Monday, March 31, 2008

Store Update: Shopping Night!

This time around, working at the store has been harder on the girls than in the past. I'm not sure if it is because they are older or what, but it has definitely made me think about doing this again in the Fall. Since starting work on March 16th, I've managed to work nearly 80 hours in 11 days. This does not include driving the 3 hours round trip (3 x 11= 33 hours on the road). Add in the screwy sleep times and inconsistent meals, and it makes for 3 tired and cranky little girls. Not to mention a tired Mama and Daddy!

If there is one thing I can count on, by working at the store, my kids get sick. With all the other (sick) kids there and knowing that not everyone disinfects their items before selling them, there are bound to be germs floating around the place. Youngest is walking around with a yucky, runny nose; Middle coughs; Oldest has some kind of virus that is giving her diarrhea and tummy aches (but that could be from not eating home cooked food, too). They are getting better now, and we are home from the store with a much needed 2 day break. How nice to be able to cook meals and keep a better eye on what is going in their tummies food-wise and to tuck them into bed at their proper bedtimes.

On the other hand, the pay-off for all this upheaval, will be shopping on Wednesday night for us staffers. With my hours (plus Hubby's hours), we have more than enough to buy the things we will need for the new baby, some summer clothing and shoes for the girls, and a couple of other items-- like a few books and games. We do hardly any other shopping elsewhere for the things the kids need and we pretty much shop twice a year for their clothing and shoes.

When I had my other kids, I nursed them and faithfully used a Boppy pillow for support. With the last one, my old Boppy was getting ripped and stained and I made a new one from scrap cloth and recycled the stuffing. I have since got rid of it and I had contemplated making another one instead of buying one, but at the store, there is a pile of Boppys and the cheapest one is $5 that also comes with an extra cover. At that price, I'll go ahead and buy it instead of making my own.

I've talked with Hubby and we both determined that our budget for this sale will be $200. Less would be better, but the maximum is $200. I've told the girls that they can each pick out 5 outfits and 2 pairs of shoes (with Mama's approval) and a few other little things. I think staying within $200 should be no trouble because I know at the end of the sale, I can go through the items that people didn't pick up, and I can pick out what I want for free. This is when I will be getting baby clothing-- some girl, some boy, and some gender-neutral outfits. There's always lots of nice items left and it's a great chance for me to pick up extra outfits for those outdoor days when they are busy cooking up mudpies or out working in the garden with me.

**Thanks to everyone for leaving comments on my previous posts. Normally I respond to all of them, but it's been crazy around here lately. I'll start replying to comments when my time at the store is over, after April 20. Until then, I have read each and every comment and I thank you for them. :o)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Doing What's Best..

I would assume that when you have a child, you'd want to do the best you can for that child. You want to make sure that they are not wanting for anything, that they eat well and stay healthy, that they get a good education and grow to be happy and well-adjusted. That's how I feel about my own children. I want them to have the best without spoiling them and without sending myself to the poorhouse.

There is a woman at the consignment shop with 3 girls. The oldest is 9, the middle one is 3 or 4 and a 6 month old baby. The oldest and youngest are deaf. They haven't done any testing to find out why they are deaf, but as far as she knows, there is no history of deafness in her or her husbands' families. The Oldest child has a cochlear implant. The youngest has been tested and found to have hearing loss but not profoundly deaf.

Keep in mind, her oldest is 9 years old. She has had 9 years to accept that her child cannot hear normally even with a cochlear implant and to this day, still cries when talking about her kids. I know this because my Boss introduced her to me, thinking that if she talked with someone else who is deaf might feel better about her own kids. I got the feeling after talking with her that I did no good and I was only telling her things she didn't want to hear.

Her kid is doing poorly in school and I asked if she got an interpreter for her to help in classes. She said they stopped signing because one of their counselors said it would hamper her language development. (insert swear words here towards so-called counselor!) Plus, she didn't want to pull any more attention to the fact that her kid is deaf by having an interpreter follow them around school. This poor kid cannot follow what is going on in her classes and gets left out of conversations among her peers because she does not know what they are talking about. By not knowing what is going on, she withdraws into her own little cocoon and loses her confidence in making friends and starting up conversation. I know this because I have been there.

