Sunday, 22 February 2015


Yes, more house construction!

Bob's friend the professional drywaller needed some help with a job he was doing (tearing down a rock fireplace), so asked Bob to trade work. Bob helped him 2 days, and then he came over here and helped with our drywall/sheetrock. We've had the sheets up for quite a while, and Bob had started covering the screws recently, but the last few days work has proceeded at an immense rate. In preparation for the mess, we unplugged the computers and moved them away from walls, so I haven't been on a computer since, oh, Tuesday? Anyway, they got everything tapes and mudded, and textured the ceiling of both dining and living room Saturday morning. Tomorrow they will texture the walls.

And after that we get to try to clean the mess. Oh, the mess! And start painting while we have the furniture moved and covered.

Last night Ruth decided not to go to bed. She just was awake, playing and talking, until 1:15. So I got in bed, and then she woke up at 2. And 4, and 6, and 7:30. So my two cups of coffee are barely keeping my eyes open today.

Oh, speaking of coffee, we tried a new brand, and it is without question my favorite (unflavored) coffee. We got the Peru version at Sam's club for a lot cheaper than on the website. It has a complex but very smooth flavor, with no bitterness or bite. I hope it's something they continue to sell.

That's all I got for now.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

the end of an era?

Well, as three of my 100+ "friends" noticed, I recently quit Facebook. I figured I had enough other ways to waste time online. :D Really, it had got so frustrating, trying to see what people actually had to say. On the final straw day, I had a news feed that consisted of the most recent hour, and then a jump to 2 or 3 days previous. And anyway, even if I could somehow convince the algorithm that I want to see every single thing that every one of my friends originally write, but none of the shared "photos" (most of which are simply text saved as jpeg to make it more sharable) or comments that they make on non-friends' posts, it still wouldn't do me any good because people don't share useful information anyway. And if I try to enter into an actual discussion, or provide an alternative point of view, they just delete or block or unfriend me.  So there.

In other news, the children keep getting older and cuter. And I get more forgetful and Bob gets more tired and painful.

Today I drove my 15 pack, rear-wheel drive, diesel powered van uphill on ice. In the dark. It took a little longer than it should have, but at no point did it go backwards.

Taryn is 16, still no license (but soon!) and is going to the Mennonite youth group. She went through (is still in?) a Bill Gaither music video watching stage, and decided to get more serious about her music. We've started her on piano lessons, and she is even going through the 4th grade English book with Naysha in case she decides to follow Bill's advice and go to college. Well, it's a start.

Naysha is sad because she is only 12 and Taryn is growing away again. But she is beginning to take on the world in her own way. She is studious, hardworking, and dedicated to the task at hand. She's started teaching Elijah his letters and thinks teaching is a possible career choice.

Riah is as himself as ever. He's grown a lot, and has been eating constantly so that we fear another spurt. His heart won't take many more growth spurts before requiring surgery.

Cedwryck has matured a lot since losing Gena dog last year. He's also focused on getting a puppy. He and Naysha watch dog training videos, measure the prospective  yard, and read and watch videos on breed characteristics.

Ella may be softening a bit.

William has learned his alphabet, but made no headway with reading. He still knows his times tables to 12 and is working on division, having mastered carrying and borrowing. A few nights ago as they were settling in to bed, Elijah asked William the time, then an addition problem. Then he told me, "William is my calculator." He still likes puzzles, too, but like most smart people, doesn't like to have to work at things.

Elijah is starting to grow up. At 5, he still has many traits of a 3-year old. He is very affectionate and tender-hearted. He is making an effort at schoolwork, but when Bob tried to get him to write the number 2, he would make it perfect 10 times, and then just make some completely random mark on the paper and declare he couldn't do it! So I sent him to puzzles and blocks for a few days. He is great friends with Daniel, and anybody else who will play with him. He cannot think what to do by himself.

Daniel is still Mister Personality. He wakes up every night and goes to the girls' room, and announces happily the next morning that he slept with Naysha. He insists on being sung to every night, selecting his favorites from our hymn book. He's developed tremendously with his language, but still needs work with some pronunciations (says t for c most of the time, though he has no trouble with c in general) and assigns gender-specific pronouns willy-nilly. He also doesn't quite get past tense, and will say "I did throw" instead of "I threw" and "I am" instead of "I will." He often sounds like an ESL speaker.

Ruth is a joy. She rarely fusses, and is affectionate, vocal, and mobile. She has said "mama" distinctly several times, and sings to herself (or along with others) frequently.

I have quit ice cream in a desperate attempt to lose some weight. I won't do anything crazy while breastfeeding, but am looking into severe diets for afterwards. My size has gone from inconvenient to downright embarrassing. But I still feel alive and in touch and healthy mentally and emotionally. Well, the mind does slip some when given only 5 hours of sleep per night, but I manage to wake up happy and hopeful rather than otherwise.

