Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is it wrong

to dream about selling everything and taking the family and running off to live in Mexico, of Europe or the middle of nowhere? I am so tired of it all, of the running, the stress the craziness. All I want is to go somewhere where we can live well on my one salary and then we can be together and have fun!

So far...a better day

I didn't get much sleep last night, I stayed downstairs since all the kids were in the playroom, I wanted to be nearby. They fell asleep around 10 and slept well, except for Grayson who woke up at 1 and wanted to snuggle with me on the couch. Let me tell you, holding a four year old on a couch does not make for good sleep!

At 7:15 I woke the husband up and told him to feed the kids. There were waffles waiting, so he didn't have too much stress, and I went back to bed for an hour or so. Declan was picked up for his Boy Scout event and his big trip to the Superbowl, and I am trying to have a quiet day.

On the agenda, I have loads and loads of clothes to fold...but I plan to watch a movie tonight while folding. The usual suspects, dishes and vacuuming need to happen, and I have some work to do. I also need to start working on my annual review, oh what joy!

Dinner tonight will be pretty simple, baked pasta with italian sausage, garlic bread and salad. Maybe, just maybe, I will bake something, probably brownies, for dessert.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Tonight should have been a nice night. Declan was sleeping over, the kids were being good and they all ate well. I went out to grab a nice dinner for Ryan and I and I picked up ice cream sandwiches for the kids since they were being so wonderful. Came home and began working on a paper and then my MIL called. Needless to say, what she said to my husband got me mad, and then he got mad at me for getting mad at her and so on and so on and so on. I understand it is his mother, I do, but she is toxic and now we are just sitting here like a bunch of fools waiting to see if and when she decides to come here! She is not trying to rent out her house, or pack or do anything! She has no job so she is going to lose the house if she doesn't pay for it! So what, I leave a bedroom empty for no reason? I don't make it into a nursery because she might come?

So I was mad and frustrated and Ryan is frustrated and then he started being mean and nasty and yelling at me about me being a jerk earlier this week. In his defense, I WAS a jerk to him earlier this week and it was totally uncool and not nice, but in MY defense I was really sick and in pain and I DID apologize! So he was being awful because he is stressed out, so then I was crying because I am frustrated with the situation and not good with change or confrontation, and it was just not the good night it should have been. I really wanted to watch a movie with my husband and have a nice night :(

Finding the moments

We got up early this morning and Ryan got the girls off to school while I went to pick up Emily and her girls. Off we went to the airport, those lucky ducks are heading to Florida to celebrate Gracie's first birthday. Next year I want to go too!

After the airport, I headed to the farm to grab milk and yogurt. I was smart enough to get an extra quart since I have been really enjoying a small bowl in the evenings. I am also ordering a yogurt maker for the house, I need to figure out the best way to make thick yogurt so that I have it for the summer. In berry season, my kids could eat a quart a day!

Came home, hung with the hubby and Gray and did some cleaning. Now I am getting ready to put a batch of apple granola in the oven to toast, and then I will go grab Declan from school. He is spending the night tonight and then going to Florida tomorrow with his dad to the Superbowl! What an exciting weekend for the Fallon kids.

Off to cook and clean.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


We had a busy day! The girls had a late start to school, and then I headed out to see Dr. Tom. I am hoping the adjustment will work along with the meds and help me feel better. Then on my way to the store, I talked to Em who invited us to lunch. Ry had to hang at home waiting for the glass guy to repair the ding in his windshield, so Gray and I went and had a really nice lunch with Emily and Maggie. Then Gray and I picked up lunch for Ryan, ran to the grocery store and then home. I did get some cleaning done, mainly the vacuuming and mopping that was needed, and managed to get my work done for the night. Started a paper, that I will hopefully have completed before my call at 8 pm. If all goes well, Ry will head out for his appointment at 7:30, the kids will be in bed, my first paper will be completed, I will have my call and then work on my second paper. Did I mention that on my stove right now is the best chicken and dumplings? All made from scratch, including the just tastes better that way. It was a busy day, but I don't feel overwhelmed, it all just fell into place!

Another day...

The kiddos have a delay today...which was confusing since they were supposed to have a half day due to the cancellation on Tuesday. Now they go in late and get out regular time...arghhh!

I woke today and my face is still throbbing. Just took another Vicodin and am really hoping it kicks in soon. The antibiotic should be helpful by tomorrow, and maybe we can move forward. I hate being in pain like this, it makes me feel incapacitated, and I have too much to do to feel that way!

Once I am feeling better, I need to head to the store, I have a chicken calling my name and the request is for Chicken and Dumplings for dinner. Hopefully today will be quiet and I can get some cleaning and organizing done. Work is slow for the day and I have a paper to write, but I will start on that early so I can enjoy the evening.

Off to get dressed and going!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am sitting on a post that is saved in my draft folder...I am not sure I want to unleash it yet.

So, after teaching class today, my ear/face/teeth were hurting so badly that I came home and then left right away to go to Urgent Care. I was sure my ear drum was about to burst or my face explode or something equally horrific. Now I am not frivolous with money, and I had an appointment tomorrow at the doctor at 11:15, so you know that the pain was really bad for me to drop an extra 30 bucks just to see someone RIGHT THEN!! ear is fine. The doctor said it was my sinuses, not my teeth. Then she asked if I had high blood pressure, and I said no, actually it is really low, like 98/60. Her response was, "You really must be in a lot of pain it was 148/90!" I then left with a script for an antibiotic and she took pity on my pregnant self and gave me Vicodin. Being preggers, there is NOTHING for pain over the counter except Tylenol, which did nothing for the pain. Now I hate pain meds, never took them after my c-section with my son and stuck to the 800mg of Advil....but I can't take that, it isn't safe for the baby. I am now getting ready to drive on over to my friendly drug store to pick up my new drugs, and maybe I will be pain free :)

A note

I have thought long and hard as to whether I wanted to write and post this, and it may sit in my draft folder most of the day until I am sure.