When I mentioned this to the mother, that kids picked on me for my deafness and I had no friends, she started to cry again and sobbed that her daughter also had no friends. I asked if she looked around for mainstream programs or maybe checked out the deaf schools and she said she wanted her daughter to be "as normal as possible" and wanted to keep her at home (many deaf schools are residential meaning living in dorms from Sunday nights through Friday and going home on weekends). I told her that she lived close enough to a school that I knew had a day program, but she made the excuse that her baby was crying and never came back to me to talk some more.

I understand that from a hearing person's point of view, having a deaf child seems like such a horrible physical birth defect. From a deaf person's point of view, it's not all that bad if you don't make it out to be. So I cannot hear music or the birds twittering or hear that person whispering 5 rows down in the classroom. There are so many other things I can do to make up for it. I can still see, I can still laugh, I can still feel, I can still think. She is thinking of herself and not of her daughter. I mean, to stop signing because someone else says so is so stupid! She is now depriving her daughter of understanding what she is saying and what is going on around her. Who cares if the interpreter brings attention to her while in school-- what is more important, understanding the teacher or failing the class? Did it ever occur to her that if her kid could understand the lesson that she would feel more confident to join group discussions? Did it ever occur to her that her daughter's needs come first, even if that means letting her go to a residential deaf school?

I partly blame the doctor that she had 9 years ago when her first child was born and they discovered she was deaf. The doctor told them that she would never talk, never learn properly and would basically be a dumb child unless they performed a cochlear implant. Well, with words like that coming out of a doctor's mouth, that would scare me too! What saddens me is that they didn't go for a second opinion or do a little research and maybe visit a deaf school to see other deaf children and see that they are just as normal as hearing children. What saddens me is a professional counselor telling them to stop signing because it will hamper her language development, but then turn around and tell people to teach hearing babies to sign to enhance their language skills.

One of the questions the mother asked me, when she first met me, was how much hearing did I have. I felt like she was judging me and if I said I could hear then my opinions didn't count because I wasn't deaf like her kid was. Then she asked me if any of my kids were deaf, and again I felt like because I said no, then she could say that I don't know what she is going through as a parent. I told her that I was profoundly deaf, and with my hearing aid, I could hear some but not clearly. I told her that there is a chance my girls could lose their hearing some day, and if they did, that would be ok. It's just their hearing, they are not losing their selves. I might be a little sad for them because I know that they will have some struggles to adjust to being deaf and not being able to hear people and have to look for alternative ways to use the phone or hire interpreters, I've been there. But with all the technology of today, life gets easier for deaf people. It's not a death sentence.

I feel sorry for her and her family. I'm sorry that after 9 years, she cannot accept that her kids are deaf and then move on to do what is best for them to succeed in their lives. I hope that in spite of her mother, the 9 year old will one day break free and thrive on her own, whether she finds her identity with hearing people or deaf people. I wish her family all the best of luck, they're going to need it with an attitude like that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When Grandma and Grandaddy Come to Visit...

...they always bring donuts. Lots of 'em!

They have been bringing donuts for quite awhile now, because they get here so early, there is no time for me to make breakfast for the kids. Yum! Donuts are good! If they come bearing donuts, early morning visits are good, too!

My Mother in Law had another surprise for me...

This lovely Pyrex bowl. Look at the shine on that baby! They got it as a wedding present 45 years ago and it got put away and used only occasionally. She remembered that I like vintage Pyrex and we talked once about how it was nice to get family heirlooms to remember them by. It has been passed on to me and I can't wait to clear off a space in the hutch and display it. I love it!

They also came with little Easter bags for the girls and then after catching up and eating donuts and playing with the Grandchildren, it was back on the road to home. They come early and leave early. Sometimes their visits are not long enough, but it is frequent enough to satisfy just a little bit.

