Sunday, May 31, 2009

A blessed slow day

I decided today was a slow day, I needed it and the kids needed it. We did the dishes and vacuumed, but I left the laundry and only switched it to get it out of the washer. Dinner is looking to be tasty, I am taking the BBQ chicken, putting it inside puff pastry with a slice of cheddar cheese and sealing the pastry up. Since everything is cooked except the pastry, it should just heat through and get yummy. We will have a big salad of greens from the CSA with tomatoes, radishes and homemade croutons....yum! Dessert will be leftover cupcakes from the party.

I have also finally figured out a way to get enough water in. I struggle to drink enough each day, and now with the baby in my ribs, I am having a harder time. I found that I can drink really, really cold water best. What I have been doing is drinking a bottle of water and usually I only get halfway through before it is not cold enough. Now I take that bottle and throw it in the freezer. The next time, I grab a bottle that is half frozen and add the water, and I can keep it really cold for much longer. I have three or four of these bottles in rotation, and it seems to be working pretty well for me :)

Lovely sleep

Wow, I had a nice night's sleep! I am still up every few hours to pee, and I can only sleep on my sides because of the big ole belly, but I feel like the time in between was great last night. I was really tired, so when I went to sleep, I went right to sleep. I was up about every hour, but wow I slept deeply when I was asleep. We had some thunderstorms roll through around 5 am, listened to them for a bit, then back to sleep and the kids let me sleep until 8:30. I feel pretty rested, although my neck is sore from the way I need to lay, so I am putting a warm compress on it and I am sure it will loosen up soon.

Today I have two papers due, so I will try to get one done early. I also have a little regular work, plus vacuuming, dishes and laundry. I am hoping for a relatively quiet day with the kids, we have been so busy lately, we need a good day at home. The girls will need to help with laundry, their newest chore, so I am hoping for no fights or tears.

Now my biggest problem is dinner! I have some leftover BBQ chicken I made for the pizzas the other night. I may make a little more and put it and cheddar cheese inside puff pastry to make little pasties. Serve with salad or a veggie. Sounds yummy, and it is something different, guess we will see!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Too tired to blog?

Oh man did Haven's sleepover wipe me out! I think all the girls had fun, they were loud giggle machines and stayed up too late, so I think they did. The girls came at 5 pm and I had prebaked some pizza crusts for them. They added their toppings, and they were a creative bunch, I baked the rest of the way and they enjoyed their personal pizza's with fruit salad (which they added jelly beans to-yuck) They played a bit, then painted the purses and everything else around them, played some more, ate cupcakes and Haven opened presents. We had promised a movie on PPV, but for some reason the box in th playroom didn't work and Comcast couldn't get it up and running. Then I remember the Redbox at the grocery store right by our house, hoped online, they had the movie, booked it and Ryan went and picked it $1.05 we ever spent! I think we will be using that Redbox more, movies are cheap and easy, and they sent me a free code! Great for rainy or snowy days. Tried to get the kids settled around midnight, all were asleep around 2 and up at 6:45! I slept in the family room, so I never really got any sleep.

Thankfully I made muffins last night and could just put them out this morning. After the girls left, I got some cleaning up done then ran to the store to return the movie and grab a few things. Home again to grade while the kids were napping, then a simple dinner of sausage, egg and cheese biscuits with canned apples.

Now I am dead tired. I need to finish loading the dishes, and then I am heading up to bed with the kids!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Tonight is Haven's sleepover and I think we may be almost ready. The playroom is spic and spac, the dining room is decorated and I am about to go frost the cupcakes. The fruit salad is made, and I have a few chicken breasts cooking just in case anyone besides me wants a BBQ chicken pizza. We have loads of snacks ready and the girls will be able to decorate their own!

All I hope is that they go to sleep at a semi reasonable hour, sometime around 11 at the latest so I don't go insane. We will have three girls sleeping over, in addition to my two, so it shouldn't be too bad of a night. I will have to bake muffins once the girls settle in so they have a decent breakfast waiting for them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today may be extra long is now 11:30 am and here is what has been done thus far. I have completely dumped my girl's room...I have been after them for weeks to clean it right, and today I finally just did it my way. Needless to say, the three huge bags of trash that came out will not make them happy when they come home. I also folded and put away all of the baby's clothes. The room is still technically a guest room since my parents are coming in June to watch the kids and again in July when the baby is born. I anticipate the crib will go up in the fall and I will remove the queen sized bed and put in a futon. I have done all of my work-work for the day. I did two loads of laundry, mostly sheets, and folded two loads of towels. I powerwashed....yes POWERWASHED the house and front walkway since I just could not take it anymore!

Ryan is at the store getting the big steam cleaner, and when her returns, I will steam clean the playroom and living room. He will be in charge of the stairs and the upstairs since it is more lifting than I should be doing. Still on the list...dishes, dinner, a paper, move the grownup clothes upstairs to be folded and put away tomorrow, mop the kitchen and downstairs bathroom, hang up the curtains and clean up the foyer. Maybe, just maybe, after this weekend I will begin to feel ready for the baby and my trip, and I can finally relax a bit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When the walls close in

Oh it is getting bad for me here today. For some reason (hormones) I am having a hard time prioritizing. So right now all the things that need to be addressed, i.e. clothes that need to be folded, closets that need reorganizing, bathrooms that need cleaning, work that needs to be done, papers that need to be written are making me feel boxed in. I KNOW there is still time, I KNOW that when I get back from Pittsburgh I will have nothing to do but get ready for the baby, but it still feels overwhelming and limiting.

Right now I have dinner cooking and I changed what we are having, so i am not sure if the family will go for it. I also have a paper to write tonight, need to run out to drop a check for the girls summer activity, get the girls to FINALLY clean for real, figure out where the missing curtain rod hanger thing is then have the husband hang the curtains, clean up the kitchen and get the house ready for cleaning. See it is overwhelming.