On another blog I read, the writer needed to switch her blog location because people from her past were reading it and it made her uncomfortable. I can understand her plight and support her in her choices. The person who commented yesterday is one from my past, and I knew he read the blog in the past, but it is a bit creepy that he still be so invested that he read it and comment to it. It is also a tad crazy for him to think that I, while pregnant with the stomach flu, with a family getting over the stomach flu and kids home for a snow day, would ever think that it was his birthday. Until I saw the note, it never crossed my mind because I have my own life and world, and he is not a part of it.

People from the past can do one of three things, they can bring you back to who you were when you knew them, that could be positive...or not. They could become a new friend who embraces your new life and world, and you theirs. Lastly, they can bring their old baggage into your nice little world and try to make you feel bad.

This person, an ex, was tough for me to get over. My marriage was hard at times, and I thought that I had made wrong choices. What I needed to learn was that I did make the right choice. My husband loves me, even with my crazy faults. Marriage takes work, lots of work, but if you invest in it, the payoff is tremendous. Knowing that this ex never could invest in our relationship, I cannot imagine what a mess a marriage would have been, and if there were children involved, it would have been traumatic.

Every day I am thankful for my life, and I have worked hard to get where I am. It is not easy to have three kids in four years of marriage while getting a masters and trying to change careers. It is stressful to suffer through layoffs and odd schedules and a feeling that you are alone a lot. What I now know is that my husband and I both have worked to create a world that is best for our family. We have a nice home, not perfect and always a work in progress, but a nice home to raise a family in. We have jobs that allow us to be home for our children. With the exception of needing someone to bridge the gap on Monday nights while the kids are sleeping, my kids have us to send them to school, and us here when they come home. I am home all of their school breaks, and all summer, while making a decent living and finishing a degree. This takes hard work, it takes planning and it takes dedication to your family.

I feel bad for this ex, not because I feel he in any way wants me, but he wants what I have. He has always wanted to be successful, and to have a family, and now in his mid thirties he has neither. It must be hard to see everyone around you grow up and achieve when you keep hitting walls. You can insult my husband, my life, my education and my existence, but at least admit in the quiet of your own mind, that you are unhappy with your life. I would think that anyone who knows me and my family will attest to the fact that we are as I represent us, dirty laundry and all, and in no way do I claim that this is a perfect life. In fact, it is one filled with bumps and bruises and bad days, but along side those come hugs and kisses, sweet little smiles, first steps and school plays. All of the daily work, something we all get caught up in, can be mundane and difficult, but we do it because our goal is the joy and happiness of the family. So go, please, enjoy your life. I hope you find what you are looking for, but I promise that trying to make me feel bad won't work, I know who I am and what I want, and I have it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So, um, moving on

Seems like we will not be blessed with a huge ice storm and I will need to go up to campus tomorrow. It's ok, I really cannot complain since it is my day class and they seem like a great bunch...I love when that happens. I will, however, have to eat something before classor I will risk passing out on my way to or from class. So far this pregnancy I am down 5 lbs, I never had that happen before and always gained at least 10 lbs first trimester and had slow gain second and third. Maybe I will come out ahead of the game this time.

Today went pretty well despite being ill. The kids had so much fun in the snow, and while I rested on the couch, hubby took the kids next door to play with the babysitter (her request!) They have been good most of the day, although I am sure by tomorrow they will be ready to kill each other. All should sleep well tonight, as long as the girls can avoid this stomach bug. I got all of my work for the day done, and just have a paper to write, but it looks to be an easy one.

Thankfully, tomorrow is my Friday, so when I get home, it will be grading and Lost with the hubby.


I don't play with the angry kids on the playground. Drink your martinis and go to Europe, I will hang around with my family. Must be so sad to be all alone and unsuccessful.

Snow and stomach aches

We finally got some snow! It has been downright frigid for months, much colder than it should be, but for some reason we avoided all the snow. Today the kids are off from school and it was projected that our area would get 1-3" of snow followed by ice overnight. Now they are saying 3-5" of snow, and still ice. Please, please can we get extra snow or ice so I can miss class tomorrow?

Onwards to stomach aches. Gray and Ry had a stomach bug Sunday into Monday. This morning at 4:30 am I woke up with some stomach issues, not nearly as bad as those two, but I still feel a bit off. Hopefully I will begin to feel better in the next few hours. I even had to cancel my dental appointment as the idea of having someone's hands in my mouth while feeling nasty was not appealing!

Happy snow day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Let me add

That now I think it is my tooth and not my sinuses that hurts. So I call the dentist, but they won't see me unless the OB signs off. I have an appt for tomorrow at 10 am, and I have some crappy teeth, so I am hoping they don't yell at me. I also hope they can fix it because when it starts to hurt, it hurts like someone is stabbing me in the face and makes me want to throw up or pass out or both.

Damn damn damn

This is going to be a self pity party post...don't say I didn't warn you.

OK, Grayson was throwing up last night, husband stayed home, not sure why all he has done is sleep and complain. Now he claims he is, every time ANYONE here gets ANYTHING magically he gets it. How come the girls and I can avoid things, but nope, not him, never.

I am dirty and need a shower, and I need to go make copies for my class tonight. My house is trashed, husband didn't even wipe down the bathroom where Gray was sick! I cleaned that bathroom, piled the trash of crap into the middle of my girls room for them to deal with and lugged all the clothes downstairs. Have I mentioned that I still have the throbbing pain in my face? Oh and I need to teach a class tonight, in the room with no technology, in the dorm. The dishes are pilled, the laundry is too, I have three baskets of clothes to fold and countless to wash, and no time to do either. I need to mop, I need to organize and I need the other people who live her to put their own crap away.

