Friday, October 26, 2012

The view around here

Not only have we added on to our family this year, we're also adding on top our house. This will be a garage, living room, guest room, and storage room. Can't wait for it to be finished.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

William Daniel

I must break this 2 month blogging hiatus to announce our 4th child's entrance into this crazy family.

William "Liam" Daniel arrived Monday August 27th at 5:46am.  He weighed 7lbs 2oz and was 19inches long.

I know not everyone is so keen on birth stories, but I promise this one will be short and sweet.  I woke up at 3am with contractions.  I timed them for about 45 minutes.  Called the Dr and my mom.  We were at the hospital around 4:30.  By the time I was in the bed and had an IV in, the contractions were coming right on top of each other.  Dr. walks in about 5:30, Liam was born at 5:46.  Crazy I tell you.  There was no time for any kind of pain medication what so ever.  Although, I have to say that looking back I don't think the IV drugs really did all that much to take away the pain.  Because of the blood thinners I was on, I wouldn't have been able to get an epidural until about 6am, so there was definitely no time for that either.  It was a pretty perfect delivery.  Super painful, but super fast.  Liam did great and came out healthy.  His blood sugar was slightly low, but after that first check it was up in normal range every other time they checked.

The hospital stay was quiet and peaceful.  Jonathan and I just chilled and read and watched tv and snuggled our new little guy.  The kids came and visited twice.  The boys can't get over just how cute they think he is.  Katherine loves giving him kisses.  She has really started playing with dolls since we came home.  It is adorable.

Now we are a week out.  I'm feeling really good.  Too good really, because I feel like I should be able to do a whole lot more than I should do.  I've been trying to take it easy and really limit myself to how much I do during the day.  I'm also not supposed to be lifting more than 10lbs.  That's quite frustrating when you have a 1 year old that really doesn't understand why mommy can't pick her up.  Considering how fast our first week went, I'm hoping the next 5 will go by just as fast so I can get back to the regular routine.

Liam is doing great.  He is such a blessing.  The kids all love him, and there really hasn't been any jealousy.  This transition has been really easy - except for the not being able to lift things.

It has hit me now that we are home, that I won't get to do this ever again.  There is some sadness in that.  I love being a mom, I love many parts of pregnancy, and when I'm holding our new little one, there is just no other feeling like it.  However, I'm at such a peace with it.  It feels right.  It's like Liam was the missing piece to our family.  I'm excited to move on to the next stage of life.  We'll cherish all the wonderful newborn moments one last time, and forge into the world of school, sports, schedules, and watching our kids grow into independent people.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Flynn and Max

We've added two new members to our crazy household over the past month.

Way back when, on Noah's birthday, we had a stray cat living in our neighbors garage, along with her new brood of kittens.  We promised Noah one of those kittens, but the mama cat must have sensed this, and moved her family before they were old enough.  A couple weeks later my husband's coworker had some kittens they wanted to give away.  So he brought home a little gray kitten for Noah.  We ran some names by Noah and he decided on Flynn.  

Flynn lived inside for a little while, but with Jonathan's allergies he couldn't stay there long.  He is now a happy outside cat, with a future of mouse chasing.  The kids love going outside and cuddling and playing with him. Flynn likes to attack Kaiser and Sophie when they go out to do their thing.  It is highly amusing.  He is definitely a good little kitten.

Two weeks ago Jonathan came home and mentioned that one of his coworkers lived near their county's Humane Society, and suggested that we check them out.  We had been talking about getting a big dog to be outside to roam the property and keep the varmints at bay.  I was really apprehensive about getting a dog that was not in the puppy stage.  With a puppy, you know their history and can train them from the beginning.  But we went to their website and checked it all out.  There were a couple dogs that we were interested in, but the one that really caught our eye was a german shepard/ coon hound mix called Popeye.  He was just a year old.  A large dog, and his description said he was really good with kids and other dogs.  He was also neutered and housebroken.  We filled out their short application and waited a couple days.  Jonathan got in touch with them and set out with Ohlen and Kaiser to meet him.  When he left, Jonathan commented that he really doubted he would come home with him, but thought it would just be a meeting.

