Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not for the weak

Warning: If you have a weak stomach, and stuff grosses you out, don't read or look any further! And please don't tell me I didn't warn you!

This post is not for the weak. Out of nowhere, Ginger got a huge planter's wart underneath her heel. We started treating it about a month ago. Once in a while a layer of skin would peel off, where we had applied the medicine. The wart was strong, and didn't budge. Until today. Another layer of skin was peeling off, and I could tell that the wart was attached to it. So I pulled, and pulled again, and again. Finally a big chunk of the wart came off. Unfortunately I made my sweet Ginger cry. I guess it wasn't quite ready to come out....

The part that came out looked super crazy. There were these tentacles like spikes that drove into the deep part of the flesh. Some of the tentacles didn't come out with the wart, so I applied some more medicine, and hopefully those parts will come out soon too.

I was just so fascinated with how gross this thing was, that I wanted to have a closer look. With no magnifying glass, but with a camera and a macro lens, the best solution was a close-up picture. You can kind of see the tentacles that each individually were "hammered" into her foot.
Now for the most disturbing part of the story. After I took the picture, I sat back down on the couch, and when I glanced over to the table, the wart was gone! I must have brushed up against it when I turned around with my blanket or something.... I was so freaked out about not being able to find it, that I got the vacuum out and vacuumed the whole living room. I can't imagine accidentally touching that thing, or even stepping on it. Yuck.

8 weeks

So today is the 8 week mark. This pregnancy has brought a lot more worry with it than any of my others (I think I already mentioned that). The fact is, I'm always conscious of when I'm doing and feeling. The other day I had a cramp similar to the one that preceded the bleeding, and obviously that freaked me out. Luckily nothing bad happened, but I'm always on edge.

The other disadvantage caused by my relative carefullness (translation of Dutch work voorzichtigheird) and inactivity, is that my belly is pooching out much sooner than with my last one. It's so obvious, that my mother-in-law mentioned it as soon as I walked through her door. It just doesn't seem like anything should be pooching at this point. Everything is still SOO small! I think (looking back at Winter's 8 week ultrasound), that it's probably only the size of a peanut. Of course I am older too, and a bit out of shape, so those things could have a lot of influence on my belly status as well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Veggie Tales

About a month ago, I was determined to brave the dark areas of vegetable gardening again. I only bought cold weather plants. Of course as soon as I bought them, the weather turned horribly windy and cold, so I was only able to get my broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and brussels sprouts planted. We all know what happened to some of my cauliflower plants, but luckily out of 9 planted plants, 5 are alive and thriving. The onions and sprouts are doing good too. The broccoli plants pretty much died overnight. I think either the ground had the wrong nutrient balance, or the plants were still too young to be transplanted.

Unfortunately none of the plants that didn't get planted survived. I had some lettuce and spinach sitting in the shop for a few weeks, just waiting. Then, we went on vacation, so I moved them outside, still in their little seed pots. I'm not sure how long they lasted, but not long. So now I face the dilemma of which plants the try again, and which ones to just give up. I think I'm done with lettuce, especially because when we still lived in Idaho, that was the only vegetable that even when it did grown, it tasted foul.

It's almost time here in Texas to start planting some warm weather plants. I think tomatoes should go in the ground April 1st, and then a month or so later we can start planting squash type seeds.

My main enemy in gardening is still weeds. This year I tried something new, by buying some organic weed control pellets. I THINK it's working, a little bit. I just spread some more where I my plants are. I don't want to waste any though, so I'm not spreading it where I haven't planted anything yet. The only problem with that is, that by the time I am ready to plant, there'll probably be a bunch of weeds there. At that point, I'll have to either rototille again, or go at it with the roundup. Neither solution really strikes my fancy. Any ideas?

Friday, March 27, 2009

video format

Anyone know what the best/fastest video format is for blog videos? I am trying to use real player, but downloading seems SOO slow!