I am tired, and crabby and sick of the entire world being on my shoulders. I need some help and I am not getting it and I have asked. Have I mentioned that I asked my husband to vacuum up the cat food on our bathroom floor so I don't have to step on know....from the cats we got rid of three weeks ago? So damn damn damn.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An off day

I am having one of those terrible off days, where my mood is down and I am just not able to attack any tasks. I stated the day with two stubborn computer viruses, one I have been battling for a week, the other was brand new. I live with an IT guy, so I know the process and I am very cautious online, not opening things, etc so I was already peeved I had a virus, let alone one that was so dang hard to get rid of!. Thankfully, hubby came home and worked some voodoo and the viruses have disappeared. Now I will scan every evening for awhile just to be sure.

As my computer was being repaired until noon, I couldn't get online and feel like I am behind on work. I had to rewrite a portion of a paper and set up my courses, and those are completed but tonight's assignment is confusing and I have no idea how to approach it. Add to this the fact that my kids have been devils, Tasmanian ones at that, moving from room to room making a mess, fighting, wailing and screaming. My patience with them is about gone, and it is only 3 pm.

I am weepy. I am at that awful point in pregnancy where you aren't feeling terrible, but the baby isn't moving yet, so I just feel fat and dumpy. Add to that the fact that my class tomorrow is in a room with no technology, they won't let me get a projector so I am basically screwed. My whole class revolves around using the laptop and the projector, so this is causing me a ton of stress!

So overall, I am just blah. I need to figure out how to write this paper and I have loads of laundry to fold. I need to layout clothes for tomorrow, and pack lunches for my girls, not to mention dinner needs to be cooked.

If only I had felt better over Christmas break, I wouldn't have so much looming over me. Ah well, this too will pass....right?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Getting inspired

So Em got some gorgeous new furniture and repainted a bunch of rooms in her house. All her redecorating has gotten me inspired. While there are many rooms that need my attention...ahem my bathroom and the playroom, the family room is making me crazy. We got new couches last year and I L-O-V-E them to death! Problem is, the room just doesn't match. When we bought the house, this room had smurf blue carpet, actually it is the same carpet that my poor kids have in the playroom. The walls in this room were a horrible baby poop brown with a disgusting sponge paint effect. Needless to say, I couldn't live with the paint, and painted the room a very light blue to go along with the carpet. A year later, we pulled up the nasty carpet and put down a wood floor I adore. So no nothing works together, but have no fear...I have a plan!

My couches are red and the floor is a reclaimed wood style. I plan on painting the walls a warm coffee color, getting a new TV stand and end table and these curtains

I am also searching for an new area rug and some additional throw pillows for the couch. I want this room to be warm and cozy, it is the room we use the most, and I love snuggling in here when there is a fire.

Just so you don't think the kids are suffering. I have a plan for the playroom this spring. It needs a major overhaul, so I am planning to have the kids pack everything up, with help of course, and we are going to paint that room. I haven't decided on color yet, but I want something that will last them a few years as they grow. I do know that one area will have the painted chalkboard like we do now, and I am looking at some wall decals. I also need to revisit storage, before we know it we will have a toddler in the playroom, so the bigger kid toys need their own space. As for flooring, I am guessing that we will lay new carpet in that room, something durable!

The perfect roast chicken

When Ryan and I were first living together and married, I tried to cook dinner most nights as we were very poor and needed to watch our spending. Back then I was an okay cook, I could manage a simple pasta meal, sometimes pork chops or tacos, but really nothing fancy. Back in those days I did manage to find a way to make something similar to chicken caccitore using inexpensive chicken thighs and canned tomatoes. I still make that recipe occasionally, although now there are fresh herbs and better ingredients involved.

In the years of marriage and having kids, I learned to try new things. I clearly remember the night I decided to make a blood orange and champagne sauce for fish one night. The sauce was good, the fish was good, but together they were not tasty at all. I also remember learning to make gravy the first time. I was roasting a turkey for a Mom's Club Thanksgiving meal and my dear friend Emily showed me an easy way to make gravy and have it work. I had tried in the past, but it was always too oily or it would separate on me, she taught me the right way.

In our first home I made my first crown roast, I experimented with meatball recipes, and homemade breads. Upon buying this house five years ago I believe my skills have become concrete, I think I am a pretty good cook and am comfortable using all sorts of fresh ingredients, making sauces and experimenting with flavors. To me, mastery of cooking means making food we all enjoy, and for me, the best meal in the world is roast chicken.

I make roast chicken a lot, and I think I have perfected my recipe, as I know we all have our own preferences. Just in case there is some random person who lands on this blog and is just starting out in the kitchen, here is how I make the perfect roast chicken (and stuffing).

Start with a good sized chicken, usually ours are about 6-7 lbs. Take out the inside bits and rinse the chicken very well, pat dry and place in a baking pan. Wash up.

Take a good handful of herbs, I usually use rosemary and chop. Mix with a stick (yes a stick) of butter. Then add a few tablespoons of Kosher salt, a couple turns of pepper and some minced garlic, about 2 cloves. Now separate the skin on the chicken off the body a bit and push some of the butter mixture under the skin from both the front and back. Add some more into the cavity of the chicken and rub the remaining butter mixture all over the outside if the bird paying close attention to the crevices by the legs. If you want a lemon or orange flavor, you can cut a lemon and add it into the crevice, I do this a lot when I plan to use leftovers for a lemon chicken soup.

