Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Menu Plan Mo-Wednesday??

Well, shoot, it's Wednesday and there is no updated Menu for the week. Things have been a little crazy at our little Ptown Cottage. We are still in the middle of the new bathroom/laundry closet remodel and the HokieChildren and I spent the night with my mom. So we've been making it up as we go along, which isn't always the best. The house is sucking up all of our extra funds, so I'm facing the fact that I cannot just run down the street to get pizza or Chinese food. It's a good thing we have a ton of food in the house right now.

Breakfast: cereal, eggs/bacon, cream of wheat, oatmeal
Lunch: pb&j, soup, spaghettios, leftovers
Monday: potluck, aka whatever-is-in-the-icebox-that-hasn't-died-yet
Tuesday: Chinese Stir Fry and tomato & cucumber salad
Wednesday: breakfast for dinner

After today, everything is pretty much up in the air. My inlaws (mother,aunt, sister,nephew, sister's boyfriend, his son) are coming down today/tomorrow for 2 weeks. We are all on a budget though, so eating out will not happen often. Fortunately, I have stuff in the freezer.

steaks, baked potatoes, corn on the cob
pork roast with veggies
pork chops (might have to buy more)
fajitas (will need to get side dishes)
steaks again (I have many)

We'll be winging it frequently. We're planning to spend time at the beach so maybe we will picnic and even cookout there. It's all a big fat question mark.

Good thing I'm pretty easy going!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pregnant and Anxious in Ptown

*Caution* Ramblings of a hormonal pregnant woman ahead. Read at your own risk!

HokieHubby and I decided some time ago, back when HokieGirl was teeny, that we might want to expand our little HokieFamily. We knew this wasn't necessarily going to be a popular idea. HokieBoy was a 32 week preemie and spent a month in the hospital, then came home on a heart monitor. When he was about 5 months old I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. HokieGirl was a 34 week preemie whose main issue was she was too tired to eat to get rid of her jaundice. (By the way, you wouldn't know it the way she's been eating since then!) With my medical history, why risk it when others could be premature as well? We had one of each gender, so why would we want more kids? More kids mean more expenses and I'm a stay at home mom so would I go to work? HokieHubby and I carefully considered these things and decided that yes, we do want more children. So, we did... *ahem* get pregnant.

The first two pregnancies were pretty easy. I had no indication that I was going to have preemies until less than 12 hours before they were born, and even then we were trying everything to get them to stay put. I loved being pregnant. Sure there were parts I could have done without: heartburn, difficult sleeping positions, having to use the bathroom all the time. Labor and delivery weren't terrible, although there were moments I'm sure I have forgotten. Recovery sucks: ice packs, sitz baths, and having a hard time sitting or using the bathroom. Oh, and pumping milk for a preemie 8 times a day is killer on your nipples. I'll only briefly mention the agony of walking around and seeing pregnant women everywhere and my baby was in the NICU, fighting for life. (I think I have a very small grasp of how women who miscarry must feel in public. A very, very small grasp.)

This time around, I'm a little older, and yes there is a difference between being 25 and pregnant and being 31 and pregnant. I've been rather surprised at that. My body is handling this one much differently. I needed maternity pants from the second month. My back aches differently and my uterus seems to sit lower from having been through this twice before.

Mentally, I'm a basketcase. I try to rely on God all the time, praying that he will take the anxiety from me and help me to let him keep it. I don't think I ever had Braxton-Hickes contractions with the other two, but I've been having them every day for over two weeks now. I was in the hospital once already because they got regular instead of random. I'm 28 weeks pregnant, which means we still have 4 weeks to go until I know roughly what to expect with a preemie and 6 weeks until my doctor says he's okay with me delivering. What I want more than anything, though, is to make it another 10-12 weeks so this HokieBaby can be full-term. I'm afraid of failing again. I know it's not my fault babies don't stay the full 40 weeks. (I also know there are plenty of women out there who wish their babies would be born a little early.) I don't want to leave my HokieBaby at the hospital again. It almost killed me to leave the first one, but I spent hours everyday at his side. The second one wasn't as bad because I had HokieBoy at home who needed me and HokieGirl wasn't nearly as sick as HokieBoy had been.

