Tuesday, July 29

What Day Is It?

I'm not kidding. I had to sit here for a minute or two, telling myself that I would not stoop to scrolling over the clock in the bottom corner, to see what day it is. Seriously! We have been so busy the past few weeks, I haven't hardly had time to take a deep breath, let alone figure out where I am or when I am.

(Don't you love my grammar there? That's right, I is gonna homeschool my young'ens!)

Let's go back about three weeks.

Week one: I was starting the process of getting ready for our trip to the Frio River. I did lots of shopping and cooking ahead and list making. I was even using the lists to do the shopping and cooking ahead! I had my first prenatal with my midwife, got to hear the baby's heartbeat, and spent the day in Austin with my friend Becky, buying things together for the trip (her family went with us). Also trying to keep up normal life stuff, like cooking every night, keeping the house in order, teaching my children, taking care of the new kittens and new chickens, blah, blah, blah.

Weekend one: My world pretty much crashes down around my ears, starting Friday evening. I have a miscarriage. It takes over 48 hours to happen. I went through a freakin' mini-labor, people! Contractions and all! (That's the side no one ever really tells you about) I momentarily lose my mind, then come back to reality and am startled to see just how wonderful the people there are in my life; I have never, ever felt more love surrounding me at all times.

Week two: We leave for the river less than 24 hours after it happens. I have a surprisingly good time, and come home ready for a vacation from my vacation.

Weekend two: Get home, unpack, freak out about 38 times about my house because it's a wreck and I think I feel ok but honestly, I'm not physically up to doing that kind of thing yet and it's frustrating my to no end.

Week two: For the first few days, see above. But then I do start to feel better. Emotionally and physically. Which is good, because I had a booth at the Butterfly Festival this weekend that it took my a good, full three days to get ready for.

Weekend two: (this is the weekend we just came out of) bake. And bake. And go to the Farmers' Market, buy a bunch of peaches to make peach butter, fall in love with a rescue dog, convince John to let me get this dog even though he had yet to see it, and get a new dog. That was just on Friday. The festival was all day Saturday. And I had a great time. And made enough to cover my costs and pay for my surprisingly expensive dog. John's mom was here, so we decided to go see Batman. After I was out in the Texas heat all day. All. Day. Long. I'm just saying. There's a story behind seeing the movie. I'll save it for another day. You'll appreciate it, I promise. The short part is that we didn't get home until after 1 am. Then we had Sunday School and church the next morning. I was about to fall asleep, despite a very, very good sermon.

Week three: (which so far has been yesterday and today) I have cleaned my house top to bottom. And played a lot with the new dog. More about her to come soon. Her name is Maggie. And played with the kids. And cooked many meals, because John has been off both days, and it's been Project Central around here. And I got my book club book yesterday and read the whole thing already because I don't have time to read tomorrow because I've got XanGo calls and phone meetings most of the day, and book club is tomorrow night.

So if you're in the Bastrop area in the next few days, and you see a barefoot, un-showered, half dressed, sleep deprived woman wandering the streets with a really cute dog and some cute kids in tow, muttering to herself, that's me. Just write a note on my head saying that I like non-fat vanilla lattes (no foam, please!), and point me to the Starbucks. I'm sure a little caffeine will perk me right up!

And then please drop my children and the dog at my mom's house, and take me back to the river with a 6-pack of beer. You can just leave me at the gate to Garner State Park. It's ok, I have a pass! But please don't tell them here you've taken me until I have time to take a nap by the river, under a nice big tree, mmk? Thanks!

Thursday, July 24

The More Things Change ...

.. the louder my kids get!! Haha, just kidding.

Well, I'm not really kidding. My kids are just really loud. But that's the way I love it. I would be so sad to have quiet, still, boring children. As I told a friend last week, 'You can ask a rambunctious or mischievous child to be quiet for a few minutes, but you can't ask a boring child to be interesting for a little while.' :) It's totally true.

So. Anyway. I was making Purple Hulled Peas and Potatoes, with Mashed Butternut Squash, for supper last night. I love both of these dishes, and they're very Southern fare, so I decided to take pictures and do a lovely recipe-with-picture post, Ree Style. It was all going great, until I started cutting and cooking things, and then life happened. So, I'll post the recipe later today or tomorrow (and you'll thank me when you make it all), but instead, I decided to give you a little peak into the supper-making process around here. People who have no children yet, enjoy the fast cooking while you can!! :)

Let me set this up. Italics will be my running internal monologue, the bold type will be the things I did, and regular type, things I said. I'll toss a few times in there, just for kicks, but I'm not exactly watching a clock in the midst of all the chaos uh insanity um standard operating procedure.

noon: Man, I really feel like peas and squash. Let me make sure I have everything, so I can make that for supper this evening. Oh, I do. Sweet.