Oh and my company seems to have lost my raise form, again, for the third year in a row. It does get uncomfortable having to ask each year.

Preschool Grad and Parties

Oh I am getting overwhelmed. Gray had preschool graduation today, although he will be heading back there next year, so a bit anti-climatic

Then I had to run home for my conference call on which we covered the hours and hours of meetings I will be sitting in in three weeks in Pittsburgh, in addition to having to keep doing my job at the end of the session and do the work I have for my two classes I am taking. This just doesn't sound like fun, but it needs to get done and is the last big hurdle before the baby comes.

Haven has her sleepover on Friday, so I am trying to get the house in order, especially since I have basically torn it apart the last few weeks getting things organized. Tomorrow Ryan has been put on steam clean duty and I will finish gathering the supplies. I am sure I am making myself more crazy than I need to, but hey, that is who I am.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How we eat

OK, I admit it, my kids are a little strange and enjoy eating different foods. They especially love really flavorful things and are huge fans of spicy food.

Today for lunch I offered Grayson a sandwich...he declined. So I kept offering different items until he finally settle on Matzo Brie. This is matzos that are soaked in hot water to soften them, then mixed with an egg and cooked in a pan with some butter and salt. It is a traditional Passover breakfast, but we keep matzo in the house year round since the kids love it and it makes a quick, easy and filling breakfast or lunch. In addition to his Matzo Brie he had oranges since his mother could never bear to feed her kids a meal that did not contain a fruit/veggie, protein and starch. This summer I will have loads of hummus and eggplant salads, cous cous and pasta salads all filled with spice and veggies that the kids love to eat for lunch. They enjoy eating hearty meals full of flavor.

I am getting ready to make the pasta for tonight's dinner, and homemade pasta really is not a difficult task and tastes so much better than store bought. I am also planning to use the CSA broccoli and green onions, along with with garlic and tomatoes to make the sauce. Chicken may or may not go in, I haven't decided, but i do know that a fresh loaf of bread will be served. Also on the agenda for tonight is an apple biscuit bake, so yummy and made with the apples we picked, peeled and canned.

Cool and rainy

I am so excited. Today is supposed to be cool and rainy all day, which is perfect since I just put the new plants in the garden yesterday. As long as we don't get a washout, which it doesn't look to be, a good old fashioned soaking should really help set everything. I also want to open the windows wide to let that cool, clean air in, so come on and start raining!

We have done really well keeping the air conditioning off this year, I think I ran it one day because it was so humid the floors were wet and I needed to dry the house out. I am hoping to make it a few more weeks before that electric hum returns to my home, and being pregnant, that says a lot about my hatred for paying for and listening to the air conditioning.

Today should be a good day. I will can the jam today...I have said that for a number of days, but I am committing today. I have some laundry to do, mostly the baby's clothes so they can be put away, and a little organizing in the family and living room. Tomorrow is Gray's preschool graduation, hopefully Ryan will make it to some of it, or at the very least make it to the party so I can go do my work call at 11. Such is the life of two working parents who juggle everything to be home for the kids, we don't always make it to everything together, but one of us is always there.

Then Thursday is steam clean day, the whole house is getting done and I am so excited, we need the carpets cleaned really badly. I am hoping we can pull the braided rug out of the dining room and give it a once over as well, but it need to be dry outside for me to do that, so we will have to see. If not, maybe Ryan can bring it in the garage and try to steam clean it a little, just to get the kid mess out.

Ok, off to hull, chop and crush berries. Canning will commence once the hubby gets home since I can't reach the canning pot:)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meal planning-Kelley style

It is no secret that the majority of our meals are made her at home by yours truly. It can get mundane to cook the same things, and there are items that are made in summer and not winter and vice versa. We have begun to hit the time of year that makes cooking fun for me again, the summer fresh food period! I love having to come up with something based on what the CSA has or what we grew. Although the season is just starting, we have had a few really nice meals from the CSA and our garden is not far behind in giving up some goods.

Here is what we got this week from the CSA:
Green Onions (Scallions )
Red Mustard Greens or Turnip Greens
Spinach / Chicory mix
Italian Parsley
Turnips or Carrots

Now tonight's menu was already planned, we are having burgers, corn on the cob, salad(last of last week's CSA) and watermelon.

Based on the stuff we got this week, this is what the menu is shaping up to be.

Tomorrow is homemade pasta with chicken, green onions, garlic and broccoli, salad, homemade bread.

Wednesday will be a pork roast, greens cooked with onions (I have some chinese cabbage that may jump in there too) and rice or noodles, homemade bread.

Thursday will be steak or a beef roast with the turnips/carrots, salad, and couscous, homemade bread.

Friday will be pizza since it is Haven's sleepover, but I MAY make it from scratch since it tastes so much better.

Now most of the meals this week are not the usual for us, but we like to eat what we have, and I have every single item on the list this week. Once summer is in full force, we get really creative with grilled veggies, and homemade pastas, pizzas topped with fresh greens and veggies, homemade salsas and a variety of new and different food combos.

Love eating locally!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun and tired

We had a nice day today celebrating Haven. The day began early as usual and then the kids were fed. Haven was given her presents from us and she was thrilled. We then tried to get a few things in order and waited for Daddy to get home so he could say hello to the birthday girl (and all the others as well). Then we hit the road to my sister's house about an hour and a half away since my parents were there visiting for my niece's recital. The kids were so excited to see their cousins, and usually we have something to do, somewhere to go or it is a holiday, but today they were able to just play and enjoy each other's company. We made it up there, enjoyed a nice lunch of burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, veggies and chips. The kids played inside, then out, then in, etc and all seemed to have a ton of fun. We then had cake, they played more, and then we headed out for the ride home. Being that they were all up late last night and were so busy today, I am hoping they sleep well. Tomorrow we WILL make the jam and we also need to do a CSA run...and that is all we are doing!