An hour or so later they returned home, and Popeye was with them.  He is huge!  About 90 lbs with super long legs.  He was very friendly with everyone he met.   

The past two weeks have proven what a wonderful dog he really is.  He rarely jumps up on people now, unless he is very excited. Which happens every so often, he does still have some puppy in him.  He knows the boundaries of our property and stays around here.  He is still wonderful with the kids.  

Oh yes, his name.  Popeye was kind of a mouthful for the kids.  And it just didn't seem to suit him very well. Ohlen suggested Matt, but I reminded him that we know a lot of people named Matt, and that might be confusing, so I suggested Max, and he thought it was pretty awesome.  We think it suits him.  He knew his new name in a matter of days.   I've also wanted a dog that will come at a whistle.  My first dog, Mick, used to come running when I whistled.  Tonight I went to the back door, stuck my head out and whistled, a little later Max showed up at the door.  Love it.  

He spends much of his time outside, but we have him come in for the night.  He sleeps in the laundry room.  Jonathan has built him a nice dog house, but I don't think Max has really acknowledged its existence yet.

He has a few quirks.  He likes to chase/follow shadows.  It is bizarre.   He sheds like crazy.  And I found out last night that he is chasing the neighbors cats. (So sorry!!)  He eats a whole lot more than the wiener dogs... :)  Of course, he is also about 80 lbs heavier than they are.

Overall, it has been the best experience.  He is a wonderful dog!  We can't get over how great he is with the kids.  

He was really not sure about the computer that first night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gestational Diabetes

So I have a new little purse to carry with me for the next several weeks.

About 2 weeks ago I took the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  This was after failing the 1 hour test the week before.  I had failed the 1 hour test with my last two pregnancies too, so I really wasn't that concerned.  Unfortunately, I got a call from my Dr's office telling me that this time I wasn't so lucky, and I have gestational diabetes.  I wasn't scheduled to meet with a dietitian for a week, so I consulted the internets.  I didn't want to just keep eating like usual for the week.  I was also scheduled to meet with an RN for training on how to use the meter and about the diabetes in general on the same day.  So, with the help of info online and from a message board of other women dealing with the same thing, I started a new diet and started checking my blood sugar to get a start on things.   

In case you aren't familiar with gestational diabetes, it is basically diabetes during pregnancy.  Most women will stop being diabetic as soon as the baby is born.  It has something to do with all the hormones.  Most women can control their blood sugar numbers with diet and exercise.  If it isn't controlled it can lead to the baby gaining more weight than they need and being big at birth.  ( I think there are some other risks too, but I think that is the most common one.)

The diet.  I was pretty intimidated at first.  I would have to really watch what and when I ate.  The week before I met with the dietitian I ate a whole lot of the same thing.  Instead of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I am eating eggs.  Instead of eating whenever I feel like it, I'm sticking to a schedule.  Plus, I was eating quite a bit of sugary, carb filled things, so that was quite the change.  However, after I met with the dietitian things seem a whole lot more doable.  She laid out a meal plan that was easy to understand.  It seems the biggest thing is that I need to pair carbs with proteins.  I can have all kinds of non starchy vegetables.  Nuts and cheese are ok.  I do have to watch how much fruit and milk I consume.

I bought some Stevia (Truvia brand) and I use that to add some sweetness to my tea.  That has made things a bit easier. 

So far I haven't been having any trouble keeping my blood sugar numbers low.  9 1/2 weeks to go (or less). I can't wait to meet this little guy.  Now he just needs a name. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's This?

Last night at around 9:30 I finally put the last stitch into the comforter I have been making for Ohlen.  I can't remember exactly when I started it, but I know it was at our old house, so it's been at least a year, probably two...

 I snapped some quick (not great) pictures and took it in to him.  He wasn't quite asleep, so I exchanged his current blanket for the new one.  He said, "Thanks mom.  This is more comfy than all our other blankets!!"  I think he approved. :)

It's made of entirely of flannels.  So yes, it is very comfy.  Maybe too warm for late spring, but our house is air conditioned, so I think it will work.  

