Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Interesting article on the Foreign Affairs website. Gave me a lot of insight on how oil-rich countries are plagued by a whole host of problems.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Have I mentioned recently how I have the loveliest, most helpful, charming, well-behaved child in the neighborhood? :) These last two days would have tried most kids patience, but she did really well for me. Yesterday, I had to have my arm looked at and we were at the doctors for almost 2 hours. I came early because they said they needed insurance information from me, but upon arrival told me they had everything they needed. So I was 20 minutes early and McKenna jumped around and spun around (very discreetly of course!) and talked with two couples that were nearby and was just a chatty Kathy with them. They didn't understand half of what she said, but were charmed. She held up 3 fingers when the nurse asked her how old she was and I was amazed she remembered, as I'd only showed her how to do that once. We must have waited for the doctor for at least half and hour and she was up and down on the examination table, keeping herself occupied and then I gave her a dry erase tracing book that I think my mother got for her, but can't remember. She sat and played with that for a long time. Doc finally came, told me I might have a bit of tendonitis in my right shoulder and I have a weakness of my rotater cuff so he sent me for x-rays.... so we went down the hall and I had to check-in with this lady, whom I told "by the way, I'm pregnant" and she was like - 'does the doctor know?' and I said ' I thought he did' Turns out I assumed that the nurse told the doc I was pregnant because she spotted it right away and asked me about the baby, etc... then I assumed that they would just put extra protective aprons on me. Oops, guess not. I went back to sit in another waiting room for the doc to come talk to me, which took another 20 minutes at least and he came in and said, 'we'll just do therapy and save the x-ray for after you give birth if you're still having pain.'

So then I was over to make an appointment at another desk for tomorrow where they will show me some exercises to do at home to help strengthen my shoulder. But the point is, McKenna was a darling for me the whole time! I was more impatient that she was! And today, she had to come with me for my dentist appointment, because I totally spaced getting someone to watch her and she sat and played with this pillow the technician gave her and then put on the headphones and laid on the floor to watch the tv in the ceiling. She did so well they gave her a choice of toy that's usually reserved for kids that had cleanings done. She picked something out that she already has at home, a little squishy softball... and she got a lollipop from the nurse from the day before, so she was pretty proud of herself! I have high hopes for her as a big sister. I'm hoping jealously will be at a minimum, since I plan to make sure she doesn't feel left out and I think she'll be a great helper. She loves holding babies whenever she gets a chance.

Other than that, not much going on. My shoulder actually feels much better, but I wanted to keep the above appointment just because it tends to be a recurring thing and I think having some exercises to do will help in the future, when it comes back, as it no doubt will! That's it for now, other than doing laundry and dreaming about putting up my own tomatoes this year. Aren't I just SO domestic? ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

McKenna and I were alone today as Noel is at a LAN party. We stayed home and watered our garden and irrigated our lawn and kept my mesculen seedlings moist. I really want some salad greens this year! Noel picked up a soaker hose for me that I'll use on my garden once I get most of the plants in. For now, I've got an oscillating sprinkler to use on the seeds and young plants until they become more established. I have my beds all made and am just hoping it doesn't get too hot too soon and bake the earth before I get my mulch down. Ideally I want to wait to do mulch when I have my plants up and showing a couple sets of leaves. Noel also picked up some twine for me to use with my peas... and I may even be able to use it for the teepees I want to do. Don't know yet. I'm just itching to get stuff into the ground, but it's really too early for most things except my lettuce and peas, which I have in the front. Ah well, it'll be worth it. And the garden should look a lot nicer this year without all of the grass and ragweed around and in it and with some mulch down to keep soil moisture more even. I'm also determined to stay on top of my compost. I've been putting down a thin layer of straw over the kitchen scraps and then sprinkling in some water to keep things moist. I hope that will help stuff break down better. The composter is also in the full sun now so that should make a difference.

