Monday, June 30, 2008
They wanted to keep me in for observation a little bit, to see if the contractions intensified and if I dilated any more, and after 45 minutes of being hooked up to the monitors, the contractions petered out and I decided that we might as well go back home. It was 4:15 by now and I hadn't had any sleep yet. They let us go with a list of when to come back if this or that happened.
We got home a little after 5 am. I've done lots of walking since and my Aunt and Uncle are here with us to watch the kids if we have to run to the hospital, but so far, everything is calm. Baby still moves around and I am flushing away part of the mucus plug every time I go to the bathroom, so I know it'll be soon. My mom can't wait around any longer, she has to go back to work, so Hubby took her back today. In the meantime, I still have Aunt and Uncle here, but I'm not doing any walking until he gets back. Life goes on.
Charlie the cat needs to give up his membership card to the meat-eaters club. I was peeling corn for dinner one night and this corn got attacked by Charlie who happily gnawed away on it!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I had an ob appointment on Thursday and I was dilated 3 cm that afternoon. The doctor didn't think I would make it through the weekend. She was as surprised as I was that I hadn't had the baby by then. My mom, who is here again for another week, was on her way home and decided to stay, hoping to catch me having the baby. She has to go back to work tomorrow and I've been doing all kinds of walking trying to help along the dilation of the cervix. Nothing yet, but I think it'll be happening soon. Just a feeling I have.
I've been working the berries I picked, washing, straining out the seeds and making jam, knowing that there is a strong possibility I won't be able to work them for the next few days. I used up all the berry juice I had stored in the fridge and it's a good feeling seeing all the jars of jam neatly lined up along the counter and in their boxes, waiting to be put away for later.
We have all the paperwork done for the hospital, my bag is packed and ready to go, I have a towel on the car seat, just in case, I have a plastic bed liner on the bed, just in case... Just a matter of time, now. People are teasing us, hinting at a 4th of July baby.. I hope it won't be that long, but if that's what happens, then that's ok. The doctor told me that they do not let babies go a week past due date, so if I don't have baby by then, they will induce me on the 4th. I really want to avoid being induced, so I will be picking up the pace on the walking if I don't have it soon!
Here's a side by side of how much my belly has grown in 4 months
left-- 5 months pregnant; right-- 9 months pregnant
Hopefully, the next time I write, it will be to announce the birth of the baby!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I have discovered that our raspberries are now ripe. I am getting overwhelmed with both the mulberries and the raspberries and I should not complain. I have the capabilities to go out and pick berries, wash them, smash them and turn them into jam. I have the know how and the supplies and the materials I need to do so. Regardless of having jam left from last year, I cannot stand by and watch the berries fall to the ground and go to waste. We truly have a bumper crop of berries this year and I am spoiled by the bounty I have been blessed with. Next year, I may not be so lucky and will be grateful that I made as much jam as I did.
I have been walking around the gardens trying to encourage labor to start and since I'm out there, I pick berries. Sometimes the kids tag along, but mostly I am the only one willing to brave the swarm of gnats (keep your mouth closed! I've inhaled my fair share of bugs *hack! patooie!!*) and mosquitoes (*slap!*) and the occasional tick or two (shudder!).
I combine the juices of mulberries, raspberries, strawberries and grape juice and make something I like to call crazyberry jam. I made it last year when I was down to the last of the mulberries and didn't have enough juice for a batch of jam, so I added a few strawberries-- still not enough. Added raspberries-- still needed a little more. Added some bottled unsweetened 100% grape juice to get the amount I needed, and crazyberry jam was born! It was the first jam to run out and we literally went through more than a pint a week until it was gone.
Now I am purposely making crazyberry jam and preserved 12 pints Monday night. Already used up 1/2 a pint today alone. The girls are asking for jelly sandwiches and toast with jam and jelly sandwiches and jelly sandwiches and did I say jelly sandwiches? If you have a mixture of berries, go ahead and mix it up a little to make your own version of crazyberry-- I use 3 1/2 cups of combined juice, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 box of pectin (I use Ball brand), and 5 cups of sugar. I'll be making more tomorrow!