Now it's on to finish Noah's.  His needs to be knotted and bound yet.  Then he will have his own super comfy comforter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


10 years ago, at this very moment (or you know, close) of 10:38 pm I was getting into bed, thinking about all that the next day held.  I was going to be marrying the man that I felt was the perfect match for me.

Now 10 years later, I would tell myself that I still feel the same way.  I still feel like I married the man that is a perfect match for me.

I'm having a really hard time thinking of what to write here.  There are just so many things that I could write about.  The past 10 years have been so full.  We've both changed and grown, but it feels like we did that together.  We are still on the same page.  Which is, I think, part of what has made the past 10 years so great.

As I sit and look around I can't help but just be completely content and happy with where I am in life right now.  I love and respect my husband so much.  I think we really work well together.  We share many of the same dreams.  We are usually on the same page when it comes to raising our kids and finances and other important things.

I thank God for setting our paths to cross and blessing me with such a perfect match.

And now for some blast from the past pictures.  The first is from early 2000 when we were seniors in high school.  The rest are from our wedding.  Definitely dates us, looking at our posed wedding pictures, decor, and such.  lol  But it was a nice simple wedding.  We have 4 left feet between us, so we opted for just a meal for the reception, and then off we went to our honeymoon.  We just left town for a bigger city for a couple nights.  We were 19 and 20 and in the middle of college, there was no budget for anything else.  But it was great.  We went to the zoo, a science center, saw a movie (Star Wars ep. 2 - we did get married on the 25th anniversary of the release of A New Hope. :) ), and just enjoyed some down time before we went back and had to start working for the summer. (and I apologize for the poor picture quality.  We were married predigital camera (at least for us) and I don't have the scanner here, so I just took a picture of a picture, and that just always turns out great... especially when you do it at night by the light of the ceiling light...)

So very young.

Off to our honeymoon, as soon as we rid the car of about a dozen balloons.

It's been an amazing 10 years, and I can't wait to see what the next 10, 20, 30, etc. years hold for us and our family.

I'm still wonderfully, eternally, completely, 100 percently in love with this man.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The enemy

Any one else fighting the laundry mountain?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Growing Up

This is one of those posts that has the potential to go on in forever in a sea of text.  Probably not the greatest and most exciting of things for a blog.  So, in anticipation of myself writing too much, I will attempt to keep myself reigned in.

I've been doing a whole of self reflection over the last few weeks.  I blame this on the ominous approach of my 30th birthday on the last day of this month.  Ok, that's a little dramatic, as I really have no probably whatsoever with turning 30.  I found my first gray hair around the age of 17, and my first stretch mark when my hips exploded sometime in Jr High.  These things don't bother me.

It's the inner stuff that I'm really trying to take assessment of.  How I'm spending my time.  How I'm handling myself.  How I am thinking about things.  I think most everyone knows how to act in certain situations.  We know how to put on a front.  Although, I as I get older, or grow up, I am starting to break down that false wall.   You know the one.  The one your mom put up as soon as the phone rang while you were being punished.  Her eyes were still giving you that "mom glare" but her voice talking to the person on the phone would have made you think she were out on a lounge chair on the porch sipping tea watching the sunset.  Do I fault mom for this, of course not, the poor person on the end of the line didn't need to be greeted with the same emotion that was being directed toward us, that I'm sure we completely deserved.  However, I think there are some places that we should break through that fake wall of eternal contentment.

Sunday morning was one of those instances for me.  Someone at church asked how I was doing.  And instead of answering with a cheerful "Great! How are you?"  I answered with a very honest, tired, "Alright."  That morning I had got all the kids ready for church myself, as Jonathan was not feeling well at all.  I was tired.  And answering that way led to a wonderful conversation that really raised my spirits for the day.  That first response probably wouldn't have produced such an honest conversation.

I could ramble on.

I actually wrote a whole other paragraph, about time management, and realized that that really doesn't go with what I was talking about at all really...  So I'll save that for another day.

So the point. At almost 30 I think I'm starting to understand how to be more authentic. At least in a small way.

