Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update - The PICC line is in!! Woohoo!!

It seemed like it was time for an update. I am 9 weeks pregnant, and thrilled to be expecting one (1) baby. It has been a difficult pregnancy so far, but I am excited to be adding to our family, and I know that by the time I hold our son or daughter, this will all be a faint memory.

Today I had a PICC line put in. It is basically a permanent IV, and will stay in until the baby is born. I was having to go in to get fluids at least 3 times a week, and they were beginning to run out of IV sites. While it was kind of painful to have put in, it shouldn't hurt much after the bruising goes down and the insertion site heals more. It was much easier to get the fluids today, and it was nice to know that tomorrow they will just have to hook up the fluid bags without any poking around. (Although they will have to change the dressing tomorrow, but then it will jsut be once a week that they have to change it.)

We are going to see Christina this weekend, and while I am kind of nervous about our first meeting, I am also really looking forward to it. I hope that our pregnanies will be something to bond over, even if she does think it kind of weird that she will have a half-sibling who is younger than her daughter. It is nice that she is qualified to do the infusions while we are there, otherwise I am not sure my doctor would have let me go. When I talked to her about it today, she was pretty unsure about me going. The fact that I will still be able to get fluids is about all that made her say okay, even if it was still grudgingly.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Crazy summer

It has been hard to keep up with this summer. From picking berries to freeze for the winter, attending Cub Scout Day Camp with Joshua and 9 other boys, and trying to build the business, it feels like we have been doing a lot.

We finally have the start to a website that is functional. We have been working with a woman who is a great web designer, and we are going to refinish her table. If you want to see what it looks like, you can check it out at http://www.laurellanewoodworking.com/index_new.html

We have had a lot of projects going on. We refinished an outdoor sofa, and made several planter boxes for a woman up in Washougal. She is a teacher, and traded part of the value for her work in school supplies for the kids, so we have them all ready to go. I am going to put them in their backpacks this weekend. Then I won't have to think about it until school starts.

We also got a lot of wood at a great price from The Joinery. They sell their "ends" which are usually a foot to 3 feet long. It is all hardwood, and there is some beautiful things in there. We also got a good deal on some poplar, and will be using it to make bookshelves. We are hoping to make quite a few sets between now and Christmas.

It is hot here, and so I have been staying inside for the last few days. Now that the kids are back, I have a feeling I will be getting out more. If you haven't checked out our staycation blog, you should. you can just click on my profile, and it shows up in the list, along with Joshua's blog.

Hope everyone is staying cool!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Catching up

I got lazy about writing in my blog, and then so much had happened that it seemed overwhelming to do it. Well, I am taking the bull by the horns, and will leave a lot of stuff out, since there is no way I could go through everything that has gone on.

Joshua got his Wolf award in Cub Scouts. Michael has been enjoying being assistant scout master. I am glad to be a lowly assistant den leader, and am looking forward to going to cub scout day camp during the first week of August.

We have been growing our small woodworking business, and are actually about 2 weeks out for starting new projects that are coming in. We have made three book presses, one for Kendra and two to sell, and are hoping to make that the cornerstone of the business. It is a niche market, but we think we can be pretty competitive on price and quality.

Our garden is producing and we are harvesting pretty much everyday. We have eaten zucchinis, peas, beans, lettuce and carrots from it this week, and are grateful for the yummy and nutritious produce. We also have been able to pick blueberries at mom's house and raspberries out at Albeke's. I am storing up a lot of frozen berries for use during the winter when fruit is so expensive.

Our tomato "trees" continue to sprout tomatoes. While they are not ripe yet, we have over 60 green tomatoes on the plants right now, and we have at least three time that many blossoms that have not yet turned into tomatoes. I am looking forward to making a lot of spaghetti sauce to freeze.

We are busily getting ready for our "stay-cation." You can read more about it by going to the blog on my account that is specifically for that.

Without going into a lot of details, the custody evaluation is done and we finally have a custody agreement. Starting in September, the kids will be with me during the school weeks, and with Jay every other weekend. During the summer they will switch back and forth every other week. There are a number of decisions that this allows to go forward, including getting Joshua enrolled at Mt. Pleasant, and his IEP process started.