Happy Birthday #1

Today marks a momentous day in this house, our oldest daughter turns 9! Where has the time gone, it seems like only yesterday she was a chubby little blond thing with huge brown eyes. Haven has been an interesting child to raise, and while she has faced a number of health challenges, she is a strong willed, smart, beautiful and thoughtful little girl. Her strength is dealing with the problems she has faced is awesome, I don't know any adults who could have taken the things she has faced and thoroughly accepted them for what they are.

I have seen her grow into herself more this year, and can see her true personality and desires coming through. While I wish the road had been smoother, she has taught me so much about what it means to love unconditionally. Our days are sometimes long and hard, as I try to help her grow into the best person she can be, but when it goes right, it is amazing.

Daddy and I love you Havey, your deep respect and concern for the world around you, and your desire to make it a better place, is truly amazing. You are the only child I know who could be more concerned with helping children who lost their beloved stuffed animals in Hurricane Ike than with the MRI you were facing that very day. You have a huge heart, and when you put all the pieces together as you grow into an adult I am sure you will change the world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What a nice change

Today has been such a nice day, which makes up for the mess that was yesterday!

The kids enjoyed their monkey bread and did a great job cleaning the playroom. I gave it a good vacuuming and it has stayed clean all day. They also helped get a few other rooms in order, and all that is left on the big list today is to vacuum upstairs. I managed to get to the store and get the last of Haven's birthday gifts, plus two runs to two different grocery stores. At least we are well stocked!

Came home and hung the diapers out on the new line and I have to say they look so cute! I will have to take a picture once the last load makes it out. Using the drying line saves on energy, and also helps by sunning the diapers, helpful when they are show stains.

Dinner tonight will be yummy and fresh. Salad from the CSA tossed with baby red spring onions, tomatoes and cheese topped with marinated grilled chicken. I also just pulled a loaf of fresh bread out of the oven, and this batch was in the fridge a few days, so it has a great sourdough smell. Britt is going to see a play with a friend tonight, so she just showered and got dressed, I will grab a pic of her too looking all pretty and grown up. Then while she is out, I am really hoping to get the strawberries made into jam. Busy, yet wonderful, day!

Trying for a better day

So I woke up this morning determined to have a better day than yesterday. Fed the kids bowls of cereal and put together a monkey bread for them for later. Haven went upstairs and cleaned up the girls room, Gray straightened his room and helped me load some laundry, then they all went into the playroom to finish up in there. They just took a break to eat their monkey bread, and then they will need to finish the playroom so it can be vacuumed. I took the couch covers off and washed them, so when we are done this morning, the whole room will be clean except for needing a good steam cleaning later this week.

I am also waiting for the glass guy to come replace my cracked windshield, then I need to run to the store to grab a few things. Haven's birthday is tomorrow, so I have a few small items to grab for her birthday, plus I need to make an ice cream cake since it seems all of them are being processed with tree nuts again...bummer since I like a good Carvel cake!s

I also need to make the strawberry jam this afternoon and I want to start boiling the new prefolds I bought for the baby. They need to be boiled then dried. The rest of the dipes will be rinsed, then washed then dried on the line. Good times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good days and bad days

Here is the things, everyone has their good days and their bad days. I have been, admittedly, a little crazy lately. I am feeling overwhelmed and I have a lot to do before the baby comes. I want the house clean and in order, especially given that I have a trip coming for work, Haven's sleep over plus the general end of pregnancy. I know I will run out of steam, and want everything done before I can't do it, and for some reason the rest of the family isn't catching on. I have gotten to the breakdown point, the hyperventilating tears point, since I am so tired and so overwhelmed and so frustrated. So after another very long day, I think we may be approaching an understanding. I HOPE that tomorrow brings help and well used time. The playroom is almost done and it has been overhauled. The floor will need to be steam cleaned, along with the rest of the house, but that is coming later this week. The baby stuff will be washed tomorrow. The diapers will be done this week. I am still on the hunt for a new dresser for Grayson, but that will happen soon I am sure. It is coming together, but not as smoothly as I hoped, and I have not been the best wife and mother in the process. I will forgive my family their mistakes, and I know they will forgive me mine, but I really am looking forward to a few quiet and fun days.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


It has been a crazy few days. I had an ultrasound yesterday to check the baby's size and I am happy to report that she is still a she, and still measuring a few weeks ahead. At this time, they estimate she is almost 4 pounds, and being that we have about 8 1/2 weeks to go, that is a nice sized girl. The baby looked perfect, nice and healthy and no problems, she even had some hair on her head, maybe this one will get the curls?

Today was the fetal echo, and we got decent news. No more appointments needed for the baby before birth, unless something changes. We will probably see the cardiologist in the hospital when the baby is born and follow up a week or so after. I feel like I can breathe a bit easier knowing there are no major issues that we can see. Now if only I could get everything in order around here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stress and nerves and emotions running wild

So I am all over the place tonight! I had a really good day until I had to deal with stupid people at my company. Add to that the fact that I really want a new job and I am not a patient person when it comes to decisions like changing jobs and I made myself pretty unhappy this evening. It is tough to juggle the way I do, and while I love being home and around for the kids, it is hard to do all that they need, all that the house needs and all that my jobs need when everything overlaps. Ideally I would find something that either lets me work from home full time, but pays me enough to have a sitter come help a few hours a day or something where I only would go in two days a week. I also have this sense of urgency which I am sure is hormone related, not only am I nesting around the house, I am career nesting!

I really just want things to slow down and be less crazy so I can enjoy my life a bit more. That being said, I am seeing some of the benefits of all our hard work. Now if only I can get through the next two days of doctor's appointments without a mental break!

