Tuesday, December 08, 2009

*evil laugh*

G and E snatched the camera a few days ago. They changed the settings, fought back and forth, and even took some pictures. Here's one the G snapped. Totally unedited.

I love the look E is giving. He must have had an idea how to get the camera back and was about to act on it. LOL

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Waiting for seasons

Many who know me well, know that I'm not a particularly patient person. I realize that God is trying very hard to teach it to me. I'm not a quick study.
Anyway, one of the things I have a hard time with is waiting for the next season. Not Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall, but the next season of my life.
I got a bit spoiled by having a nearly 6 year break between my first 2 children. Maybe that was the blessing that came out of that incredibly tough time? But then G was such an easy child. I enjoyed sewing and knitting and many of my other persuits all the way through. Sure I had a few months at a time where it was hard to do different things, but I managed.
As soon as E was the least bit mobile--as in directing his chubby fingers were he wanted them to go--I lost much of my ability to persue my hobbies. I couldn't knit, read, sew, or even do much cooking. Granted, much of the cooking got done because I could wrap him and he couldn't reach it. But it is hard to have the fine muscle mobility to knit or sew with a baby squirming (hard!) on my back. One lunge and that piece of fabric/knitting needle goes flying! Yeah, that's talking from experience. Trust me. I tried.
Now that I have the 2 littles, it's even harder. Baby M would be pretty easy as far as crafting near her/wearing her. But E requires Constant Vigilance. Moreso when his sister is within reach.
I am trying to finish up advent calendars for each of the kids. I loved mine and feel so bad that they haven't had that experience. I get so frustrated only being able to work on then in such short snippits of time. This morning I was sewing (really sewing!) on a Christmas gift. I just wanted to finish one chunk of it. I pushed through a little too long. There were tears and frustrations all around. I feel so bad. I don't want my children to think of me as grumpy and mean, nor to equate mom's craft time with negative emotions. I get so, so much out of creating. It is theraputic and gives me that break that I think makes me a better mom/wife/person. But is it really working if I'm screaming at my kids while doing it?
I'm trying to tell myself that in just a short while I'll be able to craft again. E will take less one-on-one supervision. Baby M will not be a baby and will be a tough-as-nails little girl capable of taking out all 3 brothers if need be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I've had 2 encouraging replies to my letters. The first one mentions the hearing being canceled, but it was rescheduled (it seems) as a way to halt the flow of letters and throw us off the trail. Didn't work. Over 100 midwifery supporters showed up. It made an impression for sure!
I promise I have hundreds of posts in my head. I'll do one soon!

Dear Ms. :

Thank you for writing Representative Maurer on the issue of a woman’s right to choose where and with whom she gives birth. Of course he recognizes that it is a family decision as well, as he has heard from a number of fathers who have written e-mails who have written letters in support of their partners birthing circumstances. For all of you- both the professionals and the clients (note the absence of the word “patient” as Rep. Maurer believes pregnancy is a natural state as opposed to a condition which routinely requires some sort on medical intervention) please understand he is committed to keeping Oregon a leader in the nation regarding mid-wife options for those who wish to use their services.

I apologize that I am unable to answer each of you individually who wrote this week but rest assured I have read all of your e-mails and have keep Rep. Maurer fully aware of how seriously you take this issue. I have just received a revised agenda for the House of Representatives Interim Health Care Committee on November 17, 2009 and it looks like you have been replaced by H1N1 as the last topic of the day. Between sessions committees meet about every eight weeks and these meetings are informational in nature. I stress this because I want you to know that I do not think that there will be any current change in policy at this time. Based on the fact our next session in February 2010 is only 4 weeks in length and each member is allowed only one bill I do not believe there will be any changes to the current law during the upcoming session.

I would be remiss if I were not to caution to remain vigilant and informed about what your legislators think about this subject. Be sure they understand your reasoning in a polite and articulate manner and your opinions will be taken seriously.

