Thursday, 29 October 2009

A whole week???

Wow, this week is moving fast! SO much for regular updates.

Anyway, Jo was here yesterday, and I got blood test results a little while ago. My iron count is above 10 now, which is the anemia level in this country (12 in the USA), and my ferritin level is within the desired range as well. WooHoo!! After worrying all night last night, and wondering how we'd make it work for a hospital birth, it looks like we are clear to go for the home birth.
I will have to keep taking the iron, and probably get with a GP before long after the baby shows up, to see about my actual health. But as far as the pregnancy goes, I am at least out of the danger zone.

I woke up feeling ill this morning, and have spent nearly all day just laying on the floor. Talking and playing with the children, playing computer games, and dozing off. I really don't want another October birthday! Come Sunday I will be walking around a lot, talking to my belly. :-)

That's really about it as far as what's on my mind. There are some "back burner" topics like Christmas, rearranging furniture, and WHERE did all these flies come from??? We haven't had flies for awhile. As they were hanging around the roses Bob got me for my birthday, I wonder if they didn't come with them. DO flies lay eggs on roses?

It's 65*F, mostly cloudy, at 3:15pm. Been a nice year for weather. Well, 'til next time...

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Just stuff

Figure I better keep updates more frequently so y'all know I haven't had the baby yet. :-) (Or you could get on Facebook.)

Anyway, Jo the midwife was here yesterday for a checkup, and took blood for iron testing. My iron (HGB) went up another .6 units (remember it was 8.8 when I got serious about the supplements, went to 9.3 in 5 days, and now up to 9.9 in another week) in spite of the Dr's misgivings. However, the MCV and MCH (I think those are the ones; I'm certainly no expert) have risen only marginally. So what I'm told that means is that there's more iron circulating in my blood, but not any more in my reserves. So the recommendation is that I get my ferritin levels checked. I'm not sure what that is, either. :-O Apparently the Dr on base had "ordered" that test when I was up there last week, but forgot to let me know. So I will go up there today in hopes of having results by tomorrow. (Yeah, right.) Best thing for me to do is just not go into labor yet.

Other news - when we got home Saturday we found the old wet wipe box ---in the diaper bag! Who knows?

And, in what may be just another gadget purchase, or may end up being the means to our future, we now have studio lights and a portable backdrop stand. Bob was asked to take portraits at his Squadron Christmas party (about 200 people), and he can't do it without professional lighting. So we ordered a kit from B&H, got free shipping!!! and it arrived in about a week!!!! Anyone who has never had to order outside the continental US cannot understand the impact of that statement.

Taryn is coming along well in her piano lessons. She's learning scales and sight reading and chords and will soon be past my ability to help her as I never learned the G clef.

Ella is wearing protection at night, but is basically accident free in the daytime, now. I know people who push potty training on infants, but it sure is an easy transition if you wait until the child is ready.

Science Fair is tomorrow, and Taryn is doing a presentation on the stars. Mainly about where they are mentioned in the Bible, and how the visible constellations change from season to season. We are also taking some star-shaped sugar cookies.

Yesterday I forgot to fix supper, and Bob had the van, so I ordered pizza. The base pizza place delivers here, which I wasn't sure if they would. I could have gotten some from Lakenheath town, but they didn't have the toppings the children like. Funny how often I ordered pizza in Abilene, but have only done it a couple of times since we moved here (I did once or twice in Cheveley), so now it seems like a really novel thing again. I can't wait for grocery delivery to catch on in the States.

I finished Roughing It by Mark Twain, yesterday. Interesting book, very funny in places. I never knew jack rabbits were named after the jackass. In the book he actually called them "jackass rabbits." Thanks to modern slang we don't use those words in polite company now... He traveled to Nevada, California, and even to Hawaii (the Sandwich Islands); worked a dozen jobs and never made a cent.

And church people are calling me and offering help! My seventh child, and for the first time I'm getting outside offers (my Mom has been faithful to come and help out before, but I don't remember other people actually trying to do anything). I told one lady we were all right at keeping things picked up, but could use some real food. Now I'm looking around and thinking I need housecleaning, too. There are definitely things that need doing. So I guess I may as well do something. Sitting here hurts just as much as puttering around. :-/

Sunday, 18 October 2009


We didn't know what we wanted to do yesterday, but we knew we wanted to do something.

First step, find everyone shoes. Cedwryck couldn't find his new ones, so he wore a pair a size too small.
Next, lock the back door. Except, Taryn locked the keys in the storage building the night before. No fear; I have the second key to the building (and one for the back door) on my key chain. Except, we couldn't find my keys either. So we turned the house upside down looking for my keys. Bob finally found them in the wrong pocket of the diaper bag.
Step three, fill the diaper bag. Taryn was actually doing this when we recruited her to look for the keys. After that was settled, the wet wipes were missing. So we set the house right-side-up again looking for the wipes. Finally gave up and decided to buy a new pack at the shoppette.
Step four, leave before we lose anything else!

