Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Long Day

It has been one of those days.

I took some benadryl last night for an allergic type situation. Slept 9 hours and stayed groggy until noon.

Took the kids to Bible Study in a fog.

Took Deke to his class at the YMCA.

He brought his teacher a drawing of a new stretch he invented called "The Back Pushup".

He is a real go-getter, that one.

I had a discouraging run/walk. Baby bounces on bladder. Ligaments stretching. Contractions. Ugh.

I am not even quite 22 weeks and I already have a lot of Braxton Hicks Contractions. All the common triggers send me into them.

And upper back pain which seems to be nerve related. The baby jams a foot up under my rib and I get discomfort spreading up and back. Sometimes the baby's foot isn't even there, it must just be the pressure on some nerves.

Now, I had all this stuff with my other pregnancies, it just seems earlier than normal.

Speaking of baby positions: A couple days ago the baby started moving around while I was reading to the boys so they were able to feel it. Deke said, "I know that when babies are in there they are upside down. So their heads are down there (pointing to my lower abdomen) and their feet are up here (pointing to my breasts)". I told him that he was right, but that the baby is small and fits all just in my abdomonal cavity, and that it does not extend itself into my thoracic cavity- although at times it feels like it does.

So I digress.

We were at the Y and I made a mistake.

I overlooked the fact that Lincoln had not had a nap in 3 days (he has been taking one every 2-3 days) nor had he gone to bed particularily early recently.

And I decided to take him and Roman swimming.

He was a little swimming pool tyrant.

And a locker room tyrant.

And a post locker room tyrant.

Thankfully Roman was on his best behavior (although I felt somewhat bad that we did not get to play all of the "Mama Polar Bear and Baby Polar Bear" that he wanted to.) I felt a little better when Deke was done with his lesson and was able to join Roman in a rousing game of "Sea Turtle Fire Fighters".

So I dragged a screaming Lincoln to the van, along with the swimming bag, my purse and wet hair.

He finally fell asleep at home and I got the other 2 settled in with a movie. Even though the house was a disaster I decided to take a shower to warm up and have a little down time.

That lasted about 10 minutes.

Roman came upstairs.

"Mom, there is a lego up my nose and I can't get it out."

Sure enough, there was a green lego up his nose. And I couldn't get it out.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Growing Up

Noah decided that with 3 kids and 1 on the way, it may be time to grow up. A little anyway. So we both have taken measures to be more responsible, more disciplined.

We are also trying to be more helpful to each other.

For example, Noah has been faithfully working on finishing up the deck. It is up, it has a railing, the stairs are functional- what more do I want? Well, he actually is FINISHING it. Tying up the loose ends.

AND he has started (with out any comments from me) putting gas in my van every Tuesday so that I never have to worry about it.

AND he is packing a lunch most days of the week.

I have been cooking. I mentioned before that I had done a once a month cooking plan and made 24-27 meals, none of which I had ever made before.

I love it. I asked Noah how he thought it was going, and he said something like "I haven't noticed much change from my end, I thought you were doing well before."

Isn't he sweet?

From my perspective it is significantly different.

When I first was looking over the once-a-month cooking book I had to laugh. The author said something about when your suppers are prepared you have more time to make sides and treats for your family.

I thought, "whatever! Any extra time I have will be spent out of the kitchen, maybe reading something from the "to be read" stack piling up in my bedroom".

But do you know what? Sunday I was going to make pizza and discovered that I was short on Yeast. ON YEAST!?!? Do you know what this means, people? It means that I have been BAKING!

Yes, I have. Baking bread.


And do you know what else is amazing? When the pizza option got stalled I was able to come up with 3 meals that I had all the ingredients for that could be prepared for us within 1/2 hour! I got to pick which one I was going to make!

We haven't come across any meal that we despise yet. Some we like better than others. I am taking notes so I know which ones to make again.

My plan is to do this one more time with 25ish new recipes. Then I will take our favorites combined with old standbys and make up my own once-a-month cooking and shopping list.

