Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's here!!!

My new stove has arrived and it is beautiful! Our kitchen had bisque appliances when we moved in, and as we have replaced them one at a time, we have always just bought bisque again. I personally don't like the color, but since we painted the kitchen around bisque appliances, and the cast iron sink I put in is glazed in bisque, when we needed the new stove, it was bisque. Due to the odd color choice, we needed to wait a week and a half for the stove to be delivered, but it was totally worth it. The oven is HUGE...5.4 c.f., of course it is self cleaning because I am no fool, and it is a coil top since we can and you cannot use the ceramic top stoves to can. It looks so much better than the old yucky Maytag and the color is in line with the new fridge and dishwasher we put in, which is the lighter bisque color, less yellow. Now all that is left is to put in a microwave range hood and the kitchen is perfect...well as perfect as it can be in this house :)

The other great part is that this morning I hopped online and saw that the exact stove I bought was on sale, so I called the company and they credited me the difference. i had also scored a $25 off coupon when I purchased and they have free delivery and haul away, so when it was all said and done, it was under $400 for a new stove that I LOVE :)

The upside?

You may note it is 4:30 am...I have been up since 3:30 am.....I went to bed at midnight and Haven was up once, Grayson 5 or 6 times until he decided that he wanted to get up and throw up a lot. Fun.

I swear we have had the puke bug more this year than the last four years combined! I think tonight his issue is not an actual stomach bug, but something else, maybe related to his mystery illness? He may also be spiking a fever, he feels warm, and I got a Tylenol into him, then it came back, so who knows.

So, where is the upside? Well one is that I can exist on little to no sleep as is evident by how often someone is up all night here. This is good since I have so much to do today and a nap is just not an option. Another is that puke barely grosses me out these days, so long as it isn't actually ON me, this is a huge improvement from when Haven was small and puke really made me squirm. Also, I am lucky that my jobs allow me to stay home and make gobs of money...ok no gobs and well below market value, but hell I can do it in my PJ's with my pukey kid, that is a bonus. Now if only I can be coherent while writing my paper later today, but we will have to see how that goes!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Getting schooled

Oh my, the class I am in is kicking my rear! The assignments are vague, which makes it hard to complete them, but overall I am happy with my grades. At this point, the assignment I had due Sunday isn't even completed as I JUST got clarification on it!

In addition, my stupid adviser screwed up my schedule AGAIN! I think it is finally corrected, which is a relief, but still, how hard can it be? I am also done with my daughter's teacher, I hope the conference goes well on Friday or I may need to fire her...and it isn't pretty when someone gets fired, essentially I explain why they are incompetent, how it could have been done correctly and then I inform them they are fired. Takes a lot for me to be done with someone, but when I am, it ends...I am very tired of incompetence, especially in education, it is just laziness, which lately is all I see around me. What happened to having pride in what you do?

On the bright side, my new stove comes tomorrow and I am very, VERY excited!

The doctor dance

Oh my do I have a lot of doctor's appointments scheduled. Add to that, I double booked myself TWICE next month because I try to schedule appointments for Thursdays and Fridays when the husband is around. I had a cardiologist appointment (for me)scheduled for Friday, but we also have conferences for the girls that day, so it was rescheduled. As it stands, I have a cardiologist appointment for me, a pediatric cardiologist appointment to check baby's heart, a hematologist appointment and a regular OB appointment scheduled in April. Add to that two kids needed blood work, one needs to see the neurologist and another needs to see the allergist....thank goodness for medical spending accounts!

Wishing for summer

Oh I want summer to come. Long, warm days. No rushing out the door in the morning, no going to work. It makes the days so much more fun to have no place we HAVE to be!

I did sign the girls up for camp and we are considering putting them in a second week if they really like it. We are also buying a pool, they would really love being able to swim all summer and being that I cannot be in the water a good chunk of the summer after having the baby, this seemed like the best option. We also have a trip with my parents planned for August, plus a trip for Grayson's birthday that month....I guess we DO have places to be!

In addition, we have booked our trip for next spring to Disney and I am finalizing whether we want to rent a beach house for two weeks, or rent one for one week and then take a trip up North, maybe to NYC or Montauk for a week. Ah,what a hard life :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

That feeling in the pit of your stomach

it isn't dread, or fear, or concern...it is almost like homesickness. I get it sometimes when I feel overwhelmed by my life, or if I am feeling unsuccessful, or when there are big changes looming. My mom left today and we had a nice, if not quick, visit. I am so thankful that my parents make time for the kids and that they know their accomplishments and want to celebrate with them. Right now I feel the changes coming, with the new baby and the mother in law, and it makes me feel homesick. These are the days I long to be back on LI, back where it just seemed easier and different and comfortable. For all my complaints about it, it is my hometown and I miss it when I feel I need security. For us, it is simply not an option, it doesn't match our lifestyle or our needs and jobs for us do not abound there. I ache to get out of Virginia, I really despise being stuck here, but we are for at least the next five years.

