Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Key to Everything is Patience. You Get the Chicken by Hatching the Egg, Not By Smashing It.

In the summer Drek and I took some baby chicks down to his parent's house to they could have fresh eggs. Since then, the family built an amazing chicken coup and the chicks have grown up into egg-laying chickens. Yesterday Drek and I went to visit his parents. No one had collected the eggs that day so Drek and I volunteered. We trudged through the deep snow (and it was still snowing) up to the chicken coup. The chickens were warm and dry inside with their heat lamps and their sturdy built house. We undid the side panel and there, in a little nest, were three eggs nestled together. Apparently all the chickens lay their eggs in the same nest. I was so excited. I'd never collected fresh eggs before! Squee! I can't wait to have chickens of my own!

Anyway, we took them back to the house (they made safely, no small feat in the slippery snow) and Drek's mom said we could keep them! She even gave us three more eggs to take home. One of the eggs was enormous. It was larger than jumbo eggs. We couldn't close the lid on the large egg carton. It looked more like a duck egg, rather than a chicken egg. Apparently some chicken lay double-yolk eggs. We haven't cracked it open yet, but I will keep you updated.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Goodnight

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Christmas eve was a lot of fun. We went with Drek's family to do the annual trip of sledding behind the van. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I took Mei-mei and she was a pro. I don't think she ever fell off.

It was also Ash's first year but being only three months old, she just stayed in the van and didn't get any sledding time. I did, though. I got in my sled and we started going and someone in the front of the pack starting throwing snow at all of us behind him and in a few seconds my face was the coldest it has ever been, EVER! The next few times I went I made sure I was in the front so that wouldn't happen again. It was so much fun!

Christmas morning Drek, Ash, Acouchi and I woke up and opened out stockings. Acouchi only got food this year, no toys. That was mainly because her present was her toy;

We got Acouchi two fish for Christmas. They are still alive. Acouchi will look at them, but doesn't seem all that interested in eating them.

When we were done with stockings, Drek, Ash and I drove down to my parent's house. On the way was the most amazing sun burst;

You can't really tell from the picture, but there was this glowing pillar of fire under the sun. It was so beautiful.

The rest of Christmas was spent playing eating, openening presents and playing games. We had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Don't Care How Poor a Man Is; If He Has Family, He's Rich

Drek and Ash and I just got back from a wonderful family reunion! Drek's family has ten children with five of the ten married and no longer living at home. That makes seventeen adults (including Drek's parents) and seven grandchildren. Drek's parents decided that this year all the siblings should make an effort to get together so they had their first official family reunion. Of the twenty-four people, only four (one family) was missing.

So twenty of us drove up to a cabin in the middle of snow and pine trees and more snow and also snow. There was a lot of snow. The cabin was amazing. It had five bedrooms, each with a full-size bed and a loft with two full-size beds. There were three bathrooms, one on each level, and a hot-tub! There was plenty of room for all of us. Drek and Ash and I had a room all to ourselves! We arrived on Friday and stayed until Monday. We started out the reunion by opening a mission call! Drek's brother is going to the Philippines! He leaves in March. I am so proud of him!

We played a lot of board games (The best way to spend vacations) but we also went out and played in the snow and soaked in the hot tub. We had a family family talent show, family sing-alongs and a family testimony meeting. We played a "How well do you know your partner?" game that was so much fun (Drek and I go second place, first place went to his parents). We ate a lot of yummy food and got to talk to each other a lot.

It was wonderful to be able to spend time together. It will be a while before we have that many people together again; Once brother goes on his mission in March and another brother won't be far behind. That makes it at least two years until we'll all be together again. We a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't Panic!

Wednesday I was visiting my sister when Drek called:
"So, the carbon Monoxide alarm just went off." Oh, the thrills. I had Ash with me so she was safe. I drove home, packed Acouchi in her carrier, put her carrier in the car, grabbed her 72 hour kit (yes, I have a 72-hour kit for my cat. It contains dry food, canned food, tuna, a can opener, water, and a collapsible plastic water bowl) and the three of us became refugees (Drek waited at the house for the repair guy to come). Krisling took us in and it was actually fun. I got to see how well prepared I was. It got me thinking about how I would handle other emergencies, like having no water or no power.

