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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: July 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preschool Corner: Getting Ready for Baby

~ Tornado is 3 years almost 8 months ~
preschool corner

We're still picking at the school thing over here. I decided to move my plans for the week I'm due up a little (just in case baby came early... no such luck). The plans were to focus on baby... his coming, what babies are like, baby care, etc. I plan to continue with this theme through this next week too... might as well, they're enjoying it. :)

Our verse for the week has been Jeremiah 1:5a...

This next week we'll be focusing on Psalm 139:13...

I made "vocab cards"...

which he enjoyed cutting up...

...and gluing to a piece of construction paper.

The first day we introduced the verse, we did play-do to illustrate the concept of "formed"...

I "formed" this little baby (I also talked about how God is way better at forming babies than Mommy is) to give them the idea of being shaped or molded or made. They enjoyed that lesson. Sweet Pea wanted to hold the baby, but she was very upset every time an arm or leg or the head fell off. :)

Today we got out the water color paints and made cards for the new baby. We'll finish them up tonight or tomorrow or Monday (or someone else will finish them with the kids if I'm not around). We had to let them dry before doing the other side. I don't have a pic of those yet, but they had fun making them. Tornado even traced the message he wanted to put on the card. I asked him what he wanted to say and he said, "We love you!" It's what the characters in one of our books put on the banner they made for baby.

Sometime in the next few days to a week we (or they) will make these cute crowns...

I made them up on the computer so they can decorate them. Then whoever is with them (friend or grandma) can help them cut them out and staple or tape them together to wear when they visit the hospital.

I was really picky about books to read for this unit. So many books on new babies for kids talk a lot about how they will feel left out or may get angry at the baby and I don't like that. I don't see any reason to tell them how they will feel... especially feelings I am trying to train out of them. I requested a bunch of books from the library, but I promptly returned 3/4 of them. I thought about doing a post reviewing them all with what I thought and why, but time and energy eluded me... sorry. What we did end up with, I censored slightly if I didn't like a word they used or something, so please preview my recommendations yourself before reading them to your children.

Check out Preschool Corner for more preschool ideas!

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Still here

It was cool enough to walk earlier this week...
so here's my 39 week belly ready to head down the street.

I woke up this morning from natural causes... ok, maybe not natural causes. Pregnancy causes is more like it. The point is, it wasn't labor that caused me to wake. It seems that each evening I hope I'll be in labor by morning. :) Not so far! The next step for my day is to hope I'll be in labor by evening.

It's not so much that I'm terribly impatient... the fact is that I'm somewhat overly patient for the first days of infancy (it sounds harder in my head to care for a newborn--not to mention newborn plus other kids once I'm home from the hospital--than to just do what I already know how to do).

It's more that I'm ready to have my body on the path to recovery. Laying in bed is a long arduous process... even if it's to sleep for the night. I wake up (after a bunch of wake ups through the night) to sore and painful hips and legs between 5-7am sometime... only to give in and move to the couch... which is only somewhat more comfortable. (I don't mean to complain... just to give explanation for my readiness!)

I can report that I finished my "waiting" project...

It took exactly one week, which means I had it done this past Sunday night. It's just taken this long to get a picture taken. I'm excited to have it finished and ready for cool weather so we can snuggle underneath it.

One fun tidbit about this quilt... the top is made up of fabric I already had on hand.

They are all fabrics I've used in other quilts.... quilts I've made for friends' wedding gifts. Now, each time I cuddle under it, I can think of those friends and smile (especially nice since since all those friends are far away now.)

And here's the edging that I was working on last week... all done! :)

It's a nice feeling!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our first herb harvest this summer

I've mentioned recently that we've been studying herbs. Even before knowing exactly what to do with them all (we still don't), we sowed them in our garden. The rest is forced learning. When harvest time came, we learned the "how to harvest and store" step.

Step one: herbs are best harvested in the morning. They are at there most potent at this time.

