Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I had to laugh

I had a laugh when I saw that the tree fell because what goes around comes around. DH and I were happy to see that a tree died in our neighbor's yard last year. It was a large pine tree and was growing up to begin to block our view of Orange County and the Ocean/Catalina Island. The tree seemed to go completely brown overnight. It was eventually removed. I have never complained to them about their trees.

The neighbors on the other side have actually talked to me about this tree that fell, trimming it on their side of the fence (no problem) and sending their guys over to my side to top it so they could enhance their view. I allowed all that, but asked that the canopy-like structure of the tree remain intact because the tree shades the pool/jacuzzi in the summer and my children have sensitive skin. It is important to me that the kids can swim and play without the sun blazing on their lily white skin. So I imagine that the neighbors are cracking the champagne bottles about now. The small part that is left of the tree (which had a split trunk, or was two separate trees to begin with) shades the jacuzzi, which is good because the kids swim there around 80% of the time. I remind myself that the only thing that is constant in life is change. I gotta get used to it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

There's a tree in my pool

It was windy and rainy on Saturday night, but I didn't think it was that bad. Until I came down to breakfast and saw this in the back yard.

The gardener is coming tomorrow with some guys and a chain saw to take care of it. The tree always leaned over, so I'm just glad it happened when nobody was there to get hurt.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Can he possibly have red hair?

He is almost 3 months now and I need to come to terms with his hair color, lol. NOBODY on my side of the family has red hair. And almost nobody on dh's side has red hair either. Maybe a distant cousin here or there. Please participate by taking the poll to the left side of the page. ;-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Weight goal is within sight

I know many or most will roll their eyes when I say I have 1.75 more pounds to lose to reach my breastfeeding goal weight. From your point of view that may seem so minor as to be laughable. But I live my life from *my* point of view. And for me, I need to be just a couple of pounds lighter around the tummy to fit into the majority of my wardrobe, and to feel like myself again after the pregnancy. This will still be 5 pounds heavier than my pre pregnancy weight.

I have been stuck at a plateau for weeks and it was SO frustrating. Frustrating because I was dieting and denying myself the kinds of treats that I wanted. Frustrating to sacrifice and suffer and not get anywhere. Frustrating because I knew my failure to make progress was due to the fact that I lose control generally in the later afternoon/evening, and if I find a food that appeals to me, I can enter a feeding frenzy. Frustrating because I *know* an evening feeding frenzy is *not* going to be worked off, but will turn to fat overnight.

For the past few days I have gone on an even stricter diet, and it has finally worked. I lost another pound, with less than 2 pounds to go. The thing is, I LOVE treats. I WANT to reward myself and treat myself to fun stuff. I don't mind if I gain a pound or 2 over a few days, I know I can lose it again and again. It is just that I want my weight fluctuating that pound or 2 around my target weight, and not 4 pounds above it, which is what I've been doing the past month. Hating the mornings when I squeeze into my jeans that don't quite fit right.

My jeans feel better today. And hopefully they will feel even better next week. I only need to control myself a little bit longer, and I will be ready to reward myself again.

Don't worry about the little one. I'm drinking tons of decaf tea and his diapers are remarkably full and heavy/wet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

surprise video

Here is a video my 8-y-o shot a few days ago. He was playing around
with his camera trying out the video function. You can see and hear me and the 3 youngest boys. Pretty cute, imo. video

Friday, January 18, 2008

thinking of dd

I was driving with the boys in the car last night and I got all weepy-eyed when I listened to the lyrics closely in the Wild Thornberry's movie. The song is by Paul Simon and it is called Father & Daughter. Substitute the word mother at the appropriate parts. What made me tear up? I think I miss her. I miss those days when she was young and living in my home. I miss being there for her on a daily basis. I miss my little girl. And I am so proud of her for growing into the woman she has become. She continues to slog through school and live up to her responsibilities. She has confidence and knows that she can make a success of herself. She is on the brink of her adult life, with adventures ahead.