I've been researching alternative fuels and vehicles lately. A conversion kit for a car to go to electric is anywhere from $6K to $28K - plus the batteries, which are $1 to 3 thousand have to be replaced every 3 to 4 years... but no having to fill up on gas! No regular maintenance that you'd need to do with a regular engine! I was on Craigslist and couldn't believe all of the SUV's and trucks that were for sale! Even if we wanted to sell our Chevy Trailblazer, we'd never get a good deal for it. I was looking at pedicabs
and some have electric assists, but they are expensive too! And I'm not sure how safe I'd feel having McKenna in it with me on my way to Walmart... besides, where the heck would I park the thing? I really think we should look into getting this countries passenger trains running again. I mean, what happens if oil gets too expensive or runs out and we haven't come up with an alternative fuel source? Those of us in the suburbs away from urban centers will be up a creek! Makes me want to homestead and be self-sufficient even more. Well, enough rant time - it's getting close to McKennas bedtime. She's having a tougher time of it now that it's staying lighter out and she can still hear the kids outside playing!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Forgot to mention I'm 24 weeks 6 days along today. Had an appointment yesterday and I've gained 9 pounds so far, and they measured me too, but can't remember the measurements except the nurse said it's normal. Heartbeat was normal, too. So I'm almost into my 7th month! I think I've gained more weight with this pregnancy, too. I only gained 13 lbs with McKenna.
Today was a give and take of stuff... I hurt my wrist while edging around our tree out front and tearing out the grass from its base. Didn't actually start hurting until an hour later and then it was a sudden sharp pain when I moved my hand a certain way. That was yesterday and today it's been stiff and feeling cooler than my other hand. I'm not seeing any swelling or anything so I'll tough it out until monday when I go in to see an orthopedic doctor about my shoulder.

I did manage to put together a kite for McKenna today that Noel picked up at Harbor Freight for $5.00... it flew okay, but we really needed more string to let it out. McKenna thought it was the coolest thing, but then she was torn between flying the kite and wanting to watch the Clines rip out their tree from their front yard. LOL

Noel's coming home soon and we'll be having hot dogs and chips and he'll be turning on our irrigation since our grass is starting to dry already!

Monday, April 21, 2008

So unfortunately I have to go see yet another doctor about my shoulder and upper arm. I've been having progressively worse pain in my right arm and it's getting to the point where it hurts to drag it with me when I roll from my right to left side in bed. I had it in a sling today and finally popped some tylenol and decided I should have someone look at it. I've had this same thing happen before, it just usually goes away on its own. Problem is, right now is a time in my pregnancy when I'm not getting up twice or three times a night to pee. I usually get up around 5 or 6am to go and then sleep till 8am. Last night my arm kept me awake and it pissed me off! So off I go to an orthopedic doctor next monday. I'm hoping it's nothing serious. My father suggested early arthritis, but I swear I'm not that old yet, AM I??? *Sigh*

Nothing else going on today. McKenna and I took a walk and she played on the swing set out back. It was about 55 degrees. The manure is as ripe as ever, but is ok if I sit just outside the back door. Noel came home early and then disappeared to hit the eye doctor. And I've got beef stew going for dinner made out of our leftover sirloin steak from our grass fed cow. Yum!

Oops, and forgot to mention he purchased a newer Geo since his current one has been stalling a lot on him lately. The transmission is crap and the suspension is also crap. So we have a new Geo (1994) that currently isn't being driven because it lost power on the highway on his way home from purchasing it from the guy. The guy refused to give him his money back. Thing is, Noel test drove it twice, both on and off the freeway and took a mechanically inclined friend with him the second time. They both thought it was a great deal and ran beautifully. So, evidently there was oil leaking around the spark plugs and that is what the problem was. They got it started and drove it back home and Noel is hoping to learn enough about auto mechanics that he can pull apart one car to get the other one running well again. Who knows where that will lead?

Stay tuned for more....

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Noel went out and got some manure from a nearby farm today. Enlisted Joes help to spread it out over the garden. It stinks out there now, so he'll have to rototill it in soon before the neighbors complain! I could smell it when I was in the front yard and the wind was blowing. It was sunny most of the day with the cherry trees blooming profusely. I snapped some pics of our tree. It was also snowing today. Kind of a strange day. I realized it was snowing right after I finished watering some peas I sowed yesterday. LOL Nothing else much going on. Everyone's healthy and happy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today was milk delivery day! It took 3 hours, but McKenna enjoys going to the farm to see all of the animals. Laura has about 50 or so cornish rex chicks under lights that will be for meat and has more on order for egg production. McKenna petted the baby goats and the baby calf that is Faiths baby. Faith is a jersey cross who is Lauras biggest producer right now. There was also a big fuzzy sheep there that got a nice scratch. I went to pet one of the chickens that was in with the chicks and got a bunch of feathers in my face. They obviously don't like to be petted! Poor Laura's bathroom broke, so they are staying in a motel about 12 miles from their place. They have to come back home twice a day for the animals.

Our first drop was at Christina's and there were a bunch of kids McKennas age out playing, so she ran around with them while I handed off the milk and used the restroom. If I wasn't pregnant, I'd be able to make the entire round without a pit stop!

Anyway, all went well and when I got back home I potted up a raspberry sucker that a co-worker of Noel's gave us. It'll be a bit before we get it in the ground, probably. I also transplanted my strawberry plants into my lasagna garden. Noel still needs to put the drip irrigation in, but there's only 4 plants in that bed and he'll be able to work around them. Another beautiful day out today at 64 degrees, so we'll be outside for the rest of it, I think!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I looked at McKenna today and saw a little girl instead of a toddler! She is growing up so fast I can't believe it. She's speaking better all of the time and is such a big help to me. We did my lasagna garden in the back corner of the yard and I must say it was a LOT of work. I had to wet the newspaper and lay it down first, then the half-finished compost, then the manure, then the peat moss and last the straw. It was a lot of bending up and down and my back is feeling it! But all the work hopefully will be worth it in the end. After I transplant my strawberry plants there, all I'll have to do to keep on top of it is to keep mulching. I'm hoping the newspaper I laid down was thick enough. Anywhere from 4 to 8 layers of it got put down. A co-worker of Noel's is giving us a raspberry sucker that I believe is still dormant so I don't have to plant it right away. I'll stick it in a container until I get my back back and then put in another lasagna garden along the fence between garden #1 and #2. Whee! I'm re-thinking doing newspaper on the large garden though since it was so much work. Maybe cardboard instead, but I'm going to need plenty of greens and browns for my layers. I might end up just having Noel till in manure and leaves, then plant and put a LOT of straw on top to try to keep down weeds. I do want to make beds though and have paths, which Noel thinks is a waste of space, but it will be so much easier to access plants without walking on them, plus I'm the one that does most of the weeding, planting, picking, etc... so I think my way of thinking will prevail! lol

Braxton Hicks contractions have been kicking in a lot lately. I've had them going on for about the last month and a half and didn't realize what they were until about a week ago. I just thought it was the baby moving. Guess I didn't have them this early with McKenna. But now that I know, they do feel like very mild contractions although as time goes by they get stronger. This baby is sneaking up on me. I don't even have her room painted yet! I'm excited though. McKenna will sit with me and snuggle up to my belly and pat it. She's really cute about it. Asked tonight if she could hold the baby. I told her yes after it was born. She definitely is realizing we're going to have a sister for her.

Enough for now...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well, today was another fantastic one temp wise. Got up to 76 degrees... a little warm for manual labor, but that was okay. I didn't get my small garden done because I was waiting on Noel to get the right sprinkler head attachment. He got the wrong one when he went out just before dinner so has to go back for the right one. He says I can start creating the garden tomorrow as long as I leave that sprinkler available to him to access, which should be no problem. I think I'll go out tomorrow with McKenna and pick up a bag of manure, compost, and maybe some more peat, but only if they are really cheap. We found a source of free landscaping rocks in Caldwell that we'll use to line the garden with and probably also the main garden as well, since our other option was brick and trench edging is out of the question because even Noel can't get the spade deeper in than about an inch down into our clay soil. He did admit how it could look good if it was properly done (at the right depth) so I might try softening the ground up with water and see if that works any better. I sat outside with McKenna for most of the day in the backyard in the shade and she swung on her swing and pulled out her pool inner tube and wore that around and rolled on the ground with it. She's got streaks of dirt on her face and arms! But she was a happy camper today. In fact, it's nice enough out now that that's where she is. I don't know what I'll tell her on tuesday... it's supposed to be a high of 56 degrees! I can't wait for May!

