Saturday, July 31, 2004

Aunt Flo!

Sylvia is exactly eight weeks old, and today, I got my first period! Wow! Never got it back this early. Usually it comes at exactly 8.5 months, like clock work. The only two exceptions are Erik, where it took me 13 months to get my period back, still not sure why, I suspect that I might have had some hypothyroidism going on. The other exception was between Tara and Jane, when I hoped to be pregnant soon again, and had read that taking evening primrose oil could help to get your period back sooner. It sure did! Got one period at 3.5mo and got pregnant on that subsequent cycle. I was thrilled! Loved having those girls so close together.

This time, I was afraid I would have to wait 13 months again, and I also still have all those miscarriages going through my head, and am afraid for a re-occurence, even although the problem should be solved now that my fibroids are gone. So I was hoping for an earlier return of fertility, so we could start trying sooner. I had been taking essential fatty acids anyway, just because of general health support, and I was hoping that this would get my period back sooner this time, since the evening primrose oil seemed to work for me eight years ago.

It worked! I even did ovulate about a week ago, although my luteal phase sucked, only 6 days. But I am thrilled that my period is returning this shortly post partum, I would love for Sylvia to have a sibling closer in age than Erik is. Maybe even one of her own gender, but I have to admit that I couldn't care less what gender baby it would be, I would just be so happy to have another miracle baby after all those miscarriages.

Today was the last day of daily swimming lessons, phew, so glad that that's over! Those three weeks of gymnastics and three weeks of swimming sounded like a great idea when I was 39 weeks pregnant and full of energy and signing them up. In hindsight I really am like 'What WAS I thinking????' But it's over now, and the kids did have fun.

After the swimming, I followed Kim's example and took them to the beach. The weather had not been cooperating much lately, and I just hadn't been up to it yet this year. But I really wanted to go soon, because I felt bad for Erik, who had to come to the swimming pool with us every day, but never got to swim. Now he finally could swim!!! Sylvia wasn't thrilled with her hat at the beach. So I ended up keeping her mostly in the shade, so I didn't have to bother with the hat. And who else showed up when I went to use the bath room but our trusted af? Typical af behavior :-)

I think another reason that af might be showing up so early, is because Sylvia is sleeping a good chunk of time at night, often 4 to 6 hours. Quite a long time for such a little baby. Not something I will complain about though :-) This picture shows her, down for the night, she always sleeps on this quilt on the floor in the computer room till we go to bed.

Sleeping Beauty


I had my helpers again today, the Good Beginnings volunteers. I asked them to cut up veggies, since that is usually the reason that I can't get dinner cooked at night, the veggies haven't been cut yet, and by the time evening rolls around, I am too tired, and Sylvia is too fussy. I often try to cut them up during the day, but that does not always happen. So I emptied the veggies drawers for them, and had them cut it all up. I have cut-up veggies for a few days now, perfect! They also helped me to do a quick kitchen cleanup.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sylvia and friend

Fussy Day

Sylvia is having a fussy day today. She usually is mostly fussy during the evening, and fine during the day as long as you carry her around. But today, she was not happy during the day either, especially not if I dared to sit down instead of walk around. So I did spend a lot of time walking around with her, or sitting down to nurse, but then she started complaining about MILK coming out of those things she just wanted to suck on for comfort LOL.

She used to poop all the time, like 20 times a day or so. Then she started pooping less and less, until she was on a fairly consistent schedule of once a day, always in the evening, after a few hours of fussiness. But yesterday, she did do her few hours of fussiness, but forgot to finish it with the poop. She didn't poop yet today either, but she sure was fussy. I guess she is changing her schedule again, Tara only pooped once a week or so, so maybe she will be a baby like that.

Tim was sitting next to her in the van today, and played the tongue game with her. He was so thrilled when she copied him by sticking out her tongue. I think it makes her even more fun for her siblings now that she is starting to play games like this.

Yesterday was a full day, first swimming lessons, then LLL evaluation meeting, followed by 6 weeks checkup at midwife, and we also had karate. I used the karate time to return the crates from our CSA, since I did some delivery for her on Tuesday. Phew, what a full day!

But it was nice to see my midwife again, Sylvia weighed in at 12 lbs 2 oz! Wow! She is about 1.5 times as heavy as when she was born. Little piggy :-) We talked about my depression issues, she looked up how long it lasted with Erik, which was about 3 months. I should be able to deal with it for a few months. And Sylvia is worth every minute of ppd anyway, she is the most perfect baby ever ;-)

My weight was down to 138 lbs, so getting pretty close to my pre pregnancy weight. She took some blood to check for hypothyroidism, since my bbt has been low for me, and it has made me wonder whether that could be an issue for me. I'll hear the results early next week.

I visited a good friend today, and came home with dinner, barbequed tempeh with peppers. Yummy!!!! It is nice to have friends who love to cook :-) I had planned on cooking tonight, but I never even got veggies cut up, so this was perfect timing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Financial Musings

I paid my mortgage, always a good feeling to have that accomplished. I started our debt annihilation program (including getting rid of the mortgage!) a little over 2 years ago, and have been keeping track of every pesky detail in a spreadsheet ever since.

