Saturday, August 30, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
Art on the walls is very important to me. So important, in fact, that I get a little obsessive about it being just right. When we moved in here I thought that lots of my old wall hanging standards were a little tired, or outdated (especially family pictures.) So I hung a few things and set the rest aside, intending to freshen things up a little before I hung them up. I also have all these big dreams of wall art I would like to acquire or put together: like a big wall with individual pictures of ancestors arranged in pedigree chart fashion.
Also, when we moved in the landlord said the house needed painting and we were welcome to paint the interior walls to suit our tastes. Now, is that awesome for a rental, or what? I have picked out paint chips for the master bedroom and bathrooms, but that's as far as I've gone. All last winter I was focused on organizing so many boxes of things that we have hauled through all our moves for years and mostly needed to be tossed. I got a lot done there and I am so pleased with that. Then when it was time to think seriously about painting I found out I was expecting.
So here we are a year later and the walls are still white and mostly bare. There is a big picture of a waterfall above the couch because it came with the house-- it covers up a hole from a projector for a home theater system. It looks fine so I left it there. But the walls above the piano, dining room table, and shoe rack in the foyer are still sadly empty. The upstairs hallway has a ton of possibility, but it also is blank. Oh, and the girls' room is almost completely undecorated. I can't make up my mind there: pale green with flowers and fairies or pink and white with a chair rail, or....
Meanwhile, Peanut and Prince Charming are incurable wall scribblers. We have never had any of the other houses we lived in so well-decorated with pencil and crayon and marker. I don't know what it is. When Bean and Fish were small it was easy to keep the coloring implements out of reach, so perhaps that was why the walls in our early houses remained clear. In Kansas we had a little trouble, mostly from an incident when we had some friends over and all the kids together decided to get artistic on the downstairs walls. That was tough because the rental had flat wall paint, which is hard to clean marks off of. Our landlord was a little unhappy when we moved out, but that's what they get for painting the walls with flat paint, says I. But I just don't remember a lot of marks on the walls in Oklahoma, even though we had a billion little kids running around and pencils and crayons left lying everywhere by the older kids.
So I think it's just a personality thing with Peanut and Prince Charming. I think they just really like to draw, and they see all this white space everywhere...
And they fill it up. There are scribble marks everywhere. And it's flat paint so I can't just magic-eraser it away. But, I have leave to repaint at any time and if I don't the landlord will do it when we move out. So no one is going to be upset about this.
And really, I think it's kind of cute in a way.
But I hope I get a bout of nesty-ness and energy at some point during this pregnancy and get some more painting and picture-hanging done.
I researched it on the internet when I was pregnant with either Bean or Fish. There is no one cure: from all the differing sources I read I found that what helps one person doesn't do anything for someone else. In fact, it seems that sometimes the thing that makes it a lot worse for one person is what cures it for another.
When I was pregnant with Fish, my friend clued me in to a natural remedy for those horrible painful leg cramps I also sometimes get when I am pregnant. I started taking it and discovered that not only did the leg cramps completely stop but the restless leg syndrome disappeared as well.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Isn't that a beautiful sight? I took these out of the oven at 10 am, shortly after he left for the day. He started them around 8 am. I thought I had gotten pretty good at making bread over the years, but I haven't yet got to the level where I can churn out four huge loaves in two hours. I am so grateful for his skills!
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1 C coconut oil (original recipe calls for 1/2 C butter and 1/2 C oil, so feel free to be flexible with the fat)
1 3/4 C sugar or 1 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour (I betcha my mother used whole wheat, or at least half white/half wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 C sour milk (add 1 T vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk, I bet buttermilk would be good too)
2 C peeled, shredded zucchini (I always forget to peel it, no biggie)
1 C or more chocolate chips (those are her words, I definitely go with the "more")
Cream together oil and sugar. Add vanilla, Add eggs and beat. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir in, together with the sour milk. Stir in the shredded zucchini. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes. No need to frost this cake.
Enjoy zucchini season, everyone!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
All the shiny new homeschool books have arrived in the mail. I am very excited about them. There's just nothing better than piles of new homeschool books. I was also able to pull out some old books from boxes in the basement and get excited about them again too-- some old favorites and some that we have never used until now. I have been putting together weekly task sheets for Bean and Roo so that they know exactly what to do every day... the hope being that even if I have a bad day they can still get most everything done on their own.