I think I need to try and translate that to how I think about myself. I think sometimes I lie to myself about myself..  I know there are times when I look in the mirror and really see myself, and am taken aback.  For some reason, in my mind's eye, I am still the same size and shape that I was at about 17...  not so much.  And I often wonder if I'm not doing that with my inner self too.  Am I completely overlooking some part of my personality that needs work?  Well, to be honest, I know there are things I need to work on.  My patience, for one.  My compassion.  My temper.  My cynicism.   My 17 year old self didn't really struggle with those things.  She struggled with a whole other batch of emotions.  And now, at 30, I have a completely different life.  I've been married for almost 10 years.  I have 3 kids, and one on the way.  My job is babysitting two kids, on top of having my own 3 at home.  A whole different ball game from working at a restaurant, dating, being in high school, living with my parents.  I didn't have a whole lot of need for patience.  At least not patience for 5 children 5 and under that are relying on me for just about everything.  I didn't have anything to be cynical about, except maybe when I wasn't allowed to do exactly what I wanted, and to be honest, that really didn't happen a whole lot.

I have a feeling my 17 year old self would be shocked to see how wide her hips are going to get.  And how fast those gray hairs are going to multiply and take over.  But I also have a feeling she would tell me that I need to chill out.  She would be so incredibly happy with where I am.  I am living exactly the life I wanted to live.  I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted to be at home with my kids.  I wanted to get married to a man that I respect and love with all my heart. I have it pretty darn good, and I really have no need to be cynical.  Or to have a temper.  Or to lose my patience.

I just need to remind myself of this daily.  It is way too easy to get caught up in the little frustrations of the day, and completely forget about the joy of the big picture!

Thanks for reading my ramblings.  Reading back through I think I still made a pretty crazy transition somewhere in the middle there... Oh well. :)  It's where the thoughts were going tonight.  And now... it is time for bed.  Apparently I have some sort of draw for writing here after midnight, as I'm pretty sure that's about what time I wrote my last entry as well.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

3 Years Ago Tonight

3 years ago today, I prepared 2 separate suppers, one I was taking to a family that had just had a baby, and the other for us and a couple that was supposed to join us for supper.

3 years ago this evening, I was completely exhausted after having worked hard on the meals all day.  Turns out the couple joining us for supper completely forgot about our plans.  I stared feeling like something was a little amiss right around 9:30.

3 years ago right now, I was in the triage area, breathing through contractions while the NBA playoffs were on the TV.

3 years ago at about 1:30 am, I got an epidural and giggled about not being able to feel my legs.  And astonished the nurses when they realized I was just about completely dilated, when I was only at a 6 (10 is complete) before I got the epidural.

3 years ago at 2:14am Noah Reuben joined our family.

These past 3 years have gone by so fast.  He is no longer our youngest.  He has embraced his role as middle child. :)  Destined for a childhood full of hand me downs, but also full of sibling love.

He is our clown.  He is the one that gets when someone is teasing him.  "You kidding me?"  He already knows how to tease back.  He has the best laugh.  He loves his big brother and his little sister.  He was the one that correctly guessed that his new sibling was going to be a little brother.  He has light wavy hair, in contrast to Ohlen with his darker straight as an arrow hair.

12 am 5/5 - Officially Noah's birthday  :)

He loves being outside.  He loves digging in the dirt.  He tells great stories.  "And what happened!"  Complete with hand gestures and often reenactments. If you look up "independent" in the dictionary, you may just find his picture.

We love you Noah! Happy Birthday little grizzly bear!!  Good bye "terrible" twos, hello thermal detonating threes. :)  (Yeah, I made that up that name for the threes in honor of Star Wars day...)  (Dear Noah, sorry your mom is such a nerd.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exciting Week

This is quite the week for us over here.  First off, I had my mid way ultrasound appointment yesterday.  It was, as always, an amazing experience.  I feel so blessed to live in a day and age where we have the technology to be able to take a peek at our little one inside.  Especially this early, before being able to feel super big kicks.  To be able to see the baby moving all around.  To see their tiny heart pumping, their little limbs moving all over, their tiny little perfect noses, and, of course, getting that confirmation of what "kind" of baby is in there.

