Sunday, December 28, 2008

38 Weeks Looming

I go to the OB tomorrow. Mom left for a couple of engagements in St. Augustine. Now I'm huffing and puffing around the house without her encouragement. It's harder that way. The stairs look like a mountain. I am getting to the stage where all the signs are pointing to "The End" and this makes me happy. I think I will put my money on the 11th of January. That would put me in at two days early and exactly two weeks out. I was 3 days early with Rachel and 2 days early with Lily. Ella doesn't count because she was my first (4 days late) and Sarah doesn't count because she came emergency C/S three weeks early. I says she's 7 pounds 4 ounces. There's no way she's any smaller than that because my belly is about to burst. Ella was 6,12; Sarah was 5,14 (three weeks early, keep in mind), Rachel was our biggest at 7,9 and Lily was 7,2. What do y'all think?

We got all the bookshelves up for school. I can't wait until we're done unpacking ALL OF MOM'S THOUSAND BOXES of school stuff (ex-teachers, sheesh) so I can post a picture of the finished product. We'll have resources galore at our fingertips. It's interesting to see the things she keeps. I'm not a keeper; I toss stuff out because I hate clutter, even though it's still everywhere. Mom's a keeper; she has gobs of stuff from the 80's. I find people fascinating that way. We all have things that are important to us and the perusal of one's personal property is an interesting story to read.

I took three naps today and still feel totally exhausted. Maybe there was too much napping. I wasn't motivated to do very much.

Granny put up this interesting article. I ignored it for a few days because I don't want to think that hard but I sure was glad when I finally took the time to read it. Very interesting stuff.

I know I never posted the pictures of the house I said I would. That is because I'm tired and feeling very apathetic about almost everything. I'll try harder to put up pictures in the near future.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Boy, am I ever tired.

Mom moved in. What a blessing that has been.

Since she moved in we've had the house painted and I just can't tell you what a difference that has made in making this house feel like ours and feel clean. Mom and I had a blast picking out the colors and Del really likes everything we picked out. Except for maybe the sewing room which is "sunbeam" yellow but since he doesn't have to sew in there and Mom and I really like it I guess that doesn't matter that much. The girls got their pink room. I was really hesitant to give them one because we saw so many horribly pink room while looking for houses that I almost didn't let them do it. But we picked out the palest shade of "fresh pink lemonade" and it actually is not overwhelming. I'll post some pictures when the job is finished. Our painters worked three days and then had to stop because one of them had some sort of medical procedure to endure so they're coming back on Tuesday to finish.

Mom and Dad's stuff got moved in. It's a a lot chaotic but we've got the kitchen almost done and that goes a long way to making things seem rational around here. It's nice to have something other than the floor or steps to sit on. We didn't have much furniture. We're going to Ikea today, like right now, to finish buying the stuff for our school library. Mom, being a teacher, has about a billion books that we have to unpack and organize and toss and stuff before we can get going with school again and this is important to us.

I had an appointment at 36 weeks 2 days and was a mere 1/2 centimeter dialated. It's better than nothing I guess.

I will post some pictures when we get back tonight or tomorrow. We've got some good ones. Sorry for being so silent. I'm tired and a wee bit busy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fitness Friday - Easy Edition

This week, Brenda is going easy on us and giving us a fill in the blank for our Fitness Friday Post. Since this is only my second week, I guess that is good, because I don't have that much progress to report. I am making much better choices, and I have to say that knowing I had this post to put up today is part of the reason for that. One thing that dawned on me this week is that I was indulging in sweets all throughout the day, but I tell my children that they have to wait for something sweet until after dinner when they have already had all their good food for the day. Why don't I follow my own advice??? Today is the fourth day that I won't eat anything I wouldn't let my kids eat. That has actually cut out a lot of excess!

1.This Christmas I am going to indulge in (meaning enjoy, without guilt, a reasonable amount of) anything. I am not really restricting anything as of now. I had already decided to not try to actively lose weight until January while I am still getting my milk supply established. That has usually evened out for me when my babies are around 8 weeks old. Andrew is 5 1/2 weeks, so when he is 8 weeks, I'll start being a bit more restrictive with my calories.

2. It is my goal to stay away from compulsive eating/overeating.

3. Over the holiday, I am changing my exercise goals to just try to move more. I'm not exercising at all right now, so anything is better than nothing. I will be with family for a week in CO, so I want to try to take some walks when other people can be with my kids!

