Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is the day! (I think, I hope)

I've been having contractions starting from about 4 yesterday afternoon (light ones then) to somewhat stronger ones in the evening and during the night. They've been averaging about 3 - 5 minutes apart lasting a minute or a little less. At around 3:30 I got up for something to eat and they didn't slow down any, but they aren't lasting quite as long. I'm SOOOO sleepy tho, thank goodness I got a bit of a nap yesterday afternoon. I'm using the dandy little Contraction Timer program for my palm to keep track of my contractions. Makes that part of tracking things so much easier! Still trying to let the midwife and hubby sleep as long as possible (of course in two different houses in two different parts of the state! Whew, just wanted to clear that up!). Can't decide if 7 hours is enough sleep for the midwife as she was planning to go to sleep at 10. Hmm. DH on the other hand didn't come to bed till after midnight so he'll need a little more time if I can manage it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ooooh baby baby

I'm still infanticipating... Things are good, I'm still able to get around just fine, I can get down on the floor no prob, up is a bit more of a challenge, but not bad. Still somehow managing to keep up with housework, taking care of the kids, Geo's homeschool, and my school. But I'm mighty ready for this baby to be here already! My ribs are hurting from the baby pressing against them, it's sometimes hard to get comfortable when I'm trying to sleep at night, and I've been fighting to get completely over a cold I caught a couple of weeks ago. The midwives say that the baby's head is still quite floaty and hasn't started dropping yet so it'll probably be another week or two. I was hoping I could somehow, through the powers of suggestion (and I've been suggesting very loudly) convince the baby to shave some time off of the 40 week duration thing, but apparently this baby has other ideas (want's to keep up with the Jonses of his/her brothers and sister, being fashionably late by a few days). But I know it won't be much longer now. Just have to somehow manage to stay patient and ignore any "What!? you're still pregnant?" comments which will invariably come my way in the next couple of weeks. I've already made it through the "Are you sure you're not having twins?" comments so this would just be gravy, lol.

My school progress

For awhile it was slow going because I let myself get bogged down in the grammar module (so many rules to try to remember!), but I finally got through all the reading, zipped through a computer module, and on to medical terminology. Then after that my pace picked up considerably and now I'm on module 9 (grammar was 3 btw) and having a blast. Every module now has sentence clips where I can practice listening to medical jargon and trying to type it. I am getting better and certain grammar rules which keep cropping up are getting nice and ingrained in my head through all the repetition. I almost feel like a detective sometimes, especially when I'm faced with an odd-sounding word that I can not find in my medical dictionary or in Google... Then I'm forced to get creative to try to figure out what else it could possibly be. It's fun. I had set a goal of one module a week, but I'm finding that I can get through at least 2 so that's nice. I know things will really slllloooowww down after the baby's born, but for now, to help keep my mind off of wishing he/she was here already, I have my school which is a whole lotta fun :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Get your ePatterns here!

http://www.sensibility.com/images/blogheader5.jpg

Remember the graceful, flowing gowns from such movies as Sense and Sensibility, Titanic, and Emma? Well, they can be part of your wardrobe (if you know how to sew, if not learn!) thanks to a very cool website called (aptly enough) Sense and Sensibility. There are so many awesomely awesome patterns there for the most feminine and lovely dresses ever and I have long drooled over and dreamed of owning one of the Regency patterns for my own. Well, now it may be within my reach as Jennie (the owner) has added a new product branch to her site... ePatterns! And their price is very reasonable. Go check 'em out, drool over the many offerings and make out your Christmas wish list. I know I will :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Full House...

For the last 2 weeks we've had a FULL house; DH's mom, sister and 2 kids, aunt, 2 cousins and 1 friend, and another aunt, uncle and cousin. At highest capacity we had 16 people staying in our house! Yikes. The friend went home last week so now it's just 15 which is still quite a few sardines to squeeze into our modest 3-bedroom. We and our 3 are crammed into our bedroom (older 2 sleeping in the closet, lol), DH's mom, sister and kids are in Geo's room, aunt & uncle are in Gigi's room, other aunt, her two kids and cousin (from other aunt and uncle) on the floor in the living room. It really hasn't been too terrible except that the first week we were almost all hit with a nasty stomach virus. I think our nephew brought it with him because he was sick early Sunday morning (they got here Friday night). Then Monday night Gigi and I both were dealing with it, then DH, etc., and one by one the dominos began to fall. It was not a fun time between not feeling great, laundry mountains every morning to deal with (bleugh!), and having to try to keep the house somewhat moving (washing dishes, feeding people who felt like eating). I really hope to not repeat that any time soon!

Hurricaine Gustav had the majority of our company in a tither because it was heading straight for their island (Grand Cayman), and with Ivan still a recent and terrible memory, they were right to be a little concerned. But thankfully it is just a category 2 (at the moment) and, according to our favorite carribbean hurricaine tracking website, the winds were high, but no storm surge (or very little) and limited damage to buildings and vegetation. They seem to have weathered it well. It still remains to be seen whether or not the relatives will be able to leave Sunday morning as planned or if they'll have to wait for flights to get up and running again.

School starts on Monday. I'm not at all sure I'm ready, but that's the plan for the moment. I registered Geo for 2nd grade and was very pleased indeed to find out that the local education department will let me email his attendance this year instead of driving or mailing it in. YAY!!!

I had quite a bit of success reclaiming images from my SILs messed-up drive. I didn't get nearly all the pics she had had on there, but according to a computer shop she had taken it to, the pictures were not retrievable so I guess I showed them! I used PhotoRec to get as many pictures as it would find for me and now, at least, my SIL has pics of her daughter when she was a brand-new baby (they were lost before), and lots of other pics which were supposedly "gone." I just wish I was able to get more... Oh well, some is better than none!

Next on the docket is to do one last pass of my hard drive (probably with PhotoRec) to make sure I didn't miss anything, then reformat it and begin the rebuilding process. After that I need to retrieve stuff from our backup drive, then work on DHs crashed hard drive (likely a casualty of our network "bug"). Then (or maybe sooner) I'll set up backups to make sure my data doesn't get lost again! People, for your sake and because I wouldn't wish this on anyone, please back up your files!!!

My school progress is slow but sure. I was about to start on Module 5 when my books arrived so now I'm doing the book readings that I missed for Module 3. It's all about grammar and it's an awful lot of stuff for my brain to absorb. I've read through it all, highlighted lots of things and now I'm typing my notes into my handy-dandy KeyNote software. It will be much easier to find things there, if I need to review, than to try to find things in the book! Then I'll be back on to Module 5 (with bits of Mod 4 here and there when I feel like it. It's all about computers and so far has been booorrrrinnng so we'll see). We had a Medical Transcription trivia constest on our last Thursday night chat and I came "this close" to winning against an advanced student so that made me feel pretty good. It was right that she won over me tho, it would not have done for a wet-behind-the-ears newbie to beat her! (But I did come close, lol). With all my computer problems I haven't been able to practice my Colemak keyboard layout lately so for now I'm still only qwerty. Oh well, maybe soon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crash!

Went my data hard drive. Grrrr! It was working fine one minute and the next it was giving me an error that a file was corrupt or something so that I couldn't access the drive. Then when I rebooted, Windows told me the drive wasn't formatted, would I like to format the drive, Yes/No. Nooooooo!!!!! So all day I've been researching ways to get to my files that I'm sure are all still there. Not sure what happened. I don't think there was a power surge or blip, the computer wasn't dropped or otherwise damaged... All I can think is maybe a virus did this, but I do have an AV program on my computer and it's up-to-date. Sigh. The drive is listed in the Windows Explorer tree but doesn't do squat when I click on it. Just gives me the "not formatted" error.

So I'm running a free program called TestDisk and it has finally told me that my boot sector is bad. I'm in the process of trying to repair the boot sector. It also told me that my backup boot sector is ok so if this doesn't work I'll try to copy the good boot sector over the bad, see if that works. I just want my files, people! A word of caution to the wise (let them who have ears hear!), please back up your data! I was "this close" to copying a zip backup of my important files to a dvd when this happened. Wish I had gotten around to this sooner! If I lose everything on my disk I will be very discouraged. I did backup the documents a few months ago, but I've made a lot of changes to files and created new files since then, I would really hate to lose those. I'm praying that this works!

For backup, I'm using Back2Zip to backup my important files to .zip every night (or at least once a week!) and Cobian Backup (or I will be when/if I get my files back!) to back up my zipped files to an off-site FTP server. We do have a backup disk, but it is somewhat out of commission as well at the moment.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Moving Thunderbird

I tried just backing up my profile and then replacing everything in the new profile folder with everything from the old profile folder, but that didn't work. Finally (and for future reference) what did end up working was the advice given here. I copied my old profile into Documents & Settings/user/Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles, then opened up the profiles.ini file and redirected it to look at the name of my old profile. Then I was able to delete the new profile. Et voila! It's all there :) Whew!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dry night

This morning I heard noise in the bathroom and I just thought it was one of the older kids going potty, but DH told me that Eli was trying to go potty. So I got up and sure enough, he was standing on the step stool, turning on the light. I helped him get out of his one-piece jammies and took his DRY(!!) diaper off and he ran over to the toilet. He wants to be able to pee standing on the ground (not the step stool) just like his big brother so he tried and tried, but I told him he's not tall enough yet. So finally he listened to me and stood up on the step stool. The last wet diaper he's had was Thursday morning. Not bad!

