Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Too close for comfort

Last week, right before a long four-day weekend, I had an ultrasound to determine the position of the placenta, since it looked suspiciously close to the cervix at my 20 week scan. After not so patiently waiting the whole weekend, I got a call this morning. It is close. Four millimeters close. Too close.

There will be more ultrasounds, one at 32 weeks and again at 36 weeks, to monitor how things are progressing. The hope is that as the uterus expands, it will pull the placenta back. If not, then we are looking at a C-section. My first after six normal, uncomplicated deliveries.

So I am asking for prayers that things will improve enough that I can avoid surgery. And if that is not the case, then please pray that I will be brave. I am a wimp about these kind of things. No medication for a natural delivery? No problemo. Put a big needle in my back and then slice open my skin? Egads!

I will also let you know that I have had this sense of urgency to get things ready early this time around. Everything seems normal, but I have had this nagging feeling that I need to be prepared early. We are not ready in the slightest.

 I don't have a name for this sweet baby, Therese is still in the crib (though she did climb out by herself this morning), and all my boy baby clothes are winter clothes since Ben and Jack were winter babies. I am also getting ready to purchase more cloth diapers since it looks like I will be diapering two kids at the same time.

I know this is a small little blip in the grand scheme of things, but please add this small request to your daily intentions if you would.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Looking like Mr. McGregor's garden

With my coffee mug in one hand and the hose in the other, I started watering all my little garden beds this morning. The cucumbers are starting to develop vines and are filling in the beds quite nicely. The okra are about 6-8 inches tall. The squash plants (whatever variety they happen to be) have huge wide leaves, though I have seen no blossoms yet. I even have a few volunteer tomatillos plants from last year that do have little yellow blossoms adorning them. I bought some tomato and pepper plants from a local vegetable stand and those are not looking too healthy. I may have to buy some more.

As I walked over to the herb garden, I startled a fat little toad. I called to the kids through the open windows and all three little ones came running out the door. Holding up my hand to slow them down, they approached cautiously. They were able to get within a foot or so before he tried to make his escape. He chose poorly, however, and ended up cornering himself so that the kids were able to touch his back. Therese wanted nothing to do with him, though, choosing to cling to me instead. Feeling that the poor toad had had enough, I sent the kids back inside while I finished watering.

My herb bed is off the back of the house and my rosemary and lemon balm plants are huge. As the water sprinkled over them, I saw a rustling and then a sudden burst as the tiniest little rabbit hopped onto the bricks surrounding the beds! He could fit in my hand, he was so tiny. I called to the kids again, since the little rabbit was not moving from his perch, clearing panicked by the situation in which he found himself. He tried to escape the same way as the frog and found himself in the same corner. The kids each took a turn petting the little creature. Even Therese couldn't resist the cute little ball of fur.

But wait! There were two little rabbits hiding out in the rosemary! Imagine our surprise as they both emerged from the other side of the bush!

They were smitten with the tiny bunnies.

Me, too.

Look how tiny he is compared to my babies.

To think, I had gone out there very sad this morning, missing my Ben.

How can anyone remain sad when presented with God's handiwork up close?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yarn Along

Well...it's done. The bolero. I would definitely not use a pattern like this again. This is a small piece of knitting and I had to seam together five, count 'em, five pieces! Then I had to pick up hundreds of stitches around the neck and body. The front pieces never came out like the picture that made me want to knit the pattern in the first place. OK, that's the bad stuff.

 The good? I love the color, I love the lacy pattern, especially how the back turned out. Oh, and I am done reading that pattern! Most definitely good.

The following pictures have nothing to do with knitting unless you factor in that it is warm enough to send them out back to play while I work on things like picking up hundreds of stitches. (for which I need quiet or I lose count!)
 Why does Jack think roller skating and swinging are a good mix?
 I can not even begin to tell you.