Today, we reached the mile stone of having paid more than $10,000 in interest since starting this program. Quite a lot! Of course, I had to try to figure out how much interest we would have paid if I had not started paying off everything faster. I came to about $13,500. At first I was a bit disappointed, $3,500 did not really seem like a big difference. But then I actually started using my brain, and realized that the big difference is during the 25 years that I am not paying ANY interest, not during those 5 years that we pay less interest. I know that in the end, we will have saved about $80,000 in interest, I guess that's why the $3,500 sounded so low.

But the $10,000 sounds high, that's a lot of money to have paid to the bank in just over 2 years. Can't wait till my mortgage finally will be paid off, only 4 to 5 years left!

Today was a sucky day, things seemed to be ok till it was afternoon and everything just fell apart. It didn't help that it rained and rained and rained. Have to go to bed now, so won't go into the details, but it just was not fun. Hope tomorrow will be better!

The good news is that I played the tongue game with Sylvia. I stuck out my tongue to her, and she would imitate me. It was the first time she did this, such fun to watch and interact. She was watching me intently, either my eyes, or my tongue when I stuck it out. She kept alternating between those two, so cute!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Pond

Lots Of Girls

We have been doing sleepovers since Saturday night, keep exchanging some kids with a friend. Saturday, my three girls slept over at their house, so we had only 4 kids, 3 boys, 1 girl. But tonight, we are reversing that and ended up with 5 girls, and only 1 boy. Poor Timmy!! Cees is at camp, Erik is sleeping over, for the very first time ever. He was so happy that he finally got to go :-) Now I am waiting to see whether we'll get a midnight phone call to come pick him up. I don't really expect it, since he was the one initiating the sleep over, but still wondering.

I had a friend over this afternoon, who held Sylvia for me, so I could do things as unloading/ loading the dishwasher, and cut up veggies for dinner. I made one of those 'whatever there is in the fridge' soups. I even found my first pattypan squash in the garden, so added that too. And a bunch of overgrown snap peas, which we used as shelling peas. We shelled them outside, lots of little ones to help us shell and eat some of them. It was nice to be outside and do stuff like that with a few friends. Perfect weather, not too hot, and not as extremely humid as it was last week.

When I came back from swimming lessons, I even managed to get some weeding done in one of my flower beds, with Sylvia in the sling. The vegetable beds are totally overgrown with weeds too, but vegetables are still growing, so ignoring that for now. I usually pull out a few weeds every time I am outside, but the weeds are winning anyway, oh well.

The pond is doing well, we are getting more and more frogs. Not sure how that happens, since we never saw any tad poles. But our frog population has increased from 2 to 7 over the last few months. Hmmmm, we have as many frogs as kids now :-) The mosquito fish are doing well too, we are pretty sure they must have had babies, there are more and smaller ones than there used to be. Now, the mosquito larvae are not doing well, we had a thriving population before we put in the mosquito fish and goldfish, and now we don't have any left. Too bad :-) :-)

Managed to fill up 1.5 garbage bags today, it's is so nice to know that I will never see all that stuff again! But why can't I see any difference in my house, even although I have been filling up garbage bags since last week?????

Garden

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Erik, Karen, Sylvia, and Kate

Nice Day

We slept in till 8am, well, with a few interruptions for nursing, but still :-) Sylvia is a pretty good sleeper at night though, she often has one 4 to 6 hours stretch between feedings, not bad! Of course, I might have jinxed it by posting this. But I just had to share what a 'good baby' she is. Maybe we won't exchange her after all ;-) And I have to say, that when she wakes up at night, she just nurses and goes back to sleep, so that's not hard to deal with. She gets extremely annoyed if I change her diaper in the middle of the night, 'Can't you see I am trying to SLEEP here??? Stop bothering me!!!' LOL

Farmer's market day, always fun. I bought some baguettes and goat's cheese for the birthday party we were invited to in the afternoon. Usually I would have baked my own baguettes to bring, but wasn't up to that right now. So they just had to deal with store bought bread :-) I met a few friends, one of them carried Sylvia around for me :-) Another one gave me a wonderful raspberry pie, yummy, will have it with tea tonight. I know things aren't totally right with me though, since I almost burst into tears twice when people asked me how I was doing. A tad embarrassing to say the least.