Work at the store is going smoothly. Clothes are getting tagged, shoes are sorted and organized, books and movies are categorized and alphabetized, and last night when I left, the baby toys were all sorted and set out on tables. Taking a day off today and will return Thursday to finish the rest of the toys.

Spring is here and the temperature is hitting the mid-60's! My lilies are coming up and the Forsythia is budding and the girls are outside playing. How nice to not need the wood stove and to shed our coats-- for today at least. Hope you all are enjoying warmer days where you are!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

In the time since Hubby has not worked, my faith has been tested and I have learned many things about myself. What I thought was faith turns out to be false and I have realized the true meaning of faith. I have come to understand more about myself than I ever thought I could at this stage in my life and I have also learned how family and friends rally together to help each other out.

I always held to the belief that things happen for a reason, that there is a lesson to be learned when something happens. Might not always see it at the time, but after the fact, you can reflect and the reason becomes clear. I thought there must be a lesson in what we are going through, why Hubby is having a difficult time in finding steady work and why we are going through our savings to continue to support ourselves. I thought it was because maybe we were being too frivolous with our money and over consuming when it came to material goods. Maybe we were to learn how to be more thrifty and re-purpose things and learn to make do with what we had. Perhaps we needed to teach our girls that they didn't need more plastic toys to have fun, but to show them a world of imagination that exists when they put it to use.

When Hubby turned negative and started to despair, I'd tell him to have faith and things will work out in the end. I realized that we both had a different understanding of what faith meant and until we met on the same level, nothing I could say or do could ease his woes. Somehow, during the last couple of months, our faith has crossed paths and we are now on the same page. We have realized that God has taken care of us all along, that we already have what we need. What we despaired for was what we wanted and once we got over that, once we found that we have everything we could possibly need, an inner peace has come over us and we are now a much happier family.

My Mother in Law is a faithful church-goer and has gone to her church with the wish that they would pray for Hubby and I. She asked for them to pray for us and they have done more than that. Her church has gathered some funds and then asked us for a grocery list and bought us enough food to stock our pantry to over-flowing. Hubby, at first, told his Mom that we were not "charity cases" and we are not standing with our hands out asking for help. She told us that the church just wanted to help and that it was something they always did. Yesterday, we picked up all the groceries and it just blew us away at the amount of food they gave us. I am truly grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness and it was another example of how faith works. Also an example of what goes around, comes around. How many times have we given food to food drives? How many times have we shared extra boxes of food and juice to local shelters? And now, when we need help, when we are low on items, someone shares what they have with us.

Every time we have needed something, our faith stepped in and provided. When we needed money to pay the bills, something sold extraordinarily well on eBay to cover just the amount we needed. When we were getting low on wood and the chainsaw wasn't working, a friend calls and tells us to help ourselves to firewood left on his property. When we discovered we needed to buy a new hot water tank, family members offer to pay for a replacement. When we got behind on bills and car payments, our tax refund came to the rescue and we paid off our credit cards and caught up on car payments. Working for our friend at the consignment shop takes care of our children's clothing needs and helps us sell our own items for money we will need to pay the car insurance bill coming up.

This is how He works. When you need something, He will provide for you. But when you want something, something that is not needed, He isn't going to do that. This is where our faith wavered until our eyes opened up and we finally understood that. We also know that in order for Him to help you, you need to get off your butt and do the work. You need to prove that you are willing to work for it. I once saw Joel Osteen tell a story on his Sunday show that explains this perfectly. A man moans that he is not well but cannot carry himself to the healing waters. Day after day he moans for help and shakes his fist at God for not helping him. Other people make every effort to bring themselves to the healing waters, they concoct some sort of wagon to wheel themselves around or painfully limp, step by step, to get help. As they finally reach the healing waters, they were cured of whatever ailed them. God rewards those who help themselves. I understand this now. You will get nothing if you do nothing.