Anyway, so as it turns out our water heater was giving off the high levels of carbon monoxide, so they turned off our water heater. No hot water for us. The next morning the guy came to replace it and turns off our water. Just like that my first predication came true. Having no water wasn't a big deal, we have a lot of water in food storage. Drek even made me oatmeal using our water storage. Aw, he is so sweet. Anyway, by noon we had water and a new water heater.

Yesterday we were up visiting Ben's sister. The lights flickered and went dead. The whole city suddenly in a black out. As it turns out, a power station exploded. Huh. So, no power. Prediction number two came true. Maybe I shouldn't think about emergencies anymore.

We were fine. Ben's amazing sister had candles, flashlights and kerosene lamps. I need to get some kerosene lamps. We played Dominion by lamplight. It was so much fun. The power came back on a little while later. We survived with no injuries. Phew!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thank You

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with gratitude today. I think I'll post some thank-yous.

Thank you to Kara, whose blanket is AMAZING! and warm, and soft, and beautiful. Thank you for the card that came with it. I love you and I miss you.

Thank you to my mom and dad, who are always to willing and cheerful about watching Ash. I'm so glad you love her as much as I do.

Thank you especially to Krisling, who saved my sorry refugee self no less than four times yesterday. Acouchi thanks you too. You are amazing. Thank you for being my friend.

Thank you to Ash, for being the best little baby in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Whew! I am done Christmas shopping! Well, almost. I cannot buy Acouchi's present until Christmas eve, so I don't have that done, but besides that, I'm done! I think this is the soonest I have ever finished. I made my last run today and I am all set! In fact, most of the presents are already wrapped and delivered/mailed! Drek's stocking is all stuffed, Ash's stocking is all stuffed...Hooray!

Besides getting done early, I did two things differently this year;
One, I made a lot of the presents. I'm not usually one for homemade gifts (lack of talent mostly) but this year I made quite a few. In fact, I am still working on three homemade gifts.
Two, I wanted the wrapping of gifts to be as un-deadly-to-trees as possible. I have always despised wrapping paper. Not only because it's like wrapping your presents up in death, but also because I have to pay for wrapping paper. Seriously? You want me to spend money on paper? No thanks. So usually in December I get paper bags instead of plastic and cut them up to make my own wrapping paper (I got this idea from the Sound of Music. Brown paper packages tied up with strings is now one of my favorite things). This year, however, I've been using cloth bags for my shopping so I didn't have the abundance of brown bags. One of the packages I ordered used a huge piece of brown paper, rather than packing peanuts so some presents were wrapped in that. Mostly my presents are wrapped in Christmas boxes. On Freecycle I found a women who was giving away old Christmas boxes, so I picked them up. She had a HUGE bag full of Christmas boxes! Between that and the Christmas gift bags left over from last year, I didn't use a single scrap of wrapping paper! Merry Christmas trees!

I think my presents look quite festive:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Well That was Weird

One day, when I was in middle school, I had a dark spot on my vision. It was like I had looked at a bright light, but it wouldn't go away. In fact, it grew bigger and bigger until I was blind. It was then I called my mom to have her pick me up from school. I was very nauseous and as soon as she arrived to pick me up I threw up in the parking lot. I then spent the rest of the day in bed with my very first migraine. I remember it all so well because the pain was excruciating and I'm always afraid it will happen again. I have had the blindness happen again, but never the migraine. Well, until today.

Last night I went to bed late. I got very little sleep as my poor baby has a cold and is having a hard time breathing. And yet, this morning I was wide awake and full of energy. I also couldn't see out of my right eye due to a blind spot on my vision. I had a hunch of what was coming.

As the morning went on my vision became worse, I became exhausted and finally I started to get a headache. I went to lay down, but found myself too nauseous to sleep. I spent about ten minutes in the bathroom, heaving my guts out and shaking on the floor, before I took some alka seltzer and fell asleep back in my bed. Oh the pain. THE PAIN!! I'm quite surprised my head is still in tact. It really felt like it was shattering into a million pieces. Anyway, so I slept and slept and slept. When I woke up, I was fine. I was tired, but I was ok. So I cleaned the house and played games with Noble and Kim. Kim is leaving on a mission to Korea in a week. A WEEK!! So this was probably the last time I get to see her for a while. I'll miss you, Kim! Have a wonderful mission!