Put the rubbed chicken into a hot 425 oven for 15-30minutes, until it is starting to look brown on top then turn down 350. Then tent with aluminum foil and finish cooking the bird, usually another 1 or 2 hours depending on size. In the last 20 minutes, I add the stuffing to the pan spreading around the bird if I am not making gravy, otherwise I cook the stuffing in the cast iron skillet. When the bird is cooked, remember to let it rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

My stuffing uses store bought cubed stuffing. I put butter, oil, diced carrots and diced onion into my cast iron skillet and cook on low until soft. Then add 1/2 cup white wine and cook 15 minutes more. Add a tablespoon of dry sage (more if fresh) and the cubed stuffing bread. Add chicken stock until the bread is wet, but not soppy and let cook on the stove top 15 minutes stirring often. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (some stock is salty so wait until this step to taste). If cooking with the chicken, add to the pan so the stuffing can take on some of the chicken flavor. If cooking separately, pour some of the drippings over the stuffing, add a few pats of butter and bake, stirring often to ensure the center isn't soggy.


On the mend...hooray!

I feel better today, I still have some pain in my face, but it is much better than yesterday. I am hoping that once the husband goes to bed, I can get some work done around the house. He and I have been at it today, normal griping about because we are crabby, but I am ready for it to end.

I am still trying to figure out what to do about my class Monday night. Seems the projector doesn't work and I can't get a projector from tech, so I am up the creek. This just won't work for my class, so I am waiting for my boss to get this resolved. Not a good way to start the semester.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh my aching face

It started last night, a dull ache in my jaw. By the middle of the night it was full on throbbing pain, so bad that I came downstairs to take medicine. As today has gone on, it has flipped back and forth between being fine and being unbearable. I know it is a sinus toothache, but man it hurts. If I keep a warm compress on it, it feels a lot better, but otherwise it is hit or miss. I am using some saline washes and really hoping that I can get this cleared up, it really hurts.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What to do?

We have a day at home, and while I have a ton of cleaning and laundry to do, I just want to veg out a bit. We do have an exciting event this evening, Haven will be in her school's third grade play, so we will be there cheering her on.

I guess I could get up and start cleaning. The house needs a good once over, but as always, life gets in the way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to PT job

Tomorrow classes begin at PT school and as always I am a little sad. While I know it is silly that I get sad having to go and teach 6 hours a week, with about 3 hours of commuting. I also know just how lucky I am that my schedule permits me not to need traditional childcare, and that I have a good friend to keep Grayson after school and a sitter to bridge the gap between the time Ryan leaves and I get home on Mondays. Even still, I get sad when that day rolls around and I am not able to be home with the kiddos all the time.

So tomorrow I will head back to campus to a fresh group of students. I will be nervous, as I always am the first day, as I feel out the group and try to get them to engaged. I will be sad that I have to do this for 13 weeks, but then the summer comes, along with the new baby, and lots of down time. Next fall it will be extra hard to leave with a new baby at home, but I know that I am luckier than most.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So not Zen

So I approached my pregnancy with the idea of being very zen. Relaxing my normal "rules" and trying to enjoy ever second since it will be my last. Now to be fair, I did expect the pregnancy to be like my last one with Grayson, which was pretty easy, or even better, like my pregnancy with Haven where I felt great the whole time. What I didn't expect was to feel like I did when I was pregnant with Brittan, I figured her time was a fluke since I was so sick for so long.

Well it seems this babe is giving me a run for my money. I am still pretty sick, and nothing sounds good to me, so I usually just don't eat. I try really hard every day to get my fluids in, but the food thing just isn't happening. On the bright side, I haven't gained any weight so far, the not so bright side is that I feel crummy most of the time, and the not eating and the low iron are not helping.

So today at the store, I bought myself whatever sounded good. I ended up with a huge bag of fresh spinach and Steak-Umms....hmmmm, think I am anemic? I am making the family rosemary and garlic roast chicken tonight with rice and broccoli and cauliflower. I am then stealing some of the rice to eat with the spinach which I wilted with sauteed garlic and lemon juice.

I am really hoping this passes soon, I am just shy of second trimester and I really want to enjoy this!

The day goes on and on

OK, I will admit I am very tired. Between the computer viruses and the vomit, I am a bit stressed. Thankfully, I already did the dishes and will be heading out on my errands when Ryan gets home, so that will be out of the way. I also did my work work, and redid my blog layout...I know my priorities!

I must vacuum and hubby needs to move the other basket of clean clothes upstairs for me so we can wash our bedding. If all goes well this afternoon, I will get my papers written so I can head upstairs early tonight and fold those clothes!

I also adjusted the meals since we have some tender tummies. I think tonight we will have lemon rosemary chicken, depending on what looks good at the store. I also really need to find something I can eat for lunches, I have been having a tough time getting food in.

Not a good way to wake up

So the kid's are under the weather, but nothing prepared me for Grayson throwing up, in my bed, next to me, at 5 am! Needless to say, that is not a good way to wake up! He threw up a few times, but seems ok now. Wonder if he is spiking a fever?

Either way....yuck!

Oh did I mention my computer has a virus too? I'm sorry, make that three, seems two we got rid of, the other may be more troublesome. Such fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My iron pills must be working

because I am cooking like number 4 is here and eating!

Yesterday I made 4 loaves of wheat bread and a very tasty dinner if I say so myself! Today there are two big loaves of pumpkin bread heading into the oven. Since the kiddos aren't feeling great, we are having breakfast for dinner. I will either make waffles or french toast and some eggs and sausage for them. I feel like I am in a dinner rut, and I hate that feeling. So to shake things up, the schedule for this week is cajun shrimp and rice, BBQ or coconut chicken and Swedish meatballs. It is a culinary roadtrip! I also have some taco meat I need to do something with, I am thinking taco soup?

We are also going to run out of wood today and I won't be able to get any until Friday. Hopefully we will be busy and won't be home missing the fire. I love having a fire, so we really cannot go too long without wood. I am thinking this will be our last cord of the year!

Lunch for sick kids

So at this point, all three of the kids just look like death warmed over. Needless to say, they needed a warm lunch to fill bellies, and then off for rests. So my very loved children enjoyed a lunch of veggie soup, bread with honey butter and pineapple. Seems like an odd combination, but they loved it and it was nutritious and filling. Now if only they will rest so I can get some cleaning done!