Each week that passes and I am still pregnant is a huge relief that I didn't even know I was waiting for. I have prayed, and others have prayed for me and this baby. God knows what my desires are, and I know that He has plans for me and baby. I know that He will use all things in my life for good because I believe in Him. Is it terrible that my prayer is that He allows me to have a perfectly typical birth rather than allow me to suffer through another premature delivery? Use me in my joy as a testament to God, that He hears our prayers and grants miracles!

October 9th is a long time away. I feel as though I have been in a mini-goal mindset forever. 24 weeks, then 26 weeks, now 28 weeks. Each week is a blessing. I know this, and I am so thankful that I can get and stay pregnant when some of my friends struggle with infertility or miscarriage.

If you are a Christian, please pray for me and my little one. Please pray that God will continue to take my anxiety even when I keep taking it back. Pray that I'll be able to leave it with Him. I know that Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, but I am human and prone to thinking I can do this on my own. Please pray that this little one is born in October, healthy and full-term, but that if He should allow otherwise that I will rely on His strength at all times.

If you are not a Christian, I appreciate your friendship as much as my Christian friends and welcome your warm thoughts for my family. There is room in my life for caring people of all religions or no religion.

The Week in Ptown

Here it is Friday, and I was thinking not much had happened all week. Then I went day by day and realized we have been pretty busy.

In knitting news, I have decided to try polygamy. I just wasn't making progress on FLS, and since I was already breaking my tradition by working on squares for a friend's 7yo who has a large tumor, I cast on for the Funky Monkey from Blue Moon Fiber Arts that I bought last May. I think I may like polygamy. The squares are great for doctors' offices and the monkey (so far) has been good to just pick up and work on a little at a time. I work on FLS in the evenings when things have settled down and I can focus. I ordered some yarn for Baby Mine sweater and I can't wait to cast on for that.

HokieHubby has decided that on Sundays when he's coming home from work, he's going to pick up donuts. I have decided this is actually a fantastic little treat. It only happens every three weeks. The HokieChildren have so much fun out on the front porch with icing covered chunks of donut. Hokiegirl had pink frosting and sprinkles all over her face and hands. Love it!

We have spent hours at various hardware stores this week, the whole family or the HokieParents individually. HokieHubby has ripped a huge hole in the floor of our downstairs bath. There are no longer fixtures in the proper room. We now have new insulation under half the area, and new plumbing for the washer and dryer and the new sink. The floorplan of our downstairs won't be changing too much, except that there will be a washer and dryer instead of a shower, and the sink and commode will share a wall.

The HokieCat took advantage of the absence of floor and made herself at home under the house two nights in a row. She doesn't come out much during the day, so she wasn't missed until after we were all in bed Tuesday night and she didn't join me. HokieHubby had take pains to cover the hole to keep unwanted critters out of the house. Wednesday she didn't come out until just before the kids went to bed. The hole was larger that night, though, and HokieHubby apparently left a spot big enough for her to slip on in. Thursday night we waited for her to come out for the evening visit and HokieHubby closed up the hole as tight as he could. HokieCat wandered around crying all night and this morning because she wanted to go back in her hole. Can't win.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday!

It's Monday again and time for a post worthy of MckMama ... or not!

I did not wake up this morning before the HokieChildren and (knowing that for my own sanity and their protection I should go ahead and get up and do a little something for myself) roll over and try and sleep some more. After a week of getting up early for the World Changers and thoroughly enjoying the quiet mornings on the front porch, I know better than to give that little luxury up!

I have not been avoiding emptying the clean dishwasher or folding the clean clothes in the vain hope that HokieHubby would catch on and do it for me. I am such a good wife/mother/housekeeper that all the chores are done before the clean clothes wrinkle or the sink fills with dirty dishes.

I did not allow the girls from the World Changers to entertain my HokieChildren all week just so I could have some peace inside the house. There is always peace in my house! Just because my children adored those girls and were fascinated by all the paint and tools and the girls seemed to enjoy HokieChildren does not mean I would take advantage of them that way! (By the way, I truly did keep asking them if the kids were okay and finally decided this peace was an extra unexpected blessing.)