Dumb Animals

As I was waiting for the kids on the bus, at the end of the driveway, because it was raining hard, Ginger said: Look a pig! Our neighbors don't have any pigs running on their land, so I looked a little closer. Sure enough, it was our own Biggy Smalls. He was running back and forth along the other side of the neighbor's barbed wire fence, so I went over to get him across the fence. It was pretty cool that this used to be a domesticated pig, because he started following us up the driveway. I didn't want him taking off again, so I locked him in the lower goat pen. That's where he started doing some pretty funny stuff (view at own risk - adult content)

bare with me: this is my first blog video - I'm not sure why there's no sound on this one

As it usually goes, whenever you get outside taking care of one animal, you end up taking care/checking on all of them. The momma hens in the shop were out of food, so I gave them some. Then, I went into the chicken coop, and saw they were out of food too (that's what the twilight books will do to you). After giving the very hungry chickens some food, I collected their eggs. (oops those are still in the coop)

Since the raining had let up a little, I thought I would check on our pregnant goat. Two of them already had kids, so only 1 is still pregnant. She seems way over due, and is just about as wide as long. On the way to the back shed (with pregnant nannies), I witnessed this

for some reason this one is 8 minutes long, even though the video is only like 30 sec. I need to work on my video skills

Sometimes animals aren't the smartest! I freed him, and got back on my way. Unfortunately the new kid hasn't been born yet. By that time, the rain and wind had seriously picked up again. I considered waiting for it to subside, but then quickly decided against it, as it could keep going all night.

In the rush to get the pig taken care of, I put my old horseback riding boots on. These boots are very tight around my calf, and when I finally came in all wet and muddy, I realized I wouldn't be able to get them off myself. Joe is working in town today, so no help there. Winter came to the rescue. It took some towels, lots of grunting and funny faces that I wish I had on camera, but we finally managed to pry them off. I vow to never wear those again!

Monday, March 23, 2009


The kids had a blast. They played, and played, and played, until late at night, and then crashed. They had fun digging holes, building sand castles, swimming, exploring sea creatures, collect shells, and did all of this with a myriad of cousins and friends. The Allreds have some friends that always go with them to the beach, the Sparks. Rob and Tracey have 4 adorable little boys, that fit right in with the rest of the gang. They are a little bit older than we, and it's hard to believe they have been married 17 years. I guess time just flies, and as you get older, older people just don't seem old anymore.

7 weeks

I am now only 7 weeks along, and this pregnancy has had more complications than any of my other ones. Well, not really. But it sure seems scary. Today I went to the local women's center to meet the midwife there. Jeanean Carter seems like a great midwife. She has all the qualities and ideals that my last midwife had. I just hope everything will be as great as I am hoping. I still haven't decided for sure to go with her, because I am also considering some midwifes at the birthing center in Allen. Some disadvantages going with a birthing center are: no ultrasound at the midwife's office (which may prove to be an important part of this pregnancy), no overnight stay after the baby is born, further away from doctors if something were to go wrong, more expensive because they aren't covered by my insurance as well. Advantages: delivery outside of a hospital. They are more open to what I want, rather than hospital procedure. For example, with both Sterling and Ginger's births I never had an IV starter, but at the McKinney hospital they make you have one "Just in case". I hate "just in case" procedures. They treat a pregnant woman like a sick woman, rather than something that just natural. Also, they don't allow you to eat while in labor. Again, a "what if" procedure. If they have to rush you off to surgery, there's a chance you'll get sick and have to puke. Therefore, they would rather not have any food in your stomach. Well, the rebel that I am, I have decided that if I do go to that hospital, that I will just have to sneek food in, and eat anyways. What are they going to do? Sue me?

So after the "get to know you" bit of the visit, Jeanean told me that because of what happened March 13th, she had scheduled an ultrasound. I was very happy to hear that, because ever since I had the ultrasound at the hospital and saw the yolk sack, I was still doubtful that I really WAS pregnant. This time we actually saw the baby and a HEARTBEAT! That was so cool. The not so cool thing we saw, was a big blood clot called subchorionic hemorrhage. They basically explained that when the egg was implanting in the uteran wall, that it cause a big bruise type thing. That's why I started bleeding. They told me that several things could happen. First, nothing could happen. My body might absord the bloodclot, and the baby would be fine. Or, maybe I will bleed again, but without any problems to the baby. Or, I could still miscarry. The not knowing part is the hardest part for me. I don't want to stress and worry, because that's not good for the baby either. Even though my midwife told me there's nothing to avoid, my research on the internet got me to thinking that I need to take it easy. No heavy lifting, or straining.