After the farmer's market, we went back home to wrap presents (which heavily were focused on Pokemon... ) The older boys wanted to stay at home with dh, so I took only the younger five to Mesa's birthday party. We had a wonderful time, it was cooler weather, great food, nice people. The kids ran around and played, the parents hung out and chatted. The cake was very good, nut flours, carrots, eggs, no sugar, no flour. Some day I want to try to bake a cake like that, but not right now :-)

When we wanted to leave, Mesa first asked Tara to sleep over. Jane asked 'Can I sleep over too???? Please?????' Then Kate asked ''Can I sleep over too???? Please?????'. Followed by Erik 'Can I sleep over too???? Please?????' Erik was so disappointed when he couldn't sleep over, because he is still a bit too little, and I didn't want them to end up with four extra kids anyway. He was very indignant 'Kate is little too, and SHE gets to sleep over!!!' So I went home with only two kids, kind of weird. And we'll have only four kids in the house tonight, even weirder :-) Mostly boys too :-)

Dh took Sylvia out on a walk tonight, when she was fussy, which gave me my hands free to kind of clean up the mudroom. Not perfectly, but it looks a lot better now, and gave me the feeling that at least I did get something accomplished!
Sylvia

Decluttering

Another Friday without volunteers, but I did get some stuff done anyway! I managed to throw away two garbage bags full of thrash/papers/broken toys/whatevers. Two bags full of things that I will NEVER see again! I ran around like crazy when Sylvia was sleeping on her own for a bit. Had to be careful not to show the kids that I got rid of some of the 6,861 drawings that are cluttering the floors. But I did it, nobody even noticed anything missing! Phew! This felt good.

I was totally drenched in sweat afterwards, it was raining today, but still too hot. Some day I want an air conditioner! I really would like a whole house a/c some day, we have forced hot air, so I think it shouldn't be too hard to also have a/c connected to that for the summer. Of course, there is no way I want to spend the money right now, paying off the mortgage just is higher on my priority list, but some day, we will be cool! :-)

Cees is going on camp this weekend (scouting) and still needed stuff for his first aid kit for his first aid merit badge. We went out tonight to get most of it, apart from the 40 inch triangular bandages, which were impossible to buy. I am just going to cut up an old sheet to make those ourselves, there just is no way I am going to spend more time driving around, trying to locate those stupid bandages!

We have a birthday party to go to tomorrow, at least I did pick up a few presents for the birthday girl while we were out. It's a potluck party, I'll just pick up something at the farmer's market tomorrow, maybe a baguette and some goats cheese, because there is no way I am going to manage to prepare anything. It will be fun to go to the party though, and show of my wonderful little baby girl :-)

I was planning on doing more decluttering tomorrow when Sander was home, but with the birthday party, I don't think it will happen. So much to do, so little time! Well, with Sylvia wanting to be held all the time, at least I do get a lot of reading done LOL.

We have one red cherry tomato, our first one!!! And we ate broccoli from our garden for dinner, yummy! I love eating vegetables from our own garden. We have had so much rain lately, that everything is growing really well, especially all the weeds. And we have wonderful bolted spinach, lettuce, and radishes LOL. Tara loves all the flowers on those. For me, they just remind me of all the gardening work I am not getting done, oh well.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Pictures from Jane's Birthday


Jane with her cake
Jane and Cake


Jane's dinosaur volcano cake
Volcano Cake

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Sooooo Sylvia


She is a very smiley baby and makes such cute noises.
Very Cute

Phew!

Jane's birthday and party are over! But boy, what a stress!!! Yesterday I ended up taking all seven kids with me to the grocery store to shop for her party, so came home with way too much candy LOL. Was going to bake the cake, but it never happened till after midnight. I kept thinking of all the stuff that still needed to be done, but did get almost nothing accomplished. I hadn't even checked whether we had all the presents, and we ended up making an emergency run to Coconuts to pick up a Sailor Moon DVD for her. Oh, and we forgot to put up the decorations, which we ALWAYS do the night before. I felt so bad about that, although Jane was fine with me doing it today.

Last night, at 11pm I realized how much I had overscheduled today. Sander had to go into the office early, so couldn't help with the swimming lessons drop off. So it was birthday presents early, boys swimming lessons at 9am, girls swimming lessons at 9:30am, and LLL evaluation meeting at 10am. Baking and assembling a cake, getting ready for birthday party at 3pm. Hadn't baked the cake, hadn't vacuumed the floor (needed for LLL babies), hadn't cleaned the bath room. And it was almost midnight. Finally did get the cake in the oven, Sander vacuumed, and I cleaned the bath room. But my friend in the Tons Of Kids chat convinced me that I should cancel the LLL evaluation meeting, since I was soooooooooooooo overwhelmed, I spent most of that chat crying, which isn't good I guess.

Ended up going to bed at 2am, woke up at 6am, the lack of sleep doesnt' help I guess. I canceled the LLL meeting, which helped a bit, although I felt really bad about canceling so late :-( I know they understand, but I felt bad nonetheless, I am so used to just doing things instead of being overwhelmed. But canceling the meeting gave me time to prepare for the party. I considered skipping the swimming, but I had promised to pick up one of Jane's friends there, so she could be at the party. So I couldn't skip that.

Two friends came over early so they could help me set up, and one of them even cleaned my aquarium!!!! Wow! Had been wanting to do that for the last 2 weeks or so. And I got the cake assembled in time, it actually looked good too, but haven't uploaded any pics yet. It was a 'dinosaur cake with vulcano' as requested.