And it was not I who was grumbling about the storm 10 minutes after I had been enjoying it when I realized that my tropicana plants that were booming like crazy had been flattened. And I did not curse when I realized there is a chance all my squash plants have been squashed as well. I love summer storms and take the good with the bad. I am grateful once again that our tulip poplar was removed earlier this year because this was another storm that would have cost us if that tree had been standing. I was not secretly thankful that the power outage across the street was not caused by my tree, especially when I found out that they have been without power all night and all morning. I only feel sympathy for the homes affected.

I am not the kind of mother who secretly takes pride in her HokieChildren's public behavior while forgetting how proud I am when we get home and chaos reigns. I never lose my temper and always remember to take a time out. I have never told my HokieChildren that I wanted to put them out with the trash, only to hear something very similar come out of HokieGirl's mouth yesterday.

And after hearing my HokieChildren say they didn't want me anymore, discussing the situation with them and then later hearing, "I want to keep you forever, Mama," I did not cry.

Menu Plan Monday, Part 2

Here we go again... let's see if I can make this a habit!

Breakfasts: cereal, eggs, bacon, toast, bagels, pancakes
Lunches: leftovers, pb&j, ham sandwiches, egg salad
Monday: hot dogs
Tuesday: chili, cucumber salad
Wednesday: pork chops, squash
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: breakfast for dinner
Saturday: steaks on the grill, corn on the cob, salad
Sunday: homemade chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese
Monday: out to eat with inlaws

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mad Mama in Ptown

I think I've done a pretty good job loving on my children and they love on me right back. Until today.

"I don't want you anymore!" came from HokieBoy's mouth this evening.

HokieGirl followed that with, "you a bad Mama!"

Oh my.

Here's what happened. We were hanging out in the living room. HokieHubby had left for another overtime shift. I was messing around on the computer. The HokieChildren were playing with trains and a ton of track. Things were going well until HokieGirl tried to run her train on a stretch of track where HokieBoy's train was running. Screaming and screeching ensued. They were warned that they needed to play nicely or the trains would be put away. So, niceness reigned for a few minutes.

Suddenly all heck broke loose with both HokieChildren screaming at each other again.

I broke it up by saying it was time to pick it all up and put it away. HokieBoy comes to me crying and whining that they will play nicely this time. I stood firm. They put the tracks away, both of them crying hysterically.

In the meantime, I went outside to check on the newly flattened tropicana flowers in my front yard. They found me and begged me to let them play trains. When I refused, that's when those horrifying, knife-like words flowed from their little mouths.

"I don't want you anymore!" and "You a bad mama!"

I guess I am officially a mom. My children hate me. At least for a moment.

We went inside and I talked with each of them alone. When asked why he didn't want me anymore, HokieBoy told me it was because I keep getting mad.

"Why do I get mad at you?" I asked.

"Because I play with the fan or touch things that could hurt me, or for climbing over a gate or other dangerous things."

Okay, not going to argue with that, but, "why am I mad at you this evening?"

"Because me and HokieGirl were fighting."


"Should I be mad at you for not be nice with each other?"


A very similar conversation followed with HokieGirl. I think they may be getting the hang of it.

Oh, and about five minutes after our talk, HokieBoy pops out with this gem:

"Mama, I want to keep you forever."

Maybe I'm getting the hang of it, too.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beautiful Mornings in Ptown

I found myself having to check the calendar over and over this week. Could it really be July? We here at the HokieCottage awoke each morning to beautiful temperatures and sunshine. Each morning this week I hauled myself out of bed before 7, got dressed, and then enjoyed tea or coffee on my porch. We were waking up early because the World Changers were here all week working on our home. This was a group of lovely people, mostly teens, who repainted our front porch, rebuilt the ramp to the shed, repaired and repainted our living room ceiling, and installed new windows on the back of our house.