Also when I feel homesick, I think about my accomplishments, and for me, I just don't feel I have done enough yet. So onward I plan, I think of what is coming and what I want to do. I really enjoying teaching, and will continue to do it, but when the doctorate is done, what can I do. Law school is a definite option, especially as the kids get older. Another is medical school, although my husband thinks I am crazy, but I would love to learn medicine and law, what a wonderful opportunity that would be. It will really depend on where I am teaching, if they have a law or medical school associated with them that will take me on....fingers crossed :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A proud day

We had a full and exciting day! Haven was performing not once, but twice, in our county art festival. Haven and I got out early this morning to drop her off, and then I ran back to get the rest of the tribe and my mom who made the trip to see Havey. We headed back, looked at all the art work, and saw both of my girl's submissions :) Then we watched the first performance. In this one, eight third graders from each school were chosen to take part, and they practiced instruments and songs at their own schools for a few weeks, and then all came together for the first time this morning. They put on a musical play where they switched around, played various instruments and sang...it was amazing what they learned on their own and then what they could accomplish when together. The performance was great, but everyone was hungry so we headed out to lunch where we all refueled! Then back to the school to see Haven perform again with her school singing group. They were wonderful, of course, and Haven was so happy we were there for her. After that, we headed to Friendly's to celebrate with ice cream sundaes! Back home and everyone is tired, but happy. The kids are playing with my mom, I am working, and we enjoyed our full day of fine art :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just breathe in and out

To say the last six months have been trying is an understatement. With Haven's diagnosis this Fall, I never got into a good school/work groove. We had bunches of unexpected house/car costs. Add to that the MIL is coming, not coming, is coming, etc. Other outside the family BS, Grayson's unexplained weird illness and now the concerns with the new baby.

So it has been crappy, but what makes me proud is that we came through it, keep coming through it, as a strong family. At this point we can weather any storm!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The internet..blessing or curse

Being who I am, and research minded, I of course came home armed with information from the cardiologist and proceeded to review it online. From what he explained, the two BIG things that can go wrong deal with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) along with the leaky Tricuspid Valve or a stenosis in the aorta. The first one is called Epstein's Syndrome and means that when the baby is born, the valve leaks and the open area between the atrium's doesn't close. This can cause the baby to be blueish and can lead to heart failure...but we at least know to look for it, and there is surgery to repair the problem as needed. The other big one is Coarcation of the Aorta, which along with the leaky valve, we have a narrowing in the curve of the aorta. This will also involve surgery and is not as dangerous or involved as Epstein's Syndrome. The other, more mild potential causes may be pulmonary or aortic stenosis or VSD...most of which are non-surgical in nature.

We are really hoping that next echo we don't see an enlarged little baby heart.

We must be tender hearted

OK, so here is the history first. I have a heart condition, have had it since birth and it is called supra valvular aortic stenosis-a narrowing of the aorta above the valve. I have been fortunate throughout my life not to have had complications aside from scaring a few doctors and nurses when they hear my heartbeat.

Due to my heart condition, I have had a fetal echo cardiogram while pregnant with each child, this checks for major structural issues, but does not tell of all heart conditions.

Haven had a normal fetal echo cardiogram which showed no problems. At birth she was diagnosed with ventricular septal defect (VSD) which is an opening between the ventricles of the heart. She also has pulmonary stenosis (PS) which is a narrowing of one of the branches of the pulmonary artery. Over the years, her VSD patched itself and closed, and this last summer we found out that her stenosis had stretched and she is no just considered an inconsequential murmur.

Brittan had a normal fetal echo cardiogram. At age two when sick, the doctor heard a murmur. She had an echo cardiogram this summer where no defects were found and it is determined she has an inconsequential murmur.

Grayson had a normal fetal echo cardiogram. Has shown no signs of murmur. Will have a preventative echo this summer.

Today we had the fetal echo cardiogram for the new baby and for the first time we had an issue. While structurally everything is well developed, the baby's tricuspid valve is leaking. According to the pediatric cardiologist, this is usually an indicator of other heart issues which may not be presenting themselves now, or that cannot be seen while in utero. We will return in four weeks to look again for any structural issues and to determine if the heart is being stressed and if it is enlarged. The outcome from that fetal echo cardiogram will determine the course of action, and whether they think she will be needing surgery at some point.