4. The way I will remind myself to make good choices over the holiday is keep my scripture index cards that I have written out visible.

5. My favorite ornament on my tree is a wooden one in the shape of Texas that says, "Happy Yule Y'all. (Hey, they can't all be about fitness!)

6. Of the progress I have made so far, my favorite thing is that I have actually started making changes. I haven't really made any measurable progress yet, but getting started on something concrete is a huge step in the right direction!

Lesson Learned

Unless you are ready to devote hours on end to discovering all the friends you haven't thought of in years and years, don't create a facebook page! Man, is it addictive....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Homeschool Christmas - Snow Day

Today we started making a Christmas lapbook for school. We are technically still on our "summer break" until mid-January, but Aaron has been asking for school. I figured that would happen so I bought the supplies to make a Christmas lapbook before Andrew was born and figured if he didn't ask and we wouldn't use it this year, we would use it next year instead! My kids love doing lapbooks because they are full of crafts. I am not an arts and crafts kind of gal, so I like when I order a pre-done instruction booklet like this so that I don't have to think about it. I mean, I like watching the kids enjoyment of crafts and I see the educational value to cutting, gluing, coloring and such - not to mention being able to teach about something through the craft. But I hate gathering the supplies, doing all the prep work, and then cleaning up the whole mess. Plus, what do you do with the 8,325 art projects that your child insists are all "special" a year after they are finished? But alas, I do them because my kids love them.

Anyway, today we made snowmen finger puppets and made special "snow paint." I had envisioned the kids decorating the snowmen finger puppets, but once they were cut out, in two seconds flat they were playing snowman puppet football with them. In fact, one is lost in some secret football location yet to be rediscovered! Oh, well. They are really having fun with them, which is the whole point of them anyway.

The coolest part of our craft time today, though, is the snow paint. I thought I'd share it with you because it is super simple and really neat!

First you need to assemble 1/2 cup epsom salts, 1/2 cup water, and paint brushes (Hey, look! Mine are in Christmas colors! I mean, I totally did that on purpose...). A screaming baby in the background is optional. Then have your kids draw snow pictures. Mix the epsom salt and water to make a super saturated salt solution and paint the solution over the entire picture.

When the "paint" dries, it leaves a shimmery snow crystal glaze over the top of the picture! The kids were thrilled with the results, and I loved that for paint, this isn't messy at all! Aren't their finished snow pictures lovely?

Did He Hear Me Right???

You know you've done something right as a parent when you open the door to the room where your children are happily playing and say, "Okay, it's time to clean up!" and their response is, "Yeah!!" And they get busy cleaning up.* Hmmm...did they hear me right?

*Although my kids are good about cleaning up when I tell them, this cheering has only happened once. I felt I needed to disclose this tiny bit of information before anyone began to think that I have perfect children!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Goings On

Life is settling into a routine around here. I have resumed reading to my children and thinking about what we should eat for dinner each night. Of course, that is where having my entire 18 cu. ft. freezer crammed full of prepared meals comes in handy!! People scoffed when they heard just how much food I was making and putting in the freezer, but I knew just how handy it would be. I don't think I'll have to cook until close to February if I don't want to!
It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. As usual, I over shopped. I may have to return some of the things I bought for the boys! It helps that my grandmother sent a check and asked me to put something under the tree for them from her, and my mother needed some additional things and I told her that rather than give her ideas, I would just give her presents that I already bought! I just so enjoy buying things to put under the tree!
My present won't be under the tree this year, though. I will be using it before Christmas if my husband will have the time to get it all configured for me - I got a new laptop!! I really wanted a 12" one, but they are just so expensive. So I thought I'd probably just get a 14" until I found a refurbished 12" at for almost the exact same price!! Woo-Hoo! Now I will have a nifty new toy, since it is touch screen and a tablet PC as well, not to mention the fact that I will again have a CD/DVD drive (mine broke a year ago), a screen that stays where you put it (mine falls back and forth at will), and keys that work when you push them (mine arbitrarily decide not to work, and my keyboard goes into all caps at will, too.). All these things will be nice, and the tiny size will just be the icing on the cake!! I'll have to post a picture when I get it.
I also broke down and bought myself a new cast iron skillet. Mine had rusted beyond repair due to some improper storing before I knew how to properly care for a cast iron skillet (that, and the fact that I had just bought the cheapest one I could find at Wal-Mart before...). Check out this beauty:

That there is a 12" (I seem to be stuck on 12" things these days) whopper of a skillet! Now I can make tortillas again. Because after you have a homemade tortilla, the ones from Kroger just won't do any longer. Yeah, it's a little gross to actually watch the animal lard go into the bowl, but the just cannot be beat!

