A child talking in his sleep...

8:25 AM Edit This
Robin says out loud suddenly from a deep sleep with eyes still shut "Happy Winter!!" in the brightest cheeriest voice a 3yr old could muster. Yes, I think it's going to be a good day!

This baby is dancing a jig!

1:45 AM Edit This
I just made some coco and have drank half a cup and this baby is going crazy! This kid is dancing a jig, I think it likes it. It's home made:

160z Vanilla Rice Milk
2 tsp Rapunzel Baking Cocoa
about three pinches Guar Gum (to thicken the rice milk)
2 tsp of Agave Nectar (roughly)

Stir it together and simmer on the stove. When it is heated I fill a mug 3/4 full and then add cold rice milk so that it is drinkable right away. It's tasty for sure!

In other funny things, the cats keep stealing the kids balloons at night. The three kittens, whom are not so little anymore but may forever be referred to as the kittens, have learned where to bite the balloons on the stem so that they won't pop and can be carried around. They will turn the balloons with their paws, claws retracted, until they get the end then carry it away, usually to under the sink where the litter boxes are kept. The poor kids never know where their balloons have gone, but we keep a bag of them handy for replacements. Balloons are defiantly on my list of favorite things and so I keep them stocked. When I was a kid I said I would always have balloons in my house, balloons and cats. I didn't know that would work out so well together. When I got older I vowed to always stock bubble wrap too, I bought the kids a 100ft roll for Christmas off ebay, it was maybe $15 after shipping. Dallas and I have popped several feet together already and I can imagine we will keep buying it as we run out since it is good fun.

I have had to get over the fact that not everything I do will be eco friendly, I love balloons and bubble wrap. To trade off for that blemish in my world footprint, I only use eco safe soaps, cloth diapers and "green" toilet paper. I always bring a bag to the store and if I forget them in the car, I will use the cart to get my stuff out and bag in myself when I get to the van. We use cloth towels instead of paper, recycle to the fullest extent of our ability and even use biodegradable kitty litter rather than clay. It's ok but there is something to be said for clumping cat litter. We even recycle disposable plastic or corn utensils if we have to use them. They do clean up in the dishwasher just fine. I don't buy water bottles because I use a stainless steel one that I fill at home. The toilet paper was the hardest switch for me. I really loved my Charmin. I think I'm doing ok. I put a lot of thought and effort into green living and I have decided to still keep balloons and bubble wrap. I'll just make one less trip to town to trade off my petroleum quota, ok? Jeez, I might think about this too much.

Christmas day - A winter wonderland

7:26 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »

It's beyond my control and I can't take it!

6:43 PM Edit This
I feel like Christmas has been ruined, at least my giving portion of it. Back in August I purchased through a co-op a large number of Stainless Steel water bottles, Klean Kanteens to be exact, as Christmas gifts. Who knew that doing your Christmas shopping in the middle of Summer, directly from the manufacturer, would mean that you would be gift-less come holiday time. So far I will have 6 extra bottles on my hands, could end up with as many as 12. Who needs that many, especially when I already purchased plenty of extras for ourselves.

I bought Doug's gifts through Amazon. They are all suppose to be here by now. I don't think they are going to make it, they didn't make it today anyway and I'm trying not to be too hopeful for tomorrow. I just read the winter storm warning on Weather.com for our area and it looks like nothing more will be coming until next week at this rate. I really shouldn't mind, it's the season for giving and for us, it's not about one particular day with the exception that it sure would be nice if everyone was able to open their gifts one the same day. Maybe we can draw it out so we still can open everything when Doug's stuff gets here. I'm really impatient though and waiting for the 25th is hard enough.

Life is tiring but good all the same

2:39 AM Edit This
So Dallas woke up again in the middle of the night (1:30) because he fell asleep before we got home for dinner. He cried and cried and Doug slept through it. I had hoped Doug would wake up and carry him down stairs for me as it's hard for me to make it up and back down all by myself right now. I brought him down, changed his diaper and then sat down with him. He just wanted me to hold him for the longest time. We watched the cats play. We read some web blogs. We had a snack. He's coloring right now. How blessed I am to get this one on one time with him right now while he is still the baby. He gets my full attention, if only for a couple of hours. I'm so tired. I had hoped to go to bed by now. He's wide awake and ready to go. He doesn't want to sleep now so for another hour or two, I will keep trying to meet his needs and keep him company. I tell both Robin and Dallas all the time, they will always be my babies. Robin gets it, I hope Dallas does too.

Yule Tide Bears

2:57 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
We celebrate Yule at our house. Yule for us is the time to look forward to the new year and prepare and plan for the next season. It's when we think about our goals for next years garden. We also plan for next years animals for the farm. It's a good time to plan as the days grow lighter. The solstice is the longest night of the year. To celebrate and welcome back the light we give gifts of lights and musical instruments and have a feast for our family.

This year our lights came in the form of 24" GloE Panda bears. The kids have other GloE bears and love them. They have the 12" dog and monkey for the car and the 16" teddy bears for bed. I know what your thinking, this should be enough. I bought the bears/animals we already owned on Amazon and had the good fortune to fine one of the 16" bears at Value Village for a couple bucks. They use them every night and every time we get in the car.

We were shopping for some groceries at Fred Meyer last night and while walking by a checkout register I noticed someone buying up a stack of colorful boxes that caught my eye. I stopped to see what it was, it's notable when someone is buying 6 of the same huge box. They were all 24" GloeE bears and they were only $20. We went to the toy isle next.

We don't normally shop at "regular" stores for our toys. After being part of the advertising world, Doug and I both feel very strongly against character items, very strongly. (more on that later) In addition, we want our kids to have more open ended toys where imagination it the key not batteries or instructions. Most toys at Fred Meyer and Toys R Us are limiting in this.

Back to the point, we found the bears we were seeking and promptly bought 3 of them. One for each of the boys and one for my niece. She is 10 and an only child. After getting home I realized she might be too mature for a stuffed light up bear so we might end up keeping it for the baby. I sent and email to my sister to ask what she though so we will see.

When we got home last night we decided to give the boy the bears before bed time. They were so excited to see them. They are huge compared to the kids. Dallas' bear is almost the same size as him and Robin really isn't that much taller. Doug got the kids ready and in bed while I detached the bears from their boxes, they were not easy to get out. Who plans this stuff, how many attachements to the cardboard insert do they really need to stay put? 14 seems excessive to me. Anyway I took them up stair to the boys waiting at the gate and passed them over. They hugged them and kissed them and crawled into their beds.

These things really light up the room. They are a little different from the 16" bears, the smaller ones have different light shows to choose from and only stay on 15 minutes at a time. The larger Pandas stay on for 30 minutes and only rotate through one rainbow light show. They are much brighter too. Perhaps they have more LEDs in them, I don't know. The kids usually wake up in the early morning and crawl into bed with us, or me if Doug has gone to work already. Last night Dallas woke up as usual, needing a diaper change and Robin woke up from Dallas crying so loud. After his change the kids turned out their bears and stayed in their beds. They stayed in their bed! All night long!

Now this could be a fluke, I'm not holding my breath here but I do have hope. I have been worried about how to fit 5 people in one bed after the baby comes. Doug and the boys are all three bed hogs and I have to fight to stay on the bed without being mauled. Doug steals any and all blankets and tries to roll to the center all night. Robin and Dallas used to sleep one on each side but for the past 7 months I have been making them sleep on the same side so that they could get used to it before the baby came. When they are in my bed they fight in their sleep over who gets to be closest to me and often end up sleeping sideways to they can both have their heads on me. These bears have given me great hope that I might get some sleep for the last few weeks before the new baby comes. Maybe I will be able to nurse my baby in my bed without having to fend off sleepy heads from trying to butte the baby out of the way like they do each other. I can't wait for the morning cuddles of three little bundles of love though. Cuddles are the best!

Blizzard Update

10:36 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
The power went out briefly while we were sleeping but came back on before we woke. If we have downed trees, I can't see them from the house. Finding them in the woods on the spring is quite a great treasure hunt. Doug did not realize I had unplugged the washing machine and became quite worried when he couldn't get it to turn on. I was awake to help him out so the panic didn't last long. All in all, we all stayed warm enough and all is well here. Wishing every one a happy Yule!

Snow flurries or is it a blizzard?

12:16 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
We went out today for the first time since Tuesday and it started snowing while we were in town. The drive back at night in the dark was really cool. It was the closest thing to an actual blizzard I have ever seen. Large snow drifts sailing over the road in places, little snow tornadoes here and there, it looked like dark grey smoke dancing on the road in most places. A picture couldn't' have captured it and I doubt video would have gotten it right either, it was really an experience. We have been home since about 9 and Doug had to run back out to the car for something and said the path he made through the 20 something inches we ended with is almost gone from new snow and wind.

