Sunday, January 29, 2012

A very big undertaking

What is this very large addition hiding under this blanket?


Why, it’s a large new bathroom vanity!


Why would I have a vanity in my kitchen?


Because this:



Is about to change to this:


(not actually mine, but found here)

and then eventually this!


(again, not really, but it’ll be awesome! source)

Demolition starts early Monday morning, and I’m sure I’ll have lots to share in the next weeks as we completely gut our main bathroom (including moving one and a half walls!)


It will be an adventure for sure!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good friends

Life is busy.

I know that. I'm busy. You're busy.  All day long there are so many things that need our attention. Really important things (bills, kids, church, chocolate). Not so important things (awesome new tv shows, finding new recipes to try, playing on pintrest).  There is never a moment when you don't have something to do.

Yesterday my email was hacked. It's not too big of a deal, just everyone in my inbox started getting those stupid spam messages from me.  As of 3 minutes ago (so less than 12 hours after it happened), I have had no less than 6 friends let me know this happened.

One of them even called me (she was the first to let me know).  6 friends (ok, some are family, but they count as friends!) took time out of their busy schedule to let me know so I could fix my problem.

How often do you take time out of your busy day to help someone else. Something little, like this, that is a huge help, and took only a couple of minutes on their part, but was huge for me.  How often do we take time to lend a hand, lift someone up, ease some one's burden.

If it's been a while, try something today. Open a door for someone else. Send a card to a friend you haven't seen in a while.  Let your Mom know you love her.

You'll feel good.

And so will your friend.

(thanks guys!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ponderings #3

How a doctor visit and a weight watcher’s meeting have more in common than you might think.

*originally written Jan 4

Several months ago I first went to my OBGYN to talk about fertility treatments. We had tried on our own, but it just wasn’t working for us, again.  I had put off this visit for one reason only: I only weighed 5 pounds less than when ‘Lil was born. UGG! I was super embarrassed about it, but finally decided that we just needed to get things taken care of.

As the doctor and I talked about what my body was doing, and how to help it out, he ended the conversation by saying “and then, of course, loosing so weight might help.” I hung my head in shame. Of course I knew that it would help. And I was SO bad at actually doing something about it!
But that changed in November.  I was determined to get into shape.  Of course, two weeks later I found out I was pregnant – but at my weight, it’s not harmful at all to loose some fat while pregnant. Especially because the number 1 way I’m accomplishing it is less chocolate and more apples. No doctor in the world is going to get mad at me for loosing weight by eating fruits and vegetables!
I was doing great – awesome even. I was down about 5 pounds just after I got back home from visiting family. Thanksgiving didn’t mess me up. Even Christmas wasn’t too bad.

And then New Year’s hit.

FOUR POUNDS. I gained back four freakin pounds in two days! I can’t believe it! I had been doing so great! And of course, my first doctor appointment is only a few days later (today, in fact Jan 4th!). So just how much can I do to get that back off in three days? 

I walked – and walked and walked and walked – on my treadmill. I ate SUPER healthy, and didn’t let myself splurge until I’d eaten at least 2 fruits/veggies before hand and still wanted that treat.  I chugged water. I did everything you’re supposed to do.

Now it’s the great day of reckoning.  My appointment is at 2:00. If I drink only as much water as I can possibly squeak by with, and eat really light for both breakfast and lunch, and only just as much snacks as I can to stop me from  throwing up, and what clothes do I have that are really light weight . . . This is the EXACT same situation my thought processes would go through when I was in weight watchers! What can I do to make it look like I had a good weight loss week!

Wish me luck! My scale says I’m back down 2.7 lbs, which is about 3.5 pounds less than that very first appointment!


I just got back – THEY DIDN’T EVEN WEIGH ME!! All that stress, and they didn’t even do it. I
wonder if I can stay down for another month until the next appointment!

And . . .  Introducing our little peanut:

They did change my due date a  couple of days, which is fine. But I got to see my little baby moving its hands around, and the little heart fluttering, and I’m already in love!

For those not fluent on your fuzzy dots, I edited the picture for you (it’s SO much easier to see in person than in a picture! and the other leg is hiding behind the cord right now, but it’s there!)
baby explain

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ponderings #2

Or, spilling the beans too many times!
*originally written December 22

With my other pregnancies, we’ve been so good to not tell a soul until that first doctor appointment. Until that first real true confirmation that a child is really growing inside you.  Our first hang up was with ‘Lil, when we had to tell our dentist at only 6 weeks along.

Well, things aren't’ going so well this time. Yes, I had to tell my dentist again. And all the nurses wouldn’t stop talking about it, even after I told them that our kids don’t know. I know Girly-Lou is going to figure things out.