Bean has started football at the junior high. I still can't stop chuckling about the idea of a child of ours playing football. Who'd have thought he'd be out there with all those kids who grew up i homes where football was taken very seriously and was religiously watched on TV? It's right for him though and I am excited to watch him play. He is one of the tallest on the team, though there are several that weigh more than him. And he is 5'8" and 177 pounds in 7th grade!
Bean and I were also able to meet with the fantastic counselor at the junior high to get his schedule set up. He will be there for three periods this year: math, band, and one other elective that will change each quarter. He will have the chance to learn some guitar and some woodworking and some other things. I am feeling very optimistic right now about school for him this fall.... I hope I am not setting us up for a huge disastrous crash. However, lately I have been making sure he gets his supplements (vitamins, Omega 3's) every day lately and I am noticing a difference. His brain is "on" more. I hope this means he will be able to handle those task sheets I am making for him.
We've had letters in the mail from both Fish's and Rabbit's teachers at the school introducing themselves. Fish will have the same 5th grade teacher Bean had and I like her a lot. She is very technology-oriented and I know Fish will enjoy learning those skills. I had wanted my Rabbit to have the same 1st grade teacher Roo had... Mrs. R meant a lot to me as we transitioned into the public schools that year. However, the Rabbit has been assigned to Mrs. S. I am hearing the most amazing things about Mrs. S. I think she will be just what the Rabbit needs to continue to thrive and be challenged and love learning. I am very excited about this. I actually can't wait for the Rabbit to go back to school because she needs that stimulation. And I just can't keep up with her at home.
One of the hardest things for me this summer while I have been so ill has been that both the Badger and I have been more reactive than proactive in our parenting. This is because we have both been so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted that we have not done as good as we would like at directing the kids postively, actively teaching them, and following through with things. For the most part, our parenting has consisted of responding to problems as they arise, and not always with soft, kind voices either. I am hoping that school starting will help with this. The ones going to public school will get a lot of needed structure. The ones home with me will get more structure than they've had lately because I will commit to spending my mornings schooling them and they won't be able to just run off and do whatever they want like they have been all summer.
I am glad they had so much time this summer for unstructured imaginative play. I think that was a wonderful thing for them. But now I think we are all ready for some structure and some formal learning.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I had a long conversation at church a few weeks back with a woman who had twins a few years ago. At one point during the conversation she put her hand on my knee, leaned in close, and said in a dark and serious tone, "are you prepared for how big your belly is going to get?"
How can I be prepared for that? How can anyone be prepared for that?
I have never had a huge belly, even at 9 months pregnant. So while I know I won't get as big as some women, obviously I am going to get bigger than anything I have experienced before. I am sure it's going to be very interesting. I already feel like I am almost as big now as I was full term with Peanut (who was by far my smallest baby.)
I switched to maternity clothes more than a month ago, way sooner than I normally do. People who see me around town definitely can tell that I'm pregnant.
I am very very grateful that I have an ample maternity wardrobe. It has been such a blessing. This is thanks to a kind reader of this blog who mailed me two huge boxes of maternity clothes during my last pregnancy. Laney, I don't know if you are still reading my blog, but I want to thank you again. Those clothes were and are a lifesaver.
I am not big enough yet to be terribly uncomfortable, so I am grateful for that, as long as it lasts. However, I still get nauseated often and I am frequently exhausted to the point of incapacitation. I spend at least half of every day lying down. At this point I don't expect things are going to get much better. This is just going to be hard, and it may get a lot harder.
But medically, so far everything is fine and that is a blessing I do not take for granted. I am very grateful to be able to carry these babies. I know a lot of people would love to be in my shoes and would gladly take on my challenges if they could only have this blessing. So I am trying to take my challenges on gladly too. Some days I do better than others. On those not-so-good days I just tell myself "you're more than halfway."
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
And then, my potato plants... they haven't even flowered yet, but two of them just shriveled up and died. As this was happening I kept thinking "I should do some research and find out what's going on so I can stop them before they are totally dead" but I didn't and so then they were totally dead. And so we went out and dug them up to see if there was anything there. Lo and behold, we had potatoes! Decent-sized ones! I have to say, digging up potatoes is the funnest garden chore ever. It's like a treasure hunt. It's hard to say who is more excited: me or the kids. Here's Peanut showing off a potato prize: