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.