I also told Happy Mom. It just kind of slipped out.  Twice a week at our church, we have a killer exercise class.  Only now we have a personal trainer coming that’s seriously kicking our trash. Only a few days after I took the test, I was just dying – crazy dizzy, blacking out, just not being able to give as much as she wanted! Happy Mom asked if I had any idea what was wrong. Of course I knew what was wrong!  And since no one else was around right then, I told her.  So, at 5 weeks, two people know now.

Then Hubby lets it slip to Happy Mom’s Hubsters.  So they BOTH know. The funny thing is, they never told each other that they knew!

Then I had to tell that personal trainer, so she would understand why I just couldn’t do everything that I had been doing. So know, at 6 weeks, 4 people know.

I just keeps on going! Everywhere I turn around, there is someone, for some reason, that just needs to be told.  Around the dinner table last week, Hubby started talking about a pilot he was flying with, and telling the story about how we have 4 kids and how surprised the pilot was and . . . UMMM STOP TALKING IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN DEAR! Remember that little ears listen and don’t know things yet!

But I know Girly-Lou is going to figure things out. I’m surprised if she hasn’t already. Hubby and I talked about it, and we’re going to tell the kids for Christmas.  I picked up a plain stocking and stuck a giant question mark on it. Then I found an old rattle and attached the following poem to it, and put it all inside the stocking.

One more present for three wonderful kids.
(We’ll explain it soon, don’t flip your lids!)
Why would a stocking have no name?
And a rattle? Is Mom playing a game?
No, it’s something much more.
An announcement of something you can’t buy at the store.
Our family numbers only five for now,
But next year six, do you know how?
Yes, a baby is on the way.
Mommy will be getting bigger every day.
A brother? A Sister? Who knows yet.

But a sibling for Christmas - how lucky can you get!

I cried the whole time I was writing it. I bet I sob when I read it to them (*update: I TOTALLY sobbed!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ponderings #1

*Originally written December 10
Since all my thoughts are currently centered on my condition, I thought I’d go ahead and pre-publish some of those thoughts.  So my regular posts might be slim for the next while, but I’ll still be doing lots  behind the scenes!

Now that I’m six weeks, I feel more confident that all will be well, and maybe I won’t miscarry. I’ve even figured out a reason why.  When I don’t ovulate, my longest cycles are 41 days.  Do the math here, that’s 6 weeks along. I think part of me has refused to accept that this might work out until I passed that cycle mark.  It’s starting to feel more real.

And it’s real in more than one way.  I already don’t fit well in my jeans. Yes, I can still button them up, but by noon I’m super uncomfortable. I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  And the most surprising of all, I’m dizzy all the time.

That’s the one that confuses me more than any other. Why would I be dizzy? And I’m not talking just  a general lightheadedness either. I range from a constant that-feeling-you-get-right-before-you-see-stars to the whole room is spinning to my vision blacking out.  Occasionally this has been brought on by needing to eat. More common though, it’s because I looked over my shoulder too fast, or nodded my head in a conversation too much.

Let’s just say I’ve got some questions for my doctor!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Forgetfulness and stressing

*this is again a super pre-post (as in done months in advance)

Guess what. 

I’m pregnant!  Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, we’re expecting number 4 in August. 

But I’m writing this in December. December 1 to be exact.  It has only been 4 days since I took my pregnancy test.  And I think I’m getting pregnancy brain already.

Twice – hear that TWICE – in the last three days, I have lovingly made Buddy’s lunch . . . and then left it sitting on the counter.  Its MY job to make sure it gets in his back pack, and I’ve totally, completely blown it.  The first time, I saw it early enough to get it to him. Today I didn’t see it until a full hour past lunch time.

Today, I put 7 envelopes in my mail box . . . without a single stamp on any of them.

I am not even 5 weeks along – isn’t it WAY too early to be having this happen?

And speaking of too early . . . this pregnancy terrifies me.  I want to be pregnant. I’ve wanted to be pregnant for more than a year now.  But this is pregnancy number four for me.  I’ve never had a bad miscarriage* . . . and I’m terrified that it’s my turn. 

I want to shout it to the world – I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!!! But it’s still so early.  The idea of needing to tell everyone that I lost the baby just makes me feel sick.  I’ve got 8 more weeks of my first trimester – and I’m still giving my mother a present that states my condition.  What if I miscarry while I’m visiting her?

And if I do miscarry . . . what then?  I only get 4 c-sections.  My body can’t labor normally – could I even have a “normal” miscarriage?  What if it ended up being my last pregnancy EVER ended only in a feeling of emptiness. 

Of course, if you’re reading this, it means I’m past the super worried part. Because if I actually DID miscarry, this post would never be read. Instead there would most likely be silence from me for a very VERY long time while I came to grips with my situation.