More importantly, these young people shared their deep love for Jesus with our family. Now, you might know that I love Jesus and am already striving to share that love with my children. So why was it important to have these Jesus Lovers in my home all week? We need to surround ourselves with our family. It is with family that we can re-energize our own faith. Also, I believe that while my teaching as mother is of utmost importance, my children need to hear about Jesus and His great love for them from other believers. These young people touched my children's lives. They played with them, ate with them, read Bible stories to them, and prayed with them. One of the churches represented sent HokieGirl a book of Bible stories and songs. One of the boys from that church (who we never met as he wasn't on our crew) sent HokieBoy his personal Bible. It was the Bible his pastor gave him when he gave his life to Christ.

So this morning, Saturday, I ate my breakfast alone on my freshly painted porch. It may have been the last lovely morning we will see for a little while, as the weather is supposed to return to it's wonderful summertime heat and humidity. I thought about those wonderful kids who served my family with love for our Savior. I thought about how they did so with no thought for earthly rewards. Their reward for the work they did is waiting for them in Heaven. But they should know that the work they did was more than just fixing a house. They planted seeds of faith for my children. They showed strangers love. They gave me hope for my children's future and my own.

They Changed the World for the better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Talk in Ptown

So the World Changers are in my neighborhood doing improvements to some of the homes. This is a program sponsored by churches and the kids pay to come out and do this. It's a mission thing. Anyway, we applied and were accepted to have some work done on our house, which is a true blessing, especially because the projects they are working on have been on the back burner since we are preparing for the new baby.

So that's just the background for the conversation that took place on my front porch yesterday between the HokieKiddos and the World Changers Crew:

HokieBoy: We're having a baby sister, but we don't know what her name is going to be.

World Changer: Are you excited that you're having a baby sister? I don't have any brothers or sisters.

HokieGirl: That's okay. You can grow a baby in your womb so you can have a baby sister.

Let's hope the teenage World Changers wait until they are older and in a loving, committed marriage and don't take HokieGirl's advice anytime soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Okay, so I tried to plan menus in the past: monthly, weekly. It never works. So I read a woman's blog who is also trying to be more organized. Here I go!

Breakfasts: oatmeal, cereal, egg sandwiches, bagels

Lunches: pb&j, ham sandwiches,

Snacks: grapes, apples, cheese/pepperoni and crackers,

Monday: ham, macaroni and cheese, fried green tomatoes

Tuesday: spaghetti

Wednesday: country ribs (crockpot), zucchini % squash, macaroni and cheese

Thursday: chicken enchilada

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Kristen's Party

Sunday: Sunday with Mama

Monday: hot dogs

Not Me Monday

Joining in with MckMama's fun:

I did not stand idly by this week while HokieHusband allowed our HokieChildren to swim in our very green pool. I would *never* allow the pool to get/stay green, much less allow children to swim in it.

I also did not have contractions on Tuesday that got regular in the evening and then go to the hospital where they decided to stop. And I was not told that I was dehydrated. I drink tons of water daily and take plenty of time for myself throughout the day to prevent such things from happening.

That said, I did not take my HokieChildren to see Monsters V. Aliens knowing full well that HokieGirl would probably be afraid of the movie. And she most certainly did not spend most of the movie in my lap complaining about the "bad robot" and how this was a "bad movie." I would never take her to see a movie I wasn't positive she would like.

And at the YMCA, I did not sit in a lounge chair while someone else's mommy and daddy played with my HokieChildren, and even if I had I would have made sure they were parents I knew.

Oh yeah, and today I did not entertain myself on the internet while the teenage girls from World Changers played with my kids all afternoon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthday in Ptown

My little HokieBoy turned 5 on May 29th. Crazy. I think that particular birthday was pretty difficult to believe. After all of his issues in the hospital at birth, not a soul could tell today that the doctors and nurses weren't sure that he would live.

And live he does. My HokieBoy is filled with energy and spirit. He is love and sweetness. Oh, he whines with the best of them, frequently when HokieGirl is annoying him by messing with his toys. But he knows how to push her buttons, too, so I guess what goes around comes around.

