Friday, December 10, 2010

Look what we made!

Last Friday, December 3rd 2010, at 4:49 pm, central time, we welcomed DOT to the world an our family. He is an 8 pound 5 ounce, 19 inch long, bundle of pure joy. He has loads of dark brown hair and, we think, blue eyes. His labor was incredibly easy, really it was unreal how pleasant it was. It was only tough for the last 20 minutes and 10 minutes of that was pushing. There was a bit of scariness for me after delivery but I won't go into it now, and everything is FINE now so no worries. That is a story for another day. Today is just about introducing you to DOT. So without further a due here he is. (and there will be more posts and photos to come, like "the T boys meet their new brother" and such.)

So until I can post again, I asure you we are on cloud nine. He has been with us for a week now and honestly it seems like he has always been here. The older boys are just in love with him and so are Mr. T and I. Our family of 5 is totally content.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Confession. (it's a rant really)

Bahhhhhhhh! Rizzin Frazzin Rootin Tootin, poop!!!

I am having an easily annoyed, ungrateful, cranky, bad day. And it stinks.

Nothing is where I need it to be, the boys keep finding all kinds of wonderfully destructive or destructible things, none of which is in its proper place. I am realizing because of an overabundance of certain items in our home they have ZERO appreciation for many things. I will rectify this I am just not sure how to go about doing it, I for sure will not be attempting anything involving this situation today, or I will inevitably blow up.

One alarm clock has been broken this am past the point of fixing, my spirit also may be broken. I kind of just want to throw my hands up, sit on the floor, and throw a fit of my very own, though it will solve nothing and probably get me stuck on the floor for a while. I know this mood is probably hormone related but things are just dropping left and right this morning and all I want to do is go back to bed and pout and say "to hell with today".

Something dug a GIANT hole trying to get into the duck barn, thankfully it is predator proof, fingers crossed, we think. My cement mixing tub that the birds use to bathe in, either was emptied by very thirsty and playful critters overnight or it has a hole, either one annoys me to no end today. I froze my buns last night filling the damn thing only to let the birds out this morning to NO water. It is particularly annoying since I filled it last night to avoid having to fill it this morning. See the hoses freeze at night and I do NOT need to be hauling 5 gallon buckets at this point. Harrumph.

AND we have no cookies, WTF happened there??? BOOOO! At least we have coffee, that helps a little. I think I shall go do very little, as to not find more things to drive me batty this morning. That is my confession of the day, I am a grumpy cranky pregnant lady on the edge and everything annoys me today. I hope tomorrow is better, correction, I know tomorrow will be better. I just have to make it through today. Here we go.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

20 days.

Yeah, that's right I'll say it again. 20 DAYS till my due date.

Now realistically it could be 30 days, my midwife will give me 10 days past my due date, BUT we will for sure be parents of 3 in no more than 30 days.

Of course ALSO realistically, it could be as early as tomorrow... I am hoping for at least 14 more days and no more than 25. But we all know I will take whatever I am given and be happy about it. That's all.

I have been busy cleaning, cooking, baking and tidying. I have also been busy over lording, um, overseeing(?) the enclosure and construction of the bestest poultry house I could have asked for, by my overworked, under rested, and much appreciated Mr. T. It is nearly completed and I will probably post pics sometime this week.

Again, 20 days?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In the dead of night she came...

Ok not in the DEAD of night, it was more like 8:30pm, but it was pitch black out here. Anyway, a lovely, and brave, lady who responded to our now weeks old craigslist add,  came out and loaded the back of her toppered pickup truck with the 11 Muscovies I desperately needed gone before Little T#3 arrives. Thank you, though now your name escapes me. She also said next spring whenever I have a quantity over 10 that I would like to be rid of she would happily make the drive, about 50 miles, once again to get unwanted birds, and PAY me for them. I am glad to know this and will be sure to keep her info.

Catching the birds in the dark was, not surprising to me, MUCH easier than catching them in the light. I hold this as fact because I came out of it with only a single, albeit deep, 1 inch gash on my middle finger. This ONE wound and moving ELEVEN birds is proof enough to me, considering catching one in daylight often results in at least two nasty scratches. 

So now were are left with a mere 5 Muscovy and 4 Ancona ducks and 3 American Buff geese that we are keeping over the winter. Of course we still have 6 Ancona ducks and one Embden goose to find homes for if we can. I dont mind so much if these birds stay, they are extra mouths to feed, but at least they are laying eggs and contributing around here.

SO once again thank you craigslist for putting a little money in my pocket and lowering my workload.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Christmas Craftiness...finally

SO I have been intending to get to making Little T#3's Christmas stocking for like WEEKS AND WEEKS now, I finally got to it... yesterday. It was on my "get done before November" list, and I did get it done, at the very last second. Better late than never. He WILL be making an appearance before Christmas and even though he won't know he has a stocking, he still needs one. The devil cat and neurotic dog each have a stocking so the newborn gets one too. Yesterday I got off my keester and made one, a blank one, waiting on a name and holiday image of some sort, I am thinking a gingerbread man, reindeer or maybe an embroidered strand of lights...

Note, the pins AND, the lack of name, not that we don't have two or three picked out and are quite sure what it will be, but my luck would be to stitch the name on and then when he is born he looks nothing like that name and we change it and I have to start from scratch with a newborn. SO I am waiting, I am quite proud of myself actually, this is far more restraint than I have shown in other baby preparations.

There you have it, a bit of Holiday craftiness to enjoy. Stay tuned for the picture of it completed and all in a row on the mantle with the rest of ours in a month, give or take.

Ticky Ho Ho!

Just a few photos of pumpkin carving and the boys in their costumes. They had a marvelous time trick or treating with Mr. T and I had a marvelous time at home completing projects, some of which I intended to have done WEEKS ago, and waiting for potential trick or treater's that I knew would not come.
Oh well maybe next year. ;)
Now on to the pictures!






Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bliss, on a yucky, sickly Thursday morning

I found a little bit of bliss this morning. Something I REALLY needed after being up almost all night with RAT, he has a bad cold and could not sleep, oh and we didnt have power, so I did all my mommying by flameless candlelight. Anyway this is not about sick kids or all the hard work around here, this is about mother nature and her endless bounty and why she gives me bliss. It is very simple, really it is.

I made pumpkin muffins yesterday for MAT to take to school Friday for their Autumn/Halloween party. And in making these masterpieces I completely depleted our egg stores. Normally this would be fine, as Thursday is grocery day, but I shall mention, sick RAT, very large pregant belly, AND I am on a HUGE muffin binge lately. I can't seem to get enough and I need eggs to make the deliciousness appear. Poo. I was kind of sad about it last night as I ate the last apple cinnamon muffin.

This is why mother nature made my day and why I now love it when I run out of eggs, ok it isnt the running out I love it is the next part. I run out of eggs and then the next day when I go to let my flock out there are brand new eggs waiting to replenish my carton! Our girls havent been laying much since June, a few eggs a week, but by no means as many as they should be laying. But today, 4 eggs, all in the same neat and tidy nest. Just enough for me to make more muffins if I so desire. Bliss! Just what I needed nothing more nothing less.

And I didnt have to bundle up the sick boy, drive against the still crazy wind, get through the store before someone threw up and unload the car with my ever braxton-hicks contraction having very uncomfortable belly. YES! Mother nature YOU THE MAN! You always seem to provide us with just exactly what we need and only when we need it.

This morning gave me the same joy as raspberry and strawberry seasons seemingly endless bounty, its is funny how much joy those 3 little eggs brought me.

Yes, my flock laying just the right amount of eggs I need today, instant bliss for this momma. Enjoy your Thursday, I hope all is well in your home this fine day.


