Friday, July 31, 2009

New Bedding

Not much of an exciting day today. Got some stuff put up in the attic, but not a whole lot. We've got a lot more to do before the drywall guys can come out. I did go through some clothes that the little guy can wear and am washing them now. I need to clean out a drawer to put them in though.
Went to Wal Mart tonight. Abigail got to pick out some new bedding for being such a good helper while I was gone.

She's been wanting it for a while. It will go in the bonus room. There will be a bedroom area under the eaves... it's about 12x8, but with slanted ceilings so it feels much smaller... and a media room area, about 16x13 or so. I'll of course take pictures when it's all done.
That's all I've got today!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Elijah's first movie

The fam picked me up in Hot Springs around 11:30. I got home and got to clean up the messes made while I was gone... or start on them anyway :) Also vacuumed up the attic. It was a total mess, which was to be expected after some walls were put up. Then the whole fam saw G-Force. David was going to take Abigail, Noah, and Isaac... but I've been wanting to see how E would do. We saw the non-3D version so E wouldn't have to mess with glasses (and b/c 3D makes me a bit nauseous). We took him in the small stroller and it fit right down the aisle of seats. Gotta love stadium seating. He could sit in his stroller and see just fine. I think that made a big difference-- well, that and the popcorn. He had a great time and we did too.
Came home and put clothes in the dryer. I thought a bunch of bugs were flying around in my laundry closet... then I realized it was lint. When the carpenters took down the cabinet they squooshed the dryer vent hose. So, we got to clean out all behind the washer and dryer tonight. I knew it needed to be done so I'm almost glad we were forced to do it. I attached the hose when we moved in, but there was no way I was fitting back there now. And if David hadn't gone down from 234 to 194, he wouldn't have fit either! Wasn't too bad of a job except when I found a happy meal toy that was looking an awful lot like a mouse... but it was a penguin thank goodness. Take a hard piece of plastic and cover it with dust... and it can look like just about anything :)
Electricians will be back Monday to finish up so we can have it approved by the city. Hopefully we'll get it drywalled at the end of next week. We've got to get stuff put up in the attic and get insulation attached to the ceiling this weekend. I estimated my carpet pieces that are left from building the house and I think we'll have plenty. We have more than I thought. One full roll and one piece that looks like it is about half a roll.
Baby-wise... all is good. I can't believe I only have 11 weeks left (with the assumption that I will have him a week before I'm due). I'm contracting like mad which is driving me crazy. They are getting worse and worse and they are looooooooong contractions. Really uncomfortable. But, supposedly that is just one of the many perks of having a lot of kids ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yesterday was a bit crazy. I was trying to get ready to go out of town, which you know as a mom, packing is the LEAST of your concerns. I was trying to get EVERYONE ELSE ready for me to be gone... THEN pack. I also had 2 guys come out to give me estimates. One for carpentry work and the other for sheetrock. The carpenter gave us a quote based on us getting the supplies. He could get them, but of course it would save us some $ if we got them ourselves. So, David borrowed a truck to pick up the stuff so the guy could get started this week Yeah, while I'm gone... so on top of getting everything ready... I had to do ALL the laundry and get it ALL put away so that the laundry closet was cleared so he can do some work on the cabinets. I needed to get it put away before the kids got in bed and it was 9:15... I was still folding. Got it done at 9:30 and the kids in bed... and then called David back whose 2 phone calls I had ignored trying to get the laundry done (I was supposed to leave early this morning). WELL David was stuck with an overheated car. He said he was walking home. I told him I'd call my awesome neighbor Jill to see if she could come over since all the kids were in bed. She came, I went and took 3 gallons of water. We had to wait for a cop to show up b/c David heard and saw a pack of coyotes. Now, we have learned that coyotes don't bother you. But he didn't know that and didn't care to get mauled :) So we waited. He had a 10pm deadline with the Wall Street Journal and it was 9:50pm. He was slightly stressed. Cop got there, he put the water in but then his car was dead from the hazards flashing so long... and it wouldn't jump. Took about 15 minutes to get it started. I know Jill was dead tired when we finally got home (at 10:45). THANK YOU JILL!!!
So, didn't think I'd be coming to my choir director clinic in Hot Springs. But David said the car was ok and I could drive it, but he'd follow me in the van in case it broke down. I don't need a car while here. The clinic is at my hotel and my best friend is here. If the internet here wasn't so slow I'd link to her blog :) They drove me here, which was SUPER nice. I missed the first session since we weren't real sure what we were going to do, and David had ANOTHER deadline for another column this morning. We went to the Pancake House and then they dropped me off. I hated that goodbye. I've been away from Elijah one night, one time when I had the All State music clinic in February. He was so sweet kissing and kissing and kissing me and waving/saying "bye". SO CUTE. he'd also say "HUG" and repeatedly hug me. So sweet but break my heart! The other kids were troopers and didn't make a big deal about me leaving to make it easier on him, but I could tell they were sad too. I miss all of them :(
BUT I'm here :) and had a great day. I learned a lot in one session in particular. I love getting new teaching ideas and I got more than usual today. Tomorrow's sessions should be good too. I love coming here b/c it always gets me psyched up for school. Without it, I don't think I'd look forward to the new year as much.
After the sessions, we went to dinner, and then, of course, went shopping. I just tagged along really. I wasn't looking for anything... Except lookie what I found at TJ Maxx...