So now we are all caught up, maybe I can get on with blogging.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ruth birth story

I can't believe I've waited this long to write this. She's 2 months and a week old, and I've forgotten the details already!

In the weeks preceding Ruth's birth, my blood pressure was up and down - mostly up. So at my 38 week check-up my doctor and I decided to induce labor.

Bob and I took the family to church Wednesday night, came home and tucked them into bed, and once Daniel was asleep, headed to the hospital. I checked in at 11:30, and though they expected me earlier, my room wasn't quite ready. Since I'd tested positive for Group B Strep, they wanted me to have a full course of antibiotics before starting the pitocin. So they hooked up the IV, on my right wrist (I should have spoken up, but didn't - my left arm works better, and I hate it on my wrist), and started the drip. I was also given a sleeping pill that almost helped. Bob spread a sheet on the couch and pretended to sleep.

Four hours later they put on the second bag of antibiotics and started pitocin. Nothing exciting happened for a couple of hours, and then the Doc came in and broke my water. There was an immediate change, but she left right away and I *knew* one simply doesn't go from 4-10 in 20 minutes, so asked for pain meds. They gave me a shot of something and I settled in to relax with it and wait. Except, it made not an iota of difference in my pain level. I called for something different, and after the nurse called the doctor she reported that I had to wait an hour. 

At the end of the hour I knew my time was about up, but really wanted a quiet minute to relax before delivery. I felt the tension in my body and knew I wasn't open mentally, even if I was physically. The nurse wanted to check me before she'd give me anything, but I didn't want to be bothered. I argued and pleaded with her, and she just kept badgering me about getting "checked." She had to know where I was before giving meds - I told her I was 9.5. She said meds before delivery make baby sleepy. Well, newborns tend to sleep anyway, so I said "I don't care!" After a good 20 minutes of back and forth she finally got the doctor back in (doc works a family practice in a clinic adjoining the hospital).

I had a clear moment and explained that I knew I was close, but couldn't relax and open up. She then explained that baby has difficulty breathing if born on meds, so HAD to verify my status - crossed her arms and said "there's nothing I can do." Of course I was ready, so she got all business-like and said, "Let's have a baby!" She informed me that my pain was on account of Ruth pressing against my pelvis, and the only way to get relief was to get her out.

I was laying on my right side, and amidst my cries and groans the doc and nurses (half-dozen at least, seemed like) pestered me with questions, and finally decided I could deliver on my side. (I did with Elijah, after all.) So they supported me and I gave a push, but it just didn't feel right. So I said, "I need to move" and rolled over. Then the pestering again about did I want the stirrups or not, so I went ahead and pushed her out. They all oohed about how pretty she was, but I had my eyes closed (crying). Finally got a peek as Ruth was laid on my stomach, but the cord was pulled tight and caused some irritation. I tried to let the doc know so she could pull up some slack, but she apologized and did nothing. Bob got some pictures, and cut the cord while I was (partially) cleaned up. Doc said I could have more meds now, to which I laughed. Adrenaline finally kicked in and I felt no pain, but they said it would make me happy or sleepy, so they gave me some anyway (I agreed to it. I must say, looking back, that they were careful throughout to keep my wishes in mind and to not do anything without asking first). I never felt the effects of the second dose, either.
After the excitement slowed down I started begging to have the IV removed, but they had to wait for this and then that, and wanted me to keep it 24 hours, but I did finally get it taken out that afternoon. The nurses were kind and considerate during my stay, coming in together to check on us so interruptions were minimum, and only taking Ruth for a couple of minutes when necessary, explaining why and for how long. But I didn't rest well for all that, the bed being uncomfortable, Ruth awake, and my mind unsettled. I kept calling her Daniel! So, while I wanted to stay longer when Daniel was born, I was ready to go home by morning this time. There was the usual delay about getting the paperwork and the wheelchair, etc, but we were finally on our way. We stopped on the way home to buy stuff for Riah's upcoming birthday.

When I wrote this on my computer (duh! - I mean in Word, not online), I had a nice, mushy, introspective closing paragraph. But since that's not my style, I won't include it here. :P 


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year, with our family (including Zach), MIL and her husband, and next door aunt and uncle.

In the week preceding, Bob finished hanging drywall in the living room, and put shelves up in the game closets. We also caught up on laundry (like 5 loads per day) and cleaned the whole house. I was very proud of us that we actually sorted things out and put them away instead of just shoving it all in the closet. We also did some food prep ahead.