I checked and noticed that the pepper seeds I planted under my fluorescents are starting to emerge and my brandywine tomato plant is telling me it's time to put it in the ground. I hope it can survive another couple weeks! We'll see how it goes. Other than that, beans and squash can go directly into the ground and I might give potatoes a try this year. Can't wait!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'll have to get some photos up of our progress in the backyard! I didn't get to my smaller garden today because Noel needs to put on a different sprinkler head so he can hook up some drip irrigation for me. I'm willing to wait for drip irrigation! So we concentrated on the main garden. He rototilled around the whole thing and we dragged out the clumps of grass to make it more even then laid down the black plastic. Working on top of that stuff really heats you up! After that, he pushed the utility trailer full of wood chips across the yard (that's using his muscles!) and lined it up with the edge of the garden and we used rakes to drag it all out of the trailer and then the wheelbarrow. So now, we have wood chips around our garden and once I borrow a spade from one of our neighbors I'll do some trench edging along the front of the garden since that's the only area that will need it. I may end up deciding I need to line it with bricks, but the important part is being able to mow over the edge without having to worry about wood chips flying everywhere! I'll have to look at some options. Noel may want to use the plastic liner stuff that he bought a while back, too. If that's the case, he may have to do some of the work! That stuff is tough getting into the ground! You have to dig pretty deep, especially if you want the top flush with the ground. The main thing is keeping the grass from encroaching into the wood chips.

McKenna had a blast outside with us today. She got lathered up in sunblock and 'helped' us unload some of the wood chips from the trailer with a stick she picked out of them. Then found a much larger stick (the woodchips were a little 'rough' around the edges!) and played sword. It got up to 69 today but felt much warmer in the sun, especially as the day wound down. It was a great day for doing all of this work! And don't worry, I took plenty of breaks! I mainly helped straighten out the plastic while Noel tacked it down and then I raked the chips evenly after he wheeled more over to the area I was working on. So it was fun and we were all in a good mood. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the photos up on our blog or webshots.
So I've got an itch for another phalaenopsis orchid, and there's a show coming up in May so I'm excited. Now I've just got to save some money. They're only going to be $15. to $20. dollars but we're a little tight on spending cash at the moment, doctors bills and all!

So I'm redirecting my attention back to my gardening. Today we will put in the wood chips around the garden area. Noel's planning to rototill to make the area more even, since it's still pretty uneven from when he dug up the irrigation a couple years back. He just came in and told me he surprised a black cat sleeping under the tarp and on top of our wood chips in our little utility trailer. He thought that was pretty humorous. It leapt over our fence and was gone.

Right now I'm waiting for Noel to dig up a sprinkler head in the back right corner of our property so that I can put in a lasagna garden. He even suggested it so that I could transplant the strawberries that are still in our main garden. He wants to rototill that whole main garden, so the strawberries have to go somewhere. I've got the outline done for my smaller garden and have the peat moss, newspaper, and leaves/straw ready to go... just have to wait for him now.

It's a beautiful day and is supposed to get to 69 degrees today, which will be nice and warm in the sun. McKenna will be outside with us most of the day, I imagine except for when I come in to make lunch and dinner! More later!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Good day! Except for McKennas melt-down right before her quiet time... but that was all because she wanted candy and I said 'no'. Such a mean mommy aren't I? lol

We went out and delivered empty milk jars to Christina who is next to pick up milk so that she would have some empties to give back to Laura. Laura had a shortage last round and it resulted in less milk that we would have normally gotten. After that we headed to the mall. Guess I haven't been there in awhile because I could have sworn there was a Payless shoe store. Guess not! But there was a Foot Locker. Didn't do me any good though... they didn't have the type of shoe I wanted. Then we headed to Lowes and I picked up some Long fibered sphagnum moss so I could re-pot my orchid, which I did when I got home. There were plenty of dead roots as it didn't like my semi-hydro mix I had it in. After I pruned the roots, it ended up going into a much smaller clay pot and I layered in the moss and some orchid back and called it good. It's been growing roots and leaves for me, but I was really worred about the dead roots I knew were in the medium. Didn't want any problems down the road. So I had fun doing that and Mckenna helped me out. She's been a good little helper lately!