Best regards,

Allison Mac Mullin

Chief of Staff


Thank you so much for your email about midwifery and home birth.
I have received over 130 emails in the past 10 days from moms, dad, midwives, and students of midwifery telling about their experiences with home birth. As someone who has experience with home birth within my own family, this issue hits close to home for me, too.
During the hearing, I understood the concerns regarding home birth that were raised by the Home Birth Safety Committee, but I also heard you loud and clear: it should be up to parents how they choose to bring their children into the world. I promise to balance my consideration of safety with the rights of parents if this conversation continues.
Your advocacy is important and I appreciate it. I hope that you will be in touch with your legislators about this issue and others going forward. In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Ben Cannon
State Representative - House District 46
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 236-3351 (Portland)
(503) 986-1446 (Capitol)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My letter to the Oregon House Health Care Committee

Tuesday, November 17th the Oregon House Health Committee will hold a hearing on direct entry midwives (DEMs) at about 4pm in Salem. I am going to try to figure out how to be there! There is movement afoot to make it very difficult to have a midwife-attended homebirth in Oregon. NOT OK!
I am e-mailing this letter to the committee members. I'll make some phone calls too. Please do the same if you can. Thanks!

I am a midwifery client. I chose to have a homebirth for the birth of my daughter in April. I had a hospital birth with my son 11 years ago and witnessed the births of my 2 adopted children in hospitals.
I did not make the decision to homebirth lightly. There seems to be some misconception about those who choose homebirth or birth center births. I am a 33 year old homemaker with a BS in Child Development. My husband of 13 years has a MS in Mechanical Engineering. I read extensively about birth, researched birth choices and gave the matter a lot of thought.
In my research, I learned that for uncomplicated birth, home is safer. Even in more "complicated" birth situations, such as breech presentation, twin birth or VBAC, for me, I felt safer with midwife who trusted my body's ability to give birth. I have found that many people look only at data showing whether or not mom and baby lived through the birth experience. The fact is, there is so much more to it than that. What about morbidity? Including, but not limited to, sever and disabling consequences from C-section mistakes, infection, reactions to medications, birth experiences that are so traumatic they leave the mother depressed or dealing with PTSD?
The reason I chose a homebirth was so I could maintain choice and control over my birth. In a hospital setting, women give up all autonomy over birth. Fear is used evey steop of the way to coerce families into going along with what the doctors and nurses want. What they want usually translates into "more convenient" or "more likely to hold up in court". Insurance companies and fear of litigation run the show. Research and evidence are ignored outright.
My midwife was very open with me about what the research said. I signed countless forms stating I understood the risks and benefits of each choice I made. I know that I was fully participating in the decisions made about MY baby and MY birth.
There was no carelessness or disregard for my safety. My midwife spent a full hour at every appointment. She looked for any signs me or my baby might have any sort of complications. She had a contingency plan for everything. If I had developed a complication and wanted or needed the care of a physician, she would have happily helped me obtain care from one.
Pregnancy and birth are not medical emergencies. By treating them as such, we are actually creating many of the problems we are trying to avoid. Too many babies are born premature because of doctors' hastiness to induce or surgically extract babies. Usually this is based on tests of questionable reliability. Trust in medicine is being eroded. For me personally, if my midwife has to "risk out" for everything under the sun--especially breech, twins and VBAC's--I will NOT choose to birth in a hospital with a doctor instead. I will birth with an unlicensed midwife or birth without any assistance at all. Based on conversations with other women, I know I am certainly not alone in this sentiment.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bath time creativity

Watching her crazy brother. See how bewildering he is?

We have all been sick. Even poor baby M. So far it has been mild. Fever, coughs, runny noses, general aches and cranky's. When G got up this morning (after a very uncharacteristic trip to mom and dad's bed) he was shivering. Sure enough, he was burning up. I wrapped him up in sweats, socks and a blanket and let him have reign of a section of couch. This afternoon when he complained again of his hands hurting, I thought to take a look. They were red and swollen so we called the dr and they said to bring him in. Because of his history of Kawasakis, there is a danger to his heart. His body tends to swell, in the veins and arteries. As in aorta. Scary. So he has an Rx for tamiflu, which we have decided to fill given the risk his heart
Anyway to keep E occupied while I cough up my lungs, I put him in the tub. He thought the baby bath looked like a fun boat. So in it went. Then in went E. There was a bit of a learning curve to avoid capsizing it, but he figured it out. Then it was in and out. In and out. In and out.