The nice thing about the book I am using is that it isn't all hotdishes (Noah doesn't really like them anyway). Some of them are just marinating meats. There is quite a variety.

My loose plan right now is to eat a "freezer meal" on Monday and Tuesday nights and then once during the weekend. At least some of us eat at church on Wednesdays and Noah and I usually go out on Fridays (just being honest :) We try to eat pizza (either ordered or homemade) once on the weekend. Thursday nights will be Burgers and Fries or a "fresh" meal.

Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be my tough days because I usually am coming off of a sleep deprived work weekend, or working one of those 2 nights. I have a hard time motivating myself to cook when I am tired.

Now if only I could get the KIDS to eat anything that I cook...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Controversial Monday: Yard Decor

The rain.

The snow.

The cold.

Halloween just around the corner.

With Thanksgiving on the next corner.

And then Christmas.

In fact, Christmas is now officially less than 2 months away.

I am kind of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas decorations of any kind. But we can talk about that in another post.

Today I want to talk about Yard decorations.

Some people have them all season: wood cutouts of people bending over, flamingos, small statues of woodland animals...even cows, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

But the number of people with decorations increases dramatically with the onset of Halloween and doesn't let up until after Christmas.

Right around the corner from us we have a ring of ghosts and witches, dancing around a tree holding hands. There is a head on a stake down the street. There are pumpkins and candy corn and orange and black decorations everywhere.

Soon there will be inflatable santas, reindeer and snowmen cluttering the lawns. Lights will be all over. Outdoor nativities will be set up.

Deke loves lawn ornaments. They speak to him of parties. Lights to him demonstrate excitement.

I just think they are a lot of work. And, although I don't mind small amounts of ornamentation, there is a fine line to walk between tasteful and tacky.

Noah wants one of those Santas in the plane with the propellors that actually turn.

I am thinking maybe a little tacky.

Deacon wants a plastic light-up ghost.

I am thinking a lot tacky.

Where should that fine line be drawn?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am a Sparks AWANA leader at our church, and Deacon is a K Spark.

Last night during our council time the teacher was talking about friends and why they are important. She asked the kids why they thought friends were important.

Deacon raised his hand and said, "Friends help you solve problems".

Noah and I thought this response from him was somewhat funny. The biggest problem Deke and his friends solve is which of them gets to be Spiderman 1 and which one is going to be Spiderman II.

But I guess in a Kindergartners world that is a big problem.

I would like to think that he has observed Noah and I interact with our friends over the years and has seen us help each other solve problems.

I can hope, right?

So the teacher goes on and somehow the "Stranger" issue came up, and the kids were cautioned that although we should be nice to everyone, we do need to be be careful of Strangers etc. etc.

Deacon loudly whispers to his teacher, "Sometimes you need to meet Strangers in order to get friends."

How true is that?

Now, I know that his definition of "strangers" is different from ours. When he goes to a new swimming class, he considers his new classmates strangers. And they become friends.

We from the beginning would probably classify those people as "classmates" or "acquaintancess"and never really think of them as strangers. Strangers to us are people that we don't know that we encounter in an uncontrolled situation, or maybe even a scary one.

But he is right.

I started thinking last night about the friends that I have that were once "strangers", and by putting aside my fears and insecurities, those people have become friends.

Now, I am not saying that I am going to start striking up random conversations with people in the parking ramp in the middle of the night, but maybe I will think about being friendlier in the neighborhood, or the Y (my Y mantra right now is "no eye contact". "no eye contact".)

And maybe I will gain more friends.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The List

We had our 20 week sonogram last Friday. Everything seemed ok. Of course the tech wouldn't tell us if there was something wrong, but we haven't heard otherwise from the MD.

The baby was incredibly active and the ultrasound actually seemed to take a lot longer than the ones with our other kids. We spent a lot of time poking at the baby and trying to get it to stay still enough to get readings and to move to appropriate positions.