Glorious Day

Today is just beautiful, it started a bit chilly, but it is going to warm up and the sun is so refreshing! Grayson and I have big plans to hang at home today which will help me get things I need to get done. I already got a bunch of work done, he has played outside, and I am gearing up to do some laundry. Next in line will be dusting and vacuuming, followed by mopping and dishes. If all goes well, I will also get out in the garden for a bit to weed and fertilize. Let's hope the day turns out to be as wonderful as it looks!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hoping for quiet

Hubby had to go in to work early, which makes for an extra long night for me and the kiddos. Thankfully it also means I can make an easy dinner for them and hopefully get everyone's homework done and them shuffled off to bed without any problems. My main concern is the paper I have to write tonight, mostly since I haven't started it, or really thought about it at all.

The day was beautiful, sunny and cool and just an all around nice day. They are calling for some frost, hopefully nothing here since my plants are still very small and tender. I really need to get out there tomorrow and get my organic fertilizer down, my plants really need it.

Otherwise, I am going to enjoy the fresh breeze blowing through my house and the happy sounds of two of my children playing, the other is still at brownies, while I finish making their dinner.

A Sunshine Day!

I woke early today. Usually when that happens, it is because of anxiety, but today I just woke up and felt good. I am not sure why the change, and to be honest, I am just happy to wake up hopeful. Maybe it is that I feel like I know where we are headed for the most part, or maybe we are getting closer to the baby and I feel content. Needless to say, I woke up, let the kids sleep and came downstairs to make some muffins. Haven has standardized testing beginning tomorrow, so I want to start the week well for her to limit anxiety, although she has no reason to be anxious, she has been acing the practice tests!

This week looks to be busy as usual for me, but yet I am ok with what needs to be done and when. Today is a normal Monday, drop all the kids, run to the chiro, then to the store, then home to do dishes, vacuum, etc before I need to get Grayson. Then Gray and I will head to grab the CSA which means we won't get home until after 1. Ryan has to work early, so I will make sure he has something for dinner, I need to push through some laundry and do a little grading. Tomorrow Gray and I will hand close to home unless the weather is so nice that I can't bear it, then we may head to the park for a bit. Wednesday is the great kid drop off again, then I have a sonogram in the afternoon so our sitter will come stay with Grayson so Ryan can come with me. Thursday morning is a trip to the pediatric cardiologist...again....and yes I am nervous to see what they find this time! While I am there, I am sending Ryan and Grayson to the farm to get milk and pick strawberries! Friday I need to send cookies in for Haven's birthday and then Ryan needs to pick Haven up early and take her to the neurologist.

Off to wake the beasts!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

No walk in the park

Parenting is not a fun job, it has its joyous moments, but it is difficult. My oldest has been trying since the day she was born, lots of health issues and some personality conflicts make parenting her a daily challenge. I love her tremendously, but she is really tough, and I often wonder if I am doing the right things for her. She is very selfish and self involved, she is explosive and can be mean, she is either ECSTATIC or MISERABLE, there is no in between. She is impulsive and can be quite hurtful, yet when she wants to be, she can be such a sweet, loving girl. I feel like we have been working on some of her personality traits since she was a year old, and we are still working on them as she nears her ninth birthday. It can be hard to see her explode and yell at her siblings, and then know she feels bad and still have to punish her. I fear what will happen when the hormones kick in a few years from now, but I will keep trying to show her the right path.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Holding the Reins

I am not impulsive by nature, but I am one who constantly has a plan, a direction and a goal, but those plans can change on a dime if needed. I get very antsy and want to try new things, live new places and have new experiences, I am never content. I am not a person who stays in the same job for 30 years, let along the same career! When I am pregnant and soon after giving birth I get this feeling of needing to do, to change, to adapt. With Haven, I found a new job 9 months pregnant and we bought our first house 4 weeks postpartum. With Brittan I enrolled in my Master's program when she was just a few weeks old. With Grayson I quit my job and decided to struggle and live a year with NO job at all..that was interesting to say the least. Now with the impending birth of Teagan in about 9 weeks, I want to move, to do, to see. It is hard for me to feel limited, but being this pregnant in a poor economy does limit me. i know that there are jobs out there, I know there are places we would like to move, but I have to hold on and wait. I want this job I applied for mostly because I know I would be great at it and that it would be incredibly fulfilling. I also know that I could easily balance work and home being that I could telecommute some and Ryan's schedule is such that we have some movement. I would like to get dressed and see other grownups and not live in virual world all the time, to feel respected and that I am finally being paid what I am worth. I fear I won't hear from the museum, or that if I do, they won't be willing to wait until I give birth. I fear that another opportunity will not present itself for a long time, or that those that do will make me choose between work, finances and home. I am holding the reins, but I have no clue where we are going!

Why oh why!

Oh why can't the housing market get better? Please? I need our house to gain about 100K OR I need to be able to rent it out for close to our mortgage payment, I am even happy to eat 500 bucks a month on the rental. But the market is filled with rentals for much less than we would be able to rent for, and the housing market while no longer plummeting, is not exactly rebounding either. I would guess that to make that 100K back, it will take a minimum of 5 years, and I really don't want to be here for 5 more years!

I look around and see all these great opportunities that we can't take advantage of because of the house. We could move a million place, and live a better life, but we are stuck here. Maybe in a year or two we will be able to do something drastic, maybe then we could rent out the house for something decent and move, but right now it pains me to miss all these opportunities! Why oh why did the housing market need to sink?

Friday, May 15, 2009

No more whining

OK, so last night I was happens to the best of us. I came home, finished the painting, cleaned up from dinner and then locked myself away in my bedroom. It was a good idea.