I was asked if it loses some excitement with the 4th one, and for me, absolutely not.  I was still anxious all day, wanting the time until the appointment to speed by.  I was still a little nervous that there might be something wrong.  I was still waiting with baited breath to hear the announcement of the baby's gender.  And I laughed out loud when it was announced.  I had unconsciously been using a gender specific pronoun the last couple of days, and I was right. We are having our third little boy.  And we couldn't be more elated.  When it comes down to it, no, it didn't matter.  We would be elated with another girl.  I can't describe the feeling that came over me when we were leaving the hospital.  The feeling that this is our family.  This is it.  This is who we are going to make memories with.  This is who we will get to see blossom and grow.  This is who we will love for the rest of our lives.  3 boys and 1 girl.  Just seems right.  I know that anything can happen, that we aren't guaranteed anything in this life, but why on earth would I dwell on what might happen?  Doesn't seem like much fun.  I know what stress and worry can do to a person, and I know that if  I let myself, I can let worry drag me down too, but I can't allow that to happen.  As much as it pained me to see worry eat away at that person, it also made me much more aware of it in my own life as I've gotten older and have kids of my own.  I just wish that person were still around to talk to about it; I wasn't well enough equipped back then.

Wow, that certainly went to a place I wasn't expecting.  I suppose that's what happens when you write these things late at night on a whim...

In any event, I give you a sneak peek at our little one.  I'll spare you the boy proof picture.  I mean, I get why they print it off for you, but we will keep it to ourselves.

The other exciting part of our week is all about the oldest child of our little clan.  He will be going tomorrow morning to register and be screened for Kindergarten.  I am so very excited for him.  I know he is going to love school.  (For now, at least.) He has been counting down the days.

It's all kind of surreal for me.  We will be starting anew with a brand new life the same time we will be watching our oldest take some of those first real steps towards independence. I want him to be independent, but it isn't always easy to let go.

I can't wait to see what he can accomplish. I knew I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.  This is one of the things that I was looking forward to.  Seeing what my kids make of themselves.  To encourage them and push them to be their best.  Being on the brink of school just brings all those feelings to the forefront.  I know, he's only 5, but I feel like the post I will write when he is about to graduate from highschool will come along entirely too quickly.  I know the ride probably won't be an easy one, but it will be worth it.

I guess really, it feels like we are on the brink of starting a whole new phase of life.  We are both going to turn 30 this year.  We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary soon.  We are having our last baby (at least that's the plan). We are moving out of the newborn/baby stage and into the having kids in school phase.  It's exciting.

We've had some things not go the way we planned lately, and we are realizing just how trivial they really are.  We step back, take a look around, see the roof over our head, the food on our table, a 5 year old who can ask some profound questions, an almost 3 year old that constantly makes others laugh, a 10 month old that completely lights up at the sight of her daddy, and an ultrasound picture of a new life to come, we realize that we have been blessed by God so richly.  We couldn't ask for anything more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hanging out at the Capitol

Our big trip has come and gone.

While we didn't head out to England, or someplace tropical, we still had a great time hanging out around Capitol Hill in our nation's capital, Washington, DC.

We really went back and forth about where we wanted to go.  England was out because it was way out of our budget, for both money and time.  All inclusive resorts were out because of budget - mostly because of the having to fly there first.  Flights are expensive.  We went back and forth between a cruise and this DC trip quite a few times, but in the end decided we wanted to save a cruise for when I would be able to do all the stuff we would want to do.  The one cruise we were looking at had some really cool excursions to ruins, but they deemed them as pretty physically intense, and that probably wouldn't be the best for the pregnant lady.  Plus there were the plane tickets, which most of the time actually cost more than the base price of the cruise...  So we decided to go off to DC.

We had a great time.  The great thing about going to DC is that every museum and site we went to was free.  We visited the Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, The American History Museum, Museum of Art (which had an exhibit, The Art of Video Games, which was fun.), The Botanical Gardens - all free.  We didn't hit up a whole lot of the monuments as we had been there before.  We did check out the World War II memorial, as it was new since we had been there in 2000.  We did pay to see an IMAX movie at the Air and Space Museum.

Another thing I did for this vacation was to leave my camera at home.  These are all from my camera on my phone.  I just didn't want to have to worry about my camera.

We were kind of surprised because we didn't think the prices for food were all that outrageous, especially for a big city.