It was kind of funny, because as soon as I laid down and she started putting the gel on my belly the babe just went nuts. I made a comment like, "Boy he sure doesn't like that..." The tech seemed rather defensive and said, " doesn't hurt them or bother them in there." Later I was telling Noah that I didn't think it HURT the baby, but this baby gets super active as soon as I lay down and as soon as anything happens to wake him up.

By the way, I use "He and She" with no knowledge of which it actually is.

So that was fun.

The other thing we did this weekend was finish the "big" stuff on the deck. We now just have a few small things to finish up to complete the project.

I also made the official "Before Baby List". I know most of you probably don't care, but I thought that maybe Noah might :)

1. Finish Deck completely
2. Have deck pass final inspection
3. Get all junk from yard up to landfill
4. Finish last of yard winterizing
5. Put new light/mirror in bathroom downstairs
6. Build new computer.
7. Completely redo and tile upstairs bathroom including countertop.
8. Address leaky pipe
9. Tile Backsplash in kitchen
10. Paint main floor of house
11. Do some wall repairs
12. Buy bookshelves for school room
13. Put stuff on walls of school room

Now, those are just the "home" related things. The list doesn't include exercise goals, homeschooling goals, work goals, cooking goals, potty training goals etc.

I think that we will be busy. I am curious to see how far we get!

Conversations with Deacon

I'm making supper. Chicken nuggests and popcorn. Protien and starch. Gourmet stuff.

Enter Deacon.


[short pause]

"Yes Deacon."

[no pause]

"Wouldn't it be cool if I had a hundred million, maybe two hundred million nails?"

[no pause]

"Aren't you curious what I would do if I had that many nails?"

[short pause]

"Yes Deacon. Actually I am curious, what do you want all those nails for?"

[no pause]

"I'd nail them on all my walls and hang key chains on all of them, so there would be key chains all over all the walls."

[short pause]]

"Hmm. You know what? I actually thought of that once or my room, but your grandpa and grandma didn't think it was a very good idea."

[thoughtfull pause]

"Why wasn't it a good idea?"

[no pause]

"Was Grandpa Chris afraid that if you used all those hundreds of nails in your room, there would be none left for him to finish his front steps?"

[short pause]

"No, I think it had more to do putting all those holes in the walls. Deacon, go check and make sure your brother didn't leave the freezer open."

[as soon as Deacon returns]

"Dad, are you almost done with the deck?"

[short pause]


[no pause]

"Cause I was thinking we could maybe go count your nails and see how many you have."

[no pause]

"Because I'm going to need lots of hundreds of nails for all those key chains..."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Controversial Monday: Outdoor Baseball

When I was in elementary school I loved baseball. I had a smattering of cards, knew statistics and followed every game of the hometown team with relentless enthusiasm.

I seldom went to games; however. I was 10 and I didn't have any money.

Now, I am a fairweather fan. I don't mind watching an agonizingly long baseball game on TV. But I don't have time for that. And driving downtown, parking and actually going to a game? Don't have time for that either.

So really, part of me doesn't care at all if the stadium has a roof or not. I would probably only go once every couple years anyway.

But when I hear "This is the way baseball was meant to be played" I laugh to myself.

Maybe outdoors is the way that baseball is meant to be played.

But baseball is also MEANT to be played.

And I can't help but wonder how much it will actually get PLAYED and ENJOYED by playing outdoors in the cold north.

Maybe baseball was never meant to be played up here at all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a Few Things

This afternoon we have our 20 week sonogram! I am excited to see the baby and have everything checked out. I had asked Deacon if he wanted to come, but when he found out that it was going to be long and that we were not going to find out if it was a boy or a girl, he opted to hang out with Gma Pam and his brothers.

I have a whole list of things I want to get done in the next 20 weeks. Sometime I will post them.

I pulled out some maternity clothes but I have not needed to wear them yet...and actually I think I am probably at least a month out from needing them at all - even though I feel ginormous.