Today was crazy as usual, dropped Gray off, ran to get a birthday present for one of Britt's friends, then off to the OB, then to get Gray, then to the farm, then home to drop milk, then off to the grocery store. I did really well on triple coupons too, $83 dollars of stuff for $37...woohoo! While at the farm, and being a gluten for punishment, I picked about 6 lbs of strawberries since the hubby was asking for fresh. I still need to get another 10 lbs or so to make jam, but at least everyone will eat well for a week or so, but now my back is really aching from the bending.

So now I need to work and write a paper, kids are getting leftovers for dinner. I am done with the housework.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


OK, I just need to whine and complain. See, I am tired, mostly from having to do for other people what they could just do themselves. Did the painting get done? Nope. Is the furniture built? Nope. Will I be the one finishing both those things along with making and cleaning up from dinner? Yep. I just want to sit and relax tonight, but that won't happen because I need to finish painting. Then I need to clean up from the nice dinner I made for everyone before I had to go tutor. Today I also had to overhaul Grayson's room and then discovered that my rotten 8 year old had not folded the clothes last weekend, but SHOVED a bunch in the closet. So now tomorrow, after dropping Gray at school and going to the doctor, and picking Gray up from school I get to come home and reorganize the girl's room too. Gee, lucky me! I am guessing everyone will still want dinner too, and clean clothes and a clean house.

What did the hubby do today you ask. Well, he woke up, then took a nap, then ate, then finally patched the hole in the wall, then took Haven to riding. Not quite the same as what I did, and I really needed his help today, but I guess that isn't going to happen. So now I need to go get BACK in my painting clothes so I can finish the painting and the dishes before 8 o'clock when maybe I can finally sit down and write a paper. Thanks for all the damn help family!

Watching the weather

So our berry picking plans may need to be put off if the weather can't cooperate. Today I have to tutor at 5:30 and Haven has riding, so I think I need to send Ryan with all the kids so I can make sure dinner is here and waiting when they get home and I can be on time to tutor. Also on the plan for today is Ryan promised to finish the painting for me and build the new furniture. I just want to get the room done so I can move on to other items. Probably while he gets some of the stuff done, Gray and I will run out to see the chiro since my lower back is sore.

If all goes well and it isn't too wet, we will go berry picking tomorrow after school. I really want to get a jump on the canning and have all my supplies here and ready to go, so I am getting a bit antsy. If I was smart, I would make Ryan go with me today and we could just hustle through, but the girls enjoy the picking and I don't want them to miss it.

Tomorrow is an OB appt, lovely glucose test. I am also asking for another sonogram just in case, and Ryan claims he is coming with me, but that would mean he would need to be up and ready to go by 8:30 so we will see if that happens.

Off to wake the beast and switch the laundry, I really need to grab a shower before heading out and Gray needs to dressed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh someone stop me!

OK, I admit it, I have jumped off the deep end, just don't tell the husband since then he would know he is right! I am feeling a little overwhelmed and worried about the impending new addition, and as any good pregnant lady would do, I am nesting like mad. Today I just could sit still before dinner and got the rest of the family room painted with the exception of the last line up by the ceiling since the stupid ceiling thing wasn't working. Then I served the kids dinner, finished grading, cleaned up from dinner and went out and finished planting the garden. In a moment I am going to make the bread dough and switch the laundry. Now all that is left tomorrow is for Ryan to finish the ceiling for me, build the new furniture and start staining...well, until I think of something else!

The list never gets shorter!

It seems that it is taking so much more energy to get simple things done. Husband claims that I am doing MORE now since I am nesting and that is why it seems to take so long, but I am not sure about that! Today I had to adjust my plans to take Gray to the ped where he was naughty, then to the store, where he was naughty. Needless to say, by the time I rolled in at 12:30 I was already beat. Fed the little guy, did the dishes, graded an assignment and just put the last coat of paint on the walls in the family room, yes the room I have been painting for near TWO months! Now all that is left is to cut in around the door, ceiling and floor...maybe it will get done this afternoon.

When my girls get home today, they will be getting the weeds out of the lower garden so I can go in and weasel it. Tomorrow morning I am hoping the husband and I will get the tomato and cucumber plants in the ground, and the lettuce and spinach seeds planted and market. Then the whole garden will get fertilized with the new organic fertilizer I bought, as will the side garden, the berries and the herbs. I need to see things growing and I need to mark this off the list. The other huge task waiting for the husband this weekend is staining the new furniture for the family room. If he can get a coat on tomorrow and one Friday, we can move it in next week. That gives me time to clear things off the old furniture.

Finally we need to go berry picking. I think Friday is our best bet after the girls get home. We can run up, do an hour or two and get home. Then I can begin the canning on Saturday.

See, the list never gets shorter!

So much for preschool today

On our way to preschool, Grayson complained that he had another bad burp...well he said something else, but I am trying to make it less gross. This has happened almost everyday for the last week or so, and while I know it is due to his allergies, it still sucks for him. Called the ped, explained that he has a history of reflux and that he ison his allergy medicine every day, and that he is snoring and breathing heavy at reflux. They said they want to see him, not sure what they are looking for, but whatever. The only appointment was smack dab in the middle of preschool, so he came home with me. Then after the doc, we need to run to the store. Best thing I learned of our stores is having triple coupons up to 99 cents this weekend and I have a ton of 75 cent coupons for stuff we need. Woohoo :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So tired

This pregnancy is taking it's toll, or maybe it is the three kids, the house, the jobs, school, the garden, the errands and stress? In addition, the nesting is in full force, and while it feels great to be getting things done, I have a few looming dates to deal with. The first biggie is Haven's NINTH birthday in a few weeks! Gosh, where did the time go? There will be cookies to send in the Friday before for school, then on her real birthday we are heading to my sister's house. My parents will be there for my niece's recital, so we will all get together to celebrate Haven. Not sure what we are doing, but there has been talk of a petting zoo.