5:00 Hmm, John should be home by 6:30, and the squash takes a while to cook. I should start thinking about prep work. 'No, you can't watch Monsters, Inc. You already watched it today.'

5:44 I should get that squash started. Don't want to forget to turn on the oven like last week. I'm totally the smart one, I know. Start singing I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt. I can't believe I'm singing this. What is wrong with me? I'm embarrassed, and John isn't even here to make fun of me! Oh, well. I am too sexy for my shirt, it's true. I need to wash this shirt, come to think of it. I hope that spot from earlier comes out. Get squash ready and in oven. Where are my children? Eh, they'll turn up eventually. David's in here, so the other two must be outside.

Take last onion out of pantry. Make sure to get more next time I'm at HEB. Throw away 3 rotten heads of garlic. I hope this last one is still good. Well, I'm ok there. 'No, David. The last time I gave you a piece of onion to eat you cried and wouldn't speak to me for almost an hour.' Is it strange that my not-yet-2-year-old knows how to give me the silent treatment? Oh, well. Cut garlic and onion, trying to take pictures of the process, without getting garlic and onion all over my camera. How in the heck does Ree do this? I need a tripod. And a better kitchen.

I hate digging through my fridge. Why is there so much crap in here? Yeah, like I can blame someone else for that. Oh, there's the bacon. I'd better sharpen my knife. 'What do you mean, Evie's bleeding? How much? Where? What did you do to her? No, don't give me that. You need to be respectful, and tell me the truth. Ok, I'm sure it was an accident that you hit her in the butt with a baseball. No more baseball this evening. Is she actually bleeding? Ok, good. Take your brother outside with you. Say yes, ma'am. Try again. Once more, and with the right tone of voice. Great! Thanks, hon. Yes, I'll tell you when I chop the peppers, but you can't have much, because these are smaller than normal.'

Cut bacon. Pull out bell peppers. Orange, yellow, white, and purple. I love bell peppers. I hope they stay in season a little longer this year. Why will peppers not grow out here? Everyone else in the entire freakin world can grow peppers. I have a green thumb!! Why can't I grow peppers? Seriously!! 'Evie, stop yelling at me! What are you panicking about? Which one? David? Yes, I'm coming. Did you help him out of the fire ants? Why not? Well, that was nice of Sam. Oh, sweetie, I'm so glad you helped him get the ants out of his toes. You're such a great sister. He seems ok now. You keep playing out here for a while. Yes, I'll tell you also when the peppers are cut. But they're small, so you can only have a few pieces this time. Yes, I know how much you loooove peppers. It seems to be genetic.'

Start cooking onions, garlic, and bacon. Why do people cook their peppers? They taste so much better then they're crunchy. I'll give David his own little bowl of diced peppers, and the kids can just have a slice when they come back inside. I think maybe I think too much into peppers. I love purple hulled peas. I feel so ... I dunno, Southern when I cook them. I'm glad Erica had some left when I got there [to the Farmers' Market] on Saturday. OH! I wish they wouldn't slam the door.

'Hey kids. Yes, I was just cutting them. No, you can't have your own bowl. Stop arguing with me. You need to say Yes, Ma'am, before you can ask me why. Again, with the correct tone. Thank you! Because you only have one slice, and David has several small pieces. You don't need a bowl. Yes, I see that he got out the little pot. I know he's putting his peppers in there. It's ok. Yes, the pot is clean. I'm not going to let your little brother eat food from a dirty pot. We haven't lived in Bastrop for that long. Never mind what that means.

'Stop interrupting your sister. No, Evie, you can't tell me about how Sam was scaring you with a sword. I don't care if he told you he was going to cut off your leg. No, Evie, he's not actually going to cut off your leg. No, he isn't. Evie, no he isn't! Oh, stop arguing with me. You two made a mess up in the loft this morning. Please go start on that while I make supper. It doesn't matter what we're eating. That has no bearing on your cleaning the loft.' Give kids detailed and boring cleaning instructions.