Thankfully, we as a family are used to dealing with health issues, and no one is freaking out, including myself. This is a path we can walk.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am tired

I am tired of hub bub, and drama, and hysterics. Tired of tall tales, outright lies, and misgivings. Tired of trying and doing and caring. Tired of judgment and criticism and cutting words. I am tired of it all.

No more of this in my life, it is not welcome, wanted, desired or deserved. I am tired of all of it and it weighs me down and dims my kid's smiles and makes me frown when I should be beaming. I don't care if you don't like my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, doings, comings or goings, as they are mine and mine alone. No judgment can fall here, take it along on your way, as we are a fine and happy bunch.

I am just tired.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Seniority and my job(s) rock!

I have to admit I may have the best work life ever. While they don't pay me the big bucks, I love that both my jobs treat me with respect and seem to care that I am happy and content and doing well. FT allows me to work from home, to put the kids on the bus, get them off, make dinner, play with them, do homework and travel....that is pretty awesome! Unlike lots of other work from home jobs, I have no set hours, and while that means I work weekends and holidays, I also work when I want to. Plus it is hard to over look the eight weeks a year I get off and the additional 8 weeks of maternity leave I will get at 100% pay...oh and they pay for my doctorate, sweet!

My PT gig is also great, and while I sometimes dread actually getting dressed and GOING to campus, I love my students and the interaction I have with them. In addition, they also treat me really well and seem concerned that I am happy in my position. Today I had to run up there to drop off paperwork for a student and saw my boss. She was playing with Grayson and chit chatting and just being awesome, as usual. Plus she told me I ALWAYS have first pick of my course sections because I have seniority, and for Fall term that means I can teach the Weds night and Friday afternoon classes so the baby and Grayson will always be with Ryan...gotta love that schedule :)

A note on cosleeping

We never set out to be cosleepers. When Haven was born we had the big crib all set up and the bassinet in our room for her....but things changed. She had really severe reflux, projectile, and would sputter and choke sometimes. We were afraid she would aspirate, so we began allowing her to spend some of the night with us. When I was pregnant with Brittan and Ryan began working nights, it was just easier to put her to bed in her bed and allow her to come in when she needed. Brittan and Grayson did not cosleep originally as long, both did well in the bassinet and crib, but Grayson has been back with me almost every night the last year and a half (keep in mind Haven only stopped coming in 2 years ago). While there are nights I wish Gray wouldn't come in, I know he still needs it. I know this by the way he reaches out to touch my arm or face when he is sleeping and how once he makes contact, his whole little body settles right back into a deep sleep. While it isn't for everyone, I don't regret the many nights I saved us all from bad sleep by just letting the kids snuggle in.

Too early!

I really cannot get this internal clock thing right! I am not sure if it is leftover from the time change, pregnancy, or stress, but I am all over the place for sleep!

Last night I taught, came home and did some work and hit the sack about midnight...this was after waking up before 6 am yesterday. I woke a few times in the night and at 6:15 I was WIDE awake. I have a lot to do today, so I need this early up to help not hinder. I need to see how Haven is feeling, Ryan said she had a fever last night and was under the weather, so if she is feeling ill, she will be home. I need to get some more painting done, organize the living room a bit and do some laundry. Then we need to run to PT school to sign some forms and then back home to make dinner and get all that good stuff done. Thursday is the fetal echocardiogram and I need to finish the painting and cleaning...my mom comes on Friday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pluses and Minuses

There are always positives and negatives to any situation. The last week and a half there have been a few things going on here simultaneously, but the one that has been the most unnerving has been related to Grayson. He has presented some unusual symptoms, including a complete loss of appetite (which is sloooooowly coming back), extreme exhaustion (12-13 hours of sleep a night and 3 hour naps), and complaints of all over pain. We have been back and forth to the doctor a bit, and so far we have had the worse two tests come back negative, so no leukemia or diabetes. However, the doctor is concerned that he may be in early stages of diabetes, so we are watching that, but I am hopeful that is not the case. We are waiting on a few more tests, and then he will go see the cardiologist and the allergist to rule our problems there. It is terribly scary to face health concerns with your child, and having just gone through some serious testing last fall with Haven, I am not enjoying the repeat. Fingers crossed it is some weird virus or stage and nothing bad.