The kids and I headed down to harvest some herbs after breakfast one morning. There were a bunch! Some (eh, all) of this is still trial and error. I was hoping I didn't over harvest any of it like last year. That ended the plant's growth early = sad! (Note: it doesn't look like I did... I'm grateful to have learned that lesson last year!)

Step two: rinse and prep. Tornado was a big helper in pulling the leaves off the stalks and putting them on the dehydrator screens (only one of several ways I could have done it... I did it differently the second time... and may try something else next time... I could have left them on the stems too, and removed them after dehydrating... that would have been easier I think!)

Step three: dehydrate. I labeled each tray just in case I forgot. Then I set it to work. I don't have a pic of the finished product, but they all looked nice and dry when they were finally done! :)

They now each reside in a sealed glass jar. Someday they will be labeled in a cute way and will have a permanent home (not randomly taking up what little counter space I have.)

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finally some love for the boys!... Baby Boy Breastfeeding Record

A long time ago (almost 2 1/2 years now), I introduced my breastfeeding record... a fabulous resource (for me anyway) for keeping track of all those newborn stats we need to keep track of. You know, when did we feed? How many wet diapers? How many poopy ones? When Tornado was born, I jotted it all down on notebook paper, but I wasn't happy with the way it worked entirely. So when Sweet Pea was coming, I designed something pretty and functional to help me keep track. Many of you have requested that I send you a copy so that you could use it too... and I hope it worked for you as well as it worked for us!

Over the last couple years I have had a couple requests for a "boy version", as apposed to pink flowers. I can remember saying something like... "if I ever have time, I'll let you know." Well, with the coming (soon) of our little boy, I've had to make time to make that "boy version"... and so here it is!!

I used the same format as the original, but replaced pink with blue and made up a cute little background (sailboats homemade by yours truly). I hope it's something you can enjoy. Tornado helped decide what other little "decorations" should be included.

Download all the files below:

Week 1: A very special week measured in 24 hour periods from the birth time. I've mentioned what the stools should be like too. The blue boxes show the minimum number you should be looking for. (Talk to your babies doctor if you have questions about what exactly is right for your baby. I'm getting my information from Baby Wise!) In the "Feedings" boxes, I usually put an "R" or "L" in the box for the side last started on, and above the box I put the time. If you are bottle feeding, you could also put the number of ounces given in the box.

Weeks 2-4: You may have to tweak the end of the first week with the beginning of the second (or blend them) as it switches from 24 hour periods to full days. Otherwise I work it pretty much the same.

Weeks 5-10: This one is pretty much the same too... and I found that I stopped being so faithful sometime before the tenth week. Use them as they fit your life style. At some point between week 6 and 10 I'm comfortable in a routine and don't find that I'm depending on my records anymore. You may find that you feel the same! :)

So there you have it... feel free to ask questions if you have any. I'll get to them when I can, though, I've slowed down significantly in these last days before baby's arrival, so please be patient!

You can find the girl versions here too:

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Plantain at the Picnic

Monday was the big kick off to the annual conference at the mission where My Beloved works (the same conference where my unfinished love story really began). This year they've made some big changes, shortened it up a bunch and added a HUGE picnic to the kick off. It was hot and it was humid, but it was a lot of fun!!

I was still on the "we'll see how I'm feeling and how hot it is" track when My Beloved left for work that morning. Maybe the kids and I were going to be there, maybe we weren't. My Beloved was working it all day. At 9:30 he called to say we should totally come... and that it started at 10... not 11:30. There were all sorts of those blow up activities (slide, bouncing room, etc.) I had already decided we were going to go, but this made it even more sure! And we were going to start getting ready now.

We wrapped up breakfast, used the potty, put on our shoes and mommy gathered all the necessities (sunscreen, etc.). We were in the car by ten after ten.

It was hot when we got there, and humid too. The cloudy sky had broken open to nice sunny (read: even hotter) weather so our first order of business was to apply that sunscreen. It wandered in several directions through the morning as others were blessed by my having it with us! Once the kids were slimed up, Daddy was there and ready to take them on the huge slide! (See pic at the top.)