Well. David is occupied with putting his peppers into three different pots before eating them. I can live with that. Where was I? I did garlic, onions, peppers, bacon. What am I making? Peas. Mmk. I'd better get the peas out of the fridge. CRAP. I forgot to shell them. Well, the kids are occupied, so I should be able to get them done pretty quickly. Oooh, that didn't sound good. 'SAM! WHAT WAS THAT NOISE? STOP SHOUTING AT ME AND GET YOUR BUTT DOWNSTAIRS! Thank you for coming down here. What was that noise? Seriously? Sam, you can't climb in the bookshelf and try to jump on Evie. I don't care if you're trying to be a spider. No, Sam, you're not actually a spider. Stop arguing with me. No, you can't take a drink upstairs. Here, just have a sip of mine. Don't get your cooties in it. Never mind. I'll explain cooties when you're older. Go politely apologize to your sister.'

Ok. Peas. Where's the baby? 'David!' He's in the laundry room. I hope he's not in the chicken scratch. 'David! Get out of the chicken feed! And the cat food! No, please don't take anything out of the trash. Thank you. Can you close the door for me? Thank you. Eat your peppers! Good job.' Where is my strainer? I need a bigger bowl to shell these peas into. I haven't shelled peas since I was a kid. This is going to take forever. We're not going to eat until next Monday! Why didn't I do this OH MY GAWD, SOMETHING IS ON MY TOE!!!! IT'S A SCORpion never mind, it's just a leaf. How did a leaf get on my toe? Oh, well. I'm glad John wasn't here to hear me shriek like that.

'HEY, Y'ALL COME DOWN HERE. Thank you. I need y'all to help me shell peas. Shell peas. Shell. Peas. These are peas. Yes, I'm making purple peas for supper. Yes, you have to eat it.' Pulls out clean bowl for peas and gets the kids in a circle. 'Sit down. I know, I like doing things on the floor, too. No, we're not putting the peas on the floor. In the bowl. That one right there. The white one. Right in front of you. Right there! Sam, are you messing with me? You goose. You're funny.'

Explain two times how to shell peas. 'David, stop biting the peas and spitting them back in the bowl. Evie, the dark ones are easier than the green ones. Sam, stop taking all the dark ones away from your sister. Thank you. Evie, don't say HAHA at your brother. David! Stop that! Evie, I know he's trying to sit on you. Just let him. See, doesn't he look happy? Thank you. Yes, I love David, too.'

THIS IS TAKING FOREVER!!! Nostalgia, my ass. I think I have a bag of frozen fresh shelled peas in the freezer. Sweet! I do! 'Ok, kids, thanks for your help. Sam, please take David to use the restroom before you go upstairs. Yes, you both did a wonderful job. Thank you!' Man, I forgot how long it takes to shell peas. What idiot buys peas in the pod, when you can buy them already shelled? At least if you grow them, you've got a reason to shell them. Peas are in. Hope they don't take too long to cook. It's already 6:45! Goodness! When did it get that late?

'Hey David. Did you go to the bathroom? Good job! Please come help me unload the dishwasher.' My kid isn't even two, and he knows how to unload the dishwasher. He even does it the right way! Man, I RULE. I'm the best parent EVER! Crap. 'David, stay back. NO! Don't touch the broken glass. I'll clean it up.' Clean up glass. Glad that was just a small bowl. What was I saying? About my parenting? Pride goes before the fall ... of a bowl? Ha, I'm funny. I wish John was here so I could tell him. He'd HATE that joke! Ha! 'Great job, David!' He really is such a precious kid. He'll be an awesome older brother some day. I wonder when we should start trying again? Ok, can't start on that right now. I've got too much else going on.

Basil! I forgot the basil! 'David, keep unloading the plates.' Run outside to cut some basil. EWW! Poo! Stupid chicken. I hate chicken poo. That'll teach me to go out back without my flip flops. Clean feet. And hands. And basil. Where's my knife? There is it. Basil is in, let's get that dishwasher finished.

Turn around from unloading dishwasher. EGADS!!!! It looks like a bomb went off in here! I gotta get this tidied up, at least a little bit! John should be home soon. 'David, go put this in the pantry. Please don't lick the top of the pepper.' What was that verse in Isaiah that Pace sent me? I need to find that and post it on the fridge this month. I'll put it alongside this one. I love this verse! Am I forgetting something? Older kids are occupied, David is still putting stuff away, peas are going, I'm almost done with the clean ... THE SQUASH! Crap! Frantically pull squash out of oven. Ok, that's a little ... uh ... done. Well, I didn't burn it, so it should just be that much easier to mash.