And now, without any further ado, I present to you the conversation of the day:

picture two little boys. One wearing a bike helmet, shorts/short sleeve pjs, elbow and knee pads with a walkie talkie attached to the front of his shirt; and the other wearing pjs (with an off the shoulder top), a bear backpack, Zorro like mask and a walkie talkie in hand.

Deke: "Super heroes are not silly. They are serious."

Roman: "But Super heroes are cool!"

Deke: "Serious is cool. Serious means looking like you are mean, but really you are just serious."

Go save the world from Venom, little Superheros...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We have been homeschooling for about 6 weeks now, and I have neglected to post at all about how things are going.

They are going fine.

It is just kindergarten, and I haven't been super aggressive yet because it has still been nice out etc. Well, nice out until this week.

All I can say is this: Deacon is an interesting child.

He loves the first Boxcar children book we read.

He also loves The Cricket in Times Square that we are reading now.

He likes working on his printing. I frequently have to try to convince him that attaching his capital letters to each other in a "bubble letter" format does not mean that he is writing cursive.

He enjoys his math, but it is maybe somewhat difficult for him. I can see his little brain getting tired and encourage him to stop for the day, but he likes to keep going.

His favorite subjects are literature and history/geography.

He is fascinated by the story "Issun Boshi: One-Inch Boy" which is a Japanese folktale. He also likes the "Dry Bones" song and I have to sing it over and over. We read the account in Ezekiel and he was quite interested.

We have been reading different biographies of people from early American history. Clara Barton is his favorite, although he does have an appreciation for George Washington Carver's invention of Peanut Butter.

Today we read about the Code of Hammurabi. He was a ruler of Babylon and instituted laws. We talked about laws and whether or not they are important. (I agreed with Hammurabi and said that they were, in case you were wondering). The section of the book talks about how he recognized the need for justice, but that some of his laws were harsh or unfair. For example: he had a law that if a doctor operated on a patient and the patient died, then the Doctor's hand should be chopped off.

A couple of hours later we were eating lunch. Deacon said (out of the blue), "So the ruler we learned about today said that if a Doctor xrays a patient and they die his hand should be cut off. That is a bad law. Stopping at stop signs is a good law. Right, Mom?"

I got a little worried that I would have one of those kids who doesn't know basic, practical skills but does know the intricacies of the Code of Hammurabi.

So when Noah got home I gave Deke a shoe tying lesson, slapped some knee pads on him to match Noah's and sent him out into the cold to be his dad's deck assistant.

This accomplished 2 things:
1. Practical life skills for Deacon
2. Me getting to stay inside

All in all, it was a successful day in Kindergarten.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 Things You'd Think I Would Know By Now

1. Leaving an open container of sugar on the kitchen counter is a bad idea. Always.

2. You must NEVER say, "well, we will have next weekend to finish the deck. It is not going to snow THIS early"

3. Don't throw clothes over the dressing room wall. The tag may hit someone in the eye.

4. Cuddling with your 2 year old nightly is an good way to break him of his excellent sleep habits.

5. That there MUST be a moment where a sword fight is stopped and a truce is called- if you miss that moment, it will undoubtedly end in tears.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Controversial Monday, a little early

I don't know how controversial this is, but it should be fun!

One of our local radio stations had a fear factor like gimmick on this week. I won't bore you with the details - only that it sparked a lot of discussion between Noah and I about which of these 5 situations is the most scary.

1. Riding on one of those underneath roller coasters (or any other scary, intense, no pregnant women kind of rides)

2. Holding a Tarantula, Boa Constrictor and Hissing cockroach

3. Standing in a hockey goal (with full gear on) taking shots from a professional hockey player.

4. Eating foods like Squid eyes, lung, tongue and other such delicacies

5. Creating and performing your own stand up routine at a comedy club.

Gotta tell you, number 1 scares me to death. I hope no one ever offers me lots of money to go sky diving or on certain rides, because as much as I would want the money; I don't know if I could make myself do it.

Number 2? Creepy yes, but I would do it.

Number 3 is also scary to me, but it is very quick and I doubt I could get out of the way fast enough, so as long as I was initially on the ice I would be ok.