Yes, I just ordered fabric to make a carseat cover, but when this was staring right at me, already made, for $20... I knew I had to get it. I can use the fabric for other (easier, less time consuming) things.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One more combination...


The patterns I got are:


I like "C" (you'll have to enlarge to see the C)

Got this one for the carseat cover... will have to alter it a bit for the handles and will just use the current shade as a guide to make new shade.

Got this one for the shoes. Abigail said "who would put a hat like that on a baby?" I thought it was funny b/c she is right... you don't see baby's with bonnets anymore, but I remember growing up my mom telling me a "baby should always have on a hat." Thankfully she isn't one of those moms who insists the way she did things is the only way to do things. In fact, she's embraced my totally different (from the Dr. Spock 1970s generation) ideas wholeheartedly.

Summer is essentially over

I don't know where it went. All of a sudden we went from halfway over to over. It came upon me faster than I'd realized. I thought this summer was going to be really difficult b/c I *thought* Elijah was going to be into everything, but he's not. I realized this morning while folding laundry just how much of a help it is to have all the kids home. When they are here, he wants to be where they are and I can go elsewhere. When they aren't here, he wants to be where I am and is INTO whatever it is I'm doing (or crawling all over me). I was thinking how nice it is to be upstairs getting stuff done with Elijah happily playing with his siblings. That won't be the case once school starts. The kids will be out of here by 8am and then I'll have about an hour before I have to leave. I won't be able to get anything done. Good news is I'll be picking him up before nap. He'll nap here and I can get stuff done... but it will be during my "I am soooo tired" timeframe. I don't know what happens around 2pm, but I just feel dead!
I want to get some sewing done but since I will have to order the fabric (even if they have it at Hancock's, their sale prices are usually higher than the prices I find online). Maybe that's what I'll do while he naps :) Wonder if I can get this combo to work? I like the red in it.

or this... the toile is cheaper :)

Leaning

toward this

I'd likely make a sling out of the ring fabric with stripes as a pocket, carseat cover out of solid green, using stripes as accent. Diaper bag would incorporate all of them... and a baby blanket out of all scraps.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Effeminate


I've been looking at fabric today. I want to cover the carseat, make a sling, diaper bag, and ??? Whatever else I have time for. David said they all look effeminate. I told him that I'm the one 'wearing' them so yeah, they will be slightly girlie I guess. I love the top left corner and I guess that one is the MOST effeminate of them all.
You *must* click to view larger. Can't tell much with the little bitty icons.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Other Happenings...

I've been wanting to make my own laundry detergent and make peach jam... and can it. I finally did both this week.
First the soap... I did it differently than most recipes I've seen. They seemed awfully heavy on the soap, so I used more washing soda and borax. So far it's working. I grated one bar of fels-naptha soap (except for the sliver you can see in the background, thought I'd save that to pre-treat stains... if I ever remember to actually do that), and used a whole box of washing soda and an equal amount of borax.


