Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama just doesn't get it

Man, Obama thinks he wants our votes BAD.

We have had four phone calls in the past 5-6 days from the Obama camp. The second one was from a real person, and Kelly flat out told him, "Please do not call us anymore; we will not be voting for him. I am very conservative; I am pro-life; I am pro gun rights; I am a very conservative Christian. I will not be voting for Obama." In other words: leave us alone.

We got another call from them the next night. I bet you can tell how THAT went over with my husband. :-)

Last night we got Obama himself on the line. Oh, ok, it was a recording, but still.

And today, someone actually showed up on my doorstep asking for us by name, wanting to give us literature about Obama. I politely refused, informing him that we would not be voting for him.

Just my luck, though, it was a nobody campaigning for Obama and not a movie star campaigning for Hillary. (Sean Astin was campaigning door to door here in San Antonio a couple of days ago.)

Just to be fair, I did receive a phone call from Rick Perry (Texas governor) last week calling on behalf of his "good friend" McCain. Now that's definitely not the way to get my vote, either! Not that I was going to vote for McCain anyway, but that would have been enough to send me running to find a new candidate if I had! How many "good friends" do these political candidates have anyway?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We've forgotten history

Just turn on any news program lately and you'll hear plenty about how rotten the economy is. And there is definitely alot of truth in it. We have felt the increase in costs, especially in groceries and gas. (This was one reason I started paying more attention to how I spent our grocery money.) I read yesterday about how we are in for a bad wheat crop and wheat prices are going to go up - although I think they already have as the flour I buy at Sam's has doubled in price in the last year.

But this morning when Kelly and I were watching the news, the reporter made a statement that really irked me. "Times are really bad right now." Yes I know it sounds innocuous enough. And I know that there are many families who have been hit very hard. But I'm sorry, things in the country are not "really bad" right now, comparatively.

Hear me out on this.

Yes I know all the predictions of gloom and doom - recession, stagnation, housing crisis, gas prices, these are all things I understand and have heard. But really, things just aren't as good right now as they have been for most of my adult life. We have been living through a time of great wealth and ease until very recently. Prices were low, inflation almost nonexistent, unemployment at record lows, interest rates on house and car loans very low. We've had it easy. And now that the pendulum is swinging back the other way (as it always does) we are panicking.

If you want to know about "times that are really bad" talk to your grandparents (or great grandparents) about what it was to live in the depression. Read cookbooks from that era - its quite eye opening. When we think we've got it bad because we can only buy the meat that's on sale, read how these women fed families with no meat, milk, butter, etc. These people lived through a time when they probably wished for only a recession - and don't forget the horrible drought that lasted for years that decimated so many family farms. They had it really bad.

Also talk to your grandparents about living through WWII. I know Iraq has caused some prices to go up, but we have never had to go "meatless on Mondays" or plow up our lawns to plant victory gardens. We would absolutely die if we have to have ration books to get certain items - we get upset if we have to take a raincheck on a sale item!

No, our country is scared right now (and the media is fueling it for all it's worth). And with fear we lose perspective. Now I'm not saying we should ignore what's going on around us. I'm all for being frugal, careful and discerning with money - just ask Kelly, who thinks I am too much sometimes! I am still working on bringing our grocery budget down, so that I've gone back to couponing after giving it up years ago. But we need to be careful not to get caught up in the hype. It keeps us from being thankful for what we have and being content. Our history gives us perspective - let's not lose it during this time. And as Christians, we have have the ultimate history - the Bible which shows us how God has always taken care of his people.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birth Story Number one - Kora

I promised several months ago to post my birth stories, and with another birth impending, it seems to be the right time to start. I figure I'll do one a week, which will take me nearly to the next birth story. :-)

Kelly and I found out we were expecting our first child in April of 1996. We had been married almost 3 years at that point. I was weeks away from graduating from college. Kelly graduated at the end of the summer session in August and received his commission as a "butter bar" lieutenant in the Air Force at the same time. We had orders to move to Oklahoma City the first of October. My due date was December 23.