Eventually Daddy had to take his shift at the golf carts, but the kids were all over. We had to have mandatory breaks when they sat in the shade with mommy (I stayed there and sent various teenagers to chase the kids) and drank water until their faces were a more normal color (other than bright red). They had a blast and I stayed mostly comfortable with my water in the shade.

Lunch time came (and the climax of our story today) and we found a shady spot away from all the blow up stuff. This made it easier for the kids to play in the shade for a while. While we were visiting, I heard crying just under the tent nearby. A quick glance and I was pretty sure someone (6-7 years old) had been stung. It was the same tent the "medical station" had been set up, so I looked around to see if anyone was helping. All I saw was the mom running to get some ice.

A plantain weed leaf (notice the veins are parallel, not branching off the center).

When we'd sat down, My Beloved and I noticed some plantain weed in the grass next to us. This was very exciting considering our recent lesson in identifying it. With the research I'd done Sunday evening, I knew that this was a great treatment for bee stings (among other things). All that needed to be done is to pick the leaves, chew them up, and apply the green goo to the sting. I picked 3-4 leaves off the nearby plant and jumped up (as any 38 week pregnant woman would "jump" up from a seated position on the ground in front of 600 people).

Now understand that this isn't MY child... so really, I wasn't going to chew the leaves and apply my spit to her sting... this was going to have to be the mom's job. And I know that not everyone is ready to just put an unknown-to-them plant in their mouth and start chewing, only to spit it on their already distressed daughter.

I tried to approach the scene delicately. I walked up, leaves in my hand, and started out... "You do not have to do this," I said patiently (what would I have thought in her shoes???), "but if you chew these leaves up and put them on the sting, it's supposed to draw out the poison and help the pain go away." (I even sounded crazy to me!) I'm sure she didn't quite know what to do with me. I reiterated that I wouldn't take it personally if she didn't want to try it. She said she'd try anything once, but didn't move to take the leaves. She kept applying the ice to the stings. I waited a moment and then added again, "Again, you don't have to do this, but if you want to try it, the sooner the better." She was starting to understand. And the little girl wasn't looking happy about my idea. The mom took it, chomped it in her mouth for a few seconds and then started to smear it on her daughter... who was now freaking out worse about the treatment than the actual stings.

I honestly don't know how it turned out. I left just after (my presence was distressing the girl... I was after all the crazy woman who convinced her mother to spit green goo on her) so I really don't know the outcome. She wasn't crying long after that, but I don't know if it's because the plantain weed worked... if it's because the trauma of the green goo had passed, or if the pain would have subsided that quickly anyway (I'd like to think it was the plantain.) It was just too perfectly timed (after our research and learning the night before) to be a coincident!

Now I just need to have the opportunity to use some of this new found knowledge on my family... if only to see first hand what the results are.

Anyone have experience with plantain weed???

Some info on Plantain Weed:

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The race is on!

My bloggy friend Nikki used to participate (before it came to an end) in something called Work in Progress Wednesday. I enjoyed seeing what she was working on, but apparently it was for crochet, and really, even if it wasn't, I rarely work on my projects enough to call them "in progress" anyway.

Eh hem... back on point, I thought I would share my "work in progress"... in the spirit of it being Wednesday and all. But really, this "work in progress" is so much more than that. I decided on Sunday evening (when My Beloved was working very late), that if I worked hard, I just might be able to finish this particular project before the baby gets here. It's not for the baby... not directly anyway. It's for all of us. I started it this past winter upon completing a snowman quilt for our couch (one that had been in the works for many years...7?) It's purpose was to be our spring quilt... so that we'd have something other than snowmen to cuddle under in the cold mornings or evenings of spring. Well... it didn't happen this year. We cuddled under those snowmen well into June (when it became crazy hot all of a sudden).