Now I need to go cuddle my G and sit and nurse Baby M, which is apparently the only acceptable activity right now in her mind.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trip to Rockaway

Several months ago, my mom asked if we would be interested in taking their week at the beach. She had bazaars and Dad had meetings so they couldn't go this September. I jumped on it! So, ight near the end of the month, we packed up and headed to Rockaway Beach, Oregon for a week of family vacation time.
The thing I love about Rockaway, well 2 things really, is how peaceful it is. Quite a few towns on the coast are so touristy and busy. Rockaway really isn't. The other thing is how much beach there is. Not a rock for miles. At low tide it feels like you are in an entire county of smooth sandy beach.
The unit we stay in has a bed, kitchen, dining in one studio-type room, plus a bedroom with two queens. It was far from E proof--but nothing really is. So that kept us hopping. It also made sue we got out and about everyday! Lots of walks on the beach and trips to the swimming pool.
I never did get a picture of the kids in the pool. They were so cute. Baby M decided the pool was just grand. She splashed her little heart out. :)
Here's a few of the pictures from the adventure.

C helping E fly a kite
M on the same day. For some reason, when everyone else was in shorts, M was bundled. *shrug*

We took a morning trip to Oswald State Park. C took the older 2 over to see some tide pools. They naturally walked in the surf on the way back. Something happened (dunno what still) and G totally went down. Face first. Into a wave. That frosted look to his hair is all sand. His mouth is fine btw, he just needed, like, 5 crackers at once to feel revitalized. He was completely fine. We were just glad it was G and not M that ate it. Or the rest of the day would have been miserable. G is such an adventurer.

The evening walks were more apt to get chilly. Especially for wet little toes. Here's my little E and me, finishing up a walk.

G displying his kelp find. He was too chicken to touch it for awhile, but warmed to the idea eventually. Not long after that, we found a dead squid that had washed up. It hadn't been dead for long, but we don't have a clue as to cause of death. I didn't have my camera and C is a bit squeamish about that kind of thing. So we don't have pictures, but I wish we did. It was huge! And in perfect shape. M had a great time poking at it as we did a semi-science lesson. I would guess the body was a little over 2 feet and the tentacles a bit longer still.

Walking back from town. The boys are racing. You can see just how vast the beach is here. Baby M took all her walks in the wrap, of course. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An accurate family picture

Pics of the kids

Pictures of the kids hope this works ok - S is trying to use Lightroom

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Me: G, it's too cold today for short sleeves and shorts. How about one of your new pairs of pants?
G: No way! I love shorts. I'm always gonna wear shorts.
Me: Well, its getting colder. When you play outside, your legs will get cold.
G: I saw somebody else wearing shorts. I can too.
(discussion about the wonders of having our own brain to think with and the importance of not doing things just because someone else does it)
G: wanders off singing a love song to his shorts

15 minutes later
G: Is it almost time to leave for school?
Me: About 5 more minutes.
G: Is that enough time to change my shorts?
Me: Yes
G: Good, cuz I hate wearing shorts!

Me: Chuckle sigh

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

The E is 2 today!
As is our family tradition, we sang "Happy Birthday" to him this morning. Near the end of the song, G waves his hands saying, "Stop! Stop! You can't sing that. Not yet!"
"Yes, Sweetie, it's his birthday, we can sing to him today."
"No, not yet. There's no presents!"
"Oh," I explained, "it's his birthday all day. You can even have a birthday without presents."
Stunned and offended look.
"Because a birthday is the celebration of the day you were born. It's a day, and sometimes we have a party that day."
"With presents."

Gotta know your priorities in this life!

Friday, September 04, 2009


C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are more uploads


C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are more uploads


C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are more uploads


C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are more uploads


C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are more uploads

More Pictures of Baby

C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are the first uploads from it. These were taken of baby on Sunday evening

More Pictures of Baby

C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are the first uploads from it. These were taken of baby on Sunday evening

More Pictures of Baby

C got a plugin for Lightroom (his photo editing & organizing package) and these are the first uploads from it. These were taken of baby on Sunday evening

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

baby girl

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick, what do the first 2 pictures have in common? YES! They are yet 2 more examples of G taking pictures that include his feet. I think this has been discussed here before. I am far too lazy to go and find those posts. Search for "feet" or something if you must know.