 I'm a little worried about the wind since the trees are already so weighed down, but I guess the wind is blowing most the snow out. We do have a generator but it's pretty far from the house and lots of shoveling would be involved to get it here. We heat with propane and electric so we won't absolutely freeze without power and at least the freezers on the porch would stay frozen with the temp under 20 here.

I wish our house was a little more breeze proof though. We have one metal chimney pipe into no where. We did cap that off with 4 layers of Aluminum foil and a large rubber band to hold it in place. We have tried to take it apart and remove it from the inside but it doesn't work that way. It needs to be pulled out from the roof but the pitch is a little too steep and the roof is really too high for that to be safe for one person to do and I'm not getting up there to help so, there it sits. 

There are gaps in the way the roof was made too. I'm not really sure how but if you spray a hose up onto the metal roofing over the bathroom, water will rain down onto the floor. I know they build this house themselves with little help so when we do build an addition, and we will likely do a lot of the work ourselves, I will be in charge of QC. I'm a real stickler and I wouldn't have let gaps in the roof boards just go as good enough. Their solution was to insulate the house off from the bathroom. The consequence of this is the toilet seat gets so cold, you don't really want to sit on it for fear of getting stuck to it. The claw foot bath tub is heavenly, except in the winter when it's a huge ice cube. It's solid cast iron and it's soooo cold. You need to run the hot water for a while before even taking a shower for fear you might brush up against it and go into arctic shock! Really I love how deep it is though.

There is this door built onto the little closet we keep the dust old neglected mop in. It was for passing wood through and they didn't insulate it. We did seal it up with a chunk of insulation but I bet it could have been done better. I considered it a theft danger and we sealed it up for safety not heating reasons so I really can't say how well that was done.

The original owners used older parts when building our house and we have a couple antique single pane windows and every window seems to let in a little breeze. We usually seal the house up with that plastic that you vacuum seal on with double sided tape and a hair dryer. I know, it a little ghetto but it's smart for the gas bill. We didn't get to doing it in time this year. The windows are sweating too much and the wood frames will be too wet for the tape to stick now so it's just too late.

I did make these nifty draft dodgers that are made from a wool blanket rolled up and I used my snap press to put industrial plastic snaps on the roll then nailed some to the door so it snaps in place and can be taken off and unrolled to be washed, not that I have ever done that in my memory, but it's an option. They work great with the exception that they seem to be irresistible to kids and kittens. They love to unsnap them and I am forever putting them back on. On the bright side the older cats and kid don't bother them anymore so it's just a phase we have to get past.

I need to get to making some heavy curtains for the windows. Actually I already made them I need to now figure out how to hang them. I also didn't get the pull mechanism correct. I was planning something like Roman shades but they don't lay how I would like them to. I might just let them hang down at this point, just to save on heat. I really do need to get back to them.

The wind is howling out there and the lights keep flickering. I have unplugged the most surge sensitive items in the house, the UV mercury vapor reptile heating lamps and the front loading washing machine. I have a few buckets of water sitting in the bathtub to manually flush the toilet as needed. All the pets waters have been topped off too. The well pump doesn't work without electricity and our generator isn't wired for 220. I have charged up all I could think to charge laptops, cameras, phones.  I have a flash light handy just in case. I better do the dishes before we lose power and running water. If an outage were to last a few days and they have before, dirty dishes laying around would really irritate me.

I was on the ball today!

11:59 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
The snow was deep this morning! It read 17 inches.

I got so much done today, I'm really proud. I finished all the holiday shopping this morning, although that might be considered last night, it was in the 12:00 am to 11:59 pm range so I'm gonna take it. I bought the birth kit supplies from both sources necessary. I bought a new bed and it's been on the list for a while now. I finished the Frontier order. Really I'm very happy about the birth kit. There were some things in Frontier for the birth such as capsule kits and Bach Remedies. I had a fair amount of research to do to get it all done, figuring out what herbs I needed, what the right cord clamp/cutting supplies we would like to use, looking up fetoscopes and stethoscopes to see if I was buying the right pieces of equipment and if I would know what to do with it all afterwards. Then there was the placenta research. I was tossed between lotus birth and placental encapsulation, and after talking with Doug we decided to go with encapsulation.

I followed up with the company I plan to order Robin's Booster seat from. He will be moving to a Britax Regent sometime after the baby is born. Robin is almost 35lb, the rear-facing weight limit for his seat. I have two weeks to purchase the Regent at the sale price. If anyone is looking to buy a Britax seat soon, Albeebaby.com has them on sale right now. I have bought car seats from them before, two actually, and the customer service is great, I call and ask silly questions like how fresh are the seats (meaning what date were they made) and they never give me trouble, they just answer the question as if I'm not really neurotic for wondering. They ship fast too.

Now I just need to decide if we are buying more diapers or going with what we have and if we are getting a baby hammock for downstairs or not. They are spendy but I really would like a safe from siblings place to set the baby to cook. I'm not comfortable cooking holding an infant and things can get rough in here sometimes. I think hanging the baby from the ceiling may be my safest bet!

I still have not made those cookies I keep trying to get to though. Maybe tomorrow!

The Coffee Bean Incident

1:44 PM Edit This
While I was getting breakfast ready today, Dallas wanted to eat an orange while he waited and Robin wanted to play with his animal toys. He was getting hungry but wouldn't come to his chair to eat. I didn't realize how hungry he was. Somewhere between the living room floor and his high chair he ate something off the ground. He starts whining to me "Mama, Mama! I ate a bad raisin!" I'm in the kitchen and don't see him for a second what runs through my head is all the animals we have and who knows what gross thing he might have in his mouth! When I get to him with a towel in hand he slightly chunky black looking fluid gushing out of his mouth. He smells like coffee. Oh crap, he's going to be walking on the ceiling! I tried not to laugh and certainly didn't mention that people actually eat these beans willingly. I wiped his mouth out, got him so water to spit out in the bathroom and then we brushed his teeth really well together. He his tummy started hurting, but I can't imagine he could have swallowed much, so I suggested breakfast to get something in his tummy. He thanked me for taking care of him and we sat down to eat. I offered him some real raisins to eat too and he said "Thank you, these are much better." How cute!

Naming a baby

10:10 PM Edit This
I didn't have any troubles naming our first two children. I rarely have troubles naming pets either. We have and have had lots of pets to name. It was said to me more than once that I was going to run out of names before I had kids. I really don't think that's true. Each pet's name fits them perfectly and I don't see how I could have named them anything differently. Well maybe the last three kittens were not the pest choice. They are named after a black and white Japanese dubbed TV show I watched as a kid named Space Giants. There where three characters, Goldar (father robot), Silvar (mother robot) and Gamma Ray (cloned shape shifting child/rocket). There was also a little boy, I think his name was Johnny but I'm not sure. I already have a cat named Johnny. The show was quite cheesy. The bag guys turned into puddles of ink when they were shot. I was 5 at the time and didn't want to go to advanced kindergarten because I didn't want to miss the show. I still can't believe my mom left that choice up to me, seriously there had to be more to it than that, anyway this isn't the track I was going for. We named the cats that because Robin wanted to name the grayish girl Silver and the fire point Siamese one looked like he didn't mind being Goldar so the grey tabby became the name sake of my imaginary friend Gamma Ray. Yes I had an imaginary friend. In kindergarten I got very upset if someone sat on him in the empty desk next to mine. I think I have already written about this before.... any way back to names. Naming a child is a big responsibility and I don't want to screw it up.

First off sorry if I'm repeating myself, I can't remember what I have written down and what I don't.

Robin's name just came to us. Both of us. At the same time. You just can't deny that type of thing. We were at Doug's company Christmas party, I was somewhere at the end of my fourth month of pregnancy and we didn't know the gender yet. We had been talking about names on and off for a while but nothing seemed memorable. We were standing around or mingling I suppose, and there was an announcement for this lady who was to run the gift exchange. Doug was new to the company and didn't know many people's names yet. When she was introduced, oddly Doug and I both heard the man introduce Robin. We turned to each other in a way that would make a youth yell jinx and we both said "Robin, that's a good name!"

We thought it was perfect, it would work well for a girl or a boy. It had a good meaning: famed, bright, shining. A week later he had some business with the woman who we thought was introduced as Robin. Her name was Harmony. It didn't even sound like Robin. There was no Robin in the company, no one knew of a spouse named Robin, the name had truly appeared to us from thin air. We say Robin named himself.