Now here I am... 38 weeks pregnant. Two weeks to go (or three... or four). It's getting hard to wait. I'm uncomfortable and impatient. I'm sleeping poorly and ready to have my body back. Strangely, this time around it's not about holding the baby sooner (though I'm sure I'll enjoy that too), it's more about not being pregnant anymore. Perhaps summer has something to do with it. Perhaps it's because I know that adding a newborn to our crazy lives could be a little overwhelming. Perhaps it's because I have two littles to cuddle and love and train already and there just isn't time to daydream about the coming days with my newest and littlest.

Whatever the story behind the story... I'm ready for baby to be here... and once I get to this point, it's hard to wait. However... since the advent of this resurrected project, I have set a challenge. A race, if you will. I plan to race this baby to the end. Can I finish this quilt and have it tucked away for fall (if only they were fall colors, but maybe next fall I can have a fall-ish quilt to use in the living room) and spring use before baby comes? It's my plan... my goal... and I'm determined to do so. And it really shouldn't be hard. I finished one side in the last three days. That means that, at my current rate, I could be finished in another 8-9 days. If I work faster, obviously, it will be fewer than that. If I miss one... I could, theoretically, assuming baby doesn't come early, still get it done.

Regardless, it seems to be serving it's purpose. I'm not so worried about baby coming today or tomorrow anymore (in fact, I'll be a little disappointed if I don't get this done first). I'm more willing to wait him out (no pun intended but golly they're fun!) If I finish this project, I'll get started on another one and set a new race!

How about you??? Any tips and tricks for making it through these last couple weeks???

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning About Natural Remedies

Jewelweed, growing naturally behind our house
the orange flowers haven't started blooming yet, it's easier
to identify when they do.

I've crossed over from learning to doing.

For a while now I've been reading about and trying to learn about how to use herbs medicinally. Without a live teacher, it's not so easy. I do lots of reading, but without putting it to use, it's hard to really learn it. Sometime in the last year or so I stumbled on this video on Simply Kristen's Blog. I don't even remember what led me there, but I was fascinated at the thought that I could make something in my food processor that would take poison ivy rashes away. Though I've never had it, my husband is immuned (at least so far) and my children have never had it; we do have several friends from church who get it quite badly every year. I took down a mental note, but haven't had the opportunity to try it in all that time (much to the discomfort to those who have suffered from the itching, I'm sure!)

Sunday morning at church, we learned that one of the youth came home from camp with poison ivy on his arm (like he does every year). I was so excited (um... not for his discomfort, but for a chance to help). I know we have jewelweed (one of the two ingredients required) growing abundantly in our backyard, so I told them about the remedy and that I'd look at it again and see if we can find the other part.

Plaintain Weed, growing in the yard
Sunday evening, I did just that. I watched the video several more times, did some research on plaintain weed (the other ingredient) and set out to my back yard to find some. Nothing. Then the strip of ground across the street... nothing. Not willing to give up, I headed in to ask My Beloved to help me identify the things I needed. In less than a minute, he found some in the same place I'd already looked. And a lot of it. Then some more. I've since found it in the back yard and in the side yard (better looking than the ones we harvested). Ok... it's everywhere!

(Please excuse the green "Pure" Aloe Gel, it's all we have at the moment.
There are plans to have a more natural version soon!)

I brought it in and followed the instructions. Before long I had this goop all ready to be used. The poor kid is supposed to get it this evening and will hopefully use it according to the directions I sent. Theoretically it should be fading to gone in the next 24 to 48 hours.

And here's the jar we delivered... looks yummy, no?

I'm looking forward to hearing how my first test subject recovers. And wouldn't it be sooo cool if God's naturally provided remedy works as well or better than the steroids they were going to resort to if it's not gone by the end of the week! I'll let you know how it goes! (But... if I don't, someone remind me!... I have a track record for breaking such promises.) :)

View this podcast for more details on use and making!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Off Duty

It's 7:02... My Beloved is working late (not expecting him until sometime between 9-11) and the children are in bed (they refused to nap again, so it's in bed an hour early for them). I've just changed into something more jammie like and took off my sneakers and socks. I'm decidedly off duty.