I am smashing the berries as I go, straining the seeds out and then storing the juice in 1/2 gallon jars until I am ready to make jam. I have nearly a gallon of mulberry juice in the fridge and it is an efficient system for me, because I just don't know when the baby will make an appearance. Should baby come tomorrow, it will be easy to pop the jars in the freezer so they don't spoil and I can make jam when it is convenient for me.
Not much going on around here, besides waiting for baby, picking berries and the usual family stuff.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I hope this isn't going to be another trend for people to jump on the bandwagon and say, "look at me! I'm green!" and then a few short weeks or months later, they go right back to doing what they've always done.
Being green IS a total lifestyle change, one that can be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can take small baby steps and grow from there, which makes it easy, or make big changes which sometimes can be costly and hard to keep up.
The husband and I have always been aware of our consumerism and after moving to our first house and discovering what a great recycling program our landfill had, became avid recyclers. Moving here, where there are nearly no recycling options at the landfill, we've had to find other ways to reduce our trash and recycle.
During the winter time, I admit to using our dryer when drying clothes. Partly because we bought a vent that lets the warm, moist air go back into the house instead of outside. Helps to heat the house and restore the humidity in the air that the wood stove dries up. My point? Since installing my outdoor clothes line (made of recycled telephone wire), I have just received my first electric bill that has zero dryer energy on it. Our average monthly bill is around $130, and it has gone all the way down to $89! That's $40 in savings!! Nothing else has changed-- we still use the same amount of electricity for lights, TV, cooking (electric stove), and computer. The air conditioner has not yet been used and the only thing that has changed is the dryer usage. I should add that I am probably using the stove more because of the jam-making I am doing these days.
Just imagine the power we all can save if everyone would choose to line-dry their clothing instead of using a dryer.
There are many more changes that we'd like to make / add to make our lifestyle even more green:
-A bigger garden for one-- I haven't been able to plant as much as I hoped this year (I like to think my growing belly gives me an excuse) but I'm happy with what we have planted so far.
-We plan on getting chickens next year, so we are busily working out chicken coop plans and gathering used materials to build one.
-I'd LOVE to get a goat, too, for the making of goat cheeses and yogurts, but I don't know if that is feasible just yet.
-I want to get more fruit trees than what we already have-- cherry, apple, blueberries to name a few.
-Rain barrels are desired as well, but I still need to figure out how to truck the water from the house alllll the way to the garden without breaking my back or having to buy multiple hoses.
There is much more that we could do, but these are the biggest goals we have at the moment. What kind of changes have you made this year that has made a big impact on your life and / or wallet?
Friday, June 20, 2008
I had my trusted and loyal assistant, Oldest, pull out a name from the tin....and the winner is...
Congratulations!! I've sent you an email with my contact information, so please check your messages!
Thanks to everyone else for entering the drawing and I really enjoyed hearing from you! This was fun! I may do this again!! Have a great weekend!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
We went from having a heat wave last week where we spent nearly every waking moment in the kiddie pool to cooler weather this week where I had to put blankets back on every one's bed. Not that I'm complainin', no not me! I love the cool breeze that blows open the curtains at night and the feel of crisp cool sheets on the bed with the ceiling fan lazily spinning round and round.
The popsicles are lasting a bit longer, too, instead of 3 hot, sweaty little girls begging for a popsicle every 10 minutes. My towel supply is not running out the door getting "accidentally" dropped in the pool or dragged through mud. We don't have to run our air conditioner, which we got fixed, and it turned out it was never broken after all, but a simple little switch that got turned off.
Another upside to the cooler weather? Perfect for heating up the kitchen with all my canning of the Mulberry Jelly! I don't have to hear Hubby grumble about me making the house hot. There's still time to leave a comment on the Giveaway post for a yummy jar of my fresh-made Mulberry Jelly! You don't want to pass this up! I'll be drawing a name on Friday afternoon after we get back from our yard sale-ing rounds.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I am genuinely surprised to have made it this far, because I was absolutely positive that I would have had the baby before now. I had contractions that were 10 minutes apart on the 8th of June and I realized that I had not packed a bag for the hospital! So I rushed around getting things packed and ready to go. Then after a couple hours of contractions, they faded away. After that, every time I touch my belly, a look of concern would come across Hubby's face and he would ask if I was alright. I had to reassure him that if I was having contractions again, I'd let him know!