As you celebrate Easter today, remember the reason for it all. Thank Him for what you do have. Be gracious in your prayers and remember others. Most of all, be happy and love one another.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Day Off

Staying home today from work and it sure feels good not to be running up and down the roads for a day. The space for the store is huge and with all the walking I'm doing, I'm pretty sure I'll lose a pound or two! By the end of the day, my poor feet are killing me and when we get home, I plop on the couch and just melt into the cushions! The first night home from work, Hubby and I both fell asleep on the couch and woke at 2 am to drag ourselves to the bed.

People are trickling in with their items for us to put away and display and I just know that there will be lots of last-minute procrastinators rushing in on Saturday, the last day we accept items. Not looking forward to the hectic-ness of that day, but we will be gone in the morning to our nephews' 7th and 5th birthday party and then go to work in the late afternoon. We will be jumping into the fire for sure!

On Tuesday, we talked and thought it would be nice for Hubby to take the older two girls to the movie theater. They've never been to one before and we thought they would enjoy the time spent with Daddy and the thrill of seeing 'Horton Hears a Who' on a huge screen with popcorn and everything. Work was a little slow so off they went to the movies.


WHY do movies cost so much?!?!? They went during the matinee times which is supposed to be cheaper ticket costs. The total ticket cost was $22.50 for a 5 year old, a 4 year old and 1 adult. Then 3 drinks and 3 popcorn totaled $32.50!! Do you realize that going to the movies cost us $55?!?!? Had we known it was going to cost that much, we would have never decided to go and wait for the damn video instead! Don't movie theaters make enough money as it is? Is it really necessary to take out a loan to get popcorn and drink at the movie theaters? When Hubby ordered the drinks, they did not have any sample size cups out so he had no idea that 1 small drink would have quenched the thirst of an entire African village. The poor girls had to drink bucket-sized sodas and eat suitcase-sized popcorn. At those prices, I asked Hubby if he made sure they ate every kernel and drank every last drop?!

My dear, darling husband has not been to the movies since we started seeing each other. Because I am deaf, I don't go and the last movie I saw at the theater was Splash. I have encouraged Hubby to go the movies if he wanted to, but he has been content to wait until it comes out on DVD and then we can both watch it together on the captioned TV in the comfort of our home with the ability to pause if one of us needs a bathroom break. So on that note, Hubby has not stepped foot inside a movie theater for more than 11 years. We had no idea that prices sky-rocketed for ticket costs and snacks.

Ok, venting over.

I'll return to work tomorrow and will be back Sunday to write another post. Until then, Happy Spring!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


As I am about to embark on my little 5 week stint at the children's consignment shop, I won't be able to post very much. Things will be busy with me taking along 3 children to work and leaving home at 9 in the morning and returning home at 11 at night, only to do it again the next day. I'll try to post once or twice a week, but no promises, because I cannot foresee how I'll feel when I am home. (tired.. very tired!) I'll be reading blogs but probably not leaving comments, so I hope you'll come by every now and then and don't forget me!

Barefoot has tagged me with a meme of sharing 6 non-important things about myself. Every time I see a meme on some one's blog, I think about the answers I'd give if it was me. Of course now that it is me, my mind goes blank! Figures!

Rules, because everything has them:
1. Link to the person that tagged you. (See above)
2. Post the rules on your blog. (Right here)
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (Check it out below)
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (More checkin' it out below)
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. (Will do as soon as I figure out 6 people).

  1. I have 8 piercings-- 7 in my ears and 1 in my tongue. Each piercing happened at a certain milestone in my life and I clearly remember each time. At thirty-something, and a soon to be mom of 4 kids, I get funny looks when people notice my tongue piercing, but I got it over 13 years ago and it feels funny when it isn't there.
  2. I can't stand the taste of coffee, but love the smell of it.
  3. I haven't worn perfume since I got pregnant with Oldest. I would get super sensitive to my own as well as others' perfume and come down with a scratchy throat that would soon become a full-blown sickness almost as bad as bronchitis. I miss my perfume sometimes.
  4. I once had a pet snapper. Mom found him as a little baby, the size of a 50 cent piece and brought him home to me. I adopted him, not knowing it was a snapper. Named him Herman and took him to college with me. When anyone else picked him up, he peed on them, but never on me. I was his turtle-mama! I had him about 2 years before he ran away from home. Yes, ran away. Put him outside on the grass for some "tummy time" and whoever says turtles are slow is a liar! Never saw him again. *sniff-sniff*
  5. I only wear silver jewelry, with the exception of my wedding ring. It is a celtic love knot ring made of white gold edged with yellow gold. The knots have no beginning and no end and mean eternal love.
  6. I love the smell of bleached whites when I do laundry. When I fold them, I am always taking a sniff of each item, inhaling the bleach-y clean scent. Reminds me of my summers in the pool when my hair would always smell like chlorine.

I tag: You! If you read this, consider yourself tagged! Let me know and I'll come and read it.

Check out the website for the kid's consignment shop I'll be working at and you'll get an idea of where I have gone to. I have been with her since almost the beginning and it has always been fun, though it is lots of hard work, too. Even though I've moved farther away and it takes me 3 hours round trip to get there and back, it's too good for me to pass up. I'm hoping to score some free baby outfits for both a girl or a boy and some maternity tops as well. A recent search through my closets turned up zero maternity shirts and my regular tops keep riding up the front of my belly. See you in a few days!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pregnancy Update #2

At 5 1/2 months pregnant, I feel pretty good. I feel like I am further along than I am, but all my pregnancies have been large and this one proves to be no different. All my babies were over 8 pounds, and this will probably be the same.

I do feel one big difference this time around-- I am more conscious of where the baby is and feeling more "loose", for lack of a better term. I can feel the baby bouncing around inside my belly and it is a very sweet feeling at this point. I'm sure by 8 or 9 months I'll be begging baby to stop kicking my bladder or putting it's foot under my ribcage, but for now, it's so soft that it simply reminds me that my belly does not belong only to me.

As for the "looseness" I feel, because this is my fourth pregnancy, it feels like my body is easily slipping into pregnancy mode and assuming the positions. I feel like my belly grew faster this time, and when I squat, I can feel more pressure between my legs than I can remember with the other three. Nothing painful, just a vivid reminder that soon, I'll be squeezing a baby out.

The first time I felt baby inside me move, was about a month ago. It was about 2 weeks ago that Hubby could feel the baby as well. On an active kicking session, I could see the top of my belly bouncing and putting my hand there, could feel it, too. I grabbed Hubby's hand and soon, baby kicked hard enough to startle Hubby. Brought tears to my eyes to know that Hubby felt the baby move and made it seem more real to him, too.

Here's me, 5 1/2 months pregnant.

Still no certain food cravings popping up yet with this one. Though I must admit I got more than frustrated when my favorite ice cream flavor was not in stock at the local food store. I go wild for Edy's Cherry Chocolate chip ice cream and when it's on sale, I tend to stock up and buy 2 or 3 or 4. Came on sale this week and I was there the first day of the sale, but nothing. Looked all over, scanning each carton in case I missed it-- nothing! Hmph! Walked out without my ice cream. Pregnant lady is not happy!

Exercising more, but only because there are 3 kids to chase around the house! Gained 9 pounds so far, so maybe not having my ice cream was a good thing?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Won't Be Long Now!

The first signs of Spring!!

The temperature warmed up to the high 50's today, and we all spent some much needed outdoor time today. Hubby worked on the chain saw, and I walked back and forth across the yard, dragging fallen branches to one big pile. Youngest followed and helped me with little twigs of her own, while Oldest and Middle climbed trees and explored among the azalea forest. I say 'azalea forest' because that's what it is-- a forest. The previous owners planted over 100 azaleas in the front yard and it makes for a beautiful display in the spring when they bloom. BUT! In the last few years before we bought the house, they were getting older and unable to care for the lawn the way it needed to be, and then the husband got a lung transplant and the wife spent all her time caring for him. So meanwhile, the azaleas grew and grew, with no discipline or training.

Now, we have wild and crazy azaleas and we are working hard to beat back the crazy escapees (did you know they have very long root systems and baby azalea bushes pop up more than 20 feet away?) and trim back the mature bushes without killing them.