It's now eleven at night, I am still tired, I am dizzy, but, otherwise, I am ok. It has been a very strange day.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Biggest Word You Ever Heard And This Is How It Goes

For Drek's birthday my parents got us tickets to an Egyptian themed date night. They even provided babysitting! We went Friday night and had a blast.

The event started with "Mummy Wrapping" which consisted of each couple getting two rolls of toilet paper. One person had to wrap their date up like a mummy. The couple who did it the fastest won. Drek wrapped me super-fast! I spun in a circle to make it even faster. We used our rolls up first, but, apparently, that wasn't the gaol. The couple who won wrapped up their date and called it good, they didn't finish their second roll. They won, but we had a lot of fun!

The next game was the best; Egyptian Balderdash. As you can imagine, Drek and I rocked that game. With my knowledge or the correct meaning of the words and Drek's imaginative and very convincing wrong definitions, we won.

For the next game they gave us pictures of Egyptian Gods and a list of their names and told us to match the names with the pictures. So, here's an odd story; I have all these useless facts I acquire that I keep memorized because I know that one day, there will be a moment where I can use that knowledge and win! That moment only comes once so I must be prepared. I realized this my senior year of high school. I was in my favorite Creative Writing class with my favorite teacher when he said "Don't kill the messenger" and turned around, pointed at me and asked where that quote was from. I stammered. I stuttered. I knew the quote was from Oedipus Rex, but I was too scared of being wrong to say it, so I didn't say anything. He was disappointed. He asked the class if anyone else knew, no one else did. He called the class illiterate. It was a sad day for me. I vowed that next time one of useless pieces of knowledge had their moment, I would be ready! There have only been a small handful of these moments in my life so far. This was one of them. I had those exact pictures decorating the locker I shared with Rissy senior year. This was it! That moment where I can show off my knowledge and WIN! Alas, I did not. I had forgotten which picture matches which god. I did not rock that game. Another moment lost. Sad. We did get eighteen out of twenty though, so not bad.

Then came Pyramid, where I had to get Drek to say the words on the cards I held in my hand as fast as possible. We also rocked that game. We finished first.

The last three games were grouped as one giant game. To win the giant game you had to score the most points in the three little game. Drek and I had the most points so we won two free ice creams!

The last activity was to paint your on hieroglyphics. This was Drek's. Any guesses on what it says?
They also had pita bread and olives and grapes for authentic snacks. For dessert they had Hershey's caramel kisses and Toblerones. I imagine they chose those because they were shaped like pyramids.

Afterwards Drek and I went and got our ice cream. We had a wonderful night! Happy Birthday, Drek! And Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Oh, and Drek's hieroglyphics read "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"

Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Isn't a Veterinary Hospital. Zing!

I went to visit the hospital on Wednesday. I picked my one-year-old niece. It was then I learned the hospital had changed their "No children under fourteen allowed" rule. When I went back to the hospital that same say, I took my baby. They let her in, but put a sticker on the sling to "make sure you leave with the same baby you came in with." Do people really think you can upgrade babies? Huh.

Anyway. On Thursday I go back to the hospital. I have my baby in a ring sling in one arm and my niece in the other arm. I am in a great mood. I love my baby, I love my niece. Having them both means nothing can ruin my good mood. I carry them across the parking lot and into the building. I walk across the lobby and enter the elevator. In the elevator is a women with an ID badge. If I was observant, I would be able to tell you her name and what department she works for. Alas, I am not. The only thing that I observed was that she works for the hospital.