The other funny thing that he did this morning was to go around singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," except he only says "twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle" but it's very obvious what he's singing by the tune and timing.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

To reformat or not to reformat, that is the question.

My computer has some major issues, possibly virus related, we're trying to rule that out (i.e. I can't load McAffee, Adaware crashes when I run it, the keyboard layout that I installed is gone and I can't reinstall, can't do a windows update...). If DH can't find the cause, I'll probably be facing a reformat tomorrow. Lovely.

A good day

Eli did really well today in the potty training arena. I put him in regular undies for church and took some dipes and extra pants in case of an "oops." I took him potty before Sabbath School and then again just before church. I also had to take him out a couple more times during the service and once after church, before potluck. He peed every time and pooped a couple of times. He kept his diaper dry during his nap and then sat (for a long time) on the potty after he got up and ended up peeing and pooping a very nice amount (isn't it funny how we moms can get so excited about stuff like this?). Then he kept his pants dry and clean the rest of the afternoon. Oh! and he kept his diaper dry last night too. I hope tomorrow goes as well.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hiccups

I noticed the baby hiccuping for the first time yesterday :) I've also in the last 2 or 3 days felt the presence of relaxin which I am not too happy about. My hips and joints (especially when I sit too long) get to really hurting! It's about right I guess, the first 3 months are, in a word, Bleugh!, the middle 3 are smooth sailing, the last 3 are pain riddled months with decreased mobility thrown in to boot. Oh well, it's all for a good cause!

2 steps forward, 1 step back

Yesterday morning Eli woke up with a dry diaper which I thought was a pretty big deal. But then he proceeded to poop on the floor later in the day so a big step back. Today he had one #2 accident (in underwear this time, whew!), but one really good on-the-big-potty success and he's been dry consistently during the day for the past few days so we are making progress. He also does well when we're out and lets me/us know when he needs to go potty. Potty training is not for the weak of heart, let me tell ya!

Computers, bah Humbug!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely sure that I could survive without my computer (well, I might be able to, but there would be some serious withdrawals), but sometimes they get on my last nerve. Last night after a reboot, my computer got to the black "loading Windows" screen and stopped, said there was an error with a file in the system32\config folder, "corrupt or missing." Uh-oh, that didn't sound good. I didn't really know what to do so I tried calling DH who was working, but he didn't answer his phone. I popped in the Win2000 disk and attempted a repair, but it didn't seem to do any good. DH worked on it some when he got home, but I still had to do one more fix this morning before it would finally boot again. But a lot of my drivers were gone so they had to be reinstalled. Our internet was down for a couple of hours this morning so I couldn't use that to aid in reinstalling drivers. Plus, there was something wrong with my computer and even after the internet came back up, I still couldn't get online. Finally, after powering down the modem and router for a loooong time and shutting the kids' and my computer down completely and restarting, internet was back. But there have been other weird gliches and it might take me into next week to get them all ironed out. Grrr. If I had the money, I'd be gettin' me a mac!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A messy day

Every so often I have "one of those days" when messes just abound, like some kind of invisible mess machine gets delivered to my house and I don't know it till I'm in the middle of the myriad of messes. It seemed like the messes today would never end.

Let's see, I had to contend with 5 or 6 (yikes!) "steenkie" diapers, most of them Eli told me about right away so they weren't ground in, I could just dump the contents into the potty, clean him up in the tub and we were off and running again. One time, though, it kind of squished onto him so it was a bigger chore, but the worst one of all was the one he tried to clean up himself. Groan, sometimes independence is a good things, other times, however... anyway, he took his undies off, dunked them into the toilet, managed to get poo all over the toilet seat, the hall floor and even his hands and face (GROSS!). It took me quite awhile to get that mess cleaned up.

Then there was the flower water that got spilled not once, but twice on the family-room end table, Gigi's supper that got dumped on the floor, Geo's juice that got dumped all over the table, his chair and the floor by Gigi, milk dribbled on the floor when Gigi was mixing it (that was this morning, forgot about that one), something, probably applesauce trailing across the kitchen floor, the mess from Eli dropping the potty as he was on his way down the hall to "dumpit."

I'll toss in the crumby dining room floor and the soaking wet bathroom floor for a bonus. I'm sure there are more, but they are all just starting to run together.
You ever have one of those days? I can't possibly be the only one... can I? Kinda glad the day is done, I can start tomorrow fresh and hopefully it won't be "one of those days."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gj;ukd... I mean typing on a new layout

I've been doing a bit of reading on alternate keyboard layouts and how they can increase speed and productivity while cutting down on errors and reducing hand fatigue. I compared a bunch of alternatives including the second most popular Dvorak layout, and after much thought, I've decided to try Colemak. I don't think I'll go cold turkey as I would like to retain my qwerty ability; ideally I'd like to be able to type in both formats as needed. I do expect my qwerty speed to go down as a result, but in the long run I think it'll be worth the effort in light of my future career in medical transcription and all the typing I'll be doing. So far this is my first attempt at typing in Colemak and it's taken me forever to do, but I can also see it's getting a little easier as I go along. And my fingers are doing a lot less traveling (my backspace key is getting a workout, that's for sure; trying to get used to the new "backspace key" [the old Caps Lock key]. I'll have to remap the Caps Lock key to a seldom used key (such as "right Windows key" or "Scroll lock.") I'll let you know how it goes.

Added 7/30/2008... I just tested my speed and was able to type an agonizingly slow 18 words per minute, but this was without looking at the keys (99% of the time). I'd love to see it up to 30 wpm by next week. We'll see.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last night...

...was not a very good night. At 3 a.m. I woke up to whimpers and cries coming from Gigi's room. I went in to investigate and she said "my tummy hurts!" I picked her up and shuttled her across the hall to the bathroom in case she needed to empty her stomach in the toilet. She didn't want to and didn't want to, ad infinitum.... but finally she gave in and did. I was hoping and praying that that would be it and she'd be able to go back to sleep, but no sooner had I gotten myself settled in bed and had been comfortable for about 10 minutes than it started up again. I was the one to deal with it since DH had to go to work today and he needed his rest for that. I can always (theortecially) get a nap but he can't. So every 10-15 minutes after getting her and myself settled, I'd hear the whines again and get up to go help her clean up when she was done, give her water to swish out her mouth... It went like this from 3 till when I finally got up around 6:45 (Eli woke up and said he was "stinky" so I had a diaper to change). I got 4-5 hours of sleep last night and I'm really really tired today! My brain is in a fog. I've already established that we're having a nap time this morning, any time now really, I was just making sure that Gigi's stomach could tolerate it first. She seems to be doing fine and might even say she doesn't need a nap, but I know better! She was very willing last night to agree to a nap, that's for sure. I really hope that Eli can be convinced to take a nap too so I can get some sleep. I may go in Geo's room instead of my room as I hear every toss and turn coming from Eli's crib and it negatively affects my sleep.

Oh the joys!

I've started potty training Eli and it's going slow. The first day we had both #1 and #2 accidents, yesterday he didn't have any pee accidents (I don't think) but had about 4-5 pea-soup poop accidents in his underwear (the kind that dribbles down legs and trickles down on the floor/carpet, whatever). Yuck! He was so hesitant to even sit on his little blue potty that I finally resorted to bribing rewarding him with "sweets" when he does manage to do anything on the potty. He gets about 3x as many sweets for #2 as for #1 since the former is less frequent and also he seems to be more hesitant in that department. So.... this morning after I got him up I had him sit on the potty and, whatd'ya know, he pooped! A small pile, but it was something. I was very happy, clapped my hands, got real animated and gave him a small handful of sweets (raisins, carob chips, stuff like that) as a reward. I really do hope that starts a nice trend in that direction. He also went pee in his potty all by himself this morning, without my having to remind him so that was pretty cool too. I saw him in the kitchen trying to move a stool over to the counter where the "sweets" are kept so he could reward himself. I didn't catch on right away, but finally did see his deposit in the potty and paid him his dues. He's keeping dry for at least an hour between pees, maybe more, so he's doing well with that. I'm hoping to have him mostly trained by the end of this week. We'll see. I will still probably put him in pull-ups for going out, but for now, at least at home, he's in big boy pants and seems to be finally catching on.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Potty Training?