Here are the lyrics:
If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star

I believe a light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I cant guarantee
There's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard
Of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your bed

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two wooo
There could never be a father (mother) who loved
His (her) daughter more than I love you

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One interesting evening

So the phone rang again. It was a number and name I didn't recognize, but as they showed the caller ID, I went ahead and answered it. It was a gal who started asking questions about stuff that was ordered over the internet. They were receiving boxes at their house. I told her that my VISA numbers had been stolen and that a bunch of stuff had been charged on January 7th and 8th. She said she saw my name and billing address on the delivery sheet and wondered if I had anything to do with a guy named Shaun Jefferson who had asked them to forward the merchandise to him. I said that he was a thief and he was involving them in moving stolen merchandise. The gals said she thought something bad was happening, because she watches Dateline a lot. I started to take down their information and then I realized that I was talking to Patricia's daughter. Patricia was the person who I was originally informed about; the gal who lives in PORTERVILLE. The light bulb went on. OH! So you are the guys in Porterville! I thought *they* were the bad guys. It turns out that Patricia, a woman with a 25-y-o daughter in Porterville had been ditzing around on My Space. There a guy contacted her and was able to get her home address out of her and told her some sob story about how he was presently in the UK, but somebody owed him money and was sending a package for his son. So could she please forward the goods to an address in New Jersey when it arrives? Then all sorts of boxes started coming to her. They were all addressed in her name and coming to her house. The daughter got the wind up and tracked me down by calling So Cal information. Same way the internet catalog found me the week before, by calling information based on my name and address as the billing address on the VISA card. She asked what she should do with the stuff. At first I told her to send it back to the places. But then I decided she was in receipt of stolen goods and she should call the police right away and have them haul it off. She got a little scared that the police would think she stole it, but I told her it would be fine. If she were guilty, they would not have called me, right? I told her the only thing she was guilty of was being dumb on the internet. I told her not to give out her personal information out over the internet any more, and don't contact Shaun ever again, as he was clearly a bad guy and he might be dangerous and he knows where she lives.

After I hung up I decided to call my local police department to give them the information. They sent a police man over to my house right away to take a report. When he heard the story, he rolled his eyes and said this was a typical Nigerian scam. He said that the local police would not be investigating this, as no crime had occurred locally, but he would call Patricia right away, and send all the information to the police in Porterville. I was given a case number to use with the banks and credit agencies if necessary.

The boys were SO excited to see a policeman at the house. They came up and introduced themselves and were bouncing around the house.

Monday, January 14, 2008

furniture picture

Here are the goods. And yes, that is a real baby in the baby bouncer. ;-)

new furniture

I know I'm overloading you with pictures of this new baby carrier, but I was so excited to achieve a back carry. It is kind of scary to get him up there while tying it, and it takes some getting used to to trust it to keep him up there and safe. I kept and eye on him, then I was able to get to work in the kitchen doing dishes. He squirmed a little then gave up and fell asleep. It feels so nice to have a soft little guy sleeping in a back pack. He gets all slumpy and warm. Hmmmm.

But immediately the phone rang and it was my husband wondering if I wanted to meet him at the furniture store. Well, let me tell you, you don't have to ask me a question like that twice. ;-) I high-tailed it to the store with both youngest boys in tow. He had the 4-y-o with him already. We were ostensibly there to pick out end tables for the living room and family room. I had been making noises lately that I wanted end tables. A couple of weeks ago dh called me over to the computer and he had up a couple of pics of expensive looking pearl necklaces. I said, "that's nice, but what I really want is furniture". I told him that the rooms looked incomplete without any end tables at all in the living room, even though the couch/chairs were of good quality. And we have been using tv trays for end tables in the family room for over 5 years. It was time to grow up and get some "big people" furniture. I was not asking for new couches for the family room, although we were going to need them soon. Ours get a lot of use, and potty training Joseph led to some unfortunate accidents on the upholstery. So we went to this close-out sale and wanted these tables and the other tables. The boys were running wild and wrestling. Finally I decided to take the boys to the car so dh could finish the purchase of the end tables and I could nurse the baby, when dh called and said what about the grouping of leather furniture by the front door. I recalled that it looked nice, but I did not think I could talk him into getting something so nice. I said it looked fabulous. So we decided to buy it. A 4-piece set of chocolate leather furniture for the family room. A couch, loveseat, upholstered chair and a large rectangular upholstered ottoman that doubles as a coffee table. This is a great compromise because dh is deathly afraid to get a coffee table while we have little ones toddling around the house. He doesn't want them hitting their heads. So a soft upholstered one is great. And we can put our feet up on it with no guilt. We also got the 2 end tables that they were showing with the group. We didn't end up finding any end tables for the living room, but I think I want something with Queen Anne legs to go with the nice dining room set we have. It will take some more shopping to find what I want. It has been 4 years since we bought a substantial amount of furniture. We got the dining room and living room furniture a few months before our first son was born. So this was a very welcome surprise.