I spilled green food coloring all over myself and the kitchen floor.
Tara threw up in the hammock after eating too much frosting.
One of the young guests had a pee accident at the top of a slide.
We had at least 2 cups of soda falling over.
Tim fell out of the hammock and scraped his cheek and shoulder.
But the kids had a great time.

And I enjoyed having friends over, so that was a good part of the day, but the getting ready stress was just crazy. Blech!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Down Day

As in feeling down, not a day with not much to do. I really just want to crawl in bed and cry, cry, cry, but that's just not an option today. Blech, blech, blech!

Too many things to do, and not much that I can cancel. Swimming, one of Kate's friends is over now, dentist appointment for Tim, karate, and I need to drop off videos at the rental place. And either today or tomorrow, I need to shop for Jane's birthday, and I need to bake a cake too.

I am waiting for the friend's mom to come pick her up and then I might just ignore the whole house and take Sylvia up to bed to lay down for a bit and relax. I am just soooooooooo stressed right now.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Formula Beginnings

Or... as they named it 'Family Beginnings'. A glossy magazine, sent to me by Enfamil, supposed to be 'A guide to baby's first three months'. Full with feeding problems to be solved (by giving formula of course), and brain building activities (feed them Enfamil with fatty acids). The magazine has 24 pages, 6 of which are formula ads. That's 25 % of the magazine... In the middle, they have $8 worth of coupons for yes, you guessed it, formula. And a list with questions for your doctor, with even more formula ads on the back.

There is a long list of contributing experts, all MDs, PhDs, and one LCSW. I am wondering whether I want to write them all a letter, asking them why they contribute to a magazine which obviously is written to undermine, and hopefully get rid of breastfeeding. Not sure whether I have the energy right now, but someday I might and just do it. If anybody else is up to it, I can provide a list of names for them.

It has articles like 'Is my baby getting enough' (which is really easy to see when you use formula of course), 'Feeding Problems solved' (Even breastmilk [...] can cause upset). It tells us why breast is best, but 'While breast milk is best, Enfamil LIPIL formulas have many of the same vital nutrients...'. It advises to give ORS to a baby with diarrhea if you are breastfeeding, which I think is only rarely needed. Usually just nursing should be enough, but I guess the ORS would have to be given in a bottle, so makes it easier to switch to formula?

The last article 'One new mom tells it like it really is' claims that 'just because your baby is a natural-born nurser doesn't mean your breasts are up for the job'. Amazing how they can claim to be supportive of breastfeeding, while writing things like that. I did wonder about the title of the magazine, it seems close to 'New Beginnings', the LLL magazine, but maybe I am just too paranoid?

Today we went out to get stuff for Jane's goody bags. We got the non edible stuff, some dinosaurs, pencils, and such. We have her birthday party this week, I am soooooooooooo not up to it. Somehow it seems overwhelming to get ready for the party and bake the cake, but I guess I'll just have to do it anyway. She wants a dinosaur cake, including a vulcano. We found plastic dinos in the party store, so those are taken care of. But I am so not up to cake baking! I feel like I can barely function in daily life, the birthday party just seems to add a lot of stress. Oh well, at least Jane is looking forward to it :-)

More rain today, why am I not surprised? LOL I got a hydrangea at the farmer's market today, so it was kind of nice that I didn't have to water it. Trying to see the advantages of all this rain.

My girls went to a birthday party yesterday, and came home with a friend who slept over. But tonight Tara and Kate are sleeping over at their house, so now I suddenly have only five kids. The house just seems so quiet :-)

sylvia


Saturday, July 17, 2004

A Clean Kitchen!

They came today! My volunteers from Good Beginnings, I really really like this initiative! I have a clean kitchen now! I did most of it, since I know where everything goes and such. They helped by holding Sylvia and doing some cleaning too. One of them vacuumed the downstairs floors, they did some tying up of my tomato plants, and they made 'magic mud' with the kids. Erik started out with yellow mud, added green coloring, then blue, then red. I asked him what color it was now. He replied with a very decisive 'It's a POOP color!' LOL

The tomatoes are looking good, I even have some plants that are producing tomatoes already. Now if only they would turn red instead of green :-)

When they were gone, and Sander was home, I was able to clean off the table too, so it looks almost like I am an organized person now! It's such a shame that this usually doesn't last more than a few days.

Will it ever stop raining? I guess it will, but this is yet another day with too much of it. At least it didn't rain while they had the swimming lessons. And I was able to walk for a bit after getting home, with the three little ones. It was raining a bit while we were walking, and it started raining really hard when we were close to home, so we had it timed pretty well. Now it still rains on and off, I am sooooooooooo done with all this rain!

baby and big brother

Friday, July 16, 2004

Rain

The rain is getting to me. It has been raining too much. It just doesn't feel like summer if it keeps raining and raining. And if it has to rain all the time, couldn't it be a bit cooler and less humid in exchange??? The only good thing is that I don't have to water the garden, but that's about it.