Another Sunday

another missed day of church.

I really have been trying, but I swear my kids fall like flies on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I knew this one was coming, they were extra awful yesterday which usually signals an illness hitting. Both girls have had a light cough that has been lingering for a few months, yes I said months, but there was no fever or other symptoms, and the cough was just pesky and worse in the morning, almost non existent in the daytime. This morning, around 5 am, I heard it......the wet coughing. It came from the girl's room,and then I heard it again, but now it was a different cough, but just as yucky. Yep they both have a nasty wet cough now...swell.

Britt also has been complaining of a stomach ache, she is getting a fever, so that is probably the culprit. Good thing they are off school for two days to regain their strength! Even better that their mother has no plans to take them anywhere today or tomorrow.....maybe a quick trip to Dr. Tom for an adjustment but that is it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So cozy

I did finally get bread baking, I know you were all very worried. Tonight with dinner, we will have two fresh loaves of wheat bread to go along with our BBQ beef, potato pancakes or mashed taters and salad.

I am on quite the kick, must be the big iron pill I took last night! Working on the laundry and will be making some pumpkin bread later. The kids can have that for dessert tonight, and if all goes well, I may even get a second round of bread made this evening!

Off to clean and cook. Now if only I knew how to knit or had a working sewing machine, I would be whiping up curtains and clothes!

Not to sound redundant

but boy it is cold! I needed to go out to the pantry to get something for dinner and had to put my coat and shoes on! That just solidified the need to seal up the open doorway to the garage :)

I am hoping the hubby will get a fire going soon. I am having the urge to get bread cooking, so I want to jump on that while I am feeling the vibe. We plan to be here all day, so if I can, I will do loads of laundry, cook some yummy BBQ beef, bake at least two loaves of bread and maybe even get some pumpkin bread made. Tomorrow, pending no ice or snow, we will be heading out to church, then home for something warm and toasty for dinner. If we actually get snow, I will make a strawberry shortcake, my favorite treat on a snowy, cold day.

I have a little working to do today, some cleaning up, but I am trying to have a calm family day before we get totally back into the grind next week when I head back to PT school.

Stay warm everyone :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Neuros and cold and fires

Yesterday we met with Haven's school to try and get her some more services and to work on how they approach teaching her in the classroom. It went well, and if they do what we have asked for, I think it will be a good rest of the year. I am also on the fence regarding next year, if we end up having a bad few months, she will get behind, and so far the one thing we have going for us is that she is on level or above in all subjects. I guess I will see how the year goes, and then I will see if I think being home with me next year will be a better choice.

Today we followed up with her Neurologist. It went well. She gained 8 lbs since August, but some might be the fact that she is wearing heavier clothes. He anti seizure meds can cause kids to gain weight, but thankfully she was lean to begin with and is still a nice healthy weight. We discussed some of the learning problems she is having, and the doctor decided to try her on an ADHD medication for a month. The goal of the medication is to help her focus and sort through all of the information she is now receiving without the seizures. I don't like giving medication unless necessary, so we will try and if it helps her, I will keep her on it for a few months. Then over summer we will go off and hopefully she will be able to work through things on her own. Now the seizure meds, those I have no problem giving her as seizures are dangerous and something we cannot treat with anything other than the medication.

So after the Neuro, we came home and made a really nice warm fire. Everyone is snuggled up and enjoying the quiet, and it is so peaceful here. Dinner will be leftovers, so everyone will get their choice, and then maybe we will watch a movie together....or even better, maybe I will watch one upstairs and fold the laundry!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The best evening snack

I just had the yummiest evening snack. I was craving something sweet, so I got a small bowl of the yogurt we get from the farm and drizzled some of our local honey on top. It was fresh, creamy, a little sweet and very local and organic! Next I need to make some of our own yogurt here at home. I have the culture and have been getting pretty good at the soft cheese making, so next in line is hard cheese and yogurt. Come summer, I hope to have us on homemade yogurt all the time, it will be good for me when nursing, great for the kiddos and when the new babe moves onto foods, it will be a perfect little meal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Labs and lunches

Last week I had my first "real" OB appointment, the fun one where along with all the touchy feely stuff, they also made me do a glucose test since I am over 30 and have big ole babies and they took a million vials of blood. So today the nurse calls and tells me that I am not HIV positive nor do I have any STDs...ok, not concerned about those being in a monogamous marriage and all. Then she tells me I passed the glucose test, again I am not surprised, I always pass and the big babies are just genetic, hubby was a ten pounder and is mom is maybe 100 lbs soaking wet. Then she says all my labs were fine, except my hemoglobin was a 6.6. That is really, really not good. Now, I am always anemic, and for me, a 9 or 10 is pretty normal even though it is too low for the docs, but they are really not happy with the 6.6. So, now I get to see a hematologist and takes a nice big ole iron pill every day, just what someone with morning sickness wants. Ah well, it explains why I have been so tired :)

After the call, and the husband forcing me to take two kids vitamins with iron to get a jump on things, we headed out to grab Grayson. When we say Em there, she told us how she was going to the Firkin Bulldog for lunch...and it was POT PIE DAY!!!! When she offered to buy lunch as a belated X-mas for me and belated B-day for hubby, we couldn't resist! Thanks Em, lunch was so yummy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our house

Today, as I walked through our home, a few thoughts came to mind. When we bought this house just over 5 years ago, we never planned to stay. In fact, I HATED the house, really despised it and couldn't wait to be done with it. It hadn't been cared for, and needed loads of work (still needs work) and it never felt like home. Over the last five years, we have done a lot of repairs, we fenced and painted, refloored and redid bathrooms, overhauled the kitchen, put in windows and lighting, built a garden and created a home. Along with all of the changes to the house, we made friends and found community, we added one child (Grayson) and are about to add another since moving here. Our family has had breakdowns and pick ups and we, and our home, have become one.