When you have a baby in the Air Force, you are required to go through an experience that is unrivaled in civilian life - the orientation. In order to be able to see a medical professional for the first time you are required to attend a several hour long class with other newly pregnant moms, so they can cram as much info into you as possible, about how the system works, how your appointments will be handled, what to eat to avoid morning sickness and for a healthy baby, etc. In other words, a total waste of time - it's all in every pregnancy book. The reason I bring this up is that it was rather funny in my case because I still had to sit through the orientation class once we got in-processed at Tinker AFB. But by this time I was 7 months pregnant, but it didn't matter. Since I had never been to an AF orientation, I had to attend before seeing an OB. Glad to get that info on morning sickness though.

When we got to the last couple of weeks around my due date, it was also close to Christmas time, so the flight Kelly worked in went down to skeleton crews - minimum manning as so many of them took leave during that time. And with Kelly expecting a new baby, they didn't schedule him for any work time at all. Which sounds like a good thing, but we were seriously driving each other crazy. At home, waiting for the big event, no money to go do anything to take our minds off of it. We went on a lot of walks, usually in malls as it was cold up there, trying to get things moving.

On the Friday after my due date, the doctor checked me and said I was already dilated to a 4, and nearly completely effaced, so I should be going anytime now. We were elated. But he did offer to induce me on Monday if I didn't go into labor before then. Kelly joked that it would be great as then the baby would be born before the end of the year - tax deduction! I was just tired of being pregnant. I wanted my baby, and was sick and tired of looking at the empty crib. So we agreed. We were to call on Monday morning at 6 am to make sure they weren't too busy. If we were given the ok we could come in.

Of course nothing happened over the weekend. So Monday morning we ate breakfast, got our bag, and after calling, we went to the base hospital. It was very leisurely, and not a little surreal - nothing like I had pictured labor and the trip to the hospital. When we got there we were shown into a labor room, but told that they had two delivering and one in active labor, and there would be no induction for a while. They did hook me up to all the monitors just to check me out. A little while later a nurse came in and asked me, "You're having contractions about every 15 minutes, aren't you feeling them?" Well, no I wasn't. They really thought I'd pick up on my own without their intervention, so they finished with the ladies who were already in active labor.

But in the meantime, Kelly and I played cards, read, did anything to pass the time. It was a long morning. I was reclining in a hospital bed, and my rear end was killing me. But every time I shifted position, a nurse would come in and gripe at me because moving caused the monitors to slip out of position. (Remember, I wasn't even induced or in active labor at that time!) I could get up to go to the bathroom, but it was a real imposition to the nurses to unhook me so I could go.

Finally about 1 pm, the doctor comes in and announces, "OK, this is it, you aren't going home now without your baby." He broke my water, they put an IV in my wrist (yes, the side of my wrist, THE most uncomfortable place to have an IV). Then they left me, because with my water broken, contractions, and already dilated to nearly a 5, I should start on my own. But now I could not move at all, not even to go to the bathroom because they broke my water. I felt tied down.

My contractions did pick up, but soon petered out. So of course I got pitocin. Alot of it. The contractions went from nothing to hard ones about every 5 minutes in no time flat. They were soon more than I could bear. And this was my first labor, so of course I thought I had hours and hours still to go. So I finally asked for an epidural. It took a while to get the anesthesiologist to get in there. Holding still while they put two different needles in my back was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But pretty soon the pain was much less, except for a window where I still had sensation on one side of my tummy. I made the mistake of mentioning this to the anesthesiologist, so she gave me a second dose of epidural.

So now I could not feel anything. Zero. No pressure, no sensation. It was like I had had the lower half of my body amputated. It was very funny to see the contraction monitor peaking when I felt nothing. While this sounds like a good thing, it came back to haunt me. By the time I got the second dose of medication, it was 4:30 pm - ish. I labored for while, and then about 6 pm, a nurse decided to check my progress. I was a 10! Completely effaced, baby at zero to +1 station. Birth was imminent. So the doctor and several nurses came in and I was told to start pushing.