I'm being very lazy about potty training this time around. Eli has shown little signs like he might be getting ready, but I just wasn't ready for the accidents that come with training so I've been procrastinating. But today I decided to put some "big boy pants" on him right after I changed a stinky diaper (so hopefully he won't be doing any of that in his underwear) and he stayed dry for about an hour or so. He wanted to go outside with Daddy so I told him he had to pee in the potty first so we went to do that. He decided he's not ready to pee like Daddy yet (standing up) and wanted his potty seat. When I sat him down, he tried and, sure enough, was able to go.Woo hoo, that's my boy! Now, I'm not harboring any grand ideas that this is some huge milestone or anything because he's gone in the potty before, but it's the longest I think he's kept his diapers dry in a long time, and he's always peed in his underwear in the past so dry undies is a good thing. I'll take what I can get!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home (not) Alone

Geo started telling me yesterday afternoon that he was feeling like he was getting sick and sure enough, in the middle of the night, both he and Gigi work up with sore throats. Geo asked for some Tylenol to help the pain, but Gigi just went back to sleep. I decided it would be best to keep them home from church today (don't want to expose all the other kids) so it's just me and the kids today till DH gets back from teaching his Kindergarten Sabbath-School class. I'm sure he's planning to stay for church too. Eli is entertaining himself trying to sing along with some Kid's Time Praise videos and the older two are off being creative with the play food. I'll probably read their lessons a little later and review their memory verses... It won't be quite the same as Sabbath School, but... oh well, I can only do what I can do.


On at OT school note, my books came Thursday! That was just about 2 weeks from when I joined MT Advantage :o) Not bad, not bad at all. They came just at the right time because the couple of days before were spent decluttering the bonus room (slash office/school room/craft, toy and other storage/laundry launchepad/ironing station/filing room...) which was a tremendously huge job, but it's done now :) well, mostly and it's SO much nicer. But I'm kind of glad my books didn't come earlier in the week because I would have wanted to delve into them instead of cleaning which was very very necessary! I'd like to continue on in this fashion (cleaning) so that the house is presentable for the baby when he or she arrives in November. The bonus room was the biggest hurdle so the rest of it should be a piece of cake, right? LOL Here's a pic of my nicely arranged storage closet shelf complete with MT books :o) Notice how nothing is spilling out all over the floor in front of the shelves (like they used to). Everything fits on the shelves and if there ever gets to be too much, then it'll be time for another purge! I think I might go thru all the boxes in 6 months or so and see if there's anything else I can let go.

Back to my books... there's a set of 1000 flashcards of medical terminology (words, prefixes, roots, suffixes...) that I have to have learned by the end of the course, so I've started plugging them into my handy-dandy jMemorize program. I have about 120 keyed in so far and that was just in about a day so I think I could have them all in in a month or less (I hope!). Interseting medical terminology tip of the day (and something I remember from A&P): acetabulum (hip socket) literally means "little vinegar cup."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flashcard update

I did some snooping online and learned about the Leitner System for learning things for the short as well as the long term. Basically what it does is it remembers the cards you get wrong and you see them more often until you start to get them right. Then the ones you get right come back again in a week or two or three to see if you still know them (refresh and strengthen your memory). I found several freeware or open source programs that were based on the Leitner method and after trying out 3 or 4 have decided that my favorite is jMemorize.

Pros:

Free
Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows
Can arrange flashcards in categories
Text formatting on cards (very simple tho, no highlighting)
Attach images to cards
Has nice charts to keep track of progress

Cons
:

Doesn't allow sound attachments
Doesn't allow highlighting of text

All in all, not too many drawbacks. There's another one called Memory Lifter which I think I will use to practice typing commonly misspelled words. Memory Lifter has a function for adding sound where you can either add a sound file or you can record a sound, so I can just speak them into the microphone and off I go. The con for me with Memory Lifter is that it makes you type out every answer, doesn't just take your word for it, but that will actually be a pro in regard to my misspelled words list.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm in school!

Yup, after years and years in the real world, I'm finally in school again and lovin' it. Uh-huh, I'm a nerd, a bookworm, what can I say, I love school, or probably more accurately, learning. And I've never stopped learning, but now I'm officially enrolled. I'm going to be a Medical Transcriptionist when I grow up, lol.

After much research and indecision, trying to decide whether I'd go with the cheepest of the "big 3" MT schools, or choose another school which seemed to offer as much and more, if not the designation of being one of the "big 3." In the end, due to prompt replies to all of my emails and honest answers to all of my "difficult" questions, not to mention an awsomely awsome discount which brought it within range of the other school I was considering, I chose MT Advantage (Medical Transcription Advantage Career Center) and I'm so far very happy with my choice. The school boasts a 100% job placement rate which is very encouraging and so far, in working thru the lessons, I really feel that there is a lot there for me to learn. I feel that I'll come out with a lot of knowledge and practice that will translate well to the real word. It will probably take me at least a year to complete, what with homeschool, a new baby and the possibility of my having to pick up some part-time-at-home work while DH is in school, not to mention just staying on top of the running of a household... Sometimes I think I bit off too much, but I'm having such fun with this program and the good thing about it is that it's a do-at-your-own-pace course and they are fairly flexible about how long it takes you to finish. Right now I'm just trying to perfect my grammar, spelling, and my attention to detail (or occasional lack thereof), finish a few non-required, but helpful computer classes and improve my typing speed... I just found my old Harbrace College Handbook so I'm going to look thru it and hopefully pick up some helpful pointers in the grammar department. I don't think I'm horrible, but I think I definitely could use some improvement. And MTs generally have impecable grammar and spelling.

For note taking I'm using a dandy little feeware app called KeyNote. It's a wonderful little notes program that supports tabs and an unlimited tree structure within each tab. It's marvelous; I'm sad it's not being updated anymore, but I'm really mostly fine with it how it is.

Also, I downloaded a flashcard freebie called CueCard which will help me drill myself either online or via the printed version of the flashcards (will do either, or so it says).

So far I'm on Module 4 of 30 that are in the course and I've been given the green light to start Mod 5 if I want (since Mod 4 is about computers and is not graded or required, but helpful and so far [for me] boring as all get out). I'll have to skip back to Mod 3 when I get my books (in 3-5 weeks, sooner I hope!), but at least I can keep up the forward momentum. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.

20 down, 20 more to go

Weeks that is. Actually I'll be 21 weeks tomorrow so slightly less. I made it to the halfway mark! Things are going well with this pregnancy so far. A few weeks ago I was having early morning mid-back pain that would force me up at 6:00 a.m. or so. But that has recently eased up, not sure what has changed, but I'm not going to complain! My belly is getting to that slightly uncomfortable, makes-it-hard-to-breath stage, but the baby isn't so big yet that it's kicking my ribs or my bladder so I guess I can be thankful for small blessings. Also, thank God, the relaxin hasn't kicked in yet. I hope it waits for a good while! The baby is probably close to 12" long now and wiggles now and then. I love the wiggling part :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sore Throat finally gone!

I'd had a sore throat for the last week or so and couldn't shake it. Normally all I have to do is up my water intake, suck on a zinc lozenge, and try to get extra sleep and that does the trick. But not this time. After a day or two it started getting very sore on my left tonsil and it hurt like crazy when I stuck my tongue out. So I got this wacky idea to "paint" my tonsil with hydrogen peroxide. I put some on a cotton swab and dabbed it on a couple of times. It burned for awhile and I drank a bunch of water to try to dilute the burning. And here comes my word of warning... I don't think that was the best thing to do. My tonsil did indeed stop hurting initially, but the hurt came back and it seemed to be worse and I think it may have caused it to last longer than it would have on its own. So next time I won't be doing that!

So my next weapon was... da da da daahhhh! garlic. My dad suggested a garlic/tomato sandwich so I diced up a clove, put it on bread with mayo on it, then slices of tomato, salted. It wasn't too bad, but it was spicy and stroooonnnnngg. But it did seem that after each dose of garlic, the soreness abated for awhile or felt a little less severe. I had 2 sandwiches one day, none the next, 1 the next (I think, as I recall). Anyway, it was almost gone yesterday and today I truly feel free. Hooray! So glad to be done with that! Oh, I forgot, I also tried gargling with cayenne in water which ended up being too spicy for me, but I also put it on my food which did seem to have a positive effect.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Medical Transcription

I've recently gotten a bit of a nudge from mi Papa RE: taking a medical transcription course online so I've been looking into it. I stumbled upon a terrific blog devoted to MT and have been having great fun reading thru the first few posts. It does rather sound like a lot of work (the coursework, the actual work work), but I also think it's something that might be right down my alley. I'm interested in things medical if just from a distance (couldn't actually be a nurse or anything like that), I type decently enough (I was the typesetter for my college newspaper for a year; incidentally I learned on a very old manual typewriter in eastern Africa), don't mind sitting on my computer for hours on end and have a love of the English language. Check back in a year or two and we'll see what comes of it all, but for now, I'm having fun investigating the prospect of it all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Too tired for words (no not me)

The other day l'il bub was woken up from his nap by dad because he'd "slept long enough." Then dad and the older two went to run a quick errand and left Eli at home with me. Well, after a few minutes things got REALLY quiet and I went to investigate. I walked into the family room and this is what I found:


Then going around to check the other side of him:

Nothing sweeter than sleeping babies. Cracks me up the position he chose to cat-nap.

Projects

Here are a couple of my fairly recent projects that I hadn't had a chance to blog about yet. The first one is the bible cover I made out of old jeans for Geo's 7th birthday. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night the night before finishing it. Gigi has already requested one, but if I do, I'll start it months in advance, lol.


The next is the Cinderella Topsy Turvy doll (a la Jean Greenhowe) that I made for Gigi's 5th birthday. I'm really happy with how she turned out. Still need to make some little flowers to go around her bun, but otherwise she's done.