 And for those who want a babe update.
(The belly is getting bigger, "fake" but rather painful contractions are with me all day most every day, sleep is nearly impossible, eating is a constant, nothing fits but it is almost entirely because my belly is so HUGE, the point of no return will be upon us next week, you know the point where if I happen to go into labor they will let me go instead of stopping it, YIKES,  Halloween is very nearly here, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and thus Little T #3 will be here before I know it, so much to do, and as always ever little time to get it done, 5 weeks people, yes it is potentially 6 and 1/2 but more likely (I think anyway) it will be 4 weeks.)

Anyone wanna guess the date and weight that Little T #3 will arrive?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No, I haven't died, I'm just preoccupied

Sorry I haven't been posting, though I have MANY MANY things to post about, I just can't seem to get motivated to write worthwhile finished entries. Must be the "Only 6 more weeks to go so all I wanna do is sit, read and eat" part of pregnancy that has me blocked for posts.

I promise, I will make a post next week, possibly several. I at the very least have to make one about the beautiful finished planted raised beds and post photos, if only to praise Mr. T for all his hard work and help, yes I do appreciate it very much. I have another idea bouncing around about dump trucks...but I digress.

I am off to continue sitting and reading and eating and growing a soon to be met person. Toodles all. I will give you something potentially interesting soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frost me

We had our first frost yesterday and a much thicker, and colder, frost this morning. I would be upset about the fact that I still have NOT pulled a single pepper off my plants (that I started in MARCH) and we have now had our first and second frosts, but I cannot bring myself to care. I do not care that the tomato harvest is over far too soon, that the eggplants will no longer be burdening me with too abundant of fruit, and that the blasted peppers did not give me a single capsicum to nibble upon. I honestly gave up on caring about the garden a few weeks ago, instead shifting focus to trying to general fall cleanup and trying to get the raised beds squared away for the spring, which is still not done mind you. Oh well. We also had to turn the heat on this week, boo hiss. I really didn't want to, but when the children are ACTUALLY under their covers sleeping I know it is too cold in here. We keep our thermostat at 66 degrees in the winter, though it will probably be hanging out more like 70 after baby comes home. Where does your thermostat sit in the winter?

Last week was very productive, we replanted the blueberries in their own raised beds, Thanks very much Mr. T for making their little boxes for them. No more trimming oh so carefully around them with lawn sheers. I made and froze 3 lasagnas for after Little T #3's arrival, along with 12 cups of chili mac. I still have a whole lot of  preparatory cooking and freezing, and nesting, to do in the next 8 weeks, YES WE ONLY HAVE 8 WEEKS, but I feel like 5 days of dinners is a really good start. My lists of things to get done keeps growing and it seems for every one thing I cross off I add three more.

I still have many closets to go through...and I think I am going to swap the decor in our bathrooms. Right now the bathroom off our master bedroom is pretty and calming, two things that frankly are lost on the menfolk who use it all the time. I have resigned myself that until I have a masterbath with only ONE door to it and that door is off our bedroom, and no one else will be using said bathroom, I will not have the master bath I want.  Till then the bath needs to be a child and more specifically boy child friendly place. I am not removing the toilet seats or anything, they still need to lift the seat and put it back down when finished, but I am going to relinquish the pretty/calm and bring in the fun of the much beloved Spider-man bathroom. Of course Mr. T only had the one qualm with this, he love Spider-man. His response was, "But it isn't painted "spider-man-y" it's pained all green-brown, that won't work..." more importantly "Do I have to paint it?" Of course that is what he focuses on, NOT the whole heap of crazy that is is wife, thankfully. So I told him no, at least not anytime soon, which to me means months and I am sure to him it means years.

Oh well we will discuss that later. I have things to put away, rearrange, go through, toss out, miss desperately, convince myself we dont need, then go get them anyway, cooking, cleaning, resting, all in all avoid the reality that we will be parents of three in two short months.

I hope it is not too frosty cold in your neck of the woods, or at least maybe that your yards and gardens were ready for the frost, not mush like mine. Stay warm, drink hot cider, eat something made out of pumpkin and fill your home with the smell of cinnamon while you watch the leaves turn colors.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

General kiddo news and building stuff

So alot has been accomplished since my last post, some things I shall recap for you now.
MAT lost a second tooth, not even a week after he lost his first and his adult chompers are already several millimeters through his gum's. Apparently his teeth were more than ready to fall out on their own.

Mr. T had a week off after the Holiday so we got many outdoor type chores done. Cleaned up the yard and brush piles, half-assed cleaned the barn ( I say half-assed because really it is just going to be a disaster again in a month so no need overexert ones self cleaning), and we FINALLY got to the large pile of  used decking that we are going to recycle into a duck house structure, patio furniture, and possibly raised garden beds.

Some boards were split or cracked, most had at least one broken end and very nearly ALL had rusted sharp jagged screws  all up and down them. We, Mr. T, myself, and RAT, spend several days sorting, removing screws, and ripping down boards to usable undamaged lengths. By the way, I have a renewed LOVE of power tools, the chopsaw in particular, it is just plain fun. I did a bit of power sanding too, but I am not as comfortable with that, I am worried about breaking it so it is not as much fun.

We no longer have an unsightly, jumbled pile of dangerous garbage behind the barn but neatly stacked, useful, and eco-friendly piles of usable lumber for projects big and small stored away inside the barn. Most of the screw removal and board ripping was my job, as crawling around on the concrete floor on all 4's is not really a good idea for a lady as pregnant as I, though I would have had Mr.T not frowned upon it.

I helped as much as I could and Mr. built me a beautiful, albeit rustic (just what I wanted), dinner table for 6.

( I see two reclaimed wood benches one on either end of this monster, maybe even two little bottoms will fit on each bench, and then eventually some wood or old iron chairs instead of the plastic ones, but we make due with what we've got!)

He kept trying to put braces on the ends which would make it mildly sturdier and a table for 4 and I had to keep reminding him that in a few short months we will be a family of 5, so the table needed to fit at least 5. His rational was that Little T #3 wouldn't need to sit at the table in his own place for at least a year or two and we would have a new table by then. Little does he know, I plan on using this table FOREVER. It is huge, and heavy, and beautiful, and we made it, together. This table is not going anywhere, ever. I want to serve 4th of July dinner on it to my Grandchildren. I love it so... though it could be longer, but we can make another some day I suppose...

We also built an end table for the South deck. It is small, sturdy and just what I wanted. 

And a coffee table/bench for the deck off our bedroom.

The coffee table/bench was supposed to just be a coffee table but someone overbuilt it, IMAGINE THAT, and made it a bit too high. It is perfect sitting height and super sturdy so it might change jobs and be a bench for sitting. I already have a request in for at least 4 more just like it. Boards are ripped and ready to be connected, but that will be another job for another day.

We have the boards for the raised beds sequestered away and I am hoping to at least get the strawberry and asparagus beds built, installed, filled, and planted this fall. This will mean much less work for me next year babe in tow, so I am pushing hard for those this fall. The strawberry bed at the very least. Raised beds mean more easily protected against deer and rabbits, and you KNOW how I loath deer in my strawberries and we are not having another repeat of the deer buffet we had this spring, no Sir. But they have yet to materialize, maybe later this month.

That's all I got, aside from a good midwife appointment last week, not much is new. Just trucking along, building things when we can, decorating for fall and Halloween, doing yearly cleanup, and making a person. Pretty standard stuff. Maybe my next post will be more exciting...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things that make this Mommy weep, in a good way

Big School buses pulling up in front of my house.
And my oldest child getting on for the first time.

And then after his first week and a half of school, he comes home yesterday like this.



He lost his first tooth!

The Tooth Fairy also wept as she retrieved his wee little tiny tooth and rewarded MAT with a surprise.

Then she rolled the tooth in her hand a few times sniffling and wondering how he was getting so big so fast. Then she realized, "yuck, this is a tooth I am weeping over." And she sucked it up and moved on to her other duties.