'Oh! You scared me! Are you done with the loft? What do you mean, you're done with your part? Is Evie done? Well, no one is finished until the loft is totally clean. Uh huh, her side too. Dude, you know how it works. The more help you give her, the faster you're done. Great attitude, Sam! Thank you!'

Where's the baby? I hear him talking with Sam up the stairs. Good. Squash. Man, that's easy to scoop! OUCH! And hot. I need to overcook this every time. It was much harder last time. Well, that's in the mixer, butter and sugar and salt, good to go. I'm glad I used foil, clean up will be so ... 'WHAT???' Run upstairs. 'He spilled water near the computer? Where? Oh, Evie, don't scare me like that. He's like 10 feet from the computer. Is this your water? Stop crying. Please stop crying. You're not in trouble. Is it your water? Well, you know you're not supposed to have drinks up here. Clean up what he spilled, then you can all come downstairs.'

'No, your foot isn't bleeding, Evie. It is not. It is not! I'm looking right at it! Ok, you can get a band aid for it. Go. Sam, stop telling her that you're going to cut off her limbs. Yes, and toes and fingers. Don't tell her you're going to cut off anything. Remember, you're supposed to be her protector! How can you protect her if she's scared of you? Yes, you can apologize to her. That would be a very kind thing for you to do.' Turn to David. 'I hope anyone who comes after you is a boy Y'all are so much easier!' Laugh when David shrieks 'Yeah!'

Back down to the kitchen. Bowls on the counter for the hot soup. 'Sam, please set small plates out for everyone. Evie, forks and spoons. David, come clean up your books. Now, David. Say yes, ma'am. Thank you!' Squash? Check. Soup? Needs some salt and pepper. Check. 'Everyone go wash hands. Sam, help David.' I gotta change my shirt. John should be here any second. I can't believe I timed it like this! I never have supper on the table when he gets home! Of course, it's 7:30, so that might have something to do with it, also. I gotta get more organized.

'Hi, honey! I'm glad you're home! Yeah, it does smell good. Thank you! I'm glad you noticed the clean kitchen. The kids helped me a lot this afternoon. I think I'll let them tell you about it ... Our day? No, nothing out of the ordinary.'

Tuesday, July 22

More Thoughts on Recent Events

Before I begin, there's one thing I need to address. Jessica had her baby!!!! Yay!!!! It's a boy, born at home Sunday evening. And she ended up having an 'unattended' birth (just her mom and husband), because her labor was really fast and the midwife lives an hour and a half away. (And I thought Laurie was far away, because it takes her almost an hour to get here!) So go read her mom's guest post, and tell her congrats!

But anyway. Here's the deal. I have issues with the way society treats the idea of children. And marriage. And pregnancy. But I don't think this is news to anyone who comes around here regularly. Marriage is the most wonderful blessing a person can experience, outside knowing Christ in a personal relationship. Children are a blessing, amazing products of a holy union. I'm not saying that every single person should forgo all forms of birth control and have 26 children in 25 years, but every big family I know totally rocks!! And a pregnant woman is a lovely sight to behold, not some strange anomaly to be stared at in the grocery store, especially when she's 'already got all those other kids with her.'

And miscarriage isn't treated the way it should be treated, not necessarily by those around us, but by those of us who go through it. You don't just lose an idea, your body isn't getting rid of a few cells that didn't form correctly. When you miscarry, you lose a baby. We need to treat it like what it is!

Yes, it's different than losing a full-term baby, a child, a brother, sister, parent, or spouse. I'm not saying that it's the same thing. But it's not something that's meant to be ignored. Life doesn't return to normal as soon as you're able to stop using the pads. We need to be taught to grieve. We need to be told that it's ok to be sad, even two, three, five, or twenty months later. Everyone processes events, life, in different ways. Those of you who haven't been pregnant won't fully understand this, because you can't, until you come to the realization that you've been given the gift of a growing life inside you.

We all wonder what the baby will look like. Will this one have my nose, like the others do? Sam's hair is the color of mine when I was that age, but John's texture. Evie is the opposite, with her dad's color, and my texture. David? We're not quite sure about that yet. What would this baby's hair have been like? Would I finally have had a baby born with a bunch of hair? (Probably not, but I can hope!) Are any of my babies to come going to have my eye color? I really want a dark brown eyed baby!!