So I spoiled dh and made a somewhat gourmet recipe for turkey tacos, which involved running to the store for fresh green onions, chili powder, cumin, shredded turkey, red pepper, pico de gallo and romaine. The spices were just right and the recipe was fabulous. That is 2 good new recipes I tried lately. The other one was for jambalaya involving chicken tenders and turkey sausage.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

One more picture

I was asked by the babywearer ladies to get a picture of the wrap outdoors. The different lighting can help them to get a better feel for the real color of the wrap. See what I'm learning from the connoisseurs?

I had the best time at synagogue today. DH and I had not gone since the baby was born. I got SO much attention with little baby A in the sling. He was alternately sleeping, nursing, burping, hiccuping and cooing. The congregants went wild. I know a lot of it was Baby A's good looks/baby charm, but I don't think I have gotten this much attention at one event since my wedding day.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More pictures

Finally loaded the pics off the camera, so now I can share them with you. First, you have to see the new Vatanai wrap. It arrived in the mail yesterday:

Here he is sitting up. He is really not old enough for the disk. But we had cleaned it and he looked so cute for a minute before he slumped and needed to be rescued. :D

Here is the sleepy one. He doesn't actually sleep that much during the day, only it is a lot easier to take pics of him when he falls asleep off of me. Otherwise I am constantly holding/rocking him.

Another sleepy pic.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One interesting day

Yikes. The day started off...interesting. I answered the phone and found that a lady was calling who worked for a catalog company. A charge had been placed on my credit card, she confirmed the first and last 4 digits of the card, for something under my name that I didn't order. She advised me to cancel the card. I called the card company and found that in the past 2-3 days, a bunch of odd charges had been placed on my card over the internet for sporting goods, clothing and even teleflora. Totaling over $1500.00. I told them to reverse charges on all of them and cancel the card. Now I am without a credit card (I have others I don't want to use) until tomorrow. They are rushing delivery. The catalog lady gave me the delivery address of the goods. Porterville, CA. I have half a mind to go to the house myself. OK, I won't. But can I call the police in Porterville and can they do a sting? Tell the folks the stuff needs to be picked up at a mail boxes place and they get arrested when they show up? I'm pretty angry about this, and I want the bad guys caught. I asked the VISA lady if these matters are ever pursued criminally, and she said it wasn't her department, and I would be getting a packet from the fraud department next week and somebody would be assigned to the case and I could ask them. {sigh} I guess I'll wait until then. It will give me time to cool off.

Next I took Baby A in for his vaccinations and checkup. He weighed in at 50th percentile height and weight. He is up to 11 pounds 2 ounces. Such a big boy, considering he is really not 2 months yet for his gestational age until the end of January. That is almost a full 5 pounds in 2 months. Hurray for mama's milk!

Then I went to the mall for the OC Babywearer's meeting. I had a blast. I felt guilty for taking Baby A there right after his injections. Bad mama! I gave him Tylenol and we were off. He was pretty relaxed there, though, mostly nursing and sleeping in various wraps. I got to try the Vatanai, same material wrap that is due to arrive here within the week. I loved it. There were other beautiful wraps there, too, a lot of them with thicker material. I set a lot of store in being cool (the Moby wrap is *way* too hot for my liking) so I hope the Vatanai works well for front and back carries and I don't have to resort to a thicker wrap. The gals were also showing me all sorts of different tying methods for front and back carries. Then a mom with a newborn showed up, mid December baby. The little one was so cute. The mom had a nice wrap, but she complained she could not figure out how to wrap her newborn. I said I could show her how I use the Moby Wrap to wrap a newborn. I only knew one wrap style, but I know it very well and have been doing it constantly for the past 2 months. Her wrap was woven but I tied it onto her as best I could folded lengthwise for nice pockets and we slipped her sleepy girl right in there. She was SO happy. Her baby was strapped to her chest SO securely, she was able to run about hands-free and chase her toddler around the mall. I was very happy too, because I attended the meeting as a rank beginner, and it turned out I was able to help teach somebody else how to do something. That made me feel good.

So then I went home and barely had time for lunch and nursing little bub again before it was time to run to school for parent/teacher conference. All is OK, but ds needs to concentrate better and listen to teacher in school. I don't know how I'm supposed to control his behavior at school, but I will encourage him to do so.