Haven's sleepover party will be the following week and she is beyond excited. She and her friends will make their own pizza, decorate mini cakes, do crafts, play Wii and watch movies.....and I will be very tired the next day!

Then there is the trip in June to Pittsburgh for work. My mom is coming to watch the kids and Ryan and I leave on Tuesday and come back Friday. It will be long days of meetings, followed by long nights of grading and work. Hopefully I will have all my school work done before we go so I am not strapped with that as well.

After the Pittsburgh trip, Haven is heading down to my parents for a few days. We have to figure out how I will pick her up, I am guessing we will meet halfway, but at near 36 weeks pregnant I am not looking forward to a seven hour car ride with my kids!

Oh now I see why I am tired!

The daily plan

The sun is shining today and I am hoping that it will help with my motivation. I have a lot to accomplish today, and I need to make sure to get it done before my afternoon crash and burn. This morning I am finishing up a paper I have due and will get that posted. Next in line is laundry, not too much to fold, but I do have some to push through the washer. Then I need to start decluttering the kitchen, it is making me crazy and I need to reign it in. Then I need to vacuum and mop all the hard floors, clean the bathroom downstairs and cook dinner. Also on the agenda tonight is some grading for FT school. It will be a busy, busy day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beautiful green

Gray and I picked up the CSA share today, and as usual John outdid himself. Huge amounts and variety of lettuces, chinese cabbage, a stir fry mix which included broccoli and baby garlic, a large bunch of spring onions and kale. Last year we never knew what to do with kale, but this year we are trying kale chips. I am making some tomorrow for the kids to try, and I am pretty sure it will be an easy sell. Kale is so nutritious, I want to get them to eat it more so we can maybe grow it next year. All the greens have been washed, stemmed, and drained and it was a big task, we had a sink full. We will have a huge spring mix salad tonight and the spring onions will go into the chicken tonight and the stir fry mix will be tomorrow nights dinner, probably as a steak stir fry or possibly shrimp. Gotta love when the fresh foods dictate dinner!

Getting excited

Today is the first pick up from the CSA for the season and I am so very excited. I love this time of year, and even though it has been very rainy, I have great hopes for our garden as well. The beans and squash all look fantastic, the cucumbers are ready to be put in the ground and the tomatoes, while still small, are growing. I am hoping to transplant cukes and tomatoes the end of the week and then fertilize with the organic fertilizer I found, maybe that will boost the tomatoes. The strawberries this year are producing, not a whole lot, but they are there and that is all that matters. Same goes for the blueberries, we have some berries and next year we should have even more!

I plan a quiet afternoon after getting Gray and the CSA...dinner will be lime cilantro chicken with brown rice and a fresh salad. I have a little work to do today, nothing unbearable, and I think I may even blow off the rest of the painting until tomorrow since it is almost done. I am about to run to the hardware store to grab a new ceiling thing, the one I have doesn't attach to the pole, and well, a seven month pregnant lady on a ladder is just a bad idea.

Off we go!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just like a mama bird

I think I am nesting, although I do get extra motivated each spring once PT school ends, so it may be a combination of the two. I have been in organize mode. We have barely any dirty laundry, maybe a load or two? We do have a big pile of kid's clothes to be folded, but the girls and I have been working on that yesterday and today we will finish. Winter clothes are put away, the baby's bassinet and swing are washed. and ready to be used. There have been no dishes in my sink for days on end, the house is clean and all that I need to do is the dresser switch. I think I will run and get the dresser and the drying rack on Tuesday so I an get moving on the clothing move and washing all of the unisex diapers. Today I need to grade a few papers this morning and then finally, yes FINALLY, get the painting done! I may or may not be able to do the ceiling today since the ceiling piece I have is not the one that goes on the pole, but if the walls get finished, we are almost there. I really need Ryan to stain the furniture this week so I can check this room off my list. I may take on painting my bathroom before the baby comes, we will have to see how well the nesting goes.

I ordered the last of the baby gear yesterday with the exception of the stroller which I am hoping my parents will get for my birthday. Aside from some odds and ends, we are ready for her. The crib will not go up until the end of summer to allow for guests to stay in that room...I need to get a new futon and don't need a crib for a few months anyway. The bassinet is heading to my room today, the pack and play is ready to be put up in the living room and I found a rack to hold the diapers downstairs. We are moving right along!

The other major thing going on is the cooking! I have been cooking up a storm and the family is loving it. I am happy to be home more, so I have time to try new things. Last week I made a beef, bean and veggie dish that was just lovely. Hearty and filling, and also super cheap, the family loved it! Last night was chicken on the grill, and tonight will be burgers, watermelon and pasta salad. Yeah for spring nesting!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Joy and Sorrow

Life is an interesting beast. I think back to who I was in high school, college, my early career and early motherhood and I see such differences and similarities. I have loved all the many stages in my life, and whilst some have been harder than others, I wouldn't trade them for anything. I have gotten to experience so many things, I have worked in a career I loved, and one I hated. I have pursued my education to the top level and seen success even while juggling so many other things. I have experienced childbirth, more ways than one, and have seen just how deep the love for your children can go. I have feared for my children's health and well being, and rejoiced when they succeed and excel. I have hated my husband, and loved him, and am thankful for the rocky road we took that got us where we are, the bond is deep and he is my biggest supporter. I have been a terrible mother, there were days where nothing i did was right and I could not gather myself together enough to see just how small the people I was dealing with were. I have been an exceptional mother too, fighting with doctors or teachers or anyone I needed to so that my child received the best care possible. I have had moments if intuition where I knew what was coming and tried to prepare. We have been poor, dirt poor, and we have been more stable...those moments seems to come and go, and I am okay with the fluctuation as long as we all stick together in the end. I have been a stay at home mom, a work out of home mom and a work from home mom, and each stage has taught me to have compassion for any mother. I have been judged, unfairly and fairly.

