Category Archives: rain

Basement pictures, and ways to induce labor that do NOT work!


Does somebody else want to come vacuum my house?  Maybe Baby doesn’t like my nesting style.  He missed another storm, too!  Now that I’m three days past my due date, I’m not giving him so much wiggle room.  Time to be born, and snuggle with the rest of the family for all of this rainy week!

I tried overdosing on red raspberry leaves.  I drank 18 tea bags and took probably 24 capsules in a 24 hour period.  No go!  A few sporadic contractions, but nothing that stuck.  Last night, Kbug told me, “Mom, I want you to go to the hospital tonight!”  (I’m not sure if she was thinking about the baby, or the party I’m sure will happen while Mommy and Daddy are gone.)  I told her, “Believe me, I do too.”  Besides the anxious-to-meet-baby-and-start-snuggling factor, there’s the size factor.  All Baby’s doing now is getting fatter and fatter, and I am NOT looking forward to pushing out a 9 1/2 lb baby!  (That’s the size Dee and I guessed.)

(This weight conversation happened on a walk, another try at inducing labor.  We’ve also tried all the fun, couple-oriented ways of inducing labor.  Which, by the way, did not work with my first four kids either.  I’m sure it’s a scam started by a male doctor.)

I tried over-eating.  Yesterday, for Labor Day, Anna and I made a yummy feast.  Chicken pot-pie, fried green beans, and stuffed jalapenos.  I ATE, let me tell you!  But it didn’t force Baby to give up his space.  If I had castor oil in my house, I’d be mighty tempted to drink it right now.

Maybe I should run out to Wal-Mart…

I promised basement pictures a while back.  Here’s where we’ve been hanging out, and where we’ll be hanging out a lot more in the near future!  (I’m the type of mom that loves company after a new baby, so stop on in to say “Hi!” and hang out with us!)



Tornados, green stuff, and babies


…from last Thursday, May 19…

A tornado touched down a few miles from us the other night.  So freaky!  I’d let Kbug watch “Twister” earlier in the day, for a school movie.  Not smart, considering the impending weather!  I had NO IDEA we were getting a tornado that night!  She was terrified when Dee announced that a friend texted, saying a tornado had been spotted.  I managed to calm her down though, and let her stay up until we were sure the tornado was long past us.

The tornado didn’t do much damage, if I’m recalling the news correctly.  Just some ripped off tree branches and house siding, maybe a flipped trailer… stuff like that.

But doesn’t it look like a mild tornado could’ve touched down in our yard?

Nope.  That was just me, pruning ferociously.  I spent a good six hours outside yesterday, in between rain showers, pruning and weeding in my flower beds.  Now if it would just stop raining so I can plant my flowers in something besides mud.

BUT.  This is what our yard looked like last year…

…so I’m not really going to wish the rain away.  Bring it on!

My clematis vines are BEAUTIFUL this year, climbing up that pretty arbor some hunky trucker welded for me…

 And since I’m posting pictures…

This is what Baby looks like these days!  I’m 25 weeks along, with 15 weeks to go.  Unless this baby decides to follow in half of his siblings’ footsteps, and arrive two weeks late!  (Please don’t, Baby.)

And… my still-baby for these next 15 weeks…

My not-so-great eating and drinking habits.


I had to rescue my sister-in-law yesterday.  She’s such a cute damsel in distress!  Her car wouldn’t start, so I packed the kids in the car, picked Erin up in the ACT II parking lot, and drove her home.  (Seven minutes away.)  I was a little bit jealous that gone are my days of spending the morning shopping!

After we dropped her off, I figured I already went through the effort of getting all the kids peed and shoed and in the car, so why not run errands?  We stopped at the post office to mail a late wedding RSVP.  I can’t believe my kids are old enough to argue about whose turn it is to drop the mail in the box!  I let my kids get out of the car and go to the mailbox by themselves?!

My boys found a trench/culvert thing to climb in, and found a bunch of dirty rubber bands.  You never know where treasure awaits!  And yes, I let them keep the filthy treasure.  Germs are good for the immune system, I hear.

