept kicking me in the bladder. By the time we got home, I'd tensed up so much my back was out, and I could feel a urinary tract infection coming on.

I put on pajama pants, did some yoga stretching, tried to get comfortable on the couch, and drank two gallons of water, cranberry juice and herbal tea over the next few hours. After rubbing my back for 30 minutes, UberDad had to make dinner while I stayed in the one position that didn't hurt too badly. By bedtime I felt better, but the house was a disaster. I hadn't done any housekeeping all day.

Unfortunately, the two gallons of liquids went completely through me by 4 a.m., and I woke up feeling like someone was sticking a needle up my urethra -- then pulling it out and doing it again. I scrambled out of bed, downed two Tylenol and a full glass of water, and spent the next 30 minutes on the toilet doing Lamaze breathing and moaning. I would have rather been in labor.

So, this morning it was off to the lab to pee in a cup, and then wait for the results so I could pick up my prescription on the way to the grocery store. I can't remember the last time I took antibiotics, but UTIs are not something to mess around with when you're pregnant. We were out of all the basics, so I couldn't put off grocery shopping despite the fact that I was cranky and tired. The boys put up with me pretty well, and we made it home just before the rain started falling and in time for me to take a nap. I don't know what they did while I was asleep, but they were quiet and left me alone. Poor neglected children.

Tomorrow I plan to wear my comfy unfashionable overalls while I pull weeds out of the damp ground and try to resist dairy and sugar so these darn antibiotics don't bring back the yeast I'd finally gotten rid of.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

There were five in a bed and the pregnant one said...

My computer's been crashing on me everyday this week, but I still haven't called anyone to fix it. It's annoying, but I think... hmm, I have friends I haven't called in months, do I really want to spend phone time on hold with the cable company?

Because I am a phone phobic, I call neither friend nor geek squad. And take my chances on whether anything I write will actually get posted.

By the way, Happy Valentine's Day! The boys are making valentines in their own special way -- Puffer's are made out of Kid K'nex. And I helped Grouper put together scraps from our Sunday School valentine craft to make a heart-shaped notebook to draw in.

I swapped Sundays with the other pre-k teacher so I'd have a fun theme to work with. I hate the 3-4yo curriculum. It's overly complicated and boring at the same time. And I don't know how making them cut, paste and color whether they want to or not, and then sit at the table twiddling their thumbs until everyone's finished teaches them anything about Jesus.

I discovered on Sunday that none of the kids know the song "Jesus Loves Me"!! How can that NOT be part of a pre-K Sunday School curriculum?? How can their parents not have sung it to them? Anyhow, we made lollypop flower valentines, decorated strawberry-flavored cupcakes, and sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "I Love Jesus," and then we went outside to play, which they never get to do with the other teacher. The weather's been so beautiful, how could I keep them inside any longer?

I got some weeding done this weekend, too, and if I get a little more done, I'm going to go get some more lavender plants. The only things I planted last spring that survived the July heat were the asparagus ferns and lavender plants. I sat on the lawn pulling weeds by hand for an hour on Saturday. Didn't reseed for the winter, so the bermuda's filled with them. I'd like to have an actual lawn back there again this summer, so I can get outside with the baby and have something green to look at.

I have to go make myself do some housework this morning, then we're going to the bakery after lunch for Valentine sugar cookies. I thought it might be better to go buy one each than to bake a couple dozen at home, since I'd be likely to eat most of them myself. NO, I am not being lazy. I just want to have sex again before there's yet another person competing for access to my body and bed -- and eating a dozen sugar cookies would put me out of commission for a week. The second trimester is VERY precious time.

Maybe it's the sudden weight gain and growth of my burgeoning belly -- or maybe our mattress has always had a dip in the middle. Whatever the reason, I keep ending up sandwiched between UberDad, Grouper and Emma the cat -- while Baby Fish kicks me in the bladder all night. I wake up from nightmares all sweaty and having to de-wedge myself out of the first three in order to get up and pee.

My neighbor's coming over to scrapbook during her kids' naptime. Yay!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Since her comments are off...

I just wanted to thank Jessica for putting it all in perspective. I'm really okay with not getting 72 comments per post, if it means only nice people who like me are reading this.

Living and learning -- another long post

I've had at least a dozen things I've thought to blog about this week, but apparently no time to actually do it. Been busy knitting, reading, watching movies, and visiting with friends. Not a bad trade.