It's been a long hot and tiring day, but in all honesty, the last 20-30 minutes were the most stressful, the ones that took the last of what I had. It was bath time. And people wonder (ok, so maybe they would if they knew) why bath time is such a rare occurrence around our household. Sometimes I even wonder. Then I actually give baths... and then I remember.

I should first tell you that my children love baths. They ask for them several times a day. When I tell them we're going to take a bath, they go ripping down the hall asking if they can climb in. By the time I get back there (because I walked), half of their clothes are already on the floor (all would be if Sweet Pea didn't need help in the shirt department.) For as long as I'll let them, they sit and play in the tub (and we don't have exciting toys in ours either... they each get a plastic cup to play and pour with).

Then it happens... I resume the position. I fold a towel and place it carefully over the side of the tub, and I lean in. Then they know. It is time. It used to be that they would fight over who had to be first. These days we've figured out a way to make it less "painful" for Tornado and he doesn't mind going first. When he goes first, he then has time to play some more while I do Sweet Pea.

The problem is that neither of them like to have water poured over their heads. Washing their bodies isn't a problem, it's the hair. Just recently we've discovered that if Tornado has a wash cloth to hold over his eyes and face, I can pour away and he's fine. It's like a dream. A good dream. Come true!

Then it's Sweet Pea's turn. Sweet Pea... whose name is more wishful thinking these days than actual reality. We're working a sour streak out of her, but it's holding on... tight. I'd heard it said that if you do it right from the beginning, you won't have to suffer the "terrible twos". Well, if that's true, then we didn't do it right. This little two-er is very determined to have things her way and spends much of the day informing us, with attitude, crying and more, that she doesn't like it... whatever "it" may be.

As her turn was approaching and they were trading places in the tub, she began the increasingly loud job of informing me that she "don't like it though"... as is often heard around this house. I was sure this time would be easier, because a few days ago (yes, two baths in one week... crazy!, but we had a long hot day and I figured they could use it extra) I had a break through in the bath time department. A few days ago I talked her into trusting me (me... her mama... crazy thought) and laying down cradled in my arm so I could gently get her hair wet without getting any on her face. It went so well that she was even laughing at one point... giddy with delight... and there was no thrashing around trying to get away from me.

Not so tonight. As she made her way over to me I could tell this was going to go badly, so I put my hands down in the water and told her I wasn't going to wash her hair yet... just her body. She calmed down and let me do it, reminding me occasionally "not my hair though" in her sweet little baby voice. Body clean and rinsed (with lots more reminders from her), it was time. She began to freak out again, demanding that she doesn't like it though and refusing to sit down. I put my hands back in the water (not touching her, is my theory, might show her she isn't in imminent danger and she can calm down to talk to me... doesn't necessarily work) and tried to explain that we needed to wash her hair. Then I asked her if she wanted me to pour the water, or if she wanted to lay with mommy. No use... she wouldn't calm down to even think about whether there was a difference.

Finally I did something I immediately decided I shouldn't have done... I held her down (in a sitting position) and poured the water over her head as quickly as possible (so as to make it take as little time as possible). She was hysterical. I tried to fix it. I got her in a cradle position, holding her in the tub but off the bottom. She calmed down then so I could talk to her, but I couldn't actually do anything with both my hands in use (to have a very clear picture you need to remember that I'm 38 weeks pregnant and bending over the side of the tub cradling my hysterical 2 1/2 year old).

I decided that her hair was wet enough to soap up, so I told her she could sit now for the soap. She did well with that, except that she kept informing me that she doesn't like it though... meaning the rinsing part.

In the end I rinsed her hair out by standing her up and turning on the shower head. I hoped it would be different enough, but she just cried and screamed through that too. Still, I got the soap out and I think it was the best of all the options for tonight.

In the end I got her wrapped in a towel and cradled her for a long while... nearly as traumatized myself as she sounded through the whole ordeal. Somehow cradling her made me feel better. We dried off, got jammies on, sang a couple songs and tucked into bed.