Here are a couple that Geo made for his sister's birthday. The bunny finger puppet was knit in the round using the magic loop method (ears knit by me, whiskers added by me), The pink bunny was knit in the round (magic loop) too, I think I did the ears for that one too, but pretty much everything else he did.

Sleepy Days, Restless Nights

I've had a bit of a revelation that if I don't get enough sleep I can't function the next day (now why is this news? LOL). Anyway, I guess the revelation was that I need to make sure we eat lunch between 12 and 1, eat supper at 5 and have kids in bed before 8 so that I can have some time with DH before I need to hit the sack between 9 and 9:30. One of the reasons for this early of a bedtime is that my back is starting to really bother me in the morning (mid to upper back). No matter when I go to sleep, I wake up between 6 and 7 and can't stay in bed past that time because my back hurts so bad. It stops hurting when I get up so it's a very good alarm clock. Also it's getting much more uncomfortable to sleep at night and I do quite a bit of tossing and turning till I can finally fall asleep. But if I don't get enough sleep the night before, it sets me up for complete exhaustion and inability and total lack of desire to do any of my routines and as a result the house falls apart. SO... this is the new plan in hopes that I'll be able to maintain a certain amount of functionality. We can hope. Next stop, relaxin and aching joints. I hope that stop isn't for awhile yet (like 2 or 3 more months at least!).

Revamped My Routines

Awhile back I decided that my visual side really needed a bit of a crutch when it came to my FlyLady control journal which lists my Morning, Afternoon and Before Bed routines as well as weekly chores and space for To-Dos and the like. I had it to where I liked it, ... for awhile anyway. But I've decided that it's time to simplify my routines a little so I redid my control journal. Here's a snapshot of my Morning Routine:
It sits in a sheet protector and hangs on my fridge where I mark off each task as it's completed with a dry erase marker. I even made the kids their own routine sheets (great for when they actually look at them, lol).

Biblical Womanhood

For awhile I've known about Crystal's (of MoneySavingMom blog fame) website about Biblical Womanhood and in the past I never gave it more than a cursory glance. But I have had the opportunity to read a few of her recent entries and I'm totally and completely impressed by her maturity in the light of her tender age (in her 20s with 2 little ones). I probably have 10 years or so on her and I feel that I am way behind where she's at. But I feel God is leading me to be more deliberate in my attempts to live out His directive for my life (Titus 2:3-5 talks about how older women are supposed to teach younger women [where I find myself at the moment] how to be sober, love their husbands, their children, be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands so that the word of God be not blasphemed). I feel that this is my true and highest calling and I will walk in faith as I attempt to do the best I can with God's help and pray He fills in all my inadequacies (of which there are many).

Part of Biblical womanhood includes modesty in dress and speech. I have felt a calling toward more modest dress for awhile now, but have no means to achieve that end at the moment. I would like to wear more skirts, but for now my swelling belly regulates me to whatever I have in the maternity department which is mostly pants and shorts. But after the baby, I'd love to get into making more of my own clothes, lots of pretty, feminine skirts and simple tops to match, some pretty and functional aprons for working around the house (and eating, lol) to keep my clothes tidy. It will of course be more practical when/if I'm able to cull a good portion of the extras that have been hanging around this house and the last like a millstone around my neck. I'm working on decluttering a little each day to achieve that eventual goal. I really would love to live a simple life... no TV (or very limited), just a few good toys for the kids, fewer clothes for everyone (means less laundry, water, soap, work for me...) and just the things we need or love allowed in our house. Someday...


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Happy Father's day to all you deserving dads out there and most especially to my DH and my dad. The kids made cards for Daddy today and I found a simple little poem for Elliot to repeat after me and pulled it into Audacity to edit out all my prompts. I think it came out cute if fairly unintelligible. The text is as follows:

Daddy, I love you
For all that you do.

I'll kiss you and hug you
'Cause you love me, too.

You feed me and help me
Learn how to pray.

So smile 'cause I love you
On this Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm baaaaaaccckkk!

Yeah, ok, I've been absent for quite awhile now, about 3 months, and in my defense, wasn't feeling great for most of those months. Why you might ask? Well let me go ahead and spill the beans all over the place.

Very shortly after I stopped blogging in March, dh and I found out that we were expecting baby #4. When I got a positive within seconds, it was almost too much to be believed. Dh and I were still sort of living in the fantasy that my cycle was just being a little crazy this month, it would come. But it didn't and, well, after the initial shock of it all wore off and we had mulled over what bad (in our minds) timing this was to be having another baby, we decided to leave it in God's hands and accept it as a blessing that God's Word says that it is. Now that I'm past the almost constant feeling-like-I-majorly-overate-and-need-to-relieve-my-stomach feeling, I'm actually really looking forward to the rest of the pregnancy and for the next addition of our not-so-little-anymore family.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Imitation = Flattery; the ER

Yesterday I heard Eli "do-do-doing" in the kitchen, kind of singing a song and I happened to glance in there to see what he was doing exactly and there he was with a piece of pvc pipe (I use it to wind my yarn) and was pretending to play it like a flute. And he was holding it fairly correctly too. If I didn't think he'd move or clam up, I'd have gotten a pic, but it didn't last long. It was very cute while it lasted tho.

At some point in the evening on Tuesday we noticed that Eli wasn't using his right hand like normal. Geo was the one to pinpoint the cause of Eli's crying, not sure why I didn't catch it. I had tried to change his diaper and give him a snack thinking he needed changing or was hungry, but sure enough, his hand wasn't doing much, he wasn't wanting to use it. We didn't know what might have happened. I didn't think he could have fallen hard enough to hurt it and even if he did, it was odd that it was his right hand since he's apparently left-handed. So we gave him some Tylenol and hoped he'd feel better in the morning.

I wrapped it up in an Ace bandage to try to keep it still in case it was a sprain or something like that. Well, he did better on Wednesday, but still wasn't using the hand and was complaining if we touched his hand or fingers... so finally after lunch I got us ready and off to the ER we went. There weren't that many people there at that time of day so maybe was a good time to go. We got in to triage and then a room very quickly.

Once in the room we had to wait a little longer between being seen, but Eli had fun and entertained himself by peeking outside the door every time the automatic doors down the hall opened or closed; he also enjoyed playing peek-a-boo with the curtains and thought that was a riot. The lady who saw us was a nurse practitioner and couldn't have been nicer. She said from what I told her that she suspected "Nursemaid's Elbow" where the radius bone gets pulled away from the ulna and humerus enough so that one of the tendon's holding the bones in place can slip down behind the bone and gets pinched and hurts! Poor baby!

So she tried to pop it back in place (simple procedure), but it didn't want to go back in. After 2 or 3 tries of this she decided to rule out anything else going on (a fracture or anything like that) and ordered x-rays. Well, the x-rays, thankfully, came back normal so she tried the procedure again and this time she said, "ah! there it went, I felt the pop." So we just watched him for a few minutes, tried to get him to pick up stickers or keys or my cellphone... He finally was able to hand me my keys which was the most he'd used his hands since the day before. After that he did some baby signs with that hand and then it was a very steady and quick improvement till, by the time I got him to the car to buckle him in, he was pretty much back to normal.

Apparently, one of us had taken him by the forearm and pulled a little too hard, or maybe he fought/resisted us while we had him by the arm (could have been me, DH, or Geo for that matter; he's bad about fighting diaper changes so I'll have to be careful with that). So we had a family meeting and I told them that no one should pull him by the hand or try to pick him up that way... only picking up under both arms or by the upper arm. So, all in all, I'm glad it wasn't worse, glad he's back to normal, and glad we know what to do to make sure it doesn't happen again!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My baby turned 7, *sniff*

Geo had his 7th birthday today. Even he is feeling the rush of time I think because he kept insisting that he was still 6. I think he's afraid that he'll grow up too fast and have to move out of the house. I tried to reassure him that that wouldn't happen for many years and that for now, this is his house, he lives here with us. When he gets older, he'll get the urge to get out on his own (well, hopefully, lol). But for now, he's still a kid and he doesn't have to worry about any of that. He still didn't seem too impressed and will probably be 6 for a few more days till 7 gets more normal sounding. He did try to use 7 in his defense yesterday, though. He told me that he was old enough to watch Polar Express even thought I was sure it would be too intense for him. He said that it wouldn't be too scary for a 7 year old. LOL So we let him watch it, and you know what? He watched it all and swore up and down that it wasn't scary. Guess he is growing up. We didn't have a big party but we did take a break from school in honor of his day, we did an egg hunt in the front yard (enjoyed the lovely weather, he really picked a good time of year to be born!), ate cake and I gave him a bible cover that I had stayed up late the last two nights wrestling with. Now Gigi says she wants one, but... I don't know. Geo's was a real bear, not sure I want to tackle one again any time soon. I think he had a good day, hope so :) But back to the grindstone again tomorrow!