And then the jam... I started making it before Elijah was down for a nap... that was where I messed up. It started boiling and I didn't realize it... and I think I 'killed' the pectin. So, it didn't gel right.

I had a pot that worked great for processing... no need to buy the kit.

And it tastes great despite the lack of gelling :)

The half jar in front was consumed in one sitting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Noah's party


He wanted Cowboys, but they were out.

It looks like Abigail doesn't want to be in the picture... but it was b/c she was chewing. Not b/c she was the only girl :)

They ate pizza first, then played all over the place. Then came back for cake.
Happy birthday to you... happy birthday to you... happy birthday dear Noah... happy birthday to you!

I was laughing at his attempt to blow out the candles.

They were those sparkler kind and not so easy...

Then it was time to open gifts...








They played some more after that... and I believe they were sufficiently worn out when the party ended :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why I didn't join the union...

...when I taught in public schools. I was hounded for it too. I was at a school with near 100% participation but refused to join. I was also involved in a lawsuit (long story and it was thrown out) so other teachers REALLY couldn't understand why I wouldn't join. I'd tell them I couldn't contribute toward liberal causes and would not join as long as they supported liberal candidates and planned parenthood.
It hasn't gotten any better (not that I expected it to)
NEA
My favorite part:
Also, the NEA voted down a resolution that called for the group to take "no position" on the issue of abortion. Currently, the NEA uses the dues money from members to advocate and support lobby groups battling for the "right to choose." Had this resolution passed, the NEA would have been unable to commit any dues money of members to causes that have anything to do with the abortion debate. Instead, they would have had to use that money on something preposterous...like issues actually pertaining to education.
I remember well sitting in class at Ouachita and being told by my professor (this was in an education class, not music) that you *must* join the union when you teach... that if you don't "you're just dumb." I (of course) had to argue with the teacher and say as a Christian there is no way I could join the union and that I felt other Christians should do the same. He said I was taking a huge risk and would have NO protection against a lawsuit. I told him I'd trust God.
And of course, I did have a lawsuit brought against me and it was stupid and frivolous and thrown out and I was just fine, thanks :)
I'm glad I don't have to deal with that stuff now and I am SO thankful that my kids are in a fabulous Christian school... but goodness... it's sad.

Made my own laundry detergent

I used one box of washing soda (55 ounces) and an equal amount of borax. I grated a bar of fels naptha soap (5.5 oz) or well, most of it. I left a little chunk you can see on the lid in order to pre-treat stains.

Then I mixed it up.

This recipe is not like the ones I've read about, but I wanted to try it. The others seemed heavy on the soap. I'm not making the liquid version b/c I don't have room to store that, plus its a lot more work! I will start the washer on hot, add detergent (will use 1/3 a cup) and give it a chance to dissolve, then switch it over to cold if I'm washing dark clothes.
'Bout to go do a load so we'll see how it works. I liked how the fels naptha smelled better than any other detergent I've used. Don't know that my clothes will come out smelling like that though.
Will post pictures from Noah's party as soon as I find the camera. Party went well. Noah had more friends come than his previous parties and I limited him to boys he is close friens with. Apparently Monday night is a good night. I don't think we've ever done a night party for him and only did this time b/c the church couldn't be used on Saturday. I didn't plan a lot of activities, pretty much just let them play and Noah said it was "the best party ever." Only had one mishap... I got glass bottled root beer, cream soda, and crush and put it in a big tub of ice. Just thought that was more fun than juice boxes. Of course, one fell on the tile. There were some parents there who wouldn't let me clean it up 'in my condition.' I HATED letting them do it, but wasn't much I could do.
Other than that, there were no problems and everyone got along well. He has a great group of boys in his class. We are very fortunate b/c he is a tender heart.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My baby is growing up