Mondays can be difficult

Not one child in this house wanted to wake up this morning, let along wake up early. Somehow we all made it out the door and off to school, although Gray was not thrilled about it. Back home, and I have done a bit of work and need to kick it into high gear before I need to go grab Grayson. I need to get the kitchen straigtened, call the sitter, switch the laundry, vacuum and generally pick up...not to mention get ready for work and cook dinner....I better get going!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Can I just say

that baby bumps and kicks are the greatest feeling in the world. Somehow they make everything right.

Wiped out!

I am just beat after today! i got a bunch more painting done, the room isn't complete, but with three kids underfoot and a million other tasks, I did make some headway. I have gotten everything ready for tomorrow, including lunches and clothes for the kids since we have an early start and Haven has a field trip. I still have a paper to write, but it looks pretty manageable, so I think it will move quickly. Tomorrow, after dropping the brood, I am headed back home to paint some more, work on the laundry, get ready for work and do some cleaning. Tuesday will be a big cleaning day getting ready for my mom and I also want to finish the painting that day so I expect to be tired and sore :)

So far, cooking without an oven has been interesting! I made burritos tonight with ground beef and black beans and my own mix of seasoning. My kids love spicy food, so we made it to the families liking and they enjoyed. Tomorrow will be pretty simple, kielbasi and pierogies since I have work, and Tuesday we will grill. Somehow we will make it until the new stove comes, and I am so very excited to try it out with a roast or some cookies!

Bad dreams

just stink.

I had two that were pretty bad last night and they made me feel rotten waking up this morning. Then I was greeted by three hungry kids who jumped into my bed for a snuggle, and it got better. Already put a hot breakfast into the kiddos and getting ready to paint. I must do the second coat behind the couch so I can move everything back, and then on to the last small wall and the fireplace wall....which will be an adventure! I think the small wall can be done today, but the fireplace wall will wait until Tuesday when only Gray is home and we can dismantle everything and move it into the middle of the room. By Wednesday evening, I need to be cleaning up since my mom arrives on Friday and Ryan's mom on Tuesday!

Off to eat breakfast to fuel up for the day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A sign of times or is it just retro?

I am thrilled that the First Lady is putting in an organic garden, it says a lot to the public when the first family, who can buy as much organic produce they want, choose to grow their own. I find it interesting all the news reports about how many people are planting gardens and how it is a sign of the times...but my parents always had a garden because it was a cheap way to feed us good food. Ryan and I have also worked hard to grow as much as we can on our little plot which this year includes onions, garlic, herbs, spinach, a number of lettuces, two kinds of cucumbers, two kinds of beans, two kinds of tomatoes, parsnips, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and if the birds don't get them...pears! We are also planting apple trees (4) and two more pear trees, but they will take a few years to produce.

We also belong to a CSA which gets us even more local fresh produce, and we take advantage of local pick your own farms where we pick strawberries, blueberries and apples...and this year I also hope to get some blackberries. We know the cost savings, for example our CSA costs us $440 for 18 weeks of produce, that is just under $25 per week and we get a huge bag of assorted fruits and vegetables, even honey some weeks! All is local and organic, and we freeze a lot of it for winter eating. We picked 120 lbs of apples this year and it cost us about $60 but we canned enough to last us until next season. I am thrilled that others are joining the backyard garden movement, there is no better way to feed your family!

Another busy day!

I have been feeling so much better lately, which is great since I have so much to do and need the energy! Today we all slept in, which was a wonderful treat. After that, the kids did a quick straightening up and I headed to the grocery store. Back home to make the kids a hot lunch, then got all but one thing graded. Ryan finished the wall that needed to be patched and I started the painting, and while only about 25% of the room is painted, I LOVE the color! It is a really warm brown, and looks a bit like hot chocolate...mmmm! Tonight I will put the second coat on these walls and finish cutting in the lower walls. We are always in the family room, and I wanted it to be warm and inviting, and this really works.

After the room is painted, we will move the new television stand, desk and end table in and it will be perfect. This was one of the big tasks that I needed done before the new baby comes this summer. The other big task is the carpet in the playroom...we found what we want to put down, but it will need to wait until after the planting is done. I am also considering painting that room before the new carpet goes in, but I am not sure what I want to do. I do know that we will be putting in a new larger blackboard area and Ryan plans to put in more shelving, but for some reason I cannot decide on a color I love. I am sure it will come to me!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Full day, full life

We had a busy day today, but it was still full of joy as the sun was shining and there was just a hint of spring in the air. After dropping Gray at school, I headed up to Wegman's for some grocery store therapy. When it is not crowded, there is something soothing about walking about and considering the possibilities of it all. They have an incredible homeopathic section, so I spent a good while just smelling the oils and thinking of all the things that could be done with them.