All things that make this Momma weep, for the best reasons.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Woopsie.

Well, HELLO Third Trimester. Wasn't expecting to see you so soon and my apologies that you actually started last week and I was totally oblivious, what with other things on my mind. (The other things being MAT starting Kindergarten, more on that later)

I am not sure where this pregnancy is going but it is going there far too fast. Seems like just yesterday it was Easter and I had all the time in the world and now I have a skint 3 months left. Eeep. On the upside I feel pretty ready, labor aside, for this new addition. The closets have been organized, the nursery room(which wont be used till next summer, most likely) is ready, Christmas shopping is all but finished, all storage areas in the house have been sorted and organized and the house has been rearranged several times over. I fear I may have let the nesting instinct take over too early this go around and I think it might change focus, sorry Mr. T, on painting and home improvement things for the next three months. When all the drawers have been sorted and organized there is not much left to do but paint I am afraid. I keep telling myself to start quilting but with RAT underfoot all day I fear he will end up pin poked and scratched.

I am currently fighting the urge to turn our master bedroom upstairs into the playroom/guestroom and turning our current playroom/guestroom downstairs into our master bedroom. I know it would not be a good switch and should wait till our youngest child is no longer climbing into bed with us at night, but the urge is very very strong... I will continue fighting it, we will see how it goes. I suppose rearranging furniture within the confines of individual rooms will just have to do.

Time is flying by this year and it will be a whole new year, and we will be a different family, before we know it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There will come a day...

A day when I can keep the stapler ON the desk, rather than empty and sequestered in the back of a drawer, gathering dust instead of papers.
A day when I can organize the desk drawers and things will stay in their place for more than an hour.

A day when things like glue, whiteout, and fountain ink pens can be rescued from atop the refrigerator and returned to their rightful home in the desk.

A day when the roll of stamps does not have to be guarded with ones life to insure they are not savagely used as stickers.

A day, when a desk and all that comes with it can again just be a desk and office supplies and not a wonderland of many hazards for little people...

Someday the time will come, but today is not that day. So back in the drawer stapler, continue to run amok paperclips, I will try to remember to dust you glue, and stamps, dear stamps, hide well my friends.

Someday your liberation will come. Someday...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maternity sewing, pictures finally.

A girlie dress that makes me feel like I am 5, but I love it just the same. I made it from scraps,  the bodice is a very loved purple paisley, the sleeves and a tiny check gingham, and the skirt is a larger check gingham.

And now we have some striped jersey skirts, and the ever growing baby bump.






Sunday, August 8, 2010

Taking advantage of an early rising, cool, overcast morning.

I should have been alot more productive, however Mr. T was out late at a wedding last night, and then had to work this morning. Needless to say he slept in, sort of, and then vanished within 10 minutes of waking. But I did accomplish 2 loaves of Banana Pecan Bread and 2 pans of Blonde Zucchini Brownies (with organic chocolate chips).

I would like to take a second and explain why ALWAYS with the chocolate chips. Aside from making them more kid (and Daddy) friendly, the semisweet chocolate chips allow me to cut the sugar in the recipe to less than HALF of what is called for and no one notices or complains. Plus there is all the semi-sweet chocolate benefits. So that is why always with the chips in things. I also threw in a handful each of flax and wheat germ so they are more breakfast-y (at least in my mind) than dessert-y.

We have replenished our freezer stash of zucchini, I shredded 7 zucchini for a grand total of 18 cups of zucch's for the freezer. Our plant is nearly dead, again the powdery mildew and squash bugs are really taking their toll this season, but we now have enough stored to keep us in bread or brownies for 18 weeks. I hope to get another 10 cups or so before the plants are totally dead, fingers crossed. So it was a productive morning, I wish I had gotten MORE baking done. But I will not dwell on what I cannot change. I hope the rest of today is just as productive and that the weather holds, I would LOVE meat loaf  for dinner...but might settle for B. SC.T's (Bacon, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes) if it gets too hot.

The great gourd harvest of 2010

*Started August 6th, POSTED August 8th*

Today I harvested gourds. Yes I am aware that it is only August 6th and Autumn is not officially till September 23rd. However it has been a particularly bad year for powdery mildew and a great year for squash bugs, this means ALL of the vines are dead or quickly dieing. So rather than let the gourds rot in the garden, I picked all of them to hopefully postpone the rot of some of them till after November reaches us. Yes I am aware this is most likely a pipe dream, but if one doesn't have hope then what does one have.

I guess I am optimistic because I did not plant a single gourd, intentionally, this season. Yet I had probably a hundred vines come up and even through thinning they kept coming all season. I did COMPOST the gourds I purchased last season in the spot where the new garden sits. They all volunteered and were very insistent about it. I suppose I didn't pay for seed or tend them so if they all turn to mush before we get to appreciate them in season, nothing is really lost other than my hour of harvesting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Me and my Bestest

Last week I took a little trip, all by myself, for 4 days. I hopped a plane Friday evening to Greensboro, North Carolina, with a short stop in Cincinnati, Ohio. I flew on two of the tiniest planes I have ever been on, and I am not one to enjoy flying much, but I made it safe and sound. JLowe, my very best friend of 23 years, met me at the airport. A short 1/2 hour car trip to her home, in another town, and we were in for the night.

The next day I slept in and got out of bed at 10 am! We spent the day watching tv, picking through the art district, eating, chatting, and getting ready for an Alopecia fund raiser concert that evening. JLowe planned and put it all together, it was called Bald Girls Rock. She is pretty involved in the music scene, being that she lives with musicians and is in a long term relationship with one, and is also afflicted by Alopecia Universalise. She found 4 very talented bands of very different genera's to play, and it was a spectacular show with lots of money raised. The proceeds benefited this organization, which helps women suffering from alopecia by teaching them skills to help them cope with the difficulties of living with this disease. Have you ever considered how you would do your makeup if you no longer had eye lashes or eyebrows? It is just an excellent group and I am proud to have helped if only by selling raffle tickets and enjoying the show.

(This photo was provided by JLowe, # 5,789 of the two of us, or something like that. AND that tiny hint of rainbow on my hip is one of those things I made for myself that I have been lying teasing you about posting pictures of for weeks, they ARE coming I promise.)

The night ended far to late for this pregnant lady, and still quite early for the non-pregnant folk. I went home and to bed and the rest of the wild bunch stayed out till the wee hours of the morning. They didn't even wake me up when they got in, at 5 am! Again I slept till 10..or later.

Sunday we first got sushi, don't worry mine was cooked sea foods only, and then a massive quantaty of Chinese, and red velvet cake, and settled onto the couch for a day of watching Dexter Season 4 on demand, eating, and enjoying each others company. It was the very best lazy day I have had in a very long time.There were many other options of things to do, but with being tired and the fact that the sun did not come out the ENTIRE time I was there, this seemed like the best option. Plus, later in the evening, there was a band practice in the basement that we got to listen in on before True Blood, our other shared tv passion, came on. It was really a fun and full day.

Monday JLowe had to work half the day, so again I slept late and it was marvelous. We then went and browsed some more shops, hit the Tattoo Archive, and the bookstore, got pedicures, ate some cake dinner?, and then I dragged my very best friend who know practically nothing about the Twilight universe to go see Eclipse. I very simply brought her up to speed on how the whole sparkly vampire thing works and what she missed from New Moon, she had seen Twilight a while back and didn't need the full explanation.

*I personally don't consider Twilight vampires actual vampires, in my world vampires burst into flames when in sunlight, not sparkle, but I still really like the story and it appeals to the core of my 16 year old self that I refuse, rightfully so, to let go of.*

She actually told me after the movie she thought it was pretty ok. I think it was the most likable of the three so far, still it will not be winning any Oscars.