I'm not sure exactly how we first came to the name Dallas. My great grandfather's name was Dallas. I hear I met him, my aunt has a picture of it but I was way to young to remember. I have this very noble picture of him, black and white, sitting in this ornate chair with his wife Ophrah standing at his side. He looked like a king, or at least a very very rich man. He also looked kind. My dad didn't talk about him much. Dad didn't really talk about his family too much at all but when he did I soaked it up. I had always liked the name Dallas and I asked Doug if he did to. He did and actually it's also a name that could go for a girl or a boy so we decided to go with it. Although the name Dallas has a longer duration or popularity as a male name, it hit it's most popular point as a female name. It still didn't hit very high and we like that. We don't want to name our children odd names with ghetto spellings or made up names that only a celebrity could get away with, while still being laughed at of course.

This time we are not sure. We learned with Robin that people will say the worst things when they think they still have the power to change your mind. My family was the worst. That's no big surprise though. My mother pointed out that we had a neighbor with the name Robin and she was pretty sure that my dad had slept with her. My sister said "I'll just call him the boy wonder then" My mom went on to tell me it was a hooker name. She really didn't like it.

This time I have told two people the proposed name, the name we liked. One person said well, you have to think about what the kids at school might say. Actually that's what they both said in a way, after laughing at me about it. Well my legal name is as plain as Jane (although it's not Jane) My name ranked #1 in several states the year I was born. It was in the top 5 for the entire country. I still got teased. I was teased about my last name since I shared it with a beer maker "She was made the American way" kids would say. Now that might seen rather obvious or benign but teasing is teasing and at the time it was offensive to me. My initials were a teasing point too. MM or M&M, "do you melt in the mouth?!?" boys would say to me in 6th grade. I don't know if they really understood what that could really mean either but again embarrassing. I went by a nickname most of my life and had to hear from every "adult" who learned my name "Play Misty for me!" I have to admit, I still don't fully understand what that means, all I know is it has something to do with a famous old movie. Another one I got a lot was "Oh I had/have/know someone who has a dog/cat/gerbil named Misty!" I might have well been named spot.

Doug told me he was constantly teased for his name too. He didn't go into detail. His mother named him purely on the basis that his initials could not form any word or acronym. He really dislikes his middle name since it's without meaning and pointless. All my kids will have my maiden name for their middle name.

My kids won't be going to public grade school so hopefully they won't be teased. Frankly most of the kids names these days are more teasable than my kids are anyway. Every year the local paper has a cutest baby contest. I admit, I read it to crack up that people would actually name real kids some of the names they do. I know my kids have nothing to worry about. At least so far and in this area.

We know the name, I know we do. We will just have to wait until the baby comes to be sure. This one doesn't speak as loudly as Robin or Dallas yet. I ask what they think and they are just too easy going and seem to say "what ever you like" I need to see this one to know for sure. We are almost there but this is the one thing that seems to be making me feel the most unprepared. All I can do it call it Freckle Baby for now. Robin came up with that nickname because babies start out as small as a freckle he says. He's so smart. I have explained that the baby will need a real name when it comes out and he says he knows, but the baby will always be my freckle baby just like he will always be my munchkin and Dallas my sprout.

The joy of soy...not!

8:56 PM Edit This
Today has been hard. It could have been a lot harder. Thankfully Doug was here and he let me stay up in bed all day. I ache all over and have such bad heartburn but it's so much worse than heartburn, I keep suddenly and without warning throwing up a little in my mouth. That is so gross. I have the brita pitcher next to me and have drank two of them down and I'm half way through my third pitcher. It's like by body wishes to wash the soy away.

Robin had wheat for dinner last night. He has some potstickers and didn't get his enzymes down well. That combined with the soy he has had a very trying and grumpy day. Doug hasn't been feeling good either, he just feels like sitting around. Robin said "we ate soy and out tummies have headaches and now we don't want to clean up" That pretty much sums it up.

Today was another adventure

11:40 PM Edit This
It was the kind of day where nothing really goes as planned. I needed to be at the Azure drop point at 8:30am. The night before I wasn't able to sleep until 4am and Doug started calling to wake me up at 6:30 so I only had 2.5 hrs of sleep. That makes things move slower. I wasn't able to get out of bed right away, in fact I tried to get up but didn't get there until 7:30. I had to pack the diaper bag and get clothes for the kids, generally get ready to go. I was on track to leave the house on time with a few minutes to spare. I knew I had to make three trips back and forth to get everything and everyone where they needed to be so I started my journey carrying a sleeping Dallas to the car in his jammies wrapped in a blanket. The night before I had not taken my Cal-Mag that I need every night to prevent leg cramps and apparently it does more for me than I though. I started having stop you dead in your tracks contractions while carrying Dallas to the car. All I could do to press on, because it was also damn cold and I forgot my coat in my haste, was count the steps to the van. There are 70 to get Dallas in the van. I headed back to get the cooler and bags. 21 lb must be my carrying limit because it happened again, I had to go slow but this time I could hunch over a little. On the way back I realized I dropped my hands free device somewhere in the mud along the way during the first trip so had to walk back and forth searching. I found it. I think I was just getting tired at this point, I had to go back up stairs and get Robin. I was able to carry him down the stairs and I knew I couldn't make it to the car with him so I begged him to walk on his own. He started to fuss about it and I resorted to something I have never done before...I bribed him. I told him we would get him a cookie at the co-op later if he could just hold my hand instead. The second that came out of my mouth I felt like I was the worst person in the world. I was manipulating my child with food no less. How shitty is that. What kind of weird food complex was I going to be giving the poor kid, he's not a dog! Well I had to get over it, at least he was walking to the car with me. Ok in the car and driving to the drop point. I"m late at this point, late and exhausted. I make it to Francis road going no faster than the posted speed limit due to other cars in my way and traffic comes to a halt. A double wide mobile home is being moved and we are waiting for it to get out of the way, or something. By the time we get moving again there is 2 minutes to make a 20 min trip. I know that Amy will be at the drop point so all my food won't be sitting on the sidewalk alone but still I would rather be there. Clearly I didn't make it but Amy loaded my van for me, thank fully! I'm so grateful!!

We make plans to go for a play date and Amy's house next but I remembered that I need to pick up a car seat off Craigslist in Alger for the baby. I head out to the bank, pick up the car seat from a wonderful mama who I had a nice chat with then back to Amy's so Robin can play and Dallas can eat.

Amy made these wonderful Gluten free bar cookies for me, I can't remember what they were called but they were just heavenly. We chatted, the kids played and I waited to hear from Doug. His company had some lay-offs yesterday and there was some sort of meeting he needed to go to that would be related. I tried to wait patiently and I was very glad to be with Amy or I would have been a nervous wreck. The meeting started at 10 and I didn't freak out until just after to noon. I left a text message first, then an email to his work address, then finally I gave in and called leaving a voice mail. He didn't respond until 1:45. When he called it was of course when I finally had chased down Dallas to change his poopy diaper under his strong protests. I needed help holding his legs even and could not answer the phone. In short his position is still secure but I don't know how I feel about a company doing any lay offs. Every time they start they don't seem to stop. We have been through this before and every time he tells me, this situation is different and this time he's in a good position. I guess maybe it bothers me so much because it's not even my loop to be in but effects my life so much, what happens at Doug's work.I feel completely helpless and out of control in the matter.

The play date was over and Robin didn't want to leave. He had to be carried to the car and not by me, there would have been much more tantruming then there was and he actually had gotten down on the floor kicking and screaming he wanted to stay longer. He usually doesn't do that but actually I am proud he handled it that way. Clearly he felt very strongly that he was having a good time and he didn't want it to end and he let that out without hurting himself or me (that's often the case, I get hurt) The next plan was to go to the co-op for lunch.

The parking lot at the co-op was full and I had to circle twice to find a spot. Dallas had fallen asleep. I tried to reason with Robin that we should just have taco truck and drive on but he was instant that we go to the co-op. It was packed in there, I could see from our parking spot. He said he didn't want to eat anything he wanted to shop. I could tell he was just as tired as Dallas was and knew that he wouldn't be listening to me while in the store and I really didn't have the energy to try so I put my foot down and said no and we drove away. He was asleep before we hit the freeway. The plan now was to drive to Seattle and meet Doug to go to the aquarium. I started feeling sleepy and by Everett I knew I couldn't make it any further and probably should have been off the road already. I parked at the transit station and sent Doug a text that I couldn't make it but would pick him up from the train. I slept for about an hour in the drivers seat. When I woke up in pain again, I tried to move to the passenger seat but that woke up Robin and he needed to use a toilet. We all bundled up and went inside. Over the next hour we walked back and forth to where the train comes 3 times, ate a banana and the left over rice cake from Amy's house and watched two short movies on my phone. Finally the right train came. Funny thing, Santa got off the train before we found Papa. Santa didn't say anything to the kids but waved and Robin hid behind me and Dallas got all bright eyed and pointed saying that..that..that! We met up with Papa and he carried Dallas. We watched a freight train go by then left for the car while Santa was still waiting for his bus.