Since then, I have not had any contractions and actually feel pretty good considering. My hips hurt at night when I sleep on my side, and I often wake with leg cramps that jolt me out of bed. Baby moves around and let's me know he is still in there, alive and kicking, but he needs to start moving on out!
If there is anything I am tired of, it's the feeling of being in limbo. The feeling of limiting myself in where I can go and what I can do. Tired of wondering if today is the day. Not being able to bend over and touch my toes without going red in the face. Putting on underwear with sore hips is something I'm ready to say goodbye to.
The girls often ask, as we head out to the doctor appointment, if the doctor is going to take the baby out now. I have to explain that the baby decides when to come out, and he'll come out when he is good and ready. Then Middle asks me, "The baby isn't ripe yet?" Something tells me I talk a little too much about food being ripe before you pick it!
Speaking of ripe-- you can still leave a comment for my Mulberry Jelly Giveaway! I'll have a drawing at the end of the week and send a lucky reader a jar of my freshly made Mulberry Jelly.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Yesterday, it rained most of the day. It stayed dark and thundered and lightning and we were cooped up in the house. I was antsy to get back out to pick more berries, but I knew my trusty net would catch the falling berries from the rain. Finally, after dinner, the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and the sun came out! Just in time for dessert! We all went out and the girls ate berry after berry and filled their little bellies. That's the kind of cooking I like!
I made another 6 pints of mulberry jelly yesterday morning and although I still have some left from last year and making more would leave me with too many jars, I can't help it! They are too good to let go to waste and they make great gifts come Christmas! I am always giving a jar here and there to friends and they always come back and ask for more! That is the ultimate compliment for a cook-- to have someone ask for more!
Breakfast this morning was english muffins and mulberry jelly! I never get to eat it all because the girls always hover and ask for bites or take a whole muffin and run away and eat it. I've long since learned to make a little more than usual so I don't end up hungry. Mulberries taste sort of like raspberries, but not. Very hard to describe the taste, but they are YUMMY! I strain the berries to make SEEDLESS mulberry jelly, so there is no crunch-crunch while eating toast or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
It's not too late to leave a comment for the GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment on my previous post and I will enter you in the drawing for a jar of Mulberry Jelly. I'll be drawing a name at the end of the week!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I set up an old mosquito net underneath the biggest mulberry tree in the garden area and this is what I found when I walked up there yesterday. With all the rains we have gotten this past Spring, the berries are the biggest and juiciest I have ever seen them! Nice and fat and many are over an inch in size! The branches are so low to the ground with all the weight of the berries. I filled up a bucket off this tree yesterday and then today I made and preserved 7 pints of mulberry jelly.
Youngest likes to tag along wherever I go in the garden and she was my little helper, happily helping to eat up all the berries. After she had her fill, she was squishing them between her fingers until I caught her and shooed her away.
This was from yesterday, and today I picked a little bit more than that. I'll be making another batch of mulberry jelly in the morning when it is still cool and I don't heat up the house with all the steam from the cooking pots.
I still have jelly left from last year so I'm going to do something I've not done before-- I'll give away a jar of my homemade mulberry jelly to a lucky reader that leaves a comment here. I would love to hear from you and that includes you lurkers! I'll draw a name at the end of the week and send the winner their very own jar! It's absolutely delicious and wonderful on toast and homemade bread. Good Luck!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Here's a few of those nice, fat, squat canning jars. Perfect for the jams I make. They're wide mouth, too, which makes it easier to use a knife to get to the jam.
Picked up a zippy bag full of sewing notions and I just love the graphics on the sewing needle sets.