I didn't know how I was going to get thru this summer. At the beginning of it, Elijah was into EVERYTHING. I came VERY close to buying a massive gate that would go across the kitchen. I didn't buy it b/c it was over $100 and I really didn't want that huge thing cluttering up my house. But, I couldn't see him constantly getting into stuff all summer long w/o me losing my mind.
But, thankfully, that has not happened. He has gotten so much better. He is a good little 2 year old. David's and my parenting style is probably not like most when it comes to the first couple of years. I'm not 'anti-spanking' but I am 'anti-spanking- to-TEACH-something-is-wrong'. I wait until they UNDERSTAND something is wrong and they then do it anyway. But I haven't seen that in Elijah... yet. I never saw much of it in Noah, so I'm hoping he is like him. Isaac on the other hand, has probably gotten more spankings in one day than Noah has gotten in his life. Noah is one of those kids you look at with cross eyes and it is enough to straighten him up. He tries to do the right thing, all the time. Isaac... no. He sort of tries when you are looking, but turn your back and forget it. He's going to fit as much wrong into that timeframe as he can! Abigail had her moments when she was younger, but has turned into an obedient child too.
So, we'll see how Elijah is. Regardless, I'm blessed. Things always work out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Peaches! (finally)

I now have plenty of peaches to do with as I please. We went to a pick your own place in Scott where they were 85 cents a pound! I think we got close to 30 lbs... and the kids had so much fun picking them. We went with David's parents. I forgot the camera though so these were all taken with my Blackberry.
Here they are walking down the little road to get to the ripe ones.

Happy with his peach.

He thought he'd climb up and get some up high too.

All the kiddos.

He was ready to go at this point... didn't want to pick any more, but did want to wander :)


Afterwards we ate at Cotham's. The kids split a hubcap burger and it was more than enough for the 4 of them. They also watched some magic tricks. He was really good!

Then we stopped at a plantation settlement. I found it fascinating. Here we are standing in the breezeway of a dog trot style home. Two 'pens' (small rooms) are joined by this breezeway where the family would sleep in the summer. I can't imagine the work involved building this house. 18 inches high x 6 inches thick hewn logs... and I really can't imagine the family with 5 children who lived there.

Came on home after that and napped :) Then we went out to Best Buy where Elijah enjoyed boxing on the Wii. He really got into it.

And tonight after the kids went to bed, David and I sat outside. We actually got a little chilled. I have loved the weather the past couple of days. I could use some more!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Step 1 Complete!

I'm excited to announce that the first step of finishing our bonus room is complete! The wiring is finished. The HVAC folks are coming Monday. After that, we have to decide if we want to do the rest ourselves or hire someone. Obviously with David as busy as he is and me looking like this:we'd rather hire it out. BUT cost is an issue.
I'm standing in the bonus room (in my new Wal-Mart clothes). Behind me happens to be the co-sleeper I used with Isaac and Elijah... maybe Noah??? I'm not real sure if I had it for him or not. It will be SO NICE to finish this room. We never intended to live here 5 years before finishing the room. We had the room done so that it would be easy to finish. We had an A/C unit put in for the 2nd floor that is big enough to accomodate this room as well. We had it braced for a room as opposed to just attic space. We had the jumbo sheetrock delivered before it was walled, and we have the carpet for the room. But we still have lots of labor. We'll be putting small closets on either side of the window... that's why we have outlet boxes hanging from the ceiling.
Other things this week...
Abigail did not sing in the talent search Wednesday. She made it to round 2 but we found out none of the songs she'd been working on were on the list and since there aren't many songs that are appropriate for a 10 year old, we decided against going. But then the director called and said he could bring one of the songs she knew, so I thought we were back to going... but when I told Abigail, she still didn't want to go. I don't want her performing anywhere she doesn't want to perform... so we didn't go. I think it was the right decision. I wanted it to be fun for her, I didn't want her stressed about it. I didn't know that 'round 2' meant showing up and picking a song off their list an hour before you perform. Had I known that before round 1... I never would have had her audition. Live and learn :)
I took her to see Up last night to make up for the frustration of the whole thing. She liked it, I was bored out of my mind for the first hour. I'm not a big fan of 3D movies either. They don't in any way enhance the movie experience for me... and I get slightly nauseous in them. I don't know why that is.
That's about it! I think we're going to go pick peaches tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sit and Stand?


