Sunday, January 29, 2012
We gave him the blanket for Christmas. When it got cold back in November, I searched around but couldn't find any appropriate "boy" thick blankets, which was a source of great annoyance, since I know my Aunt Rocky made a big fleecy one with teddy bears and a red edge for one of the boys. It must be in some clever place, because I know I have seen and used it in this house . . . Anyhow, all I could find for Micah's crib was this really soft fuzzy pink blanket that someone in our co-op passed down to the girls. So of course I used that without a second thought. Hey, it's dark!
But then I realized Micah REALLY was liking the blanket. He was definitely searching for it in the crib, and he would sleep with his face on it. Very cute, but I really didn't want a fuzzy pink blanket to be his "lovey", LOL. So I found this nice soft blue blanket at Babies R Us, and he has taken right to it.
Now I have 2 "blanket babies"--Faith has her "Bear Blanket", which is another one my Aunt Rocky made, and she absolutely adores that. She always sleeps with it, and when she's upset, that's what she wants for comfort. No one else was really into blankets! A thumb-sucking baby with a blanket is soooo cute and snuggly . . .
Saturday, January 28, 2012
But here was the weird thing--Clubhouse claims that Atomic Firealls and Bit-O-Honey were the most popular candies from 1987, while Snickers and Reece's Cups are popular now. Seriously?! Fireballs and Bit-O-Honey?! I would never have eaten a Fireball, and I would only have eaten a Bit-O-Honey if there was absolutely no other sweet options available, and I was a freshman in high school in 1987. I think of both of those as sort of the "get a big bag for cheap to pass out at Halloween because you're too stingy to buy the good stuff" candies. I didn't know anyone who would have preferred eating them to a Snickers or a Reece's Cup, both of which were certainly popular back in 1987!
Seriously--who would pick anything over Snickers or Reeces? Okay, M&Ms too. How come those didn't make the list?! Allergies is the only thing I can think of!
Clubhouse also had a little paragraph about how kids who grew up reading the magazine are now working there. So maybe they just polled those young whippersnappers and asked them what candies they thought were popular back in the olden days of 1987. In which case I should be glad that horehound candy and peppermint sticks didn't make the list!
Friday, January 27, 2012
1. Our big project last weekend was my desk. When my family moved to Ohio from Okinawa, my parents bought me a big antique oak teacher's desk at a sale that, if I recall correctly, was at the Springfield Mall, of all places. The desk has a huge oak top with 3 drawers on the left side, one same-sized drawer on the right, a big double-sized drawer also on the right that you can put files and folders in sideways, and a skinny drawer for pencils. When I was on college, Tram, the Vietnamese man who lived with my parents, made Amy and me both hutches to go on the back of our college desks. We use one of the hutches on the back of this big desk now. So, this desk that is over 100 years old has had a good long life--but let's just say it was not made for a military life! The only way to move the desk is to unscrew the top from it, and each time we have moved, it has become less and less stable and secure. The last straw was when we thought we were moving to Guam in Dec. 09, and we got new carpet put in our downstairs. When we put the desk back together ater that, the drawers one by one starting falling into each other and not sliding in and out. So we solved that by just stacking the drawers in various locations on the floor of the study! We knew that eventually we needed to tackle the desk and give it one more shot, and that was last weekend. We took it apart, and Bob used this nylon clamp thing to wrap around each section of the desk. He glued and nailed, and eventually the desk shaped up! I started putting the drawers back in--until I realized they didn't fit! They had also succumbed to old age and started sagging, so Bob had to get back out the clamp and wrap them up as well. So finally all elements are nice and tight again, and we are just waiting for another weekend to put it all back together! Maybe then I'll get around to taking a picture.
2. I never got the vomiting bug that the kids got, but Wednesday I did not feel well at all. I didn't throw up, but my stomach roiled around all day. So we did a minimal amount of school, and I laid around on the couch the rest of the day, reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. It was an interesting book, but I wasn't too alarmed at any of her findings. My girls love princesses and dressing up, but I am not worried that they will "give up everything for a man", a la Ariel, or that they will emulate the latest "older" Disney girl, like Miley Cyrus or whoever. That's where, to be honest, it's really nice to homeschool and not watch much TV, where these things are blasted at kids. I'm definitely a "moderation" mom, so I'm not going to allow anyone to become obsessed about anything. She did have some interesting, if questionable, points. She said that babydolls were invented essentially in the early 1900s as a way to "revive the flagging maternal instinct of white girls, to remind them of their patriotic duty to conceive . . ." Really? What about all those colonial corncob dolls? Girls have always loved babies! Aso, she is definitely not one for traditional values or feminine roles, which is not too surprising considering she is definitely a liberal (always clear to point out how she hopes her daughter explores all of her sexual options, etc.).