107 years, one amazing woman

My 107 great-grandma, great-great-gran to my kiddos, passed away yesterday afternoon. She had had a heart attack the night before but it wasn't caught till yesterday morning. Apparently she was somewhat alert and talking till her very last breath, and then very quietly, she was gone. We are all very much at peace with her passing because she was so ready to go and she had lived a long long life. She had lost her eyesight a few years ago and became more and more dependent on my grandpa (her SIL) for assistance (as my grandma has health problems of her own). So I say a fond good-bye to my "grandma" and I know that her very next thought will be the 2nd coming of Jesus, so for her this quiet resting time will seem like the blink of an eye. Rest in peace dear lady.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The day's happenings

My plan was to wake up this morning early so the younger two and I could get over to the health department (for WIC recertification) and beat the rush so we wouldn't have to wait a million years to be seen. But, I ended up staying up till after midnight (my new bedtime is supposed to be much closer to 10) getting everything together (finding birth certificates, getting proof of income and address..., getting clothes out for the kids, getting things together for them to do if we had to wait...) so I really was not in the mood to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. We didn't manage to get over there till 10 a.m. They don't make appointments for anything there anymore, it's first come first served (I hate the new policy!!) so we sat and sat and Gigi got bored and more bored... About an hour later, they called us in. I had to sign some things, answer some questions, then we had to wait in another waiting room for awhile. They they called us in for weighing, measuring and hemoglobin check (for Eli only, Gigi was rather relieved!), then we waited some more, saw the nutritionist, waited some more, then finally got our vouchers. They really make you earn them I tell ya :) Oh well, an hour an a half later, we were free for another 6 months when Eli will have to be re-certified (Gigi will by then be too old). So that took up all of my morning.

After lunch Gigi and I went out for a mother-daughter jaunt. I thought she would like it, feel important... but all she did was grip and complain about one thing or another so I think maybe the concept is lost on her. I suppose she'd rather do other things so I won't be in such a hurry to take her anywhere in the future! We went and got some things laminated for DH for his Sabbath School class (class rosters and memory verse charts...), then we popped over to a nearby thrift store. I had very little money on me, but was able to get several really large, huge, gigantic dresses that I'll be able to take apart and re-purpose them into something for me :) I'm thinking lots and lots of aprons because I really have the bug to start wearing pretty things more often, less jeans and sweats and I don't want nice clothes to get dirty so lots of pretty and functional aprons will be nice! Here are some of my favorites: ruffly, paisley, apron from dress [pdf], slightly bizarre but functional "Lady Artisan", cute, not free, halter apron, slight ruffle apron, Christmas apron.

I went to CVS last Saturday night to take advantage of a diaper deal they had going on. Actually there were a bunch of things that were part of the deal. If you purchased $30 worth of the items, they would give you $15 back in ECBs. Good deal, but when I added $6 in diaper coupons and $1 battery coupon and a $4 off CVS coupon and $9.98 in ECBs, it was a really great deal. The only problem is that when the receipt printed off, they only gave me ECBs for the 5 Boost Smoothies that I had bought (because they were free after ECBs). So I asked the lady about it and she tried to tell me that because my coupons took the grand total under $30, that was why the ECBs hadn't printed. She even got another manager to agree with her. I didn't think so, but I walked out with my stuff, rather upset because I was sure I was supposed to get those ECBs. When I got home I looked more carefully at the receipt and it said that the amount that I had credited toward the reward was $26.97 which was the exact price of the diapers. So I saw that they hadn't given me credit for the batteries. I was elated when I figured that out because I was sure that I would be getting my ECBs :) So I called customer service and I must glow and wax complimentary about CVSs customer service. I got a really nice lady who, when she looked at my receipt on her end, saw what I was talking about and she said that my ECBs would print on my receipt the next time I shopped at CVS. So thank you CVS, it was pleasure doing business with you, I hope you get lots of business and have many happy years.

The breakdown of my transaction goes like this:

cost of 3 packs of diapers $26.97
batteries $5.29
subtotal $32.26
coupons ($7.50) $24.76
CVS $4 off $20 coupon
$20.76
used $9.98 in ECBs to pay $10.78
get back $15 in ECBs $-4.22

Not counting the ECBs that I used to pay with (because I had to build them up in the beginning with real money), I got 3 packs of dipes and 1 pack of 8 AA batteries for $5.76. Not bad say I!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mount Washmore Nomore!

I'm finally getting to do some laundry!! It's been, what... a week? More maybe. But DH hooked up a sump pump to the gray water in our septic tank and is running it over to another septic tank that is on our property (was there for a trailer that the previous owners had). This is a very temporary fix, but it's allowing me to get caught up on my laundry and it couldn't have come a moment too soon. Eli was out of pocket dipes and our towels were all dirty. So I'm on my way and very relieved!

I decided that I'm very much a visual person so I found a bunch of clipart to coincide with my Flylady Control Journal and I just check off the images of what I'm supposed to do as I do them, I think that might work better than me just looking at a page full of text (yes I can read, lol).

I slept in this morning because I got to bed a few minutes later than I would have liked and then Eli woke up once and Gigi came in and said she had bad dreams and didn't want to sleep in her bed. She got in our bed, but she was too wiggly and I wasn't getting any sleep so I made a little bed for her on the floor and went back to bed.

I was really hoping that DH would go with Geo to his dentist appointment this morning, I wasn't sure how I'd handle seeing Geo in pain... but Mr. Sleepyhead decided that he'd stayed up so late last night working that he didn't want to wake up that early so I got to go... yipee [sarcastically clapping hands, jumping up and down while rolling eyes].

We didn't tell Geo that there would be shots because that would have sent him thru the roof. He would have stressed over that so much and would have made things much worse. I'm glad we chose this route. When we got in, they put the laughing gas mask over his nose (he chose orange scented) and after several minutes was starting to feel rather giddy. The dentist came in and was real friendly, donned his orange flavored rubber gloves (what they won't think of next!) and put some numbing gel on his gums. Then, while the nitrous mask was blocking his view, he snuck the syringe in and numbed him all up without him even really knowing what was happening. He did say that it was hurting, but he didn't flinch or anything.

So after a minute or so his mouth and cheek started feeling like it was falling off his face and he couldn hardly talk or swallow (it was funny in a sad sort of way). So he and I started conversing in sign language (to a point, he needs a bigger vocab) and the spit vacuum was employed so that took care of those two things. Then he started getting bored so the dental assistant went and got him a Bible Story Book from the waiting room to look at.

Finally the dentist came in and chit-chatted with him a little more. He checked the numbness of Geo's cheek and lips and introduced him to the drill (that whistled and had headlights). Well, as soon as he started drilling, Geo tensed up and said it hurt so they put the nitrous mask on again and gave him some more nummy juice and after a couple minutes tried again.

I could tell that it either hurt or was bothering him because he was tense, but then again, I am too in the same shoes. The doc reamed out a good sized hole (I didn't look too much, rather icky) and then put some medicine soaked cotton inside to kill any infection going on (he said there was drainage, I guess from some kind of infection?). Then he put the filling putty in. It was soft at first but hardened up and after an hour Geo could chew on it. He gave me some more antibiotic for Geo to take for the next 4 days and we were done with this installment.

We'll have to go back in a month or two to get a stainless cap put on. But I was so proud of Geo and I'm so happy that he won't have to worry about a hurting tooth any more! Praise God for that! They asked him if he wanted a sticker and he said he wanted three because he had a baby brother and a sister at home. They thought that was so sweet so gave him 3 little toys and 3 stickers. They really were so nice :) I thank our pastor's wife for referring them.

I have a diaper deal that I'm planning at CVS (as soon as some money that I'm expecting gets here). If all goes as planned, I should be able to get a package of dipes for $3.50 or less (that's with ECBs and coupons driving down the price). Not bad. I've gotten my mom into CVSing too and she's doing the diaper deal as well to help me stock up on some for Eli. I like cloth, it's great and all, but my dear MIL has decided that it's her mission and her passion to see her little grandson in slim and trim 'sposies. I have to say I'm not totally against the idea because my diapers have an odd smell in them that I can't get rid of and I'm tired of it. And the less laundry I have to worry about at the moment, the better. I plan to start potty training in the spring so hopefully this won't be a problem for much longer! So thank you so much Mama D, it's truly sweet of you and really appreciated!

I do feel that I had a productive day today. I got everything on my list done except for cleaning out the van (cleaned sink/counter/stove, swept floor in kitchen, made my bed, cleaned the bathroom counter and toilet, cleared off my dresser and dusted, folded and put away a load of clothes, took some clothes that I weeded out of my shirt drawer and bagged them up, got them out of my room, folded up some blankets from Gigi's makeshift bed and vacuumed our floor, did several loads of laundry, washed/put away dishes...) I have some clothes I need to fold, tho, so I'd better get to that before it's time for me to head to bed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just another septic Thursday

We had the septic tank pumped again yesterday so we'll be ok for the next few days (we are limiting our water usage as much as possible in the time being, covered the septic hole with a tarp...) till DH can figure out if it's the holding tank from the septic tank that's blocked or if the field lines are damaged. He'll probably rent a backhoe to make the process infinitely easier. I can't wait, can't wait till it's back to "normal" so that I can start doing laundry again. I have learned my lesson, though, that I shouldn't do laundry back-to-back-to-back like I did last week. Stresses the system. This has really served to highten my awareness of how much water I use on a daily basis and I think I'll really try to cut down when possible. My mom gave me a great idea of saving the water that usually gets wasted when waiting for the hot water to get to the other end of the house (for showers...) and use it for other things (the garden in the summer, watering house plants, flushing toilets, adding to the fish tank...) so I may try doing that.