And as I walked back down the hall, I decided I'm officially off duty for the night!

Though I may still clean up the kitchen and work on my latest "get it done before baby gets here" project. But it won't be official!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Preschool Corner: Doing what we can

~Tornado is 3 years, 7 months old~
~Mommy is 37 weeks pregnant~
preschool corner

As I hit 35, then 36, and now 37 weeks pregnant, it's become harder and harder for us to get anything "grand" and "fabulous" accomplished in the area of schooling. I'm okay with this... I've decided. I had put together a fun unit on spiders (which was last week's theme), but when it came down to it, we didn't do much. About half the library books we requested were ready when I could pick them up, so that's all we got.

Since we hadn't done any of my "lesson plans" (crafts and coloring sheets and such) by the end of the week, I decided to extend spiders into this week. A noble idea I thought... plus, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to do anything else. Still, we haven't done any other theme things. Maybe someday we'll do the plans I made. Until then, we've enjoyed the spider books we have from the library.

This one's Mommy's.

Aside from our plans, however, I did get to add a new activity to my arsenal. We returned a couple things to Target without a receipt a week or so back and had $30 something to spend on something. We found sheets for the kids new beds (once they are done) and let them pick their favorite, and we found a couple dollar day items. All in all, we had just a couple dollars left, so I picked up a pack of pony beads from the craft aisle.

I started out letting Tornado do whatever he wanted with the beads on the "fuzzy sticks" (anyone else still call them pipe cleaners??? It's so hard to change over!)

He really enjoyed this.

Sweet Pea had fun with it too. She threaded them on the sticks for a while, but then just enjoyed moving them from one section of her plate to the other.

Then when she was seeming done, I let her put them in the bag (little clean up trick I suppose!)

Then Tornado and I talked about patterns again. A couple times I'd see he didn't have it quite right and suggest that he check his work. He'd catch the problem and ("uh oh") pull them off to do it again. He really wanted to do the whole length!

Then we sorted out two colors from the rest.
And I introduced "estimating" with more or less. It was a lot of beads to introduce the concept with (another day this week we did it with fewer and it worked nicely!), but we grouped them together and I asked him to guess which color there were more of. He made his guess and then we counted them up. We did it with two new colors when we were done... his idea.

I don't really have official plans for the next couple weeks. I'm slowing down a bit these days and will probably focus more on this sort of thing when I have the energy and time. I do have some plans for when baby comes (and there is someone else here to help with it) though, so I'll be sharing that as I am able... assuming I am able! :)

Stop over to see other Preschool Corner posts!


Some Recent Thoughts

Tornado is into bugs these days... which is way better than being terrified of them!

In recent days a few things have occurred to me... so I thought I would share some of my random, yet somewhat related, thoughts from this past week.
  • I'm about to have a baby... really, it's true. So far I've just been pregnant, but every once and a while it occurs to me that, sooner than later, I will have a newborn to care for.
  • I'm about to have three children.
  • I'm not sure how I feel about that.
  • It sounds hard.
  • I'm not patient enough with the two I already have.
  • When the new baby is the age Sweet Pea is now, I'll have a 6 1/2 year old!
  • Maybe I can do this after all.
  • I'm about to have even less time than I think I have now.

Anyone else have these sorts of realizations with 2 1/2 weeks to go???

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Working in spurts...

Herbs harvested a couple weeks ago

That's pretty much the only way to get anything done this week... especially the last couple days. I'm sure it's just me, but I don't remember being *this* uncomfortable in my last few weeks of pregnancy the first couple times around. Though, now as I pause to think about it, I know I was... just different.

With less than 3 weeks to go (less than 3 days if I'm lucky... though My Beloved's schedule doesn't really work with that, so I guess I'm not really praying for it), I'm out of energy, uncomfortable, and generally sore somewhere at any given moment. :) Not that I'm complaining.