3. Micah has been so much happier this past week! Even though he has a little cold right now, he's been sleeping well and playing so nicely, even by himself. Of course, if we don't hear little noises anywhere, that is our clue to jump up and check the stairs--he loves climbing them! Since I realized that he just hasn't gained weight since he started crawling, I have been making a concerted effort to give him tons of extra stuff. So he has been happily munching on whatever table food I can give him, plus English muffins with honey and butter, toast and jam, regular muffins, fruit, whatever. I do think that he is sensitive to milk. It's been tricky to tell because he is also sensitive to hot and cold things, and he'll get a little rash from things like little pieces of ice or rice cereal that is a little too hot. But like I gave him some cornbread (made with milk) last night that was not wam at all, and he got a hive on his cheek--there have been a few things like that lately that have made me think he is reacting to the milk. So that rules out things like yogurt and cheese. After the freedom of this past year of being able to cook whatever without worrying about subbing milk, I am not looking forward to going back! I'm definitely not even going to try peanut butter or any nuts. I need to get a jar of sun butter next time I'm out. I don't really want to start him on soy butter, like Caleb likes.
So there are a few random thoughts to get you caught up on our busy life! You can fill in the rest of the time with school, laundry, cooking, and running people around to various basketball practices and Civil Air Patrol. That's my life!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Me: "Did you throw up in the trash can?"
Jonathan: "I think so."
So I stumbled into his room, tied up his trash can bag, took it downstairs to the big trash can, and stumbled back to bed, all with my eyes barely open. I did register that his trash can didn't really smell, which should have been a big red flag, but like I said--I was tired! Jonathan came into bed with me and threw up several more times, but each time he hit the trashcan like champ, and by the end, I just had a ton of bags lining the trash can, and I would just reach over, tie up the thrown-up-in bag, smoosh it down, and leave the trash can ready for another shot.
Anna came into my room about 4:00 to ask if she could use the potty in my bathroom, because there was throw-up in (on? I wasn't really listening, LOL) her potty. I told her (with my eyes still shut) to flush her potty, but that she could certainly use mine.
But when Jonathan came back into my room (at some point he left? I wasn't awake for that!) to tell me he needed to use my potty because there was throw-up all over their potty, I finally woke up enough to realize that indeed Jonathan had NOT thrown up at all in the trash can. I mentioned that to Jonathan, who said, "Oh yeah! I was peeing, and then all of a sudden I had to throw up, and it went all over the back of the potty!" LOL! Glad it all came back to him!
So I found myself scrubbing the toilet at 5:00 in the morning. I will say that I think my attitude was a little better than if I had been doing it at 2:00, but still . . .
When I got up to get Micah at 7:30, and Nathan told me he had also thrown up a few times during the night, but had not needed me, he became my new favorite child, LOL.
Bob was TDY this week as well. When I drove back home from picking up Nathan from Civil Air Patrol on Tuesday night, I was praying I would not come home to find anyone lying on the couch, sick, like I found last week! Thankfully everyone was well, so the only thing I just had to deal with was getting all the boys to and from their various basketball practices by myself. And I'll take that over dealing with vomit any day!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
1 T olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
2-3 cloves garlic
as much chicken broth as needed--I used . . . hmmmm . . . 1 big can (48 oz) and 2 little cans (14.5 oz), and I probably could have used one more small can
1 pound cooked chicken (I always have bags of this--okay, more like 2 pound bags--in my freezer)
1 1/2 c egg noodles (I just eyeballed about half of a 16 oz. package)
1 c sliced carrots (I dumped in a whole bag a frozen sliced carrots--did I mention how tired I was?!)
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, saute onion and celery in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes (add the garlic in for the last 2-3 minutes). Pour in chicken broth, and stir in chicken, carrots, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Add noodles and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Well . . . last night I got the girls and Micah into bed by 8:30, and then I left to pick Nathan up from Civil Air Patrol (Bob is TDY this week). When we got home, Luke was lying on the couch. A little while later he leaned over the side of the couch and threw up into the trash can. Huh. A little while later he threw up again. I stayed up until 11:30 to see if he needed anything, but when he went upstairs to lay on the hallway floor (his choice, LOL), I went to bed too. But first I checked on Micah as well as the girls, like I always do. Micah was fine, but as soon as I walked into the girls' room, I knew someone had thrown up, because the smell hit me like a wall. A little investigation determined it was Grace, who had apparently thrown up next to her pillow, sat up, thrown up again down by her feet, and then, completely inexplicably, lay back down again and went back to sleep. She was, to put it mildly, a big stinky mess.