So we went to Mildenhall to the BXtra/shoppette and got wipes, construction paper, and some peanut butter M&Ms.

Now what? "Let's go to Thetford," I said. Why? Because it's *right there* and we'd never been. We followed the signs and easily came to the bus station/car park. (Free parking!) It is right on the Little Ouse river, so we stopped and looked at the geese for a minute, then walked through town. First stop, of course, was the camera shop, to price photo paper. We then stopped to look at a statue of Thomas Paine, and as we were trying to remember who he was an elderly man stopped and asked us who Paine was. I said I thought he was an American Founding Father. The man then wondered how he "got here." He went off on everything being American, then explained himself by saying he was Australian. I guess that fact explains a lot of things. ;-) Anyway, Bob crossed the street to read the engravings on the statue while the boys did flips on the bicycle stand.
We made it over to the market, where there were lots of exotic vegetables for sale. Bob stopped for a picture of an old building there, and the key-cutter man asked if we were from "around here." Bob said we were from Arkansas, and the man asked if we had much trouble with the red Indians there. He stood and talked with us for nearly 30 minutes: gave us some history of the town, told about his sister who was a home educator, gave directions to Tesco (turn out, go through the fiddly streets, turn right, then right again, go through a roundabout, pass the little Tesco, keep going, and there it is), teased the boys about having their arms inside their coats, etc, etc. People who say the British are reserved have never been to a market.
Leaving there, we decided to find the Tesco (they still have Magnum ice cream on sale). It was easier to find it than to navigate its parking lot. But what we really wanted was the McDonalds the man had mentioned as being "by Sainsburys" (another grocery store). We didn't get directions to it, but genius Bob managed to drive straight to it. So we had dinner at 4. Went into an electronics store there to compare prices for printer paper.
After that we went to the BX to look at their paper, and bought batteries. Then we came home, where Bob hooked up the cable to his computer and we watched the OU / UT game. :-( It was a good game, though.
Feeling icky, I went to bed "early" - about 10:30. I slept in to 7:42!!! Couldn't believe it.
It's 10 now and Bob's still asleep, so no church today.

Oh, Thursday I went to the Ob/Gyn on base. Waited an hour... blah blah. He doesn't approve of homebirth anyway, but certainly not for those with anemia. He insisted that iron levels take a long time to change, though mine had gone up in a short time. He suggested I get checked out by my general doctor after the baby is born.
So I emailed my midwife and we decided to go ahead checking iron levels weekly, and if it doesn't get worse, I'll be okay to stay home.

Friday when Bob got up, I went to the commissary BY MYSELF. I took my time and bought FOOD. It wasn't "fun," but a great improvement over the normal trips up there.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Columbus Day

Yesterday was Columbus Day in USA. We remembered because Bob had the day off work.

We started by going out for lunch at the BX (hadn't done that in a while). While there I saw the signs for a clothing clearance sale - an extra 50% off previous markdowns. So after eating we looked through the clothes. I found a cute set for William. I"m not a "brand name" person, but some are... It was US Polo Assn; two shirts and one jeans together. MSRP was $42, AAFES regular price was $22, 50% off (plus the additional 50%) brought it down to $5.50. Seemed like a good deal to me. We also got 2 shirts for Riah, some glue, and whiteboard markers with cleaner (all on sale), plus 3 rolls of wrapping paper for $22 all together. I was going to get a new mouse, but the guy in the electronics dept said they were cheaper in town - he named a store in Mildenhall.

So we went to Mildenhall and got a mouse.

Then we drove down toward Bury St Edmunds, because Saturday when we went we had to take a detour (they call it a diversion), and Bob saw a church he wanted to photograph, but we didn't stop that day. So we stopped and looked at the church (after cleaning the lens, because the camera fell in the floorboard and rubbed on the gas pedal!). Then we picked some blackberries. Yeah, in October. They were mostly shriveled up, but we found a few. Very good flavor.

Then we drove around to Thetford Forest. No, not the "High Lodge" park that ripped us off so badly last time (and didn't answer my email). Anywhere along the forest, if you can find a place to pull off the road, you can park and go for a walk. No fancy playgrounds, but it's free. We walked around a while, tracked some deer, climbed trees, etc. Cedwryck and I both got in some dog mess that had to be cleaned before we could leave.