And why, oh why does my 20 month old have to be such a little dare devil?
Not only does she like to fling herself back like this, she also yells "higher! higher!" the whole time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let me tell you about my day

I am so glad I can....now. I have had several great posts that were profound and deep (or maybe they were stories of the things my kids do that make me wonder what kind of geniuses we are raising around here). No matter the content, I could not write them. Every time I tried, I was faced with a blank screen. Being the computer savvy person that I am, I complained to my husband to please fix it, soon. He suggested that it might be caused by our filter we have to block out all the internet nastiness. Not believing him, I sat here for days, wishing I could get into my blog. Today I finally summoned the courage to call tech support and admit defeat and in less than two minutes, he had my computer problem solved.

Makes me wish there was a tech support line for life and all its questions.

Here is what I wanted to tell you about:

Bright and early this morning, way before I would normally get up, I was ready to head out the door to take my glucose tolerance test. You know, where you chug this disgustingly sweet drink and then wait for an hour to have them stab you with a needle and check your blood. Fun stuff I tell you. The worst part is, I usually fail this test and have to go back for the three hour version. As I was sitting there, waiting for the clock to tick away the minutes, knitting and keeping to myself, I was actually interested in what the television was blaring. On CNN, they were interviewing a professor from Notre Dame about the healthcare issue and why the university decided to sue the government, along with forty-some other Catholic institutions. As soon as the nurse heard the word Catholic, she came running from behind the desk, and changed the channel with the explanation, "Let's see if we can find a better news station." We were then subjected to Paula Dean cooking a whole chicken perched atop a beer can. So much better, don't you agree? I felt my brain cells leaking out of my ears. I was mad, but I did nothing. What could I do? What should I have done?

I try to avoid confrontation at all costs. I am not good at confrontation. I get tongue-tied and end up not making my point. I end up having a panic attack. Not good at all. Oh, to be able to eloquently let others know my stance on this issue. Or better yet, to have the guts to say "I would like to watch this interview." Instead,  I returned to my knitting, smiled politely when my name was called and then chit-chatted with the nice lady who drew my blood and left.

What would you braver souls have done?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day in Pictures

I realized on this Mother's Day that I have not taken any pictures of me while pregnant. Doesn't this seem like the perfect day to remedy the situation?

I got out the camera and someone else thought they needed to dress for the occasion!

 I love, love, love how this candid moment captured her better than any of the pictures I took for her 1st Communion shots.

 Photo by his sister Anna

 I had Tony try to take some pics, but unbeknowst to us, chaos was in full swing indoors and about to make an appearance outdoors as well.

 See what I mean?

 Once we regained control (somewhat), I had Olivia take her turn behind the camera.

These were totally unplanned.

I think they are sweet.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's who happen to stop in today!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


With two very ripe bananas on the counter and a craving for something warm and delicious for my morning meal, I browsed the recipes at foodgawker until I came to this recipe. With very little to modify, (I substituted 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup applesauce for the butter), I deemed it worth a try. I also left out the nuts, only because I wanted the kids to eat them too. If it were not a success, I would not be sharing it with you. Go ahead, make your taste buds happy. My taste buds could not wait for a loaf to bake, so I made muffins instead and baked them for about 20 minutes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Last Week

This past week has been a whirlwind! It seems like things always come in clusters. Anna's First Communion required a lot of preparation, at which I am not particularly adept. Luckily for me, everything came together quite nicely, thanks to the help of my mom and some very good friends!

 Doesn't she look lovely in my dress?

 I see a little nervousness in those eyes.

 A family shot. I would like to point out that my camera is not capturing the true color of the den. Here we all look a little green in my opinion! I would really like to get a new camera, but that is not in the immediate budget. A car to fit us all is.

 My parents and two little kids who are very tired of posing.

A funny little story about my dad....For breakfast he got himself a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. He enjoys sitting outside on the deck with his breakfast. He came right back inside though, stating, "This is NOT apple butter!" You see, my dad is color blind and he had slathered his toast with my homemade ketchup!

 Tony and his mother. I am so glad all Anna's grandparents were able to be there on such a special day. We are so blessed.

 I have also been busy trying out new recipes to make this dairy-free thing a bit more palatable. This was a chick-pea salad with avadado. It was sort of bland. It needed a little kick, though I am not sure exactly what. In the background are the mashed potatoes/parsnips with vegan gravy. Now that was very tasty indeed!