Push? I couldn't feel anything. How do you push with muscles you can't feel? I couldn't even bend my knees - Kelly and a nurse had to do that for me. So for about 40 minutes, I pushed as hard as I could with not one bit of sensation to tell me whether I was doing it right. Finally, someone figured out I should have made some progress by now - evidently the baby hadn't come down any further at all. Then a nurse asked if it could be my bladder.

See, they'd been pumping my IV full of fluid since 1 pm, and I hadn't been to the bathroom since. My bladder was so distended that is was blocking the baby's descent. So the doctor quickly catheterized me, they wheeled me across the hall to a delivery room, and I was told to start pushing again. They hung a drape across my middle so I could not see a thing, but by that time I guess I had figured out how to push enough that she was born just 5 minutes later (6:46 pm), after the doctor gave me an episiotomy that he didn't tell me about until later.

It was really quite a weird experience. I was so elated that she was here, but I had a hard time believing it. The drape had kept me from seeing anything. I couldn't feel anything because of the epidural. And I only got to see her briefly until about an hour later. After she was born, the doctor clamped the cord, Kelly cut it, and they took her over to do the preliminary exams at the isolette while they finished attending to me. After a few minutes, they wrapped her in a blanket, and literally came and waved her in front of my face a couple of times (the nurse even said, "Here's your daughter.") and then they whisked her off to the nursery. They did offer for Kelly to come, and he did. This is also when he started calling parents and family and friends. He took pictures, while I was still getting stitched up.

After awhile, I was wheeled back into the labor/recovery room and was left alone until Kelly was through. Then when she was about an hour old, they finally wheeled in Kora's isolette, and I was able to hold her. I remember just staring at this baby I had so longed for. She was so cute - no misshapen head like many newborns have. But she was still a little bit of a stranger, so I started to get to know her. I started rubbing her cheeks, her nose, I took her hat off to see her hair. Then the nurse interrupts me and asks a little impatiently, "Aren't you going to nurse her?" Well, of course I was, I was getting to it, but this was the first time I had even held her, and I was savoring it. I figured out later that the nurse couldn't leave until she helped me get her latched on, so I guess she wanted to get the ball rolling.

During the next two days, I had to share a room with another new mom, and that was not pleasant. I couldn't wait to get home. But I ended up coming back a few days later as I had so much trouble getting started nursing, especially once my milk came in. On Friday, I came back up to see the only nurse who was a lactation specialist -also a L&D nurse, so I had to wait until she wasn't delivering a baby. But she helped us get that straightened out, and we were finally able to go home and enjoy becoming a family.

Box score stats:
Kora was 8 lbs 12 oz., 19.5 inches long, dark brown hair (that soon fell out), blue eyes
Born December 30, 1996 at 6:46 pm
Labor total: 5 hours 46 minutes

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random Items Probably of No Interest Whatsoever

My girls are obsessed with counting American flags. Today going and coming from piano lessons, they counted 85 American flags (and they are very careful not to duplicate!).

Using 1/3 a cup of Malt-o-meal instead of the called for 3 tablespoons does not work so well. Trust me.

I baked bread in my new roaster yesterday for the first time. It took longer than it does in my traditional oven, but I think that's because I need to turn the temperature up in the roaster. I bake this recipe at 350 in the oven, but the roaster booklet said to bake bread in it at 400. Next time I'll try at least 375. But I didn't feel guilty for heating my huge oven for one measly loaf of bread. Which is great, as that means I can use my bread machine to mix and knead the dough!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the website ever since Cathi linked to it once. They are having a birthday party over on their site, complete with giveaways, so go check it out!

Husbands who take daughters to scouts when their wives can barely walk are my favorites.

Our neighborhood just switched over to automated trash and recycling pick up. This means that instead of picking up trash twice a week from whatever trash cans we set out, with actual men getting out and dumping the cans into the truck, the city now provides 2 96-gallon cans - one for recycling and one for trash. The downside is that trash only gets picked up once a week. I was very skeptical, but now I actually like it better. Our old recycling bin was way too small, but now we have plenty of room to put everything recyclable in. And the trash can is so big, that we - a family of 7-soon-to-be-8 - have never come close to filling it halfway.