After Wegman's I ran home to drop off the groceries and had a nice chat with my mom, sometimes it amazes me how easy it is for her to soothe my soul with her help and feedback. Then off to grab the very tired boy from school and home to get his belly fed. We planted the onions in the afternoon, did some good old fashioned cleaning and I headed to the OB. Seems I am down even more in the weight department, but the baby is doing well with me measuring a full FOUR weeks ahead! Not sure what the doc is going to do with that, but it is a comfort that she is growing even if I am not gaining! The doc also said he would consider a VBAC, which was really good for me, and I know he will make the right choice for me and the baby.

Headed back home to cook up some dinner, then was gifted a phone cal from Chelle who always makes me smile.

Now I am beat and just want to head to bed, hubby says I can sleep in tomorrow and then I will be painting the family room and grading.

Creative cooking

I just placed the order for my new stove and I am more than a little excited. When you cook as much as I do, a good stove is a necessity. The new stove matches the kitchen and has a huge oven....it has three racks! Now the real issue is how I will cook to feed the family for the next week and a half with no oven...this will take some creativity! Good thing the weather has turned a bit, so we can always grill. I also can use the stove top and may be trying out some crockpot recipes. Feeding the kids microwave or take out is simply not a choice here, that stuff is poison!

Today is easy, burgers on the grill! Not sure what is one the agenda for tomorrow, maybe grilled chicken salad? This will be an adventure!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Onwards and upwards they say

So...between the oven and other crap, no planting got done today. Tomorrow morning I will need to get a jump on things, we are rapidly running out of time, and if we want to eat, we must do the labor.

I think I found a range I like, it has a HUGE oven which will make me very happy...plus it is a coil top, which is important for canning. The downside is it will take about a week to come in, the up side is it will be pretty and new and will work well.

Needless to say, drama and pregnancy and worries about a child just do not mix well...tomorrow will be brighter.

On the hunt

My oven door broke....and it is a problem. To fix the door is over 200 dollars...and I hate the stove. So now I am shopping for a new range, which is fine, except all our appliances are bisque and it is hard to find something I can get in in the next week or so. Ah well, at least I am getting a new, nice stove...which is great because we use it a lot! Now I need to figure out how to feed the family without an oven for the next week or so!


A facebook shunning, how puerile.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tutoring update

It went really well, the woman is very smart and well educated, just needs some help with grammar and style...super easy for me!

Oh and she paid me in advance...in cash...wooohoooo!

First tutoring night

Tonight is the first night I am to tutor, and I have three hopes. The first is that the lady shows up :) The second is that it goes well and I am able to show her what she needs to learn. The third is she pays in cash! I will let you know :)

Here comes Spring!

It seems to have crept up, but spring is on the horizon! My onions are getting ready to be planted later today or early tomorrow. I have some grading to do over the next two days, and once that is done, I want to get the family room painted. We also need to start the seeds and get the garden soil ready. The unfortunate thing is that tomorrow my husband has an appointment in the morning and the kids come home early from school, and Friday I have two doctors appointments, so I will be booked all day. The goal, by Sunday, is to have the onions in the ground, the tomato, cucumber, and squash seeds started and the family room painted. I also need to get the herb garden going, it should be able to be out out soon, and the lettuce and spinach are also ready to be planted. Hectic as it may be, this time of year is full of renewed hope and joy for us...now if only we can get the work done and the mucky soil dry out a bit!

Can't keep my mouth (or hands) quiet

OK...so I have thought long and hard about what to do with this here blog. At first I was going to simply delete it and start over somewhere else, but that wasn't the right choice. Then I was going to make it private, but private blogs aggravate me. Then I thought about changing my focus....and that is what I think I will do, as I am tired of my own words being used against me. I choose to no longer speak about my personal feelings and relationships outside my family here....I did create a separate location for that and don't think I will be sharing.

So back to my original focus and the reason I began this in the first place-my family and our choices to be more eco-friendly and self sustaining even while existing within suburbia. My whole world's focus has been shifted by these choices, and like anything, there are rewards and sacrifices. So on to the Spring plan.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Breaking hiatus

to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Be safe, well and make good choices.

Now back to my hole which is decorated with green and gold for the day......

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I think I need a break from the blog...probably facebook too. There are moments you just need to disconnect.

Seashell eating Banshees

My kids have been wild today! I think that the spring like weather last week spoiled them, and now that it has rained for days on end and they are trapped inside, they are going a bit stir crazy. Needless to say, they have been loud, crazy, screaming, leaping, loony kids today. Thankfully they are now eating dinner, shell pasta with homemade sauce with sausage. The shells wouldn't have been my choice with such a chunky sauce, especially not the mini shells, but they insisted and they are happy. Now I need to get clothes on to go to the store in the yucky rain and then home to finish my paper.