Tomorrow, I should have my volunteers visit again. I am going to try to clean the kitchen, it's long overdue for a thorough cleaning, instead of the fast 'wipe whatever isn't covered by clutter' cleanup that does happen. There is so much stuff in there that shouldn't be there, and I am sure there might be dirt underneath, that shouldn't be there either. I hope to be able to post tomorrow night, how sparkly clean my kitchen is!

Had a great LLL meeting yesterday, always fun to have those. We have lots of small babies in our group, love watching them grow bigger and bigger every month. This was Sylvia's third LLL meeting already! Erik decided that he could nurse too, if everybody else was nursing. Usually he only nurses before going to sleep, but the LLL meeting seem to trigger nursing in him too. Hmmm, I wonder why? ;-)

Today, I walked into our mudroom, Jane on Tara's shoulders, both on top of a black stepstool so they could reach the highest cubby holes. When I asked them what the heck they were doing, they explained to me that they were looking for a Sailor Moon card. I have no idea why they thought the card would have flown to one of the high cubbies, but I told them to get off right now, since I had all those visions of two kids falling off that step stool and a subsequent visit to the emergency room...

About 10 minutes later, they did the same in our television room, to try to find the card on top of the entertainment center. I saw it from outside the house, so I went inside to tell them to get down yet again. When I entered the television room, they both were sitting on the mattress, looking very angelic and innocent. I told them not to do that and they both claimed that they had no idea what I was talking about. When I told them that I had seen them, they replied in unison, pointing their fingers at the other 'SHE made me do it!!!!'

I got Cees his first share today, he has decided that he wants to start investing and Coca Cola is his company of choice... I have offered him a funds matching program, I match what he can come up with to invest. It took him a while, but he now has enough money (including my match) to buy his first stock! He is very excited about it. And I am wondering whether I should have left my investing books in plain sight in the book case, that's what got him started on this :-)

baby and big sister

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Swimming Lessons Trouble



Today, I worked on getting my house ready for a LLL meeting tomorrow. It wasn't as hard as I feared. But that's mostly because my standards are pretty low LOL. Got my island cleared off, the floors kind of picked up, the bathroom cleaned, and a quick vacuum ran through the house. They will just have to live with that. I'll bake cinnamon raisin bread, that should make up for any shortcomings :-)

Kate forgot her clothes and towel for swimming lessons this morning. I was a good enough mom to go back home and get them during the lessons, only to come back and find out that the water was too cold and she didn't want to go swimming after all. ARGH!!! All that driving for nothing! Tim didn't swim much either, sometimes I wonder why I bother. OTOH, the other three in lessons did great, so I guess that's more than half of them LOL.

We had quite some rain today, but I was able to get in my morning walk after swimming, before it started raining. I was afraid that Jane might have forgotten her swim suit and we might have to make yet another trip to the pool, but luckily she had dropped it in the garage somehow... Phew!

Went to a Natural Family Boutique party at a friend's house tonight. Lots of fun stuff, but I was able to restrain myself and only buy a new bouncy ball for the kids :-) Could have spent way too much money, I loved all the wooden toys. I have been considering to do this too, but only on line, I am just not a party person, on line would be much easier for me.

Today, Kate complained to me 'I have never even lost a tooth'.
I replied reassuringly 'I am sure it will happen soon'
She asks 'Maybe if I punch one out?'

Sorry Jen, no picture today, I need to upload new ones, and Sylvia just woke up and nursed and is ready for bed now. I promise I will add one to the next entry, really!

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Fair

Last Saturday, it was time for our yearly fair. The kids love it, I am not a big fan of it. It is close to our farmer's market, actually on the same field. So I can't even pretend it isn't there, the kids see it when we go to the market :-)

We first went to the farmer's market, and got all kinds of stuff, including juneberries, which I had never eaten before. They are pretty close to blueberries, most of the kids liked them. I might get some juneberry bushes next year, I didn't want to buy them without tasting them first. Hmmmm, maybe Sylvia's placenta can go underneath a juneberry bush, since she was born in June. Gotta think about that. Sylvia actually was awake for part of the farmer's market, usually she sleeps the whole time. She was supercute, peeking out of the sling, I think she enjoyed looking around and having lots of people say hi to her.

We had parked really close to the fair, but we took the car to go there anyway. I felt funny about that, but my frugal side could not ignore the fact that driving to the fair would cost us $5 for the car load, while walking there would cost us $2 per person. Saving $11 seemed worth the hassle of driving around, but like I said, I still felt weird about doing it this way, it seemed a waste of gasoline and time. Oh well.

The kids did wonderful at the fair. We had told them that they could do two rides per person, and Erik amazed me by choosing two rides when we were still in the parking lot, and sticking with those two without whining for more, temper tantruming over the rides he could not do, and such. He told us he wanted the dragon and the horsey. The dragon was a tiny roller coasterd, the horsey was his name for the merry go round. He did both of those and was totally happy. The older kids went for the bumper cars, Tara and Jane were in one together. They couldn't quite reach the paddles, so Jane was kind of laying down in the car to reach them, while Tara did the steering wheel. Funny to see.