When you already have kids, it adds a whole different level to those questions. Sam and David have a very sweet, special, and obvious bond. I don't know if it's because they're brothers, because they share a room, or because of the age difference. Probably a little of all three, and then some. What about this baby? Who would help him take his first steps? Would it be John or me, or one of the older kids? David took his sweet time to walk, because he was an excellent crawler, and didn't have a problem keeping up with Sam and Evie indoors. He took off walking like a shot once the weather warmed up, and he had to keep up outside, though! Would this one do that? What would be his first word? What game would he like to play with his older siblings? Evie loved to be tossed around and hang upside down, even at a really young age that worried both of our moms. David loves it, too. Sam hated it, and still does. Would this baby be as insanely ticklish as the other three?

There's other questions, too, that only come with having a few kids under your belt. Sam's never had an allergy in his life, other than bull nettle. Evie was allergic to bananas when she first started solids. David loves spicy foods, and chips and salsa. What if this baby doesn't like or (God forbid!) is allergic to bell peppers? I'd have to change the way we eat half our meals? What if the baby can't tolerate milk? Man cannot live on cheese alone, but we like to try sometimes.

I so enjoyed nursing David. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. I can't tell you just how much I was looking forward to nursing this precious new little one, to the point where I feel very sad knowing it won't happen with this baby. I was so excited about having another homebirth, too! Part of me really wanted (and still wants) to have an unassisted birth ... but let's not tell John about that one. He'd get all panicky, and pass out, and make me sigh a blood oath promising not to make him deliver a baby once he woke up. :) But I had already running birth scenarios in my head.

Please don't think that I'm obsessing, or that I was obsessing before the miscarriage happened. I'm not, and I wasn't. All these thoughts are totally natural, and there's really no stopping them. It's when we don't take the time to acknowledge them, and we don't acknowledge what really happened, that we get into trouble.

I don't think there's a point to this post. Partially, I want to get all this written out so I don't forget. Heaven forbid this ever happens to you, maybe you'll remember just a pinch of what you've read, and you won't think there's something wrong with you, just because you feel emotionally fine one day, and burst into tears the next for no (apparently logical) reason. Maybe you've stumbled here because you're going through this. You're not alone! And even if you feel alone from your family and friends, you're never truly alone. There's an amazing, special, loving Someone who is always, no matter what, there for you.

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

We're always in His arms. And that can be an awfully comforting thing to know when something you don't understand happens.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die ... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Monday, July 21

Monday Meal Plan

Well, here goes for this week.

Monday, July 21 (John is off. Woohoo!)
lunch: grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches, with strawberries
supper: Chili's (this is a huge treat for us. John has eaten Chili's food 5 days a week for the last 19 years; it's not exactly something he's chomping at the bit to do on his days off!)

Tuesday, July 22 (John opens, then has Men's Leadership Class that evening)
lunch: wraps
supper: fresh purple hulled peas with bacon, and baked mashed butternut squash

Wednesday, July 23 (John opens)
lunch: leftovers
supper: stuffed squash

Thursday, July 24 (John closes)
lunch: red beans and rice with sausage and cornbread
supper: leftovers

Friday, July 25 (John is a mid)
lunch: whatever John makes*
supper: leftovers and sandwiches

Saturday, July 26 (John opens) *
lunch: n/a
supper: leftovers and sandwiches

Sunday, July 27 (John closes)
lunch: baked potatoes with trimmings and salad
supper: wraps

*On Saturday, I'll have a booth at Deena's Bastrop Gardens, at the Butterfly Festival. (If you're local, please come play!!! It's going to be a ton of fun.) I'll have my herbal teas, XanGo samples, drinks, peach and apple butter, and about a bazillion baked goods. I started making batches of cookie dough (freezing the dough into cookie-sized balls) a few weeks ago, so I'll be baking cookies, brownies, and muffins all day Friday. I don't care what my family is eating, as long as 1) I don't have to cook it, and 2) it's not my cookies, etc. :) We'll be eating lunch at the festival, cause the tamale people will be there. Woohoo!!

Home Again, and the Story of What Happened

Well, we're home! We've been back since Friday afternoon, but I haven't really been on the computer since then. Busy with life and everything else that goes along with it. I'll post more about our vacation later this week.

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone for all their kind, wonderful, sweet, and supportive comments. You all brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

I'm doing ok. I've been through a whole myriad of emotions over the last week and a half. I'll probably do a few posts on this topic this week, but I won't be going on and on and on. I just need to get some stuff out there.