As I gingerly tried to extricate her from the mess and scrape some of the more solid stuff into the trash, Faith, who was sleeping on the trundle bed I was standing on, got up on all fours and threw up on her bed. Ack! Now I had a war on 2 fronts to deal with! I got both girls stripped, as well as the beds, and I put Grace in my shower, since she had vomit in her hair. I left her there while I tried to get Faith changed and settled in again. I put new sheets on her bed, and then ran back to check on Grace, who was crying in the shower and making no effort to wash any part of herself. That is the problem with showers that are taken at midnight! So I got her washed and then decided she would sleep in my bed, since she has a track record of having a sensitive stomach and vomiting often once she gets started. But then I heard Faith crying, so I ran in just in time to see her vomit on her bed again. Ack! One more sheet (bottom only this time), and a towel over the pillow. During this time, Luke had thrown up a few more times, but he can be relied on to always hit the trash can, and he can wipe his mouth up by himself.
So i got the girls settled and went back to bed. About 15 minutes later, a little after 1:00, Caleb threw up, although he managed to hit the trash can as well. Yay!
I went back to bed for a few minutes, until I heard Grace make a funny noise. I leaned over, pulled her upright, grabbing the trashcan in the process, and forced her head into it, right as she threw up. Lightning reflexes, LOL! I was very glad she didn't mess up my sheets! I had to do that at least 3 more times during the (very long) night, so having Grace sleep with me was definitely the best option.
So Caleb threw up again, as did Faith, and around 3:30 Anna started whining and complaining that her stomach hurt. I knew it was only a matter of time, and sure enough she threw up for the first time around 4:00. She threw up once more, and Grace threw up for the last time around 5:30. So then I got 2 whole hours of sleep before Micah woke up at 7:30 . . . Micah, who had slept the entire night, from 8:30 until 7:30. Sigh. It is indeed some kind of cosmic conspiracy.
So we canceled Latin for today, and everyone is just sitting around. Well, actually Micah, Jonathan, and Nathan seem perky! I am so hoping they don't throw up all this night. I think I'm going to start a video for the girls and then go take a nap!
Monday, January 09, 2012
Micah has hit a weight plateau at right around 20 pounds. I never did make a 9 month well-baby appointment for him, so there won't be any sort of official numbers coming out! He's not gaining much, since he's been really active and crawling, which is just like all my other kids. That boy does love to eat, though! He is eating a lot of table foods now, which is nice since I never did get around to making any homemade baby food for him, not even sweet potatoes or squash! Poor 8th baby . . . Good thing he has all those teeth! I haven't started him on meat yet, but pretty much everything we eat he will chomp away on.
Micah is a happy baby who loves all the attention lavished on him by his older siblings. However--he is by far and away my worst sleeper. Not for naps--he takes great naps. But at night. There is always something! He was the latest of my kids to sleep through the nap, at around 10 weeks. Then after a (very) few good weeks, he started teething in July. That lasted until November, when he finally got the last of his 8 teeth pushed through. But then he started this terrible habit of pooping between 3:00 and 4:00 every morning. Seriously?!?! And of course it woke him up, and changing him was disruptive, so of course he wanted to nurse, and so the whole thing takes a long time, and is very disruptive for me! How do you change someone's bowel movement schedule?! He seems to be one who just goes often during each day (and night)! And even when he would go the whole night and not poop, then there would be an unexpected pee accident or someone would have a bad dream or something. It seems like a conspiracy! I really think that interrupted sleep is some of my problem these past few months, as far as me not being motivated or energized at all to clean or start big projects (or even little ones!). As we start up our co-ops again tomorrow, I am really praying that Micah will be able to get onto a good sleep (and intestinal, LOL) routine so that I can feel better able to handle life!
Saturday, January 07, 2012
There's a lady in our church who has a real gift for working with hair. I can't even say how many times I've gone up to someone in the past year whose hair looked really great, and the answer has been, "Oh, Suzy cut my hair!" We have a bunch of ladies in our church with naturally-curly hair like mine, and she always does a great job with their hair. One of the families in our co-op lives across the street from her, and one of their daughters got an amazing haircut from her this past summer. But I was very intimidated to make an appointment with her--she is always so polished-looking, while I am frumpy and frizzy-headed, so I was worried she would take on look at my scraggly hair and be like, "I have no idea what to do with this mop!" And then where would I be?!