Greencastle Coffee Roasters is right next to the post office, so the kids convinced me that fresh roasted peanuts would be the perfect snack.  And Oh My were they good!  Still hot, fresh out of the roaster.  The peanut ladies were even better!  One girl let my kids dip their hands in the peanut barrel to sample a freshly roasted peanut.  (Remember, germs are good — we’re helping other people get healthy…)  The other lady was my favorite.  She gushed, “Wow, you have four kids?  How is that?”  She was even more in awe of me when I told her I was also pregnant.   (She couldn’t see my belly, under the checkout counter.)  She came around the counter and told my kids they were so well-behaved, and “Do you always listen to your mom?”  Then when I turned to leave the store, she said “And you’re still so SLIM!”  I’m thinking, Okay, yes!  I will come buy more peanuts  — lots of them!

I can’t say I snacked so healthily the rest of the day.  I ate a big pile of potato chips, and then Dee brought me home TWO Starbucks frappuccinos!  (NO!  I didn’t drink them both!)  I’d been wanted to try the coconut mocha one, but wasn’t sure I’d like it.  So Dee also bought me my old standby — the peppermint java chip.  I didn’t like the coconut one, so I fed it to the kids.  I’m nice and sharing like that.

I had a meatball sub supper packed up and ready to go when Dee got home, and we took the kids and food to City Park for a picnic.  All the ducklings and goslings were adorable!  The baby groundhogs too, whatever they’re called.  We got rained on, which was probably the most fun of all, and ran back to the Suburban which Dee started driving the wrong way home Well, just a long way home, by way of Krumpe’s Donuts.  See?  I told you I totally blew my healthy pregnancy diet yesterday!

At least I’m drinking lots of water.  Trying to anyway!  Sometimes it’s hard to remember to turn on the faucet and get a drink.  I’d much rather pour liquid from a coffee pot!  BUT, two midwife visits in a row I got yelled at for having too-low blood pressure.  One time, it read 70 something over 50 something, and Rosie basically told me my kidney’s would shut down if it stayed that low.  Kinda bad.  Plus, I could go into premature labor from being dehydrated.  Also bad.  At my midwife appointment last week, I checked in with 90/58, which is average for me.  Rosie said it’s still low, but acceptable.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I did get a late Mother’s Day card!  (Actually just a regular, lovey-dovey, romantic card — that he also WROTE in — since all the Mother’s Day cards were already stashed away for next year.)  Me and Dee did have that little chat I mentioned.  I was very proud of myself for expressing my extreme gratefulness for the year-round cherishing he does, but also a desire to feel extra special on special days!  And then we broke his mom’s dishwasher.  His fault.  He was trying to grab me.

P.S.  Moosies just told me, “That’s water coming out,” as I was getting her a drink at the kitchen sink.  How does she know I need help?

Twisters, and an otherwise average day at our house


Last night we had a tornado watch in effect for Franklin County.  (Yes, we live in Franklin County!)  So over the hour or so that my radio kept screeching the warning, I sent my kids to the basement to play while I made supper.  CJ was out mowing grass with Pappy, so I figured they’d see a twister if anything happened.  (Nothing ever happened.)  Around 200 deaths have been reported from this violent wave of tornadoes and extreme weather, with 130 tornadoes yesterday alone.  My heart goes out to the mothers who did lose children yesterday.

Today is another gorgeous, sunny, windy day.  I’ve been wearing all the sleeveless maternity shirts I can find in my stash, soaking up all the sunshine I can!  (And wishing I’d do something about that upper arm flab…)  We do have some flood watches in effect, after the rain storm last night.  (Where Dee and I had to get up at 2:30am and mop up the water that poured through the windows.)  But no flood watches in our immediate area.

The chickens got out, so we had to chase them down.  Good exercise for this pregnant lady!

Kbug got her first wasp sting of the year, so we whipped up an herbal remedy of plantain, baking soda, and lavender oil.  (That counts for science, right?)  I think Kbug got stung five times last year, if I’m remembering correctly.  If it’s true that bee stings improve your immune system, than I’ve got one healthy girl!

Cboy found a robin’s egg laying on the ground, and I’m still trying to convince the kids that they can’t hatch it.  It must have been blown out of a nest last night, so it was stone cold.  I told them the baby bird — if there was a baby bird yet — is already dead.  We can’t make it come back to life, and even IF we DID hatch it, baby robins don’t have feathers and fluff like baby chickens when they first hatch.  It’s just not possible to raise a robin from scratch!  The kids told me that God could make it hatch, even if I couldn’t, so they’re going to pray about it.