The kids were hungry having missed lunch so we were going to go to this bbq rib place we have eaten at before. They were closed. I should have see that coming. We decided to try some place new. I'm so sick of Mexican right now we went for chinese. We found a place while still in Everett and it didn't look bad but the food was horrible. Everything tasted of soy to me. I had an enzyme but couldn't eat it. They did have beautiful garnishing though and I would give them an A for presentation. SOmehow even the fortune cookie tasted bad. Anyway I was again thankful for Amy's gluten free treats as that's what I ate when I got back to the car.

The kids slept on the way back home. Doug and I talked the whole time. It was good, I feel a little better about the work situation now. I think Doug feels a lot better about his situation too. We have a plan for the future. Again, I'm not in control of it so it still scares me but I have to let go of what I can't control and let it flow right?

Here's what didn't get done today that was planned to be done and the trade off:
Meet the Azure driver for drop - Amy helped me load the van instead and a play date was set
Swim at the health club - play date at Amy's
Lunch at the co-op - kids napped in the car so I grabbed a Arby's
Aquarium trip - Saw trains, strange people and learned that Santa takes public transportation
pot stickers and humbow in Seattle - crappy chinese I couldn't stomach but had cookies for dinner instead
make cookies at home (had been the plan all day be we got home too late)- fed the kids and husband coconut icecream and sent them off to bed so I could sit here and type out my day.

I think it all turned out ok in the end. It was a full day at worst but we did have a lot of fun. Oh I got some decorating done too. I washed some windows and mirrors and put up some gel decorations. I also sorted through all the paper stacks I could find for shredding and recycle. Now I'm off to bed. It's not even 1 am yet, this is another accomplishment for me. Now only if the dishes could wash themselves while I sleep.....

Remembering the little things

11:33 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
I can never remember my blood type. Why is that? Is this something other people remember? I had to call my mother to ask and the answer is A+. Now it will be published ot the grand world wide web and will never be forgotten. I can't remember all sorts of things, like my shoe size. Maybe I don't buy shoes often enough to remember this. After wearing Birkenstocks almost exclusively for nearly 8 yrs (are you really surprised by that?) I finally now remember that my size is 38R. I have to look at the tag on my bra to know that size and check in my Keens to see what they are, somewhere between a 7.5 and an 8.5 but I know for sure that a 7.5 in Kalso Earth is too small (I have bought two pairs form eBay expecting they would fit but they didn't.

My kids, I can remember what size they are. I also know what size pants and shoes Doug wears but can never remember the dress shirt sizes. As far as clothes go for me, I would rather not know right now but luckily most maternity clothing is in S-M-L and I can wear some of all depending on the item so it really doesn't matter it all needs trying on. I hate shopping for clothes. It seems apparent that I don't shop for shoes often either or I would know my size.

What else don't I remember.....I guess I forgot, lol.

I have a really hard time remember birthdays, even those I have been at. I find myself reciting the date after I give birth for fear I will forget when they were born. I have a really hard time remembering peoples names. I need a name tag for myself to wear to all functions that says "My name in Misty, I forgot yours already." It's true, I likely have. Now if you have a cat or dog that I have met there is a high chance I will remember your pet's name. I really don't know why isn't that so backwards?

This problem I have remembering got so much worse after my second car accident, the one with where the drunk driver hit us from behind and totaled the Tracker. I actually went to a specialist and was tested for memory loss and I passed well above average. I guess the guy asked the wrong questions or maybe I can only remember the really unimportant things like which was first and last in the line up of pictures he had. The specialist said it was clear I must have had some loss but I was still above most people so they couldn't help me and I probably had an amazing memory before hand, as if reminiscing about what I had lost would some how make it better. I guess it did, he acknowledged that I did have the ability to remember more at one time then I do now. I guess what "most people" can remember needs to be taken into consideration too. While working at Premera most of our materials for the general public couldn't be written above a 4 grade level, some item even lower than that.

I miss my ability to articulate what's in my head most of all. It goes back to remembering too. I might have a word in mind but fear I'm getting it crossed with another so often don't bother saying anything for fear of sounding stupid. I guess if I look above I would realize that I wouldn't sound stupid to miss use a word, I'd just be part of "most people" or "general public".

You might be wondering happened to the guy who rammed into us and what we got for our pain and suffering aside from months of physical therapy. Well the drunk guy who hit us drove home and he was a white male in his 40's and didn't even get a ticket even though he was drinking and left the scene before the police arrived. The 4 door hard toped Tracker was crushed up like an accordion. At the time all I could think was thank god we hadn't had kids in the back seat. The spare tire that is on the rear door was jammed in between the driver and passenger seats. The drunk was pulling out of a bar and accelerated into us as we were stopped at a read light. There were three separate jolts, the impact, the bumper giving and the back seat crushing. Really for the impact and the damage the car took it pretty well and we could have been hurt a lot worse. Doug permanently impacted his shoulders (he was driving) and still has problems to this day. We did not own the car and when the insurance company informed the bank the car had been totaled they demanded payment in full immediately so Doug had to settle to gain the difference from what the insurance company paid for the car (well under blue book) and what the loan amount was. My head hit the dash or window, I'm not really sure which. I had whiplash pretty bad and hurt my lower back too. I was given $5000.

So what did my memory get traded for? I bought a 3/4 ton pick-up that's out in the drive way. It's nothing nice. I don't even drive it myself. It gets hay to our house once or twice a year and Doug takes garbage to the transfer station with it. It has too many miles on it, the paint is peeling in places and it has strange patches of moss growing on it. The driver side door hinge is bent so I have to climb through the passengers side to drive it. I call that truck my memory. I lost my memory in that accident and all I have to show for it is this run down Silverado. Yep, life is strange. I take picture now, it helps as long as I don't need to know your name ;-)

Dallas' first potty

3:03 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

Dallas used the potty for the first time today. He made a poop on the toilet and was very proud. Robin was quite proud of him too. Robin was much easier, he usually grunted before pooping and would come and tell you he had to go so you could get him on the baby toilet in time. Dallas however, rarely gives any sign except for running from you if he has in fact already pooped. He has always screamed if you set him on the little baby toilet, the nice wooden child's toilet or the seat that sits on the toilet. Every night though, he tries to stand on a stool and potty with his father and brother before bed but has not been successful yet. He tries but can't find the right muscles to make it happen. I think today he was most proud that he was able to make potty in the toilet.

If it's not one thing it has to be another

12:31 PM Edit This
Well I can't get on to Facebook for a month. I can update my status from my phone but I get an error message every time I try to comment on someone's status. I feel like I'm ignoring everyone. I have really grown to love Facebook. It gives me the illusion that someone out there is paying attention to the mundane in and outs of my life I might post. I feel like I have an adult connection to the world and the children are better off for it. Why do I need such a thing? Can't I just be happy with myself? Well it seems the answer is no and I can accept that. I'm sad.

I feel pretty good about the food front now. The freezer is practically full already. I'm going to be making broth tonight or tomorrow to can. That's my base ingredient for my "gravy from nothing" as Doug calls it, to go with the meatballs I picked up at Ikea and any leftover steak we might end up with. I like to slice the meat thin and heat it in the gravy then serve over noodles. Our steak is usually cooked rare enough that a second heating doesn't over cook. Although Doug doesn't yet know the gravy technique it is quick and easy enough that I can do it with little effort and that's really what's important.

Oh here's some smelly revenge to report. The neighbors dog has been back in the yard everyday since we blocked the neighbor out of our internet. Well remember all that Salmon I wrote about (I did remember to blog the 200 lb of salmon we processed didn't I?). All those guts and bones had to go somewhere so we piled the compost near the property line and covered it with manure from the yearly barn scooping. So imagine that pile! It is covered with a tarp. Casey was barking so Doug went out to see why and low and behold, the dog was standing in our front yard playing with Junior. Doug got Junior into his kennel then quietly moved away to get the garbage can while watching the dog who, now bored but never scared, went over, lifted the tarp and started rolling in the poopy gut pile!!! HA, HA, HA!!!!! ROTHFLMFAO!!! There are not words to describe how funny this is. I really hope they let the dog in before they realized what he had just done. Perhaps now they will keep him home, if not the pile is still loosely covered with the easy access tarp. Suddenly I don't mind the foul smell nearly so much!