Christina's baby is kicking now, and we wish we could go visit to see. She will be christened the week after Christmas, in Bend, and we are really looking forward to getting to spend time with Christina and Dave, and to meet our new granddaughter.

Well, I am going to try to be better about posting. Email me if you want to catch up and I haven't posted in a while.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The garden continues to grow

Michael earned major husband points over the weekend by tearing out a bush that was blocking the sun to the garden, and was just plain ugly. Now we have more room for another raised garden, and the plants are growing even faster since they get more sun.

I am still amazed at how many bean and pea plants we have. I have given away over 100 starts of each, and I still have about another 40 of each to thin out.

The kids are truly loving helping to water the garden. They aren't very good at pulling weeds, but they love to help water the growing plants. They are pretty disappointed when it rains. Sarah and Kathleen say is it God watering the plants when it rains, but they are almost wistful, like they think he is taking away the best part of the garden. lol

The lettuce is growing well too. I actually pulled up another head of lettuce for a salad for dinner. It is so nice to have fresh, crisp lettuce that tastes good. The kids always drown it in ranch dressing, but at least they are eating it.

On the right-hand side you can see the carrot row, and I am going to need to thin it again this weekend.

On the left-hand side you can see some of our very healthy tomato plants. All 7 of them already have a number of buds on them, and we have had to put cages around 5 of them already.

This doesn't look like much, yet. It is one of the two potato beds I planted. They are not raised beds, and are in a part of the yard that I haven't done much with. I am hoping that by being fairly far away from the rest of the garden that the potatoes wont' take over. I am not sure how well they will grow. All the potatoes I planted were ones that had started sprouting because I didn't' fix them fast enough. So, we will see if the fingerling potatoes and the Yukon golds turn into yummy dinners later in the summer and fall.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My kids are poets, and they know it....

This is Kathleen's new poem. She is very proud of it.

Oh, how this goes,

this is so lovely.

I have been happy

for a lot of days.

I have always wanted a grape.


Kathleen Palshikar

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Joshua and compliments

Okay, this will be short, but I thought it was funny. Joshua is always wanting me to check his blog for "compliments." It wasn't until today that I realized he thought comments was compliments. When I explained it to him he said he didn't care which he called it, because everyone who left a comment would leave a compliment anyway. Isn't it wonderful to be so young and sure everyone loves you?

A Peaceful Sunday

In some ways this was a busy, hectic day, but not completely. The big difference was that this week I did a lot of planning ahead, which made some of the typically hardest parts easier.

For a while Jayesh and I have let the kids sit with whichever parent they wanted in sacrament meeting, as long as they are sitting with that parent when Sacrament meeting starts. Typically Jayesh is late, so the kids then sit with him on his weeks, but he is early on the weeks I have them, so they go sit with him again. The last few weeks the kids have been pretty squirrely, and not being reverent.

So, this week I talked to them ahead of time and told them that I wanted to try and experiment and have them sit with me, and to decide that ahead of time. We got new colored pencils and crayons, as well as some activity books and new coloring pads ready. We said a prayer before we left. While they were cranky about sitting with me, because I don't let them get up except to go potty once during the meeting, they settled down just fine. They all were reverent the whole time, and Kathleen and Sarah both put their sacrament cups in the tray, instead of holding on to them through Primary.

When we got home we also had a family meeting to talk about the house rules, and come up with some ways to help the kids remember to clean up after themselves. We settled the longstanding dispute about who gets to sit on the end of the table by deciding that Josh gets to on odd days, and Sarah gets to on even days. (Kathleen never wants to sit on the end anyway.)

We also talked about how the kids were feeling like I was yelling a lot, and that it comes from them not listening and responding when I ask them to do things politely. We decided that I wouldn't yell, and if they don't respond when they are asked politely, that we will go straight to timeouts or loss of privileges. They got to ask all of their questions, and have so far been doing pretty good reminding each other to pay attention.