Three year olds have no concept of time. Or of many other things. Lauryn seems to think that this baby may just "come out" one day before Daddy comes home from work. Then she can hold her and play with her. Her words.

My sister was supposed to find out what she's having yesterday, but the baby is in a head up breach position and was feeling very modest - or stubborn. In our family, I'm guessing the latter.

Remember the Henry VIII paper dolls my girls were making? Kora and Aubrey counted theirs, and they have made at least 92 dresses. No joke.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Project for the week

OK, so my project for the week is to get the girls' spring/summer clothes out of bins and put away the winter clothes. I anticipate that it will take me longer than normal due to the fact that I can't be on my feet for very long at a time. This year, this project presents a few other - non-pregnancy related - problems.

The first one is normal for every spring clothes shuffle. It warms up here well before Easter every year. While we wear white shoes long after Labor Day, I still harbor a bizarre reluctance to break out the white dress shoes before Easter - and no it doesn't matter if it is already 85 degrees outside. I know, I know I need to get over it. There's just something about breaking out the frilly spring dresses, white shoes, etc. for Easter that I just can't let go of. So every year I try to find Sunday outfits for those overlapping weeks that will still allow for black dress shoes, even though I've already pulled out the spring clothes for every day.

On a related note, I also face the Easter dress dilemma. For the past few years, I have had a difficult decision about whether to get the girls new dresses for Easter. Growing up, we always had new dresses for Easter every year. And in a perfect world I would do the same. But remember I have 5 girls. When I just had a couple I would make them new dresses for Easter every year. But today, Aubrey hung up 8-10 spring Sunday dresses in her closet. The younger girls will have about the same issue. They already have soooo many dresses, that I usually end up letting them pick out a new-to-them dress from the stash we already have and calling it their Easter dress. But I always feel guilty about it, like I am an utter failure as a mommy-of-many-girls. But they usually don't need any more clothes, and have you ever figured out how much it would cost to buy five fancy Easter dresses?? So every year I have the burning question of - do I buy them all dresses or just Kora, who always outgrows some and truly needs more?

The third problem is a new one, although it's one I've seen coming for a couple of years now. Kora has just about outgrown all the girls size 16 clothes. I am pretty much having to shop in the juniors section for her for many things. However, neither she nor I like many of the styles in most junior clothing sections. This is the girl who hates jeans. She would wear a knit dress every day of the year if she could.

Fortunately, the Lands End clothing runs bigger than most, so last year she was wearing a size 14 in their clothes. Which means this year she can wear a size 16. So I am very thankful to have these adorable dresses easily available. Kora loves the ones I got her last year. It's just a matter of how many can I afford to get her?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

They start young

My midwife appointment went well today. Surprise, surprise, the baby low. Janet told me that the baby has a shoulder right on my pelvic bone. I told her, "Yes, I know." Believe me. I'm almost embarrassed to walk in public. Good news is, no blood pressure problems. I had been having a little swelling in my ankles a few evenings lately, so I was a little nervous about that.

After the appointment and a few errands I came home and rested - either sitting at the computer or on the sofa, getting a few things done, like putting history curriculum in page protectors. I had HGTV on, and it was still on when Lauryn wandered downstairs after getting up from her nap. She sat on the floor beside me for a while, watching, and then went into another room to play.

In a little bit I hear her dragging something across the inside of our front door. I went in the entry way where she had a stack of Duplos that she was scraping down the door. "Lauryn, what are you doing?"
"This is my room, Mama. I'm painting."

Yes, that decorating gene shows up early in females in our family. Kelly even thinks the new baby is already wishing for some color in her present home. Guess we better go buy stock at Home Depot and Lowe's.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I have a new favorite kitchen gadget

Although, as big as it is, I doubt it can really be called a gadget.