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Anna, Grace, Faith, and Emily all slept in one room. The first night we were there, the girls got pretty much no sleep at all! I kept hearing giggling, so I went down to check on them around 11:00. The lights were on, and they were all chattering and reading books! I told them to get in bed and go to sleep, but when Bob got up around 2:30 to go to the bathroom, he heard giggling and told them to settle down. When Micah got up to nurse around 6:00--more giggling! I again told them to settle down and go back to sleep, but they were all upstairs a little after 7:00! We were expecting them to all be very crabby, but surprisingly they were not.
I put the fear of God in them the next night, telling them that if there was any trouble, Emily would have to sleep on a mattress in her parents' room. I told them they needed stay in their beds, close their mouths and eyes, and go to sleep! I was very firm, LOL. So firm that Emily was scared to get up at all, even though she needed to go to the bathroom! Anna didn't feel that same fear, so she got up, and Emily was amazed at her bold disregard for the clear law that had been laid down. I was actually directing my comments to Faith, who is one of the main troublemakers, so the next night I had to be careful to clarify!
Emily is just a lot like me, in terms of taking things literally. When I was 4 or 5, I was in this day camp for a week through our church, back when we were stationed in Los Angelos. One little field trip we had was on some pirate boat out in some bay. The pirates were being all fierce (and completely over-the-top, as I can clearly see now when looking back on it), and they threatened to throw any kid overboard who did anything wrong. I. was. PETRIFIED. I sat in one spot and didn't move the entire trip. I kept wondering when they were going to come around and get all of our names and addresses, because without those, how would they let our parents know that we had been thrown overboard?! LOL!
Sunday, January 01, 2012
The girls got some fun games too, which were played by all. A big favorite was a charades game Dan and Melinda gave to Emily. All the younger kids thought that was great fun. The Princess Memory game was also a favorite.
One thing I really love to do is work jigsaw puzzles. One day when I was in Barnes and Noble I saw this 1000 piece puzzle, which I just loved. I hope you can see the picture clearly, but it's a grandma and grandpa sitting in their huge library--but then as you look down the hallways, you see that the books stretch out in every direction! My dream house! So we gave that to Mom and Dad as a Christmas present, and then we brought up the old card table and actually started it Tuesday. It was a fun puzzle to work because there were lots of separate areas you could do. Luke finished it up Friday morning!
I was also able to spend some time just reading, which was so relaxing. I read the second book in the new 39 Clues series, which was a quick read. I also read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, about the woman whose cancer cells became the hela line. Absolutely fascinating!! I am going to have the boys read that book next summer before we start biology at Rivendell. Christine has recommended the book after her book club read it, and I was so glad I read it! I also finally got started on the 3rd Harry Potter book. I read the first 2 in August, but then Rivendell started, and I have pretty much had no time for pleasure reading. I need to finish that up tomorrow so I can take it back to the library! We also listened to about half to The Lightning Thief on CD on our long trip home. We have the book, so right now Jonathan is finishing it up, then Caleb is in line, and then me.
Wow--puzzles, reading--what a lovely break! We don't start back at Rivendell until Jan. 10, so I technically have some more break time. But now I really need to do more prep work for science and Latin, plus I still have goals for cleaning and decluttering, so I think my break is more or less over. Wah. It was good while it lasted, and it was so nice being at my mom's house, where I wasn't constantly reminded off all the stuff in the house I need to clean and organize!
The kids and I stayed until yesterday. We got a late start on the drive because Anna woke up feeling sick. She heaved a few times before we left, but since she hadn't eaaten anything since dinner Friday, there was nothing in her tummy. She moaned and groaned pretty much the whole ride home, and we had to make a really long stop at lunch because of her tummy troubles, so the trip just took forever, it seemed. We drove straight to the L's house, since we were planning on going to their annual New Year's Eve party. We were only an hour late! Bob met us there and took Anna and Micah home, while the rest of us stayed and ate dinner. The boys played games, including their new Settlers of Catan game, which they brought in. Grace and Faith and I left before everyone counted down (at 9:00) because I was just so fried. Bob went back for awhile and brought the boys home eventually.
I am glad to be home, but dealing with all the stuff Bob unloaded from the van is almost too much to think about! I'm not feeling 100% myself, actually. Micah never really slept well at all at my parents' house, and I have 2 big canker sores in my mouth from the lack of sleep, as well as just some general snuffles. So I'm sitting here, foggy-brained, trying to muster up some motivation to do something useful. Maybe I'll upload pictures from our camera and write some more posts. That might be all the motivation I can muster, LOL.