Each year before his birthday, I remember the events leading up to it. His debut was such a shock to us all that Saturday morning. Friday night I was laying in bed reading, having given myself my nightly anticoagulant. It was about 11:45 and I was finishing a chapter. I wasn't terribly sure, but I thought my water broke. (Well, it was either that or I had just had an accident!) We went to the hospital, and to make a long story much shorter, HokieBoy entered the world at 7:06am May 29th. All this despite the best efforts of myself and the entire team at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. The shock is because HokieBoy was not supposed to come out and play until July 20th.

So Happy Birthday, my darling little HokieBoy. And now I can look back on those long days of being home while you were still in the NICU and be truly thankful for all my many blessings.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Someone's in the kitchen in Ptown

Mother's day our little family could be found picking strawberries in Pungo. I think the farmer's need to weigh us before and after we pick, since HokieGirl and I probably ate several pounds of berries between us! We picked almost $40 worth of berries! My mom took some and we gave some to my sister, but we had a table full of berries when we got home. I now have 14 12oz of strawberry sauce (it didn't gel into jam, so I'll reprocess it), and 4 quarts of actual jam. There are also about 4 quarts of capped berries in the freezer. That's a lot of berries, people!

In other news, things are winding down around here. For a family with no school-aged children, our lives sure follow the school year. Bible study has ended until September, and MOPS is winding down. HokieBoy will not have speech tomorrow because of SOLs, nor will he go the following week for Memorial Day. June 1st we go for his IEP, and I have no idea what happens next. I will say I am looking forward to not having real commitments for a little while.

We're leaving Ptown this week for a visit to Pburgh. We haven't been since January and snow. I think we are all really looking forward to a trip. Next month we'll go camping in West Virginia.

I have a visit to the OB Tuesday. Maybe we'll get to find out which gender Hokie-Baby-To-Be is and I can actually work on the name list. Maybe then I'll feel like knitting something special.

As I'm sitting here on the chair in the living room, I hear a very manly belch. I'm thinking to myself, "nice rip, HokieHubby," but he's not home today. As I peer over the top of the screen I here a sweet little giggle and HokieGirl's voice says, "excuse me!" She'll be burping the alphabet in no time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cottage in Ptown

Not much interesting on the knitting front. I started my February Lady and was totally not getting gauge. I decided to keep going without checking gauge, even though I knew it was working to be too big. Reckon that was knitter's denial, as I made it through a skein and a half before deciding to measure gauge. Now I have a small swatch going and hope to get going on actual knitting again soon.

Now for what has really been occupying my time these past few days. My cottage. We have gotten so much done in our yard! I think it's absolutely beautiful! I never thought that a few flowers could make me as happy as they do. I now totally understand my mother in law's interest in beautifying her home on the outside.

Also, HokieHubby installed not one, but two beautiful ceiling fans in our living room! Now we can actually spend time in the house even when it is hot outside! Hopefully, this means we'll be able to hold off on installing the window units for a little while.

Now that our yard is great and our living room is cool, our house is falling apart again. This time, there is no tree causing obvious damage. This time, it's small stuff that is causing major issues. There is apparently a small leak in the roof of our breakfast room that allows a bucket of water to fall onto our table. HokieHubby needs to go up onto the roof and investigate. Hopefully it will just be a quick patch job.

But that's really small potatoes compared to the broken sewer pipe under our house. For a couple of weeks now we've noticed a rather foul smell coming from under the house. HokieHubby opened up the crawl space and noticed some dampness under the shower that we were planning on removing anyway. He thought that maybe the water was from the shower. So we stopped using the downstairs shower and switched to the tub upstairs. Sure enough, it seemed to get a little better. For a little while. We decided to go ahead and rip out the shower and see if we could get a better look. Turns out the pipe that carries water from our kitchen sink/disposal, dishwasher, and clothes washer is broken.

Grr. HokieHubby is at his second home the hardware store to get items that will hopefully at least temporarily fix the issue. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mornings in Ptown

When I am awake enough to witness them, this is mostly how the morning in the hokiekids' room goes:

645am: Hokiegirl's eyes open slowly. She stretches. Suddenly, her eyes POP open. She is awake, and there is no turning back. She hangs out on her bed for a few minutes, rolling around and playing with various animals within reach.