I'm not even sure of the gender of this dog either. Junior is an intact male Yorkie-Chihuahua and looks like a scruffy tan Toto. If this brindle boxer is female, I think I'm going to have to demand a puppy as fee for stud service. Wouldn't that make the funniest puppies ever? Junior is getting up in years and I don't really think he still has it in him though but the thought is funny all the same.

Cooking for the freezer

9:58 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This
I have this huge worry. I'm scared we will all starve if I'm not able to cook dinner. I'm worried after the baby is born I won't have the energy to spend a hour or more cooking dinner every night. With our food sensitivities, I can't just open a can or box and heat. Cooking for food sensitivities is like needing to reinvent the wheel everytime you want to cook. You know what food should look and taste like but the wheel you are used to doesn't work for you anymore so you have to find another way. I guess there may be a few things out there that are gluten, casin and soy free but the ones I have tried tasted like crap. I'm on a mission to pack the freezer with items I can grab out and reheat or prepare with little effort, things that have instructions so Doug can easily prepare after coming home from work if he had to. I'm not saying that Doug can't cook but I do most of the cooking around here so frankly I am better at it. It's kind of my job to be. There is also the problem that I fear Doug won't really take any time of work then I'm really in a bind for feeding everyone. He gets home at 7pm and is hungry when he walks in the door. If food isn't ready he tends to get a little grumpy and already that is wearing on me so I would rather avoid it if I can.

Last night we made lasagna, lots of lasagna. I was very thankful for Doug's help with the ingredient prep and for cooking the onion. I'm the only one with a true allergy, an anaphylactic reaction to raw onion, my lips and tongue swell and throat starts to close. I have usually caught it before swallowing anything, only once did someone try to kill me with onions but we won't go into that now. Because of this cooking raw onion is really hard for me too. After it is cooked the enzyme I'm allergic to dies and I'm good to go. Onions do add so much flavor, so many foods wouldn't be as good without them, I just need them cooked first.

So I had planned on making 4-11x7 pans of lasagna then realized that I only have two Stainless steel pans for freezing and that they could not be popped back out and vacuum sealed when I was done because the bags are not that big. I decided to make 2- 11x7 pans (after all that's what I bought them for) and 4-8x8 pans lined with parchment so they can pop out easily and get vacuum sealed. Now after the fact I realize that I should have done them all in 8x8 because that's the size of everything else I have frozen so it would all fit nice and also it's the size of one meal for the family. In the case of the lasagna they are so dense that it might still be two meals. The 8x8's weighed 4 lb each! In the end my kettle could not have held anymore sauce than I made and it was only enough for 2-11x7 and 2-8x8. I have extra meat mix and mushrooms so everything else was the right amount. The left overs will make great pizza toppings, another item to freeze!! Here's my recipe:

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Lasagna

Meat mix
3lb ground beef (2 would probably do but I wanted to increase the meat with the lack of cheese)
2 small bulbs garlic - minced
4 large onions
2 bell peppers
Italian seasoning
Sea salt

(This is very close to what I make for spaghetti sauce as well but I like it a little thicker for pasta sauce)
5 lb carrots-shredded
1 head cauliflower- chopped into 1" chunks and steamed
1 large handful spinach- steamed
2 6oz cans tomato paste
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Sea salt
Triple Flake
Italian Seasoning

Additional layers
2 lb fresh mushrooms
4 cans olives sliced (or as many cans of sliced olives as you like, depending on your brand)
16oz spinach- steamed and chopped

Meat mix
Brown your beef in batches seasoning with sea salt and italian seasoning to taste. Sweat out the onions and garlic until just transparent then add bell peppers until soft. Mix with beef, cover and set aside.

Shred 5lbs of carrots in the food processor. Add to large kettle with a little water and a tight lid, cook on med-high until soft. At the same time steam your cauliflower until soft. Add to carrots, change water to avoid bitterness and steam your spinach for about 2 minutes. Puree together with the 2-6 oz cans of tomato paste. This is the easiest way to get the paste integrated. When you have the desired consistency add in 2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or to taste (adds a cheese like flavor) and season with sea salt, kelp or triple flake and italian seasoning to taste. Add water as needed to thin the sauce so it is quite spreadable.

Boil water to cook your noodles one pans worth at a time. Mine took three minutes to cook. Take the noodles out immediately but do not rinse. Now is the time to work quickly before you noodles dry out and stick together.

I kept kitchen scissors on hand too for fitting ends. If you plan to remove them from the pan when frozen, don't forget to cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Start with a thin layer of sauce. Place in a layer of noodles. Top with cut steamed spinach squeased out well to remove as much of the water as possible. Just rip off little pieces from what is now a ball of spinach in your hand and dob all over. Next layer olives, then mushrooms then a healthy handful or meat mix. Add sauce and spread it out. Apply your next layer of noodles. Top with olives, mushrooms, meat mix and more sauce.

Repeat this as many times as you have pans for. When finished cover with several layers of plastic wrap, label and freeze. I added little cards listing the ingredients, and approximate cooking times. I *think* they should be baked at 350f for 35 min covered with parchment or foil then uncovered for 10-20 minutes or until done.

Sleep-a good thing!!

1:04 AM Edit This
I got a nap today. Woo Hoo!! I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but to me it is. The kids and I all slept for two hours! I have to admit when I looked in the mirror this morning I scared myself. I though, "Wow. Do I always look this bad?" I looked much like a zombie. After a two hour nap I felt much better and when Doug came home, out of the blue he said "You look great!" Ok well I guess the question is answered, he doesn't usually say that so yes, I normally do look like a zombie.

We got salmon today. A friend picked some up from gleaners for us because we didn't think we would make it before it was all gone but Doug went by after work and found that it there was in fact some left over. He was able to get about two canner loads and dinner out of what was still good.

Tomorrow night we will start back up on apple cider pressing. I also have plans to freeze a bunch of "London Broil" rolls. I have the hamburger all thawed and ready to roll so to speak. That should make at least three dinners for the freezer and dinner for tomorrow night. Perhaps if we get started early enough we can get two loads of cider canned before bed time., That would be about 100lb of apples down. I really need a bigger stove, with a five burner gas stove top I could can two batches at once. Imagine all the time we could save!! Maybe someday....

!!Warning!! Pregnant lady ranting!!!!

2:13 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Last week it really hit me. See Wednesday is my change over day, the day we start new week of pregnancy. Last week we hit 29wks. That means 10 weeks left until due date. Now hold your hands out in front of you, fingers spread, that's right JUST THAT MANY!! Where did the time go? I'm so not ready yet. 10 wks is only the due date too, not the "safe" date Robin was born quite before his due date, nearly 4 weeks before. I get dizzy and faint when I think about it, I try not to think about it but it keeps coming back. There is so much to do. I can't currently keep up with the normal day to day stuff right now because:

1. I can't bend very well - when I do I either get stuck on the floor because the kids climb me or my indigestion gets so bad I have to stop.
2. I'm so tired I don't feel like doing much when I have a free moment anymore, mostly because I'm too uncomfortable to sleep and shortly after going to bed usually the kids pig pile on top of me, so that makes three kids sleeping on me, kicking me and head butting me at the same time.
3. Both my 3yr old and 19mo old want to be babies right now probably because they can sense change is coming and they are regressing - they want to be carried everywhere, both of them, they won't hardly even feed themselves right now and my 3yr old thinks he wants to be in diapers again rather than use the potty some days and he has been using the toilet for over a year!
4. My house is so small I don't fit anywhere - I can't fit to carry a laundry basket up the stairs, just can't make the corner and not being able to see my feet makes the stairs a little dangerous anyway. I have to shuffle sideways to get around things here now, most of the time because the floor is a mess with toys (refer to list item #1)

My point is I'm already so behind on the regular things. for instance, I worked my ass off getting all the laundry caught up. It has come to a point that I can't fit to get back to where the laundry hamper is so I can't get the clothes out to sort and wash them, also I can't carry them downstairs from the floor upstairs, where clothes get dropped off the ends of beds for me to trip on because I nearly tipped over and fell down the stairs last time I tried. I need to hold the rail and can't carry laundry at the same time. I asked for help with this but other things were always more important and it was never gotten to. It's been over a week since I have washed regular clothes. This is a real problem for me since I only have 4 pairs of pants. I went to a concert on Saturday but had to wait to have my pants washed before we could go, I really had literally nothing to wear (unless I was to see Danzig in my striped Hanna Andersson pj's) That's just one thing, how about the dishes. I have to wear an apron if I go near the sink now because I am guaranteed to get soaking wet. I'm short, no really I am. My arms don't reach too far and with a short torso my belly sticks out so far that I have a hard time even reaching into the sink to wash the dishes. It's that it really strains my back to do it. Then there is putting them away when they are washed. I want to cry sometimes because out house was designed so poorly, I can't reach to put the glasses away. I have to get on the floor to put anything in a cupboard and getting up and down is hard for anyone I'm sure. Oh and here's a kicker, Dallas can unpack the dishwasher onto the floor faster than I can get back and forth to where the dishes go. If I leave a cupboard or cabinet open and turn around for a second, he can have that unpacked onto the floor in seconds as well. The bin I had for him to play in, that was always enough for Robin bores Dallas and he's not happy unless he's actively "helping".