I put in an order to Discount School Supply. I really love their stuff. My kids had fun playing with the new art supplies.
First up is M's Wikki Stix creation. If you have never played with Wikki Stix, then you have indeed had a sorry, empty existence. Not to pass judgement or anything, I'm just sayin'....

I ordered some cool paint bottles. They have brushes instead of rollers or sponges like I've seen on other paint bottles. This allowed E to paint to his heart's content without having to try and figure out why there wasn't anymore paint on his brush. He really just wants the big paint bottles so he can squirt paint when we paint, so this seemed like a good compromise. He is happy with it. See?
Brother couldn't just stand by and watch!And a cute Baby M picture for your viewing pleasure. Can you believe she's 3.5 months already?

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Phrases I never thought would be part of my daily repetoir

starting with my personal favorite....

  • Please don't lick your sister
  • the vacuum needs to stay on the floor
  • I'm sure your butt stinks too
  • It's only pee
  • I have enough pictures of your feet
  • You've had enough bananas
  • You need to eat something besides bananas and noodles
  • Butter is not a food group
  • Go back and wash with the soap AND water
  • It's not ice cream, it's mommy medicine
Seriously. Daily.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Blogger reversed the order of all my pictures and it's too hard to fix 1 handed with a touchpad! Yes, I do all my typing 1 handed. It even has it's own short-hand. NAK--nursing at keyboard. Well, this is me nab--nursing at blueberries. Man, I love wraps!!

E is no dummy. Here he is berry picking. :) Actually he picked from the bushes too. It was so cute. At first, he would wait for me to hand him berries. I guess he didn't get that they were coming off the bushes. So I showed him how to pick from the bush. He smiled. Then I pointed out the huge row we were standing in told him he could pick from any of the bushes here. He grinned and giggled and took off like a mad berry picker. I totally made his day!

My parents took big M for nearly 2 weeks. Go to PapaCoyote's blog for details. When they came back, M went to scout camp and we went berry picking. Here's Papa with his harvest. :)

It's so true that the more kids you have, the fewer pictures you have. Usually my hands are so full taking care of the baby and toddler and keeping the toddler off the baby, I can't possibly manage a camera. Baby M is growing up so fast. She has a beautiful smile. Hger little chatty voice melts my heart completely, and she is so good-natured. She even sleeps really well. Phew, I needed this!
She's growing the yummiest chubs, but still wears 0-3 month clothes. Which is new for me. The boys all grew much, much faster! I have admit that I'm having a lot of fun with her.

The first day we went out with my parents, Dad let G drive the van from his lap around part of the empty Costco parking lot. That was a hoot! So G decided take a dry run on our street. No worries--van was parked safely the whole time. E had to help, of course!


Just a quick note to the universe and then I'll post a bunch of pictures. Promise!

Okay! Quit it with the Wednesdays already!!!!! Can we schedule things on another day? Pretty please? Scouts, park days, church playgroup, husbands home teaching usually falls on Wed. It USED to be our library day. Oh, and Boersma's knitting basket has a fuun knitting get together on Tuesday nights. When you're a mom, that's basically the same as Wednesday.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My comedian

I do remember that I have a blog--honest!

We went for a walk yesterday to pick up M from scouts. On the way, G found a stick that was the perfect shape for a magic wand. He waked down the sidewalk turning things into flowers.

Thank goodness it was flowers and not transformers. How does he even know what these things are without having seen the movies??

Anyway, he looked up at a house and pointed his wand. Swish. "I turned that house into a flower!"
Me- "What about the people who live there? Can they live in the flower?"
G- "Yes! (duh) It's a big flower."
Me- "what about their beds? Where will they sleep?" Sleep is often a special concern of mine.
G- "They're flower beds!"