Andrew is a month old now! That is also hard to believe. He is doing really well. He has found his voice and is starting to coo a bit. He also has smiled at me several times now. Real smiles - not the gassy-tummy kind! One was even accompanied by a little giggle. Too cute. Of course, today he has either been screaming or nursing and nothing else...but I am just going to choose to not think about that just now.

He's awfully cute when he's content, isn't he?

I've also gotten back to crafting. I posted about it on our other blog, Mothers of Invention. Check out what I've made! I've also been knitting these super cute Christmas ornaments, and have fabric to make some other things...but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who will be receiving these things...if I get them done, that is!

I am starting to think about homeschool again, too. We schooled right through the summer since I knew I would need a break when Andrew came more than I'd need one in the summer. So we finished the first semester of school in October and will be starting our second semester along with everyone else in mid-January. I am going to order curriculum this weekend, which is always really exciting for me! I am focusing on ordering supplemental stuff for Aaron, that will also work for Ethan because I already have most of what I need for Aaron to finish kindergarten. We are keeping it simple - no need to go overboard for kindergarten! I am moving him on in Language Arts. He finished the K program from Sonlight. I am ordering First Language Lessons from Peace Hill Press for him. He is doing so well with the reading program from them, so I am excited to start FLL, too!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fitness Friday

Ever since Terry at Breathing Grace started posting her fitness journey as part of the Fitness Friday group, I have thought it was a wonderful idea. I firmly believe that women (and men) who are trying to lose weight/get fit need support to do it - and what can be better than the support of people who not only understand the physical struggle and aspect of losing weight, but also the spiritual aspect of it as well? Now that Drew is 1 month old (can you believe it??), I think it is time to get back on track. Somewhere in the middle of my "restricted activity," I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. At that same time, I stopped doing many of the things that have kept me on track with my food for the past 2 1/2 years. I also stopped focusing on my relationship with God - and that one is the key. I have struggled with food and binging since I was a young child. I have done crazy things to my body - from gorging myself with sweets to starving myself and exercising to the extreme, even in the middle of the night. The only time I have ever found relief is when I have come to the end of my rope and turned to God. Why must I wait until I have exhausted my own strength before tapping into His? I don't need to get back to where I was 2 1/2 years ago to decide to put it completely in God's hands again. It is time. My strength isn't enough!

About four years ago, God convicted me about my food. At that time, I was hiding food and binging in secret. I was making excuses to be able to be alone with my food and it was coming between me and my husband and between me and God. It had become sin. It had become an idol for me. I realized that Satan had a stronghold over me when it came to my eating. Have you ever done a word study on stronghold? I did once and it is convicting to me that I have allowed something to have control over me (a strong hold on me) rather than holding "strong" onto God. He is supposed to be my stronghold. (That is for another post though!) I wasn't completely ready to deal with this right when I felt convicted, but I did begin to change slowly. About 2 1/2 years ago, I was finally ready to get help. I have made great progress and went 2 years without a binge and a full year with no sugar at all. I lost almost 40 pounds and felt great. Then I let it go, bit by bit - so slowly that I could ignore the danger until it was too late.

Where I am now is that I am seeing how I let go of the things that were helping me. I have reconnected with much of that. I am still not spending time with God as I should and my food is all over the place. I have had a few good days in the last two weeks which is more than I can say for the few months before that. I have not exercised since I was put on restricted activity and I now have 33 pounds to lose. But you know, I am not wanting to do this for the weight loss. I need to get back to what is right. I need to depend on God and not sin in the area of food.

When I first was convicted that my relationship with food had become a sin for me, I started searching the scriptures for verses related to two topics: sin and the consequences of sin, and God's promises to me and my identity in Christ. I wrote down all the verses I found and tonight I read through them and what comfort the Word of the Lord has! I am convinced that if I want to get back to a healthy place with food, I must be in the Word. Psalm 119:11 reminds me that it is when I hide God's word in my heart that I am able to keep from sinning. I also know that when I confess my sin, it is God who blots out my sin and remembers it no more. (Is. 43:25) And although this will be a struggle for me, it is a battle worth fighting. Yet, I am not the one who will truly fight it. I love Deuteronomy 20:4, "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." I know this promise was made specifically to the Israelite soldiers, but I take great comfort in the fact that when God expects his people to fight, he does not make them go into battle alone. He also fights for his people! And he promises that when I seek him, I will find him; and when I pray to him, He will listen to me! (Jer. 29:11-13)

So my plan is simple:
  • Seek God with my whole heart and commit my days and my food to him.
  • In the next few weeks, begin to gently exercise again as my body continues to heal from giving birth.
  • Refrain from overeating - especially in the afternoon, which is my "trouble" time each day.