So here I sit, helpless. All I can do is wait and hope and pray for the best. Here's the first picture of this tiny little baby.
In this next one, you can see a large black area above and to the left/bottom of the black area that the baby is in. This black/grey part, is the hemorrhage. As you can see, it's a lot bigger than the baby (5.5 cm x 1.1 cm x 1 cm). The ultrasound technitian said that when the baby is larger than the hemorrhage, there's a better chance of success

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beach leasure

We just got back from a full week of lounging at the beach. Joe's cousins, the Allreds, rented this wonderful beach house, that was literally on right next to the beach. I don't even know how to explain how awesome it was. There was a lot of sleeping, beach walking, dolphin watching, sunbathing, and shell collecting involved. Maybe, instead of trying to cram it all into 1 post right now, I will slowly hack away at the millions of pictures I took and the wonderful memories we have of this trip.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad cramps

I've never lost a baby before. Even though mentally I am totally fine with what happened to me this morning... emotionally I am still struggling with it. I only found out I was pregnant a week ago. I was excited! It only took 1 month of trying, and BAM. My hormones were strong, and I was feeling great.

As I was baking cupcakes for my son's 6th birthday this morning, I started having cramps. Blaming them on constipation, I spent a while in the bathrooms, but finally gave up and got into bed. When I felt better, an hour or so later, I knew something was wrong as soon as I stood up. Sure enough.... my body expelled something that looked like a bloodclot.

I immediately was thankful for the fact that I hadn't broadcasted my pregnancy to the world. The people who knew can be counted on 2 hands. The trickiest part will be telling my 6 and 7 year old. How do you tell a first grader that the baby is now gone? Especially when they didn't believe you when you told them in the first place?

We'll just try again in a few months. Yes, I'm sad. But, also very happy that it happened sooner rather than later.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bad Attendance

My blog attendance has been very bad lately. Sorry for that. I have a few ideas, but somehow don't ever sit and write them.

Sterling is turning 6 tomorrow! Since we are going on vacation, and the grandparents wouldn't be able to get here until later at night, we decided to celebrate it this past Sunday. Joe got him a trailer bike, which they enjoyed riding together, a few days ago. Other than that, he got a bionicle, fake money, little dollar store gifts, and maybe we'll get him a duck after our trip.

Facts about our 6 year old Sterling

  • Stuffed animals have always been close to his heart
  • He likes to sleep with his John Deere Quillo
  • He's currently taller than his older sister
  • He is starting to read
  • He is camera shy, just like his dad
  • He's a nice kid (by Winter)
  • Favorite food: pizza
  • Favorite animal: cats
  • He lost his first tooth a few weeks ago
  • Favorite place in the whole world: Disneyworld
  • Favorite person: grandma
  • He likes to ride his bike
  • He sleeps with his door open, and a night light
We sure love our little-big boy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Albertsons Monopoly Game

Updated 3/10/2009

Here in Texas, Albertsons has started a fun new game where you collect little tokens, for a chance to win a variety of prizes. I just thought I would let everyone know I am playing this game, and if you shop at Albertsons and don't want/need your tickets, I will be more than happy to take them from you. Or, if you want to trade for tickets that I need, I am willing to give you many tickets! Also, if you have 1 of the 2 rare pieces in the car categories, maybe we can both win something!

Tickets I have for trade:
A02, A03, A05, A06
B07, B09, B11
C14, C15, C16
D18, D19, D21
E23, E24, E26
F27, F28, F29, F31
G32, G33, G34
H36, H38, H39
I40, I41, I43
J44, J45, J47,
K49, K50, K51
L52, L53, L55
M56, M58, M59
N60, N61, N62
P65, P66, P67
Q68, Q70, Q71
R73, R74, R75
S77, S79

Tickets I need:
A01, A04
B08 - I have B10, if you have B08, we could split the winnings
C12, C13
D17, D20
E22, E25

Good luck, and have fun!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bunny snack

Remember our Semi-wild bunny? He ran into our 22. I'll take full responsibility. I feel bad, but not bad enough; not to go back and do it again. At least my dog is having a fresh dinner.