Here's the story. I had my first prenatal checkup with Laurie on Tuesday. Even though it was a little early (I was just over 9 weeks), we decided to try and find Baby's heartbeat. We were able to catch it for a few seconds two or three times. It was awesome. That's one of my favorite moments in each pregnancy, the first time I can hear the baby. I was so excited! I had seen a friend of mine, Melissa, on Thursday evening. She came out on Friday to have lunch and go to the Farmers' Market with us, and when she got to my casa, she told me that I looked a little tired or something. I felt a little tired, but didn't think much of it. Hello! I've got three young kids, the youngest being a very talented climber. I'm usually a little tired! :)

But in retrospect, I was feeling much more tired than normal. I took a nap that afternoon, fixed supper, picked John up from work, and didn't think much else of it. Then I started spotting that evening. I was pretty freaked out, because I've never done that before the last few weeks of a pregnancy. I didn't tell John yet. I tried to lay down and get some sleep that night, but I was too worried to sleep very well. I woke up every hour and a half to two hours all night, and my spotting was getting heavier and heavier. By the time I got up and made coffee on Saturday morning, I wasn't spotting anymore, I was bleeding. John knew something was wrong as soon as he looked at me when he woke up, and I told him. We just sat there for a minute, and he told me I needed to not pack anything (keep in mind we were about to leave for a week Monday morning, and nothing except the food buying was done), just to call Laurie as soon as I got back home and let him know what she said.

We took John to work, and by the time I called Laurie, I was sure what was happening. I had started cramping mildly. Laurie confirmed over the phone what I was thinking, and I let the kids eat breakfast while they watched a movie-a big treat around here. I laid down for a while, realized I wasn't going to start feeling any better, and called my precious friend Kristie. As soon as she said hello, I told her I was cramping and bleeding. Having gone through two of these herself, she knew exactly what was going on, and told me to bring the kids over to her house for the day (I had told her I needed to go by Blockbuster to get a movie to distract me for a while). The kids were at her house all day, and she called me to let me know that she was going to get John when his shift was done, and bring everyone home so I didn't have to go out again. (I love her. Seriously.)

I sat on my couch and cried all day. Not the 'I'm so depressed, my world is ending, I want to sit in a dark room for months' kind of crying, but more of an 'I'm really freakin' sad, and this just sucks, and I had no idea this movie was so sad (yet awesome)' kind of cry. Kristie brought my crew home, and John and I sat the kids down and told them what was going on. We explained it like this: what happened is God's way of taking care of Baby. If he (or she) had been born, he might have been hurting, or sick, or just had something very, very wrong. He might have even died as a baby, and as sad as this event we were currently experiencing was, that would have been far worse. As it is now, Baby is already in heaven with his Father, and he'll never know pain or suffering. (Sam, my little theologian, asked if we though Baby was a baby or a man with God, and I told him I wasn't sure, but that we would find out one day. :) )

The kids went to bed not long after that, and John and I just hung out on the couch. Melissa called to ask if she could take the older two kids to church in the morning, since John was working, which I agreed to before she could get all the words out of her mouth.

Laurie had told me I was far enough along (10 weeks) that I would know when it actually happened, and she thought it would probably happen Saturday night or Sunday morning. It didn't. Melissa took the kids to Sonic after church, and David and I just hung out on the couch all morning and watched movies and gardening shows. All the kids took a nap soon after they got back, and I did, too. Becky, my friend whose family came on vacation with us, called (I had let her know what was going on Saturday) and told me she was in town, and since she had to pick something up from me anyway, why didn't she just bring John home, too?

On the way over, she and John talked and decided that if it was ok with me, she would just take all the kids home with her, and they would spend the night at her house. (Yeah, I was ok with that!!) That turned out to be the biggest blessing of the whole weekend, because it happened later that evening.

It was the strangest thing I've ever experienced. I went through a mini-labor, fairly painful contractions and all. After it happened, I laid down on the couch and completely lost it for about 20 minutes. John just sat with me, and held me, and let me cry (and he cried a little himself. But don't tell him that I told you). When I had calmed down enough to speak again, I told John that I had hoped it wouldn't happen. Yes, logically I knew and had accepted what was going on. I wasn't trying to fight it, and I knew it was for the best. But there was still a little part of me that had hoped that it was all a mistake, that maybe it was all a coincidence or a fluke. When I told him that, I found out that he had kind of been hoping the same thing, too.

It was the worst weekend of my life, and one of the best, too. The support and love people gave was wonderful. John was nothing short of amazing, and we've bonded in a way that we didn't know existed.