I need opinions from people who have used it. I'm wondering how happy toddlers are in the jumpseat facing backwards. Elijah isn't old enough to face forward (and stay put without being strapped in). I use a sling a lot, but not when baby falls asleep in the car and I want him to stay asleep. I don't think I want a ginormous double... I also don't want to spend a lot so if there is some perfect solution out there but it costs $300, no thank you.
I also wonder how much I'd use it. Maybe we should use two strollers with Abigail pushing the other since she would more than likely be with me. During the day it would be the grocery store if anywhere... and that means grocery cart.
Thoughts?
I got my clothes from Wal Mart today and let me say: The overalls are awesome. Today was a cooler day or I wouldn't have tried them out. They fit wonderfully and are so comfortable. I love wearing pants that don't fall down and don't have some tight band across my belly. The legs are also more fitted than other maternity overalls I've seen or had. And the band that goes across dips down so you actually look pregnant and not F-A-T. If you are pregnant, you need a pair. $19, walmart.com. They do run a bit small. The large fits me perfectly and has a button that can be let out when my belly gets bigger. They would have been too big in early pregnancy, but they are perfect now. A medium might have worked, but I'm glad I went with large since it is late in the game. The shirts I got are great too and were each around $6. I'm a happy fattie :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Belly Dance!


If you haven't seen iCarly, this won't make much sense to you. I had no idea Elijah paid attention when that show has been on. He started doing it on his own and then Abigail and Isaac joined in. I didn't even realize what he was doing until Abigail explained. Who knows WHY he started doing it. video
The other kids "whooos" are covering up his, but he's doing that too.

Disclaimer: He's wearing totally mismatched clothes b/c Gramma's backyard has bad mosquitos and I wanted him in pants

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shopping

I really didn't want to do any more shopping, but every Sunday I struggle to find something to wear. I got a dress at Target that was not on sale b/c I was desperate. I really don't want to do that again, so online I went. All of these were on clearance, $7-$10. The reviews weren't great, but at these prices, I don't expect much. I'm a little worried about length since many reviews said they were shorter than they appear in the picture (and I've had that problem with Target before) but we'll see. I think I can probably "dematernitize" the dresses with a few alterations too.

I also got a few things at Walmart.com. You'd think with pregnancy #5 I'd have all I need, but this is my first time to need work clothes during hot months. Elijah was May, but I still wore mostly winter stuff except at the very end. What I did have, I took to church to pass on to a friend of mine... left it in Fellowship Hall... and don't know what happened to it after that. Makes me sick to think of what I had in that bag that I could have been wearing all this time. But oh well! Thank goodness for sales... oh and you know I'll be wearing all these with the heels, just as pictured. ha
$7.48

$4.98 I got this to wear with a sleeveless (1" straps) non-maternity, but high waisted wal mart dress that I got earlier in the summer and has a full enough skirt to continue to work. Can wear it when not pregnant too.
$10.48

$7.48 I never buy navy, don't think it works on me. I don't have a single navy item in my closet, but beggars can't be choosers.
This is the non-clearanced dress I bought last week.
This is the only Wal Mart item I'll post. I also got some shirts. Good prices, so if you are looking... check out the maternity at Walmart.com. I didn't care for their dresses though. Their shipping prices are much better than Target too. These were not on sale, but at $19 and GREAT reviews, I thought I'd get them. They are capri-length. Don't see many in overalls right now but hey, I'm pregnant and don't care :) These can work as my jeans. I've been wearing non-maternity jeans with a bella band up to this point, but that's not working anymore... belly is way too low to hold up anything :)

I can't believe I only have about 3 months left. My 'technical' due date is Oct 21. Online calculators and ultrasounds would have me due around Oct 17-18 and I'm sure I'll be induced by the 16th if I haven't had him yet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Short post