Yesterday morning was the toughest so far. I felt like the whole morning was one long contraction (yes, I'm having some of those now). I had bits of reprieve, though the back strain and overall discomfort hung on. In those bits of time, I worked to get some things done. I felt as though yesterday was very productive, especially considering... though I don't really remember what I did yesterday. Seems like lots of laundry, making dinner, some business things, etc. I know there was more, but I have no idea what.

Today has been less productive, but still working in spurts. After My Beloved left for work this morning and the kids finished breakfast, we headed out to the greenhouse to harvest some herbs. Once back inside, I didn't have any energy to do the next thing, so I sat down for a bit with a glass of water (under the fan). Maybe ten minutes later, I forced myself to get up and do the dishes. With those done, I was ready to wash and prep the herbs I brought in, but again, had no energy to do it... so I grabbed my cup of water and sat down again. (Meanwhile kids are playing and doing nearby.) With a bit of rest, I forced myself to get up and do those herbs before they were too wilted.

This is how I've been getting anything done this last week. Piece at a time. After some table time with the kids, I retired to the couch where I was just going to sit for a minute. That turned into just laying for a minute. Before I knew it I'm sure I'd been dozing for 20 or more minutes. I definitely needed that nap. I just hate when they come while the kids are up. :) What finally woke me enough was hearing Sweet Pea telling me she needed to potty. Can't put that one off. I was up, sleepy faced, and ready to move into making lunch and getting the afternoon nap started. *Sigh*

I don't know how much more I'll do today, or even tomorrow, but I guarentee I'll be getting it done in spurts!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More panic than nesting...

I'm thinking it's a combination of the doctor's words yesterday ("ok then... any time now, right?") even though there are still officially 4 weeks left until my due date and the couple of random (yet more official feeling) contractions I had yesterday evening that has set me on today's rampage of activity. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling well enough to be on this rampage (hence my blogging break).

Even just the idea that I could go into labor at any time made me painfully aware how un-ready I am. Oh sure... the baby would come, we'd care for him, all would be well. Of course that's all that really matters... but there are a few other things I really wanted to have done first. To make things a little more sane for me... especially if I have to go this alone during the month of July (My Beloved really can't be away from work in the month of July and my mom won't be here until August 6th.)

So what things am I talking about?

So far today I've:
  • re-sorted through all the baby clothes and blankets/burp cloths/etc I have and organized them. I boxed up (and labeled ~ woo hoo!) a box of 3-6 month clothes and a box of 6-9 month clothes and stuck them in the closet... it's nice not to have them cluttering up what little space I have in the kids room.
  • done 3-4 loads of laundry (half of which is folded and put away). I really don't want to leave for the hospital with the house being in complete disarray... I'll need to stay on top of the laundry a little better!
  • straightened/organized the corner/closet area of our bedroom so I can deep clean/vacuum it.
  • refolded all the receiving blankets after washing them (Sweet Pea graciously unfolded all the blankets, burp clothes, etc. we have a couple weeks ago... and while I was refolding everything, the receiving blankets felt a little stale and crunchy. So I rewashed them. Apparently she was looking out for her little brother already.)
  • fed the kids two meals (if I don't mention this one, it's like it never happened.)
  • took apart the new (to us) car seat so it can be washed (it's in the dryer now).
  • removed the new (to us) boppy cover to be washed (also in the dryer now).
  • placed a call to the friend who said she has cloth diapers for me (not the one I really want, but the prefolds and cover option that will get us started.)
  • placed a call to the friend who said she had a bassinet we could use (it should be here within the hour if she doesn't forget!)

Still on my "panic list":
  • thorough vacuuming of our bedroom (under the bed, behind side tables, etc.) and wipe down/dusting of everything in there (including windows and sills). I want to give the new baby a clean sleeping place to start with!
  • hospital bag packed (it sure would be nice not to have to do this while I'm in labor... again!