We chose to stay at a hotel close to the Capitol building with the idea that we would be able to walk everywhere.  And we did the first night and day, but then we decided to try out the metro system, and we are glad we did.  We both got a pass and rode the subway a few times.  It was super easy, and saved our feet and backs.  I think if we went again, we might stay a little further away from things, and use the subway more. I would think it would save a little on the cost of lodging.

We also checked out two movies while we were there. The Hunger Games and Wrath of the Titans.  I enjoyed them, but I'm really not that picky with movies.  We learned that one should never order concessions before knowing the price.  Lol.  We didn't have time for lunch before the one movie, so we got something to tide us over... cheap it was not.

Our last morning there we left and headed to my best friend's place in Lancaster, PA.  We got to visit with her and she gave us a place to sleep for our last night out.  It was so great. Plus I got to visit the Colombian bakery there for some Passion fruit juice, and it was wonderful.

Another thing we did for this trip was rent a car.  We only have a mini van and an suv, neither of which gets good gas mileage.  Plus, we really didn't want to put that much wear and tear on either of them, as they both have quite a few miles on them already.  When it was all said and done, we probably spent just about as much renting as we would have driving our own cars because of the crazy difference in gas mileage.  Definitely worth it for us.

I definitely would recommend our hotel if you ever want to stay close to Smithsonian Museums and the Capitol building.  We stayed at the Capitol Hill Suites.  When I was looking for a place there were very few options that close that also had a free breakfast and free wifi. They had both, and it was great.  The staff was very friendly.   Our room also had a small (empty) fridge, kitchen sink, and microwave.  The one drawback is that there was a fee for having our car parked there.

All in all it was a great trip for us.  We were able to have long conversations before 8pm that weren't interrupted.  I didn't have to worry about feeding anyone but myself, and there were no diapers to change.  We were able to sleep in past 7am! It was a great, relaxing extended weekend.

The kids had a great time too, hanging out with Grandpa and Grandma.  They all, apparently, slept really well, which is such a blessing, to have kids that can and will sleep anywhere.

OH - and especially fun is that I actually felt baby moving on the outside. (As in, I felt some movement, and put my hand where I was feeling it, and actually felt it on my hand.)  So that was great too, and I have really been having an increase in feeling movement.  Our ultrasound is next Tuesday, so hopefully I will be blogging about that soon.  As well as a new adventure we are possibly diving into.  (Ok, adventure might be too strong of a word... but it involves animals.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream

I experimented tonight, and it turned out so good I had to come share it.

I've made several different frozen goodies since I got my ice cream attachment for my mixer, but I've never tried to make chocolate.  Most of the recipes I had seen called for more work than I was willing to do without advance planning.  Or they called for an overnight chill.  Actually I would like to see what this recipe would do with an overnight chill, but I was in too big of a hurry tonight.

Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream

3c milk (I used 2% - would be fun to experiment with whipping cream, but this way was cheaper and on hand.)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk all ingredient vigorously until well combined.  This took a little bit longer than I thought and seemed like it would never combine, but it did.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use.  I think mine was in there for about 30 minutes.  Follow instructions for your ice cream maker.

We think it turned out great.  Still waiting on Jonathan's verdict - he is gone for the night, so it will be a surprise for him when he gets home.  He has been wanting me to try to make some chocolate, so it will be fun to see if he likes it.

To me it tastes a lot like fudge bar, but it has the consistency of a frosty.  This is where I wonder if a longer chill would make it thicker - or maybe I was a little impatient stopping the mixer... :)  There was a thicker consistency on the edges of the bowl, it was more like harder ice cream, but really, we don't care much about the consistency - although it did thaw fairly fast.

And it would probably taste amazing with some add ins - maybe some nuts, marshmallow creme....  craisins??  Love all the possibilities.

(Oh, and we definitely have some spring fever around here.  We even grilled out side for our supper, it was like a preview of summer.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Best Sound

The best sound an expecting mother can hear, is the strong beating of a heartbeat from a little doppler machine(?) held on her abdomen.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot, we are expecting!  If you know any of our story, as far as having kids goes, you know that this is extremely fast for us.  We have come to expect a year - year and a half wait to get that positive pregnancy test.  This time though, God had different plans for us.