I'm home now, it is evening, and little baby A is very fussy and feverish. I knew this was coming, as all my kids get fever after the DPT shot. He had 5 shots total and he is miserable. I hope he feels better by morning.

Monday, January 7, 2008

How I *really* feel

A gal made a post today about how she hates being pregnant. For some reason, it was really easy for me to relate to that. Here is what I posted:
I don't enjoy pregnancy either. Terrified the entire first half of pg that something is wrong with the baby. Terrified the entire second half that something will go wrong before the end or during childbirth. Incredibly uncomfortable in the third trimester. Horrible reflux/scalding stomach acid. Huge baby wedged up under my ribcage. Gigantic bowling ball pressing down on my bladder with every step I take. Can't bend over to pick up after my other kids. Can hardly lay down with them to read bedtime stories. Can't walk without my pelvis cracking and pain in my hips/sacroiliac joints. Culminating with #@%^&! childbirth.

My baby is finally over 2 months old and I am beginning to feel human again. There *is* a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm grateful for every one of my healthy, lovely kids. But that doesn't mean I have to enjoy the process.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

School starts tomorrow

I am both looking forward to it and not. I love spending more time with the boys, but it will be nice to get back on schedule too.

I got another good night's sleep last night, 3 days after the prior one. Baby A slept from 9:30pm to 4:30am and then to 7:30. I slept full-on until 7:30am and I feel like a million bucks. I continue to organize around here, although I have a full time wrecking crew right behind me, as you can imagine, with all 5 boys here this weekend. But I persevere. And I have been much more strict lately about making them clean up after themselves, and making the older boys do chores. Even though it takes longer to supervise them performing these tasks, eventually I will be able to relinquish some of my responsibilities and delegate. The 17-y-o is sick this weekend so he gets a pass. My 8-y-o and I just got through making the 17-y-o's favorite dish for lunch. He is upstairs, so we will surprise him with it. It is an old recipe from my mom, called Seven Seas Casserole, a tuna casserole made with minute rice, peas and cheddar. I had to modify the recipe to make it kosher, so I can't use the Campbell's soup for the sauce base, but I found an acceptable kosher equivalent in mushroom soup instead of Cream of Celery. It is still only 11:30, but the baby fell asleep in the swing during my shower, so I rushed around the house like a crazy woman doing dishes and cooking before he wakes up, as his long naps are few and far between. I'm not complaining, though; he has been sleeping so well an night.

I will meet up with my new OC Babywearer's group IRL for the first time. I connected with them through the babywearing website and I am going to get to try on a bunch of new carrier styles and wrap methods. I'll report back later how it went.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Heavy rain coming

We are expecting a heavy rain this weekend. I have used it as an excuse to "batten down the hatches". The kids and I picked all of the oranges off the tree. They are delicious. DS-8 took the rocks and dirt out of the outdoor drain. He wore gloves and said that it was the dirtiest/muckiest job he had ever done in his life. What a kid! What a helper. He was also climbing on the ladder to get the oranges. He got all except the very highest. I got those using the ladder with a long grabber-type claw instrument. We put away all the ride-on toys. I also cleaned the garage and got all the accumulated boxes and junk organized and put away. Now the space for the 3rd car is open for the most part. The problem with the garage is that in a really heavy rain the water pools by the back garage door, and sometimes drains across that portion of the garage. So all the things on the garage floor need to be water proof. I have also been organizing the disorganized parts of the house this week. You know. Those corners where junk accumulates. I have been going through it and putting things where they belong. I have a huge pile to donate. And I have jammed the trash can and recycle can with stuff. It is such a relief. In late pregnancy I was too big/tired to do this work. And for the past 2 months I have been running hard to keep up with the baby and I was also run down and sick. I am finally feeling better. And I could not believe it but baby A slept a full 8 hours last night, from 8:30pm to 4:30am. I was incredulous when I woke up, and I didn't even feel the need to go back to sleep. DH laughed when he got up and I told him that I had already cleaned the garage this morning.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Wish

I read a nice message from my Rabbi today in the monthly newsletter. I want to share it with you.
Let me wish each of you a good new year:
May the surprises turn out to be happy.
May you feel content with what you possess.
May your health and love remain strong and steady.
May you count your many gifts and know that you are a gift to others.
May you see yourself through others' eyes and your own too as beloved.
May the Holy-One's spark and embrace offer you purpose and peace.