While there is a lot that needs to be done to "fix" our house...such as painting the outside, putting in a new driveway and redoing the master bath, as I walk through here, it does feel like home. It feels warm and full of the chaos that comes with small kids and busy schedules. It will never be a perfect home, and it will never be clean enough to satisfy my OCD, but it is full of all the things a home needs like hugs, laughter and "I love yous"

So, since the housing market is in the crapper, and we will be here a long, long, long time, I am happy that this house which made me stressed and scared and overwhelmed in the beginning has become our family home. While we still have things we want to change, I know that we will since we have done so much already. This is where our newest child will come home to, and where all four will remember growing up, and that is a true joy.

***Yes, I am at the sappy stage in pregnancy, it will last until the baby is two :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

My girl

OK, I have had enough with Haven's school. For some reason they can't or won't recognize that she has problems from the seizures and how she has learned to cope. Two things, the big two things that they were to do for her they didn't. They needed to give her a second desk so she could stand and not disrupt others, they didn't AND they punished her for standing and dancing at her chair! The teacher was also to review the day with Haven to see if she heard everything and understood. She never has! I am calling the principal tomorrow and we will make it to the end of the year, and then I will see what we will do!

New Dirty

So, we had some interesting new today. Seems that in Virginia they can make your license invalid pending proof of legal presence, which means showing a birth certificate. Well, they did it to hubby and the problem is, they never sent us any notification. He doesn't have a copy of his birth certificate here, so we tried getting DMV to give us two weeks to get one, but they said NO! Then they told him he can't drive,but he has been driving for a year like this since no one told us!

Since hubby was born in New Jersey (Haven used to call it New Dirty when she was little...not as a comment in NJ, just she couldn't say it right) we of course tried to find out how to get one. Here in VA you can get a birth certificate expressed within 5 days, not so in NJ. Then I looked at driving up there, it would be over 10 hrs roundtrip and cost a small fortune. Thankfully I spoke to the very sweet guy in Livingston who told me to overnight everything with a return overnight slip and we would have it back in two days. Woohooo, thanks New Dirty!

Oh boy...whoops, girl!

Well I thought for sure that Gray was going down with the mystery virus last night, but this morning he was fine and ready for school. Brittan, on the other hand, just looks bad. She was up most the night, she is still dealing with the cough from months ago and she felt a little warm to me. Needless to say, she will be with me today, we have a few things to do in the morning, then home for rests and down time for her. Hopefully with rest, and some of mama's hot cocoa, she will be right as rain tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finding Peace

Em and I were talking about having babies the other day, how you know that one child is your last, etc. I have to say, while I am often crabby in pregnancy, especially early when I am tired and feel crummy, I have felt very calm regarding this child being added to the tribe. I KNOW that this is the last child and I am perfectly fine with it. i cannot wait to met him/her and spend the rest of my life loving him/her as I do my others. Last year was trying for us, as it was for many others, but I have a renewed sense of hope. While our plans have been changed and altered many times over, we keep our focus on what we want from life. My main concern, as always, is how to maintain the level of house I want, while also allowing the kids to be kids. I also need to work on keeping work/school stress away from my family...we will see how that goes as classes start today. I guess I am searching for peace, both within myself and within my home, and I am not sure how to achieve it. That is my journey this year, to locate that elusive peace.

Chilly Willy

It is cold this morning, but I think it is being made worse by the fact that I seem to have a fever. I am sure it is nothing big, I seem to have a cold, so I am sure that is raising my temp. I need to warm up a little, maybe a hot shower will do the trick, since I want to run to the store ALONE.

Maybe the hubby will make the fire soon so I can come home and sit by it to get warm again.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What a weirdo

So I am listening to my very exhuberant, silly and creative 8 year old jazz up an old Quaker song. She is singing "Tis a Gift to Be Simple" in rock/pop style....very, very funny. As the husband says, she pulled a Ritchie Valens.

Running on the wheel

It has been a busy morning. I grabbed Maggie and dropped she and Gray off at preschool while the hubby took the girls to the bus stop. When dropping off I asked the preschool teacher if Gray was in time out (!), well he wasn't and then he proceeded to inform me that that was at PAINTING school, whatever that is!

Then I drove to the farm and it was super cold! Grabbed the million bottles of milk, cream, and yogurt, along with a big jar of honey since we were getting low. I also put our beef order in, since it has been six months and both Emily and I are running low. For anyone considering buying a quarter cow, half cow, whole cow, etc. DO IT! The meat is delicious, when you look at overall cost, it is very affordable, and you never have to worry about meat recalls. I love that my kids are getting just delicious healthy beef, no antibiotics, no hormones, just good quality meat.

Now Maggie and Gray are playing and I am taking a few minutes to sit and relax.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feeling a bit better

The last few days I have been feeling a bit better, still a little tired, but that is probably due to my inability to sleep at night! Still stressing way more than I should, and trying really hard to roll with things which is so not my style. I welcome the improved feeling, the nausea has left a bit and I feel like I can eat a little more which helps with the energy. I am getting winded a lot, but this happens around this time with all my pregnancies, then goes away and comes back later when the big ole baby starts kicking my lungs.

I also need to get moving on some of the projects we need to do. I am hoping the girls and I can get their room done tomorrow and the million loads of clothes I folded can be put away. I also really want to paint the family room even though the hubby isn't into that project. Ah well, I will do what I always do in this situation, I will start painting and then whine that I cannot climb on the chair to cut in around the ceiling, and then he helps :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a beautiful sound

Today I got to hear #4's little heartbeat. What a beautiful and wondrous sound.

Will it ever

ever, ever, ever STOP RAINING????