We visited my grandmother in her new home at the assisted living/memory care facility on Monday. Her dementia/Alzheimer's has definitely progressed, but it was a pretty positive visit all things considered. She did say a couple of disturbing things, namely that she wanted her voice back, and why did we take it from her? And, was Puffer going to shoot her? But the moments passed, and she seemed to enjoy seeing the boys. We didn't stay for long because she didn't want to leave her room until she had the right toiletries for fixing her hair and makeup. But the director of the facility said she's made a few friends and does leave her room to eat and visit with them. My mom went back later after a trip to the drug store, and visited with her for about two hours, which is more than she's been able to do since October.

I finally finished the second baby hat I promised to a friend whose twins were born in November. I'm now working on another baby present for a friend due in March, and I want to start on my felted knitting/diaper bag soon. It's this pattern, but with pale green, teal, dark pink, beige, and taupe.

UberDad and I watched and enjoyed "Dangerous Beauty" one night. Good sexy, romantic drama with plenty of poetry and humor, and nothing too disturbing considering the subject is a 16th century courtesan who's eventually put on trial for witchcraft. The boys have been into Star Wars this week, which we've been borrowing one episode at a time from our neighbors. They really enjoyed the first and second episodes. Skipped the third, and tried to watch the fourth tonight, but they were distracted, and then the DVD got stuck for some reason.

We had a few friends over today to make valentines, and of course most of the time was spent playing outside on the trampoline and in the dirt. I went all the way out there for the first time all winter yesterday and discovered how much weeding needs to be done. My friend Mark, who's adopted the space as his own for the last two or three years, has been working on it, but I haven't been much help since last spring. It was so blasted hot last summer I couldn't stand it for more than 10 minutes at a time. And then I was inside on the couch with morning sickness all fall. The weather has been beautiful this week, so now I've added gardening back to my list of want-to-dos this spring.

Instead of blogging or napping this week, I've been reading a lot. Mostly from "Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling," which has so many encouraging anecdotes and thoughtful insights. I've needed a little inspiration on the homeschooling/unschooling front lately, just to get my thinking in the right place again. The boys have been demonstrating their ability to learn with minimal help from me quite beautifully.

Puffer's been picking up the sounds of letters and giving me his own examples of words that begin with them, inspired by Trader Joe's alphabet cookies. He'd hold up a letter and come up with an original word for it, accurately. Also gave a couple examples of words that ended with a certain letter, asking if he was right, and he was. We've never sat down specifically to talk about the sounds letters make, it just comes up when there's context for it or it's on his mind. Been seeing similar things with numbers, in terms of measurement, addition and multiplication.

It's just fascinating to be able to get these little glimpses of him figuring things out -- because I know so much more is going on inside his head that I DON'T get to see. And even though I trust the idea of natural learning, it's always reassuring when evidence of the kind of "academic" learning that's expected of a child starts happening without any direct teaching effort. I don't try to direct my children toward these subjects -- but they can't help but be interested in them, because they are a part of REAL LIFE. Math is all around us, written language is all around us; children in our society cannot avoid either, unless they are locked in a closet with no one to talk to and nothing to look at.

John Holt was at first surprised at the apparent lack of intelligence among his affluent private school fifth-graders in the 1950s. "I came to feel...that it was fear, boredom, and the confusion of having constantly to manipulate meaningless words and symbols. I now see that it was that, but far more than that, the fact that others had taken control of their minds (his emphasis). It was being taught, in the sense of being trained like circus animals to do tricks on demand, that had made them stupid (at least in school)."

He goes on to share this thought-provoking insight:

"The most important question any thinking creature can ask itself is, 'What is worth thinking about?' When we deny its right to decide that for itself, when we try to control what it must attend to and think about, we make it less observant, resourceful, and adaptive, in a word, less intelligent, in a blunter word, more stupid... not the measure of how much we know how to do, but of how we behave when we don't know what to do. It has to do with our ability to think up important questions and then to find ways to get useful answers. This ability is not a trick we can be taught, nor does it need to be. We are born with it, and if our other deep animal needs are fairly well satisfied, and we have reasonable access to the world around us, we will put it to work on that world."

And now, lest you find me too serious, go stick your blog URL in this site.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Grouper's growing up -- sort of

(Subtitle: See what happens when I get positive feedback from my lovely friends? I write for HOURS!)

I think it's probably official now. Grouper is no longer nursing. I would like to say that he completely self-weaned, but that wouldn't be completely honest. My screaming "OW! OW! OW! What are you DOING to me?!" every time he latched on during the fourth month of this pregnancy probably had some effect on his desire to be near my breasts.