The rest of the evening was very peaceful. The kids all got their 30 minutes of computer time, and got off the computer when the timer went off. They took their baths and cleaned up their rooms when we asked them. They even helped put away all their folded clothes without any whining. I was really proud of them. They were all in bed by 7:30 pm, and asleep within about 10 minutes. These are the kinds of days that make it feel worthwhile to be a mom!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cranky day

Well, I think everyone here has had a cranky day. The kids didn't have school, and the weather was rainy and cold. The girls had tutoring this morning, which they enjoyed, but which also wore them out.

Joshua had a chiropractor's appointment, and we finally found out why his knees hurt him so often. He has flat feet. The chiropractor said he really should see an specialist to have insoles made for his feet. His shoes already wear differently, and his legs may be slightly different lengths. Yet another trip to the doctor with the kids. *sigh

Michael has had a tough week at work. His company laid off 10% of the workforce, and there are a lot of "clean up" things that Michael has had to do in conjunction with that. Also, since they laid off the other guy in the IT department, he has a lot more work to do. There has been a lot of tension in general, and we are still hoping that one of the job opportunities he is pursuing will come through soon.

I had a migraine last night, and am still not entirely back up to full strength. Adding to that the fun of keeping track of all the fertility things, and I have been pretty stressed out and cranky too.

So, the whole family has been cranky today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An eventful evening

I took Joshua, Sarah and Kathleen to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the high school tonight. They really enjoyed it. The girls got a little overwhelmed during the fight scenes, but Mom and Mark were sitting behind us, so they each commandeered a grandparent lap.

Joshua and I read the book over the weekend, so he knew the story and it was fresh in his mind. He came home anxious to read the rest of the series. I am glad he is interested in stories that aren't computer games, so I will read them to him. :)

It was really nice to have the kids chattering all the way home about the play, and the story, and their favorite characters, instead of fighting over who has the better house on toontown.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Please vote

While I know that not everyone is an Oregon voter who will read this, I feel like I should remind everyone that it is election day here, and if you haven't voted yet, you should.

Sarah and I went out this morning and hung door signs to remind people to vote, and Kathleen and I are going to man the booth at Clackamas Community College for an hour this afternoon where people can turn their ballots in and then we get to take them to the county elections office. It isn't much, but Sarah sure enjoyed "helping people vote" and I think Kathleen will too. I want them to know that voting is important.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Joshua the Great

Joshua and I went to tour Mt. Pleasant today. He has been seeing a counselor who is helping to do some testing and evaluate Joshua. It seems that he has not only problems with attention and processing speed, but also with transitions and repetitive tendencies. (Prayers on his behalf are always appreciated.) So, we went to Mt. Pleasant so he could see their program, and then talk with his counselor about what his best option(s) might be.

He was really excited about Mt. Pleasant, and we spent part of hte tour in the library. Joshua was interested in all the books, but also in how much more light there is at Mt. Pleasant when compared to Jennings Lodge. (The lunch room and library are both in the basement at Jennings Lodge.) He was also impressed that they had a big computer lab and computers in each classroom.

While I have mixed memories of being a student at Mt. Pleasant, I think it is the right place for the kids to be. I am so proud of Joshua for being able to see the areas where he is struggling, and that he is willing to be part of finding ways to address those concerns.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The garden is growing

Well, we have been working on the garden, and are finally starting to see it pay off. I think we might have some of our first lettuce in the next day or so, and the tomato and pepper plants are doing really well.

Michael, Joshua and Sarah planted green beans (bush variety) and peas the night I had to take Kathleen in to the ER to get the bark removed from her eye. So far, we have over 120 pea plants coming up, with more rows not yet up, and over 80 green bean plants currently above ground. I predict some major thinning in another week or two.

So far I have been very pleased with the garden. We had it written into our lease here that we could put in a raised garden, and with the help of the missionaries, and quite a few loads of manure, dirt and sand, it has turned out to be a great investment. The kids love to help plant and water it, and it gives us some great family things to do together. I have never had a garden that was big enough to grow more than one or two things, and while I dont' have a great green thumb, I am lucky that Michael does.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Baby Bird Funeral

Sarah and Kathleen came to me and told me very solemnly that there was a baby bird in the back yard that had died. They wanted me to come help them try to save it. I told them that baby birds do die sometimes, and that we can't bring them back to life. They asked if they could give the baby bird a funeral and bury it.