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just not myself

All this down time has taken it's toll. I am so tired, more tired than I have ever been with any other pregnancy,and I am really hoping it lets up soon. Thankfully, I am not as sick as I was a few weeks ago, which is a huge relief.

Right now it is hard to do anything, I try everyday to make dinner, keep the house basically neat and get the kid's things done, but it has been tough. I am not sure what will happen when my classes begin at the end week and I head back to FT and PT work. Ah well, it will all fall into place I am sure.

So far today, Gray and I pretty much did a load of nada. We have had a nice fire, I made some chicken stock and have made the stock into soup for dinner. I will make some popovers to go along with the soup since I still haven't had the energy to make bread. Did some laundry, vacuumed, etc. Maybe once the dreary weather moves on, I will feel more energetic.

On the baby front, tomorrow I am hoping to hear a heartbeat....I am always anxious until I hear that little thump-thump.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to the old schedule

So the kiddos had school today, all of them....or so we thought! Dropped off the girls, then went to drop Gray off and surprise!!!!!! NO PRESCHOOL! Anyway, grabbed Maggie from Em, brought them home and did some cleaning and now need to get into a shower so we can meet Emily at 1.

I also think we may have found a home for two of our cats, maybe all three. Grayson has developed a pretty sever cat allergy, so they need to go. The boys may go as early as tonight and I am really hoping the woman takes the mama as well. It is sad, but his health is more important and the allergist is very concerned that his allergy will aggravate his asthma, so that is a easy choice.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Last post of the day...I promise

See, I told you that blogging keeps me sane!

This will be a semi-happy post. Although it has been a long and trying day, and I got nearly nothing I wanted to get done (no muffins or bread to speak of) I did manage to cook a dinner that is making my house smell scrumdidiliumptious!

We will be having a lemon herb roast chicken with homemade stuffing crammed with dried apples and carrots, there is even a little white wine thrown in for good measure. Along side these tasties will be broccoli, which the kids will be happy to see and maybe, just maybe I will throw some biscuits in the oven. The only downer is that we need to go out and pick up hubby's car, so we will have to wait until we get back to eat the yummy dinner, then the kids will get baths, I will pack lunches and off to bed they will scamper. Then, maybe the, I will feel like I accomplished something today.

Please someone stop the ride, I really want to get off!

OK so it is just not going well at all.

Today has been an awful Haven day. She woke up whiny, and that is never a good sign. Then she got into it with her brother and smacked his cheek! That was it, I laid into her since she is ALWAYS the hitter and she is the oldest! I swear I went wrong somewhere with her, the other kids are easy going, quick to forgive and pretty pleasant. So after going on and on about how she is bullying my other children and just like I wouldn't allow someone to bully her, I can't allow her to do it to the other kids. Then on and on more about how she needs to think about other people and their feelings, that she needs to treat us kindly and with respect. After I thought I had gotten through just a bit......she brings me a coloring book that she had drawn a bunch of stuff in. Problem is, the book was her sister's that she just got for Christmas, and it was a special Camp Rock one, and Britt was devastated as she hadn't even used it yet. WTF?

Please someone help me raise this kid better? I try I swear I do. I tell them we are a team, that siblings need to look out for each other. We talk about respect and treating people the way we want to be treated. We have rules and we stick to them. Why is she so quick to scream and yell? Why does she not care about anyone but herself?

Oh it gets better

Not only does he need a new tire, but now they are saying he needs TWO major repairs of over 1500 EACH!!!!!! Well,it has to wait until February when I have the money, guess we may be sharing a car.


hubby needs a new tire. Super. Couldn't this have happened any week other than this week when we are tight? I hate January, being down a paycheck is just torture!

The kids had a nice breakfast and are now enjoying mugs of hot cocoa. I am trying to get myself motivated to make muffins and bread.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A plan for the day

Since we cannot go to church, I guess I will try to get some much needed cooking and cleaning done. Haven has some items to gather for school, and I am hoping to make some pumpkin muffins for the kids to have for breakfast/snacks this week. I also have a roast chicken planned for dinner, and around here a roast chicken becomes soup or a potpie a few days later. I also would love to get a few loaves of bread baked up tomorrow, especially if I am making soup this week.

Anyway, after no sleep last night and a brief hour snooze this evening, I think it is time to head up to bed!

Listen up world

please don't screw with me this week!

Husband's tire is flat, and it is running funny on the donut, so now he is taking my car. That means no church in the morning :( That also probably means a big stinkin' load of money I don't have this week to blow. Super.

Even crazy, I love my life

All the terrible, horrible, stressful things that can happen and do in our lives always seem to take over and pummel their way to the forefront of out lives. Sometimes, just sometimes, it is necessary to swat those negative bugs away and let the good shine through. I am the first to admit that today I am tired, very tired and a bit crabby, but I am trying hard to have a good day and be thankful for what I have. This morning I needed to run errands, but first I dropped off some poocons with Emily. We had a really nice chat and her girls were running about and having fun. What a nice way to start the day. Then off to the grocery store where I walked out with a ton of stuff I needed on the cheap, that always makes me happy to provide good things for my family. Then to CVS, where I got some much needed supplies to keep us all bright and shiny, and again, got away spending pennies. While there is a lot I am stressed about, and I am super sleepy and just want a nap, I have three beautiful kids running around who want my attention. I also have to prepare a nice dinner for the old family, which always makes me feel proud and accomplished.

So for the moment I am thankful, hopefully it will stay all day and the crabbiness will stay at bay.

2 am and awake again

This is getting old. I am sick of waking up in the wee hours and staying awake! I think I fell asleep on the couch around 11:30, woke up in a panic around 1 am to a dark house...hubby had gone to bed. Went upstairs and tried to sleep, but then all the thoughts came flying into my head and I was up. One of my biggest issues with my anxiety is that is comes into my head at night and even when the worries are ones I can fight with facts, the overall anxious feeling keeps me up. Let me tell you folks, I may get a whole lot done in a day, but there is a serious price to pay for that insanity.