Now you know, since I've done all this (or will have in the next 24ish hours), this baby is sure to go full term... or even late. So there are still a hand full of things I'd love to have time for that aren't really "panic" items (which means I'll just make do if I run out of time).
  • some more meals in the freezer (there are a good half dozen or so with a couple more planned for this week).
  • homemade nursing pads.
  • preschool lessons prepped for the fall (better now than later for sure).
  • bunk beds finished (not really my job, but I need to help make time for My Beloved to be able to work on this).
  • re-read parts of The Diaper Free Baby and Husband Coached Childbirth.

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Monday, July 5, 2010


Ok, so it doens't happen very often, but I have been going through some little nesting spurts. I wouldn't even think to call it nesting except that the sudden urge to scrub clean the window and counter area around my kitchen sink started at 10 o'clock at night. My Beloved was working on his own project and I just started in on the kitchen!

I won't say it looks this great right now, but even for a moment, it was beautiful! And how nice to have one corner deep cleaned before baby comes!

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Where was I?

It's a valid question! Especially since I just up and disappeared, not only from this blog, but from commenting and visiting around the blog world.

A week ago Thursday, My Beloved was showing a little You Tube video of a truck exploding (Mythbusters) when all of a sudden the "blue screen of death" was all that could be seen. I've seen this and heard about it on other people computers (believe me... it's not good) many times. My Beloved is the Help Desk Administrator at his work and helps lots of sick computers on the side... so I know this is bad. It's just never happened to MY computer before.

So the next morning (Friday), my computer was packed up and taken to work with My Beloved. It was a long, computerless day! It confirmed my addiction and yet was oh so nice to have no option to sit down "for a minute" at the computer. You can't imagine how much I got done around here. Not to mention how much more time I got to spend with my kids and how restful my minutes just sitting were!

I will admit that it was with some sadness I watched my computer re-enter our home that evening followed by a box of new parts. My Beloved spent that evening and all day Saturday working on getting me up and going again (what a blessing that we don't have to take our computer "in" to have it worked on!)

Saturday night I sat down joyfully to my "new" computer and surfed around for a while. Ahhh... it was nice! I missed it for those almost 48 hours it was unavailable! Sunday was family day, Monday was very busy... I didn't get to get much computer work done at all (yes, with our business there is a certain amount that needs to be done on the computer). Tuesday I worked on a couple things (playing catch up since I am running behind on album design and orders) in the afternoon while the kids slept. It was hot and I was trying desperately not to turn on the air conditioner.

At 4:15ish, just as I was preparing to put in Signing Time for the kids, I proceeded to dump a half glass of water on my new computer. I didn't know what to except to turn it off and walk away! I did know that much. (Unless that was wrong... um, I don't know.) Instead we went outside to play... it was at least 15 degrees cooler out there.

With much sadness, guilt and shame I told My Beloved what happened when he returned home. It wasn't looking good for my brand new computer parts.

The next morning (Wednesday) we waved good-bye to Mommy's computer again as it headed to the office with Daddy. It wasn't until Thursday night that we saw it return to us again.

I am excited to say, though, that by the time it re-entered our lives (my life, I should say), I was very unhappy to see it! I don't want it back. Not really. I got so much done this week... so much play time in with the kids, and really enjoyed being "unplugged". That isn't to say I didn't miss certain aspects of having it around (hence I am here at all), but I refused to touch it that first night.

Friday morning, knowing both that I didn't want to use the computer and that I had some work that needed to be done on it, I hopped out of bed early and got a whole hour of album designing and business emailing done before the kids were up. When the time came, I turned the whole thing off and walked away!

My new goal is to get up early to get my computer time done and over with so that I don't need to use it throughout the day. Some days will also include some nap time usage and others will include some evening usage (if My Beloved is working on his or something), but overall... I want to pretend it's not here.

Now, this doesn't mean I won't be blogging... but it does mean I will be working hard to streamline my time online and on computer. I will be doing more brainstorming with paper and pencil and working hard to minimize the time I sit at this desk and type (and read). I am hoping I can manage both... a computer-free (to some extent) lifestyle and a life that uses the computer. We'll see how it goes!