This was taken last Spring in front of one of the bushes and I plan to take one every year with the kids in a similar pose, sort of to make a traditional photo and to keep a yearly Spring photo of their growth. (They are holding cupcakes in their hands, because I was taking some photos to use for a birthday invite)

Hope the signs of Spring are showing for all of you and Old Man Winter is losing his grip where you are!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is There Anything Better?

Than fresh-squeezed orange juice?

Is it possible for juice to taste even better when it is squeezed with a vintage juice press?

How about when you drink it out of a vintage glass, too?


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Everything In It's Place!

As promised...

...a picture of my new cabinets full of crafty stuff! I managed to fit everything in them and re-discovered lots of items I forgot all about: 5 bins of new and vintage fabric! 5! F.I.V.E. Five!! I had no idea I had so many!! Time for some sewing projects! I also had no idea that I had so many vintage sewing notions-- see that wire basket on top in the middle with the basket sitting on top? That's FULL of old rick-rack and zippers and buttons and needles and edgings and pin cushions and.... Time to weed through some and keep my favorites and sell or give away the rest. See the pink basket on the far right? That has been such a blessing this week! I forgot I had it and the girls were all over it and it kept them busy for 3 days straight! 3 days of 3 little girls threading long shoe laces through wooden beads and cardboard animal punchouts. 3 days of Oldest "sewing" cardboard punchouts and proclaiming herself a better "sewer" than me! I actually got those beads and punchouts (is that what you call them? I'm calling them punchouts) from the trash at the landfill 'trash or treasure' shed before we moved and stashed them away in a box, saving them for when the girls were older. I'm SO glad I saved them!

I emptied 3 plastic bins of stuff and 12 cardboard boxes and I am feeling pretty pleased with the progress! There are still a few bits of crafty items around the house that I need to corral and put in their proper place, but this is the majority of it. Ahhh! Such a nice sight to see when I go down the stairs and see fewer boxes lurking in a corner of the basement and clean cabinets all organized! So nice to know where the soap making stuff is, or the stickers and stationary are in those 'matrix' boxes or where the glass seed beads are hiding. Hubby doesn't have to hunt around for his model car paints (in the rack on top) and the girls can find all their kiddie craft kits in one place.

Having Mom here was great! I look forward to when she retires and lives with us permanently! She realllly didn't want to go back to work on Saturday and was dragging her feet. She will be coming back next month for another 5 days, when we need her to babysit for 2 nights while we work at the kid's consignment shop. I start working next Sunday and Hubby will be joining me unless he gets a call from someone offering him a job.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Place For Everything!

Since we moved here nearly 3 years ago, the majority of our boxes are unpacked. There are still maybe 20 boxes that have been opened, but not unpacked because there is no where to put them. Those boxes are full of crafty items. My sewing machine got unpacked because it gets used fairly often, but I've had to put a lot of other crafts on hold. I had plans for a craft room, but then the budget happened and we had to watch our spending and buying stuff for a craft room just didn't take priority. So when I wanted to make something, I had to dig through a box and figure out where everything was, then when the project was finished, I had to either put them back in the box or find a place for the materials.

There was a very good sale on storage cabinets and we used just a little bitty part of our tax refund to buy some cabinets. I am SO excited at the prospect of finally finding a home for all the crafting materials and not putting projects off because it was too much hassle to pull out of the boxes.

We bought 3 cabinets, and 2 are put together so far. They're pressed wood, which is not my first choice, but I priced the real wood stuff and that was wayyyyy out of our price bracket. It's either spend $40 on a pressed wood cabinet or let my crafting stuff languish in boxes for who knows how long!

Tomorrow, I go and get my Mom and bring her up for 5 days! I am going to keep her busy with the kids, so I can get busy and unpack my craft boxes! Yay! I'll take a picture of the finished cabinets after I've unloaded everything into them! I can hardly contain my excitement! I probably won't be posting much while Mom is here, so have a good week!