I am glad the fair is over, it's just too much noise and too many people for me. The kids loved it though, and that's why I keep going there year after year :-)

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, mostly doing things around the house and try to fight post partum depressions. Lots of ups and downs, I have been feeling more and more overwhelmed, but sometimes I feel really good too. Today seems to be a less than optimal days, tons of things to do, but somehow not even getting half of them done. But I did call my credit union to get a new credit card, which we will just use on line. After my last card being 'compromised' and going through the bother of having to replace it, we have decided we'll get a low limit card for on line purchases. If some one does hack the number and uses it, they will only be able to charge a few hundred dollars and that's it. So after getting rid of all my credit cards at the beginning of my debt annihilation program, I am actually getting an extra one now. I trust my ability not to mis-use it though. After getting rid of all that old debt, I am not going to build up a new high saldo on any cards!

two sisters

Friday, July 09, 2004

Very awake girl

No Volunteers Today

My volunteers were supposed to come today, but she had a flat tire, so they couldn't make it. Bummer, bummer, bummer! I was going to dig out my kitchen when they were here, and ask them to run the vacuum through the downstairs rooms, but alas, none of that got done now. Oh well. The floors did get picked up though, because I had told the kids that they had to be so they could be vacuumed. So as long as you ignore the little pieces of lint, paper, or whatever on the floor, it looks pretty clean anyway :-) Or it did for a while at least.

Didn't get much done today, but I did get my morning walk in, Jane accompanied me. She was amazed about the birds we saw, she says she usually sees only black birds when she walks by herself, but not crows... No idea what kind of birds she does see, or whether she just has a very dark way of looking at those birds? And no, it's not that she wears sunglasses a lot ;-)

We have been enjoying some blueberries, just like Chris in her Big Yellow House. But instead of eating them nice and fresh from the bush, Jane has been putting them in the freezer, so we can eat our own frozen blueberries... Sometimes I wonder about my kids. Why freeze blueberries when you can eat them warm from the sun?

Today's formula junkmail was 'Your Helpful Feeding Guide' from Enfamil. It wasn't very helpful. But they sure do put cute baby pictures on the front to make their junk mail look more attractive I guess. Too bad that that trick didn't work on me either.

Harry Potter

Took the older kids to see Harry Potter tonight, we hadn't done that yet, because of Sylvia's birth. They were starting to get worried that they wouldn't be able to see it in the theater anymore. So today, I decided to try to take them.

I made sure to have an early dinner, pizza for the kids, curried vegetables with dahl over brown rice for Sander and me. It took me about the whole day to get dinner ready, not constantly of course, but cutting something here, picking something there. Used broccoli and peas from my own garden, and greens and shelling peas from my CSA box. It was really good, and I made enough to provide Sander with a bunch of lunches.

The kids did enjoy the movie, apart from Sylvia, who thought it was boring and slept through most of it :-) After nursing for a while of course, it sleeps better when your belly is nice and full. I had her in the sling, so she was very comfortable.

Today was the very last day of summer gymnastics, phew! I am glad it's over! Now we'll start swimming lessons next week. We celebrated by buying bagels at the Bagel Basement (shhhh, don't tell any one I didn't bake them :-)

And yes, I got yet another annoying formula junk mail today, it really seems to be a daily occurrence at the moment. What a waste of paper!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Formula

'Many mothers find it helopfeul to have formula on hand. To help with this, we have inclused coupons/ checks.' This is what the x thousandth letter from one of the formla company tells me today. They keep insisting on sending me stuff, how terribly annoying! Why would many mothers find it helpful to have their stupid formula? Helpful for whom anyway? For the formula companies? So that we get sucked into their claws?

Just checked all the tins I have already, all of them sent to me by this journal. I got four of them, which would enable me to make more than 2 gallons of formula, and feed her for at least 1.5 weeks. That should be enough to sabotize my breastfeeding relationship, after they tell me thtat it's important to take a break, and to let others help (as in 'have them give the baby a bottle!'...

Well, the formula companies are out of luck here, so they should stop sending stuff!

Yesterday, I did get my property taxes paid, what a lot of money! And I didnt' even have to pay extra for being late, phew.

Today, I did some gardening, but most of the day, I was holding a fussy Sylvia. Not sure why she was so unhappy, she did poop a lot, so maybe that was it. I did get my morning walk in though, so that was good. That was about the only thing I did get done though.

Off to bed now, I am totally exhausted.

Three Smiles

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Sylvia's Well Baby Visit

She had a well baby visit today, she got approved ;-) She weighed 10 lbs 5 oz, wow, she sure is growing! Officially 22 inches now, and everything else checked out great too. Kate and Erik fought only a few times during the visit, could have been a lot worse LOL.