Tonight, after eating some snickerdoodles after bathtime that I made with Crisco... I NEVER cook with trans fats. I use butter, not margarine; cream (or milk), not coffeemate; real whipped cream, not cool whip... sugar, not splenda. I don't do substitutes :) But, I did buy crisco in order to make white buttercream frosting and was looking for a recipe to use some of it. And well, they are really good. Hopefully a few trans fats won't hurt. Considering I didn't even know what trans fats were growing up, I guess we'll be ok (though I didn't do margarine, fake cream, or fake sugar then either).
Anyway... I told the kids to brush their teeth and go to bed. The boys go up, then a few minutes later Abigail goes up. Elijah follows her saying "night night" and waving at us. I hadn't even put pajamas on him, but I wanted to see what would happen. I told Abigail to get in my bed with him after brushing their teeth and see if he goes to sleep. I guess he did b/c I haven't heard from either one of them. Wow! I didn't do a thing. David and I sat down here and just said "good night" and off they went. It was really cute.

The Plan

I've been awake in bed with Elijah in the crook of my arm for 45 minutes. That is not the norm. He usually wakes up around 6:30 with me begging for more sleep. I finally got away, but I had plenty of time to think while laying there.
He has never had a room. I didn't put a crib in our room til he was over a year. He goes to sleep in the crib but wakes in the night and joins us. This is all fine and dandy except that we have another baby on the way. I've had this summer as the 'transition time' but I wasn't real sure where I was going to transition him to. I've been thinking I'd put the crib in Abigail's room, but then he is still going to wake in the night and want out. I realized this morning I should probably transition him into a big bed at the same time... and maybe then he'd stay happy all night. Of course, there is no place to fit a big bed.
I know we've got to finish out the bonus room. That is no surprise. I was quoted $7000 a few months ago... much more than I was hoping for. I realized we'd have to do much of the work ourselves, but still got a shocker of a quote from an electrician of $3500. That seemed insane to me and thankfully, it was. I called the electrician a friend of mine uses who builds houses and was quoted $950. That is drastically better and in the ballpark of what I was thinking. I had air people scheduled to come out, but they didn't show. Got the name of the air people my friend uses so will call them... probably a good thing those other folk didn't show. I had called the people who put in the air when we built the house.
I'm hopeful we can do it for $2000. We have the drywall and carpet. It'll be a lot of work, but we've got to get it done. THEN I'll move both Abigail and Elijah into the bonus room and turn her room into a nursery for the new guy for a couple years. Then when sharing a room with her baby brother is no longer a fun idea to her... Abigail can go back to her room, the younger boys can go into Noah and Isaac's room (its closer to us, and smaller) and Noah and Isaac can have the bonus room (which will double as a playroom/media room of sorts... it's a big room).
Sounds like a plan, right? Now to just come up with $2000. ha
And guess who just woke up? I hear him making noises on the stairs...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Well, I had 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls to catch up on, so I got my other pictures on here... Abigail took quite a few pictures on the way there unbeknownst to me. Thought I'd include one...

They love going to the pool.



Isaac learned how to dive. He didn't really know he was diving. He was just jumping head first.

I didn't get many of Abigail jumping off the board.

But here's one of her getting out :)

Elijah went down the slide twice but since I was in the water waiting to catch him and David was on the ladder behind him... I didn't get a picture. Here's one of him putting my shoe on and my mom taking a picture :)

Back at my mom's I wanted to get a picture of them on her couch, but Elijah had other ideas.

Thought I'd share a common viewpoint of mine. Yes, that is my big belly that Elijah is standing under.

We didn't go to a fireworks show like we usually do. It had been raining and we didn't want to sit on wet grass... plus we had to be at church early b/c David was leading the music. We stopped on the way home and bought some to light. This is how Noah and Elijah were the entire time.

And this is how Isaac and Abigail were :) Isaac especially wanted to be right up there with us lighting them... of course we didn't let him.

We didn't just buy sparklers, but didn't get anything real big either. Just fountains, roman candles, and some things that twirled on the ground... still... this was Noah and Elijah. Noah loved getting the attention from him for a change.





I'm pretty sure they are looking at the moon here.



I finally got a decent picture of the 4 of them. Couldn't get Elijah to look at me, but at least he's not fussing and the others are smiling :)