Spring is a time of renewal for me, and this year it is a time of hope and change. The winter period this year was emotionally destructive, deeply damaging to the psyche and a challenge I never wanted to take on. The problems and concerns we face with the new baby are ever present, and while I hope that we find answers in the next two weeks, I know that we will probably not have a real diagnosis until she is born. I am at peace with the outcome, as this child is meant to be ours, and if she needs someone on her side, to fight for her, to locate the best care, I am the mother for her. I am slowly healing from what others did this winter, I am slowly regaining my ground and deciding on changes and new paths. I am excited, for the first times in a long time, for my family's future.

So there is always joy, no matter how deep it is buried, and I choose to dig until I uncover it all.

We are busy!

Wow, a number a days with no posts!

Wednesday was my last day at PT school, and the the grading frenzy began. Add to that a new start at FT school, and I am busy. Few more exams to finish up today and then PT school is completely done! I also start two classes today, and that will be a lot of work with 6-8 assignments due per week. It will be 8 weeks of pure hell, but will hopefully make the last 10 weeks of the pregnancy fly by.

Baby gear is ready and getting washed, the only thing I am not doing yet are the diapers and the new pink clothes. I am hoping to score one more ultrasound next week, and I want to confirm the gender before I wash all the pink and purple. The CSA begins next week, and that means the beginning of my favorite time of the year. Strawberries will be picked next weekend, and then the great canning begins.

Last night I made mozzarella cheese and homemade pizza dough. We topped the pizza with fresh spinach and tomatoes and some feta cheese, so delicious! I am anxious to make one with summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes and onions, that will make one heck of a summer pizza.

Today we are celebrating Mother's Day. I got to lay about in bed until almost 10 and then was treated to blueberry pancakes and bacon, my hubby makes the BEST pancakes! They also bought me a new bread cookbook, and I am so excited to get started. All I need is a new container to store the dough in, and I will pick one up on Monday so we can begin enjoying homemade bread everyday. I am so lucky!

The last big news is I applied for a FT job, besides the teaching one. This job looks perfect for me, a Director of Marketing at a local museum...and it says telecommuting is allowed. Even of that means only two or three days a week I could work from home, I am okay with that as Ryan can be home some of the days and our awesome babysitter has offered to work her schedule around when I need someone for the baby and Gray. While going back to full time work is not ideal with a newborn, the salary would be double what I make now, and I would still be home most I could do something I really love and believe in. We will see what happens, they would have to be willing to allow me to come on part time in August, FT in September due to the baby's birth...and they would need to call me for an interview :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It is always an adventure

Last night, just as I had settled myself nicely into a deep sleep it happened....the power went out. When the power goes out, the alarm starts beeping and it gets pitch black in the house. So I start making my way down the stairs to turn off the alarm, then I start looking for the flashlight. While I am doing that Brittan falls out of her bunk. Great. Then even as I keep yelling for her to just sit still, she doesn't, and falls down the stairs! So I am holding a lighter and burning my fingers trying to see if she is OK, then I find the flashlight, get the wailing Brittan upstairs where Grayson is just screaming and try to get them back to sleep. Fun times.

Needless to say, everyone is home today. Haven threw up at school yesterday, Britt has a terrible cough and now what looks to be a sprained right wrist, and it wasn't worth it to drag everyone out to drop Gray at preschool. I am sleepy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Changing perspective

Oh how hard it is to change your view! I am moving rapidly into the mindset of families with many children...and as I am not even sure that this new addition will be our last (GASP) I see the changes we need made, and I am making them. Summer can be a challenge for lots of parents, but given our kids will need to deal with a very pregnant mom/new baby in the middle of summer, preparations are needed in advance. I have been slowly stocking up on summer play things for the kids to keep them occupied. They will have a pool, nothing fancy, but it will get them wet. We have new sand and new sand toys. I am loading up on water balloons, chalk, craft items, balls and frisbees. There is a new sprinkler planned. I am looking for anything that I can have for them to do around the house without them getting bored. I am also investigating local parks, lakes, and swimming holes. Maybe not this year, what will the birthing process and all, but next year for sure, they will need to have places to play. Ryan and I are taking them down to the big river the next warm day we have. If it goes well, that will give me a place to take them where they can dig in sand, play in water, eat a picnic lunch and generally have all around fun for zero dollars and a short ride.

I have also been scoping and securing baby deals as we cannot indulge in anything we want like with the first and second babes. I have my old pouch sling and just secured a new wrap style sling. We are loaded up on cloth diapers, and the girl has plenty of clothes. I found the bouncy seat and playmat I want, and will order them in the next few days. We even have bottles and pacifiers on hand. The big purchase that remains is the stroller and carseat, but I believe my parents are getting that for my birthday. I am finding, the more kids we have, that there are new and different ways to get things done...and I am enjoying the quest. I am also finding that you discover how much less you really need and the kids are happier. My kids will be overjoyed to have a houseful of summer fun things..throw in some playdates and they are set for the summer break. Not to mention we are taking a trip to see my parents at the lake house they rented...woohoo!

Trying to live in the moment

For someone like me, a planner with OCD, it can be difficult to live in the moment. I am really trying, I think it will be better for me and the family, but it is a daily struggle. Things keep coming up to test me, like the fact that Ryan's car probably needs work....lots of work. I decided instead of freaking out or stressing, I would wait and see what happens. I know we could buy him a new car, but I really don't want to take on another car payment....but we will have to see. I am trying at least!

I am also trying to challenge our needs and wants. With so many people in the house, someone always has a need. This week, the kids all seem to have outgrown their underwear! I will be off to the store in a bit to gather new underwear for the masses, and hopefully some play sand for the sand box as well, I am trying to find more ways to entertain them at home.