We got out of the movie kinda late and headed straight home. We hung out a bit more, swapped some music, and then headed to bed. We had to leave her house at 5:30 am for me to catch my 7 am flight. A quick good by and a long hug and I was off to security. My first flight was cake. The second, not so much. We got stuck on the tarmac in the plane for what seemed like forever, I missed my second breakfast, because of the delay and dislike recycled air, not to mention the horrible turbulence due to some thunderstorms. Long story short, I made it through the wait and flight only to toss my cookies in the garbage can immediately outside the gate, in front of a terminal of waiting to board passengers. Yeah, super fun.

Even with the not so fun travel ending it was a spectacular trip. So spectacular in fact I took NO pictures. Not one with my own camera. I took photos for others, on their cameras, but did not once whip out MY camera. I guess I was just having too much fun in the moment. Oh well next time I will take pictures, loads of them, and we will go to the beach.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Confession.

I REALLY wish I had the patience to knit (and crochet too). I have the skills to make basic items, I know HOW to knit and pearl (and I can make a crochet chain like a mile long, OH YEAH, recognize), but I just do NOT have the patience to make... anything. I have started many a dish cloth and scarf only to leave them sit in the knitting bag unfinished for...well years now. And dish cloths are little! and I cannot seem to finish ONE! I am such a sad unmotivated knitter, I blame the fact I am not efficient so it take a long time, and thusly does not satisfy my need for crafty instant gratification the way sewing does.

For me sewing, though able to create BEAUTIFUL, long lasting, durable items, just does not seem to embody, to me anyway, the warm, homie, cuddly, handmade goodness and beauty that a hand knit cardigan or blanket can and does. Maybe I need to make more intricate and fancy quilts...

I wish I were that chick who could sit down and knit here and there or anywhere and make a beautiful sweater, I REALLY WISH that chick were me, but I am sooooo not. Nuts. Maybe someday I will find the patience and I will return to a normal human shade instead of this unsightly green that I tend to Hulk into whenever I see something beautiful and intricate that someone has crafted with their needles (or hook) and fiber. I really want to be able to make cardigans for myself, granny square afghans, and beautiful woolly sweaters for my boys and longies and hats and...

I hope for the patience, someday. And maybe someday I will be granted the patience, determination, and drive. So that is my confession for the week. I am HanaJean and I am filled with knitter envy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

TV

I love that MAT would rather watch "This Old House" than any kid's show on PBS. And would rather watch "Dirty Jobs" or "Mythbusters" than any kids show on cable, of which there are far too many. This crazy kid and his grown up tastes, he makes my day.

We have been trying this limiting tv to two hours a day thing. I noticed a while ago that often the tv is on and no one is watching OR the show that the kids are watching have ZERO substance. Case in point, MAT has a fondness for infomercials and QVC as well as the previously mentioned programs, and because of this we watched 20 minutes of snowman shaped teapots that are "oven, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe" on QVC yesterday afternoon. Wow.

I also noticed that the boys have to be extra loud be heard playing over the tv, particularly when Dad leaves the tv on and leaves the room. Why do men have to listen to the tv SO LOUD!? Well the simple answer is to hear it over the children who then get louder to be heard over the tv. It is a vicious cycle and it gets pretty loud around here. So my solution is to turn the tv off, this is VERY easy for me as most of the shows I would like to watch are not on during the day and I do not get to watch tv for me with children awake.

To be honest the tv usually ends up being on more like 3 hours a day, I am just not a wake up and interact kinda mom, that hour of cartoon in the morning gives me the time I need to wake up and be a fun, kind and loving mother, not the giant, snapping, grouch that inhabits me before I have had breakfast, time, and large quantities of coffee.

So, back to my original point, MAT has been thinking VERY carefully about what is worth his tv time. He is currently watching "This Old House" and I am very happy to not be watching any of the other options.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boy! Oh! Boy!

Big things happening in the last two weeks. Last week I hit the 20 week mark, halfway to the finish. Woohoo! This pregnancy is flying by. Yesterday I had my 20 week, more like 22 weeks apparently, ultrasound and things look wonderful.

After wrestling with whether to find out the sex of this baby or not for months, yesterday came and went and we decided to try something new. With the boys we opted for surprises. I had a very strong feeling with MAT that he would be a boy, with RAT I was undecided, but we waited till they were born to find out their sex. Since we waited with the first two and frankly I wanted to know this time, we found out. I went in with the opinion of if they can tell us easily, great we will find out, and if the baby is uncooperative I guess we will wait. I am glad our little bundle was very cooperative.

And Little T #3's sex is....*drum roll please*... BOY! Yes folks that is right, another boy for the T family. The technician said "I rarely see babies that are THIS obvious. And now he has curled up into a ball..." I sat up a little and said "HE!" with a smile. The tech said  "Oh, I did use that word didn't I, well you wanted to know right? (We had discussed it before she started) So here you go!" She turned the screen so I could see, and folks, I am NOT good an understanding what I am seeing on an ultrasound, the head, heart, and spine are pretty easy spots for me, but never having seen a penis on ultrasound, remember the last two were surprises, I am amazed at how obvious it was. Even a complete novice penis spotter had NO trouble spotting it.

So there you have it, another boy. Mr. T was not able to attend the ultrasound with me, work and all, so I waited till he got home and let him decipher the photos all by himself. He got the the fourth frame, the one that said BOY, and sat down. He mumbles something along the lines of "we are so screwed" and then stood up, smiled, hugged me and said "Another Boy! Woohoo!".

To me, the best part of his reaction is that was my exact internal reaction when I heard. I thought, "Oh boy, another boy, we are screwed...but its another healthy baby boy! Yay!" I think it is funny we had the same reaction. When I told RAT he would have a little brother he, as expected, was indifferent, he will have a real opinion when the little guy is here and comes home. When I told MAT he was getting another brother, dismayed, he said he needed a minute, and went and sat down. After a few minutes he came back and asked, "Well, will he be a nice baby brother?" I assured him that he would be a very nice baby. He then stated,  "Well, ok then, I am very happy." He also later told us that this brother would be named MAT, just like him, and would look just like him, and they would be twins and like all the same things. We tried to tell him that this baby would, in fact, NOT be named MAT but they might indeed look alike OR they might look very differently. I suppose we will know in 4 months.

On a completely unrelated topic. I am taking an "All By Myself" mini vacation next week to see my best friend, in North Carolina... I am VERY excited. So between preparing for that, our family reunion, getting ready for MAT to start school in August, and life in general, I might not be around all that much for the next couple weeks. I will return, I am just not sure when.

Friday, July 9, 2010

MAT took this picture this morning.
Mr. T and RAT enjoying an afternoon nap yesterday. (aren't they prescious?)
The boys decided that the doors look much better white, so they started pealing the old (and much HATED) brown paint off the doors. I was upset for a split second, the mess, the lack of respect of property, the destruction, wait...the quiet, but then I got the garbage can and told them to knock themselves out. Honestly I like the doors better this way, even though they look a bit disheveled at the moment AND it got me a half an hour of near silence, amongst the giggles and "Oooo that's a big piece" and "Need help RAT, let me start that one for you." I suppose this act of destruction really was an improvement...

Morgan's favorite spot on hot days, aside from bring in the pool with the boys of course.
 