It's harvest season right now and we just gleaned an apple orchard and have around 1000lb of apples to make into cider and then can, then there's the salmon runs we need to can about 4 or 5 load of fish, possibly twice.

So then there's all the things still to do to get ready for a baby coming. Let me put this into a list as well.
1. Place for baby clothes - I mean a dresser, a full sized one, not a plastic tote
2. A safe place for baby to sleep - I need to order an organic co-sleeper mattress. I can't get the big kids to not sleep on me or to even stay to one side. I fear they will try to sleep on the baby if I don't put him someplace else. The kids are not doing so good at staying in their own beds all night.
3. I need to order more diapers. This alone is a $300 purchase. We know we want the Motherease onesize because we have some and love them. We would have enough diapers for both kids if Dallas could wear the fuzzi bunz but he has been getting a rash from anything synthetic so needs the cotton diapers too and with they way he poops, prefolds just can't hold it all the time.
4. I don't have a swing, bassinet or hammock to set the baby down in while I take care of the other two. - Yes I baby wear but sometimes you still have to set them down for their own safety and here the floor ain't' it. We own a large floor model swing but Doug took it out to the shed which means it's gone forever. I told him to bag up the fabric pieces first so they didn't mold and I'm near 100% sure that didn't happen because he didn't think it was necessary. Besides, there isn't room to put it anywhere in here. We had one on the table for Dallas and we might have to do that again. It's a little portable swing but it eats batteries like you've never seen and doesn't really work that well. It will have to do I guess.
5. I don't have a birth kit set up. I need to look into what I need to get and what I still have. I know I need to order new peri bottles, the kids stole all mine for bath time pouring.
6. I meant to line up a care provider but have not gotten around to it yet. I really wanted Doug to go with me but he had meetings all the time that he can't miss so for 29 wks I have been waiting for him to make an appointment he thinks he can keep. This also makes me worry about being all alone after the baby is born. He has said make the appointment and he will be there but I actually did try that once and all three of the days I gave him didn't work for him. If he can't make the prenatal appointment because they need him at work so badly, how can he possibly take off time to say home and help me with the kids?
7. Go through the baby clothes and get rid of what's ruined and put away all the stuff I have bought that is sitting in boxes waiting to be fit in the the proper sized tubs.
8. Cook a bunch more meals for the freezer so we won't starve when the baby comes and Doug is at working until late and I don't have energy to cook while not getting any sleep as I predict will be the case even more so with three kids.

A friend of mine just had her baby at 33wks. Her baby is doing great by the way, but I had not though of what to do if the baby came really early. Doug and I talked it out and at least have a plan now if that were to happen.

Can you all tell I'm very nervous and needing someone to talk to. When I try to talk to Doug about it I feel like he just blows me off. I'm sure that's not his intention and he probably doesn't mean to. He has a large list of things he feels are more important to him. I understand, it's a different perspective and his things are just as important in his eyes, they all need to get done. The difference is my things require him to help me and I can't even help him with most of his tasks either besides keeping the kids occupied. Here's the list as I know it.

1. The animals need to be set up for winter - the goats need some weather proofing and straw
2. The yard needs to be cleaned up - Doug's not home much right now during daylight and the yard is full of recycle and crap to take to the dump.
3. There's about half an acre of kids toys to be put under cover, requiring cover to be build or cleaned out.
4. The garden needs to be prepped for winter and two more green house frames need to be built before spring. I think this is on his before January list.
5. Plan the garden, pick and order seeds (this one is my job also requested to be done before January.
6. Bee hives - we need find plans for the right type, build hives and buy bees.
7. Pick house plans. He wants house plans for the expansion picked and nailed down before January for some reason.
8. Fence the property. Doug has said all he wants for Christmas is fencing. He wants to get the fence put it before Christmas and he wanted to ask my dad to help. I don't think he will. It has been my experience that he can tell you how to do something in theory but seems to get upset if you need him to help. I found this was the case when working on my car. I changed my own breaks but couldn't get the seized calipers to budge so had to ask for help and he was really irritated at the time (he did help though). The thing with the fence is it can't be done any other way but right. He built some bee hives differently then the plans said because he had help that thought it should be done a different way and the hives are now useless. I don't know who we could ask for help on this fencing but I don't think he can do it alone. (If anyone wants to volunteer please speak up)

Then there's the project I have that need attention not exactly baby related but still needing to get done before the baby comes.
1. get the toys under control - we need to pack a bunch away, sell a bunch and donate a bunch. They need to be organized. They don't get played with just thrown around if they aren't put away together. If the blocks are with the puppets the kids won't dig out the blocks from the puppets they get side tracked and throw all the puppets on the ground, and oh look blocks so they take them out and then oh look bouncy balls, so on and so on until all the toys are out, nothing is being played with and everything is mixed up, all because I couldn't put them away myself and had to let it be good enough (aka not good enough since it's the source of the messy floor)
2. There is a stack of things in the corner where the tree would go, were we to have a tree this year and as of now, it looks like we can't. Does that make it a sad christmas? Maybe so but I can't do anything about it and WILL NOT let it all get shoved elsewhere of thrown on the porch, that's a death sentence for any item as "the wind" will knock it off never to be seen again regardless of what it is or how much it means to me.
3. I'm very behind on entering receipts, have changed platforms and don't even have access to my old program and I'm not sure how to do the book keeping anymore.
4. I am quite behind on scanning to PDF all the bills and filing. I have a huge stack to do but have not yet even figured out how to get the scanner to work with this computer.
5. I need to sew lots of things. Like the maternity yoga pants I can wear for another 10 weeks. (the pattern is not for maternity I was going to alter it so it's not money lost.)
6. Put up those new shelves for the kitchen I blogged about months ago. To start requires climbing ladders and pulling stuff down from on top of the shelves. If that could be cleaned off we could transfer the shelves pretty easily.
7. When the shelves get replace, the kitchen needs to get painted actually probably before the shelves get put in. Again I can't help Doug with this, someone has to stay clean for the kids.

I feel lonely and scared, very scared but hope putting this all out will at least let me calm down enough to sleep at night rather then worry about it all. I'm sure everything will work out in the end, after all life keeps on rolling even if not how planned.

Nothing in particular...

10:52 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I felt like writing something but I don't have anything in particular to say really. I'll just ramble about my feelings then. I feel great stress over the election. I made a mistake and voted for the wrong county commissioner and I don't know if I can open my envelope and change my vote. I'm going to go to the court house tomorrow and ask if there is a way. I feel so strongly that I made the wrong choice on this one person that I am wondering if perhaps I shouldn't keep my ballot rather then send it and and vote for the wrong guy.

We went to an old friends wedding today. I could tell the kids had no intention of keeping quiet so we waited until we thought the actual ceremony was over to go in. There is absolutely no way to keep a 3 year old quiet when he has a mind to make noise because he gets bored. Dallas on the other hand is a very hungry fellow and at 18mo a cup of freeze dried peas will still keep him happy for a while. We had to leave the reception before the bride and groom left because Robin got bored and wouldn't stop drumming with forks on the glass wear. He also started throwing the fake flower petals at the candles and almost caught one on fire but Doug pulled it out in time. That would have been just great my kid setting a fire and causing sprinklers to go off. There was no diverting his attention elsewhere. It was also cake serving time and we can't eat that so he might have felt upset by that too. Either way we said our congratulations and good byes and packed into the car to head home. Robin didn't want to leave and yelled at us for talking saying he needed some quiet time. We honored that and he fell asleep shortly after. It's interesting to see him tell us when he needs a break or time to think. He does mirror our reactions and when I get upset I have been trying to tell him I need a time out or some quiet time to calm down rather then yell at him and clearly it's working for him too. Yep, good to see this parenting stuff I'm working so hard at does work sometimes.