Contractions suck

I have been having really bad contractions the last few days...I am pretty sure my OB is going to be unhappy with that come Tuesday when I see him. With two of the kids, both the girls in fact, I dilated between 22 and 24 weeks....I fear we are heading that route again.

Oh well,husband says drink more water and rest...as he heads off to bed. We will see how it goes. I also need to get Gray in to the doctor tomorrow, he needs to get some blood work done.

Zero to overwhelmed

I am not sure how it happens, one minute everything feels calm and in order....the next, I am overwhelmed!

I think my stress this morning is stemming from a huge paper I have due tonight that I have barely glanced at. Even though I KNOW I will look at it this morning and get a plan, the looming paper feeling is not a nice one. I also have a lot of grading to do for PT school, so I need to push through at least 20 more papers today. I also need to grade an additional 50 by the end of the week...sounds like fun right?

I have no plans for dinner, which is not like me, and I have a ton of housework to do. Some Sundays that is fine, the kids behave and help and we move along merrily. However yesterday the kids were fighting and being difficult, so I am not sure how today will go better.

Add to it that I am feeling very, very put off by someone right now and I don't like it. In addition, never before have I been in a relationship where I had someone else make me feel like they only put into it when they want something. It hurts my heart and makes me pull deep inside the comforts of my home and family. I don't like feeling like I am being used, and I really don't enjoy when someone can't be bothered to give me the time of day when I have stuff going on, but expects me to jump through hoops for them when they do. The sad part is, I am always willing to do the jumping, that is my world, I am 100% invested, but don't treat me like crap while I am doing it..

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bumping along

Today was a long day! The crew and I got up early as the neighbor girls were coming over so their parents could attend a meeting. The kids all played and had fun while I did some work and Ryan worked on fixing the part of the wall where the curtain rod pulled out. It is almost fixed, so I should be able to paint soon. The girls went home, and I went to the store and learned on the way that Ryan's car needed some work. Thankfully the cost was manageable.

Back home, fed the kids, laundry, cleaning, grading and so on! Made a good dinner and worked some more. I am pretty wiped and need to finish some work tomorrow and write a paper. I also need to get to the store Monday to get soil to start planting....spring is coming!

What to do, what to do?

We got some really great news yesterday...actually we had a great money day yesterday (and the day before) and it was just in time! On Thursday I was offered a tutoring gig...just one hour a week working with a woman whose first language is not English. She needs some help with professional writing, right up my alley! Yesterday Obama's "Making Work Pay" showed up in my pay...and it was better than expected. Then, just before 5 pm we got the best call ever, our mortgage company agreed to lower our rate (it was absurd) and due to the paperwork processing...we get to skip a payment!!! We are saving $364 a month just from the rate being lowered, add to that a months worth of tutoring and the added income in our checks and it clears just under $700 bucks.....that is awesome :)

So now....what to do today? I have grading to work on, and a paper, but I also need to get busy making stock. Tonight will be chicken pot pie...mmmmm. I also have laundry to fold...better yet the girls have laundry to fold later today. Tomorrow I hope to start painting, finish the flannel baby wipes and start making the diaper doublers. Busy busy busy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Thoughts

This will be simple....I feel like crap, my kid feels like crap, my house is a mess and I am not sure why I give a crap when no one else does.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sew busy

I got quite a bit done today, especially being that this nasty cold is making me feel crummy. Did some morning work..course checks. Then worked on cleaning up the house and tackled the kitchen, family room and dining room. Busted out the new sewing machine and became acquainted. Today I made 16 flannel cloth wipes and will need to make at least another 25. I also started rehemming the curtains in the living room that the evil cats unhemmed. Then I need to move on to the diaper liners, I have fleece for those. I want to practice on the simple things before I take on my first outfit for the baby. My goal is to be ready when my mom comes on the 28th so she can help me cut, pin and sew my first item. My girls have asked from some items for summer....so peasant skirts for Haven, sundresses for Brittan and dresses and rompers for the new baby girl.