We were already down to four times a day -- before and after each sleep. Soon bedtime was out, because that was when I was grouchiest and least able to tolerate being touched. He tried to adjust his suckle so as not to hurt me, but that just made it tickle, which was even more irritating. Early morning, when I was still half-asleep and well-rested, became the only safe time for him to curl up next to me and quietly ask to nurse. Even then, we were down to two seconds at a time with me gritting my teeth.

We had what will probably be our last positive nursing experience together one morning last week. He hadn't nursed in a few days, and he took a chance. I stayed relaxed for a whole five minutes. He hasn't asked since then. I think he decided to savor the memory.

I always admired -- even romanticized -- moms who managed to nurse straight through their pregnancies, and then tandem-nurse their toddler and newborn, keeping sibling jealousy to a minimum. I think it would have made Grouper's first year a lot easier on Puffer. But by month four of both pregnancies my pain tolerance and my milk supply dipped low enough to significantly reduce the attractiveness of my breasts to my babies. Puffer was 13 months old when I last offered to nurse him. He just looked up at me and laughed. Apparently the increase in cup-size is only a turn-on to their father.

I'm pretty sure that Grouper's loss of interest in his afternoon nap was at least partially influenced by the loss of nursing incentive. Lots of children outgrow naps at age 3, and he'd already pushed it back an hour in the last six months. But he still needs more sleep than his brother, and would probably be getting that sleep in the afternoon if I were still nursing him.

Tonight he fell asleep on my shoulder at 6:30. He'd gotten one of his beautiful long lashes stuck in his eye and it wouldn't stop hurting even after I got it out. He usually has a very high pain tolerance, but this really upset him, so it was clear he was tired. But he didn't sleep through. He woke at 8, in time for a snack, teeth brushing and jammies, and then went back down at 9 or so.

The last two weeks have definitely been challenging. I still need MY nap or I get awfully cranky by 3 p.m. And Puffer was used to having Mommy and the rest of the house to himself every afternoon. It's been an adjustment to have to work his cranky little brother into his activities. Another part of Grouper's interest in staying up is that he wants to participate in the big boy stuff. He wants to play computer games, and play with our 7-year-old neighbor, and he wants mine and his brother's ATTENTION. And if he's not getting it, someone's going to get hurt.

I've been trying to squeeze in some yoga, even just 15 minutes, to keep myself breathing instead of reacting. But I shouldn't have eaten half a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels on Friday. My blood sugar was all over the place until Monday.

We did a little better today. I'm re-reading Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training to remind myself of the kind of parent I want to be. I highly recommend it. And I just ordered You Can Have a Family Where Everybody Wins: Christian Perspectives on Parent Effectiveness Training
by Earle H. Gaulke, which was recommended by someone on the Christian unschooling list I haunt.

I think I've been giving (and following) too many orders instead of helping the boys solve their own problems. At the same time, I overreact when they make simple, childish mistakes just because it causes more work for me. This became apparent when I found myself sobbing in the laundry room for the first time in a month after Grouper annoyed his brother by touching him with his foot, and Puffer wiped peanut butter off his fingers onto the carpet while engrossed in a TV show.

"WHY? WHY can't you get along? WHY? WHY do you do things that make more work for Mommy? You should KNOW better!" I cried. As though somehow now that they're three and four-and-half they should always be well-behaved and never forget to use a napkin.

*Sigh* And now that I'm nearly a full year into my fourth decade, I should know that nobody's perfect. Not me. Not my children.

Who's actually reading this?

Thank you so much for the prayers for my grandmother. My mother won conservatorship, and my grandmother's insurance paid for a transport to her new assisted living home. So far, so good. She's getting settled in, and hopefully we can go see her sometime next week. My mother's spending the next two days packing up her old apartment, and then my dad will go down and pick up the furniture and boxes. My mom already brought home all the photo albums, my aunt's paintings, and a bookshelf for me.

It's strange to think that we'll never go visit my grandmother at home again. I haven't been there since early October. She had a lovely little apartment in a very nice complex, and the boys always played with the neighboring children. I have a lot of nice memories of having tea and cake on her patio, helping her wash the dishes after dinner, and looking through the family albums over and over again together. I want to remember those times, and the fun times my sisters and I spent visiting as children, rather than the stressful moments of conflict and confusion during the last year or more. That's what my grandmother would want, of course, if she were thinking like her old self. Beautiful thoughts only, please.