700am: Hokiegirl climbs up to Hokieboy's bunk. Sensing her presence, he opens his eyes and growls, "Hokiegirl, get off my bed! I'm trying to sleep!" She ignores his demand, telling him instead that the sun is up and it is time to wake up.

Now, here the routine varies. Typically, Hokiegirl pesters Hokieboy with hooting noises that are exactly the right pitch to sink into my marrow in the other room. Some hollering usually ensues between them, with Hokieboy still trying to fight Hokiegirl off so he can sleep. Today, however, Hokiegirl quietly removed herself to her own bunk and played with a bear. Hokieboy apparently decided he was not interested in sleeping and played with a book. This morning there is singing instead of hooting coming from their room. This is a wonderful thing. It is beautiful.

My only question is, WHY do they do this kind of thing only when I am already awake and not on the days when I want to sleep in???

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Overheard in Ptown

Me: Did you need to go potty? The bathroom is free now.
Hokieboy: No, my pen1s changed its mind.

Apparently, they get their own mind early.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter is coming! What do you do?

When I was a little girl, Easter was pretty much the same every year. On Saturday night we would have a family dinner, usually a cookout or spaghetti, and dye eggs. And not a few eggs! We would dye dozens of eggs, at least 10! Mamaw had to have some with all of her church ladies' names, my mom took some to work, and all the family members had their names on eggs, including anyone who might randomly show up on Easter Sunday! It took hours! The kids would get bored after the first few dozen and then the grown ups would have their turn.

Easter morning, my sister and I would wake up and find Easter baskets in the hall outside our bedrooms. Oh, the candy we would find! There was always a toy of some sort, but as I got older it became a cd. We would put on our Easter dresses, usually with warm tights and sweaters, and head out to church. Ever notice how Easter around here is unpredictable, but usually cold?

Then to Mamaw and Papaw's house for our Easter feast! Ham, potato salad, collard greens, pickles, beans, the spread left little room on the table for our plates! After the kids finished eating, we would run around asking when the grown ups would finish eating so we could go find eggs! We were more than a little obnoxious, I'm sure. We would be herded into the living room and watched carefully to be sure nobody peeked out the windows. After what seemed like hours, we were finally allowed to go hunt eggs, by age order though, so the littler ones would be able to find the obvious eggs. I was the oldest, and it seemed to take forever to get to my turn!

Eggs were all over the yard. We would find eggs in the strangest places, and after we thought we had found them all, Uncle Larry would tell us there were more. He would have riddles ready to help us find those last elusive eggs. That was the best part. All of us kids would stand around and beg for more clues. One year, even he forgot where he hid a couple of eggs, and Papaw found them a month later doing maintenance on the house!

Now, all of the grandchildren are "grown" with the youngest in college and I have my own children. So the traditions are beginning to be passed down. Easter dinner is still at my Papaw's, but the fare has gotten simpler and easier. My mom, uncles, and aunt still buy the eggs to dye on Saturday night, but I no longer get to hunt the eggs. Now, my husband and I hide eggs for our children. And the Easter bunny at my house has a lot to learn about planning ahead so the kids have baskets with the right balance of candy and toys.

Easter has always been a family day for us, but you might have noticed just the passing mention of church Sunday morning. Now that I have my own family and my own faith, I get to build my own traditions. This year, there will be Bible readings in my house and stories read to my preschoolers before Easter morning. At my weekly Bible study, the kids heard the Palm Sunday story straight from the donkey's mouth. Next week they'll hear the Easter story from their teachers and again from me. I hope that my children will enjoy Easter for all of the fun things like egg hunts and baskets, but I want them to know the JOY that comes from the knowledge that Jesus is alive.

Please share your family traditions!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And it burns burns burns...

The ring of swaps...

I've participated in a few knitting swaps. Some of them have been fantastic. Others, not so much. I never received anything from one swap (it was supposed to be a pair of socks and a couple of themed doodads). The latest swap I received $10 worth of a $60 swap and have heard nothing since. The swap ended February 28th.

I'm taking a time out from swaps for a while.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Expectations: a WIP

In case you hadn't noticed the widget on the side of my blog, the Ptown Cottage is expecting a new arrival this fall! Things are going well, I think. There is some debate over the actual due date, as the baby has measured a week behind for 2 ultrasounds. I go back at the end of the month for an official ultrasound. Not sure what the other two were: unofficial?