I also have a nice dinner that we will enjoy if Ryan and Haven ever get home from riding! Yummy T-bones on the grill from the farm, rice and salad....healthy and simple. Tonight I have to run a call, plus I have to do some schoolwork. Tomorrow I will make the farm run and I may take Gray to play with friends. Ry needs to fix the family room wall where the curtains were pulling out...and I need to start painting that room!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The big sort

Tonight I went through the bins of baby clothes that I have. Since having the girls, O passed along a lot of my girlie stuff and obviously Gray was a boy so I feared I was without clothes. After looking through tonight I was pleasantly surprised to see I have a TON of onsies, some cute little pants, and a bunch of sleepers that were unisex enough to work. I did, however, pull out a few sleep sacks that are VERY blue and will use them anyway. The babies only use the sacks a few months and only at night....so why spend more money just because they are the "wrong" color. Needless to say, I can now concentrate a bit more on cute stuff...I need to get some girl shirts/onsies, a few pink sleepers and some dresses, and of course socks :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

My kid's teacher is an ass

OK...so maybe that seems harsh, but as the child of teachers, from a family of teachers, and hell I AM a teacher, I feel that is an appropriate conclusion. Quick background...Haven has some issues, food allergies, undiagnosed seizures until this year, some auditory processing issues as a result of long term seizures. She is on medication daily and needs it to stop the seizures and sort out all of the information she gets in. DESPITE these challenges, she has always achieved. She was on level all the way through until last year where she was above grade level in reading. She had a really bad first grade year and has struggled with writing but is grasping it and doing very well. She reads on at least a fifth or sixth grade level (she is 8) and is a whiz at math and science. We have had to meet with the school twice this year to have some changes made to her classroom to accommodate her (which the first time the teacher did not make). Nothing major, a place where she can stand to work if needed and stress balls to squeeze, she gets easily overwhelmed with all of the information she now gets without the seizures. She was also to be provided stickers with her name, she was getting in trouble for not writing her name on her paper....the kid was just trying to remember the damn instructions and do the work! Then she was supposed to get a review at the end of the day to make sure the important concepts and instructions were understood (has NEVER happened), and her teacher is supposed to provide a printout of anything that is put up on the board (hardly ever happens), copying is a slow, difficult process for Haven. ALL of these are reasonable and well within the limits of her disorder. In addition, by instituting these things, it will help Haven learn new processes and not need adaptations anymore.

So....why is she an ass? She is an ass because my daughter's progress report came home today and the woman had two nice things and three nasty things to say-and they were nit picky nasty. She can never just praise the child for the HUGE strides she has made this year. Then I look at Haven's work from last week and three exams she scored perfect...PERFECT and then Haven told me the teacher yelled at her for having a letter backwards! Is she kidding me! She didn't praise the child for being able to copy HUGE words or for answering ALL the questions correctly...no, she criticized her for making an error that she knows has been a struggle. See....ass.

Big Plans

So we did head to the doctor and Gray is a-ok, just a rotten cold, but he needs to continue his asthma treatments. Ryan got the buckets ready for me today. I need to get some cheap spray paint, paint the buckets, and then get the right soil/compost mix into them to grow the onions. He also began digging and turning the garden, that should be worked on again this weekend, and plants will be started within two weeks. Spring is in the air, and the planting and planning has begun!


Seems Gray and I have caught a bug. I am hoping it is just a cold settling in, but he has had a low fever and his chest sounds really raspy, so he may be making a trip to the pediatrician. I can't complain too much, he hasn't been in all winter, and after last year when we were there multiple times per week, this has been a mild winter. The sad part is that I also have his cold and it is right back in my sinuses! I am hopeful that the mass amounts of antibiotics I have been on will prevent another sinus infection, but I will be watching things closely. On the bright side,the baby girl has been very active the last few days and I think we are heading into the pokes,jabs and kicks phase of pregnancy. I love when I can feel the baby move a lot, it is so good for the soul.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A bad day a good day

Yesterday we had plans to hop on the metro and head into DC to the Air and Space Museum. We woke up and began getting ready, and then it all fell apart. I can sum it up in just a few words...sassy kids..mouthing off...messy MESSY rooms...laundry...mad mommy..mad daddy...no trip. So the kids spent most of the day learning responsibility and cleaning their rooms and washing and folding laundry. Maybe next time they won't throw clean clothes in the dirty pile or shove clean folded clothes in the closet after seeing how much work it takes.

While they slaved and the husband oversaw, I went out to the fabric store. I found two cute flannel patterns to make into blankets for the baby, as well as a bunch of remnant flannel to be made into wipes and some good fleece to make into diaper doublers,also remnant.

So today was a new day and we decided to give the trip to DC a go again. While we had some bumps, we made it out the door and on our way and everyone perked up. We had a nice visit to the museum and while Gray was a bit over excited and had a hard time listening, he also is sick so we gave him a bit of slack. They had a fun day, we hit Wegmans on the way home and then made it back in time to grill up some burgers and the kids played outside. Back to the grind tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2009

It was the big day!