Mr. T  WILL fix that hole in the pasture fence today, and the pool will also be disinfected. Very cute and all, but we know that ducks poo where they swim and we do not need duck butt tea to play in. They knew they were in trouble the moment I stepped out the door, they ran back to the pasture and waited at the gate. They have their OWN pools to play in but insist on playing in this one, I think they like the slide. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Someone has been sewing

Oh yes someone has. I recently realized that I have almost no presentable, holeless, airy, comfortable and baby bump allowing garments in my closet. I have MANY MANY pair of long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sweaters. But really nothing for summer, and it is HOT. I have been wearing boxer shorts and sad tank tops around the house, but have only one pair of shorts to wear in public. I have MANY skirts, but none that fit because I have none with an elastic waste or drawstring. So in lieu of this pregnancy being 3 months ahead of my last two, still ending in winter though so we are covered there, and needing summer maternity clothing, it is only the second week of July after all, I have been sewing.  Not buying fabric, or clothing, just using up some of the MASSIVE fabric stash I have accumulated over the last 6 years or so

I am going to North Carolina at the end of the month to visit my bestest best best friend, who has been my best frined since we were 5, so 23 years wrap your head around that for a moment, and with it beint THIS hot here, I can only imagine hot bad it will be there. I dont think boxer shorts and holey sad tank tops are proper atire for the plain ride nor the visit, so again the sewing is very much a necessity, if only to not look like that "poor sad barefoot pregant lady". The barefoot and pregnant part I can deal with, but the poor sad not so much.

Today has been productive, and frankly COLD in the basement where my workroom is. My machine is right under a vent with no valve, so it is friggin cold down there. I am sewing summer clothed whist in my corduroys and wool sweater only to come upstairs during potty breaks and nearly pass out because of the temperature difference. But I am so NOT complaining. I have taken almost the whole day, thanks to Mr.T being home for the day, and been drafting patterns, cutting, and sewing almost all day. I have several pieces finished and several more cut and ready to go, sadly I woudl have much more done but the serger decided to go all wonky on me and I had to take and hour or so figuring out the tension problem, luckily I did fix it, so later tonight the sewing will resume! and probably this weekend too.

"Where are the pictures?" you ask. They will be up soon, just because a garment is finished and pristine does not mean I am finished and pristine enough to be photographed in it. Patience my friends, the traveling wardrobe will be posted soon, probably by Monday. There will be lots of stripes, patterns, combos of the two, and versatile pieces. They are probebly not to everyones taste, remember most of my fabric in my stash was origionally intended for children's garments, but all the pieces are sure to be fun, heat friendly, comfortable, and very me. That is all for now, ta.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Because...

Over the weekend a monkey came to visit, a Pygmy Marmoset to be exact.
 
And a boy with a silly face and a dog who wears pants.
And we were also visited by the first little break dancing kicks of this pregnancy. My favorite part of pregnancy has officially arrived!! The part where I feel exceptionally great most of the time and when I feel little baby arms and legs bouncing around in my tummy. All the wiggling and dancing of a babe in utero reminds me constantly of the awesomeness that is life. And I  noticed this today...
That's unmistakeably a baby bump, much larger than I was expecting it to be, but totally wonderful.

And just for me, a self portrait today, because I can, though it is not a very good one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Raspberry love

The black raspberries are ripening, they have been all week. Today I finally got my butt out and started picking.

Sadly the storm last Friday dropped a rather large cherry tree on my largest patch and cut their harvest by more than a half.
But that's ok because I found two new small patches that have HUGE berries on them. I am a happy lady. We trudges along our entire property border  picking and playing and hunting bugs for a little over an hour this morning. We only brought in about a pint maybe a little more, but we had a lot of fun. It has been raining, practically nonstop, around here and the pasture is full of puddles and mini ponds. The ducks really love it and so did the boys today. There was much stomping and splashing and when we came in we had a bucket of berries, boots sloshing with water, and to very happy and very tired, soaked boys.
And yes all that water on the deck came from the soggy bottom boys. Their boots were literally slopping out water on the walk back to the house from the pasture. It was so fun.

We immediately, after dumping boots and undressing and redressing, sat down for a treat. My MIL brought us some shortcake shells earlier this week and I thought of the perfect application for them, since our strawberry harvest was wiped out by the deer, I still despise you Bambi.

We place one shell per bowl, topped with a generous helping of vanilla yogurt, and then topped that with a handful of fresh black raspberries. It was absolutely delicious. I may have also dusted the boys treats with powdered sugar, but I can't be sure...
I enjoyed mine without the powdered sugar, more raspberries, and a delicious cup of coffee. (Coffee and I are testing our relationship to see if we are ready to be friends again. Things look promising.) It has been a very good morning.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Storms, again.













Watermelon has claimed this blanket basket as her nest.





Monday, June 21, 2010

Dreaming of the future.

I don't know if anyone will care, but I had a funny dream last night and I want to share it.

The year was 2018 and Mr. T and I had 5 children. We had 3 boys and 2 girls. We also had milk goats and sheep and had expanded our homestead by 10 acres. There was a big wind turbine on our south end that gave us the ability to live off the grid and provide electricity for our neighbors. It was pretty great, but all I could focus on after I woke up, was the kids.

Our youngest child in the dream was 5, this would mean we would have 3 children in the next 3 years to keep up with the dream in real life. For some, this would be a joy, for me this is a terrifying prospect, it would be wonderful, but it is not exactly what I am looking for.

I was pretty excited about the goats, sheep, and wind turbine though...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day and some other info too

I was musing to myself on this beautiful Sunday morning as Mr. T sleeps in, it is Father's Day after all, and the hum of the generator working so hard allows my boys to not watch the episode of "Max and Ruby" that is on thanks to said generator.

Sidebar, we are without power, have been since Friday at around 5pm when a wicked storm went through. 90+mph winds were recorded locally, a neighbor just up the road actually lost their roof, very scary and sad. We were very lucky, no major damage to our home, just a messed up garage door, a toppled and broken new duck house, that was still in progress and parts were free we have just lost the labor which stinks, and our wooden love seat glider cartwheeled about 50 feet and now just isn't quite the same though it is in one piece.

After vacuuming the duck pasture, yes vacuuming with a shop vac, in the debris trail I think I got nearly all of the broken glass from the 1 window that shattered. Really I think that was pretty good, there are 4 windows and we only lost 1, could have been so much worse. Yesterday they quoted our electricity reconnect time at 9 am Sunday, today, but I think it will be more like Monday evening, if not later.  There are still limbs on the lines on our property and it is that way in all our surrounding counties. I think it will be a while.

Anyway, that is what has lead up to today and that is the sound of my morning, the hum of the generator and the ruckus of the boys tusseling, I am sure there is a faint sound of Mr. T snoring in there somewhere too. Back to my origional reason for posting, Father's Day.

6 years ago on this very day Mr. T found out he was going to be a father for the first time, and now we are expecting our 3rd child. He works so hard to be a provider, good father and spouse and we thank him for it.  Happy Father's Day Mr. T we love you very much. Have a steak an a beer and relax, oh and if you want you can cut the grass today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adventures in yardwork

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I cut our lawn all by myself. That's right, I grew up with a giant yard yet yesterday was the first time I drove the riding mower all by myself and cut the yard. I used to be scared of the mower and the topography of our yard. Not anymore, well mostly not. The bit up by the road on the 60 degree angle I will still be leaving for Mr. T to do. I am just not comfortable with that, it is too scary to have to hold on to the tractor, lean almost completely sideways, and watch the road for hazards.

But the rest of the yard, even with ALL the things to cut around and move, was kind of a blast. Our yard is about an acre, and then the pasture is an additional acre and half, I did not cut the pasture, there are WAY too many holes and soft spots. If Mr. T wants to get the mower stuck or break it, that is his deal, I will NOT be mowing the pasture till we have a real tractor that can handle it.

So I only cut the yard. It took just under 3 hours, was very messy, and sometimes very hot, luckily the sun was behind clouds most of the day, and was very loud. BUT I think I will take this chore over, at least as long as I am able to this season.

Why? you ask, it is a dirty, loud, hot, sweaty CHORE!? Honestly. It was all those things, but it was also almost 3 hours to MYSELF. Three hours, in the sun, outdoors, with just me and my thoughts, and I got to cut fun patterns into the yard. I mean, yes it was work, but it was MY work and mine alone, for those three hours. I think this could be very good for me. Mommies new quiet time... And I get to mock Mr. T for his loathing of the chore, so for me it is a win win.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

DARN YOU BAMBI!