Sylvia got two packages delivered today. One with 'party diapers', very cute, very colorful. My girls loved them, Sylvia didn't express her opinion about them yet LOL. The other one had cute homemade diapers too, a Polar Bears diaper wrap, a wonderful blanket with Sylvia's name on it, and a perfect wood sculpture, a pregnant mom, I really need to take a picture and post it soon. It's hard to describe the beauty of it, I just love love love it!

Harvested our first broccoli today, stir fried it with some ginger and sliced almonds. Yummy! I baked bread, but I kept forgetting it, still turned out well though. I guess it gave it a lot of time to develop a really great taste :-)

Now I really should be off to bed, all the kids are asleep already, and we have to get up early yet again for gymnastics. Yawn! Guess it's time for a yet another sleeping Sylvia pic, to get in the mood for bed :-)

Sleepy Girl

Monday, July 05, 2004

Smile!

First Smiles

Since last week, she has been smiling at us!!! Not the accidental smiles, but the real ones. You have to work to get them, but she is so darned cute when she does it. Sometimes it's a full smile, sometimes it's just a half one. But whichever one it is, they all are just precious!

We went to the fireworks last night. We had it all planned out, didn't want to go to the fireworks our own town, because they changed the location to our Green, which is small and I figured would be too crowded and too close to traffic. So we were going to go to a neighboring town, just like we did last year, where they have a huge field, with lots of space to run around. Spent the day kind of getting ready, getting stuff to eat, making sure our meals were in time to leave early, stuff like that.

Around 6:30pm, it was time to leave, the kids were very excited, had been asking the whole day whether we were going yet. We got every one in the van, drove to the neighboring town and wondered why there hardly was any traffic. That's unusual. We looked at each other, looked at the lack of people, and drove around for a bit. Found a sign telling us about the fireworks / barbeque on July SECOND! As a foreigner, I had expected that July 4th fireworks would be on the FOURTH of July, silly me...

What to do? A car full of excited kids, but no fireworks to be watched? I should have checked the newspaper in advance, but I really did not expect them to do the fireworks on a different day. I know that another neighboring town had them on July 3rd, but I figured that they did that because they are a small town, and it might be cheaper to have them a day in advance...

We decided to check out the fireworks in our own town anyway, maybe they were able to read the calendar here? And maybe it wouldn't be as crowded as I had feared? I kept thinking that our town might have been celebrating a different day too, and what to do if that turned out to be the case.

Phew, the closer we came to our Green, the more cars and pedestrians we saw. That was a good sign. Lots of people at the Green, hayrides, music, this looked good! Lots of cars too though, with a resulting lack of parking spots. I decided to drive a bit farther, to our local health club. They have a small playground, and lots of parking space. And it was really quiet there, just a few families. Perfect spot to wait for the firewalks, and only a 5 minutes walk away from the Green.

I was so relieved that we didn't miss these fireworks too. The kids played at the playground, we ate at the picnic table, they all ran around, and the best thing was that we figured out that we should be able to see the fireworks from here too. So close to fireworks time, we spread out a blanket and waited for the show. The kids kept running to some nearby bushes and pretending that there was a huge monster there, trying to get them. It was nice to have the space to do that, and tp not have a few thousand people around us. The fireworks were great, the kids enjoyed them, although Sylvia mostly nursed and fussed through them. The traffic going back home wasn't too bad, so it all worked out in the end. But I sure was visualizing a bunch of very disappointed kids when I feared that we might end up not being able to see any fireworks.

Today we only had gymnastics, so it was a nice and quiet day. Not only that, but it rained, so that was good for the garden, even although it meant that I didn't get around to take my morning walk. I didn't get around to my nap either, and I have to admit that my midwife might be right and I might be a bit exhausted, which wouldn't help with the not sinking into depression. I am fine as long as I run around and do things, cleaning up, decluttering, cooking, whatever. I am not as fine when I sit down and actually can feel that I am tired and teary. I hate to admit that I might need rest though, it just doesn't fit in my lifestyle LOL.

Today, I also found out that the due date for our property taxes wasn't after the fourth of July, like I seemed to remember. It turned out to be July 1st instead... Oops! Went to city hall to try to pay them, but they were closed! Oh well, yet another task to accomplish tomorrow.

She smiles at us
We are all enjoying one of her first smiles

Friday, July 02, 2004

A Nap???

Saw the midwife today and she told me that I should try to take a nap every day... She said that I might be more tired that I think, because I am pushing myself too much, kind of living on adrenaline. Who??? Me??? How can she think that? LOL

I told her about the emotional stuff going on, and that there had been good days and bad days, and about the crying I've been doing. Illustrated it by bursting into tears during the appointment... But apart from that, it was a good appointment LOL.