Karla was such a beautiful bride. She looked so happy and Mark was so kind to her and attentive especially how he had to carry her train every time they had to walk somewhere. It was cute. I wish I could have seen the actual wedding but I know it was the right thing to do, waiting until the kids didn't need to be quiet. The day was about Karla and Mark and I certainly didn't want to ruin any moment.

On a humorous note, when Robin saw Karla he said to me, "Mama, I love Karla I want to marry Karla, Mark can't!! I was really surprised for one thing he hasn't spent a whole lot of time with Karla but the few times he has seen her must have left a strong impression, second He doesn't really throw the word love around and last I heard he was going to marry me, then MaryClare. When I told him that she already married Mark he looked like he was going to cry but I said, look how happy they are, and he did and he said well ok Mama, but I love her too. I understand kiddo. He then took some pictures of them and was happy for a while. He's really going through a shy phase and people kept talking to him and he didn't know how to handle himself. Dallas is still a ham and loved the attention.

Halloween 2008

11:59 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

For Halloween I took the kids to the indoor playground at the Mountlake Terrace Pavilion for the Little Pumpkin Party. The fee was kind of steep, $13 per kid but I figured it was ok since we weren't doing anything else dress up and it sounded craft centered rather than focused on candy. Well, as with most days I over booked. We had been sick the week before and were just getting back into the swing of things. This was only our second time out in a week and the kids didn't feel like moving fast at all. It was hard to get everyone suited up and out the door but we did and we made it with 30 min left of a two hour party we already paid to go to. They refunded us half the price and let the kids go play in the playground.

We were not the only ones so late, another couple kids came in with us and also paid half price. The organizer came in and offered crafts but the kids weren't interested, they just wanted to dive in the ball pit. She did let us say as long as we wanted and that was really nice. So after an hour and a half of playing we left for some food.

I took the boys to Tony Romas for a late lunch and we all had ribs. I was surprised that at 3pm it took 20 minutes to be seated and we barely made it out of there in time to make it back to the Pavilion for the Spook and Splash family swim.

We did make it however and it was a blast. There weren't many people there so lot of toys and room to move. The kids really love it. That place is like a really tame indoor water park with the lazy river and the long water bridges for the kids to run down and jump in. Robin is getting so brave, he always wants to try it and does well too. The toddler area is shallow enough in places for Dallas to walk around too but he preferred to hold on and be dragged in the water this time. When the family swim was over I took Robin with me and Doug took Dallas. Robin, whom usually isn't so crazy about showers wanted his own shower and washed his own hair and let me help with the conditioner. He's really getting so big. I brought snack cups in the swim bags to keep the kids entertained while the parent got dressed and that worked well for me, Robin ate dried fruit while I got dressed then got dressed himself.

We went home to a great big roast ready and waiting in the crock pot. and had mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and yummy yummy roast beef. Dinner was followed by suckers and the book Good Night Goon, a parody of Good Night Moon, still the current favorite. I have to read this book at least 4 times a day, Doug reads it at least 3 and Robin reads it to Dallas at least 4 times as well. It's a neat book though.

Well that's Halloween folks, we did not participate in anything candy-centric and had a great time anyway. I was a three ring circus, Robin was an elephant, Dallas was a lion and Doug was a Tiger.

I got my Macbook!!!!

8:40 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I'm so excited, I finally have my macbook pro. It was quite a journey to get it. It started off yesterday, well it really started Tuesday but yesterday is when the traveling started. I called every store in Washington to see if they had one in stock. No one did, not anything higher then the base model and I wanted the next one up.
Wednesday morning I realized that for warranty purposes buying a computer through my Visa was a better idea then cash so I sent the super sized payment but it wasn't going to go through until midnight so even though I found two at the Bellevue store I had to wait.
On Thursday I called Alderwood, the first store on my list and they had a few but couldn't tell me how many. When I got there they told me they had just sold out and I should call back tomorrow. This is what they said on the phone on Tuesday and Wednesday too. I believe this is what the people at the Alderwood store tell you if they don't deem you worthy. I always feel snubbed at that store. The day wasn't a complete loss, I needed to pick up a package of socks I ordered at REI anyway. Doug took a bus from Everett to the mall and met us at the play area. We went out to dinner and then drove home. Driving home was a separate adventure all together. Doug was too tired to drive so I drove. He didn't want to leave his car at the bus station so I dropped him there to pick it up but he was so tired he didn't make it home and needed to pull over to sleep. I took the kids home alone, had to catch and cage the remaining 4 chicks so they didn't get eaten by the raccoons as was the fate of the 6 others the night before. That was no easy task, they are small, were scared and I don't fit in the pen so I had to lift it and chase them out, then around the yard. Titus helped by sitting where I told him to, keeping them from running away too far. Robin was upset that Papa wasn't home to go to bed and was "worried that a mouse was going to scare him" I fed all the critters I could, the rest had to wait for Doug. He didn't come home until 6 am and didn't get into the house until 9 am. I was a little ticked off, to say the least. Anyhow, the night wasn't all bad. The kids both slept in there beds for the first time. Robin fell asleep while waiting for me to bring laundry up and Dallas needed me to lay down with him. I was surprised that I fit on a toddler bed with him, but I did and he fell asleep and slept there until morning. They didn't get to sleep unit after 1 am but woke up at around 8:30.

This morning I woke up early with the intention of getting ready and door busting the Alderwood store since it's the closest to my house and figured at 9 am if I'm standing there waiting they would have to sell one to me. I realized I needed to pack for our stay at the La Leche League Conference so decided not to go get a laptop and put it off until next week. Doug noticing that I was still angry called around to find a macbook and then sprung on me that I needed to leave right away to go to Bellevue to pick it up. Here the craziness starts.

We arrived at Bellevue square, which if you are expecting to see that we are in a recession, Bellevue square in the middle of the day on a Friday is not the place you will find it. It was packed parking was packed, the streets surrounding the mall were packed. I found myself a parking spot in a garage outside Nordstroms and headed in to find the bathroom them go to the Apple Store. When we got in the elevator the lights went out for a second then turned back on and we went down. I didn't think much of it at the time, perhaps it was a power saving feature or something. Well went the elevator stopped half of the downstairs of Nordstroms was dark, the whole makeup, perfume and ladies shoes were without power. That didn't stop people from shopping, not at all. I thought it strange but was on a mission so continued to the Apple store where a steady stream of people were on the way out the door. The mall was to be evacuated, they had no power in the store and were all going to Starbucks. We went outside with everyone else. After walking around the outside to a main entrance we found a place to sit and wait for word of what was going on. I checked my phone to see if there was anything from the local news stations about it but they didn't have any news.

After nearly 30 min of waiting outside a security officer came out and said half the mall was still on and open. A portion of Bellevue was out of power for no known reason and they didn't know when it would turn back on but we were welcome to go in. The kids ran around the mall for a while and after what felt like forever, I couldn't watch the clock, I would have gone crazy, I called Puget Sound Energy to see when the power would be turned back on. We had missed lunch and needed to know if I could leave and come back later. I was the first person to report the outage in the mall. I talked to a customer service operator who took down the information. Not a single person who worked in the mall, or shopped there for that matter had thought to call and check on the power until that point! They only had 4 calls for the entire Bellevue outage! Since they didn't know the power was out they had not dispatched anyone to check out why.

We left to go seek allergy free food. We waled down to this mexican dive on Main Street I used to go to all the time when I worked off Main. Most of the street had changed, not much was the same at all, except for the mexican place. It still had the bins of pasta and chillies encased in glass at the front of the ordering counter. The tables were still rusted metal card tables with Mexican beer logos all over them. They still had pinatas and crap hanging from the celling and the price was still surprisingly high for what you got and what you had to get for yourself. The kids loved the food though so it was worth it.