So, I got a shovel, dug a hole in the garden in an area we haven't planted anything yet, and moved the baby bird's body to the hole. The girls helped me cover it up with dirt. I asked them if they wanted to say anything, and Kathleen said she wanted to sing it a song. She and Sarah then created an ode to this little bird. I wish I had thought ahead to record it. It was full of their simple wishes that the bird had lived, sorrow that it hadn't and a send of to Heavenly Father, where they knew this baby bird would be happy. The melody they made up was a haunting and beautiful. After they finished singing, Sarah said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to take care of "their" baby bird until they came to heaven someday. She also asked for more baby birds to be born in their yard that wouldn't die so they could feed them when they got bigger.

Lazy Saturday Morning

I got to sleep in this morning!! The kids didn't come in to wake us up until 8:15 am, and sleeping in never felt so good. I got up, made breakfast (cereal, eggs and bacon) for the family, and then took a long hot shower. I even shaved my legs so I could wear shorts today.

Sarah and Kathleen went with me to the Farmer's Market in Oregon City. We bought cilantro, an herb mixture, carrots, asparagus, homemade soap, and lemonade. With all the hot weather we are having this weekend, there might even be strawberries next week. I love going to the Farmer's Market and getting things to use in next week's meals. We are using some of the carrots for the picnic today, and Kathleen is insisting that we have the asparagus bunch she picked out for dinner tomorrow.

I almost have everything ready to go for the picnic, and Michael and Josh should be back with all their hairs cut soon. I just have to hope that I can handle the cub scout fishing day with the heat we are supposed to be getting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Do you believe that forks are evolved from spoons?

I do believe the forks are evolved from spoons, but only after a long evolutionary process, controlled by a loving and all-knowing creator, who enjoys tinkering with her favorite creations to find ways to improve them. Sometimes there is the need for a refining fire, or periods of intense changing of shape, but through it all, the essential structure of a spoon is there, even while it is being carefully shaped into the fork that the creator desires.

Musings on infertility

Well, most of you reading this know that Michael and I are trying to get pregnant. If you didn't before, you do now. lol While getting pregnant with Joshua wasn't easy (it took 5 years), the twins pregnancy was a nice surprise, because I didn't have to do any "trying." As soon as I stopped breastfeeding Joshua, I got pregnant. Since my body is older and the polycystic ovarian syndrome has been acting up more, this time around it has taken a lot more work.

So, since Michael and I got married, I have been on chlomid to try and make my cycles more regular. So far I have only had two "regular" cycles, and not for several months, so we are upping the dosage to see if that will work. It is the same medicine, but at this dosage there are a lot more side effects. They warned me about all of them, but I hadn't realized how big a difference this was going to be, since I had almost no side effects previously.

So, here is the whiny part. It is beautiful outside, the weather is hot, and I would love to be outside hiking or gardening, or anything to enjoy this, probably brief, round of beautiful weather. Since I am on the medicine though, I am much more sensitive to the sun, I burn easier, and I don't' sweat. So, I have spent most of the time inside my cave-like house. I even need sunglasses to be able to drive, which is unusual for me.

Sometimes I wonder if I will look back at this, holding a baby in my arms, and feel a sense of fulfillment because I was willing to do the things needed to bring ore children into the world. Or, will I look back at all the time I could have been spending with Joshua, Sarah and Kathleen, and wish I hadn't spent so much energy trying to create another child that never came. I guess that in the end, it will depend on the Lord's Will, and my willingness to recognize it when He shares it with me.

A beginning

Okay, I am not sure that I will actually use this blog much, but it seemed like a good place to be able to talk about some of the things going on in life, and to keep in touch with people who are not on the family website. I guess it will be telling to see how many posts there are in a month, and whether or not it sticks.