We mostly talked about the whole ppd issue, but she also looked at Sylvia of course. She is 10 lbs 3 oz now, quite some weight gain from the 7 lbs 14 oz she was at birth. She is four weeks old now, where did the time go??? I weighed 141 lbs, a pound more than 3 weeks ago... Must be all the chocolate I've been eating late at night, to deal with the stress :-) My uterus was pretty low already, should be back to normal soon. So physically I am doing great, emotionally there still is a lot of room for improvement.

I had two volunteers over today from Good Beginnings, a community service to help new moms with babies, very nice! They asked what they could do to help, and I had them re-organize two of the book cases upstairs. The books kept falling out, it was a mess, and neither the kids, nor me, could ever find what we wanted to read. It looks so much better now! And it's a project I would never have gotten around to by myself, but it definitely does improve the quality of life in our house. It will be so much easier for the kids to pick out the books they want to read before going to sleep. And the best thing is, that the volunteers will be back next week!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Quiet Day

Finally, I needed this badly!!!! I think I really did too much over the last few days, it was so nice not to have to do anything but pick up the girls from gymnastics. I was starting to get really stressed out, today was much much nicer. We finished the standardized testing for our homeschooling. I set up our new fax, tested it out with my brother, it actually worked! Cleaned off the island, cleaned up the desk that used to be cleaned up about 5 weeks ago, but definitely wasn't anymore. Took a nice long walk with the three little ones. Visited with a friend. Swept the kitchen floor. Made curried veggies and tofu over rice. Puttered around the house. Oh, and nursed, nursed, and nursed Sylvia of course :-)

Just took another hour long walk with one of my friends. Sylvia started out awake, but fell asleep pretty fast and peacefully slept the rest of the time. I even could put her down when we came home, and she still is asleep! The kids got into puzzles today, divided their time between playing outside, and making puzzle after puzzle. Still tripping over some when I go to the bathroom, guess we do need to some picking up again tomorrow :-)

Tonight I was in the back yard with Sylvia, and she was really focusing on all the trees, it was neat to see her look around, taking in all the nature around her. Here's a picture of Sylvia with her new Bambi blanket. It just is so lovely!

New deer blanket

The Tooth Fairy

My girls were talking about the tooth fairy today. We have never made it a secret that the tooth fairy isn't real, but we have always done the pretending, just because it's fun. They get a dollar for every tooth they lose. They were worrying about what would happen if a kid thought that the tooth fairy was real, and then they would grow up, and never find out that she wasn't real, and what if they had a kid and that kid lost a tooth???? They would not know that they had to play the role of the tooth fairy. So their kid would not get a dollar for her tooth... You never knew that this would be a risk of making your kids believe in the tooth fairy, did you? LOL

Tara has been changing lots of poopy diapers. She is really into it, and does quite a good job. She keeps asking me 'Did Sylvia poop yet???' 'Maybe she has a wet diaper?' 'Do you think she wants her diaper changed???' LOL I am pretty sure it will only last a few days, and then I'll be back to changing all diapers myself, but it is nice while it lasts :-)

Finally baked my rhubarb bread! Got it finished tonight at 8pm or so, after starting it somewhere in the morning. Not sure why they call it quick bread... Or could it have been the 7,913 interruptions, instead of the bread, which made this take so long?

Kate has declared that she is NOT going to live together with a daddy, because she doesn't want any babies. It hurts too much. I pointed out that the pain was only a few hours, but the baby would last for a life time, but she didn't seem convinced. Jane told her that she could live together with a man, she just shouldn't have sex ;-) Gotta love those conversations.

We were going to eat freshly picked peas from the garden today, but it was 7pm, and the day had been too full and too crazy again. I was still trying to get the rhubarb bread in the oven, Sylvia was screaming, Kate and Erik were fighting, the other four just came home from karate, the peas hadn't been shelled, and the kitchen looked like some one must have been cooking and baking there all day. Never got around to filling the dishwasher, and after a few loaves of normal bread, and then the rhubarb bread, and the normal breakfast/lunch dishes, it just was overwhelming. The laundry still had to be brought inside, and there was lots of other stuff still to be done. I looked at the dishes, looked at the screaming baby, and told Sander that this seemed like the perfect day to get Chinese take out :-) We called, and about 20 minutes later, a good looking guy showed up to hand us our dinner. I was soooooooooooooooooo hungry by then, it was very very welcome! And it will provide us another night's dinner, enough leftovers :-)

We have been harvesting a few strawberries every day. Cees or Tara divides them carefully into five, kind of equal, parts and then they all get some. (Tim doesn't eat strawberries). I hope the new strawberry bed will produce a bit more next year, but for now it's fun to at least have some strawberries every single day.

My evening primrose is blooming! I have used evening primrose oil in the past, it seems to help me get pregnant faster (that's why Tara and Jane are only 13mo apart :-) When I found an evening primrose plant last year, I bought it, just couldn't resist. I had a bunch of flower last year, but thought I had lost the plant this year, couldn't find it in the spring. But luckily, it still is there, and doing really well! Lots of pretty, yellow flowers. Somehow this plant is very connected with fertility to me, I smile every time I see the flowers.

Evening Primrose