It was 4:30 when we left there, and we were already hungry. Headed back toward Brandon... Saw the Brandon Country Park and decided to stop there. It is free, and has a playground, toilets, marked trails... Who needs Thetford Forest High Lodge? The children played awhile til it got darkish (cloudy) and we were all getting cold. While driving through the forest, I saw two deer. They look more like jackrabbits than whitetail...I'm having a hard time reconciling these creatures with the image of Robin Hood crashing the party at Nottingham Castle. :-D

We stopped in Lakenheath for Filipino takeaway. (We kinda blew the budget this paycheck!) On the way home we stopped for pics of the sunset.

Nice day. I only wish I wasn't falling asleep all day.

Time to get ready for piano lessons!

Sunday, 11 October 2009


William turned 2 on Friday. As usual, we celebrated on Saturday so Bob would be home and awake for the cake and presents. Funny, I always have trouble remembering William's birthday because we were expecting Carolyn Ruth on Oct 10. So William was born on Oct 9 and it just threw off my memory bank.
He woke up to balloons and streamers, and then things went on hold for awhile. Well, he did get to pick the morning video - he chose Mighty Machines (a real-life children's video about trucks and tractors and airplanes). Bob woke up pretty early, as Riah went upstairs to dress and then yelled down to me for help with his buttons. We were ready to go by 11. William chose Burger King for lunch. Then we went to Bury St Edmunds for the market. Last week when we went we just didn't find anything, but this week was better. Grapes, plums, pears, broccoli, strawberries, bananas, some chocolate and a photo magazine for Bob. We also bought a gift for our friend. I walked down the hill to a rare book sale while Bob and children went back to the van and drove around to pick me up. I didn't find anything that was both desirable and cheap.
Then we stopped for orange juice and poster board, and got a pasta bake from Pizza Hut for dinner. After eating we had cake - a purple pick-up - and then opened presents. We cheated. Instead of buying toys, I picked some things out of the toy box in the storage room. While I was at it, I got rid of a whole box full of toys that we figured we can do without. Also found a few pair of socks. William was delighted with the cars, and thought the airplanes and the ball were pretty nice, too.

Today was the party of our friend Chloe, who is also 2 now. That's who the gift was for.

Friday I found out that I have crossed the line to anemic. I've had my blood checked 3 times this pregnancy, and each time the iron count goes down, even though my iron intake has increased. That's why the orange juice. Vitamin C helps absorb iron. My midwife called the Ob/Gyn on base for a consult, because this is a little beyond her. Now I have to go have blood drawn at the Base lab on Tuesday (they're closed Monday for Columbus Day), and I have an appointment with the Ob/Gyn on Thursday. So from Friday til Tuesday I will take two vitamins every day, with orange juice (since Saturday), to try to get my levels up. If I can't get it to come back up, I will probably have to have the baby in the base hospital. Because with anemia, I will be more likely to have heavy blood loss, and be less likely to recover from it. And of course you can't get a blood transfusion from a midwife at home. So we are praying and trying not to worry. And now I know why I feel more like taking a nap than cooking dinner.

Bob has pics of William's birthday on his Flickr.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Not complaining

I'm not griping, I'm just letting y'all know how things are going. And reminding my future self why I should eat less and exercise more.

When I stand up my pelvis comes apart.
When I sit down I get Braxton Hicks.
When I lay down my indigestion turns to reflux.
When I kneel my arthritic knees give out.
Anytime I go from one position to the other, I have to use the toilet.

But otherwise I'm doing great. :-P

Just for the record, Taryn has started piano lessons. She's had two so far, and covered a month's worth of the book.

Cedwryck has/had an infected ingrown fingernail, for which he is taking oral and topical antibiotics, as well as a few soaks in peroxide/water to pull the puss out. He also had an ingrown toenail, but it didn't get infected. Then today he scraped the top of his foot and got a splinter in the bottom of it. I think he likes being picked on.

William has discovered the comma and the question mark, and uses them to seek approval. "Table, right?" "Cup, right?" "Bite, please?" (And "right" and "please" are usually two-syllables, but not whined.)

Ella is well on her way to being potty trained. She has also discovered Riah's old trick of telling me she "didn't" do something, when she actually did. For example:
Me: Ella, go put your shoes on the shoe shelf. Ella (after running off with the shoes): I didn't put the shoes in the den!

Naysha and Riah are both learning to read. If one of them can't figure out a word, they just wait a second and the other one will get it.

Bob is looking forward to the baby being born so he can get some time off work.

Weather is autumnal; crisp and cool in the mornings and evenings, but warming in the afternoon. We actually had rain yesterday, for the first time since I don't know when. I'd started watering the yard a few weeks ago, because it was all brown and not comfy to walk on.

Happy Wednesday, folks.