I found the vintage Santa Claus today and got him for 25 cents. He's dated 1968 and still in pretty good shape. He'll be set up with our other vintage santas that we have, unless he happens to be a duplicate, in which case, I'll sell him on eBay. I think he is a bigger one than any I have, though, so he's probably a keeper.
Here are those gallon glass jugs we picked up for 50 cents apiece yesterday. The 3 on the left are all probably cider jugs and the green one looks like a wine one, to me. Their tops are kinda rusty, so I'll swap them out with cork and they'll be as good as new for the wine we made.Here's a close up of one of the jugs-- really nice embossed apple leaves all around it. I have a similar one that is half the size of this, that someone turned into a lamp base. This is apple country here, so yard sales are always packed with apple themed knick-knacks and fabrics.
I just love these tin measuring cups and spoons. I have several sets that I actually use, some I leave in the flour and sugar jars, and the rest are in the drawers. I probably have too many and can stand to sell some off, but I just love, love, love these! I pick them up whenever I see them. Found the salt and pepper set today for 50 cents.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Hubby had to take my mom back home yesterday, all of us sad to see her go, and sad that baby couldn't make his appearance while she was here. Spotted some signs advertising yard sales for Friday, so we made sure to go out that way today.
I really ought to take pictures of the signs, though I'm sure many of you have seen yard sale signs, the ones here are so different from what I am used to, even after three years of living here. This particular sign said: Yard/Field Sale, Friday-Saturday, 3.7 miles. We drove the 3.7 miles up and down country roads, passing little country houses and bigger, newer houses and older, smaller, falling-down shacks. All of a sudden you see bunches of balloons showing the way to the sale. Yard sale? Field sale? More like Flea Market! Oh! If all the yard sales could be like this one!
I wanted to take a picture of all the tables, but I was so excited and got out of the car, trying to hurry the children out so we could dive right in and claim our finds. Right off the bat, we spot old glass gallon jugs sitting in the grass, perfect for the strawberry wine to ferment in. 50 cents each! Took all 4 of 'em! We found everything from vintage, metal tool boxes (2.50) to vintage tin measuring cups and shakers (1.00 for all), old clothespins for crafting (1.00) to several dozen canning jars (2.00 a doz), of which I picked out the fat, squat ones they don't make anymore. There was a pile of girl clothes and the older two pounced on some swimsuits and sandals (1.00 each) and youngest was entranced with some little people toys. The people there even threw in an old, vintage fisher price phone made all of wood that was in great shape and we were perfectly willing to pay for it, but they said "for the little one". Thanks!
We spent a total of $15 there and came away with full arms and bags and boxes of goodies. We are revved up for another day of yard sale-ing tomorrow, and this time we are going in the opposite direction and packing a picnic lunch. I'm so glad that the husband likes yard sales as much as I do, and there is perfect harmony when we all head out as a family. Even the girls get excited about heading out and I enjoy explaining what something is, if they ask.
In case you're wondering.. some of the things we buy, we keep for ourselves, to use or for decoration. About half of what we get, we sell on eBay and at other places we go to. I always keep an eye out for children's items that I can sell at the store in the Spring and the Fall, and then I keep an eye out for vintage dishes and bowls like Pyrex and Fire King to sell on eBay. Hubby collects vintage cars and toys, so that's his thing that he keeps an eye out for and he weeds out some of what he has, for me to sell on eBay. We can't make a living out of it yet, but we do well enough to pay the bills here and there.