So here I sit and I know what has brought this on for me. The news today that John Travolta's son had a seizure which caused him to hit his head and die from his injury. See, Haven has seizures, and while we are told hers are limited to absence or petit mal seizures, she can still hurt herself when having one. She is medicated, and it seems to be helping, but anyone who know my family knows that we never reach the end of the diagnosis with Haven. For example, she sees the neurologist next Saturday and I need to explain some other bizarre behavior we are seeing. Now with Haven it could be her seizure meds need to be upped, or it could be the auditory processing problems, or it could be the processes within her brain which misdeveloped, or it could be a new food issue, or it could be something new and random or it could just be her personality. We never know with her. There is this wall that prevents Haven from being all she can, and we have been chipping away at it since she was born. She is a bright, creative, funny little girl, but she is also impulsive, explosive, unable to focus and distracted. How do we get the good out? I guess I need to get the chisel out and chip away some more.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A stolen survey

A Look Back & Ahead

This was on Em's blog and she found it on Becky's blog......

1. What did you do in 2008 that you had never done before? Spent a week at the beach with friends

2. Did you keep your previous New Year's resolutions, and will you make new ones for next year? I don't do New Year's Resolutions :)

3. Did anyone you know give birth? yes.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No thankfully

5. What countries did you visit? We hung in the USA

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? An ability to not let work and school stress affect home life...and gobs of money.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? August 30th, the day Haven was diagnosed with seizures

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Making positive changes in our family and building a stronger marriage.

9. Did you suffer from illness or injury? Nope, pretty healthy!

10. What was the best thing you bought? the new it!

11. Did your behavior change over the year? I think so, not all for the good.

12. Where did most of your money go? Bills

13. What did you get really excited about? We had some great vacations and we found out we are having another baby

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Richer or poorer? same old

2. Did you fall in love? not with anyone new

3. What was your favorite TV program? Swingtown!

4. What was the best book you read? Gosh, I am not sure, I read a bunch this year though

5. What was your favorite film of the year? I don't see movies

6. Thinner or fatter? happily thinner, that will change I am sure with the new babe

7. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 33, lunch with Em and kids, surprise gift from hubby!

8. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying? knowing that I know my children and what they need

9. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? fashionista de motherhood

10. What kept you sane? blog, blog, blog

11. What political issue stirred you the most? Of course the presidential election

12. Who was the best new person you met? hmmmm...i don't get out much, I guess John the farmer, he kept us fed :)

13. What is a valuable lesson you learned in 2008? That being a parent never ever gets easier, but you do get more confident!

Creeping back towards the grind

It has been blissful not having any work or school. There has been napping, which is very unusual for me (explanation of said napping to come later this week) and lots of down time. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Today I have a call with a new faculty member to help her get ready for her first class. Then Monday the kids go back to school-that means I actually have to be dressed at 8:30 am! Then courses need to be checked on Monday. Classes for me begin the end of next week, and let me tell you, I am not excited about my research course. All that means is papers, long ones and lots of them! Then I am back at PT school the end of January.

The plus this term is that I am back teaching the Monday night class and the Wednesday afternoon class. While Monday night classes make me tired, I usually have nothing to do on Tuesday except go get the milk, so I can laze about in the morning. Wednesday afternoon classes are great for me because Weds. is Ryan's first night off, and since Emily is a saint and will watch Gray after preschool, Ryan will even be able to get some sleep and then be able to hang with me at night.

I also need to revisit my syllabus, I have a group project that needs some fine tuning, so I need the kids to go back to preschool/school so I can spend some time working.

Ah the grind, not so much fun but it pays the bills!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dinner and relaxation

Well, I didn't get nearly enough done today, and now I am pretty sure I am too tired to fold all that laundry. Some major things did get done, and the family enjoyed a delicious dinner of chicken in wine sauce, spinach and feta puffs and rice. We did talk some about the garden and I began looking at seeds and options for where everything will be planted. We have a nice fire going and my plan for the night is to snuggle in and enjoy.

Tomorrow the last of the indoor decorations will be put away and we will do some work in the pantry. It has been so cold we have been running in and out so fast, I didn't realized how low we were on some staples. Guess it is time to load up on some things.

A fresh start

It is a new year, a fresh start and a new beginning. I am excited about a few things I know are coming, and apprehensive of others. This will be a year of more changes, in how we live and eat, and in how we go about our business. We made some great strides in localizing and growing our own, but we are so limited by being in suburbia. Our plans to move to more land in three years is just not reasonable now with the housing problems. It may now be five or seven years. The best case scenario is that in three years we can buy a cheap piece of land that has some kind of structure on it, anything that has electricity, water and sewer will do. We will then spend summers there changing and adapting the house, creating locations for animals, raising chickens and growing a larger garden and beginning an orchard. Then we will either move to the land full time and sell our current house, or we will rent out this house and get to the new location. It is stressful, but I know it will come someday.

For now, we will be doing all I can to do more here at home. We are planning the garden for this year, and will be adding two apple trees and netting the pear trees so nothing steals our fruit. The CSA will happen again this year, as will the berry patch and the supplemental fruit picking locally. I am thinking of getting a pressure canner so I can do more storing of food, the boiling water canner is fine for some things, but the pressure canner will open a lot of doors. I need to do more with grains, and we are debating adding chickens this year. I am also going to work hard to learn how to sew and knit, I would love to be able to make tableclothes, curtains, sweaters, etc for the family. Beginning today, I will cook even more at home and from scratch. We are cleaning and reorganizing the pantry tomorrow so it will be easier to locate canned goods and items for dinner.

A new year, a fresh start, a new beginning.