Before you proclaim me as a barbarian, let me just explain my reasoning. Last year my vegetable garden failed miserably. It was a combination of watering, bugs, and bad luck. This year I decided to give it another try. I worked hard to rototille (ok, joe did the actual work). I planted out in the horrid wind, and have been watering my little plants religiously. Today, when I went out there, practically all of my cauliflowers plants, and half of my brussels sprouts plants were gone. Nibbled off, eaten! And I know the criminal. I saw him sitting there, a happy wild bunny, and I flipped.

The gun case was opened. Bullets were loaded. And the husband was put in service to execute.
The bunny was shot, bled and died a peaceful death. (and then was happily consumed by our doggy Justin). It all comes down to the circle of life. Man, I'm sounding harsh, but that's just the way I feel this minute. Anyways... now I will go back to the store to buy yet more plants, waste yet more money and time, and hope and pray another bunny won't come along for a snack

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturdays suck

As a kids I looked forward to the weekend. Weekends meant, time off, fun things, and variety. As a teenager I went to a horse riding club every Saturday morning. I would often ride my bike 45 minutes each way, in rain or shine, and no matter the wind. Even though sometimes I detested my bike, I think I also really enjoyed it. That's one of the things I miss a lot about Holland... the biking. There, you just don't have money for more than 1 car (if 1 car), and everything is so close, that most is accessible by bike, or if not by bike, definitely by public transportation. Then, going into college, the weekends meant dates, fun activities, and a break from school. I guess looking forward to weekends for the first 21 years of my life, really sunk into my psyche.

Now weekends mean more work, same old things, and more work. We have so many things to get done around the house, we rarely go on dates, and lets face it: when the husband and kids are home, there's just more work to be done in general (disclaimer, Joe is a great helper). I just need to get over the fact that weekends are not a fun free-for-all anymore. Maybe, when we are millionaires, can hire housekeepers, and handymen for all the projects, we can go back to the blissdom of fun filled weekends. Don't get me wrong, we occasionally still do fun things, but I would say that 95% of our weekends are of the more boring variety. Sorry for the whining... just had to let it out!

Number 4

The plus sign appeared as soon as the pee hit the stick. Supposedly it takes up to 2 minutes to see results, but not for me, not this time! Some calculations later, I came up with a due date of November 5th, 2009. After Ginger was born I was sure I was done having kids. 3 was plenty, and they kept me busy. Convinced I bore all the kids I was meant to, I got some good birth control, and got in shape. I loved having my body back!

But about 2 years ago, I started yearning for another child. Adoption has always been something I wanted to do, so we started with the process. First we got licensed with a private adoption agency, and when that didn't bring any results, we added foster/adoption to the mix. Now, 6 months later, still without results, we started thinking about pregnancy again. All of a sudden those extra 30 pounds didn't matter so much any more. I would do anything to hold another newborn in my arms. Don't get me wrong, we still want to do foster/adoption, but I also wanted an option that I have control over. If everything goes right, I'll have that newborn in my arms, less than 8 months from now.

I was so excited to see the positive pregnancy test, and literally started shaking. I was excited and nervous at the same time. It seems like a long time ago that I did all of this pregnancy stuff. I mean, for a while there, I was an expert! I had 3 kids in 4 years. Now, my body older, and failing ever so slightly, I can only anticipate the issues I might have. Ginger gave me terrible lower back pains the 9th month, so I REALLY hope that won't happen again!

In addition to the unknowns, I have also let myself get out of shape the past few months. I just about fell over when I got on the scale. I haven't been this heavy since my last kid was 3 months old! So, tonight, at 10.15pm, I got off the couch and did an exercise DVD. Probably not the best idea, but I just HAD to do something now! After I gained a whopping 40 pounds with Winter's pregancy, I swore I would never gain that much again! So I had Joe hide all my chocolate, and I plan to keep the scale in plain view. I really just dont' want a 10 lb baby, you know?

Even with these challenges, I am super excited, and can't wait if I should buy some more boy or girl clothes.

I didn't post this when I wrote it, because I thought it wise to wait until things were a little further along

Monday, March 2, 2009

The poll told me...

The overwhelming 69% majority voted for cutting Ginger's hair. Keeping my word to do whatever the poll told me, I got the scissors out today.

Looking at these pictures, I think I might cut off even a little bit more from the back.
I really like it. It reminds me of her haircut when she was just a baby

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