I realize I haven't yet grieved the loss of her impeccable memory and highly focused mind. My mother has done most of the grieving for all of us. I know she's wanted to protect me during this pregnancy from the stress of the situation. The last time I spoke to my grandmother on the phone I totally lost it. That was over a month ago. I have to admit I'm a little nervous about going to see her. I've avoided being emotional about the situation thanks to distance, but that won't be so easy when we start visiting. But I know it's important for me and for her. At least, I hope she will benefit from our visits and not be more agitated.

Anyhow, I was going to post about my recent doubts about the purpose of this blog. My cousin shut hers down last week, mainly because she felt like she was losing contact with long distance friends who would read her blog but not write to her. I thought that made sense. Sometimes I wonder why I blog at all. I could be journaling privately, which would require less self-censorship. I could be scrapbooking more, which would be nice for the boys when they grow up. I could be putting effort into writing for publication and actually get PAID for the time I spend on the computer. I could be staying in touch with friends more personally via private messages and phone calls. It often seems like the friends who read this are people I see or talk to regularly anyway. Everyone else just lurks, so I have no idea if this is really serving a purpose or not.

On that note, if you're lurking, and think I should keep blogging, maybe you could come out of hiding just briefly, now that I have my comments turned back on. How often do you read? Do you want general updates or detailed notes on my daily life? More stories about the boys or more pictures of my pregnant belly? Random thoughts on politics or raving rants about parenting? Just wondering...

In the meantime, this is one of my favorite Hathor comics.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Church history and prayer request

Thanks for the love notes, everybody. :) Now here's something worthy of comment... an article in the latest issue of SojoNet, Sojourners' online magazine, shares some church history worth knowing.

"Very early church tradition had women serving in all areas of ministry. Women's restriction in the church did not derive from tradition, but from the gradual importation of sub-Christian thought from outside the church, into the church."

See the whole article here:The real tradition of women and church leadership

In other news, prayer is needed that my parents successfully gain conservatorship over my grandmother in court on Friday. She has been back in the hospital due to increased dementia, and she's not well enough to go back home. My parents have found a really nice place here where she'll get the care she needs, and we'll be able to visit her often. Otherwise, she'll be back in the same situation -- in and out of various out-of-town psychiatric hospitals, which is very traumatic for someone with her condition.

So, thanks in advance for your prayers.

My blog is so lonely.

I was beginning to wonder if no one was reading me anymore, since I haven't gotten any comments since before Christmas, when Brad informed me that I'd (inadvertently) turned on comment moderator! So, it's now off, and I apologize for any comments lost in Blogger Neverland since then. I can't seem to find them.

Please come back and send me some love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Grouper's first short story

Last post of the day, I promise.

So, even when we don't read a single book during the day, we always tell stories at bedtime. Usually UberDad does the honors first, and then the boys add their own. Despite my childhood dream of being a novelist, I'm usually storyless. *sigh* Anyhow, for the last few months, Grouper, our 3yo, has told the same basic story each time it's his turn. It goes like this:

"Once upon a time, there were two boys, and a monster came and ATE THEM!" Then he giggles hysterically and announces, "That's a NIGHTMARE!"

But over the last week, he's been reworking the plot. Today, he called me in to the bathroom, where he had been developing his story as he sat on the pot. "I have a story to tell you," he said. "Once upon a time, there were two boys. And the two boys went to bed. And a monster came, and ATE THEM. Then the monster spit them out, because their heads were too hard. And he didn't chew them. So the boys were okay. The End."

Had to get that on record, just in case I never manage to scrapbook it.

Like, yoga with chocolate?

My neighbor informed me today that the hottest thing in yoga is eating chocolate while you Om. Maybe if I could go to a yoga and chocolate workshop I'd recommit myself to the physical and spiritual discipline!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yoga is no cure-all.

So, I'm standing there in triangle pose, trying to breathe and not fall down at the same time, when my 3-year-old bumps into me from behind and for a brief moment I see myself crashing sideways into the coffee table. I panic, and yell at my son, "Stay off my mat!"

I thought yoga was supposed to be make you calmer and more peaceful. Apparently not with two children bouncing through the space. After doing the first 15 minutes of my prenatal yoga video with me yesterday, they got bored and started running through the house and crawling under my legs. Eventually I convinced them to go bounce outside, but by the time I finished the second part of the video, I was exhausted. And my back hurt from being stretched for the first time in two months.