She looks at me out of the corner of her eye.
"What floor?" She asks. I pause, The buttons have already been pushed, we are already moving and I am closer to the buttons anyway.
"Um, four." I say, not sure why she is asking. She runs her tongue over her front teeth under tight lips and shakes her head.
"Nope." She says. Again, I pause. Am I supposed to argue with her? She continues; "They won't let you on that floor with those." The "those" She is referring to are the two children I am carrying. I know she is referring to the "No children under fourteen allowed" rule, which I know has been repealed. I also know I brought both children to the fourth floor the day before with no problems. I think about explaining all this to her, but all I say is;
"Yes they will." I smile. I am happy, and it seems pointless to argue with her. We ride in silence. The doors open. I get off the elevator and walk to the phone where you have to call the desk and give the code to be allowed through the doors onto the floor.
"I'll ask." She says. She walks around me as I juggle holding two children and a phone. She swipes her badge, the doors open and she walks in. Meanwhile, I am waiting for the nurse to answer the phone. I have one knee raised to support my niece and am balancing on one foot. She finally answers, I give the code and go through the doors. I walk two feet to the desk where I am supposed to get the stickers. The nurse is talking to the lady from the elevator.
"Yeah, It's allowed now. I don't think it's a good idea, but, whatever." She turns to me. I smile. She glares at the two children I am carrying. "I don't think it's a good idea." She repeats. I nod.
"I need stickers." I say. She gives them to me.

I found it amusing.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And Many More...

This week is my wonderful husband's birthweek. Yes, he gets a whole week, not just a day. He is that wonderful. It also might be partly due to the fact that I am lazy. I made his birthday breakfast (Cherry cream french toast) today instead of yesterday and will make his cake tomorrow. Hooray for birthday week!

My husband is so great. I'm so thankful for everything he does. Yesterday I was especially thankful he was so supportive of my homebirth. My sister-in-law had her baby yesterday and I went to visit her and my new nephew in the hospital. All I can say is, Wow. Hospital births are not for me or my babies. Thank goodness Ash never had to go through that. Wow.

My nephew was born on Drek's birthday. Happy Birthday; you have a nephew! You have four nieces (soon to be seven) and now you have two nephews! He is five pounds something. He is so small. I thought Ash was small, but when I changed his diaper today, he was so light it was like I wasn't holding him. He is adorable! And perfectly healthy, BTW.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Acouchi!!

Here is some Birthday Tuna for you.

And I shall blog about Acouchi's continuing saga;

She had her RIT treatment and her thyroid levels came down, way down. When we took her in for her next scheduled RIT treatment, it had gone down even further, so her doctor wanted to wait to see if they would go down even more. In October I received several phone calls saying we had waited long enough and needed to schedule Acouchi for another treatment. I was hesitant (since now I was not concerned with me and a fetus, I was concerned with a little darling baby) and decided to wait a bit. In November we scheduled her blood test, the same day as Ash's last visit with the midwife.

I'm really not sure how people with two children handle life. I cannot handle an infant and a cat. I put Ash in her car seat and Acouchi in her carrier and drove to the vet. Now the problem was getting them out of the car. I couldn't carry both at the same time (I suppose I could have used a sling, but I didn't think about it) so I carried Acouchi in first, leaving Ash in her carseat in the car. I prayed the whole ten seconds that Ash wouldn't get stolen. Then I left Acouchi on the bench at the vet and ran back to get Ash, praying the whole time that Acouchi wouldn't get stolen. Neither did, BTW.

I signed Acouchi in and asked if I could leave her there for thirty minutes. The girl was confused, saying I could just wait in the waiting room; it only took a few minutes to do draw blood, but I had to get to a well-baby visit and didn't want Acouchi in the car during the visit with the midwife. So I left Acouchi at the vet and drove Ash to her appointment. Everything went great and I went back to the vet (the buildings are only a few blocks away from each other. Also, the hospital I would have given birth at had I not been able to have a home birth is across the street from the vet. Weird.) I left Ash in the car, thinking I would rush in, grab Acouchi and leave, but once I got inside Acouchi was no where to be seen. It took two minutes for a receptionist to come out to the front desk and another two minutes for her to leave to go get my cat. After another two minutes she came out with Acouchi. I grabbed her and ran. Ash slept through the whole thing.

Anyway, we had Acouchi scheduled for RIT the following Monday. On Monday her doctor called and said Acouchi's levels had continued to drop! She is now at seven, down from thirty-six! So, we wait. We'll do it again in January, hopefully her levels will be down to zero, which is where they are supposed to be.

She is our miracle. She looks healthy, has gained weight back to were a cat her size should be and doesn't have any symptoms. Her kidneys are still healthy and she has a regular heartbeat (Hyperthyroidism usually ruins the kidneys and can cause arrhythmia). We are very blessed.