My CVS Coup

Ok, so it's not all that much to look at, but I was rather proud.

I managed to get all 3 toothpastes and the Gatorade G2 for $0.27 out of pocket! Not bad :)

I paid $1.88 each for the toothpastes, and $1.29 for the Gatorade, but I had a $1.50 off of one and a $1.00 off of 2 coupon for the toothpaste. I paid for it with about $4.49 in Extra Care Bucks and earned back $4.29 in ECBs. That's the way to buy toothpaste!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whatta day!

Well, I really thought I was going to bail ship and head over to Mom and Dad's, but we stuck it out here. It didn't rain an awful lot last night so we were able to flush the toilet 2 or 3 times and shared water for baths (sorry if that's tmi, but desperate times called for desperate measures and, as DH said, they used to do that in the "olden days"). I opted to wash my hair in the sink as I just don't do well washing my Rapunzel locks in a bathtub. It actually worked pretty well.

DH found out that before we can do anything to the septic system, we had to get a permit from the county health department. He called them and filled them in on the problem and they sent a guy out to check it out and bring the permit. He thinks the field lines might just be blocked because damaged lines would cause pooling on the surface and there isn't any. Who knows what the problem is, I just know it's a big problem. All my lovely Flylady routines (well not all but a lot) are going down the tube. The biggy, shining the sink and keeping dishes out of it has been steamrolled over because we're cautious to use that much water (especially after 20 or so gallons of bathwater). I had thought about doing all my laundry at the laundromat, but DH is going to try to rig up a way to get the water from the washer out the window via a garden hose. Not exactly sure how that's going to work yet, it remains to be seen. He'll be my hero (not that he's not already) if he makes that happen!

Today I was able to empty one box of junk and then took that box (plastic tote really) to Eli's dresser and pulled out some more of his clothes. I took out at least 1/3 of what was there and was able to get rid of another tote of clothes that were sitting on top of his dresser. All in all (since the beginning) I've managed to get rid of 4 large plastic totes of clothes 18m-2T! (Ok I admit it, he had way way way too many clothes!). I still need to get into Galena's room and do that to her clothes. I know that will be a blessing to her as her clothes are in terrible disarray.

Hmm, I got the kids computer settled into it's new home, redid my laundry area, weeded out the kids clothes, it's time for me to decide what my next mission is. Maybe taking down the Christmas tree? (Ok, slightly less bad than it sounds, but only very slightly, lol). Eli pulled the tree down after it had been up only about 2 days and I knew that if we put it up again, it would just come down again. So it's sitting in a jumbled heap in the corner and I've been ignoring it because there were "more important" things that I wanted to do first (and really, who loves taking the tree down?). The lights wires are going to be a headache to get untangled. If I had the money, I'd be tempted to cut them off and buy new ones. I think we'll have to figure out how to get the tree put back up so I can then disassemble it properly. That might not happen tomorrow since DH is going to have bigger fish to fry so maybe I need to have a plan B mission just in case. Um, I guess I'd really like to get my sewing corner organized and I had the thought of turning the bookcase that's behind my head so that it's back is to the wall which will open up the space. I don't know if that will be a good thing or not. I suppose if it's not cluttered, it will be ok.

Amendment

I'm making an amendment to my blog-a-day challenge. I finally decided it wasn't "loving myself" to feel so guilty about not posting so now I'm going to post as often as I can, hopefully every day, but if I miss a day, I'll just try to get it the next...

Yesterday DH told me to hold off on doing any more washing because our septic tank was full again! The field lines aren't wicking away the water from the tank like they're supposed to and so the tank was full and any water from our house really didn't have anywhere to go. That fact became grossly apparent after Geo had taken his shower last night (thankfully not during his shower) and I was washing a very small load of diapers (gotta have diapers) and the spin cycle go to be too much for it and sewage started backwashing into our lowest area which is our bathtub (gross, yuck, bleugh, ad nauseum!). Since we won't be able to do much toilet flushing today and knowing how kids are, I think I'm going to take them and flee to my parents' house in the mountains and I'm taking my laundry with me, lol. I think DH might stay here and try to get the situation fixed. First the tank is going to have to be emptied again, then he's going to rent a back-hoe and dig out the field lines (leach beds) and replace them. He'll also dig up the rest of his garden for spring and move some bushes from around the septic tank to the perimeter of the yard. Their roots seeking out moisture during the dry summer probably played a big role in the field lines' collapse. So that whole area needs to be de-planted so this doesn't happen again.

I thought I had Eli's clothes pared down to a reasonable amount and then heard Flylady saying that kids shouldn't have more than 5 pairs of play pants and a couple of dress pants. Well, that was eye-opening seeing as Eli probably has 20 pair of jeans alone, not counting corderoy, khaki and church pants. Um, I think I need to go back and try again, lol. Maybe I could do 6 pair of jeans (I like even numbers), 1 khaki, 1 tan corderoy, 1 blue corderoy and 1-2 church pants. And his shirts are another thing altogether. But if I wash every day (which won't be a chore if my loads are smaller and more manageable), I should be able to get by on much less. I'm trying to instill in the older 2 the idea of getting more mileage from their clothes. If they aren't too dirty after a day's wearing, I've told them to lay them out by their beds to put on the next day. That will also really help with the laundry. I'll see if I can't get our water bill down yet! :) And clothes that aren't washed so frequently last longer so that's good too.

Last night the kids needed to use the bathroom (the kind where you can't get by without flushing, lol), so, since I needed to run some things by the library anyway, we all bundled up and went over there and took advantage of their plumbing. I think we're going to need to get out of here pretty soon today so we don't tax the water system any further.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oops, I did it again...

(didn't post yesterday) Well, um, I was in super hyper cleaning mode yesterday, I got something like 6 loads of clothes folded and maybe 8 loads washed, tidied the kitchen, shined my sink, did some dishes..., and culled a bunch of clothes out of Geo's overly crowded drawers. We are truly blessed to get hand me downs from their older boy cousin, but we just almost have too much. Flylady says that if the drawers are too full, it's not fun to put clothes away so I'm just keeping the nicest shirts (plus 2 really grubby ones so he can use them to paint in or play outside in the mud...) and mostly blue jeans or khaki pants and a few corduroy. I'll put them up out of the way for awhile just in case we run out of clothes between washings (like we have in the past when I wasn't FLYing) and if we don't need them, I'll put them in the "to sell" pile. Reminds me, today DH looked at a shirt I had washed last night and said "Is this clean? I just put it in the dirty clothes yesterday." I said "I washed it." He sniffed it and got a funny, surprised, happy look on his face. That was a good feeling.

Last night I went and picked up a Sunday paper and was mightily disappointed by the wimpy bundle of coupons that was in there. I hope my coupons didn't fall out somewhere. Then I folded some more clothes before bed, put food away, shined my sink, and got everything ready to take our cat in to the vet today.

Which leads me to the huge blessing of the day yesterday! I got a call from the vet that I've been talking to about having our cat Charlie spayed. There were no openings till the end of March and I was despairing at the thought of having Charlie cooped up in our laundry room for a month and a half. The lady asked me if they'd booked me in yet and I said no, but I was starting to think that I should. She said "Would you like to bring her in tomorrow? Someone cancelled." Would I??!!? Where are you located and where do I sign? LOL I was so happy.

So, after a very sleepless night (Eli is still sick and wasn't wanting to sleep as much as he usually does), I woke up at 6:30, got dressed, ate, and was out of here by 7. I thought it would take a little longer to get there than it did, but I got there at 7:30. I wasn't supposed to be there till 8. There was a mass of people bringing their pets, maybe 18-20 people crammed into the medium sized waiting room. It was rather a mad-house. But the workers seemed really nice and treated the animals with compassion. I'll have to go there again tomorrow morning, this time they want me there at 7:30 so I know that if I leave just a little before 7, I should be good (as long as there are no traffic snarls on the way).

DH told me yesterday that a lady from our church was coming over to test her air mattress in our pool to try to find an air leak. And something like that would have sent me into a tizzy in the past, fear that she might come inside my house, but this time I looked around, realized I was "only 15 minutes from clean" (a Flylady-ism) and what a great feeling that was!

Another terrific thing that happened yesterday was that I found Gigi and Eli's birth certificates. I'd misplaced them (or so I thought) and had searched and searched for them with no luck, but decided to look in a place I was almost sure they weren't and there they were. Praise God! That was an answer to prayer.