Kelly's brother and his wife gave us a 22 quart Roaster for Christmas. I had been wanting one for a while, so it was the perfect gift. The girls have been a little bit confused - is it a crockpot or an oven. Well, it's both. Actually so far I've used it more as an oven.
A 13x9 pan fits easily inside it, as does my Pampered Chef rectangular stone baker. So far I've only used it on my countertop, but what I am really excited about is being able to use it outside on my back porch when the weather warms up. In South Texas, it is such a blessing to not have to heat up the kitchen in the hot 6-month long summer we have! Plus, if I need to, I can still use my oven for other things. I sometimes run into a situation when I'm trying to cook different things that need different cooking temperatures, and this is a much cheaper alternative to replacing my stove with one that has a double oven!

The owner's manual gives directions on how to make cookies, bread, and other baked goods in it, but I have yet to try that. So far I've cooked meat dishes in there. But it works great and puts out so much less heat than my full oven.

The one I received is here. After I use it outside for the first time, I'll post again to report how that goes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

'Fess Up

OK, so how many of you let your kids stay up and/or woke them up to watch the lunar eclipse last night? Yep, that would be us. We don't let them stay up for too many things, but have a lunar eclipse, or let Mars get really close to earth and be orange, and we are disturbing much needed sleep to sky gaze. What's funny is how excited the girls get about things like that. We are studying astronomy this year, and read about eclipses a few months ago, so it was really cool for them to see what they had read about. They were very excited. Guess the "geekness" doesn't fall far from the trees, eh?

So does this deserve a line in the "You might be a homeschooler if..." chronicles?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Live Blogging

I have already been asked if I will be "live blogging" my birth when it happens. While I love it when other women do it - although it does make me spend way too much time on the computer checking for updates - I doubt I will.

The simple reason is I have very short labors. And once labor starts I go straight to transition. My last labor began at 7:45 am when I woke up with the first contraction. It took me 30 minutes to figure out this was the real thing and not the false labor I had been having for weeks. She was born right at 10 am. By the time the midwife arrived at my house, my water had already broken and I was completely dilated. This is very common for me, so I doubt I'll have time to blog anything.

I might be able to post quickly that I am indeed in labor, and I'll have Kelly post after she is born - name, weight, and all those details. But I doubt there will be much more. I also usually go into labor around 2 or 3 am and have the baby around 5 am, so normally no one is awake when I labor - you'll just have to wake up and see the news. Of course, Lauryn didn't follow this pattern, so we will see.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I swear, my body thinks I am further along than I really am.

Which is ridiculous for me to say. I think I am more likely to have a boy than I am to have a baby early. (Well, maybe not, but you get the idea?)

OK, but my body acts like I am about 4 weeks further along than I really am. I've been nauseous for a few weeks - just like towards the end. The fatigue has been there in mega doses. Over the weekend, I've dropped even more. And I've been having those low, low abdominal cramps, often like I do after say a pelvic exam in the last couple of weeks of a pregnancy. And there is lots of pressure (I'll stop there as I know that I have a few male readers).

Now I am used to basically being in latent labor the last four weeks of my pregnancy. After all, I am usually dilated to a 5-7 before I even go into labor. While this makes for a very short active labor (usually 2-3 hours), it make for a long, uncomfortable month leading up to D-day. So these feelings are not unusual to me.

BUT, I still have over 7 weeks to go. I have never gone more than a day early! So this seems a little weird to me. My husband thinks I might actually go early this time. I, in my normal pessimistic nature, think I'll just be uncomfortable longer than I have before.

So have any of you ladies ever had these latent labor signs this early (32 weeks) and NOT gone early? Chime in and let me know how crazy I am. Really. It'll help distract me. And maybe I won't get my hopes up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Update

We had a great weekend - not just the ladies on the trip, but Kelly and the girls reported a great time as well. They went to the library, and even took a field trip to... Bass Pro Shop. Yes, my girls have been dying to go. They loved looking at the taxidermied animals and even the guns on display. They were telling me about $78,000 gun there (yes, you saw that number correctly - that's almost what our first house cost). It was a hand tooled shotgun made in Italy. There were only 6 ever made, and our BPS has one of them. And there was some other gun that was a measly $24,000 that they actually let Kelly handle. The rest of the weekend was spent doing a few chores, playing, eating fun food, and going to church.