CJ kept popping in the door with stuff from Grammy’s house.  Leftover spaghetti from her fridge (“Mommy, can I eat this?”)… a scythe from the barn (“CJ!!!  YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT!”)… and an announcement that he went pee up at Grammy’s potty.  At least he’s not going potty in the trees anymore!  The thing is, Grammy’s house is empty during the day right now, since she’s at her sisters’ greenhouse, so CJ just sort of took over her house.

(We had spaghetti for supper.  I promised CJ.  And yes, I do feed my children!  All day long!)

I made the mistake of telling a friend, in front of my kids, that Erin and Terri are trying to get pregnant.  “How do they try?” Kbug wanted to know.  The kids were eating popsicles, so I told them to run outside before they dripped all over the house.  Sneaky me.

And in between all of this, Kbug and I managed to get in a good day of school.  We studied Harriet Tubman (with side notes on Amelia Bloomer, the invention of the refrigerator and Kodak box camera, the Wright Brothers, and the extreme racism that existed even after emancipation in 1865), cannibalistic spiders, and frogs that retract their eyeballs to squash prey against their tongue.  Kbug also excelled at adding and subtracting her first double-digit math problems!  She’s very proud of the fact that she’s finishing up 1st grade in a few weeks.  (Me too, maybe a little proud.)  Today my house isn’t so pretty, but… what else is new. =)

A rare case of Monday blues


Monday was a little sad today.  My family drove back home to Massachusetts, leaving my house fairly quiet, except for Moosies asking, “Is Anna coming back?  Can I see Auntie Anna?  I want to see her, okay?”  And Cboy kept saying, “I miss Lizzy” at random times all day.

Me, I miss them too.

I crashed on the couch for a nap while the kids watched cartoons.  But last night’s wee hours of cards and YouTube were definitely worth the sleepy eyes!

CJ had too many walks with Bompa and the dogs, I’m thinking.  He came inside this afternoon, missing his shorts and undies, and announced: “I went poop.”  Outside.  In the mulch.  “Bompa can just scoop it up with one of those little bags,” he said.  Sure enough, CJ had left a little pile of poop out in the tree line!  Well, Bompa was gone, and I didn’t have any of Bompa’s little plastic newspaper bags, so I made do with (doubled) Wal-mart bags.

I pulled a tick out of CJ’s ear at the supper table.  Maybe that will scare him out of pooping in the trees again?

I can’t write much tonight.  I want to go curl up on the couch and read a book and forget that my family lives so far away.  But first, my list of favorites from last week.  (For me, just because I know I’ll forget it all if I don’t.)

Gibbles field trip, where everyone got FOUR BAGS of potato chips!  Going to the park to eat all our chips and puffies.  Driving to City Park too, just because it was one of the few sunny days in weeks!  Ducklings, monster fish… and adorable kids lying on their bellies, swishing sticks and hands in the pond.  My peas popped up in the garden!  Creeks and rivers completely flooded, from all the rain.  CJ learned to pump (thanks Andrew)!  Easter dinner on Good Friday, with EVERYONE around the table.  Feeling my baby kick, and hoping Shelly’s new baby boy comes soon!  Seeing tiny buds on my maple trees.  Dee cut grass for the first time!  Spring cleaning with Anna.  Kbug singing in the choir on Easter morning.  My two-year-old baby girl in shorts.  Bunnies on our lap for school and movies.  Donuts at Krumpe’s, in the rain, one night before bed.  Bog boots from my siblings.  Coffee in the mornings, and at Starbucks too!  My home filled with noise and chatter and love.

Honeymoons never go out of style


Dee and I are home from our “honeymoon!”  On our way out the door Friday evening, Dee ran back into the house to grab my sunglasses.  Kbug teased, “Whatcha gettin’, Dad?  Stuff to mess around with on your honeymoon?”  Too adorable, that girl.  Who, by the way, fifteen minutes earlier was weeping her eyes out and clinging to me for dear life.  “But I don’t WANT you to go away, Mommy!”  Oh, the drama.

(My boys, they gave us kisses and ran back outside.)