So I'm doing ok now. I get a little sad, and I still have to take it somewhat easy, physically, but I'm doing ok. I went to the Farmers' Market on Saturday, and the guy that drives in from Fredericksburg with peaches totally flirted with me and gave me two extra peaches, so that was a nice little end to my week. :) I told John, and he asked me if I wanted him to beat the guy up and I said thanks, but no, because then I couldn't get peaches anymore, and I really like peaches. But I digress. We would really appreciate your continued prayers, because this whole thing is a process, and it's not over yet. I don't know if it ever is completely over. But that's just life.

Monday, July 14

Sad News, or an Update

I just wanted to let everyone know that we're not pregnant anymore. I started having a miscarriage on Friday evening, and it happened late yesterday (Sunday). I'm doing ok, just a little sad and tired.

For my IRL friends who I've talked to over the last few days, I'm doing much better. Thank you all so much for your kind words; they've helped me more than you'll know.

God is good, and we're getting through this time. I've had more help from friends than I know what to do with, and I feel more loved than I ever have before.

We're leaving in a few minutes to go on vacation until Friday, and when we get back, I'll do a better post. And don't worry, I'm going to totally take it easy while we're gone.

Thanks in advance for your prayers!

Monday, July 7

Monday Meal Plan

Here's my plan for the week. Our schedule is a little wonky ... but really, when is it not?

Monday 7/7 (John opens)
lunch: leftover purple hulled peas and cornbread, and strawberries
supper: stuffed squash

Tuesday 7/8 (John is off, and I've got my first checkup with the midwife. Yay!)
lunch: turkey sandwiches
supper: leftover squash and a green salad

Wednesday 7/9 (John is a mid, and he'll be gone for lunch and supper)
lunch: wraps* and soup
supper: clean out the fridge leftovers. Or maybe pizza. :)

Thursday 7/10 (John opens, and I've got a XanGo meeting that evening in Austin)
lunch: black bean, pepper, and cheese quesadillas
supper: spaghetti with meat sauce and a green salad

Friday 7/11 (John is a mid, and will be gone for lunch and supper)
lunch: wraps* and fruit salad
supper: kids choice (I do this once a week, on a night that John's at work)

Saturday 7/12 (John opens, and we'll be packing for the river)
lunch: sandwiches
supper: crock pot roast

Sunday 7/13 (John opens, we've got church, and we'll be finishing up our river preparations)
lunch: roast leftovers
supper: chopped beef sandwiches

*Wraps are a big favorite around here, because they're so durned versatile. You can put basically anything in them. And I've given up on the whole wheat tortillas because 1) my husband hates them; 2) they're kind of a pain in the butt and more expensive; 3) pretty much everything else we eat is whole wheat; and 4) I found the. world's. best. tortillas. at a place here called Jalisco's. They make them fresh every day, they're super cheap, and they're the best tortillas I've ever had. And I've had more than one or two tortillas. I'm just saying.

That's my week. What are you eating this week?

New Hack Post

Hey all you homeschoolers ... I just put up a new post over at Homeschool Hacks, mostly consisting of my schedule, and what material we're using this year. So, if you're interested in seeing how I roll, head on over and check it out.

And to everyone else, have a great day!

Friday, July 4

Friday Confessions

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.

As you might know, I have no children right now.

(insert Brea either doing the Happy Dance, or taking a nap just because she can)

The older kids are with John's mom, and David is with my mom. I go pick them all up tomorrow afternoon. Since they've been gone, I've had some time to sleep in late get stuff done. Time to play on the internet finish up some projects. Time to watch lots of the Discovery Channel think deep thoughts about life. Today's confession?

I totally want to be an Alaskan crab fisherman.

However, there are several problems with that. Let's talk about them:

1) I don't eat shellfish (with the exception of crawdads, and then only about once every two years). I think if I worked on a crab fishing boat, I'd have to eat crab.

2) I am extremely sensitive to motion. I can't handle being the passenger in a car for 15 minutes without getting nauseous, so I'm pretty sure I couldn't hack it on a boat for days or weeks at a time, in what seems to be fairly bad weather many times.

3) I really, really, really hate the ocean. My idea of living in hell is being stuck on an iceburg for eternity. Which brings us to

4) I hate being cold. We've talked about this in the past, so you know that this is no secret.

5) It's all guys. I am not a guy. You do the math.

6) Those guys are gone from their families for really long stretches of time. I get cranky when I have to spend more than 2 hours away from home.