So the strawberries have started ripening, I am pulling about a pint a day of juicy sweet-tart beauties off my mere 24 plant patch daily. All spring I battled with the rabbits and deer to get keep any leaves on the plants. The strawberry patch is on the most northeast corner of our property, in the old garden with the rhubarb and asparagus, and right off a field that teams with critters every evening and morning. We didnt get so far as to move the perennial veggies and fruits this year, but we have a plan for some raised beds in the front where we wont have to worry about yearly tilling damaging roots.

Anyway, back to Darn Bambi. I finally, about a month ago, found something that worked. It is gross, but effective. Turns out both critters are not fond of people pee. Yes, you read that right human urine turns them off.

SO I have had Mr.T go out and pee around the perimeter of the patch, at least 8 feet away from the plants, every 3 or 4 days, and yes it has worked marvelously. It is a bit of a strange request I will admit that, but it is an effective and DARE I say organic? pest deterrent. All but 3 of my plants came back to thrive and produce beautiful and large fruit. That is, however, till today. With all the rain we have had lately Mr. T hasn't been able to keep the invisible fence up to par. As was apparent this morning I went out to pick deliciousness and found over half my rows ransacked. Leaves gone, berries eaten or trampled. I know this is not the work of rascalie rabbits because the bites are straight across not angled. There are also several deer footie prints strewn through the strawberry patch.

Poop. I figure my very shortlived strawberry harvest is about to come to a close for this year. This tells me that maybe the dog needs to spend the night out in the strawberry patch occasionally or maybe we just need to get the raised bed in the front of the house built so they arent so far away from supervision. Either way, you may have beaten me THIS time Bambi, but next year YOU WILL NOT BE SO LUCKY. Oh and Bambi's, please feel free to come back anytime after dawn and before dusk during hunting season, we would LOVE to have you for dinner.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

45

Yes. 45. That is the number of birds we currently have. Yeah. In March we had just 12 birds, but NOW in June we have grow to the ridiculous total of 45.

I hadn't even thought of the total till Mr. T brought it up while we were doing yard work over the weekend. We were taking a break and he sat next to me and said " you know we have like 40 birds out there, right" as he nodded his head to the pasture. I responded with a "...well yeah, but we are only gonna keep 4 geese, and like 16 ducks, so really there are only like 20 out there. The rest will be dinner..." I wasn't about to tell him that his "like 40"  is actually 45.

In the 1 and 1/2 acre pasture they really don't look like that many, at least to me, there is still sooooo much space. And the 10 Muscovy ducklings are only 6 weeks old so they are still pretty little, they don't even count. Everyone is grazing and our feed costs are currently NOTHING... I can find a million ways to rationalize having so many birds.

Ok lets get real. Here's the breakdown. 20, yes 20 Ancona ducks, 16 Muscovy ducks, 5 American Buff goslings, and 4 Embden Goslings. Of the Ancona we will keep probably 10 or so, maybe as little as 6. I haven't decided yet and the Muscovy we will only keep the girls of the recent hatch, I think it will end up around 8 muscovy total. And I think we only have one American Buff girl, but if we happen to have two we will keep 4 and have two breeding pair. That makes 22, which is still alot, but much more acceptable. All the others, all 23, will be sent to freezer camp, which is their intended purpose anyway. I still think it is funny that we have 45.

If we hadn't lost two goslings to failure to thrive, 1 duckling to the fox, had 3 culls this spring with sick ducks and then the countless ducklings that either didn't live through hatch or mysteriously disappeared when Godzilla was too close, we could easily have 60+ birds right now. Thankfully I did not let every broody sit on every clutch they wanted, I would easily be at the 100+ mark. So really 45 birds isn't so bad...as long as we aren't feeding them anyway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Daddy is way better at making tire swings..."

Daddy is surely the better constructor, I can admit this.

If you remember my sad, but functional and MUCH loved, tire swing of last summer.You can read about it HERE. 

Many fun hours have been had on that swing, don’t get me wrong, it does have its drawbacks. The vertical tire requires much more pushing and swings less time all by it’s self, the rope, which was a recycled broken tow rope, is stretching and I fear starting to splinter as well, and the tire is now mere inches off the ground, and frankly the swing is just to darn close to the tree trunk to be truly safe for our rambunctious children to play safely on.

Then Mr. T gets motivated yesterday, out of the blue. He gets motivated to use his ruined giant truck tire, that has been sitting on the walk in front of the house for…well almost a year, to make the swing we all wanted last summer. We even saved the best limb in the best tree in the yard for a swing. Just a few hours of very short work, an old tire, some cable we had laying around for who knows what reason, and a stout rope with a clasp to attach the swing to the tree (this way not twisting of the cable can occur and no little fingers can be severed) we have a beautiful horizontal tire swing.

It is perfect. The children love it and I do as well. And Daddy has proven, once again, his construction projects are always better than Mommies. Mommy can make something that will do for the time being, but once Daddy gets his butt in gear he makes something truly marvelous and sturdy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I have a confession.

We watched "Nanny McPhee" yesterday. All in all I like the film, the boys loved it, especially the dancing donkey, but the part I cannot get out of my head is the children's bedroom. If you have seen this film you know what I am talking about when I say it is PERFECT! OK, you may not agree that it is the perfect child's room but you have to agree it is pretty and unusual.

One large loft room with iron twin beds linning up and down BOTH sides of the room. Handmade afghans and quilts, each very different, adorn each of the beds. It is just my ideal dream of a childrens room. Maybe not 7 beds...but I do really like the way they all looked and hope to attain some symblence of that style in our childrens room. Simple, comfortable, playful, and childlike.

Now to find iron beds...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just another week of being a pregnant.

Last Saturday I threw my back out. I was preforming the simplest of mundane tasks. I was making our bed. The sheets, blankets, and comforter were all in place, as were all but ONE of the throw pillows. The smallest of our beds throw pillows was left on the floor. It is about 8 inches by 8 inches and is probably no more than 10 ounces in weight. I bent over, I didnt twist or anything like it, simply bent over, picked it up and started to straighten my back and, PAIN, over onto the bed I fell. Weeping, hot flashing, shocking pain, and yelling for Mr. T to help. He came in and of course thought I was having some kind of baby trouble and rushed to my side. I explained that the baby was fine but I had thrown my back out and couldn't move. He asked what I was doing, and I explained about the pillow, he immediately broke out into laughter, and then quickly composed himself. He helped me up and took me down to out "hang-ups" table, which honestly, did nothing at he time. Now, a week later it helps alot, but immediately after an injury, it just makes it worse. Back up to bed I went with a couple tv series on DVD and the laptop. And I stayed in bed all day Saturday and Sunday. Sunday Mr. T sent MAT up with an odd rash for me to check out. It wasn't itchy, just odd and started on his face then moved to his trunk. No fever and he seemed fine so oh well, no worries. Honestly if Mr. T had been able to stay home Monday I would have been in bed all day that day as well, but he had to work so I had to muster the energy and stamina to be a parent.

I had to wrangle two children and drive an hour to my first midwife appointment. It was very stressful and not too much fun. I have a due date, December 4, and I am in fact pregnant. My blood pressure is 120/60, which always makes the nurse raise eyebrows till they look at my chart and realize that is EXACTLY where it always is. They drew many viles of blood from both arms leaving me looking like a junkie. Things were loud as the boys were very uncooperative and disruptive. So that was about it and I decided they will not be going to any more appointments with me as I do not need the stress. It was a typical first appointment for any pregnancy.