Speaking of going to church, my husband is the KING of daddies of little girls. He did the younger three girls' hair, complete with bows!

A few years ago, if I was gone, they were lucky to get a good brushing. But now you can't tell the difference between when he does their hair and when I do it.
My group had a great time. The speaker is always inspiring and convicting. The time away was very nice. The fellowship with all the other women was such a blessing. The conference actually ended about 4:30 pm on Saturday, so the rest of the evening was spent going out to eat and chatting in one of the hotel rooms until nearly midnight. Although I'm not really sure "chatting" would be an appropriate word for the noise level of nearly twenty women. We actually had a noise complaint made against us - but by the time they called the room to ask us to tone it down, everyone had already left and the women were already in bed with the lights out. :-)

So we had way too much food (but it was soooo good), way too little sleep, there were way too many books to choose from available for purchase, and more than a little confusion in organizing that many women and babies. But it was worth all the swollen ankles and exhaustion. I always come away from these refreshed and with my ideals enriched about the way I live my life - as a mom. We're already looking forward to next year!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Whole Hearted Moms/ Half Hearted Dads

Don't expect any posts for a few days - I'm off for the weekend. Every year a group of ladies from our homeschool group travel up to Irving for the Whole Hearted Mothers conference/retreat. It's a fun time full of wonderful fellowship. The conference is geared towards stay-at-home moms and is intended to be a time of refreshment and inspiration in our calling as moms - as well as a nice break from household responsibilities.

So my wonderful husband has taken tomorrow off, and will be full time parent for our 5 girls for the weekend. A few years ago, one of my friend's husbands made a joke about the dads being the "half-hearted fathers" during this weekend. And while it makes a great joke, nothing could really be farther from the truth. Not only is Kelly taking a day off, paying for my trip, but is taking on a house full of estrogen by himself for three full days. I am so grateful for my husband who makes it possible for me to do this every year.

I'll remember it when he's gone on his next business trip!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Off With Her Head!

I always find it funny what strikes a kid's fancy or captures their imagination. A couple of weeks ago, we studied King Henry VIII of England and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation in England. Of course, what fascinated the girls was Henry's six wives.

The girls can tell you all six of their names, in order, and what happened to them. If you have a burning desire to know the fate of each ill-starred queen, just memorize this little ditty:
Divorced, beheaded, died;
Divorced, beheaded, survived.

They can also tell you why he divorced or beheaded each one of them (although I tried to make it as PG as possible). None of this was anything I had planned to delve into this deeply, but I had a book of Henry VIII paper dolls
that was intended for Brynna, the 6 yo. There is text in the book about each woman, as well as dolls and extra dresses. Well, all four of the older girls wanted in on the fun.
They have been doing little else for the last two weeks. They have made entire wardrobes for each doll, and playact the stories (in which they are all afraid that if their dresses don't please the king, they'll lose their heads).
In fact, because there aren't enough different dresses for each of the queens - in their opinions - they make copies of the dolls then cut their heads leaving the dress the dolls are wearing. They then cut tabs on this dress and voila! a new dress for Catherine Parr, or whoever.

I'm afraid colonization of the New World might seems a little tame now - too few beheadings of queens with dazzling gowns!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sometimes origin is everything

It's funny what you learn as a homeschool mom.

Today I was checking the girls' work from this morning. When I was checking Kora's spelling workbook, I learned something interesting - and very telling. :-)

Do you know the origin of the word "mortgage"?

It comes from two Latin words:

mort - meaning "dead"


gage - meaning "pledge"

So a mortgage is a death pledge?