Pictures to come soon, after we get home from tomorrow's sales!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It was nearing dinner time and I had to do some dishes before I could get dinner started. With the heat lingering in the house, I've been avoiding the kitchen and cooking is very low on my priority list. We've been eating leftovers from the party and sandwiches, so as not to heat up the house anymore than it already is. Anyway, doing dishes, I put my hand inside one of the glasses to wash it and it broke and sliced my hand in 3 spots. All I saw was a dark red patch of blood spreading over my fingers and I started to feel a little nauseous. I'm not normally squeamish when it comes to blood, but I think the pregnancy and the heat and the pain had something to do with it. I stood there with my hand in the sink trying to steady myself and picking up the broken pieces. I didn't want to call too much attention to myself because then the girls would come running and see and start in on "Lemme see! Lemme see! I wanna see! "
I asked Oldest to go find Daddy and I had envisioned him getting the medicine and band-aids to wrap my finger up. I don't know why I thought this, when I know full well that he is the queasy one when it comes to blood. I grabbed a paper towel and wrapped my hand, then went to go get the medicine. I knew it was on my nightstand and it wasn't there. Checked the bathrooms, nothing. Asked Oldest if she knew where it was, nope. By now I was starting to cry from the pain and my husband tells me I don't need to cry about the medicine. I stared at him thinking he was such an insensitive clod thinking I was crying over medicine and not the actual pain.
I told him he would need to cut up the chicken for me since I had such a bad cut and his response? "Do we have to have this for dinner?" Again, I stared at him and through tears, told him to get out of the kitchen. I said he was an asshole and the minute it came out of my mouth, I regretted it. I was thinking it in my head and didn't mean for it to come out. I was not in my right head, and let me repeat-- it was the heat, it was the broken air conditioner, it was the pain, it was the pregnancy, it was the blood!! It wasn't me!!
I made the dinner and threw it in the oven. I told Hubby he had to make the salad and then I went outside with my mom for a walk around the gardens.
Dinner was a quiet affair. Hubby snapped a little too easily at the kids and we ate dinner without the usual chatter. Afterwards, with the kids watching TV and mom in her room, the husband and I talked. He told me he didn't appreciate what I called him and I told him I was sorry. I also told him that I felt like he was being insensitive and that I wasn't crying for some stupid medicine but because it frigging hurt! He apologized. We kissed and made up and all is well again.
I know that sometimes marriage is not all hearts and flowers and sometimes you have some very real, ugly moments when you think negative thoughts about your husband or wife. Usually you bite your tongue and it goes away and then in those rare moments ( for me, anyway) it actually comes out of your mouth before you can stop it. The key thing, though, is to talk about it afterwards and say you're sorry. Don't let it fester and grow bigger and bigger into something that can't be fixed. I am genuinely sorry I said that, because I know my husband would never say such a thing like that to me. I share this because I wanted to say that we have our rough moments, too, and we say bad things without meaning to. It can happen anytime, anywhere, but as long as you take the time to say you're sorry and to forgive and forget, things will be alright.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
"Is it still my birthday?" asking at lunch time.
"Will I be 6 tomorrow?"
"When I go to sleep and wake up, will it be my birthday?"
We had a lovely party day, having invited only family and one close friend with 3 children. I planned ahead and baked the cakes and made the potato salads the day before, so all I needed to do was relax and let Hubby man the grill.
I can't believe my baby is 6. Where did the time go?? I can remember every detail of her birth as if it happened yesterday, and yet it was 6 years ago since I've pushed her out and held her in my arms, admiring her face, marveling at the miracle of it all and seeing the tears in Hubby's eyes.
She has grown into a lively, strong-willed, young girl, with a penchant for investigating and wanting to know the answers to "Who, what, when, where, why and how". When she tries to wiggle out of a tight spot, she never fails to start an explanation with: "I just wanted to tell you something..." She is both a great big sister and a bossy sister. She hoards her goodies but expects her sisters to share theirs with her. She is destined for great things and I hope that she achieves whatever she wished for when she blew out her candles.
Happy Birthday my Little One. We love you so very very much!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Being pregnant with Middle and Youngest proved no different. My sex drive was still revved, although by the time I was pregnant with Youngest, I was a little more tired from my usual "mommy duties" but still getting it on at least 4 or 5 times a week.
This time, poor Hubby (and me!), my sex drive is ZILCH! ZERO. NADA. I find my husband to be just as handsome as the day I married him, I will fantasize about him and the other day in the car we were having the most delicious kisses in the parking lot. I love holding his hand and rubbing his bald head-- the big one, not the little man! But when it comes to bedroom play? I don't want anything to do with the little man! Oh pardon me, I mean, BIG MAN.