Off to vacuum so Gray and I can run out!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A personal challenge

There are things I want and need to do, and one of those is to really cut household spending. Next week I don't have to teach, so it is a good week to try to challenge myself. My goal for next week is to spend no more than 125 dollars after paying bills. That will include gas, cash for Ryan, groceries, misc. and milk. I wonder if we can do it!

Last Monday

Tonight is the final exam for my Monday night class, and I have to say I am relieved. Walking all the way across campus is getting tough these days, and since it has rained, or better yet poured, almost every class the last month or two, I am done with that. I am also more tired these days, so getting home at 11 and not getting to bed until close to 1 is wearing on me. Wednesday's class also has their final this week, and then I am on summer break until September. I am looking forward to being home at night, it makes dinner and homework so much easier with the kiddos. Next term I really lucked out, teaching Wednesday nights and Friday afternoons, both nights Ryan is home, so he can command the troops and man the homestead. This is such a relief, especially with a new baby on the way.

Today is wet and dreary....again. I really want to get the squash in the ground, but think it will be too wet tomorrow for me to lug myself up the hill, plus I don't want Gray out in the mud. Maybe I will suck it up tomorrow and paint everything else I can in the family room...we will see how i feel. There is also the farm run this week, I have to check the calendar to see what day works best for that.

Off to watch a movie with Gray and then get ready for work.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It can be difficult some days to slow down and enjoy the life we have built. Between work and school and activities and duties, the days just race by and it an be hard to see the small moments. I have been trying to enjoy, to slow down, to see and experience more. I decided that sometimes it is more important to say yes, even if it means more work later on.

The kids are a bit stir crazy due to the rain, so I let them use the easy bake oven for snack time, and then they played hide and go seek in the house. They are being good, and having fun, and I am loving that I get to see it.

I am a worrier, so it takes work for me to let go and loosen up. I am trying, and it seems to be more positive for the family. I am working on putting work away, and just trying to relax. I have started to cook foods for myself as well, so that I can eat and be comfortable. I am toning the dinners down, and while still homemade, they are less fancy and easier to make. Once the baby comes, these changes will help me settle into a routine with her, and give me the peace and time needed to sit and breastfeed.

In addition, I have said a few times before that we are doing better financially...even more so when I am at PT school. I have decided that this summer I will make it my goal to begin the search for a FT teaching position OR another online class, which will push us way past comfortable into a very good spot financially. Finally we are seeing the rewards of all of this hard work!

On the homesteading side of things, we are making great headway giving our suburban location. If we can get the financials in order in the next two years, I believe we will be able to purchase a large hunk of land as our future homestead...then it will have all been worth it!

I hate delays

Seriously, I had planned to get the last bit of painting done, but when Ryan took off the other end of the curtain rod....the wall needs to be fixed! Seriously? Now I need to wait until at least Thursday for him to fix it before I can even think about painting, and that is making me crazy. This was the last BIG thing I had looming, and while I can paint everything but that one area, I fear that if I do that, it will never get done!

I hate big projects, and this should have been an easy one, but it is taking forever. Today I have much calmer plans now, being that the big projects have been put off. The kids enjoyed steel cut oats for breakfast with some of my canned apples. Lunch with be sandwiches with fruit and smoothies. I am making a quiche for myself to have in the house, I really like spinach quiche, so that is what I am making. Dinner is steak tacos, although I am rethinking the grilling since the weather is so wet.

This week is reasonably slow, so maybe I will get the squash in the garden since the seedlings are looking pretty big. The cukes are looking promising as well, and I want to start the lettuce and spinach. Ryan needs to prep the pots for the herbs, as those plants are getting bigger by the day, and the tomatoes will wait one more week before they are transplanted.

Laundry is getting under control, and within the next few weeks, I hope to have all the clothes moved around and sorted, necessary with a house full of kids.

On to make smoothies for the demanding littles!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So much to do, so little time!

Oh it is so busy, even when I want to settle into the calm.

Tomorrow I will be painting starting first thing in the morning. At this point there is so little left to do, I need to just get going already! I also must make a quiche tomorrow since I have been craving it...I may even make two :) Making cheese is on the list as well, plus I need to organize the pantry and freezer, although that will not happen tomorrow. My plan is to really eat out of the pantry and freezer since we are stocked. I will add when I see a killer deal, but we have too much on hand not to spend a few weeks working through it all in preparation for the summer goodies.

Tomorrow we will be enjoying a summer dinner. Grilled steak sliced and served in tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and salsa verde. I also have plans to make cilantro lime rice. This is one of our favorite summer meals, so I know the family will be excited.

Thankfully I am almost done at PT school, that will allow me ample time to cook, stress and get ready for the baby!

Parades and cleaning and spring

Yesterday I had a busy busy day! After dropping Gray at school I went to see my new cardiologist. He was very nice, and young, which I think helped. He was not stressed at all about the pregnancy and was fine with me birthing however my OB and I determined was best and he was OK with me having more children! Aside from needing to come back for an echo, it was totally painless. He also told me that if we ever get to a point where I need surgery, and right now that is a long way away according to him, we do not have to do open heart surgery and instead can try using an angioplasty...he is the first who said he would give that a go!

After that, I ran back, grabbed Gray from school and came back to get the girls and Ryan. We then headed up to my sister's house for the Fireman's Parade, and thankfully the weather cooperated and the rain stopped. The parade was fun, and the kids gorged themselves on junk food, then we drove back home.

Now I am getting ready to do the grocery store run,and we need to get some major cleaning done around the house. Hopefully Ryan and the kids will organize and vacuum the upstairs, I will work on laundry, and then I need finally finish the painting in the family room. I am tired of the messy house, and it is spring cleaning time!