7) Did I mention the part about hating the ocean and being cold?

8) I'd have to come into contact with Edgar, and I might have a problem with that, because I really, really love admire him.

This is Edgar. He's my homie.

(He did a really good interview, a livechat, here. It's pretty funny.)

Edgar works on the Northwestern. His brother, Sig, is the captain. Edgar is the deck boss and engineer. Their family is Norwegian.

Here's Edgar with his brothers. Sig, the captain, on the left, and the other brother whose name I can't remember, on the right. The other brother avoids the camera at all costs, so we don't know much about him.

(Google tells me that the third brother is Norman. Sorry about that, Norm!)

It seems to be a prerequisite in crab fishing that you have to smoke. I think maybe when you fill out the application, there's a question that says, 'Do you smoke?' and if you say no, they just throw your app away.

But it's not just Edgar that I'm completely and utterly obsessed with I like. This is Johnathan and his brother Andy. They're co captains of the Time Bandit.

They're very funny together. They take turns driving the boat. I like their crew, too.

This is Phil. I used to be really afraid of Phil, but now I know that he just has to pretend to be tough. He's really a big softie.

Phil is the captain of the Cornelia Marie. His two sons, Jake and Josh, are also on the boat. Arguments and yelling ensue, often. But everyone is always friends afterwards.

A few episodes ago, Phil had to be airlifted off the boat, because he was coughing up blood. They thought he had broken a rib. Or three. But when he got to the hospital, it turned out that he had a blood clot that started in his leg, passed through his heart, and was in his lungs. Hence, the coughing blood. We haven't found out yet if he'll be back on the boat this season. It's all very suspenseful, I tell you! (And he's not helping himself by sneaking out of his room, going outside, and smoking. I'm just saying. Phil probably smokes at much at the rest of the fleet, combined.)

There's other boats the Discovery Channel follows, too. Keith is the captain of the Wizard. Sten is captain of the North American. And Rick is captain of the Early Dawn. Keith is pretty funny, but he's a little too prone to drama for my tastes.

Now, this is not a show you can just watch one episode of and be hooked. If you haven't seen it before, wait for a marathon to come on, sit down with the world's largest pile of laundry, and watch you some Deadliest Catch. You won't be sorry.

(Don't worry, we don't have to keep this one from John. He knows and is totally ok with my obsession um crush um no wait, obsession with Edgar this show. He was sick a while back, and basically spent two days on the couch, when they happened to be running a Deadliest Catch marathon, and he's also obsessed, too, which is funny, because John never gets excited about any TV, unless it's the Astros, but they way their year is going, we really don't need to get into that right now. I'm just saying. Wouldn't be good for my blood pressure, which wouldn't be good for the baby. For real.)

(Bleeping Astros. Grrrr ...)

Tuesday, July 1


I love summer. I really do. I wish we weren't in such a drought at the moment (I saw on the news this morning it's been labeled 'extreme'). Some rain would be REALLY nice. But I like the summers.

And I've been very busy this summer, so I apologize for lack of posts. In the last few weeks, I've gone to the Republican State Convention in Houston (well, John went, and I stayed with the kids at my mom's house in Katy), made peach butter, bought 5 ugly new chickens (they just finished molting and have no tails), been slightly but not very morning sick, had my XanGo friends from Phoenix in for a weekend, had two appointments with a bakery here in town about the owner carrying XanGo in the store, received two new kittens from a friend of mine, dealt with my oldest son turning 6 (and I still don't approve, for the record), had a party for said son, gone to book club, tried to nap, tilled my back garden and planted 5 or 6 different kinds of winter squash and 3 kinds of okra, and general (but unsuccessfully) tried to keep my house and yard in decent order. And napping. I'm a great fan of taking naps at the moment. :)

So that's where I've been. I'll have something interesting later today or tomorrow, promise. John's mom is taking the two older kids for three nights, starting tomorrow, and my mom is taking David on Thursday and Friday night. I'm getting everyone back on Saturday. Free time!!!!! I don't know what to do with myself. I have so many projects to get done, and unfortunately, John is working every night that the kids are gone. We'll do some stuff during the day, but I see some good movies in my future. And just think ... I can watch them at 5 in the evening if I want to!! Oh, how wild and crazy am I???? I know. Very wild and crazy. :)

And now, I'm off to sequester two of my chickens, play with the kittens, make some apple butter, deal with a daughter with a stomach ache, and get everyone packed today. Woohoo!!