The husband will do all of his tried and true tricks on me, that normally would drive me wild and will end with the both of us panting and sweaty. But nothing happens. I can barely tolerate his touch on my naked skin and it's all I can do not to slap his hands away. Our poor sex life has dwindled to nearly nothing and my saint of a husband has been absolutely great and patient about it. He doesn't force me to do something I don't want to do or beg and plead like a 16 year old boy with raging hormones. I can't explain it, but I simply have no desire for sex.
Hubby came up with a theory. He wonders if because I am pregnant with a boy, that my sex drive went to him. Hmm... I think he might have something there. Have any of you other mothers that have been pregnant with both a girl and a boy noticed a difference in your sex drive? Or even if you only had a boy but had regular bed shaking before getting pregnant, noticed a drop in the night-time fun?
I realize this may be a topic some of you are shy to talk about. But I've always been sort of bold about stuff like this, and I really would love to hear from you. Inquiring minds want to know! Please share your experiences with me, who am I gonna tell? :o)
Monday, June 2, 2008
The first had lots of clothes, but I managed to find an old suitcase and a couple of books for my upcoming hospital stay. The second, well, that was much more to my liking, with lots of furniture, knick-knacks and tools. I found a great vintage glider (below) for a mere $15!! I quickly paid the man, and asked if I could pick it up on my way home, since I really needed to get back on the road if I wanted to make my appointment. Watching him put a SOLD sticker on it, I merrily went on my way, secure in the knowledge that Hubby would be pleased with my purchase.
After the appointment (where I had arrived at 10:55 for a 11:15 appointment, and they didn't call me in until 11:44 and I didn't see the doctor until after 12:15 and I didn't get back into my car until 12:33!) and running all my errands, I made it back to the yard sale to pick up my treasure. I made room in the van when I was at the store, so all Mr. Man had to do was slide it on in. I couldn't wait to get home and show it off to Hubby!
Sure enough, Hubby was excited about it and mentioned that we were just talking about looking for a glider a few days ago. We have a few of those old metal "hotel" chairs that we are cleaning up and going to repaint and this fits in just perfectly with what we have. It's in pretty good shape, only a couple of rust spots here and there, and after adding a little oil to the gliders, it glides fine. I still can't believe it was only $15 and once again, I feel so lucky to live up here where yard sales start as early as Thursday and people around here hold onto things.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Instead of making the yard sale rounds, we held our own yard sale. All week, we had been going through the house, pulling out long lost items and stuff that we just didn't use anymore. We gathered together quite a bit of stuff and it was all worthy of having a sale. I've never liked following signs to a yard sale and when you get there, it was hardly worth going to-- only a table or two worth of stuff. Anyway, we had lots of stuff, and I hoped for a good turn out considering we didn't advertise in the local paper and only put out a sign at the end of the driveway.
We had a wood chipper, old clothing, tv tables, coffee tables, glasswares...
...doll house, old jewelry, books, craft kits, christmas decorations...
...a bookshelf headboard, 50s dinette table and chairs and old atari and nintendo games. A pretty good variety of stuff, if you ask me.
Friday, we did pretty good-- we got the sign up a little after 10 am and soon saw our first customer who promptly bought almost all the electronic stuff-- the video games and Hubby's old stereo. He came back later with his wife who then bought up a lot of kitchen stuff. It was not a steady flow, but we made over $60 and that was good for me! We got rained out Saturday morning and in the middle of packing every soggy item back into their boxes, we had another customer happily go through the boxes and buy just about all my old glasses that I weeded through. That was another $10 to the kitty.
We told the girls that we would use the yard sale money to buy a little pool and so today, we made a trip to town and bought a pool. I remember as a kid, being in the pool every day in the summers when we lived in the apartments and I'm sure my mother was grateful for the peace it gave her while I was there. While I cannot leave my kids in the pool on their own as they are still young, it will certainly end the "I'm bored" speeches for a while.
It was a productive weekend, getting rid of some things, working the wine, and gaining a pool. I hope you all had a good weekend, too!