Oh, our dinner last night went well. The kids didn't seem to go for the raviolis, but the adults liked it. We had just enough with only a little left over. It was nice enough outside that the kids played outside for awhile, too. They swarmed Noel after dinner. Shoulda got a pic of that since at one point he was literally covered with child. lol Lots of tickling going on, basically. That's it for now!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oh my God my back hurts! I've been doing raviolis for the last 1-1/2 hours plus fettucine when I ran out of filling. I ended up not having enough yesterday because of my mistakes. McKenna helped me crank out the pasta into sheets which actually was a BIG help, especially when I had to go really thin for the fettucine. Since I had to make another batch of ravioli today I decided to go green! So we'll have a mix of regular tannish colored raviolis mixed with green. I feel so Italian! lol

I also got the floor swept and mopped and just have to vacuum... I'm thinking of leaving the pick up stuff for Noel when he gets home. He can do that and put the leaf in the table and then all I'll have to worry about is is making the sauce and cooking the raviolis since everything else is done, except bread. I usually like to have garlic bread or something with this kind of meal, but honestly I don't think I'm up to making any! I'll call Noel and see if he wants to pick any up on his way home.

Now it's time to see if I can't get McKenna to take a quiet time. She says she just peed, and when I looked in the bowl the toilet tissue in there obscured my view of any yellow. She lied a minute ago and said she went when she obviously didn't. Ergh! We're getting to a difficult stage. I need some sort of dealio I can throw in the bowl so that when she goes I can definitely tell that she went. Anyway, I gave her her sticker and all that goes along with a successful pee, so we'll see if she has any accidents in the next hour or so. She's had a LOT to drink this morning. Kiddo #2 has been quiet while I've been working, but now that I'm sitting down is acting up. Must be the snack of red pepper, strawberries and green apples!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pasta-making day! We're having our friends Joe and Patty and their kids over to dinner tomorrow night and Noel requested ravioli. I didn't let the dough rest long enough in the beginning, so unfortunately had to scrap the first few raviolis I made, but then the rest worked out after I let the dough sit for 2 hours. Froze the raviolis and will pull them out tomorrow for dinner.

It's a beautiful day out today, too... and I need to take McKenna for a walk. Noel is out shopping. Woohoo!! I really dislike shopping, and it's great when he does it but the downside is he brings home stuff that's not on my list quite frequently. He likes having backups of EVERYTHING!!! LOL

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Great day today so far! We woke up, and went for a walk. Came across a yard sale and I picked up a doll house for McKenna for 5 bucks! I posted a pic on my blog of her with it. Later we cleaned out flower beds and mowed the lawn. The front yard is looking a lot better. Had turkey salad sandwiches for lunch then Noel played with McKenna for awhile. A little TV and then McKenna took some quiet time. Didn't sleep, but that's okay. Right now I'm in the process of baking chocolate chip cookies and don't know if I'll get around to making dinner! LOL Might be a leftover night! I posted an updated pic of my fishtank at the bottom of the blog. Got a few more plants a couple days ago. That's it for now...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We got home from our latest ultrasound today. This was the follow-up for the check on the spine for spina bifida. The doc gave me a thumbs up at the end. That's a relief! So no spine problems, although since they don't see high test result numbers like mine very often he wants me to have an ultrasound either with him or my own doc every 4 to 6 weeks. He was saying I may be more at risk for fetal growth issues or pre-eclampsia and stuff like that, so I suppose it's good to monitor that. As long as insurance covers those extra ultrasounds!

The other highlight of my day was finding a double yolk when I was cracking eggs for breakfast. LOL I'd never seen one before. I even took a picture of it! I suppose I'll post it here on my blog if I get around to it. Nothing much else to report today. I'm still feeling good and we're starting to think about girl names now that we know the sex of the baby. Some names on my list so far are:


They are mostly a mix of german, irish, english and spanish names so far. I really like Olivia, Madison and Sofia... and Noel thinks Casey, Annaliese and Keira are "OK". I'm surprised he didn't shoot them all down! I don't expect it will be any easier picking a name this time around than it was the last time. In fact, a co-worker of Noel's suggested McKenna, so we didn't even come up with it on our own! Tootles!