I recognize that this is only a small beginning and that in order to be successful, I will need more specific and measurable goals, but it is a start. Thanks to Brenda for getting this Fitness Friday thing going!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just wanted to say that it is sleeting here right now! This doesn't happen too much here - especially in December. The crazy thing is that the forecast for Sunday is sunny and 75! That's Texas weather for you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Seen Around My House Today

Is there anything better than a nice hot steak and an ice cold Dr. Pepper? I don't think so.
I started sewing again.
How did one baby girl get so stinkin' cute?
34 weeks. Sigh.
You can't really see the bee in there. He tried to attack me and I beat him off ran away screaming like a baby.
One of our many aloe plants are blooming again. I think they're so pretty.

These pictures have nothing to do with anything except for the one of me. See that camera? That's my Christmas present this year. It's a digital SLR; something I've wanted for years. Can you say "distracted"? Yeah, I'm a little distracted.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time Flies When You're Up All Night

It has been three weeks since Andrew entered the world. It is hard to believe that. It seems like much longer and much shorter all at the same time! Now that Thanksgiving is over and the family has all gone back home, I thought I'd take a minute to post some new pictures and update you on life with my three sons!

Thanksgiving was good, but it seemed long. We had family in town, and although none of them actually stayed at our house, it made the days very busy. My mom's mom came for a week, my brother and his family for a few days, and Jerry's parents for 4 days. It was really good to see them all, but I would have enjoyed the visits more if I hadn't just had a baby! I felt bad with Jerry's parents because they were here all day each day, but each chance I got, I went to bed! I don't really feel like I saw them too much. I dropped a baby into one of their arms, asked them to help put up the Christmas tree, and then went to bed. What an excellent hostess am I!

Andrew was declared healthy at his two week check-up! He weighed 7 lb. 14 oz. at two weeks, so he had regained to his birth weight plus four more ounces! He still cries - a lot! More than my other boys did at this age. But he is learning to soothe himself. I cannot hold him all day long, nor should I - so I put him in his crib when it is time to sleep, and he is starting to get the hang of going to sleep without anyone to rock him. I am actually really surprised with how well he does with that. My second boy would scream for the entire hour and a half that he should have slept unless I nursed him to sleep. Not Andrew! He cries off and on for about 10-15 minutes and then drifts off to sleep.

I am starting to feel the need to move more. I broke out the book Expecting Fitness and opened it to the postpartum section so that I could start to work my body back into shape. I've gotten the first four exercises listed there done several times, but can never seem to get beyond those four before someone needs me! I am so impatient when it comes to how my body looks after having a baby. You would think that would cause me to eat less in order to avoid getting to this place to begin with, but no. I gained the same with all three and agonized about the results each time as well. I know for sure I cannot diet for another 5 weeks or so, otherwise my milk supply tanks. (I learned that lesson the hard way before...) But I can move. I am recovering very well physically, so it is time to make exercise a priority. It is supposed to be a bit warmer toward the end of the week, so maybe Andrew and I will go for a few walks!

This weekend, I will experience for a short time being a single mom of one. Jerry is off to Indianapolis for another one of his scheduled "residency" trips for grad school, and he is taking the boys with him! Well, they aren't staying with him! Jerry's parents live only a couple hours from Indy, so they are meeting Jerry at the airport and taking the boys to their house while Jerry is in school, then Jerry is going to their house for another day after his classes are over. I am excited that I will truly be able to sleep any time Andrew sleeps, but also a bit apprehensive about not having another pair of arms to help with him during his fussier times. I would like to get Christmas shopping done while they are gone, too. We'll see how much actually gets done...

Speaking of grad school, Jerry's first term is over! One down, three to go. He did very well, too. He had the top grade or close to it in each of his classes. I'm so proud of him!

It's starting to look like Christmas at our house! I love this time of year. I have to remember to slow down and enjoy it before it is over, though!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Anyone have a steak? Anyone? Tap, tap, tap...this thing on? Steak, I'd like a big hunk of steak please.