After our tummies were full we headed back to find the Apple store packed. I got on the list and as soon as my name was called I was told they just sold the last one to the person before me. I was ready to cry. I spent all day waiting for them to open, I was likely the reason the power was back on in the first place and I didn't even get my laptop I had so patiently waited for. On the way out the door the woman who first put me on the list asked if I got everything I came for, I said no not at all, I had a terrible day and nearly started crying. I blurted out that after calling first, the third day in a row, I was told they had them in stock. I came from a nearly two hour drive after calling two more times to make sure they had them on the way. I could help but go on, that after finally finding parking and rushing in I found everyone leaving the store because the power was out and I had been walking around waiting for them to open ever since. She seemed genuinly sorry and said she would call the other stores to see if anyone had one. I almost told her don't bother they don't but I said ok instead. She left me with some poor guy and asked me to tell him all about my day. I think this was new employee training of some sort, babysit the pregnant lady and try to keep her from crying, lol. She came running back and asked if I would really drive to Alderwood. I said YES! YES!!! and I waited for instructions as she went back to the phone. She came back and told me they don't hold computers for anyone but they made an exception this time. I hurried back down to Lynnwood as fast as traffic would allow. I walked in and told the first person in a orange shirt I could that I was there to pick up my laptop. I watched as there was discussion about wheither or not they were going to give me one. Someone there didn't like me. The same man I spoke to the day before, the very person who had already turned me away again was saying they didn't have one for me. A second person intervined and went into the back room. It felt like an eternety waiting for someone to appear out or the back room door and walk my way. Finally after watching 4 other people come out, none of them for me the guy in orange appears with a box in his hand! He said "ok here it is, I need to find you a tech now." His words were as common as if he had only answered a phone. Could he have known how I felt hearing those three little words "here it is"? The kids were sleeping in the stroller, it was probably best or I would have picked one or both of them up and danced around the crowded store. The man who came to take my money in exchange for the computer was less than enthusiastic, more so I'd say irritated with me. It was really more likely irritated with the world in general, not the very friendly type yet had to have a smile on his face. Finally the laptop was mine, I had been waiting for months and finally it was mine!!! It was hard not to open it right there outside the store in the cold wind, sitting on a wet bench in the outdoor area or Alderwood Mall. The kids although covered would get to cold so off I went to the car to drive to our hotel in Redmond so we could start dinner, go to bed and make the La Leche League Conference on time in the morning.

When we got checked in to the hotel room Doug let me play with my new toy and he went to unload the car. This mac is a thing of beauty. I was really hoping for a touch screen, I mean how cool would that be? Maybe in a few years huh? It does have an amazingly huge touch pad and the whole thing is a button. The screen is beautiful, all glass like the ipod and iphone. So far is it feels lighting fast. After putting up with my failing computer like I did, anything might seem fast. The keys on the keyboard are so quiet yet they have a very satisfying feel to them. They are truly inspirational to use. I can see why artists of all types love the Mac. I have not used a Mac in years, not for any length of time anyway so it's taken me a minute to figure everything out but really it's not hard to learn a mac. I love it. I really do. I'm so very very very happy, I'm floating on a cloud!!!

Will "I had sex " be enough?

12:10 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Premera Blue Cross wants to know what?
I had a prenatal ultrasound last week. My insurance company Premera Blue Cross, wants to know exactly how and where and when I sustained my "condition", who's at fault and if any covered family members were involved. It seems pregnancy isn't self explanatory enough, they need a lesson on the birds and the bees.

As I see it, this can play out one of two ways. On one hand they are threatening to deny the claim if I don't give them some pretty personal information. Common sense would dictate that a prenatal scan doesn't normally require proof of liability. It's a little outrageous that no one processing the claim bothered to read the claim. If anyone had would they really still have sent this form? My name and address is hand written so it's not as if a human wasn't involved. The letter in fact didn't have enough postage, was sent back opened, and resealed with additional postage added on the back. This form has been handled. Additionally this form has not only gone through hands at the claim department at Premera but they moved it on to their overpayment detection division called Calypso and I can tell it's a Premera company due nothing but the horrible logo design (after coming to that conclusion I also looked it up, indeed it is a Premera affiliate.)Was this intentional? Do they harrase all women who get prenatal ultrasounds in this manner. It clearly states if I refuse the information they are asking for "Describe how you sustained the condition" "Date of condition", "Address and location where injury/onset of condition occurred" and "Do you own this property?" Do I really need to tell them that?? It appears I do if I don't want to pay the $400-$600 the scan costs.

Second option either pen them a quick explanation of conception "When two people love each other very much, sometimes they....." How about the version I told Robin "Mama and Papa made a seed together and planted it in Mama's belly to grow a baby" He is only three after all I and remember being told WAY too much after walking in on my Mom and Dad at around that age and was traumatized at the idea of any and all genitalia for a very long time. I wanted to wait on the true detail on intercourse until he can at least properly pronounce vagina. (girls have kaginas don't you know) I could just print out and enclose some graphic detail on conception and pregnancy from wikipedia or webMD. There has to be lots of resources for that. Any one have any witty ideas to add? I have 14 more days to turn this form back in. I would love to here what you think.

What is wrong with them?

8:34 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
So now it's out, I'm over 6 mo pregnant and all the family knows now. Well I assume they all know. We didn't personally tell siblings but they usually hear from parents. It's not as if we have a really close relationship with any of them on either side, some even less others. So the verdict is in. They are all rude. I don't know exactly what to say. I'm a little surprised. Not a single family member volunteered a congratulations. My Dad was the first to know. He saw me at 5 mo. Let me start by saying I became quite visibly pregnant at 3 months, without a doubt pregnant not just pudgy. He said to me "Are you pregnant again?" I said "Why yes I am!" He said "Oh, I didn't know if you were pregnant or if that [fat] was left over from the last baby." Now, try to tell me that isn't unbelievably rude!!! WTF!! First off, he had seen me before I became pregnant and I had lost a ton of weight. I was doing great. I weighted less than before I got pregnant the first time by almost 20lb. I just don't know what to say to that.

Next was my mom. She came to one of the concerts with my Grandma and my niece. The look on her face was of surprise and shock. I admit I didn't come out and announce "I'm pregnant" but with her, she could say anything, usually offensive so I didn't, It was clear I'm pregnant no stranger had doubt. It's a long an complicated story but my grandmother prefers girls and while at dinner with my mom and grandparents, grandpa passed his camera down to show me "the" four generation picture of my grandma, mom, sister and niece. To my mom's credit she suggested that grandma could get a picture with me and my kids to. She said I suppose we could take one with everybody. Clearly not enthusiastic. My mom that same night asked me "when will we be expecting our little girl" I don't think I even answered the question she wanted the answer to I only said, "there's no guarantee that you will be getting a little girl." While talking on the phone to her a couple calls later she asked when the baby was due. I told her late January and she said "I already knew you know, you can ask Justin (brother) I told him months ago." I called her out on it. I wasn't going to say anything but couldn't hold it in, she started it and I couldn't just let it go. I said "You didn't know, I saw your face and yeah you might have guessed and said something to Justin but you didn't know. Not like last time when I tried desperately to get you to see me for 5 months and be part of my life. This time I didn't bother trying. I know you don't have time for me and that's fine. Why didn't even say congratulations or that you are happy for me? After all the trouble we have had with miscarriages and having such a hard time even getting pregnant you can't even be happy for me you just say 'I already knew'." She mumbled something about how no one knows what to say to me. I couldn't figure what she meant. Did she mean because of my previous miscarriages? They were all early and we don't even tell anyone until we are past that point. Did she mean to say I react oddly to a congratulations? I would have been so happy if she were to welcome my children but it's not as if she even wants to be a part of their lives.

Now on to the last to know, Doug's parents. Why were they last? They have been in and out of California most of the year. When they were back up here we usually didn't know and I gave up trying to go out of my way to contact anyone anymore. I won't announce something like this on the phone. I fear/hope that things get misunderstood when not in person. Let me give you an example. After our first three miscarriages we went to a fertility OB who ordered some extensive testing including testing where they compare your DNA for compatibility. This meant seeing a genetics specialist and UW and we had a very thorough family history review. We had to contact people on both sided of the family to get all the answers, Doug's parents included. Now even after getting information from both my maternal and paternal grandparents about all health ailment my extremely large extended family might have had including down to great-great aunts, cousins and uncles, my family had relatively few issues, most lives to very old ages and died of such. Doug's family on the other hand didn't have the knowledge to go back as far as mine did but was littered with ailments such as cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, near every genetic ailment you might have commonly heard of was listed only as far back as his grandfathers generation. At the end of the conversation with his parents his dad has the nerve to say "If there's something genetic it couldn't be you Doug, you come from pretty good stock! (says the man who has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, boarder line diabetic, legally blind who's father died when Doug was a toddler of cancer) Ok clearly that flipant comment he made really hurt me. When a mother loses a child there is enough self blame, when she loses 4 it's a tremendous pressure. To have someone actually put the blame on you is just uncalled for.

Back to the point. We went out to dinner with them on Wednesday. At 23wks pregnant I already have people thinking I'm due now, strangers of course. When we got to the table Doug says "We were waiting to tell you in person, so I wanted to let you know we are expecting another!" His mom said "we figured you would be since you said you wanted more and it's about time again." No "Congratulations", or "How exciting", or "We're happy for you", just a "yeah we figured".

What is wrong with them all? I get more support from strangers than I do our families. The waitress at the restaurant had more enthusiasm then the grandparents did and yes I realize it's her job to act interested but really, come on.