We were completely shocked.  We knew it could happen, but neither of us expected it to happen so soon.  This time it took about 3 months.  Crazy.  It was the best Christmas gift, to find out we were expecting our 4th child.

But back to the sound.  I had my first OB appointment Tuesday.  It is a longer appointment.  Lots of questions.  But at the very end, you get to hear that heartbeat.  With each child, that sound has made it all the more real.  I'm 12 weeks along, I've been feeling terrible, but other than that, there really isn't much to show that there is a little one coming in several months.  No protruding belly, no felt kicks, and for the Dr I see, no ultrasound pictures to gaze at.

So I cherish that whoosh whoosh.

Oh and for the record.  She said the heartrate was in the 160s.  Both boys were consistently in the 130s, Katherine's was always higher than 140...  What does that mean??  Well, scientifically, absolutely nothing.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this blog.  I enjoy coming and writing every so often, but I don't have much to write about these days.  I'm hoping to have more to say once we get to spring and gardening, maybe some crafting again.  Maybe I'll share some of the things I've been doing with the kids....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strange January

One of the actual wintery January mornings.

January was a very strange month around here.

It is supposed to be winter.  It is supposed to be snowing with temperatures below 40.  Yesterday the thermometer hit 59...  A couple days before it snowed.  A few days before that... it was up in the 50s.  It's been back and forth all month.

I like all seasons.  Especially the colder ones, so I'm really missing winter.

On top of that, maybe because of that (no clue), we've all been fighting sickness around here.  Katherine has had a runny nose almost all month. She had a double ear infection at the beginning of the month, a fever somewhere in the middle, and is just now starting to completely come out of it.  The boys both had fevers at the beginning of this week.  I've had a touch of cold for a little over a week.  Jonathan is the same.  Although, he also had some wisdom teeth pulled last week, so he's been dealing with that too.

What I haven't done is craft or try any new recipes.  I'm hoping to do some of it very soon.  I had a list a year ago of things I wanted to get done sewing wise.  I think I might have done one of those projects.  Hopefully this year!

Hoping for a snowy and healthy February.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best Idea Ever

Well, ok, maybe not the best ever, but it has lowered some stress in my life, so, at the moment, it is right up there.

In the last days of December I wrote a list of all the meals we enjoy.  Then I set up a meals calendar in my Google calendar, in which I organized the meals in a 3 week rotation.  I also did the same for the kids' lunches, but put those on a 2 week rotation.

The result has been amazing.  I had been just going day by day, and it was so frustrating. 5 o'clock would roll around and I would be at a complete loss for what to make for supper.  Now there is no thought involved.  And there is the added bonus that I can look at the approaching week of meals and do my grocery shopping accordingly, which is also a huge plus.

If you want to set up your own Meal Planning calendar, it is super easy.  (I'm sure there are plenty of great tutorials and guides to setting up an even better system out there in blogland, this is just a real simple way to do it.)

I already use Google Calendar to keep track of all sorts of things; appointments, monthly bill due dates, reminder to take out the trash, etc.  And the best part is that the main part of my calendar is shared with my husband, so I don't have to remind him about all those things (and vice versa) - it shows up right on our phones.

So, in order to save him from having to see all the meal stuff - and to make it a different color so it stood out - I created a new calendar within the main calendar.  If you open up Google Calendar and go to the left hand side, there should be a drop down menu called My Calendar.  Under that menu there should be the option to Create New Calendar.  Here is a look at mine on the weekly view - also showing where the Create a New Calendar option is.

From there it is pretty self explanatory.  For me, I went through and quick added all the meals, and then went back through and set them to repeat every 3 weeks. (Except for a few things that we really like, those I put on Thursday and set on repeat every 2 weeks. Well, actually I set two of the Thursday meals at 2 weeks and one at 3... so every once in a while there is an empty day, and a day with 2 options.)

I can't tell you how nice it is to not have to be thinking about what to make for supper each night.  So wonderful.  And, unless I change it, it will go on indefinitely.  We could be having the same thing every third Tuesday 5 years from now for all I know.