Then Monday night I noticed that MAT's rash was spreading, but his face was now clear, but is was migrating down his arms and legs. I decided a trip to the Doc on Tuesday would be good. We go in and it is revealed that MAT has Rubella. "Isn't that in the MMR vaccine?" I ask, because BOTH of my boys are up to date on their vaccinations and I KNOW MAT had it. I get the answer that sometimes it doesn't "take" or maybe his antibodies just weren't enough to fight of the infection. But at this point he is fine and recovering nicely. Great.

EXCEPT, Rubella is one of those terrible things for a fetus that expectant mommies are supposed to avoid, and I have been around my sick son for 2 WEEKS. Awesome. So I call my midwife, who reasures me they are already testing the blood they drew the day before for and they should have the results by the end of the week. They assured me if anything "hinky" came up they would call immediatly. It is now Saturday and I have heard nothing. I did call yesterday around lunch and the results were not back yet. I am assuming no news is good news, but who knows. I am going with the opinion that all is well, because otherwise, I might go crazy with wild imaginings.

I have also begun getting asked the question of what I think the baby's sex is? and if we are going to find out ahead of time? and if it is a boy are we going to keep trying for a girl?

The answer to question one is, I have a feeling it is a boy. I am holding out hope for a girl, but I think it will be a boy, and that is wonderful too. A healthy baby is the optimal and only outcome I am really interested in.

Two, we are still up in the air about that one. We have quite a while to decided that still and I am not sold on either side. So there is no real answer to number two.

Three, no. If it is a girl, we will talk about another baby if and when we are ready for one. If this is a boy, I am most likely done. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my boys, but I really think 3 boys would be enough for me, and I have a feeling we could have 25 children and they woudl all be boys. We could try for a girl forever with no luck, just more and more wonderful boys. I don't know how many more trips to the ER I have in me before I have a break down. So that is that.

It is Saturday again. I am still having lumbar pain and I most likely will the whole pregnancy. Just a perk of the third pregnancy and me being 28. I am going to start some prenatal yoga to try and ease the back pain and help me relax, of course I am going to wait another week to see if my queezies pass a bit before starting. Still no puking, just feeling like it. Otherwise, I feel great and most everything is rosey. MAT is feeling much better and RAT is showing no signs of illness. All good things.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us.

That's right, 5 years of marriage today. Today is our 5th wedding Anniversary. Today we celebrate 8 years together, 5 years of marriage, two homes, two children and a third on the way and all the love that comes with it.

Mr. T is still the "cute punk boy" who's foot I stepped on and in retaliation he pulled my pigtail at the party where it all began so many years ago. I still think it was fate that my best friend, since I was 5, happened to be the roommate of Mr. T's longtime high school friend in college and they threw one of their ever so popular and semi frequent parties that we both happened to attend. There had been other parties before and we had attended them at different times and had never met. This time it was fate, and we met, and we instantly liked each other. The timing was a little off, but in the end it did work out.

And now we celebrate our 5th wedding Anniversary, I still find him just as handsome, wonderful, funny, annoying, occasionally obnoxious, and lovable as I did that first meeting. I won't say it was love at first sight, but I will say it was instantaneous "like-like".

So to the man I have loved for nearly all of my adult life, Mr. T Happy Anniversary, I love you, and may we be lucky enough to have say...75 more happy years ahead.

Monday, May 10, 2010

MAT's question of the day.

"Mom"
"Yes, MAT?"
"Um, Mom, what's a Scurvy Pirate?"
"Well, Scurvy was a disease that, a long time ago, often effected people who worked on boats and spent long amounts of time a sea. They were on the ocean for long periods of time without fresh fruits and vegetables and Scurvy is a disease caused by lack of vitamin C, which is in alot of fruits and vegetables. Pirates were often at sea for long periods of time and didn't have proper nutrition so they often got Scurvy. That's how you get the term Scurvy Pirate. Now days you can get oranges or tomatoes at the store so it happens much less. Does that make sense?"
"Yeah...(long pause................) Pirates got sick cause their Mommies didn't make them take their vitamins."
Exactly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I miss Coffee

It has been two weeks and coffe and I are still in a fight. We have tried to reconcile several times with near disastrous results. Apparently this pregnancy has decided to despise coffee and as I am involved in this pregnancy, I too must refrane from consuming it. I pine for you half caf. coffee. I have not forgotten your aroma or delectible flavor, it's just currently you make me want to wretch. It is truly not you, it is me, my senses are completely at fault. We will be reunited at a later date, I hope you will wait for me. As for now I have to focus on my relationship with my parasite unborn child, and I must say, nay. I miss you...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"I don't want to be the angry mom that yells all day!!"

I don't. And I am.

I am making a real effort the last few weeks to give an order and then give time to allow the appropriate response. And yes I say order. I am not requesting that the children come to dinner, we sit down and all eat at the table together, we just do, it is not optional so it is not a request. It never changes and it is mandatory, the exception is if one is sick.

I am trying to remain calm when talked back to, and when a certain toddler throws a horrendous fit. I am trying to defuse the situation when I can, pick my battles, and say yes as often as I possibly can without spoiling or overindulging.

I expect a lot out of my children, I am afraid one of the last things I have been expecting out of them is for them to be children. Obedience, manners, patience, kindness, gentleness, and then behave like a child. Frankly my children give me being a child (smurfyness my sister says), high energy, rough and tumble, impatience, typically good manners, and rarely they obey without punishment, time out, trip to room, taken away toys, and then only for a short time. They are both very high energy and strong willed, with parents like us what else should I expect. Mr. T and I have turned out to be far more disciplined and hard nosed parents than either of us expected to or wanted to be.

I am realizing I might be expecting too much, ok I KNOW I am expecting too much. There is a place for discipline, and obedience, but they are still children and need to be able to be children. So I am working on my expectations. We have been having some major behavioral issues with MAT. I will not get into them here but they are very inappropriate and more than I can or will tolerate. I am trying to get to the root of the trouble and modify my behavior to help him to modify his.

We are having more discussions, I ask more questions and give him time to give me the answers. We are modifying the timeout and individual playtime routines. I am really trying to find a solution that doesn't involve being red in the face daily. We have tried that for 3 years, believe me, yelling all day doesn't work, I know I tried it. But this seems to be working.

One of our major problems is retaliation. I send MAT to his room and while in there he digs a hole in the wall, or throws things out the window, or draws on the wall, or rips up a book. These behaviors all get him in more trouble and often cause me to yell more. When I asked him why? He replied, "Well I was already in trouble and I was really mad so I thought, why not if I am already in trouble why not a little more."

That was last week.

This week we have been talking about consequences and thinking before doing. I let him know if he is thinking about something and he isn't sure if it is a good idea or not, it probably isn't, but he can come talk to be and check. We have also been talking about setting a good example for RAT and Little T #3. RAT already does everything MAT does and this often ends up with RAT holding the bag that MAT stole.

He seems to be getting it and has had a few requests, like he wants to play by himself sometimes. This requires him playing in a room by himself behind a locked door, as this is the only way to keep little brother out. This requires trust, and that has to be earned. He is working very hard to be deserving. And he is clearly thinking things through. Yesterday he was sent to his room, the only time in the whole day, for a snowball of offenses over about a half hour concluding with him telling his brother and myself that he doesn't like us. I told him he needed to go have a time out in his room and he then needed to come down and apologize for hurting our feelings.

He went up very frustrated and emotional and about 20 seconds after he got in his room he came out and stated, "Mom, you probably shouldn't send me to my room cause I am thinking of making a bad decision while in there." To which I replied, "Thank you for thinking before doing and you may sit on the landing". He sat for his timeout without complaint and then came down and apologized, with hugs, and the rest of the day was reasonably peaceful. 