We provided a ham, stuffing/dressing, hot rolls, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry fluff, peanut butter cookies, a chocolate pudding pie, and 3 kinds of pickle. And tea, coffee, mulled cider, and water. MIL brought a turkey, dressing, gravy, pumpkin roll, pecan pies, and carrot cake. Aunt (who is recovering from surgery) brought a blueberry pie. 

Everything was set out on pretty dishes (mostly Polish pottery) and arranged in the kitchen.
We ate on Fall-themed paper plates with sturdy plasticware, and had Fall-colored plastic cups. This had its drawbacks, but clean-up took 5 minutes. The girls set a beautiful table with neutral table cloths and a runner of red and green sheer with pilgrims, pumpkins, preserved leaves, pinecones and acorns down the middle, and fresh flowers in the center.

This picture of the boys crafting after dinner gives a glimpse of the table setting.

After dinner we compared phone company stories and looked at the sale ads. About 3, the guests went home or shopping. We had leftovers for supper and played games. It was a nice, quiet day all together.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

oh, yeah

I remembered that I have a blog, and a faulty memory, so I should write things down.

Example of faulty memory:
Yesterday at lunch (Bob was off work because of Veteran's Day - oh, you didn't know he has a job? He's driving for a contractor for Medicaid, to take people to doctor appointments. Except today's his last day because he simply couldn't stand their lack of organization) Bob started ripping up his shirt, because it had a big tear in one arm (he had a T shirt under it, and it was at least 14 years old - two unrelated yet relevant facts), and when he got the sleeve ripped off but still had the cuff buttoned around his wrist (which, by the way, is a sign of why he had the shirt so long - most long sleeved shirts don't fit to his wrists) I had a visual memory flash of a tv character who wore cuffs, but not on the end of sleeves.
(How's that for a sentence?)
I assumed this person wore a short sleeved shirt, but really couldn't place the memory at all. I searched a few terms but came up empty. Then out of the blue, Bob remembered Snagglepuss (but not the name), and there it was! Mystery solved.

So anyway... what was I gonna say?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


I don't think I'[ll actually get anywhere, but wanted to mention that I REALLY want to write up Ruth's birth story.

Maybe a bit about my thoughts and emotions since then.

Maybe a piece on William's birthday.

But Ruth is getting hungry again. She's a sweetie.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

more fun

Today I had a checkup at 9:20, which meant we left the house at 8:30. This was great fun, considering we don't normally get up until 8. But it went pretty smoothly.

I had decided to ask for another sonogram, as my doctor told me to, to try to determine the sex of the child. She was eager to have a look, so that's what we did. However, once again, we couldn't make out any details.

Meanwhile, Bob took the children shopping. He forgot about Krispy Kreme (we usually try to stop by if we're in the area in the morning, and get a free hot doughnut) and went to Target. Sent me a text, asking what we needed. So I sent him a short list, and asked about the doughnuts. So they went to KK, but the light was out so they didn't even stop. Went looking for other food and ended up at McDonald's. By then I was about done, and sent a text indicating so. 5 minutes later he texted, asking if I was with the doctor; I replied that I was finished. 5 minutes later he sent, saying they were at Sam's. So I said to go ahead while I waited, and sent a short list in two messages. 30 minutes later I was bored and said hi. He replied they were on their way out.

When they picked me up, Bob explained what they'd been up to, and that they didn't get my "I'm done" messages until they were leaving Sam's, and only got one of the two-part list. So we decided for urgent communication we should use voice calls.

Went to Target, where I wore myself out walking in giant circles, trying to find the laundry soap. They have "all" jeans on sale this week, and we got a pair for Elijah and William, but when we entered the toddler section it became apparent that they only have GIRL'S toddler jeans, not BOY'S. So poor Daniel will have to keep on with what he has. So I was frustrated by the time we went to checkout, and there was a line, but it was moving. Then a lady opened a register in front of the one at which I was in line, and called me over, but the guy in front of me pulled his cart up beside his wife, so I couldn't get past. So I tried to go around the side, but then he moved up to load in their bags so I couldn't get through there either! I just gave up and walked away, letting Bob (newly returned from the bathroom) handle it. Kudos to the employee, who moved registers to make it easier for us to get to her.

Then we went to Harbor Freight where Bob found some guy stuff. Then we ate lunch at Applebee's, where the food was very tasty in reasonably-sized portions (looked very small, but was about the right amount), but the poor waitress couldn't get anything to the right place.

We headed to Fayetteville for Taryn's allergy shot, remembered the diaper bag so looped back to Applebee's, got the shot, then over to Hobby Lobby. Got some photo mats there, but decided to wait on the chair cushion fabric.

To Lowe's for mini-blinds, then Aldi for tortillas and produce and ice cream. We'd now been out for 9 hours, so I also got some frozen food for dinner, and we headed home.