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

4 kids is quite the thrill ride

3 weeks ago, I let G go play outside, but told him he had to stay on this side of the street. If he wanted to cross to his friend's house, he had to ask me. Well, I look up and he's gone. I called his friend's mom, and yup, he was inside playing. He told her I said it was okay. I had him come home for lunch.
Later that day, another neighbor was over (we seriously have an Ozzie and Harriet neighborhood!), but I told him he HAD to stay in the backyard or come inside. I sit down to nurse the baby and look out the window. He was across the street at the girl's house! I stuck my head out the door and told him to go back to the yard. He screamed at me so I told him to get inside. He took off running. I started following him, baby still latched on. He ran faster and crossed the main street in our neighborhood. This is at 3:30 pm! The busiest time with kids coming home from school and whatnot. The neighbor asked if I needed help and I shoved Baby M into her arms and took off running. I chased him for 3 blocks but couldn't catch him. Fortunately, MIL was loading things into her car. I ran back and yelled at her to start the car, we had to catch G. It took her a second, but we chased him down. He ran 6 blocks and was running along the highway. When I jumped out of the car to catch him, I caught him by the hood of his jacket (thank goodness for that hoodie!) just as he darted into the highway!!
I have never run so hard in my life or been so stinking scared. Terrified would be a better word.

So, today (what is it with Wednesday??) had come home from the library, and I had my thinking cap on. Knowing that E is a runner, I closed the garage door before I got him out of his carseat. I knew that the back gates were closed, so I smugly went inside to nurse the baby and get lunch ready. I heard E call "stuck". Figuring he had gotten stuck either in the weeds out the back door or in the toys in the garage, I sent G to help him. Biscuits in the oven and meat in the pan. I'm good! G comes in to tell me he can't find E. Look again, I tell him. He does. Still can't find him. I tell him to look in the toy bin. He's not there. Dang. I go put on my shoes and head out to look for him. I start calling him and can hear his voice coming from outside. Must be stuck between the garbage cans. I keep calling to keep him talking. I start getting worried when I can't find him anywhere, despite being able to faintly hear him. Then I look up.
The words that came out of my mouth can't be printed in a family-friendly blog.
He had climbed up our 2 ladders leaning against the side of the house. 2 10 foot ladders. Yes, 10 frikkin feet! He was at the top!!! I hand baby to G and scream for M. He comes running out and I tell him to go get someone. Who, he asks. I don't care! Anyone!
I knew I could get up there, but wasn't sure how stable the ladder was or how I would bring him back down. The kid weighs at least 35 pounds after all.
M came back with the next door neighbors and the neighbor across the street came to help too. Neighbor J climbed up and handed him to neighbor C while I steadied the ladder. We got him down safely, and put the ladders down.

So what does he do this evening? Yeah, he finds a ladder in neighbor J's garage. Climbs all 10 feet of it to the storage shelf. Thank goodness he knows not to climb down eh?

My kids are freaking me out.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Of course, we start with cute baby picture. :) This is what I wake up to in the morning. Life is pretty good.

The day before J's graduation, we had fun at our house. We started with presents! We got her a vacuum. Hopefully it works better than what she has. She's been asking for one for awhile now. Her parents bought her a Kitchen Aid mixer. It seemed at the last shopping trip that it was do or die on that one. J handed her mom a rebate at Macy's for a free attatchment when you bought a mixer. "Here mom, you can use this when you buy my mixer." Silly girl.

Of course, there was much picture taking. And picture taking of the picture taking. I only got into this family cuz I passed the weird-ness test. LOL

Then the kids played in the wrapping paper. Must remember this next holiday. Don't worry about gifts--wrapped boxes are sufficient!

Father and Daughter. Awwwww.

For dinner, we fired up the fire pit. We roasted hot dogs, roasted marshmallows, and made banana boats. And smelled like campfire. Yay!
To round out pictures, E tried on Uncle S boots and hat. Lookin' good!

Now J is all graduated. Next up is the big exam. But she'll pass that no prob. Go J!!

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Tie-dye party

A few years ago, we invited our next door neighbors over to do some tie-dye with us. The kids had a great time. We decided to make it a regular thing. In our new house, we still have fun with our old neighbors, but now, we get to spend more time with the kids across the street. This year, we hosted a bigger party. We invited 3 other families over. That brought us to a total of 7 adults (one dad had to work) and 12 kids, including the 2 babies. We bought the dye and chemicals from Dharma Trading, everyone brought white clothes to dye. C mixed up 12 colors of dye. We helped the kids tie up their items the way they wanted, soaked them in the fixer, and let them go at it with squirt bottles of the dye. They haf a blast! The hard part of course is that the shirts had to sit for about 12 hrs. C and Neighbor MB rinsed everything, we washed them and the kids all wore their stuff the next day.
Everyone is already talking about next year. We are going to be one colorful neighborhood!