Eating gross food? I don't know. That is pretty nasty and I am not sure.

The stand up routine would be bad and I am sure not funny, but I don't think it would ruin me forever, so I would do it.

Noah has surprisingly different answers.

What about you? Which would be the easiest for you, which would be the hardest and why?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things Break. All the Time.

We have been married for just about 9 1/2 years now, and in our house for 5 1/2.

And things break, we are finding.

Last night my phone wouldn't charge, my computer wouldn't run from the outlet. We changed outlets. Still nothing.

Thankfully we soon figured out that we had lost power in outlets all over the kitchen and the dining room. We reset the one and now we are able to charge.

But our main computer is on the fritz (hence no pictures on the blog).

And our vaccum cleaner has a frayed cord.

We need to replace our AC in the spring, and the furnace might go with that.

Our furniture is on a rapid decline.

Oh what to replace first?

It is kind of fun to be able to get new things, but it can get overwelming at times when it is just one more thing all the time.

Speaking of things breaking, there is currently a lot of banging and crashing going on in the basement. I believe they are playing Max and Ruby in Grandma's attic.

In other news:
*We are freezing.
*The baby (and my stomach!) is growing.
*Lincoln is talking more.
*We are still trying to finish the deck and patio (inbetween social engagements and rain).
*The house is a mess, and I have lots to do before snow flies.

Have a good Thursday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Controversial Monday:Bikini Edition

Ahh...Bikini edition. You are all interested, aren't you?

Before I go on though, I will make a couple of things clear:

1. I know that I am not always the most conservative dresser.

2. I know that things are not always perfectly proper around our house. For example, just last week my 5 year old grudgingly agreed to give underwear/boxers/boxerbriefs another "try".

But now, let's talk about the little bikinis. Or even just moderately small 2 pieces.

Deacon and Roman are in swimming lessons on Saturdays. One of Deacon's coswimmers is a little girl about his age. She is bound for model-dom. There is no hint of the little girl baby chubby belly on her. She is long legged and very cute. And she wears a bikini. And sometimes while she is waiting her turn on the edge of the pool she dances a little. You know, just the typical little High School Musical or Hannah Montana number.

All cute and innocent, except that she is wearing a bikini and dancing next to my little boy.

And it makes me uneasy.

You see, Mothers of Girls, I am a mother of boys. And I am going to do my best to teach them to respect women, to avert their eyes if necessary. To keep their little hands to themselves.

But what is a mother to do when from such a very young age they are surrounded by bikini clad dancing peers?

And Deacon looks at her admiringly.

I know that now he admires her for her amazing swimming skills and that she is a fun loving little girl - but I am sure that will change at some point.

And then what?

So here is the question:

Mothers of Girls: Do you let your girls wear bikini'sor moderately skimpy 2 pieces? Is there an age that you will/would make them wear something more conservative?

Mothers of boys: am I the only one who is nervous about this?

Everyone else: What do you think about it?

I want everyone to contribute a comment on this! I really want to hear some different perspectives!

[Edit: You can't lead into a post like this and then not leave the readers a picture of a bikini! -NB]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Controversial Monday: Thursday Edition

So my controversial topic of the week is "Home Alone".
(the picture is one that Noah took. See, that is my reflection in the window)

Noah has been gone the last few days on a work related assignment. He got home last night, right in time to help me put the kids in bed.

I don't like it when he is gone. It is lonely and I miss him. I also don't like being a single parent- but even before we had kids I still missed him when he would be gone.

Thankfully he doesn't travel much.

I gotta tell you, though, I get a lot more accomplished around the house when he is gone. I put the kids to bed early and clean and do projects. Meals consist of PB & Js and Mac and Cheese - so there is little prep and not as much clean up.

So the question of the day is: Do you like it when the people you live with are away for a few days at a time? Do you get lonely? Do you like having the alone time? Do you get more or less done? Do you like having an evening apart now and then or on a regular basis? Or are you miserable if all your free time is not spent together?

Tell me!