Anyway, I am a high-risk pregnancy. I had a blood clot when I was 18, the same year my dad had one. Well, that was too freaky to be coincidental, so we went in for genetic testing. Turns out I have a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden. This is like having 2 risk factors for blood clots, making me more likely than others to develop clots when taking hormones like the birth control pill, smoking, or when pregnant. Hormones go absolutely berserk when you are pregnant, and this fact reeks havoc on my blood. I have to take injections of blood thinners throughout my pregnancy. Without the blood thinners, I could develop another clot or a clot could develop in the placenta or cord, causing miscarraige. Making things just a little more interesting, both of my children were born prematurely. Hokieboy was 2 months early and Hokiegirl was a month and a half early. Thankfully, you would never know looking at them now.

So, the due date of a baby is actually pretty important. A week can make a huge difference in the health of an infant. So much happens in those few weeks. A baby is actually considered full term by most at 37 weeks gestational age. Most of what happens between then and the due date (40 weeks) is putting on the pounds. Hokieboy was born at 32 weeks. This meant that his lungs were underdeveloped, as was the sphincter muscle that is between the stomach and the esophagus. He needed assistance breathing, developed jaundice and then had acid reflux, which caused him to stop breathing and his heart rate dropped too low. When he came home after a month in the NICU, he had a heart monitor to alert us to those events. Hokiegirl was born two weeks older, at 34 weeks. The lungs are generally mature by 34 weeks, which made me breathe easier when I hit that mark. She stayed in the hospital for a week because she also had jaundice. This made her too sleepy to eat, and without food to flush the bilirubin out, she remained jaundiced, which made her too sleepy to eat, and without food... you get the point.

The current due date for the new baby is October 9th, but that may be pushed back to October 16th, depending on the results of the ultrasound. I have grounded the baby, insisting that it not leave its womb until October. We'll see how that goes.

Over here in Ptown, a different kind of knitting is happening. I don't hold the needles at the moment, but God is very busy with creating a new life in me.

Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." NIV

Friday, March 6, 2009

Marching along

It's March.  I could hardly believe it when I flipped the calendar over to look
at the new month. As I was driving this evening, I noticed that it was after
6:00 pm and it was still light outside! This wonderful realization came to me
just days after we saw snow covering our yard. It's hard to believe, but spring
really is on it's way. I've never really been one for spring cleaning, but as I
look around my home that has been shut up for the long winter, I see the appeal
of having everything aired out and freshly scrubbed. We'll see if I can bring
that image to reality!

Spring brings us a chance to get out and enjoy God's creation. My camellia
bushes are blooming and the daffodils are popping up everywhere. The birds are
visiting more frequently and their song wakes me up just before sunrise. While
it's not quite planting season yet (someone told me tax day was a good time to
plant around here to avoid late frosts), when the warm days arrive I will be in
my yard planning for planting.

This month, we are focusing on the Growing Adventure. Let us take some time to
really observe how God works all around us. The plants that we see are a great
word picture of how God works in our hearts. A seed must die in order to become
fruit the following season. We bury it in the ground and soon a shoot pushes
through the dirt and mud towards the light. The shoot becomes a plant that will
blossom and produce fruit, from which more seeds will come. And the cycle will

We are those seeds, and good works are our fruit. Only when we die to ourselves,
our sinful selfish nature, can we be planted in the dirt. We will be drawn to
the Light that is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will coax beautiful blooms and
fruit from us. Growing is hard work, but if we can just get out of God's way,
He will do the work in us so that the Light of His Son can shine before all men
and they will see the good works and glorify the Lord. (see Matthew 5:16)

Friday, February 27, 2009

The lost birthday post

So, I tried this on my birthday and cyberspace ate it. We'll try again.