Why is it that the day I profess to have avoided crankiness for a whole week is the day that Monster Mama returns to my house in full grouch mode to make me eat my words? Monday I was even worse. I don't suppose it could have something to do with my 3-year-old weaning himself from naptime. Or the fact that UberDad and I have been staying up too late enjoying the benefits of second-trimester hormones and a cured yeast infection. (Shouldn't a healthy sex life, like yoga, make one MORE patient during the day, not less?)

Today I managed to stay in a good mood until 2:30. We played Chutes and Ladders, Hullabaloo, and Elefun, and then went outside to throw a ball for awhile when the sun came out. The house is picked up, laundry is going, the dishwasher's run. And my neighbor brought me a decaf latte. :) All in all, it had been a pretty good day.

And then I realized Grouper was, once again, NOT going to nap. Despite the stuffy nose and cough he's been fighting for the last four days. Despite the fact that they stayed out with my dad until after 9 last night while my mom and I went to a Passion Party, and didn't get to sleep until 10:30. So, I laid down without him, knowing I needed at least half an hour of peace and solitude to make it the rest of the day. Ten minutes later, Puffer is yelling for me from the living room because Grouper's touched a button on the remote and they can't get back to their show. I did not respond with much understanding or patience.

So, here I am, blogging. Trying to decide if doing yoga again today would be good for my spiritual well-being, or counter-productive considering the two small people currently occupying the living room.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Hobbies are a good thing.

I finally finished my mom's scarf! Yay! Now I have a birthday gift to finish, and a hat for a friend's preemie. Then it's time to start on my diaper bag, longies for Baby Boy #3 (gotta come up with a pseudonym) and a gift for my friend's first baby boy who's due in March.

I've been reading the giant scrapbooking book I got for Christmas, uploading and ordering photos and planning out albums this week in preparation for another scrapbooking date with my friend Emily. I'm determined to scrap once a week, 'cause I don't see how else I'll ever catch up.

I've been eating better, finally, and avoiding grouchiness as a result. I tried two new recipes from my neighbor's copy of Rachael Ray's 364: No Repeats. The Lime-and-Honey Glazed Salmon with Warm Black Bean and Corn Salad was a hit with UberDad, as was Three Beans and Some Chicken. I've decided to trade off making kid-friendly and grown-up friendly dinners. Otherwise I get bored and the boys never get to try new things. Or else they eat nothing but cereal and ice cream.

We got cable tv and internet this week! It's SO much better than the SBC DSL. Also got a better program to block pop-ups and spyware. We got to watch HGTV, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet without going to my parents' house. They were out of town this weekend anyhow. I'm hoping it'll keep Puffer at home during Grouper's nap, so we can visit more while he's having afternoon downtime and I'm scrapping or knitting or folding laundry.

Now I just have to squeeze yoga in somewhere. My muscles have completely turned to mush.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Busyness, boys, and blogs

Today I am exhausted. I got nothing done at home this weekend so the house started out a wreck. I did the boys' class at church on Sunday, and wouldn't have survived that without Carla's help. Yesterday I was either out of the house, on the phone, or had company. My post regarding the baby boy news was written in a hurry between visitors and outings.

This morning my neighbor called me in crisis; her father-in-law is in the hospital and they have to start the process of putting him in assisted living. She and the kids were here when I got out of the shower. Then my mom came by, wanting to go out to lunch. I was starving by the time the kids left, so we headed out. Unfortunately the boys were hungry, too, and getting cranky. Puffer decided when we got to the restaurant that he wanted to go to McDonald's instead. Needless to say, the meal was not as relaxing as it could have been, though I did eat well. :)

When we got home, one boy wanted me to go outside with him, and the other wanted me to be inside. I had a headache, and just wanted a nap.

Tomorrow we're going to friends' house to play and scrapbook. I've been looking forward to it, but I haven't had time to prepare, so I don't know what I'll be able to get done. Thursday we'll have to skip park day so I can get grocery shopping done. Today I just need to do laundry and try to pick up this house. Sorting and organizing the boys' overflowing closet will have to wait until the weekend. Now that we know we're having a boy, I can't just give away all the outgrown clothes to someone else to sort through!

Anyhow, in the last two days I've happened upon more mothers of three boys than I've noticed in the last year. First I found an adorable sweater for a baby girl, and then discovered that the designer is a mother of three boys and no girls. Then I started reading an article on about clotheslines, only to discover the author was another mother of three boys. Then this morning I decided to do a search to see what else I might find, and found this blog, whose author shares my name and is currently pregnant with her third son!

So, I know I'm not alone in being surrounded by testosterone. Guess I'll have to redecorate my own bedroom in pink paisley. :)
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