Yet another great and happy thing that happened today was that I just discovered that we're eligible to join the larger library system for our state. We used to be part of that system before we moved, but where we are right now, our library system is 2 counties wide and just doesn't have all that much. So, now we'll have access to our little local (and super convenient) library as well as the full fledged mega library system. And the closest library is only about 20 minutes away which is not all that bad. This honkin' library system is the one that my knitting buddy is a member of and I'm always jealous of the great knitting books she can get. Well no more! Hehe, doing a little happy dance.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Picture of the Day

Ha! Like I have a picture of the day, but this was a cool picture I took of an ant this summer. He actually moved this Kix ball an inch or two through tall grass. Ants really are very hardworking creatures, aren't they?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chagrined

How could I drop the ball and forget to blog yesterday and Wednesday? I was doing so good. Here's what happened (it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)... I went to a Pampered Chef demonstration last night at our pastor's house (his wife was hosting) and had a really nice time, but didn't end up getting home till close to 10. Then there were some stuff like laundry and cleaning out the sink (gotta leave that sink shiny, Flylady says, lol) and I just plain forgot. But hopefully it was just the one time. I have no idea what happened Wednesday [shrugs shoulders].

Today was lovely and sunny and beautiful and is supposed to be that way for the next day or two, nice! I managed to get most of school done even tho my night schedule (going to bed at 10, up at 6:30) was really messed up by Eli waking up a couple of times to nurse ("Baba, Baba... [very plaintively] Baba"; tho he actually started saying Mama and Mommy today which was so exciting to me. He also started saying Nanana so he's trying out his Ms and Ns now [from Bs and Ds]), and Gigi waking up crying around 11:00 or so because she was coughing and it hurt. I rubbed some Vicks on her feet, not sure if it worked, but I had to try, then I let her go to bed in our bed (DH was still up working) till DH came to bed and then he moved her to a little makeshift bed on the floor. So I didn't make my 6:30 wakeup time and that kind of threw my whole day off.

I did manage to do Kelly's Mission of the day (it's another Flylady thing) which was sweep and mop the kitchen floor. I also did the dining room floor as it was in dire need. I tidied up in the bonus room some, made a little more elbow room, did some vertical stacking of boxes so that things weren't spread out all over the place. I also moved the laundry sorting bins out of site (well 1/2 of them anyway) and moved the ironing board to where they were so it's not in my way when I come out of the laundry room anymore. The bins that show have lids on them and stack so they don't look too awful. Geo got into the cleaning and started sorting his toys. I think I'll introduce him to Riley's Challenges (yet another Flylady thing), see if he can get on board with that. I think I'm going to start listing the school subjects we need to cover every day on the white board so he can see what to expect and how much more we have to accomplish before we're "done" for the day and he can go do something else. I asked him if he'd like that and he said "yes." We finished reading a book about Ben Franklin today and I learned a lot that I never knew before. He was a very interesting fellow.

It was so much easier to clean up for Sabbath since I'd been keeping up with things every day rather than saving things till Friday afternoon. The bathroom, hallway, family room and kitchen aren't too bad. Now I need to start branching out to other parts of the house, but it's very gratifying to have those places staying fairly decent on a regular basis.

For the last little while, maybe a month or two, Eli has been jumping with both feet off the ground which is very cute to watch. He has good balance too for a little squirt.

Wednesday we went to the dentist because Geo has cavities. He had some acid reflux when he was around 3 or 4 (gone now) and it played havoc on his teeth. One of the cavities was so bad that it was giving him pretty bad toothaches (which we treated with oil of oregano & olive oil on a cotton swab which he bit down on, and tylenol) so now he's on an antibiotic as the cavity went all the way to the root (ouch!) and they want to make sure there's no infection before they take care of it. He's going to have to have a pulpotomy (what they do instead of a root canal for baby teeth) in a couple of weeks. I don't look forward to that!

Yesterday the septic guy came and took care of our septic problem and now we're good to go again. Still have a plugged toilet in the laundry room, tho; he hadn't been told that we wanted him to do that and he didn't have any tools with him. That toilet is being a sticky little thorn in my side.

Our cat is in heat and the cheapest clinic around ($20 to spay a cat!) is 2 months booked out. We've been keeping Charlie (our cat, and btw, she's a she [the kids named her]) in our laundry room as there were so many boy cats hanging around the house and we didn't like the odds. But I can't imagine keeping her in there for 2 months! I'm not sure what we're going to do. I wish I'd called a long time ago before she went into heat, but it's too late now. We can't afford a regular vet so we may not have any options. We like our kitty so it's not like we want to get rid of her or anything, but we also don't want kittens (or more accurately we don't want to have to try to get rid of kittens). Poor Charlie is talking to me right now, sounds like she's saying "Hello? Hello?" as in "is anyone out there?" Poor li'l chickadee.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Plumbing woes

We've known almost from when we first moved in here that the plumbing was not quite there. The toilets seemed sluggish and finally one of the toilets refused to flush altogether so we haven't used it in quite some time. Lately the toilets have been bubbling and needing to be plunged frequently and when we are plunging the toilet, water bubbles up in the sinks (gross!). So we finally had a septic guy come check it out and he said that our field lines (that drain the water off the top when the tank gets full) are needing to be replaced. So... DH is going to see if he and a couple of guys from church (one has a back hoe) can handle that part of it and some septic guys are coming out tomorrow to pump it out which will, at least for now, allow us to resume normal water consumption (washing clothes, dishes, showers, flushing toilets... we've been doing some of this, but at least then we'll have no worries and things should work much much better!). I really can't wait to have multiple working toilets that actually flush like they're supposed to. Yehaw!

Sansa Cozy

I wanted a way to carry my mp3 player around with me so that it was accessible for me to pause it as needed, and also to keep it safe so I knitted a quick cozy. I cast on 20, knit st st in the round, till I was about an inch from where I wanted to end, then I switched to 2x2 ribbing. I attached a belt loop on the back as well as a belt loop loop (if I'm not wearing a belt, I can still loop it thru my belt loop and button it on, if that makes any sense at all). Here's how it turned out (I should have a pic of me actually wearing it):

Monday, February 04, 2008

A day at Grandma's

DH and I had a meeting we had to go to down in the big city so we took the kiddos to Grandma's for the day and did they ever have a ball. They didn't want to leave and wondered why we weren't just spending the night there, lol. I'm glad they had a good time.

I got a new toy today :) I "bought" a new mp3 player (mine is refurb'ed so much cheaper than list price!) on scarf credit (meaning as soon as I get a scarf made and sold to cover the cost, I'll pay my parents back for it). It's something I can put Geo's composer study music on so we can listen to it for school, books in mp3 format from Librivox, and it's also something that I can put a whole bunch of motivational (home organization, home economizing, homeschool, kids, family, marriage, devotional...) podcasts on and listen to while I blitz around the house beautifying it and removing layers, trying to get rid of some of the evidence that a passel of kids live here. (LOVE the kids, hate the mess!)

Oh too, my mom said she went down to her local paper and asked about coupons and the lady said she could come on Thursday and look thru what was left before it got hauled away. Mom was pretty sure they have coupons in them. I'm so excited about that! I think I need to check with our local paper and see if they'd do the same for me. And my loving brother gets a free paper that has some coupons in it which he's saving for me. I'm on my way!! :) (Thanks for everyone's help!)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Coupon glee

I waited all day to run down and pick up a couple of Sunday papers for the coupons. I ended up with only 3 coupon flyers, 2 SmartSource and 1 Valassis. I'm not sure if that was a mistake or not. Hmm. I've decided that for now I won't cut all the coupons out, I'll just to to the pack that I need a coupon from and get it from there (Couponmom.com makes it easy to find coupons, as does MoneySavingMom.com). Eventually I'd like to put together a coupon binder like some I've seen on other blogs (using trading card sleeves for my see-thru coupon organizational pouches). Unfortunately it seems that all the good CVS deals are calling for coupons from a few weeks back, before I was getting coupons so I'll just have to wait a few weeks till I have amassed enough of my own. I spent $3.50 on 2 newspapers, we'll see if that was a good investment or not, I think it will pay off eventually by creating overages at CVS. I think my CVS day will be Tuesday altho I did hear a rumor that CVS might be clearancing and reorganizing their makeup on Thursday so maybe I should also check then. It's thought that some of the makeup could me marked down to 90% off. That I could handle! I also heard about Cheerios coupons being back by the blood pressure cuffs at certain stores (not just CVS) and since we do eat the Honey Nut variety, they would come in very handy. Hey, if I'm going to be buying them anyway, why not pay less? Sounds like a plan to me!

My mom sent me a post about putting Vicks on feet helping with annoying coughs (which Geo is afflicted with at the moment) so I tried it, I'll see if it makes a difference come morning.

Well, it's past my bedtime, gotta run.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Where did THAT come from?

We were all doing fine, healthy, happy, (minus a broken arm and toothache pain) when out of no where Eli got a runny, stuffy nose and Geo is dealing with a cough. Can't think that we've been around anyone who was sick. It was so sudden and unexpected. Poor Eli can't breath well at night so he didn't sleep well last night and hence, neither did I. But I did get a lovely nap this afternoon to make up for it :)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fire?!? No, Thank God!