OK...leading up today's ultrasound I had a lot of anxiety.....A LOT. This came from the fact that I was very anemic early on, as well as suffering from severe morning sickness followed by the never ending sinus infection. I have lost weight this pregnancy as well.

All of this made me very afraid, worried about defects and the possibility that I wasn't getting enough food in to support a growing baby. Ryan, Emily and I went to the ultrasound place this morning and I was so relieved. Not only is the baby healthy, it is actually a week ahead! All important pieces were there, and as best they can tell, we are expecting a healthy baby GIRL!! Come mid-July, Teagan Jayne Kelley will be joining the tribe :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feeling powerless.

The last few nights have brought me a lot of anxiety...more than normal. I am not sure why, but the overwhelming sense of fear and dread is too much to take at times. I know the roots of it all, the first being the ultrasound on Friday. I am worried that something is wrong with the baby, and until I know for sure, I will be scared.

The other concern is that both cars need inspections...and that often means they need repairs. I need to get them done this week so I know the affect on our bank account. While we can pay for some repairs, it would dig into my little savings account that I want so to hold on to.

That brings me to money. We have pretty secure jobs, but with all of the economy talk, and rising costs, we are having a tough time some months. We have talked to our mortgage company to see if they can lower our rate, I won't share the exact rate but it would make you pass out. If they can help, that will take the pressure off, if not, well then we trudge ahead.

In addition to all of this, we need to get the plants going for spring. Even though the ground is covered in snow, planting is a mere six to eight weeks away. Seeds are in, and I just need to secure the onion and garlic plants. I also need to stock the pantry before summer, as I like to conserve our money during the summer months. A stocked pantry, a full garden and the CSA keep us very well fed during the summer months and create an ability to stock the pantry for winter.

The baby is coming and I need to prepare. I have a crib, dresser, sling and swing. I need a new car seat and stroller, and will ask for that for my birthday. I need a new bouncer and will get one in the next week. The first group of diapers are ordered and I need to get a bunch more so we are stocked up. In addition I will need to go through the clothes once I know the baby's gender to see what we have and what we need. Thankfully my sewing machine will arrive this week and I will go and get some cheap fleece to make doublers and wipes. I am also going to be brave and try to figure out how to sew some simple pants and if a girl, jumpers.

The last stress is my mother in law. She is supposed to move in the end of the month, but we don't know. I need to know the plan, and while there are a lot of negatives and fears associated with her being here, there are also a few positives including extra help and possibly a small donation toward the homestead each month. So that is it in a nutshell.....the reality of our life. While we are doing better than many, it still is hard to be at this point in our lives, raising small children and working towards stability, and to live in a nation which is struggling. Until it gets better, we will just keep paddling.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another snow day

The kids are home...again...and I am losing my mind!

I can do summer, we get into a groove and it all just works, but days off in winter are harder. Maybe it is because I have more stress, or that it just screws up the schedule, but here we are.

I am planning on taking them out, we need to go to Target to return something, and I promised them lunch out, so that should kill a few hours. Then I will throw them outside to play in the snow, hopefully making them very, very, tired!

Off to gather the tribe.....three days until my ultrasound!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Well.....we have snow

and lots of it!

Kid's are home from school, husband is struggling to get home from work and I am trying to figure out what to do with my class tonight. Since class was cancelled last week due to my impromptu ER trip, I have scheduled an exam for tonight. The students are studied and ready, but the roads are really bad. I hate that the school makes us make the decision about our classes, they cancelled through noon, but my class is at night and already students are emailing that they are afraid to drive. To be fair, this is VA and we don't get 8-9 inches of snow very often.

I have a back up take home exam...but will only issue it if at least 25% of the class cannot come. I guess I will wait and see!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Real Snow???

They are calling for a real snow here and to say we are excited is an understatement! I am a winter person, and I love to hunker down with a fire and cook all day when it is chilly. While we have had some bitter days this year, the snowfall has been sad, so I am hoping we will get covered!

So far today I have a warm fire going...and I hope to keep it going into tomorrow! I am cooking up a hot lunch to fill my children who seem to be bottomless pits, and there are muffins for snack today. Dinner will be hearty and wholesome baked pasta, salad and bread and if the snow falls, we will have strawberry shortcake, my favorite snowy day dessert!

I ordered a new sewing machine and will gt a bunch of fleece to bring to my mom's in April. She has assured me that she will teach me to make some of the baby clothes, and I am hoping to convince her to crochet me a few wool shorties...I will bring her the yarn and the pattern :)

OK...of to do housework and watch the kids play.