My birthday weekend brought me all sorts of yarny goodness. On Saturday, a wonderful woman opened her Great Yarn Stash to my knitting group for us to tear apart. I managed to bring home a pretty obscene amount of yarns that I may never have purchased on my own. Robin is a designer who has had many yarn companies send her yarn in exchange for her designing something that uses that yarn. She had more yarn in her home than a small yarn store. Hundreds, maybe thousands of skeins and balls and cones. And the variety! She had wool and wool silk blends and mohair and acrylic and novelty. Colors ranged from grey and ecru to neon pinks and oranges to foresty greens. I picked out a few skeins and was told I must pick more. So I did. She told me more. I am embarassed by the amount of yarn came into my house on Saturday. I brought home a Stash of My Own. My stash before Saturday fit very comfortably into 3 small bins. I'm not sure I'm ready to publicly announce the contents of my new stash.

Also adding to the birthday yarny goodness that weekend, I won a contest over on Carly's blog. My first ever contest! I'm not sure exactly what it is, but Carly has wonderful taste and I'm sure it will qualify as yarny goodness.

My new stash is afraid of the paparazzi, so there will be no pictures at this time. Thank you for your understanding.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February is the Month of Love

January 2009 has come and gone already and now we are into February.  Did anyone else feel
like they had been knocked over by a tornado last month? My family is still recovering from
a month of celebrations, family, and travels.

February is a great month. It brings us Groundhog's Day and President's Day, Valentine's Day
and my birthday! Calendars often assign February the color pink, for love. Roses are a tad
less expensive than usual. Candy is everywhere. People everywhere make declarations of love.
The stores are filled with sappy cards extolling the virtues of love.

Paul gives us a message about love in 1 Corinthians 13. Many of us have those verses read
at our weddings or on plaques in our homes. Paul tells us that love is the most important thing,
and that without love we are nothing and can do nothing. Without love, all of our efforts with our
family, our children, and our friends would mean nothing for the Lord. Love is what sets us
apart from the world, and is how the world sees Christ in us. It is a choice to live a life of love for
all to see. It is also a challenge.

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always 'me first,'
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message Translation

How might we live out these verses in our day to day lives? I struggle daily to place my families
needs above my own desires. I envy other people when I should be wholeheartedly happy for
their blessings. I've been known to "fly off the handle" with my children and husband for little
reason other than the time of my cycle. How often have I held on to grudges or been gleeful
when someone else struggles? Perhaps instead of losing my temper, I need to take a deep breath
and gently explain how I feel when someone offends me, offering loving forgiveness. I need to
refrain from saying hurtful things to or about someone else. A small show of love is simply
taking a few minutes to play with my kids before I get on the computer to send that email, or at
least a moment to let them know that I will be with them as soon as I press send. I can show my
love for God by trusting Him and knowing that He loves me and wants to use all things for
my benefit.

Love will help me through the tough times, and we all know that as mothers of preschoolers there
are tough times every day! I am trying to live out these verses everyday, and not just for my
husband who listened to them with me on our wedding day. I am trying to show my children love
the way Jesus loves me: unconditional, unselfish, and unending love. I want others to see the love
of Jesus Christ in me and want that love for themselves and to give that love to others. I pray that
each of you will find a moment to really read 1 Corinthians 13 and challenge yourselves to lead a
life of love, one moment at a time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm sunk.

I have a need to send something to the other side of the world. The quote? $100 US. I don't have that kind of money. Now what?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 on Tuesday

A little something I've seen on some other blogs.

10 Things I Want to Knit in 2009
1. A Hokie Hat
2. Baby Mine
3. Felted Slippers for hokiekiddos
4. Christmas stockings for PittsburghCousins
5. Beaded lace, perhaps waves of grain
6. Lenore socks
7. Amused or Corona
8. Green day vest
9. colorwork mittens like Lillyfield
10. Clapotis (cuz I may be the last knitter to do one)

Other minor projects:
1. socks from stash: at least six possible pairs
2. washcloths from stash: at least five balls available

We'll see how that goes, considering my FO list for 2008 was short.
1. Prayer Socks
2. two dozen wee tiny prayer socks
3. MS3
4. Central Park Hoodie
5. Ravelympics Baby Surprise Jacket and matching hat and socks

Current WIPs
1. Mmmmmalibrigo Nutkins, began early December 2008