After I brought a very soggy baby Eli into the bonus room to dry him off after his bath, I noticed a strange smell, but couldn't pinpoint it. Geo distracted me with toothache pain (we can't get him in to the dentist till Wednesday, poor little chickadee!), and when DH came in a little later, he said "what's burning?" I said I didn't know, that I had smelled something funny too but couldn't place it. He checked the stove, nothing there (rice cooking but was ok), then he went back into the bonus room and happened to glance at our space heater plug which had gotten half pulled out of the outlet and the outlet was starting to flair up. He caught it just in time, praise God! It's a scary thought about what a few more minutes could have done. All night, all day, Angels watching over me, my Lord... Whew!

It's potluck tomorrow at church so I made some guacamole out of some 33 cent avocados (can you tell I think that's a good price? LOL) that I had bought from Aldi last week sometime. They were lovely! Hope the guacamole does them justice.

Happy of the day: My friend Wendy came over for a visit, haven't seen her in awhile and it was nice to just stop what I was doing for awhile and chat. Got my house relatively straightened (swept, vacuumed, things put away, lots of clean folded clothes put away, sheets changed...) for Sabbath which is always a nice feeling. Learned a little more about CVS and started getting my plans together for next week's shopping (after getting the Sunday paper & coupon inserts of course, lol). Did a couple more rows on my shawl, knitting's always nice :)

Grr of the day: Seems like the kids were determined to hurt each other today, it was always something. First Gigi hauled off and clocked Geo in the head (accidentally of course) and he made a terrific scene about it too. Then later the 2 olders were playing and Gigi kept running into things and hurting herself (once she hit her head on a doorknob [still can't figure that one out] and other times she hurt her legs running into things in the living room).

I looked high and low for a newspaper recycling drop-off place, they were all over the place where we used to live, but, alas, none around here. I was hoping to score a few coupon booklets.

This morning I tried to get Eli to go back to sleep when he was done nursing (around 6:45 a.m.), but around 7:30 or so, a groggy DH came down and asked if Eli could just get up since he had no intention of sleeping. I said ok, but that always means I can't get as much done (folding clothes with a toddler who wants to "help?" You must be crazy!). Later he wanted to know why I hadn't emptied the dishwasher and I told him I was trying to stay as quiet as possible (knowing he can hear a pin drop in Chicago). He told me it wasn't a big deal, if it was a problem he would say something about it, that it's fine. So that part isn't actually a grr because it's cart blanche to do whatever I think needs doing in the morning. Kinda nice really. Thanks sweetie :)

New Schedule

I've been trying out a new schedule and so far I really like it. It would work a lot better if my house was better sound insulated, but it's still good. In the past I stayed up way too late, upwards of 12 or 1 a.m. and then I'd sleep in as long as the kiddos would let me which would sometimes vary. Sometimes Eli would wake up at 7:30 and that would be it for the morning, no more sleeping. And this is on top of him waking me up several times during the night to nurse.

Well, now I'm going to bed as close to 10 p.m. as I can and waking up at 6:30 to nurse Eli, then putting him back in his bed for some more sleep and getting up, going to the other side of the house, folding any clothes that need folding (have to keep my tasks quiet as DH has bat ears and can apparently hear thru walls! and he works late into the night so I try to let him sleep in a little), eating my breakfast, maybe doing some filing or sorting in the bonus room... Then when the kids get up around 8:00 I can start in with school, reading Bible to them while they eat their breakfast, then after breakfast, on to nature study and math... The 2 days that I've actually been doing this have gone so well. I love not having to do school ALL DAY because we didn't get started till 9 or 10. I think Geo is more motivated to plug right along because he knows if we get school out of the way in the morning (to very early afternoon), then he has the rest of the day to "play" (play on the computer, ride his "new" bigger bike [18" wheels up from his 16" bike], crochet or knit, play piano, play with his sister...) and he really does like that. And I like it because I have the whole afternoon to do more housework (Flylady stuff, right now I am just babystepping tho, not quite flying yet, but soon!), knit, shop, whatever I feel like doing. It's great :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blog-a-day challenge

Inspired by the Thing-a-Day challenge, and not feeling like I could actually create a new thing every day of the month but also feeling very bad at my lack of posting for the last eon, I've decided to take on a Blog-a-Day challenge and make myself blog at least once a day for the next month (hopefully I'll develop a good habit and it'll continue).

GRR #1 for the day: my yarn going to my Shetland Triangle shawl (a pretty example pic here) got broken by some little native so I spit-spliced it back together, ... all better :) (at least until GRR #2 happened and another little native or two pulled out my knitting needle out of half of the shawl and causing me to drop a stitch somewhere. Oh where oh where did that stitch go?)

Happy for the day: I learned about using CVS Extra Care Bucks to my advantage. I messed up by buying an extra toothbrush and toothpaste that didn't give me ECBs (because I didn't look at the offer closely enough, I'll keep better notes next time!), but I ended up spending a little over $14 for 12 rolls of TP, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 toothbrushes and some maxipads. I used two different CVS coupons that I found which came to $5 off my purchase, I got over $12 in ECBs which I can use toward my future purchases, and I have a gift pack coming in 8-10 weeks which will include 2 boxes of Cheerios, Colgate Total toothpaste, CVS brand pain reliever tabs, Benefiber, Execedrin Migrain sample, a pen and a pill sorter so I think all in all I did pretty good. I can't wait to get next month's sales flyer and start figuring out what goodies I can get next.

Geo went and picked up a free personal pan pizza for the Pizza Hut Book-It program. He read a whole book that wasn't part of school this last month. For February I'm going to have him read a few more books or a bigger book. We got started a little late in January and since it was the first month I tried that, I went a little easier on him.

He is really progressing in piano, he has started playing Away in a Manger and when it get's to the word Manger, he inserts a B flat in the left hand (no one showed him how) to make it sound nicer. He's really got an ear for it.

Eli has started calling me Baba. I say "say MMMMMM" and he goes "mmmmm." Then I go "ahhhhhh" and he says "ahhhhhh" and then I say "Mmmmmmaaaaaaaammmmaaaa" and he says "Mmmmm Baba!" He insists on calling me Baba even though he can make the sounds in Mama. What a funny monkey he is. He is also jumping like a frog, jumps pretty high, both feet off the ground, lands well, amazing.

Gigi is doing great with her cast. We have her bath routine downpat. I wash her hair in the sink (she lies on the counter and leans her head back into the sink). This way her cast is in no danger of getting wet. Then when her hair is dried off, I move her to the bath, wash her body while she keeps her arm raised so the cast doesn't get wet. I use a bucket to pour water over the soapy parts and quick as a flash, she's done and getting out again. This is not to say that I really look forward to the day that cast is taken off! But all in all she's doing very well. Hasn't slowed her down one bit. She has also start tinkering on the piano. She's learned how to play Jesus Loves Me on the black notes, and twinkle twinkle on the white notes. So it won't be long before she's rivaling Geo. She wants to learn how to read SO bad so she can get a free pizza too. I told her that I'd enroll her next year when she's in Kindergarten and she's excited about that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ouch!

Our poor l'il girl broke her left arm (she's a lefty) yesterday. Geo decided it would be fun to try to rig up a teeter totter of sorts out of a 2x4 and a rope that he got caught up in a tree. In the process of trying to get on this very tottery seesaw, Gigi fell and tried to break her fall with her arm and the fall ended up breaking her arm. I hear the scream, looked out the window and took off for the door where I saw her running to the house. I could tell her arm just didn't look right (that was a sick feeling let me tell you!). I had her sit on the couch and rest her arm on a pillow, then I grabbed a bag of peas and rested it next to the arm. I called DH who was out shopping with his uncle (his uncle is visiting and doesn't have a way to get around) and he left everything immediately and came home. I had to try to keep the brothers away from her so they wouldn't bother or injure her. She was crying but not as bad as she had a couple of nights before when she suffered from a migraine (when it rains it pours). That was something else! But this time she was wanting Mommy so I sat with her and tried to comfort her. When DH got home, we tried to get things together for her trip to the ER (finding her SS #, gathering some snacks, water...). I made a splint out of cereal box cardboard and a kitchen towel (rolled it around her arm and secured with tape) to keep her arm as still as possible. DH took her to the ER and they waited for about 2 hours before being seen. A PA confirmed our suspicions that it was broken and ordered x-rays, then they splinted her arm with a temporary-sock-material-encased-fiberglass-2-piece-splint that they wrapped around her arm and taped up. It allows for swelling since the sides are open, but mostly keeps her arm stationary. She also has a little sling to hold the splint in. She was such a trouper, DH commented after they got home (around 9:30 pm, the fall happened at around 4:45 pm) that she was very brave and she said "Yes I am!" But today she said she was ready for her broken arm to fly out of her and she didn't want it any more and dissolved in tears when I told her it might be awhile before it's better. Poor little girl! That was this evening. All day tho she acted like everything was perfectly normal. I kept having to tell her not to do normal kid things (she wanted to ride her bike, kept running and fighting for supremacy on the chair in the kitchen that big brother had brought in to reach the sink, that sort of thing). And bathing her was a major challenge. I will be really glad when we get past these next few weeks and she's out of her hopefully pink cast (which she won't get till Monday).

Here's a pic of her x-ray:












My dad the doc said that it looked pretty good (bones being lined up rather than separated) and it probably wouldn't need setting per se, just mobilization (a cast) and time. The breaks occurred near, but thankfully didn't involve the growth plate.