 Therese has been busy learning new skills. Here she is, being oh so independent and getting herself  a cup. She also has been increasing her vocabulary daily. I was getting a little worried that she was closing in on 2 years old and was not talking. Anna was the same way and needed speech therapy for about a year. Therese all of a sudden started trying to tell us what was on her mind. She also walks aroung singing all day long.

 When I was little, we would visit my grandparents every summer. At the time, several of my relatives operated a Wise potato chip business. These owl lights were strung up between my grandparents house and the garage. I remember running under them while chasing cousins and fireflies. My dad was cleaning out my grandmother's basement for her and came across the lights. He brought them to me this past week.

I was so excited that they still worked!

On Friday, we loaded up in the car to pick up Sophie from the airport! She's home! All my kiddos are under one roof for the summer and I am one happy mama.  Saturday, Tony and I took all the little ones on a walk through the neighborhood in the morning to let Sophie sleep off some of the jetlag. And then we took everyone bowling in the afternoon to celebrate her homecoming. Sunday came and we prepared for another long day. It seems all our friends have a child making their First Holy Communion this spring. These particular friends go to Mass at a Latin Rite Parish. I have only been to a Latin Mass one other time, so we were a little like fish out of water trying to follow along. But it was beautiful, I must say. After that, another little friend of the kids was celebrating a birthday and the whole family was invited. By the time we got home, and got dinner on the table, I was exhausted. I fell asleep next to Jack as we finished the next chapter of Five Little Peppers. I woke only once, when I heard poor Olivia come dragging up the stairs at 1:30, her Literature paper finally completed.

As I start the laundry and the schoolwork today, I am thankful for a routine again and hopefully a peaceful day to go along with it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yarn Along

I am joining Ginny's yarn along this morning even though no projects are finished. The bolero has been steam blocked and seamed. I really like steam blocking. It was my first attempt and the pieces came out beautifully. I started to pick up stitches for the edge, but realized it would be smart to place more markers than I did along the way. I need to pick up 200 stitches and making that come out even has proven challenging, to put it mildly.

To take my mind off all those stitches, I started a little kitty as a baby gift for a friend. I am almost out of yarn though. If I don't have enough, I think it will be a hand puppet for Therese, since that is what she thinks it is already!

I love this little book I am reading to the kids, and so do they. Jack looks ahead to see if it will be a short or long chapter, hoping for the latter, and begging for two chapters if it is the former.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On this first day of May

On Friday, in yet another of my crazy attempts to achieve perfection before guests arrive, I drove to Lowe's to find some chain to fix a broken swing on the swingset. But really, I had another mission. I wanted to buy flowers to fill the front flower beds so that when everyone came to the door, they would be greeted by a lovely, colorful display. One look at the price of already grown and blooming flowers dashed my hopes and trampled them down. I moved onto the little tiny plants sold in packages of six, that have barely begun to grow. I let Anna pick out some pretty plants that can tolerate the full sun of our front yard. I also snuck a package of basil plants into the cart on the way to the checkout counter. Today, we planted them. I took out the overgrown lettuce plants from last fall that had bolted and put the tiny, tender basil plants in their place.

Then we moved out front and pulled all the weeds from the bed. I sat back and studied the area, pondering how best to arrange our little blooms. I moved St. Francis from the front stoop, and placed him in the middle of the bed and started surrounding him with flowers. I had hoped for a Marian garden, but my lovely statue of Our Lady was lost in the last move. Maybe the month of May will be when we find a new statue of Mary.

See that smudge in the corner of the picture? I have a feeling that little hands found my camera when I was not looking. Upon downloading this picture, I found several other pictures that I did not take,  strengthening my suspicions.

In the vegetable garden, some of the seeds I planted are started to spring forth. However, we tried using some of our compost to nourish the soil. I do not believe that it had entirely composted because I am finding lots and lots of little squash seedlings in every bed. What would you do with all these perfect little invaders?

Happy springtime friends!