I hope this worry is only because it’s just so new. And I’ve taken too many failed pregnancy tests in the last year for this to really feel true. (I’ve never been so glad that I took a picture of a urine based test in my life! But I keep on needing to reassure myself with the picture I took of that beautiful positive staring up at me.)  How I hope this worry is only me feeling guilty that I AM pregnant, when my good friend is not.  I hope my fears are rooted in my own imagination that everyone has to have a really bad miscarriage – and not in premonition.

So here’s MY Christmas wish: That all my followers have a wonderful season . . .and actually get the
chance to read this post, instead of an unbelievably painful one that I hope I never need to write.
*I think I might have actually had a miscarriage a few months ago. But I was only 3 days late, so I’m not actually sure.  But I did think I actually ovulated that time, and it was a rather heavy period, so that’s why I wonder if I did.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How much fun can YOU have with a pin?

Parents often dream about what their children will be like when they grow up. We discuss our dreams for them, our wishes and joys and expectations.  But none of that can happen unless your parenting inspires those attributes.

In an attempt to help my children excel in some of the most important things in life, I’ve introduced them at a young age to some of the these ideals.  Foremost of which, naturally, is Harry Potter and Narnia. The books of course, not the movies. Girly-Lou still can’t make it through a movie with actual people in it without major fear tears. (yes, I realize you thought I was talking about more than being an amazing geek. But this is ME you’re talking about!)

Over the last few months, we’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Yes, I said months. Their attention span is not huge, and we often go a few days in between readings)

Tonight we read Harry’s ordeal with Norbert the Dragon. My children gasped as they discovered Malfoy spying. They cheered when Charlie’s friends flew away. And they worried when Harry got caught.

After the chapter was over, Buddy wanted to know just what a cloak was anyway (you may recall, the invisibility cloak plays a rather important roll in that chapter).  My attempt to explain that it was like a long coat, only without sleeves or a zipper did not go over so well. Instead I received even more questions. Finally, I had Buddy grab his blanket and I draped it over his shoulders in proper cloak fashion. This was better. I even left a corner that could pretend to be the hood.  Light bulbs figuratively flashed above their heads.  Girly-Lou wanted her blanket done in the same fashion.
Three safety pins later, we had this:


It does this geeky mom’s heart proud to see her offspring cavorting around in cloaks.


Girly-Lou decided to howl at the moon in hers (I don’t exactly know why.)


Buddy couldn’t stand still, his was sooooooo cool.


Even ‘Lil thought it was an awesome idea.


“Look, Ma. I’m a hobbit!”


It was a full 60 minutes that the three of them played together. There was much cheering and joy and silliness.  And even requests to sleep in the cloaks. (but reason prevailed, and this did not happen.)


If only I’d known just how much fun 3 safety pins could bring, I think they would have received some in their stockings!
So, what little things have brought joy to your family lately?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Apparently this Christmas was the year of the kitchen.  I received new mixing bowls, two amazing cookbooks, a giant electric frying pan (to replace our 25 year old one!), a huge george forman grill (with removable plates!) and Hubby got a waffle iron.

With all this new gadgetry and information at my fingertips, I’ve just been itching to do some cooking. Real, amazing, food, coming from my kitchen.
I haven’t shared too many recipes with you – partly because I never make up my own.  But this one needs to be shared . . . and it was created by little ol’ me!

A couple of years ago, for Sadie’s Test Kitchen, we made curry. Now, it was yummy, but only my Hubby and I would eat it, and it was fussy, and I’ve just never made it again. A few months ago, I was wanting a new recipe, and wondered if I could make something up. (When you’re obsessed with cooking shows, it’s bound to happen!) I wanted to use up some spices that we never use, and gram masala was first thing I thought of.

I have no clue what gram masala is. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d go look at the jar I think it’s a mixture of Indian spices. But it’s yummy, let’s just say that.  A very sweet, tangy aroma awaits you when you open the jar.  And it was my kicking off point.

Now, obviously, this recipe is up for interpretations. Use what you have! But after several months, and many tries, this is our family’s favorite version.

Gram Masala Chicken Salad

1 can cooked chicken (or use fresh about 1 breast I’d think)
2 cups macaroni noodles
2 slices bacon, cooked and diced (optional)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 tsp gram masala
1/4 tsp dried onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper (5 or 6 good grinds should work)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cook pasta according to package directions – making sure you salt the water really well (HUGE difference in final taste!). While that’s cooking, combine chicken, gram masala, onion, garlic, pepper, and salt in a frying pan. Cook until the chicken is dry (not like dehydrator try, but not soupy like it is right out the can.) In a separate bowl, wisk together oil, sugar, and lemon juice.

Drain the noodles. In a large bowl, stir together hot noodles, chicken mixture, bacon and oranges.

Drizzle  oil mixture on top and gently toss to combine.
The bacon addition is what finally made Buddy like this dish.  It’s even better to eat it cold the next day!
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