We are limiting the tv, trying to find constructive outlets for energy and finding ways for MAT to play without little RAT Godzilla distroying everything. I am counting the number or times I raise my voice in a day, It is still higher than I would like, but I am still working on it. I have my own anger issues and temper I need to square away so that my children can see that just because one is angry they do not need to lash out. That one can be furious and still be civil and kind. One does not need to yell or throw things to feel better, that one isnt mine, that is Mr. T's problem, a favorite of RAT's to emulate. I am working on being a better mom, I am convinced this will make me happier and healthier and in turn giving us happier healthier children. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting a Little Heavy for a minute.

So, while filling out MAT's school paperwork, we signed him up for Kindergarten last week, I stumbled upon a conundrum when it asked his race. Clearly he Caucasian, descended of MANY European countries on my side alone. And on is fathers side he is Hungarian and Italian, that comes from Mr. T's Mother. Mr. T's father is Puerto Rican. This made Mr. T's forms very easy to fill out, says Grandma T. "He was always marked Hispanic, or I wrote in Puerto Rican. He was more Puerto Rican than any percentage of any other ethnicity." Simple enough, but...is it really that simple?

Enter the now present "multiracial" box. Perfect! A box I can check, my children are in fact multiracial. Funnily enough until I got married I never thought of our relationship as being interracial. Mr. T was just a really cool guy who I fell in love with and wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. His race never even came into my thinking, though it did come into others minds and out of their mouths, but we wont go into that here. That is not what this is about. I have noticed, in most cases, "multiracial" is associated with people of strictly 1 black and 1 white parent.  Or I suppose it is associated with couples who look "more different" than my  husband and I do. Is it correct for me to check the "multiracial" box for my children? I think I should, so I do. And I am not going to lie, it gots a strange look from the woman who took my paperwork at the school, from the speech therapist who MAT sees once a week on his first day, even the receptionist at the doctors office. Clearly they see "multiracial" marked they expect something much different than my children.

So what is the rule? My children are 3/4 various European descents, and 1/4 Puerto Rican which puts them in the Hispanic realm. This, and I could be wrong though I don't think I am, to me says they are multiracial. Honestly they are probably more Puerto Rican, percentage wise, than they are of any other single European descent.  But we don't count the Scotch, Irish, Italian, Hungarian, German, French, English, whatever independently by percentage. They are all Caucasian so they are counted together and thusly Caucasian is the higher percentage. BUT What % does one have to be to claim themselves as any specific race or ethnicity? Is it a personal choice? Is it your outward appearance?

 If it were based solely on appearance, they would both be categorized as Caucasian. There is no doubt in my mind. They have blue eyes and are fair skinned. One has brown hair and the other has blond. They are "average white kids" by most anyone's standards. But the question of  percentage still looms. I mark them as multiracial and Hispanic and Caucasian whenever I can, but when only given one choice I pick multiracial, and when that isn't an option I usually leave it blank, but I want to mark Hispanic.

Might seem silly to many people, but it is a very real question for me...for us. How I answer this question could have very real repercussions down the road. Say for scholarships, grants, college applications, these are very real situations where I do not want to have answered this question wrong and cost my children funds for education. Not to mention the irrational fear that some form of segregation might someday return and how i marked a box when my children were little could take them way from me. I understand that it is irrational and HIGHLY unlikely, I REALLY get that.  But I bet Americans of Japanese descent never thought their country would imprison them for their ethnic heritage during war time either.

It is so silly, one would think the boxes wouldn't and shouldn't matter, but when you are talking about the future of your children, it makes a big difference. I normally do not speak so much on race, because honestly I don't think about it that often, but with the school sign up and the census, I have been thinking on it often. I suppose I will have to contact a government office to hear how they would label my children. Because we all know what a headache improperly filling out government paperwork can be and they ALWAYS have the right answer. That is sarcasm people, but in all honesty I bet someone will have the answer, somewhere, I just have to find them.

The Saga Continues.

You all remember the two very LARGE hole that Neighbor and Mr. T put in the yard looking for the waterline last fall, right? Well I am sad to say they are still there. But the past weekend brought some good fortune and it also brought Mr. T home for the weekend, the first he has not been working since sometime in March. Due to his lack of being home and then his fortune of being here all weekend, the man was VERY  productive.

Saturday 9 am. Mr. T comes down from his sleep in dressed and ready to move. I ask what's with the clothes. He mumbles something about stump grinding...and Neighbor would be here in a few minutes. Um, ok, great! This way we (I) will no longer have to worry about ruining mower by hitting a stump. Wonderful. He wasn't kidding about the speediness of the arrival. Neighbor was here within the hour and the grinding began. In about an hour and a half I believe they took out 12 or 13 stumps. There are still 2 in the pasture and they missed one in the yard, but with such a vast improvement, I am not complaining.

I knew the big holes in the yard were not just bothering me, and I was right. Mr.T had a plan all along. He has been, unknowingly to me, searching for a trencher to rent locally. Neighbor mentioned, in passing, why not check with other neighbor's, like maybe one down the road specifically who runs a geothermal business and uses trenchers daily.

Light bulb. Mr. T hopped in the truck and off he went to introduce himself and rent the trencher. He returned about 20 minutes later. He said that they are very nice and the guy woudl be down in an hour, and when he mentioned "renting it" Geo-man said, "no worries, I will be down in an hour." Me thinks we might just have the very best neighbors ever. Really. Mr. T's plan only included trenching from hole to hole, not from house to pump, he was sure we found the only break in the line, but more on that later.

Geo-man, who's name I do know, arrived and checked all kinds of things out. He and Mr. T walked the property looked at our heating system, and talked about a nearly free geothermal option (but more on that later), He also helped us locate our septic, which is very much appreciated. So after about a half hour of wondering and chatting they got to work and in 15 minutes we had a very long trench from one hole to another. We thanked Geo-man and on his way he went.

About that time Neighbor came back, this time with the tiller on the back of his tractor. He had already roughed up the new garden sight earlier in the week and was back to make it beautiful, which he did. It is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to get out and get dirty and plant things. Sadly we are still a few weeks away from planting things without frost resistance. But those lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, and broccoli WILL go out this week.

All this was done by 2 pm and Mr. T, after a trip to the hardware store, was happily instaling the waterline. I had water in the barn by 5 Saturday evening. It was beautiful, for about 20 seconds, until Mr. T realized the total lack of pressure indicated that there was another break in the line. Back to the digging and working, tomorrow.

Sunday 9 am. I wake from my sleep in and Mr. T greets me at the bottom of the stairs. "I am going to go dig, ok?"  Of course I respond something along the lines of whatever...mumble mumble.  Out he goes. Dug a new trench, BY HAND, from the house to the first hole, punched a hole in the foundation block and ran a new waterline. At this point he was still convinced that the break was in the line from the house to the first hole. MY guess was that it was right at the pump, because it is in the barn and under concrete. After the new line was installed and hooked up. I was proven to be right.
Mr. T came in from trying out the new line and said " I HATE it when you're right." And then trudged back out to dig a hole under the barn. I replied, " I usually LOVE it when I am right, but in this case I HATE it too! I love you! You're the greatest!"

One more hole later and a new connection under the pump and VOILA! We have running water in the barn with a frost free hydrant! Thrilled! Water, and water pressure and conveniently located. Mr. T also put a T in the line so we can install another hydrant out of the barn for the garden and outdoor duck pen. I am still going to be carrying buckets to water the ducks in the winter, BUT I will only be carrying them 20 or 30 feet not 200. And I will be carrying them through the barn, and NOT 2+ feet of snow. Huzzah! I am VERY happy!

I think Neighbor's skid steer is going magically appear this afternoon and fill in ALL the holes.Again, YAY! No more fighting to keep little children out of the holes. And maybe if we are very lucky, we will also get the house graded today, probably not going to happen, but one can hope. Grading the house and building the new duck house were actually on the docket for last weekend, but the skid steer had other obligations so we rolled with and it ended up being better than expected.

If we can just find someone with a jackhammer to get rid of these pesky front steps we will be golden...of course then we HAVE to build the deck... more on these things later.