Gettysburg was our first stop, and we checked in to a very nice motel on the outskirts of down-town.  (I tried to get Dee to stay at a motel that had a whole lobby full of navy men, but he wouldn’t do it.)  Such a beautiful town!  We live forty-five minutes way, and we’d never before wandered the streets of Gettysburg!   We ate a Mexican supper, poked around a bunch of shops, and sat in a french cafe to sip coffee and comment that the food was probably really good.

(Derek also drove me around the campus of Gettysburg College, and pointed out all the buildings where he delivered shingles for ABC.  He kind of did this the whole weekend as we drove around; pointed out roofs where he boomed shingles.  It was fun to see his “mark” all over Pennsylvania!)

Saturday was extremely rainy, as a majority of the east coast knows!  No flash floods or tornadoes though.   Just cozy wet weather.  We drove up to Lancaster and ate lunch at a friend’s joint, hit up Starbucks for some COFFEE, checked in to another motel, shopped at the outlets, got soaked ordering custard at Rita’s, drove around down-town Lancaster, and went to see “Hanna” at a Regal Cinema we finally found.  (Yay for locals and smartphones!)

Yesterday morning we slept in late, visited Starbucks again, did more outlet shopping, and then drove home on back roads.  Our kids barely gave us passing glances when we walked back in the door!  I had to drag hugs and kisses out of them.  I guess Anna and Andrew did a good job taking over for us!

Moosies, I must admit, was excited to see us.  She was sleeping when we got home, but had a huge grin on her face when she woke up and saw me.  I was snuggling with her on the couch, and asked, “So did you have a fun time with Anna?  Did you play with her?”  (Anna is her favorite person in the whole world beside me, and sometimes even that order is questionable!)  Moosies wrinkled her eyebrows and said, “No.  I didn’t.  Anna just put me in bed and I went to sleep.”  Haha!  She was so cutely serious that I had to laugh!  And come to find out, she was telling the truth.  There had been a couple of eating battles, once where she ended up without ice cream and once where she ended up in bed.  I can’t believe Moosies is old enough to “tell” on Anna!

You were awesome, by the way, sister dear!  Andrew too.  Thanks for letting Dee and I sneak away for another honeymoon!

(But the front-desk clerk at the Gettysburg motel said that she doesn’t want to see us back again next year.  She’s afraid we’ll tell her that we’re expecting baby #6!  She told us we don’t need to get away.  We need to stay home.)

Mud pie gifts


Mud season is here.  Maybe more mud than usual?  We got hammered with rain last week, so rivers rose and roads overflowed.  There are new lakes where lakes shouldn’t be!

And my kids track all that mud through my house.

First, I want to clarify that I LOVE my job!  I’m happy being mom (five times now!), and love my life.  When I talk about the messes and all the work, I’m not complaining.  Just stating facts, and usually sharing how God threw down love and grace in the middle of my struggles.

My mud and dried-up chicken nugget littered floor is His holy ground!  And I love standing here.

So the mud.  Clumpy trails of it all over my house, and smeared into knees, hiding behind ears, and ground onto scalps of hair.  In the bathtub, sink, and toilet too!  I gave myself a talking to last week, after I groaned at the dirty footprints on my freshly cleaned (how often does that happen?) floor.  I said, “Self, just smile at the mud!”   It’s here to stay for a while.  Not long enough.

The muddy footprints will be gone one day, and the muddy grins as well.  Today, Cboy brought me my very first mud pie offering, with a stick candle in it.  I almost teared up!  How could a mother not treasure this gift?

I did finally get the mud and crumbs cleaned up, after the kids went to bed.  Earlier was just too busy!  Cboy kept asking, “Mom, will you come outside with us?”  So I did.  I pruned more trees, one of five clematis plants, knockout roses, and one butterfly bush from my collection.

The kids played around me as I worked, and dragged branches to the burn pit.  CJ, my worker, got his own pair of snips and “helped” me prune.  I got a lot done, but I wish I’d done less.  Cboy asked me to play tag, and I didn’t.  We ran out of time.

Cboy didn’t complain, didn’t even bring it up again, and was as full of smiles and kisses as ever.  His sweetness sometimes makes me cry.

Tag tomorrow?  I hope so.  I hope I don’t abuse my sweet boy’s cheerful acceptance and obedience.  “Mommy’s busy.  That’s just how it is.”   I hope I remember to spend time on just him, which will never be time wasted!