Monday, February 11, 2008

My project

One of the blog entries I didn't get to last week, was an update on my financial goal of reducing my grocery budget. The first weekend in February I did my "big shopping" so it was the first time I got to see how much of an impact some of the things I'd been doing have had.

First, I was very surprised by what my newly resurrected price book told me. Mainly it reaffirmed for me that Wal-mart is by far the best value for the majority of my dry and canned goods. However, some things are still cheaper in bulk at Sam's. But a few things surprised me. I had been wishing Sam's would start carrying oats in bulk, but for years all they carried was big boxes of instant oats, when I wanted rolled or quick cooking. Well, last week, our Sam's actually had a HUGE box of quick cooking oats. But when I computed the price per ounce, Wal-mart was still cheaper! Also, that weekend the cheapest eggs (Large sized) were not at Sam's or Wal-mart but HEB! Go figure!

Second, I noticed that I didn't spend as much at Sam's because I had been watching the meat sales at HEB more carefully and had caught a few things that were cheaper than Sam's.

Third, the biggest difference I noticed was in how much I spent at Wal-mart. My grocery bill there went down drastically due to two things. The biggest was that I wasn't buying toiletries for 7 people there. In fact, the only non-food item I bought was generic allergy medicine, which is still way cheaper at Wal-mart than at CVS, even with all the CVS specials. Since I had been matching up coupons with the CVS deals (and a few from Walgreens) and buying toiletries for pennies, or sometimes for free from CVS, I cut almost a quarter off what I normally spend at Walmart. I also had about $10 in coupons, which helped as well. These were for the things that are not store brands that I would have bought anyway.

So I would say that so far the project has been a success, without my having to change the way we eat, though I could do that if we got really strapped for money at some point.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The good and the bad from this week

This week has been something of a bummer. It has taken me longer to recover than normal. I was still quite wiped out this weekend, so my husband insisted I get some extra rest. I'm sure the extra weeping yesterday had nothing to do with it. :-) But I can tell I really needed it - I have felt much better. The down side is that it is taking me alot longer to get to sleep. But I have a bog week coming up, so I need to get better in a hurry!

This means that several of my projects for the week, including a few blog posts I had planned, did not happen. Hopefully I can get to some of those soon. Also, one of my friends received some bad news, so that is always hard. However, this family has inspired us by their testimony of faithfulness over the years, and I'm sure this will be yet another chapter in that same book, even though the way seems dark now.

However, on a good note, I spoke to my sister tonight and they are all set for her to quit her teaching job when the school year ends in May/June in anticipation of the birth of their first baby in July. We've praying for them and encouraging them over the past several months, even when they were sure she would have to keep working. But tonight she shared how God has been providing for them and helping them to make the adjustments necessary and we are thrilled!

And just as a totally irrelevant aside, after a week of many, many hours on the sofa recovering, I am amazed at how women on bed rest do it. I am bored to tears!!! I desperately need some new reading material, as I just finished up the three volume epic by Shelby Foote on the Civil War, and I have watched more tv this week than I had for three months. It's really discouraging to watch hours of HGTV when you know you could not get up and paint a room even if you wanted to! So if you've got something to recommend for reading, please let me know!

Friday, February 8, 2008

What they come up with sometimes...

Tonight at supper Kelly was making a joke about how I was his favorite wife.

Of course the girls pointed out that I was his only wife.

That got Kora to thinking. "If he did have another wife, she wouldn't be our step-mom. I think she would have to be our half-mom."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I'm not dead

And neither is my blog. But I've been sick. Sick enough that I was only checking email about twice a day - and for me that is really sick. But checking email involved walking over to my computer in another room, and stirring around threw me into a coughing fit. So I avoided nearly everything that didn't involve laying on the sofa.

But I am slowly getting better. After not being able to breathe (or sleep) Monday and Tuesday I have been able to breathe more freely the last two days, so am slowly starting to get up and around. So hopefully all will be better soon. I think it was just a chest cold, but those always aggravate my asthma. Fortunately, so far, no one else in the house has succumbed to it. I am praying that remains the case.

