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?
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