Monday, February 4, 2008

And the verdict is...

It. Didn't. Work.

Mind over matter has no merit whatsoever. In fact I had to take a nebulizer treatment during the SuperBowl last night. Looks like I'll be trooping off to the doctor today. And missing the awards ceremony at scouts tonight.

My husband is happy because he finally broke is losing streak in the NFL playoffs this year. Until yesterday, every team he had routed for had lost. And with about 2:30 left in last night's game we thought his streak was continuing. He's not normally a Giants fan (how can you be in Cowboy country?) but he was definitely wanting to see the Patriots lose.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Busy Weekend

You can always tell when I am super busy if my blog goes un-updated two days in a row! :-)

The first weekend of the month is usually my "big shop" weekend - I do the majority of my dry goods type shopping this weekend. Either Kelly or I go to Sam's Club, and then I go to Wal-mart and HEB. This allows me to just run to HEB for milk, eggs, and produce on the other weekends, and to CVS for weekly specials on toiletries and vitamin/supplements. However, right now that makes for a BIG weekend, just because my fatigue level anyway is higher than normal. Plus I had to plan school for the next week, and prepare food for our church luncheon, so needless to say, I did not get my afternoon rest time yesterday. :(

Friday, I did make me and Kelly both very happy. :-) Kelly has had a rough couple of days, so he did NOT feel up to going to Sam's for me on Friday, which is our usual arrangement. Well I cannot physically do Walmart and Sam's on the same day so I went to Sam's Friday after supper. Earlier this week Kelly's cell phone died. As in D.E.D. We'd been looking online at the free phones we could get if we signed another contract (ours had been expired for nearly a year). When I went to Sam's, I saw a kiosk for AT&T Wireless, our cell phone company for the past nine years or more. I went to look at what they had, and while talking to the sales rep., he mentioned that he could waive the activation fees if we signed up there at the kiosk instead of online or in an AT&T store. Plus, they had the RAZR that Kelly had wanted for FREE with the contract, whereas online we would have had to pay $99 each for the same phone.

So I called Kelly - as I'm such a good wife and would never do anything like this without consulting him - and asked him if he wanted me to do it. He snorted, "Why did you even call me?" So much for wifely thoughtfulness, huh? So while I shopped for what I needed, the cell phone guys got me set up with two new RAZRV3xx, with no activation or upgrade fees for a plan that is the same price as we are paying now, with more minutes per month, and $0 out of pocket. So if you have a Sam's Club membership and are in the market for a cell phone, try there first!

Yesterday I had my midwife check up. I explained about the fatigue exhaustion I've been dealing with. The good news is that I'm not anemic. The bad news is that they seem to think it's a combination of third trimester, not eating enough protein, and dealing with the extremely high allergens in the air right now. She said that if I'm fighting this stuff this much, it's like I'm half sick, so I'm going to be tired because my body's immune system is doing what it's supposed to do. She also wants me to eat protein at breakfast, something I am not looking forward to, and see if that helps.

Then, as if to confirm what she said, I woke up this morning with a heavy chest. By the time I got home from church I had a slight cough. I've been telling myself over and over today, "I'm not getting sick. I'm not getting sick." I'll let you know tomorrow if this mind over matter thing has any merit whatsoever. Right now I'm going to go lie on the sofa until the Super Bowl comes on.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Whole Lotta Beef

Last night Kelly and I went for our annual night out at the rodeo. We like to go the "Xtreme Bulls" night as it is all bull riding, with a little mutton bustin' thrown in for laughs. Literally. We laugh at these little 5 years olds riding sheep until our stomachs hurt. They are so cute. This year we met some friends for dinner first (steak and shrimp, yum!) and we went together. Very fun, relaxing night.

So if you are in San Antonio in the next couple of weeks, the rodeo is great fun! My kids love to go to the stock show, but I don't think we are going to get to do that this year due to the pregnancy - all that walking would do me in. But they run dollar days and military days when it is very cheap to get in to the stock show and carnival, so go check it out if you are interested!